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.

construction workers

Minnesota’s unemployment rate steady at 4% in June

By: - July 15, 2021

Minnesota’s unemployment rate held steady at 4% in June, the same as the month before, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Thursday. The June data showed some good news for Black Minnesotans: The unemployment rate for Black workers fell to 4.5%, down from nearly 7% in May based on 12-month moving averages. […]

‘We’re here to ask for help’: Tribal leaders urge Walz to block Line 3

By: - July 15, 2021

White Earth Nation leadership traveled to the state Capitol Wednesday, calling on Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and President Joe Biden to meet with them, government to government, about Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. The Capitol rotunda was draped with signs reading “honor the treaties” and echoed with chants of “stop Line 3” from […]

Teens in foster care will go to college for free, under new state program

By: - July 13, 2021

Antania Goff remembers thinking, “This is my first step to changing my life,” when she opened her acceptance letter from St. Cloud State University. Goff knew exactly what she wanted to do with her degree: Open a transitional home for teens in the foster care system. She dreamed of providing young people with the support […]

Protesters to rally in St. Paul against Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program

By: - July 12, 2021

People opposed to Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program plan to rally in St. Paul Sunday to demand lawmakers phase out the program. Clients of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program and their relatives are calling for “an end to an indefinite detention program they believe is an unconstitutional death sentence” at facilities in Moose Lake and […]

White Earth leaders urge Walz, Biden to cancel Line 3

By: - July 9, 2021

Leaders of the White Earth Nation called on Gov. Tim Walz and President Joe Biden on Friday to halt construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota. They shared concerns during a news conference that the project could harm wild rice — a sacred food for the Anishinaabe — especially given the drought and […]

Homicides in Minneapolis dipped last month, first decline this year

By: and - July 9, 2021

The number of homicides in Minneapolis last month dipped slightly below last June, marking the first time homicides have declined below last year’s monthly numbers. In June 2020  the city recorded 11 homicides. Last month, there were eight, according to the Minneapolis Police Department crime statistics dashboard. Homicides are still up overall this year from […]

Celebrities pen letter urging Biden to cancel Line 3 pipeline project

By: - July 7, 2021

More than 200 celebrities, activists, writers and wealthy democratic donors sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to halt construction on Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline in northern Minnesota. The list of signatories includes Katy Perry, Danny Glover, Leonardo DiCaprio and Amy Schumer. They call on Biden to make other moves toward sustainable […]

Minnesota got $500 million for early childhood programs. Here’s where it’s going.

By: - July 7, 2021

Child care and early learning programs in Minnesota will get a $500 million funding boost over the next two years, under the state budgets signed into law last week. It’s an unprecedented sum for the struggling industry — but advocates worry it isn’t a sustainable investment. Virtually all the money comes from federal COVID-19 relief […]

Law enforcement groups sue state over use-of-force law

By: - July 2, 2021

Minnesota police groups are suing Gov. Tim Walz and the state of Minnesota over a change to the state’s police use-of-force law that was approved after the murder of George Floyd. The new law aims to create stricter standards for when use of deadly force by law enforcement is considered justified. The lawsuit, filed Friday […]

State Dept. of Education releases plan for spending pandemic relief funds

By: - July 2, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Education released its plan this week outlining how the state will spend more than $100 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law in March, directed more than $123 billion to helping schools and students across the country bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota […]

State to cover nearly $30 million in county costs for Enbridge tax settlement

By: - July 1, 2021

The state of Minnesota will pay Canadian energy company Enbridge nearly $30 million to cover northern counties’ costs from a tax case settlement.  The deal — a last-minute addition to the state tax budget, passed by the Legislature early Thursday — is a big relief for 13 counties. They were each set to pay Enbridge […]

Buffalo schools to pay $200,000 in discrimination lawsuit settlement

By: - June 30, 2021

The Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District will pay more than $200,000 to the family of a former student and change its gender identity policies in a settlement of a discrimination lawsuit, the legal nonprofit Gender Justice announced Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of former student Matt Woods by his mother in 2019, alleges the school system […]