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
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

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.
Former FBI special agent Steve Gilkerson answered questions from media members during a press conference at the Government Center to address Stearns C

Former FBI agent defends work on Jacob Wetterling investigation

Retired investigator says Heinrich arrest was a "Hail Mary" to elicit a confession.
Real ID rolls out across the state for early adopters

Real ID rolls out across the state for early adopters

State officials urging patience as new system of identification rolls out.
Jeff Johnson and running mate Donna Bergstrom. ] GLEN STUBBE •

DFL volunteer enters GOP candidate's home, prompts apology from party chair

Lt. governor candidate wasn't at home at the time, but her husband and son were.
Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson waited to begin a press conference to discuss the document release in the Jacob Wetterling case.

Sheriff lays out missed chances for quick answers to Jacob's fate

A task force formed to find missing 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989 wasted time chasing far-flung leads and listening to psychics rather than tracking compelling evidence close to home, Don Gudmundson said.
Al Garber, the FBI investigator who supervised the original Jacob Wetterling abduction case in 1989, stepped to the podium to challenge the account of

Lead FBI agent in Jacob Wetterling case refutes Stearns County sheriff's claims of a bungled investigation

"We're not dopes," Al Garber said during an emphatic defense of his agency's efforts to find the killer.
Jerry and Patty Wetterling.

Wetterling family expresses sorrow on eve of release of investigative files

Stearns County sheriff will release thousands of pages pertaining to the 1989 abduction and murder.
Gophers basketball player Jarvis Omersa read to third-graders at Pillsbury Elementary in Minneapolis on Friday, kicking off the "Read to the Final Fou

'Read to the Final Four' competition launches across Minnesota

Gophers basketball players use Final Four-style contest to promote childhood literacy.

State documents in Wetterling investigation to be made public Thursday

Jacob's kidnapper eluded law enforcement for 27 years despite initial suspicion.

Minnesotans mobilize to help with Hurricane Florence

Some 37 Minnesota Red Cross volunteers are in place along the Eastern Seaboard awaiting a wicked swipe from Hurricane Florence.
Colin Kaepernick in a screen shot from Nike's new ad, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.

U students applaud Kaepernick's message, Nike's ad and the Gophers alliance

Students appear to back message; athletic clothing contract remains in place.
One of the dogs rescued in Pierce County, Wisconsin, by ASPCA.

1,300 dogs and chickens rescued from suspected fighting operation in Wisconsin

Meth bust leads to large dogfighting, cockfighting operation in Pierce County.
Yahoo! took down this ad using Justine Damond's image.

Yahoo takes down ad using Justine Damond photo to sell debt services

Family's lawyer decries misuse of image of someone killed by police.
U.S. Bank Stadium.

Nursing moms can watch Vikings games from new room at U.S. Bank Stadium

Nursing mothers will be able to breast-feed or pump without missing the on-field action beginning Friday with the Minnesota Vikings preseason game against the Seattle…
Anti-abortion advocates have lost an appeal in an attempt to restrict when the University of Minnesota can use aborted fetal tissue for medical resear

Pro-Life Action Ministries loses latest appeal of U research on aborted fetal tissue

Appeals court says 2017 law provides specific guidelines.
Mark Haase is the DFL-endorsed candidate for Hennepin County attorney.

Hennepin County attorney candidate Mark Haase presents first campaign proposals

County attorney candidate wants a community panel.
Nicolle Peltier testified Thursday about her children’s injuries. Beside her were her father, Tim Brinkley, and her husband, Kyle.

Nearly 3 years for driver who smashed into toddler on Mpls. playground

Refusal to apologize stuns injured children's family.
In this Monday Aug. 6, 2018 photo, a dead Snook is shown along the water's edge in Bradenton Beach, Fla. From Naples in Southwest Florida, about 135 m

Reeking red tide catches Minnesotans in Florida

Gulf Coast snowbirds hold their noses during southwest Florida's state of emergency.
Norm Coleman outside his Washington, D.C. office in 2015. The former Republican U.S. senator is backing state Sen. Karin Housley in the special electi

Former Sen. Norm Coleman says cancer's return has 'shaken my soul'

Coleman was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. He survived an earlier bout with neck and throat cancer in 2015.
Desiree Collins recounts the day then-St. Paul police K-9 Gabe attacked her as she was taking out the garbage on Sept. 23, 2017. Collins is suing the

