Sean Sandefur


A photographer by trade, Sean got his feet wet in broadcast news as an intern at St. Louis Public Radio. It is here, he says, where he caught "the NPR bug."

A graduate of Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., Sean joined KMUW in January of 2014.

He often covers the intersection of government and citizenry. His story about chemical contamination in a west Wichita neighborhood won a national Society of Professional Journalists award for investigative journalism. His coverage of Wichita's "No Ferguson Here" movement won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news.

Sean also has experience in television, completing an internship at KTTC-TV in Rochester, Minn., where he covered massive flood damage as a multimedia journalist.

Outside of work, Sean has an addiction to baseball and has a cat named after his literary hero, Huckleberry Finn.

Ways To Connect

National WIC Association

Sedgwick County Commissioners have approved $1.9 million in grants for the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC). The funding is provided by the federal government and is administered through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

A city park in west Wichita will receive some upgrades after City Council members approved an expanded budget for the project.

Buffalo Park, near Central and Maize, is set to receive a new pavilion, an interactive splash pool, added parking and what more green space.

The city is allocating an additional $400,000 to the project, which is expected to cost well over $1.5 million. The city has secured a $250,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will be used for the project.

neetalparekh, flickr Creative Commons

The state of Kansas has received a sizable grant from the federal government to help people struggling to find jobs.

The Kansas Commerce Department has been awarded nearly $5.6 million from the Workplace Innovation Fund, which will be used for job placement and training in a variety of industries.

Spokesperson Matthew Keith says the program will focus on people facing multiple barriers to employment.

Wichita State University

An annual ceremony of remembrance was held at Wichita State University this morning in honor of the 31 WSU football players, administrators and supporters who died in a plane crash in 1970 in the Rocky Mountains.

More than 100 people paid their respects at the ceremony held at the permanent memorial on the university’s campus. Many in attendance wore gold and black, Wichita State University’s colors.

surber, flickr Creative Commons

The Siemens plant in Hutchinson will soon provide more than 60 nacelles for a new wind farm in Oklahoma.  

Jeff Engel, flickr Creative Commons

The corn harvest in Kansas is ahead of schedule, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Across Kansas, 42 percent of corn has already been harvested—way ahead of the 34 percent posted this time last year. The corn is currently rated at 3 percent very poor, 9 poor, 31 fair, 47 good, and 10 excellent.

But estimates released this month say total yields will about two percent less than last year.

Wichita Public Schools

The Wichita Public School district has released enrollment numbers for the 2015-16 school year.

The report indicates that enrollment numbers for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade currently sit at 49,498 students, a level that hasn’t been seen in more than ten years. It’s an increase of 110 students over the previous academic year.

Overall enrollment for Wichita Public Schools is 51,113 students, a decrease of 197 students from the previous academic year.

Sean Sandefur

Each year, Wichita Public Schools face a familiar challenge: meeting the needs of thousands of homeless students.

Each case is different—some families are living with relatives, and some are living out of their car. To address the issue, the district relies on the federal government’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance program. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, it can bring a level of normalcy to an otherwise chaotic situation.

Hugo Phan file photo

The City of Wichita will start over on its search for a new police chief after months of deliberations.

Kansas’ unemployment rate in August remained unchanged from July and is still higher than this time last year.

According to the August jobs report from the Kansas Department of Labor, last month’s unemployment rate was 4.6 percent statewide, which is unchanged from July.

It’s also higher than numbers recorded in August of 2014, when unemployment sat at 4.3 percent. The difference between those two rates translates to more than 27,000 people who are now unemployed.