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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Grand Forks Public School Board members decided to give themselves a bump in pay, but not before several minutes of debate and multiple votes on how large the increase should be. The board voted 7-2 to increase annual salaries for members from $3,500 to $4,000. The board did not increase pay for the president, who makes $4,000 a year.
Grand Forks Police have identified a man who was found dead in a vehicle near Interstate 29 in north Grand Forks. Officers who were conducting a welfare check Monday night found Larry K. Haroldson, 60, had died in a Volkswagen passenger car that was sitting at 1200 N. 47th St., according to a news release. He had no permanent address, and there were no plates on the vehicle, Lt. Brett Johnson told the Herald on Tuesday.
Grand Forks Public Schools will use space in the Herald building for its student transitional education program, and staff could start moving in as early as mid-January. The School Board voted 8-1 on Monday to approve a two-year lease agreement to use 2,163 square feet in the second floor of the building at 375 Second Ave. N. that houses newspaper staff. With a yearly rental rate of $30,282, the lease runs Feb. 1, 2018, through Jan. 31, 2021, with the option of renewing the lease at two-year increments.
ROSEAU, Minn.—A former city council member accused of intimidating a reporter during a public meeting in a small northwest Minnesota town has asked a judge to dismiss his case. Arlyn Ray Stewart, 60, of Roosevelt, Minn., appeared Monday in Roseau County District Court with his attorney Alan Fish, who filed a motion last month calling for a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against his client to be dismissed. The motion claims there is a lack of probable cause regarding the Oct. 1 incident that allegedly unfolded during a Roosevelt City Council meeting.
CROOKSTON—Sheriff Jim Tadman said he still is trying to wrap his mind around the fact that he is the head of Polk County's law enforcement agency. But he said he is ready to take on the challenge of leading the Polk County Sheriff's Office. "We're out there, we are able to respond," he said. "We want people to know that if they have any issues and concerns, give us a call. If we don't know about them, we can't fix them. "I'm ready to go."
CROOKSTON — Minnesota officials have announced the names of two lucky residents who bought lottery tickets worth $1 million each, including a Twin Cities woman whose ticket came from a Crookston gas station.
MINNEAPOLIS—A Thief River Falls chiropractor accused of defrauding more than $1 million from insurance companies is expected to change his plea in federal court. Steven Richard Wiseth, 36, has reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota, according to a letter from his attorney, Peter Wold of Minneapolis. Wiseth, who is charged with six counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft, is scheduled to appear Jan. 17 in Minneapolis' U.S. District Court for a change of plea hearing in Minneapolis.
North Dakota's and Minnesota's recently elected members of Congress were sworn in Thursday. U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, two North Dakota Republicans elected in November, along with U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, both Democrats from Minnesota, took the oath of office as family members watched over them. Cramer and Armstrong, North Dakota's lone member in the House of Representatives, join Republican Sen. John Hoeven in the state's Congressional delegation, the first all-GOP North Dakota team in 60 years.
Kiosks that allow residents to renew their vehicle registrations in minutes have gained popularity since they have been installed in several large North Dakota cities, transportation leaders say. The yellow machines that print out license plate tabs and registration cards for motorists have issued more than 56,000 renewals for North Dakota drivers since the program was implemented two years ago, said Lindi Michlitsch, motor vehicle division director for the state Department of Transportation.
North Dakota has topped several lists for drunk driving, with statistics ranking the state high for the rate of alcohol-related deaths. But the number of deaths and injuries related to driving under the influence has dropped in recent years, according to numbers from the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Drunk-driving fatalities in North Dakota decreased from 71 in 2013 to 55 last year, according to the 2017 crash summary issued this year by the DOT. That number was up by six compared to 2016, according to the report.