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 — With a couple of easy pulls on a set of aluminum rails, Joel Vettel launched himself and a red kayak into the Red River Thursday, Sept. 1, and in doing so, officially launched a new venture the Fargo Park District and the River Keepers advocacy group hope will increase use and appreciation of the Red as a place to play. "Fantastic!" Vettel said, as he finished his demonstration paddle at Lindenwood Park, easily sliding his kayak out of the water on the rails of the launch. "Everyone should come out and enjoy it."
MOORHEAD — CenturyLink is challenging Fargo-Moorhead area artists to offer designs that will turn seven large rectangular blah-colored beige utility boxes into visually appealing pieces of art. Artists will be asked to come up with designs using the theme of technology, CenturyLink spokeswoman Rachel Woodman said Tuesday, Aug. 30, at a news conference near Minnesota State University Moorhead's Comstock Memorial Union.
BECKER COUNTY, Minn. - A helicopter clipped a power line on the north side of Pelican Lake, downing the line and causing a grass fire that took about an hour to extinguish, Audubon Fire Chief Chris Wiedenmeyer said Tuesday, Aug. 30. The helicopter was spraying potato fields by County Highway 20 near the Becker and Otter Tail County line when it hit the power line. When the line hit the ground, it started a grass fire that grew to about an acre, Wiedenmeyer said.
VALLEY CITY, N.D. - Vandals have spray-painted graffiti on a new floodwall in Valley City. Police Chief Fred Thompson said Monday, Aug. 29, that the vandals wrote phrases including "smoke crack," "smoke weed everyday" and "inject meth" on the floodwall for the east bridge at Fourth Street. Thompson said the vandalism occurred sometime Friday night, Aug. 26, or early Saturday morning, Aug. 27. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the police department at (701) 845-3110.
MOORHEAD — Despite the hot, sticky, late summer weather, Park Christian School had a cool start to the school year on Monday, Aug. 29. Students and staff enjoyed air conditioning that was added this summer in the older sections of the building and gymnasium. The north Moorhead private school also can now boast of three new elementary classrooms and a "smart room" on the north side of the commons where the younger elementary-age students will be able to work their wiggles out while learning, said Teresa Nickel, the school's director of admissions and marketing.
FARGO — The Fargo School District will devote six social workers to helping students get the care they need for mental health, issues and drug and alcohol issues, and with other problems that could prevent them from graduating from high school. The initiative, which starts this year, is written into the district's strategic plan. It will station two social workers in the secondary schools for each of the north, central and south areas of the district. They will also serve students in the elementary schools, Superintendent Jeff Schatz said.
CASSELTON, N.D. - Central Cass School saw its opening day enrollment make a significant jump, a district spokeswoman said Thursday, Aug. 25. The district had 859 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, compared with 806 at the start of school in fall 2015, said Business Manager Pam Utt. "We had to add another section of kindergarten this year. Our classrooms are now full. We have filled every last building," Utt said. "That's why we're looking for a bond referendum (on Oct. 4). We are out of space."
HUNTER, N.D. - A "miscommunication" on licensing means that Ryan Lyson, who has been the principal of Northern Cass High School for several years, will be its assistant principal this year. Lyson, who is working on a doctorate in educational leadership, didn't receive a provisional license this year from the state Department of Public Instruction because he still needs to take a few required master's degree-level classes, Superintendent Cory Steiner and Lyson said.
FARGO — With 25 minutes to go before the first bell, families descended on Eagles Elementary Thursday, Aug. 25, entering the school in a steady stream and filtering through the halls to their children's classrooms for final first-day-of-school goodbyes. Yes, the parking lot was jammed, but there was no crazy line of cars. But there were plenty of walkers and bikers to Eagles, Fargo's newest neighborhood school. Brittany Pauliver and Michael Boardman said their son, Calvin, was excited for his first day of kindergarten.
WYNDMERE, N.D.—Wyndmere Elementary School will host an open house for parents and guardians on Wednesday, Aug. 31., the principal announced. The event, which is only for parents and guardians, begins at 6:30 p.m. with a meeting with elementary Principal David Hanson in the high school gymnasium. Classroom presentations follow and will be repeated three times, running from 7 to 8 p.m.