Thumbs up to all of the family, coworkers, acquaintances and strangers who have rallied around Waseca police officer Arik Matson and his family.

Matson, 32, was shot in the head Monday night while responding to a suspicious person call. Matson has been in critical condition all week and the communities of Waseca and Freeborn, where he and his family live, have rallied behind the Matsons. The GoFundMe page for the family is climbing in monetary donations by the hour with more than $150,000 raised as of early Friday.

Matson is well-known for being a patrol officer in Waseca and in the past in other southern Minnesota law enforcement agencies. But in addition, many school children know him through his work at their schools as a DARE officer teaching about safety and dangers of high-risk behavior. People who know him say he has put smiles on many children’s faces.

As the Matson family faces this horrible tragedy, it’s good to know southern Minnesotans are coming forward to help and support them in any way they can.

Vaping campaign

Thumbs up to Cambria and area school kids for highlighting the dangers and misperceptions about vaping.

This week students at St. Peter High School held a school assembly based on a campaign sponsored by Cambria called “They Lied. We Know.”

Just as in the early years of marketing cigarettes, the e-cigarette companies are using lies to give young people the false sense that vaping isn’t dangerous or highly addictive.

In coming weeks staff from Cambria, the Le Sueur based countertop manufacturer, will help students continue to educate their peers about the dangers of vaping. The anti-vaping campaign will be more effective because Cambria lets students hear the truth from other students, not from teachers or other adults. Cambria should be commended for the public service campaign.

Primary rules

Thumbs up to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which ruled within hours of hearing the case Thursday that the state Republican Party had the right to limit the primary ballot to President Donald Trump.

It is difficult to see how the court could have reached any other conclusion. The Legislature explicitly left it to the state’s major parties to decide who to place on the presidential primary ballot.

Having the right to do so, however, does not make it wise. The state GOP did its voters a disservice by denying them any alternatives to Trump. Nobody can seriously believe that Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, who sought to get on the primary ballot, would pose a threat to Trump. Is the president really so fragile that getting “only” 95 percent or so of the primary vote would damage him?

A bad look on refugees

Thumbs down to Beltrami County, whose commissioners this week made the northern Minnesota county the first in the state — and probably the nation — to bar refugees from coming there.

The 3-2 vote was largely symbolic; the county, a goodly portion of which is Indian reservation, hasn’t been a landing spot for refugees in the past and wasn’t likely to receive them in the foreseeable future. But one of the commissioners on the losing side decided to force the board to vote because, in his words, “Racism is alive and well in Bemidji,” and he hoped to force residents to talk about it.

Two other Minnesota counties, Stearns (St. Cloud) and St. Louis (Duluth), on Tuesday put off voting on the refugee issue. We are pleased that Blue Earth and Nicollet counties have voted to continue to accept refugees; we wish every Minnesota county would do the same.

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