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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LENGBY, Minn.—The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating why a Grand Rapids, Minn., school bus driver lost control of the vehicle before a Monday morning rollover sent him, a dozen students and a teacher to hospitals in northwest Minnesota.
BISMARCK—Two U.S. House candidates from North Dakota faced off for the first time in a debate when they met this weekend in Bismarck. Republican Kelly Armstrong of Dickinson and Democrat Mac Schneider took to the podiums Saturday, May 5, in Bismarck as member of the North Dakota Newspaper Association asked the contenders various questions. Armstrong focused on the theme of limiting federal government and giving more control to local governing bodies. That was evident when asked how to keep children in schools safe amid mass shootings in the U.S.
A former UND hockey standout has bought land near his Grand Forks home, effectively blocking plans to build apartment buildings next to his neighborhood. Brandon Bochenski told the Herald Wednesday he and his wife, Jenny, reached an agreement with Deacon's Development this week to buy 19 acres of land near South Washington Street and 62nd Avenue South. The Hampton Corp. of Grand Forks proposed building six 24-unit apartment buildings on the property, but those plans were withdrawn Wednesday morning in light of the purchase agreement, City Planner Brad Gengler said.
EAST GRAND FORKS—Red River Valley farmers are optimistic about getting crops in the ground after cold and wet conditions delayed them from hitting the fields earlier this spring. Producers started planting crops this weekend in northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota, taking advantage of mild temperatures and drier conditions. Chad Thorson of rural East Grand Forks started Friday, April 27, and will plant soybeans, sugar beets, wheat and edible beans this season.
GRAND FORKS — Several complaints filed against a candidate for Grand Forks County sheriff detail multiple allegations of misconduct, including grabbing a deputy's body camera, using profane language, making threats and showing crime scene photos to others. Former Grand Forks County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Lee was fired in December 2016 for "conduct unbecoming of an officer," Sheriff Bob Rost told the Herald this week. Lee had four complaints that resulted in written reprimands, all of which were in the last two years of his employment, which began in 2001.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—A dog that wandered onto a thawing river was rescued this weekend by firefighters in Thief River Falls, just days before the ice melted away. The Thief River Falls Fire Department pulled 14-year-old Sugarbear to safety early Saturday morning, April 21, after dispatchers received a report of a dog standing on the Red Lake River, Fire Chief Marty Semanko said Tuesday. Firefighters responded shortly before 7 a.m. to Boy Scout Park, where they found the chow-cocker spaniel mix on the ice, he said.
North Dakota drivers are some of the fastest in the country, according to a fuel data analysis website. The state ranked fifth on a list of states with the highest average speed at 51 miles per hour, according to information released Tuesday by GasBuddy.com. The list was released in conjunction with other data, including rankings for the most aggressive drivers.
GRAND FORKS—A temperature warm-up is melting snow and ice fast, causing some farmland and banks along the Red River to flood. A flood warning issued last week by the National Weather Service in Grand Forks continued Monday along the Red River from the Canadian border through Grand Forks County. Central Traill County also was in the warning, and has had overland flooding along the Goose River, said Alyssa Scheve, the North Dakota State University extension agent for Traill County.
A Crookston woman who forced her son to run away with her and tried to steal a FedEx truck from an employee who tried to help her has been sentenced to less than two months in jail. Trisha Mary Berg, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday in Grand Forks District Court to charges of child neglect, a Class C felony, and four misdemeanor counts: physical obstruction of a government function, unauthorized use of a vehicle, driving under revocation and disorderly conduct. She was sentenced to spend 12 months in jail, but 10 months were suspended and she was credited for three days of time served.
A UND student has been accused of dealing marijuana, LSD and pills. Kelly Ara Garrison, 18, of Browns Mills, N.J., had an initial appearance hearing Thursday in Grand Forks District Court, where she faces four Class B felony charges of possessing drugs with intent to deliver or manufacture. She was arrested Wednesday at her Smith Hall dorm room, where UND police officers found marijuana, Adderall, LSD and a pill bottle with an "unknown white substance," according to court documents.