Staff Directory 10645556

Rochelle Olson

Reporter | General Assignment
Phone: 612-673-1747
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: French

Rochelle Olson is a general assignment reporter for the Star Tribune. Olson has been on the quick strike team for three years, writing about a wide variety of topics. She specializes in the intersection of sports, business and culture.


Olson has covered St. Paul and Minneapolis City Halls, Ramsey and Hennepin county governments as well as courts and state government. Before joining the Star Tribune in 2000, Olson worked for eight years with the Associated Press in Kansas City, Topeka, Charleston, W.Va. and St. Paul. She has a master's degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor's from Hamline University. She grew up in Bloomington. She loves to swim and do yoga.
Recent content from Rochelle Olson
A bar patron played electronic pulltabs at a bar in Coon Rapids.

Shakopee community challenging legality of electronic pulltabs

Sioux community claims e-pulltabs breach compact.
Electronic pulltabs were legalized in 2012 to provide a revenue source to cover annual payments on the bonds issued to cover the public’s share of U

Vikings ready to play defense on pulltab revenue for stadium debt

The stadium's reserve fund is projected to balloon to nearly $250 million by 2023, enabling the state to possibly pay off the stadium 10 years early. But there's concern lawmakers may choose to tap the fund this session for other purposes.
Commissioner Mike Opat is the third of Hennepin County’s seven commissioners to announce they are leaving the board.

Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat will retire after three decades

Opat cited achievements including Target Field, planned Bottineau Light-rail line and social services.

Law that protects 911 callers in overdoses doesn't preclude evidence gathering, court rules

Illegal drugs spotted by law enforcement officers during an emergency "good Samaritan" call to prevent a fatal overdose can be used as probable cause to…
Construction workers replaced faulty exterior panels on U.S. Bank Stadium in 2017.

U.S. Bank Stadium design and construction issues now focus of mediation

Officials wouldn't say what the problem is, but zinc panels, moisture have been previous issues at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Michael Toussaint, father of Myon Burrell, spoke about his son being sent to prison for life at the age of 16.

Activists call on Amy Klobuchar to withdraw over 2003 murder case

Case has been tried twice, but new report raises questions over evidence, informants.

St. Cloud State University must pay $1.2 million in attorneys' fees in gender equity case, federal judge rules

St. Cloud State University must pay $1.2 million in legal fees to attorneys representing former female student-athletes who won a Title IX case against the…
David Johnson, epidemiology Manager at Hennepin County Public Health, shown in 2018 talking about flu response.

Hennepin County considers future of disease control after Minneapolis ends contract

Minneapolis' health commissioner said the decision to end the 35-year arrangement grew from a desire to streamline the work and do it better.
Elaine Voss with Joan Growe in 1998

Elaine Voss, a behind-the-scenes force in Minnesota's election integrity, turnout, dies at 83

As deputy to Minnesota Secretary of State Joan Growe, she helped build the state's reputation.
Gophes heavyweight Gable Steveson, left, was too much for Wisconsin’s Trent Hillger on Friday.

Gable Steveson has little difficulty as Gophers wrestling tops Wisconsin

The standout heavyweight wrestled in front of Brock Lesnar in his first home appearance following a suspension.
Gophers heavyweight Gable Steveson: “I’m back. I’m healthy. I’m ready to do good for the university.”

Back from suspension, U superstar Steveson says he's tougher than ever

Gophers heavyweight Gable Steveson, reinstated after suspicion of sexual assault resulted in no charges being filed, says he's "ready to do good for the university."
Rendering of the planned Omni Viking Lakes Hotel in Eagan. The hotel is under construction and expected to open this fall, and two apartment complexes

U.S. Tennis Association moving to Vikings headquarters campus in Eagan

Vikings' live/work/play campus is taking shaping with a hotel, offices and soon apartments.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, left, presented Brianna Heggeseth and her husband Paul Heggeseth with a onesie for their daughter Hanna, who was born at

St. Paul program kicks off college account for newborns

College Bound program deposits $50 into every St. Paul newborn's savings account. The $1 million annual program is funded with $500,000 from the state and additional money and support from private foundations and the city.

