A new exhibit that looks at Kansas' relationship to one of its most vital resources opens at Exploration Place tomorrow.

The Big Splash will show visitors the inner workings of an aquifer, as well as where our water comes from, and how it’s used.

Most of Kansas’ water resources are underground: It's one of 8 states that sits on top of the High Plains Aquifer. But that source is rapidly being depleted.

Courtesy photo

Wichita Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build gets underway on Friday. It’s is an annual event in which women build a house for a family.

Construction gets underway near 12th and Green in Wichita's A. Price Woodard neighborhood with a wall-raising ceremony. This will be the 13th home built by women for the organization.

Spokeswoman Kathy Lefler says women don’t need to have any construction skills or experience; they’ll learn everything they need on site.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Zoo is losing its longtime director. 

Executive Director Mark Reed came to the zoo in Wichita in 1979 for what was supposed to be a short stint as assistant director before moving on to another zoo.

Instead, he stayed 11 years and then was promoted to director, and he never left.

When he retires on Dec. 31, Reed will have spent 37 years at the zoo.

"I look at all zoos as a reflection of the community, and this community loves the zoo," Reed says. "It’s been a great time here doing something for this community."

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The Wichita Fire Department celebrates 130 years today.

Sgt. Stuart Bevis says Wichita Fire gets between 60,000 and 70,000 calls a year, although only about 2,000 of those are for actual fires. The rest are medical calls the department responds to alongside Emergency Management Services.

“All of those calls take resources from us," Bevis says. "Even if we may have a little bit of a down-drop where we only have a few significant fires in a few days, there’s always plenty of other things that are keeping us really hopping.”

Courtesy Sedgwick County Zoo

The Sedgwick County Zoo's newborn gorilla made her public debut this week.

The unnamed 2-week-old female and her mother, Barika, were in the Downing Gorilla Forest dayroom for the first time Wednesday, the zoo announced. The baby is the first gorilla born at the zoo, and the first for parents Barika, 23, and Matt, 15.

Other family members met the baby for the first time.

"Matt continues to be attentive and protective, while Kigali is curious and Kivu is intrigued by the new little one," the zoo wrote in a press release.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The Wichita Animal Control Advisory Board is considering new policies--and asking the city for more support--after more than 100 people came out to a meeting Wednesday in order to voice concerns about the Wichita Animal Shelter.

Wichita Police Department / Facebook

Following backlash from local animal rescue groups, the Wichita Police Department has revoked part of a new policy and will continue to allow visitors to take photographs of animals in the city’s shelter.

On Friday, it was announced that the animals could no longer be photographed, recorded on video or given treats.


Red Cross volunteers from the Wichita area are headed to Louisiana to help with flood relief efforts.

The American Red Cross office based in Wichita is sending at least five people to Baton Rouge to help with the recovery from recent floods. The volunteers will take an Emergency Response Vehicle to help with distributing food and disaster relief supplies.

Michelle Jantz, executive director of the Red Cross serving central and southeast Kansas, says the group could be working in Louisiana for at least two weeks.

City of Wichita

The Kansas Humane Society has broken its record for the number of animals adopted in a single year.

With kittens and puppies in hand, employees of the Kansas Humane Society in Wichita were proud to announce at a press conference at City Hall that their organization had a record year in terms of how many pets they rescued and placed in homes.

Neighborhood Night Out

Neighborhoods across Wichita will take part in events Tuesday as part of a national community safety initiative.

Neighborhood Night Out is a chance for Wichitans to get to know their neighbors as a way to promote community safety and combat crime. The initiative, formerly known in Wichita as National Night Out and Celebrate Safe Communities, takes place all across the country.