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.
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.
A Crystal family is keeping the memory of their son alive by helping those most in need. A year ago, 18-year-old Kody Thorn died from a drug overdose. His friends and family remember him as a gentle giant who was always there for friends and family.
This week’s snow has added to an already wet crop, and that means a lot of farmers will rely on grain dryers to dry out their corn. “You can’t dry it, you can’t combine it, and you can’t get it done,” said Peter Leuer of Leuer Farms.
Yes, the Timberwolves are off to a great start, but even during their down years, there’s a season ticket holder who has stood by the team the whole way through. And Mitsuaki Ohno probably has the longest commute of anyone, traveling 6,000 miles from Tokyo every year, just to watch the Timberwolves.
Friends and family of a man shot and killed by Minnetonka Police last month say they are still waiting for answers. Police shot 27-year-old Michael Tray several times on Oct. 23. They were called to Claremont Apartments around 8:30 p.m. after someone said they saw a man walking around with a gun. Police confronted Tray in the underground parking garage, where he was shot and killed. Michael Strunk met him five years ago in college. Like so many other people, Michael hit off with the man simply known as “Tray.”
Authorities said a 13-year-old girl died Sunday at Gillette Children’s Hospital after injuries suffered Saturday in a western Wisconsin snowmobile accident during a safety training course. Officers were called to the parking lot at Osceola High School at about 9:11 a.m. Saturday on a report of the accident.
Ryan Ridgley makes no secret of his love of Halloween. “I’d say this year the favorite is the guillotine,” Ridgley said. In his Richfield yard, the scary and supernatural come to life. His layout is planned months in advance, and he makes most of the eerie items by hand. His Halloween perfection takes time and money. “I can’t say the exact amount because my girlfriend will get upset,” he said. “There was a comma in it a long time ago.” But for Ridgley, the bigger the display, the bigger the turnout. And the bigger turnouts provide more opportunity to help others.
It has been a challenging year for Minnesota farmers. Many got their crops in late, dealt with dry conditions in August, and are now working in wet fields this fall. You may remember that some parts of the state got more than a foot of snow in early May, which is prime planting time for farmers.
Much has been publicized about the new Vikings stadium, but very little in regards to the Target Center. When lawmakers approved a new Vikings stadium last year, part of the deal allowed the City of Minneapolis to pay for Target Center renovations. But while stadium plans move forward, Target Center remains quiet. Last year, when lawmakers approved a $975 million Vikings stadium, they also approved $100 million in Target Center renovations.
She’s one of the best at making her teammates better. Megan Pekarek holds her school’s volleyball assists record. It’s one of many reasons she was our Aspire Athlete of the Week.
St. Paul Police are investigating what they call a “bizarre” case. Early Sunday morning, 32-year-old Darvez Thomas was found severely injured near the intersection of Larpenteur Avenue and Jackson Street. He was rushed to Regions Hospital and remains in critical condition as of Thursday night.
The Army recruiter who was hit by a Jeep and carried underneath the vehicle for nearly a mile remains hospitalized, and his coworker hopes a fundraiser will help offset the financial challenges his family is facing.
If you shop enough, you’ll pick up on changes at the grocery store, and some of you may have noticed a change in the way you buy eggs. More and more eggs are being sold in Styrofoam cartons.