Court rejects sex offender's attempted name change to 'Better Off Dead'

Indefinitely committed inmate claimed religious beliefs in seeking name change.
Five-week-old Chanel held the finger of her father, Jamal Jones.

Young family survives shelter fire, hopes for work and a home

One couple share their struggles after escaping the Christmas fire at the Drake Hotel with their baby.
Volunteer Robert Hill of Minneapolis, left, helped load donations onto trucks as Drake Hotel residents were bused to temporary shelters after Wednesda

Drake fire brings flood of donations, but long-term shelter harder to find

While donated food and clothes overwhelmed relief organizations, officials warned that it will be difficult to find alternative shelter when local homeless shelters are already full.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, left, and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, right, met with displaced Francis Drake Hotel residents at Bethlehem Baptist Church,

Uprooted by fire, dozens of homeless families face an uncertain future amid housing crisis

An exterior inspection of the building determined that the eastern portion cannot be salvaged.
City and fire inspectors viewed the exterior of the the Francis Drake Hotel apartments on Thursday as firefighters brought down the last bucket.

Devastating fire at Drake Hotel leaves 200-plus people with little

At least two were hospitalized in the Christmas morning blaze in downtown Minneapolis at the aging apartment building that serves mostly as temporary housing for homeless people.
Judge Fred Karasov

Judge Fred Karasov will not take disability retirement Dec. 31 as planned

Karasov rescinds exit plan after condition improves.
Chief Hennepin County Public Defender Mary Moriarty

Hennepin's top public defender surprised by her suspension

Mary Moriarty, who in 2014 became the first woman to hold the job, said she received the startling news from the state chief public defender in an e-mail when she was at work early in the day.

Minnesota court reverses revenge porn conviction, says it violated free speech

Court of Appeals says law unconstitutional because it criminalizes free speech.
Gable Steveson

Gophers lift suspension of wrestlers after officials decline to file sexual assault charges

Star wrestler Gable Steveson competed and won Friday night as Minnesota beat South Dakota State.
A rendering of the SouthWest station in Eden Prairie on the Southwest light-rail line.

Hennepin County may shift some sales tax dollars from transit to roads until new trains are running

Money from half-cent sales tax is adding up as two LRT lines face delays.
Outside U.S. Bank Stadium ahead of the Super Bowl in 2018.

Concessions equipment auction at U.S. Bank Stadium brings $45,000

Money goes into the concessions capital reserve fund for future needs.
John Borger

Attorney John Borger, longtime legal champion of the media, dies

John Borger was drawn to journalism early on, starting with his high school newspaper in Parkersburg, W.Va. He stayed with it on the campus paper…
Outside U.S. Bank Stadium ahead of the the Super Bowl in 2018.

U.S. Bank Stadium selling off surplus kitchen wares, equipment online

Still Christmas shopping? Perhaps you can find that special something among the U.S. Bank Stadium castoffs, which go up for sale in an online auction Tuesday.
Five-mg pills of Oxycodone. In the Hennepin County Board's debate over its budget, Commissioner Mike Opat pointed to looming costly issues in coming y

Hennepin County approves nearly 5% levy increase, adds funding for housing

Officials cited mounting financial pressures to deal with homelessness, drug addiction and an array of costly services for the neediest residents.
Husky Stadium at St. Cloud State University.

St. Cloud State and Minnesota Crookston drop football programs

Both schools cited budget concerns, with St. Cloud State responding to a Title IX ruling. Crookston has a 2-64 record over its last six seasons. Both were in the Division II Northern Sun Conference.
Brian Krook with the Washington County sheriff at the time, Bill Hutton. Credit: Washington County Sheriff's Office, 2013

Defense: Deputy charged with manslaughter says suicidal gunman aimed at him, others

Prosecutors say officer used excessive force.

