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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The Grand Forks Public School Board likely will revise its complaint policy for non-teacher staff after it "muddied" the situation following a verbal confrontation involving the district's superintendent, a spokeswoman said. The nearly 15-year-old policy that outlines the district's complaint process could be revamped this summer, spokeswoman Tracy Jentz said. The five-paragraph policy does little to instruct non-teacher employees on the process of bringing a complaint against other staff members, school board members have said.
Two prosecutors and a private attorney will face each other in their bid to become the leader of the Grand Forks County State prosecuting office. Grand Forks lawyer Tim Lamb and assistant state's attorneys Nancy Yon and Haley Wamstad are campaigning for the county state's attorney post in the June primary election, with the two top vote-getters heading to the November general election. The three filed their election paperwork earlier this month seeking a position held by David Jones, who will retire at the end of the year.
The seven candidates in the Grand Forks County sheriff's race may have different views, but they all agree they need to build a positive relationship with children. Safe Kids Grand Forks hosted the candidates during a Thursday forum at Altru Clinic East Grand Forks, where they were asked a set of prepared questions mostly surrounding the Sheriff's Department's involvement in educating children, being present in schools and the agency's relationship with the child safety advocacy group.
A Crookston woman who forced her son to run away with her and tried to steal a FedEx truck from an employee who tried to help her has been sentenced to less than two months in jail. Trisha Mary Berg, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday in Grand Forks District Court to charges of child neglect, a Class C felony, and four misdemeanor counts: physical obstruction of a government function, unauthorized use of a vehicle, driving under revocation and disorderly conduct. She was sentenced to spend 12 months in jail, but 10 months were suspended and she was credited for three days of time served.
The second of two defendants who were caught with 60 pounds of marijuana while attending UND has been ordered to spend 13 days in jail. Cade Matthew Hoben, 21, Hopkins, Minn., pleaded guilty Thursday in Grand Forks District Court to a Class A felony of possessing marijuana with intent to manufacture or deliver. He and 20-year-old Mark Charles Hindahl of Mound, Minn., were arrested Nov. 21 at 1611 Fourth Ave. N. in Grand Forks while they were UND students.
A UND student has been accused of dealing marijuana, LSD and pills. Kelly Ara Garrison, 18, of Browns Mills, N.J., had an initial appearance hearing Thursday in Grand Forks District Court, where she faces four Class B felonies of possessing drugs with intent to deliver or manufacture. She was arrested Wednesday at her Smith Hall dorm room, where UND Police officers found marijuana, adderall, LSD and a pill bottle with an "unknown white substance," according to court documents.
A Twin Cities wolf advocacy group said there are other ways to co-exist with wolves without using lethal methods to control populations, and wants to end the practice of snaring in Minnesota. "Most people don't know that hidden all over our woods are snares that trap dogs and wild animals alike, holding them in misery until their death," Howling for Wolves said in a statement earlier this year. "Our woods are just not safe. These barbaric and unselective wire nooses catch and maim whoever walks by. Banning snaring would be a step to reduce assaults on wildlife and pets."
Gordon Hamilton said he feels like he is coming home every time he comes to the Store House Food Pantry in Grand Forks. "There is no way I could make it without their help," said Hamilton, a longtime client of the food pantry. "To get that help with a smile on their face at the same time, you don't feel bad for asking for help."
WARREN, Minn.—An Oslo, Minn., man was ordered to spend almost two years behind bars for holding a woman against her will, holding a machete to her face and threatening to kill her and her son.
ROSEAU, Minn.—A Warroad, Minn., man faces numerous charges for allegedly threatening to kill police and kicking the face of an officer, giving the officer a bleeding mouth. The Warroad Police Department arrested Justin James Johnson, 22, Friday after they were called to an apartment complex for a domestic report, according to court documents. Johnson initially ran from Officer Brendan Sandy but then stopped, the documents say.