Brian Grimmett

News Reporter

Brian Grimmett is a two-time Regional Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist covering energy and environment stories across the state of Kansas. Brian loves to dive deep into complicated issues with the hope of making them easier to understand for general audiences, as with the award-winning hard news feature Westar Wants Kansans To Pay For Peak Power. What Could It Mean For Your Energy Bill? 

 

Before coming to KMUW and the Kansas News Service, Brian worked at KUER 90.1-FM in Salt Lake City covering the Utah Legislature.

 

Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University. When not reporting, he enjoys spending time with his family and building and flying remote controlled airplanes.

Ways to Connect

Gas furnace
Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Last February, the city of Cheney, Kansas – located just west of Wichita – paid about $2 per thousand cubic feet, or unit, of natural gas on the wholesale market.

But last week, during the height of the winter storm, it was paying more than $600 per unit.

“We didn’t have the option to just say, ‘We don’t want gas for our community,’” said Cheney City Administrator Danielle Young.  “We just had to take the price we were given to make sure our residents were staying warm.”

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Rolling electrical blackouts rippled across the Midwest Monday while the region shivered in an arctic blast and suddenly found itself short on electrical power.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

KINSLEY, Kansas — In the late 1980s, drought left the wells that supply water to the city of Hays and Russell in western Kansas precariously low. The near-catastrophe sent city leaders on the hunt for more water.

“We were just trying to survive from one year to the next,” former Hays mayor and city councilman Eber Phelps said.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

The electrification of cars and small trucks is on the horizon, but the state of Kansas is doing the bare minimum to be prepared.

A new state scorecard from the advocacy group the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks the state 29th, with a score of 15.5 out of 100.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA — State regulators have expanded their investigation into what’s causing a recent string of earthquakes in eastern Wichita.

Regulators say the earthquakes are most likely naturally occurring, but want to make sure oil and gas operations aren’t contributing.

Sedgwick County Health Department workers set up a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Intrust Bank Arena.
Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

For starters, the COVID-19 vaccine doses intended for Ness County in west-central Kansas landed somewhere else.

“That was my first clue we had a problem,” said Carolyn Gabel, the county’s public health administrator.

Then someone from Dodge City called. Those vials bound for Ness City? They hadn’t been kept as cold as needed. They were no good anymore and needed replacing.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

WICHITA, Kansas — The number of Kansans who have died from COVID-19 topped 2,000 on Friday after the state announced 131 new deaths.

How quickly the state passed that milestone — it took the state seven-plus months to lose its first 1,000 people to the coronavirus, and little more than a month to lose 1,000 more — shows how quickly the spread is accelerating.

“There’s just so many more people getting COVID right now that inevitably that’s going to lead to more death,” said Steve Stites, chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Health System.

Carlos Moreno / KCUR

WICHITA, Kansas — The first of potentially several COVID-19 vaccines could get emergency approval by the end of the week.

But that major milestone is just the beginning of the work for local and state health departments in Kansas that will have to get the pandemic-stalling shots to people — and decide who gets it first, when and how.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA — Coronavirus cases are at record levels. Just in time to pretty much ruin Thanksgiving.

In Kansas, those cases have hospitals worried about having enough space or staff. That’s prompted local, state and federal officials to urge people to just stay home.

We spoke with three Kansans about their decisions to cancel trips to see family — and the loss that represents.

Crysta Henthorne / For the Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Charles Bell usually passes on voting. He’s a Democrat in a Republican state and said, “If I vote, it’s not going to count.”

But after seeing Kansans elect a Democratic governor in 2018, he thought maybe the state was changing. And so this year, for only the second time in his 63 years, he voted, hoping Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Bollier might be elected.

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