The Range

Hugo Phan / KMUW

When Bob Daniels started telling people he wanted to start a shrimp farm in Sumner County, the response was what you might expect.

"'You're going to sell bait, huh?'" he said laughing while recalling one comment. "In fact, when we started looking to grow the shrimp and look for some financing … the local banker said, 'Well, you're never going to sell this.'

"Now, it turns out, I can't grow it fast enough to sell what people were willing to buy."

Carla Eckels / KMUW

It’s no secret that newspaper circulation has been declining in recent years. Black newspapers mirror trends in the industry overall — but there’s one paper based in Wichita that’s keeping its head above water.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

In mid-March, millions of American workers were suddenly told to work from home. At first, many of us welcomed what we thought was a temporary change — no commute and working in pajamas? That’s the dream.

We hunkered down in our homes and made the best of the situation, telecommuting while lounging on our couches or using a coffee table as a makeshift desk.

But five months later, the situation has proved it is far from temporary, and it’s time we make some serious adjustments to our work-from-home setups to ensure we don’t develop chronic injuries over time.

The Range | Aug. 28, 2020

Aug 28, 2020
Carla Eckels / KMUW

Even as many newspapers struggle with declining circulation and revenue — even before COVID-19 hit — a Black newspaper based in Wichita is still moving forward, despite the headwinds of the pandemic.

This week on The Range, we talk to Bonita Gooch, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Community Voice, about how the paper has kept its head above water for 25 years.

Plus, when reporter Hafsa Quraishi first started working from home back in March, it seemed like a dream: no commute, unlimited snacks, pajamas.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Wichita is known as the Air Capital of the World — birthplace of Beechcraft and Cessna, and home to Spirit AeroSystems, Textron Aviation and dozens of aviation supply companies.

But continuing troubles with Boeing’s 737 MAX and a downturn in air travel due to the pandemic have led to massive layoffs across the industry, once again raising the question: Is Wichita too reliant on aviation?

The Range | Aug. 21, 2020

Aug 21, 2020
Lu Anne Stephens / KMUW

This week on The Range, we travel to Wilmore, Kansas, population 37, where an unusual attraction can make even adults feel like kids again.

Plus, you've heard it before, likely any time aviation takes a hit: Diversify Wichita's economy. But what does that really mean?

Wichita Eagle employment reporter Megan Stringer recently looked into that very question. We talk to her about what a diversified economy could look like in Wichita.

Lu Anne Stephens / KMUW

WILMORE, Kansas — Carousels most often are found in carnivals, amusement parks or, occasionally, upscale shopping centers.

But in Wilmore, Kansas — population 37 — you can ride one in Ernie and Christy Griffin’s backyard.

The Range | Aug. 14, 2020

Aug 14, 2020
Beth Golay / KMUW

In her job as an investigator for the federal public defenders office in Wichita, Cecilia Wood was given an assignment: explore how her clients' lives are affected by their dependence on the Wichita transit system.

Her approach? Give up her car for a year and learn to rely on the bus.

"To understand what [our clients] go through with the transportation system is huge," she says. "I've had a car my entire life."

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Jay Golden started 2020 with a new job as president of Wichita State University.

Three months later he announced the school was going remote-only because of the cornavirus. 

Since then, classes have been entirely online and educators worried students wouldn't want to enroll in college during a pandemic. But Golden says more students have signed up than last year. They're moving into the dorms and getting ready for in-person classes to start again on Monday. 

vmiramontes / flickr Creative Commons

With so many people working from home during the pandemic, it raises the question: Will we ever go back to the office?