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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FORMAN, N.D. — A man is in the North Dakota State Hospital after being arrested on four felony and five misdemeanor charges tied to threatening people at a church and bar, vandalism, and a high-speed chase, Sargent County Sheriff Travis Paeper said Tuesday, Oct. 24. Michael Skroch, 39, of Lidgerwood, was arrested Thursday, Oct. 19, after a high-speed chase by law enforcement ended with him crashing a motorcycle in the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge, and a standoff that included Skroch being tased several times to no effect, Paeper said.
MOORHEAD — The Moorhead School Board voted 6-0 to approve a new two-year contract with their teachers on Monday, Oct. 23. The contract calls for another $1,287,188 to be put into teacher salaries and benefits for the 2017-18 school year, a nearly 3.3 percent increase. For the 2018-19 school year, another $1,444,119 will go toward salaries and benefits for an increase of more than 3.5 percent, Acting Superintendent Brandon Lunak said.
FARGO - A pedestrian - who witnesses said may have been trying to get hit by a car on South University Drive - was sent to a local hospital after a car-pedestrian accident just before 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, a Fargo police spokesman said. Witnesses told police that the victim, described as a white male in his 20s, was arguing with some people on the side of the busy arterial road, perhaps 25 to 30 yards north of the intersection of South University and 8th Avenue South, Sgt. Travis Moser said.
MOORHEAD — Dairy crop insurance, funding for agricultural research, and continued support for ethanol and biodiesel fuels are areas Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., says she'll focus on as negotiations continue in the Senate on the 2018 Farm Bill. Meanwhile, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., says it's possible the House could have its version of the bill ready by the end of this year. Klobuchar and Peterson spoke Friday, Oct. 20, at a panel discussion at the Hjemkomst Center, with more than a dozen Red River Valley agricultural leaders.
MOORHEAD — They worked for the U.S. government or the U.S. military in Iraq. One of the four men who shared his story was nearly killed by a roadside bomb while he worked for a U.S. contractor, helping to rebuild his war-torn nation's power grid. The others were translators, serving beside U.S. troops, translating Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish into English and back, hoping to save American and Iraqi lives, even as their own lives and those of their families lay under threat of reprisals.
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.