Staff Directory 6370582

Rochelle Olson

Reporter | Politics and Government
Phone: 612-673-1747

Rochelle Olson is a reporter on the politics and government team.

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
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin addressed the court as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over Chauvin’s sentencing at the

Derek Chauvin expected to survive after prison stabbing

The former Minneapolis police officer has been serving time in a medium-security prison in Arizona, where he was stabbed and wounded by another prisoner.
Former Gov. Jesse Ventura emerged as a leading advocate for marijuana legalization, testifying at the State Capitol about how the drug has helped prev

Highs and lows from the Minnesota Capitol during busy year

These moments stood out in the historic session under a DFL trifecta.
Charging documents against Victoria White included screenshots of videos showing her in front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Rochester woman receives 10 days in prison, three months' home detention for Jan. 6 role

Victoria White will also serve two months on probation under a sentence from D.C. judge.
Malissa Medina helps Kevin Sullivan, who uses a walker, navigate the Minnesota Ice Maze in Eagan on Jan. 12, 2023. The maze will be bigger in 2024.

World-record busting ice maze planned for Minnesota Vikings' Eagan headquarters

New Minnesota Ice Festival hopes to obliterate the 2010 maze record set in Buffalo, N.Y.
U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., wrote in a victim impact statement that she and her family were shaken by the attack.

Rep. Craig's attacker receives over two years in prison; defense sought one year

Prosecutors sought three-year sentence for man who assaulted the Minnesota congresswoman in February.
U.S. Rep. Angie Craig was assaulted by a stranger in the elevator of her Washington, D.C., apartment building in February.

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig details trauma, fallout from physical attack at her D.C. home

The congresswoman's victim impact statement says her sense of safety and security has been "significantly impacted."
The Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul.

State nutrition program for 40,000 seniors lacks enough oversight, audit finds

Agency head says the state struggled to ensure compliance amid an influx of federal pandemic-related funding.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, left, appeared at the Minnesota state Republican convention in 2022 with Doug Wardlow, then running for attorney general.

Lindell's troubled MyPillow goes with in-house counsel to defend Smartmatic case

Former Minnesota attorney general candidate Doug Wardlow will represent Lindell and the pillow manufacturer.
Lawyers for former President Donald Trump have said the issue of his ballot eligibility is a political, not a judicial question. 

State court dismisses petition seeking to bar Trump from 2024 ballot

Minnesota Supreme Court ruled after hearing oral arguments last week; a general election challenge is still possible.
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Natalie Hudson questioned Ronald Fein, attorney for the petitioner, Free Speech for People, on Thursday in St. P

Supreme Court Chief Hudson asks if court should disqualify Trump — even if it can

Justices heard arguments on petition saying Constitution's insurrection clause bars Trump from 2024 ballot in Minnesota.
Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers say  Section Three doesn’t apply to former presidents, Trump didn’t engage in an insurrection and that C

Minnesota Supreme Court to hear arguments on whether Trump is on 2024 ballot

Thursday hearing is expected to be one of many steps leading to a possible U.S. Supreme Court hearing.
The owners of the Minnesota Vikings have nearly completed the second sprawling live-work-play development surrounding the team’s Eagan facility.

Minnesota Vikings owners make progress on Eagan development surrounding team headquarters

Phase three of Viking Lakes adds apartments adjacent to basketball, pickleball and tennis courts.
U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach served as Minnesota Senate president.

U.S. Rep. Fischbach seeks GOP leadership role, cites Minnesota Senate experience

The former lieutenant governor seeks spot created by election of House Speaker Mike Johnson.
Shortly before the 2020 election, President Donald Trump rallied supporters at the Rochester airport.

Should Trump be on ballot? Legal experts will debate at University of Minnesota.

Scholars will speak about the significant oral arguments coming next week to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Teri is a recovered gambler who attended Project Turnabout’s Vanguard residential gambling treatment program in Granite Falls. She’s concerned abo

Gambling treatment is free for Minnesotans struggling with addiction

Granite Falls Vanguard at Project Turnabout is one of just a few residential centers in the nation.
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Teirab.

Marine, former prosecutor Joe Teirab enters race against Rep. Angie Craig in 2024

Republican grew up in Windom, says he recently moved into the Second District.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett spoke with Prof. Robert A. Stein at Northrop auditorium as part of the Stein Lecture Series on

Coney Barrett takes on court ethics, collegiality in U talk briefly marred by protesters

Protesters interrupted her minutes into the polite question-and-answer session with former Dean Robert Stein.
The Minnesota Supreme Court noted in its ruling that former President Donald Trump did not respond in the case.

Minnesota Supreme Court: Trump campaign can't formally participate in ballot petition

But the court will allow the former president's campaign to make oral arguments to try to keep him on the ballot.
Twins fans were in full throat at the start of Game 3 of the ALDS at Target Field on Tuesday.

