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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DRAYTON, N.D.—A federal budget deal could allow Drayton to keep dikes on land that otherwise would have prohibited the earthen structures.
Rolla, ND - The Rolette County State's Attorney has completed his review into the shooting death of Deputy Colt Allery. He was shot and killed during a high-speed pursuit back in January.
Republicans in the congressional district that represents western Minnesota are seeing a backlash from a Facebook post calling Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the state's "Head Muslim Goat Humper." The post, which was taken down shortly after it was posted Monday to the Minnesota 7th District Republican Party's Facebook page, said U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., "has been sliding up to Minnesota's Head Muslim Goat Humper, Keith Ellison. Heck, they're now hunting buddies." The post went on to ask if Muslim refugees were coming to western Minnesota.
GRAND FORKS — She asked for it. It's every boy's dream to date a teacher. He deserves more jail time. Like many sexual assault cases, people talked about the James Whalen case at length—from when he resigned as a Grand Forks teacher amid reports he had sex with a student to the days following his sentencing. But what stirred discussion was how he and his attorney, Robert Hoy, portrayed the victim, suggesting she was "asking for it."
BISMARCK—A Bismarck man shown in a viral video wearing a mask and threatening Dakota Access Pipeline protesters has pleaded guilty and will avoid jail time. Jesse Dean McLain signed a plea agreement downgrading two Class C felony charges of terrorizing to two Class A misdemeanor counts of menacing. The charges stem from an early December confrontation with Dakota Access protesters at the Ramada Inn in Bismarck, where Dean Dedman Jr. recorded a live Facebook video of masked men threatening him and other hotel guests.
WARREN, Minn.—Eric and Neil Johnson take pride in the land they farm. Driving through Marshall and Polk counties this week, the brothers from Warren often would stop to point out shelterbelts and buffer strips between their cropland and waterways—some buffers they put in on their own. "It costs us, but we do it because it's right," Neil said of setting land aside for environmental reasons.
FARGO—A baby bison in Jamestown has been named in honor of a popular Twitter personality who symbolically adopted another buffalo to celebrate Iowa's loss to North Dakota State University's football team. The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, N.D., announced Tuesday that Carl the buffalo was born April 11. The American bison was named after Twitter user Fake Bo Pelini, the personality who symbolically adopted a bison for $20 through the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife shortly after the NDSU Bison defeated the University of Iowa Hawkeyes 23-21 in September.
GRAND FORKS — Former Grand Forks Central High School teacher James Patrick Whalen was sentenced Monday, April 24, by Grand Forks District Judge John Thelen to spend almost two years in jail for having sex with one of his students, but not before the defense said the victim was a "precocious teenager" who "induced and facilitated" the relationship.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—Why not have a place where customers can enjoy a glass of wine while shopping for one-of-a-kind items? That's what Cyndy Sitar had in mind when she opened a boutique/wine bar in Harvey, N.D. Now the businesswoman has moved on to Devils Lake, where she opened Rue 54 in March. "I just felt like there was a need for a unique shop in Devils Lake," she said. "The goal was to have a unique boutique for shoppers and then offer some relaxation with wine or coffee."
Grand Forks authorities have arrested one man believed to be involved in one of two high-speed chases that happened within 12 hours of each other. Derek Ray Fuglem, 29, of Grand Forks, faces multiple charges, including burglary and theft of property, after he was taken into custody early Monday morning. At 3:25 a.m., Grand Forks police began pursuing a stolen vehicle driven by man later identified as Fuglem, according to a news release. The Police Department said Fuglem fled while officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop.