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Brandon Stahl

Data/Watchdog Reporter | Newsroom
phone: 612-673-4626
Brandon Stahl is a watchdog reporter with the Star Tribune. He previously worked as the investigations editor at the Duluth News Tribune, where his stories on physician malpractice and medical errors, drug abuse, tax dollar waste, sex offenders and police misconduct have won numerous state and national journalism awards.
Recent content from Brandon Stahl
U.S. agencies step up in case of dentist who killed lion

U.S. agencies step up in case of dentist who killed lion

In Zimbabwe, two men implicated in the killing of Cecil were in court Wednesday. In Bloomington, Dr. Walter Palmer was referring his patients to other dentists for the time being.
Bloomington dentist thought he was acting legally at lion hunt

Bloomington dentist thought he was acting legally at lion hunt

A big-game hunter from the Twin Cities acknowledged Tuesday that he killed a beloved lion in Zimbabwe with a bow and arrow, but said he regrets what he did.
Twin Cities dentist admits killing beloved lion, thought he was acting legally

Twin Cities dentist admits killing beloved lion, thought he was acting legally

A big-game hunter from the Twin Cities acknowledged Tuesday that he killed a beloved lion in Zimbabwe with a bow and arrow, but said he regrets what he did and believed that his guides were leading him on a legal hunt.

MN Lottery has record year ahead of new rules

The Minnesota Lottery is expected to send a record amount of money to the state this year, executive director Ed Van Petten said Monday, although…

Feds punish Minnesota for failing foster care standards

The federal Children’s Bureau is withholding more than $755,000 in child-protection funding from Minnesota because too many kids are re-entering the foster-care system.

Hennepin County starts revamping child protection efforts

Hennepin County will soon be adding more than 100 workers and set up an oversight committee.

Study: Hennepin County screens out abuse reports to help caseloads

Outside report found that Hennepin County workers screen out most cases, a stark contrast to many other child protection agencies.
After 2 deaths, Hennepin will add 100 workers to child protection

After 2 deaths, Hennepin will add 100 workers to child protection

Hennepin County moves to make 98 new hires.
Drowned girl, 3, was under child protection supervision

Drowned girl, 3, was under child protection supervision

That supervision had been in place since November, when police briefly removed Corrianah Wright and her six siblings from their parents’ Brooklyn Park home. One of the children had severe injuries consistent with child abuse.

Indian couple sue to allow adoption to white family

Advocates for the state's notification law say they are putting their own interests above the rights of the child, who would be better served with an Indian family.
Dayton signs new laws for child protection reforms

Dayton signs new laws for child protection reforms

The governor also approved $52 million to hire more workers and boost services for abused kids.
Interactive graphic: Children failed by the system

Interactive graphic: Children failed by the system

The Star Tribune identified 56 children since 2005 who died from maltreatment in Minnesota, even though they or their caregivers were previously known to child protection. The names were obtained through state and county child welfare records, court documents and medical examiner reports.

American Indians want fewer children put in foster care

The feds are eyeing changes to keep more families intact.
Lakeville police step up their efforts to find missing sisters

Lakeville police step up their efforts to find missing sisters

Samantha and Gianna Rucki ran away from their Lakeville home in April 2013 amid their parents’ bitter divorce and have been missing ever since.
Lakeville sisters still missing 2 years after parents' bitter divorce

Lakeville sisters still missing 2 years after parents' bitter divorce

On a 30-degree day two years ago, teenage sisters Gianna and Samantha Rucki ran away from their Lakeville home. They've been missing ever since.

Minnesota Supreme Court rules insurer can withhold records

Ruling ends two-year legal battle between agency, Star Tribune.

Foster agency appeals license revocation, saying it is 'sacrificial lamb'

Family Alternatives appealed decision, despite rape of girl, 12.
Minnesota foster system sends kids from bad to worse

Minnesota foster system sends kids from bad to worse

Records show that too many abused foster children in Minnesota are returned to their parents too quickly, suffer more maltreatment and end up back in foster care.
State revokes licenses of foster providers after 6-year-old's death

State revokes licenses of foster providers after 6-year-old's death

The state Department of Human Services has revoked the license of the foster home where 6-year-old Kendrea Johnson died last December, as well as the license of the agency that placed the girl in the home.
More than 100 reforms urged for Minnesota child protection system

More than 100 reforms urged for Minnesota child protection system

In wake of high-profile case, task force backs major changes to child protection system.
Past abuse reports no longer off-limits for Minn. child protection workers

Past abuse reports no longer off-limits for Minn. child protection workers

In a sweeping reversal, Minnesota child protection workers can now review previous child abuse reports when considering how to respond to a new one. Minnesota was likely the only state in the country that barred intake workers from reviewing past cases.
Changes urged in discipline of problem nurses

Changes urged in discipline of problem nurses

Audit found that Nursing Board takes an average of 200 days to suspend nurses, putting patients at risk.
Lessons from child abuse deaths go unheeded in Minnesota

Lessons from child abuse deaths go unheeded in Minnesota

The deaths of 56 children from maltreatment in Minnesota since 2005 should guide changes in child protection. But the system too often fails to learn from the past.
March 14: Dayton task force says child's safety comes before family preservation

