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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Fargo Democrat Josh Boschee channeled President Donald Trump as he called out North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Saturday, March 17, in Grand Forks. “There is a lot to be said for an individual with (25) years of experience, but when that individual refuses to keep up with some of the most basic technological advances, it’s time for us to drain the prairie and elect a secretary of state who will move us forward,” Boschee told the Democratic State Convention delegates at the Alerus Center.
A Grand Forks man who faced life in prison after being accused of sexually assaulting two children has signed a plea agreement for a lighter sentence. Tyrell Everett Phelps, 27, changed his plea in the case to guilty on Wednesday in Grand Forks District Court. If a judge agrees with the plea agreement, he would serve five years in prison.
A Grand Forks man accused of shooting a rifle at others during a drug deal this week and having a homemade bomb at his apartment also has been charged with growing marijuana. Devon Michael Atticus Hricak, 20, was charged Friday in Grand Forks District Court with a Class B felony of manufacturing marijuana; three Class C felonies of reckless endangerment with extreme indifference; a Class C felony of possession or sale of a machine gun, auto rifle, silencer or bomb; and discharge of a firearm within a city, a Class B misdemeanor.
GRAFTON, N.D.—A Park River, N.D., man accused of having hundreds of child pornography images has been ordered to serve more than seven years in prison. Judge Laurie Fontaine handed down the sentence Thursday in Walsh County District Court to Steven Dale Dishner, 42, after he pleaded guilty in November to 100 counts of possessing certain materials prohibited, all Class C felonies. He initially was charged with 486 counts, but the remaining charges will be dismissed.
The next superintendent for Grand Forks Public Schools will make $195,000 a year, or nearly $55,000 more than his annual salary in his current position. The School Board unanimously approved on Monday a three-year contract for Terry Brenner, director of curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development for the district. It's a jump from the roughly $140,000 he currently makes per year, but less than Superintendent Larry Nybladh's salary of $231,210.
A sports bar in Grand Forks wants to bring a patriotic twist to the local restaurant scene. TJ's Sports Bar will close April 29 and reopen May 7 as Pub 76, an homage to the year 1776 and the Declaration of Independence, co-owner Travis Van Sickle said Monday. The bar that opened almost 10 years ago at 1210 S. Washington St. wants to reinvent itself as a lunch and supper eatery for adults who are at least 21 years old. But it also hopes to pay tribute to American history, the military, police officers and other service workers.
A draft detailing Grand Forks Public Schools' needs and possible scenarios for its facilities is near completion, and leaders are on track to make a decision next month on a task force to look further into the issue. The process of forming a 140-page master plan for the district's 19 educational facilities is more than a year in the making, and there is still a lot of work to do before the School Board decides if it will build a new school, consolidate facilities, invest in existing facilities or do nothing.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—A Vancouver, Wash., man has been accused mailing meth to a Viking, Minn., woman who also faces drug charges in the case.
Grand Forks Public Schools is set to review an annual salary of $195,000 for its next superintendent. Terry Brenner, who was selected by the School Board last month to replace Grand Forks Superintendent Larry Nybladh, has signed a three-year contract with the school district, according to documents set to be reviewed by School Board members at Monday's regular meeting. Brenner's salary will be frozen for three years, according to the contract.
A 19-year-old will spend more than 2 years in prison for his role in a robbery that led to shots fired and a standoff in Grand Forks last year, and his co-defendant is expected to change his plea.