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.

https://goo.gl/ehAk5U / Iowa Army National Guard Facebook page

Eleven Iowa Army National Guard soldiers and a couple of helicopters took off from the Quad Cities this morning to help with hurricane relief in Houston. 

submitted / Cordova International Raceway

Cordova International Raceway is getting ready for street racing after the successful return of the World Series of Drag Racing last weekend.

WVIK's Michelle O'Neill talked with spokesman Blake Anderson, who says around 25,000 fans came to the track for the world series, which was held in Memphis last year.

The move to Memphis felt like a slap in the face to many racers and fans of Cordova, which had been the home of the World Series of Drag Racing since 1954.

Smoke Alarms to Be Installed Free

Aug 29, 2017
http://www.redcross.org/local/illinois/central-and-southern/home-fire-safety / American Red Cross

Every year, many people die from smoke inhalation in house fires due to malfunctioning smoke alarms.

WVIK's Mike Poletto reports this fall, the local Red Cross will hold its third annual "Sound the Alarm" program.

Sound the Alarm provides new smoke detectors and installation to anyone who needs them. Executive Director of the Quad Cities chapter, Amber Wood, says smoke detectors are critical safety tools for homes and apartments.

http://www.redcross.org / The American Red Cross

Local Red Cross volunteers are helping people in Houston survive flooding after Hurricane Harvey. Over the weekend, more than 30 volunteers left for Texas from Illinois and eastern Iowa, and eleven of them are from the Quad Cities.

submitted / Palmer College of Chiropractic

For years, Palmer Chiropractic College has allowed the YMCA to use one of its properties as a preschool. And now the school has given it to the organization.

file, Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

This fall, a tree on 7th Avenue in Rock Island will become even more colorful than usual. The Augustana Teaching Museum of Art has received a federal grant to do a yarn-bombing project.

submitted / Newbury Living

A developer from Des Moines is taking a big risk on downtown Bettendorf by building new apartments on the site of an old motel. Demolition of the Twin Bridges Motel and Paddlewheel restaurant began this week.

submitted / Handicapped Development Center

Thanks to a local company, clients at Davenport's Handicapped Development Center will soon enjoy new computers. Tomorrow, representatives from Republic Companies will help cut a ribbon to open the J. S. Kimmel Technology and Training Center.

For the second time, a federal commission is asking the Illinois State Board of Elections to send information about registered voters. And for the second time, US Senator Dick Durbin is asking the board to refuse.

A statement from Durbin's office says the first request from the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity said the voter information would have been made public. So, the Illinois elections board refused to comply.

http://www.weather.gov/images/dvn/Past_Events/2017/0816/radar_loop.gif / Quad Cities National Weather Service

Meteorologists have confirmed three tornadoes caused minor damage in northwestern Illinois on Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service in the Quad Cities says around 7:30 pm, a thunderstorm produced two tornadoes three miles west of Freeport. They damaged a house, crops, and trees.

The third tornado touched down about five miles west of Elizabeth, and did extensive damage to trees.

The weather service says a warm front was moving into Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties on Wednesday night causing the storms.