Top Stories

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Wichita's Spanish Speakers Getting Out The Vote

There are nearly 70,000 Spanish-speaking people living in Wichita, many who could head to the polls next month. As the midterm elections draw near, more Spanish speakers are being made aware of the election process and learning about who is running for office. A group of Hispanic women recently participated in a Spanish voter training session at Wichita’s Peace and Social Justice Center to help with that effort.

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Sedgwick County

An investigation into Sedgwick County leadership is on hold for now.

Sedgwick County Commission Chairman David Dennis gave an update at Wednesday's meeting.

The commissioners are hiring outside legal counsel instead of using the county’s attorney, Eric Yost, to look into personnel problems.

Dennis says he had a limited meeting with a lawyer this week because commissioners still need to decide a scope and mission for the investigation.

That work stalled because Dennis wasn’t able to get a quorum for meetings.

President Donald Trump’s administration will “unleash the power of E15,” allowing the 15 percent gasoline-ethanol blend to be sold year-round.

The announcement, made public this week at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is being welcomed by corn growers and biofuel groups. But it may take longer for farmers like Kelly Nieuwenhuis of Primghar, Iowa, to feel the positive impact of E15 than they would like.

Kansas City and St. Louis have some of the worst-rated nursing homes in the country, while Topeka, Overland Park and Wichita have some of the best.

That’s according to rankings published by FamilyAssets, a New York-based company that offers assessments and planning for people seeking home health care services.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas schools are still struggling to hire teachers.

There are more than 600 vacant teaching positions in Kansas, nearly 100 more than in the fall of 2017. Special education and elementary positions have the largest number of vacancies.

The Kansas State Board of Education received the update on Tuesday from the Teacher Vacancy and Supply Committee. The main reason for the open positions is a lack of applicants or qualified applicants.

Tex Texin / flickr Creative Commons

Following a murder-suicide this weekend in Derby, the Wichita Family Crisis Center is calling for strengthened support in eliminating domestic violence in the community.

Domestic violence is prevalent in Kansas, according to the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. Nearly 13 percent of homicides in Kansas in 2016 were related to domestic violence.

And it appears to be increasing: The Crisis Center said it has had a growing number of requests for help.

Mark Statzer / KMUW

The five candidates for Kansas governor faced off at a forum Tuesday night in Wichita.

It was a rare opportunity for independent Rick Kloos and Libertarian Jeff Caldwell to share a stage with the three major candidates — Republican Kris Kobach, Democrat Laura Kelly and independent Greg Orman.

In the final month before the November elections, Republicans and some Democrats are asking: where is Sharice Davids?

Davids, a Democratic newcomer, seems to be leading the race against Republican incumbent Congressman Kevin Yoder in the 3rd District of Kansas.

The federal government recently tore up Debbie and Tony Morrison’s front yard in the small southeast Kansas town of Caney.

And the two are happy about it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came in, scraped away contaminated dirt, replaced it with clean soil and spread sod on top.

“It actually looks very good,” Morrison said. “After they put the new grass in, they came down and they faithfully watered and cared for it continually until they felt like it had taken hold.”

Dan Moyle / flickr Creative Commons

Home prices in Wichita should increase nearly 5 percent next year, according to a new forecast released today by the  WSU Center for Real Estate.

Home sales should grow as well. More than 10,000 homes are expected to be sold in the city in 2019, an increase of 1.4 percent.

Stan Longhofer, director of the center at Wichita State University, said the report is not all positive. The forecast projected another down year for new home construction.

Take a look at the Kansas budget and one item looms large, eating up more state spending than anything else.

Schools swallow about $4.5 billion. That spending rose after an infusion of cash by lawmakers earlier this year in response to a court ruling in a long-running fight over whether state government does enough to support public education.

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Commentary & Podcasts

A Musical Life: Ryan Benton

Ryan Benton is the primary composer in the band Sunshine Dreamers. The band’s latest album is Stand Still .

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My Fellow Kansans: The latest episode

My Fellow Kansans: The Rise — And Fall — Of Sam Brownback

Before he was governor, Sam Brownback had been state agriculture secretary, congressman, and U.S. senator. But when he captured the state’s top office in 2010 he had even bigger plans: to transform Kansas into a red-state model for the nation. That’s not the way things panned out.

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KMUW Music

Sunday, October 14

Sunday on Soulsations we'll hear from a member of the long time popular gospel group "The Winans" who has launched his solo career. Multi-Grammy Award winner Carvin Winans released his new single "Once In A Lifetime." The love song is from his upcoming 2019 album The Softest Way.

