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Torin Andersen / KMUW

The Range | May 7, 2021

When schools shut down last spring because of the coronavirus, Wichita West High art teacher Kevin Kelly collected his students' scrapped pieces and got to work on his latest show . This week on The Range, we talk to the painter about how he's transforming discarded art into something new. Plus, after going dark more than a year ago, movie theaters are reopening. But will the allure of sound and spectacle on the silver screen be enough to draw audiences away from streaming at home?

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Journalist Sian-Pierre Regis and his mother, Rebecca Danigelis, became something of a minor sensation in 2017 when word got out that, following Rebecca’s sudden firing from her decades-long hotel housekeeping job, Sian-Pierre came up with a novel way to help her cope—he asked her to create a bucket list of things she’d always wanted to do, but that her job had kept her from trying.

Native Americans in Kansas are speaking out in support of Shawnee Mission North’s retirement of its long-time mascot, the Indians.

The high school announced Tuesday that it is now the home of the Bison, following a months-long process and vote by students.

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

Despite a rocky financial start to 2021, Spirit AeroSystems said it has begun rehiring workers following massive layoffs a year ago.

HAYS, Kansas — A few years ago, Stuart Beckman drove 65 miles with a neighbor to attend a wedding in Saint Francis in the northwest corner of Kansas.

The two farmers weren’t particularly welcome. 

“They found out where we were from,” Beckman said, “and they just about ran us out of there.”

Not surprisingly for this part of the High Plains, the trouble started over water.

Tens of thousands of uninsured Kansans qualify for enough government subsidies to get free health insurance.

That was the case even before the passage of Congress' latest stimulus package in March, but now those benefits are available to many more people.

For some, the potential savings for 2021 and 2022 health plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace are dramatic.

The self-avowed anti-Semite who was sentenced to death for killing three people at Jewish sites in Overland Park, Kansas, in 2014 has died in prison.

The Kansas Department of Corrections said in a statement that Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. died Monday at the El Dorado Correctional facility in southeastern Kansas. He was 80 years old.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Scientists say that if we’re going to stop rising global temperatures, the world will need to greatly reduce the amount of carbon it’s emitting into the air.

Electricity production is one of the largest culprits and transitioning away from fossil fuels is seen as a key step in stopping climate change.

Under mounting pressure to ditch fossil fuels and amid shifting economics that make coal increasingly less competitive, the largest utility in Kansas pledges to close nearly all of its coal-burning plants in the next 20 years.

Here's Where To Find Affordable Therapy In Wichita

May 3, 2021
Wichita Journalism Collaborative

After more than a year of quarantines, business closures and working from home, some have realized that the difficulties brought on by the pandemic will stay with us for years to come.

COVID-19 raised collective awareness around mental health and well being, said Jessica Provines, assistant vice president for student affairs and wellness at Wichita State University.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Republicans trying to push through a ban on transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports fell short Monday of overriding Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of the bill.

Families of organ, eye and tissue donors are receiving letters this week from the Midwest Transplant Network informing them of a data breach affecting more than 17,000 individuals.

The breach, a malicious ransomware attack, occurred in February and locked Midwest Transplant Network out of its files for a brief period before it was able to regain access.

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The Status of Energy in Kansas

Commentary & Podcasts

Fernando Cferdo / Unsplash

Commentary: Prevent Mental Illness Now, Or Treat It Later

Anxiety and depression are the most common and the most treatable types of mental illnesses. And since the start of the pandemic, self-screenings for anxiety are up 650% in the United States, and for depression, up 900%, with Wichita mirroring these numbers. The shifting sands of COVID-19 have created an environment where we feel like we have lost control of our own lives.

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Two Full-Time Positions

News Reporter: General Assignments and Underwriting Account Executive

KMUW Music

Sunday, May 9

Gospel great Kirk Franklin has a timely new remix of “Can You Feel It” by The Jacksons featuring Tamela Mann. We’re also celebrating the birthday of musical genius Stevie Wonder, who turns 71 on May 13. Hear several of his classic tunes and an interview with his childhood friend Margaret Terry from Detroit. Plus, Soulsations listener Terry Atwater from Wichita shares his DoubleTake pick: “At Your Best (You Are Love)” by the ever soulful Isley Brothers and covered by the talented Aaliyah.

Monday, May 3

Night Train kicks of the April feature celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with music from pianist, composer, and orchestrator Chie Imaizumi. We’re also featuring music from Keith Jarrett and Gary Peacock, both born in May, and this night we’ll hear music from Jarrett’s most recent release, capturing his 2016 concert in Budapest. Birthday artists featured tonight include guitarist Hristo Vitchev, pianist John Lewis, flutist Andrea Brachfeld, lyricist Betty Comden, and bassist Jymie Merritt (featured in a special in hour two about a classic ‘60s Jazz Messengers lineup that included him.)

Tuesday, May 4

Night Train marks birthdays of bass legend Ron Carter (including on a new album from former Wichitan Greg Skaff) and saxophonist Bob Sheppard. The May Asian American Heritage Month feature continues with music from pianist, composer and newly named Guggenheim Fellow Helen Sung. We’re also featuring Gary Peacock and Keith Jarrett, both born in May, and we’ll hear them together as part of the famous “Standards Trio” with Jack DeJohnette – and there’s a Jarrett special in hour two of the show.

