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
- 3 years 10 months
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—Criminal charges have been filed against two men involved in a fight last week at Thief River Falls City Hall. Former City Council member Joshua Mark Hagen, 38, faces a fifth-degree misdemeanor charge of assault, and City Council member Jerald Dean Brown, 73, has been charged with disorderly conduct. The charges were filed Wednesday, July 19, in Pennington County District Court, a week after a fight broke out between the two during an Administrative Services Committee meeting in City Hall.
THIEF RIVER FALLS - A Thief River Falls City Council member said his colleague swung a chair at him during a Tuesday argument at City Hall, an altercation that has sparked an investigation. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the disturbance that took place Tuesday afternoon during an Administrative Service Committee meeting. Most city officials have declined to offer details on the case, citing the active nature of the investigation.
RED LAKE FALLS, Minn.—A Red Lake Falls woman accused of killing a 2-month-old child can get out of jail for $50,000, if she abides by certain conditions. A Red Lake County District Court judge on Wednesday, July 11, ordered Sarah Leah Kortan, 30, to be held on a $500,000 bond without conditions after being charged with second-degree murder. She was taking care of her cousin's infant when the baby girl stopped breathing June 20 at Kortan's home.
GRAND FORKS -- The Grand Forks Police Department has identified two officers involved in a shooting that left one man dead early Sunday morning. Cpl. Jordan Drees and Officer Michael Ruit have been placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting that killed 41-year-old John Francis Murphy III. The two officers responded shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday after a report of a suicidal subject with a firearm, according to the Police Department.
GRAND FORKS -- A Grand Forks man arrested Monday, July 9, died shortly after an hours-long standoff. Samuel James Nelson, 36, was taken about 7:15 p.m. Monday from the Grand Forks County Correctional Center to Altru Hospital, where he passed away shortly after arrival, Jail Administrator Bret Burkholder said Tuesday morning. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.
DEVILS LAKE—Two Devils Lake residents have been charged with sexually assaulting an underage teen multiple times at different locations in Ramsey County, charging documents say. Patrick Alan Leiphon, 51, and Sherene A. Kraft, 50, are set to appear Monday, July 9, in Ramsey County District Court in North Dakota on five charges each of gross sexual imposition, all of which are Class A felonies.
ELBOW LAKE, Minn. -- A tree fell on a Farmington, Minn., man Wednesday, July 4, near Elbow Lake, sending him to the hospital with injuries that were not life threatening. Jeff Brian Panzer, 44, was camping with others on the east side of the lake when a storm hit the region early Wednesday morning, according to a news release from the Becker County Sheriff’s Office. Panzer was under an awning when the tree hit him, officers said. Members of his group had to walk for help since the storm downed enough trees to make the roads impassable by vehicle, the release said.
CHRISTINE, N.D. -- No one was injured Wednesday morning when a semi tipped over on an interstate exit ramp south of Fargo, law enforcement said.
GRAND FORKS — Republican Kelly Armstrong is projected to face Democrat Mac Schneider in North Dakota's election for U.S. House, based on unofficial tabulations from the primary election held Tuesday, June 12. Armstrong grabbed 56 percent of the vote, defeating GOP candidates Tiffany Abentroth of Cummings (8 percent) and Paul Schaffner of Minot (7 percent), according to unofficial results from 133 of 4224 precincts in North Dakota reporting as of 9 p.m.
One of the eight Grand Forks residents arrested on charges of dealing heroin in the area has been connected in court documents to an overdose death more than a year ago.