Michelle O'Neill

WVIK News Editor

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor which really just means she wears many hats, doing everything there is to do in the newsroom and around the radio station. She's a multimedia journalist and serves as Assignment Editor, reporter, radio news producer, copy editor, announcer, news anchor/host, and photographer. She also writes and produces content for WVIK.org and social media.

In recent broadcast journalism contests, Michelle's work contributed to WVIK winning various awards for excellence in both Illinois and Iowa.  

When not working, Michelle snuggles & plays with her puggle, reads, spends time with family and friends, crochets, plays drums, and occasionally runs audio at church. 


Kensington, baying beagle bunny killer

When Michelle adopted Kensy in 2002, she learned all about how to deal with a hound who was an avid counter-surfer and devoured whatever happened to be there. Her beagle is gone now after 17 years of a full and happy life.

Petey the Peanut Puggle (below) came to live with Michelle during the flood in 2019. He's an adult rescue dog and an excellent companion! 



submitted / Clinton Lumberkings

Baseball fans who long to hear the crack of the bat in Clinton again are in luck. 

The Lumberkings have joined the Prospect League, a collegiate, wood bat, summer league.

(Update: 1/15/2021)

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the Quad Cities has reached 443, with 282 Rock Island County residents and 161 Scott County residents. The number of confirmed cases is now 26,836, with 11,583 in Rock Island County and 15,253 in Scott County.

In Rock Island County, 38 residents are in the hospital with the coronavirus infection. And in Scott County, there are 28.

Test positivity rates are dramatically lower compared to mid-November. See charts below for more details.  

The graph below shows trends over time of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the Quad Cities. Note the difference in recent decreases in Rock Island County deaths (red line) and Scott County deaths (black line).  

The image below is a simple line graph of COVID-19 cumulative cases. 

This graph shows both daily and cumulative COVID-19 deaths.   

Above is a view of Rock Island County and Illinois Region 2 seven-day rolling average test positivity rates (percentage). And below is a more limited view of Scott County seven-day moving average individual test positivity rates.     

The following graph shows monthly Quad Cities cases and deaths.

The next one shows Rock Island County cases and deaths reported during the first halves of the past four months.

The latest statistics about COVID-19 in Rock Island County long term care centers is shown below. The number of "open" cases is 992 over the last month. That's 77% of the total since the pandemic began (1,296).

Iowa does not provide similar data for Scott County. The Iowa DPH COVID-19 website currently shows one facility, Ridgecrest Village, has had 22 cases with 14 recoveries in the last two weeks. That means eight cases are "active" (similar to "open" in Illinois).  

(Previous version: 1/10/2021)

As of Sunday, the total number of Quad Cities COVID-19 cases is 26,302 (11,341 in Rock Island Co., 14,961 in Scott Co.) with 431 deaths (276 in Rock Island Co., 155 in Scott Co.).

submitted / Davenport School District

Now that the holidays are over, lunch ladies and other Davenport school employees have resumed handing out free meals to local children.

submitted / UnityPoint Health Trinity

When a new rehabilitation hospital opens in Moline, it'll create about 100 new jobs. UnityPoint Health - Trinity and Encompass Health Corp. will spend $34 million to build the 40-bed, in-patient hospital at 7th Street and 52nd Avenue.

The rate of people catching COVID-19 may be slowing down in the Quad Cities, but the number of people dying from it is rising.

The Rock Island County Health Department reports eight more residents have died, bringing the total to 266. Six of the eight were people who lived in long term care centers. Rock Island County's case count is nearly 11,000. 

The Scott County Health Department reports one additional COVID-19 death, for a total of 153. Scott County's case count is over 14,300.

submitted / I-74 Mississippi River Bridge project

Starting early tomorrow, drivers who use I-74 to cross the Mississippi River to Illinois should pay attention to a couple of changes in their routes.

If going to downtown Moline, they'll follow a detour to take the old bridge.

But when traveling farther south, drivers will use the new bridge. Project Corridor Manager George Ryan says tonight, crews will start uncovering detour signs and move a few barriers to change traffic patterns.

submitted / Genesis Health System

Genesis Health System has started to vaccinate employees who take care of COVID-19 patients. Today, the health care group is vaccinating 30 to 50 employees who are on the front lines, directly taking care of COVID-19 patients in its hospitals.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

The former head of tourism in the Quad Cities has died. Joe Taylor died on Thursday at a hospital in Cedar Rapids at the age of 65. That's according to Trimble Funeral home website. His home town is listed as Hampton, Illinois.

In 2018, Taylor left his position as President and CEO of the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau and became Executive Director of the visitors bureau in Evansville, Indiana. The Evansville Courier reported he resigned about a year later for "personal reasons."
His successor in the Quad Cities, Dave Herrell, says Taylor made a real impact here.

https://s22.q4cdn.com/253594569/files/doc_financials/2020/q4/4Q_2020_Earnings-Call-Presentation.pdf / Deere & Company

Deere and Company thrived in 2020 despite the pandemic, trade tensions, and a severe storm that destroyed a lot of Midwestern crops. This morning, Deere reported net income of $2.75 billion for the full year, a drop of 15% compared to 2019. Sales and revenue declined 9% to $35.5 million.

NASA, University of Oklahoma, NOAA Storm Prediction Center, National Weather Service & the Iowa Environmental Mesonet / NASA, University of Oklahoma, NOAA Storm Prediction Center, NWS & Iowa Environmental Mesonet

New, high-tech images from satellites and radar are helping farmers, insurance companies, and scientists learn about the severity and scope of damage from last summer's derecho.

NASA's analysis of the extreme wind storm will also help scientists learn about severe weather all over the world.

Michelle O'Neill talks with Kris Bedka, the leader of the NASA research team. He's a storm expert at the agency's Langley Research Center in Virginia.