Aileen LeBlanc

News Director

Aileen LeBlanc is a journalist, producer and director whose work in television, film and public radio has earned more than 60 regional and national awards.

She is producer/director of the documentaries Dayton Codebreakers (nominated for 3 regional Emmys) and Who’s Minding the Planet? (nominated for a Regional Emmy). Her latest film, Take Us Home, about Ethiopian Jews, is now in the festival circuit and has won the World Cinema Documentary Film Editing Award from the Amsterdam Film Festival and Award of Merit from the Lucerne International Film Festival. The film has screened at the Pan African Film Festival and the Studio City Festival in LA and the Sheba Festival in New York. Other official selections include Denver, Philadelphia, Louisville, Palm Beach and Detroit.

LeBlanc’s work on other films includes the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Last Truck” and the Emmy-winning “Lion in the House.”

LeBlanc’s career in journalism includes two news director positions at WYSO and WHQR. Her national work has been featured on NPR, Voice of America, BBC, Monitor Radio, Pacifica and the CBC.

She was honored by the Dayton League of Women Voters with a “Making Democracy Work Award.” She was given the first place prize in documentary from Public Radio News Directors Inc. for a piece on loving and caring for a partner with Alzheimer's.

Ways to Connect

jphilipg, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas has lost the highest number of construction jobs in the nation over the past 12 months, according to an analysis of United States Department of Labor data.

The report issued by the Associated General Contractors of America shows that Kansas construction jobs dropped 7.3 percent, 4400 jobs, in the last 12 months. In the last month alone the report shows Kansas lost 500 jobs.

Tim Evanson, flickr Creative Commons

Thirteen states including Kansas are asking a federal appeals court to review the Environmental Protection Agency's recent regulations on the oil and gas industry.

The EPA made a final ruling on emission standards affecting new, reconstructed and modified oil and gas operations. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked for judicial review of one of the three new rules, specifically the rule that relates to regulating emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas.

City of Wichita

The Wichita City Council voted unanimously today to approve next year’s budget. The budget totals about $581 million.

According to City Manager Robert Layton, the largest source of income for Wichita is property taxes, which account for about one-third of the city’s revenue. The biggest expenses for the city are the Police and Fire Departments, which amount to more than half of the city’s general fund expenditures.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Twenty-five years ago, thousands of people came to the Summer of Mercy abortion protests in Wichita. This week, Operation Save America is back in the city to demonstrate, pray, and to stop abortions.

National WIC Association

The Sedgwick County Commission brought a controversial resolution back for a vote on Wednesday.

City officials will unveil the new crest of a combat ship named the USS Wichita on Saturday at noon. KMUW’s Aileen LeBlanc reports that the vessel is the third ship named for the city.

The commander and crew of the USS Wichita will also be at the ceremony, which will take place at the Wichita Art Museum. The ship, which is being built in Milwaukee, is among seven named by the secretary of the navy after small American cities and counties that embody American values.

John Russell, flickr Creative Commons

A new law allows the Kansas Department of Transportation to erect highway signs as memorials to the victims of drunk driving.

The Kyle Thornburg and Kylie Jobe Believe Act, named after a young couple who lost their lives in 2011 on I-70, requires the secretary of transportation to design a memorial sign containing the names and ages of victims of drugs or alcohol accidents.

The City of Wichita is considering two "offers to purchase" the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown. The hotel has been owned by the city for about 15 years.

The city put out a request for proposals in April seeking qualified offers to purchase the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Convention Center, which is along the Arkasas River on Waterman Street.

People from the Kansas Attorney General’s office will be at the Kechi Fair Saturday to talk about identity theft and child safety.

Representatives from Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office will hand out free child identification kits at the fair. The kits allow parents to keep a child’s records on hand, such as fingerprints, height and weight, and a current photo. There is also a a place to record important medical information, and each kit comes with a swab to take a DNA sample. Law enforcement can use the identity kits to find missing children more quickly.

An arrest affidavit has been released by Harvey County District Judge Joe Dickinson detailing abuses of two children by their adopted parents in north Newton.

In the affidavit, investigators tell of beatings, starving and other abuses to two of three children who had been adopted from Peru. The adoptive parents, Paige and James Nachtigal, did missionary work there. James worked in Newton as the CEO of Kansas Christian Home, a care facility for the aging. The couple was arrested in February.