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's Republican and Democratic candidates for the U.S. House race butted heads for a third time, calling each other out on their votes in the state Legislature and support of national policy. State Sen. Kelly Armstrong, R-Dickinson, and Grand Forks attorney Mac Schneider, a Democrat who served in the Senate from 2009 to 2016, exchanged barbs Tuesday night, Sept. 11, in a live broadcast on Prairie Public Broadcasting. The debate was sponsored by AARP, and PPB News Director Dave Thompson moderated.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—A detective who fatally shot a Devils Lake man was assaulted by the suspect, the officer's attorney said Wednesday, Aug. 29. "It's a felony in North Dakota to assault a police officer," said Mark Friese, a Fargo attorney who is representing Devils Lake Police Det. Brandon Graham Potts. "It's a tragic circumstance. There is no question about it. But responsibility for this is not, and should not be, directed toward Brandon."
GRAND FORKS - A former University of North Dakota student who went missing has been found.
GRAND FORKS—A Grand Forks woman and her mother face serious prison time after law enforcement said they worked together to kidnap an 18-month-old child. Jasmine Sophia Davis, 21, was scheduled to appear Friday afternoon, Aug. 3, in Grand Forks District Court on a Class B felony of kidnapping while interfering with a governmental function. Her mother, Melissa Sue Davis, also was charged Friday with criminal conspiracy, a Class A felony, and hindering law enforcement, a Class C felony.
Two police officers who shot and killed a Grand Forks man in July will not face charges, the Grand Forks County State's Attorney's Office said Thursday.
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.