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Glenn Howatt

Editor | Computer-Assisted Reporting
phone: 612-673-7192
Glenn Howatt joined the Star Tribune’s business section in May 1990. He was a co-winner of a 2004 Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Award for coverage of questionable medical and business practices of a Roseville-based cancer center. As the computer-assisted reporting editor, he specializes in acquiring and analyzing data that leads to investigative journalism. Howatt holds two master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: one in urban geography and the other in journalism. He is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Howatt previously worked at Minneapolis-St. Paul CityBusiness, now the Business Journal.
Recent content from Glenn Howatt

Interactive: How charter schools compare to public districts

To review how metro-area charter schools performed under Minnesota’s school evaluation system, click on a charter school name below. The tabs at the top provide…

Funding the U.S. Senate race

The U.S. Senate race between DFL incumbent Al Franken and Republican challenger Mike McFadden has drawn donations from across the country. Altogether, Franken has raised $18.4 million and McFadden has pulled in $6.5 million. The maps below show the states and Minnesota zip codes of people who gave more than $200 to either campaign.
Big money helped Minnesota GOP flip House

Big money helped Minnesota GOP flip House

Among the most expensive state House races, Republicans took most to win the majority.
Minnesota falters in fight against home care fraud

Minnesota falters in fight against home care fraud

Once a leader in preventing Medicaid theft, Minnesota now lags in prosecuting fraudulent home-care workers.
Party-hopping voters drove Minnesota's results

Party-hopping voters drove Minnesota's results

Nearly 450,000 voters — about a quarter of the electorate — chose one party’s candidate for a state House seat, but then switched to pick a different party’s candidate for U.S. Senate or governor.
Minnesotans are voting at rate of 10,000 ballots a day

Minnesotans are voting at rate of 10,000 ballots a day

In record numbers for a midterm election, Minnesotans are using absentee ballot and mail voting to cement their choices well before most polls open.
State's U.S. Senate race brings cash from coast to coast

State's U.S. Senate race brings cash from coast to coast

Both candidates have drawn major sums from far beyond Minnesota.
Cash pouring into Minnesota races as election draw close

Cash pouring into Minnesota races as election draw close

Johnson equals Dayton’s $2M haul this year; totals mount for House races.
In search of change, sex offenders at Moose Lake run for office

In search of change, sex offenders at Moose Lake run for office

Group at Moose Lake center aims to elect up to eight offenders to city and county positions.

Minnesota absentee ballots largely from regular voters, Democratic areas

Analysis also shows more early votes from Democratic areas.

Minnesota absentee voters so far tend to be older and from Democratic areas

So far, only about one-third of absentee ballots have come from areas that lean heavily Republican.
Jan. 20, 2013: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal, exposing loopholes in laws, background checks

Jan. 20, 2013: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal, exposing loopholes in laws, background checks

The Oberender case exposes loopholes in national gun laws and Minnesota's background checks.
Aug.: State test scores show achievement gap persists

Aug.: State test scores show achievement gap persists

Minnesota students showed little overall improvement in reading, math or science, according to the latest batch of results from statewide, standardized tests taken by nearly 500,000 elementary and high school students this spring.
Political outside spending down in Minnesota so far this year

Political outside spending down in Minnesota so far this year

Gubernatorial and House races so far haven’t been affected by national financiers like in the past.

Who will control the Minnesota House of Representatives?

Control of the Minnesota House has changed parties three times in the past five elections and could alter again this year.
Minnesota Democrats have cash advantage

Minnesota Democrats have cash advantage

GOP leader acknowledges underfunding, but says it will energize his party.
Minnesota House control will hinge on a few close contests

Minnesota House control will hinge on a few close contests

The race between Democrat Will Morgan of Burnsville and Republican Roz Peterson of Lakeville is one of a cluster of seats that will bear the brunt of an epic multimillion-dollar fight to determine control of the House.
Success around state propelled Jeff Johnson to GOP primary win

Success around state propelled Jeff Johnson to GOP primary win

The Hennepin County commissioner successfully broadened his campaign for governor well beyond his home district, placing first or second in 63 of 87 counties.
Health insurers must pay up or pay back

