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 8 months
LEECH LAKE, Minn. — An aging oil pipeline is set to be removed from tribal lands east of Bemidji. Enbridge Inc. agreed with Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe leaders to remove the company’s existing Line 3 oil pipeline from the reservation if or when it gets the go-ahead to build a replacement. The new pipeline would circumvent the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — Some Bemidji-area American Indian leaders decried a recent Texas court ruling that could have national implications. A federal judge ruled last week that the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional because it gives preferential treatment to American Indians and therefore violates the equal protection provision in the Fifth Amendment. The judge, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor, also found that the act violated a piece of the 10th Amendment that prevents the federal government from asking states to modify their laws.
LEECH LAKE, Minn.—Larry Aitken, a luminary of American Indian education, passed away early Thursday. He was 74.
CLEARWATER COUNTY, Minn. — Roadwork that crosses the early stages of the Mississippi River was halted briefly on Tuesday morning, Sept. 18, by protesters who object to a plan to install an oil pipeline nearby and a similar plan in Louisiana, where the river drains into the Gulf of Mexico.
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, Minn.—Nine Minnesota schools have formally agreed with the state on a plan to reduce the district's discipline disparities. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has been pressuring school districts to reconsider their disciplinary practices since fall after noticing non-white students were suspended or expelled at a rate much higher than their white counterparts.
BEMIDJI—Bemidji Area Schools board members Thursday narrowed its list of superintendent hopefuls, including East Grand Forks Superintendent Mike Kolness. Consultants from School Exec Connect presented the board with a list of five candidates, which they had culled from a field of 24 total applicants. The board approved that five-person list for a round of interviews on Saturday, which made the candidates' names and other information about them public.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—It was easy to find Janice Haworth's World Music class on Friday morning. The hum of more than 40 student-made didgeridoos—the centuries-old indigenous Australian wind instrument—filled the music professor's classroom at Bemidji State University and spilled out into Bangsberg Hall.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—Bemidji High School students hope to organize a pair of events in lieu of a now-canceled walkout demanding action on school shootings. The school's student council wants its classmates to perform 17 acts of kindness on March 14, one for each of the people killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that reignited a national debate over gun violence. Other student bodies have pegged that same date for a nationwide walkout.
WALKER, Minn.—"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, Feb. 22, and wraps up Sunday, Feb. 25, on a frozen stretch of the lake outside Walker.