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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A longtime East Grand Forks City Council member will retire from civil service after dedicating more than 20 years to city government. Henry Tweten, 94, will not run for re-election to the Fourth Ward when his seat appears on the ballot this November. "I thought there should be somebody else," he said when asked why he decided not to run. "I didn't intend to stay as long as I did."
East Grand Forks Mayor Steve Gander channeled a famous quotation from President John F. Kennedy in his call to residents to serve their community. "How can I serve," he asked a crowd Wednesday as he gave his second State of the City address at the East Grand Forks Civic Center. "I ask you as your mayor: How can I work to build this community?"
GRAFTON, N.D.—A Grafton man faces numerous charges after police say he held three women hostage at gunpoint. Guadalupe Rodriguez Benavidez Jr., 31, was arrested Tuesday night at 1542 Stewart Drive in Grafton, where an incident that started around 10 p.m. Monday turned into a hostage situation, law enforcement said. Court documents don't give the exact timeline of how events unfolded, but they allege Benavidez held three women in a mobile home and told them they were not allowed to leave. He also pointed a pistol at the head of one of the women, the documents say.
Footprints in the snow have led investigators to a suspected burglar who they believe is the perpetrator in at least one of several break-ins reported in Grand Forks. A criminal complaint was filed Tuesday in Grand Forks District Court against Farrell Ray Clauthier, 36, Grand Forks, who faces a Class B felony charge of attempted burglary. Officers accused Clauthier of kicking in the door of a residence on March 5 in the 1600 block of Dyke Avenue in Grand Forks in an attempt to burglarize the home, court documents said.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—A dog that wandered onto a thawing river was rescued this weekend by firefighters in Thief River Falls, just days before the ice melted away. The Thief River Falls Fire Department pulled 14-year-old Sugarbear to safety early Saturday morning after dispatchers received a report of a dog standing on the Red Lake River, Fire Chief Marty Semanko said Tuesday. Firefighters responded shortly before 7 a.m. to Boy Scout Park, where they found the chow-cocker spaniel mix on the ice, he said.
North Dakota drivers are some of the fastest in the country, according to a fuel data analysis website. The state ranked fifth on a list of states with the highest average speed at 51 miles per hour, according to information released Tuesday by GasBuddy.com. The list was released in conjunction with other data, including rankings for the most aggressive drivers.
A temperature warm-up is melting snow and ice fast, causing some farmland and banks along the Red River to flood. A flood warning issued last week by the National Weather Service in Grand Forks continued Monday along the Red River from the Canadian border through Grand Forks County. Central Traill County also was in the warning, and has had overland flooding along the Goose River, said Alyssa Scheve, the North Dakota State University extension agent for Traill County.
The second defendant in a robbery that led to a standoff last year in Grand Forks was ordered to spend more than seven years in prison. Fahad Abdirashid Hussein, 19, Grand Forks, pleaded guilty Monday in Grand Forks District Court to downgraded charges: two Class C felonies of criminal mischief and two Class A misdemeanors of carrying a concealed weapon. He was sentenced to a total of almost 12 years in prison, but four years were suspended and he was given 225 days credit for time served.
A 19-year-old man who went missing this weekend in rural Polk County has been found dead.
Before two Grand Forks hospitals could merge together more than 50 years ago, leaders had to go to the Vatican to get approval. And leadership couldn't afford the land to unite the hospitals physically under one roof, so doctors and a clinic manager footed the bill for the land purchase. Two hospitals merging was enough to cause controversy, and Catholics and Lutherans coming together in the 1960s was almost unheard of, Altru Health System CEO Dave Molmen said. Yet that's part of the story of how Altru became one of the largest employers in North Dakota.