Federal judge: St. Paul must pay woman bitten by police dog in 2017

Judge said facts aren't in dispute and jury will decide damages.
The decision means officers Daniel Gleason and Jordan Wild won’t face criminal prosecution in the fatal encounter on Euclid Street in the Dayton’s

No charges against St. Paul officers who fatally shot man in October 2017

Phumee Lee had been in a domestic dispute before exchanging gunfire with police in the street.
Railroad workers prepare to try and get a Union Pacific train engine back on the tracks at the Hoffman Bridge after it derailed and a fuel car spilled

Derailed train dumps 3,200 gallons of fuel into Mississippi

The derailment happened on a railroad bridge linking two rail yards near the St. Paul Downtown Airport, downstream from downtown St. Paul. Boaters were advised to avoid the area.
Ramsey county corner loaded the body of a person that was shot and killed by St. Paul Police in the 900 block of St. Anthony Avenue Sunday August 5, 2

Man fatally shot by police in St. Paul's Summit-University area

Police said officers shot an armed man after responding to a 911 call from a multi-unit building in the 900 block of St. Anthony Avenue at about 2:30 a.m. St. Paul Mayor Melvin Cater called the shooting a tragedy for the city.

Hennepin County investigating fuel leak at Metro Transit operation in Brooklyn Center

Complaint leads county, state investigators to Brooklyn Center garage.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf left and chief operating office Kevin Warren watched practice during Minnesota Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center

New day dawns for Vikings with training camp in Eagan

A sold-out crowd of 5,000 joined the Vikings in Eagan on a beautiful summer Saturday for the beginning of the 2018 season and a new era of training camp.
Minneapolis skyline (left) and Target Center

WNBA All-Stars descending on downtown Minneapolis

The game will be played at Target Center on Saturday for the first time, providing a chance to see the best active players and future legends live on the court at the same time.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Northtown Railroad Yard in Fridley, shown in December 2009.

Hennepin judge fines BNSF $4.6M for injury lawsuit misconduct

The railroad plans to appeal the claims from a $15.3M personal injury lawsuit.
Robert Brown, a water resource specialist for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, tested the water at Webber Park Pool earlier in the month.

Ducks get blame as Webber pool closes again after failing another water quality test

Pool closed for 15th day. "We just need to find a way to keep it open," says park commissioner.
FILE- In this March 16, 2018, file photo, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon discusses election security issues in his office in St. Paul, Minn.

Minnesota secretary of state must hand over voter data, judge rules

Ramsey County judge sided with group claiming widespread voter fraud.
Yohance Simon, part of the Super Bowl Host Committee, poses for a photo on Nicollet Mall.

Super Bowl organizers hand out leftover cash to 52 youth programs

Host Committee gave $5.5 million to youth health, fitness programs throughout the state.
Lillianna and Kayden Peltier share a smile.

Fleeing driver in playground crash enters surprise guilty plea, agrees to harsher sentence

Two siblings were seriously injured in the crash at Jenny Lind Elementary School last month.
Maria Ellis, 20, right, splashed water on DaKayo Lattimore, 9, at the Webber Park pool after it reopened Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Webber Park pool in Mpls. partially reopens after 13 days

The deeper portion of the pool, including the lap area and diving dock, reopened, but the shallow "upper pool" remained closed.
Minneapolis North athletic director Leo Lewis watched from the sidelines during a boys' junior varsity basketball game on Jan. 6, 2017.

Former North High athletic director Leo Lewis was fired, supporters say

Ex-Vikings receiver was among three top sports administrators to leave the Minneapolis schools without explanation.
Robert Brown, a water resource specialist for the Minneapolis Park Department, tested the water at Webber Park Pool, Thursday, July 5, 2018 in Minneap

Webber Park pool in north Minneapolis closed at least until Tuesday

Latest water tests showed improved conditions, but not enough to reopen.
One of the dolls seized at International Falls port. Photo by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Feds seize 60,000 mermaid dolls at International Falls port

An estimated $600,000 in counterfeit dolls were headed to city of Ranier in Koochiching County.
Robert Brown, a water resource specialist for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, tested the water at Webber Park Pool on Thursday. Webber Pool

Popular north Mpls. pool closed during heat due to water quality

Webber Park pool, first in the nation to use aquatic plants for cleaning rather than chlorine, has been swamped by heavy rains.
New Ulm is assessing how to repair its famous monument.

