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Hearing help in the courtroom

Large spaces always make for hard hearing, even for people who are not hearing impaired. The Beltrami County Commission approved installation of infrared hearing assistance systems in the new courthouse, but now there is a more precise electromagnetic system available. The Ninth Judicial District administrators installed the inductive hearing loop system in the first-floor courtroom of the Beltrami County Judicial Center. People with normal hearing will find no difference, but people wearing hearing aids with telecoil adaptation will be able to understand every word of testimony and judgment. As one of the only courtrooms in the United States to install such technology, the Bemidji area is again in the forefront of outreach to all. As Judge Paul Benshoof, who urged the installation of the system, said, being able to hear every word is a factor in due process and fundamental rights and liberty.

Every May, families deck graves in Greenwood Cemetery with flowers and ornaments in memory of loved ones. The Boy Scouts and others set miniature American flags beside graves of veterans from the Civil War to the present. Bemidji Police reports of stolen flowers and graveside decorations are more than vandalism. The thieves trod on holy ground to make away with items families have installed with heartfelt memories and deep grief. Stealing bouquets from the cemetery is about as low as anyone can go.

Congratulations to the 320 students who graduated from Bemidji High School Saturday, and welcome to the world of work, further academic pursuit, military service and other future plans. You graduates have accomplished much, and the community backs you in your future endeavors. Congratulations, also, to all of the graduates of other high schools in the Bemidji area.

Diamond Point Park, one of Bemidji's best attractions in its renovated blooming, received an Award of Excellence from the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association in the Parks and Facilities division. Renovating Diamond Point Park from a worn-out, scrubby remnant of former glory to the current jewel and great attraction was worth the investment. Kudos to the Bemidji City Council in voting for the reconstruction. Thousands of local residents and tourists can now enjoy the park, even in a year like this when it seems as if warm temperatures will never get here.

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