November 18, 2017

Minneapolis' posting of 'deleted' EPA pages is a bit overheated

One problem: The web pages in question are still on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website. You can find them linked from the EPA home page.
November 4, 2017

Mille Lacs County sues feds to get FOIA response

And since November 2016, county officials have been waiting.
October 28, 2017
Part of a web page showing the page from the National Archives showing a listing of records released on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in Washington, relati

Opening the JFK files would have been a triumph of transparency. If only.

Instead it confirmed to the cynics and conspiracy theorists that the government can never come clean.
October 28, 2017
President Donald Trump’s actions are bringing new energy and focus to transparency advocates, who are filing numerous lawsuits to preserve the statu

Trump White House confounds, confuses transparency advocates

Data purges and secrecy confounding transparency advocates.
October 14, 2017
University of Minnesota Board of Regents Chair Dean Johnson addressed reporters in May regarding the unofficial inquiry into a reported leak of confid

University of Minnesota's hunt for leaker was a $74K red herring

In May, the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota learned that another high-ranking athletic department employee had been placed on leave for misconduct. This was supposed to stay secret.
October 9, 2017
Michael Weigel, 39, left, and William Eldridge, 27, right, both were sentenced under Minnesota's revenge porn statute.

Two men sentenced for violating Minnesota's revenge-porn law

Michael Weigel and William Eldridge both had the same idea on how to inflict emotional pain on women in their lives. They created fake Facebook…
October 1, 2017
In September, researchers and visitors to the Smithsonian Institution warehouse in Suitland, Md., posed with the ancient sandstone jar given as a gift

Once-secret CIA records reveal gift of ancient stone jar

Earlier this year, a researcher at Concordia University in St. Paul was combing through declassified CIA records and discovered an intriguing stone legacy of the…
September 25, 2017
A lion guards the doorway of Duluth City Hall

A trip to Duluth proves City Hall isn't sinking under data requests

So back in July, when the Duluth city staff presented the idea of charging $35 an hour for any data request that takes more than 15 minutes, I decided to ask: How big a burden are these?
September 13, 2017
In the midst of a motion to select interim superintendent Michael Goar as the board’s preferred candidate, protestors shut down the school board mee

The fuzzy line between dissent and disruption, even for courts

Anyone doubting the power of protest should study the shutdown of the Minneapolis Board of Education meeting on Jan. 12. The board was poised to…
September 11, 2017
Francesca DeLuca, age 20, will be waiting for 10 hours for her flight back to Milan, Italy. She had been visiting a friend in Miami by herself, but th

Hurricane Irma: When will airports reopen? What we know about damage

Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday as it made its way inland. Statewide, the storm knocked out power to more than 6.2…
September 9, 2017
Former Minneapolis Police Chief JaneÈ Harteau. According to state law, any agreement that prohibits discussion or disclosure of otherwise public pers

Former police chief's hush clause stymies a needed public debate

There's something so Minnesotan about the idea of nondisparagement.
East Metro
September 2, 2017

Search for father's birth parents runs into bureaucratic tangle

What's the public interest in hiding a court record created 108 years ago?
West Metro
August 23, 2017

Hotel room bust of high-end prostitute leads to $20,000 windfall for Minn. police

Adrienne Chapa was arrested and spent a few days in jail before she went home to Las Vegas. Her bag of $24,425 in cash was here to stay.
St. Paul
July 22, 2017
On Thursday, Charlie Rodgers, government records specialist at the Minnesota Historical Society, loaded 12 boxes of records handed over by the Hugo Ci

Archive specialist rescues Minnesota history, page by yellowed page

Charlie Rodgers’ business card carries his bone-dry title: “Government records specialist.” The reality is more like this: Exploring dank basements and forgotten storage areas; opening…
July 16, 2017
Khao Insixiengmay held a photo of himself when he was 24 years old Wednesday at his home in July 5, 2017 in Brooklyn Park, MN. Col. Insixiengmay is a

Minnesota veterans of the CIA's 'secret war' seek an honorable burial

A Brooklyn Park veteran of the CIA's "secret war" has been stymied by the federal government's refusal to hand over classified documents about its proxy army, or even acknowledge that they exist.
July 10, 2017

Minnesota voter list is a public record, after all

President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission ignited a bipartisan backlash when it asked states for a list of every registered voter, including birth dates and…
July 1, 2017
Soon, a Stearns County judge will review about 168 pages that Patty and Jerry Wetterling have asked to keep out of the public eye.

Painful as it could be, some files must be made public

Some fear this case could mark the end of Minnesota's laudable openness about how its law officers investigate crime.
June 24, 2017

Big ideas for open government fall short at Legislature

Transparency advocates had grand plans for improving public access to government information in Minnesota this legislative session. One proposal would have stopped the mass…
June 17, 2017

At U.S. State Department, ground rules for official anonymity

WASHINGTON – The weather was sweltering on the sidewalks of the U.S. Capitol last week, so the State Department officials walked outside the massive…
June 11, 2017
Driven by her mother’s death in 2011, Sheila Van Pelt has become one of the state’s most effective citizen lobbyists.

Inside one woman's fight to expose Minn. health care investigations

Sheila Van Pelt's yearslong campaign underscores the enormous challenges facing everyday citizens in an era when powerful interest groups push laws that ensure greater levels of secrecy.