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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One of the eight Grand Forks residents arrested on charges of dealing heroin in the area has been connected in court documents to an overdose death more than a year ago.
CROOKSTON, Minn. -- Minnesota troopers have released the name of a Grand Forks man who died in a crash near Crookston.
A Grand Forks man faces multiple charges after police said he was driving drunk when he hit two vehicles before fleeing the scene. Mathew Jay Bjornson, 42, was booked Thursday evening, June 7, into the Grand Forks County Correctional Center and is expected to face charges of driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving.
GRAND FORKS—North Dakota's attorney general and a county prosecutor were dropped from a federal lawsuit claiming a Devils Lake Public Schools employee treated at-risk children cruelly. The case remains open for school leaders and the head of the facility where the alleged act occurred.
GRAND FORKS—Anyone who is for less trade is for fewer farmers, according to Democrat Mac Schneider. "North Dakota is an exporting state," he said Tuesday during a Grand Forks Herald editorial board meeting. "We have to maintain those markets if we want to maintain our economy." The Grand Forks attorney is running against Republican Kelly Armstrong as they seek North Dakota's lone seat in the House of Representatives, an office held by Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
GRAND FORKS—Grand Forks County will launch North Dakota's first domestic violence court this summer in an attempt to prevent repeat offenses and save taxpayers money. Starting June 7, the courthouse in Grand Forks will begin issuing orders for offenders who commit domestic violence crimes to participate in post-conviction hearings that will assess sentencing compliance. It's part of a bill unanimously passed by the North Dakota Legislature this year that sets up the pilot program.
CROOKSTON, Minn.—An Elk River, Minn., man will spend about 13 years in prison for trafficking meth into East Grand Forks, Minn., two years ago. Brock Lawrence Altringer, 43, was sentenced Thursday, May 31, in Polk County District Court to 158 months in prison. He was credited 395 days for time served.
LAKOTA, N.D.—The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the case of a North Dakota rancher who claims law enforcement used excessive force on him when they struck him multiple times with a Taser. Tim Lamb, an attorney representing Rodney Brossart in the civil case, received a letter Monday, May 21, saying a writ of certiorari has been denied, effectively ending the review of the lawsuit by Supreme Court officials.
THOMPSON, N.D. -- A 57-year-old man who died Wednesday night, May 23, in a fiery crash that shut down southbound traffic on Interstate 29 Wednesday near Grand Forks has been identified and the driver of the other vehicle faces possible charges. Wayne O’Connell of Shelly in far western Minnesota died at the scene after he was ejected from his 1953 Ford pickup. Emergency crews responded at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday to the crash about 3 miles north of Thompson. A 2000 Peterbilt semi hauling cattle rear-ended the pickup’s trailer, according to a news release issued late Thursday night.
GRAND FORKS—A woman who shot and killed three of her children here before killing herself legally bought the gun a day before the shooting, police confirmed Thursday, May 24. Astra Volk, 35, purchased a handgun from Super Pawn in Grand Forks the day before she used it in the May 3 murder-suicide, Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel said. Police found the bodies of Volk and her three children—Arianna Talmage, 6, Aidan Talmage, 10, and Tyler Talmage, 14—during a welfare check at their home.