The buzz is back: Twins fans flock to Target Field for Game 3

Optimism reached the sunny skies before the Houston Astros scored four first-inning runs and won 9-1.
Chisago County received two calls about Rep. Brion Curran’s driving.

DFL Rep. Brion Curran charged with DWI

Vadnais Heights DFLer tested at the jail with 0.16% blood alcohol level, twice the legal limit.
Rep. Brion Curran, DFL-Vadnais Heights

Freshman DFL legislator arrested on suspicion of DWI

Brion Curran of Vadnais Heights has yet to be formally charged, remains in Chisago County Jail.
Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett will speak as part of the Robert A. Stein Lecture Series.

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett coming to Northrop; protesters preparing

All tickets have been reserved for the free event; U plans tight security.
The governor’s residence is a 111-year-old English Tudor-style home a couple of blocks off Lexington Avenue among St. Paul’s stateliest homes.

Cost to renovate governor's Summit Avenue residence soars to $13 million

Historic building's systems need more work than expected, construction costs have climbed.
The commemorative purple and white plates come with a $30 fee on top of the regular license plate charges.

Coming in 2024: New state license plates with a Vikings design

Skol brothers and sisters can purchase the plates for an extra $30 beginning in January. The official announcement is today.
Kirby Puckett Jr. and his sister, Catherine Puckett, held one of their favorite photos, taken when their mom, left, remarried in 2013.

Kirby and Tonya Puckett's children say their mom taught them resilience, faith and joy

Tonya Puckett-Miller died at the age of 58 after a 20-month battle with glioblastoma, leaving behind her kids and grandkids.
A petition filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court says the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which bars former public officials from office if

Minnesota GOP says barring Trump would 'butcher' Constitution

State Supreme Court will hear arguments Nov. 2 to decide whether the former Republican president should be on the 2024 ballot.
The second phase of U.S. Bank Stadium’s enhanced security perimeter could cost more than the initial estimate of $48 million.

U.S. Bank Stadium's secure fencing phase two could cost more than expected

Populous will likely present design options in November for protecting Minnesota Vikings fans.
The group argues that former President Donald Trump should be barred from the ballot because of his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Minnesota Supreme Court to hear arguments Nov. 2 in Trump ballot challenge

Led by former Secretary of State Joan Growe, group questions whether U.S. Constitution allows Trump on the ballot.
Tonya Puckett-Miller

Tonya Puckett-Miller dies after 20-month battle with glioblastoma

She was married to the late Minnesota Twins superstar Kirby Puckett during his playing days.
Timberwolves fans will need to adjust their radio dial.

Wolves dump WCCO, indicate they'll use 'super non-traditional' partner

The station had been the flagship for Wolves broadcasts since 2011 and offered the team more money to stay in contract negotiations.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the Mar-a-Lago Club April 4 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Bipartisan group files petition to block Trump from 2024 ballot in Minnesota

Former Secretary of State Joan Growe leads the coalition of voters saying Trump should be barred.
Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke is retiring after almost five years on the job.

Minnesota Veterans Affairs commissioner stepping down

Larry Herke cited a diagnosis of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
FanDuel Sportsbook runs the sports betting operations at Diamond Jo Casino, just across the border in Northwood, Iowa.

Getting sports betting in Minnesota hinges on working out conflicts

A bill to bring sports gambling will need support at the Legislature from members of both political parties and, to get that, the state's American Indian tribes and race track officials need to feel like they will benefit.
University of St. Thomas School of Law professor Michael Stokes Paulsen co-authored the article.

St. Thomas professor: U.S. Constitution bars Trump from 2024 ballot

U.S. Supreme Court could be asked soon to decide issues raised by two conservative constitutional law professors.
Ruth Richardson was hired as CEO of Planned Parenthood of North Central States last year.

Regional Planned Parenthood leader resigns from Minnesota Legislature

A state representative from Mendota Heights since 2019, Ruth Richardson quietly resigned her House seat Friday without further explanation.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Bob Jacobson said his agency has already made changes and called this “a teachable moment.”

Audit cites lack of oversight in Minnesota grant program for firefighter health

Public safety agency also faulted for partly forgiven $1 million cash-flow loan to nonprofit.
Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan laughed as Natalie Hudson responded to a question about her age as she becomes the new chief justice of the

Justice Natalie Hudson will be first Black chief of Minnesota Supreme Court

Gov. Walz also named his former general counsel Karl Procaccini to the state's highest bench Wednesday.
The University of Minnesota is investigating a data breach from a month ago.

University of Minnesota investigating a data breach

University officials said affected data is from 2021 and earlier, but didn't describe the scope.
House Majority Whip Tom Emmer held his first in-person town hall this congressional term in Big Lake.

