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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BEMIDJI—Darrin Strosahl, new vice president of academic affairs at Northwest Technical College, gestured to a row of placards depicting the college's range of curricula: nursing, automotive service, and so on.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools board members approved Monday a new contract with the Bemidji Education Association, the school district's teachers union. The two-year agreement calls for a restructured salary schedule for district teachers this school year, retroactive to July 1, and across-the-board 2 percent raises the next.
BEMIDJI—Voyageurs Expeditionary School students don't have classes this weekend, but a handful of them showed up anyway to help Houstonians in need.
BEMIDJI—The Bemidji arts community officially has a new hub. A few hundred people gathered Saturday at the revamped $3 million Watermark Art Center for its grand opening and community dedication—a short ceremony that was seven years in the making. The new center boasts four galleries, including the Miikanan gallery, which is dedicated to American Indian art, a shop to sell regional artwork and an education room for workshops, classes, and more. The center's BSU gallery features art from two of the university's teaching collections.
CASS LAKE -- Two teams of Ojibwe language students huddled around their desks at Leech Lake Tribal College. “Aaniindi wenjibaayan?” Moderator Jordyn Flaada asked, and the room fell silent for a brief moment as team members pondered the phrase’s English translation. The team from Red Lake Nation College buzzed in before the one from Bemidji State University.
BEMIDJI -- A longtime Bemidji Area Schools board member is resigning. Bill Faver, who was first elected to the board in the early 2000s, submitted a formal letter of resignation to school district staff dated Nov. 17. The board is set to consider, and presumably approve, his resignation at a special meeting next week.
BLACKDUCK -- Cindy Swedberg hopes to make Blackduck an easier place to live for people with dementia. She and organizers with Northwoods Caregivers and the Alzheimer’s Association have scheduled a mid-December “Dementia Friends” meeting to help residents learn what dementia is, how to recognize its signs, and, hopefully, how to smooth interactions with people who suffer from the disease.
BEMIDJI—Northern Elementary School Principal Wendy Templin loves to sing and teach, and briefly recalled childhood moments spent playing "school" or belting out tunes from a makeshift stage in her garage. "Think in your head: what do you really like to do?" she asked a gaggle of about 50 first-graders on Thursday at the school's monthly "Timberwolf Assemblies," where Templin schools students, grade-by-grade, in "The 7 Mindsets to Live Your Ultimate Life."
BEMIDJI -- A gas leak prompted leaders at a Bemidji preschool to evacuate the building on Wednesday morning.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji High School senior hopes to name the school's media center after a pioneering black lawyer. Andrew Hokanson, a student representative on the Bemidji Area Schools board, asked board members on Monday to name the media center after Charles Scrutchin, a prominent black lawyer who worked in Bemidji in the late 1800s and early 1900s and was named vice president of the Beltrami County Bar Association.