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
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BEMIDJI—Bemidji's city council unanimously approved on Monday an agreement with Bemidji Area Schools that formalizes the district's plans to build Gene Dillon Elementary School. The 13-page "municipal services and development agreement" is a master plan, so to speak, that sets out each party's role in a joint public utilities project that would connect the new school to city water and sewer lines; an annexation agreement that would put the elementary building inside city limits; and development requirements for landscaping, lighting, parking, and so on.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji City Council members are set to consider one of the last balls of red tape city and school leaders need to cut through as Bemidji Area Schools works to build a new elementary school. The council's Monday agenda packet includes an overarching "municipal services and development agreement" between the city and school district that outlines development requirements, stipulations for a public utilities project, and an annexation agreement for Gene Dillon Elementary that would make the school land part of Bemidji proper by this time next year.
BEMIDJI—Rural Americans killed themselves at a higher rate than their more urban counterparts, new research suggests. Suicide rates have steadily gone up across Minnesota and the U.S. over the past 15-20 years, but a mid-March report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concludes that less populous and less metropolitan counties saw some of the highest annual increases during that time.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji Area Schools staff reported no one was injured after a school bus was rear ended early Thursday morning. Superintendent Jim Hess said the bus was carrying two special education students, a driver, and a paraprofessional when it was rear ended by a sedan around 7 a.m. this morning near the intersection of Justice Road Northwest and Irvine Avenue Northwest.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji Middle School student is set to be recognized on Thursday after winning a statewide essay contest. Sixth-grader Sage Cornelius' D.A.R.E. essay about leadership and the leaders in her life was named the best among dozens of others, and she and her family are set to head to a Minnesota Timberwolves game this Thursday, where she'll be recognized on the court.
BEMIDJI -- Construction on a new elementary school in Bemidji formally began Monday when Bemidji Area Schools leaders gathered to break ground on Gene Dillon Elementary. Superintendent Jim Hess declared the 160-acre plot an “environmental gem” and the new school a “marvelous tribute” to it’s namesake, a long-serving School Board member who died in 2014.
BEMIDJI -- Representatives from the Minnesota Nurses Association said that their union has ratified a new labor agreement with Sanford Bemidji. Ashley Anderson, a registered nurse and union steward, said the nurses “overwhelmingly” ratified the three-year contract around 7 p.m. Friday. Union members declined to specify the number of votes for or against the new contract, but Anderson said the union represents 392 nurses at the Bemidji-area hospital and that turnout for the vote was “strong.”
BEMIDJI -- A state report published earlier this month found that Minnesota schools spend millions of dollars and untold hours administering state-mandated tests, but faculty and administrators have to clear a variety of logistical hurdles to do so and are often unsure how to interpret or apply testing data afterward.
BEMIDJI -- An a capella group dazzled Bemidji Middle School students Thursday morning ahead of a larger show choir fundraiser this weekend. The six-man group -- cheekily-named “Six Appeal” -- performed for about 40 minutes at the middle school’s gym, leading sections of the student assembly in an instrument-less rendition of “No Woman No Cry” and breaking down the different parts each group member performs to make the cohesive whole.
BEMIDJI -- Staff development time at Bemidji Area Schools was at the heart of a brief school board discussion Monday, after which school district leaders opted for a 2017-18 calendar that has a pair of full-day professional development sessions rather than four half-days that would mean early dismissals for students.