Hafsa N. Quraishi

Korva Coleman Diversity Intern

Hafsa Quraishi is KMUW's inaugural Korva Coleman Diversity Intern for the summer of 2020. Hafsa is currently pursuing her master’s degree in journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Hafsa is a Muslim-American reporter who has previously reported for NPR's National Desk and WUSF, NPR's affiliate station in Tampa, Florida. She has reported on important issues affecting Muslim-Americans, political rallies and the state of the economy. Following her graduation in December 2020, Hafsa hopes to become a correspondent for NPR. You can follow her work on Twitter at @hafsaquraishi_.

Ways to Connect

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

In mid-March, millions of American workers were suddenly told to work from home. At first, many of us welcomed what we thought was a temporary change — no commute and working in pajamas? That’s the dream.

We hunkered down in our homes and made the best of the situation, telecommuting while lounging on our couches or using a coffee table as a makeshift desk.

But five months later, the situation has proved it is far from temporary, and it’s time we make some serious adjustments to our work-from-home setups to ensure we don’t develop chronic injuries over time.

Patrick Penn easily defeated incumbent Michael Capps in the Republican primary for the District 85 seat in the Kansas House. 

Penn captured more than 76% of the vote.

"We are elated right now," Penn said after early results showed him in the lead. "This is some of the best news I’ve ever seen."

The former Army veteran was backed by the Republican Party against Capps, who is serving his first full term.

alamosbasement / flickr Creative Commons

School districts in the Wichita area are setting their own dates to reopen schools after the state Board of Education rejected Gov. Laura Kelly’s order last week.

Kelly’s order would have delayed the start for all Kansas schools until after Labor Day, but the order failed to get the board’s approval. The board left it up to local school districts to decide when they will open.

About half of the schools in Sedgwick County still plan to begin their school year in August, only a week later than usual. Wichita Public Schools plan to start on Sept. 8.

Credit: Convoy of Hope

The eighth annual Convoy of Hope Wichita event will take place Saturday, but it won’t be anything like previous years.

The event – which helps kids get ready for going back to school -- typically provides haircuts, immunizations, clothing, school supplies and much more. This year, a majority of the program was cut due to COVID-19.

Stacie Cathcart, head of the event, is disappointed her organization won’t be able to have the full-scale event this year. But she is still determined to help the kids -- even if it takes weeks.

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

Ryan Fox didn’t think he’d be on the list to get laid off after 20 years as an aircraft machinist.

Turns out, he says he was just three people short of surviving the cut.

Fox was one of 2,800 people laid off from Spirit AeroSystem in January after the company suspended production of the Boeing 737 MAX. Fox says Spirit’s recall policies, in which they randomly call workers back, have made other companies hesitant to hire him even with his extensive background.

Courtesy photo

Sarrah Thornburg couldn’t wait to go to Pau, France, this fall.

As an international business major at Wichita State University, she is required to study abroad in order to graduate.

Thornburg was excited for the change in scenery and the weekend trips she’d take to Spain. That was before COVID-19 upended her schedule, and WSU was forced to cancel its study abroad programs.

Peter Najera is the new president and CEO of the United Way of the Plains.

He replaces Pat Hanrahan, who retired in late June after leading the organization for 35 years.

Najera comes from the Rudd Foundation, where he served as president for nearly three years of the Wichita nonprofit.

Najera says he has dedicated his entire adult life to service. He served 20 years in the U.S. Army and has worked with a variety of nonprofits throughout his career.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sedgwick County commissioners voted Thursday not to adopt Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order on masks as a mandate, but instead are recommending that residents mask up when they're out in public.

Some commissioners said they support the order’s intent, but questioned its enforceability.

"We really and truly need to wear our masks when we’re going out," Commissioner David Dennis said, "but the problem is enforcement."

The City of Derby is encouraging feedback from residents on Vision Derby 2040, a comprehensive plan for where the city wants to be in the next 20 years.

The city is inviting residents to view an online presentation during the Derby Planning Commission meeting Thursday, where officials will present plans to address community needs through 2040.

The plans include implementing the idea of mixed-use development to integrate residential and commercial development. This will make it easier for people to walk between residential neighborhoods and commercial districts.

The Wichita Art Museum is gearing up to reopen its doors after shutting down for a few months due to COVID-19.

The museum will implement its first phase of reopening on Tuesday, welcoming members only. This will be followed by a full reopening to the general public on June 23.