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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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.
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 — 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.
FARGO — The Essentia and Sanford health systems in Fargo have not been affected by a national shortage of IV saline fluid bags that's been ongoing since last fall, spokespeople said Thursday, Jan. 4. North Dakota's emergency medical equipment stockpile in Bismarck has been tapped to help some facilities running low on IV fluid bags, including Trinity Hospital in Minot, but so far, no one has run out.
FARGO — Federal funds for the region's community health centers and the Children's Health Insurance Program, better known as CHIP, got a temporary boost with the stopgap spending bill approved by Congress on Thursday, Dec. 21, keeping those programs running through March. Pat Gulbranson views the funding as a much-needed gift. "Well take it. It's a nice Christmas gift at this point," said Gulbranson, CEO of Family HealthCare here.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Call it the longest night or the shortest day, but welcome to the winter solstice. Daylight Thursday, Dec. 21, will last just 8 hours, 32 minutes and 32 seconds. That's 7 hours and 21 minutes less light than you'll enjoy come June 21 with the summer solstice. But some folks have come to embrace the dark — because that's where they make their living. Juan Cabanela is one of them.