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.

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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.

kslegislature.org

As Kansas legislators prepared to head back to Topeka for a special session, KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc sat down with two local lawmakers to talk about the subject of the session: school funding.   

KPTS

The Sedgwick County Commission tabled a resolution Wednesday that would have asked the state to withhold benefits from undocumented immigrants, saving resources for lawful citizens of the county.

The resolution asked for the state to revise a law that allows undocumented immigrants to get in-state tuition at state colleges and universities if they have gone to school in Kansas for three years and have pursued a path to legal status.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File Photo

The Sedgwick County Commission will put forth a resolution at Wednesday's meeting requesting that the state take action against benefits for undocumented immigrants.

Ken Hawkins, Creative Commons

A settlement has been reached in a claim against e-book publishers and Apple Inc. Kansas consumers will be able to receive refund checks or account credits.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Monday released information about the price-fixing case against Apple. Kansas and 32 other states sued Apple for its participation in a conspiracy with publishers to charge more for electronic books than the market rate.

Apple appealed the case, but when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear it, the settlement became final.

Wikipedia

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is warning Kansans of a growing threat from a synthetic opioid that may have caused a number of overdose deaths in the past month.

The drug's name is U-47700 and was derived by the pharmaceutical firm Upjohn in the 1970s. The drug can be as potent as ten times that of a similar dose of morphine. The drug is not controlled in Kansas.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Gov. Sam Brownback is looking to shuffle funds within the state government to cover a projected shortfall.

Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley told the Associated Press that since it is very hard to make cuts at this late date, it is more likely that money will be diverted from dozens of special funds into the state's main account.

Revenues for the state fell short $74 million in May. When the fiscal year ends on the last day of this month, Kansas is projected to have a $45 million dollar deficit.

Wade Morgen / flick Creative Commons

The U.S. Attorney's office has unsealed a federal indictment that accuses 13 people of using stolen identities to spend or access more than $3.5 million of other people’s money and credit.

Twelve of the 13 people accused in the indictment are from Kansas. Seven of them are from Wichita.

The indictment goes back to 2013 and spells out the details of the alleged acts: stealing mail from blue mail collection boxes, from residents and even from post office mailrooms in the Wichita area.

Kansas Department of Labor

The latest jobs report for Kansas is a mixed bag.

Kansas’ unemployment rate fell slightly for the second month in a row, but the state Department of Labor says job growth has stalled.

According to a report released Friday, the unemployment rate for April was 3.8 percent, down from March's rate of 3.9 percent. It’s also down from April of last year, which was 4.2 percent.

Locally, Sedgwick County’s unemployment rate dropped sharply, from 4.6 in March to 3.9 in April.

Jimmy Everson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas' state universities are calling for tuition increases of up to 5 percent, at least for now.

The schools submitted their tuition proposals Wednesday to the governing Kansas Board of Regents. But those came before Gov. Sam Brownback signed a budget bill Wednesday afternoon that cuts higher education funding by 4 percent, 1 percent more than the universities had expected.

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