Mike Moen

Mike Moen is the Morning Edition producer and serves as a staff reporter for WNIJ.  Every morning, he works with Dan Klefstad to bring listeners the latest Illinois news.  He also works with the rest of the news staff on developing and producing in-depth stories.  Mike is a Minnesota native who likes movies, history, and baseball. When most people hear his last name, they assume he is 100-percent Scandinavian.  But, believe it or not, he is mostly German. 

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Wisconsin Republicans have proposed a host of changes to absentee voting following last year's election, but they'll face a veto threat from the governor as well as pushback from voting-rights advocates.

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Wisconsin's debate over the next state budget is far from over, but the spending plan outlined by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has strong support from advocates of older residents.

Helen Marks Dicks, state issues advocacy director for AARP Wisconsin, said her group was encouraged to see provisions like a tax credit for family caregivers as well as $200 million to enhance broadband internet access.

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As brutal cold grips the upper Midwest, some farm animals are getting protection from the wind in forested settings.

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' budget proposal includes a plan to legalize recreational marijuana.

The idea faces strong resistance from GOP leaders, but advocates say public polling shouldn't be ignored in the debate.

Evers' plan would allow residents 21 and older to possess small amounts of the drug, which would be taxed and regulated.

Fifteen states have either started, or are in the process of enacting, decriminalization programs, including neighboring states such as Illinois and Michigan. Minnesota leaders are debating the issue as well.

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 As Black History Month begins, 30 people have been appointed to a council, which will recommend diversity and inclusion practices for Wisconsin state government.

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President Joe Biden is taking more action this week to reverse the environmental rollbacks of the Trump administration.

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Wisconsin residents have shown a renewed interest in outdoor activities during the pandemic, but conservation groups and some local governments say to keep public lands viable, a key program needs to be renewed.

Next month, Gov. Tony Evers unveils his proposed budget, and nature advocates hope it includes re-authorization of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, due to expire this summer.

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Wisconsin is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine rollout to include more people. Older adults will soon be eligible, but officials urge patience as shipments still are hard to come by.

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Reducing the threat of historic floods in Wisconsin is being touted as a key benefit of this month's report from the Governor's Task Force on Climate Change.

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The latest COVID-relief package approved by Congress is getting praise and criticism for what's in it and what was left out.

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This week, Wisconsin health officials shared more sobering COVID-19 data, and the pandemic's effect has been devastating in Latino communities. A Madison group says education is key to protecting this population.

The Latino Health Council says in Dane County, Latinos make up nearly 16% of COVID-19 cases, although they're only 7% of the county's population. Across the U.S, pandemic safety compliance has been an issue.

And the council's co-chair, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, said it's sometimes a struggle for Latino families to adopt necessary precautions.

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A partial recount of Wisconsin votes in the presidential race began Friday. It comes amid repeated election-fraud claims from President Donald Trump, despite those claims going unfounded.

A Milwaukee voter-outreach group views the request as an attack on Black voters.

Trump requested a ballot recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both of which are considered more liberal. Milwaukee County also is home to the state's largest number of Black residents at nearly 27%.

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Wisconsin farmers, who are struggling during the pandemic crisis, still have a chance to sign up for federal aid.

But they're urged to act quickly, and assistance groups say the latest round especially could help smaller producers.

Dec. 11 is the deadline for farmers to apply for help under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.

Alejandra Hernandez, conservation policy associate for Wisconsin's Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, said unlike the first round of funding, the new relief package has an expanded list of eligible commodities.

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COVID-19 continues to ravage Wisconsin, and it's not just hospitals pleading for extra help and for residents to embrace safety protocols.

Advocates for caregivers, especially those assisting loved ones, are asking state leaders to provide more support.

Helen Marks Dicks, advocacy director of state issues with AARP Wisconsin, noted the state has nearly 600,000 unpaid family caregivers.

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Arguments begin before the U.S. Supreme Court today in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Wisconsin officials hope those in need of health coverage don't shy away from enrolling simply because the case is being considered.

It's the third time the nation's highest court has been asked to review the law, which was enacted a decade ago. The latest challenge comes in the middle of open enrollment for federal and state marketplaces.