Carla Eckels

Director of Cultural Diversity, news & engagement | 'Soulsations' Music Host

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for news and engagement at KMUW.  She's been an award-winning announcer/news producer for KMUW 89.1FM, Wichita Public Radio for 21 years. Carla also produces a R&B and gospel show Soulsations, Sunday nights at 6 on KMUW.  She also hosted Joyful Sounds, a Sunday morning gospel radio show on Q92FM.  Prior to KMUW, she was the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition at WYSO public radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio and co-hosted a nationally syndicated Gospel Countdown Radio show in Cincinnati. Carla also was program director for KIBN, 90.7 The Inspirational Black Network in Wichita. 

In January 2018, she was honored with the Drum Major Award at Wichita State University's MLK Unity Walk.   In April 2016, WSU presented Carla with the exclusive honor of the Wayne Carlisle Distinguished Service Award, The Carlisle Award is presented to an unclassified professional who models the standard of extraordinary service exhibited by the late Wayne Carlisle.

Carla has reported on national news stories such as the Hesston Shootings, BTK serial killer case, Roeder trial, Greensburg tornadoes and the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in for NPR.  The Dockum feature was the number one listened to story on KMUW’s website in 2007.

Aileen LeBlanc and Carla Eckels have been awarded a prestigious national 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for their news feature looking at the return of ant-abortion demonstrations to Wichita. Eckels is the recipient of two Edward R. Murrow regional awards for her reporting including a 2015 award for her story on Shockers Men's Basketball: A Candid Look. Carla also won a Public Service Announcement, 2nd place: “A Wichita Basketball Coach Overcomes Depression” in 2017 and a 1st place Kansas Association of Broadcasting award in 2015  for her story on Bipolar Disorder and 2nd place for DJ Personality Aircheck for Soulsations.  Carla has annually emceed the Wichita River Festival and Black Arts Festival gospel music segments.

From 2004 to 2007, Carla hosted the number one gospel radio show on KSJM 107.9 JAMZ. She is the recipient of the Best Disc Jockey award voted on by subscribers of The Community Voice Newspaper.

Carla is a graduate of Wichita State University with a degree in communications. Her greatest joy is her family. She is married to Wichita and WSU Football Hall-of-Famer, Reuben Eckels and they have two children.

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Kevin Harbor / Flickr

With the recent snowfall, the Wichita Postmaster is reminding customers to clear and maintain a safe, accessible path to mailboxes as soon as possible after it snows.

Wichita Postmaster Evie Tan-Todd says winter storms make mail delivery challenging for letter carriers. She says clearing a path to your mailbox will help to keep letter carriers safe and ensure mail delivery each day. Postal customers who receive door mail delivery should keep their sidewalks, steps, and access ways clear of snow and ice.

Foulston Siefkin LLP

The Wichita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to amend an agreement for a major apartment structure to be built in downtown Wichita. The change allows the Exchange Place Project to move forward.

Changes include a new developer for the Exchange Place project - John McWilliams, President of Talos Holdings out of Park City, Utah, will replace Minnesota developers.

McWilliams has a proven record with financed projects through HUD, US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Carla Eckels

Thousands of families in Wichita will have a brighter Christmas this year due to donations to the Salvation Army.

At the former Big Dog Motorcycle building Monday volunteers helped sort through toys to be distributed later this week.

Two hundred sixty two students, faculty and staff from Friends University helped the Salvation Army prepare to distribute gifts to children donated through the Angel Tree program. Major Douglas Rowland says each year, the volunteers decorate the building, plus organize and assemble some of the toys.

Lisa Dusseault / Flickr

The Wichita Fire Department reminds residents to be aware of potential fire hazards with Christmas trees and decorative lighting during this holiday season. Last week, a candle fire in south Wichita damaged a home and claimed the life of a family pet.

Bob Thompson is the Wichita Fire Department's Chief Prevention Officer, he says the candle was burning too close to a Christmas tree.

"As a result, the tree was ignited by the candle, the family was displaced and they lost a pet," he says.

Michael O'Donell

The Wichita City Council is working through the process to temporarily fill the District 4 council seat soon to be vacated by Michael O'Donnell.

The council declared a notice of vacancy Tuesday due to O'Donnell's resignation, effective December 31. O'Donnell was elected state senator of District 25 in Wichita last month.

The City of Wichita's director of law, Gary Rebenstorf, outlined the procedure for filling the vacancy.

Ulrich Museum / Wichita State University

Friday marks the centennial of the birth of photographer, composer, filmmaker and author Gordon Parks.

Celebrations have been held across the country in his honor, including several events at Wichita State University. Parks' third wife, Genevieve Young, spoke Thursday at Wichita State, which houses Parks' personal papers.

Young was former senior editor at Little Brown and Company and vice president of Bantam Books. She edited Gordon Parks' writings.

The Wichita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve water and sewer rate increases effective next year.

On January 1, Wichita's residential customers will see their monthly bills increase $1.19 to $7.74 depending on how much water they use. Commercial and industrial customers will see a rate hike of around 7 percent.

Alan King, Director of Public Works and Utilities says the water rates will insure a level of funding for proper renewal and replacement of aging water mains.

Andy Rusch / Flickr

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers approved a five-year contract deal with Bombardier Learjet in Wichita over the weekend.

Machinists Union spokesman Bob Wood said people will be returning to work at the Wichita plan Monday. Wood described Saturday's offering as a "substantial improvement" over the proposal that prompted the October 8 walkout.

A premiere of the film Harvesting the High Plains will take place Friday at Wichita's Orpheum Theatre.

The film takes western Kansas from the 1930's Dustbowl to post World War II and was inspired by a book of the same name written by the late Craig Miner, former Wichita State professor and Kansas historian.

Director Jay Kriss says the film is a story about a farming operation that started in the middle of the Dustbowl but basically turned the American desert into the breadbasket of the world.

Carla Eckels

Republican Mike Pompeo beat out both Democrat Robert Tillman and Libertarian candidate Thomas Jefferson.  Tillman who served the state for 24 years says he desired to continue serving Kansas as a United States Congressman, but now will look to other things.

"The whole world is open to me," says Tillman. "I still have a chance to decide what I'm going to do. I'm a retired Kansas Supreme Court Services officer, I retired in 2008 so I'll go back right into retirement and then I'll regroup."

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