Citing protected speech, Minn. court overturns phone stalking law

State appeals court struck down man's conviction for angry calls to local officials.
Target Field will have expanded netting for the 2020 season.

Twins will extend Target Field netting again for 2020 season

The aim of the netting is to protect fans from balls batted or thrown into the seating area.
Gophers fans wore glum faces in the fourth quarter, watching Minnesota’s Rose Bowl chances fade as the Badgers pulled off a 38-17 win at TCF Bank St

Gophers fans' excitement turns to disappointment over loss

Paul Bunyan's Axe is headed back to Madison, but Minnesota fans are still pumped over a turnaround season that brought meaningful football to campus.
The O'Connor family is split when it comes to who to cheer for during Gopher/Badger game this weekend. Kyle, 19 and Dad Kevin are die-hard Badger fans

High-stakes Border Battle is field of divided loyalties for Minnesconsin residents

This year's Border Battle between Minnesota and Wisconsin promises a good game for a change, and carries with it unusually high stakes.
Richard Davis, Maureen Bausch, David Mortenson, Gov. Mark Dayton, Mike Vekich, Kate Mortenson, and Tom McGinnis got their hands on the ceremonial ball

Super Bowl, Final Four financial statements, showing salaries, released for 2018

The Super Bowl Host Committee reported raising $54 million in overall revenue, which covered the cost of the 2018 Minneapolis event, according to financial disclosure forms filed with the state.
Gable Steveson

Still suspended from U wrestling, Steveson qualifies for Olympic trials

Gable Steveson qualified for the trials by winning his weight class at a meet in New York City last weekend. He remains under investigation by Hennepin County on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct.
The three damaged windows are not the first to break on U.S. Bank Stadium's 200,000-square-foot glass exterior.

Three U.S. Bank Stadium windows broken during spring thaw await replacement

Replacement of three panes is awaiting bids.
A runner goes past the downtown skyline as the sun sets while running inside U.S. Bank Stadium in 2018.

U.S. Bank Stadium will open again this winter for runners and in-line skaters

ASM Global, which operates the stadium, announced that tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday through ticketmaster.com.
Judge Fred Karasov collapsed Sept. 7 while he was working out at an Orangetheory Fitness club.

Hennepin District Judge Fred Karasov, in rehabilitation after cardiac arrest, to retire at end of year

Hennepin County judge has been on medical leave since September.
U.S. Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium, Vikings weigh cost of saving birds: 'What's the acceptable collision rate?'

Estimates for treating the stadium glass range from $40,000 to $570,000 for materials alone.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warmed up on the field prior to Thursday night's game. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribun

Who are all those people hanging out on sidelines during Vikings games?

Accounting for the full perimeter of the field during a Vikings' home game, there are roughly 300 people with their feet on the turf. But who are they all?
The U.S. Bank Stadium reserve account is expected to grow to nearly $200 million by 2023.

Growing cash in Vikings stadium fund needs more state guidance, audit says

The U.S. Bank Stadium reserve account is expected to grow to nearly $200 million by 2023, meriting more legislative oversight, a financial audit suggested.
Following a three-year study that showed high bird mortality rates around U.S. Bank Stadium, conservationists are pushing for swift action to make the

Activists say retrofitting of U.S. Bank Stadium glass to protect birds is long overdue

Stadium authority will meet for first time since $300K study released.
The Vikings said they would study the recommendations from the study on bird deaths in downtown Minneapolis.

Study: U.S. Bank Stadium in top 4 downtown Mpls. buildings in bird deaths

The stadium and three unidentified high-rises were involved in 74% of bird collisions and 68% of bird fatalities at downtown buildings.
Roland Faricy

Roland Faricy Jr., former Ramsey County district judge, dies

The law was central to Faricy's life, but his daughters say his true love was juvenile court, especially when finalizing adoptions.
St. Paul Police investigators on the scene of a shooting in the Highland Park neighborhood.

