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MaryJo Webster

Data Editor | Newsroom
phone: 612-673-1789
MaryJo Webster joined the Star Tribune in April 2015. She has had stints as a data journalist as USA Today, Digital First Media, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Center for Public Integrity, and Investigative Reporters and Editors. Early in her career, she also worked as a reporter and editor at papers in New Ulm, Minn., and Oshkosh, Wis.
Recent content from MaryJo Webster
2017's most popular baby names: How popular is yours?

2017's most popular baby names: How popular is yours?

Whether you favor perennial favorites or trendier names, see how popular they've been in 2017 -- and in all the years going back to 1910.
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty greeted supporters during his first public appearance after entering the race to seek a historic third term. He answered ques

Pawlenty laps GOP field with $1M in 3 weeks of fundraising

Tim Pawlenty has the money and name recognition to skip an unpredictable GOP endorsement convention and head straight to the primary.
Minneapolis was the behemoth when it came to payouts over police misconduct, with nearly $21 million over the past 11 years — 35 percent of the stat

Minn. cities, counties paid $60.8M in police misconduct claims in decade

From 2007 to 2017, Minnesota jurisdictions made at least 933 payouts for alleged misconduct. And they're on the rise.
At the Mahtomedi Athletic Fields, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the the new Wildwood Elementary site in fall 2013.

Open-enrollment winner Mahtomedi struggling to grow out of funding crunch

While interest in the east metro district is high, there are limits to how much it can grow.
Checking it out: Students from Minneapolis South High School toured the campus of Macalester College in St. Paul on Tuesday, when the state announced

High school graduation rates hit record high in Minnesota

In Minneapolis, the overall graduation rate dipped by one percentage point; St. Paul graduation rates inched up one point. A wide gap between white students and students of color persists.
Find the hottest Twin Cities housing markets of 2017

Find the hottest Twin Cities housing markets of 2017

For the second year, the Star Tribune compared home sale data in the Twin Cities to determine which cities had the hottest markets in 2017. How did your city fare?
Paul Teeter and Anna Case looked at the tile work in their new 2,100-square-foot, three-bedroom home in Richfield.

Hottest Twin Cities housing market still is Richfield

In-demand communities have affordable homes along commuter routes. Low-key Little Canada and Brooklyn Center posted the biggest gains in the index compiled by the Star Tribune.
Black drivers twice as likely as whites to be stopped by St. Paul police

Black drivers twice as likely as whites to be stopped by St. Paul police

Black motorists also were almost three times as likely to be frisked or searched.
GOP gubernatorial candidates Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens (center left) and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (center right) talked b

In the money chase, DFL candidates for governor beating Republicans

Large imbalance in money raised last year has some in the GOP worried.
Tracking fundraising in Minnesota's gubernatorial race

Tracking fundraising in Minnesota's gubernatorial race

As of the most recent filing, the DFL's gubernatorial candidates are out-raising the GOP.
Last year, students who live in Eden Prairie boarded a school bus to the Minnetonka district, they attend school.

Open enrollment keeps students, resources flowing into Minnetonka

Minnetonka school officials criticized on two fronts: Race and numbers.
Die-hard Viking fans Heidi Clapp, Kindra Egge and Melissa Morissette were super disappointed after a shocking loss to the Atlanta Falcons in January 1

Are the Vikings the NFL's most tragic playoff team?

A Star Tribune analysis shows the Vikings do unexpectedly lose a significant number of postseason games, but aren't necessarily the worst.
Can you guess how Minnesota's population has changed over time?

Can you guess how Minnesota's population has changed over time?

Try your hand as demographer and draw where you think the trend lines go.
The Capitol is seen in Washington, Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, as Congress returns to face action on the GOP tax bill and funding the government before the

Tax plan would have dramatic effect in Minnesota

The state's businesses stand to get large tax cuts, while limits on deductions for state and local taxes could pinch individuals and families who itemize.
Students on the University of Minnesota campus.

How broke students are driving up poverty rates in small college towns

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau estimates how much students influence poverty rates.
Gravel roads in a rural area in Colgate, Minn.

Three things the latest census data tells us about the Upper Midwest

U.S. Census Bureau data released last week sheds light on demographics and economics of counties and other small areas.
Criminal defense lawyer Fred Bruno consulted with his client Brian R. Johnson outside a courtroom at the Dakota County District Court, Wednesday, Apri

PART 3: How Minn. officers accused of serious crimes plea bargain to keep jobs

Officers with convictions – which might have cost them their careers in other states – can exploit weaknesses in Minnesota's licensing rules to keep their jobs.
Students practice shotgun basics at the state academy in Salem run by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. Oregon’s police

What Minnesota can learn from Oregon on police oversight

In Oregon, police officers can be disciplined for infractions that wouldn't even trigger a state review here. The northwestern state has become a national model for rigorous licensing, with lessons for Minnesota in police accountability and improving public confidence.
In Minnesota, law enforcement officers can stay on the job for years even when a judge or jury finds them guilty of criminal behavior.

