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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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.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — A Polk County jail is investigating how an inmate allegedly overpowered a corrections officer and stole a jail vehicle before leading officers on a six-hour manhunt Wednesday. Tony Mitchell Krueger, 20, of Bagley was back in custody Wednesday night, Aug. 22, after escaping with a Northwest Regional Correctional Center transport vehicle in Crookston. He had not been charged as of 1 p.m. Thursday in connection to the incident, but he likely will face multiple charges for the manhunt, Polk County Sheriff Barb Erdman said.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- A former Thief River Falls Council member has pleaded not guilty to accusations that say he assaulted a city leader during a committee meeting. Joshua Mark Hagen, 38, entered the plea Monday in Pennington County District Court after saying he would fight the fifth-degree assault charge that stemmed from a July 10 scuffle at City Hall in this northwestern Minnesota city of about 8,500 residents..
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.
GRAND FORKS—Red River Valley farmers are hitting the fields early to get small grains in the bin, but some are worried later crops such as soybeans and corn could be in trouble if rain doesn't come soon. Combines started rolling in the fields this week, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture received scattered reports of producers beginning the hard red spring wheat harvest in North Dakota and Minnesota, according to crop progress reports released by the agency early this week.
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.
GRAND FORKS—Vice President Mike Pence had two words of ammunition for military personnel when he spoke Wednesday, July 25, at Grand Forks Air Force Base: "Stay ready." "Bring your very best to this enterprise," he said. "Mind your mission. Mind your people, because here at the Air Force base, you are doing work that is providing security for the greatest nation in the history of the world."
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.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn.—Federal prosecutors say an Oklee man had plans to start a "second American Revolution," wrote down instructions for bomb-making and identified multiple targets, including the IRS, police, teachers and "the rich."
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.