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

Wikimedia Commons

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced $82 million worth of grants to arts organizations and art projects. All 50 states are set to receive funds, including six projects in Kansas.

Almost a million dollars is on its way to Kansas to support the arts. Music Theatre Wichita will use $10,000 for their production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In connection with the play, the theatre will explore race, disability, religion, and class distinctions. The money will also go towards the theatre's new Festival of Summer Musicals.

wikipedia.org

West Nile Virus has been found in the state, and the Kansas Department of Heath and Environment (KDHE) believes that the virus may be a problem earlier this year than previous years.

The virus was found in pools collected from mosquito traps in Shawnee, Johnson and Reno counties. They also found the virus in two birds.

The first case of West Nile virus in 2017 was reported by a person from Barton County. KDHE says that this indicates that problems could develop much earlier than in previous years.

frankieleon, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas is again expanding its efforts to reduce opioid abuse, this time concentrating on the people involved in the criminal justice system.

The National Governors Association has selected Kansas and seven other states to participate in a nationwide study of best practices. It's an eight-month project to develop strategies for the entire nation.

The concentration will be on the criminal justice population. Fifteen percent of the more than 6,000 people leaving Kansas prisons every year have a history of opioid misuse and/or a diagnosis of opioid use disorder.

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

The Sedgwick County Commission agreed on Wednesday to allow the Division of Corrections to submit a $3 million grant to the state.

The money would be used for five programs which are designed to prevent and address juvenile delinquency. Three of the programs, which constitute the majority of the grant, are for programs operated by the state, including the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center (JIAC).

Frank Lloyd Wright's 150th birthday is on June 8, and WSU is celebrating with tours of one of the buildings designed by the famous architect.

The Corbin Building opened in 1964 and is one of two that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for the campus, then called the Municipal University of Wichita.

torbakhopper, flickr Creative Commons

A Wichita church will hold a "Transgender 101" meeting this Saturday.

The meeting is sponsored by the Table of Hope Metropolitan Community Church and is intended to be a "facts" discussion for both people who are gender fluid and for the public who may be uncomfortable about what to say around their transgendered friends and work colleagues.

Rev. Jackie Carter of the Table of Hope Metropolitan Community Church says one of the discussions will be about terminology.

wikipedia

Kansas' congressional representatives have been invited to a community town hall in Wichita on Tuesday evening.

Organizers with Women's March Air Capital have invited Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and Rep. Ron Estes to attend and take questions from constituents. The lawmakers are on break from D.C. on a "State Work Period."

Also invited are any local, state and federal candidates for office. The town hall is moderated by Cindy Claycomb, who is running for Wichita City Council.

GenBug / flickr Creative Commons

This Memorial Day weekend is expected to break travel records. Forecasters say that one million more people will travel this year compared to last year.

AAA says that 39.3 million people will travel at least 50 miles away from home for Memorial Day weekend. Despite a recent rise in gas prices, 88 percent of those – about 35 million – will be in cars.

Travel growth has continued for three years. AAA attributes that to more confidence and more consumer spending in general in the U.S.

publik16 / flickr Creative Commons

Laws restricting gun ownership and use are few and far between in Kansas, including laws that might keep children from stumbling upon a gun owned by an adult.

From AP:

The U.S. Army, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas' Attorney General has sent a letter to President Trump asking for reassurance on his commitments to keep Guantanamo Bay prisoners out of Ft. Leavenworth.

Derek Schmidt is asking for a double down from Trump, not only to keep prisoners from Guantanamo Bay off the U.S. mainland, but to not authorize any funds which might be used for their transfer as well.

Pages