Minnesota police officers convicted of serious crimes still on the job

Over the past two decades, hundreds of Minnesota law enforcement officers have been convicted of criminal offenses. Most were never disciplined by the state. More than 140 are still on the job.
Laura Bloomberg of Buffalo, Minn., said she still lives with the effects of domestic abuse.

PART 2: A blind spot for officers involved in domestic violence in state

The state rarely sanctions police officers in domestic violence cases, a glaring weakness that police chiefs and victim advocates say needs to change.
Kathryn Lusack checked in with her son, Roderick Bright, 11, when he took a water break during football practice Tuesday evening at Knob Hill Park in

School choice splits Twin Cities suburbs into haves, have-nots

Parents are going the distance to enroll their children in schools that offer the programs and services they want, effectively redrawing the map of district boundaries in the process.
Mastery School students make their way off the school bus in August at a Minneapolis charter school that's part of the Harvest Network.

Minneapolis' black families lead way in fleeing to other schools

Reasons for leaving the district range from safety concerns to a belief that academics elsewhere are better than in Minneapolis, which has struggled for years to close the achievement gap between white and black students.
Minneapolis skyline with Capella Tower, IDS, Foshay, others.

Minorities make modest economic gains in Minnesota, new census data shows

Black, Hispanic and American Indian households in Minnesota made modest economic gains last year, but remain far behind whites and Asians, according to new census data.
Third-graders at the Community School of Excellence, a St. Paul charter school, listened in Hmong language class.

Rising exodus of students puts more pressure on Minnesota schools

In Minneapolis and St. Paul, a third of the students are now leaving for other districts. The student flight is magnifying budget pressures and transforming the racial diversity of metro-area schools.
Safeway driving instructor Chuck Walerius, a retired state trooper, at right, gave a behind-the-wheel lesson to Joey Sullivan, 16, on Thursday in Eden

Minnesota teen driving deaths plummet: Better drivers or fewer teens?

The trend seems to reflect more restrictive licensing laws and changes in teen interests and behavior.
Barton Open School students in a combination third- and fourth-grade class taught by Jaci Sullivan socialized while eating lunch in their classroom th

Minnesota math scores down a bit; reading results are flat

"It's frustrating to see test scores slowly increasing over time, but there's more to providing a student with a well-rounded education than can be seen in a test," Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said in a statement.
Students are selected as National Merit Semifinalists based on results of a PSAT qualifying test.

Find your Minnesota school's math and reading test scores

Use the database to track your school's proficiency in math and reading.

History of gas line accidents in Minnesota since 1998

Before Wednesday’s explosion at Minnehaha Academy, gas distribution lines have experienced at least 41 major accidents in Minnesota since 2004, federal data show. The most…
Bridge construction crew worked on replacing the Eisenhower Bridge, Thursday, July 20, 2017 on the Wisconsin side across from Red Wing, MN. The bridge

Minnesota's riskiest bridges repaired after I-35W collapse

State leaders set aside $2.5 billion for the program over the past decade, allowing the state to more aggressively tackle a backlog of bridge repairs. It also has left the state with one of the lowest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the nation.
Yellow law enforcement line with police car and lights in the background.

Fatal police encounters in Minnesota since 2000

More than 160 people have died in forceful encounters with law enforcement in Minnesota since 2000.
Not a fan of trade deal: On his dairy farm in Goodhue, Minn., Dave Buck says he and other Minnesota milk producers would like to sell more to Canada,

Trump's pushback on NAFTA has the attention of Minnesota's economy

President Trump's vow to renegotiate the trade pact with Canada and Mexico could have big impact on Minnesota's economy.
Arrival of settlers, Redwood Falls, August 1869.

Welcome to the 1860s, when most Minnesotans were born in another country

A lot has changed in the 150 years since the Star Tribune began as the Minneapolis Tribune. Here's a look at why the 1860s were a pivotal decade of change for Minnesotans.
Real estate agent Joslyn Solomon, left, chatted with Erin Simonson, right, as her daughter ate peaches in the kitchen. She was visiting to discuss wha

Equity-strapped sellers keep starter homes in short supply

More than 20 percent of metro homeowners who have a mortgage wouldn't clear enough money in a sale to cover real estate commissions and other selling costs and to make a down payment on another home, according to a Star Tribune analysis.
Find out whether lack of home equity is a problem where you live

Find out whether lack of home equity is a problem where you live

More than 20 percent of Twin Cities mortgaged homeowners don't have enough equity to cover the cost of selling and moving up, stifling house listings.
Minnesota Poll results: Distracted driving

