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 and Minnesota, along with other parts of the U.S., have reported more extreme weather in recent years, including more damaging hail storms, severe droughts, heavier rains, hotter temperatures and longer growing seasons.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — A northwest Minnesota man who planned to start a “second American Revolution” will spend five years in prison for storing a cache of pipe bombs at his hunting property. Federal Judge John Tunheim handed down the 60-month sentence to Eric James Reinbold, 42, of Oklee, Minn., Friday morning in Fergus Falls. In July, a jury found Reinbold guilty of possessing unregistered destructive devices after a three-day trial.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — A Grand Forks man faces 25 years in prison after prosecutors allege he sexually assaulted a young child in an East Grand Forks apple orchard. Polk County District Judge Anne Rasmusson set bail on Wednesday, Nov. 21, at $10,000 for 72-year-old Dwight Colin Moses, who was charged with the second-degree felony of criminal sexual conduct.
GRAND FORKS - Thanksgiving traffic volumes will be the highest in more than a dozen years, and traveling in North Dakota and Minnesota should present few challenges for those taking to the road to celebrate the holiday. The National Weather Service in Grand Forks is calling for a mild week with mostly cloudy skies for the week. There is a chance of isolated snow Friday night into Saturday, according to meteorologists.
GRAND FORKS — Dru Sjodin was a woman who could easily represent someone in anyone’s life — a daughter, a sister, a best friend, the girl next door. It’s one of the reasons her abduction on Nov. 22, 2003, from a mall parking lot in Grand Forks has resonated so strongly with those who heard her story, said East Grand Forks Police Chief Michael Hedlund. “You can picture her as someone in your life,” he said.
GRAND FORKS - Two men were arrested in early November while allegedly trying to smuggle Mexican men into the U.S. at the Canadian border in North Dakota. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers made the arrests Nov. 3 at the Pembina and Dunseith ports of entry, according to news releases. In Pembina, a 41-year-old U.S. citizen was driving a rental vehicle at approximately 8:45 p.m. Nov. 3, according to the release. "Due to inconsistencies in his story, the man was sent inside for further inspection," the release said.
GRAND FORKS — Kenzie Holm's car purred, but not for the reason it is supposed to. A kitten that took an 80-mile ride in the engine compartment of Holm’s vehicle was stuck under the hood, but mechanics at the Rydell Car Service Center were able to pull the little black fur ball to safety while changing the oil.
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.