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.
- Member for
- 4 years 2 months
GRAND FORKS — Dru Sjodin was a woman who could easily represent someone in anyone’s life — a daughter, a sister, a best friend, the girl next door. It’s one of the reasons her abduction on Nov. 22, 2003, from a mall parking lot in Grand Forks has resonated so strongly with those who heard her story, said East Grand Forks Police Chief Michael Hedlund. “You can picture her as someone in your life,” he said.
GRAND FORKS - Two men were arrested in early November while allegedly trying to smuggle Mexican men into the U.S. at the Canadian border in North Dakota. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers made the arrests Nov. 3 at the Pembina and Dunseith ports of entry, according to news releases. In Pembina, a 41-year-old U.S. citizen was driving a rental vehicle at approximately 8:45 p.m. Nov. 3, according to the release. "Due to inconsistencies in his story, the man was sent inside for further inspection," the release said.
GRAND FORKS — Kenzie Holm's car purred, but not for the reason it is supposed to. A kitten that took an 80-mile ride in the engine compartment of Holm’s vehicle was stuck under the hood, but mechanics at the Rydell Car Service Center were able to pull the little black fur ball to safety while changing the oil.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.— A Thief River Falls man has been accused of kidnapping a woman and repeatedly assaulting her, with court documents detailing how they were let go by a Minnesota state trooper during a traffic stop before he was later chased down by police.
CROOKSTON, Minn.—An Emerado, N.D., man awaiting trial on charges of criminal sexual conduct in northwest Minnesota has been accused of lying before a judge in the case. George Robert Lyons, 37, was charged Monday, Oct. 15, in Polk County District Court with perjury and could face five years in prison if convicted of the crime. The charge stems from a December 2015 case in which he was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—A Thief River Falls woman has been accused of stealing more than $11,000 from a man with dementia. Peggy Lynn Mehrkens, 53, appeared Monday in Pennington County District Court on five charges of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, three of which are felony counts that each carry a maximum punishment of five years in prison.
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—Family and friends in the Thief River Falls area in far northwest Minnesota are mourning a mother and her two children after they died in a tragic crash. Cassandra Flatland, 28, of nearby Viking and her two sons, 4-year-old Hudson Jones and 1-year-old Cooper Jones, died Wednesday afternoon when the vehicle they were in collided with a pickup north of Thief River Falls. The crash remains under investigation by the Marshall County Sheriff's Office.
The sugar beet harvest is about to go full steam ahead, and Red River Valley farmers are set up to see higher yields than expected at planting, officials said.
CROOKSTON, Minn.—A Crookston man faces 20 years in prison after police say he assaulted a woman before barricading himself in a camper at an RV retailer. Timothy Byron Youngquist, 59, appeared Tuesday, Sept. 11, in Polk County Court on a first-degree felony charge of burglary and a fifth-degree misdemeanor charge of assault.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — A McIntosh man has been accused of possessing child porn depicting young children, with one video showing a sexual act with an infant. Lucas James Coyle, 24, was scheduled to appear Thursday in Polk County District Court to face 13 felony counts of possessing pornographic work involving a minor. Each charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.