Staff Directory 10645556

Rochelle Olson

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

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

Olson has covered St. Paul and Minneapolis City Halls, Ramsey and Hennepin county governments as well as courts and state government. Before joining the Star Tribune in 2000, Olson worked for eight years with the Associated Press in Kansas City, Topeka, Charleston, W.Va. and St. Paul. She has a master's degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor's from Hamline University. She grew up in Bloomington. She loves to swim and do yoga.
Recent content from Rochelle Olson
A vandalized library in Minneapolis, on Friday, May 29, 2020.

Hennepin County tallies up damage to libraries, service centers in last week's riots

The county is working with insurance adjusters but doesn't yet have a damage estimate for the buildings or a timeline for reopening.
Attorney Benjamin Crump represents George Floyd’s survivors as well as the mother of Ahmaud Aubery, a young man who was shot while jogging in Georgi

Lawyer for George Floyd's survivors calls for congressional action

Civil rights lawyers say uniform national response needed for victims of racial violence
The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, left, and his son met with faith leaders to send a message of solidarity and demand justice in the death of George Floyd at

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton urge immediate jailing, charges for police in Floyd's death

Civil rights leaders held separate south Minneapolis events near crime scene.
After donning personal protective equipment, registered nurse Sarah Neva sanitizes her hands before going in to check on a COVID-19 patient at Bethesd

ICU beds in use hit record daily high in Minn.

As Minnesotans marked the official start of summer, the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care climbed to a record high of 248 with the largest increase in a single day.
After donning personal protective equipment, registered nurse Sarah Neva sanitizes her hands before going in to check on a COVID-19 patient at Bethesd

745 new COVID cases in Minnesota, 12 more deaths

The number of ICU cases rose 20 percent to 248, the Minnesota Department of Health said. Of the 12 who died, 10 were in long-term care facilities, and all were at older than 60.
Eddie Hoeschen, 2, rode on his grandpa Kevin Hoeschen's, of Duluth, shoulders as they walked through a thick crowd at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair.

'Safety comes first': COVID-19 causes State Fair to be called off

Although the COVID-19 infection peak in Minnesota is expected in July, the threat of contagion killed this year's event, which draws hundreds of thousands from around the state.
A sign of encouragement stood at the main entrance to the State Fairgrounds on Thursday. The Minnesota State Fair board is set to meet on Friday, with

Decision looms on whether to hold State Fair as board meets today

Fair officials declined to comment, while vendors remain nervous about their chances.
A bar patron played electronic pulltabs at a bar in Coon Rapids.

Minnesota judge: Electronic pulltabs don't violate tribal gambling monopoly

The state's tribes argued that the single button on e-pulltabs made them similar to slot machines.
Tom Nickerson, left, and Grant Sparks tailgated before the Vikings home opener at TCF Bank Stadium in 2015.

Legislature OKs Vikings selling alcohol outside stadium on game days

Bill also would allow sales in the front lawn park and at Walker Sculpture Garden, Boom Island on occasion.
The African American Leadership Council (AALC) and Saint Paul Black Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (Alliance) held a news conference at St.

St. Paul ministers disappointed by lack of black high school principals

St. Paul ministers say superintendent has failed.
Minnesota law requires hotels and campgrounds to maintain registries that include the names, addresses and vehicle information for all guests and thei

Minnesota court: Police can't see hotel registries without reasonable suspicion

In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that a guest's presence at a hotel is potentially sensitive and shouldn't be wide open for law enforcement.
Carole and William Kenny

Dad lost to COVID-19, family now must decide how to care for mom

Carole Kenny, 87, tested positive for the virus just before her husband died. She has been without her family in the hospital and a care facility ever since, riding out the viral-driven delirium and her grief alone.
U President Joan Gabel’s covid budget presumes a tuition freeze for students and the elimination of merit pay raises.

University of Minnesota weighs multiple scenarios for fall semester

Current, most optimistic plan has students returning to campus.
A woman napped on the Capitol lawn in St. Paul on Saturday.

$2.2B in federal aid sets up local clashes in Minnesota

An-end-of-year deadline set by Congress to spend all the money is setting up clashes not just between parties but among state, county and city leaders scrambling to meet the ballooning costs of the pandemic at the same time that their tax revenues are plunging.

Hennepin County Board works to help long-term care facilities, renters, small businesses

Commissioners said at Thursday briefing that they need to use federal funds to help while the state waits.
A Minneapolis restaurant gets inspected in 2019 by a Minnesota Health Department worker.

Minneapolis epidemiologists take over food-borne investigations but leave the rest to Hennepin County for now

The state will review the arrangement with Hennepin County at the end of the year.
Governor Tim Walz was sporting some corn dog socks as the Minnesota State Fair gates opened last year. They were a gift from Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan,

Walz calls Minnesota State Fair a 'tough lift' this year given crowds

If the State Fair is held as usual, General Manager Jerry Hammer said, it won't be done with restrictions.

