Nadya Faulx

The unsung heroes of many zoos across the country are the men and women who are there day and night, during snowstorms and heat advisories. Zookeepers are part caregiver, part trainer and part housekeeper for thousands of different kinds of animals. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur got a behind-the-scenes look at the Sedgwick County Zoo in time for National Zookeeper Week.

Abigail Wilson

The Kansas Health Foundation has awarded two Wichita State University groups a grant of $250,000. The funds are part of a program that aims to help Kansas residents develop plans to improve their communities. 

The grant will be used by the Shocker Neighborhood Coalition to improve safety and quality of life in neighborhoods surrounding Wichita State. The Fairmount neighborhood, an area south of campus with historical significance to the university, is first on the list.

Courtesy Real Men, Real Heroes Facebook

This piece originally aired July 20, 2015, during All Things Considered.

A former Wichita police chief and a long-time pastor will receive special awards tonight as part of the Real Men, Real Heroes annual recognition banquet.

Real Men, Real Heroes is an organization that provides positive role models for African-American boys. More than half of black children in America live without a father in the home.

Stephen Melkisethian, flickr Creative Commons

This piece originally aired July 15, 2015, during All Things Considered.

A peaceful vigil to remember the nine church members gunned down in South Carolina and to promote gun safety will be held in Wichita’s Old Town Friday.

The Rising for Charleston vigil will take place one month after the massacre where nine African Americans were murdered in a South Carolina African Methodist Episcopal church. Victims will be honored with the ringing of a bell and the recitation of their names.

Carla Eckels

An earlier version of this piece originally aired July 14, 2015, during All Things Considered.

The fate of several of Wichita's swimming pools will be decided with the help of local residents.

The city will decide how to spend $18 million on its aquatics plan over the next decade. The money comes from its Capital Improvement Program fund.

Sheinelle Jones Facebook

It’s been eight months since Sheinelle Jones joined the weekend team at the "Today" show. The news anchor recently traveled back to her hometown of Wichita--on her first weekend off from the network-- to speak at the Alpha Kappa Alpha 80th anniversary banquet. KMUW’s Carla Eckels talks with Jones about her journalistic beginnings, which lead to her high-profile life at NBC in New York.

Hugo Phan

The opening of a “pop-up park” in downtown Wichita could be pushed back to September.

For a while, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was saying it was going to be pretty difficult to start offering benefits to same-sex couples who worked for the state following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

It took a few days, but the state finally started granting gay and lesbian couples benefits. But local governments have been quietly offering same-sex benefits for some time.

Hugo Phan

In June, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that an historical female figure would be pictured on the $10 bill. The bill is being changed to address potential security threats to currency notes. A group in Argonia, Kansas, is working to nominate a woman named Susanna Madora Salter.

Kathryn Decker, flickr Creative Commons

Members of the community group Sunflower Community Action have worked with Wichita city councilwoman LaVonta Williams over the past year to "Ban the Box."

The initiative was created to get employers to no longer require that applicants check a box if they have been convicted of a felony on public sector job applications.

The City of Wichita adopted this policy on Thursday.