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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MOORHEAD, Minn. — Scammers have been phoning residents from Moorhead to the Fergus Falls, Minn., area, claiming they are from the U.S. Marshals Service and threatening to arrest them on a warrant unless they pay their fine with a pre-paid credit card or gift card.
FARGO—Whether Amber Hensley is re-hired by her former Fargo employer may not be known for some time, if at all. Sarah Hassan, one of three Somali-American woman who was threatened earlier this week in an anti-Muslim tirade by Hensley caught on video that went viral, said Thursday, July 27, she would try to help Hensley get her job back after Hensley apologized to her and two other women involved in the incident at a Fargo Walmart parking lot.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — Bail has been set at $100,000 for a Ponsford, Minn., man jailed in connection with a hit-and-run crash that left a Detroit Lakes man with serious injuries, according to Becker County officials and court documents filed Friday, July 21. Randy Kettle, 35, faces a felony charge of criminal vehicular operation, including great bodily harm and leaving the scene of a collision, which occurred Tuesday, July 18, court documents said. He also faces a felony charge of domestic assault in the case. According to court documents:
BISMARCK — The number of violent crimes in North Dakota, including murder and aggravated assault, declined in 2016, and there was a significant drop in DUI arrests. But drug-related offenses continued a five-year trend, rising 11 percent in 2016, according to state crime statistics released Friday, July 21. "The good news is that the overall crime rate is down slightly from last year, aggravated assaults appear to have plateaued, and DUI arrests continue to decrease. The bad news is the significant increase in drug arrests," said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
FARGO — Sam Floberg will hunker down at a quiet place in Minnesota's Lakes Country this Fourth of July. That's because the whoosh of fireworks brings the war in Afghanistan rushing back for the combat vet. On Thanksgiving Day 2006, Floberg was near the end of a routine patrol with his squad from the Grand Forks-based 1/188th Air Defense Artillery when "all of a sudden, rockets started flying past my head." As the gunner in the unit's trailing Humvee, "I was like a target," the Fargo man said.
FARGO — For Linda Walker, the last four days have provided some of the toughest testimony that she and her family have heard related to the 2003 kidnapping and murder of her daughter, Dru Sjodin. The evidentiary hearing in the death penalty appeal for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., the man convicted and sentenced to death in 2006 in the case, has been filled with graphic descriptions from autopsy reports that have added to the family's anguish, Walker said Friday, Jan. 23.
FARGO — A lawyer who represented Alfonso Rodriguez in his trial for the murder of Dru Sjodin said late disclosures by prosecutors of important test results, and of the planned testimony by the doctor who autopsied Sjodin's body, made defending his client from rape allegations difficult. Robert Hoy, an attorney with Ohnstad Twichell law firm in West Fargo, opened testimony Thursday, June 22, on the third day of a U.S. District Court hearing in Rodriguez's death penalty appeal.
FARGO — The defense presented two more witnesses Wednesday, June 21, in an evidentiary hearing in the death penalty appeal of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. Testimony from Dr. Jonathan Arden, a forensic pathologist and owner of Arden Forensics, and Dr. Ljubisa Dragovic, the chief medical examiner for Oakland County, Mich., filled the second day of the hearing in U.S. District Court, and mirrored that of the two experts who testified Tuesday. Rodriguez was convicted of the November 2003 kidnapping and murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin.
FARGO — An evidentiary hearing in the death penalty appeal of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. got underway Tuesday, June 20, in U.S. District Court. Rodriguez was convicted of the 2003 kidnapping and murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin. Expert witnesses brought by defense attorneys from the Philadelphia-based Federal Community Defender Office disagreed with trial evidence that indicated that Sjodin died from knife wounds to her throat and had been sexually assaulted.
FARGO — An evidentiary hearing got underway Tuesday, June 20, in U.S. District Court in the death penalty appeal for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. Rodriguez was convicted of the 2003 kidnapping and murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin. The hearing is supposed to focus on proving whether Sjodin was sexually assaulted or died from wounds to her throat.