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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Community
4:30 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Manhattan's Little Apple New Year's Eve Celebration

The Little Apple New Year's Eve celebration in Manhattan, Kansas
Credit Aggieville

 

Manhattan, Kansas will hold its 13th Annual Little Apple New Year’s Eve celebration on Wednesday night. The city is estimating up to 10,000 people will flood the streets of the Aggieville entertainment district. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

 

Bars, restaurants and even movie theaters across the country are gearing up for the stroke of midnight. It’s estimated that 190 million Americans will watch the ball drop in the Big Apple. But, if that’s not your style, there’s also the Little Apple.

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Economy
4:42 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Rates Of Homeless Kansas Public School Students Still On The Rise

Credit aptmetaphor / Flickr

 

The number of homeless students in Kansas public schools continued an upward trend during the 2013-2014 school year, according to a report issued by the Kansas Department of Education. The problem is seen in 155 school districts. 

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Environment
4:46 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Response To West Wichita Groundwater Contamination Winding Down

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

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced on Monday they’ve completed the bulk of their work to address groundwater contamination found in West Wichita. 

KDHE first notified residents back in March that their private water wells were contaminated by a large plume of tetrachloroethylene—or PCE—a likely carcinogen. The organization has since spent over $2.5 million connecting 197 homes to city water lines. 

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Community
11:42 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Volunteers: Impactful, Diverse And In Demand

Volunteers Michael Scott, left, and Jim Salter each spend as much time at United Methodist Open Door's food bank as they can
Credit Sean Sandefur

A recent report from the Corporation for National and Community Service ranked Kansas fourth in the country for volunteering. It’s estimated that 36 percent of the state’s population volunteers on a regular basis. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur visited an organization in Wichita that couldn’t do their work without them, and reports that no matter the ranking, more are always needed.

The Food Bank for the United Methodist Open Door sits at the corner of North Mosley and E 15th street in Wichita.

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Community
1:46 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Local Cuban-American Critical Of U.S. Agreement With The Communist Country

Lucinda and Dr. Manuel Alfonso
Credit Sean Sandefur

President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. will form diplomatic relations and open an embassy in communist-led Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years.

Cuban immigrants across the United States have expressed mixed feelings about the decision, including a long-time resident of Wichita. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports…

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Agriculture
5:00 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Beef Prices Predicted To Hit Ceiling, But Business Is Still Booming

Friona Industries President and CEO James Herring speaks to a crowd at the Kansas Livestock Association's annual conference
Credit Sean Sandefur

Last week, hundreds of people gathered in Wichita to talk cattle. The Kansas Livestock Association held its annual convention at the Hyatt Regency and Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur attended and reports that while the nation’s cow populations are still low, business is better than ever.

The large convention hall inside Century II is filled with big tractors, big cowboy hats and the smell of BBQ beef brisket. If you’re in the cattle business, this is the place to learn the newest trends in bovine technology.

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Government
5:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Follow-Up Meeting Held In Wichita Over Police And Community Relations

Ida Allen, whose brother was shot and killed by a Wichita police officer in July, addresses city officials at a forum on Wednesday night. From left, Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley, Mayor Carl Brewer and City Manager Bob Layton. Also onstage were Pastor Junius Dotson of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and Pastor Kevass Harding of Dellrose United Methodist Church
Credit Sean Sandefur

 

The City of Wichita held a second meeting on police and community relations on Wednesday night. The meeting was held at the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center. 

The turnout was smaller and the tone less agitated than the first meeting held back in August.

City officials described Wednesday night as a progress report. 

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Government
4:41 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Wichita City Council Approves Water And Sewer Rate Increases For 2015

Credit City of Wichita

The Wichita City Council have approved water and sewer rate increases for 2015. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the decision will hit industrial users the hardest.

In a 4-2 vote, rate increases proposed by Wichita Public Works and Utilities were finalized.

Residential users can expect a combined 4 to 6 percent increase, depending on use, which translates to about $2—$5 a month.

The largest industrial users, such as Spirit Aerosystems, can expect increases of about 6.3 percent, or just over $3,000 a month.

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Community
4:45 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

After Nearly 50 Years, WSU's Wheatshocker Apartments Fall

Wichita State University's Wheatshocker apartments mid-demolition
Sean Sandefur

Final demolition of Wichita State University’s Wheatshocker Apartments started Monday morning. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the six-story building along 17th street has housed students for decades.

    

The Wheatshocker Apartments have seen wave after wave of students since 1965. On Monday, a wrecking ball chipped away section after section. Big chunks collapsed in clouds of dust and flying concrete.

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Community
8:08 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Protesters: It's Not Just Ferguson, It's Wichita, Too

Protesters stand at the corner of 21st St. and Hillside in Wichita
Credit Sean Sandefur

Protesters spoke out against the recent grand jury decisions in both Staten Island, New York and Ferguson, Missouri—two communities affected by officer-involved killings. 

The two incidents, which occurred nearly 1,000 miles away from one another, will forever be linked by nationwide protesting over decisions not to indict the officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. 

Reverand Martin Grizzell stands with other protesters near Wichita State University. He holds a sign that reads, “America Practices Segregation, But Preaches Integration.” 

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