Wednesday, May 5

Some “suite” sounds tonight on the Night Train with jazz suites from Duke Ellington, Charlie Byrd, Wynton Marsalis, and Claude Bolling. We’ll also hear a tribute to Modern Jazz Quartet member and classically-influenced jazz artist John Lewis, Classical Variations from Uri Caine, and more

Thursday, May 6

Night Train joins in with Global Village and Strange Currency to celebrate one of its favorite holidays – World Accordion Day! We’ll hear music from such eclectic and accomplished accordionists as Richard Galliano, Gary Versace, Jaroslaw Bester, and Gil Goldstein (guesting with Abbey Lincoln, Nicki Parrott, Jim Hall, and Joe Lovano – and featured in a special in hour two, wherein he reveals his surprise inspiration for taking up the accordion).

Friday, May 7 and Sunday, May 9

It’s “New Month/New Music” time as Crossroads teams up with Global Village and Strange Currency at the beginning of every month to feature the best in new blues releases.

Among the highlights this time:

A Best-Of set from soul blues star Johnny Rawls

The 77-year-young gospel singer Elizabeth King’s debut album

The return of veteran soul blues guitarist and singer Clarence Spady

Songwriter, guitarist, and singer EG Kight back in a basic trio setting

The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band serving up some Dance Songs for Hard Times

More roots blues from Bob Corritore and some all-star blues friends

Next-gen New Orleans funk from Dumpstaphunk

And popular Mississippi soul blues man Mr. Sipp.

Monday, May 3

Global Village is both folky and funky this time as we mark birthdays of musicians and activists James Brown and Pete Seeger. We’ll hear music from Brown along with several African artists inspired by his deep funk style. And along with music from Seeger, we’ll hear selections from a recent album from Kronos Quartet celebrating his music. We’ll also hear music from Beolach, who just took home two Canadian Folk Music Awards, and a new release from Made Kuti, the son of Femi Kuti and the grandson of Afrobeat creator Fela Kuti.

Tuesday, May 4

Z is for Zither this time in the Global Village. In conjunction with the May Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month feature, we’ll highlight the zither from China (the ancient guqin), and similar instruments that evolved from it in Vietnam (đàn tranh), Korea (gayageum), Mongolia (yatga), and Japan (koto) in music ranging from the traditional to contemporary works that also draw on classical, jazz, and popular music. Artists and groups featured include Tri Nguyen, Jim Snidero, Khusugtun, Yat-Kha, and the Yamato Ensemble.

Wednesday, May 5

Global Village celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a wide array of styles and sounds from musicians and bands from Mexico and of Mexican heritage – including Esquivel, Lila Downs, Santana, Los Lobos, Mexican Dubwiser, the Mexican Institute of Sound, Linda Ronstadt, and more.

Thursday, May 6

Global Village celebrates World Accordion Day with a wide array of styles and sounds from musicians and bands from all across the globe who incorporate the squeezebox into their music – including Nigeria’s I.K. Dairo, Basque artists Korrontzi and Kepa Junkera, Poland’s Bester Quartet, Italy’s Riccardo Tesi, Berlin’s 17 Hippies, Boston’s Grand Fatilla, Argentina’s Chango Spasiuk, and Romania’s Taraf de Haidouks.

Friday, May 7

It’s New Month/New Music time in the Global Village. Each month, Global Village devotes an entire show to the best of recently released and forthcoming world music albums. 

Among the highlights this time:

  • The powerful voice and charismatic presence of Christine Salem from Réunion Island
  • Cypriot Antonis Antoniou of Monsieur Doumani and Trio Tekke with a new solo project
  • Italian neo-folk master and multi-instrumentalist Stefano Saletti with his Banda Ikona lineup exploring sounds of the Mediterranean
  • An exquisite and moving project from the Corsican group L’Alba that also draws on a range of Mediterranean influences combined with the distinctive vocal traditions of the island.
  • A 10th anniversary celebration from the nine-piece Parisian Afrofunk brass collective, Balaphonics

And as we kick off the May feature celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’ll hear a live album from pipa master Wu Man with sheng player Wu Wei, and a meeting of Asian, European, and jazz influences in the group Greekorea.

Monday, May 3

Pawn Shop Queen is the new release from Kansas-raised and Los Angeles-based musician Katie Jo. We’ll hear music from that record on this episode of the show as well as selections from Cool Dry Place, the latest from Katy Kirby.

Tuesday, May 4

’Til We Meet Again is the first-ever live release from Norah Jones and features favorites from her discography as well as a rendition of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” We’ll hear music from that recording as well as songs from Low Cut Connie, Mia Doi Todd and others.

Wednesday, May 5

Listen for selections from Mia Doi Todd’s latest, Music Life plus selections from Alfa Mist, Green-House and others.

Thursday, May 6

We mark World Accordion Day with music from Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Los Lobos and, of course, Those Darn Accordions.

Friday, May 7

It’s Our New Month, New Music Feature with selections from Peter Frampton Forgets The Words, Oliver Wood and the late Gary Moore.

Saturday, May 8

We mark the birthday of jazz great Keith Jarrett with music from throughout his career, including collaborations with Charlie Haden, Charles Lloyd and many more.

Public at the Brickyard

Explore world music, blues, jazz, R&B and gospel, local spotlights and new releases.