Abigail Wilson

Reporter

Abigail Wilson 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 recently graduated with a Master of Arts in communication from Wichita State University.

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.” 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

Thomanication / Flickr Creative Commons

33.9 million travelers are expected to hit the road over Memorial Day weekend—the most since 2005 and the second-highest total on record.

According to the AAA Memorial Day Travel Forecast, summertime gas prices are the cheapest they’ve been in 11 years, which is helping boost auto travel over the holiday. Gas prices averaged $2.10 in April. On May 19, the cost of fuel was 45 cents per gallon lower than the price a year ago.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Free breakfast, lunch and snacks will be offered to children 18-years-old and younger in Wichita as part of the Kid Power Café Summer Food Service Program. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports the program begins Monday.

Wichita Public Schools has partnered with Kid Power, a non-profit organization that aims to teach students about the importance of eating healthy. The free meals are available to all students, not just those who received free and reduced meals during the school year.

Becky McCray, flickr Creative Commons

The first in a series of public safety improvements in Old Town were announced this morning.

Improvements include the implementation of an identification scanner system called Bar Shield that will track patrons who show a pattern of public misconduct. The system uses an iPhone app to scan government-issued IDs as patrons enter the establishment. Anyone who causes a problem can be flagged. The system also identifies fake IDs.

Jason Van Sickle with the Old Town Association says the owners of all of the bars in the area have agreed to purchase and use the technology.

Kansas Public Radio

Emergency officials are assessing the damage in Kansas after a massive tornado rolled across the north-central part of the state, destroying at least two dozen homes.

The tornado, nearly a half-mile wide at times, remained on the ground for nearly 90 minutes as it churned near the towns of Solomon, Chapman and Abilene.

The twister cut a path 28 miles long and crossed Interstate 70, the main east-west highway across Kansas.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Updated on 05/25/16:

A small crowd gathered around a spontaneous memorial along Highway 81 near Excel Industries in Hesston on Wednesday.

Three months ago Cedric Ford, an employee at Excel, started firing a weapon, first in nearby Newton, and soon after at his workplace. Four people, including Ford, were killed.

In the months since the shooting, four sun-bleached t-shirts have been displayed near Excel, along with a makeshift memorial with flowers, American flags, and candles.

Jimmy Wayne, flickr Creative Commons

Significant upgrades will be made to Wichita State University's aerospace engineering building next year.

The building, named for Dwane and Velma Lunt Wallace, will undergo a facelift in the coming years, thanks to a $1 million gift from the foundation bearing their names.

Wallace Hall was built in the 1970s and has not had significant renovation since then. The university says funds will also be used to update and modernize the facility with an emphasis on making it more student-friendly, functional and aesthetically appealing.

Wichita State University

Wichita State University, the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County officially announced plans for a new Law Enforcement Training Center on Tuesday.

The $9.5 million state-of-the-art facility will be located on WSU’s Innovation Campus. It will include training space and classrooms for the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department, the Wichita Police Department, and the WSU's criminal justice program.

Chief Gordon Ramsay of the WPD says a training partnership between the city and county has existed for more than 30 years.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Last week, the Board of Education for Wichita Public Schools voted to consolidate the district’s two Metro schools to one location. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports that many unanswered questions surround the decision.

Chris, flickr Creative Commons

Members of the Wichita teachers union will vote Monday on a contract change that would lengthen the school day and shorten the year. KMUW's Abigail Wilson reports the change would save Wichita Public Schools $3 million and is part of a more than $22 million reduction in spending districtwide.

Pew Charitable Trust

A report out this week from Pew Charitable Trusts found that unfunded pensions are the largest claim on future revenues in the state of Kansas.

The data set looks at the debt of all 50 states, the money owed into pension funds, and future money owed for retiree health care.

Using data from 2013, the report found Kansas has a $9.8 billion shortfall between the benefits promised to teachers and government workers and the savings available to meet those obligations.

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