By Tom Steward | | 20 hours ago | 60
“We’re into it for multiple millions, and it was supposed to not be a burden on our taxpayers. It was supposed to be a blessing to our taxpayers,” said Steve Jacob, Winona County Board chair. “It’s never going to be a blessing. It’s how much we can ease the burden of the program.”
By Tom Steward | | Jun 24, 2015 5:00 AM | 12
By Tom Steward | Watchdog Minnesota Bureau The ink has hardly dried on lethal legislation eliminating a powerful state pollution panel dating to the activist ‘60s. But after having the final say on contentious environmental issues for nearly 50 years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens’ Board has already, essentially, gone dark. “There used to be a lot [...]
By Tom Steward | | Jun 22, 2015 5:00 AM | 93
A group of residents have gone to court for the right to decide who dumps their trash.
By Arthur Kane | | Jun 18, 2015 5:00 AM | 322
Sonoma wine maker Vance Rose admits his timing was bad and isn't happy that taxpayers are left paying the debt.
By Tom Steward | | Jun 16, 2015 5:00 AM | 151
The answer’s not blowing in the wind anymore for 70 or so landowners waiting to cash in on the proposed Paynesville wind energy project on the table since 2008.
By Tom Steward | | Jun 12, 2015 5:00 AM | 8
There may or may not be a secret handshake at the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s monthly meetings. But then again, how would you know?

The power agency’s board meetings have been closed to the press and public for years. There’s a blackout on making even routine documents, often stamped “confidential,” available to the public. The secrecy has spurred lawmakers to introduce legislation to change the practice.

One city official describes a “secret decoder ring” mentality at the electric agency’s board meetings.

By Tom Steward | | Jun 09, 2015 5:00 AM | 67
A new variety of crony capitalism has taken root in Minnesota. Call it corny capitalism.
By Tom Steward | | Jun 02, 2015 5:00 AM
Miles Kuschel could have taken aim to protect his cattle from the pack of six gray wolves stalking his herd Easter morning. But pulling the trigger was rising a prison term, so he didn't.
By Paul Brennan | | May 29, 2015 11:29 AM
By Paul Brennan | From Washington D.C., where charter schools are squeezed for space, to Wisconsin, where more freedom is leading to better results for charter school students, it’s been a busy week in education. has covered it all. Washington D.C. Empty school buildings but no room for charter schools For Carmen Rioux-Bailey, chief education officer at the [...]
By Tom Steward | | May 28, 2015 5:00 AM
By Tom Steward | Watchdog Minnesota Bureau St. Louis County Schools have finally gotten the message. There’s a tough, new set of rules for districts that take sides in expensive school bond referendums and use taxpayer money to do it. But it took five years, a unanimous Minnesota Supreme Court decision and two administrative law court reprimands, underscored by [...]