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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

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.
Justice Paul Thissen, shown at his swearing-in ceremony, wrote the opinion that the search of Guntallwon Brown while he was strapped down and sedated

Minn. Supreme Court says forced body cavity search is unconstitutional

A man observed selling drugs was arrested and then sedated and strapped down while a doctor removed evidence.
Fans took in the scene April at U.S. Bank Stadium when the NCAA Final Four was in Minneapolis.

U.S. Bank Stadium becomes first pro sports venue to achieve top sustainability status

Three-year-old stadium already won LEED gold for design.
Damage shown in 2017 at Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington after the bombing.

FBI agent testifies on discovery of Bloomington mosque bombing suspect's weapons cache

Black duffel with four AR-15s, four shotguns were found during search in Illinois.
Jamar Clark’s father, James Clark, addressed a recent news conference calling on the city to award $20 million to the family -- the same amount awar

Mpls., family of Jamar Clark reach tentative $200,000 settlement

Lawyer says the family realized change isn't possible through the courts. The City Council will be asked to sign off on the amount.
X Games veteran Ryan Sheckler performed a 360 flip during the X Games street qualifiers at U.S. Bank Stadium in July.

Star skateboarder Ryan Sheckler reaches out to Twin Cities adaptive athletes

Ryan Sheckler also donated $10,000 to limb-loss group.
A practice of the St. Cloud State University men's tennis team in 2016. Ten recent members of SCSU’s tennis and Nordic ski teams filed suit over the

Federal judge: St. Cloud State athletics fails to provide equal opportunity to women

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim came down on the side of the young women, ordering SCSU to take immediate steps.
November 23, 1992: Cleveland's Dan Fike tried to hold off Vikings defensive end Al Noga as he zeroed in on quarterback Mike Tomczak in the first quart

Vikings not obligated for ex-lineman's dementia, Minn. Supreme Court rules

Al Noga claimed his dementia was related to multiple concussions during his years as a Vikings defensive lineman. The Minnesota Supreme Court threw out his workers' compensation award.
Farass Adnan Ali (Facebook)

Federal judge again orders release of Iraqi native held for two years at Department of Justice discretion

Farass Ali has been held alongside criminals despite his status as a permanent U.S. resident.

Minnesota wineries win second chance in court at getting their grapes

A federal appeals court ruling served up another round in court for the two wineries challenging state law requiring most grapes to be grown in state.
This April 13, 2014, photo, shows the Internal Revenue Service headquarters building in Washington.

Medina man convicted of tax evasion for cat-and-mouse game of nearly 20 years with IRS

Randal S. Brinkman and his wife own 50% of a successful Twin Cities commercial remodeling business.
Boats cruised the St. Croix River in 2018.

Drownings so far this year running slightly lower than recent years

Of this year's drownings so far, all but four were in lakes and rivers.
After overseeing construction of the Metrodome, Don Poss became Blaine city manager in 1988.

Don Poss, who oversaw construction of Metrodome, dies at 86

In 1990, as Blaine city manager, Poss delivered the $20 million National Sports Center, a sprawling facility that became a popular hub for youth athletics, especially soccer.
Omni Hotels and Resorts will open its first Minnesota location next year at the Viking Lakes complex being developed by the Wilfs, owners of the Minne

Luxury hotel to open next year at Vikings complex in Eagan

The full-service Omni is slated to open in 2020.
Luann M. Johnson

Five months in workhouse for drunken driver who fatally struck pedestrian

Her sentence includes 20 cautionary speeches.
Minneapolis police Lt. Eddie Frizell, 2012.

A model of persistence, Minneapolis police veteran Eddie Frizell to take over Metro Transit force

Frizell will lead the department's 120 full-time and 60 part-time officers.
Ramsey County’s lawsuit seeks to end an agreement with Arden Hills to redevelop the land into the Rice Creek Commons plan.

Affordable-housing group seeks to join lawsuit against Arden Hills

It backs Ramsey County's action for more affordable units in sprawling project.
Dale Barsness

Dale Barsness was Minneapolis homicide chief at a deadly time in the city's history

After Dale Barsness died, his son Jeff found two case files for unsolved murders spread out on a table in his dad's Minneapolis apartment."Still trying…

Minnetrista mayor, two council members, former council member face campaign finance penalties, criminal probe

Mayor and others did not follow financial reporting laws, a judge has ruled.
Minneapolis is in the sixth year of its $1.7 million annual plan to tear down and replace 40,000 ash trees, part of the city’s attack on the invasiv

Minneapolis ash tree removal hits the Chain of Lakes, starting at Bde Maka Ska

Minneapolis works to get ahead of emerald ash borer.
Norie will provide companionship to adult and child victims through the prosecution process.

