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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 6:48 am
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.
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.