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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- 4 years 5 months
WEST FARGO — A powerful synthetic opioid appears to be to blame in the death of a 19-year-old man at a West Fargo apartment, the latest in a growing number of drug-related deaths in the area, authorities say. The fentanyl police suspect killed 19-year-old Alexander Hirn is so dangerous, it took a crew of firefighters wearing hazardous material suits to clean up the fentanyl spilled in the home where Hirn died.
FARGO — Posters advocating white supremacist and white separatist beliefs were tacked to telephone poles in downtown Fargo alleys recently. Fargo resident Christopher A. Smith photographed the posters and posted them on Facebook. "My first thought when I saw the posters was to tear them down. But, then, I thought it would be better to document the posters and their locations and share this to social media to raise awareness of what is happening in the community," Smith said.
FARGO — In their most recent edition, editors at North Dakota State University's student newspaper laid out a challenge to President Donald Trump. The front page of the April 13 edition of The Spectrum features copies of the tax returns of six student staff members, along with an editorial urging the 45th president to be just as transparent and keep a campaign promise to release his own returns. The back page of the paper is dominated by a photo of Trump, with the president's Twitter handle, @realDonaldTrump, in a banner that covers his eyes.
BISMARCK — The March 22 fire that destroyed an unoccupied former church in Nome was intentionally set, Deputy State Fire Marshal Ken Sisk said in a report released Thursday, April 6. "It is my opinion an unknown person or persons intentionally set fire to the area near the southeast walk-in door of this building using an undetermined open flame device; therefore I am labeling the cause of this fire to be incendiary," Sisk said in the report
FARGO—A group of North Dakota State University students is developing software to ensure that when self-driving cars tool down our roads, they will be safe from cyberattacks. "You really want to make sure that how you protect this is thought of very early in the game," said Jerry Straub, an assistant professor of computer science who is guiding the effort. "This is the type of technology where you don't want to wait for the attacker" to make his attack, he said.
FARGO — A satellite built by students from North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota could be launched to the International Space Station sometime this summer, an NDSU professor said. Vibration testing, fixing problems found in those tests, and lots of paperwork remain before OpenOrbiter 1, a tiny cube-shaped satellite, will become part of a payload package to be sent to the International Space Station, said computer science instructor Jeremy Straub.
BISMARCK—A $13.5 million-plus settlement payment to the owner of an off-track horse racing wagering company can't be made by the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund, state Sen. Tim Mathern said Tuesday, March 21. Mathern, a Fargo Democrat who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the panel learned Monday, March 20, that the state's liability for improperly collecting taxes from Susan Bala's firm Racing Services Inc. is an ineligible expense.
FARGO — A Fargo businessman says he will start a petition to get a measure on the next general election ballot to overturn a North Dakota law restricting many businesses from being open on Sunday mornings. With the state Senate's rejection of House Bill 1163, which would have ended restrictions on Sunday opening before noon, Brandon Medenwald said the Legislature hasn't caught up with how society and shopping habits have changed.
FARGO - The owner of a North Dakota off-track horse race wagering company is in line to receive from $16 million to $25 million from the state to make up for taxes the state improperly collected. According to a court order filed in federal bankruptcy court last month, Susan Bala, owner of Racing Services Inc., is owed $13.5 million in taxes on racing bets that RSI paid to the state, plus interest that could range from $3 million to $12 million. Bala said Tuesday, March 14, that it's in the state's interest to pay the debt as soon as possible.
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.