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State Grants for Niabi and Botanical Center

With help from the state, 36 Illinois museums, including two in the Quad Cities, will be able to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits.

Wednesday Governor J.B. Pritzker announced grants totaling more than 19 million dollars from the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program.

Local recipients include 436,000 dollars for the Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley and a new Prairie Dog exhibit, and 750,000 dollars for the Botanical Center in Rock Island, for phase-3 of its Children's Garden.

The Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois DNR is open to any museum operated by local government or located on municipally owned land. The maximum grant award for projects is $750,000, and matching funds are required in many cases based on museum attendance levels.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois. While a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield (then known as Sangamon State University), he got his first taste of public radio, covering Illinois state government for WUIS. Here in the Quad Cities, Herb worked for WHBF Radio before coming to WVIK in 1987. Herb also produces the weekly public affairs feature Midwest Week – covering the news behind the news by interviewing reporters about the stories they cover.