Tom Shine

Tom is the Director of News and Public Affairs. He joins KMUW after spending 37 years with The Wichita Eagle in a variety of reporting and editing roles.

 

Tom grew up in suburban Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan. He came to Wichita in 1980 to work for the morning Eagle and afternoon Beacon. The Beacon, through no fault of his own, folded a month after he got here.

 

In his role at KMUW, Tom hopes to help his staff provide in-depth, quality news coverage. He also wants to assist in promoting insightful discussion and a better understanding of the key issues facing Wichita and Kansas.

 

Tom and his wife, Sharon, have three children and live in west Wichita. When not at work, Tom enjoys reading non-fiction, attending local sporting events and rooting passionately – sometimes too passionately – for the Michigan football team.

Beginning Monday, all Kansans 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Laura Kelly said Friday the state is ready to move into the fifth and final phase of its vaccine rollout, opening appointments up to the general public.

“With the anticipated increase in supply from the federal government, we must get every dose of vaccine into arms quickly,” Kelly said in a statement. “I strongly encourage every Kansan to get the COVID-19 vaccine so we can get back to school, back to work, and back to normal.”

While the pandemic will be remembered as a major public health crisis, it was a significant mental health emergency as well.

The race among Kansas Republicans to see who will challenge Democrat Laura Kelly in the 2022 governor’s race is heating up.

When Ray Kapaun’s cell phone rang Thursday morning in his house north of Seattle, he didn’t recognize the number — so he let it go to voicemail.

“My wife came out, she goes, ‘You may want to listen to this message,’ ” Ray Kapaun recalled. “‘It's from somebody at Fort Knox about your uncle.”

Local and federal authorities continue to investigate a shooting that injured three Wichita police officers.

Former Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell was fined $25,000 by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission for violating campaign finance laws.

O’Donnell admitted to nine campaign finance violations during two elections. The state panel said the fine will be cut in half if O’Donnell pays within 90 days.

Four Republican members of the Kansas Congressional delegation plan to object when Congress meets Wednesday to certify the Electoral College.

When we last talked with Lynn Hutchinson, a nurse working the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, it was July, and Sedgwick County was in the middle of its first big coronavirus wave.

"I think the last time I talked to you, I remember saying I wish I could get on my roof and yell, 'Wear your mask!'" Hutchinson recalled.

"Well, I apparently didn't yell loud enough."

Wichita State University has parted ways with the winningest coach in its long basketball history.

There will be no March Madness in Wichita next spring.

Wichita State University confirmed Friday that it is investigating allegations that men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall verbally and physically abused players and others associated with the program.

Wichita, Derby and two other cities in Kansas have submitted proposals to become the site of the future U.S. Space Command headquarters.

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."

Spirit AeroSystems announced another round of layoffs on Friday as the Wichita aerospace company continues to get battered by the grounding of the 737 Max and the pandemic.

Spirit said in a news release it will cut another 1,100 jobs from its commercial programs. That represents 450 new layoffs in Wichita when taking into account previous reductions and employees moving to other programs, such as defense. Some employees also previously agreed to take voluntary layoffs.

The Kansas State Fair weathered the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. It could not do the same with the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

2020 has not been kind to aviation manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems. The continued grounding of the Boeing 737 Max — the company's most important program — was compounded by a near shutdown of commercial air traffic because of the pandemic. That has resulted in thousands of layoffs at Spirit since January, along with furloughs and pay cuts.

Despite the drumbeat of bad news, Spirit has consistently remained optimistic when discussing one topic: its defense programs.

Spirit says about 15% of its revenue comes from defense work. It wants to grow that number to 40%.

2020 has not been kind to aviation manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems. The continued grounding of the Boeing 737 Max — the company's most important program — was compounded by a near shutdown of commercial air traffic because of the pandemic. That has resulted in thousands of layoffs at Spirit since January, along with furloughs and pay cuts.

