NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

S3 Episode 1: Montella Wimbley, Wichita

070120_BG_MFKSeason3_MontellaWimbley.jpg
Brian Grimmett
/
Kansas News Service
Montella Wimbley owns Profiles Beauty and Barber Salon in Wichita, Kansas.

Hair has been quite the topic during the coronavirus. For the first episode of My Fellow Kansans: People and the Pandemic, we spoke with a salon owner.

Montella Wimbley has owned a combination salon and barber shop in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Wichita for 34 years.

When Kansas shut business down, she had to put down her trimmers and pick up the phone — over and over again, taking weeks to get through to someone at the state’s beleaguered unemployment agency.

When Wimbley was allowed to reopen for her loyal customers, she also opened up to My Fellow Kansans.

Subscribe to Season 3 wherever you get your podcasts.

Brian Grimmett comes to KMUW after taking a year break from journalism, but he’s excited to jump back in to the fray. Previously, Brian spent almost five years working at KUER 90.1 FM in Salt Lake City. He worked his way up, starting as an intern and sticking around long enough until they relented and gave him a full-time job. At KUER, Brian covered a wide range of topics, but mainly focused on covering the Utah state legislature.
Jim McLean is an editor and reporter for KCUR 89.3. He is the managing director of KCUR's Kansas News Service, a collaboration between KCUR and other public media stations across Kansas.