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.

Worrying trend: More kids hospitalized with COVID

By: - August 13, 2021

Hospitalizations of children are on the rise amid the state’s fourth wave of the pandemic — 83 kids and teens under 19 have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past two months, 25 of them in the past two weeks, Minnesota health officials announced Friday. The current surge of infections driven by the Delta variant is […]

Minnesota down 6,400 clean energy jobs in 2020, report says

By: - August 11, 2021

Minnesota lost more than 6,400 sustainable energy jobs in 2020 — a decline of about 10%, according to a report released Wednesday. 2020 was the first time employment in sectors like renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transportation shrank in Minnesota in at least five years, likely driven by the pandemic, according to the report […]

Minnesota reports 1,120 new COVID-19 cases

By: - August 9, 2021

Minnesota reported 1,120 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, according to an update from the Minnesota Department of Health Monday. Nearly 300 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday, 87 of them in intensive care units. That’s almost three times the number of hospitalizations in early July. Daily case totals and hospitalizations have been rising […]

Second social studies standards draft again meets criticism

By: - August 5, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Education recently published the second draft of proposed social studies standards, the latest step in a contentious monthslong revision process. This draft is comprehensive, the department says, unlike the widely criticized first draft published in November. It’s the product of a year of work by a committee tasked with determining what […]

Public may not know Enbridge’s progress on Line 3 jobs promises until construction ends

By: - August 3, 2021

Enbridge pledged to hire thousands of local workers for its Line 3 pipeline project. But we may not know whether they fulfilled that promise until the pipeline is completed. The Canadian energy company’s pledge to create jobs in rural communities was a major selling point for the $4 billion project. But Enbridge only has to […]

construction workers

Minnesota’s economic recovery in 8 charts

By: - August 3, 2021

Minnesota’s economy is making progress, but still has a ways to go to reach pre-pandemic levels.  The recession brought on by COVID-19 was like nothing the state or nation had ever seen, with some of the highest rates of unemployment on record — and the economic recovery seems to be equally unusual so far, economists say. […]

University of Minnesota implements mask mandate for fall semester

By: - August 2, 2021

The University of Minnesota is reinstating its mask mandate weeks before students are set to return to campus, University President Joan Gabel announced Monday. Effective Tuesday, all students, staff, faculty and visitors at the system’s campuses across the state will have to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, according to the announcement. The policy […]

Walz meets with Biden on wildfires as state warns of unprecedented poor air quality

By: - July 30, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday met virtually with President Joe Biden and six other governors to discuss the impacts of drought on Minnesota and strategies to adapt to the effects of climate change. The meeting came as more than half the state is experiencing severe or extreme drought. Minnesota is also blanketed in smoke from […]

Local government spending on lobbying reached $10 million in 2020, new report says

By: - July 30, 2021

Local governments in Minnesota spent $10 million on lobbying in 2020, up 3% from 2019, according to a report released Tuesday by the Office of the State Auditor. Big spenders included Minneapolis and Hennepin County, who spent a combined total of nearly $1 million as they pushed for favorable legislative decisions on issues including transportation […]

DFL lawmakers ask pollution control agency to suspend key Enbridge Line 3 permit

By: - July 28, 2021

Thirty-two state lawmakers sent a letter to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Tuesday, requesting the agency suspend a key permit for Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline until the ongoing drought lifts. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor legislators — including Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, who is the chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee — also asked […]

Vaccinated people should mask up in areas with high rates of COVID-19 spread, CDC says

By: - July 27, 2021

Vaccinated Minnesotans in 14 counties with high rates of COVID-19 transmission should start wearing masks indoors again, under new federal guidance announced Tuesday. As the highly contagious Delta variant drives an uptick in cases, the Centers for Disease Control reversed a decision made in mid-May that stated that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear […]

‘It’s not over’: Minnesota health officials push vaccinations as Delta variant spreads

By: - July 26, 2021

Minnesota health officials on Monday urged people who aren’t yet vaccinated against COVID-19 to get the shot as case counts and hospitalizations rise amid the state’s fourth wave of the pandemic. The state reported 424 new COVID-19 cases Monday, up from fewer than 100 per day in mid-June. More than 150 people were hospitalized with […]