Carla Eckels

Assistant News Director, Music Host

Carla Eckels is Assistant News Director at KMUW.  She's been an award-winning announcer/news producer for KMUW 89.1FM, Wichita Public Radio for 20 years. Carla also produces a R&B and gospel show Soulsations, Sunday nights at 6 on KMUW.  She also hosts Joyful Sounds, a Sunday morning gospel radio show on Q92FM.  Prior to KMUW, she was the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition at WYSO public radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio and co-hosted a nationally syndicated Gospel Countdown Radio show in Cincinnati. 

In April 2016, Wichita State University presented Carla with the exclusive honor of the Wayne Carlisle Distinguished Service Award, The Carlisle Award is presented to an unclassified professional who models the standard of extraordinary service exhibited by the late Wayne Carlisle.

Carla has reported on national news stories such as the Hesston Shootings, BTK serial killer case, Roeder trial, Greensburg tornadoes and the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in for NPR.  The Dockum feature was the number one listened to story on KMUW’s website in 2007.

She’s the recipient of two Edward R. Murrow regional awards for her reporting including a 2015 award for her story on Shockers Men's Basketball: A Candid Look. Carla also won a 1st place Kansas Association of Broadcasting award in 2015  for her story on Bipolar Disorder and 2nd place for DJ Personality Aircheck for Soulsations.  Carla has annually emceed the Wichita River Festival and Black Arts Festival gospel music segments.

From 2004 to 2007, Carla hosted the number one gospel radio show on KSJM 107.9 JAMZ. She is the recipient of the Best Disc Jockey award voted on by subscribers of The Community Voice Newspaper.

Carla is a graduate of Wichita State University with a degree in communications. Her greatest joy is her family. She is married to Wichita and WSU Football Hall-of-Famer, Reuben Eckels and they have two children.

Ways to Connect

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On Saturday, Kansans can learn more about managing money at a Financial Freedom Expo in Wichita. Pastor, author and former Secretary of State for New Jersey DeForest Soaries will share his expertise on finances.

Dr. Soaries is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. He is the author of “dfree: Breaking Free from Financial Slavery" and “Say Yes to No Debt.” The books are based on Dr. Soaries’ "dfree" strategy on how to be debt free.

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According to a report, the number of suicides in Sedgwick County is declining. A walk to bring attention to suicide prevention will take place Saturday on the Wichita State University campus.

There were 68 suicide deaths in Sedgwick County in 2015, that’s a decrease from 82 deaths the year before.

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The 63rd annual Arbor Day Celebration, promoting the value of trees to residents, will take place Friday at OJ Watson Park in south Wichita.

City Arborist Gary Farris says trees are a great way to promote air quality and help the environment. According to Farris, tree planting by the city varies each year depending on funding.

“We've planted as few as a couple of hundred, and we’ve planted this year, just over 1700,” he says.

Farris says the City of Wichita lost thousands of trees in the droughts of 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Michael Cannon, flickr Creative Commons

Realtor, marketer and former Kansas legislator Phil Hermanson is moving forward with plans to develop a grocery store in downtown Wichita.

It's not only a grocery store: Hermanson says he'll open an establishment named Michelle’s Coffee Bar and Specialty Foods, a convenience store, catering company and venue that would seat up to 300 people. All of it will be located in the Century Plaza building near Main and Douglas.

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Artist Marlene Irvin is busy these days restoring all 36 of Joyland’s carousel horses in her backyard workshop in Wichita. Next year, the horses will be installed in their new home at Botanica.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

On Thursday, Cindy Claycomb announced her candidacy for Wichita City Council District 6. The area covers north central Wichita and Old Town.

After a five-week exploratory campaign, Claycomb says she’s ready to serve and move Wichita forward in a fiscally responsible manner.

Claycomb is President of the Wichita Board of Park Commissioners and is on the City Council's District 6 Advisory Board. She is also an assistant to WSU President John Bardo.

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Residents needing home repair, lawn service or personal care can request help through a senior services program in Wichita that employs older workers.

The program is called In-Home Support Services. Senior Employment Program Director Cherie Wenderott-Shields says the workers are 55 and older, and they go through a screening process.

“We've got handymen, we've got caregivers, we have housekeepers, cooks – anything that you can think of that a senior would request needing help in their home with,” Wenderott-Shields says.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

The Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM) is hosting an exhibit on former President Barack Obama and his Kansas ties. Mark McCormick, executive director of TKAAM, says the exhibit was completely community driven. The exhibit's run has been extended until May 27. 

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Wichita Public Schools is hopeful the Kansas Legislature will develop an adequate school funding formula when lawmakers reconvene next month. However, the district says it needs to prepare if that doesn’t happen.

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The Sedgwick County Fire Department is looking to add new firefighters to its ranks. An informational meeting is set for this weekend in Bel Aire.

Sedgwick County Fire Chief Tavis Leake says the fire department offers $41,000 a year in full-time annual salary, health and dental benefits, as well as tuition reimbursement.

He says most often people aren’t sure of what it takes to be a firefighter.

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