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Rochelle Olson

Reporter | General Assignment
Phone: 612-673-1747

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
Sharon Sayles Belton

Former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton appointed to the board overseeing U.S. Bank Stadium

Sayles Belton was appointed by Mayor Jacob Frey to replace Barbara Butts Williams, who stepped down before her term ended.
James D. Blue

Murder charges filed in crash that killed U hockey coach Motzko's son, another man

Prosecutors also already have filed notice with the court that they will seek a longer than normal sentence for James D. Blue, 51, because of the nature of the alleged crime.
Light streamed in Thursday from the transparent roof over U.S. Bank Stadium ahead of Sunday’s home opener against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Vikings and U.S. Bank Stadium prepare for state's largest indoor crowd since December 2019

Vikings are planning a reopening celebration sans vaccine or mask requirements.
Derek Chauvin  ORG XMIT: MIN2108161745280152

Chauvin enters not guilty plea to federal civil rights charge involving a 14-year-old

Charges allege Chauvin held the teenager down until he passed out in 2017
Thomas Plunkett, bottom right, attorney for former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, spoke at his office with his team of lawyers about the Min

Supreme Court overturns Noor third-degree murder conviction

Decision could cut 8 years from sentence of ex-Mpls. officer, affect other cases.
Derek Chauvin

Noor decision has broader impact on Chauvin case, other police prosecutions

Some lawyers said third-degree murder can't be used against four former officers in pending cases.
Kimberly A. Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright in April. (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office/TNS) ORG XMIT: 26557789W

Former police officer Potter seeks dismissal of added charge in Wright shooting

Potter's lawyers say she clearly attempted to use her Taser, not kill Wright after traffic stop.
Judge Jamie L. Anderson

Judge overseeing Mpls. police ballot question is prepared, collaborative

Jamie Anderson is overseeing the continuing dispute over the Minneapolis police ballot question
Nicholas Kraus.

Uptown driver who killed, injured protesters in June found competent for trial

Nicholas Kraus is accused of driving into protesters after law enforcement shooting of Winston Boogie Smith.
Kevin Nedrick caption here

U shot putter Nedrick acquitted of sexual assault charge

Kevin Nedrick has been suspended from the Gophers track and field team since his arrest a year ago.
Apple Valley High School played host to Gable Steveson Day, celebrating the Olympic wrestling gold medalist who graduated from the high school in 2018

Apple Valley homecoming: Gold medalist Steveson gets jubilant reception

Olympic wrestling gold medalist Gable Steveson returned for a celebration in the high school gym where just three years ago he would have been sitting among the school's 1,600 students.
Gun rights advocates Tim Christopher, Rob Doar, Bryan Strawser and Sarah Cade Hauptman are plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to let State Fair visitors

Gun owners group loses bid to allow permit carriers to bring guns to the Minnesota State Fair

Ramsey County judge denied the group's request for a temporary order.
Kimberly A. Potter was booked into the Hennepin County jail on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

Judge denies deadline extension for ex-Brooklyn Center police officer's defense in Daunte Wright shooting

Lawyers for Kimberly Potter wanted to know if additional charges would be filed.
Igor Vovkovinskiy, right, spoke with Trevor Kirby, center, a shoe engineer, at Reebok headquarters, in Canton, Mass. in 2012. Reebok gave him a custom

America's tallest man, Rochester resident Igor Vovkovinskiy, dies at 38

Ukrainian native came for treatment when he was 6, stayed a lifetime
Gisela Castro Medina

St. Thomas GOP chair arrested in Florida on sex trafficking allegation

The woman was arrested in connection with the indictment of state Republican activist Tony Lazzaro.
At their lawyers’ office on August 9 ,2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bob Motzko lost his son in a tragic car accident. On the left is his wife Shel

Gophers coach calls Orono crash that killed son, friend 'murder'

The parents of Mack Motzko and Sam Schuneman spoke publicly for the first time since the fatal crash. Their grief is compounded by disbelief that their sons' lives ended after a brief ride with a reckless stranger.
James D. Blue

