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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GRAND FORKS — Dealing with the death of a loved one can be stressful and overwhelming. A person has days to plan a ceremony that will honor a life, all while facing the prospect of saying goodbye for the last time.
WILLISTON, N.D.—A suspected member of a notorious international criminal gang has been arrested in Williston and is being held at the Grand Forks County jail. Border Patrol agents from the Grand Forks Sector of U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested 39-year-old Concepcion Carcamo-Portillo at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, spokesman Kristoffer Grogan confirmed. Numerous tips from concerned citizens led officers to the El Salvador national, Grogan said.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — When southbound travelers on U.S. Highway 59 drive into Thief River Falls, one of the first things they see is Petro Pumper. The gas station sits at the mouth of the traffic collector that eventually feeds into the port of entry to Canada near Lancaster, Minn.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has asked a federal agency to not reduce border crossing hours at Lancaster and Roseau, saying it would "cause significant health, safety, and economic harm" to Minnesotans in those areas. Dayton strongly opposed the move by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to cut back hours at the two Minnesota ports, the governor wrote Tuesday, Nov. 7, in a letter to CBP Director Jason Schmelz. The agency proposed moving up the closing time at Roseau from midnight to 8 p.m. and moving Lancaster's closing time from 10 p.m. to 4 p.m.
GRAND FORKS—It's too early to say exactly how many potatoes the Red River Valley will produce this year, but it looks much more promising than 2016, the head of an area growers organization said. The potato harvest wrapped up last week in North Dakota and is 97 percent complete in Minnesota, according to information released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That beats out last year, when farmers struggled to get into the fields because of heavy rain.
A sign posted Wednesday at Taco Bell's drive-thru intercom system in Grand Forks said it was "closed due to abandonment," but staff there say it is open for business. Employees at the restaurant said they were short-staffed and were hiring positions. Signs posted at the restaurant's front door and drive-thru window said open interviews for shift leaders and assistant managers would start Nov. 9.
GRAND FORKS—Fostering relations between countries is the goal of any ambassador to the U.S., but the emissary from Norway said he wants to show the public that what his office is doing is working. "It's not just talk," Norwegian Ambassador Kare Aas said Monday at the University of North Dakota Center for Innovation in Grand Forks. "It's more about trying to make this as concrete as possible and to take action."
BISMARCK — A national lottery game will increase its ticket prices and make it more difficult to win the big prize, but lottery agencies in North Dakota and Minnesota hope the move to grow the game's jackpot will get players more excited and, in turn, increase revenue. Beginning Saturday, Oct. 28, players will have to pay $2, up from $1, to buy a Mega Millions ticket, the game's producers announced in a news release. It will start with a larger jackpot of $40 million, more than double the current starting jackpot of $15 million.
LANCASTER, Minn. — A northwest Minnesota woman who went missing four years ago was laid to rest this weekend after her body was found earlier this year in a Kittson County river. A funeral service for Dawn Joy Carlson of Lake Bronson, Minn., was held Saturday, Sept. 30, at Lancaster Covenant Church, according to an obituary published by Austin Funeral Chapel in Hallock, Minn.
GRAND FORKS—A Grand Forks man who intends to plead guilty to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old more than two years ago faces 12 years in prison. David Allen Willings, 52, signed a plea agreement Friday that was filed in Grand Forks District Court. He faced life in prison for gross sexual imposition, a Class AA felony charge, after the victim reported multiple instances of sexual assault by Willings.