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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Dru Sjodin was a woman who could easily represent someone in anyone's life—a daughter, a sister, a best friend, the girl next door. It's one of the reasons her abduction on Nov. 22, 2003, from a mall parking lot in Grand Forks has resonated so strongly with those who heard her story, said East Grand Forks Police Chief Michael Hedlund. "You can picture her as someone in your life," he said.
DEVILS LAKE—North Dakota's main training ground for National Guard members could expand to more than double its size, but leaders will have to make deals with landowners and get state funding before that happens. Military leaders are looking into an expansion project proposal at the Camp Grafton Training Site, said William Prokopyk, spokesperson for the state Guard. Leaders have been speaking with landowners to see if they are interested in selling land to the military agency, he said.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—A Thief River Falls man has been acquitted of sexual assault charges linked to a house party. On Friday, a Pennington County District Court jury found Logan Gary Lane, 20, not guilty of third- and fifth-degree charges of criminal sexual conduct after a three-day trial. The charges were filed against Lane on Jan. 18 after an accuser said Lane had sex with her while she was "very intoxicated" during a Dec. 27 housed party in Thief River Falls, according to court documents.
DEVILS LAKE -- A Devils Lake police officer will not face criminal charges after he fatally shot a Devils Lake man in early July. Detective Brandon Potts was justified in his use of force against 26-year-old Daniel Aaron Fuller, Ramsey County State’s Attorney Kari Agotness said Friday. She said she would not file charges against Potts because “he had probable cause to believe the use of deadly force was necessary,” according to a news release.
Two men were arrested earlier this month in North Dakota while allegedly trying to smuggle Mexicans into the U.S. at the Canadian border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection made the arrests Nov. 3 at the Pembina and Dunseith, N.D., ports of entry, according to news releases. Alfredo Santana-Mercedes, 41, was arrested at Pembina while Pedro Hernandez-Guarnizo, 50, of Colombia was taken into custody at Dunseith. Both have been charged in federal court with harboring and transporting an alien.
Kenzie Holm's car purred, but not for the right reasons. A kitten that took an 80-mile ride in the engine compartment of Holm's vehicle was stuck under the hood, but mechanics at the Rydell Car Service Center were able to pull the little black fur ball to safety while changing the oil. The kitten had caught a ride near Oklee, Minn., to Grand Forks. Holm doesn't know how the small animal held on for the 80-mile drive, but she was surprised when her husband, Tyson, told her about the discovery.
The first 90 days have been busy for Grand Forks Public School Superintendent Terry Brenner, and board members appear to be pleased with his work, according to an early evaluation. The School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the evaluation that said Brenner's performance "has met expectations." The five-page document highlights Brenner's time as the district's head administrator since he took over in July for former Superintendent Larry Nybladh, who retired after being in the position for a decade.
It was business as usual Thursday at the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office for Sgt. Andy Schneider. But in fewer than two months, the deputy will be the head of the office. Schneider, 38, won 68 percent of the vote Nov. 6 in the Grand Forks County sheriff's race. "I can't thank the citizens of Grand Forks County enough," Schneider said. "I'm glad, and thankful to them for putting their faith and trust in me to do this job, and I'm not going to let them down."
Grand Forks police shot and killed a dog that attacked an officer who was trying to execute a search warrant Friday, a news release said. The dog attacked an officer at 12:20 p.m. Friday as the Grand Forks Regional Narcotics Task Force attempted to enter the home at 321 N. Fourth St., according to a news release. Police said the dog was large and vicious, adding it bit the officer, the release said. Police made "numerous physical attempts" to get the dog off the officer, but a secondary officer "dispatched the attacking dog with a firearm," the release said.
Along with statewide races, northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota were packed with contests for the general election Tuesday. Below is a list of the results, with the winners in bold. Some races were too close to call and are denoted as possible recounts. NORTH DAKOTA Statewide U.S. SENATOR Kevin Cramer - R: 55 percent