Man charged in fatal Orono car crash posts $500,000 cash bail, is released

James D. Blue will appear in court Sept. 8 in the death of Mack Motzko and Sam Schuneman.
Returning home with a gold medal from the Tokyo Olympics, Gable Steveson greeted fans after arriving at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on

Olympic champ Steveson returns to enthusiastic airport welcome

Gable Steveson, whose stunning comeback won the heavyweight wrestling gold medal in Tokyo, touched down in the Twin Cities late Sunday with a giant smile on his face and a shiny gold medal around his neck.
This April 22, 2021, file photo shows a mourner holding the program for the funeral services of Daunte Wright at Shiloh Temple International Ministrie

Trial of ex-officer charged in Daunte Wright's death won't be televised

Kimberly Potter, who faces a manslaughter charge, had objected to cameras in the courtroom.
D.J. Leary, a DFL public affairs consultan, died late Wednesday at his Minneapolis home.

D.J. Leary, longtime public affairs consultant and DFL operative, dies at 84

He was a longtime adviser to Vice President Hubert Humphrey and a consultant for numerous candidates for local, state and federal offices.
Attacker at center of Minnesota rape law change pleads guilty to unwanted sexual touching

Attacker at center of Minnesota rape law change pleads guilty to unwanted sexual touching

Plea deal means no new trial and no more jail time for Minneapolis man
Terrance Franklin.

BCA won't reinvestigate police shooting of Terrance Franklin

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman had asked the state to take another look at fatal 2013 shooting by Minneapolis police.
BCA Superintendent Drew Evans in his St. Paul office. St.Paul,  MN Ne inte nobis aut quas debisim fugia nonsequRatuscid x

Winston Smith Jr.'s killing puts year-old Minnesota BCA unit under fresh scrutiny

Creation of the Force Investigations Unit remains controversial.
Photo of the Target Field scoreboard on Nov. 4, 2014, the date Paul Molitor was named the Twins' 13th manager. Photo by La Velle E. Neal, Star Tri

Target Field, Twins agree on biggest maintenance expense: new scoreboard and control room

Target Field and the Twins have agreed to split the cost of the biggest maintenance project yet at the ballpark, now playing host to its 12th season.
Former Brooklyn Park Police officer Kimberly Potter’s lawyers filed a response Tuesday opposing Attorney General Keith Ellison’s request to allow

Ex-Brooklyn Center police officer opposes livestreaming of trial

Prosecutors are seeking to allow audio, video livestream of courtroom
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over the sentencing of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in June.

Judge won't revise memo on young witnesses to Floyd killing

Judge Peter Cahill said he no longer has jurisdiction, rejects state's claims about evidence of trauma
Eve and Michael Brafford danced with their 21-month-old son, Leif, during July 4th celebrations at Langford Park in St. Paul.

Minnesotans celebrate after year of isolation: 'This is a family day'

At parks, pools and parades, Minnesotans and their families gathered for summer fun after the isolation of the pandemic.
Workers making repairs to the stadium in early June.

Why is U.S. Bank Stadium in a constant state of repair?

Ongoing construction on the building includes replacing 35,000 zinc panels.
Surrounded by those who have taken care of George Floyd Square, Jennifer Starr Dodd, center, reacted after the 22 1/2 year sentenceof former Minneapol

Chauvin sentenced to 22½ years for the murder of George Floyd

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years for the murder of George Floyd. The court heard victim-impact statements from four members of Floyd's family, and Chauvin gave brief remarks.
FILE - In this April 20, 2021, file photo, from video, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is taken into custody as his attorney Eric Nels

After Chauvin case, more trials could be livestreamed

The ex-officer's trial and the pandemic caused the Minnesota Supreme Court to see the benefits of cameras in the courtroom and to reconsider the state's long-standing ban.
Wendy Blackshaw is CEO of the relatively new Minnesota Sports and Events, trying to attract major sporting events to the state.

