Michelle O'Neill

WVIK News Editor

Officially my title is WVIK News Editor which really just means I wear many hats, doing everything there is to do in the newsroom and around the radio station. I have to add that I'm a multimedia journalist, too, since along with serving as assignment editor, reporter, radio news producer, copy editor, and anchor, I also take photos and videos, and write and produce content for WVIK.org and social media. (I don't think I actually own a hat for each of those roles.)

In 2015, I won top honors for radio reporting in two states. In the Illinois AP Broadcast Journalism Excellence Awards, judges named me the 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, I got 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 gave me first place for Illinois Victims' Rights Proposal in the Hard News Feature category for Downstate Radio.

 When not working, I read, walk the dog, crochet, play drums and sing backup at church, plus go to lots of my nephew's baseball games. 

Kensington, baying beagle bunny killer

Since adopting Kensy, I've 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. 

Just for fun, here's a flood widget for the Mississippi River I learned about while working on a couple of features.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Good timing is essential for people to benefit from emergency housing grants. This morning in Rock Island County, township officials announced they've received $26,848 to pay for one-time, emergency needs.

Michelle O'Neill reports the federal government distributes Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds based on the unemployment rate in each county.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Moline is trying to help the Illinois Department of Transportation keep the cost of the I-74 bridge project from rising and keep the Mississippi River clean.

submitted / Augustana College

This year, Augustana College students, teachers, and friends will celebrate Martin Luther and the effect he had on the protestant reformation.

WVIK's Michelle O'Neill reports it's been 500 years since the priest nailed his 95 theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Click HERE for details about "Relevant Reformation" at Augustana College. 

submitted / Blue River Technology

Cameras and machine learning may eventually save farmers a lot of money on chemicals. They may even help prevent water pollution and reduce the need for genetically-modified seeds. That's according to the CEO of Blue River Technology, a company based in California's Silicon Valley that John Deere just bought for $305 million.

WVIK's Michelle O'Neill reports the acquisition may have wide-ranging effects on agriculture and other industries.

submitted / Exelon

Exelon has negotiated how much it will pay in property taxes over the next seven years for its Cordova nuclear plant. The Black Hawk College District is one of eleven taxing bodes that receives revenue from the taxes paid by the Quad Cities Generating Station. And tonight, the college board of trustees is set to vote on the property tax agreement with Exelon.

Erie School Superintendent, Brad Cox, says under the proposal, the company would pay an average of $12.5 million a year from 2017 through 2023. Last year, Exelon paid $8.1 million.

submitted / Jr. Achievement of the Heartland

The Heartland chapter of Junior Achievement needs volunteers to help prepare students for life and the workforce.

WVIK's Michelle O'Neill has the details.

Spokeswoman, Tawnya Hambly, says Junior Achievement of the Heartland is based in Moline but serves 24 counties with around 2,900 volunteers. And anyone can volunteer, from college students to retirees.

Mallard Pointe Kennels Facebook page / Mallard Pointe Kennels

Humans aren't the only ones getting help following Hurricane Harvey in Houston. K-9 Kindnesss brought nine dogs from Texas to the Quad Cities to find them homes.

submitted / Palmer College of Chiropractic

Palmer College of Chiropractic honored a local donor this morning during a ribbon cutting for its new fitness center. The former Alumni Auditorium has been renovated, and is now called the Richard Bittner Athletic and Recreation Center.

submitted / I-74 River Bridge Project

As work continues on the new, I-74 Bridge, people who live and work in Moline will soon have to deal with the closure of a busy intersection.

submitted / Sean Sanders

After working for the Obama campaign and other democratic candidates, a Rock Falls man is knocking on doors to get his own name on the ballot. Sean Sanders is running for state representative in Illinois' 71st district.

WVIK's Michelle O'Neill reports Tuesday was the first day for candidates to circulate nominating petitions for the spring primary election.

Sanders decided to run for office last year, after former State Representative Mike Smiddy lost to republican Tony McCombie, and Donald Trump won the White House.