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
- 1 year 5 months
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.
BEMIDJI -- A longtime Bemidji student and teacher is set to helm the school district’s newest elementary school. Ami Aalgaard graduated from Bemidji High School in 1988, Bemidji State University in 1992, and, other than a brief sojourn at Kasson-Mantorville, has spent the entirety of her teaching and administrative career in Bemidji Area Schools.
BEMIDJI—Drums thundered as dancers streamed into the arena, and soon the fieldhouse at Bemidji State University was filled with music and movement. The university's Council of Indian Students hosted it's annual pow-wow Saturday—the largest student-run event on campus and a centerpiece of the council's yearly plans. Organizers said nearly 500 dancers and 21 drums were there, plus a multitude of spectators.
BEMIDJI -- About 50 quilters, knitters, and other crafters showed off their wares Saturday at Bemidji Middle School’s annual craft fair. Organizers said they expect to raise about $2,000 at the fair, and that money will help pay for the middle school’s bash and a visit from an Ojibwe storyteller, among other activities for students there.
BLACKDUCK -- Rumor of a possible school shooting prompted some Blackduck Public School parents to hold their children back from class Friday. Blackduck Police said it was safe to attend school there after a message warning students to stay home on Friday circulated on Snapchat and Facebook late Thursday. In a statement to the Pioneer, police said they investigated the rumor and found it was “not credible and caused by social media.” They also asked some people to remove “inaccurate” social media posts.
BEMIDJI -- More than 75 percent of of Bemidji-area employers said they couldn’t find qualified candidates to fill their open jobs and 46 percent said they’ve posted openings that sometimes receive no applicants, according to a 2016 Neilson Foundation survey. That’s one symptom of a broader “skills gap” that’s meant a strong demand for technical college graduates.
BEMIDJI—Hundreds of people in brightly-colored finery will sing, dance and drum Saturday at Bemidji State University's largest student-led event. The Council of Indian Students' 46th annual Powwow starts Saturday afternoon, and organizers expect to draw 250-500 dancers and another 500-plus spectators to the university's fieldhouse.
BEMIDJI—Blasts from a small whistle signaled the American flag's ascent at Paul Bunyan Elementary, where the student body and staffers had gathered Monday morning for a short Veterans Day ceremony. Students watched with their hands over their hearts as a violinist played the national anthem before they all recited the Pledge of Allegiance. "On Veterans Day we honor all / who answered the service call," an echoing voice from the school's PA system said, reciting a Veterans Day poem for children:
TURTLE LAKE TOWNSHIP -- About 15 miles north of Bemidji, at the intersection of Black Lake Road and Black Creek Lane, a small path into the lake is blocked by a pair of concrete barriers and “no trespassing” signs, one of which had a homophobic slur scrawled on it. The intersection is a flashpoint in a legal skirmish between homeowners there and Turtle Lake Township, the outcome of which could determine boaters and other outdoors enthusiasts’ access to the lake.
BEMIDJI -- A pair of Bemidji surgeons are at the forefront of a new arthritis treatment. Adam Johnson and Eric Gilbertson are podiatric surgeons at Sanford Health’s sprawling Bemidji campus, and Johnson believes they’re two of the first -- if not the first -- to offer a treatment that implants a small piece of faux cartilage between the joints of a patient’s large toe. The material is the same stuff that contact lenses are made of, Johnson said, and it has the same water density as real cartilage.