Minnesota events group aims to see Olympians swimming on top of Vikings turf

New nonprofit working to bring more national sports events to Twin Cities.
Police arrived on the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis on May 31, 2020, after a tanker truck was driven into a large group of demonstrators marching to pro

Charges to be dropped for driver who drove into protest on 35W

Bogdan Vechirko of Otsego was charged with a felony and a gross misdemeanor last fall. The charges will be dropped if he remains law-abiding for the next year, by an agreement with Hennepin County prosecutors.
Philanthropist Erika Binger and Malik Rucker, who are the driving forces behind a new Olympic swimming complex, posed for a photo outside the old Musc

U.S. Olympic trials' pool headed for north Minneapolis aquatic center

Once the Olympic trials wrap up this weekend in Omaha, the pool will have a second act as the star attraction in the renovation of an old north Minneapolis book bindery into an aquatic center.
Judge Martha Holton Dimick

Hennepin County defense attorneys push for more diverse jury pools

Hennepin County should do more to track who serves, increase pool, lawyer argues.
Morton man dies in ATV crash in Renville County

Morton man dies in ATV crash in Renville County

The 66-year-old driver crossed the highway and was struck by a minivan.
Protesters were arrested early Saturday after a vigil for Winston Boogie Smith Jr. on Friday night in the Uptown area of Minneapolis.

BCA: Man shot, killed by police had fired from inside vehicle

Authorities said there is no video of the shooting of the man identified as Winston Boogie Smith, 32, in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. Grief mixed with anger for his family.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin attorney seeks probation; prosecutors want 30 years in prison

Chauvin obeyed all court orders after he bonded out of jail before trial, showing his amenability to probation, his attorney argued.
Norwood Teague and Eric Kaler, shown in 2012.

Gophers football players' gender discrimination lawsuit can go forward

Federal Appeals Court revives claim involving 2016 sexual assault investigation
North Memorial Health Hospital

Possible north Minneapolis shooting victim dies

Man arrived at hospital after reports of shots fired.
Suspect in downtown Minneapolis shooting dies by suicide after chase in Elk River

Suspect in downtown Minneapolis shooting dies by suicide after chase in Elk River

Man was wanted on suspicion of shooting another man earlier in the day inside an apartment.
Caleb Livingston with his dogs, Ciroc and Rocko, before he was shot in the head in May 2019.

Lawsuit claims Daunte Wright shot, permanently disabled teen in 2019

No charges have been filed in the case and police continue investigating
Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Judge probes leak of grand jury proceedings into Floyd's death

Two newspaper stories described the possibility of federal charges for four former Minneapolis officers.
Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao arrives with his attorney Robert Paule for a Sept. 11, 2020, hearing at the Hennepin County Family Justice

Prosecutors deny claim that ME's opinion on death of George Floyd was coerced

State accuses former Minneapolis cop's lawyer of bad faith argument.
A lift ferried workers to the roof of U.S. Bank Stadium as they made repairs to the building’s exterior in December 2020.

U.S. Bank Stadium renegotiates terms with facilty management firm due to COVID shutdown

Vikings' stadium operator pays less over a longer period but will get locked in for a longer term.
Minneapolis police Chief Medaria Arradondo and Mayor Jacob Frey, right, joined other city leaders in announcing a new model for community safety and a

Frey releases public safety plan, says city must make a turn

The mayor says he wants to end traffic stops for low-level offenses and increase funding for police overtime and for the Office of Violence Prevention. He still needs council approval for his plans.
Performers at the Juneteenth Community Festival in north Minneapolis in 2020.

Hennepin County Board committee votes to give Juneteenth full holiday status

Vote comes a year after the board balked at $2-plus million cost, gave workers a floating holiday
Huge crowds on opening day of the Minnesota State Fair in 2017.

Minnesota State Fair kicking off summer with Memorial Day weekend mini fair

Announcement comes days after Gov. Tim Walz says normal Fair is possible in August.
Derek Chauvin

Attorneys debate 'aggravating factors' in George Floyd murder

Floyd was "particularly vulnerable" and treated with "particular cruelty," prosecutors argued.
USA Curling, the governing body of the winter sport in the United States, soon will take up residence with the Minnesota Vikings in Eagan.