Minnesota Poll results: Distracted driving

The most recent Star Tribune poll, conducted between April 24 and 26, asked registered Minnesota voters about distracted driving. Here's what they said:    table…
Minnesota Poll results: Dayton's approval ratings

Minnesota Poll results: Dayton's approval ratings

The most recent Star Tribune poll, conducted between April 24 and 26, asked registered Minnesota voters if they approve or disapprove of Gov. Mark Dayton's…
Minnesota Poll results: How Minnesotans see the healthcare debate

Minnesota Poll results: How Minnesotans see the healthcare debate

The most recent Star Tribune Poll, conducted April 24 to April 26, asked registered Minnesota voters several questions about their healthcare and debates surrounding the…
Minnesota Poll results: Donald Trump, foreign policy and Russia

Minnesota Poll results: Donald Trump, foreign policy and Russia

The most recent Star Tribune Poll, conducted April 24 to April 26, asked registered Minnesota voters several questions about President Trump's foreign policy proposals and…
Minnesota Poll results: Donald Trump's favorability ratings

Minnesota Poll results: Donald Trump's favorability ratings

To mark President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office, the Star Tribune polled registered Minnesota voters between April 24 and April 26. Highlights from…
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken with Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues in March.

Minnesota Poll results: Senatorial job approval ratings

The most recent Star Tribune poll, conducted between April 24 and 26, asked registered Minnesota voters if they approve or disapprove of the job performances…
The housing market began crashing in 2007.

Minnesota foreclosures reach lowest level in more than a decade

Data on sheriff's sales in each county show how the foreclosure crisis has slowed, although hot spots remain.
Even when state money for transit is factored in, greater Minnesota receives 22 percent more state transportation money than the metro, according to t

Metro taxpayers give more than they get back on roads, bridges

A Star Tribune analysis found that metro and greater Minnesota taxpayers each provide about half the money for Minnesota's roads and bridges, but greater Minnesota gets twice as much back in projects.
Andy Gibbs works on finishing his basement. Stacey and Ardy Gibbs just bought their second house in Richfield. It wasnt easy. After looking at 25 hous

Unlikely new hot spots in Twin Cities housing market

Affordable areas near urban amenities are in demand – like Richfield.
Find the hot housing markets in the Twin Cities

Find the hot housing markets in the Twin Cities

Are you living in a hot housing market? To find out, the Star Tribune’s housing market index combines four key housing metrics for cities with…
August 23, 1944 The charming Lamberton Twins, Donna and Ellisa.

There really are more twins and triplets in Minnesota

Data on births in Minnesota show how the rate of multiple births rose over the past three decades.
Explore how much Minnesota lawmakers got for their expenses

Explore how much Minnesota lawmakers got for their expenses

Find out what your lawmakers in the Minnesota House and Senate were reimbursed for job-related expenses in 2016.
The Minnesota State Capitol after years of renovation and a $300 million makeover.

DFL spent big in 2016 losses in Minnesota legislative races

The two sides spent much of the money on fewer than two dozen legislative races, with totals on some topping $1 million.
Where money flowed in the 2016 battle for the Legislature

Where money flowed in the 2016 battle for the Legislature

Campaign finance data show where Minnesota candidates and outside interest groups are raised and spent the most money.
President Barack Obama holds up a jersey as he poses for a photo in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 27, 2016, during a ce

Was Obama's presidency good for Minnesota?

We look at how Minnesota has changed during the Obama years, from economic indicators to gay marriage to professional sports teams' success.
Farmer Jim York returns to his farm on Highway 30 after raking ditch hay with his International Harvester Farmall 400 tractor in Lake Wilson, MN.

Work-related deaths in Minnesota were up in 2015

Newly-released data showed an increase in women dying on the job and in farm-related deaths.
How common is your last name? Type it in here

How common is your last name? Type it in here

New U.S. Census Bureau data on frequency of surnames shows the changing racial makeup of the nation.
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell

Black drivers stopped at higher rates in St. Paul, data shows

Black leaders said the findings provide empirical weight to the anecdotes and troubling police encounters the black community has long experienced.
Database of deaths after police use of force in Minnesota since 2000

Database of deaths after police use of force in Minnesota since 2000

More than 140 people have died in forceful encounters with law enforcement in Minnesota since 2000.
How was Minnesota voter turnout by county? Here are the results

How was Minnesota voter turnout by county? Here are the results

The largest increases in percentage of voting-age residents casting ballots were in central Minnesota, counties that supported Trump, according to a Star Tribune analysis.
13 takeaways from the presidential election in Minn., nationwide

13 takeaways from the presidential election in Minn., nationwide

See the major trends and takeaways from America's historic and odds-defying night in Minnesota and nationwide.
I voted stickers were placed at the Minnesota Suffrage memorial at the State Capitol on election night Tuesday October 08, 2016 in St. Paul, MN.

