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
Attorney Michelle MacDonald at the state GOP convention in 2016. MacDonald is running a fourth time for Minnesota Supreme Court as she faces a new res

Frequent Supreme Court candidate on ballot and facing probation again

Frequent candidate has a history of legal trouble; she's running against Justice Thissen.
People climbed atop a tanker truck driven by Bogdan Vechirko as it continued to move after driving through protesters who had shut down the Interstate

Trucker who drove onto I-35W during Floyd protest charged

Bogdan Vechirko faces one felony and one misdemeanor count in Hennepin County.
A small Minnesota Vikings fan celebrated Adam Thielen's touchdown during the fourth quarter Oct. 18.

Vikings have plans to put fans in seats, but must wait for Walz's OK

Five home games remain in the Minnesota Vikings' 2020 season, and the team is still hoping to bring fans into U.S. Bank Stadium — if they can get the go-ahead from the governor.
Former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Judge denies prosecution request to seal filings in George Floyd case

Defense wants to admit video from his May 2019 arrest by Mpls. police.
Minnesota Duluth, which won the national championship, celebrated a goal during the 2018 Frozen Four at the Xcel Energy Center.

Three Frozen Fours coming to state; wrestling, volleyball snubbed

Minneapolis sports officials made a pitch for the 2023 wrestling tournament after the 2020 event, which was expected to bring 40,000 fans to town, was canceled by the pandemic.
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane arrived with his attorney Earl Gray at the Hennepin County Family Justice Center in Minneapolis on Sept.

Prosecutors ask to keep details of 2019 Floyd arrest out of public view

Defense claims Floyd has been falsely portrayed as a "law-abiding" victim in fear for his life.
Prosecutor Matthew Frank arrived on June 29, 2020, for the second court appearance in Minneapolis for four former Minneapolis police officers facing c

Prosecutors want stiff sentences for cops charged in Floyd killing

New motion in Floyd case provides additional basis for extended sentences for four former MPD officers.
North High School head football coach Charles Adams shown addressing the team at the end of practice while wearing a Twins shirt.

North football coach Adams leaving Mpls. police to direct security for Twins

Charles Adams III, 40, started with the Twins on Monday, calling the job a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." Matt Hoy, the Twins' senior vice president for operations, announced the hire Thursday. Adams will continue to coach.
Crosslake, Minn., firefighter Jory Danielson was among more than two dozen firefighters to return to Minnesota after volunteering to help fight wildfi

Minnesota firefighters return from two-week tour fighting mountainous Oregon fire

Flatlander crews found terrain, altitude challenging in Western mission.

Two men arrested in Sept. 20 Bloomington home invasion, attempted robbery

Two men have been charged after police arrested them in the middle of a west Bloomington home invasion and robbery on Sept. 20. Robert Gabrio,…
John Choi said the pilot justice program can help improve public safety.

Ramsey County Attorney Choi resigned from commission; now federal judge ends its work

Choi sent notice in May that he was concerned about the lack of diversity on the panel.
The OMNI Viking Lakes Hotel opens Thursday. The Nordic-themed space is a cornerstone of the Eagan piece of the Minnesota Vikings owners redevelopment

Omni opens Nordic-themed hotel in Vikings development

New hotel is long-planned component of the NFL team's new home campus
Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty

State panel declines reappointment of Hennepin County public defender

State Public Defender Bill Ward recommended against reappointing Mary Moriarty because of her "inability to work" with others. The full Board of Public Defense is expected to vote at a meeting beginning at noon.

Minnesota lawyer Doris Huspeni, who broke ground for female jurists, dies at 91

Doris Ohlsen Huspeni paused her college studies for marriage and children in 1949 after meeting her husband in a German language class at the University…
Hennepin County District Court Judge Kevin Burke is the state’s longest-serving judge. Appointed by the late Gov. Rudy Perpich, Burke has turned 70,

Longest-serving Minnesota judge departing the Hennepin County bench

Judge Kevin Burke turned 70 on Sept. 17, hitting the mandatory retirement age.
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Russell Anderson listened to arguments in March 2007.

