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

A woman has been charged with providing guns to the man who killed three people and injured several others at a factory in Kansas.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Friday that 28-year-old Sarah T. Hopkins is charged with one count of knowingly transferring a firearm to a convicted felon.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Updated Friday at 12:49 a.m.

Four people are dead in Hesston, Kansas, including the shooter, who opened fire at two street intersections before going to his workplace and opening fire there. Fourteen others were injured, and five of those are in critical condition. 

Stephen Koranda

Big tobacco spent the most money of any Kansas organization lobbying the state government last year. Altria Client services spent $223,000.

From the AP:  

A group affiliated with the tobacco industry spent the most money last year lobbying Kansas state government, followed distantly by an organization that opposed efforts to expand the state's liquor laws.

Ho John Lee / Flickr

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's proof-of-citizenship rule is in play again, shortly after the federal registration form was changed.

The federal Justice Department has refused to support a U.S. elections official who sided with Kansas, Alabama and Georgia in a fight over whether voters should have to show proof of citizenship when registering using a national form.

Pictoscribe, flickr Creative Commons

The City of Wichita begins it 2016 water rebate program on Monday. Water customers may receive some cash back for purchases that are easy on the water supply.

High-efficiency washing machines, dishwashers and toilets that use less water will qualify for the rebate and can earn their owner a $100 bonus from the city. In addition to those items, prospective recipients can report smart controllers for irrigation and sensors that detect rain and turn off automatic irrigation for the same amount.

Those who have bought a rain barrel can also apply for a rebate up to $75.

wstrachan1, flickr Creative Commons

KMUW:

An attempt to ban a certain 2nd-trimester abortion procedure has been stopped by a Kansas Appeals Court.

The ruling came on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision of Roe V. Wade, allowing abortion in the country.

The ban, which is referred to as the dismemberment ban, was introduced into the legislature and passed last year.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Emergency responders say a small plane carrying two people onboard had a "hard touchdown" at Wichita's Jabara Airport, but no one was seriously hurt.

Wichita Fire Department's battalion chief, Stuart Bevis, said the plane came down at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on the north end of the airport runway. He says one person was treated for minor injuries at the scene, but refused transport to the hospital.

He says the main issue emergency responders have been dealing with now is fuel leaking from one of the wing tanks.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A Kansas judge has ruled that Secretary of State Kris Kobach has no legal right to bar people who register to vote using a federal form from voting in local and state elections.

Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis ruled Friday in favor of two Kansas voters who challenged how Kobach is enforcing a state proof-of-citizenship requirement for registering to vote.

Kool Cats Photography, flickr Creative Commons

New regulations are going into effect in Oklahoma as the result of recent earthquakes. It is believed that most of the shaking felt in Kansas has originated in Oklahoma due to injection wells.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Commission has selected a new chairman, even as a movement to recall the previous chairman continues to move ahead.

Commissioner Jim Howell was named chairman in a 4-1 vote.

Richard Ranzau completed his year as chairman with a wrap-up of his accomplishments. They include a new tag office, space for the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department, as well as the Metropolitan Area Planning Department, and maintaining the mill levy rate.

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