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.

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Clergy, lawmakers, law enforcement, schools and community members will gather at the Kansas Statehouse on Thursday to acknowledge the work of a non-violent civil rights leader.

The governor’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will feature keynote speaker Dr. Anthony Moore.

Moore is a former chief diversity officer who currently serves as an adjunct professor and Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education in the Raytown School District.

downtownwichita.org

Officials say 2016 was a good year for launching new projects in downtown Wichita. More than $280 million have been invested along Douglas Avenue alone.

Sunday, January 8

Sunday on Soulsations, hear California East Bay vocalist, poet, actress, African drummer and musician, AhSa-Ti Nu. Her debut release REBORN soulfully combines old school R&B, classical jazz, reggae roots with a little funk on top. AhSa-Ti Nu studied at Wichita State University and is a Wichita Heights High School graduate.

Here's the single "My Pharaoh" from her latest release. 

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The number of wineries in Kansas is increasing. Experts say there were 12 companies with licenses in 2008, compared to 40 today.

Scott Kohl leads the study of grapes and wines as the director of the Viticulture and Enology program at Highland Community College in northeast Kansas. The school helps to educate wine makers across the state.

Kohl says the "grow local" movement and increased awareness that grapes can grow in Kansas has helped build the industry.

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Sunday, January 1

Hear music from the one-of-a-kind R&B group, Naturally 7. The men, who use only their voices as instruments, have a new release coming out this spring. 

Sedgwickcounty.org

Mental health professionals are seeing a decrease in the number of suicides in Sedgwick County, and more people are seeking help.

In 2014, there were 82 suicides in Sedgwick County. Last year, that number went down to 68. Nearly 75 percent of the suicides in 2015 were men – mostly middle-aged.

Deidre Helm is the program manager of Comcare’s Community Crisis Center, which is open 24 hours a day in downtown Wichita. Helm says more people are seeking help from the center and online.

Thomas's Pics, flickr Creative Commons

According to a Office of State Fire Marshal report, Kansas is well on its way to reducing structure fires, including residential fires. There was almost an 11 percent decrease in structure fires last year alone.

There were 488 fewer structure fires in 2015 than 2014. Residential fires in the state have accounted for about 75 percent of structure fires during the past 15 years. Last year, nearly a third of structure fires were residential fires.

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Kwanzaa events will take place across the country, including in Wichita, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the week-long observance.

Kwanzaa, which means "first fruit" in Swahili, highlights African and African-American heritage and culture. Founded in 1966, Kwanzaa is celebrated annually from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1.

A member of the African American Council of Elders will light the first of seven candles representing the principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

KMUW file photo

The Kansas Food Bank received a $10,000 donation Wednesday from Union Pacific Foundation. The funds will go toward purchasing food and produce to be distributed to partner agencies throughout Kansas.

The donation is expected to benefit agencies in 85 counties in Kansas.

"An integral part of Union Pacific’s success is the work we do to enhance quality of life in the communities where our employees live and work," Union Pacific Foundation President Scott Moore said in a release.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Kansas was recently ranked one of the top states in the country for number of people who do volunteer work. All this week, the KMUW News team is looking at some local volunteers who are making a difference here in Wichita.

For nearly a decade, African-American men have been giving their time, talent and money to support a youth mentoring organization in Wichita. The volunteers are part of the nonprofit Real Men, Real Heroes, which works with youth from 3rd grade to high school.

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