Evan Pflugradt

News Intern

Evan is a graduate student at Wichita State, pursuing his master’s in journalism after graduating from the Elliott School with a bachelor’s degree in 2017. He has enjoyed exploring Wichita since he moved to the city from Olathe, Kansas, in 2015.

He previously worked for The Sunflower, Wichita State’s student newspaper, in multiple capacities, including serving as the publication’s editor-in-chief, where his coverage ranged from campus news, sports, and opinion.

In his role interning at KMUW, Evan hopes to explore local news coverage in business and education. Evan has a passion for in-depth reporting, and aspires to have a career in reporting after he finishes school.

When he’s not at work, Evan enjoys following his favorite sports teams: the Green Bay Packers, the Kansas City Royals, and Wichita State Shocker basketball.

Ways to Connect

LaRissa Lawrie / KMUW

Sedgwick County saw an uptick in voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary election.

Overall, the county reported 66,536 ballots cast. It was the largest turnout for the county, dating back to the 2000 primary — the latest numbers are available from the Sedgwick County Election Office.

Prior to Tuesday, the 2010 primary had the largest number turnout, which drew 65,443 voters.

Tuesday’s primary drew 22.5 percent of registered Sedgwick County voters to the polls — higher than any primary since 2010, which drew 25.6 percent.

Jimmy Wayne, flickr Creative Commons

Wichita State University will expand its merchandise offering with the addition of a 2,800-square-foot retail location.

Shocker Store, formerly the University Bookstore, is opening a second location in late September on the university’s Innovation Campus.

The store will be located at Braeburn Square, a 20-acre mixed-use retail development near the intersection of 21st Street and Oliver on what was formerly Braeburn Golf Course.

Shocker Store is the second tenant, after Starbucks, to commit to Braeburn Square.

KMUW/File photo

A 3.65 percent raise would be in store for Wichita teachers under a tentative agreement between the Wichita Board of Education and the local teachers union.

The tentative agreement for the 2018-19 school year includes a compensation package valued at 4.85 percent.

This is the first time in years that the United Teachers of Wichita and the board have reached an agreement before the start of the school year. Last year’s negotiation extended into November.

Via Christi

Via Christi Hospital St. Francis is the first hospital to perform a minimally invasive heart valve treatment as part of a national clinical study.

The procedure will allow doctors to replace damaged mitral heart valves without open-heart surgery.

People with mitral regurgitation face a life-threatening disease in which blood flows backward into the left atrium of the heart. If left untreated, the disease can cause stroke, heart failure or death.

Kansas News Service/File Photo

The Kansas Department of Revenue has announced the end of the QFlow line management system used at Department of Motor Vehicles offices.

The system, which was used at seven locations, allowed for users to digitally check in on their phone or computer before arriving at the DMV.

Rachel Witten, director of public relations with the Department of Revenue, said QFlow – which was installed in 2017 – was not working effectively.

The system required a two-part check in from users, who needed to complete their check in upon arriving at the DMV.

Evan Pflugradt / File/KMUW

Sedgwick County employees could receive a 2.5 percent raise under the proposed budget released Wednesday by County Manager Mike Scholes.

In addition to the raise, the county also would have a 1.5 percent pool to offer bonuses to exemplary employees. According to county officials, 50 percent of the nearly $440 million budget is allocated to personnel costs.

The budget also includes funding for additional public safety jobs, including six positions with 911 dispatch services.

Build-A-Bear.com

Build-A-Bear Workshop’s “Pay Your Age” promotion proved too popular.

The chain known for its custom-built teddy bears couldn’t handle the crowds Thursday – including in Wichita – and had to turn shoppers away. It wrote in a Facebook post it closed lines at its stores in Canada and the U.S. due to overwhelming crowds and safety concerns.

Mall officials at Towne East Square in Wichita confirmed mall security had closed the lines early Thursday afternoon, citing an estimated six-hour wait time for customers.

vox_efx / Flickr / Creative Commons

Kansas residents have until Tuesday to register to vote in the upcoming primary election.

The primary election is Aug. 7. Only voters registered with a party can vote in the primary election.

Kansas voters cannot change their party affiliation until Sept. 1, said Tabitha Lehman, Sedgwick County’s election commissioner. Voters who are unaffiliated may select a party when they go to vote in the primary.

Evan Pflugradt

With tools in hand, Karissa Truex — alongside 20 volunteers — raised the walls on what will soon be her new three-bedroom home.

In roughly 10 weeks, Truex will sign a mortgage and officially become a homeowner. Her home is the latest construction project by Wichita Habitat for Humanity as part of its "Rock the Block" initiative.

“I feel like I’m building a foundation for my kids’ future because they’re going to have a safe place to be, a comfortable place [to live],” she said. “We’re going to make it full of love and laughter.”

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Federal prosecutors have revived an effort to target violent crime in Kansas, this time with a focus on Wichita and Garden City, U.S. Attorney for Kansas Stephen McAllister announced Thursday.

The Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative prioritizes federal prosecutions of repeat violent offenders and convicted criminals who carry firearms.

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