Herb Trix

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.

Herb resides in Moline with his wife Diane, and their dog Augie.

A state legislator from the Quad Cities is trying again to get rid of a state law he says is "outdated" and "redundant." For the third time, Republican Senator Neal Anderson has introduced a bill to repeal the Firearm Owners Identification Act, and eliminate the need for a FOID card to buy guns and ammunition.

He thinks modern technology makes it un-necessary.

Illinois Republicans are going all out to defeat a member of the Illinois Supreme Court. Tuesday State Chairman Tim Schneider held news conferences in several cities to announce the formation of the Vote NO on Kilbride grassroots coalition. 

Help is available for small non-profit organizations in Illinois that provide food and housing. Applications are now being accepted for the Charitable Trust Stabilization Fund, run by the state treasurer's office.

About 1,600 people lost their jobs when a major western Illinois employer closed, and moved to Mexico in 2004. 15 years later, students in a class at Monmouth College set out to find out what happened to the former Maytag employees.

If you're tired of receiving nuisance phone calls, Congress may be willing to help. Wednesday, the House approved the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, and sent it to the Senate.

Monmouth College is going to help its students pay "one of the hidden costs of college." Starting next fall, the cost of textbooks will be included in the college's tuition.

Illinois and the Quad Cities have a lot riding on next year’s census. That was the message Friday in Rock Island from a panel of leaders from education and social service agencies.


Four Democratic candidates for president campaigned in the Quad Cities Monday. They attended the annual Labor Day picnic in East Moline, hosted by the Rock Island County Democratic Party. 

Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, Michael Bennett, and Amy Klobuchar all stressed their support for unions, health care, and why the economy needs to be fixed.

But Williamson stressed the election will be about more than just voting right on these Democratic issues. 

For her first campaign for public office, an attorney from East Moline is aiming high. Wednesday  Republican Esther Joy King announced she's running for Congress, from Illinois' 17th District.

Illinois National Guard soldiers from the western and central parts of the state are being called up to help fight flooding along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. They're members of the 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery, based in the Quad Cities (Milan), with units in Galesburg and Springfield.

Cheri Bustos

Despite being less than the president wanted, the bills to keep the federal government open will provide border security. That's according to Congresswoman Cheri Bustos from Moline and Illinois' 17th District.

She says the package of bills includes 1.3 billion dollars for about 55 miles of some sort of barrier along the Texas-Mexico border, but also hundreds of millions for port of entry inspections, new immigration judges, and aircraft and sensors to watch the border. 

Hoping to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, members of Congress have introduced a bill that would allow victims to take their cases to court. 

It's called the "Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act," and one of the lead sponsors is U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, from the 17th Illinois Congressional District. 

During a news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Bustos said 60 million Americans have contracts with forced-arbitration clauses, but this bill would give them the option of going to court.


Hundreds of law enforcement personnel -- including troopers, deputies and officers -- gathered Monday in the Quad Cities to celebrate renaming the Centennial Bridge, connecting Rock Island with Davenport. 

  The Master Sgt. Stanley Talbot Memorial Bridge honors a man who was killed at the foot of the bridge in Rock Island in 2001 during a roadside safety check.

A nationwide motorist service organization is expanding its offerings to provide roadside assistance to members who ride bikes. The move coincides with National Bicycle Safety Month.

AAA spokeswoman Beth Mosher says this isn't the first time they have offered bicycle service. In other states where the service has been used, the most common calls were for flat tires and chains that fell off. She acknowledges that their technicians aren't as adept with bicycles as they are with cars, but they can transport riders home or to a local repair shop.


The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center has begun testing all donated blood for the Zika Virus.  The testing began Monday, well in advance of Friday's deadline set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Chief Executive Officer Mike Parejko says the center had just three months to plan, hire new workers, install equipment, and practice new procedures. And it involved nearly every department.

Voters often complain about not having any choices. But Illinois’s 17th district is at least one race with very different candidates:   Incumbent Cheri Bustos  from East Moline and Patrick Harlan of Galesburg.  

Jamie Buckley

  A Maryland man is kayaking down the Mississippi River.  He's challenging himself and encouraging local Rotary clubs to help eradicate polio.

