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

Don't Move Firewood, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas is expanding efforts to keep an invasive beetle from spreading throughout the state.

The emerald ash borer hasn’t made it to Sedgwick County yet, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture is doing what it can to make sure the pest, which is effective at killing ash trees, doesn’t spread throughout the state. More than 150 traps will be installed in 23 counties, in the hopes of tracking the bug’s migration.

Beth Gains is with the Kansas Department of Agriculture and says residents can play a big role in keeping the bug at bay.

Sean Sandefur

At Kansas State University’s campus in Salina, aviation is a big deal. Students can learn how to fly planes and helicopters, or how to manage an airport. They can also study unmanned aircraft, often called drones. 

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems program at the college tests the boundaries of drone use. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur visited their facilities and has this report…

The Salina campus is a bit rough on the outside, but impressive on the inside. A number of weather-beaten hangars and unassuming buildings house the latest in aviation technology, including drones.

foundation.wichita.edu

The Wichita State University Foundation has received a sizable donation from longtime donors. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the funds will go towards the school’s honor college…

A gift of $5 million has been given to the WSU Foundation from Dorothy and Bill Cohen.

According to university officials, most of the funds are earmarked for the Honors College, which will be renamed the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College.

The money will be used for student scholarships, fellowships for faculty and an annual program focused on student leadership.

City of Wichita

The City of Wichita officially has a new mayor. Jeff Longwell was sworn in at Tuesday’s Wichita City Council meeting after soundly defeating advertising executive Sam Williams in the April 7 elections. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

It was an emotional day at City Hall, where Carl Brewer, reaching his term limit, stepped down after eight years as Wichita’s mayor.

“Thank you, everyone, for allowing me to serve you,” Brewer said to applause.

TMartin_33 / Flickr

 

Voters in Wichita have approved a referendum aimed at lessening the penalty for first-time possession of small amounts of marijuana. State law enforces a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail. The new city ordinance would only impose a $50 fine and no jail time. But it’s not clear whether the city is able to move forward with the change. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports…

On a bright, clear afternoon—just days before the general election—a handful of state officials gathered in front of the Sedgwick County Courthouse in downtown Wichita.

City of Wichita

 

Voters in Wichita have chosen their next mayor: Current Wichita City Council Member Jeff Longwell easily defeated retired advertising executive Sam Williams, collecting nearly 60 percent of the vote. 

Money spent during the campaign didn’t translate to votes at the polls. Williams out-raised opponent Jeff Longwell by more than $70,000, but, it was Longwell who cruised to an easy victory. 

A new report issued by the National Drought Mitigation Center says 69 percent of Kansas is under a moderate drought, and 22 percent is under a severe drought.

    

The thunderstorm that took out trees and left thousands without power in Wichita last week brought a lot of wind and hail, but not a lot of rain, which won’t help the persistent droughts active throughout Kansas.

Sean Sandefur

A group of state lawmakers are encouraging voters in Wichita to defeat a marijuana initiative appearing on next Tuesdays ballots. KMUWs Sean Sandefur has more...

Sean Sandefur

 

After a tense week of waiting, Shockers fans everywhere can (almost) officially relax. Head Basketball Coach Gregg Marshall has agreed to a new contract with Wichita State. 

The terms of the contract won’t be disclosed until Gregg Marshall signs on the dotted line, but it’s expected to be a significant raise from his current salary of $1.85 million. 

Hugo Phan

Wichita State University has revealed more information about its expansion into Wichita’s Old Town neighborhood. The new venture will have an official title of “WSU Old Town” and will include the relocation of several different departments. School officials say the move will create a strong presence in the city’s most popular downtown destination. 

The expansion is possible as Airbus Americas is relocating its Old Town offices to Wichita State's Innovation Campus. The company will move 400 employees and vacate thousands of square feet in Old Town.

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