Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including education, Fargo city government, business and military affairs. He is currently The Forum's K-12 education reporter.
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PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. — Somali immigrants who come to live here quickly learn to deal with the huge differences between Africa and America. "For me, the only thing that was shocking was the accent, and the food, and the school system, and the weather. I think that's it," joked 16-year-old Najma Ahmed. But for Ahmed, a junior at Pelican Rapids High School, and other Somali students who study while their parents work at the local turkey processing plant, there is a constant. It is their religion, Islam.
FARGO - It's time to break out the shorts! The Fargo area could well see a record high temperature Friday, Feb. 17, and perhaps several more record highs this weekend and early next week. Temperatures are expected to hit about 53 degrees Friday, eclipsing the previous record of 48 degrees set in 2002, WDAY meteorologist Jared Piepenburg said Friday morning. The record low for this date is minus 30 degrees. The average high for Feb. 17 is 24, and the average low is 6, Piepenburg said.
BISMARCK – Jon Norberg, a Fargo doctor acquitted in 2012 of drugging and raping his ex-wife, will get a new trial for his claims that she had abused the legal process, defamed him and maliciously sought to have him prosecuted, the North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled. The high court ruled that a Cass County District Court in a July 2015 jury trial misapplied the doctrine of collateral estoppel, which prevents a person from relitigating facts or issues of law in a case.
FARGO — The Cass County Commission has picked a new county administrator. Robert Wilson, the assistant commission administrative officer for South Dakota's Minnehaha County, was chosen to fill the position now held by interim County Administrator Darrell Vanyo. The announcement was made Tuesday, Feb. 14. Wilson has worked for Minnehaha County for seven years. Before that, he was a general assignment reporter for KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, S.D.
FARGO - The Red River Zoo hopes that its two pairs of Pallas cats can develop a frisky furriendship that will litter-ally help bolster the species' long-term survival. The zoo recently introduced Eva, a 1-year-old female from California, to Sural, a 3-year-old from Japan — just in time for Valentine's Day. "We have had really outstanding success here, not only breeding them," but with having kittens survive," said Red River Zoo Executive Director Sally Jacobson.
VALPARAISO, Ind. - A Fargo woman is making her first trip to the famed Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show in New York, but not as an owner or handler. No, in the dog-eat-dog world of high-performance pooches, Brenda Podetz says you have to start at the bottom. Podetz, who is chief financial officer for F.F. Fisher Sales and Leasing in Fargo and a lover of Old English sheepdogs, will be the pit crew for Jere Marder and her dog, Andrew, the No. 1-ranked Old English sheepdog in the nation in 2016.
FARGO - Giving Hearts Day set a new record for donations, bringing in $10,614,115 in the 24-hour fundraising blitz, Dakota Medical Foundation announced Friday, Feb. 10. The Thursday, Feb. 9, give-a-thon brought in 50,908 donations from about 21,800 individual donors, DMF reported. The number of individual donors was 7,262 more than those who gave in 2016, DMF reported. "We've had a big day," said Pat Traynor, executive director of DMF, which co-sponsors the event with the Alex Stern Family Foundation and the Impact Foundation.
FARGO — As far as fundraising stunts, there can be a lot worse gigs than sitting in a hot tub. Unless, of course, it's 12 degrees. With a stiff breeze. And the hot tub is sitting outside on a raised trailer bed. Staying well-submerged, heads warmed by the steam rising from the tub and covered with bomber caps, Rick Hill, Marcia Stubstad and Brad Lindblad waved to motorists zipping by Tubs of Fun on Main Avenue on Thursday, Feb. 9.
FARGO — No matter how you slice it, the owner of a north Fargo pizza shop and his customers are filling a need - —and many empty stomachs — in the Fargo-Moorhead area. For the last year, Little Caesars at 1020 19th Ave. N. has donated pizzas that overstayed their 30-minute hold time in the shop's "hotbox." They are given to three homeless shelters — the New Life Center and Salvation Army in Fargo and the Dorothy Day House in Moorhead, owner Mike Stevens said.
FARGO — Donors during this year's Giving Hearts Day may be able to turn a $10 donation into another $10,000 for their favorite charity. Up to $50,000 in #GoMatchyMatchy donor awards will be given away Thursday, Feb. 9, in the first-ever Giving Hearts donor incentive program, said Pat Traynor, executive director of Dakota Medical Foundation. "We're super excited about it," Traynor said at a DMF news conference Tuesday, Feb. 7.