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.
- Member for
- 4 years 2 months
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.— A Thief River Falls man has been accused of kidnapping a woman and repeatedly assaulting her, with court documents detailing how they were let go by a Minnesota state trooper during a traffic stop before he was later chased down by police.
CROOKSTON, Minn.—An Emerado, N.D., man awaiting trial on charges of criminal sexual conduct in northwest Minnesota has been accused of lying before a judge in the case. George Robert Lyons, 37, was charged Monday, Oct. 15, in Polk County District Court with perjury and could face five years in prison if convicted of the crime. The charge stems from a December 2015 case in which he was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—A Thief River Falls woman has been accused of stealing more than $11,000 from a man with dementia. Peggy Lynn Mehrkens, 53, appeared Monday in Pennington County District Court on five charges of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, three of which are felony counts that each carry a maximum punishment of five years in prison.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—Family and friends in the Thief River Falls area in far northwest Minnesota are mourning a mother and her two children after they died in a tragic crash. Cassandra Flatland, 28, of nearby Viking and her two sons, 4-year-old Hudson Jones and 1-year-old Cooper Jones, died Wednesday afternoon when the vehicle they were in collided with a pickup north of Thief River Falls. The crash remains under investigation by the Marshall County Sheriff's Office.
The sugar beet harvest is about to go full steam ahead, and Red River Valley farmers are set up to see higher yields than expected at planting, officials said.
CROOKSTON, Minn.—A Crookston man faces 20 years in prison after police say he assaulted a woman before barricading himself in a camper at an RV retailer. Timothy Byron Youngquist, 59, appeared Tuesday, Sept. 11, in Polk County Court on a first-degree felony charge of burglary and a fifth-degree misdemeanor charge of assault.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — A McIntosh man has been accused of possessing child porn depicting young children, with one video showing a sexual act with an infant. Lucas James Coyle, 24, was scheduled to appear Thursday in Polk County District Court to face 13 felony counts of possessing pornographic work involving a minor. Each charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.
ST. MICHAEL, N.D.—A proposed hog farm near Devils Lake may be outside of the Spirit Lake Nation, but a tribal leader says it threatens water and the environment inside the tribe's boundaries. "Should this happen, I suggest to the state of North Dakota, the North Dakota Department of Health, be prepared," Tribe Vice Chair Douglas Yankton Sr. said of the state approving the Grand Prairie Agriculture hog farm.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—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.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—A detective who fatally shot a Devils Lake man was assaulted by the suspect, the officer's attorney said Wednesday, Aug. 29. "It's a felony in North Dakota to assault a police officer," said Mark Friese, a Fargo attorney who is representing Devils Lake Police Det. Brandon Graham Potts. "It's a tragic circumstance. There is no question about it. But responsibility for this is not, and should not be, directed toward Brandon."