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.
A man held on suspicion of murdering two elderly rural Mahnomen County, Minn., residents is being described as generous and trusted by others at a center for chemically dependent people where he lived. Timothy James Thorson, 53, is being held in the Benton County Jail, booked at 5:09 a.m.