Dan Klefstad

Morning Edition Host & Book Series Editor

Good morning, Early Riser! Since 1997 I've been waking WNIJ listeners with the latest news, weather and other information, with the goal of seamlessly weaving this content into NPR's Morning Edition.

What do I do after the show ends at 9:00? I read. I'm especially interested in literature from the WNIJ area, which led me to adopt the "Book Beat" in 2012. Throughout the year, I immerse myself in works written by Illinois and Wisconsin authors. Then I interview these writers for Morning Edition and record them reading excerpts. You can download these interviews and excerpts from WNIJ's "Read With Me" book series archive.

If you're a writer from this area, or have a personal connection to this place, send your book to me at 801 N. 1st St., DeKalb, IL 60115. You can also email it to dklefstad@niu.edu. I'm looking for novels, poems, short fiction, memoirs and creative nonfiction. While many of the books I feature come from traditional presses, I do accept self-published works. Just make sure your book got a good edit.

Thanks,

@danklefstad

#WNIJReadWithMe

Tom Vilsack knows the life-altering effects of addiction. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary watched his mother battle drugs and alcohol and nearly die. "She got introduced into this as a result of a surgery she had when I was a young boy," Vilsack says, "and that turned her on to pain medications." Vilsack's mom spent the next five years in and out of hospitals, attempting suicide, quitting and using again. "But eventually she found the strength, support and help to begin the...

Northern Illinois University

Some important events happened this week. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs. And President-elect Donald Trump continued to announce his cabinet picks. But a federal court ruling could have even more far-reaching effects. A three-judge panel ruled Wisconsin's 2011 redistricting law unconstitutional -- a move that could affect the redistricting process in every state where lawmakers draw political maps. In a 2-1 ruling, the panel said Wisconsin's districts, drawn by Republicans,...

Dan Libman

Today, "Bar Beat" reporter Dan Libman wraps up our 2016 election coverage from pubs and taverns in the WNIJ area. Drinkers have been speaking their minds all summer and fall, and now they're looking forward to a halt in political ads, and the return of that carefree buzz you only get for a few months after each election. Before the next campaign starts up again. For our "Last Call" edition, Dan interviews patrons in establishments along the Illinois 251 corridor... Have you guys heard? We’ve...

If Democrats want to retake the U.S. Senate, they'll need Illinois to do it, according to Matt Streb , a political scientist at Northern Illinois University. The margin is five seats, or four if Hillary Clinton becomes president; that would allow her vice president to cast tie-breaking votes. Right now, polls show Illinois and Wisconsin leaning Democratic with seven other states too close to call. Streb examined the Wisconsin Senate race earlier this week. The Illinois contest is between...

Earlier this month, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan held a conference call in which he told Republican members that he would no longer defend Donald Trump. The call came three days after Trump appeared in a 2005 video using lewd and insulting language about women. The Speaker, concerned about losing the House, freed members to disavow Trump or embrace him -- whatever it took to get re-elected. One member, Randy Hultgren of the 14th Illinois Congressional District, apparently decided it was best...

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