Brandon Johnson

wichita.gov

The pandemic has arrived at Wichita City Hall.

Mayor Brandon Whipple, the City Council, City Manager Robert Layton and other city employees are in quarantine for two weeks after council member Brandon Johnson tested positive for COVID-19.

Ark Valley Fire Buff / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says his department and city officials are in the process of responding to specific demands from the community about the department’s policies and procedures.

At a news conference Thursday, Ramsay says the department has received about a dozen requests for changes from various community groups, including the Racial Profiling Advisory Board of Wichita. The requests range from banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants to more training in de-escalation techniques and more transparency.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

A free COVID-19 testing site in northeast Wichita aims to serve as many as 2,500 residents this month.

A team of nurses from the nonprofit HealthCore Clinic collected around 200 samples a day in the site’s first week. A total of 787 people were tested — no screening and no insurance required.

“With the limited testing that we’ve had in the area, I’m not surprised at all,” nursing manager Dallas Klinkner said of the turnout.

Carla Eckels / KMUW/File photo

Westar Energy says it will replace some of the large metal transmission poles installed in some Wichita neighborhoods following an outcry from residents and political leaders.

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.

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Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson was elected the vice chair of the Kansas Democratic Party over the weekend.

Johnson says he sees his new position as an opportunity to work on strategies for races, build the Democratic Party and raise funds. Although there are Republican strongholds in communities all across Kansas, he says Democrats are gaining ground.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The public got a look this week at a new design plan for Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. The meeting Wednesday was the third public engagement event held since the redesign process started last year.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Incoming Wichita City Council representative Brandon Johnson will be the youngest on the board by more than a decade.

Johnson won the race for the District 1 seat with about 65 percent of the vote. Speaking to supporters on election night, he reflected on the importance of engaging young residents.

"It’s about working together, bridging gaps," he said. "Age gaps, gender gaps."

The 31-year old community activist said as a council member, he wants to make sure everyone has a voice.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Two new faces are joining the Wichita City Council next year.

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Next week, voters get to decide which of two candidates will replace outgoing Wichita City Councilwoman Lavonta Williams in District 1.

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