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—Two suspects in a federal drug case related to the shooting death of a man at a Grand Forks truck stop have pleaded guilty, with two more expected to follow suit. Aaron Lee Morado, 27, and Christopher Alan Anderson, 37, pleaded guilty Wednesday and Friday, respectively, in federal court for their involvement in trafficking more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in North Dakota and Minnesota. Morado's sentencing hearing is Nov. 28. Anderson will be sentenced Nov. 30.
FARGO—A former UND police officer has admitted to storing more than 100,000 images and videos of child pornography on his computer. Paul Bradley Meagher, 43, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to one count of receiving child porn and two counts of possession of child porn after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors. The development comes the same day a UND aviation professor, Eric Hewitt Basile, was charged in Grand Forks District Court with multiple counts of possessing child porn.
DEVILS LAKE—A Twin Cities company that did not fulfill its promise to bring hundreds of jobs to Devils Lake has left the city with a hefty bill after the business said it could not pay thousands of dollars in back taxes. The city took possession Wednesday of a 130,000-square-foot building once occupied by Ultra Green Packaging Inc., a Minneapolis company that used its Devils Lake facility to make biodegradable food containers and other products out of wheat-straw pulp. With the building came an $87,000 tab for back taxes Ultra Green owed to the city.
FARGO—A Grand Forks man has pleaded guilty to possessing hundreds of images depicting sexual acts with victims as young as 4 years old. Jeffrey Alan Nord Jr., 29, will be sentenced Nov. 2 in federal court on receipt and distribution of material containing child pornography as well as possession of materials containing child pornography. He pleaded guilty to the two charges last month after signing a plea agreement.
HILLSBORO, N.D.—Derrick Kvernen wasted no time Wednesday wandering around Tot Spot Hillsboro. The curious 2½-year-old roamed the day care center before finding a Fisher-Price Musical Lion Walker and began cruising around a nap room as he pushed the colorful toy. Tot Spot Executive Director Jenna Schultz smiled as she watched the boy play before helping day care employees tend to children.
Delvin Lamont Shaw appeared unfazed Wednesday as a Grand Forks judge ordered him to be held without bond ahead of his new trial in the 2014 shooting death of a Grand Forks man.
A Grand Forks man could spend two years or less in prison for possessing child pornography depicting young children, some who were toddlers, being sexually assaulted. Roger Lee Whaley, 86, pleaded guilty Tuesday to 10 counts of possession of certain materials prohibited, all Class C felonies. Each charge carries a five-year jail sentence, meaning he faced up to 50 years in prison. But a plea agreement he signed orders him to spend a total of five years in jail with three years suspended. He also will be given credit for time served.
FARGO—A Spirit Lake Nation man will spend 14 years in prison for running over another man with a vehicle, resulting in his death. Lance Robertson, 27, pleaded guilty in federal court to second-degree murder for the death of 18-year-old Larse Azure Jr. of the Spirit Lake Nation. A judge handed down the sentence Tuesday in federal court and ordered him to pay more than $14,500 in restitution.
A Grand Forks church will hold a Sept. 11 service honoring emergency responders. St. Michael's Catholic Church at 524 Fifth Ave. N. has invited law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs and anyone in the emergency response sector to a Blue Mass, which is planned for 11 a.m. Sept. 11. The church will reserve seating for emergency responders if they attend, the Rev. Gerard Braun said. "It's to recognize their contribution, their gift and their service to the community, to coming to our need in the most critical moments of our people," he said.
LAFAYETTE, La. -- A Louisiana man has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a Devils Lake mother of two. Joseph E. Dalahoussaye Jr., 43, has been charged with the second-degree murder of 29-year-old Rachael Alexander in Lafayette. He remains in custody and is expected to go to court in the Louisiana city.