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.
- Member for
- 4 years 3 months
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.
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 - The Red River Zoo hopes that its two pairs of Pallas cats can develop a frisky furriendship that will litter-ally help bolster the species' long-term survival. The zoo recently introduced Eva, a 1-year-old female from California, to Sural, a 3-year-old from Japan — just in time for Valentine's Day. "We have had really outstanding success here, not only breeding them," but with having kittens survive," said Red River Zoo Executive Director Sally Jacobson.
FARGO — Warren "Duke" Albrecht Jr., who served as a judge for North Dakota's South Central Judicial District, and later as an administrative law judge for the Federal Energy Regulatory Administration and the Social Security Administration, died Saturday, Jan. 28, at his home after a long illness. He was 72. Warren Rudolph Henry Albrecht Jr. was born March 20, 1944, to Warren and Eileen Albrecht. Albrecht graduated from Bismarck High School in 1962, where he was captain of the football and track teams.
WASHINGTON — Senators and congressmen representing North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota voted along party lines Thursday and Friday, Jan. 12 and 13, as Republicans began setting the stage to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the health care initiative touted as one of the high points of the Obama Administration. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., voted for the repeal resolutions in their respective chambers.
FARGO — Fundraisers are nearly halfway to a $21.5 million goal to build a new St. Paul's Newman Center, a two-story chapel and a "faith-based" student apartment complex on the east side of the 1100 block of University Drive North, where the current Newman Center stands. That project, which takes up the north side of the block, would be complemented by a five-story apartment complex on the south half of that block, which would provide market housing for nearly 280 students at nearby North Dakota State University, according to project diagrams and the developer.
WILLISTON, N.D.—The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed its first North Dakota lawsuit charging that an employer in the state subjected an employee to sexual harassment because of his sexual orientation. The lawsuit was filed Thursday, Dec. 22, in North Dakota's U.S. District Court.