Health insurers must pay up or pay back

The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to spend 80 to 85 percent of premiums on patient care.
More absentee balloting coming from DFL areas, analysis shows

More absentee balloting coming from DFL areas, analysis shows

Lack of early votes from GOP bastions could presage a low turnout for Tuesday's Minnesota gubernatorial primary.
Honour leads GOP cash race

Honour leads GOP cash race

Hopeful for governor spending his own money has as much cash as three rivals combined.
Minnesota campaign donations shifting to big bucks

Minnesota campaign donations shifting to big bucks

The state’s suspension of refunds for small-dollar contributions is seen as one of the primary reasons.
Gov. Dayton leads GOP rivals in campaign cash dash

Gov. Dayton leads GOP rivals in campaign cash dash

GOP campaigns are amassing millions of dollars to influence the gubernatorial election.

Minnesota Republican convention done, race for cash is heating up

“We are probably going to need to raise a million bucks to win the primary,” candidate for governor Jeff Johnson said.
Minnesota mega-donors pour money into 2014 elections

Minnesota mega-donors pour money into 2014 elections

Courts shredded restrictions on giving, and now big-dollar donors are free to give as much as they want to Minnesota’s parties and political action committees ahead of this year's elections.
Behind bars, then back behind the wheel

Behind bars, then back behind the wheel

Those who drive without a driver's license may get thrown in jail. But thousands of them just get behind the wheel again.

Minnesota specialists are big winners of Medicare money

First report of doctor payments offers insights into care patterns.
Feb. 11: Minnesota learning gap is still too large

Feb. 11: Minnesota learning gap is still too large

Most Minnesota schools still have a lot of work to do to cut the disparity between white and minority students’ proficiency in reading and math in half by 2017, according to new data released by the state Department of Education.
Aug. 27, 2013: Math gain in Minneapolis

Aug. 27, 2013: Math gain in Minneapolis

Math scores also dip but educators cautioned the scores aren’t easily comparable to last year.

Same-sex vote risk paid off for Minnesota House members

Some House members who voted in favor of Minnesota’s marriage equality law have at least doubled the cash they raised in 2011.
Minnesota campaign finance data errors reach $26 million

Minnesota campaign finance data errors reach $26 million

The Star Tribune's analysis turned up $20 million in problems. Regulators found an additional $6 million in an extra year of digging.
Minnesota political spending concentrated in few hands

Minnesota political spending concentrated in few hands

More than half of $53 million spent in state in recent years came from just three dozen sources. Among the DFL heavyweights are Alida Messinger, above.
In rural Minnesota, mental health safety net is in limbo

In rural Minnesota, mental health safety net is in limbo

Across Minnesota, help for the acutely mentally ill often means the ER — or jail.
Lawmakers probe problems with state campaign finance data

Lawmakers probe problems with state campaign finance data

Legislators demand donation records be made accurate and transparent.
State's jails fail inmates with mental illness, with deadly consequences

State's jails fail inmates with mental illness, with deadly consequences

At least 35 inmates have committed suicide in Minnesota’s county jails since 2000 — nearly a third of them with known psychiatric problems. Another 27 inmates killed themselves in state prisons.
Sept. 8: Hundreds with mental illness languish in Minnesota jails

Sept. 8: Hundreds with mental illness languish in Minnesota jails

Across Minnesota, judges, attorneys and sheriffs describe a system that, in effect, criminalizes the mentally ill because of backlogs in the state commitment process and a shortage of psychiatric beds.
Minnesota campaign finance regulators' database isn't adding up

Minnesota campaign finance regulators' database isn't adding up

Database errors worth as much as $20 million over past decade make it difficult to track flow of donations.

Minnesota will bar up to 107 nurses with criminal histories

The state Department of Human Services acted after the Star Tribune presented it with the names of 294 actively licensed nurses who have convictions, ranging from criminal sexual conduct to assault to fraud, that by law would appear to disqualify them from working with patients.
Spending on Minn. legislative races has doubled in 10 years

Spending on Minn. legislative races has doubled in 10 years

A Star Tribune analysis shows campaign spending for House and Senate seats have doubled over the past decade, making Minnesota GOP Chairman Keith Downey, above, a living example of what can happen.
Scratch tickets power State Lottery to record sales

Scratch tickets power State Lottery to record sales

The much-hyped and addictive games will rake in $358 million this year; some worry they hurt the poor.

