April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers business and political stories. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise 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 the Dickinson 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—Bob Rost spends most of his time leading the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Department, but before and after school, he grabs a stop sign and dons his crossing guard gear as he helps children cross the street at J Nelson Kelly Elementary School. It's one reason why the sheriff, who has been directing foot traffic at the Grand Forks school nearly every morning and afternoon for 13 years, could become "America's Favorite Crossing Guard."
Northeast North Dakota and several counties in northwest Minnesota are under a no travel advisory, with high wind gusts, blowing snow and frigid temperatures causing dangerous conditions. “Intermittent whiteout conditions” persist Monday morning in the north Red River Valley, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks said. A band of light snow likely will bring less than an inch of snow, but winds are gusting up to 35 mph, the weather service said.
A Grand Forks man sexually assaulted a teenager after giving her sleeping medication, a jury found Friday, Jan. 12, but he's been acquitted on accusations that he raped the girl and forced her to have oral sex. George Robert Lyons, 37, was found guilty Friday in Grand Forks District Court on one Class AA felony count of gross sexual imposition. The jury determined it could not convict him on the two other charges with the same classification. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.
A bill aimed at websites that facilitate online sex trafficking has enough votes for passage in the Senate, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said Thursday, Jan. 11. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) has 65 sponsors, Heitkamp said. She believes that number could grow to 70.
GRAND FORKS – The accuser in an eight-year-old sexual assault case against a Grand Forks man told jurors Wednesday, Jan. 10, she believes the defendant sneaked sleeping pills into her drink before he allegedly raped her when she was a young teenager.
The Red River Valley could see a one-two punch, first with an arctic blast then a possible blizzard hitting the area midweek. A winter storm watch will be in effect Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning for most of east North Dakota and northwest Minnesota as an arctic cold front moves into North Dakota Tuesday evening, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Forks. Temperatures are not expected to reach above zero for the foreseeable future, with lows dipping into the negative teens and negative 20s, according to the forecast.
GRAND FORKS -- Officers are searching for two black men involved in a reported attempted sexual assault on the University of North Dakota campus. Campus police responded at 3:50 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, to Noren Hall, where a woman woke to a man attempting to remove her clothes, according to a news release. The suspect, who is described as a light-skinned black male with a scar or birthmark over his left eye, left after the brief interaction, the release said.
A snow system could bring 3 to 6 inches to eastern North Dakota Wednesday, but heavier amounts are expected to stay in the central and northeast parts of the state, meteorologists said. The periods of snow forecast to hit the region Wednesday morning and evening could impact travel in most of eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, according to a special weather statement issued Tuesday morning by the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.
Country star Dwight Yoakam will bring his "Guitars, Cadillacs" to Grand Forks. Yoakam will perform March 11 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium, according to a news release. The artist who has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide will perform with Brandy Clark, who has written songs for The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves. "Guitars, Cadillacs" was Yoakam's debut recording single, but he has recorded numerous other singles, including "Honky Tonk Man," "Suspicious Man" and "Streets of Bakersfield."
GRAND FORKS—A company that plans to build a $2.5 billion fertilizer plant near Grand Forks has applied for a six-month extension for several permits. Northern Plains Nitrogen (NPN) has sent a letter of intent to the city to extend its water and discharge permits, NPN Chief Operations Officer Larry Mackie said Wednesday. The city will provide water to the plant, which is expected to be built on a 320-acre site northwest of Grand Forks.