Rep. Tom Emmer faces questions about Trump, budget in Big Lake

The Minnesota Republican plans a second in-person, open-door event Wednesday in Hamburg in Carver County.
Rep. Dan Wolgamott, DFL-St. Cloud, has apologized for his actions.

DFL Rep. Dan Wolgamott charged with drunken driving

St. Cloud legislator has served as speaker pro tempore, a leadership post.
Renee Alexander has jumped into her role as general manager of the Minnesota State Fair, taking over from Jerry Hammer in May. “I love what I do and

New Minnesota State Fair general manager feeling the weight of history, tradition

Renee Alexander says she's focused on building up the fair for future generations.
Brad Anderson ran a test vote using a stack of regular ballots mixed with the narrower ballots from the new Express Vote machines Tuesday.

Minnesota Secretary of State's Office tests machines for new skinny ballots

Counties and cities can purchase the new assisted-voting devices if approved by the state.
The changes were included in a sweeping public safety budget package Gov. Tim Walz signed into law in May.

What you need to know about Minnesota's new law expanding gun background checks

DFL changes to firearm laws passed last session go into effect Aug. 1.
Jeremy Drucker, new State Director of Addiction and Recovery, poses for a portrait Friday, July 14, 2023 in St. Paul.

Minnesota's first addiction and recovery leader: 'We don't demonize people'

Jeremy Drucker says curbing overdose fatalities will be a key marker of success.
Jordan Addison answered questions during his introductory news conference on April 28, a day after he was taken by the Vikings in the first round.

Jordan Addison, Vikings No. 1 pick, stopped for driving Lamborghini 140 mph on I-94

Receiver Jordan Addison, the Vikings' first-round draft pick in April, was cited shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday on eastbound I-94 near the Dale Street exit in St. Paul, the State Patrol said.
Then-Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook in a December 2022 game.

Filing: Ex-Viking Cook offered ex-girlfriend $1M to absolve him of wrongdoing

A sealed court filing says Cook wanted the woman to drop assault accusations in exchange for cash, but she declined, according to a document filed in Dakota County.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi pushed for the change, and said prosecutors should reward rehabilitation.

Minnesota prosecutors can soon seek resentencing for prisoners

Ramsey County Attorney Choi says prosecutors should play a bigger role in rewarding rehabilitation.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh said the nine Supreme Court justices work as “a team of nine.”

Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh talks collegiality, skirts controversies at Minnesota event

He said the court doesn't like to create chaos with its rulings; he declined to address ethics.
Fans stood outside one of the Target Field gates before the ballpark opened in 2010.

Target Field to upgrade secure perimeter around the ballpark

Minnesota Twins, ballpark authority will spend up to $3.2 million for new barriers.
Gov. Tim Walz wore his buffalo plaid cloth mask during a press conference announcing a statewide mask mandate to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in J

Court: Walz's mask mandate was legal under emergency powers

Appeals Court ruling says governor acted within his authority in declaring emergency during COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, Chief U.S. Probation Officer for Minnesota Kito Bess and Minnesota Corrections Commissioner Paul

With felon voting rights restored, Minnesota Secretary of State Simon encourages registration

Leaders are trying to put out the word about the new law allowing voting upon release from incarceration.
Patric Vitek

Father of Eagan boy, 13, struck and killed on bicycle denied legal claim in Dakota County

The state Court of Appeals rejected the lawsuit from the 2019 accident on Diffley Road.
Rep. Leigh Finke, DFL-St. Paul, thanked Hao Nguyen of Minneapolis for being supportive of his transgender child as she recounted her own experiences f

Leigh Finke led expansion of Minnesota's transgender rights, endured attacks

Minnesota's first transgender legislator shepherded the effort at the statehouse to remove a line from the state's Human Rights Act, drawing claims from GOP the bill protected pedophiles.
Maureen Onyelobi lost her bid Thursday for a quick release from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee.

State Board of Pardons decides Mitchell Hamline law student can seek parole after 18 more years

Maureen Onyelobi is the first woman in Minnesota to attend law school while in prison.
Walter Hooper Jr. became emotional as he asked for a pardon during a Board of Pardons meeting Wednesday.

Minnesota Pardons Board grants first non-unanimous pardons in state history

One man pardoned committed robbery, forged a check more than 20 years ago. The Legislature approved the change in the pardons process earlier this year.
U.S. Bank Stadium’s glass facade reflects filtered twilight through a smoky blue sky.

