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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GRAND FORKS — Gas price averages for the month of June in North Dakota have hit lows not seen in more than a decade, and consumers could enjoy low prices nationwide in the coming weeks, according to AAA.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — John Daniels has always kept close a photo of him and his baby daughter, a child he hasn't seen for more than 30 years. The discolored photo shows the smiling faces of the Texas man and his little girl, cheek to cheek. "I've only got one," Daniels said when asked if he had a picture of the two together. "I've got about six pictures that I've held onto all of these years of her."
GRAND FORKS - A car chase around Grand Forks that unfolded Thursday evening led to a standoff and likely charges against two people, the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office said. Dustin Dewayne Berry, 25, of Grand Forks was arrested following a standoff with law enforcement in the 1600 block of 17th Avenue Northeast near the Grand Forks airport, said Lt. B.J. Maxson of the Sheriff's Office. Berry is in the hospital with a self-inflicted wound after a high-speed chase that reached speeds of 100 mph.
GRAND FORKS — Manufacturing is on an upward trend both in North Dakota and Minnesota, and regional companies say they are confident the sector has a bright future. There were 319,000 manufacturing jobs in Minnesota as of Thursday, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). A 2014 study from the department projected jobs would drop from 312,000 jobs in 2014 to 297,500 jobs in 2024, but for now, it appears Minnesota has been adding jobs in the sector.
FARGO -- Most of the action from the second round of storms in eastern North Dakota Tuesday stayed in the Fargo area. The storm mostly produced 1- to 1 ¼-inch hail, heavy rain in places and wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph that knocked down power lines and tree branches.
WARREN, Minn.—Investigators ruled out the possibility that human remains found along the banks of the Red River south of Oslo, Minn., are connected to a decades-old missing person case. The Marshall County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday the remains found Saturday in northern Polk County do not belong to Veronica Safranski, who disappeared Halloween night 1996 after leaving Mick's Bar in Warren. She was 40 years old when she was reported missing. Dental records were used to rule out Safranski as the source of the remains, according to a news release.
BISMARCK—In 2014, railcar space was prime real estate that was high in demand. A conglomerate of factors had come together to bottleneck North Dakota rail shipments. Despite the fact that oil prices were beginning to slip, oil production remained high. Ag producers wanted to get out as much crop as possible in a year, foreseeing a downturn in commodity prices. To top it off, coal shipments across the country increased, and with too few pipelines for oil, crude by rail was the way to get the most shipments out of the state.
ROLLA, N.D.—A Rolette County woman will be freed from custody after pleading guilty to beating a man unconscious before locking him in a shed in Rolla.
A Grand Forks man accused of sexually assaulting two children faces life in prison.
MANVEL, N.D.—Ag producers in the Red River Valley are "cautiously optimistic" about an agreement limiting U.S. imports of Mexican sugar, especially after years of depressed sugar beet prices. "I think it gives us good reason to be cautiously optimistic. There are benefits to it," Scott Johnson, who raises beets near Manvel, said of the agreement. "We got changes, which are going to help us as long as they can enforce them."