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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Crime and Courts
5:07 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Sedgwick County Judge Suspended For Sexual Harassment

Credit Jimmy Emerson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court has suspended a Sedgwick County District Judge without pay for 90 days. The ruling states that Judge Timothy Henderson was found to have sexually harassed female attorneys and staff. 

The Judicial Qualifications Commission handed down the suspension after substantiating accounts of sexual harassment from numerous female coworkers dating back to 2006. 

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Environment
5:00 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Wichita Can’t Keep Up With Its Dying Trees

Outside of the greenhouse at Linwood Park in Wichita, saplings sit in a snowy, raised garden. Growing trees here is mostly a hobby. The City of Wichita purchases the majority of the trees and flowers it plants.
Credit Sean Sandefur

One of the most drawn out impacts of extreme drought is seen in the form of dying trees. The Wichita Parks Department estimates that since 2011, for every 10 trees lost on city property, only one has been planted. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports…

When you think about planting trees, you might have images of spring in your mind's eye. Tulips starting to bud and heavy coats thankfully stowed away in an attic. But, that’s not really the case.

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Energy
1:00 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

UPDATE: Siemens Energy To End Labor-Strike Furloughs

Credit Portland General Electric, flickr Creative Commons

Updated on 02/24/15: 

Siemens Energy officials say they plan to end furloughs that had been implemented because of a dockworkers labor dispute on the West Coast.

The company said the plant in Hutchinson is expected to be back in full operation by Monday.

Original Story:

The West Coast labor dispute at the seaports is affecting one of Reno County’s largest employers…the Siemens Wind Energy Plant in Hutchinson. Sean Sandefur has the story.

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Crime and Courts
5:15 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Former Downtown Wichita Real Estate Developers Charged With Securities Fraud

The Kress building in downtown Wichita is one of many properties formally owned by Michael Elzufon and David Lundberg
Credit gtotiger68 / Flickr

 

Two real estate developers who invested in numerous properties in downtown Wichita a decade ago have now been charged with 61 felony counts of committing securities fraud and selling unregistered securities. 

Kansas Securities Commissioner Josh Ney announced criminal charges against Michael Elzufon and David Lundberg in Sedgwick County District Court. 

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Community
5:00 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Fighting For The Right To Sell Strong Beer, Wine and Spirits

Credit Bob Mical / Flickr

Last week, the Kansas House Committee on Commerce, Labor and Economic Development heard testimonies concerning House Bill 2200, known as the "Uncork Kansas" bill. It would allow stronger beer to be sold at convenience stores and stronger beer, wine and spirits to be sold at grocery stores. It would also allow liquor stores to sell snacks, cocktail mixes and cigarettes. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur takes a look at the issue…

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Environment
5:12 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Local Researchers Investigating Effects of Wichita Chemical Contamination

A portion of a map provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. It illustrates the sources of a large plume of PCE in West Wichita
Credit Kansas Department of Health and Environment

 

Researchers from Wichita State University and the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita will be investigating chemical contamination in West Wichita. The $15,000 project will be funded through an award given out by the Wichita Medical Research and Education Foundation. 

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Health
5:00 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Another ACA Open Enrollment Period Coming To An End

Credit Aileen LeBlanc

**UPDATE**  

The latest data published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates 96,226 Kansans have signed up for health care coverage through HealthCare.gov

This story originally aired during Morning Edition on Thursday, February 12, 2015

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Education
10:44 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Wichita School Board Addresses $3 Million Budget Cut, Fears More Are On The Way

Credit Wichita Public Schools

  After Governor Sam Brownback’s decision to cut funding for public schools in Kansas by 1.5 percent, school districts are having to find ways to adjust their own budgets. The Wichita School Board did just that at a meeting on Monday night.

The tone was tense. Governor Brownback’s funding cuts will affect Wichita Public Schools to the tune of just over $3 million—which is less than 1 percent of its overall budget. Jim Freeman is the district’s chief financial officer. 

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Education
5:03 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

USD 259 Reacts To Impending Funding Cuts

Credit Wichita Public Schools

Governor Sam Brownback announced on Thursday that he was cutting funding for Kansas public schools at rate of 1.5 percent. That means a reduction of $28 million in funding across the board. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports how this might affect Wichita Public Schools…

The statewide cuts will take effect on March 7.

Wichita School Board President Sheril Logan says her district must clear $3 million from their budget, and they’ll need to do it quickly.

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Arts
5:00 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Photographic Techniques Front And Center At The Wichita Art Museum

Unknown Maker, American. Gold Miners with Sluice, ca. 1850. Daguerreotype, quarter plate, image size: 3 ¼ x 4 ¼ inches. Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc., 2005.27.116.
Nelson Gallery Foundation

The Wichita Art Museum has dedicated a large portion of its gallery space to highlighting photographic processes.

A collection of daguerreotypes, on loan from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, officially opens Saturday night. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur toured the collection of 82 images and has this report...

    

On the second floor of the Wichita Art Museum, curator Lisa Volpe stands just outside of a dark gallery, which houses "Photographic Wonders: American Daguerreotypes from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art."

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