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

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.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The agency looks after more than 400 protected sites across the country, including Kansas’s Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Tucked into the Flint Hills near Strong City, it too will celebrate an anniversary in 2016.

KMUW’s Sean Sandefur drove an hour north of Wichita to the 11,000-acre preserve to learn about its history and its future.

The Wichita Center for the Arts will be moving to a brand new building thanks to a sizable donation by the Koch Foundations.

In total, the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation is gifting the Wichita Center for the Arts $6 million. That’s in addition to the Charles Koch Foundation donating 17 acres of land that’s worth about $4.5 million.

The City of Wichita has approved more than $300,000 to update a popular attraction at O.J. Watson Park in south Wichita.

Cory Morse,

Kansas has received a sizable grant from the U.S. Justice Department to investigate sexual assault kits that have never been tested for DNA evidence.

Nearly $80 million in federal grants will be given to 40 law enforcement agencies across the country. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation will receive $2 million of that.


Bill Maher is bringing his standup comedy to the Century II Performing Arts Center on Saturday night. The often-controversial talk show host has a made a career of moderating fiery political discussions for late-night TV. After almost a decade hosting Politically Incorrect, he now has a successful show on HBO called Real Time with Bill Maher. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur recently spoke with the comedian about his approach to entertainment.


A fundraising goal for a new central library near downtown Wichita has increased to $8 million. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the Wichita Public Library Foundation says they’re more than halfway there.

Marcin Wichary, flickr Creative Commons

According to a report released on Tuesday, Sumner and Harper Counties have seen a decrease in more-pronounced earthquakes in recent months.

Geologists in both Kansas and Oklahoma have linked an increase in seismic activity to the injection of water deep in the earth. It’s a way to dispose of wastewater from oil and natural gas exploration.

Hugo Phan

A large plot of land near the intersection of 29th Street and Maize has been donated to the City of Wichita. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the plan is to use it for wetlands preservation.

Kim F, flickr Creative Commons

Students at Wichita State University have a new option for getting around the city to run errands. A car sharing company called Zipcar will begin offering rentals on campus next week.

Zipcar is already at 400 universities across North America. Here in Wichita, the company will offer two Ford Focuses that are available 24 hours a day.

Students, faculty and staff 18 or older can join for about $15 a year. Rates are $7.50 an hour or $69 a day. That includes gas and insurance up to 180 miles.