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. 

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

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.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

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%.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

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.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

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.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

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.

iStock

Like many states in the midwest, Iowa is seeing record hospitalizations from COVID-19. And with the holiday season near, health officials advise against large gatherings to avoid more outbreaks.

Virtual connections are encouraged, and a nonprofit said planning can make for a better experience.

Nola Aigner Davis, public information officer for the Polk County Health Department, said pandemic fatigue is still resulting in people not following guidelines in social situations.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

Several months into the pandemic, a number of small Wisconsin farms continue to shift their customer focus to keep from shutting down. Instead of restaurants and larger retailers, some operations primarily are selling their products directly to consumers.

As the pandemic unfolded and shutdowns kept people at home, smaller farms lost outlets to distribute food they'd grown. Since then, many producers have decided to boost their online presence and hit the road making home deliveries.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

As the dust settles from the 2020 election, some of the attention will shift toward another hotly debated issue: redistricting. In Wisconsin, groups advocating for a fair process say it's likely to be another political fight.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

Joe Biden is the projected winner Wisconsin in the 2020 race for the White House, but President Donald Trump wants a recount.

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin said anxious voters need more patience as the process plays out.

Wisconsin's unofficial results saw Biden leading Trump by only 20,000 votes when the race was called by several news organizations yesterday.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

More than 4,000 medical professionals from across the country are demanding policy action on climate change. The coalition includes dozens of doctors and nurses in Wisconsin, who say the effects are visible in the patients they serve.

Nearly 90 health-care professionals around the state have signed a letter asking their patients to get behind political candidates willing to consider the issue.

iStock/Wisconsin News Connection

Some polls show Joe Biden with a widening lead in Wisconsin, but the presidential race still is expected to see a close outcome in the Badger State. With Election Day looming, some likely voters had a chance to offer their views in an online forum hosted this week by AARP Wisconsin.

Survey Suggests Many Rural WI Schools Lack Nurses

Aug 21, 2020
Sheldon Whitehouse, US Senator

MAPLE, Wis. -- Many rural school districts in Wisconsin indicate they will offer some form of in-person learning this fall. As they implement safety precautions during the pandemic, a number of districts also lack the resources to have full-time nurses.

In the latest survey by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, 62% of smaller districts that responded said they plan to reopen their doors with social distancing. Another 34% are planning a hybrid approach, but only 37% have a full-time nurse on staff.

COVID-19: Native American Educators Face Unique Challenges

Aug 17, 2020
Adobe Stock

HAYWARD, Wis. -- Educators have raised fears about reopening classrooms during a pandemic - concerns that are amplified for schools in Native American communities with higher rates of COVID infection.

A Wisconsin tribal school is weighing those concerns with other barriers for students. Superintendent Jessica Hutchison of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School in Hayward, said she's heard from parents fearful of sending their children to school with the coronavirus still a threat.

Study: Low-Income Neighborhoods, Kids Still Targets of Big Tobacco

Aug 14, 2020
Adobe Stock

MINNEAPOLIS -- Many tobacco retailers are located near public schools and in low-income neighborhoods, according to a new study.

It maps out the industry's presence in 30 U.S. cities, including Minneapolis. The study found in Minneapolis, 52% of public schools are within 1,000 feet of a tobacco retailer.

Researchers at several universities collaborated to find about seven times more of these businesses per square mile in the lowest-income neighborhoods compared to the highest-income areas.

Health Official: Mask Mandate Opposite of Restriction

Aug 7, 2020
pexels.com Engin Akyurt

MADISON, Wis. -- Like many other parts of the country, Wisconsin residents now have to wear a mask when out in public as the pandemic continues. And one health official says viewing it as a conduit to getting back to normal could help with compliance.

Over the weekend, Wisconsin joined more than 30 other states requiring people wear face coverings when they are indoors or in enclosed spaces away from home. The mandate faces resistance from those who feel it amounts to government overreach.

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