Man killed, wife injured in St. Paul Highland Park shooting

Police say the shooting does not appear to be random.
Workers at the South Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-off Center in Bloomington sorted through items being brought in Wednesday.

Fire hazard from vaping pen leads Hennepin County to halt collection of batteries at community sites

All batteries now must go to either the Brooklyn Park or Bloomington drop-off locations.
Hennepin County officials see the Parkside building, at 825 S. 8th St. and 826 S. 9th St., as tied to the future renovation and redesign of the health

Hennepin County moves to acquire office building near HCMC for $8 million

The $8 million Parkside Professional Center is eyed for Hennepin Healthcare.
The body camera request was the first major initiative from new Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson.

Hennepin County approves $5.1 million for body cameras for sheriff's deputies

Ramsey County started outfitting for cameras last month, and many police officers already wear them
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan speaks in Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis as part of the Stein Lecture on Monday, Oct. 21. 2019.

Supreme Court Justice Kagan encourages, amuses crowd at U lecture

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan shares insights, anecdotes at U.
Dorene Day sang the American Indian Movement theme song during a march in 2014 outside TCF Bank Stadium protesting the name of the Washington team.

Protest planned when Vikings play Washington Redskins next week

Team's owner has long resisted calls to change nickname that some groups consider to be offensive.
Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson, shown in June

Hennepin County sheriff encrypts 911 calls and radio traffic, blocking public from listening

The public can no longer hear the Sheriff's Office emergency dispatches in real time.
The University of Minnesota, Morris, with an enrollment of 1,900 students, is located in Stevens County in western Minnesota.

Rape joke flyer on University of Minnesota Morris campus gets attention of President Gabel

Morris campus GOP head says his group had no part of poster bearing its name.
Justice David Lillehaug wrote the 16-page majority opinion.

Minn. Supreme Court rules in favor of Firefighters Union in dispute with Brainerd

Brainerd's elimination of union positions is an "unfair labor practice," under the law
Grounds crew prepared Target Field for Game 3 of American League Division Series between the Twins and the Yankees.

At end of first decade, Target Field has what it needs: A winning team

Monday's game against the Yankees is only the third postseason home game ever to be played at Target Field; the first two, in the ballpark's inaugural 2010 season, were consecutive losses to the Yankees.

Global conference speakers say U.S.-Mexico are family, must form beneficial economic union

Mexican ambassador welcomes Minnesotans.
Judge Fred Karasov delivered the sentence for former Minneapolis police officer Christopher Reiter in 2017.

Hennepin County judge on life support, faces uncertain prognosis after collapse

Karasov was a county prosecutor before he was appointed to the Hennepin bench in 2008.
Eagan’s Mallory Weggemann, a gold medal paralympic swimmer, said she’s excited her Olympics teammates are coming to her hometown.

Paralympics trials come to Minneapolis in June 2020 for swimmers, cyclists and track athletes

Cyclists, swimmers and track athletes will seek team spots for Tokyo.
Burhan Elmi, co-owner of the cafe, left, chatted with John Torgeson, right, who works in emergency glass services, who had come to measure the windows

Minneapolis man charged with bias crimes in East Franklin window smashings

The man told officers he hates "the Somalis," police say.
Minnesota Sports Facility Authority Chairman Mike Vekich spoke about the Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium on March 5. The board approved a 60% raise in

U.S. Bank Stadium authority OKs 60% pay raise for chairman

Michael Vekich's pay will rise to $95,000 to reflect workload, members say.
Chrissie Olson took a photo of her 5-month-old daughter Marion as T.C. Bear jokingly took a bite of the youngster during a free "Post-season Push" par

Those feisty Twins bring out dedicated fans for playoff fan viewing party

Viewing parties slated, then Minnesota gets a rare home playoff game Oct. 7.
Residents in St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood were shaken by Tuesday’s fatal shooting of Terry L. Edwards at the intersection of N. Mendot

St. Paul struggles as gun slayings spike in September

The jump in homicidal violence is reverberating from residential neighborhoods to City Hall.
An image from body camera video of an officer-involved shooting of 31-year-old Ronald Davis in St. Paul.

