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.

Dozens of people from the Quad Cities, northwestern Illinois, eastern Iowa, and beyond want to be the next president of the Riverboat Development Authority. Last month, a five member executive search team was formed to find a replacement for current President Mary Ellen Chamberlin, who plans to retire at the end of the year. The RDA owns the license for the Rhythm City casino in Davneport and distributes a share of its revenue to non-profit and community organizations. RDA board member, Frank Clark, serves on the search team and says 62 people sent resumes by the deadline, which was Sunday.

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It's getting less expensive to buy gas in the Quad Cities. So far this month, prices are six to seven cents lower than last month. AAA Chicago's fuel gauge report says people buying gas in Davenport and Bettendorf are paying an average of $3.25 per gallon, and the average in Moline and Rock Island is $3.43.  Triple-A spokeswoman, Beth Mosher says global supplies are in good shape, and oil prices are lower, too.  Gas prices usually drop in September and October.

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  This weekend, the Milan American Legion will remember thousands of people who died 13 years ago in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. It will hold the 6th Annual Freedom Walk tomorrow to commemorate the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Spokesman, Norman Dunlap, says last year about 25 people participated in the walk. 

Deere and Company plans to layoff more than 600 employees at four farm equipment factories, including two in the Quad Cities. Today Deere announce it's responding to reduced demand for combines, sprayers, cotton pickers, grain drills, seeding equipment, and other products. 

Unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing veterans. To change that, the state of Iowa partnered with local businesses today to host the third annual Quad Cities "Hiring our Heroes." The job fair in Davenport included resume and skills building workshops, and a panel with local leaders in business and government.

Photo credit: USFWS


After setting 15 quarterly earnings records in a row, the streak is over for Deere and Company. This morning, it reported second quarter profits declined 4% to $981 million. Earnings per share totaled $2.65 compared to $2.76 last year. Worldwide sales dropped nine percent to $9.9 billion from February through April.

Some people like to vent their frustrations after getting a speeding ticket, or having something stolen from them. But the Davenport Police Department has the opposite problem. In January, it began participating in a survey that would help the department improve. But not enough people have filled out surveys after reporting a non-violent crime or traffic stop.

We may be seeing a downward trend, but there are too many factors to know for sure. That's what Ron Fournier from the Corps of Engineers says about barge traffic in the Quad Cities in 2013. For all of last year, 13.7 million tons of freight travelled through Lock 15. That's about 44 percent lower than the record tonnage of 31.2 million set in 1999.

The National Guard needs new ambulances, and they're being made in the Quad Cities. This morning the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center rolled out one of the new ambulance kits on Arsenal Island.

The "desert tan" ambulance sits on the frame of a hum-vee, which is built elsewhere. And it's one of 500 that arsenal employees will make make, assemble, and paint.

Douglas Curel works in Washington DC as "Resources Manager" for the Army National Guard.

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