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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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.
The Grand Forks Public School Board likely will revise its complaint policy for non-teacher staff after it "muddied" the situation following a verbal confrontation involving the district's superintendent, a spokeswoman said. The nearly 15-year-old policy that outlines the district's complaint process could be revamped this summer, spokeswoman Tracy Jentz said. The five-paragraph policy does little to instruct non-teacher employees on the process of bringing a complaint against other staff members, school board members have said.
Two prosecutors and a private attorney will face each other in their bid to become the leader of the Grand Forks County State prosecuting office. Grand Forks lawyer Tim Lamb and assistant state's attorneys Nancy Yon and Haley Wamstad are campaigning for the county state's attorney post in the June primary election, with the two top vote-getters heading to the November general election. The three filed their election paperwork earlier this month seeking a position held by David Jones, who will retire at the end of the year.
The seven candidates in the Grand Forks County sheriff's race may have different views, but they all agree they need to build a positive relationship with children. Safe Kids Grand Forks hosted the candidates during a Thursday forum at Altru Clinic East Grand Forks, where they were asked a set of prepared questions mostly surrounding the Sheriff's Department's involvement in educating children, being present in schools and the agency's relationship with the child safety advocacy group.