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
FILE - This undated photo released by Javille Burns shows her brother, Jamar Clark, who was fatally shot in a confrontation with police on Sunday, Nov

Jamar Clark mediation hits wall; wrongful-death lawsuit now on track for trial

Day of closed-door discussions yields nothing in 2015 fatal shooting by Minneapolis police
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman at a news conference in December. He said Friday in a statement that he had begun a medical leave based on his d

Freeman will begin treatment for alcohol, return in June

The Hennepin County attorney, 71, will enter treatment on Monday and expects to return to work no later than the middle of next month. He also has high blood pressure.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman addressed the media about Mohamed Noor case.

No deadline set for Freeman to return after abrupt departure

The Hennepin County attorney will collect his $182,025 salary and face no deadline for returning to work from his medical leave, the reasons for which remained unclear Monday.
In his role with the county, Chester Cooper will focus on reducing disparities.

Ex-U receiver tackles toughest task yet in 34-year career: disparities in Hennepin Co.

From Hennepin County detention deputy to head of county corrections and now operations, Chester "Chet" Cooper's 34-year government career has had what he sees as a unified focus: raising the boat.
Rick Springfield, shown in 2010, is one of the performers of opening night of the Summer Skolstice festival in Eagan.

Vikings announce 'Summer Skolstice' concert series at Eagan headquarters

The three-day music fest is the first of many events envisioned at Vikings' HQ.
Irma Burns, the mother of Jamar Clark, leans on a sign bearing a photo of her son during a 2017 vigil on the two-year anniversary of his death.

After judge steps in, settlement talks resume in Jamar Clark suit

Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Davis had ordered city leaders to court on Wednesday after receiving notice that the City Council, acting in a closed session with lawyers, had rejected a settlement of the Jamar Clark lawsuit.
Senior U.S. District Court Michael Davis’ order provided no detail about what will happen at the hearing, scheduled for Wednesday.

U.S. judge orders Mpls. leaders to court for Jamar Clark update

The order came on short notice after the city reached a $20 million settlement in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Was Mohamed Noor, left, “a scared cop,” or did he show “depraved mind” in the Damond case?

'Depraved mind' charge possible opening for Noor appeal

One of the verdicts against Mohamed Noor has come into question by legal observers — a third-degree murder conviction that carries a sentence of more than a decade.
Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance, who presided over Mohamed Noor's trial, maintains control over the hundreds of pieces of evidence,

After Noor trial's conclusion, evidence still not made public

There is no explicit deadline for release, according to requirements.
The scene on Nicollet Mall last month as people ride the ferris wheel at Tip-Off Tailgate.

Final Four committee to disband, stop effort to create new regional group

Pressure from existing convention bureaus mounted in recent days.
A sign for Bde Maka Ska near the south shore of the lake.

Bde Maka Ska is Lake Calhoun again, Court of Appeals rules

The state Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr lacked authority to change the name of a lake that had existed for more than 40 years.
Meet Minneapolis CEO Melvin Tennant called Minnesota Sports Corp. “unnecessary.”

After Final Four, convention bureaus battle to be local leader

A power struggle potentially involving millions in public and corporate money has intensified since the end of the NCAA Final Four over who should be in charge of developing and organizing future high-profile events in the Twin Cities.
Fans sat in the stands in February for the third period during the Gophers men's hockey game against the Penn State Nittany Lions. The announced atten

U turns to alcohol to boost revenue at Williams, Mariucci

The request, sent to University of Minnesota's Board of Regents, follows a national trend of selling more alcohol at college sporting events.
Basketball fans waited for the light rail train at the Government Plaza station in downtown Minneapolis.

Metro Transit reports record light-rail ridership on Final Four championship game day

The number of passengers on the last day of the Final Four topped 130,000.

Hennepin County reports drop in child protection caseloads

Hennepin County Board invested in staff, family resources to keep more kids out of system.
U.S. Bank Stadium, shown in December before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins.

