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 listening area, which led me to adopt the "Book Beat" in 2012. Throughout the year, I immerse myself in works written by authors from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Then I interview these writers for Morning Edition and record them reading excerpts. Interviews and excerpts are available as podcasts in our 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 a .doc or .pdf to dklefstad@niu.edu. I'm looking for novels, poems, short fiction, memoirs and creative nonfiction. While most of the books I feature come from established presses, I do accept self-published works. Just make sure your manuscript is well edited.




Ways to Connect

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.

The challenger in the 17th Illinois Congressional District is sticking with Donald Trump, in spite of a 2005 video riddled with Trump's offensive comments about women. Republican Patrick Harlan doubled down the Monday after the video went viral, saying Hillary Clinton would be worse for the country.

From the candidates' websites.

Greetings from Illinois' 16th Congressional District, where voters will find one U.S. House candidate on the ballot: incumbent Republican Adam Kinzinger.

This results directly from 2010 redistricting, when state Democrats -- who controlled the map making process -- packed Republicans into a half-moon around Chicago's suburbs, stretching from Wisconsin to Indiana. This made neighboring districts less Republican, but it created a nearly impossible environment for Democratic challengers in the 16th.

Johnson: congress.com/Feingold: madison.com

Two weeks ago, control of the U.S. Senate could be determined by a flip of the coin. Today, Democrats have a 70% to 75% chance of retaking the upper chamber.

That's according to Matt Streb, a political scientist at Northern Illinois University. Streb spoke to WNIJ about the Wisconsin and Illinois Senate races, plus eight U.S. House races in the WNIJ area. We'll feature those interviews each morning this week.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is standing by Donald Trump, even as polls show the Wisconsin Republican trailing Democratic challenger Russ Feingold.

Northern Illinois University political scientist Matt Streb is watching this race closely. He says Sen. Johnson is limited to two difficult choices with Trump on the ballot.