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 — North Dakota's Republican and Democratic candidates for the U.S. House race butted heads for a third time, calling each other out on their votes in the state Legislature and support of national policy. State Sen. Kelly Armstrong, R-Dickinson, and Grand Forks attorney Mac Schneider, a Democrat who served in the Senate from 2009 to 2016, exchanged barbs Tuesday night, Sept. 11, in a live broadcast on Prairie Public Broadcasting. The debate was sponsored by AARP, and PPB News Director Dave Thompson moderated.
DEVILS LAKE—The mother of a Devils Lake man fatally shot by police has been barred from speaking at a City Commission meeting after her attorney sent a letter to City Hall demanding a $20 million settlement for his death, according to documents obtain in an open records request.
At least one Grand Forks resident supports a proposed mill levy increase for his school district. C.T. Marhula was the lone speaker from the public Monday during a Grand Forks Public School Board hearing, which was held to seek input on a proposal to increase the 2018-19 budget by three mills. The increase would generate $700,000 a year for emergency spending. Without the increase, the budget still is expected to go up roughly half a mill to 98 mills. With the increase, the total levy count for next year would be 101 mills.
DEVILS LAKE—An inmate death at a Devils Lake jail has prompted an administrative investigation by the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The DOCR is preparing a trip to the Lake Region Law Enforcement Center to investigate the death of 57-year-old David James Grove, said James Sayler, DORC warden for transitional facilities. "Anytime there is an unattended death at a jail, we do investigate," Sayler said.
Oben John Iver Gunderson wasn't afraid to take on unpopular topics during his time as "most conservative" lawmaker in the North Dakota House, his son Brad said. But the former lawmaker of 12 years was proud of the work he did for his state and lived a fulfilling life, he family said. "He stood for what he thought was right, whether other people agreed with him or not," his son Brad said. The legislator who served in the North Dakota State House from 1971 through 1982 died Wednesday at his home in Grand Forks. He was 91 years old.
James Burchman traveled to Grand Forks from Galena, Kan. to see Metallica. He and his friend, Ron Webb of Mandan, N.D., have seen the rock band numerous times, but they keep coming back for the headbanging experience for one reason. "Because they rock," Webb said. "They get your blood moving."
Sears in Grand Forks appears to be closed, leaving Columbia Mall without two anchor tenants. The national retailer posted signs at its 2800 S. Columbia Road store saying it was “closed to the public.” Sears Holdings announced in May it would shutter its Grand Forks location along with more than 60 stores across the nation. The Columbia Mall site was slated to close by this month.
A women’s clothing store is leaving Columbia Mall in Grand Forks. The boutique in the west wing of the 2800 S. Columbia Road shopping center plans to shutter its doors, according to a sign posted in front of the store. It’s unclear exactly when the store will close, but the sign stated it would be soon.
LANGDON, N.D.—A Langdon Area Public Schools assistant business manager has quit after reportedly making errors in the district's finances, including writing a check to the IRS from the wrong account. Kensi Breyer submitted her resignation Thursday morning to Superintendent Daren Christianson, the school's leader said. She had been the business manager since July 2016, but inaccuracies found in her financial practices has prompted the school to launch an internal investigation, Christianson said.
Keeping track track of sex offenders in North Dakota requires technology and the teamwork of law enforcement and communities across the state. There are among nearly 1,900 sex offenders in the state, according to Liz Brocker, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Attorney General's Office.