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 said, that he caught "the NPR bug."

Upon graduating from Webster University, Sean went on to a full-time internship at KTTC-TV in Rochester, Minn. Sean ended up covering massive flood damage as a multimedia journalist. He also learned video production from a 30-year veteran photojournalist.

Sean then took a reporter position at a community newspaper in Monticello, Ind., where he learned to crank out news on a daily basis. 

Although he gained valuable experience, Sean missed the creativity that comes with producing feature stories for the radio.

He joined KMUW in January of 2014, and strives to provide solid reporting of all story types to his fellow Wichitans.

Outside of work, Sean is an avid sports fan. Partial to his hometown teams in St. Louis, he is also quickly becoming a Shockers fan.

Sean has a cat named after his literary hero, Huckleberry Finn.

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Community
4:32 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Cinda, Sedgwick County Zoo's Iconic Elephant, Dies

Credit Sedgwick County Zoo

 

Sedgwick County has lost a beloved resident. It’s not a longtime public official or philanthropist, but a 43-year-old elephant named Cinda. 

The Sedgwick County Zoo announced the death of the elephant on Wednesday. It's one the facility's original animals.

Sedgwick County Zoo Executive Director Mark Reed says it was most likely due to a heart attack and it didn't come as a complete surprise. Nevertheless…

“It’s been a rough day,” Reed says with tears in his eyes.

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Politics
3:53 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Sales Tax Defeated - Now What?

Credit Sean Sandefur

Voters in Wichita have made their decision on a proposed one-cent sales tax. The referendum was defeated soundly, with “no” votes over 60 percent. KMUW 's Sean Sandefur has been following this story since it was first discussed by city council members and has this report . . .

    

On Tuesday night, election results roll across TV screens at the Hyatt in downtown Wichita--votes against the city's proposed one-cent sales tax grow and grow. At about 9:30 pm, Jon Rolph of Yes Wichita makes his remarks.

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Politics
11:46 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Could Anti-Incumbency Decide Kansas Races?

Credit Bruce Charles / Flickr

Although midterm elections are less than two weeks away, a number of races in Kansas are still up in the air. Polls haven’t indicated a clear favorite for governor or the U.S. senate. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur takes a look at the political makeup of Kansas voters and why some incumbent Republicans are fighting for their lives.

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Politics
4:47 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Carr Brothers Murders An Unexpected Topic In Gubernatorial Debate

Eugene Williams, general manager of KTWU-TV in Topeka, Kansas, serves as moderator of the Gubernatorial debate between Paul Davis and Sam Brownback at the Kansas Association of Broadcasters annual convention in Wichita, Kansas.
Credit Aileen LeBlanc

The brutal murders committed by Jonathan and Reginald Carr in Wichita over a decade ago were an unexpected topic in Tuesday’s debate between Governor Sam Brownback and Democratic Challenger Paul Davis.

In Brownback’s opening remarks, he mentioned that the Kansas Supreme Court’s liberal tendency led to a ruling in July that overturned six of the eight death sentences for the Carr brothers.

  “It matters what judges you appoint,” Brownback says. “[Either] they stick with the law and the constitution, or they rewrite it.”

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Business
5:41 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Union Machinists Approve Contract With Textron Aviation

A sign is taped to a back entrance of Hartman Arena in Wichita, identifying where "ballot counters" are to go. Large bins filled with orange pieces of paper were dumped onto a table on Friday afternoon and the counting began.
Credit Sean Sandefur

 

Union machinists who had previously worked for Beechcraft and Cessna have ratified a contract with their new employer, Textron Aviation.

The contract was approved through a "yay" or "nay" vote held at Hartman Arena on Friday afternoon. The final results were 73 percent to 27 percent.

Frank Molina of Union District Lodge 70 says he’s happy with the contract.

“We’re really anticipating to see growth and looking forward to our future, we think that it’s going to be bright," he said. "This is the first step of that.”

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Politics
6:33 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Roberts and Orman Face Off In Final Debate

Pat Roberts and Greg Orman debate in September at the Kansas State Fair.
Credit Abigail Wilson

Senator Pat Roberts appeared in his final debate against Independent candidate Greg Orman in Wichita on Wednesday night. The two are in a close battle, which could determine whether Democrats maintain a majority in the U.S. Senate.

Local NBC affiliate KSN provided the two candidates one last go at one another.

The conversation quickly turned to foreign affairs and what should be done with the militant Islamic group calling itself the Islamic State. Independent Greg Orman sounded supportive of current operations.

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Government
7:17 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Benefits Of Wichita's One-Cent Sales Tax Referendum Debated At Local Luncheon

The Wichita Independent Business Association hosted the luncheon at the Wichita Boathouse.
Credit Sean Sandefur

 

The Wichita Independent Business Association hosted a debate on Tuesday over Wichita's one-cent sales tax referendum. The tax will be featured on November’s ballot and if passed, would help expand the city's water supply, as well as fund transit, street improvements and job creation. 

The tax is worth roughly $400 million over five years. The lion’s share is intended for the city’s future water supply, but the most controversial part of the referendum has been the $80 million allotted for job creation.

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Economy
4:14 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Wichita's Economy Lagging Behind Its Competitors

Jeremy Hill of Wichita State University's Center for Economic Development and Business Research gives his economic forecast for 2015.
Credit Abigail Wilson

The Century II Conference Hall hosted an economic outlook on Wednesday morning. Experts say Wichita’s economy is growing, but not as fast as it should.

For decades aviation was the main economic driver for Wichita.

“If there was some hope that aviation was going to accelerate again at some point, I think we should shred that hope,” says Jeremy Hill, director of Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research.

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Government
5:19 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Johnson County Judge Allows Same-Sex Marriage Licenses To Be Issued

Credit Lars Lundqvist / Flickr

 

After Monday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to turn away same-sex marriage appeals in five states, which looked to make the unions illegal, a judge in Kansas is now allowing same-sex marriage licenses to be issued. 

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Community
5:30 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Wichita's Union Station Closer To Occupancy

Credit Sean Sandefur

  Wichita’s old Union Station took one step closer to having new tenants. The building, which was dedicated in 1914, has been vacant since 2007. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has the story…

Wichita City Council members approved a Tax Increment Financing District for a property along Douglas St. that contains Union Station and other historic buildings.

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