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 AIR FORCE BASE—It was expected that Col. Benjamin Spencer would have goals and expectations for his service members as he took command of Grand Forks Air Force Base, but he didn't shy away from what was expected of him. "I promise that every day for my community ... to provide the leadership worthy of your service," he told the 319th Air Base Wing as he assumed command Tuesday. "You are the best America has to offer, and you deserve no less."
BISMARCK — A financial data website says North Dakota has the 10th-worst economy in the country, but people should consider the entire picture before making snap judgements based on lists, business leaders said.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—Organizations in Devils Lake hope to collaborate on a plan to enhance its downtown area for the city of 7,300 residents. The city's Chamber of Commerce announced a downtown initiative that would include assessing downtown activity and recommending steps to improve it, according to a news release. It's a chance for community members, city organizations and the private sector to work together to form a vision for the downtown's future, said Chamber Board Chair Mike Dunn.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Grand Forks residents and construction workers played a key role in the arrest of four suspects believed to be armed in a northwest neighborhood. Law enforcement's Friday evening search of a trailer park near North 55th Street and University Avenue turned up four suspects: Joey Matthew Short, 24, Christa Autumn Rose Davis, 21, both of Fargo, Danny Jay DeLong, 33, and Whylon Edward DeLong, 25, both of Belcourt, N.D. It's unclear how the DeLongs are related.
NEWFOLDEN, Minn.—For Jerad Liedberg, getting up in the early morning to climb into a tractor or go check the fields is a tradition that has been in his family almost 125 years. Sometimes he has a little helper with him. "My oldest likes to ride in the tractors," the Warren, Minn., farmer said of his 3½-year-old daughter, Greta. He also has a younger daughter, Lindsey, who is 1½ years old. "(Greta's) got a lot of questions. She gets a lot of field tours."
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—It's official: Digi-Key Electronics will build a million-square-foot facility in Thief River Falls after a nailbiter of a legislative session in Minnesota.
FARGO—An unmanned aircraft park near Grand Forks will anchor a North Dakota task force aimed at defending against threats from rogue UAS activity. The UAS Detection and Counter-UAS Task Force, which will be based at Grand Sky, will coordinate amenities and efforts needed to test countermeasures against threats posed by threatening drones, Gov. Doug Burgum announced Wednesday, May 31, during the Drone Focus Conference in Fargo.
HARWOOD, N.D. -- Southbound travelers on Interstate 29 were delayed Friday evening, May 26, after a semi trailer caught fire near Fargo. Several agencies responded around 6:30 p.m. to the blaze about a half mile south of Harwood. A 2014 Peterbilt semi driven by 53-year-old John Nelson was southbound on the interstate when the semi trailer’s wheels started on fire, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. —Tensions at the Devils Lake Police Department under two embattled leaders had been building for years, human resource staff told Devils Lake leaders behind closed doors last month. "If you don't do anything right now, you could very well have half of your department walk out the door," Tanya Wieler, a human resources consultant for the city, said during the closed meeting.
GRAND FORKS—In the next year, Grand Forks will add at least three strip malls to its landscape. The city appears to be following a national trend that shows strip malls are becoming more popular, though that may not mean it's because shoppers want to go to the line of stores. "I think it is just a neutral place," said Eric Olson, who is building a strip mall on South Washington Street, when asked if customers prefer strip malls. "It's just a way smaller retail businesses, in particular service-type businesses, can enjoy some cost-savings on land prices."