This work examines a semi-blind single-channel source separation problem. Our specific aim is to separate one source whose local structure is approximately known, from another a priori unspecified background source, given only a single linear combination of the two sources. We propose a separation technique based on local sparse approximations along the lines of recent efforts in sparse representations and dictionary learning. A key feature of our procedure is the online learning of dictionaries (using only the data itself) to sparsely model the background source, which facilitates its separation from the partially-known source. Our approach is applicable to source separation problems in various application domains; here, we demonstrate the performance of our proposed approach via simulation on a stylized audio source separation task.