Hennepin, Ramsey counties move to help homeowners, businesses deal with pandemic

Hennepin County also set up a $2 million relief fund for small businesses.
The interior of an an empty Target Field an hour before the Home Opener against the Oakland A's would have begun.

U.S. Bank Stadium and Target Field: Locked down but eager to get back in the game

Skeleton crews watch, wait, hope for return of events, athletic seasons.
The counties' master gardeners are donating many of the plants to community gardens.

Master Gardener sales canceled; plants to be donated

Plants will be donated to community gardens and spaces.
In 2017, a line for paying property taxes in Minneapolis.

Hennepin County Board tentatively approves two-month reprieve in property tax deadline

The Ramsey County Board is expected to take action next week on a similar proposal.
State Supreme Court allows voter data withheld from public

State Supreme Court allows voter data withheld from public

Access ruling reverses decisions of two lower courts.
Most of Hennepin County's pandemic-related spending has gone toward acquiring protective equipment for front-line workers and isolating vulnerable hom

Under pandemic pressure, Hennepin County already has nearly drained its $10 million emergency fund

Concern was expressed that the county may have to dip into its general fund, made up of property tax dollars, to cover pandemic expenses.
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, seen in 2018, launched NorthStar Neighbor over the weekend on social media.

Nonprofit seeks to link isolated high-risk residents with volunteers

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson established NorthStar Neighbor last weekend.
Anglers made their way out to their fishing spots after putting in at the Gray’s Bay Boat Launch Saturday at Lake Minnetonka.

Lake Minnetonka's big boating season at risk under pandemic

It's still not clear how stay-at-home order will affect Minnetonka boating, lake fishing statewide.
A sign encouraging social distancing at Strachauer Park in Edina. Edina city officials issued a warning to residents this weekend that large gathering

Police get calls about Twin Cities gatherings during sheltering

As a general rule, parks and walking paths are open while playground equipment is off limits.
Hospitals and clinics are cutting back on prenatal visits, requiring women to go alone and limiting who can accompany them into the birthing rooms.

Alone in the delivery room: Pregnancy during pandemic brings altered plans

Hospitals and clinics are restricting who can be in the delivery room, prompting some tough decisions for expectant mothers.
Simpson Housing Services shelter.

Housing homeless in Hennepin County could easily hit $1M a week

County officials say that state help will be needed to cover what they say could be staggering costs.

Minn. court upholds liquor thief's conviction even though clerk took bottles

Store clerk fought, reclaimed liquor bottles from woman's purse
Eden Prairie Officer Travis Serafin

Arbitrator reinstates fired Eden Prairie police officer, saying faulty search warrant was not intentional

Officer didn't intentionally falsify record, he decides.
Medical personnel with the California Air National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing worked Thursday alongside staff from the Centers for Disease Control and

Stranded on a cruise ship, Minn. passengers await a two-week quarantine — and better food

Some wish the food was better, and all are anxious about the impending quarantine on land.
Ian Almquist, with the Minnesota Twins grounds crew, mowed the lawn at Target Field, Friday, March 6, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN.

Target Field's heating up for cold weather, whether April baseball or January hockey

Look for warmer restrooms, concessions, and speedy Wi-Fi 6.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon toured the Ramsey County elections office with Joe Mansky in 2016.

Q&A with Joe Mansky, retiring director of Minnesota elections

Election interference is a far greater risk than voter fraud, he says on eve of primary.
Construction workers built scaffolding on the northwest side of U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday ahead of the replacement work.

U.S. Bank Stadium faces $21M in leak repairs to panels

The black zinc panels that form the exterior of U.S. Bank Stadium leak more than previously revealed and must all be replaced.
Ryan Larson in December 2012.

Court orders new defamation trial for Cold Spring man cleared in police officer's killing

Police falsely implicated man in 2012 shooting of Cold Spring police officer

U opens investigation into former assistant men's hockey coach

Story published in the Athletic prompts outreach to former players.
U.S. Bank Stadium.

U.S. Bank Stadium will super size NCAA wrestling tournament

The home to Vikings football has also been the site of the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament, college baseball game and now college wrestling.
A bar patron played electronic pulltabs at a bar in Coon Rapids.

Shakopee community challenging legality of electronic pulltabs

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

Vikings ready to play defense on pulltab revenue for stadium debt

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

Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat will retire after three decades

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

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

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

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

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

Activists call on Amy Klobuchar to withdraw over 2003 murder case

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

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

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

Hennepin County considers future of disease control after Minneapolis ends contract

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

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

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

Gable Steveson has little difficulty as Gophers wrestling tops Wisconsin

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

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

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

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

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

St. Paul program kicks off college account for newborns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hennepin's top public defender surprised by her suspension

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

St. Cloud State and Minnesota Crookston drop football programs

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

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

Prosecutors say officer used excessive force.

Citing protected speech, Minn. court overturns phone stalking law

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

Twins will extend Target Field netting again for 2020 season

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

Gophers fans' excitement turns to disappointment over loss

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

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

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

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

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

Still suspended from U wrestling, Steveson qualifies for Olympic trials

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hennepin County judge has been on medical leave since September.