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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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."
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.
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.
MOORHEAD, Minn.—A Sabin, Minnesota, man, who authorities say was driving despite having his Minnesota driver's license cancelled, has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide and second-degree manslaughter in the death of a 2-year-old boy in a Jan. 6 crash, according to Clay County District Court documents. Jeremy James Sagvold, 42, was charged Friday, March 2. The two felony charges each carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, court documents said.
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.
AITKIN, Minn. — A Hastings, Minn., man has pleaded guilty to a felony charge in a case involving a 2016 hit-and-run that caused the death of a 10-year-old girl, according to an Aitkin County Attorney's Office spokeswoman. Steven L. Meier, 45, changed his plea on a charge of criminal vehicular homicide for leaving the scene of an accident during a hearing Thursday, Feb. 1, in Aitkin County District Court. His sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m. March 23.