Tom is an investigative reporter for Minnesota Watchdog. An award-winning documentary filmmaker and broadcast journalist, Steward also served as an investigative director for the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota for 4 years. Tom can be reached on Twitter at @watchdogMN and by email at

New rules for overtime could cost home-care workers

By   /  November 24, 2015  /  Accountability, Federal Government, Labor, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments


Minnesota provider agencies are reducing hours and overtime for home-care workers, leaving care recipients like Amelia Bray wondering in limbo.

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University silent on 9/11 exhibit after students snub moment of silence

By   /  November 17, 2015  /  Education, Minnesota, Transparency  /  No Comments

Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation

“We are deeply disturbed by this development,” said John Hodge, Tunnel to Towers Foundation chief of operations in a November 16 letter to UOM President Eric Kaler. “The rejection of that resolution engenders a real question: Is the legacy of 9/11 retribution, hatred, and fear? Because the people who were actually there live a different legacy.”

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Would fewer tests worsen Minnesota’s dismal achievement gap?

By   /  November 17, 2015  /  Accountability, Education, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

MDE photo

“I don’t necessarily think there’s over-testing going on,” said Helen Fisk, Global Academy director. “I think reading and math are pretty basic in wanting to know how your kid’s doing. It’s not unreasonable to give a standardized test in those areas as often as we do. I don’t have a problem with that.”

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Legislators put rogue education agency on the spot at hearing

By   /  November 13, 2015  /  Accountability, Education, Minnesota, News, State Government, Transparency  /  No Comments

State of MN photo

”It is absolutely deplorable that nobody can tell my clients, after 10 years of applying for licensure, what are the requirements for licensure,” said Rhyddid Watkins, an attorney representing 20 out-of-state teachers. “What do I need to do to get licensed in Minnesota? Apparently, there’s not a single person able to tell them that.”

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Confusion over union organizer prompts county to alert child-care providers

By   /  November 9, 2015  /  Minnesota, News, State Government  /  No Comments


Several calls to the Fairmont Police Department from child-care providers anxious about a man who came to their homes has led licensing authorities to warn more than 100 residential day-care facilities in Martin and Faribault counties.

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Utility prods ratepayers to voluntarily pay more for climate

By   /  November 6, 2015  /  Energy and Environment, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

MMPA photo

“You’re already acquiring a portion of your energy through these alternative sources because we have no choice, but to do it, under government mandate,” said Dan Coughlin, Oliva city administrator. ”If it makes you feel better, then you can have my percentage of it. Then you can tell yourself that your power’s all coming from a windmill and mine all comes from a coal plant.”

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