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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Whitey’s, an iconic East Grand Forks restaurant dating back to the Prohibition Era, is closing to make way for a Fargo-based eatery. Sickies Garage Burgers and Brews will move into the restaurant at 121 DeMers Ave., Starmark Hospitality announced Monday. Starmark owns the Sickies restaurant at 1419 S. Columbia Road. It expects to make the move in November. Whitey’s will close Friday, owner Tim Bjerk said.
PEMBINA, N.D. — A federal agency will revamp its strategy to defend the northern border after a bill sponsored by a senator from North Dakota required an analysis of threats and security at the Canadian border. The Department of Homeland Security will create a strategic plan to address "chronic and emerging issues along the northern border," according to a news release from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's office. The most recent strategy takes goals and tactical measures from plans issued in 2012 and 2014.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn.—It took a couple of tries, but once started, a tractor more than a century old ran without a hitch. Joe Borgen couldn't help but smile as he watched the antique Friday at the Heritage Village in East Grand Forks. "I used to hang on the wheels as they turned," Borgen said of his childhood, grabbing the metal spokes and laughing. Then he pointed to the back iron bumper. "Here are the engravings showing the dates when we harvested."
Background checks for buying guns has dropped off in recent months, but firearms advocates say sales are strong compared with previous years and the decline in background checks is slower in rural states like North Dakota. Gun dealers across the country ran roughly 1.74 million background checks in July, about 160,000 fewer than in June and more than 450,000 less than July 2016, according to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — High levels of E. coli found in the water near a Thief River Falls beach will keep the recreational area closed, but the incident shouldn't ruin plans to put a splash park there, the city's mayor said. On Friday, Aug. 11, the Thief River Falls Parks and Recreation Department closed Tindolph Beach at Bill LaFave Park after concerns of excess goose feces and stagnant water. Samples collected from the river near the beach showed high levels of the bacteria that can trigger complications in the digestive system, according to the department.
FARGO -- A Fargo Democrat will run for North Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. Former state Rep. Ben Hanson made the announcement early Wednesday morning, Aug. 16. The commercial broker for Archer Real Estate Services in Fargo is campaigning for a seat held by U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, who was first elected to the House in 2012. Cramer, a Republican and early supporter of President Donald Trump, has yet to announce whether he will run for a fourth two-year term.
GRAND FORKS — Experts say an upcoming conference that attracts hundreds in the unmanned aircraft sector in Grand Forks will focus more on how all industries can use the technology, with a European company slated to unveil a commercial U.S. product.
FARGO The parent company of Applebee's and IHOP may close 160 restaurants this fiscal year as profits decline. DineEquity revised its forecast of closures for its two national restaurant chains, saying Thursday it could close between 105 and 135 Applebee's and 20 to 25 IHOPs, according to a news release highlighting its second quarter fiscal reports. The release did not name the restaurants expected to close this year, but the revised numbers for closures are up from the previous forecast of 58 to 78 stores.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Mike Hergert has lived by one golden rule when it comes to radio: be accurate and treat others the way you want to be treated. "You only get one chance to get it on the air right," he said. "There is no excuse for not getting it right." But when he started the Red River Farm Network more than 20 years ago, he and his colleagues had a motto: reporting agriculture's business. "We really focus on business, what we call pocketbook issues," he said. "We really try to report the important stories that we think will affect the pocketbooks of farmers."
GRAND FORKS -- Police are investigating a reported assault in north Grand Forks that left a man with a stomach wound. Officers responded at 3:39 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, to the 700 block of North 42nd Street, where they found a victim who claimed to be assaulted by a black man wearing a white shirt and white baseball cap, according to a new release. The victim, who was taken to Altru Hospital, had a puncture wound to his stomach but didn’t remember how it happened, the release stated. The suspect fled the scene before officers arrived.