Calif. man charged with swindling Vikings out of $35,000 luxury suite for two games

Check bounced after man threw a party and used a cabin suite for 49ers game, according to the complaint.
Minneapolis Final Four local organizing committee CEO Kate Mortenson.

Kate Mortenson seeks up to $2M to turn Minnesota Sports Corp. into 'regional event catalyst'

CEO wants to "make our own success," but others say a new state-funded organization would duplicate work already being done.
Fans reacted on Nicollet Mall at the end of Monday night's championship game in Minneapolis. Virginia won 85-77 in overtime over Texas Tech.

Final Four gives the Twin Cities one more shining moment

As the Twin Cities area wrapped up host duties for the men's basketball tournament, it proved once again that it can host a national megaevent.
Texas Tech and Michigan State fans had very different reactions at the end of Saturday night's game. Texas Tech played Michigan State in a semifinal o

NCAA fans either jubilant or looking for a way out of Mpls.

Fans of Michigan State and Auburn were looking for ways to get out of town, while Virginia and Texas Tech fans celebrated. "Everything was great except for the game," said one Michigan State fan.
Tip-Off Tailgate
Nicollet Mall was transformed into a Final Four party with themed activities, decorations and a Ferris wheel.

Minnesota Madness begins countdown to the crown

Tens of thousands of basketball fans descended on the streets and skyways, reveling all day and into the night in Final Four fan activities that stretched from U.S. Bank Stadium to the Minneapolis Convention Center and along Nicollet Mall.
Setup work on Nicollet Mall ahead of the NCAA Final Four was gearing up Thursday in downtown Minneapolis.

Downtown gets ready to adjust for Final Four crowds, changes

Downtown business owners and workers will make adjustments with an anticipated arrival of nearly 100,000 visitors from out of town.
Tim Leininger placed signs Wednesday near the giant Ferris wheel in downtown Minneapolis ahead of Final Four festivities.

Final Four teams, fans arrive in Minneapolis as anticipation builds

Nicollet Mall Tip-Off Tailgate is taking shape, as teams start arriving at hotels.
Willie B. Japser, who has worked at the North Commons Recreation Center for 29 years, was emotional after cutting the ceremonial ribbon during a dedic

North Minneapolis gym gets new look, as part of NCAA Final Four legacy project

Kids, community leaders celebrated improvements made to North Commons, noting the space's important role in the community.
A glaring misspelling at the top of a Final Four sign ready to be posted on Nicollet Mall is attracting attention online.

Nicollet Mall Tip-off Tailgate signs mocked for multiple misspellings

Final Four sign headline reads: "Libility Disclaimers," and some smaller type on the same sign references the NCCA. Who's going to tell them?
U.S. Bank Stadium operations worker Michael Stauffacher installs the official 2019 NCAA Final Four court.

Final Four without Zion, Duke keeps ticket resale prices in check

Throughout the regular men's basketball season, the extraordinary Williamson increased ticket resale prices threefold when Duke played on the road.
SMG operations worker Michael Stauffacher helped install the official 2019 NCAA Final Four basketball court Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

College basketball's biggest event bounces into Minneapolis next weekend

Long weekend will give fans plenty of chances to get in on the action.
Duke's Zion Williamson dunks against North Dakota State in the first half during the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Colonial Life Arena in Colu

Final Four ticket scramble picks up with potential for Zion in town

If Duke's generational star makes it to Minneapolis, get ready to pay big bucks for an opportunity to see him at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Clarice Swisher

Longtime Bloomington Kennedy High School English teacher Clarice Swisher dies at 85

For many who went to Bloomington Kennedy High, Clarice Swisher was the toughest teacher they'd ever had.
Grounds crew members worked to ready Target Field for the Twins' home opener this Thursday.

Twins highlight Target Field changes before Opening Day on Thursday

A $5 million Minnesota Twins-funded renovation at Target Field has given the ballpark a new look, more places to play and enhanced security.
Brad Hardin, took a selfie in front of a 3-D sculpture of the Final Four bracket on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. The crowd downtown will be large

Downtown Mpls. road closures begin Monday ahead of Final Four in April

Planners say transit, free rides in Buicks, walking are all good options.
A look at the main concourse and gift shop that Minnesota United supporters will see as they enter Allianz Field.

