Carla Eckels

Director of Cultural Diversity, news & engagement | 'Soulsations' Music Host

Carla Eckels is Interim News Director at KMUW.  She's been an award-winning announcer/news producer for KMUW 89.1FM, Wichita Public Radio for 21 years. Carla also produces a R&B and gospel show Soulsations, Sunday nights at 6 on KMUW.  She also hosted 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.

Aileen LeBlanc and Carla Eckels have been awarded a prestigious national 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for their news feature looking at the return of ant-abortion demonstrations to Wichita. Eckels is 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 Public Service Announcement, 2nd place: “A Wichita Basketball Coach Overcomes Depression” in 2017 and 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

Windslash / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita city council members are expected to approve the 2018 recommended funding allocations for arts and cultural organizations on Tuesday during their weekly council meeting.

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So far this year, there have been close to 200 house fires in Wichita, as well as four house fire-related deaths. The Wichita Fire Department is reminding residents to prepare and practice an escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Week.

The theme this year is titled "Every Second Counts, Plan Two Ways Out." Wichita Fire Marshall Stuart Bevis says a fire can double in size every 30 seconds. He recommends having an escape plan, as well as practicing it.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Currently, there are 10 candidates vying for positions on the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education. During a forum that takes place this Saturday, they'll field questions about their qualifications, what they see as their role on the school board and what they think the school's stance should be on teaching such topics as sex education, cybersecurity, AIDS and suicide prevention.

Forum organizer Martha Pint of Women for Kansas says people need to know what's happening in public education.

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A Wichita teen is in Ohio this week to be honored by the Girl Scouts of the USA as a National Young Woman of Distinction.

Seventeen-year-old Maureen “Reeny” Botros is one of 10 Girl Scouts to receive the honor. The home-schooled senior earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts, by inventing "Illumi-cize" fashion accessories.

Darcy Gray, with Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, says Botros' accessories monitor heart rates and light up to encourage exercise.

Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex / Facebook

Last year, 54 minors in Sedgwick County ended up in juvenile correctional facilities. A new grant from the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) would keep youths in the community and out of a correctional facility.

Sedgwick County Commissioners approved the reinvestment grant application on Wednesday for nearly $615,000. The money comes from funds that were saved when the state defunded a program that had placed juvenile offenders in out-of-home facilities.

The Down Syndrome Society of Wichita serves more than 300 families in the Wichita area. The group's annual Buddy Walk takes place this weekend.

The Buddy Walk promotes the acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Executive Director Natalie Rolfe says their mission is to help people better understand the genetic disorder. They also provide support and resources to families, especially to new parents.

Residents in the Wichita Public School District can vote next month for any candidate running for school board, no matter which board district they live in – which is causing confusion for many area voters.

See a map of BOE districts here.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Nearly 4,000 people are expected to attend the North End Urban Arts Festival on Saturday.

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After trying for over a week, a Wichita woman has finally made contact with her Puerto Rican family by phone after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island last week.

Elizabeth Brunscheen-Cartagena has lived in Wichita for 21 years and goes home to Puerto Rico every other year. Following the aftermath of the hurricane, she was finally able to talk to her family in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, some of whom have lost everything. The hurricane flattened all but the sturdiest of structures.

Sunday, October 1

New music from soulful singer/songwriter Ledisi.  Her new release is called Let Love Rule.   The  New Orleans native is a celebrated R&B recording artist. She's an occasional vocal coach and frequent “Artist in Residence” at The Berklee College of Music. As participant in former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Turnaround Arts Program, Ledisi donates her time to encourage students to explore the possibilities through the arts. And later, old school sounds from Wichita’s Own Rudy Love & the Love Family. The band will perform on Saturday, October 7th as part of the Old Town Concert Series at 2nd & Mead in Old Town. The event will kick off with the band, Infinite Layers at 7 p.m.