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—Bemidji High School staff and students lined the school's halls Wednesday morning to send wrestlers, swimmers, mathletes, mock trial participants, and science olympians to various state-level competitions. School leaders regularly organize "gauntlets" for students gearing up for state. Wednesday's gauntlet began with freshman near the BHS student service office, then sophomores near the main office, then juniors and seniors toward the athletic field house. The pep band blared near the main office. Below are the Lumberjacks headed to state.
BEMIDJI—New Minnesota Department of Education statistics indicate that Minnesota high schoolers graduated on-time at a record-high pace last year. Some Bemidji-area school districts followed that trend and others didn't, but many have relatively small student bodies, which can make statistics such as graduation rates seemingly fluctuate wildly year-to-year.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji High School's graduation rate hit a new high last year. Eighty-eight percent of the BHS class of 2017 graduated in four years or the following summer, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Education—the highest mark recorded at the school since at least 2003 and half a percent higher than the goal school district leaders set for themselves in October.
If you go: What: Public tours of Gene Dillon Elementary School construction site When: 3:45 p.m. Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16 Where: Gene Dillon Elementary, at the intersection of Division Street West and Becida Road Southwest. BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools leaders have scheduled a pair of public tours of Gene Dillon Elementary, the district's soon-to-be-new home for fourth- and fifth- graders here.
BEMIDJI—A few Bemidji Area Schools classrooms have exceed their recommended size. But only by a few students. Six elementary classes and two high school classes have one to three more students than asked for by School Board policy. No Bemidji Middle School pods exceed their recommended size, according to documents supplied at Monday's School Board meeting. District administrators are required to tell School Board members about any classes that exceed their recommended size. Staff deliver a report about class sizes to the board twice per school year.
WALKER—"Who loves America?" an announcer yelled to a growing crowd that had gathered around a rectangular hole in the ice on Leech Lake. The crowd "woo"-ed in agreement and, minutes later, teams of people in lifeguard suits and star-spangled swim trunks leapt into the icy water at the raucous, boozy International Eelpout Festival, which started Thursday and wraps up Sunday on a frozen stretch of the lake outside Walker.
BEMIDJI -- Minnesota health care providers reported 341 “adverse health events” in hospitals and surgery centers between October 2016 and October 2017, according to an annual report from the Minnesota Department of Health released Thursday.
BENA—Leaders at the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig school went into lockdown Thursday morning after a student threatened other students there.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji State University faces a budget deficit that could be as high as $1.39 million. Documents obtained by the Pioneer via a public data request indicate a 2019 fiscal year shortfall that ranges between $436,000 and $1.39 million, depending on enrollment and how the school pays for its share of a multi-million dollar plan to update technology infrastructure at Minnesota State's colleges and universities, plus a few other variables.
BEMIDJI—TrekNorth Junior and Senior High School went into a "soft" lockdown Wednesday morning after leaders learned of a potential threat there that has since been determined to be not credible. A student there was suspended in early February after telling a friend he was going to shoot up the school, TrekNorth Executive Director Kristin Gustafson told the Pioneer. The student returned to class Tuesday and several concerned parents contacted the district Tuesday night as rumors on social media swirled, she said.