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.
- Member for
- 3 years 2 months
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have announced an upcoming concert in Grand Forks. The country music stars will perform July 10 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena as part of a 25-city tour, according to a news release. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Nov. 17, but American Express Card members will be able to purchase the tickets early, beginning 10 a.m. Friday, according to the release.
BISMARCK—The U.S. Census Bureau will start its decennial count in 2½ years, and North Dakota officials are encouraging communities to sign up for a federal program that will help create an accurate picture of who lives where. But some are concerned rural and tribal populations will not get the recognition they deserve. "I was going through the data on Census 2010, and more rural areas have had a lower response rate to the census," said Kevin Iverson, Census Office manager and procurement manager for the North Dakota Department of Commerce.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—A Grand Forks-based dry bean processing company will store its stock in a Devils Lake industrial building that housed two failed biodegradable products businesses. But leaders there said they want to attract a more permanent tenant that will create economic growth.
The Grand Forks Taco Bell was closed Friday after several employees walked off the job thinking they were being replaced, but the the fast food chain said it never intended to fire anyone. The restaurant at 1301 S. Washington St. was closed early Friday, with its lights shut off and doors locked. Taco Bell employee Mark Dunham said he was told the store would be closed that day because half of the eatery's employees quit.
GRAND FORKS—It's too early to say exactly how many potatoes the Red River Valley will produce this year, but it looks much more promising than 2016, the head of an area growers organization said. The potato harvest wrapped up last week in North Dakota and is 97 percent complete in Minnesota, according to information released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That beats out last year, when farmers struggled to get into the fields because of heavy rain.
A sign posted Wednesday at Taco Bell's drive-thru intercom system in Grand Forks said it was "closed due to abandonment," but staff there say it is open for business. Employees at the restaurant said they were short-staffed and were hiring positions. Signs posted at the restaurant's front door and drive-thru window said open interviews for shift leaders and assistant managers would start Nov. 9.
GRAND FORKS—Fostering relations between countries is the goal of any ambassador to the U.S., but the emissary from Norway said he wants to show the public that what his office is doing is working. "It's not just talk," Norwegian Ambassador Kare Aas said Monday at the University of North Dakota Center for Innovation in Grand Forks. "It's more about trying to make this as concrete as possible and to take action."
GRAND FORKS—The sales tax code can be intimidating to read through—there are 47 pages explaining what is and isn't taxable. In summary, North Dakota taxes physical products that are not specifically laid out in the Century Code, said state Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger. "Typically, the way I like to explain it is if you are in a store, we tax tangible personal products," he said. "We don't tax labor on your plumbing bill or accounting services or attorney services."
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—Devils Lake leaders want to attract more businesses to the area as it develops plans for an unmanned aircraft park. City officials have worked with engineers to develop a concept for a UAS park near its airport. The Devils Lake Regional Airport, which sits just west of the city, was one of 50 airports across the country chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration to be given automated authorization to fly unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, in controlled airspace.
EDINBURG, N.D.—Edinburg lost nearly seven decades of history when four potato warehouses burned to the ground Friday morning. Multiple fire departments responded shortly after 4 a.m. to the blaze at warehouses owned by J.G. Hall and Sons, one of the largest potato producers in the Red River Valley. It's unclear how the fire started, but the flames moved from one building to the next as firefighters tried to put out the fire in freezing temperatures and windy conditions.