April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015. She works with a team of talented journalists and editors, who strive to give the Grand Forks area the quality news readers deserve to know. Baumgarten grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise 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 the Dickinson 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.
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BISMARCK—A Bismarck man shown in a viral video wearing a mask and threatening Dakota Access Pipeline protesters has pleaded guilty and will avoid jail time. Jesse Dean McLain signed a plea agreement downgrading two Class C felony charges of terrorizing to two Class A misdemeanor counts of menacing. The charges stem from an early December confrontation with Dakota Access protesters at the Ramada Inn in Bismarck, where Dean Dedman Jr. recorded a live Facebook video of masked men threatening him and other hotel guests.
WARREN, Minn.—Eric and Neil Johnson take pride in the land they farm. Driving through Marshall and Polk counties this week, the brothers from Warren often would stop to point out shelterbelts and buffer strips between their cropland and waterways—some buffers they put in on their own. "It costs us, but we do it because it's right," Neil said of setting land aside for environmental reasons.
FARGO—A baby bison in Jamestown has been named in honor of a popular Twitter personality who symbolically adopted another buffalo to celebrate Iowa's loss to North Dakota State University's football team. The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, N.D., announced Tuesday that Carl the buffalo was born April 11. The American bison was named after Twitter user Fake Bo Pelini, the personality who symbolically adopted a bison for $20 through the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife shortly after the NDSU Bison defeated the University of Iowa Hawkeyes 23-21 in September.
GRAND FORKS — Former Grand Forks Central High School teacher James Patrick Whalen was sentenced Monday, April 24, by Grand Forks District Judge John Thelen to spend almost two years in jail for having sex with one of his students, but not before the defense said the victim was a "precocious teenager" who "induced and facilitated" the relationship.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—Why not have a place where customers can enjoy a glass of wine while shopping for one-of-a-kind items? That's what Cyndy Sitar had in mind when she opened a boutique/wine bar in Harvey, N.D. Now the businesswoman has moved on to Devils Lake, where she opened Rue 54 in March. "I just felt like there was a need for a unique shop in Devils Lake," she said. "The goal was to have a unique boutique for shoppers and then offer some relaxation with wine or coffee."
Grand Forks authorities have arrested one man believed to be involved in one of two high-speed chases that happened within 12 hours of each other. Derek Ray Fuglem, 29, of Grand Forks, faces multiple charges, including burglary and theft of property, after he was taken into custody early Monday morning. At 3:25 a.m., Grand Forks police began pursuing a stolen vehicle driven by man later identified as Fuglem, according to a news release. The Police Department said Fuglem fled while officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop.
BUXTON, N.D. — Alumni for a Traill County school that joins another district for sports don't want the co-op's logo to appear on their alma mater's gym floor. Their voices were loud enough to prompt the Central Valley School Board to vote unanimously to repaint its floor, without the Burros logo that was approved last summer by board members from Central Valley and Hillsboro, N.D.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — A former Devils Lake care provider claims her firing from a youth care facility in Devils Lake was retaliation after she reported another caregiver's alleged "cruel conduct" toward at-risk children.
GRAND FORKS -- Gas prices in North Dakota are at a 17-month high. The average price of gas Sunday in North Dakota was $2.35 per gallon, according to AAA. The last time North Dakota prices hit that mark was in November 2015, though Sunday’s prices are far behind the all-time North Dakota high average of $4.24, which was set May 22, 2013.
GRAFTON, N.D.—The Walsh County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to be on the lookout for blue pills laced with fentanyl after officers seized some there. The law enforcement agency recently posted the warning on its Facebook page, saying officers had recovered more than 10 pills in Walsh County. The blue pills with the label "A 215" are believed to be laced with fentanyl, a powerful opioid that has been associated with overdoses in Grand Forks and across the country.