Sean Sandefur


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

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Update from AP on 03/18/16 at 2:54 p.m: 

A federal judge has set a May trial date for the woman accused of giving her former boyfriend the guns used in last month's mass shooting at a Kansas lawn equipment factory.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren issued on Thursday a scheduling order in the case of 28-year-old Sarah Jo Hopkins, setting May 3 for her trial. The Newton woman has pleaded not guilty to transferring weapons to a prohibited person.

City of Wichita

Those driving around Wichita might notice a unique bus over the next year. In recognition of Black History Month, Wichita Transit has devoted one of its vehicles to the memory of civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

A vinyl graphic has been wrapped around a transit bus in the style of 1955 Montgomery, Alabama.

With green, yellow and white stripes, it’s meant to mimic the bus in which Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat to a white passenger.

Hugo Phan

Wichita State University students can look forward to having food trucks on campus. The university has announced they’re building an outdoor space dedicated to mobile restaurants.

The “Food Truck Plaza” should be completed by June, and will be located on the new Innovation Campus, a massive addition to the university that’s being built on the former Braeburn Golf Course.

The space will include four vendor stalls and a dining area with lighting and tables. A total of 12 food trucks are already signed up to participate.

Tony Webster / Flickr Creative Commons

Wichita City Council members are considering an ordinance that looks to end human trafficking and sex crimes within local massage parlors.

The Wichita Police Department reports that there have been more than 30 massage businesses investigated in the last two years, which have produced 33 arrests for human trafficking and other sex crimes.

Kansas is one of only five states where a license isn’t required to operate a massage business. Captain Kevin Mears of the Wichita Police Department says this lack of regulation is enticing to human traffickers.

Sean Sandefur

Anyone flying certain unmanned aircraft systems must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration beginning Saturday.

The registration applies to UAS, often called drones, that weigh between .55 and 55 pounds.

Any drones heavier than 55 pounds require a separate aircraft registration.

donkeyhotey / Flickr / Creative Commons

Kansas hasn’t held a presidential primary election since 1992. State officials say the estimated $2 million price tag is just too high. Instead, Republicans and Democrats across the state gather in convention centers, schools and churches for caucuses. Ahead of the March 5 caucuses, KMUW’s Sean Sandefur explains how this complicated system works.

A $70 million real estate development that would include retail space and a retirement community could be coming to Newton.

Occidental Management, the same company that is renovating Wichita’s Union Station, currently has plans for an 80-acre development along Kansas Street in south Newton.

It would include two 60,000-square-foot spaces for big-box stores, smaller storefronts for retail and restaurants and a senior living center.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

A weekly meeting about startups and entrepreneurs had its first event in Old Town this morning.

Dozens of people packed into Wichita State University’s new Old Town location for an initiative called 1 Million Cups, a program started in Kansas City that has spread to 77 cities across the U.S.

The idea behind 1 Million Cups is providing “a supportive, neutral space welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face.”

The City of Wichita is applying for nearly $1 million in federal grants that would go toward services for low-income individuals.

The city is asking for $943,594 in Community Service Block Grants, which are provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.

Nearly half of the funding would go toward the Wichita Sedgwick County Community Action Partnership, which helps families living in public or Section 8 housing.

A bill that opponents say infringes on patient and doctor relationships will be heard in the Kansas Senate.

The practice is called step therapy, which requires patients to try older and often generic medications before doctors can prescribe newer and more expensive ones.

Senate Bill 341 would require it for KanCare recipients.

Proponents say it can save the state’s Medicaid program money, and protect patients from newer medications that might have unknown side effects.