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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The legalization of marijuana, or at least the attempt to do so, has gained steam. But recreational use still is illegal in most states and federally, meaning those who are caught with marijuana without a prescription can face criminal charges. In North Dakota, more than 50 percent of the drug arrests have involved marijuana for several years, according to the Attorney General's Office. Arrests have been on the rise in the state, and it appears large busts are becoming more common.
GRAND FORKS—Plans are in the works to honor the Lamoureux twins in Grand Forks after their dramatic win this week at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and some people want a permanent sign showing love for the gold medalists. The city of Grand Forks is looking at several options in planning an event to honor Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, City Administrator Todd Feland said. The Grand Forks natives helped lead the U.S. women's hockey team to victory over Canada.
BELCOURT, N.D. -- A school on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in north-central North Dakota sent its students home Thursday morning, Feb. 22, after threats of violence triggered a lockdown. Turtle Mountain Community Schools in Belcourt locked the school down Thursday morning, according to the school’s Facebook page. Police have been contacted and are “in charge of the situation,” the post said.
GRAFTON, N.D.—A Grafton man accused of engaging in sexual acts with a child pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Tuesday, Feb. 20. Anthony Soliz Herrera Jr., 37, will served no jail time after agreeing to a plea deal in Walsh County District Court, State's Attorney Kelley Cole said Wednesday. He was scheduled to go to trial Tuesday to face two Class AA felony counts of gross sexual imposition, both of which carry a life sentence.
Karen Thingelstad calls Minnkota Power Cooperative's new headquarters in Grand Forks enlightening, literally. "There is so much natural light that comes into this building compared to our other one," the vice president and CEO for the nonprofit electric generation and transmission cooperative said.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Highway Patrol likely will roll out its black vehicles in the coming weeks as it begins its transition from white. The state law enforcement agency received in recent weeks a shipment of 38 black vehicles, Capt. Tom Iverson said earlier this week. The automobiles need to be outfitted with equipment before they can be used in patrols, but they could hit the road in two to three weeks, Iverson said.
A travel alert has been issued for northeast North Dakota. The State Department of Transportation issued the alert Thursday morning due to snow and blowing snow causing reduced visibility and hazardous driving conditions. The alert, whihw includes Grand Forks, means drivers can still travel but should be aware of "rapidly changing conditions," the DOT said in a news release.
A Grand Forks business owner has turned himself in after being accused of punching a man from behind. Patrick Wayne Novak, 38, had an initial appearance Tuesday in Grand Forks District Court, where he faces a Class C felony of aggravated assault. The owner of Novak Construction turned himself into custody and was booked early Tuesday morning into the Grand Forks County Correctional Center, jail staff said Wednesday.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—Thief River Falls Public Schools is looking into a December high school house party linked to sexual assault charges.
MINOT -- A fourth Republican plans to challenge U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for her seat. Paul Schaffner of Minot said in a news release he will seek the GOP nomination for Senate. He plans to host a news conference Monday in Bismarck.