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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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.


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.



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.


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Mpls. Pastry Chef’s Kitchen Mistake Leads To ‘Bee Free Honee’

A local business woman is turning a kitchen mistake into big business. It also started when pastry chef Katie Sanchez tried to make apple jelly without reading the directions.


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State Patrol: 13 Ejected In Nobles County After Van Rollover

Authorities said 13 passengers were ejected and three had to be airlifted to a local hospital after a transport van slid off an icy freeway in southwestern Minnesota Thursday morning.


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Pumpkin Growers Square Off At Stillwater Harvest Festival

If you’ve ever wished to paddle a giant pumpkin down a river, this weekend is your chance. A pumpkin regatta on the St. Croix is part of this weekend’s Harvest Festival in Stillwater. Spokeswoman Cassie McLemore said yes, giant pumpkins do float.


from left: Shauntell Burg, Roxanne Deflorin, Andrea Gunderson, Kristin Warren (credit: Ramsey County Jail)

4 Charged In ID Theft Ring Targeting State Employees

Ramsey County investigators say they have busted a major identity theft ring involving the personal information of hundreds. Four St. Paul women have been charged in the string of ID thefts.


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Man Gets Life In Prison For Photo Shop Double Murder

The Minnesota man who killed a father and son inside their La Crosse, Wis. photo shop last fall has been sentenced to life in prison. Forty-year-old Jeffrey Lepsch of Dakota was convicted in July for the killings of 56-year-old Paul Petras and his 19-year-old son, A.J.


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Despite High Profile Cases, Bear Attacks Rare In MN

Bear attacks and mauling incidents are in the news all too often recently — 7 attacks in 5 states in the past week, seemingly unprovoked. But the chances of coming face to face with one in Minnesota are thankfully pretty slim.


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No Running Of The Bulls Planned For Canterbury

There will be no “Running of the Bulls” at Canterbury Park after all. While Canterbury had not formally agreed to host “The Great Bull Run” next year, the event was tentatively scheduled for next May.


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‘Summer Restaurant Week’ Begins Monday

It’s time to get out and try that new restaurant you’ve been wondering about. It’s Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine’s “Summer Restaurant Week,” where more than 40 restaurants are offering lunches and dinners at deep discounts.


Photo credit: Colleen McGuire

Guthrie Theater Celebrates 50 Years

The Guthrie Theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend in Minneapolis. Spokeswoman Trish Santini says it all began in the early 1960s when founder Tyrone Guthrie was looking for a home for what he envisioned to be a world-class, regional theater. Guthrie wanted a space with all of the top-notch talent of Broadway


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Minneapolis City Hall Roof Could Be Home To 100,000 Bees

The state of the roof at Minneapolis City Hall and Courthouse building has everyone abuzz. Literally. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community have donated a pair of hives that could help grow bee colonies exceeding 50,000 each.


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42 New Troopers Graduating From Training At Camp Ripley

Just in time for the busy holiday travel weekend, Minnesota is getting some new state troopers. Forty two new state troopers cadets are graduating Thursday after four months of training at Camp Ripley.



Lowertown Farmers Market To Open This Weekend

It’s opening a week later than usual, but rain, snow or shine, the show will go on for the St. Paul Farmer’s Market in Lowertown.


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Call For Greater Safety Measures For Midtown Greenway Cyclists

On Wednesday, a bicyclist narrowly avoided a Molotov cocktail that was tossed from the bridge over the Midtown Greenway. Though the bicyclist was not injured, the incident has prompted a meeting to improve safety measures along the bike path.


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Minn. DNR Wants Volunteers For Frog & Toad Calling Survey

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to help with its annual frog and toad calling survey — where you sit out in nature, simply listen and record what you hear.The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to help with its annual frog and toad calling survey — where you sit out in nature, simply listen and record what you hear.


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Man, 42, Dies After Apparent Hit-And-Run Crash

Minneapolis police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver involved in a fatal hit and run incident early this morning.


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Realtors Expect A Bountiful Spring For Real Estate

Home sales are at their highest level in three years according to new national figures released on Thursday. In Minnesota, the big story remains the lack of homes on the market.


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New Rail Line Could Go From Minneapolis To Duluth

If taking a train to Duluth sounds pretty good to you, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is looking for your input.


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Will All The Snow Help With Drought Conditions?

We’re expecting between 6 and 12 inches of snow in the latest winter storm to hit Minnesota, but will it help our drought conditions?


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Losses Mounting As Orchestra Lockout Enters 5th Month

As the Minnesota Orchestra’s lockout continues into its fifth month, Minneapolis officials are grappling with the economic impact of lots of lost revenue.


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Officials Say More Solar Energy Means More Jobs In Minnesota

Officials said Wednesday using more solar energy would mean more jobs in Minnesota. A new bill introduced at the State Capitol Wednesday would dramatically ramp up Minnesota’s investment in solar energy.


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What Do Cupcakes And Minnesota Moose Have In Common?

A Twin Cities business owner is turning her attention from cupcakes to saving Minnesota’s moose. Robin Johnson is launching a fundraising drive to help researchers study Minnesota’s declining moose population.


Russian Adoption Mothers, moms

Local Adoption Agency Taking ‘Wait-And-See’ Approach On Russia

A Twin Cities agency that handles many Russian adoptions is taking a wait-and-see approach to Russian President Putin’s signing of a bill that would ban adoptions by American parents.




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