You may have seen Holly Wagner’s live reports on the morning show and the noon show. She’s been with WCCO since August 2009.
She said, “This was a destination for me. When I worked in Fort Myers, Fla. at WINK-TV, I made a vision board with a top list of stations I would love to work for. WCCO was at the top of the list, a place with integrity, strong and ethical journalists I could learn from. After a lot of leg work and pestering, I finally got the call to join the team! I couldn’t believe it!”
Holly grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa and spent time every summer at her grandparents’ cabin on the Mississippi River in northern Iowa. She graduated from University of Nebraska-Omaha with a degree in communication and major in broadcasting. Holly spent time producing and reporting at TV stations in Omaha and in Lincoln, before moving onto Fort Myers, Fla. She worked at WINK-TV for five years as a reporter, and eventually a weekend morning anchor.
“I loved living in Florida! The hurricanes I could do without,” said Holly. “I started my job a week after Hurricane Charley hit. Francis, Ivan, and Jean followed. Talk about an initiation! This was a period of great growth in my career. I stood out in hurricanes, covered brush fires, a Presidential visit, and for two years I worked the crime beat.”
Holly said she was blessed to cover the story of a WWII Veteran who at 80, met the son he never knew he had. Turns out a former lover never told him she was pregnant and gave the baby up for adoption. The man found out about his son thanks to Google. His son Googled the name on his birth certificate and found out his father had written a book.
“We got to be there when they met,” she said. “I will remember that moment the rest of my life. The story ended up winning at Emmy Award.”
Holly says she has always loved telling people’s stories. When she was in junior high, she played Barbara Walters for a school project and interviewed troubled beauty queens.
“I used to have a show in my best friend Mel’s basement called ‘The Holly Dolly Parton Show.’ It had an audience of one, but was very entertaining!”
Holly also worked on her high school newspaper and went onto study broadcasting in college.
In the winter of 2012, she says she “married the most amazing man I’ve ever known!”
Holly said she realizes now, there was more to the plan of me moving to Minnesota. She and her husband, Brandon, are just starting their lives together. He’s from Dayton, Minn., and an avid wrestling fan. They love to spend time outdoors hiking and biking, and last year they took up gardening. Holly said they both enjoy volunteering and helping others in our community.
“I don’t want to leave out Lady Elizabeth, my long-haired mini-dachshund! She is the sweetest, naughtiest best friend a girl could ever have!”
A Minneapolis Police officer battling lupus and kidney failure received a life-changing transplant this week. Carlos Escobar, 35, is recovering at Hennepin County Medical Center. He spent two years on a waiting list for a kidney donation. After working a full day as a police officer, he would come home and spend seven hours on dialysis, hoping and praying a donor would come through. “I never expected it to be too soon because they told me with my blood type, it could be seven years,” Escobar said
Minnesota’s largest school districts aren’t taking any chances with this bone-chilling cold. Anoka-Hennepin, Minneapolis, and St. Paul Public Schools will all be closed again Tuesday. The superintendents say it’s just too cold for students to wait for buses or walk to school.
Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is doing well and in good spirits one day after his heart attack. He looks like he’s feeling much better and apparently still has his sense of humor.
Many people were out and about Saturday, running last-minute errands in preparation to stay at home for a few days. Grocery stores were busy with people stocking up before the winter blast. At Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, cross-country skiers and runners got out and enjoyed the brief stint of warmer temperatures. Minneapolis Parks and Recreation is closing all of its facilities Saturday at 6 p.m. until Tuesday at noon because of the weather.
Traffic was slow going Monday afternoon in many parts of the metro due to snow and icy conditions. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, there were more than 300 crashes statewide since 9 a.m., and more than 100 vehicle spinouts and cars in ditches. Shelly Walstrom ended up off the road on Highway 36 near Rice Street in Roseville. She says she waited an hour for help.
For late December in Minnesota, it can’t get much better then Saturday’s weather. There was sunshine, and a high temperature that broke a 117-year-old record. Aaron Howe of Independence tried to fend off snowballs thrown by his two children. “It’s been fantastic. We grilled out last night, and it’s kind of a nice warm spell to have in Minnesota after the holidays,” Howe said.
Archbishop John Nienstedt addressed the sex abuse scandal involving priests in the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese at two mass services Sunday in Edina.
A group of mothers in Minnesota is joining a national effort to speak out against gun violence and remember the victims of last year’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn. On Saturday, a group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is organizing 50 events in more than 35 states to honor victims of gun violence.
Tucked inside of Dan’s Car Wash in Minneapolis on 59th and Nicollet, is a small auto repair shop with a bare bones crew. A volunteer receptionist and two mechanics with a mission to fix cars and to give folks like Judy Hegrenes a lift in life.
Thousands of children in the Twin Cities are proud owners of a new set of wheels. Free Bikes 4 Kidz held its annual bike giveaway this weekend.
Richfield Police are investigating after a 48-year-old man died at a home on the 7300 block of 12th Avenue. According to authorities, officers responded to a 911 call at the address around 4:53 a.m. Sunday, after the caller stated an assault was in progress.
The Black Friday holiday shopping blitz has now stretched into a four-day shopping excursion. For mom and pop stores, the competition is bigger than ever. Sara Moulton spent Small Business Saturday shopping at one of her local favorites in Minneapolis, Patina. “The big stores are taking over holidays,” Moulton said. “I just love supporting local businesses and giving back to the community.” Patina manager Karin Tepparo says they don’t tout deep discounts, but instead rely on their one-of-a-kind items to bring in customers.
One man is dead in an early morning house fire, according to authorities. Crews were called to the 700 block of North Lexington, in St. Paul, just after 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning.
More than 53,000 fans filled TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for the coldest game of the season. Temperatures were in the teens, but it felt like five degrees outside thanks to the wind chill. Folks tailgating before the game set up tents, propane tanks and heat lamps to help stay warm, along with lots of hot food. No matter the conditions, Gopher and Badger fans didn’t let Mother Nature take away from the biggest border battle of the season.
Family and friends are in shock after a prominent Twin Cities doctor was gunned down in his home in Orono Friday night. According to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, police were called to a home on the 1000 block of Heritage Road just before 9 p.m., where they found a man in the front of the property with a handgun. Authorities said shots were exchanged and police killed the man. Law enforcement searched the house and found another man, later identified as Dr. Stephen Larson, dead from an apparent gunshot wound. Larson was a well-known physician who delivered thousands of babies in his career.