Pacific Coast League

Branch Rickey III is part of a legendary baseball family that has been entwined with the sport for more than 100 years.

His grandfather, Branch Rickey, is best remembered as the man who signed Jackie Robinson and broke baseball’s unwritten rule against using black players. His father, Branch Rickey Jr., spent more than 25 years working in baseball before dying at the age of 47 in 1961.

Branch Rickey III, 73, is president of the Pacific Coast League, which Wichita will join next year when the New Orleans Baby Cakes move to town.

Lela Meadow-Conner

On Saturday at Fisch Haus is Femme Fest ICT, a new film festival promoting gender equality and women in film.

KMUW’s Fletcher Powell sat down with the festival’s organizers, Wichita East High School juniors Lauren Zoller and Julia Fetters, to talk about what festival goers can look forward to, and their broader thoughts on the representation of women in filmmaking.

For more information about Femme Fest ICT, visit the KMUW Community Calendar here.


A coalition of community organizations will create a master plan for development along the Arkansas River in coming months.

A small city in Kansas is determined to prove The Onion wrong.

Folks in Emporia, Kansas, weren’t laughing when the satirical paper named it “best town to escape from” in 2017. In fact, the “brain drain” from rural areas has been a problem across the country for decades. Since 2000, Emporia's population has declined more than 7 percent. It's now home to 24,724 people.

Many Kansas families may not be following safe sleep practices meant to cut down the risk that infants could die in their sleep.

The first survey of its kind in the state found four in five new mothers said their babies sleep primarily on their backs.

Rachel Sisson, the director of the Bureau of Family Health at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, wants to make it five out of five.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Attorney General William Barr delivers a press conference at the Justice Department ahead of the expected release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. A redacted version of the report is expected to be released later today.

The families of several people who were killed or wounded in a 2016 mass shooting near Wichita, Kansas, have reached a multimillion-dollar settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the pawn store that sold some of the guns used in the attack.

The lawsuit alleged that local retailer A Pawn Shop sold the guns to a woman as part of a straw purchase, which is when one person buys a gun on behalf of someone else, circumventing background checks and federal law.

Carla Eckels / KMUW/File photo

Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson wants Evergy to replace new metal electric poles in some neighborhoods with wooden ones.

Johnson represents District 1, where many of the transmission poles that top 100 feet were recently installed.

“To see 2.8 miles of neighborhood having these industrial poles … is just unheard of,” Johnson said.

Evergy is the electric company that now oversees the transmission poles. It was formed from a merger of Westar Energy of Topeka and Great Plains Energy of Kansas.

In a recent national survey, farmers said the biggest threat to their livelihoods wasn’t low commodity prices or global trade policies. It was the rising cost of health insurance.

It’s one of the reasons why state farm bureaus have jumped into the insurance game in Iowa, Tennessee and Nebraska, and are trying to in Kansas.

Construction is set to start later this year on a new police station in east Wichita, after the city council approved the project Tuesday.


Commentary & Podcasts

Movie Review: 'Missing Link'

In Missing Link , the new children’s film from the animation studio Laika, we open in 19 th -century London, where Sir Lionel Frost fancies himself a great adventurer, but isn’t taken seriously by his peers. Frost determines that to gain their acceptance he must find incontrovertible evidence of some mythological animal, and heads off in search of the elusive sasquatch. And find the sasquatch he does, though it’s hardly the “beast” he expects.

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KMUW Music

Album Cover Art

Wednesday, April 17

Listen for selections from Robin Trower’s 1973 solo debut album, Twice Removed From Yesterday as well as music from Thin Lizzy’s Vagabonds of the Western World.

Thursday, April 18

We’ll hear music from I Love You. It’s A Fever Dream, the latest from The Tallest Man On Earth plus selections from John Martyn’s London Conversation.

Friday, April 19

Warp & Woof is the second full-length release of 2019 from Dayton, Ohio’s incredibly prolific Guided By Voices. We’ll hear music from this new recording as well as songs from Bob Mould’s 2019 effort, Sunshine Rock.

Saturday, April 20

April 21 marks the sixtieth birthday of The Cure’s Robert Smith. We’ll hear selections from Smith and his band, which was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as some his more notable guest appearances with other artists.  

Monday, April 22

Listen for selections from Truce, the 1982 release from Robin Trower and Jack Bruce as well as music from Paul Gilbert’s Behold Electric Guitar.

Tuesday, April 23

We mark the birthday of poet and playwright William Shakespeare with a number of musical selections inspired by his works.

Wednesday, April 24

Vol.2: High and Inside is the 2011 release from The Baseball Project, featuring member of R.E.M., The Dream Syndicate and Young Fresh Fellows. For this sophomore release, the core group invited friends such as Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie and Steve Berlin of Los Lobos to guest on the album. The songs range in topic from baseball legends Reggie Jackson (“The Straw That Stirs The Drink”) and Pete Rose (“Pete Rose Way”) to a defense of the Minnesota Twins (“Don’t Call Them Twinkies”). Listen for music from this release as well as music from John Fogerty’s Centerfield.

