News

Wed
28
Jul
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RDC working with area communities and businesses to recruit employees

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

In their economic and community development efforts, area cities, counties, school districts, and townships of the area have an ally – the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission.

The RDC’s five-county region includes Swift, Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine and Chippewa counties.

It provides planning, grant writing, grant administration, comprehensive planning, research, and survey assistance. It analyzes data to help communities plan. It also helps it with promoting the region to prospective residents and businesses.

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home, often isolated from friends and family, they saw an opportunity to promote a rural life.

Wed
28
Jul
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COVID-19 cases low but ticking up in west central counties

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

While the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has dominated the news over the past week, western Minnesota has only seen a few additional cases.

Though vaccinations rates remain well below what public health officials would like to see, Swift County has added just five cases of COVID-19 in the month of July. Two of those cases were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Monday and one last Friday. The other two cases were reported July 1.

Before the COVID-19 case reported last Friday, Swift County had gone 21 straight days with a reported case...

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

Wed
28
Jul
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Students will have to be up-to-date on immunizations

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

When students come to school this fall at the Northside Elementary School and Benson High School, they will be required to have received the state-mandated vaccinations.

Earlier this month, the District 777 Board of Education voted to enforce the required vaccinations as stipulated by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH.)

The COVID-19 vaccine is not required to attend schools at this time since it has not yet been officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It currently has emergency use authorization with more than 340 million doses administered. So far, 163 million Americans are fully vaccinated against the deadly disease...

 

Wed
21
Jul
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Benson council election year to change in 2022

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Monday night Benson’s City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance that will change when city council elections take place.

Now the ordinance change will be published in the city’s legal newspaper, the Swift County Monitor-News, and 30 days after publication the change becomes law.

Since 1965, city elections for the mayor and council members have taken place in odd numbered years. That has often meant low turnout since it sets it apart from when most other elections take place...

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

Wed
21
Jul
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Nature Energy biogas plant plans moving forward

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Plans for construction of a biogas facility on the former Benson Power site at Benson’s western edge are moving forward.

Using dairy cow manure, turkey litter and some food waste, Danish firm Nature Energy’s proposed plant would produce enough renewable natural gas to heat between 11,000 and 12,000 homes.

Representatives of the company were in Benson in June to look over the site, tour the community, and meet with members of the Benson City Council.  They also discussed renewing the letter of intent between the city and Nature Energy outlining the initial obligations of both sides should the project proceed...

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

Wed
21
Jul
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Vaccinations lag as delta variant spreads

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As states across the southern and south central America struggle with a new surge in COVID-19 cases due to low vaccination rates, Minnesotans cautiously watch. California is also seeing a surge.

Mask mandates are being discussed, and implemented, in some areas.

Minnesota has been fortunate, so far, probably because its citizens have done a better job of getting vaccinated. However, health officials warn that the new highly infectious delta variant will find every pocket of unvaccinated Americans wherever they live...

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

Wed
14
Jul
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Area gets 4.54 inches of rain over 2 weeks

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

With drought conditions worsening in late June, area farmers were looking for rain and lots of it. Over the past two weeks, they’ve gotten a lot of what they needed.

Between June 27 and July 10, the Benson area has received 4.54 inches of rain. Despite the rainfall, the U.S. Drought Monitor map last week showed much of west central Minnesota, including all of Swift, Pope and Chippewa counties in a D1 or moderate drought stage. Much of both Big Stone and Stevens counties are also in a D1 drought.

June’s heat contributed to the drought conditions with 10 days reaching into the 90s as the area endured a prolonged dry spell. July started with three more days in the 90s...

 

Wed
14
Jul
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Rural COVID vaccination levels well behind metro areas

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County is well behind several metropolitan counties in getting its residents vaccinated against COVID-19 . It is also far behind Olmsted County, the home of Rochester and the Mayo clinic.

That could have consequences for the county in the fall as new more infectious variants of the deadly virus circulate. Swift County is not alone in rural Minnesota in lagging behind the vaccination rates of metropolitan areas. Many rural counties in the state and nation have low numbers.

What the impact could be for health care services, schools, fall sports, and businesses will be somewhat determined by how prevalent the new strains are in the area in the fall. It will also depend on the percentage of those vaccinated, a process that has become frustratingly slow for public health officials...

 

Wed
14
Jul
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Benson’s 90th Kid Day celebration is underway

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Benson’s 90th Kid Day celebration is now underway though the main events are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

After the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of Kid Day last year, the Benson’s Kid Day Committee has worked over the past months to ensure this year’s celebration is full of events to entertain young and old.

The theme of this year’s Kid Day is “Hometown Fun” and the annual featured event of Kid Day, the Kid Day Parade, is set for 10 a.m., Saturday...

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

Wed
07
Jul
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Rains ease drought conditions

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Through the first 26 days of June only 6 tenths of an inch of rain fell. The month was well on its way to being the driest on record. Then the area saw 2.21 inches of rain fall June 27-28.

Tuesday brought more rain as storms rumbled through in the early morning hours dropping as much as an inch or more in some areas. More rain was forecast throughout the day Tuesday as well as for Thursday and Friday. July averages 3.69 inches of rain.

The driest June on record was 1973 when only 65 hundredths of an inch of rain fell. June 1959 saw only 73 hundredths of an inch of rain and is the second driest on record...

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

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