Rock Island native paddling entire Mississippi River

Paul Meincke

On Friday, we told you about a crew of kayakers who paddled their way from Beloit to Rock Island to mark the opening of the Rock River Trail. Now, we want to share with you another water journey by someone many of you may know.

Paul Meincke anchored WHBF news — then known as “4 Action News” — in the mid-to late 1970s alongside a woman who would later become his wife, Wendy Ellis.

Paul and Wendy, who was the first woman to anchor a local evening newscast in the Quad Cities, are now retired. But Paul isn’t slowing down.

Right now, he and three of his closest friends are on their 20th day paddling the Mississippi River in honor of Gold Star families. They put their canoes in at the headwaters on May 22 and they plan to paddle all 2,300 miles of the Mississippi.

Meincke left WHBF in 1981 for a job at WEWS-TV in Cleveland  before landing at WLS-TV in Chicago in 1985, where he anchored and reported until he retired a few years ago. We will catch up with Paul when he arrives in the Quad Cities on June 25. You can follow Meinicke’s journey at   

Earlier today, Meincke posted a video of his crew passing through St. Paul with a beautiful view of the skyline.

You can follow Meincke’s adventures here.


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