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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FORT TOTTEN, N.D. -- Lionel Dunn was the 111th person to get a free tribal ID card from the Spirit Lake Nation. The Fort Totten man checked out his new card with a smile Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Blue Building, the center for tribal government on the reservation. Dunn was a part of a steady flow of tribal members who trickled into the building this week so they could get new IDs.
HALLOCK, Minn.—Kittson County investigators are taking another look at a missing person case that is two decades old after learning that foul play may have contributed to her disappearance. The Kittson County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday, Aug. 7, in a Facebook video it had leads regarding Becky Jo Look, who has been missing since 1995. Deputies spent Wednesday searching an undisclosed area for evidence in Kittson County, Sheriff Steve Porter said. Hallock is about 70 miles north of Grand Forks, N.D.
ROLETTE, N.D.—A multibillion-dollar package meant to combat agricultural losses in a trade war with China has left farmers and economists wondering how the money will be distributed. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday plans to authorize up to $12 billion in assistance for farmers "in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation," referring to China's tariffs against U.S. products. China imposed those sanctions after President Donald Trump announced tariffs on Chinese imports.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—At least one Thief River Falls City Council member has denied accusations he threatened and took a swing at a colleague when a fight involving a thrown chair broke out Tuesday, July 10, at City Hall.
RED LAKE FALLS, Minn.—A Red Lake Falls woman has been accused of murdering a 2-month-old child she was taking care of while the biological mother is in prison. The Red Lake County Sheriff's Office arrested 30-year-old Sarah Leah Kortan on Tuesday, July 3, on a second-degree felony charge of murder, which carries a maximum punishment of 40 years in prison. The criminal case is the result of an investigation into the death of a 2-month-old girl who was found not breathing June 20 in Kortan's apartment.
WARROAD, Minn. -- Two Roseau County residents are accused of making meth and bombs in their home. Lukas Roy Miller, 33, of Roseau, and Brooke Jomar Marvin, 38, of Warroad were formally charged Monday, July 2, with eleven crimes, including manufacturing meth in the presence of a child and possessing explosives with intent.
GRAND FORKS — A third suspect has been federally charged in relation to a fentanyl overdose death earlier this year in Grand Forks. Joshua David Soeby, a 38-year-old from Grand Forks, had a U.S. District Court detention hearing Monday, June 25, after being accused in federal court of supplying fentanyl to 27-year-old Max Johnson of Walhalla, N.D. Johnson was found dead Jan. 17 at a residence in Grand Forks, and investigators determined a fentanyl patch linked to Soeby, his sister-in-law, Kelly Jo Nelsrud, 40, and his wife, Holly Dawn Soeby, 37, caused Johnson's death.
EAST GRAND FORKS—Red River Valley farmers are optimistic about getting crops in the ground after cold and wet conditions delayed them from hitting the fields earlier this spring. Producers started planting crops this weekend in northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota, taking advantage of mild temperatures and drier conditions. Chad Thorson of rural East Grand Forks started Friday, April 27, and will plant soybeans, sugar beets, wheat and edible beans this season.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — The future is bright for the solar sector in Minnesota, state and industry leaders said this week. Minnesota boasted 4,256 solar jobs in 2017, a 48 percent increase from 2016, according to the National Solar Jobs Census. The eighth annual report from the Solar Foundation ranked Minnesota 16th for job growth, Gov. Mark Dayton's office said in a email last week.
Bitcoin's popularity is on the rise, and with it skepticism and excitement have mounted for the digital currency. Its value against the U.S. dollar has exploded in recent months. One bitcoin was worth about $780 a year ago today, but is now worth about $17,700. The currency finished its first week of trading with gains of about 17 percent as of Friday morning. The sudden surge comes after a decade of testing and exploring technology that can utilize bitcoin and other digital currencies, said Daniel Schott, an educational advocate for the North Dakota Blockchain Group.