March 14: Dayton task force says child's safety comes before family preservation

Dayton’s child-abuse task force recommends changing the way high-risk cases are handled.
Review assails child protection response to Eric Dean's abuse

Review assails child protection response to Eric Dean's abuse

Pope County child protection workers violated state law and missed numerous chances to intervene on behalf of 4-year-old Eric Dean before he was murdered by…
Survey: Minnesota child protection workers swamped

Survey: Minnesota child protection workers swamped

Almost half of county child protection directors say they're so short-staffed they can't respond to reports of child abuse in the time required by law.
String of failures came before suicidal 6-year-old's death

String of failures came before suicidal 6-year-old's death

Child protection workers and care providers failed to work together for more than a year to safeguard 6-year-old Kendrea Johnson, despite knowing she was severely mentally ill and living in a chaotic Brooklyn Park foster home, according to records.
Did 6-year-old Brooklyn Park girl kill herself? Police wonder

Did 6-year-old Brooklyn Park girl kill herself? Police wonder

The manner of Kendrea Johnson's death cannot be determined, Brooklyn Park police said, but records show investigators strongly considered the possibility of suicide.
Eric Dean, the boy they couldn't save

Eric Dean, the boy they couldn't save

Special report: On 15 occasions, day-care workers and others told Pope County’s child-protection agency they suspected Eric Dean was being hurt. But it was not enough.
Child protection reform pushes a harder line on child abuse

Child protection reform pushes a harder line on child abuse

The Legislature gets plans to push a harder line in state’s protection system.

Minnesota Supreme Court justices skeptical in records dispute

State justices heard arguments in dispute between Star Tribune and state-created insurer.

Minnesota Supreme Court to hear open-records case

Star Tribune request of state-created insurance company triggers an “open-records” dispute.
Family tries to cope after Brooklyn Park girl dies in foster care

Family tries to cope after Brooklyn Park girl dies in foster care

Kendrea Johnson, 6, who died after she was found unresponsive with a jump rope around her neck, had been in foster care for the last 11 months, court records show. According to a social worker’s report, Kendrea had an “outgoing personality,” but the “foster care provider [had] been having a difficult time trying to keep her safe.”
State misses chances to save abused kids' lives

State misses chances to save abused kids' lives

In some cases, state says, counties could have done more to save children from abuse and neglect.
DHS wants to scrap just-passed law on child protection

DHS wants to scrap just-passed law on child protection

Legislators want to change bill they voted for, saying they didn’t know it would restrict past abuse reports.
Gov. Dayton acts to step up response to child protection

Gov. Dayton acts to step up response to child protection

Gov. Mark Dayton ordered random checks of county child protection decisions and created a team that can advise counties struggling with those issues.

Hennepin County knew since 1993 of abuse, neglect allegations vs. Mpls. couple

A Minneapolis couple were taken into custody Tuesday, five months after their newborn’s death.
Counties 'screen out' most child abuse reports

Counties 'screen out' most child abuse reports

Bill would require better tracking of child abuse cases that are screened out without investigation.
Child abuse reports need better response, investigation, task force says

Child abuse reports need better response, investigation, task force says

More than 30 changes are planned to improve state’s child protection system.
Police arrest father suspected in Brooklyn Park toddler's death

Police arrest father suspected in Brooklyn Park toddler's death

The 23-month-old's death is likely to loom large at state task force meeting Friday morning to ready its recommendations.
Child protection officials had been alerted about suspect now sought in death of Brooklyn Park baby boy

Child protection officials had been alerted about suspect now sought in death of Brooklyn Park baby boy

A fugitive suspected of killing his 1-year-old child was reported at least three times to Hennepin County child protection for abusing the boy and his sibling, public records show.
County child protection agencies failed to investigate 203 sex abuse reports

County child protection agencies failed to investigate 203 sex abuse reports

Instead, the reports went to “family assessment” program for less serious offenses.
Child protection systems are in turmoil across the country

Child protection systems are in turmoil across the country

New York, Florida and Arizona overhauled their child protection systems this year, and now Minnesota is poised to follow their lead.

Child protection task force seeks public comment

Gov. Mark Dayton’s child protection task force wants the public’s help to improve the system. The task force is seeking comment on several facets of…
Message to task force: More scrutiny for Minnesota child protection

Message to task force: More scrutiny for Minnesota child protection

National expert recommends basic measures to improve child protection system.

Children failed by the system

The Star Tribune identified 56 children since 2005 who died from maltreatment in Minnesota, even though they or their caregivers were previously known to child protection. The names were obtained through state and county child welfare records, court documents and medical examiner reports.

Child advocates fault state protection program

“Family assessment” program is said to fail victims of serious abuse.