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Tuesday, October 16

Serving as the soundtrack to the new documentary about Joan Jett, Bad Reputation, the film’s soundtrack arrives with a new song from Jett and her band the Blackhearts as well as guest appearances from members of the Sex Pistols, Bikini Kill and a new cover of The Replacements’ classic “Androgynous” featuring Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and Miley Cyrus. Listen for selections from that release as well as new music from Cursive’s first album in six years, Vitriola.

Wednesday, October 17

Fair Enough is the latest from Seattle Band Minus The Bear. The EP maintains the group’s trademark use of electronics and futuristic sounds and recalls some of the band’s earliest work. We’ll hear selections from it as well as from Tokyo Police Club, TPC.

Thursday, October 18

C'est La Vie is the first album from Phosphorescent in five years and highlights the experiences of founding member Matthew Houck in that time, which included leaving New York City for Nashville, becoming a father and nearly dying from a life-threatening illness. We’ll hear music from that effort as well as song from Different Windows, the new effort from Smokey Delights.

Friday, October 19

Years In The Making is a new collection from singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III featuring previously unheard studio material, live radio performances and demo recordings. Listen for selections from that release as well as music from Rachel Eckroth’s When It Falls.

Saturday, October 20

Loving The Alien (1983-1988) is a new boxed set from David Bowie which spans from re-emergence into the pop world with 1983’s Let’s Dance and also includes a new production of his 1987 effort Never Let Me Down featuring longtime collaborators such as Reeves Gabrels (guitar) and Sterling Campbell (drums). We’ll hear music from across that box on this episode as well as selections from Wanderer, the latest by Cat Power.

Monday, October 22

Listen for selections from Poor Until Payday, the latest by The Reverent Peyton’s Big Damn Band as well as selections from Iron and Wine’s new EP, Weed Garden.

October 12/14

Crossroads kicks off the October feature celebrating the 70th birthday of guitarist, songwriter and producer Duke Robillard with music he did on the debut album from Roomful of Blues and from one of a couple of releases he did with jazz guitar legend Herb Ellis.

Plus birthday salutes to R&B pioneer Jimmy Liggins and Louisiana bluesman Kenny Neal (including a special featuring Neal in hour two of the show), regional blues concert previews, and the latest from Marcia Ball, Nick Moss, Mike Zito, Bernard Allison and Anthony Geraci.

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Tuesday, October 9

Well Kept Thing is the latest release from post-rock outfit Foxhole. Twelve years in the making, this new effort chronicles changes in the members’ lives as they grew into their adults selves and became as a coffee shop owner, a farmer and commercial fisherman, a creative director, an admission to MIT’s Media Lab. Listen for music from that release as well songs from the band Sonna.

Wednesday, October 10

Released in 2002, Fashionably Late was Linda Thompson’s first solo recording in 17 years. Aided by her son Teddy and a host of other players, the record returned the English vocalist to the spotlight. We’ll hear music from that effort as well as from Plays Well With Others, a new boxed set chronicling Phil Collins’ time as a guest musician and producer with a range of artists including John Martyn, Robert Plant, David Crosby and Brand X.

Thursday, October 11

Pour Down Like Silver was the fourth album from Richard and Linda Thompson, recorded not long after the couple had adopted the Sufi faith. We’ll hear selections from that as well as from The Who’s 1975 effort, The Who By Numbers.

Friday, October 12

Listen for selections from Teddy Thompson’s 2011 release, Bella, as well as selections from Lindsey Buckingham’s new Solo Anthology.

Saturday, October 13

We’ll hear selections from Other Arrangements by singer-songwriter Parker Milsap as well as selections from Crowded House’s 1988 effort, Temple of Low Men.

Monday, October 15

Released in 2010 Midnight Souvenirs was the seventh solo release from J. Geils Band vocalist Peter Wolf. The record features guest appearances from Merle Haggard, Shelby Lynne and Neko Case. We’ll hear selections from it as well as from the 1974 effort from the J. Geils Band, Nightmares...and Other Tales from the Vinyl Jungle.

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Sunday, October 7

Sunday on Soulsations, new music by Anthony David.  The singer/songwriter’s release is called Hello Like Before, a tribute album to the legendary Bill Withers. David says, “In many ways Bill Withers is the artist most influential to my music career."

Noteworthy

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas Schools Having Increasingly Difficult Time Finding Teachers

Kansas schools are still struggling to hire teachers. There are more than 600 vacant teaching positions in Kansas, nearly 100 more than in the fall of 2017. Special education and elementary positions have the largest number of vacancies. The Kansas State Board of Education received the update on Tuesday from the Teacher Vacancy and Supply Committee. The main reason for the open positions is a lack of applicants or qualified applicants. The committee also hinted that the vacancy numbers could...

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