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'm now a multimedia journalist, too, since along with serving as assignment editor, reporter, radio news producer, copy editor, and anchor, I also take photos, shoot videos, and write and produce content for WVIK.org and social media.

In the 2016 Illinois AP Broadcast Journalism Excellence Awards (small market radio division), I brought home 2nd place in the Best Series or Documentary category for several stories I reported about The Connection between Oral Care and Health Care. In addition, WVIK News placed second in Best Digital Presence in last year's Illinois AP contest.

I also helped the WVIK Newsroom win First Place for Overall Excellence and First Place for Farm and Agribusiness in the 2016 Iowa Broadcast News Association contest, (large market radio division). 

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 placed first 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. She is now 16 years old and doing well, sleeping a lot and keeping me on a strict treat and meal schedule (hers, not mine). 

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

In Rock Island, IL, Kate Cramer runs on the pedestrian path across Centennial Bridge.
Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Ever since the Centennial Bridge closed for repairs, many drivers have been complaining about how difficult it is to cross the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities.

But yesterday, Michelle O'Neill took a different approach.  

The Illinois DOT says the Centennial Bridge should reopen October 10th, barring unforseen circumstances, of course.

  People who shop at Jewel, Osco, and Save-a-lot should check their credit card statements carefully. Albertsons and Supervalu report shoppers' credit and debit card data may be at risk. 

Herb Trix / WVIK News

 The old Howard Johnson in Davenport may be replaced by a new, six-story office and retail building called "Riverwatch Place." Today, the Downtown Davenport Partnership announced it has selected a development proposal from Bush Construction, NAI Ruhl Commercial Company, BLDD Architects, and Attorney John Carroll. The triangular site is located on LeClaire Street at River Drive and East Third Street. 

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

A top official from the US Economic Development Administration says the rust belt is ready to be revitalized. Jay Williams, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, gave the keynote address this morning at Augustana College in Rock Island. He spoke at the 2nd annual economic summit hosted by 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, entitled Partnering for Illinois' Manufacturing Future.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

If you love apples, cashews, or string beans, you should love honeybees, too. Those are just three of the many foods that require bee pollination. Wild honeybees have almost disappeared in the US over the last 30 years. And in recent years, the number of commercial honeybees has also been dropping.

 On today's WVIK News Focus, Michelle O'Neill talks with three beekeepers about the reasons for the decline, in the second part of her series about the future of honeybees. 

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News


Honeybees in the U.S. are in trouble. Their populations have been declining for years, but a long, cold winter put a huge dent in the number of hives in northwestern Illinois and eastern Iowa.

On today's WVIK News Focus, in the first of a two-part series, Michelle O'Neill talks with three beekeepers, including Phil Crandall at Crandall Farms in Coal Valley, IL.


(She also talks with Dave Irvin the President of the Eastern Central Iowa Beekeepers and USDA Senior Entomologist David Epstein.) 

      For a few days, local homeless veterans will have a warm, dry place to stay. The 15th annual Bridging the Gap, Stand Down begins this afternoon at the Q.C.C.A. Expo Center in Rock Island. Veterans, whether homeless or not, will get food, clothing, medical services, and employment opportunities.      Director Mike Malmstrom says 57 agencies are participating in Stand Down 2014.

      It also includes haircuts and showers, plus help with disability claims and more. Homeless veterans are welcome to stay overnight.

Wood Turning at the Figge

Sep 15, 2014
WVIK Staff

      A large-scale wood sculpture was created outside of the Figge Art Museum. 
      For the past month, Irish wood artist, Liam O'Neill has been turning a tree trunk into a wooden throne.  O'Neill transformed the outside of the Figge into his own woodshop, complete with a woodturning lathe he constructed out of concrete. He used to use chainsaws, sandblasting, and torching to turn the locally sourced tree trunk into a six-foot-long sculpture. 


Even though it won't open until next year, the Federal Bureau of Prisons will begin looking for employees for the Thomson prison. Tomorrow, a three-day job fair will begin in Thomson.

It's the first phase of hiring, and officials plan to fill 300 positions in food and health services, administrative support, facilities, and inmate programs. The Bureau of Prisons will begin looking for an additional 800 employees as the opening approaches. Just last month, the bureau appointed Donald Hudson to be the warden.

The Caring Cities Campaign will train attorneys who want to represent children who came to Iowa as immigrants without their parents. And the group of Quad Cities residents is inviting lawyers to learn about immigration law so they can provide "pro bono" legal services to the minors. Nearly 160 children and teenagers from Central America are now living in Iowa.