Mya Acosta

News Intern

Mya Acosta is a sophomore at Wichita State University pursuing a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Electronic Media.

Last year, while attending Bethany College, Mya interned with the Lindsborg Ad Hoc Round Table, writing newsletters about events in Lindsborg. Through that experience, she was immersed in a passion for storytelling which she hopes to expand on even more through the KMUW News Lab internship.

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A worship celebration in Wichita on Monday will commemorate the life of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

The Greater Wichita Ministerial League will host the event, which will feature Ray of Hope Church founder Cynthia Hale.

Roosevelt DeShazer is president of the Greater Wichita Ministerial League. He says the event invites people of all backgrounds to honor King's achievements.

Courtesy Wichita Children's Home

More than $4 million worth of federal grants have been awarded to organizations in the Wichita area that support crime victims.

Gov. Laura Kelly announced last week that 17 Wichita area organizations were awarded Federal Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance grants.

Kelly says the grants will help fund services like crisis intervention, legal support and transitional housing for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Courtesy: Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

State parks across Kansas will participate in the annual First Day Hike Event in which people are invited to hike on New Year’s Day.

Twenty-one Kansas state parks are taking part in the national event and will host free guided hikes this year.

Linda Lanterman is the director of the Parks division of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism. She says the goal of the event is to encourage healthy lifestyles by getting people outside.

Lisa Dusseault / Flickr

The Sedgwick County Environmental Services Department is turning Christmas trees into mulch until Jan. 23 as part of its annual Christmas tree recycling program.

Department officials say the program helps lessen the flood of old Christmas trees to Wichita landfills.

The program also provides another use for the trees: People who drop off their trees for recycling at one of 22 locations in the county are able to get free mulch in return.

Officials remind people to remove all ornaments and lights before dropping off their tree for disposal.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Operation Holiday, Wichita’s largest holiday assistance program, says it’s running far behind on collecting donations.

Officials with HumanKind Ministries, formerly InterFaith Ministries, say they are well short of their desired donations goal with distribution days about a week away.

HumanKind Ministries serves between 14,000 and 16,000 people each year through its programs.

Mya Acosta / KMUW

Two naturalization ceremonies held today at Century II welcomed and recognized 175 new U.S. citizens who will be living in Kansas.

The new citizens came to the United States from more than 30 different countries.

Courtesy: Sternberg Museum of Natural History

Parts of a prehistoric shark skeleton, the only specimen of its kind found in North America, will soon be on display at Fort Hays State University.

File photo / KMUW

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett ruled Friday that a deputy involved in a fatal shooting earlier this year acted in self-defense.

Bennett says according to Kansas law, people who act in self-defense are immune from prosecution.

According to a report from Bennett’s office:

The shooting occurred Jan. 28 at a storage unit near Hydraulic and I-235.

David Bosiljevac had an active criminal case in Sedgwick County. He missed a court date for a probation violation and an arrest warrant was issued for him.

The Wichita Police Department is hosting a city-wide event on Saturday to hear feedback about law enforcement from community members.

The “What’s Going On and What More Can We Do” event invites people to discuss trends, topics and concerns in the criminal justice system with city, county and state law enforcement officials.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says the goal of the event is for his department and other agencies to gather insights from the community to help improve law enforcement effectiveness.

A Delta Airlines Boeing 777
Delta Airlines

Officials at Eisenhower National Airport are urging people to prepare for an increased volume of passengers when traveling during the holiday season.

Jay Brainard, Transportation Security Administration security director for Kansas, says the Wichita airport will see a spike in the number of travelers they screen. He says the week before Thanksgiving is even busier for traveling than the week before Christmas.

"Here at Wichita, on average we screen about 2,600 people a day," Brainard says. "During the busy holiday time, that number is going to exceed 3,300."