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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PORTLAND, N.D. — For Larry McGillis, this is a summer to remember at his job — for all the wrong reasons. The owner of MayPort Insurance and Realty has been in the business for 40 years. But this year's string of hailstorms and heavy rains has made this "one of the most problematic that I've seen since I've been in business." He's got 17 employees, and they're constantly on the run. "It's taken all our teams a full-court press to keep servicing all of our customers," he said. Many people didn't take out hail insurance, he said.
FARGO - Sometimes the job you're not looking for finds you anyway. Case in point: Mike Hagstrom. The president of the St. John Paul II Catholic Schools network didn't initially consider taking a shot at the post when it was announced that former Superintendent Mike Smith was leaving. But friends and supporters encouraged him to apply — and he ended up winning the job.
WILTON, N.D. — A Fargo man is in custody in the McLean County Detention Center after leading law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase Wednesday, Aug. 31, and hiding in a cornfield for more than seven hours before being arrested after an extensive air and ground search, the McLean County Sheriff's Office reported.
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."