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

Wichita Public School teachers and other certified staff and faculty have voted to shorten the upcoming academic year and lengthen school days by 30 minutes. The change is needed in order to trim about $3 million from the district’s budget.

The United Teachers of Wichita, a teachers union, reports that out of the 4,045 votes that were cast, nearly 69 percent voted to amend Wichita Public School’s calendar.

Students will now attend 158 days next year instead of 173. Teachers will work 175 days instead of 190.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

Updated on 05/25/16:

A small crowd gathered around a spontaneous memorial along Highway 81 near Excel Industries in Hesston on Wednesday.

Three months ago Cedric Ford, an employee at Excel, started firing a weapon, first in nearby Newton, and soon after at his workplace. Four people, including Ford, were killed.

In the months since the shooting, four sun-bleached t-shirts have been displayed near Excel, along with a makeshift memorial with flowers, American flags, and candles.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

After considering sites in both Texas and Colorado, Cargill will be keeping its meat and protein division headquarters, and 800 employees, in Wichita.

  

The Minnesota-based agriculture, energy and pharmaceutical company currently operates its Meat Solutions division out of a 110,000-square-foot building in downtown Wichita.

Cargill announced in March its desire to build a new headquarters for its meat and protein division, and Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell says he was worried that the company would hit the road.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he's improving the voter registration process at motor vehicle offices. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered that thousands of people be added to the state’s voter rolls, even though they supposedly didn't provide citizenship documents while registering to vote at DMV locations.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Members of the Wichita City Council and Sedgwick County Commission met Tuesday morning to discuss the location of a new, shared law enforcement training center. The current facility is housed in a former elementary school, and city officials say the space is too small and outdated.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Gov. Sam Brownback has until Thursday to sign a budget passed by the Kansas Legislature two weeks ago. He'll need to find nearly $200 million in savings in order for the budget to be balanced. One of the options on the table is to cut a portion of spending to the University of Kansas and Kansas State. KMUW's Sean Sandefur sat down with Wichita State President John Bardo to talk funding higher education. 

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Kansas has enacted a sales tax exemption for farmers and ranchers who are rebuilding fences damaged by massive wildfires that burned through hundreds of square miles earlier this year.

Any purchases made in 2016 that are used to rebuild fences damaged by wildfires will be exempt from sales taxes under a bill signed by Gov. Sam Brownback Wednesday.

Elana Gordon / KCUR

Kansas has delayed cutting off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood facilities in the state and has postponed any action against the organization until June 7.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri spokeswoman Bonyen Lee-Gilmore said Wednesday that the state sought another extension to prepare for the first hearing in a federal lawsuit challenging the cutoff and that the delays are sign of how the state's decision is "all political."

"Clearly, there's no public health emergency at play," she said.

ronhays / Flickr

Lots of rainfall and average temperatures throughout Kansas means the state’s winter wheat crops are doing well.

According to the latest report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, 90 percent of Kansas’ winter wheat is rated either fair, good or excellent. The majority of crops are also more mature when compared to last year.

okpolicy.org

The Wichita chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists is hosting a talk Tuesday night about the Kansas budget and the state’s tax policy.

The event will feature Annie McKay, executive director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth and the incoming president and CEO of Kansas Action for Children. KCEG describes itself as nonpartisan and was created in 2013 to educate Kansans about the state’s economic policies.

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