Local News

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

The CEO of Wichita Festivals is stepping down after 10 months on the job as the organization faces a financial crisis because of the pandemic.

Ty Tabing says revenue has declined 90 percent since it had to cancel the 2020 Wichita Riverfest. The board of directors this week accepted Tabing’s proposal to eliminate his position and two others with the organization — a third of its staff overall.

Tabing says his role and an account manager position had previously been vacant.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Zach Zimmer’s roommates at Benedictine College had grown accustomed to seeing him stressed.

But on the first Saturday in September, the college junior got them worried. He was running a temperature of 101.5.

“We knew immediately at that moment,” Zimmer said, “that this could be something more serious.”


With the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic changing rapidly, we’re compiling news and information here about COVID-19. For more community updates, reopening plans and public health orders, check out our COVID-19 Resource Center.

How many known cases are in Kansas?

As of Sept. 23, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has confirmed 55,226 cases of COVID-19 (+1,267 since last report), and 621 deaths (+21). The positive test rate is 7.4%. KDHE gives a live update on its Facebook page every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2 p.m.

More than 437,000 other people have tested negative for COVID-19. 

Sedgwick County, which includes confirmed cases not finalized in KDHE's count, says as of Sept. 23 there have been 8,149 confirmed cases (+42 since last report) and 85 deaths. The positive test rate is 4.8%. The county no longer reports active cases or recoveries. 

The U.S. has had more than 6.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than 200,000 deaths. 

University of Kansas

CHICAGO — Hall of Famer Gale Sayers, an All-American at the University of Kansas who made his mark as one of the NFL’s best all-purpose running backs and was later celebrated for his enduring friendship with a Chicago Bears teammate with cancer, has died. He was 77.

Nicknamed “The Kansas Comet” and considered among the best open-field runners the game has ever seen, Sayers died Wednesday, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Relatives of Sayers had said he was diagnosed with dementia. In March 2017, his wife, Ardythe, said she partly blamed his football career.

KMUW/File photo

Voter registrations are up in Sedgwick County, with six weeks to go until Election Day.

The Sedgwick County Election Office says more than 312,000 people are registered to vote in the general election. That’s up about 8,000 since the August primary, and about 18,000 since 2016, the last presidential election.

The Wichita Symphony Orchestra will host performances in city parks this fall, beginning Saturday.

Smaller ensembles comprised of Wichita Symphony musicians will perform on Saturday and Oct. 3 for its Playing Across the Parks series. It’s a partnership with the Wichita Park and Recreation department.

There will be six free performances each day at parks across the city.

People attending must follow COVID-19 guidelines, including wearing masks and observing 6-feet of social distancing.

Fletcher Powell / KMUW

Ten nonprofits will each receive a $10,000 grant from the Evergy Community Response Fund.

The grant will go toward closing gaps in services created by COVID-19 and promoting solutions to racial injustice.

The fund was created to award nonprofits serving zip codes 67208, 67214 and 67219, which cover parts of north and northeast Wichita. The Evergy Community Advisory Board, consisting of people from the area, looked over applications and awarded the grants.

The nonprofits receiving $10,000 each are:

Holly Mulcahy

Six months in a pandemic has meant six months of virtual events.

That’s also led to a lot of “Zoom fatigue.”

While in-person events are slowly returning, large gatherings like galas and festivals are still regulated to online-only. Here are four tips from Wichita organizers about how to draw attention in the saturated virtual world:

Public speaking skills

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Working from home and tired of looking at Zoom screens all day? Us too. After several months in quarantine, there's got to be a way to spice things up. Today on The Range, we rundown some tips on how to improve your virtual meeting and livestream events.

Bloomsberries, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Supreme Court seemed worried Wednesday about the proper roles of the Legislature and courts as it wrestled with whether a state statute that prohibits lawsuits based on "wrongful birth" claims is constitutional.