Body camera: St. Paul officer screamed at man to drop knife

"Get away from me! Drop the knife!" the video shows the rookie officer saying shortly before he shot the 31-year-old man, who charged with a knife after he rammed a squad vehicle.
Mike Sherels on the field at TCF Bank Stadium as the Gophers warmed up in 2016.

Former Gophers player and coach settles with U hospital over treatment

Mike Sherels, a football captain who later became an assistant coach, reached a $1 million settlement with the University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview for treatment in 2016 that left him in a coma.
Gophers sophomore wrestler Gable Steveson (pictured) and teammate Dylan Martinez remain suspended, pending the results of a Hennepin County investigat

Criminal investigation ongoing for U wrestlers Steveson, Martinez

The wrestling season is set to begin Nov. 1, with the Gophers starting practice Oct. 10, but Gable Steveson and Dylan Martinez remain off the team.

White Bear Lake pilot's $27 million jury award, lawsuit sent back to lower courts

The White Bear Lake man said a fuel pump failed, causing the severe-injury crash in 2010.

U.S. Bank Stadium manager Patrick Talty leaving for Indianapolis job

Patrick Talty has booked venue's events since 2015.
The Vikings are adding amenities to enhance fans’ experience at U.S. Bank Stadium. But fans themselves do plenty to add to the experience. According

New technology, foods and a quiet space await Minnesota Vikings fans at season-opener Sunday

Team banking on new attractions inside stadium.
“Simply, basketball is not fundamental to democracy,” said the 16-page unanimous decision, written by Justice Natalie Hudson, shown in 2016 at Lak

State Supreme Court ruling limits criticism of public high school coaches

The former Woodbury girls' basketball coach claimed that parents had defamed him. The high court ruling reinstates his lawsuit.
Two young soccer fans cheered as the members of the U.S. Women's National Team players entered Allianz Field on Tuesday night before the exhibition ma

Soccer fans fly the flag for U.S. Women's National Team in St. Paul

The final score was beside the point for fans who showed their love for the team with their exuberant red, white and blue attire.
Dede Hard pumped her fist as her kitchen staff in the 4-H Building banged pots and pans announcing the last meal served at the 2019 State Fair.

After decades feeding 4-Hers at the fair, Dede Hard calls it a day

For years, Dede Hard has ordered the food, organized the crew and overseen preparations. The 4-H kitchen gets the biggest food delivery at the State Fair.
Traffic moved along Hennepin Avenue near West 24th Street during the evening commute.

Minnesota traffic study reports uptick in vehicle fatalities in 2018

Minnesota traffic fatalities were up 6 percent in 2018 even though state totals continue to trend down over a five-year period.
The scene outside the Super Bowl last year. Fun-loving fans are welcome, but there is little tolerance for bad antics.

Bad behavior can get Minnesota pro-sport fans ejected — or banned

Getting a beer buzz is fine; repeatedly spilling beer on a neighbor is not. Rooting for your team is good; yelling obscenities is not.
When asked to share their views about food choices at U.S. Bank Stadium, Vikings fans have six sure favorites: hot dogs, chicken tenders, burgers, nac

Minnesota Vikings fans love nachos, hot dogs and cheese curds and they will get them

U.S. Bank Stadium operators also need workers to work upcoming games.
Nancy Slaughter

Nancy Slaughter, Westminster Church and Macalester volunteer of many decades, dies at 83

Nancy Slaughter loved a game of bridge, Minnesota Gophers football, fine scotch and sharing her life with friends, family and just about anyone she encountered…
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority put out a news release last week that the stadium had received a platinum LEED rating for environmental oper

Bird advocates question green award won by U.S. Bank Stadium

The stadium received a platinum LEED rating for environmental operations, but that recognition doesn't evaluate the building's wildlife conservation issues.