Former Minnesota Chief Justice Russell Anderson dies at 78

The court needed "the best voice we could get for rural Minnesota — and we got the best voice for all of Minnesota," former Gov. Arne Carlson said.
Mason Crosby kicked an extra point for Green Bay in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, where cutouts of fans filled o

Absence of fans makes for eerily quiet Vikings opener

The pandemic put a big wet blanket on not only the pregame activities but the energy inside the 66,000-seat stadium where fans are banned for at least the first two home games.
File photo: Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Judge disqualifies Freeman for 'sloppy' work in Floyd case

Protesters gathered as attorneys argued key issues including whether the trial should be moved out of the county, whether the defendants should be tried in one trial or separately, and how jurors will be selected.
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane was screamed at by protesters as he walked to a car from the Hennepin County Family Justice Center follo

Crowd swarms former Minneapolis police officers with shouts of 'Murderer!'

It was an extraordinarily unsettling midday scene outside Hennepin County's Family Justice Center.
Viktor the Viking wandered the sidelines ahead of last year's season opener against the Atlanta Falcons Sept. 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Vikings try new ways to connect with fans for Sunday's Border Battle

It may be one of the most spirited NFL rivalries, but the Vikings-Green Bay border battle Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium will be remarkably subdued regardless of the action
Larry J. Foster

Hennepin County jury convicts 67-year-old in murder of Minneapolis landlord, friend

Defendant testified that a drug dealer he knew was the actual killer.
Matthew Sean Williams

Matthew Sean Williams, lawyer and online gamer, dies of COVID-19 at 40

How he contracted COVID-19 is likely to remain a mystery, his mother said.
Derek Chauvin

Former Mpls. officer Chauvin appears in court on tax evasion charges

Charges came after he was charged in the killing of George Floyd

Defendant in 2019 Minneapolis murder testifies about chaotic fight with drug dealer

Larry Foster claims he was a victim, too, as trial enters its third week.

6-year-old boy missing after wading in Mississippi River with friends

Five children, two adults were on a bike ride when they stopped on Boom Island
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, right, entered the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility on June 29 with his attorney Earl Gray, left.

Descended from cops, he saw his Mpls. police career last 4 days

Thomas Lane's life, viewed through the lens of those who knew him, shows a quiet man challenged at times with personal struggles, yet driven by his desire to wear a badge.

Chauvin lawyer: Restraint didn't kill Floyd, ill health and drug abuse did

Motion says former officer acted professionally and showed care in his actions.
Members of the Gophers football team briefly threatened to boycott a 2016 Holiday Bowl game in protest after 10 accused players were suspended from th

University of Minnesota paid $500,000 to woman who accused Gophers football players of rape

Settlement related to 2016 case was reached in early March.
U.S. Bank Stadium won't be open to fans for the first two Vikings home games.

No fans at first two Vikings home games; most ticket holders opt out

About 60% of Vikings season-ticket holders took up the team's offer of skipping the season, according to the team, which announced its decision for September games vs. Green Bay and Tennessee.
U.S. Bank Stadium is being prepared for the NFL season, which is expected to start next month.

Vikings trying to get fans into stadium, but unlikely for opener

Vikings officials are hoping to get thousands of their fans into U.S. Bank Stadium, although that's not likely for the home opener Sept. 13 against the Green Bay Packers.
Concerned about police officer exhaustion and burnout, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and other leaders have formed a ta

Review of Minneapolis off-duty police work being put on hold again

City leaders want to rein in the loosely regulated system, saying some officers work exceptionally long hours, raising concerns about liability and health.
St. Paul firefighters quickly got a fire at Metro Metals Recycling under control on Tuesday.

Large blaze breaks out at metal plant in St. Paul

Firefighters weren't able to say what caused the fire. There were no reports of injury.
The Vikings' TCO Performance Center in Eagan.

Apartment renters can join the Minnesota Vikings' Eagan neighborhood next summer

The team owners expect to have 261 units on the market.
Amity Dimock-Heisler spoke to reporters Wednesday in Minneapolis about the death of her son, Kobe Dimock-Heisler.

Hennepin County won't file charges against Brooklyn Center officers in fatal shooting

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the two officers who fired reasonably believed they and Kobe Dimock-Heisler's grandmother were in "danger of death or great bodily harm" when they fired six shots.
Luke Widbin and Nathan Heerts ate takeout outside Target Field while listening to the Twins home opener via phones.

