Author

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.

Enbridge fined $3.3 million for aquifer breach during Line 3 construction

By: - September 17, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has ordered Enbridge to pay $3.3 million for piercing a groundwater aquifer during construction of its Line 3 oil pipeline in northwestern Minnesota, the DNR announced Thursday. The rupture released more than 24 million gallons of groundwater near Clearbrook since January in what the DNR says is a violation […]

Minnesota unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in August

By: - September 16, 2021

Minnesota’s unemployment rate was 3.8% in August, down slightly from 3.9% the month before, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Thursday. The state’s unemployment rate is still well below the national rate, 5.2%. Minnesota gained about 4,300 jobs — an increase of 0.2% — a promising sign for economic recovery in this phase of […]

Minneapolis school goes remote over encampment concerns

By: - September 15, 2021

A Minneapolis high school has switched to virtual learning and moved some classes off-site because of safety concerns after an encampment sprung up on school property this summer. Volunteers of America High School, an alternative school of about 85 students near the intersection of East Franklin Avenue and Cedar Avenue, will continue holding virtual and […]

Walz appoints 15-person economic expansion council

By: - September 14, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz appointed a 15-person council to develop economic policy proposals and recommendations for spending the state’s remaining COVID-19 relief aid, the governor’s office announced Tuesday. The Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion includes business, labor and nonprofit leaders who will work with local governments, nonprofits, colleges and universities, according to a news release. They’ll […]

Black students disproportionately referred to law enforcement, report says

By: - September 13, 2021

Black students and students with disabilities in Minnesota are referred to law enforcement at rates nearly double the statewide average, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity. Nationwide, policing in schools disproportionately affects students of color and students with disabilities, CPI found. In Minnesota, 48 students out of every 10,000 were referred […]

Biden vaccine mandate will apply to 4,800 Minnesota businesses

By: - September 10, 2021

Roughly 4,800 businesses employing 1.4 million Minnesotans will be subject to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate announced by President Joe Biden Thursday, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The mandate requires all people working for businesses with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. The 1.4 million Minnesotans […]

The lion’s historian: Five questions with local author Rosemond Owens

By: - September 10, 2021

Rosemond Sarpong Owens has held a number of titles throughout her career: President, director, interpreter, author, faculty member — and now “lion’s historian.” Owens, an Eagan resident, says the moniker is inspired by author Chinua Achebe: “Until the lions have their own historian, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”  It’s the […]

Richfield parent threatens school staff in anti-mask rant

By: - September 9, 2021

Police removed a parent from a Richfield elementary school Wednesday morning after the parent entered the school without permission and threatened staff during an anti-mask tirade. The parent wasn’t complying with the district’s mask policy, which requires all people over age 2 to wear masks in district buildings, a Richfield Public Schools spokesperson said. Despite […]

Judge throws out Minneapolis public safety ballot language

By: - September 7, 2021

A judge has thrown out language for the Minneapolis public safety ballot question that was set to appear before voters in the November election, calling it “vague, ambitious and incapable of implementation,” as well as “unreasonable.” The judge’s order throws the issue into chaos. The City Council will meet today to work on new language […]

construction workers

The state of labor, in five charts

By: - September 7, 2021

After 18 months of coping with health concerns and economic uncertainty during the pandemic, Labor Day is a much-needed break for many workers in Minnesota and across the country. Before the pandemic, there was little to celebrate for many American workers. Pay stagnated and racial wage gaps persisted for decades, even as the economy grew […]

‘The Squad’ visits Minnesota for Line 3 trip

By: - September 3, 2021

U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib traveled to Minneapolis Friday before embarking on a trip to northern Minnesota in opposition to Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline. The four members of The Squad, as the group of progressive, early career Democrats are known, and state Sen. Mary Kunesh, DFL-New Brighton, called […]

Officer who shot Daunte Wright to face additional manslaughter charge

By: - September 2, 2021

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison added a charge of first-degree manslaughter Thursday against Kimberly Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April. Potter will still face an existing charge of second-degree manslaughter, in which she is accused of “culpable negligence” while using a firearm. The […]