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.


4:33 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Shockers' Gregg Marshall Agrees To New Contract With Wichita State

Wichita State Men's Basketball Coach Gregg Marshall exits the court after a loss to Notre Dame in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Credit Sean Sandefur


After a tense week of waiting, Shockers fans everywhere can (almost) officially relax. Head Basketball Coach Gregg Marshall has agreed to a new contract with Wichita State. 

The terms of the contract won’t be disclosed until Gregg Marshall signs on the dotted line, but it’s expected to be a significant raise from his current salary of $1.85 million. 

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2:40 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Wichita State Reveals Sizeable Expansion Into Old Town

This two-story building in Old Town will soon house KMUW Wichita Public Radio. The relocation is part of Wichita State University's expansion into the entertainment and arts district. The university has dubbed the campus extension "WSU Old Town."
Hugo Phan

Wichita State University has revealed more information about its expansion into Wichita’s Old Town neighborhood. The new venture will have an official title of “WSU Old Town” and will include the relocation of several different departments. School officials say the move will create a strong presence in the city’s most popular downtown destination. 

The expansion is possible as Airbus Americas is relocating its Old Town offices to Wichita State's Innovation Campus. The company will move 400 employees and vacate thousands of square feet in Old Town.

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4:07 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Airbus To Relocate Old Town Operations To Wichita State's Innovation Campus

Governor Sam Brownback meeting with Airbus Americas President Barry Eccleston. Brownback expressed his support of public and private collaborations.
Sean Sandefur

Wichita State University announced on Tuesday that Airbus will be moving its Old Town operations to the university’s Innovation Campus. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

The announcement marks the first major company to have a dedicated building on Wichita State's proposed Innovation Campus. Airbus will move about 400 employees from its Old Town offices to a brand new facility built on what is now the school’s golf course. The move would provide internships to students and collaboration with faculty.

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4:03 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Kansas Wants More Visitors, Federal Designation For Arkansas River

Credit Andrea Allen, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism wants a federal designation for a stretch of the Arkansas River, hoping to boost the number of local visitors and tourists. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

The Arkansas River is the 6th longest river in the country, providing over 180 miles of navigable water in Kansas alone. But officials with Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism say it’s not living up to its potential.

Jessica Mounts is a fisheries biologist with the state.

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4:31 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Wichita City Council Moves Forward With Animal Control Advisory Board

Credit Terrah, flickr Creative Commons

The Wichita City Council is moving forward with an Animal Control Advisory Board, which would report to the police department and city council members.

The proposed advisory board would consist of nine members, including a representative from the city, a licensed veterinarian, and residents.

Wichita Police Captain Doug Nolte says aggressive dogs are a big problem, and that the city’s animal control system could use help in addressing those concerns.

Number of reported bites investigated by Wichita Animal Control:

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3:59 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Wichita State's College Of Fine Arts Honors Five Alumni

International opera stars Sam Ramey and Joyce DiDonato headline the inaugural class of the WSU College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame.

Wichita State University’s College of Fine Arts is honoring five alumni with an induction into its Hall of Fame. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

This year’s class of inductees have made their impact both locally, and globally.

They include international opera stars Samuel Ramey and Joyce DiDonato, award-winning actor Shirley Knight and graphic designers Sonia Greteman and Bill Gardner. Gardner, who founded and runs Gardner Design, has deep roots in Wichita. He says his father, James, was mayor in the 1950s.

He gives credit for his induction to his co-workers.

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4:47 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

A ‘Feast For The Senses’ Awaits Audiences Of Bluebeard’s Castle

A series of Chihuly glass sculptures designed specifically for the opera, "Bluebeard's Castle." This is only the fifth time they've been used onstage.
Sean Sandefur

This weekend, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra joins legendary bass/baritone and Kansas-native Samuel Ramey for two performances of Bluebeard’s Castle. The one-act opera takes place in a setting of ornate, towering pieces of blown glass. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports….

Intensity looms within the Century II Concert Hall in downtown Wichita. Rehearsals are underway for Bluebeard’s Castle

The powerful opera packs a lot of emotion into the short run time of 60 minutes.

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5:03 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Westar Energy Rate Increase Request Shows Shift Towards Flat Rate Fees

Wolf Creek Nuclear Plant
Credit Nuclear Regulatory Commission, flickr Creative Commons

Since 2009, Westar Energy has increased its rates 22 times. Over that same period, energy bills for residential users have increased 40 to 50 percent. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur takes a closer look at the company’s most recent rate increase proposal and how it could change the way some customers look at their energy consumption…

Earlier this week, Westar Energy filed a rate increase request that would bring in an additional $152 million a year. According to the company, the added revenue is needed to keep up with government regulations and to maintain its infrastructure.

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10:47 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

The 2015 Primary Election Results

Credit Bruce Charles / Flickr


The race for Wichita’s next mayor was narrowed in Tuesday night’s primary elections. The ballot also featured primary races for two Wichita City Council seats. 

The field of 10 mayoral candidates included a banker, business owners and politicians. In the end, it went to the two who raised the most money.

Jeff Longwell, a current Wichita City Council member, will face Sam Williams, a notable Wichita marketing executive. 

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5:00 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

City Crews Complete Water Main Line Repair

Credit City Of Wichita

The City of Wichita has reported that a leak at the city’s water treatment plant has been repaired. The leak was first discovered on January 21, and a bypass pipe was installed on January 30. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

The source of the leak was a 66-inch pipe that takes in raw water from the Cheney Reservoir and the Equus water beds.

City officials say it was important to get it repaired before spring, when water is in higher demand.

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