Sedgwick County

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

A group of health professionals is facing new challenges as it takes on work that used to be done by the Sedgwick County Health Department.

Health Alliance and its community partners are in the process of putting together a new Community Health Improvement Plan.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Health Department will continue to receive state and federal money to support its local health programs and services.

Sedgwick County Commissioners voted 5-to-0 Wednesday to accept a $1.9 million grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The grant is a longstanding funding source for county health department to carry out its mission to prevent disease and promote wellness in the community.

Health Department Director Adrienne Byrne-Lutz says the grant provides the foundation for several public health programs.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

The Wichita Bar Association recently hosted an event called Clean Slate Day where free legal help was offered to anyone looking to erase certain convictions--like traffic infractions, perjury, and misdemeanor crimes -- from their criminal records. The purpose was to help low-income people who are struggling with the cost of expunging such records.

Deborah Shaar

A group of health professionals is taking the lead on developing Sedgwick County’s next Community Health Improvement Plan.

The first step came on Friday when the group released the findings from health surveys conducted last year.

The Health Alliance group presented an overview of the results from health assessments completed by county residents and leaders of area health systems and agencies.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

A plan to reopen the Lake Afton Public Observatory is moving forward.

Wichita State University closed the 34-year old observatory last August as attendance had dipped in recent years. Ever since the Lake Afton Public Observatory closed, a local group of astronomers has been working to reopen the facility.

Gilber Stuart, Library of Congress

Before you head out tomorrow to try to see the new Gordon Parks exhibit at the Wichita Art Museum, remember: Many city and county facilities will be closed Monday in observance of President’s Day.

The following City of Wichita facilities and operations will be closed Monday:

Carla Eckels

A judge will hear arguments next month on the request to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a Wichita mathematician who is seeking to audit voting machine results after finding statistical anomalies in election counts.

A hearing has been set for Feb. 18 in Sedgwick County District Court.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

Sedgwick County lawmakers will hold a public forum Wednesday night in downtown Wichita. It’s an opportunity for residents to voice concerns and request action from the South Central Kansas Legislative Delegation.

State Rep. Gail Finney of Wichita says she expects the forum will include several topics, including the state budget, Medicaid expansion, mental health, school funding, Kansas Department of Transportation funding, medical marijuana and changes in sales tax.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett has blocked a second attempt to recall Commissioner Richard Ranzau.

The group Recall Ranzau submitted a second petition earlier this month after Bennett rejected a previous push to recall the Sedgwick County Commission chairman. In it, they state that as a public official, Ranzau has failed to support the state constitution and failed to act as a commissioner and as a board of health. 

Abengoa Bioenergy

A Sedgwick County ethanol plant has closed, leaving dozens of employees out of work.

Abengoa Bioenergy closed its plant in Colwich after the company filed for bankruptcy protection about two weeks ago.

About 20 to 30 people worked at the plant.

Colwich Mayor Terry Spexarth says losing the plant will have an impact on the city’s finances.