Opening the gates: Supporters, VIPs get first look at Allianz Field

The luminescent pale gray structure provides a custom-designed pad for the team to feed what supporters say is a hunger in a region that hasn't had true, hometown soccer since the Kicks left long-demolished Met Stadium
The roof section of darkening curtains at U.S. Bank Stadium earlier in March. Those curtains — which can be taken down, stored and reused — are 98

U.S. Bank Stadium is taking on a new look for the NCAA Final Four

The darkening curtains are nearly all installed, and scaffolding is underway for lower-level seating.
Annie Wong, 20, tried to keep her footing while walking to class at the University of Minnesota Monday.

Get ready for more snow, icy travel for the next two weeks

Crashes piled up on main roads Monday as pedestrians slipped and fell on icy sidewalks. All after-school activities for Minneapolis Public School students have been canceled.
A large wave rolls past two spectators and down the length of the Duluth Ship Canal in October.

Trump declares St. Louis County a disaster area after fall flooding and storms in Duluth

The move opens the door to federal assistance for state and local governments as well as some nonprofit organizations.
Most licensed Minn. teachers are turning to other careers

Most licensed Minn. teachers are turning to other careers

Some 70,000 licensed Minnesota teachers are not working in classrooms, a new study finds That's 52.5 percent of licensed teachers in the 2017-18 school year.
2003: Former NFL player Duane Benson was leaving his post as the head of Minnesota Business Partnership.

Former NFL player, state senator, business leader Duane Benson dies

Through nearly four decades in public life, Benson was universally respected as smart, savvy and measured, with a mischievous sense of humor.
Don Lemon, host of “CNN Tonight” dresses in his office at the Time Warner Building in New York, June 20, 2017. Lemon is under the bright CNN light

CNN's Don Lemon delivers message of 'be yourself' at MLK Jr. celebration

Breakfast at the Armory kicked off the local remembrance of the great civil rights pioneer.
Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to travel to space, addressed the audience during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday “Wom

In St. Paul, astronaut Mae Jemison recalls MLK's 'revolutionary' words

Local MLK events included breakfast with CNN's Don Lemon and an Ordway celebration of women of color in science.
The downtown Minneapolis skyline is visible from locations inside U.S. Bank Stadium.

Bird advocates get stadium to retract drapes between Final Four and Garth Brooks

Preservationists say the black curtains behind the western glass doors will be more deadly to migrating birds.
A rendering of how basketball could look in U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the men's basketball Final Four 2019.

Final Four will cost stadium millions more than Super Bowl

The stadium authority paid $627,000 out-of-pocket for the Super Bowl last winter. Chairman Michael Vekich would say only of the expected NCAA bill: "It's a lot larger — I'll leave it at that."
The newly reborn Armory in downtown Minneapolis, shown getting ready for Super Bowl shows, will host the free three-day music festival for the NCAA Ma

Final Four music festival heads to Minneapolis Armory; four-day party set for Nicollet Mall

Also set: A four-day tailgating party, to be held on Nicollet Mall.
Target Field in the shadow of the Minneapolis skyline during the 2014 All-Star Game.

Twins hire Rogers police chief, law enforcement veteran to lead security operations

Much of Jeffrey Beahan's work will involve outreach, informing the community about safety measures.
At a May Day parade in 2013 near Lake St. and Bloomington Ave. in Minneapolis, a raptor enthralled some of the younger spectators.

In Heart of the Beast to end puppet parade, make significant cuts

The theater is being squeezed by drop in foundation grants, overall funding.
Rossana Bewick

Rossana Bewick, Twin Cities Italian cuisine pioneer, dies at 73

Rossana Bewick, a native of Milan who helped bring authentic Italian dining to the Twin Cities almost four decades ago, died in late November at…
Workers laid down artificial turf at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016.

