Local News

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Norton’s Brewing Company in Old Town has a solution for outdoor dining this winter: igloos.

Forget images of packed snow: These igloos are made from PVC pipe and transparent vinyl. The sun heats up the air so quickly inside that umbrellas cover the honeycomb dome to slow down the greenhouse effect.

"We have it shaded right now because during the daytime it gets really hot in here with the sun," said Becky Norton, owner of Norton's Brewing Company. 

Lisa Dusseault / Flickr

Sedgwick County is reminding residents that they can still recycle their used Christmas trees.

The county’s Environmental Resources Department has set up 22 recycling sites across Wichita and Sedgwick County. The sites will remain open until Jan. 24.

The trees will be ground into mulch. Residents can take mulch from any of the sites for free.

Recycling the trees also keeps them out of the county landfill.

People should remove ornaments. lights and other decorations from the trees before recycling them.

KMUW News In 2020

Dec 29, 2020
KMUW News staff

It probably goes without saying, but we're going to say it anyway: 2020, as a whole, is not an easy year to look back on.

But the year that started with a pandemic, ended with a tense election and saw a wave of protests against police violence in between, is finally coming to a close. As we always do, we asked KMUW reporters and producers to share the stories that shaped their year — perhaps not the most significant stories, or the ones with the most page views, but the ones that, for whatever reason, have stayed with them.


Christmas Day is a time of celebration, a day when many of us traditionally gather with family or friends. But even that simple act is difficult —even impossible —in a year marked by significant challenges. 

KMUW's Carla Eckels spoke to four Wichita pastors who shared their messages of faith and hope.

Anthony Easton / flickr Creative Commons

It's Christmas here on The Range, and after a tough year, we hear from four Wichita pastors who are sharing a message of faith, hope and love.

Plus, we talk to the world's busiest CEO this week: Santa. Actually, two Santas. (You might not want to listen to this episode with young kids.)

Fernando Salazar

The 2020 general election set records in Sedgwick County for early voting and the overall number of ballots cast.

A post-election report presented to Sedgwick County commissioners this month shows for the first time, more voters cast ballots during the early voting period than on Election Day.

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says 70% of registered voters participated in November’s election, and 68% of those voters used mail-in ballots or in-person early voting.

Sedgwick County 2020 General Election by the numbers:

Courtesy Santa

The most difficult thing in writing about people who make appearances as Santa Claus? What to call them.

Do you use their real names (and risk ending up on the naughty list)? Call them Santa’s helpers? Mall Santas?

For this story, we’ll stick to the names they prefer when they’re decked out in full costume: Santa and Little Santa.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Bowling alleys in Wichita and across the county are facing their darkest winter yet. They are not only trying to survive the pandemic, but they also have to rebuild a customer base that took decades to grow.

Robert Carter and his wife Mary Ridenour drove up to an alleyway behind First Metropolitan Community Church on a cold December morning in Wichita.

After waiting in a line of cars that sometimes backed up for blocks, they greeted The Rev. Jackie Carter, no relation, but a familiar face, who spoke their names into a walkie talkie.

Within minutes, volunteers had packed the food into their car and moved on to the next family.

“I don’t know what we’d do without this place,” Robert Carter said. “When you have four kids, they give you enough.”

City of Wichita/YouTube

Wichita City Council member James Clendenin has resigned, the latest politician to leave office after becoming entangled in an attack video from the 2019 mayoral campaign.