USA Curling joins Vikings, tennis, lacrosse, e-sports at Eagan development

Headquarters will be moving from Stevens Point, Wis., to Twin Cities, a "hotbed" for the sport
Target Field Plaza was quiet Wednesday afternoon, the day before the Twins home opener.    ] AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.comIt will

Twins and Target Field seeking new artists to create works for ballpark plaza

Ballpark authority agreed to spend $200K on project to replace glass images.
From left, former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Chauvin's alleged accomplices now face their own reckonings in Floyd's murder

Three former police officers charged with aiding and abetting murder, manslaughter
Members of the Multi-faith Anti-Racism Change and Healing Group celebrated at 38th and Chicago after the verdict was read Tuesday in the murder trial

Derek Chauvin cuffed after murder, manslaughter convictions in death of George Floyd

A masked Derek Chauvin showed no visible emotion as Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict on each count. Cahill said sentencing would be in roughly eight weeks.
In this image from video, witness Courteney Ross answers questions as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Thursday, April 1, 2021, in the tri

Legal analysts say emotional eyewitnesses amplified powerful video as witness to Chauvin's crimes

The bystander video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds gave prosecutors a star witness for the Hennepin…
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listened to his attorney Eric Nelson deliver his closing argument Monday.

Jury in Chauvin trial enters second day of deliberations

Once the jury left the courtroom for the day, an attorney for Derek Chauvin called for a mistrial, citing immense media exposure, particularly a comment by Rep. Maxine Waters. Judge Peter Cahill denied the motion.
Derek Chauvin

What are the charges against Derek Chauvin?

Here's a look at the charges against Chauvin and what prosecutors must prove in order to convict.
In this image from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin address Hennepin County J

Final arguments in Derek Chauvin trial focus on fateful day

The prosecution, which goes first and gets a brief rebuttal by special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell after the defense, carries the bigger burden and has much more ground to cover.
Derek Chauvin said, “I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege” to not risk making self-incriminating statements. He is charged with killing Geor

Chauvin defense rests its case without his testimony

Former officer Derek Chauvin invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination.
Dr. David Fowler “I would fall back to undetermined in this particular case, ” the pathologist said on George Floyd’s cause of death.

Defense expert: Cardiac arrest and drugs caused Floyd's death

Dr. David Fowler said Floyd's manner of death was "undetermined," due to a combination of factors.
In this image from video, Barry Brodd, a use of force expert, testified Tuesday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Defense expert calls Chauvin's actions justified and reasonable

Police trainer Barry Brodd said George Floyd was resisting arrest and struggled with officers.
Philonise Floyd, left, and Rodney Floyd, center in back, brothers of George Floyd, entered the Hennepin County Government Center with attorney Ben Cru

Floyd's brother tears up on stand; Chauvin defense today

At the start of the third week of the Derek Chauvin murder trial, Philonise Floyd spoke of George's devotion to their mother, saying, "He loved her so dearly."
Dr. Andrew Baker, the medical examiner who did the autopsy on George Floyd, testified Friday at the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek C

Chief medical examiner: Arrest 'just more than' Floyd could take

Dr. Andrew Baker stood by his initial findings after George Floyd's death in afternoon testimony at Derek Chauvin's trial, after three other medical experts.
Dr. Andrew Baker ruled that George Floyd’s cause of death was “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck co

Day 22 of Derek Chauvin trial: Medical examiner who did autopsy did not include a lack of oxygen

Dr. Andrew Baker's findings are at odds with a prosecution expert who said Floyd died from a lack of oxygen.
Dr. Martin Tobin, who testified Thursday at Derek Chauvin’s trial, is a Chicago physician who has written textbooks and specialized in respiratory a

Medical expert: 'In a vise,' George Floyd did everything he could

Dr. Martin Tobin, a Chicago physician who has written textbooks and specialized in respiratory and critical care medicine for decades said Floyd "died from a low level of oxygen."
Dr. Martin Tobin said he has reviewed much of the evidence and concluded that George “Floyd died from a low level of oxygen.”

