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 Sally.

National security was the focus for some members of Congress during a week-long trip to the Middle East. The group, including Cheri Bustos from East Moline and Illinois' 17th District, traveled to Israel and Jordan.

Despite Thursday's approval of a state budget for Illinois, not every sector of state spending is finalized. And that includes elementary and secondary education.

Thanks to a strong second quarter, Deere and Company has raised its outlook for the year. Friday the company reported earnings rose to $802 million or $2.49 per share, compared to $1.56 a year ago.

Officials of Western Illinois University thanked a Quad Cities couple Thursday for the latest in a long line of gifts. It'll pay for scholarships and promote small businesses and Mexican culture. 

Springfield Bicycle Club

AAA has found an appropriate way to celebrate National Bicycle Safety Month. Roadside assistance is now available in Illinois for members who are bike riders.

Spokeswoman Beth Mosher says AAA began offering bicycle service in several other states first, and the most common calls are for flat tires and chains that have fallen off.

Rauner Visits QC

Apr 11, 2017

Hoping to bring pressure on the General Assembly to solve the budget crisis, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has started a two-day tour across the state.

A new study shows the impact of immigrants on the local, state, and national economies. A group called the New American Economy used census data to look at all 435 congressional districts.

For this study, the group used the term immigrant to mean any person born outside of the United States, whether legal or not.

Hoping to be included in the Trump Administration's future spending on infrastructure, mayors from cities and towns long the Mississippi River are meeting in Washington. And the group includes Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch and Roy Buol from Dubuque.

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs will hold its 26th Anniversary Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony on Tuesday. Each year, the department honors soldiers from the state killed in the first Gulf War. 

Several months after first being mentioned as a possible candidate for governor of Illinois, Cheri Bustos has decided against it. Monday the congresswoman from East Moline and the 17th District said she will run for re-election next year instead.

Earnings fell but sales and revenue rose for Deere and Company during its first quarter. 

Deere and Company releases its financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal year tomorrow. Recent analysts estimates place Deere first quarter results at 51 to 58 cents per share. That remains well below Deere’s 80 cents per share earnings at the same time last year.

Neal Anderson wants to get rid of FOID cards in Illinois. The state senator from Moline has introduced a bill to repeal the Firearm Owners Identification Act.  Approved in 1968, he says the law is now out-dated and redundant thanks to new technology and changes in the law.  The goal of the law was to identify people eligible to own firearms and ammunition. 

Cheerleaders, a pep band, and hundreds of happy Exelon workers welcomed Governor Bruce Rauner to northwest Illinois today (wed). At Riverdale High School in Port Byron, he signed the bill that will keep open nuclear power plants in Cordova, near the Quad Cities, and Clinton in central Illinois. Illinois Public Radio's Herb Trix reports. 

Rauner congratulated the General Assembly for approving the Future Energy Jobs Bill. 

As expected, sales, revenue, and profits all fell for John Deere. Wednesday the company reported results for the 4th quarter and its 2016 fiscal year. 

John Deere will get ready for the long holiday weekend in the usual way tomorrow, by releasing financial results for its fourth quarter and for the fiscal year.  As reported by Yahoo Finance, analysts who follow the company predict sales and revenue will total 23 billion dollars compared with 25.7 billion a year ago, a drop of 10%.  

With several days to spare, the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center has begun testing all donated blood for the Zika Virus. Thursday the center announced testing began on Monday, ahead of Friday's deadline set by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Voters often complain about not having any choices between candidates. But there is at least one race with very different candidates to choose from - that's in Illinois' 17th congressional district between Cheri Bustos from East Moline and Patrick Harlan of Galesburg.

One of many countries where there's strong interest in the US presidential campaign this year is Sweden. And that'll be the subject this week for a presentation at Augustana College. 

Dag Blanck divides his time between the US and Sweden - here he's director of the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College. In Sweden he's the director of the Swedish Institute for North American Studies at Uppsala University. And in Sweden he's asked a lot to comment on the US. 

A man from Maryland is kayaking down the Mississippi River - to challenge himself, and to challenge 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. 

To fix its broken state government, Illinois needs term limits for members of the General Assembly, and fairly drawn district maps so both parties have a chance to win. That's according to a republican lawmaker and two candidates for the state house who held a news conference in Moline today.

State Senator Neal Anderson, from Rock Island, hopes both can be voted on, and passed, during the veto session this fall. 

If you've always wanted to own your own shopping mall, now's your chance. All it'll take is several hundred thousands dollars and an optimistic attitude about western Illinois.

Monday through Wednesday, the Sandburg Mall in Galesburg will be for sale in an online auction, with a starting bid of 300,000 dollars.

Ozarks Red Cross / 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, which serves 88 hospitals in four states, had already announced what it calls a "Zika Virus travel deferral" for anyone who'd visited Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

Gary J. Wege/USFWS.

After nearly 20 years of planning, a project has started to save thousands of mussels in the Mississippi River between Moline and Bettendorf. Today, a St. Louis company began re-locating mussels along the route of the new I-74 bridge. 

Heidi Woeber, from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, says it will take about 2 months to gather, sort, and move nearly half a million mussels.

Seth Perlman / Associated Press

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 Governor Bruce Rauner who stopped in Moline today to shake hands with local residents and talk about the partial year, stop-gap plan.

As college classes increasingly move online, there's much less need for buildings with classrooms and desks. And that's why Carl Sandburg College has closed its extension center in Bushnell - the decision was announced in February, and took effect Thursday. 

A park in northern Illinois is so popular, some visitors may have to be turned away this weekend. That's the warning from the Illinois DNR for anyone considering a trip to Starved Rock State Park near Utica for the 4th of July.

Flickr Creative Commons/Phil Roeder

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.

A small company in northwestern Illinois with just seven employees has been honored for its "export success." Owners of Shank's Veterinary Equipment, from Milledgeville in Carroll County, traveled to Washington DC this week to receive an award from the US Department of Commerce.

There's good news for thousands of retired members of the Teamsters Union. The Treasury Department has denied a request from the Central States Pension Fund to cut their benefits.

Treasury appointed Kenneth Feinberg to study the request, and Friday announced his decision, saying the application was rejected because quote "it used flawed investment assumptions, did not distribute the cuts equally among members, and because the notice sent to members was overly technical."

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