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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HUNTER, N.D.—Gov. Doug Burgum wants North Dakota "to be the most envied place" in the world, and that starts with sharing innovations in education, he told about 500 people at Northern Cass High School here for his second-annual Governor's Summit on Innovative Education. "This is the giant rock in the pond. The ripples can go out from here," Burgum said Thursday, June 7. "We're here to support you, empower you and get out of the way," Burgum said, adding that society is moving toward a customized model of learning.
FARGO—Ila Mae Lou Averson was a baseball fan and a fun-loving person. She built a 40-year career as a secretary for Northern States Power Co., and she was married for more than 50 years. But when kidney disease and other health problems chipped away at her well-being and mobility, her happiness faded in the last few years. "She said it was a sad time in her life. She had problems with her legs and had to use a walker," said her sister, Carol Haak of Vergas, Minn.
FARGO—Local political activist and Fargo City Commission candidate Lenny Tweeden is asking the commission to adopt a law that over time would increase the city's minimum wage to $12 an hour. The Fargo City Commission voted 4-1 on Monday, June 4, to receive and file Tweeden's proposal, which would hike the minimum wage to $10 an hour Sept. 1 and raise it 50 cents per hour annually until Sept. 1, 2022, when it would reach $12. "It went better than I thought it would. I went in anticipating being shot down," Tweeden said.
FARGO - Miracles are hard to come by, but on Sunday, June 3, a few dozen of them merrily toddled around the lower level atrium of Essentia Health. The hospital held its neonatal intensive care unit's annual reunion, hosting parents and a good-sized gaggle of mostly 18- to 24-month-olds who've survived and thrived, despite getting a shaky start to life. "All these families are familiar," said Jamie Astrup, the nurse manager of the NICU. "We're excited to have them visit," so staff can "see their miracles."
FARGO - A woman was found dead and a man wounded early Saturday morning, June 2, at an apartment complex in the 300 Block of Prairiewood Circle South, Fargo police reported. Police had been dispatched to the scene on a report of a man with a gunshot wound who had been found yelling for help in his garage by another person, police said in a Facebook post. Police, fire department and F-M Ambulance Service personnel provided the man treatment for his injuries at the scene, then took him to a local hospital, police said.
NEW ROCKFORD, N.D. — The New Rockford-Sheyenne School Board has voted against a recommendation to fire Superintendent Jill Louters for having stayed in the same hotel room with her son and unrelated fifth-grade boys during an archery tournament in Minot in March. The vote to dismiss Louters for chaperoning the boys without the permission of all of their families failed by a 2-4 margin Tuesday, May 29, said School Board President John McKnight.
LISBON, N.D. — If you've donated a couple bucks for one of the small red poppies offered by North Dakota veterans' groups in the lead-up to this Memorial Day, chances are it was made by Alfred Steiger. Steiger has made made tens of thousands of red crepe paper poppies every year for the past 15 years, and the spry, upbeat 90-year-old Korean War-era vet is not about to stop. "I enjoy it. I always say our veterans need help. That's how I look at it," Steiger said Thursday, May 24.
FARGO — Drugs, cash and weapons were seized from a south Fargo home and one man was arrested Tuesday morning, May 22, after a search warrant was executed by area law enforcement agencies, the Fargo Police Department announced. A search of 1019 Fourth Ave. S. turned up 10 pounds of marijuana packed for sale, possible heroin and methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, $6,000 in cash, a 5.56-caliber rifle, a .40-caliber handgun and a 9 mm handgun, Fargo police said.
BLAINE, Minn. — The Karner Blue Education Center doesn't look particularly special from the outside. Single-story, brown brick school. A couple of playgrounds. But thanks to thoughtful design and robust staffing, school district officials here say it's making an extraordinary difference for the 115 special education students who attend. It's spacious, ultra-quiet, with plenty of spaces for kindergarten through eighth-graders with autism, emotional and behavioral disorders, and cognitive disabilities to take timeouts and reset overloaded senses or amped-up emotions.
WASHINGTON — Two Fargo high schools are among five North Dakota schools that made U.S. News and World Report's 2018 rankings of the best high schools in the nation. Davies High School tops the list of North Dakota schools and North High came in fifth place, earning silver and bronze ratings, respectively. Bismarck's Century and Grand Forks' Red River and Central high schools placed second, third and fourth in North Dakota, respectively, all earning silver ratings in the new rankings reported by U.S. News on Wednesday, May 9.