Abigail Beckman

Reporter

Abigail Beckman joined the KMUW team in April 2014. Born and raised in a small Colorado mountain town, she is still getting used to being a flatlander.

She graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., with degrees in journalism and Spanish in 2012. Immediately following, Abigail worked as the news editor of the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kan., where her primary focus was covering crime news. She graduated with a Master of Arts in communication from Wichita State University in the spring of 2015.

Her work has been featured on NPR’s "Only A Game” and “Weekend Edition Sunday.” She has recorded and produced stories for Harvest Public Media and various public radio stations across the state of Kansas. In 2015, she wrote and produced the radio documentary “The Pieces that Remain: Remembering the Wichita State University Plane Crash” which won a 2016 Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media, a 2016 regional Edward R. Murrow Award, a first place in the News Documentary category from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) in 2016, and was named Outstanding Graduate Professional Project by the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University for 2015. For another piece called “Reaching Out: The Ongoing Relationship Between the WPD and the Homeless," Abigail earned a national Edward R. Murrow Award. The Kansas Association of Broadcasters awarded Abigail second place in the spot news and news feature categories in 2015 for two pieces — “Taps: The Hardest 24 Notes” and “Reaching Out: The Ongoing Relationship Between the WPD and the Homeless."

Ways to Connect

Kansas Center for Economic Growth

The State of Kansas is requiring students to pay a greater share of higher education costs than ever before.

According to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Kansas Center for Economic Growth, higher education in Kansas is in trouble. The report found state funding for regents universities is 17 percent less than it was in 2008. Community colleges are also receiving less funding, which puts a higher cost burden on students at those schools.

Cargill, Wikipedia Commons

Cargill announced today that it has selected the building currently housing the Wichita Eagle as its new headquarters.

The Wichita Eagle moved its printing operations to Kansas City earlier this year, and as a result the newspaper announced plans to downsize to a smaller building. In a news release, Cargill said that the property would be redeveloped into a newly constructed office complex accommodating about 800 people. Cargill says it has signed a letter of intent with a local investment group to acquire and develop the site, without disclosing the terms.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Members of the 1970 Wichita State football team are heading to a game at the University of Arkansas this weekend. The event is in remembrance of the 31 members of the WSU football program, including players, boosters, coaches and fans who died in a plane crash in Colorado. The Shockers' first game after the crash was against Arkansas. KMUW's Abigail Beckman sat down with Bill Moore, John Potts, and Ed Plopa ahead of their trip.

Wichita Public Schools

Wichita Public Schools released the results of its official headcount for the school year.

Enrollment in USD 259 dropped by close to 600 students this year, something the district says is the result of budgeting decisions. That includes denying of out-of-district enrollment for new students, consolidating the two metro high school programs, and combining the city's two Adult Learning Centers.

In a release, the district said Wichita Public Schools continues to be a diverse learning community.

Of the 50,561 total students in the district:

USD 265-Challenger Intermediate School, facebook

U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., announced on Wednesday that Challenger Intermediate School in Goddard has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School.

Challenger is one of 279 public and 50 private schools receiving the honor.

According to a release from the Goddard district, schools are nominated for the award by the state department of education. The honor means Challenger Intermediate is performing among the top 0.4% of schools in the country.

Hugo Phan

The City of Wichita is considering adding an ordinance that would allow food trucks to park and serve food downtown and on city streets.

The proposed change also would establish a single permit for food truck operators giving them permission to set up shop anywhere the trucks are allowed. Right now they have to get an individual permit for each location they visit.

City planner Scott Knebel says current ordinances are outdated.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

Tensions were high leading into Wichita Public School's Board of Education meeting last night. Hundreds of unionized teachers lined the street outside of North High School wearing red t-shirts and holding signs demanding respect and better treatment from the district.

Abigial Beckman / KMUW

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay has been in the limelight a lot during his eight months on the job. Ramsay is committed to being a visible, responsive and involved leader addressing concerns and challenges head-on. KMUW’s Abigail Beckman spoke with Ramsay and has this sound portrait in which the chief shares his candid thoughts on the direction he’s leading the department as well as the issues facing policing today.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File photo

Last week, leaders of the local teacher's union, United Teachers of Wichita, asked members to work only the hours mandated in their contracts on Monday to show unity in the midst of stalled contract negotiations with the district. That means arriving 10 minutes before the school day starts, taking a 40-minute duty-free lunch break and leaving 10 minutes after the day ends.

Hugo Phan, File Photo / KMUW

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump named Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to an advisory council of prominent Catholics.

Brownback was among 34 people named to the council by the Trump campaign on Thursday. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the new group will “provide advice and support on issues of importance to Catholics and other Christians, including U.S. Supreme Court appointments and social issues such as abortion.”

The statement said the appointment of the council should be seen as an endorsement of "a range of issues and policies."

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