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 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

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

A weekly meeting about startups and entrepreneurs had its first event in Old Town this morning.

Dozens of people packed into Wichita State University’s new Old Town location for an initiative called 1 Million Cups, a program started in Kansas City that has spread to 77 cities across the U.S.

The idea behind 1 Million Cups is providing “a supportive, neutral space welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face.”

http://centralplainshealthcarepartnership.org

The City of Wichita is applying for nearly $1 million in federal grants that would go toward services for low-income individuals.

The city is asking for $943,594 in Community Service Block Grants, which are provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.

Nearly half of the funding would go toward the Wichita Sedgwick County Community Action Partnership, which helps families living in public or Section 8 housing.

Michael Chen, flickr Creative Commons

A bill that opponents say infringes on patient and doctor relationships will be heard in the Kansas Senate.

The practice is called step therapy, which requires patients to try older and often generic medications before doctors can prescribe newer and more expensive ones.

Senate Bill 341 would require it for KanCare recipients.

Proponents say it can save the state’s Medicaid program money, and protect patients from newer medications that might have unknown side effects.

Pictures of Money / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s that time of year when many high school seniors are filling out their college applications. And while choosing a perfect school and trying to get in can be hard enough, navigating the world of student loans can also cause major stress. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on how families can best prepare for the cost of college.

Richard Ross

A new bill aimed at reforming juvenile justice has been introduced in the Kansas Statehouse. Advocates of the bill say it will keep low-risk youth offenders out of prison while saving the state money.

According to the advocacy group Kansans United for Youth Justice, 35 percent of young people locked up in the state are there for misdemeanors only, something that’s not done for adult offenders.

Nadya Faulx

Around this time every year, downtown Wichita is the preferred roosting spot for a certain large pest. Trees and tall buildings become flooded with black crows. To ward them off, a common deterrent can be heard in the form of a loud boom. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on what’s being done to keep them away.

Jimmy Everson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

Wichita State University has announced the recipients of its Harry Gore Memorial Scholarships, which are awarded to high school seniors in Kansas. The scholarships are worth $15,000 a year for four years.

Two students were chosen for the award after demonstrating strong leadership qualities and a solid academic record.

Sandra Carlo of Maize High School was one of the students chosen for this year’s award.

Deborah Shaar

Wichita Eisenhower National Airport is reporting that 2015 was its third busiest year on record.

A brand new terminal, which opened last June, helped to bring in 37,679 additional passengers in 2015, an increase of 2.5 percent from the previous year.

Airport officials said the total number of passengers who either flew in or out of Eisenhower National Airport was 1,571,348.

“We are very pleased that passengers have responded to the conveniences and amenities of our new terminal and our air service,” Valerie Wise, Air Service Manager, said in a statement.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Three museums in Wichita are displaying the work of artist Gordon Parks starting this month. A notable author, filmmaker and musician, the Kansas native is most famous for his photographs, which documented poverty and segregation during the civil rights movement.. 

http://www.hutchpl.org

The Hutchinson Public Library has received a large gift from the late Deborah Mosier, a longtime teacher and resident of the city. Now, the library wants ideas about how it can be used.

Mosier left money to three local nonprofits in Hutchinson when she died in 2013.

The public library, the local Boys and Girls Club, and the Hutchinson Community Foundation have each received $1.4 million from the trust of Arlene Jennings, who was Mosier’s mother.

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