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Beautiful downtown

THUMBS UP: Every year downtown New Ulm sprouts a beautiful display of flowers, or so it seems. Actually, the flower baskets and planters on Minnesota Street are put there with the help of a lot of “garden gnomes” that don’t always get the thanks they deserve.

It starts with the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce members and community donors who pay for the plants (about $7,000 each year). Hackers Tree Farm, Nursery and Greenhouse provides the plants. Volunteer teachers from District 88 prepare the pots for planting, and members of the New Ulm Garden Club plant them. For the rest of the summer, a crew of volunteer, led by John Rolloff, see to it that the flowers are watered daily, and the city of New Ulm provides the equipment and the water they use.

The flowers are a special touch that make downtown New Ulm unique. Thanks to all who make it happen.

Ulm connection

POINTER: The relationship between the City of New Ulm and the cities of Ulm and Neu Ulm in Germany is a special one. So it was sad to hear this week that the former mayor of Ulm, Ernst Ludwig, died recently at the age of 90.

Over the years, many official visits and unofficial trips between Ulm and New Ulm have helped build the connection that started after World War I and grew after World War II. Mayor Ludwig was a part of that connection, and we respect his contribution to our international friendship.

Jury duty

THUMBS UP: The jury in the manslaughter trial of Officer Jeronimo Yanez labored long and hard this week to reach a verdict. After five days, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all charges against the officer who shot black motorist Philando Castile in a case that went viral when Castile’s girlfriend live broadcast his dying moments on Facebook.

The incident sparked debate and protests, something the jury verdict will undoubtedly do as well. But as Ramsey County prosecutor John Choi said Friday after the verdict that we have to respect the verdict, no matter how painful it was for the client.

He’s right. Agree or disagree with the verdict, but our system of justice rests on the shoulders of jurors who are willing to listen to evidence and decide objectively on the guilt or innocence of the accused.

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