Vikings will get new turf at U.S. Bank Stadium

Stadium's busy schedule of games, concerts and events has worn the turf.
Surfer Randy Carlson of Duluth was coated in ice after riding New Year’s Day waves in Two Harbors, Minn., on Tuesday.

Up we go: Warmer weather looks to be ahead for Twin Cities

The new year launched with temps hovering around zero degrees, but highs were forecast to reach at least 32 degrees as early as Thursday.
Clare Ruth Charmoli

Girl born in Maple Grove believed to be first 2019 baby in Twin Cities

A girl with fuzzy red hair named Clare Ruth is believed to be the first baby born in the Twin Cities in 2019. She was…
Greg Hanson blows his horn as part of his persona as the Norse god Odin. He likes to be known as “Sir Odin."

Fears of eviction cloud final tailgate of Vikings regular season

New apartment buildings and parking ramps on Washington Avenue are expected to eliminate surface parking lots that double as gameday party pads.
Mark Stenglein, who at the time was Minneapolis Downtown Council president, is pictured between Twins owner Jim Pohlad, left, and then-Minneapolis May

Ex-county commissioner is 90 percent back after near-fatal fall

Eight months ago, no one knew what life would like for the 62-year-old former Hennepin County Commissioner. Mark Stenglein said he's under orders to "keep both feet on the ground at all time," he said. "I never liked ladders anyhow."
A basketball sailed in past the U.S. Bank Stadium logo, site of the NCAA men's Final Four in April.

U.S. Bank Stadium will be first venue to sell beer and wine during the NCAA men's Final Four

Beer and liquor will be sold for the NCAA Final Four, which will draw 72,000 fans and be transformed from tunnels to ceiling.
The University of Minnesota received a record $793 million in awards for research in 2018, besting the previous annual record of $788 million set two

University of Minnesota announces record research funding awards in 2018

School touts its successes at turning its discoveries into real-world cures, solutions.
Officer Travis Serafin

Officer who lied about search warrant no longer works for Eden Prairie

Major drug case was dismissed because of Eden Prairie officer's actions.
Goldy Gopher was joined by Kate Mortenson, president of the NCAA Final Four Minneapolis host committee and Tom McGinnis, Senior Associate Athletics Di

Final Four shooting for 2,000 volunteers in April

A kickoff was held Friday to start recruiting locals for the annual NCAA finals, to be held at U.S. Bank Stadium this spring.
A former University of Minnesota student has won a $137,500 settlement of her lawsuit alleging that she was raped by an interpreter on a university-af

2018: Former University of Minnesota student settles study abroad rape lawsuit for $137,500

Student said she was raped, mistreated on trip.
Preparations are underway for the U.S. Bank Stadium Basketball Classic, the venue's first basketball event.

U.S. Bank Stadium gets ready for its first-ever basketball games

Venue will host games this weekend as precursor to Final Four in April.
The transit station at 46th Street and Interstate 35W in Minneapolis will be part of the Orange Line, a bus-rapid transit project that won federal gra

Orange Line bus rapid transit awarded $74M from federal government

The federal financial boost caps the resuscitation of the line between Minneapolis and Burnsville.
Walt Dziedzic removed his nameplate from in front of his seat in the City Council chamger upon his retirement.

Northeast Minneapolis giant Walt Dziedzic dies at 85

Gregarious and blustery, he sought to serve the people as a soldier, police officer and elected official.
Molly Coleman

St. Paul native makes an impact at Harvard Law School

Molly Coleman played a role in ending Brett Kavanaugh's role as teacher at law school.
Gov.r Mark Dayton with Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Maureen Bausch, left, and Minneapolis Final Four local organizing committee CEO Kate Mo

Final Four, Super Bowl groups report six-figure salaries for top staff

The top four executives for the Minnesota Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four host committees earned a combined $1.2 million in 2017.
Peter Sagal

Review: 'The Incomplete Book of Running,' by Peter Sagal

NONFICTION: NPR's Peter Sagal unleashes his humor and wit on his passion for running.
Demolition work is underway at Target Field in preparation for renovations. The Minnesota Twins are covering the $5 million cost of the work, designed

Target Field increasing security with revamped entry, adding grass area

The Twins, along with all of Major League Baseball, are moving slowly toward full NFL-level security. Most of the changes revolve around the Gate 34 entrance and main plaza.
The entrance to the campus of the University of Minnesota.

