Sean Sandefur

Reporter

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

usgs.gov

The City of Wichita says storms experienced last weekend dropped more than seven inches of rain in many places. While flooding did occur, the city's water supplies are at comfortable levels.

City officials report that the Cheney Reservoir, which the city relies on for much of its water supply, is so full that it's spilling out into flood pools. It’s quite the contrast to a few years ago, when the city was considering water-use restrictions as the reservoir was nearly half empty.

Anne Davis 773, flickr Creative Commons

Among the nearly 100 laws that went into effect in Kansas on Friday is one that deals with drones and personal privacy.

The legislation stems from a complaint by a family in Olathe who accused a neighbor of frequently flying a small unmanned aircraft, often called a drone, over their property. The family argued for a right to privacy after they complained of seeing the same drone hovering above their backyard on a regular basis.

eltpics / flickr Creative Commons

Updated July 5: Sedgwick County Emergency Communications reported receiving the following number of calls over the July 4th weekend:

Nuisance complaints to the non-emergency line:

  • 6:30 p.m., July 3, to 3 a.m., July 4 – 252 calls, compared to 145 in 2015
  • 6:30 p.m., July 4, to 3 a.m., July 5 – 378 calls, compared to 398 in 2015

911 calls:

wichita.gov

The City of Wichita's recently released 2015 financial report indicates slightly higher debt levels, but a strong reserve balance.

The report is required by the State of Kansas. City finances are also audited by an outside accounting firm.

According to the annual report, the city’s reserve balance is 11.4 percent, which exceeds the minimum reserve level of 10 percent. Wichita has also maintained a stable mill levy.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Candidates running for Sedgwick County Commissioner gathered for a public health forum Tuesday night, where they were asked a series of questions about the uninsured, food deserts and even immigration.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File photo

A temporary TSA PreCheck enrollment site at the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport will stay open for an additional week after officials report high demand.

The enrollment site was supposed to close down last Friday, but will stay open until July 1.

It serves as a one-stop shop for people who want to sign up for TSA's PreCheck program, which eliminates the need to remove shoes, laptops, certain liquids, jackets and belts while going through security.

Marcin Wichary, flickr Creative Commons

Residents in Oklahoma and Kansas have become accustomed to a new reality: earthquakes. They range from so small they’re only detectable by scientific instruments, to so powerful they can crumble brick walls.

Justin Rubinstein, of the United States Geological Survey, has been studying the tremors in this region and determining what’s causing them. The California-based geophysicist sat down with KMUW's Sean Sandefur.

GLMV Architecture

Wichita State’s Innovation Campus, a huge expansion taking shape along 17th Street, just got a new tenant.

Element by Westin, a hotel chain with a contemporary design, will be the first addition and a focal point of Braeburn Square, the university’s new retail and mixed-use corridor. There will also be several units for retail and restaurants.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Kansas is one of 46 states that have been receiving significant amounts of money each year from tobacco settlements. Nearly 20 years ago, when the settlement was decided, states were encouraged to use the money for cessation programs and tobacco-related health care costs. In Kansas, the money is funneled into an early childhood education endowment. But the programs that rely on this funding are worried that their ability to serve the community will be in jeopardy if large amounts of the settlement money continues to be diverted to the state’s general fund.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

This year’s Riverfest celebration in downtown Wichita saw an 11 percent increase in attendance over last year, according to event organizers.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. counted a total of 455,000 people who traveled to the banks of the Arkansas River to enjoy concerts, food and other attractions. It continues a trend of increased attendance over the last two years.

Event organizers say the most popular attractions were the fireworks finale last Saturday, which attracted about 60,000 people, and the Sundown Parade, which kicked off Riverfest’s first night on June 3.

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