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.

Minnesota gun laws earn a C+ in new national ranking

By: - February 14, 2020

Minnesota’s gun laws earned a C+ in an annual assessment of state policies by the gun control advocacy group Giffords Law Center. California and New Jersey topped the list with A ratings, and 20 states received Fs, including North and South Dakota. Mississippi’s gun laws were ranked last. Minnesota ranked 13th on overall firearm law […]

Minnesota teachers still overwhelmingly white as student population becomes more diverse

By: - February 14, 2020

Teachers across the United States are predominantly white, even as students of color make up a majority of those enrolled in public schools. Minnesota is no exception to this disparity: one in 20 teachers here are people of color, compared to one in three students. Research shows teacher diversity has a bevy of benefits for […]

Minnesota police are partnering with Ring. Is your city on the list?

By: - February 13, 2020

Fifteen Minnesota law enforcement agencies have agreements with home security company Ring that could allow them to access video from residents’ properties. Through the “Neighbors” program and app, law enforcement can request that homeowners allow them to see Ring doorbell footage from specific times and areas. In blog posts, the company describes the app as […]

Local governments’ finances ‘steady…for now,’ report says

By: - February 12, 2020

Local governments in Minnesota have kept revenues and spending even over the past two decades despite threats to their financial stability. But government leaders should be conscious of impending challenges, according to a report published today by the Office of the State Auditor. The report, titled “The State of Main Street: Holding Steady…For Now,” relied […]

Refugees from 32 countries resettled in Minnesota in 2018. Where do they live?

By: - February 12, 2020

More than 800 refugees settled across 20 Minnesota counties in 2019 — continuing a sharply downward trend since the election of President Donald Trump, according to the most recent available data from Minnesota Department of Human Services. Beltrami County made national headlines in January when it became the first county in the state to vote […]

St. Paul teachers to vote on strike next week

By: - February 11, 2020

St. Paul teachers will vote Feb. 20 on whether to strike against St. Paul Public Schools, according to the union representing St. Paul educators, assistants and community service workers. The St. Paul Federation of Educators executive board agreed Monday night to authorize a strike vote next week, the union wrote in a statement. “We did […]

Minnesota students speak nearly 300 different languages at home

By: - February 10, 2020

More than 143,000 Minnesota students speak a language other than English at home, according to 2018-19 data from the Minnesota Department of Education. Families here communicate in nearly 300 different languages, from American Sign Language to Indigenous languages like Ojibwa and Dakota to those originating in other continents, such as Arabic, Yoruba and Portuguese. At […]

Map: Minnesota counties with limited access to opioid addiction treatment

By: - February 7, 2020

Opioid addiction treatment remains out of reach for many Minnesotans. In 43 of Minnesota’s 87 counties, there are no doctors who can prescribe a drug proven to be safe and effective in treating opioid addiction, according to 2018 data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To prescribe buprenorphine, doctors are required under […]

Some big shots want to amend the Minnesota constitution to prioritize schools. Can it work?

By: - February 7, 2020

A pair of prominent Minnesota leaders want to harness the power of words to address some of the nation’s worst racial disparities in education. Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari and retired state Supreme Court Justice Alan Page — the latter a Democrat, the former a Republican — have launched a campaign to amend the state’s […]

Farmer harvesting soybeans near Worthington, Minnesota

Danger zone: Work is safer than it used to be, but some jobs are still hazardous

By: - February 6, 2020

Work-related illness and injuries in Minnesota reached all-time lows in 2018, but experts are concerned about persistently high injury rates in risky industries like construction and agriculture. Workplace injury rates have dropped nationwide in the past several decades because of regulatory and cultural changes. Farmers and construction workers are still at higher risk of being […]

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Dec. 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Klobuchar’s Iowa showing tops past Minnesotan presidential hopefuls

By: - February 5, 2020

Minnesota’s U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar may have finished fifth in Iowa’s caucuses, but she still has bragging rights among Minnesotan presidential candidates. The senator is the fifth Minnesotan presidential candidate to compete in the Iowa caucuses since 1972. With the exception of Walter Mondale, all have placed last or second-to-last in the caucuses, according to […]

Three things to know ahead of Trump’s State of the Union

By: - February 4, 2020

President Donald Trump will deliver his third State of the Union address tonight. Here are a few things to know about the economy, education and government action in the United States last year in advance of the speech. Growth in gross domestic product was roughly in line with previous years’ change. 2. More than three […]