Sean Sandefur

Reporter

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

Upon graduating from Webster University, Sean went on to a full-time internship at KTTC-TV in Rochester, Minn. Sean ended up covering massive flood damage as a multimedia journalist. He also learned video production from a 30-year veteran photojournalist.

Sean then took a reporter position at a community newspaper in Monticello, Ind., where he learned to crank out news on a daily basis. 

Although he gained valuable experience, Sean missed the creativity that comes with producing feature stories for the radio.

He joined KMUW in January of 2014, and strives to provide solid reporting of all story types to his fellow Wichitans.

Outside of work, Sean is an avid sports fan. Partial to his hometown teams in St. Louis, he is also quickly becoming a Shockers fan.

Sean has a cat named after his literary hero, Huckleberry Finn.

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Community
3:43 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Wichita Community Leaders, Activists React To Grand Jury Decision In Ferguson

Wade Moore, president of the Greater Wichita Ministerial League, describes the decision by a grand jury not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson as an injustice.
Credit Sean Sandefur

Community leaders gathered in Wichita Tuesday morning in reaction to the events in Ferguson, Missouri - where a white police officer won't be indicted in the killing of an unarmed black teenager. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports…

Members of the Greater Wichita Ministerial League, local activists and politicians stood beside Pastor Wade Moore, who says he believes it’s an injustice that a grand jury decided against criminal charges for Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. He says incidents of young black men being killed by police officers are happening throughout the country.

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Education
4:56 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Maize School District Building Searched By FBI, Two Employees Placed On Leave

Credit Maize Unified School District 266

Information is scarce as to why FBI investigators are targeting the Maize School District Educational Support Center--the district's headquarters. In a letter sent out on Tuesday, parents were told that school officials are cooperating with the investigation and that it does not involve student safety. 

“We can confirm that two district employees have been placed on administrative leave,” says Lori O’Toole Buselt, director of communications for Maize School District.

Officials for the FBI are also tight-lipped.

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Government
9:45 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Fifteen Same-Sex Couples Wed On Steps Of Wichita's Historic Courthouse

Same-sex couples stand on the steps of Wichita's historic courthouse waiting for a wedding ceremony to begin
Credit Hugo Phan

 

Correction: A previous posting of this story incorrectly stated 14 couples were wed; an additional couple registered after the ceremony

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Politics
5:57 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Wichita City Council Member Jeff Longwell To Run For Mayor

Credit City of Wichita

 

Wichita City Council member Jeff Longwell announced Friday afternoon he’ll be running for mayor. The former vice-mayor is finishing up a second term representing District Five in south Wichita.

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Education
5:00 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Expanding Horizons: An Effort To Inspire Girls To Pursue Fields In Science And Technology

As this student hunts for Waldo, the object on the table is able follow where she's looking. This one of three "alternate input" devices at the Expanding Your Horizons conference at Wichita State University.
Credit Sean Sandefur

In 1974, a group of female scientists and educators in San Francisco started an organization called Expanding Your Horizons. It was simply a way to support one another and share ideas. Eventually, conferences were formed and young girls were introduced to science, technology, engineering and math.

Forty years later, these efforts continue across the world. Roughly 25,000 middle school-aged girls take part each year, including some in Wichita.   

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Community
6:25 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Wichita Police Department: Body Cameras For All Officers

Credit Sean Sandefur

Back in August, hundreds of people gathered at Wichita East High School to discuss police/community relations. The meeting was in response to the officer involved killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Thursday, an update of those efforts was given downtown.

Perhaps the biggest outcome of that August meeting will body cameras city officials say will be issued to all Wichita Police officers.

Acting Police Chief Nelson Mosley says the cameras will cost roughly $1.5 million…

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Government
5:03 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Supreme Court Lifts Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Kansas

Credit Lars Lundqvist / Flickr

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex couples to marry in Kansas. The decision was handed down on Wednesday afternoon. 

    

For now, Kansas is the 33rd state to allow same-sex couples to marry. The Supreme Court ordered the state to lift its ban while legal battles over the practice continue. County clerks across the state can begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

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Community
10:40 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Group Unveils Survey Results For Wichita's Future 'Brand'

From left, Don Anderson and Gary Sherwin display the results of Wichita "branding" surveys conducted in September. The nearly 2,000 respondents were asked to describe the strengths and weaknesses of the city.
Sean Sandefur

Click through the slideshow above for the full survey results

The results of a regional survey centered around Wichita’s future branding were revealed Monday night at the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation office. 

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Government
6:58 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Court: Proof Of Citizenship Not Required On Federal Voter Forms

Credit Keith Ivey / Flickr

 

According to a decision issued by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Election Assistance Commission will not be forced to add proof of citizenship requirements to federal voter registration forms in Kansas or Arizona.

In short, the ruling means voters in Kansas and Arizona will be able to register for federal elections without presenting proof of citizenship—usually in the form of a birth certificate or passport—creating a loophole.

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Crime and Courts
4:51 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

DA: 2012 Officer Involved Shooting Case Will Remain Open

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett reads from a press release on Friday afternoon. His office announced the 2012 officer involved shooting case, in which Troy Lanning was killed, will remain open.
Credit Sean Sandefur

 

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett gave an update on an officer involved shooting case from 2012. 

This much is known: on April 1, 2012 Troy Lanning was shot and killed by Wichita Police Officer Randy Williamson. What remains unknown is whether lethal force was justified. District Attorney Marc Bennett says an investigation conducted by the Wichita Police Department, Kansas Bureau of Investigation and his own office hasn’t produced a clear answer.

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