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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A Crookston man faces 20 years in prison after police say he assaulted a woman before barricading himself in a camper at an East Grand Forks RV retailer. Timothy Byron Youngquist, 59, appeared Tuesday in Polk County Court on a first-degree felony charge of burglary and a fifth degree misdemeanor charge of assault. He was booked Monday into the Northwest Regional Corrections Center, hours after he allegedly assaulted a woman he knows Sunday night.
CROOKSTON—A McIntosh, Minn., man has been accused of possessing child porn depicting young children, with one video showing a sexual act with an infant. Lucas James Coyle, 24, was scheduled to appear Thursday in Polk County District Court to face 13 felony counts of possessing pornographic work involving a minor. Each charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.
ST. MICHAEL, N.D.—A proposed hog farm near Devils Lake may be outside of the Spirit Lake Nation, but a tribal leader says it threatens water and the environment inside the tribe's boundaries. "Should this happen, I suggest to the state of North Dakota, the North Dakota Department of Health, be prepared," Tribe Vice Chair Douglas Yankton Sr. said of the state approving the Grand Prairie Agriculture hog farm.
North Dakota's Republican and Democratic candidates for the U.S. House race butted heads for a third time, calling each other out on their votes in the state Legislature and support of national policy. State Sen. Kelly Armstrong, R-Dickinson, and Grand Forks attorney Mac Schneider, a Democrat who served in the Senate from 2009 to 2016, exchanged barbs Tuesday night in a live broadcast on Prairie Public Broadcasting. The debate was sponsored by AARP, and PPB News Director Dave Thompson moderated.
DEVILS LAKE—The mother of a Devils Lake man fatally shot by police has been barred from speaking at a City Commission meeting after her attorney sent a letter to City Hall demanding a $20 million settlement for his death, according to documents obtain in an open records request.
After a long discussion, Grand Forks Public Schools leaders made a compromise Monday over offering school lunches to children with negative balances. School Board members debated the child nutrition account balances policy for more than half an hour before Superintendent Terry Brenner suggested a one-year trial. It includes not putting a cap on how far a student's lunch balance can go in the red and allowing children to have whatever lunch they want—the hot meal or nonchoice option, which includes a soy butter sandwich with jelly, an apple or banana and milk.
At least one Grand Forks resident supports a proposed mill levy increase for his school district. C.T. Marhula was the lone speaker from the public Monday during a Grand Forks Public School Board hearing, which was held to seek input on a proposal to increase the 2018-19 budget by three mills. The increase would generate $700,000 a year for emergency spending. Without the increase, the budget still is expected to go up roughly half a mill to 98 mills. With the increase, the total levy count for next year would be 101 mills.
DEVILS LAKE—An inmate death at a Devils Lake jail has prompted an administrative investigation by the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The DOCR is preparing a trip to the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center to investigate the death of 57-year-old David James Grove, said James Sayler, DORC warden for transitional facilities. "Anytime there is an unattended death at a jail, we do investigate," Sayler said.
Oben John Iver Gunderson wasn't afraid to take on unpopular topics during his time as "most conservative" lawmaker in the North Dakota House, his son Brad said. But the former lawmaker of 12 years was proud of the work he did for his state and lived a fulfilling life, he family said. "He stood for what he thought was right, whether other people agreed with him or not," his son Brad said. The legislator who served in the North Dakota State House from 1971 through 1982 died Wednesday at his home in Grand Forks. He was 91 years old.
James Burchman traveled to Grand Forks from Galena, Kan. to see Metallica. He and his friend, Ron Webb of Mandan, N.D., have seen the rock band numerous times, but they keep coming back for the headbanging experience for one reason. "Because they rock," Webb said. "They get your blood moving."