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

Abigail Wilson

Longtime Wichita State University athletic director Eric Sexton is officially moving out of athletics and into his new role as vice president of Student Affairs.

University officials say the change has been in the works for some time. Sexton has held the title of Athletic Director since 2008, but was also named vice president of Student Affairs back in April.

Holding those two titles simultaneously made some students uncomfortable.

Ecig Click, flickr Creative Commons

At an informal public meeting on Monday morning, Sedgwick County Commissioners discussed the safety and public use of e-cigarettes.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell asked two advocates to debate whether e-cigarettes are harmful to the community.

Kimber Richter, a doctor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said e-cigarettes contain a number of dangerous chemicals and should be kept out of public spaces. She says studies that show e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to tobacco are flawed.

Stephen Koranda file photo

Updated Tuesday at 4:50 with ACLU response:

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback joined more than a dozen other governors Monday in seeking to block the relocation of refugees from Syria to the U.S.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

The average price of a gallon of gas in Wichita is nearing its lowest point since the beginning of the year.

According to GasBuddy.com, fuel prices in Wichita are down 37 cents from last month. Many gas stations across the city have dipped below $2.00 per gallon.

“The national average today is $2.20. In Wichita, it’s just about to break under $2.00. And that’s something that should stick around,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. “We could see the cheapest stations in Wichita even dropping to the $1.80s or even the $1.70s.”

Sean Sandefur

Wichita’s economy is still struggling to rebound from the Great Recession. An earlier story, "Wichita Faces Brain Drain Problem," presented evidence of young people moving to larger cities to advance their careers.

However, there was a silver lining: Many local young people would like to stick around. That is, if there’s a good reason to. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on what Wichita can do to grow its economy and provide opportunity.

emilegraphics, flickr Creative Commons

Wichita State University hosted an economic outlook conference last month. Local business owners were told that Wichita’s labor force is likely to grow at a rate of about 1 percent in 2016. That’s less than the state and national average. So, why is Kansas’ largest city lagging behind? KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports on Wichita's persistent problem of “brain drain.”

MoDOT, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Transportation has added new technology to help clear highways of snow this winter.

El Alvi / Flickr Creative Commons

Immunization records for Wichita Public Schools students are due by mid-November. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, students will be excluded from school without them.

Wichita Public Schools say they have about 2,000 students whose vaccination records aren’t yet complete. If not turned in by Nov. 16, schools will begin removing students from class.

The required vaccinations include:

Richard Ross

Kansas currently ranks in the bottom 10 states when it comes to incarceration rates among juveniles. A growing number of people throughout Kansas want to see changes in how communities handle offenders under the age of 18.

A new organization out of Lawrence is traveling throughout Kansas to draw attention to this issue. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur spoke with Benet Magnuson, the leader of the organization.

Congress.gov

Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo wants to know how much tax revenue is going to the federal Highway Trust Fund from the sale of non-commercial jet fuel. He added an amendment on Thursday to a recent highway bill that would investigate the issue.

Taxes on the sale of non-commercial jet fuel have been diverted to the federal government’s Highway Trust Fund since 2005.

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