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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No other state in the U.S. has built homes at a faster rate than North Dakota since the last Census, according to recently released data. Construction crews built 57,160 housing units in the state from April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2017, according to U.S. Census numbers released Thursday. North Dakota's housing stock grew by 18 percent in that timeframe, the fastest in the country, the Census said. Utah was second with 10.7 percent, followed in order by Texas, Idaho and South Dakota.
A year after reaching an impasse, Grand Forks teachers have asked for a 5 percent increase in pay, but district leaders have proposed no salary changes for educators. The Grand Forks Education Association presented proposals Monday during a teacher contract bargaining committee meeting with School Board members. The association's proposals also included reducing the paid contract days from 188 days to 185 days, adding 30 contract days of paid maternity leave and increasing the amount of sick days by 10 for all teachers after they have worked more than a year for the district.
A Grand Forks man is serving a two-year sentence in jail for using a phone app to send sexually explicit photos of himself to a minor, but he insinuated in testimony that another person may have committed the crime.
A traffic stop last week in East Grand Forks has netted four suspects, two of whom face serious drug dealing charges. Kody Blaine Fultz, 29, of Bagley, Minn., and Cameron Norman Johnson, 27, of Grand Forks appeared Monday in Polk County District Court on a first-degree felony charge of selling meth, which carries a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison.
GRAFTON, N.D.—North Dakota has one contested primary race for the state Senate, but the office's incumbent, Tom Campbell, won't be on the ballot for that contest. Two Republicans—Robert Fors of Larimore, N.D., and Carrie Wallace of Northwood, N.D.—and Democrat Nikolaus Groenewold of Larimore are running for Campbell's Senate seat in District 19. Campbell, a Grafton Republican, didn't file the paperwork to run for the seat he has held since 2013. He told the Herald last week he doesn't plan to run for re-election, and his political future is "unknown."
DEVILS LAKE -- Emergency dispatchers have warned residents in the Devils Lake area to lock their doors after several individuals fled on foot from a vehicle pursuit. A text message from the Lake Region 911 Center was sent shortly before midnight Friday warning residents that three individuals had fled a vehicle pursuit, possibly on foot. "Lock all doors and call if you see anyone or anything suspicious," the alert said.
Police found a man dead and a woman shot in a Grand Forks residence Thursday. Police responded at 11:29 a.m. to the 2500 block of Seventh Avenue South, where they found a man dead and woman with “what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries,” according to a news release. Police said the injuries suffered by both victims appeared to be gunshot wounds. The woman was taken to Altru Hospital.
U.S. House candidate Kelly Armstrong will be one of the first to say a drawn-out trade war with China will kill North Dakota's soybean industry. He wants to be the one who makes sure the White House understands that as it negotiates better trade terms for U.S. farmers, the Republican said during a Wednesday visit with the Herald editorial board.
Grand Forks Public Schools has filled several leadership positions, including an additional assistant superintendent post. Schroeder Middle School Principal Catherine Gillach will become the district's assistant superintendent of secondary education, per the recommendations of soon-to-be Superintendent Terry Brenner. Gillach's appointment was one of three leadership positions approved Monday by the Grand Forks School Board.
The owner of a Grand Forks house is not responsible for the overdose death of a man who ingested illegal drugs at the house, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled this week. But the lone dissenting justice said the issue should have its day in court.