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, was named Outstanding Graduate Professional Project by the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University for 2015, and took first place in the 2016 special program category from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.

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 (KAB) awarded Abigail second place in the 2016 spot news category for her story on budget cuts within Wichita Public Schools that nearly closed the city's adult learning centers. A group project looking into the tight-knit community of Hesston, Kansas following a mass shooting that Abigail completed with co-workers Carla Eckels, Deborah Shaar and Aileen LeBlanc was awarded first place from the KAB in 2016, as well.

The Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) awarded Abigail second place in the spot news category 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

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Wichita Public Schools' budget for this year has been proceeding according to plan. Next year, though, is another story.

On Monday night, Susan Willis, chief financial officer for the district, told school board members that budget planning for the 2017-18 school year is "the perfect storm of unknowns."

The Wichita Police Department and the Sedgwick County Sheriff's office plan to work together to investigate charges of officer-involved criminal conduct. Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says the agencies will investigate each other when members of either department are accused of a crime. So, if a Wichita police officer allegedly commits a crime, the sheriff's office will conduct the investigation and vice versa.

In the past, a criminal complaint would have been assigned to each agency's own investigation department.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Students and staff against a law allowing guns on college campuses held a demonstration on the Wichita State University campus Tuesday.

A small group gathered near the Rhatigan Student Center to speak out against guns on campus. The rally was called "Carry Minds, Not Guns."

Organizers spoke of the need to contact lawmakers, emphasizing that there is power in numbers. Freshman Ian Englebright says he thinks legislators in favor of the law are creating more problems than solutions.

Tex Texin, flickr Creative Commons

Updated Feb. 8, 2:30 p.m.: The Wichita Police Department has identified the injured officer as 25-year WPD veteran Brian Arterburn. Officials say Arterburn's condition has improved since Tuesday when he had emergency surgery at Via Christi St. Francis. He sustained injuries to his chest, abdomen and brain.  

In a news release, the WPD thanked the community for its continued support. 

The Wichita Public Library is hosting a series of programs this year looking at issues of race and ethnicity, particularly in relation to law enforcement. 

The first presentation in the "Candid Conversations" series will be from Dr. Gretchen Eick, a history professor at Friends University. Eick is the author of Dissent in Wichita, a book focusing on race relations and the modern civil rights movement, particularly Wichita's Dockum Sit-In, one of the first anti-segregation demonstrations of its kind in the country.

Rex Roof/Flickr Creative Commons

Two bills before a Kansas Senate committee would make government meetings and records more accessible to the public.

Tony Webster / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has released the results of a top-to-bottom review of the Kansas Amber Alert program. Schmidt requested the review in response to concerns about the execution of the system.

wichita.edu

Wichita Area Technical College is opening a new location in Old Town in the former home of Airbus Engineering at 213 N. Mead. The space will be shared with Wichita State University’s Physician Assistant and Physical Therapy programs. It will be the fourth WATC campus in the Wichita area.

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

The woman accused of murdering a Wichita mother and kidnapping her newborn baby has been extradited to Sedgwick County. Yesenia Sesmas, 34, was released from the Dallas County Sheriff's office early Wednesday morning and booked into the Sedgwick County Jail later the same day.

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Dozens of people gathered at Wichita State University Tuesday to show support for Muslim, international and refugee students. Many held signs condemning President Donald Trump's executive order that temporarily bans nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. 

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