Day 21 of Derek Chauvin trial: Chauvin kept knee on neck for 3½ minutes after George Floyd drew last breath, expert says

A medical expert testified in the Derek Chauvin murder trial that George Floyd died from a lack of oxygen late last spring as the now-fired Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd's neck. Testimony resumes Friday morning.
McKenzie Anderson, a forensic scientist with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension,  testified Wednesday at Derek Chauvin’s trial in Minneap

Chauvin trial evidence: Meth, fentanyl with Floyd DNA in pills

Three forensic scientists testified Wednesday for the prosecution about the process of gathering and testing evidence from George Floyd's vehicle and a squad car.
BCA forensic scientist Breahna Giles testified Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapoli

Day 20 of Derek Chauvin trial: Scientists wrap up prosecution's witnesses for the day

Two scientists with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and a third scientist from a Pennsylvania lab rounded out the day's prosecution witnesses. Testimony concluded about 4:45 p.m., with proceedings set to resume Thursday.
Philonise Floyd, left, and attorney Ben Crump, center, raised their fists in the air Tuesday as supporters outside the courthouse fence cheered them o

Trainers and use-of-force experts fault tactics used by Chauvin

Derek Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, pressed the claim that a hostile crowd distracted Chauvin and prevented a proper diagnosis or aid.
In this image from video, witness Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant, testifies at the trial of former Minneapolis police officer D

Outside expert testifies about numerous signs that George Floyd was no longer resisting

Also Tuesday, a Minneapolis police lieutenant in charge of use-of-force training said that putting a knee on a suspect's neck is not a tactic officers are taught.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified Monday that Derek Chauvin’s actions on May 25 were not “part of our training … ethics or va

Chauvin used excessive force and unsanctioned technique, chief says

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified Monday that fired officer Derek Chauvin used excessive force and defied his own training when he knelt on George Floyd's neck as Floyd pleaded for his life.
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who has been harshly critical of Derek Chauvin’s actions, took the stand Monday.

Police chief: Chauvin 'in no way' should've kept Floyd's neck pinned

Minneapolis police chief, Medaria Arradondo, who classified George Floyd's death as murder and fired Derek Chauvin, took the stand Monday.
In this image from video, Lt. Richard Zimmerman explained the level of force used by officers in the Minneapolis Police Department as he testified Fri

Homicide unit chief: Force used by Derek Chauvin 'uncalled for'

Two police officials testified about taking control of the scene outside Cup Foods, then handing over to the BCA. Lt. Richard Zimmerman said to put a knee on the neck of someone in handcuffs would fall under the most extreme level of force.
“First of all,” Lt. Richard Zimmerman testified in Hennepin County District Court, “pulling him down to the ground facedown and putting your kne

Day 17 of Derek Chauvin trial: Head of Minneapolis homicide unit outlines use-of-force policy

Minneapolis' most senior police officer testified that Derek Chauvin putting his knee on a handcuffed George Floyd's neck during his arrest last spring was "totally unnecessary."
In this image from video, witness David Pleoger, a retired Minneapolis police sergeant, answered questions at Derek Chauvin’s trial on Thursday.

Ex-sergeant: Chauvin should have stopped when Floyd quit resisting

David Pleoger testified that the fired officer told him that George Floyd was being "crazy" and wouldn't get in car. Prosecutor Steve Schleicher pressed Pleoger on whether Chauvin's force was appropriate.
David Pleoger, a retired Minneapolis police sergeant left the Hennepin County Courthouse after testifying Thursday at Derek Chauvin’s trial in the d

Day 16 of Derek Chauvin trial: Supervisor detailed to jurors the immediate aftermath of George Floyd's death

Asked whether Chauvin mentioned any use of force, David Pleoger said he recalled, "I don't believe so."
In this image from video, witness Charles McMillian said he felt helpless seeing video again of officers handcuffing George Floyd and pushing him into

New video caps painful day of testimony in Chauvin trial

The prosecution played into evidence footage from all four body cameras of ex-Minneapolis cops, with George Floyd's moans of pain, calls for help and cries of "I can't breathe."