Joe Bowen covers education (mostly K-12) and American Indian affairs for the Bemidji Pioneer.
He's from Minneapolis, earned a degree from the College of St. Benedict - St. John's University in 2009, and worked at the Perham Focus near Detroit Lakes and Sun Newspapers in suburban Minneapolis before heading to the Pioneer.
- Member for
- 2 years 5 months
BEMIDJI—Caitlin Wacker, a senior at BSU, is on pace to be the first person in her family to earn a post-secondary degree. She hopes to parlay that into an elementary teaching job, she said, someplace away from—and at least a little bigger than—Frazee, her hometown.
BEMIDJI—The first contested School Board election since 2012 came down to a few dozen votes for newly elected board member Jeffrey Lind.
BEMIDJI—What's the difference, musically, between a worm and a bird? A pair of classical music performers posed that question to a roomful of Northern Elementary students on Wednesday: Guitarist Joe Spoelstra plodded between a handful of notes and, to his right, Alyssa Anderson sang about "one who stretches like a beautiful noodle." The first-, second-, and third-graders grinned at the goofy phrase as they wiggled and scrunched their index fingers—a worm. They flapped their hands as the ensemble shifted to bright, lilting guitar and voice work—a bird.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji-area voters sent some new faces to Bemidji Area Schools’ board on Tuesday.
BEMIDJI -- Coat, hat, wheelchair -- John O’Boyle is ready. As longtime family friend Patrick Lochwood helped, the World War II veteran, professor emeritus of Spanish at Bemidji State University, and staunch Democrat headed to a warming house next to the Bemidji Curling Club to vote. Lochwood held up O’Boyle’s ballot and asked him about each race in order, occasionally shining a small flashlight to help the 96-year-old read the candidates’ names.
BEMIDJI—For some Line 3 opponents, Friday was their day in court and another in a string of protests against the controversial oil pipeline project. A few dozen people chanted and carried banners from the Rail River Folk School to Beltrami County court, where 22 people faced misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges they received Aug. 29 during a Line 3 protest that briefly shut down a chunk of downtown Bemidji.
BEMIDJI—The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels are present in Lake Bemidji. According to the DNR, in July, an adult zebra mussel was found in the stomach contents of a perch caught by a Lake Bemidji State Park volunteer while fishing on the north shore. DNR investigations at that time, including diving and sampling for zebra mussel larvae, did not lead to conclusive evidence, a release said.
BEMIDJI—A student safety initiative in Bemidji has garnered state recognition. A pair of Bemidji Area Schools transportation staff are scheduled on Tuesday to accept the 2018 Traffic Safety Innovation Award for the department's "Bright Light" pilot program. The award is given out by Minnesota's Toward Zero Deaths program, which told Bemidji staff about the honor in August.
BEMIDJI—It was a few degrees below freezing Saturday morning, but that didn't stop some Northern Minnesota gamers from lining up outside the Sanford Center to grab a spot for Bemidji area's biggest gaming tournament. The third annual Gigazone Gaming Championship drew an estimated 1,500 people by about 1 p.m. Saturday—about three hours after it began and about six hours after people arrived to make sure they could compete in one of the championship's tournaments for ultra-popular e-sports games such as "Fortnite" and "Overwatch."
BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools leaders are considering ways to help existing staff become classroom teachers. Under a set of long-term goals approved by the School Board on Monday, district staff might start a "grow your own" teacher program, which could help address a nationwide teacher shortage here and get more teachers of color—American Indians in particular—into a workforce that's overwhelmingly white but teaches a student body that's considerably more diverse. "We're just starting to kick around the idea," said Superintendent Tim Lutz.