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

Barton County, KS, Facebook

A warning was issued 13 minutes before a tornado hit the city of Pawnee Rock in Barton County, Kansas, last night--and that was time enough for residents in its path to take cover.

It was like a playbook for a disaster: The sirens went off at 8:03 Tuesday night and the twister hit at 8:16. The tornado, estimated to have been between 400 and 500 feet wide, stayed on the ground for about 12 miles.

Wednesday morning, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir took a look from above.

CEDBR

A new forecast shows that employment rates in the state of Kansas and the city of Wichita are leveling off, possibly signaling a recessive economy ahead.

Hugo Phan, file photo / KMUW

From the AP:

National Democrats are taking the first, modest steps toward their promised 50-state strategy, lending help to state and local parties as they try to harness opposition to President Donald Trump and the Republican monopoly in Washington.

Courtesy of The Wichita Eagle

The Wichita Eagle moved last week from downtown to Old Town.

Hear Aileen LeBlanc's interview with the paper's editor, Steve Coffman, about what's new for the well-established company, and watch a video tour of the paper's new home.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Wichita State University police were called to campus Thursday night about an incident that took place after the Student Government Association annual banquet. The former president made a final speech as the new president and her family listened in the audience.

Sedgwick County Zoo / Facebook

The Sedgwick County Zoo has selected a new executive director.

Jeff Ettling was most recently the curator of herpetology at the Saint Louis Zoo. He served in the same role at the Sedgwick County Zoo from 1991-1995.

Ettling has 29 years of experience, including in zoo curating and management. He is also a professional fellow with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Ettling replaces Mark Reed, who headed the Sedgwick County Zoo for 37 years. Reed retired at the end of 2016.

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Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

It may be the end of Lawrence-Dumont ballpark, and it may be the beginning of a shiny new sports facility in Wichita.

Lawrence-Dumont Stadium opened in 1934 and was named after Charles Lawrence, a former Wichita mayor, and Hap Dumont, the man who brought the National Baseball Congress to Wichita.

The ballpark has its roots on Ackerman Island, which allowed the venue to escape the Sunday "blue laws" about prohibited activities, such as baseball.

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Julie Dombo became a quadruple amputee as the result of an armed robbery in 2015. She will speak at a Rise Up for Youth event in Wichita on Saturday.

Julie Dombo had recently retired and was looking forward to her second year of volunteer work for the public schools. She dashed into a Derby cell phone place to get her phone fixed and was shot by a 26-year-old.

"That guy changed my whole life, and the life of my husband, and all the people around me," Dombo says.

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing an additional $24 million in spending over two years on extra security measures to keep concealed guns out of state hospitals.

The Republican governor unveiled the proposal Thursday among other budget measures he recommended to the House and Senate budget committees.

A 2013 law will require hospitals to allow people to bring in concealed guns starting July 1 unless the buildings have extra security such as metal detectors and guards. Some lawmakers want to change the law banning concealed weapons at hospitals.

Aileen LeBlanc / KMUW

The annual Wichita Community Holocaust Commemoration will take place on Wednesday. The speaker will be a woman who was saved from the Holocaust but was orphaned when she lost her parents and her sister.

When Rachel Goldman Miller was nine years old, she was sent to a summer camp outside Paris to hide from Hitler's slaughter of the Jews.

During the war, she lived with her aunt. Afterward, an American soldier found her in an orphanage and brought her to the U.S.

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