Ramsey County attorney's latest hire: A golden retriever named Norie

The job is to provide a calming presence for clients who are nervous, distraught and wary of recounting painful stories.
Artist's rendering of the hotel being built near the Vikings' headquarters in Eagan.

Ecolab joins Wilfs as investor in hotel project on Vikings' Eagan campus

St. Paul-based Ecolab is on investment team behind hotel on Eagan campus.

Edina City Hall closes one entrance in an effort to tighten security

Safety concerns spark change across Twin Cities.
TCF Bank Stadium, home of the University of Minnesota football team.

Judge tosses out former football players' lawsuit vs. university

The lawsuit sought unspecified damages for discrimination against the players after a woman alleged she was the victim of a gang rape in 2016. U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank said the players offered "no factual support for their allegations."
Workers take down NCAA Final Four signage outside U.S. Bank Stadium during Monday night's title game between Virginia and Texas Tech.

NCAA Final Four economic infusion for Twin Cities set at $143 million

April college basketball tournament resulted in $23 million in tax revenue.
Irma Burns, the mother of Jamar Clark, leaned on a sign bearing a photo of her son during a vigil in November 2017.

Federal case involving Jamar Clark returns to federal court next week

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis will get an update on negotiations or move closer to a trial.

Minneapolis summer lecture series on race begins in late July with history lesson

But controversial sessions with city staffers have not been rescheduled.
Minnesota Supreme Court Paul C. Thissen. Thissen wrote for the majority when the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed the cyberbullying convi

Minn. Supreme Court: Stalking, harassment laws overly broad in cyberbully case

A Scott County student was convicted of cyberbullying, but the high court ruled that the laws on mail harrassment and stalking by mail were overly broad.
Gable Steveson warms up before wrestling in an NCAA Big Ten tournament in Minneapolis, Minn, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. Nationally-ranked University of Min

No charges filed against Gophers wrestlers; investigation continues

Gophers wrestling star Gable Steveson, 19, and teammate Dylan Martinez, 21, were released from the Hennepin County jail. They had been held on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct since their arrests over the weekend.
Standout Gophers wrestler Gable Steveson was arrested Saturday evening along with a second U wrestler, Dylan Martinez, on suspicion of criminal sexual

Two U wrestlers jailed on suspicion of sexual assault await fate

Star wrestler Gable Steveson, 19, and teammate Dylan Martinez, 21, remained in the Hennepin County jail Monday on suspicion of third-degree felony criminal sexual conduct.
Fans sat in the stands during a Gophers men's hockey game in this 2016 file photo.

To boost crowds, U extends beer and wine sales outside arenas' premium seats

Alcohol sales are quickly becoming the norm at college and university events and would be another attempt at energizing the fan base and boosting revenue.

Judge dismisses claims against one officer in Jamar Clark shooting

A Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot a 24-year-old man in November 2015 has been formally dismissed as a defendant in the excessive force lawsuit…
Daniel Homstad

Daniel Homstad, attorney who worked as both public defender and county prosecutor, dies at 51

As a young law clerk in the Hennepin County Public Defender’s office in the early 1990s, Daniel Homstad worked on a case that became a…
Minneapolis city coordinator Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde listened as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey delivered his second State of the City address in April

Mpls. officials cancel segregated meetings for city staff members

Three sessions had been planned through July, with black and white staffers meeting separately.
Detective Travis Serafin lied in court but didn’t commit perjury, the McLeod County attorney said Friday.

Ex-Eden Prairie detective who falsified search warrant won't face charges

As a result of the falsified warrant, charges against an alleged drug dealer were dropped and Serafin was dismissed by the Eden Prairie police.
Robert Brown, a water resource specialist for the Minneapolis Park Department, tested the water at Webber Park Pool in 2018.

Webber, Lupient pools open in Minneapolis; North Commons undergoing repair

The North Commons Water Park won't open until July, due to underground pipe repairs.
A federal excessive-force lawsuit in Justine Ruszczyk Damond's case was settled for $20 million.

Police payouts vary widely in Mpls., other cities facing suits

A deeper look at two recent Minneapolis cases other recent brutality settlements reveal the calculations that go into determining how much gets paid out by a municipality.
Michael Hartzell, nicknamed "Bones," and a longtime fixture on Rice Street, died last year. His trademark wheelbarrow is to be planted with flowers as

St. Paul's Rice Street loses, then finds piece of the late "Bones" legacy

Wheelbarrow the local legend used on his daily rounds will hold blooms.
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.
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