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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MOORHEAD - A proposal to allow Minnesota schools to use technology to keep classes in session even when blizzards hit and buses can't run is intriguing to local school officials, as long as it doesn't become mandatory. A bill in the state House of Representatives would let school districts use "e-learning" to avoid canceling school for winter weather or other reasons. "I do believe it is the wave of the future," Moorhead schools Superintendent Lynne Kovash said Monday, March. 6.
FARGO - When it comes to property taxes and what school districts take in, not all mills are equal in value. It's one reason the Fargo School District is asking for 127 mills in property taxes for its general fund in the Tuesday, March 7, special election, said Broc Lietz, the district's business manager. At its simplest, a mill is just a unit of measure, equal to 1/1000th. Add up the value of all the properties in a school district, then divide that cost by 1,000 and you get the value of each mill to that district, Lietz said.
FARGO — Citizens for K-12 Excellence, a "vote yes" group backing the Fargo School District's request to set its general fund mill levy at 127 mills, has been burning up the phone lines in a get-out-the-vote effort for the special election on Tuesday, March 7. Phone bank volunteers are expected to make 10,000 to 15,000 calls from the offices of the Fargo Education Association, the union representing Fargo's teachers.
FARGO — The Fargo School District was praised this week for successfully broadening the reach of its Advanced Placement classes. Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler said in a visit with The Forum's Editorial Board that she hopes the rest of the state's schools can follow suit. The district, which was honored nationally for expanding its AP test offerings, and for increasing or maintaining the percentage of students receiving AP exam scores of 3 or higher, is a good example to follow, Baesler said.
MOORHEAD—Dorothy Dodds Elementary School should be completed by the time school starts this fall, and enough of the fifth- and sixth-grade addition to Horizon Middle School will be ready for classes to start there, too, construction managers told the Moorhead School Board on Monday, Feb. 27. All of the roof of Dorothy Dodds will be finished by the end of next week, said Steve Gehrtz, a principal partner at Gehrtz Construction Services. That means the building will be fully enclosed and heated.
MOORHEAD — A Minnesota State University Moorhead initiative that gives non-business students insights on how to market themselves and become entrepreneurs is a good option for the region's young people, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Friday, Feb. 24. The Minnesota Democrat, on a tour through the northern tier of the state, called the program a practical way to teach students who have interests in wide-ranging fields, including the arts and humanities, to build a successful businesses.
PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. — Somali immigrants who come to live here quickly learn to deal with the huge differences between Africa and America. "For me, the only thing that was shocking was the accent, and the food, and the school system, and the weather. I think that's it," joked 16-year-old Najma Ahmed. But for Ahmed, a junior at Pelican Rapids High School, and other Somali students who study while their parents work at the local turkey processing plant, there is a constant. It is their religion, Islam.
FARGO - It's time to break out the shorts! The Fargo area could well see a record high temperature Friday, Feb. 17, and perhaps several more record highs this weekend and early next week. Temperatures are expected to hit about 53 degrees Friday, eclipsing the previous record of 48 degrees set in 2002, WDAY meteorologist Jared Piepenburg said Friday morning. The record low for this date is minus 30 degrees. The average high for Feb. 17 is 24, and the average low is 6, Piepenburg said.
BISMARCK – Jon Norberg, a Fargo doctor acquitted in 2012 of drugging and raping his ex-wife, will get a new trial for his claims that she had abused the legal process, defamed him and maliciously sought to have him prosecuted, the North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled. The high court ruled that a Cass County District Court in a July 2015 jury trial misapplied the doctrine of collateral estoppel, which prevents a person from relitigating facts or issues of law in a case.
FARGO — The Cass County Commission has picked a new county administrator. Robert Wilson, the assistant commission administrative officer for South Dakota's Minnehaha County, was chosen to fill the position now held by interim County Administrator Darrell Vanyo. The announcement was made Tuesday, Feb. 14. Wilson has worked for Minnehaha County for seven years. Before that, he was a general assignment reporter for KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, S.D.