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LATEST NEWS


Drug overdose deaths caused by fentanyl are skyrocketing in Wichita. Here’s what you need to know.

In the past four years, the number of people who died from drug overdoses annually in Sedgwick County more than doubled, a dramatic increase attributed almost entirely to fentanyl. The rise in fentanyl overdoses is a recent, growing problem that’s required an urgent response from the city, according to law enforcement and forensic scientists.   Fentanyl…

‘Beyond necessary’: Sedgwick County hires first-ever diversity and inclusion consultant

In an effort to improve recruitment, racial equity and community relations, Sedgwick County will begin surveying its employees this month on the state of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  In February, the county signed a $102,000 contract with its first-ever diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, Hicks-Carter-Hicks LLC, which will work for nine to 12…

Wichita allocates additional $100K to fund demolition of dangerous and dilapidated properties

To pay for more demolitions of blighted houses in the next year, the Wichita City Council added $100,000 to the 2022 building and construction department budget on June 14. The city condemns and demolishes vacant residential properties that it considers unsafe — for example, fire-damaged homes, residences with falling-in porches and unsecured houses. To reduce a…

Five out of five Sedgwick County commissioners agree: Employee pay a top budget priority

It’s budget season for Sedgwick County.  This year, that means that the county’s five commissioners must grapple with how to run the local government as nationwide economic challenges, including rising inflation and an increasingly tight labor market, prevail. The Wichita Beacon asked each commissioner to list their top three budget priorities for this year. All five…

‘Don’t treat them different’: One formerly homeless Wichitan on what the city needs

It started with a recipe he concocted on his own — Southern-style barbecue chicken spaghetti. But pretty soon, Joseph “J.W.” Harris was spreading the cooking gospel to his neighbors and friends at The Studios, a permanent-housing apartment complex for people experiencing homelessness. In April, he led his first cooking class at the complex on North Topeka…

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