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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ST. MICHAEL, N.D.—A proposed hog farm near Devils Lake may be outside of the Spirit Lake Nation, but a tribal leader says it threatens water and the environment inside the tribe's boundaries. "Should this happen, I suggest to the state of North Dakota, the North Dakota Department of Health, be prepared," Tribe Vice Chair Douglas Yankton Sr. said of the state approving the Grand Prairie Agriculture hog farm.
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.—The mother of a Devils Lake man fatally shot by police has been barred from speaking at a City Commission meeting after her attorney sent a letter to City Hall demanding a $20 million settlement for his death, according to documents obtain in an open records request.
GRAND FORKS — Sears in Grand Forks appears to be closed, leaving Columbia Mall without two anchor tenants. The national retailer posted signs at its 2800 S. Columbia Road store saying it was "closed to the public." Sears Holdings announced in May it would shutter its Grand Forks location along with more than 60 stores across the nation. The Columbia Mall site was slated to close by this month.
LANGDON, N.D.—A Langdon Area Public Schools assistant business manager has quit after reportedly making errors in the district's finances, including writing a check to the IRS from the wrong account. Kensi Breyer submitted her resignation Thursday morning, Aug. 30, to Superintendent Daren Christianson, the school's leader said. She had been the business manager since July 2016, but inaccuracies found in her financial practices has prompted the school to launch an internal investigation, Christianson said.
Keeping track track of sex offenders in North Dakota requires technology and the teamwork of law enforcement and communities across the state. There are among nearly 1,900 sex offenders in the state, according to Liz Brocker, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Attorney General's Office.
GRAND FORKS—University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy did not violate policy when he fired a professor last year, a Grand Forks judge recently ruled. A lawsuit brought against the university and Kennedy by former professor Frank Cuozzo was dismissed Tuesday, Aug. 28. Cuozzo taught biological anthropology at the school for 12 years. He was fired in May 2017 "with cause" after the Standing Committee of Faculty Rights found there was "clear and convincing evidence" to support his termination.
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."
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—Police have released the name of the officer who fatally shot a Devils Lake man in early July. The Devils Lake Police Department identified Detective Brandon Potts on Tuesday, Aug. 28, as the man who killed 26-year-old Daniel Aaron Fuller during a chase July 5 through the Southview Estates mobile home park. Chief Joe Knowski said Potts, who has been with the department for 10 years, waived his rights under Marsy's Law, which was cited as the reason for withholding his name.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—An autopsy report for a Devils Lake man who was killed by police in Devils Lake found he was shot in the back of the head, and now his family is calling for criminal charges against the officer who fired the weapon. The death of Daniel Aaron Fuller was ruled a homicide following an autopsy, though Grand Forks Coroner Mary Ann Sens stresses that the autopsy findings do not necessarily "indicate a criminal homicide, which is determined by a legal process."