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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FARGO—A Fort Totten, N.D., man plans to plead guilty on a federal charge related to the death of his girlfriend. John Willard Greywind, 43, was set to go to trial Tuesday in U.S. District Court on charges of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, but a sentencing date has been scheduled for Jan. 8. Documents filed in early October state Greywind wishes to plead guilty to the latter charge, though a plea agreement had not been filed as of Tuesday.
Thursday's debate for the U.S. Senate election in North Dakota gave residents a chance to compare Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer side by side for the first time, with both candidates claiming victory. But political experts were hesitant to declare a winner, and they said the brief matchup was far from the lone factor in deciding who will win the coveted seat. "I could be proven wrong, but I don't see this debate as being decisive in the election," said Mike Jacobs, a former publisher and editor for the Grand Forks Herald.
BISMARCK — In the last of their scheduled debates, North Dakota candidates seeking the state's lone seat in the U.S. House had to answer questions on a range of topics, including international relations and a trade war with China.
CROOKSTON—Two veteran officers with the Polk County Sheriff's Office want the county's top law enforcement position. Chief Deputy Jim Tadman and Sgt. Randy Sondrol are vying for the votes of Polk County residents in an attempt to take over for Sheriff Barb Erdman, who said in January she will step down after being in the office for eight years. Both candidates have had a hand in a variety of areas for the Sheriff's Office, from the SWAT team to patrols to narcotics. They also have served as supervisors and have trained multiple deputies.
PARK RIVER, N.D.—For her last year in 4-H, Bailey Schroeder of Fordville, N.D., decided to do a little bit of everything. A little bit of everything means showing eight animals—sheep, beef, horse and pigs—at the Walsh County Fair. She was up at 5:30 a.m. Thursday so she could be at the fairgrounds in Park River by 7 a.m. to get her exhibits ready for the show ring. "This is my last year, so I wanted to go big," the senior in high school said just before heading into the steer class shortly before 10 a.m.
A Libertarian candidate who ran for North Dakota secretary of state this year before being told he couldn't appear on the general election ballot is asking voters to write him in as agriculture commissioner. Roland Riemers of Grand Forks announced Tuesday night he will run against incumbent Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring and state Sen. Jim Dotzenrod, D-Wyndmere. Reimers said he was raised on a dairy farm in central Minnesota. There have been tough times for agriculture in North Dakota, he said, and he wants to help farmers lower costs and increase profits.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—A Thief River Falls man has been accused of kidnapping a woman and repeatedly assaulting her, with court documents detailing how they were let go by a Minnesota state trooper during a traffic stop before he eventually was chased down by police. Frank Anthony Kaiser, 32, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Thief River Falls on felony charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, domestic assault by strangulation, three controlled substance crimes and fleeing in a motor vehicle. His first court appearance was Wednesday in Pennington County District Court.
An East Grand Forks man faces five years in prison after being accused of illegally voting while on probation in 2016 in Minnesota. Jared Daniel Benson, 24, appeared Tuesday in Polk County District Court on a felony charge of being an ineligible voter who knowingly votes. Court documents allege he filled out a Minnesota voter registration application on Nov. 8, 2016, in East Grand Forks and claimed he was eligible to vote in the 2016 election.
Two Grand Forks news personalities will decide which city has the best water in North Dakota. Grand Forks Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty and WDAZ anchor Matt Henson have been chosen to judge the Drinking Water Taste Test championship at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Alerus Center, according to a news release. The competition that will pit North Dakota cities against each other is part of the 90th annual North Dakota Water and Pollution Control Conference. Three finalists will be judged by national experts, Hagerty and Henson.
CROOKSTON—An Emerado, N.D., man awaiting trial on charges of criminal sexual conduct in Polk County has been accused of lying before a judge in the case. George Robert Lyons, 37, was charged Monday in Polk County District Court with perjury and could face five years in prison if convicted of the crime. The charge stems from a December 2015 case in which he was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct.