Marianna Bacallao

WVIK Newsroom Fellow

Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster. After interning with Georgia Public Broadcasting in 2018, she was selected as a 2019 John M. Couric Fellowship Reporter at GPB, where she contributed to the statewide newscast. She was a spring 2020 intern, helping produce GPB's daily news talk show, Political Rewind. She also had the pleasure of interning with The Macon Telegraph and CBS affiliate, 13WMAZ. Georgia College Press Association awarded her first place in Sports Photography and Best Review, and she ranked third in the state for Best Photo Essay twice. 

A Davenport PE coach started making videos to keep his students active during quarantine. Now, he’s gone viral internationally. 


Mic Seifert, the PE teacher at Madison Elementary School, began making exercise videos back in March, when the pandemic shut down schools. Now his YouTube Channel, PE with Mr. S, has nearly 3,000 subscribers.    


Marianna Bacallao, WVIK News

Hundreds of healthcare workers in the Quad Cities were vaccinated against COVID-19 today.

Healthcare workers were able to stay in the safety—and warmth—of their cars while receiving the Moderna vaccine. The Rock Island County Health Department organized the drive through clinic free of charge. Janet Hill of the health department says the response has been positive. 

Today, protestors took to the streets of downtown Rock Island to demonstrate against the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s win.


Protestors met at the Rock Island County Republican Headquarters and marched to the county office building, chanting “USA” and “stop the steal.” 


Roxanne Croegaert of Milan says she doesn’t believe President Donald Trump lost the election. 

Frontline health care workers in the Quad Cities are receiving their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccine.
One of the first vaccinated was Joel Moore, Director of Care Coordination for Genesis Health System. He says so far, the only side effect is some minor, vaccine-typical muscle soreness.

"There's lots of worry out there from people, so I had a lot of mind games yesterday, thinking, 'Well, gosh, maybe I have a headache, maybe I have fatigue, maybe I have these things.' But really, I felt really great except for my arm pain."

Twenty eight years after the body of a baby was found along the river in Moline, police believe they've solved the case. Thursday Chief Darren Gault announced the arrest of 47 year year old Angela Siebke of Whitehall Ohio, formerly of Orion, Illinois.

In April of 1992, the body of a female infant was discovered in a trash bag in the Mississippi River at 17th Street. No parents were found, she was named Baby April, and buried in Riverside Cemetery. 

Western Illinois University

A Western Illinois University professor is working to commemorate the 1919 Chicago Race Riot through art.

During a trip to Germany, WIU Professor Peter Cole says he was inspired by the country's open dialogue with its own genocidal history. He was particularly struck by sidewalk plaques that enshrined the names of Holocaust victims. 

Cole says the Chicago Race Riot Commemoration Project aims to acknowledge the city's racist history while uplifting local artists.

Moline Fire Department

Today, residents of an East Moline apartment complex are finally moving back in after a fire forced them out of their home. The blaze was just one of five home fires in the Quad Cities that displaced nearly 30 people last week.

Pam Gettert from the Quad Cities Red Cross says this time of year, home fires are more common — and more devastating.

Cheri Bustos

Security at Quad City International Airport is now able to examine the contents of a bag without touching it, thanks to the installation of a new 3D checkpoint scanner.

The new CT scanner could mean fewer bag checks, and passengers can now keep their laptops in their carry ons while going through security.

TSA Spokesperson Sonny Lorrius says the 3D scan makes detecting possible bombs easier.

Jason Platt

The work of a Davenport-based graphic novelist has received national attention. For the second year in a row, Jason Platt has made the Texas Library Association’s 2021 Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List.

Platt’s second graphic novel follows the same middle school-aged protagonist from his first. He says the plot of “Middle School Misadventures - Operation: Hat Heist!” was inspired by both his son’s and his own middle school firsts.

Marianna Bacallao, WVIK News

As natural disasters continue to batter America’s coasts and devastate crops, animals are in danger of losing their natural habitats. But there is hope — land on the banks of the Mississippi river is acting as a sanctuary for animals fleeing the effects of climate change.

On the Illinois side of Lock and Dam 13, Ayers Sand Prairie State Nature Preserve is just one of many stops along what scientists are calling “Natural Highways.” They’re stretches of diverse landscapes resilient to climate change, and the Nature Conservancy has mapped where they connect across the contiguous United States.