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.
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LEECH LAKE—A regional mental health cooperative and White Earth Nation's mental health program will have a few hundred thousand dollars more to spend this year and next. Staff at the Minnesota Department of Human Services announced Thursday more than $2 million in mental health service grants over the next 18 months to two years. A total of $260,000 is intended for the Adult Mental Health Initiative Region V, a cooperative that includes Cass County and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Another $280,000 is set aside for the White Earth Mental Health Program.
BEMIDJI -- A specialty children’s healthcare firm is expanding in Bemidji. Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare unveiled a new clinic Wednesday, which has more space and will be open more frequently than their old facilities. Employees led tours, chatted with well-wishers, and cut a slender yellow ribbon in front of their business’ sign on Paul Bunyan Drive to mark the occasion as the press snapped photos.
BEMIDJI—The number of Beltrami County children removed from their parents' custody has nearly doubled since 2012, and it's straining the county's coffers. County staff warned county officials and state lawmakers here Tuesday that Beltrami County is approaching a "fiscal cliff" as it pays for more and more children to live, at least temporarily, away from their parents for safety, mental health or correctional reasons.
BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji State University employee is the sixth person to formally declare their candidacy for one of three school board seats here. Sarah Young filed her affidavit of candidacy Tuesday for Bemidji Area Schools upcoming board elections. She’s an associate professor at the university’s TRIO program who works with first-generation, low-income and disabled students. Young said she hasn’t run for public office before.
BEMIDJI—Two more people filed to run for a spot on Bemidji Area Schools' board. Shawn Whiting and Wenona Kingbird both submitted affidavits of candidacy Monday, making them the fourth and fifth people running for three open seats on the School Board. Whiting is a mental health therapist at Sanford Behavioral Health in Bemidji. Board members in January picked him to fill a vacancy left by Bill Faver, who retired earlier that winter with less than a year left in his term.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools has a new ten-year plan to fix up its buildings. School board members in July approved a long-term facilities and maintenance plan that aims to spend about $1.8 million each year, about $1.2 million of which comes from taxpayers in the district. The remaining $600,000 comes from the state.
RED LAKE -- A Red Lake Nation College professor known for her warmth passed away last month. Lucy Barrett, 81, died July 23, leaving behind a legacy that suggested what was possible for others around her.
BEMIDJI -- A white pickup stops in the middle of the camera’s view, and a woman in gray pops open the tailgate and roughly tosses trash bags, then trash cans and window blinds, into a heap on the ground. She empties the cans and tosses one back into the truck bed before hopping in the passenger seat. A little girl and a man get in, and the truck pulls out of view, American flag fluttering.
BEMIDJI -- Staff at Bemidji Area Schools plan to ask the state for money to make some schools here more secure. Minnesota lawmakers approved $25 million in a spring bonding bill for school safety improvements.
BEMIDJI—Want to be a school board member? So far, three Bemidji-area residents have officially said they do. The candidate filing period for Bemidji Area Schools' upcoming school board elections opened Tuesday morning, and Board Chair Carol L. Johnson was the first to toss her hat into the ring. Johnson was followed by Gary Rozman, the executive director at the Beltrami County Historical Society. His run at a board seat is Rozman's first foray into local politics, he said.