April 19/21

Crossroads continues the April feature, celebrating Chicago Blues Past and Present, with a special in hour two celebrating Chicago blues legend Muddy Waters in a concert performance with three former members of his band – John Primer, Paul Oscher, and Bob Margolin. We’ll hear music in the first hour from new albums by all three artists, along with selections from Muddy himself, from the Muddy Waters Tribute Band, and from Guy Davis.

Plus new blues releases and a preview of local and regional blues concerts in the coming week.

Monday, April 15

Night Train marks birthdays of bassist, jazz educator and NEA Jazz Master Richard Davis (including music he did as a leader, and with Sarah Vaughan, Bill Lee (Spike’s dad) and Chico Hamilton), and the "Empress of the Blues,” Bessie Smith (including one of her classics, Dinah Washington’s tribute album, and a Jazz Profiles special in hour two). Plus April featured artist Stanley Turrentine, bassist Jaco Pastorius, and new releases featuring two great jazz vocalists – Betty Carter (in the first album of previously unreleased material in over two decades) and Catherine Russell.

Tuesday, April 16

Night Train marks birthdays of popular and eclectic jazz flutist Herbie Mann, guitarist Ulf Wakenius (including work he did with both Ray Brown and Oscar Peterson), and composer Henry Mancini and continues with music from April featured artist Stanley Turrentine with music from his CTI days and with soul jazz organ great Jimmy Smith. Plus new music from Michael Wolff, Etienne Charles, the Soul Message Band, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Soul Jazz Collective, and Lyn Stanley.

Wednesday, April 17

In conjunction with the April feature of music from soul jazz tenor great Stanly Turrentine, Night Train highlights contemporary jazz organists who offer a modern take on the classic soul jazz sound. Among the artists featured are Larry Young, the Organik Vibe Trio, Ed Cherry (with organist Kyle Koehler), Will Bernard (with organist Brian Charette), Dave Anderson (with organist Pat Bianchi), the James Carter Organ Trio, and the Funky Organics.

Thursday, April 18

Night Train marks birthdays of drummer Danny Gottlieb (including music he did as part of the Pat Metheny Group), pianist and composer Hal Galper (as a leader and as part of the Phil Woods Quintet), and singer Madeleine Peyroux (including a Song Travels special in hour two of the show). Plus new music from drummer Mark Walker, guitarist Stephane Wrembel, and Juno-nominated singer Holly Cole.

Monday, April 15

Global Village continues the April Richard Thompson feature with "Tabor Does Thompson,” Richard Thompson songs done by one of the great voices of English folk music, June Tabor, from solo releases and projects she did with the Oyster Band and Martin Simpson. Plus new UK folk releases from Talisk and Lau, along with the latest from Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya, Finnish accordionist Markku Lepisto with organist Mikko Helenius, and the twin sisters Las Hermanas Caronni.

Tuesday, April 16

This time in the Global Village, it’s classic and contemporary reggae and some reggae from unusual places. We’ll hear Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Rita Marley, the Gladiators, and reggae revivalist Jesse Royal from Jamaica, New Zealand’s Black Seeds, Greek-American reggae performer Christos DC, Ghanian reggae artist Rocky Dawuni, roots reggae classics revisited by the Expanders, reggae meets Bollywood with MC Yogi, reggae meets jazz with Olu Dara, and reggae meets rock guitar cult hero David Lindley

Wednesday, April 17

Global Village remembers South African bassist, songwriter and band leader Sipho Gumede on his birthday with music from one of his own albums, with the band Spirits Rejoice, and with Juluka. We’ll also hear April featured artist Richard Thompson in a guest appearance with Beausoleil, and new music from UB40, Mimmo Epifani, the Alba Griot Ensemble, and Jupiter & Okwess.

Thursday, April 18

Global Village marks the Independence Day of Zimbabwe with music from a number of artists from that country, including the legendary Thomas Mapfumo whose chimurenga sound was an integral part of the independence movement; acclaimed singer-songwriter Oliver Mtukudzi; traditional mbira player Ephat Mujuru; one of the first major female artists to play mbira, Stella Chiweshe; and popular dance bands, the Bhundu Boys and the Four Brothers.

Friday, April 19

Global Village highlights music from Turkey this time, including traditional music from the newly reissued Music of Turkey compilation, the meeting of Turkish and other musical forms on Baul Meets Saz and the latest release from Coşkun Karademir, a new album from London-based Turkish singer-songwriter Olcay Bayir, and some classic and contemporary Anatolian psychedelic rock ranging from the pioneering Cem Karaca to a new album in the style from Umut Adan.

(Note: The concert has been relocated to the Burford Theater in Arkansas City.)  

Folk music legend Pete Seeger would have turned 100 years old on May 3.

For his friend and fellow musician John McCutcheon, it was important to mark the elder performer’s legacy. The result is the album To Everyone in All the World: A Celebration of Pete Seeger.



Kansas Gives Up On Its Long-Running Effort To End Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid Funding

Kansas has dropped its effort to terminate Planned Parenthood’s participation in Medicaid, ending a three-year-long court battle that the state lost at every turn. The change in policy wasn’t announced publicly but rather came in the form of a joint stipulation to dismiss Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit challenging the state’s move.

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