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 archives.

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.

Thanks,

@danklefstad

#WNIJReadWithME

Ways To Connect

Dan Klefstad

First an IPPY, now a LAMMY.

Barrie Jean Borich was honored last night in New York City at the 26th annual Lambda Book Awards for her creative memoir, Body Geographic.

Borich's book is featured in WNIJ's Summer Book Series, which airs Friday mornings this month.

Of last night's award, Borich tells WNIJ:

Payton Chung / "O'Hare Concourse C" CC by 2.0

Incoming and outgoing flights at Chicago's airports were halted today after smoke emerged from a regional radar facility. 

www.barriejeanborich.com

(Updated May 26)

This week, one of our Summer Book Series authors will accept a gold medal for her latest work, a creative memoir. Barrie Jean Borich will be honored Wednesday by the Independent Publisher Book Awards, or IPPYs, for Body Geographic. The book is the third installment of WNIJ's series which airs next month.

Marketplace and Slate

Marketplace and Slate continue their series The Secret Life of a Food Stamp by asking: What if Wal-Mart paid its employees more?

Slate's Andrew Bouve produced a video which estimates how much more Wal-Mart might have to charge for some products, if it raised wages high enough so that a typical worker would no longer qualify for food stamps.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Four counties in northern Illinois are ranked among the healthiest 20 of the state's 102 counties.

That's according to a survey conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It allows you to measure health outcomes and factors in every U.S. county. It also lets you compare data from one county to another.

For example, if you wanted to know the number of primary care physicians per resident, there's an answer. By the way, the ratio for DeKalb County is 1 doctor per 2,910 residents. For Winnebago County it's 1 per 1,367 residents.

For the second time, Dennis Anderson won the Democratic primary in the 14th U.S. House district. That means he's in a rematch this November with incumbent Randy Hultgren, who defeated Anderson in 2012. The district covers McHenry County and reaches into the DeKalb County city of Sycamore.

Northern Illinois University political scientist, Matt Streb, says Anderson again faces an uphill battle:

Click the link above to hear Matt Streb discuss the Democrats competing in the 14th and 18th Congressional Districts, and the Republicans seeking the nomination in the 8th District.

In the interview, Streb also explains why it's important for underfunded and even unpolished candidates to compete for the right to challenge well-funded and experienced incumbents.

Be sure to join us next Tuesday, March 18, for election night coverage. Streb will join Dan Klefstad live in the studio to discuss results as they come in. Special coverage begins at 7:00, after the polls close.

In 2010, political newcomer Adam Kinzinger defeated an incumbent Congresswoman, Debbie Halvorson, in the 11th Congressional District. Halvorson, a conservative Democrat, had high marks from the National Rifle Association. Kinzinger had the nascent Tea Party on his side.

What a difference four years makes.

Campaign websites

Whoever wins the Republican primary for U.S. Senate will have an uphill battle this fall, according to Matt Streb. The political scientist at Northern Illinois University says incumbent Democrat Dick Durbin has $5 million in the bank and is "very popular" in the state.

Durbin is unopposed in the March 18 primary. The men who would replace him are Jim Oberweis, a state Senator, and West Point graduate Doug Truax.

Six months ago, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's re-election campaign was in trouble. Attorney General Lisa Madigan was weighing a primary challenge and declared challenger Bill Daley blasted Quinn for failing to solve the state's pension problem.

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