Eerie quiet surrounds Target Field, downtown Minneapolis for Twins home opener

For a few fans, just being close to the home opener was worth the trip.
New Chief Hennepin County District Court Judge Todd Barnette is the first Black jurist to hold that position. [

Hennepin County's first chief judge of color takes helm at unprecedented time

Barnette takes the helm at an unprecedented moment for Hennepin County
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor read a statement before being sentenced June 7, 2019, by Judge Kathryn Quaintance in the fatal shooting

Judge agrees to release names of jurors in Mohamed Noor trial

Juror information is typically released soon after a verdict; judge worries about privacy.
Johnny Benson, former football coach at Kimball Area High School, resigned in October and hasn’t worked since.

Former Kimball coach hopes for second chance after nightmare accusations

Johnny Benson wasn't charged with any crimes. But he's still out of a job. "I didn't do anything wrong. I'm embarrassed and humiliated," said the grandson of legendary former St. John's football coach John Gagliardi.
Newly released transcripts of Minneapolis police body camera footage provide the most detailed accounts of George Floyd’s death, which ignited prote

Body-cam transcripts: George Floyd repeatedly begged police not to kill him

In his fatal encounter with Minneapolis police, George Floyd used the word "please" nearly five dozen times, according to newly released transcripts of police body camera footage.
Minnesota Chief Justice Lorie Gildea cited a public opinion survey by the National Center for State Courts released in June that found 70% of responde

Face coverings will be required at all Minnesota courthouses beginning Monday

Visitors should bring their own masks to wear while in any of the state's 105 court facilities.
Police investigated in 2019 near where a van plowed into a Minneapolis bus shelter.

Champlin man who crashed into north Minneapolis bus shelter found incompetent for sentencing

Court will review George Jensen's mental status in six months
Ninth Ward Council Member Alondra Cano spoke to community members at “The Path Forward” meeting at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis on Sunday, June

What you need to know about plans to defund Minneapolis Police

In the weeks since George Floyd died after being pinned by since-fired Minneapolis police officers, activists and some City Council members have called for defunding,…
U.S. Bank Stadium typically hosts hundreds of gatherings a year from small business meetings and receptions to high school sporting events and convent

Virus closes U.S. Bank Stadium for '20 except for maybe Vikings

As of today, the four-year-old stadium has nothing but football on the schedule. Even if the NFL season goes ahead, it's unlikely to include stadiums full of fans.
HCMC CEO Jennifer DeCubellis presented a thank you note with a photo of his flyover to Col. James Cleet, Commander for the 133rd Airlift Wing.

Star administrator off to challenging start leading massive Hennepin Healthcare

Jennifer DeCubellis had been CEO of Hennepin Healthcare, the sprawling system that operates the county's flagship trauma hospital and clinics, for two weeks when COVID-19…
Judge Peter Cahill, shown in 2013.

Judge assigned to oversee cases of 4 fired officers charged in Floyd killing

Peter Cahill has experience in high-profile trials. and was the top adviser to Sen. Amy Klobuchar when she was county attorney.
Rosemary Nevils-Williams, mother of slain activist Tyrone Williams, joined community leaders Thursday outside Minneapolis City Hall.

Minneapolis officers' letter, rallies add to voices for change

Several Minneapolis police officers issued a public letter condemning the killing of George Floyd, embracing Chief Medaria Arradondo and seeking to work toward regaining public trust. The letter begins, "Dear Everyone — but especially Minneapolis citizens," and claims to represent how the "vast majority" of Minneapolis police officers feel at this moment.
Judge Kerry Meyer said she has been in quarantine since Monday.

First Hennepin County jury trial since pandemic results in quarantine for judge and her staff

The trial was part of a rolling restart for district court trials following the pandemic pause.
Former Hennepin County Attorney Tom Johnson died Monday after a six-year battle with advanced prostate cancer.

Former Hennepin County Attorney Tom Johnson dies

Johnson endured stage IV cancer for six years, kept working.
Ninth Ward Council Member Alondra Cano spoke to community members at “The Path Forward” meeting at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis on Sunday, June

What you need to know about plans to defund Minneapolis police

Agreement by 9 of 12 current council members is a tiny step in what could be a long process.
Quincy Mason (son of George Floyd) and attorney Benjamin Crump during a press conference in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

Floyd's family applauds charges against four fired Minneapolis officers

And at the area where Floyd was pinned under an officer's knee, flowers and a mural now memorialize him.
Justice Anne McKeig wrote the 20-page opinion, which sends the case back to the Hennepin County District Court.

Minnesota Supreme Court upholds 'severe or pervasive' standard for sexual harassment

Homeward Bound employee's case reinstated, returns to district court.
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.