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
Luann M. Johnson

Five months in workhouse for Medina drunken driver who fatally struck pedestrian

A Medina woman was sentenced to five months in custody for driving drunk and fatally striking a Plymouth resident on a walk with her elderly…
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.
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.
More from Star Tribune