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.

Minnesota sues COVID-19 testing companies, alleging deceptive practices

By: - January 19, 2022

The state of Minnesota is suing two Illinois-based COVID-19 testing companies for deceptive practices after they allegedly failed to provide accurate test results — or any results at all, in some cases. The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office received numerous complaints that the Center for Covid Control and Doctors Clinical Laboratory provided falsified test results, sent results […]

St. Paul students stage walkout over rising COVID-19 cases

By: - January 18, 2022

High school students across St. Paul walked out of classrooms Tuesday afternoon to protest the district’s COVID-19 precautions, which they say aren’t sufficient to protect students. The students want the St. Paul Public Schools officials to immediately switch to virtual learning for two weeks and implement other policies related to COVID-19, including providing KN95 masks […]

‘Raising Ollie’: A celebrated Minnesota teacher on raising his nonbinary child

By: - January 18, 2022

Tom Rademacher, Minnesota’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, says nothing has been more inspiring to his work as an educator than raising his child, Ollie. Rademacher shares stories of his family and his work as a public school teacher during an especially eventful year of Ollie’s childhood in his recently published book, “Raising Ollie: How […]

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UMN to implement vaccine-or-test mandate for large events

By: - January 14, 2022

People who attend large indoor events on any University of Minnesota campus between Jan. 26 and Feb. 9 will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test, U President Joan Gabel announced Friday. The move comes as the omicron variant sickens record numbers of Minnesotans and follows an announcement by the […]

Minnesota students to get $14 million through Navient settlement

By: - January 13, 2022

More than 400 Minnesotans who got student loans through Navient will see their debt canceled, and 4,325 will receive restitution payments from the company under a settlement reached Thursday with 39 states, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office announced. The coalition of attorneys general accused Navient, one of the nation’s largest student loan servicers, of steering […]

Public defenders and legal aid attorneys plead for funding boost amid rising demand

By: - January 12, 2022

Public defenders and legal aid attorneys are asking legislators to increase funding for their programs, citing overworked staff, pandemic-related backlogs and longer-term budget issues. Members of the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee heard testimony Tuesday from public defenders and civil legal aid attorneys — who represent low-income clients in non-criminal cases — about how […]

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$200 gift cards coming for vaccinated Minnesota kids

By: - January 12, 2022

Minnesota families who get their children vaccinated in January and February will be eligible to receive a $200 VISA gift card, Gov. Tim Walz’s office announced Tuesday. To receive the money, families must get first and second shots for their 5- to 11-year-olds between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28. The state hopes the cash incentive […]

Minnesota official Hamse Warfa appointed to Biden administration position

By: - January 10, 2022

Minnesota economic official Hamse Warfa has been appointed to serve in President Joe Biden’s administration. Warfa was appointed deputy commissioner of the state Department of Employment and Economic Development in 2019, making him the highest-ranking Somali-American official in the executive branch. Warfa will join the State Department as senior advisor in Civilian Security, Democracy and Human […]

Hennepin County Sheriff says he won’t resign amid mounting calls for him to step down

By: - January 7, 2022

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson says he will remain in office even as county officials call for him to resign after Hutchinson crashed a county vehicle while driving drunk in early December. Five of seven Hennepin County commissioners have urged the sheriff to step down. In response, Hutchinson said in a statement to the Reformer […]

Senate committee hears update on Capitol security ahead of Jan. 6

By: - January 5, 2022

A U.S. Senate committee led by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday reviewed Capitol security updates made in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and discussed remaining improvements. In a hearing the day before the anniversary of the riot, Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger told members of the Senate’s Committee […]

2021 in review: Bias in foster care, unsolved shootings and Line 3 resistance

By: - December 27, 2021

What a year! It’s hard to know what to say about the year that we’ve all had, but I do know that I’m incredibly grateful to be wrapping up another 12 months with the Reformer team. I feel lucky to be doing this work with such a smart, kind, scrappy newsroom. This was a year of […]

Court hears arguments in wild rice ‘rights of nature’ lawsuit

By: - December 22, 2021

The White Earth Tribal Court heard arguments in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the state of Minnesota Monday, which centers on the tribe’s allegations that the state violated the rights of wild rice during construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline. The case raises complex legal questions and has garnered international attention as part of the […]