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.

Minnesota reports 3,882 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

By: - August 31, 2021

Minnesota reported 3,882 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths over the weekend, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The state’s test positivity rate has remained above 5% for most of the month as the Delta variant causes a surge in cases in Minnesota and across the country. Minnesota’s fourth wave […]

Minnesota appeals court affirms decision to issue key Line 3 permit

By: - August 30, 2021

The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the state Pollution Control Agency’s decision to issue a key water quality permit for the Line 3 oil pipeline Monday, in a victory for energy company Enbridge and a blow to project opponents. The White Earth Nation, the Red Lake Nation and several environmental groups had challenged the MPCA’s […]

Minnesota reading, math scores decline sharply during pandemic

By: - August 27, 2021

Minnesota students’ scores on statewide standardized tests fell precipitously in spring 2021, following more than a year of distance learning and disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to results released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Education. Roughly 44% of students met state standards in math, down from 55% in spring 2019, when tests […]

2,000 rally against Line 3 at state Capitol

By: - August 25, 2021

About 2,000 people gathered outside the state Capitol Wednesday afternoon to protest Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline, calling on Gov. Tim Walz and President Joe Biden to block the nearly completed project. Led by Indigenous people and environmental advocates — many of whom have been fighting the project since Enbridge submitted its first permit applications in […]

Minnesota health officials urge COVID-19 precautions with State Fair, school year ahead

By: - August 24, 2021

Minnesota health officials on Tuesday urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they haven’t already and to heed recommendations like wearing masks regardless of vaccination status, as the state’s fourth wave of COVID-19 continues. Eighty-four of Minnesota’s 87 counties are experiencing “substantial” or “high” levels of community transmission, according to the federal Centers for […]

Nearly 80,000 people signed up for Minnesota’s $100 COVID-19 vaccine incentive

By: - August 23, 2021

More than 79,000 Minnesotans signed up for a $100 reward through Minnesota’s monthlong COVID-19 vaccine incentive program, Gov. Tim Walz’s office announced Monday. The state paid for the program, which ended Monday, with federal COVID-19 relief funds. It seems to have been most popular among Minnesotans in age groups and geographic areas with lower-than-average vaccination […]

‘We can’t just walk away’: Line 3 is almost done, but opponents aren’t giving up

By: - August 23, 2021

A cloud of road dust obscured the group outside the Enbridge pump station. Backlit by the wavering early morning sun, they held a prayer before moving into action. The only witness: A crude, wooden-rifle-clutching dummy propped up next to signs reading “Minnesotans for Line 3” and “No trespassing — I own firearms and a backhoe.” A […]

20 arrested at Line 3 pipeline protest near Cloquet

By: - August 20, 2021

More than 20 people were arrested during a protest of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline at a pump station outside Cloquet Friday afternoon. The protest and arrests come as Enbridge’s 337-mile pipeline is more than 90% complete and scheduled to carry oil by the end of the year, the company says. But opponents say the fight […]

Opponents of Enbridge Line 3 pipeline shut down bridge in Duluth

By: - August 19, 2021

DULUTH — Line 3 opponents shut down the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge for about half an hour Thursday afternoon in protest of the oil pipeline Enbridge is reconstructing across northern Minnesota. The protest on the bridge, which backed up traffic for blocks, came after a morning March for Manoomin — Ojibwe for wild rice. About 100 […]

Minnesota announces more COVID-19 testing options for schools

By: - August 17, 2021

Schools will have more COVID-19 testing options when they start the 2020-21 school year, the Minnesota Department of Health announced Tuesday. Four testing options — including rapid tests — will be available to schools for free, and students can still get tested at the state-run community testing sites and other locations, according to MDH. The state […]

0.24% of vaccinated Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19

By: - August 16, 2021

More than 7,100 fully vaccinated Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19 — about 0.24% of the state’s fully vaccinated population, the Minnesota Department of Health announced Monday. A very small proportion of those breakthrough cases have resulted in hospitalizations or deaths. Just over 580 fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 — about 0.02% — and 60 […]

Enbridge Line 3 drilling fluid spills: What we know so far

By: - August 16, 2021

Enbridge is done drilling under rivers to build its Line 3 oil pipeline, but scrutiny over potential permit violations in the process isn’t likely to fade away anytime soon. Enbridge spilled drilling fluid 28 times at 12 river crossings this summer, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced last week. The news alarmed pipeline opponents — […]