Laura Oakes

laura oakes web Laura OakesLaura Oakes started her career with WCCO Radio in 1996, working primarily in the station’s award-winning newsroom, and also enjoying a stint as a show producer. Over the years, Oakes has covered many major news events for WCCO, and has won several local and regional awards for her newscasts and feature stories. A native of Shakopee, Oakes attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where she studied Communication and History.

Oakes and her husband, Chris are plenty busy … enjoying the antics of their pre-teen son, traveling, and remodeling so many homes they could have their own TV show. She also likes biking, dog walks along the river in St. Paul, fishing, and watercolor painting.

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Group Of Techie Teens From Twin Cities Heading To Silicon Valley

A group of tech-minded teens from the Twin Cities is on the summer trip of a lifetime this week. It’s an all-expenses paid, hands-on field trip to Silicon Valley.

07/27/2015

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Home Grown: The Somali-American Struggle – 3 Success Stories

We’ve been hearing a lot this week about the struggles, perceptions and realities of Somali-Americans living in the Twin Cities. But along with the difficulties, there are many success stories to be told. WCCO’s Laura Oakes introduces us to a few in our last installment of “Home Grown: The Somali-American Struggle.”

06/05/2015

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Minnesota Approves 2 Labs To Test Medical Marijuana

Another step in the process as medical cannabis becomes legal in Minnesota in just a few months. Minnesota’s medical cannabis program is still on track to begin this summer. The Minnesota Department of Health is approving two laboratories to test the products that will be coming from the state’s medical cannabis manufacturers.

04/29/2015

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Andover High Schoolers To Hold Prom For Senior Citizens

Hair and makeup? Check. Tuxedo? Check. Now it’s just waiting for that special date to arrive. It’s almost showtime for a special group of Twin Cities seniors. They may be pushing their 90s, but they are finding you’re never too old to go to prom.

04/24/2015

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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival Kicks Off

Minneapolis is indeed a cultural hub this weekend, with literary writers from all over the country already in town for the AWP Conference, and now film-makers from all over the world kicking off the 33rd annual Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.

04/10/2015

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NTSB Releases Recommendations For Oil Train Safety

The National Transportation Safety Board is out with some new recommendations to help prevent explosive oil train wrecks. They include retrofitting train cars with protective systems better able to withstand fire, and relief valves that can prevent pressure from building inside the tank cars.

04/07/2015

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Tracking Danger: Oil Train Disaster Could Devastate Rural Towns

The number is staggering. More than 326,000 Minnesotans — most of them in the Twin Cities area — live within what is considered an evacuation zone in the event of a major oil train disaster. So, is the state doing enough to make sure local communities are protected?

WCCO’s Laura Oakes has the next in our five-part series, Tracking Danger: Minnesota’s Crude Reality.

03/31/2015

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U Of M Drops Racial Descriptions From Crime Alerts

The University of Minnesota will drop racial descriptions from campus crime alerts, unless the description of a suspect is detailed enough to identify the person.

02/25/2015

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2014 Was Best Year For Mpls. Hospitality Industry

Minneapolis convention and visitors officials say 2014 was the city’s most successful year ever. Hotel bookings, future hotel bookings for the Super Bowl and Final Four, sponsorships and record revenue at the Minneapolis Convention Center all helped to make this one big year for the state’s biggest city.

01/28/2015

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Son Of New Hope Shooting Suspect Killed By Police Speaks

The son of the man who shot two police officers in New Hope City Hall Monday night before he was shot and killed spoke with WCCO Radio Tuesday afternoon. Nathan Kmetz says his 68-year-old father, Raymond Kmetz, had reached the breaking point after years of run-ins with police and city officials.

01/27/2015

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Teens Re-Arrested After Faribault Jailbreak

If you’re going to attempt a jailbreak, wouldn’t you have a plan for ditching your orange jumpsuit? Rice County authorities say two minimum-security inmates, both 18 years old, threw a fire extinguisher through a window and escaped from the county jail in Faribault early Wednesday morning.

01/21/2015

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Behind The Ballot: Political Candidates Vying To Reach Millennials

In this “Behind the Ballot” report, we take a look at how one group of voters is proving quite challenging for the candidates trying to reach them — the Millennials.

11/03/2014

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1 Million Riders Board Green Line LRT In September

With some help from the Minnesota Vikings relocating their games to TCF Bank in Stadium Village, the new Green Line LRT between St. Paul and Minneapolis saw more than 1 million riders in September.

10/14/2014

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Study: Kids Of Past, Present Marijuana Users More Likely To Use

A new survey shows children of past or present marijuana users are much more likely to start using themselves. But Dr. Leslie Adair with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation says it’s not too late. She says parents still have a big influence over their kids when it comes to marijuana use.

09/18/2014

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DNR Dogs Trained To Sniff Out Zebra Mussels

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a new, four-legged partner in fighting the spread of aquatic, invasive species. Highly-trained dogs can sniff out just about anything, from drugs to bombs. But these ones are detecting zebra mussels.

08/27/2014

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Officials: Remains Found In McLeod Co. Not Human

The McLeod County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the discovery of what may be human remains in a park near Hutchinson.

07/17/2014

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MN State Patrol Seeking New State Troopers

The Minnesota State Patrol is looking for a few good men and women to hit the state’s highways. The patrol is hiring a new round of State Troopers, in part to replace many who are retiring. Trooper Lee McClure says the job is all about keeping motorists safe, including from drivers breaking the law like those who try to text while driving.

07/07/2014

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Police: Woman’s Body Found In Blanket In St. Paul

Police in St. Paul are investigating after a body was found late Saturday night in a wooded area on the city’s east side. Authorities were called to the 1400 block of Minnehaha Avenue, which is near Barclay Street, at about 9 p.m. after a person discovered the body wrapped in a blanket.

06/22/2014

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Bicyclists Hit The Road In North Star Grand Prix

A major bicycle race gets underway in the Twin Cities on Wednesday. Three-hundred professional racers from all over the world are taking part in the North Star Grand Prix.

06/11/2014

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Sheriff: Gangs Now Turning To More Financial Fraud

Gangs are not what they used to be in the Twin Cities. Officials say more gangs are turning to financial fraud.

06/05/2014

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Woman Struck, Injured By School Bus Near Target Field

A woman is in the hospital after being struck by a school bus in downtown Minneapolis early Thursday afternoon, according to police. Shortly after noon, the woman was hit by the bus near the intersection of 3rd Street North and 2nd Avenue North and was trapped underneath for a period of time.

05/29/2014

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Teen Unemployment Down, Summer Job Outlook Positive

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development officials say the summer job outlook for teens is looking pretty good this year. DEED Jobs Analyst Oriane Casale says the unemployment rate for teens in Minnesota is down substantially from the last two years.

05/28/2014

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Tail End Of Winter Was Harsh For House Hunters

It’s been a frustrating early spring real estate market for house hunters in the Twin Cities. Minnesota Association of Realtors Executive Director Chris Galler says there’s usually more for sale by this time in March.

03/24/2014

America Mourns Elementary School Massacre

As Anniversary Looms, MN Family Mourns Girl Killed In Newtown

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Conn. Twenty children and 6 adults were killed. Paul Hagan of Minneapolis lost his niece and told WCCO’s Dave Lee today the family is still recovering.

12/13/2013

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Holiday Deals Arrive Early At Minnesota Gas Pumps

Disbelief? Shock? Joy? All of the above apply when it comes to filling up at the gas pump these days. AAA Minnesota reports an average price of $3 per gallon in the Twin Cities metro area.

11/13/2013

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