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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DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—Two Lake Region State College administrators and a volleyball coach face disciplinary action after an investigation found they failed to report an inappropriate relationship between a former softball coach and student. Lloyd Halvorson, the school's vice president of academic and student affairs, recommended Athletic Director Danny Mertens and Student Services Director Stephanie Shock be suspended without pay, while head volleyball coach Brigitte Greywater receive a formal written reprimand.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — A man found dead and partially encased in ice under a Grand Forks railroad bridge in March died from using meth, according to a coroner's report. Hypothermia also contributed to the death. The Grand Forks County Coroner's Office ruled the cause of death for Donald James Campbell of Cando, N.D., "acute intoxication of methamphetamine," according to a report obtained Thursday, July 13. The death was ruled an accident.
GRAND FORKS—The National Weather Service was busy Wednesday assessing how much damage storms and reported tornadoes caused Tuesday across the Red River Valley. "Our team is still out there taking a look at damage and assessing the degree of damage and potential ratings." said Brad Hopkins, a meteorologist at the Grand Forks National Weather Service. "Considering the length of the tracks and the number of storms that we had it'll probably be a little bit of a lengthy process."
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — A Thief River Falls school principal will head Digi-Key Electronics' human resources department as the major distributor refocuses leadership responsibilities to accommodate a multi-million-dollar expansion. After serving Lincoln High School for eight years, Shane Zutz will become the director of human resources at Digi-Key, the school announced last week. His last day with the school is Aug. 4, he said Monday, July 10.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—Jail administration in Devils Lake is investigating its third reported case of escape by an inmate from the facility in two years. Seth Allen Suko, 25, Devils Lake, was missing briefly Thursday, July 6, from the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center before being recaptured by the Devils Lake Police Department early Friday morning, according to a news release. It's unclear how he allegedly escaped the multi-county jail, and LEC Director Rob Johnson has asked the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation to assist in the investigation.
WASHINGTON — In the wake of an attack on a Republican baseball team, a concern for safety has prompted U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer to stop publishing where he will hold private meetings. The North Dakota Republican typically sends out a schedule of North Dakota events and meetings, including those not open to the public, each with an address and time. But a schedule sent out Wednesday, July 5 omitted the addresses of two meetings, both of which were closed to the public.
Stocks on Wall Street are hitting record highs. Interest rates are low. The national economy appears healthy. The market stars appear to be aligning, and it begs the question: Should a person look into buying stocks? Diversity can be good in portfolios, but it will depend how long a person wants to keep money in the market and ride out the ups and downs.
GRAND FORKS — Depending where you live, it might be illegal to light fireworks in city limits, including over the Fourth of July holiday. However, law enforcement in Grand Forks tend to be lenient when it comes to the Independence Day tradition. "It's actually pretty rare for somebody to get a citation for that," Grand Forks Police Lt. Jeremy Moe said. "It is up to the individual officers to decide if they are going to give (residents) a warning or if they are going to issue a citation."
GRAND FORKS — Firework sales this year in the Red River Valley could fly above last season's, with record sales in Grand Forks and Fargo possible, vendors say. Customers looking to start the holiday with a bang started to trickle into firework businesses this week, hoping to get their hands on household favorites: from firecrackers to multi-shot grand finales. Families are expected to flood stores this weekend as Independence Day approaches, firework experts said.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. - Few details on why a federal regulator took over a Devils Lake-based credit union will be released, but financial reports reveal "red flags," including a loss of almost $1 million last quarter and increased delinquent loans. The National Credit Union Administration has placed Citizens Community Credit Union, with nearly 11,400 members, into conservatorship after discovering "unsafe and unsound practices," according to a news release. The NCUA has removed the credit union's board of directors and senior management as it attempts to resolve those issues.