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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FARGO — Today is Friday the 13th. Lucky us! A world of black cats crossing roads, ladders to walk under, and mirrors to break awaits outside your door, unless you've already called in sick to burrow under the bedcovers to avoid any misfortune. To be sure, we're a superstitious lot. Just as anyone who wears a "rally cap" at a baseball game, picks up lucky pennies, avoids cracks on sidewalks, or tacks up a horseshoe over their door. But westerners are not alone! (Knock on wood.)
FARGO—This city's use of tax increment financing to promote business development has been targeted by a group called Americans for Prosperity with an online video ad calling the incentives "a free pass" that allows well-connected businesses to avoid paying "their fair share" in property taxes. It's a message City Commissioner Tony Gehrig, an opponent of tax-incentive programs, supports. But fellow City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn says the tax breaks spur development and, in the long run, lowers taxes.
FARGO - A Fargo city commissioner called for a citizen-led effort to force property tax reform in North Dakota, while the City Commission agreed Monday, Oct. 9, to hold a brown bag lunch session on how the city levies special assessments for new developments. The brown bag session on the city's special assessment system was sought by Commissioners Tony Gehrig and John Strand, while Dave Piepkorn called for statewide property tax reform.
MOORHEAD — Two men are in jail and a third is being sought on charges tied to the alleged robbery and assault of another man who had helped plan a burglary then tried to back out, according to court documents filed in Clay County District Court. Travis Blueshield, 25, and Jonathan Thompson, 26, were being held Friday, Oct. 6, in the Cass County Jail, awaiting extradition to Clay County. Another man, Robin Heinonen, 26, is still being sought, Clay County Attorney Brian Melton said.
MOORHEAD — Nine of 13 candidates vying for a one-year seat on the Moorhead School Board did their best to break out of the pack during a forum Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Moorhead Public Library. A special election will be held Nov. 7 for the post, and each of the candidates had a different take on what they see as the biggest challenges facing the growing school district. Kara Gloe told the crowd she'd like to hire more staff for the schools, including paraprofessionals, counselors, social workers and gifted-and-talented teachers.
HUNTER, N.D. — Northern Cass School will have a licensed therapist available to offer mental health services and support to students, thanks to a collaboration between the school district, the United Way and the Burgum Foundation. A therapist from the Village Family Service Center will be at the school starting next Wednesday and will be there every Wednesday through the end of the school year, Superintendent Cory Steiner said Thursday, Oct. 5.
FARGO — Marian Kadrie is a tiny lady with a heart as big as her home. After more than three decades of taking in foster children, the 88-year-old Fargo woman was honored last week as one of the nation's Angels in Adoption. Between working with Lutheran Social Services' program for unaccompanied refugee minors and Cass County Social Services, Kadrie and her late husband, Orviell, took in more than 300 children over the years. The stays for some children and teens are for a few days or weeks, while others stay years.
FARGO—Longfellow Elementary School in Fargo, Legacy Elementary School in West Fargo and Kindred Elementary in Kindred, N.D., have earned National Blue Ribbon School designation for exemplary high-performing schools. The awards were announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Thursday, Sept. 28. Longfellow Principal Eric Henrickson used a hazardous materials drill to get the staff and students into the gymnasium for the announcement. "It was a fun day today," Henrickson said.
FARGO - The Fargo School Board voted 8-1 Tuesday, Sept. 26, to approve a final budget for the 2018 fiscal year that includes a nearly $336,000 deficit after revised revenues and expenditures were tallied. The district's general fund revenues are projected to be $150.9 million, about $612,000 less than expected when the preliminary budget was approved in July. Business Manager Broc Lietz said some of that is due to lower property tax collections. Operating expenditures are pegged at more than $151.2 million, leaving the district with a $335,639 deficit.
GLYNDON, Minn.—A 40 percent property tax credit for owners of agricultural land could be key to getting Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School District voters to approve a school bond issue, Superintendent Bryan Thygeson said Tuesday, Sept. 26., to open a tax forum at the high school. More than 60 percent of the district's land is agricultural, Thygeson said. "This was a piece of legislation that was absolutely critical for us," Thygeson said.