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FNS Photo by Helmut Schmidt Rich Plecity, seen May 18 in Fargo, runs an excavating firm in Valley City. He used a rope to pull a teen girl from the Sheyenne River on May 17. Plecity said he was walking his dog when he heard screaming from this bridge between Osgood and the Carmell Place developments. Plecity said he believed the girl and her friends were taking part in a “cold water challenge” with her jump into the frigid river.

Cold plunges take hold but pose risks: Jumping into frigid waters a trend for teens

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FARGO — It used to be an insult to tell someone to go jump in a lake.

Now, it’s apparently a challenge to have fun, often with a hook requiring a donation to charity.

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What has been dubbed the “cold water challenge,” a YouTube and Facebook social media craze that has swept across much of the nation, has come to roost in the Red River Valley.

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Helmut Schmidt
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.
(701) 241-5583
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