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

Felipe Skroski, Creative Commons

A program that helps people who are struggling to pay their winter utility bills is ending this week.

The Kansas Cold Weather Rule is in effect throughout the state between November 1 and March 31. The program protects residential customers who can’t fully pay their gas and electric bills from service cut-offs.

Sean Sandefur

Wichita Transit has rolled out changes to its bus routes and fares. The new system is meant to help buses run on time and get riders to their destination quicker, despite a limited budget that won’t allow service at night or on Sundays. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on the new normal for Wichita’s bus riders.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Wichita Transit is rolling out changes to its bus system this Saturday, and will offer a week of free rides so people can get used to the routes.

After holding a series of public forums to gather input from riders, Wichita Transit has made a number of tweaks.

One change is so-called designated stops. In addition to the current bus stops, thousands of street signs have been added along routes so riders can flag down buses closer to home or work.

They’ve also added a route on Grove Street and extended the ones that run on both 13th and 21st Street.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Update from The AP:

Friday March 25, 10:15 a.m.

A Kansas livestock official says the wildfire that scorched hundreds of square miles in Oklahoma and southern Kansas has displaced cattle and destroyed miles of fencing.

Todd Domer, spokesman for the Kansas Livestock Association, said Friday the most immediate problem for Kansas ranchers affected by the fire in Barber and Comanche counties is locating cattle that escaped when fences burned. He says ranchers are also working to figure out how many cattle may have died.

Carla Eckels, File Photo / KMUW

After being allotted $18 million for improvements, the City of Wichita’s Parks and Recreation Department has outlined a 7-year plan for its aquatics facilities.

The city currently owns ten aquatics parks, including a swimming pool at Edgemoor Park that has been closed due to maintenance issues since 2012.

In a plan that was presented to Wichita City Council members on Tuesday, the Edgemoor swimming pool would receive a significant remodeling, with an opening date in 2020.

Kansas Department of Labor

The Kansas Department of Labor has released its February jobs report for the state.

February’s unemployment rate in Kansas came in at 4 percent, remaining unchanged from January. Numbers were slightly better than February of last year, when unemployment was at 4.3 percent. The national average is 5.5.

But despite the unemployment rate improving from last year, Kansas is losing jobs. The report shows a loss of 1,900 non-farm jobs from January to February, with construction taking the biggest hit.

Becky McCray, flickr Creative Commons

The Wichita Police Department is working with bar owners in the city’s Old Town entertainment district to help prevent violent crime.

A report from the City of Wichita shows crime in Old Town hit its peak in 2012, with more than 550 incidents reported. Now, it’s nearly a third of that.

But Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says a shooting earlier this month, which injured four people outside of the Pandora Night Club on Mead Street, shows that efforts to keep Old Town safe aren’t over.

Ramsay has met with bar owners in the area.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Wichita State University recently finalized a contract to bring license plate scanners onto campus. The technology will be used to monitor parking and will replace the traditional hangtags that are displayed inside of cars. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur takes a look at the technology and its impact.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board say an agricultural truck collided with railroad tracks near Cimarron, Kan., prior to an Amtrak train derailing in the same area.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

An Amtrak train carrying more than 140 people derailed near Dodge City early Monday morning. The train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, at least 30 people were injured.

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