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

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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…

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. 

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

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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