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.

Just for fun, here's a new widget that shows how likely people are to respond to the 2020 Census based on their location. 

   

In last year's broadcast journalism contests, Michelle's work contributed to WVIK winning Outstanding News Operation in Illinois and first place in Overall Excellence in Iowa. 

In the 2017 Iowa Broadcast News Association contest, Michelle placed first in "Overall Excellence in Reporting" and in "Sports Coverage" for her story, "World Series of Drag Racing."  

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

 

Kensington, baying beagle bunny killer

When Michelle adopted Kensy, she had to learn 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. 

https://www.i74riverbridge.com/newsroom/gallery.aspx / I-74 Mississippi River Bridge project website

In mid-September, the I-74 bridge project manager continued to say the new, westbound lanes might open before winter.

But after a newspaper article revealed some difficult negotiations with one of its contractors, Danielle Alvarez says the Iowa-bound side won't open until much later, in the second half of next year.

That means parts of I-74 will continue to be closed in downtown Moline and Bettendorf. And drivers will have to use existing detours throughout the winter, next spring, and part of the summer.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

After oral arguments in the appeal of the Rock Island County Courthouse demolition, the head of the county board is confident the county and Public Building Commission will win. 

Chair Richard Brunk says the separation of powers gives the chief judge the authority to tear down the courthouse without getting a permit from the State Historic Preservation Office.

And he says even if the county loses the appeal, nothing in the lawsuit would prevent the demolition.

Brunk says Rock Island County's attorney told the appeals court that the board already tried and failed to find a way to re-purpose the 122-year-old courthouse for county use.

And it's not willing to sell the property.

"The long-term efficiences will be huge. It'll save taxpayers a lot of money to consolidate county facilities whether it happens in two, five, or ten years down the road." He says the savings would dwarf the revenue from property taxes from a private developer.

The board and sheriff also say the courthouse poses a threat to the security of the new justice center annex. And the property has been the site of various Rock Island County buildings since 1841.

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

People in Illinois won't get any help from FEMA to recover from this year's record-breaking floods. Unless the federal agency changes its mind after an appeal from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Michelle O'Neill reports.


submitted/Frank Butterfield / Landmarks Illinois

It's time to wait again, now that a panel of judges has heard oral arguments about whether Rock Island County and its Public Building Commission may tear down the courthouse.


Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Oral arguments are set for tomorrow at 9 am in Ottawa, IL in the appeal of the Rock Island County courthouse case.

Michelle O'Neill has more.


WVIK News / Data Sources: Illinois Community College Board & Eastern Iowa Community Colleges

Community colleges in western Illinois and eastern Iowa are bucking a trend in declining enrollment.

Michelle O'Neill reports the Illinois Community College Board reports on average, enrollment this fall at the state's community colleges has dropped 4.2% compared to a year ago.


https://cityofdavenportiowa.com/winter / City of Davenport, Iowa

With the forecast calling for three to five inches of snow starting later today, the City of Davenport has declared a snow emergency. It will start at 7:00 tonight and continue through 7:00 PM Thursday.

submitted / MidAmerican Energy

After years of study, a federal agency is ready to use MidAmerican Energy to help protect wildlife from the effects of wind farms.

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP/Pages/default.aspx / Illinois DNR

As the number of people who hunt and fish declines in Illinois, the state and Pheasants Forever are working together to reverse that trend.

Michelle O'Neill reports the nonprofit and state DNR are promoting an initiative known as IRAP, the Illinois Recreational Access Program.


https://www.facebook.com/pg/LoPiezpizza/photos/?ref=page_internal / LoPiez Pizza Facebook photos

Nearly six months after the Mississippi River flooded dozens of Davenport companies, most of them are back in business. The Downtown Davenport Partnership says 75 to 80 companies across the Quad Cities were impacted by the flood, with about 35 of them located in downtown Davenport. 

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