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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FARGO — A Cass County inmate, initially jailed on a robbery charge, now faces a felony count of having sex with a 16-year-old girl after a match was made, authorities say, with his DNA and samples from a sexual assault kit from 2015. Oscar Kayee, now 26, was 24 years old at the time of the alleged assault. He's charged with sexual assault by a person at least 22 years old who knowingly had sexual contact with a minor 15 years old or older.
MANDAN, N.D. — A father and son face felony charges after a search of their vehicle on Interstate 94 found more than 200 pounds of marijuana and other illegal drugs Sunday, Feb. 4. Robert Earl Smith, 53, of Vancouver, Wash., and Christopher Conkey, 24, of Grants Pass, Ore., were arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver after illegal drugs valued at $1.1 million were found during the search following a routine traffic stop.
FARGO — The last five months have been the hardest of Ashton Matheny's life. With the muscles in his cheek and jaw twitching as he clamped down on his sorrow and anger, the boyfriend of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind and father of their 5-month-old child, Haisley Jo, thanked Judge Frank Racek for sentencing Brooke Lynne Crews on Friday, Feb. 2, to life in prison for her part in Savanna's violent, painful death. "I'd like to thank Judge Racek for not showing any lenience towards Brooke," Matheny said in the rotunda of the Cass County Courthouse after the sentencing.
FARGO — An advocate for ending North Dakota's Sunday closing blue law is switching strategies to get to his goal. Brandon Medenwald, who spearheaded a petition drive for an initiative measure to end restrictions on Sunday business hours, says the petitions have been shelved. Instead, he will focus on getting elected to the state House as a Democrat. He joined two other candidates in officially announcing Wednesday, Jan. 31, that they will seek the Democratic-NPL endorsements in District 41 for the House and Senate.
ANAMOOSE, N.D. – Investigators here are running down leads in the assault of a Catholic priest in Anamoose that took place Tuesday morning, Jan. 30. The Rev. Robert Wapenski, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Anamoose, was assaulted somewhere on the church property before 8 a.m. Tuesday, Catholic Diocese of Fargo spokesman Paul Braun said Wednesday, Jan. 31.
FARGO — The defense team of Darren Patterson, the man accused of manslaughter and assault in a fatal brawl outside the HoDo last summer, is objecting to two pieces of evidence the prosecution wants to present at trial, according to Cass County District Court documents. The defense, in documents filed Jan. 11, objects to the introduction of a photo of Patterson posted in 2012 to his wife's Facebook page that shows the man wearing a shirt they say would be unfairly prejudicial to the case.
FARGO — The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an emergency order against TapJets Inc. of Fargo and Spring, Texas, to prevent the company from conducting charter flights. The emergency order of revocation, which was issued and went into effect Friday, Jan. 26, alleges TapJets conducted passenger-carrying flights using unqualified pilots and operating unauthorized aircraft, the FAA said in a news release.
FARGO — More than two-dozen walk-through metal detectors have been installed at the Fargodome and staff are now undergoing training as part of a security upgrade, the dome's executive director, Rob Sobolik, said Monday, Jan. 29. Sobolik said the detectors won't be used for the Monster Jam monster truck show Friday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 3. But they could be ready for the Avenged Sevenfold and Breaking Benjamin rock concert Feb. 11, though the effective date has not been settled yet. "We're still in the preliminary process," he said.
HORACE, N.D.—Retinitis pigmentosa robbed Allan Peterson of his sight and some of his independence Now, cutting-edge technology promises to give him back a little bit of both. Today, the 73-year-old Horace man will have surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview to have an electronic implant attached to the retina of his eye that—paired with a camera on a special set of glasses—could give him the ability to once again recognize shapes and forms: edges of doorways, people in front of him, patterns of light.
FARGO — A strong lineup of concerts, North Dakota State University football's national championship playoff run and a solid core of annual events pushed Fargodome attendance to nearly 540,000 people last year, boosting net income more than $90,000 above original projections, General Manager Rob Sobolik said Friday, Jan. 26. "It's definitely one of the higher years" for attendance and net income, he said. The attendance of 539,428 was more than 35,000 higher than the 504,200 people in 2017's initial budget projections, Sobolik said.