Minnesota likely No. 1 again in voter turnout

Voter turnout dropped in Minnesota, yet it was strong enough that the state has likely regained its No. 1 spot.About 74 percent of eligible voters…
Ed Rush stood in front of a bus at his home that he and his son painted to show their support for Donald Trump in Pierz, Minn.

How Trump almost won Minnesota

The Republican president-to-be won in a number of greater Minnesota counties that were previously won by Barack Obama in 2012, while Hillary Clinton racked up her Minnesota-winning tally in the bigger cities.
Who's using absentee voting in Minnesota?

Who's using absentee voting in Minnesota?

A new analysis of absentee voter data, obtained Monday just a few hours before the close of early voting, shows that young people have started…
Hennepin County Voting and Elections Office Specialist Andrew Krueger helped voter Mary Ellen Gallick with her ballot at the absentee-voting polls at

Older, urban voters lead spike in Minnesota absentee voting

Older citizens, city dwellers first in line for state's expanded early voting, data show.
Aurelia Wyler, 2, dressed as a scarecrow on Halloween in 2013.

Optimize your Halloween haul tonight: What's your neighborhood's Candy Score?

We crunched some data for an unscientific look at where you might find the sweetest results from trick-or-treating.
Connie Holmes, mayor of Waverly, inside the historic village hall. Holmes said city officials are “very disappointed” that a vacant City Council s

Help wanted at Minn. City Halls as hundreds of local offices have no hopefuls

The candidate shortage at the local level has some worried about future of civic leadership in Minnesota.
The State Capitol in St. Paul is undergoing renovation.

Both sides spending heavily for control of Minn. state government

Without a statewide race for governor or U.S. Senate this November, the attention and money of the state's wealthiest interests are focused on the Capitol.
Robbinsdale and Edina are at the forefront of a statewide effort to step up their enforcement against drivers violating the sanctity of pedestrian cro

Why 2016 might be the deadliest year for Minnesota pedestrians in a long time

Minnesota crash statistics paint a glum picture of pedestrian deaths in 2016, and the long-term trends around pedestrian injuries aren't much better.
Deep look at the battle for Minnesota Senate

Deep look at the battle for Minnesota Senate

Explore the current and historical balance of power in the Senate, this fall's most important races and profiles for every district.
Jazmine Hawkins, left, worked with Victoria Moorhead and Jason Coleman on a construction class project at Summit Academy OIC. Hawkins is looking to he

Minnesota minority households get left out of the income boom

Racial earnings gap persists, but some see signs of progress.
Denise Robinson played her with her son recently at a park in South Minneapolis Tuesday August 9, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN.] Jerry Holt / jerry.Holt@St

Part 1: Why does Minnesota have so many American Indian kids in foster care?

Taken from homes, American Indian children have flooded Minnesota's foster system: Less than 2 percent of children in Minnesota are Indian, but they make up nearly a quarter of the state's foster care population.
Foster care disparities growing

Foster care disparities growing

Minnesota judges place American Indian children into foster care in numbers that surpass any other state — and the breakup of Indian families is accelerating.
Deep look at the battle for Minnesota House

Deep look at the battle for Minnesota House

Explore the current and historical balance of power in the House, this fall's most important races and profiles for every district.
More and more Minnesota students are opting out of standardized tests

More and more Minnesota students are opting out of standardized tests

The trend is especially pronounced in Minneapolis high schools and raises questions about accuracy of test scores.

Fatal encounters with police in Minnesota since 2000

Fireworks explode over the Carver County Fairgrounds as part of the Taste of Minnesota celebration in Waconia on Thursday, July 2, 2015.

Fireworks injuries in Minnesota last year were highest in a decade

The number of emergency room visits, mostly from young people, especially men, have been increasing in recent years.
Beckie O’Connor visited her son Jeff’s grave at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. She said she thinks her son would be alive had police handed the

Police being forced to front lines of growing mental health crisis

At a time when police are facing intense scrutiny over the use of force, more law enforcement officials agree with Beckie O'Connor that officers need more training. Yet no one is taking charge.
How have visits to National Park Service sites changed in 100 years?

How have visits to National Park Service sites changed in 100 years?

More than 307 million people visited hundreds of sites last year, including some of our favorites in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

How we counted police-involved deaths

Shortcomings in public data have obscured a full accounting of the cases.
How bad is the Twins' start? To begin, it's among worst in 3 decades of baseball

How bad is the Twins' start? To begin, it's among worst in 3 decades of baseball

Not just for the franchise, not just for the year -- but compared to every bad team every season at this point going back to 1980, the Twins are ... not looking very good.
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