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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EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn.—It took a couple of tries, but once started, a tractor more than a century old ran without a hitch. Joe Borgen couldn't help but smile as he watched the antique Friday at the Heritage Village in East Grand Forks. "I used to hang on the wheels as they turned," Borgen said of his childhood, grabbing the metal spokes and laughing. Then he pointed to the back iron bumper. "Here are the engravings showing the dates when we harvested."
Background checks for buying guns has dropped off in recent months, but firearms advocates say sales are strong compared with previous years and the decline in background checks is slower in rural states like North Dakota. Gun dealers across the country ran roughly 1.74 million background checks in July, about 160,000 fewer than in June and more than 450,000 less than July 2016, according to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — High levels of E. coli found in the water near a Thief River Falls beach will keep the recreational area closed, but the incident shouldn't ruin plans to put a splash park there, the city's mayor said. On Friday, Aug. 11, the Thief River Falls Parks and Recreation Department closed Tindolph Beach at Bill LaFave Park after concerns of excess goose feces and stagnant water. Samples collected from the river near the beach showed high levels of the bacteria that can trigger complications in the digestive system, according to the department.
FARGO -- A Fargo Democrat will run for North Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. Former state Rep. Ben Hanson made the announcement early Wednesday morning, Aug. 16. The commercial broker for Archer Real Estate Services in Fargo is campaigning for a seat held by U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, who was first elected to the House in 2012. Cramer, a Republican and early supporter of President Donald Trump, has yet to announce whether he will run for a fourth two-year term.
GRAND FORKS — Experts say an upcoming conference that attracts hundreds in the unmanned aircraft sector in Grand Forks will focus more on how all industries can use the technology, with a European company slated to unveil a commercial U.S. product.
FARGO The parent company of Applebee's and IHOP may close 160 restaurants this fiscal year as profits decline. DineEquity revised its forecast of closures for its two national restaurant chains, saying Thursday it could close between 105 and 135 Applebee's and 20 to 25 IHOPs, according to a news release highlighting its second quarter fiscal reports. The release did not name the restaurants expected to close this year, but the revised numbers for closures are up from the previous forecast of 58 to 78 stores.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Mike Hergert has lived by one golden rule when it comes to radio: be accurate and treat others the way you want to be treated. "You only get one chance to get it on the air right," he said. "There is no excuse for not getting it right." But when he started the Red River Farm Network more than 20 years ago, he and his colleagues had a motto: reporting agriculture's business. "We really focus on business, what we call pocketbook issues," he said. "We really try to report the important stories that we think will affect the pocketbooks of farmers."
GRAND FORKS -- Police are investigating a reported assault in north Grand Forks that left a man with a stomach wound. Officers responded at 3:39 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, to the 700 block of North 42nd Street, where they found a victim who claimed to be assaulted by a black man wearing a white shirt and white baseball cap, according to a new release. The victim, who was taken to Altru Hospital, had a puncture wound to his stomach but didn’t remember how it happened, the release stated. The suspect fled the scene before officers arrived.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Just because workers don't have a bachelor's degree, that doesn't mean they can't be successful. Jason Heintz, store leader for Scheels in Grand Forks, said he looks for an eagerness to learn, hard workers, self-teachers and people who have the right attitude, even if they don't have that four-year degree. "What we are really looking for is people with strong attitudes who can deliver great customer experience in this store," he said. "A lot of those qualities are a lot more important than the paper that says they have a degree."
NIAGARA, N.D. — Ask anyone who knows the Wolfgram brothers and they would tell you they are old school, or rather old farm. Their farmyards are home to antiques and machinery most farmers would have traded in years ago. A 1949 Allis Chalmers tractor, a 1982 John Deere 8820 combine, a vintage John Deere chain and cup portable elevator, pickups and trucks from the 1960s, '70s and '80s, and many more.