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

Ways to Connect

Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) keeps his job as Speaker after just one House Republican voted against him this week.

 

But Ryan’s victory turned sour after he and the Majority Leader defended an attempt to weaken the independent ethics office.

Gabe Bullard/WAMU

This January, WNIJ will introduce a new program called 1A, hosted by Joshua Johnson. This live, call-in talk show will air weekdays after Morning Edition.

Johnson says the program will take "an unflinching look at America," addressing race, gender, class and other issues that divide people.

But he says it will provide a safe place to do so. For Johnson, frank discussion of difficult topics requires a forum where all views are respected.

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.

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, unfairly affected Democratic voters.

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.

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