New Ulm's Hermann the German is in need of a renovation

Monument's 70-foot-tall base is showing its age.
This photo provided by the South Padre Island (Texas) Police Department shows Lois Riess, of Blooming Prairie, Minn., who was arrested by federal depu

Florida will seek death penalty for Blooming Prairie woman

Lois Riess is accused of killing a woman she met at a Fort Myers restaurant in April. She was being sought by Minnesota authorities in the murder of her husband.
Adrielle Bedessem, cq, 3, of Brooklyn Park showed her mother Delaine Bedessem how well she fared at swimming and keeping cool in a Lake Nokomis beach,

Minnesotans swelter as high hits 99, more heat coming for 4th

After that extreme heat and humidity, Saturday's high will be in the upper 80s.
U.S. Bank Stadium's huge swaths of glass have to be covered for the NCAA Final Four in 2019.

Blacking out U.S. Bank Stadium for Final Four could hit $5.2M

The public board that oversees U.S. Bank Stadium will be asked today to authorize spending of $4.6 million, with the potential of another $600,000 for final negotiations on the "darkening solution."
Towns, Diggins strut their naked stuff in ESPN Body issue

Towns, Diggins strut their naked stuff in ESPN Body issue

In the issue, available online Monday, the Olympic gold medalist from Afton and the Wolves' All-Star center talk about how hard they work to push their bodies to world-class performances.
In this December 2016 file photo, University of Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle spoke to the media about the suspensions of 10 Gophers football

Accused football players sue U over sexual misconduct case

The lawsuit against the University of Minnesota seeks unspecified damages for "being falsely cast as sex offenders."
Cydni Bickerstaff, VP of event operations with the Fan Jam truck. Staff members shot baskets on the side of the truck. from left, Cordell Smith, Jack

College hoops fans can jam and slam with the touring Final Four truck

Fan Jam truck to give Minnesotans a summertime taste of March Madness.
Gretchen Carlson, shown in October. The Miss America Organization is dropping the swimsuit competition from its nationally televised broadcast. Carlso

Backlash greets Miss America bikini ban, Gretchen Carlson says

"It's kind of a no-win situation," said 1988 Minnesota winner now running pageant.

Orono man pleads guilty to conspiracy and tax fraud in $13 million scheme

No sentencing date has been set for 55-year-old Scott P. Flynn.
Jess McIntosh

Former DFL Party spokeswoman writes of 'date' with disgraced New York AG

Jess McIntosh hopes her Eric Schneiderman story goes beyond #MeToo.
Childhood abuse survivor Jamie Heutmaker embraced bankruptcy attorney Brittany Michael after Thursday's news conference detailing the settlement reach

$210M settlement was long time coming for clergy abuse victims

For many, the announcement was closure as they continue to heal their scars of emotional trauma.
Childhood clergy abuse survivor Marie Mielke gestured while speaking about her abuse and the settlement reached between abuse survivors and the Archdi

Victims of clergy abuse settle with archdiocese for $210M

More than 400 victims of sexual abuse will share in the settlement, which ends a protracted bankruptcy dispute, attorneys said. It still must be approved by a judge.
Levi LaValle leapt a snowmobile over Nicollet Mall for the Polaris UpsideDown stunt on Feb. 3.

Super Bowl LII brought $370 million to Minnesota, report says

The results, sure to be disputed by detractors, came in $50 million over pre-event projections, the analyst said.
Mike Kohler en route to his full marathon finish.

Runner mistakenly runs full Fargo marathon after planning for a half

The 26-year-okd plumber from Detroit Lakes decided to go for it at the 8-mile mark and didn't look back.
Levi Brown, 5, squirted his new friend Elijah Coleman, 5, at Cliff Fen Park in Burnsville. See more photos at

Mid-90s? It's weather whiplash for holiday weekend

Memorial Day weekend is going to be the hottest in more than a decade, with temperatures in the 90s for much of it.
The turkey had been hanging out for at least a month at the intersection of 16th Street and Mayowood Avenue Southwest in Rochester.

Rochester town turkey got a name, then got gunned down

Jake sealed his fate when he chased a kid on a bike.
Carl Anderson

Fatal dispute over lake access ends in shooter's acquittal

Jury found neighbor's use of deadly force was justified in February 2017 shooting in Chisago County.
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