Michelle O'Neill

WVIK News Editor

WVIK News Editor, Michelle O'Neill, is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years' experience. She serves as assignment editor, anchor, writer, reporter, producer, copy editor, photographer, and videographer (a.k.a., multimedia journalist). 

In 2015, Michelle won top honors for her radio reporting in two states. In the Illinois AP Broadcast Journalism Excellence Awards, judges named her Best Reporter in the Local News division (e.g., Lack of IL Budget Affects Tourism and Jobs). And in the Iowa Broadcast News Association's 2015 contest, Michelle won first place in Overall Excellence in Reporting in the Large Market division, along with winning first place in two other categories (QC Campuses Fight Sexual Violence and Water Quality and Farming). 

In the 2014 Illinois AP contest, the judges awarded her first place for Illinois Victims' Rights Proposal in the Hard News Feature category for Downstate Radio. In 2013, she won first place for "Immigrants and Driving" in the Best Series category. A fender-bender gave her the idea after a van, driven by a man who didn't speak English, side-swiped her car on Christmas Eve. In the same contest a year earlier, Michelle picked up first place in Best Investigative Report for "Cameras and Mics in Iowa Courts."

When she's not working, Michelle reads, walks her dog, crochets, kayaks, plays drums, and sings backup at church. 

Kensington, baying beagle bunny killer

Since adopting Kensy, she's learned all about how to deal with a hound who counter-surfs and devours whatever happens to be there (e.g., a box of high fiber cereal, a large chunk of fudge, and a few Beano tablets). The resolution of one of these extra meals involved hydrogen peroxide, a baster, and heavy gloves. 

Site plan for BettPlex
submitted / BettPlex.com

Bettendorf is working with a developer to build a large sports and entertainment complex. Today, the city and Doug Kratz announced the $45 million project called, BettPlex.

Michelle O'Neill reports it'll be located on Forest Grove Road near Middle Road and I-80.

Summary

Kratz serves on the board of Triumph Bancorp and before 2013, was vice chair of Triumph Community Bank in Bettendorf. He says the complex will feature indoor fields that will accomodate a variety of sports, from baseball to wrestling. Eight basketball, pickleball, and volleyball courts will also be part of the 265,000-square-foot building. Sand volleyball courts will be built inside and outside.

Juan Sepúlveda, PBS Senior Vice President, Station Services, image shows a smiling man with glasses in a dark coat, white shirt & light blue tie.
submitted / Monmouth College

Fans of PBS may want to attend Monmouth College's graduation ceremony this spring. Today, the college announced its commencement speaker will be Public Broadcasting System Senior Vice President of Station Services, Juan Sepúlveda.

He's been in the position since 2014, representing independent member stations to help them remain connected to their communities. Sepúlveda also works with the PBS Board of Directors, stations, and other groups to address sustainability.

A map shows a highlighted area on part of the campus with the library on the north & the site where the new art museum will be built to the south.
http://www.iowaregents.edu/media/cms/0616-pf03-pdf6EA1D0D8.pdf / Iowa Board of Regents

As art from the University of Iowa tours Europe, the leadership at the art museum in Iowa City has changed. More than eight years after the Iowa River flooded the old art museum, former Congressman Jim Leach is serving as Interim Director.  Michelle O'Neill reports that former UIMA Director, Sean O'Harrow, can't think of a better person to be at the helm, as the university begins the process of building a new art museum.

Summary

Exterior of a brick building on a sunny day
https://www.tranzon.com/TAA-1701 / Tranzon

An office building in downtown Rock Island has been sold to the highest bidder. Over the past three days, the former Bitco Insurance headquarters was on the auction block on a website called, "Tranzon." It's located on 18th Street at Third Avenue.

file / EMEA

Teachers in East Moline and school district officials will try again to negotiate a contract. Today, the education association announced it requested another session with a federal mediator, and it's scheduled for next week.

Winter Weather Advisory for Counties South of QC

Feb 8, 2017
Forecast weather map with graphics showing where the snow may fall
http://www.weather.gov/crh/weatherstory?sid=dvn#.WJtbotIrKiQ / National Weather Service Quad Cities

The National Weather Service in the Quad Cities says the winter weather advisory in effect for the southern half of the WVIK listening area will continue until 6 PM.

A refugee family arrives at the Quad City International Airport (luggage claim).
http://worldreliefmoline.org/ / World Relief Moline

The local World Relief office is responding to questions from refugees now living in the Quad Cities.

Director Amy Rowell says the phone calls started when President Trump signed executive orders to ban refugees and immigrants. Rowell says the administration also cut in half the number of new refugees the US will accept this year. That means World Relief in Moline will help re-settle about half of the 225 people it expected.

Davenport Public Library Facebook event / Davenport Public Library

A Quad Cities librarian wants to know how to tell the difference between real news and fake news. And Amy Groskopf, Davenport Library Director, wants people to learn the same thing.

On Monday night at 6:30, the library will host, "The Rise of Fake News." Michelle O'Neill reports it'll be a panel discussion at the Eastern Avenue Branch.

Summary

Libraries have always helped people find accurate and recent information. But Amy Groskopf says the old publishing days are over, and digital access has changed the way we get information, and how fast.

Tony McCombie writes a note on her first bill.
Tony McCombie / submitted

Tony McCombie has introduced her first bill in the Illinois House.

If it passes, the measure would help small municipalities during the budget impasse.


Closeup of the trailer court - the levee is to the right of the first white line along the edge of the trailer court property.
Photo of submitted image / Carbon Cliff Barstow Fire District

The fire station in Barstow may be at a higher risk of flooding because of damage to a dirt levee. That's according to the president of the Carbon Cliff Barstow Fire District.

But Michelle O'Neill reports the land-owner, Rock Island County, has no plans to fix it, and a state agency agrees.


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