Joe Bowen covers education and health for the Bemidji Pioneer.
He is a Minneapolis native and a 2009 graduate of St. John's University. Before moving to Bemidji, Bowen covered education, local politics, crime, and everything in between for the Perham Focus in Perham, Minnesota, and Sun Newspapers in suburban Minneapolis.
- Member for
- 1 year 11 months
BEMIDJI—Eleven students from a handful of Minnesota school districts spent the past week designing and building robots at a camp that culminated in an exhibition Friday at Northwest Technical College. Junior and high school-aged kids from Mankato, St. Cloud, Albany, Rocori, and Fisher schools were randomly assigned to three teams and competed in a double-elimination bracket. Students came up with colorful team names such as the Rebels, Barker's Banc, and the Cows That Meow.
BEMIDJI—About 50 people showed up to Bemidji State University's American Indian Resource Center on Wednesday at the fifth-annual Two Spirit Awareness Day, and the resource center's second. Before that, about a dozen people waving rainbow flags marched from the Chief Shaynowishkung statue to the resource center. They were lead by Arnold Dahl-Wooley, a Two Spirit man and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe member. He marched in traditional American Indian regalia and carried a large rainbow flag as the occasional passing motorist honked or cheered in support.
CASS LAKE—About a dozen people relaxed under some trees between the Palace Casino and adjacent ball fields and powwow grounds late Tuesday afternoon, their journey ended for the day.
BEMIDJI -- The American Indian Resource Center will host a parade and informational bazaar Wednesday to raise awareness of “Two Spirit” American Indians and help connect them with helpful resources.
BEMIDJI—As the sun began to rise one cold and rainy morning a few years ago, when most people might be sipping coffee, popping a bagel in their toaster, or still snoring, Mark Morrissey was already on the road. A legally blind kayaker left the day before to travel the length of the Mississippi, but had gotten lost in the beginning miles of the winding river near the headwaters and had been forced to make camp for the night. Morrissey used a GPS waypoint to retrieve the kayaker and was back at his desk at Bemidji State University's Outdoor Program Center by 9 a.m.
BEMIDJI -- It was getting close to noon and Isaac Skinaway looked ready to march. In a foam Thor suit, the seven-year-old was part of a superhero-themed kids’ float at Red Lake Nation’s annual independence day parade and celebration on Friday, which commemorates the tribe’s formal sovereignty under an 1889 treaty with the U.S. government. The tribe’s political sovereignty is a point of pride for members there, and it’s the only “closed” reservation in Minnesota.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji Area Schools formally agreed with the state Wednesday on a plan to reduce the district’s discipline disparities. The Bemidji school district is one of nine to reach a recent agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has been pressuring school districts to reconsider their disciplinary practices since fall after noticing non-white students were suspended or expelled at a rate much higher than their white counterparts.
BEMIDJI -- Northwest Technical College leaders added several new spots in their nursing program and have re-opened the school’s application window to fill them. Budding registered or practical nurses have until July 30 to submit an application for the coming fall. The school’s nursing program typically has 90 total open seats, and staff added more this after their typical spring application deadlines had passed.
BEMIDJI—Many Northern Minnesota robotics teams have plenty of students who are skilled builders and engineers—team members who give their robot its shape, design it to navigate obstacles and maintain or upgrade it between competitions. Fewer teams, though, have students who are skilled at programming their robot. That can put them at a disadvantage, especially during the part of a competition when robots can earn points for acting autonomously.
BEMIDJI—Shirley Shaw always wanted a motorcycle. She's hasn't gotten one yet, but the scooter she tools around in with some friends and fellow Baker Park residents appeals to her, too. "This helps, at this age, that you can be on some wheels, even if they don't go very fast," Shaw, 82, said from the seat of a cherry red scooter that tops out around 7 mph. (She estimated 15.) Her front basket carried water, a light sweater and a pair of signs that warn, "LOOK OUT. COMING THRU!" and "CRAZY DRIVER."