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.
- Member for
- 4 years 11 months
FARGO—A longtime Fargo, state and national Parent-Teacher Association leader has been elected to the board of directors for the National PTA. Amy Arness, a PTA volunteer since 1998, says she's once again "a rookie." She was among eight PTA leaders elected to two-year terms on the national board in June. "It's not something I aspired to from the beginning," Arness said. "It just kept evolving along the way. It was just taking the next leadership position that the schools needed filled."
FARGO—Whether Amber Hensley is re-hired by her former Fargo employer may not be known for some time, if at all. Sarah Hassan, one of three Somali-American woman who was threatened earlier this week in an anti-Muslim tirade by Hensley caught on video that went viral, said Thursday she would try to help Hensley get her job back after Hensley apologized to her and two other women involved in the incident at a Fargo Walmart parking lot.
FARGO — The state Education Fact Finding Commission has recommended a one-year contract for Fargo teachers that includes a modestly higher pay increase than what was offered by School Board negotiators, and contract language to preserve the seniority and benefits of teachers recalled after layoffs. At the same time, the commission appears to side with the School Board in other areas, such as not requiring classroom safety protocols to be written into the contract and not giving teachers priority in transferring their children between schools.
MOORHEAD—A World War II veteran and the oldest member of Ogema's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9880 got a visit from two post members Thursday, July 20, at Eventide Senior Living Community near Concordia College. Jim Jirava and Doug Fabre brought 94-year-old Wally Pfeiffer a gift—a cap from the Commemorative Air Force, a group dedicated to keeping vintage military aircraft flying. They also brought Pfeiffer a gift that won't gather dust. The Vietnam-era vets let Pfeiffer know he isn't forgotten.
FARGO — By Tuesday, July 25, the Fargo School Board and the Fargo Education Association will receive recommendations from a busy state Education Fact Finding Commission on how the two sides can end the impasse in teacher contract negotiations. The three-person fact-finding group, led by Dean Rummel of Dickinson, took testimony from School Board and FEA representatives and from members of an audience of at least 250 people — most of them teachers — during a three-hour meeting in the South High School theater on Wednesday, July 19.
MOORHEAD — Construction is moving at a frenetic pace on Moorhead's two newest schools, as workers drive to complete Dorothy Dodds Elementary and Horizon West, the fifth- and sixth-grade school on the Horizon Middle School campus. Dorothy Dodds, at 4400 24th Ave. S., will be ready for teachers to move in by mid-August, Steve Gehrtz, a principal partner for Gehrtz Construction Services, told School Board members Monday, July 17, during a school construction tour.
FARGO — An argument early Saturday about the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club may have prompted a man to allegedly cut the neck of another man who had agreed to give him a ride from The Northern Gentlemen's Club in north Fargo. Aaron James Knutson, 36, faces felony charges of aggravated assault and terrorizing, according to documents filed Monday, July 17, in Cass County District Court. According to a report by Officer Michael Haderlie that was among court documents:
FARGO — A Fargo man faces several felony charges of possession of child pornography after an investigation sparked by a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Robert Oelschlager, 30, was arrested Wednesday, July 12, after a search warrant was executed at his apartment. Found in the search were a cellphone with multiple images of child pornography, meth pipes, baggies of meth, used marijuana paraphernalia and small amounts of marijuana, according to Cass County District Court documents.
FARGO — Pairing the small northside Madison and McKinley elementary schools could save money, balance class sizes and improve teacher collaboration, district staff told the Fargo School Board on Thursday, July 13, during a retreat session at Davies High School. The staff analysis doesn't mean a plan is ready to pair Madison, at 1040 29th St. N., and McKinley, at 2930 Eighth St. N., Superintendent Jeff Schatz and board President Jim Johnson caution. But the discussion has started.
HORACE, N.D. — On Wednesday morning, 13-year-old Azalea Jorgensen walked up to the charred shell of her home at 1623 Round Hill Drive, east of Horace. The front brick of the once-beautiful home was warped or broken in places. The roof and second floor had collapsed into the basement. In spots, smoke sprang into fitful gouts of flame. "Hey, my bedroom," Azalea said, a mix of awe and sadness in her voice, as she, a couple of friends, and adult neighbors walked around the ruin.