Wichita

Frank Morris / KCUR

Wichita, Kan., calls itself the "Air Capital of the World."

But sales of the business jets made there took a nosedive during the recession and have struggled since.

A couple of fresh business ideas are trying to help. One centers on getting more people to travel in small planes. The other is repurposing business jet technology to build a jet fighter for the developing world. 

Hard times in Wichita

Wichita’s been through some tough years recentl. And so has Kevin Bell.

Paul Andrews

Randy Regier didn't grow up making art.

"I gave no thought to art," he recalls. 

But he did use his imagination to conjure his own reality, which is an artistic process.

"I didn't have much in the way of purchased goods," he says. "I didn't live near a store, so I wasn't one of those kids who could haunt a store after school. ... There was a world of objects out there, and I lived in a world of dirt and chickens and tractors."

One of his prized toys was actually a farm combine.

An employee of the Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kan., has been arrested in what Kansas U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said was a plan to bomb the airport.

Terry Lee Loewen was identified as an alleged plotter earlier this year, according to the FBI special agent-in-charge at the Kansas City regional office, Michael Kaske.

Authorities say 58-year-old Loewen thought he was driving a car with a bomb onto airport tarmac when arrested Friday. No one was injured.

Byrle Gross

Final numbers are still being tallied, but close to 2,000 people received free dental care Friday and Saturday at the Kansas Coliseum, near Wichita. 

Close to 500 dental professionals and at least that many other volunteers took care of the crowds that began gathering Thursday morning in the Kansas Coliseum parking lot.  Suzanne Wikle, who heads the Kansas Dental Project, says the Mission of Mercy is great, but it will never be enough.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The tornado season started early in much of the nation and continued over the weekend. Spotters reported more than 120 tornadoes on Saturday. One killed five people in Woodward, Oklahoma. Others ripped into homes and businesses in Iowa and Kansas. And that includes the heart of the economy in Wichita, the aviation industry. Here's Frank Morris from member station KCUR.

Robert Litan: Art Was the Soul of My Father

Jan 24, 2012

In the second half of Tuesday's Central Standard, we're joined by Kauffman Foundation Executive Robert Litan, who remembers his father David Israel Litan, who had a lifelong passion for making lithographs, painting, and sketching.

Boeing

Will 2,100 aerospace workers find other jobs in Wichita once Boeing closes its plant next year?

Thursday at 11:40 a.m. on Up to Date: Steve Kraske talks with Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer about Wednesday's big news that Boeing is pulling out of city after nearly 85 years.

Boeing
  • Boeing Says No Decision On Wichita Plant
  • Search For Missing Student Continues
  • Few Problems Found With Oversight Of Sports Complex
  • Kansas Families Worry About Medicaid Changes for Developmental Disability Care