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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WEST FARGO — More than a week after the fact, there's still no answer as to what constituted the "imminent deadly threat" to SWAT team members that led them to fatally shoot Justin Lee Dietrich during a standoff March 12 in West Fargo. And that answer may not be made available for weeks. Local police officials have declined in recent days to comment on the investigation into the death of the 32-year-old Fargo man. All said it is in the hands of North Dakota's Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
FARGO – Fargo police are reminding area residents there is a safe exchange location in town for people who want to add more security to buying or selling items.
HORACE, N.D. — A nearly five-hour armed standoff here could have had a very different and violent ending, if the man accused of breaking into his ex-wife's home Wednesday, March 14, had followed through on his threats, Cass County District Court documents show. Lance Belgarde, 51, of Horace, kicked in the back door of the house at 7108 100th Ave. S. about 5 a.m. carrying a shotgun, and he began threatening his ex-wife Kim Belgarde, witnesses told authorities.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — The superintendent of the Hawley School District has been charged with two misdemeanors after a vehicle went through the ice on Otter Tail Lake last month and concerns arose that another man would be arrested for drunken driving. Superintendent Philip Leroy Jensen, 56, of Ottertail, Minn., faces two counts of obstructing the legal process. Facing the same charges in the incident are Michelle Renae Jensen, 51, of Ottertail, and Zachary Anthony Jensen, 32, of Fargo.
FARGO — An Andover, Minn., man was sentenced to a year in prison and five years of probation on Monday, March 12, for trying to lure a minor to engage in a sexual act using a computer or another electronic device, according to Cass County District Court documents. Ryan Dostal, 40, was caught in a West Fargo Police Department undercover sting that used a Craigslist ad for an "older for younger sexual fantasy," court documents stated.
WILLISTON, N.D. — A federal judge has ordered a drilling rig service company working in North Dakota's Oil Patch to pay a former worker $70,000 as part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit that alleged he was harassed because he is gay.
MOORHEAD — The woman accused of trying to shoot a Minnesota State Patrol trooper in the head after he stopped to help her and a companion at the scene of a crash just east of here made her first appearance in Clay County District Court on Friday, March 9.
BISMARCK -- Fargo, West Fargo, Grand Forks and Wahpeton are among 17 North Dakota school districts that have been given the go-ahead to use the ACT exam in place of a required state math and English achievement test for high school students, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler announced Wednesday, March 7.
FARGO - A man wanted on three warrants found that even hiding in a Burger King trash bin couldn't beat a focused K-9's sharp nose. Tanner Oye, 23, was arrested by Fargo Police after being found in a dumpster at the fast-food restaurant on 52nd Avenue South, spokeswoman Officer Jessica Schindeldecker said Wednesday, March 7. According to the police report:
WISHEK, N.D. — The Wishek School Board and the school district's superintendent are denying allegations that they acted improperly by restricting a mother's access to the school. In a response to a federal lawsuit filed last month by the mother, Kathryn Pinke, attorneys for the board and superintendent requested that the suit be dismissed and that the board be granted attorneys' fees.