U.S. Bank Stadium paid off as of today, two decades early

But taxpayers still could be on the hook for the planned security fence around the stadium, and for ongoing maintenance.
FILE - Members of a pro-Trump mob that invaded the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. A member of the far-right nationalist Proud Boys was in commun

Minnesota defendant in Jan. 6 case wants to serve as his own attorney

Brian Mock's trial will resume July 11 on charges he assaulted or impeded officers at the Capitol.
Gov. Tim Walz has been traveling across the country to tout policies passed by the DFL trifecta last session.

White House looks to Minnesota as a model for infrastructure, paid leave and climate policies

State DFL leaders told officials how they passed a sweeping progressive policy agenda and how they plan to implement it.
A rendering of a perimeter fence planned for U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Project managers said the construction set-up will begin next week with

U.S. Bank Stadium's $15.7M security fence gets final approval

The Minnesota Vikings won't have the new fence for the 2023 season, but it will be ready by April 2024.
Demonstrators steal a Metropolitan Police riot shield while attempting to enter the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. MUST C

Three southern Minnesota men charged over role in Jan. 6 attack

A father and son and another relative from southern Minnesota have been arrested and each charged with a felony and two misdemeanors for their alleged roles in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea asks questions during oral arguments on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea stepping down

Gildea has led the judiciary since Gov. Tim Pawlenty elevated her in 2010.
Olympian Suni Lee came by the Capitol during the legislative session and posed for photos with legislators and Gov. Tim Walz.

Are the 2024 Olympic gymnastics trials coming to Minneapolis?

Gov. Tim Walz has hinted that would happen and the group working to bring the event to Minnesota has scheduled a press conference for next week about a major event at Target Center.
Minnesota law now explicitly prohibits “holding a wireless communications device with one or both hands.”

This time they mean it: Hands-free is hands-free on Minnesota roads

Legislature closed loophole in law about using electronic devices while driving.
Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic shook hands with fellow DFLer Nick Frentz moments after the Senate adjourned on May 22.

Senate leader Dziedzic: 'I just listened to what the doctor said and just focused'

DFLer worked from hospital and home as she faced surgery and chemotherapy.
Tayler Rahm is the second Republican to enter the Second Congressional District race.

Burnsville criminal defense attorney Tayler Rahm enters congressional contest

Political newcomer is running as a Republican in the south suburban Second District race in 2024.
David Jennings ended his career as superintendent for the Eastern Carver County School District.

Former Republican House Speaker Dave Jennings dies at 74

His wide-ranging career ended as Eastern Carver County's superintendent of schools.
Antonio Williams, who is now eligible to vote, hugged a supporter after the new Minnesota law took effect June 1.

Minnesota's felon voting rights law takes effect

The Restore the Vote coalition went door-knocking to spread the word on St. Paul's East Side.
The scene of a shooting Monday near the corner of the 3300 block of Grimes Avenue N. in Robbinsdale.

Two juveniles arrested in connection with Robbinsdale shooting

The victim, who was shot just after 1 p.m. Monday, was listed in critical condition.
DFL legislators Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic and Sen. Jennifer McEwen applauded in

How did Minnesota Democrats unify to pass sweeping change?

From Social Security tax exemptions to gun restrictions, DFL leaders at the State Capitol held their caucuses together on divisive issues.
The Legislature and Gov. Tim Walz also agreed to pay $15.7 million for the first phase of a new secure perimeter at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Minnesota Vikings' home to be paid off before 2023 season

U.S. Bank Stadium's outstanding $377 million debt will be retired by July under new law.
Members of the Minnesota Uber Lyft Drivers Association paraded through the State Capitol on Monday night calling on Gov. Tim Walz to sign the bill tha

Gov. Tim Walz vetoes rideshare bill, his first veto in five sessions

Walz sets up a commission to explore Uber-Lyft driver pay and job security. It came hours after Uber announced plans to pull out of all Minnesota markets except the Twin Cities metro area, and only offer its premium products.
Along with DFL legislative leaders and his commissioners, Gov. Tim Walz threw a bill-signing party Wednesday morning on the Capitol steps.

Walz, Democrats and advocates celebrate $72 billion budget

Republicans say the new budget will make it much more expensive to live in Minnesota.
House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, said Minnesotans will be disappointed that legislators raised taxes when the state had a surplus.

Minnesota Republicans decry legislative session as partisan, seek to win back House

GOP legislative leaders and the chair of the Minnesota Republican Party blast Democrats for raising taxes amid surplus.
House DFL members celebrated after the passage of the Health and Human Services finance bill on the floor of the house Monday.

Legislature ends session by passing largest infrastructure package in state history

Lawmakers sent a $2.6 billion infrastructure package to Gov. Tim Walz's desk on the final day of session.
In this image from video, Attorney General Keith Ellison, far left, spoke before jury selection in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Dere

In new book, Keith Ellison goes behind the scenes of Derek Chauvin prosecution

Book focuses on the long-shot, historical nature of the case despite the horrific video.