John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-TV in late-July of 2007. Two days after he started, the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed.
Before his television career, John grew up on a farm near Milan, Minn. and graduated from Montevideo Senior High School. He received a Master’s Degree in mass communications from St. Cloud State University, and has also taught a class there as well. He credits growing up on a farm and going to school in a small town with helping him become the reporter he is today.
He began his career at KSAX-TV in Alexandria, Minn. before moving to Waterloo, Iowa where he worked for KWWL-TV. John also worked at Channel 12 in Brooklyn Park, Minn. before coming to WCCO-TV. He has been a reporter, anchor, sports reporter, sports anchor, editor, producer, and photographer during his television career.
During his time at WCCO-TV, John has covered a variety of stories. He has reported on everything from floods to tornadoes to blizzards that have dumped nearly two feet of snow on Minnesota. You can also find John covering a crime story, a fire, a human interest story, or a sporting event.
In 2009, John received an Emmy for a story he did on a high school wrestler who survived the Cottonwood bus crash. He was also nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for a story about a Fairmont police officer who survived an ambush.
John’s favorite stories are those that highlight a special moment in someone’s life. In 2008, he reported on a soldier who came home from Iraq and surprised his daughter at her volleyball game.
And though he isn’t a fan of snakes, John reported on Minnesota’s only poisonous snake population in southeastern Minnesota and he managed not to get bit in the process.
When he’s not reporting, John can be found at the gym or playing in one of three volleyball leagues that keep him busy year-round. He also plays in a football league in the fall and is an active tennis player.
In 2009, he ran the Twin Cities Marathon for the first time. He has also tried surfing, skydiving and rock climbing, and is an avid reader whenever he can find time to sit down.
John lives in Maple Grove with his wife and daughter, Harlow.
A family in western Minnesota is dealing with a tragic loss. The bodies of two of their children, who were unaccounted for after a fire started in their home, have been recovered.
Every morning, Jim Morrison looks forward to his routine jog down seldom-driven 215th Avenue, where wildlife and cattle are often his only company. But a half mile into his jog Monday morning, the scenery would turn into anything but ordinary. “So I saw rabbit tracks and I saw deer tracks and I saw turkey tracks, and then I come about here and then there’s tire tracks,” Morrison said. He followed the tracks through the snow, through a fence and into a creek bed below. That’s where he found a truck was nearly upside down in the water.
The day before Thanksgiving means big business for several local businesses. Dec. 23 is actually the busiest day of the year at Rainbow Foods in St. Louis Park, but Thanksgiving Eve is a very close second.
A Minnesota father says he owes his life to his friends after his heart stopped during a pick-up hockey game. In September, 57-year-old Scott Rodriguez of Roseville collapsed and stopped breathing while playing hockey at the Richfield Ice Arena.
It’s the news nobody wants to hear. Five children submerged in icy water for up to a half hour or more. Two have died, and the outlook for the other three is unclear. But for the remaining victims, their age could actually help them survive.
When hearing about the story of the woman and five kids that veered off into a pond in St. Louis Park, it’s natural to wonder, “what would I do in that situation?”
The season of giving is upon us, and some Lakeville schools recently got a lesson in giving back. On Monday, schools across the district received an anonymous gift in the mail: a $100 Cub Foods gift card. The only instruction was to forward it to a family in need.
There’s nothing quite like sitting outside, doing a little socializing and enjoying the weather on a nice day. But in St. Cloud, if you are doing all of that while sitting on a couch, you’ll soon be violating a city ordinance.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the nation’s top turkey producer is coming up a little short. Butterball, based out of North Carolina, told retailers that orders for fresh 16-pound turkeys and larger have been cut in half. The shortage is nationwide. Woody Hunt, manager of Rainbow Foods in St. Louis Park, says 40 years ago, Butterball was like the “Cadillac of turkeys.” “Everybody wanted a Butterball, and if you didn’t have a Butterball on your table you couldn’t brag to your neighbors that you had the best turkey,” Hunt said.
A Pine County teenager is now charged in a home invasion that left a man dead. It happened after the intruders entered the house of a 75-year-old man around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. Officials said 23-year-old Gypsy Watts had a gun, and the homeowner shot and killed him. Investigators tell us Watts and a 16-year-old boy broke into the man’s house, hoping to steal his prescription medications.
The State High School football semi-finals got underway at the Metrodome Thursday. As many of you know, this will be the last year the state tournament will be played at the Dome.
The White House says enrollments for health insurance through the new government website are far below expectations.
Campus security at the University of Minnesota continues their investigation of an attempted robbery earlier this week. And they want you to see a new picture of a suspect. Students were on lockdown Monday after a robber used a gun to try and steal a laptop computer from a woman.
This is a busy time of year for deer hunters, but the same can be said for trappers. The trapping season began in October, and a group that works closely with law enforcement is now hoping to make a certain type of trap illegal.
University of Minnesota officials say the search for a suspected gunman is complete — and there is no further need for students and staff on campus to take shelter. The university released a campus alert after someone spotted a man suspected of carrying a gun in a classroom building.