News

Fri
28
Oct
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First rain since Oct. 7 slows the fall harvest

The area harvest and field work has been progressing steadily this month as rains held off. That changed Tuesday as a storm system moved into Minnesota.

After 17 days with no rain a low pressure system moved into western Minnesota Tuesday morning slowing down what has been an excellent, but long, fall harvest. The rain was forecast to continue into Wednesday morning.

The rainless spell from Oct. 8 to Oct. 24 allowed fields to dry out and corn to dry down. Through the first 24 days of October the Benson area received 1.55 inches of rain, most of it Oct. 4 when 1.2 inches fell.

The National Weather Service was predicting one-half to three-quarters of an inch of rain for the area Tuesday night.

Benson saw its coldest low of the fall season when it dropped to 23 degrees Monday morning. While quite chilly, the low was still 4 degrees above the record low for Oct. 24 of 19 degrees set back in 1957. October’s record low is 12 degrees set Oct. 27, 1976.

Fri
28
Oct
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Hospital waits for USDA word on financing options

As the Swift County-Benson Health Services works to secure United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding for construction of an assisted living/memory care facility, it is exploring several options.

Those options center on ways to get around covenants attached to the issuance of its 2014 bonds that restrict its ability to issue new debt for the project.

In 2014, the hospital refinanced its 2007 bonds, which were used to build the surgical center and new emergency room. While refinancing allowed it to get a lower interest rate it also triggered rules that don’t allow it to pay off the bonds early without substantial penalty. It is estimated that paying off the remaining $5.9 million bond balance prior to 2022 could cost it around $600,000.

Paying off those 2014 bonds is required prior to arranging any new financing because USDA will not take a second position to the bondholders of the 2014 issuance.

Fri
28
Oct
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CNHI celebrates 25th Anniversary of Patriot sprayer

An oringal Patriot sprayer sits next to the modern version in front of the CNHI plant on west U.S. Highway 12 in Benson.

Last Friday afternoon CNHI celebrated the 25th anniversary of the production of the Patriot sprayer with employees past and present, members of the Benson area business community, city leaders, and U.S. 7th District Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Detroit Lakes.

CNHI is one of the premier manufacturing plants in Minnesota, Peterson told the crowd of nearly 200 people.

One of the reasons manufacturing plants are so successful in western Minnesota is the people they have working for them, he said. There are a lot of farm kids who have gone to work for manufacturers like Case who have worked hard on the farm and bring a good work ethic with them. They also have a lot of knowledge about how things work because they have been around machinery on the farm, he said.

Fri
28
Oct
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Trick-or-Treating hours are 6 to 7:30 p.m., Monday, October 31

Halloween is set to be celebrated from 6-7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 31, in Benson.  Parents and adults are reminded that the safety of our children should be the primary concern during this holiday, the Benson Police Department says.

It offers the following tips and suggestions, to keep kids safe:

Fri
28
Oct
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Indoor Marching Band Concert

Members of the Benson Marching Band perform during the Indoor Marching Band Concert

Members of the Benson Marching Band perform during the Indoor Marching Band Concert, including clarinet player Gracie Lenz, who was modeling a BHS band uniform from the 1960s.

BHS Band Director Brock Duncan lead members of the BHS Marching Band during its Indoor Marching Band Concert last Monday night in the Jr. High Auditorium.

 

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Fri
21
Oct
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Simon seeks to make Minnesota first in voter turnout this year

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, center, was in Benson at the Prairie 5 Community Action office, talking about ways to improve voter turnout in November. Meeting with him were, from left, Debra Larson, Praire 5 Executive Director, Angela Zielsdorf of the Benson Prairie 5, Simon, his staff person Daniella Filardo, and from Prairie 5’s regional office Erick Hedman.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon was in Benson last Thursday meeting with staff at Prairie 5 Community Action office on ways they can help turn out voters for the Nov. 8 election.

Simon is seeking to return Minnesota to the number one spot in voter turnout in the nation.

An August Pew Charitable Trusts’ Election Performance Index ranked Minnesota second in the country for its overall election performance, including being named the number one state for having the least amount of registration or absentee ballot problems.

Minnesota, along with Wisconsin and North Dakota, has ranked among the top four states for each election year measured (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014).

“Minnesota’s election system has been and continues to be a role model for the nation and that’s in large part due to the great work done by Minnesotans at the county and local levels,” said Secretary Simon

Fri
21
Oct
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Warm, dry fall days push area harvest

Warm, dry weather has helped farmers make considerable progress with the fall harvest in the past 10 days. While the first week of October brought 1.52 inches of rain, just 3 hundredths of an inch has fallen since.

Almost one-quarter of the soybean acreage was harvested in Minnesota during the week ending Oct. 16, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Eighty-seven percent of the soybean acreage has now been harvested, slightly ahead of average but one week behind last year.

There were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork, the most days suitable since the first week of August. While the drier weather allowed harvest in most areas, there were reports of fields or spots in fields still too wet to harvest.

Fri
21
Oct
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Goose fall migration tells story of warming climate

It is hoped that the $9.5 million Marsh Lake restoration project will restore waterfowl numbers coming to the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area in coming years.

Detailed, long-term global studies of the Earth’s temperatures point to a steady warming that has been going on for at least a couple decades. But in western Minnesota nature has been telling wildlife biologists that things are warming just by their changing habits.

“You could look at your calendar and on Sept. 13 the first migratory geese would come down from Canada,” Department of Natural Resources Regional Wildlife Manager Dave Trauba told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their Oct. 4 meeting. But, now, that has changed.

Trauba wasn’t at the meeting to talk about geese or the climate. Rather he was momentarily sidetracked from a conversation about the need for an additional land acquisition for the Marsh Lake restoration project when he was asked about current waterfowl numbers at the WMA. Trauba served 24 years as manager of the Lac qui Parle WMA before being named to his regional job with the DNR.

Fri
14
Oct
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Pheasant numbers up from 2015, but still low

Pheasants like to escape the wet grass in the early morning hours.

Hunters going out for Minnesota’s pheasant season opener Saturday could get wet based on the current National Weather Service forecast for a rainy day. But it will also be warm, with a high forecast in the mid-60s.

And while the Department of Natural Resources says pheasant numbers are up in western Minnesota, they still are nowhere near what they were in the mid-2000s and far below what they were in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  

According DNR figures, roadside counts between 1955 and 1963 ranged between 275 to 400 birds per 100 miles driven during their annual survey. Those were years when hunters would flock to western Minnesota filling up motel rooms, packing local restaurants and bars, and shopping at local stores.

Fri
14
Oct
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BHS Hall of Fame induction ceremony

The inaugural Benson High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place Saturday night at the Benson Bowler.  Above are four of the inductees along with representatives for the other two.  From left to right in front are Scott Wordelman, Mary Ann Grage (representing her husband, Al Grage), and Jeena (Lamppa) Hughes (representing her brother, Ryan Lamppa).  In back are Wayne Baker, Gary Williams, and Jerry Dahl.  About 75 people attended the event.  The inductees were also recognized at halftime of the Benson and Montevideo Homecoming football game, Friday night.

 

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