Author

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota 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.

Minneapolis school board approves sweeping district restructure

By: - May 13, 2020

The Minneapolis School Board on Tuesday approved a controversial plan that leaders say will integrate schools, address achievement gaps and make programs more accessible to underserved students. The board voted 6-3 in favor of the Comprehensive District Design (CDD), which includes major changes to attendance boundaries and magnet programs that will likely take effect in […]

Amid allegations of favoritism to red states, Minnesota firms did well in scramble for federal money

By: - May 13, 2020

More than 46,000 Minnesota businesses received a total of $9 billion in loans during the first round of federal small business coronavirus relief, a larger sum than most states.  The Paycheck Protection Program loans have been critical in helping businesses in Minnesota and across the country avoid layoffs during the COVID-19 crisis.  But the program […]

Minnesota reports 695 new COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths

By: - May 12, 2020

More than 12,400 Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19 and 614 have died, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The totals reported Tuesday include 695 new cases and 23 deaths. More than 5,000 tests were completed between Sunday and Monday, the highest daily total since the state announced in late April a plan to […]

Minnesota reports 528 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths

By: - May 11, 2020

More than 11,700 Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19 and 591 have died, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. That includes 528 new cases — the lowest daily total in the past week — and 13 deaths. The state reported 4,693 completed tests between Saturday and Sunday, bringing the total number of people tested […]

Community colleges and their students improvise to deal with pandemic

By: - May 11, 2020

Rory O’Brien had a plan. By fall 2020, the Minneapolis Community and Technical College student hoped to finish 880 internship hours needed for her addiction counseling program. Then she could work as a counselor while taking classes at a four-year school. O’Brien, 26, dropped out of high school at 16 and never imagined that she […]

COVID-19 testing up in Minnesota, but not enough, state says

By: - May 8, 2020

More than 100,000 Minnesotans have been tested for COVID-19, but daily totals still remain far below maximum capacity under a state plan to dramatically increase testing. The plan to test up to 20,000 people daily through a joint effort between the state, Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota was announced April 22. Since then, over […]

Minnesota reports 728 new COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths

By: - May 6, 2020

Minnesota saw a spike in the reported number of COVID-19 cases between Monday and Tuesday as testing ramps up, with 728 new cases for a total of 8,579 patients. The state reported that 93,232 Minnesotans have been tested, an increase of more than 5,000 from the day before. The jump in positive cases Tuesday is […]

Federal funding for Brainerd Lakes, other small airports scaled back

By: - May 6, 2020

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport will receive $4 million in federal stimulus funding instead of the $18 million it was allotted last month, the Star Tribune reported Tuesday. As the Reformer previously reported, Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport was set to receive far more than busier Minnesota airports — like those in Duluth and Rochester — under […]

Minnesota reports 617 new COVID-19 cases and 27 deaths

By: - May 5, 2020

Minnesota saw a spike in the reported number of COVID-19 cases between Sunday and Monday as testing ramps up, with 617 new cases for a total of 7,851 patients. The state reported that 88,009 Minnesotans have been tested, an increase of more than 2,000 from the day before. Testing slowed slightly compared to the week […]

More than 7,200 Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19

By: - May 4, 2020

More than 7,200 Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, an increase of 571 cases between Saturday and Sunday. The state reported that 85,941 Minnesotans have been tested, an increase of more than 3,300 in a single day as testing ramps up under a plan to test up to […]

Minnesota’s stay-at-home order extended; some shops can reopen Monday

By: - April 30, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday extended his stay-at-home order for another two weeks, leaving it mostly unchanged through May 17 but allowing some retail businesses to offer curbside pickup or delivery. The extension allowing retailers to offer curbside pickup and delivery beginning Monday is expected to return roughly 30,000 Minnesotans back to work and underscores […]

With 492 new cases, Minnesota’s COVID-19 case count tops 5,000

By: - April 30, 2020

Minnesota saw a spike in the reported number of COVID-19 cases between Tuesday and Wednesday as testing ramps up, with 492 new cases for a total of 5,136 patients. The state reported that 70,276 Minnesotans have been tested, an increase of more than 3,500 from the day before. The jump in positive cases is the […]