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 Schools leaders have scrapped proposals to tap debt collectors and child abuse reporting to address negative lunch balances. A School Board committee approved a draft for child nutrition account balances that guides the Child Nutrition Program when it comes to negative balances for school lunches. The draft, which must be approved by the full School Board, states children who have a negative balance of $50 will receive a soybutter sandwich with jelly, an apple or banana and milk, otherwise known as a nonchoice meal, instead of a hot lunch.
HALLOCK, Minn. -- Kittson County investigators are taking another look at a missing person case that is two decades old after learning new information foul play may have contributed to her disappearance. The Kittson County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday in a Facebook video it had leads regarding Becky Jo Look, who has been missing since 1995. Deputies spent Wednesday searching an undisclosed area for evidence in Kittson County, Sheriff Steve Porter told the Herald.
GRAND FORKS—The head of the nation's security will make a stop Thursday, Aug. 9, in Grand Forks County, a first for the recently appointed official. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will visit the Grand Sky Unmanned Aerial Systems Technology Park to review the area's developments for the UAS industry, according to a news release from U.S. Sen. John Hoeven's office. She also will attend a roundtable with unmanned aircraft experts and leaders in the state, the release said Tuesday.
Grand Forks city staff were right to ban people gathering petition signatures in the Alerus Center during an election, but the government cannot control where they are outside the building if they were at least 100 feet from the entrances, North Dakota's attorney general has ruled. Those who are collecting signatures for a petition must be 100 feet from "any entrance leading into a polling place" when polls are open, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in an opinion released Tuesday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a Spirit Lake Nation man serving life in prison for a fatal 2016 stabbing. Dallas Wayne Thundershield, 38, of Fort Totten, N.D., hoped the higher court would overturn the sentence that was handed down in January 2017 after he fatally stabbed 52-year-old Richard DeMarce in the chest on April 9, 2016, on the Spirit Lake Reservation. After the assault, Thundershield ran over DeMarce with a pickup, according to court documents.
Residents in Grand Forks Public Schools could see a bump in property taxes for the 2018-19 school year. The School Board unanimously gave preliminary approval Monday at its regular meeting to increase its tax levies by three mills, which would generate roughly $700,000 a year for emergency spending, according to the district.
GRAFTON, N.D.—It's easier to keep track of the years Grafton hasn't been flooded by the Park River, Mayor Chris West said when asked how often the city was ravaged by the unpredictable waterway. Wearing a bright yellow vest with Grafton 2013 flood fight on the back on Thursday, he and others looked over an approximately $45 million flood diversion project that they hope will eliminate the need to fight flood waters ever again. "It's just kind of crazy to watch how it progresses," West said, adding construction is on schedule.
GRAND FORKS—The Democratic candidate for the U.S. House has challenged his Republican opponent to denounce North Dakota's involvement in a lawsuit seeking to declare Obamacare unconstitutional. With retired registered nurse Jolene Dunphy at his side, Grand Forks attorney Mac Schneider called on state Sen. Kelly Armstrong, R-Dickinson, to oppose North Dakota's support of Texas v. U.S. If successful, the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, would be declared unconstitutional.
The Democratic candidate for the U.S. House has challenged his Republican opponent to denounce North Dakota's involvement in a lawsuit seeking to declare Obamacare unconstitutional. With retired registered nurse Jolene Dunphy at his side, Grand Forks attorney Mac Schneider called on state Sen. Kelly Armstrong, R-Dickinson, to oppose North Dakota's support of Texas v. U.S. If successful, the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, would be declared unconstitutional.
A Grand Forks woman and her mother face serious prison time after law enforcement said they worked together to kidnap an 18-month-old child. Jasmine Sophia Davis, 21, was scheduled to appear Friday afternoon in Grand Forks District Court on a Class B felony of kidnapping while interfering with a governmental function. Her mother, Melissa Sue Davis, also was charged Friday with criminal conspiracy, a Class A felony, and hindering law enforcement, a Class C felony.