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. 

Lately I've been fascinated with widgets. So here's a flood widget for the Mississippi River.

The itsy bitsy spider and the mouse that ran up the clock will help kids learn about water conservation, music, and nature. This weekend, Davenport Parks and Recreation will unveil several new, "nature-based" features at Fejervary Park. 

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

A few months after a New Jersey company bought an office building in downtown Rock Island, it's trying to lease or sell it.

At the end of an online auction in February, a company named Entech Group was the highest bidder. And Michelle O'Neill reports it bought the former Bitco Insurance headquarters for $244,000.

David Levin, from NAI Ruhl Commercial Company, says Entech officials visited Rock Island and were surprised to find out the Quad Cities area is not as large as they thought. So the company has "no interest" in the Bitco property.

Davenport police are asking people for information about a weekend shooting in which three people were wounded.

https://www.nalc.org/community-service/food-drive/body/food-drive-17-RGB-flat-final.jpg / National Association of Letter Carriers

With your help, letter carriers in the Quad Cities will help feed people over the summer. Tomorrow, the National Association of Letter Carriers will pick up bags of non-perishable food left at mailboxes for the Riverbend Food Bank.

Michelle O'Neill reports the group could use more volunteers to help with its annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.


Graduations Galore

May 12, 2017

Many college students who belong to the Class of 2017 will graduate over the next week. 

Five bottles of liquor featuring Blaum Bros. labels, with yellow, black-eyed susan flowers behind them
submitted / Illinois Tourism Office

"Illinois Made" is just one theme the head of the state's Office of Tourism promoted this week in the Quad Cities. It's National Travel and Tourism Week, and Cory Jobe arrived in Rock Island on Tuesday morning for a "Sports Huddle" at the Holiday Inn.

He dropped by WVIK after the meeting, and Michelle O'Neill asked him what it was all about.

And here's the entire 28-minute conversation.

Top half is an aerial view of 5 to 6 buildings with white roofs along with surrounding gray parking lots, trees, and streets. Bottom half shows smaller buildings with gray roofs plus surrounding neighborhood homes.
Google Maps

The Third District Appellate Court in Illinois may decide whether Friendship Manor continues to get a property tax exemption. In 2014, Rock Island County Chief Assessor, Larry Wilson, denied the homestead exemption to the nonprofit after it had been receiving it for many years.

Two photos, side-by-side, show wear from weather and time when compared to an earlier photo.
submitted / RICO Civil War Soldiers Monument Committee

Two local companies are helping raise money to restore Rock Island County's Civil War Soldiers Monument. Lewis Machine and Tool, in Milan, donated a rifle to the effort. And during this weekend's auction at The Rock Island Auction Company, the monument committee will sell raffle tickets to win the gun, which is worth nearly $3,000.

Graphic image with blue oval on black background lists tips to prevent car theft.
Screenshot from Davenport Police Department "Lock It Up" Video / Davenport Police Department

A month ago, police asked Quad Cities residents to lock their cars and take their keys. But it didn't work. Since the beginning of this year, the Davenport Police Department is averaging two to three stolen cars per day.

Gray three-story building with windows and landscaping and the existing justice center in the background
submitted / Rock Island County Public Building Commission

Besides a limited budget, building an annex for the Rock Island County Justice Center is challenging in other ways. Work on the 47,000 square foot addition began in late March, but the county held the official groundbreaking just last week.

The architect, Jake Davis from DLR Group in Chicago, specializes in public safety projects.