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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FARGO — Most Fargo-Moorhead area law enforcement agencies aren't looking to add body cameras to their officers' required gear, even after four officer-involved shootings in 40 days. The Dilworth police force is still the only metro agency to use body cameras, something they've done for about three years.
COLFAX, N.D. - A Friday, March 30, meeting to decide the fate of Richland 44 School District superintendent Tim Godfrey was cancelled and rescheduled for next week, School Board Board President Lisa Amundson informed The Forum Thursday night, March 29. The hearing for "contemplated non-renewal" of Godfrey will now be held at 1 p.m. April 4, though the location has not yet been determined, Amundson said in an email.
FARGO – A YouCaring fundraising campaign raised more than $49,000 by 9 p.m.
MOORHEAD — The first phase of the new Clay County Jail and a new Law Enforcement Center building in north Moorhead should be complete by the end of July, county officials said last week during a tour for members of the Moorhead Business Association. The jail will be able to accept more than 200 prisoners once construction is finished, County Commissioner Kevin Campbell said. That capacity is expected to solve a chronic and expensive overcrowding problem for Clay County, which now transports 60 to 70 prisoners a day to and from other counties to be housed.
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 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.
HORACE, N.D. — A nearly five-hour armed standoff here could have had a very different and violent ending, if the man accused of breaking into his ex-wife's home Wednesday, March 14, had followed through on his threats, Cass County District Court documents show. Lance Belgarde, 51, of Horace, kicked in the back door of the house at 7108 100th Ave. S. about 5 a.m. carrying a shotgun, and he began threatening his ex-wife Kim Belgarde, witnesses told authorities.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — The superintendent of the Hawley School District has been charged with two misdemeanors after a vehicle went through the ice on Otter Tail Lake last month and concerns arose that another man would be arrested for drunken driving. Superintendent Philip Leroy Jensen, 56, of Ottertail, Minn., faces two counts of obstructing the legal process. Facing the same charges in the incident are Michelle Renae Jensen, 51, of Ottertail, and Zachary Anthony Jensen, 32, of Fargo.
FARGO — An Andover, Minn., man was sentenced to a year in prison and five years of probation on Monday, March 12, for trying to lure a minor to engage in a sexual act using a computer or another electronic device, according to Cass County District Court documents. Ryan Dostal, 40, was caught in a West Fargo Police Department undercover sting that used a Craigslist ad for an "older for younger sexual fantasy," court documents stated.