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Homeland Security secretary will visit Grand Sky

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GRAND FORKS—The head of the nation's security will make a stop Thursday, Aug. 9, in Grand Forks County, a first for the recently appointed official.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will visit the Grand Sky Unmanned Aerial Systems Technology Park to review the area's developments for the UAS industry, according to a news release from U.S. Sen. John Hoeven's office. She also will attend a roundtable with unmanned aircraft experts and leaders in the state, the release said Tuesday.

This appears to be the first time Nielsen has visited North Dakota as the head of Homeland Security. Her predecessor, John Kelly, visited the state last year to review security at the northern border.

Kelly's six-month stint as Homeland Security secretary ended after he was appointed President Donald Trump's chief of staff, a role he filled July 31, 2017. Nielsen assumed the Homeland Security office in December.

Hoeven also has invited U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer to attend the Thursday meeting.

Grand Sky is the first business park in the U.S. dedicated to the development of UAS technology and is about 15 miles west of Grand Forks.

April Baumgarten

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.

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