Abigail Wilson / KMUW/File photo

The Kansas Sheriffs Association announced this week that Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton has been named the 2016 Kansas Sheriff of the Year. He was nominated in part because of his "courage and professionalism" in the wake of a mass shooting in Hesston.

Sheriff Walton was thrust into the limelight in February following a shooting at Excel Industries. Four people, including gunman Cedric Ford, were killed. The shooting brought in national media and shook the tight community of Hesston. Walton lead law enforcement through the emergency.

Daniel Cima/American Red Cross Facebook

Local volunteers from the Red Cross are answering the call to help people across four states who were affected by Hurricane Matthew.

As of Monday morning, 37 volunteers from the Kansas, Nebraska, and southwest Iowa region were heading the East coast to provide assistance. Ten of the 37 are from the South Central and Southeast Kansas Chapter.

The responders will be working to help distribute relief supplies and health services, among other things.

Ark Valley Fire Buff / Flickr

The Wichita Police Department has received a federal grant from the Department of Justice to hire more community policing officers.

The community policing Grant worth $875,000 will go toward hiring six new WPD officers and one supervisor.

Chief Gordon Ramsay says the officers will focus on problem locations along the Broadway corridor, particularly around motels and commercial areas there.

A new Emergency Medical Service station is being built in southeast Wichita.

As KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports, it’s the first of two new EMS posts that are coming to Sedgwick County.

The Southeast EMS station will be located near South Oliver and 47th Street. Construction on an EMS post in northeast Wichita is expected to begin next year.

The county’s Chief Financial Officer Chris Chronis says they have earmarked about $4 million for the two new stations.

In less than a month, four domestic violence homicides occurred in Wichita, two of which were murder-suicides. StepStone, a two-year transitional housing program for survivors, was awarded a $25,000 grant to help end domestic violence.

Program director Dung Kimble says the grant will be used to facilitate three national speakers as well as implement local training for law enforcement.

Courtesy Wichita Public Library/GLMV Architects

The Wichita Public Library Foundation has received a $100,000 gift from John Hyde, grandson of a Wichitan who invented mentholatum ointment.

The funds will go towards the campaign to build Wichita’s new Advanced Learning Library.

John Hyde serves on the foundation's board of directors and is Professor Emeritus of History at Williams College in Massachusetts. Hyde says he believes in supporting a project that invests in the knowledge of the community and the preservation of its history.

Abigial Beckman / KMUW

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay has been in the limelight a lot during his eight months on the job. Ramsay is committed to being a visible, responsive and involved leader addressing concerns and challenges head-on. KMUW’s Abigail Beckman spoke with Ramsay and has this sound portrait in which the chief shares his candid thoughts on the direction he’s leading the department as well as the issues facing policing today.

Thank you for being a sustaining donor to KMUW. Your monthly payments and your loyalty keep this station healthy.  

We have a new project in the works. We're recording our sustaining members reading the hourly station identification statement. We'd like to record you reading our "top of the hour liner."  Your voice and those of other sustainers will be part of our on-the-air identity. Here's an example:

Recording will take about five minutes and we'll give you a tour of our new station while you're here!

Radek Szuban / flickr Creative Commons

Fall may have just started, but the Wichita Fire Department is urging residents to start prepping their houses for "home heating season."

Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell says the department typically sees an increase in house fires during the winter months when people start using their heating systems. There have already been four fatal house fires in Wichita this year, he says: two caused by smoking, and two whose causes have yet to be determined.

Supporters and opponents of several proposed mergers among agricultural seed and chemical companies made their case to lawmakers in Washington Tuesday.

Executives from Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, Bayer and Syngenta argue the proposed new combinations are necessary to continue the research that leads to innovation. But Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, says the new pairings, including a Chinese state-owned company buying Syngenta, could have the opposite effect.