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. 

Some typical crowdfunding proposals posted online may look like this: Help my band record our next album or please contribute to my child's medical expenses.

But here's one thing the average investor can't do through crowdfunding: buy stake in a private company. That policy, however, is under closer scrutiny. With more competition for venture capital funding, equity crowdfunding is getting more attention.

WNIJ/Illinois Public Radio

Picture a town that can attract jobs, but not residents. That’s the case for Rochelle, which is in the middle of an industrial boom. But local leaders say they need to address stagnant population growth.

At the very edge of Rochelle, you will find crossing interstates and rail lines. They serve as a key factor behind this town's jobs success. The infrastructure has attracted companies like Nippon-Sharyo. The Japanese rail-car maker, along with other manufacturers, has added hundreds of jobs in recent years. Overall, some 2,200 positions have been created in Rochelle over the past decade.

Mike Moen / Illinois Public Radio/WNIJ

Beekeeping is enjoying a nice comeback in many U.S. states, including Illinois. Renewed interest in the hobby is linked to concerns over declining bee populations. Enthusiasts also say curiosity tends to reel people in. No matter the case, those with experience say while rewarding, it’s not an activity you can just buzz into.

The midday sun is beating down on a rural estate near Genoa. It’s a humid day with temperatures in the 80’s. Even though putting on extra layers of clothing doesn’t sound appealing, Carolyn Hudon doesn’t seem to mind, and hands me a jacket that features the famous looking veil designed to protect the human head from a swarm of bees.

Illinois schools might be asked to teach students about the dangers of heroin use. It would be part of a series of recommendations being discussed by a special task force.


Amtrak is coming off a record year for ridership. And it still hopes to re-establish service in northwest Illinois. That was supposed to happen near the end of this year. But supporters wonder if the project will get off the ground by then. Some also wonder if the new route will attract enough customers to sustain itself. IIllinois Public Radio's Mike Moen reports:

One recent evening, some shoppers at the Countryside Market in Belvidere, Ill., were loading up on staples, like milk and eggs. Others, like Meghan Collins, were trying to plan Thanksgiving on a newly tightened budget.

"My work has been cut," says Collins. "I'm working half the hours I used to work. So yeah, I'm making half of what I made last year."