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

There will be a memorial service on Saturday at the Hesston Mennonite Church for Michael J. Sharp. Sharp was killed last month in the Democratic Republic of Congo while working there to convince people that violence is not a solution.

Sharp, called MJ by his friends, was killed in March during an investigative mission for the United Nations. He is survived by his mother and father, who live in Hesston, Kansas.

"We have hope that peaceful solutions work," says friend Tim Huber. "They may not be easy, they may not be quick, but they do work."

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Local and national media watched as returns came in during Tuesday night's election. A surprise strong showing for the Democratic candidate may signify a slight shift in a traditionally Republican state.

Patrick Emerson, flickr Creative Commons

Nebraska has limited legal options regarding the smoke carried into the state from Kansas ranchers who annually burn tallgrass prairie, a Lincoln attorney said.

A group of ranchers in Kansas' Flint Hills burned around 2.3 million acres of North America's largest unplowed stretch of tallgrass prairie Saturday. The burning led to complaints from neighbors in Nebraska due to winds carrying the smoke into the state, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

wichita.edu

Updated Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law officially tying together Wichita State University and Wichita Area Technical College (WATC).

A signing ceremony was held Wednesday at the Experiential Engineering Building on the WSU campus.

WATC will remain a separate legal entity and will be called the WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology.

City of Wichita

The city of Wichita has issued its first ozone alert of the year. The precautions and warnings are for Tuesday, April 11.

Current atmospheric conditions indicate high ozone levels.

Ozone is a harmful air pollutant. Heat and sunlight “bake” the emissions from vehicles, mowers, energy production and industries forming ozone.

High ozone levels are potentially unhealthy for youth, seniors, people with respiratory disease like asthma or emphysema, adults who spend prolonged time outdoors and others identified as members of sensitive groups.

Jennifer Bradford, flickr Creative Commons

Emergency grazing is now allowed on Conservation Reserve Program(CRP) lands in southwest Kansas. Ranchers suffered a huge loss of grazing area in the recent wildfires.

Vincent Brown / flickr Creative Commons

Sedgwick County is providing a hassle-free way to dispose of hazardous materials.

The county's hazardous waste program is hosting a remote collection site at the Valley Center City Hall parking lot this weekend. County residents may bring and dispose of items that are not safe to put in the trash or pour down the drain such as paint, aerosols, batteries, used motor oil, lawn and garden chemicals, and fluorescent lightbulbs.

There will be no charge for the recycling or disposal.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A former mayor of Topeka is joining Carl Brewer's campaign for the Democratic nomination for Kansas governor.

Joan Wagnon joins Carl Brewer's campaign and will provide management oversight and anchor the campaign in northeast Kansas.

Wagnon served in the Kansas House of Representatives, was secretary of revenue and ran for governor herself in 1994.

Carl Brewer, a Democratic Party member, served two terms as mayor of Wichita and, if elected, would be the first African-American governor of Kansas.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

The WWII B-29 airplane "Doc," which has been restored by volunteers, will be shown off at airshows beginning next month.

The B-29 Boeing Superfortress will begin its tour at Wichita's Yingling Aviation on April 22 with an open house for Doc.

The warbird will then continue its spring/summer tour with shows at the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and at the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Doc will also make an appearance at the EAA Air Venture show in Oshkosh Wisconsin. More dates and places are in the works.

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

A man who has been charged with plotting to bomb a Garden City apartment complex which houses a significant Somali population wants to get rid of his attorneys.

Patrick Stein asked the court to let his attorneys withdraw from his case saying that they have been providing "ineffective assistance of counsel." The attorneys for Stein are court appointed, but he says he wants to hire his own.

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