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 - The Red River Zoo can again claim a purr-fect result in breeding Pallas cats, a near-threatened species. The zoo on Thursday, May 11, announced the birth of five Pallas cat kittens. The rare kittens, born April 20, are the third litter born at the Red River Zoo, according to zoo Executive Director Sally Jacobson.
MOORHEAD - Despite falling behind schedule at first, both of the Moorhead School District schools under construction will be ready for students this fall, officials say. Dorothy Dodds Elementary School will be fully finished in time for classes to start, while the fifth- and sixth-grade addition to Horizon Middle School will have enough completed to accommodate classes, construction manager Steve Gehrtz of Gehrtz Construction Services said.
FARGO — Tanya Wrigley-Lingle, principal of Eagles Elementary School, has been named the Fargo School District's 2017 Administrator of the Year. The presentation of the award came at the end of a music concert in the school's gymnasium Tuesday, May 9. Wrigley-Lingle said the award was a surprise. She thought that since it was national Teacher Appreciation Day and Teacher Appreciation Week that one of her staff was going to get the award. She figured she had simply missed a message on who it would be.
FARGO — Plans to build a housing and retail complex just east of North Dakota State University's Sanford Health Athletic Complex were dealt a blow Monday, May 8, when a request to vacate an alley failed to get a four-vote supermajority from the City Commission. The NDSU Foundation and developer PROffutt Ltd sought to have all but about 100 feet of an alley on the 1600 block of North University Drive vacated so construction on the four-story complex could get underway.
FARGO - The city's tax increment financing rules will get a public review in coming months, thanks to efforts by City Commissioner Tony Gehrig. Gehrig said Monday, May 8, that since the Legislative session is over, it's time to revisit how TIF is used to spur development in Fargo. The City Commission agreed, voting 5-0 Monday night to have Planning Director Jim Gilmour draw up a timetable for the review process by the commission's next meeting, May 22.
MOORHEAD — A monthly food distribution program is being planned for the Moorhead campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College. The program, expected to be similar to those now operating on the Detroit Lakes and Wadena campuses, aims to prevent financially strapped students from going hungry if school costs and other bills make it hard for them to buy food, said Peter Wielinski, vice president of student development and marketing.
FARGO -- About 30 people from the group Indivisible FM on Saturday, May 6, protested passage of the Republican-backed American Health Care Act by the House last week on one of the busiest corners in the West Acres shopping area. Under sunny, blue skies, protesters chanted "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Trumpcare has got to go!", "Health care not wealth care!" and "Shame on Cramer!" (aimed at North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer), as they waved signs such as "Humanity is not a pre-existing condition" and "Honk if you have a pre-existing condition!"
KINDRED, N.D. — Karl Swenson hadn't yet been born when Ada, Minn., was swamped by floodwaters in April 1997, but the 14-year-old musical prodigy has composed a work for band and choir that an Ada-Borup teacher says will strike the right chords and bring the town closure from those days of loss and heartache. Swenson's 16-minute composition, "Come Hell And High Water," will be performed by more than 100 area musicians at a concert 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, in the Ada-Borup High School gymnasium.
FARGO — Stanford University has won the heart of one of the best young minds in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Martin Altenburg, an 18-year-old senior at Fargo North High School, was accepted to all eight of the elite Ivy League schools, University of Chicago, California Institute of Technology, and several other top-flight institutions. Acceptance at each of the Ivy League schools, which have some of America's choosiest admissions standards, is a rare academic feat that's drawn some national attention.
MOORHEAD — Moorhead's hopes for state money to help pay for budget-busting projects aren't all about the $42 million the city wants for an underpass near the high school. It would also love some help with a less visible need, an upgrade to its wastewater plant — a fix that could cost $10 million. Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, wants to see a 25 percent improvement in the state's water quality by 2025. To get to that goal, Dayon has proposed $167 million in his version of this year's bonding bill for initiatives to provide clean drinking water and treat wastewater.