Dermatologist banned from cosmetic surgery by state board

Three complaints led to the ban by a state board, which faced questions about discipline process.
Feb. 6: State fails to offer full disclosure

Feb. 6: State fails to offer full disclosure

Minnesota's medical board doesn't provide access to malpractice awards and other records that are readily available in other states.
Overcrowded day cares in state are 'a recipe for disaster'

Overcrowded day cares in state are 'a recipe for disaster'

When care providers take too many children, dangers multiply. Several sites of child-care deaths had been cited for capacity violations.
Special report: Asleep at day care and in deadly peril

Special report: Asleep at day care and in deadly peril

More Minnesota children are dying in day care, mostly at in-home providers.

Some drivers find that cash can make the ticket go away

In some Minnesota cities, often for a fee, prosecutors let lead-footed motorists keep their records clean.
State panel: Public deserves more information about physician misconduct

State panel: Public deserves more information about physician misconduct

Lawmakers propose bills that would increase access to adverse actions against doctors.
Minimum standards mean less discipline

Minimum standards mean less discipline

Despite lawsuits and loss of surgical privileges, one doctor wasn't suspended until he failed to accept supervision.
Nearly half of state's schools don't make the grade

Nearly half of state's schools don't make the grade

The state is pursuing waiver from No Child Left Behind, but lagging schools must still comply with what some call unfair sanctions.
Statewide math scores disappointing

Statewide math scores disappointing

Teachers say the new state exam was much more rigorous. Reading scores were more encouraging.

40% of offenders fail on supervised release in Minnesota

About 40 percent of Minnesota convicts who are let go from prison on supervised release either run from authorities or commit new crimes, a Star Tribune analysis of state corrections data shows.
Minnesota banks leaned on Fed during financial crisis

Minnesota banks leaned on Fed during financial crisis

U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis, TCF Financial Corp. of Wayzata, Home Federal Savings Bank of Rochester, Stearns Bank of St. Cloud and Highland Bank of St. Michael borrowed directly from the Fed's emergency-lending tool.
Where are the jobs?

Where are the jobs?

125 businesses got subsidies tied to job creation but didn't deliver.
Criminals land jobs as debt collectors

Criminals land jobs as debt collectors

Criminals often lie to get into the debt collections industry. Despite a Minnesota law, rapists thieves and other offenders are cleared to work as collectors -- with access to financial data.
In jail for being in debt

In jail for being in debt

You committed no crime, but an officer is knocking on your door. More Minnesotans are surprised to find themselves being locked up over debts.
Suicide chat rooms: Dark attraction

Suicide chat rooms: Dark attraction

A Minnesota nurse's possible ties to the suicide of a young Canadian woman may test the reach of the law online.

Disputed ballots: Judge for yourself

You can join in the puzzling over scribbles and ovals and arrows.

Wealthy donors pour millions into state causes

THE BILLION-DOLLAR CAMPAIGN: Minnesota's biggest political givers have concerns about money in politics, but donate anyway.
Voter registrations soar in Minnesota

Voter registrations soar in Minnesota

New registrations are skyrocketing in Minnesota. An analysis of the numbers would appear to reflect an apparent edge for the Democrats, particularly at the presidential level.

Farm bill beneficiaries include urban dwellers

Congress wraps up debate on the $280 billion package with the usual goal of reform, but observers expect to see little change.
Part 1: Minnesota's new ghost towns

Part 1: Minnesota's new ghost towns

In Wright County, reckless speculation and the mortgage meltdown have turned subdivisions into virtual ghost towns.

Obama scored fundraising landslide in Minnesota

The Illinois senator brought in five times as much money as Clinton and three times as much as McCain.

Obama, Paul lead 4th-quarter fundraising race in Minnesota

And the winners are ... Barack Obama and Ron Paul.
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