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

City of Wichita

 

The Wichita City Council voted down a proposal on Tuesday to change its funding agreement with the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition. The vote was in response to actions by the Sedgwick County Commission.

Last week, county commissioners discussed a plan to change their funding agreement with the GWEDC, the Sedgwick County Zoo and Exploration Place. The organizations are currently funded in five-year blocks, but some commissioners favor year-to-year agreements to protect against future budget shortfalls. 

Flickr Creative Commons/MikeGC2011

 

Blue Bell Creameries announced it's shutting down a distribution center in Wichita. The decision is part of a string of nationwide layoffs the company announced last week.

An outbreak of listeria in Blue Bell Ice Cream prompted the company to recall all of its products earlier this year. The lack of production has now led to over 1,400 employees being laid off and 14 distribution centers being shut down.

Sedgwick County

The Sedgwick County Commission voted on Wendesday morning to delay any changes to the funding agreements with a number of area institutions. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

Business owners, non-profit leaders and parents came out in droves on Wednesday to testify in support of county-backed institutions, namely Exploration Place and the Sedgwick County Zoo.

Many of them were concerned that funding levels would take a dip when county officials draft a budget in the coming months. Susie Santo of Visit Wichita warned of the impact decreased funding would have to tourism.

Sean Sandefur

  

The parents of a Marine who died in a helicopter crash in Nepal spoke with reporters in Wichita on Friday. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

 

For three days, Ron Norgren and his wife Theresa waited for an update about the missing helicopter their son Chris was aboard. U.S. officials have now confirmed that the helicopter crashed in eastern Nepal while conducting a relief mission.

Ron Norgren says he last talked to his son on Mother’s Day.

ronhays / Flickr

 

After a grim start to Spring and a fear of prolonged drought, recent rainfall has helped boost winter wheat crops throughout Kansas, according to a report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The report indicates that Kansas should yield about 272 million bushels of winter wheat, up about 9 percent from last year. 

Jim Shroyer is a wheat specialist with the Kansas State Extension Office. He says harvest is still about three weeks out, but farmers are hoping for minimal rainfall when the time comes.

Sean Sandefur

A sales tax referendum on last November’s ballot would’ve put an estimated $27.8 million dollars towards street repairs in Wichita. The referendum was defeated, but the cracks and potholes remain. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur takes a driving tour of some of the city’s worst roads and has this report…

When you map out the streets that would have received a bit of TLC from the defeated sales tax, you see whole neighborhoods that are crisscrossed with course, uneven asphalt and concrete.

Belmont Street, from Pawnee to Kinkaid in southwest Wichita, is about as bad as it gets.

Armstrong Chamberlin Marketing

The K-96 bike path will soon have new signage thanks to a donation by a group of local business owners. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

The City of Wichita received a donation of “wayfinding” signs, which will be installed along the K-96 bike path from Dr. Glen Dey Park to 127th Street East. The signage is being funded by Together Wichita, a group started by Wichita Eagle Publisher Kim Nussbaum. It now includes a number of local business leaders including Armstrong Chamberlin Marketing. 

Ark Valley Fire Buff / Flickr

 

An officer involved shooting in Wichita has left one suspect in serious condition and another in police custody.  

wichita.gov

City officials are working on a long-term investment plan for Wichita with a goal of adding more than 100,000 new residents over the next 20 years. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports…

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

 

This story originally aired during Morning Edition on 05/04/2014. 

Residents of a West Wichita neighborhood learned in March that their private water wells had been contaminated with a chemical likely to cause major health defects. They’ve also learned that the contamination could be decades old.

Ron Barnhart owns a well groomed, one story home in west Wichita.

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