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—When an inmate attempted suicide earlier this year at the Grand Forks County Correctional Center, staff responded within seconds, Jail Administrator Bret Burkholder said. Training on how to respond and the quick reaction saved the inmate's life, Burkholder said, adding staff members focus on methods that help spot early signs of suicide, while the jail tries to offer services to reduce depression.
A Grand Forks man identified by a civil rights organization as a white nationalist is running for a spot on the School Board. James Kelso, 69, filed paperwork Friday with Grand Forks Public Schools to run for one of five seats up for election in June. "I'm very interested in the school district," Kelso said, adding that he is running because he has a seventh-grader and kindergartner in the school system.
GRAND FORKS — The North Dakota secretary of state will not run seek re-election after his party endorsed another, setting the stage to end his 25-year career and opening up the race for a new state elections head. Al Jaeger waved to a cheering crowd with his family Sunday at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks as state GOP Chairman Rick Berg announced the secretary of state would abide by the decision of the delegates, who endorsed on Saturday Mandan businessman Will Gardner with a vote of 679-438.
The North Dakota secretary of state will not run in the primary election, setting the stage to end his 25-year career and opening up the race to a new state elections head. Al Jaeger waved to the crowd with his family Sunday at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks as state GOP Chairman Rick Berg announced he would abide by the decision of the delegates, who endorsed Mandan businessman Will Gardner 679-438 votes.
GRAND FORKS—Mandan businessman Will Gardner has been endorsed as the North Dakota Republican Party's candidate for secretary of state, a seat held by one of the longest-serving state officials in North Dakota history. Gardner claimed 679 votes over incumbent Al Jaeger's 438 Saturday night, April 7, at the Republican State Convention in Grand Forks. Jaeger, who was first elected to the office in 1992, said he is "weighing his options" in deciding if he'll run in the June primary election.
GRAND FORKS—North Dakota Republicans will endorse a secretary of state candidate today, moving up a contested race at the state GOP Convention by a day. Delegates in Grand Forks unanimously voted to hold the endorsement vote as a winter storm threatens to drop 3 to 6 inches of snow on western and southeast North Dakota tonight into Sunday morning. The endorsement was scheduled to be held Sunday.
North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger was open Saturday during the State Republican Convention in Grand Forks about his struggle with alcohol addiction, saying it’s better to talk about it instead of sweeping it under the rug. “It’s something that I feel is very good for me to be open about, but also good for others,” he said. “I can help others too. ... I know people have reached out to me and have said, ‘Your openness has really helped me get in to get some help.’”
GRAND FORKS—A miscalculation of delegates at the North Dakota Republican Convention has forced the party to limit access to the public, according to the party. More than 1,500 delegates, plus candidates and staff, are expected to attend the state convention Friday through Sunday, April 6-8, at the Alerus Center, GOP Chairman Rick Berg said. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will deliver the keynote address Saturday afternoon in a ballroom. About three dozen members of the media also are slated to cover the event, Berg said.
GRAND FORKS—A former UND professor has sued the school and its president, saying the university leader violated policy when the educator was fired. Frank Cuozzo, who taught biological anthropology at UND for 12 years, claims President Mark Kennedy and the school breached his contract when Kennedy fired Cuozzo in May. Kennedy dismissed Cuozzo from his position "with cause" after the school's Standing Committee of Faculty Rights determined there was "clear and convincing evidence" to support the dismissal, according to court documents.
GRAND FORKS—North Dakota public universities have blocked websites containing child porn in an effort to promote a safer environment for learning. The North Dakota University System implemented the measure Monday that will block web pages with child porn from being accessed via its institutions' networks. It's all part of an initiative that started at the University of North Dakota, University Police Chief Eric Plummer said.