April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.
Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.
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GILBY, N.D.—Brent Schmitz was expecting a 50- to 60-bushel soybean crop this year, but he said he'll be lucky to get half of that after heat and dry conditions burned out his plants as they started to form pods. "This year started out good," the Mekinock farmer said. "It just all of a sudden turned dry. Everything just shut off."
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- A former Thief River Falls Council member has pleaded not guilty to accusations that say he assaulted a city leader during a committee meeting. Joshua Mark Hagen, 38, entered the plea Monday in Pennington County District Court after saying he would fight the fifth-degree assault charge that stemmed from a July 10 scuffle at City Hall in this northwestern Minnesota city of about 8,500 residents..
GRAND FORKS - A former University of North Dakota student who went missing has been found.
GRAND FORKS — The yearly numbers for drunk driving arrests by North Dakota State University police have dipped into the single digits, a sharp contrast to the law enforcement agency at the University of North Dakota. NDSU police made five driving under the influence arrests last year, a slight uptick from the 2016 count of three, according to statistics gathered by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. By comparison, the UND Police Department arrested 69 motorists suspected of driving drunk last year, up from 66 in 2016, according to the BCI.
HALLOCK, Minn.—Kittson County investigators are taking another look at a missing person case that is two decades old after learning that foul play may have contributed to her disappearance. The Kittson County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday, Aug. 7, in a Facebook video it had leads regarding Becky Jo Look, who has been missing since 1995. Deputies spent Wednesday searching an undisclosed area for evidence in Kittson County, Sheriff Steve Porter said. Hallock is about 70 miles north of Grand Forks, N.D.
GRAND FORKS—The head of the nation's security will make a stop Thursday, Aug. 9, in Grand Forks County, a first for the recently appointed official. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will visit the Grand Sky Unmanned Aerial Systems Technology Park to review the area's developments for the UAS industry, according to a news release from U.S. Sen. John Hoeven's office. She also will attend a roundtable with unmanned aircraft experts and leaders in the state, the release said Tuesday.
GRAFTON, N.D.—It's easier to keep track of the years Grafton hasn't been flooded by the Park River, Mayor Chris West said when asked how often the city was ravaged by the unpredictable waterway. Wearing a bright yellow vest with Grafton 2013 flood fight on the back on Thursday, Aug. 2, he and others looked over an approximately $45 million flood diversion project that they hope will eliminate the need to fight flood waters ever again. "It's just kind of crazy to watch how it progresses," West said, adding construction is on schedule.
GRAND FORKS—The Democratic candidate for the U.S. House has challenged his Republican opponent to denounce North Dakota's involvement in a lawsuit seeking to declare Obamacare unconstitutional. With retired registered nurse Jolene Dunphy at his side, Grand Forks attorney Mac Schneider called on state Sen. Kelly Armstrong, R-Dickinson, to oppose North Dakota's support of Texas v. U.S. If successful, the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, would be declared unconstitutional.
GRAND FORKS—A Grand Forks woman and her mother face serious prison time after law enforcement said they worked together to kidnap an 18-month-old child. Jasmine Sophia Davis, 21, was scheduled to appear Friday afternoon, Aug. 3, in Grand Forks District Court on a Class B felony of kidnapping while interfering with a governmental function. Her mother, Melissa Sue Davis, also was charged Friday with criminal conspiracy, a Class A felony, and hindering law enforcement, a Class C felony.
Two police officers who shot and killed a Grand Forks man in July will not face charges, the Grand Forks County State's Attorney's Office said Thursday.