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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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.
The owner of a Grand Forks construction company has been accused of punching a man outside of a Grand Forks bar. A Class C felony of aggravated assault was filed Thursday in Grand Forks District Court against Patrick Wayne Novak, 38, according to court documents.
GRAND FORKS—A company that wants to build a biorefinery north of Grand Forks has asked the county to issue $80 million in bonds on its behalf. The Grand Forks County Commission approved during a Tuesday, Feb. 6, meeting a resolution that sets the stage for a public hearing for the Red River BioRefinery bond. The $80 million bond has not been approved, but if the commission does say yes, the county would facilitate selling the bonds for the company. The bonds also would be tax-exempt.
Altru Health Systems plans to build its proposed hospital at its current campus in Grand Forks. Officials announced Tuesday, Feb. 6, it would build north of the current facility at 1200 S. Columbia Road. A more-than $250 million complex will replace the 41-year-old hospital.