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 School District enrollments are flattening out after dropping 456 students from the 1998-99 to 2001-02 school years. "Beginning this coming year, we're pretty much in the flat part of 'the saucer,'" said Lowell Wolff, the district's communications and planning administrator. District enrollment has been dropping since 1998-99, when it topped out at 11,785. It's expected to drop to 11,152 in 2004-05 before rising again. On some graphs, the projections through 2011-12 look like a shallow saucer. This year's enrollment is projected to be 11,285.
The sound of the bagpipes has the unmistakable stamp of Scotland -- and defies an American explanation. Is it an old Oldsmobile horn that won't turn off? A smoke detector on steroids? Or, a duck being squeezed really, really hard? In the end, it doesn't matter.
Call it the cookout for Congress. Republican Rick Clayburgh had Vice President Dick Cheney to call on to fund-raise Monday in Fargo. But Democrat Rep. Earl Pomeroy's crew was cookin' -- serving up hot dogs, watermelon, chips, sodas and ice cream at Fargo's Oak Grove Park pavilion. As Cheney mugged for $1,000 a photo and spoke at a $225 a plate luncheon, Pomeroy smiled and schmoozed more than 300 Democratic friends and supporters at $5 a head and $10 per family. "We wanted a fun picnic. That's what we got. No big names out of Washington," Pomeroy said.
A breakthrough has been made in getting an outlet for Devils Lake, according to a statement released Monday by members of North Dakota's congressional delegation. An environmental impact statement for the project is expected to be completed next week and the preferred alternative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be an outlet, said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. "It's a very big breakthrough," Pomeroy said.
There are several interested parties, but no offers yet, for the vacant Great Northern Restaurant and Brewery in downtown Fargo. The property, which has been home to three different restaurants since late 1995, is listed for $2.2 million. It has been on the market since March, said Erroll M. Bong of Lexus Commercial Real Estate in Fargo. Bong, whose company represents the property's owners, Magic Financial Group, said the first priority is to sell the property as a restaurant and lounge, but at least one party is looking to put the building to a "totally different" use.
The Great Northern depot is a turnkey operation for anyone wanting to open a restaurant in Fargo, but it may take innovative thinking, good management and deep pockets to make it a downtown success. Three restaurants have opened and closed at 425 Broadway since 1995. "Whoever comes in will have to be loaded with money," said Mort Sarabakhsh, an associate professor in hospitality management at North Dakota State University. "Whoever has gone there has lost money.
Thundershowers that blew across eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota dropped up to 4.5 inches of rain in spots early Thursday morning, but the locally heavy rains shouldn't damage crops nearly as badly as the repeated drenchings of June. In Minnesota, some areas east of Hawley and north to the Hitterdal area received 4.25 to 4.5 inches of rain, the National Weather Service reported. Clay County Road 33 had water running over it and the ditches in that area were full, said Priscilla Bridensteine, a weather service meteorologist in Grand Forks, N.D. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 i
The Fargo School Board was urged Tuesday by its facilities consultant to tackle two big issues this year: figure out what to do with Agassiz Middle School, and decide what grade configuration will be used districtwide. Those recommendations came after the board received the report of the district's long-range facilities planning committee. Leadership will be important in crafting a plan on where and when to build, close or renovate schools, said Bill DeJong of DeJong and Associates. "At some point, the board will need to make a decision," DeJong said.
A graduate of Fargo Central High School has bequeathed more than $750,000 to the Fargo Public Schools Foundation endowment fund, taking it over the $1 million mark. The gift, announced in a news conference Tuesday, comes from the Charles P. and Eleanor Laing Law Trust. The foundation has already received $570,000. About $190,000 will be donated to the foundation once trust expenses and claims are paid, foundation Executive Director Steve Backsen said. Eleanor Laing graduated from Central in 1930.
The West Fargo School Board approved the district's proposed 2002-03 budget on a 6-0 vote Monday. Figures revised upward from June show revenues are expected to rise to $31,540,650, and expenditures will be $31,447,290. Those are increases of 8.24 percent for revenues and a 10.1 percent increase in expenditures from the 2001-02 school year. The mill levy is expected to be 249.02 mills -- 5 more mills than last year.