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.

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 […]

homebuilding

Minnesota’s housing market frenzy, in five charts

By: - July 21, 2021

At the height of the housing market frenzy in Minnesota this spring, stories abounded of homes purchased sight unseen, cash offers thousands above asking price and personal appeals to sellers from desperate buyers.  While there are some signs the market is slowing down as the summer goes on, it’s still a competitive one. Buyers are […]

Minnesota’s racial disparities in juvenile detention among nation’s worst, new report says

By: - July 19, 2021

Minnesota’s racial disparities in juvenile detention were among the nation’s worst in 2019, according to newly released data from the national advocacy group The Sentencing Project. Indigenous youth were nearly 12 times more likely than white youth to be sent to juvenile detention or treatment facilities in Minnesota, according to the report. Black youth were […]

Q&A: How Minnesota can help single mothers and their children

By: - July 19, 2021

Ally Hanten Ebert says her ultimate goal is to work herself out of a job. Ebert stepped into her role as executive director of the nonprofit Jeremiah Program’s Rochester campus in March 2021. She hopes that one day the program, which provides housing for low-income single moms pursuing college degrees, will be obsolete. “If we’re […]

Five Minnesota organizations receive USDA Farm to School grants

By: - July 16, 2021

Five Minnesota school districts and community organizations will plant gardens and expand nutrition education with grants totaling more than $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a USDA news release. The USDA gave $12 million in Farm to School grants to more than 170 recipients this year, according to the release. The program […]