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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THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—Criminal charges have been filed against two men involved in a fight last week at Thief River Falls City Hall. Former City Council member Joshua Mark Hagen, 38, faces a fifth-degree misdemeanor charge of assault, and City Council member Jerald Dean Brown, 73, has been charged with disorderly conduct. The charges were filed Wednesday, July 19, in Pennington County District Court, a week after a fight broke out between the two during an Administrative Services Committee meeting in City Hall.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn.—Federal prosecutors say an Oklee man had plans to start a "second American Revolution," wrote down instructions for bomb-making and identified multiple targets, including the IRS, police, teachers and "the rich."
WARREN, Minn.—Charges are possible after a fight broke out Saturday night at the American Legion in Warren. The Marshall County Sheriff's Office responded after 10:30 p.m. to the bar at 424 N. First St., where two people "got into it," Sheriff Jason Boman said. "What we were told is people were trying to break up the fight, and somebody got knocked over," he said. "I think at first it became a little altercation between two people and it kind of advanced from there, but I don't think it was a bunch of multiple people fighting. It was just pretty much two people."
THIEF RIVER FALLS—At least one Thief River Falls City Council member has denied accusations he threatened and took a swing at a colleague when a fight involving a thrown chair broke out Tuesday, July 10, at City Hall.
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.
PEMBINA, N.D.—A Minnesota man, after being sentenced in Canada, now faces criminal charges in North Dakota after investigators said he tried to smuggle child porn into the country. Craig Eugene Leslie, 27, of Anoka, Minn., appeared Monday in Pembina County District Court in the far northeast corner of North Dakota on five Class C felony charges of possessing certain prohibited materials. Criminal documents allege Leslie had four photos and a video depicting children who appeared to be less than 10 years old being forced to engage in sexual acts.
GRAND FORKS—A fired employee has been accused of attacking his former boss with a hammer in a Grand Forks robbery case. Kyle Joseph Duray, 24, of East Grand Forks, Minn., appeared Thursday in Grand Forks District Court on a Class B felony count of robbery with a dangerous weapon. The charge stems from an August robbery.
ELBOW LAKE, Minn. -- A tree fell on a Farmington, Minn., man Wednesday, July 4, near Elbow Lake, sending him to the hospital with injuries that were not life threatening. Jeff Brian Panzer, 44, was camping with others on the east side of the lake when a storm hit the region early Wednesday morning, according to a news release from the Becker County Sheriff’s Office. Panzer was under an awning when the tree hit him, officers said. Members of his group had to walk for help since the storm downed enough trees to make the roads impassable by vehicle, the release said.
RED LAKE FALLS, Minn.—A Red Lake Falls woman has been accused of murdering a 2-month-old child she was taking care of while the biological mother is in prison. The Red Lake County Sheriff's Office arrested 30-year-old Sarah Leah Kortan on Tuesday, July 3, on a second-degree felony charge of murder, which carries a maximum punishment of 40 years in prison. The criminal case is the result of an investigation into the death of a 2-month-old girl who was found not breathing June 20 in Kortan's apartment.