Minnesota Poll: Child protection gets passing grade

Yet nearly a third say workers are not aggressive enough removing kids from homes.
Front-line workers detail child protection challenges

Front-line workers detail child protection challenges

The second meeting of the governor’s task force reveals tensions over who’s to blame for shortcomings.
Task force assails child protection for meager follow-up

Task force assails child protection for meager follow-up

Task force looks at lack of follow-up from child protection services
How family assessment failed Key'Ontay Miller-Peterson

How family assessment failed Key'Ontay Miller-Peterson

Over and over, family members and day-care providers reported that Key’Ontay Miller-Peterson was being beaten by his mother’s violent boyfriend. Three times, social workers responded…
Dayton makes appointments to child abuse task force

Dayton makes appointments to child abuse task force

A task force charged with recommending how Minnesota can better protect children will feature both defenders of the current system and critics who say it…
Hennepin County seeks protection for Adrian Peterson's son

Hennepin County seeks protection for Adrian Peterson's son

The petition asked a judge to approve a safety plan for the child, including that Adrian Peterson not have any unsupervised or unauthorized contact with the child.
Minnesota law says child protection must investigate

Minnesota law says child protection must investigate

County attorney says “active steps” would be taken to protect a child from further harm.
Minnesota to review child protection after 'colossal failure'

Minnesota to review child protection after 'colossal failure'

Minnesota has begun an investigation of its entire child protection system in the wake of the death of 4-year-old Eric Dean.
Lawmakers: Child-protection system failed Eric Dean

Lawmakers: Child-protection system failed Eric Dean

Legislators in both parties insist that child protection must do a better job.
Nov. 11, 2013: Patients, families are in the dark over risky nurses

Nov. 11, 2013: Patients, families are in the dark over risky nurses

Nurses with histories of drug use, crime or neglect obtain licenses and find jobs because of flaws in the state system of background checks.

Maple Grove woman who drove car into pond faces child neglect allegations

Doctor had raised concerns over food, care for daughter, who survived deadly crash.
Dayton appoints new nursing board members

Dayton appoints new nursing board members

Having vowed reform, Dayton appoints four new members, replaces the vice president.

Appeals Court rules state-created insurer's records are private

Ruling made against the Star Tribune, which sought access to records of state-created insurer.

Golden Valley girl removed from home amid 'shocking' neglect

The mother of the Golden Valley girl was charged with child endangerment after a police sting.
Gov. Dayton signs Minnesota Nursing Board reforms

Gov. Dayton signs Minnesota Nursing Board reforms

The new laws will tighten oversight of problem nurses and other licensed health care providers
Measure cracking down on problem nurses goes to Dayton

Measure cracking down on problem nurses goes to Dayton

Problem nurses would face license suspension, stricter state oversight

Minnesota lawmakers compromise on nursing reforms

New measures to tighten oversight of problem nurses moved a step closer to approval after key House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday on a compromise…
Minnesota Legislature supports nursing reforms, but hurdles remain

Minnesota Legislature supports nursing reforms, but hurdles remain

The Minnesota House approved reforms on Monday night that would allow the Minnesota Board of Nursing to take tougher action against problem nurses, one week after the Senate passed a similar bill.
Senate moves forward on nursing discipline reforms

Senate moves forward on nursing discipline reforms

Minnesota nurses who fail out of a drug and mental health monitoring program could be automatically suspended from practicing, under a bill approved Tuesday by the state Senate.
Obituary: The Rev. Lyle Christianson became activist for social justice

Obituary: The Rev. Lyle Christianson became activist for social justice

He intended to study physics, wondering if science and religion could be melded together. But the more he studied, the more Lyle Christianson felt a…
Bill advances that cracks down on Minnesota's harmful health professionals

Bill advances that cracks down on Minnesota's harmful health professionals

Nurses union praises the measure, which sets a path for automatic suspensions.
Bill giving Minn. Nursing Board more discliplinary tools advances

Bill giving Minn. Nursing Board more discliplinary tools advances

Nursing Board’s director said the proposal addresses some gaps in disciplinary process. Licensing boards and union have reservations.

Minnesota high court to consider judge's oath

Judge Caroline Lennon has prevailed in the courts so far, but John Myser continues his legal battle against her.

Legislators look into disparities for drug sentences

Head of the state Sentencing Guidelines Commission said widespread differences mean “something is wrong.”
Drug sentences in state vary by where you live, what judge you face

Drug sentences in state vary by where you live, what judge you face

State judges are routinely rejecting guidelines that are supposed to make drug sentencing uniform and equitable statewide, according to a Star Tribune analysis of more than 21,000 drug convictions in Minnesota from 2007 to 2012.
Fired, they still find jobs as nurses

Fired, they still find jobs as nurses

A Star Tribune review of Nursing Board disciplinary actions since 2010 found that at least 173 caregivers lost jobs after allegations of misconduct and managed to find new nursing positions.
In Minnesota, personal injury abuse lawsuits die with the victims

In Minnesota, personal injury abuse lawsuits die with the victims

State lawmakers soon may consider changing what’s known as Minnesota’s Survival Law, which requires that a personal injury case be dropped if the victim dies of unrelated causes.
Bill takes aim at Minnesota's problem nurses

Bill takes aim at Minnesota's problem nurses

The proposal, in wake of reports on state Nursing Board, requires immediate suspension of those who fail state monitoring program.
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