U seeks to dismiss discrimination lawsuit by nine football players

Nine black football players claim their rights were denied in a 2016 sexual assault case.
Since election night, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek has released only a terse public statement, saying the race was "too close to call."

Hennepin County sheriff alludes to transition in letter to staff, doesn't concede race

Stanek has yet to concede publicly or privately.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

In Wisconsin, Walker falls to lingering resentments and fresh impatience

After two terms, one recall attempt and a failed presidential bid, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was rejected Tuesday by voters weary of his ties to President Donald Trump, cuts to education and antagonism toward unions.
Claire Joan Ericksen

Claire Joan Ericksen, matriarch to traveling St. Olaf students, dies at 88

Ericksen traveled the world three times over with her husband Jerry, a retired St. Olaf psychology professor and current golf coach at Carleton College.
Jeanette Boerner, first assistant Hennepin County public defender, said economic barriers often keep defendants from going to court.

Who says there's no free ride? Grant will get public defender clients to court

MacArthur Foundation grant aims to get offenders to court, avoid night in jail.
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (right) and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter to announce that the Twin Ci

Minneapolis and St. Paul announce new efforts to combat climate change

Minneapolis and St. Paul are among 20 cities receiving support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Bloomberg also called on cities to fight gun violence.
Eden Prairie police detective Travis Serafin

Two more drug convictions dismissed following Eden Prairie officer's falsified warrant

Dozens of Travis Serafin's cases are under review after he admitted falsifying a search warrant.
A shop employee in Atlanta holds Mega Millions lottery tickets, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. No one won the $1 billion jackpot in Saturday night's drawing,

1 in 302 million chance of winning; 100 percent chance of daydreaming

With the jackpots soaring into the heavens, Minnesotans are streaming to convenience stores for their shot at instant riches — or far more likely, a few hours of fantasizing about what they would do with all that money.
Chief Deputy Hennepin County Attorney David Brown held a news conference last week to address an Eden Prairie police officer’s misconduct and the po

First of many criminal cases dismissed in wake of Eden Prairie police officer's misconduct

County attorney expects 33 cases to be affected; defense lawyer says could be more.
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts left, answered a student's question following his conversation with former U Law School Dean Robert Stein at Northrop

Amid political turmoil, judiciary maintains independence, Chief Justice John Roberts says in Mpls.

The U.S. chief justice discussed law and veered away from the Brett Kavanaugh hearing during appearance at Northrop Auditorium.
“It’s devastating; I’ve been a prosecutor in Hennepin County for over 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Chief Deputy He

32 criminal cases to be dismissed because of falsified search warrant

Two people in prison will likely be released after it was revealed that an Eden Prairie detective illegally searched a defendant's car, then created a search warrant after the fact, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said.
Find one of these foam toucans in the Twin Cities and win tickets to Belize.

Sun Country Caribbean free ticket hunt starts after Minnesota's first freeze

Freezing temps signaled the start of Sun Country's promotional toucan hunt.
The Twin Cities Marathon and 10-mile runners aren’t likely to find refuge before their races at U.S. Bank Stadium the way they did at the Metrodome.

No more indoor warmups for Twin Cities Marathon and 10-mile runners

Demolished Metrodome was the longtime home for runners before the predawn race started.
Archbishop Bernard Hebda ran a cheerful gantlet after services for 12,000 Catholic students at U.S. Bank Stadium Wednesday for Mass of the Holy Spirit

U.S. Bank Stadium gets more religion than just Hail Marys on NFL Sundays

Various faith groups are finding spiritual fulfillment in the outsized building.
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