Nicole Grimes

News Intern

Nicole Grimes is a KMUW News Lab intern and Wichita State University student studying Communications and English. She has previously worked with the Flint Hills Media Project, a WSU magazine publication. She has also spent time as an Ad Lab intern, which is the university’s student-run advertising agency.

Once, when she was 8, she won best costume at her family’s Halloween party (she was a witch). In her free time, she likes to read fiction, draw and be harassed by her three cats.

Ways to Connect

Abigail Beckman / KMUW/File Photo

Democrat Betty Arnold won the state of Board Education’s 8th District seat against Republican incumbent Kathy Busch.

An incumbent board member has not been defeated in any of the board’s 10 districts since 2012.

The 8th District covers Wichita, home to the state’s largest school district.

Arnold served on the Wichita Board of Education from 2007 to 2018.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Long lines marked the start of early voting Monday in Sedgwick County.

Polls opened inside Intrust Bank Arena and the county Election Office Monday morning. At 10 a.m., lines wrapped around the arena before slowing to a steady trickle around lunch time.  

Courtesy: Intrust Bank Arena

Early in-person voting for the 2020 election begins today at Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita.

The Sedgwick County Election Office said the arena is an ideal spot for a polling location. “It is centrally located near the bus lines, that way folks who are working downtown or traveling through the downtown area would have a place to vote, and it’s just such a large venue,” said Melissa Schneiders, deputy election commissioner.

YMCA El Dorado Facebook

The Greater Wichita YMCA will reopen its 10 branches beginning Monday.

YMCA officials said the reopening meets the guidelines that are part of Gov. Laura Kelly’s phased-in plan to resume business activity in Kansas. The YMCAs closed March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The YMCA’s hours will be scaled back slightly: Branches will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

That will include the YMCAs in Wichita, Newton, Andover and El Dorado.

FILE PHOTO / Kansas News Service

Seniors who attend Wichita Public Schools asked for a traditional cap and gown ceremony, and Superintendent Alicia Thompson said the district will make it happen.

Thompson announced Friday that in-person graduation ceremonies will be held July 25 and 26 at Intrust Bank and Century II.

The academic year was cut short when Gov. Laura Kelly closed schools in March because of the pandemic. For the Class of 2020, that meant several big events were canceled, including graduation.

Ascha Lee / KMUW/File photo

The Symphony in the Flint Hills has canceled its 2020 signature outdoor performance of the Kansas City Symphony for the second year in a row.

The event was originally scheduled for June 13. Last year was the first cancellation in the symphony's 14-year history, due to storms that caused severe damage.

The event was scrapped this year due to the current coronavirus outbreak.

Courtest: Goddard Schools

A group of students at Goddard High School is among 20 national finalists for Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest.

Four students — Tory Quattlebaum, Paige Albert, Michael Schrag and Luke Hampton — invented a magnetic cover for gun safes that send its owner a text if it’s removed. 

According to their submission video, firearms are the leading cause of death in teens ages 15 to 19. They say many of the guns used were stored in safes, but parents didn’t notice them missing.

The students say the device acts as another level of security.

Courtesy Sedgwick County Zoo

The Sedgwick County Zoo will implement a no smoking and vaping policy starting March 1.

For the last few decades, the zoo has offered three designated smoking areas. Now, it wants to offer a healthier environment for visitors, employees and the animals.

Jennica King, the Sedgwick County Zoo’s marketing and public relations manager, said the zoo had always planned to get rid of smoking.

It decided to act now because there are many other changes happening as part of the zoo’s new master plan.

Curtis Tasset

The veterans of the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center wanted a creative outlet.

When Christina Vasquez was hired in 2017 as the center’s art therapist, she gave them one.

“I heard from multiple veterans that expressed a need for art exhibits and outlets and creativity opportunities,” Vasquez says.

The center’s annual veteran art show gives them a space to be acknowledged for their talent. First place winners can go on to enter the 2020 National Art Competition.

City of Wichita

Wichita Park and Recreation will host a job fair this week with more than 200 positions. Full-time and part-time positions are available.