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—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.
BEMIDJI -- When they show up for school Sept. 4, junior and senior high students at Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School will step into a building that was a long time coming. A who’s-who of tribal, state and federal leaders spoke at a dedication on Monday for the school’s new building for grades 7-12, which replaces one that won dubious renown for its shoddy quality and poor learning conditions.
BEMIDJI—On a sunny Friday afternoon, Vicki Meyer ran her hands along the underside of a boat, checking for the sandpaper-like feel of Zebra Mussels. "How long has the boat been out of the water?" she asked the man who towed it to the Cameron Park boat launch in Bemidji. Since Friday, or maybe Sunday, he replied. "And what was the last water body you were on?"—Lake Bemidji. Meyer tapped the man's responses into a small tablet and, after a few more questions, went back to her SUV, which doubles as a kind of office or ranger station.
BEMIDJI -- When the crowd -- and, perhaps, their stomachs -- had quieted, only one educator stood triumphant. Kyle McMartin, an assistant principal at Bemidji Middle School, scarfed down 11 plain hot dogs in 10 minutes Wednesday in front of about 100 cheering onlookers at Lucky Dogs’ inaugural hot dog eating contest, earning a $150 check for McMartin’s school and a commemorative trophy. He said administrators there will spend the money on BMS students and staff.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji Area Schools has hired to replace the two high-level staffers who announced their retirements earlier this summer. School Board members voted Monday to hire Colleen Cardenuto as the district’s new director of curriculum and administrative services and Robert Wicklund to be the district’s next transportation coordinator.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools' new superintendent is still feeling out the job. Tim Lutz helmed his first School Board meeting Monday—officially his 10th day at the district—and told the Pioneer he hopes to get to know the district better and further develop its relationships with tribal leaders, city and county governments, along with Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji-area residents can run for one of three seats on Bemidji Area Schools board this November. School Board members on Monday formally scheduled the district's upcoming election for Tuesday, Nov. 6, which coincides with other local, state and national races. Want to serve on the board? File an affidavit of candidacy at the school district offices—502 Minnesota Ave. NW—between July 31 and 5 p.m. on Aug. 14. Affidavits are available at the superintendent's office there.
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.