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—A school walkout to protest gun violence has been canceled. Bemidji Area Schools Superintendent Jim Hess said he didn't support a Bemidji High School teacher's call for students and faculty to leave class next month to protest school shootings, and the teacher told the Pioneer the event has been canceled.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—A central Minn. high school teacher wants students and educators to leave class next month to make a point about school violence and pressure lawmakers to address a decades-long rash of school shootings. Gina Marie Bernard, an English teacher at Bemidji High School, is organizing a "Women's March Youth EMPOWER" walkout at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, at the high school. The plan is to have students, teachers, school administrators and parents leave school buildings across the country for 17 minutes.
BEMIDJI - A person who appeared to have a medical emergency was rushed to the hospital after apparently driving a truck into a financial advisory office Monday evening on the 10000 block of Bemidji Avenue. Neighbors who live immediately across 11th Street Northwest from the office said they heard the crash at about 6:40 p.m., then saw a woman open the truck’s door and call 911. A pair of tracks plowed through their yard indicate the truck narrowly avoided their home before it struck the building.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools staff suspend and expel American Indian students at a higher rate than their white counterparts—but they aren't the only ones. Statewide, American Indian, black, and multiracial students are suspended more frequently than their proportion of the population would suggest, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Education.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—The Cleveland Indians baseball team plans to remove the toothy, red-faced Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms next year, a decision Bemidji-area American Indian leaders say is a step in the right direction that still falls short. "It's good, but that's not enough." said Darrell Seki Sr., Red Lake Nation's chairman and a Minnesota Twins fan, who noted that the team still plans to sell merchandise with the controversial logo. (The team will lose the trademark if it stops selling Chief Wahoo gear).
CASS LAKE, Minn.—A girl's body was found last Friday morning in Cass Lake on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. Cass County Sheriff's Office staff and other law enforcement officers were told of a body found shortly after 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12, and discovered a "deceased juvenile female" within the city limits of Cass Lake. No age or other information was provided. The sheriff's office is investigating the incident, along with the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department, and an autopsy has been scheduled, sheriff's office staff said.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—In a subdued wing of Sanford Bemidji Hospital, Skye and Hero were bursts of energy. The affable golden retriever and chihuahua and their owners roamed the hospital's acute rehab unit, popping into patients' rooms for enthusiastic meet-and-greets on a gray evening in early December. The dogs' visits aim to repair a sense of normalcy and wellbeing for patients who might spend weeks away from home—and their own pets—as they recover from strokes, brain injuries, heart attacks or surgery.
ST. PAUL—Negotiators from the Inter Faculty Organization, which represents hundreds of professors at universities and technical campuses across the state, and Minnesota State tentatively agreed to a new contract late Saturday evening, union officials said.
BEMIDJI—The Bemidji arts community officially has a new hub. A few hundred people gathered Saturday, Dec. 2, 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, Minn. — A prominent American Indian activist passed away late Sunday, Oct. 29. Dennis Banks — a Leech Lake band member whose Ojibwe name means “in the center of the universe” — co-founded the American Indian Movement in the late ’60s and earned a reputation as a fierce and sometimes-violent proponent of American Indian rights and causes. He was 80.