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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CROOKSTON—A Crookston committee has chosen a former city leader as its choice for mayor, and the City Council that failed to endorse him earlier will make the final decision on whether he gets the job. Wayne Melbye won over a 14-member committee that interviewed four candidates Wednesday night. City Administrator Shannon Stassen said the nearly five-hour meeting consisted of interviews and "a lot of discussion" about who should be recommended to lead Crookston, the Polk County seat and home to roughly 7,900 residents.
DEVILS LAKE—Devils Lake could see a sharp rise beginning in April, and the lake could reach record-breaking, land-consuming elevation by early summer, according to reports presented to Lake Region water leaders. The Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board reviewed a report Wednesday from the National Weather Service on potential flooding in areas around the region. Devils Lake could rise by 2 to 4 feet, with NWS meteorologist Greg Gust saying runoff into Devils and Stump lakes could push to record levels.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with several red state Democrats Thursday, including U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., her office confirmed Wednesday.
CROOKSTON—A Crookston woman faces 30 years in prison after investigators said she helped another woman bring baseball-sized balls of meth mixtures from Minneapolis to Grand Forks. Amy Nicole Heinle, 33, appeared Monday in Polk County District Court on a first-degree felony charge of possessing a controlled substance. Along with the prison sentence, she could be ordered to pay $1 million in fines if convicted.
Grand Forks drug investigators arrested three people this weekend who officers say intended to sell heroin—one is accused of being a heroin supplier in Grand Forks. Rahmi Ramieh, 22, of Bloomington, Minn., Joshua Vernon Wretling, 25, and Amanda Marie Marzolf, 24, both of Grand Forks, appeared Monday in Grand Forks District Court on various drug charges after officers with the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force booked them Friday at the Grand Forks County Correctional Center.
DEVILS LAKE—A Devils Lake man faces multiple drug charges after allegedly admitting to investigators he and another were selling drugs.
A Grand Forks man was arrested Saturday after police say he bit an officer so hard he left the officer with arm injuries. Tanner Jay Schlaht, 24, was arrested Saturday night after police responded to Shotgun Sally's Rock and Roll Saloon at 2015 Library Circle for a report of a man damaging the building and vehicles. Officers discovered a broken glass door to the bar and man identified as Schlaht who appeared to be confronting and engaging people "on the street in order to fight," according to court documents.
A 23-year-old man accused of leading officers on several high-speed chases, shooting at a North Dakota trooper and stealing at least three vehicles—one with an infant inside it—is being guarded at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks while being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
THOMPSON, N.D.—The 10-mile drive from Thompson to Grand Forks doesn't bother Chelsie Kuhn. She and her husband, Marc, wake up every morning a few minutes early to get their two young daughters—3-year-old Stella and 2-year-old Lola—ready before heading to work. Then they head out the door of their Thompson home, take North Dakota Highway 15 to Interstate 29 and cruise to Grand Forks, northeast North Dakota's largest regional hub. The commute is simple, Chelsie said.
CROOKSTON—Four residents want to be Crookston's next mayor, and a committee will interview the candidates next week before deciding who should be recommended for the job. Patricia Dillabough, Wayne Melbye, Dillon Fenno and Frank Lindgren submitted letters of intent for the job left open by Gary Willhite, who resigned mid-term as mayor to fill a Polk County Commission seat he won during the general election in November. Applications for mayor were due Tuesday, and a 14-member committee including City Council members and residents will interview the candidates Wednesday.