Nearly two months after he started in Minnesota, Jamie Buckley stopped in the Quad Cities this week to talk about his experiences, and the international campaign, End Polio Now. 

John Tann/Flickr

Due to cases of the Zika Virus, potential blood donors are now being asked if they've traveled recently to south Florida. The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center wants people who visited Miami-Dade and Broward counties to postpone giving blood for up to one month after their return.   

The center serves 88 hospitals in four states, and has already announced a "Zika Virus travel deferral" for anyone who's visited Mexico, the Carribean, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands.  

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

  Last week's budget compromise between the governor and Illinois General Assembly "is a very important step in the right direction." 

That's according to Gov. Bruce Rauner who stopped in Moline Tuesday to shake hands with local residents and talk about the stopgap.  He says the state will spend much less than Democrats wanted, and "That's a big deal." And the compromise doesn't just bail out Chicago schools.

For the first time in 18 years, thousands of Lutherans in northern Illinois will soon have a new leader. Electing a new bishop tops the agenda this week for the 29th annual assembly of the Northern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

It's being held at Augustana College in Rock Island, Thursday through Saturday.

Alumni and friends of Augustana College in Rock Island are being asked to help some of its students stay in school during the state budget impasse. The board of trustees is holding a fund drive to support those who may not receive the Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants, they need.

Through June 30th, trustees are offering up to 200,000 dollars in matching funds for gifts to the college scholarship fund. Last year, 700 students at the private, liberal arts college were promised 3.1 million dollars. And so far, they've received only partial payment. 


Following the signing this week of an emergency funding bill for higher education in Illinois, money for the Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants, has been released. But while students attending colleges on the semester system will receive about half the money they were expecting, those on the quarter system will get just one-third.

Underwear Because We Care

Dec 30, 2015

An effort to help the homeless and others in need in the Quad Cities has had such a successful year, for the first time, it's going to hold a second distribution. 

The group is called Underwear Because We Care, and it began collecting new underwear, including t-shirts, bras, and socks four years ago and giving it to various shelters and other organizations.

Illinois Department of Transportation

In a normal year, the Illinois Department of Transportation's only concern during the holidays would be winter driving tips, and warnings about detours.

But this year is different. Because of their growing popularity as Christmas gifts, the department has sent out information about drones.

Linda Schumm, chief of the transportation department's Aviation Safety Bureau, says the Federal Aviation Administration estimates the number of drones sold in the U.S. will double in the final quarter of the year because of Christmas. 

Teamsters for a Democratic Union

Thousands of retirees in the Midwest face a big cut in their incomes next year.

The pension fund for many retired members of the Teamsters Union proposed benefit cuts up to 60 percent. It says the fund will run of money in a decade without them.

Herb Trix / WVIK

The numbers are bad, and quickly getting worse.

That was the message today from Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger, as she urged state leaders again to work out a budget and fix the state's finances.

During a news conference in Moline, Munger said the state's unpaid bills now total 6 billion dollars and could reach 8.5 billion by the end of the year.

“We receive 5,000 calls a week, asking when will they get paid,” Munger said.

The continuing state budget impasse is going to hurt some of Illinois' most vulnerable residents. That's according to Comptroller Leslie Munger, who visited several agencies today that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Iowa Flood Center / University of Iowa

Floods in the Midwest and nearby states are not getting bigger -- they're just occurring more often.

That's the conclusion of a study by the University of Iowa Flood Center. It looked at 50 years of river levels in 14 states. 

Gabriele Villarini, an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, says the rising number of floods is due to more rain.  

“Overall, you see that there has been an increase in the number of heavy rainfall days rather than increasing the magnitude of the largest rainfall days,” Villarini said.

Now that Davenport has been selected for the final stop on this year's RAGBRAI, planning has started on how to handle thousands of bike riders. And a familiar name is leading one of the committees.

A controversial proposal to build a new electrical transmission line across Iowa and Illinois has won approval for the Illinois portion of the project. Tuesday the Illinois Commerce Commission gave its permission to Rock Island Clean Line.