Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota 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.

Hennepin County Sheriff says he won’t resign amid mounting calls for him to step down

By: - January 7, 2022

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson says he will remain in office even as county officials call for him to resign after Hutchinson crashed a county vehicle while driving drunk in early December. Five of seven Hennepin County commissioners have urged the sheriff to step down. In response, Hutchinson said in a statement to the Reformer […]

Senate committee hears update on Capitol security ahead of Jan. 6

By: - January 5, 2022

A U.S. Senate committee led by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday reviewed Capitol security updates made in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and discussed remaining improvements. In a hearing the day before the anniversary of the riot, Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger told members of the Senate’s Committee […]

2021 in review: Bias in foster care, unsolved shootings and Line 3 resistance

By: - December 27, 2021

What a year! It’s hard to know what to say about the year that we’ve all had, but I do know that I’m incredibly grateful to be wrapping up another 12 months with the Reformer team. I feel lucky to be doing this work with such a smart, kind, scrappy newsroom. This was a year of […]

Court hears arguments in wild rice ‘rights of nature’ lawsuit

By: - December 22, 2021

The White Earth Tribal Court heard arguments in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the state of Minnesota Monday, which centers on the tribe’s allegations that the state violated the rights of wild rice during construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline. The case raises complex legal questions and has garnered international attention as part of the […]

Cows on dairy farm

Minnesota farm facts, in four charts

By: - December 13, 2021

Minnesota has managed to hang on to its reputation as one of the nation’s top agricultural states, even amid a nationwide decline in the number of farms. The North Star state has about 68,000 farms — the 10th-highest total in the country. We’re also the nation’s top turkey raiser and rank in the top 10 […]

Minnesota’s changing weather, in five charts

By: - December 10, 2021

Winter is officially here, with the Twin Cities’ first lingering snowfall and several days of sub-freezing temperatures — but you might not need that parka quite as much this year, thanks to climate change. As one of the fastest-warming states in the country, we’re already feeling the effects of climate change, with milder winters, heavier rainfalls […]

Hennepin County sheriff under investigation for potential DWI

By: - December 8, 2021

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson is under investigation for a potential drunk driving incident, the Minnesota State Patrol announced Wednesday. Hutchinson crashed a Hennepin County vehicle near Alexandria around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the State Patrol. Hutchinson, who was elected in 2018, said in a statement that he is “deeply sorry” for making the […]

State education spending projections down $326 million in new budget forecast

By: - December 7, 2021

The state of Minnesota will spend $326 million less than expected on preK-12 education this biennium, a 1.6% decline compared to projections released in spring 2021, Minnesota Management and Budget announced Tuesday. The update came as part of the annual November budget forecast, which this year projected a record-high $7.7 billion budget surplus. That’s mostly […]

Medaria Arradondo

Minneapolis police chief to retire

By: - December 6, 2021

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced Monday that he will not seek a third term with the department. Arradondo, the city’s first Black police chief, was appointed in 2017 following the resignation of Janeé Harteau and oversaw the Minneapolis Police Department through one of the most challenging years in its history. He first joined the […]

Minnesota making 1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests available to families

By: - December 3, 2021

The state of Minnesota will make an additional 1 million rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests available to families for free, Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday. Child care providers and K-12 schools will distribute the BD Veritor At-Home rapid test kits to families, according to a news release. The state expects it will receive all 1 million […]

Minnesota tops the nation in turkey production

By: - November 24, 2021

If you’re eating a turkey on Thanksgiving, odds are it came from Minnesota. Minnesota tops the nation in turkey production, with more than 40 million birds produced here last year by at least 600 growers — including poultry giant Jennie-O. That means we have about seven turkeys for every person in Minnesota. Minnesota produces nearly 18% […]

Why does Minnesota have so many COVID-19 cases?

By: - November 22, 2021

Minnesota is experiencing one of the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, despite a relatively high vaccination rate of 68% for people over age 5. The apparent contradiction has left many Minnesotans wondering why cases are rising so fast. Here are your questions about Minnesota’s COVID-19 surge, answered. Pretty bad. As of Friday, Minnesota had the country’s […]