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 K-12 education, Fargo city government, criminal justice, and military affairs. He is currently one of The Forum's business reporters.
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HORACE, N.D. - To get a glimmer of his sight back, Allan Peterson must learn to interpret the patterns of light a high-tech "bionic eye" system now feeds to his brain. "That's what I'm in the process of beginning to do," the Horace man said Monday, March 19, venturing out of his tiny office on the second floor of the main North Dakota State University library. "They (doctors) said it's like learning a new language," the 74-year-old said. "It's based on pulses of light. You have to figure out what the pulses mean."
FARGO – A man was shot late Wednesday night, March 21, after he allegedly brandished a large knife at police officers who responded to a domestic abuse disturbance call at a southside apartment complex, Fargo Police said in a news release. Orlando Estrada, 28, Fargo, was transported to a local hospital for his injuries, police said Thursday, March 22.
FARGO — A Fargo man accused of killing another man in a fight this month has been ordered to undergo a psychological and criminal responsibility evaluation at the North Dakota State Hospital in Jamestown, according to Cass County District Court records. Daniel Habiger, 29, who's charged with murder, must be evaluated in the next 30 days, according to the order of commitment posted Monday, March 19.
WEST FARGO — More than a week after the fact, there's still no answer as to what constituted the "imminent deadly threat" to SWAT team members that led them to fatally shoot Justin Lee Dietrich during a standoff March 12 in West Fargo. And that answer may not be made available for weeks. Local police officials have declined in recent days to comment on the investigation into the death of the 32-year-old Fargo man. All said it is in the hands of North Dakota's Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — A Moorhead man pleaded guilty Thursday, March 15, to murdering a man he once supervised, then fired and yet allowed him to live in his garage. Neil James Johnson, 26, entered a guilty plea in Clay County District Court to a charge of second-degree murder without intent in the shooting death of Jacob Glover, 28, of West Fargo. Johnson remains in the Clay County Jail, where he has been held since the April 6 shooting.
WILLISTON, N.D. — A federal judge has ordered a drilling rig service company working in North Dakota's Oil Patch to pay a former worker $70,000 as part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit that alleged he was harassed because he is gay.
MOORHEAD, Minn.—The woman accused of trying to shoot a Minnesota State Patrol trooper in the head after he stopped to help her and a companion at the scene of a crash just east of Moorhead, Minn., made her first appearance in Clay County District Court on Friday, March 9. Melody Gray, who was wounded by a round from the trooper's weapon, appeared before Judge Peter Irvine with her right forearm heavily bandaged and supported by a black sling.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — A woman accused of trying to shoot a Minnesota State Patrol trooper in the head near Moorhead faces felony charges of attempted murder, receiving stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a Clay County District Court filing made Thursday, March 8. Melody Victoria Gray, 30, of Milwaukee, Wis., who was shot in the arm by Trooper Mark Peterson during the incident Monday, March 5, was hospitalized at Essentia Health in Fargo for treatment of her wound. Clay County Jail staff said Gray was still at Essentia Thursday afternoon.
BISMARCK—17 school districts have been given the go-ahead to use the ACT exam in place of a required state math and English achievement test for high school students, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler announced Wednesday, March 7. North Dakota is the first state in the nation to obtain permission to use the ACT, instead of a separate state test, as a locally selected measurement of student math and English proficiency, Baesler said.
WISHEK, N.D. — The Wishek School Board and the school district's superintendent are denying allegations that they acted improperly by restricting a mother's access to the elementary school. In a response to a federal lawsuit filed last month by the mother, Kathryn Pinke, attorneys for the board and superintendent requested the suit be dismissed and the board be granted attorneys' fees.