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.

Pages

Government
5:19 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Johnson County Judge Allows Same-Sex Marriage Licenses To Be Issued

Credit Lars Lundqvist / Flickr

 

After Monday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to turn away same-sex marriage appeals in five states, which looked to make the unions illegal, a judge in Kansas is now allowing same-sex marriage licenses to be issued. 

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Community
5:30 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Wichita's Union Station Closer To Occupancy

Credit Sean Sandefur

  Wichita’s old Union Station took one step closer to having new tenants. The building, which was dedicated in 1914, has been vacant since 2007. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has the story…

Wichita City Council members approved a Tax Increment Financing District for a property along Douglas St. that contains Union Station and other historic buildings.

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Government
5:33 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Supreme Court Announcement Could Legalize Same-Sex Marriage In Kansas

Credit Flickr Creative Commons

  The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday morning that they would not move forward with same-sex marriage appeals in five states, which looked to make the unions illegal. The decision allows same-sex couples to begin applying for marriage licenses in their state. It could also mean same-sex marriage is coming to Kansas.

 Back in June, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down bans on same-sex marriage in both Utah and Oklahoma. Appeals brought before the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse those rulings were turned away, effectively making same-sex marriage legal in those states.

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Crime and Courts
5:00 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Hours, Days, Decades: Capital Punishment In And Out Of Kansas

Credit Rennett Stowe / Flickr

The State of Kansas hasn’t executed an inmate since 1965, despite capital punishment being legal in the state and nine men currently sitting on death row. This story takes a look at why that is, as well as the story of Curtis McCarty, an Oklahoma man who was exonerated after spending 21 years in prison, the majority of those years on death row. He spoke about his life in prison at Wichita State University last week.

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Education
3:01 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

WSU Receives Donation, Creates First Endowed Chair For Innovation Campus

An aerial rendering of Wichita State University's strategic plan, which includes over a dozen new buildings over the next 20 years.
Credit Wichita State University

 

Wichita State University announced a significant donation on Thursday morning that will be used for their proposed Innovation Campus, a massive expansion that is slated to be built over Braeburn Golf Course.

The Sam and Rie Bloomfield Foundation’s gift of $2.5 million will help create the first endowed chair for Innovation Campus.

The Sam Bloomfield Chair in Innovation Engineering is meant to help technology grow in the local and regional economies.

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Health
9:00 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

From Wichita To Liberia, A Local Effort To Curb Ebola Epidemic

A fully-functioning clinic is displayed at Clinic in a Can in Wichita
Sean Sandefur

Original Air Date 9-29-14

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now claimed the lives of close to 3,000 people. The Center for Disease Control estimates that rates of infection will eclipse a million people by January of next year. A Wichita organization that turns shipping containers into medical clinics is trying to do its part to help keep those numbers from growing. 

 

Matt Hamer of Clinic in a Can unlatches the doors of what, on the outside, appears to be a pearly white shipping container.

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Crime and Courts
4:18 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Bomb Threat Shuts Down Area Of Newton

Credit Jason Rojas / Flickr

 

A suspicious package and a bomb threat shut down an area of Newton on Monday morning. The contents of a package were inspected by the Wichita Police Department. 

According to the Newton Police Department, the threat was called in at approximately 8:30 a.m. The caller mentioned a package located near the Harvey County Community Corrections center. The Wichita Police Department deployed its bomb squad and inspected the suspicious package. Newton Deputy Chief of Police Eric Murphy says the package contained elements of a bomb.

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Crime and Courts
8:43 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Event Reveals Body Cameras Coming To All Wichita Police Officers

About a hundred people gathered at St. Mark United Methodist in Wichita on Wednesday night to pray for peace in communities across the country. The event carried the same "No Ferguson Here" theme established at Wichita East High School last month.
Credit Sean Sandefur

A public discussion was held in Wichita last month called "No Ferguson Here." It was a local response to the shooting of an unarmed young black man in Ferguson Missouri. Wichita City officials and community members came together to discuss racial tensions in their own communities. Wednesday night, that discussion continued with a program of music and prayer at St. Mark United Methodist Church. 

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Government
5:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Sales Tax Referendum: A Conversation With Wichita City Manager Bob Layton

A one-cent sales tax for the city of Wichita will be brought before voters in this November’s election. The tax would last five years and bring in roughly $400 million dollars. The bulk of that would be used for long-term drought protection and job creation, with Wichita Transit and street improvements sharing about $70 million. 

    

KMUW’s Sean Sandefur sat down with Wichita City Manager Bob Layton to better understand this proposed sales tax.

Why were these four areas chosen?

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Government
4:55 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Sedgwick County Approves $5.3 Million For Elephant 'Barn'

Credit Travel KS / Flickr

After a discussion that lasted nearly an hour, the Sedgwick County Commission agreed to help fund a new, roughly $10 million elephant "barn" at Sedgwick County Zoo--their contribution being $5.3 million.

An expansion is needed after new standards from The Association of Zoos and Aquariums stated that facilities must have at least three elephants, or none at all. The Sedgwick County Zoo currently has room for only two.

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