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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When he was a patrol officer, Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel hated being involved in vehicle pursuits. Chases glorified in TV shows and movies make pursuits appear exciting, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. Some portray officers who love pursuits. Zimmel said he can't speak for all officers, but he doesn't know any who would choose to be involved in a pursuit if given the choice. "No pursuit is ever safe," Zimmel said. "Every pursuit is dangerous, and nobody ever wants to be in one. I don't want to crash. I don't want anybody else to crash."
Below is a list of vehicle chases that occurred in 2018 after Grand Forks Police tried to stop suspects. It was the most active year for Grand Forks Police-involved pursuits in the city in recent history. All 25 summaries are according to police reports, criminal complaints and Herald archives. Some cases are still open, and the details laid out are allegations unless defendants have pleaded guilty. The names of juveniles are not considered open record, so their names were redacted from police reports.
A Grand Forks Public Schools program that is facing criticism from a disabilities advocacy group has helped most of the students it has served transition into neighborhood schools in less than two months, according to numbers from the district.
A Grand Forks Public Schools program that is facing criticism from a disabilities advocacy group has helped most of the students it has served transition into neighborhood schools in less than two months, according to numbers from the district. The student transitional education program (STEP) has served 118 students since it was first implemented in 2014, according to a five-year synopsis of the initiative. Of those students, 58 percent have returned to a traditional classroom setting with 45 days, and 4 percent stayed in the program for more than a year.
A man is being treated for exposure after he was found walking around campus early Sunday morning, UND Police said. Officers responded about 1 a.m. Sunday to a call from a passerby who saw a man walking around campus, UND Police Lt. Danny Weigel said. Officers found the man walking near Memorial Stadium before he was taken to Altru Hospital. Weigel declined to identify the man or specify what injuries he had, though he confirmed he was not a UND student and there were some exposure concerns. "Obviously it was very cold that night," he said.
DEVILS LAKE—Devils Lake businesses have come together to collect used prom dresses so girls who may not be able to afford the expensive gowns can have a night to remember for a minimal fee. Newby's Ace Hardware, Lock's N Beards salon and Snapdragons Floral will host Dressing Up at the Plaza, an event that will allow girls to buy used prom dresses for $25 to $30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Feb. 9 at the City Plaza in Devils Lake. Residents from across the Devils Lake region have donated 90 prom dresses for the inaugural affair.
A Grand Forks man has been accused of causing a woman to crash her vehicle into a light pole while fighting with her. Tyler Jeremy Madison, 27, appeared Thursday in Grand Forks District Court on a Class C felony charge of reckless endangerment, a crime that carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.
A no travel advisory has been issued for eastern North Dakota due to snow and blowing snow creating icy road conditions and near zero visibility.
CROOKSTON—A former Polk County postal worker will spend 90 days in jail for stealing money from greeting cards, including some intended for a high school graduate. Timothy Merle Conger, 25, of Bagley, Minn., was sentenced Tuesday in Polk County District Court for mail theft, a felony that carries a maximum punishment of three years in prison. He also was given 24 months in prison, but that sentence was suspended for four years as long as he follows the conditions of his probation.
WARREN, Minn.—A Stephen, Minn., man faces three years in prison after police said he tried to solicit someone he thought was a child for sex. Scott Krolak, 49, had an initial appearance hearing Tuesday in Marshall County District Court for a felony count of soliciting a child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct. A criminal complaint filed Dec. 6 alleges he believed he was speaking online with a 15-year-old girl, but the teenager actually was a Pennington County Sheriff's deputy.