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.

Cows on dairy farm

Minnesota farm facts, in four charts

By: - December 13, 2021

Minnesota has managed to hang on to its reputation as one of the nation’s top agricultural states, even amid a nationwide decline in the number of farms. The North Star state has about 68,000 farms — the 10th-highest total in the country. We’re also the nation’s top turkey raiser and rank in the top 10 […]

Minnesota’s changing weather, in five charts

By: - December 10, 2021

Winter is officially here, with the Twin Cities’ first lingering snowfall and several days of sub-freezing temperatures — but you might not need that parka quite as much this year, thanks to climate change. As one of the fastest-warming states in the country, we’re already feeling the effects of climate change, with milder winters, heavier rainfalls […]

Hennepin County sheriff under investigation for potential DWI

By: - December 8, 2021

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson is under investigation for a potential drunk driving incident, the Minnesota State Patrol announced Wednesday. Hutchinson crashed a Hennepin County vehicle near Alexandria around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the State Patrol. Hutchinson, who was elected in 2018, said in a statement that he is “deeply sorry” for making the […]

State education spending projections down $326 million in new budget forecast

By: - December 7, 2021

The state of Minnesota will spend $326 million less than expected on preK-12 education this biennium, a 1.6% decline compared to projections released in spring 2021, Minnesota Management and Budget announced Tuesday. The update came as part of the annual November budget forecast, which this year projected a record-high $7.7 billion budget surplus. That’s mostly […]

Medaria Arradondo

Minneapolis police chief to retire

By: - December 6, 2021

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced Monday that he will not seek a third term with the department. Arradondo, the city’s first Black police chief, was appointed in 2017 following the resignation of Janeé Harteau and oversaw the Minneapolis Police Department through one of the most challenging years in its history. He first joined the […]

Minnesota making 1 million rapid, at-home COVID tests available to families

By: - December 3, 2021

The state of Minnesota will make an additional 1 million rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests available to families for free, Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday. Child care providers and K-12 schools will distribute the BD Veritor At-Home rapid test kits to families, according to a news release. The state expects it will receive all 1 million […]

Minnesota tops the nation in turkey production

By: - November 24, 2021

If you’re eating a turkey on Thanksgiving, odds are it came from Minnesota. Minnesota tops the nation in turkey production, with more than 40 million birds produced here last year by at least 600 growers — including poultry giant Jennie-O. That means we have about seven turkeys for every person in Minnesota. Minnesota produces nearly 18% […]

Why does Minnesota have so many COVID-19 cases?

By: - November 22, 2021

Minnesota is experiencing one of the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, despite a relatively high vaccination rate of 68% for people over age 5. The apparent contradiction has left many Minnesotans wondering why cases are rising so fast. Here are your questions about Minnesota’s COVID-19 surge, answered. Pretty bad. As of Friday, Minnesota had the country’s […]

Latest social studies standards draft urges ethnic studies focus

By: - November 19, 2021

Minnesota is poised to join a handful of states requiring ethnic studies for all public school students. In its third and final draft, a committee tasked with revising the state’s social studies standards included an ethnic studies focus area along with new requirements for the teaching of gender and religion. That draft — coming after more […]

COVID-19 relief spurs personal income growth for Minnesotans

By: - November 16, 2021

Minnesotans’ personal incomes were up 3.9% in the first half of 2021 compared to before the pandemic, in line with national trends, according to an analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts. Personal income grew in every state between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2021 because of pandemic-related government assistance and wage […]

Minnesota’s COVID-19 surge stretches on

By: - November 15, 2021

Minnesota reported 5,266 new COVID-19 cases Monday as the state’s fourth wave of the pandemic stretches on. Cases here are growing faster than anywhere else in the country, The New York Times reported Monday, with 67 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past week — far surpassing the national rate of 24 new cases per […]

Photo illustration of nurses in a hospital

Feds issue 47 penalties to Minnesota hospitals for high patient readmission, injury rates

By: - November 15, 2021

The federal government issued 47 penalties to Minnesota hospitals for high patient readmission or hospital-related infection rates — a lower proportion than the national average, according to an analysis of federal records by Kaiser Health News. The federal government reduces hospitals’ Medicare payments through programs aimed at increasing patient safety, enacted as part of the […]