Despite the drumbeat of bad news, Spirit has consistently remained optimistic when discussing one topic: its defense programs.

Spirit says about 15% of its revenue comes from defense work. It wants to grow that number to 40%.

Spirit AeroSystems said it will halt production on all Boeing work for two weeks.

In a news release Tuesday, the company said employees who are idled by the suspension will be paid. The production halt begins Wednesday and will run through April 8 at Spirit’s operations in Wichita and Oklahoma.

The action follows Boeing’s announcement this week that it would suspend production at its plants in Washington state for two weeks beginning Wednesday.

Spirit AeroSystems said Thursday it has reached an agreement with Boeing to resume production of the 737 Max, but at reduced levels.

Spirit AeroSystems announced Friday that it will lay off 2,800 employees at its plant in Wichita as the shutdown of the Boeing 737 Max program drags on.

The move comes just weeks after Boeing ordered Spirit to halt all deliveries of 737 Max components. Spirit produces about 70% of the jet at its facility in south Wichita, including the fuselage. The program accounts for half of the company's annual revenue.

Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita is offering voluntary layoffs to employees as uncertainty over Boeing’s 737 Max continues into the new year.

Republican members of the Kansas Congressional delegation issued statements Friday supporting President Donald Trump’s decision to authorize a drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Spirit AeroSystems said Friday it will suspend production of the 737 Max beginning Jan. 1.

The company says Boeing ordered Spirit to halt all 737 deliveries. The 737 Max was grounded in March following two fatal crashes overseas.

Spirit did not say how the production suspension would affect its workforce of more than 13,000 people. The company is Wichita's largest private employer.

Spirit makes more than 70 percent of the 737 at its south Wichita plant.

The vote by the Kansas delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives on whether to impeach President Donald Trump split along party lines.

When he was a high school senior in Salina, Lawton Nuss said he had no idea what he wanted to do with his future.

"My government teacher, who had also been the assistant debate coach that year, said he thought that I might be good at the law because it called for reading a lot of material and analyzing it and then writing it, and then also conveying it and orally making arguments," Nuss recalled.

"And I thought, 'Well, gee, I had never thought about that.'"

Kansas representatives in the U.S. House voted along party lines on a resolution Thursday that will allow the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump to continue.

Republicans Roger Marshall, Steven Watkins and Ron Estes voted against the resolution.

Sharice Davids, a Democrat, voted in favor of the impeachment inquiry.

Thursday’s vote approved the procedures the House will follow as weeks of closed-door interviews with witnesses evolve into public committee hearings and — almost certainly — votes on whether the House should recommend Trump's removal.

Editor's note: This story was updated on Oct. 2 to include comments from Sen. Jerry Moran. 

The state’s four congressional representatives and Sen. Jerry Moran have weighed in after this week’s announcement from Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the House of Representatives will move forward with an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

A Fort Riley soldier was charged in federal court today with sharing bomb-making information over social media.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says Jarrett Smith is charged with one count of distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction. It carries a sentence of up to 20 years.

The FBI says that Smith, during a chat on Facebook, offered to teach others how to make explosive devices activated by a cell phone “in the style of the Afghans.” He also talked about blowing up far-left radicals, cell towers or a local news station.

Branch Rickey III is part of a legendary baseball family that has been entwined with the sport for more than 100 years.

His grandfather, Branch Rickey, is best remembered as the man who signed Jackie Robinson and broke baseball’s unwritten rule against using black players. His father, Branch Rickey Jr., spent more than 25 years working in baseball before dying at the age of 47 in 1961.

Branch Rickey III, 73, is president of the Pacific Coast League, which Wichita will join next year when the New Orleans Baby Cakes move to town.

Tyler Barriss will serve 20 years in federal prison for making a fake phone call that led to a fatal shooting by Wichita police in 2017.

Barriss, 26, was sentenced Friday morning after pleading guilty last year to more than 50 federal charges related to fake calls and threats in two states and the District of Columbia.

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