Author

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.

Nancy Livingston announces campaign for North St. Paul Senate seat

By: - October 25, 2021

North St. Paul resident Nancy Livingston announced on Monday that she’s running for the Senate seat left open by Sen. Chuck Wiger’s decision not to seek reelection. Livingston is legislative assistant for Wiger, a Maplewood Democrat, and will seek the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party endorsement, according to a news release. Wiger was first elected to the state […]

If you shoot someone, you’ll probably get away with it

By: and - October 25, 2021

Leah McGinley stood by the stage at Phelps Park in south Minneapolis, nearing the end of a five-hour event called “Drew’s Day” in memory of her brother, Andrew “Drew” McGinley. He was gunned down June 30 in the parking lot of the Elks Lodge in north Minneapolis. She’d organized the anti-violence community event on his […]

Minnesota’s unemployment rate falls to 3.7%

By: - October 21, 2021

Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.7% in September, down from 3.8% in August and 3.9% in July, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Thursday. The state’s unemployment rate is below the national rate of 4.8%. Minnesota gained 17,100 jobs — an increase of about 0.6%, far outpacing the national jobs growth rate of […]

Biden administration restricts mining near Boundary Waters

By: - October 20, 2021

The Biden administration is pausing new copper-nickel mining leases near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for two years and launching a study to consider a 20-year ban on mineral mining in the area, a move that could block the proposed Twin Metals mine near Ely. The restrictions, announced Wednesday, will affect more than 225,000 […]

392 Minnesotans killed in car crashes so far this year

By: - October 18, 2021

Minnesota is on track for its highest number of car crash deaths in at least 14 years, with 392 people killed in crashes so far, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced Monday. There were 397 people killed in car crashes in all of 2020, when fatalities spiked as reckless driving increased during the pandemic. […]

Booster shot of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recommended by FDA panel

By: and - October 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal vaccine advisory panel on Friday endorsed a second dose of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, meaning millions more Americans are expected to soon join the line for booster shots. Anyone who received a J&J shot at least two months ago will be eligible for an additional dose, under the committee’s […]

COVID-19 cases among K-12 students down slightly

By: - October 14, 2021

Nearly 1,400 K-12 students tested positive for COVID-19 in the week ending Oct. 2, a decline from previous weeks, the Minnesota Department of Health announced Thursday. Cases linked to K-12 buildings climbed steeply throughout the first month of school but leveled off in early October. More than 2,000 students and 300 staff members tested positive […]

ACT participation declined among Minnesota seniors in 2021

By: - October 13, 2021

Sixty percent of Minnesota high school seniors took the ACT in spring 2021, down from more than 90% in recent years, the Minnesota Department of Education announced Wednesday. The participation decline among the graduating class of 2021 was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the graduating class’s junior and senior years, according to MDE. […]

Line 3 opponents deliver letter to White House

By: - October 12, 2021

A group of Indigenous and environmental organizations based in Minnesota and nationwide delivered a letter to the White House Tuesday urging President Joe Biden to take action on Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline. The 337-mile Line 3 pipeline began carrying oil on Oct. 1. The letter from pipeline opponents comes the day after more than […]

Minneapolis Police Department down 300 officers from spring 2020

By: - October 11, 2021

The Minneapolis Police Department’s staff has dwindled to 588 officers, a decline of roughly 300 from the time of George Floyd’s murder, the Star Tribune reported. Police departments across the country are having trouble retaining and recruiting staff, leaving many with officer shortages. The New York Times reported in June that retirements were up 45% […]

COVID-19 cases among K-12 students on the rise

By: - October 7, 2021

More than 1,700 K-12 students tested positive for COVID-19 in the week ending Sept. 25, the Minnesota Department of Health announced Thursday. Case counts associated with K-12 schools climbed steeply throughout the first month of class. Between Sept. 5 and Oct. 2, more than 5,300 students and 800 staff tested positive, according to MDH. Minnesota’s […]

Right-wing celeb Charlie Kirk thinks George Floyd is a ‘scumbag’

By: - October 6, 2021

Right-wing celebrity Charlie Kirk opened his appearance in Mankato Tuesday night by giving the crowd some advice: “Just don’t totally mess up this state. It was built by wonderful Scandinavians, and it seems as if it’s being destroyed now, rather intentionally.” In an 80-some-minute speech, Kirk called George Floyd a “scumbag,” railed against urban areas — […]