April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers business and political stories. She 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.
Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.
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GRAND FORKS — Union membership has been on the decline for decades, but union leaders in North Dakota are optimistic about the future of workers groups as numbers stabilize. "We're at a point where we can't lose more," said Waylon Hedegaard, president and secretary-treasurer of the North Dakota AFL-CIO.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—A former Devils Lake jail administrator claims in a federal lawsuit she was fired because she was a woman and that board members threatened others with dismissal if they didn't oust her. Denny Deegan is suing the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center, claiming she was wrongfully fired in August 2014 as the jail's operations director. It's been a year since the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights ruled LEC leadership discriminated against Deegan because of her gender as they voted to dismiss her.
DICKINSON, N.D. — Darianne Johnson and her staff look back at the women who have come through the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center in Dickinson and realize some of their clients were human trafficking victims. But at the height of the oil boom, most people didn't know or suspect trafficking could come to North Dakota. They thought the women were likely just prostitutes.
GRAND FORKS — When Peter Chamberlain's wife was accepted to the University of North Dakota for medical school, he wondered if he would find help launching his business. The 25-year-old graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology said he was a little biased in thinking Boston was one of the best places to help entrepreneurs, and studies and news articles tend to back his claims.
GRAND FORKS — As workers get less sleep, health experts are reaching out to employers on how a lack of Z's can impact staff. Adults are supposed to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but at least a third of U.S. adults get less than that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 12 percent get less than five hours of sleep, according to the CDC's 2014 numbers.
North Dakota has a higher obesity rate than most states, according to a study released Thursday. Almost 32 percent of adults in the state were obese in 2016, earning North Dakota the 15th spot in that category, according to a study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropy health group based in New Jersey. That's up slightly from 31 percent in 2015 and down from 32.2 percent in 2014. Like most states, the obesity percentage remained stable from 2015 to 2016, but the state's 2016 numbers are three times the rate of 1990, when only 11.6 percent of adults were obese.
GRAND FORKS — How would local emergency responders react to an oil pipeline leak near Grand Forks? It was a question Enbridge staff and firefighters from Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, Minn., worked to answer as they trained for the scenario Wednesday, Aug. 30 on the Red River. About 60 people attended the nearly four-hour training session near the Sorlie Bridge as responders deployed boats, oil booms and skimmers.
GRAND FORKS — As workers get less sleep, health experts in the area are reaching out to employers on how a lack of Z's can impact staff. Adults are supposed to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but at least a third of U.S. adults get less than that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 12 percent get less than five hours of sleep, according to the CDC's 2014 numbers.
GRAND FORKS — The North Dakota-owned flour mill in Grand Forks saw slightly better profits than last year, and those numbers should continue to improve thanks to a $38.8 million expansion and hard work from its staff, the state's lead agricultural regulator said Wednesday, Aug. 23. The State Mill reported a profit of $9.7 million for the last budget year that ended in June, slightly up from $9.3 million during its 2016 fiscal year. It's a positive change but still far behind the record of $16.7 million set in Fiscal Year 2015.
GRAND FORKS—The unmanned aircraft industry is growing fast, and North Dakota is positioned to lead the way. That's what government, military, educational and sector leaders emphasized Tuesday during the UAS Summit in Grand Forks. "When we talk about UAS, this is where it's at," U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told more than 300 attendees at the Alerus Center. "Everyone is asking all the time about what is going on in North Dakota. North Dakota is the go-to place for UAS."