WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

Photos: 2019 Best of Lawrence celebration

About 850 people attended the annual Best of Lawrence winners reveal party Thursday at Abe & Jake's Landing. Full results can be found at bestoflawrence.com and in a special magazine that will be distributed in subscriber copies of the Sunday, June 16, edition of the Journal-World. More photos - Full photo gallery of attendees and winners (181 images)

Downtown juice cafe reopens, this time with unique cocktails and more food

When I have a pair of people come into my kitchen wearing hazmat suits, I simply dismiss it as another set of complaints about the chili. But for anybody else, the sight can be jarring. It certainly was for the folks at Luckyberry in downtown Lawrence last October. “We were really surprised by a visit from the feds,” said Shantel Grace, co-owner of the business at 845 Massachusetts St. Grace said she was ...

Sales tax collections continue to fall in Lawrence, but online shoppers are picking up some of the slack

Here is a sentence I never thought I would say: Maybe online shopping will save the day. Before my banker keels over, let me quickly add that I still don’t believe that, but it may temporarily save the city’s budget. The latest sales tax numbers for the city of Lawrence are out, and an interesting trend is developing. Sales tax collections in the city are falling in 2019. The May sales tax check the city ...

Photo gallery: Tornado ravages multiple homes south of Lawrence

Updated story - Wednesday, May 29 — Latest tornado news and notes: ‘It’s not safe for the general public’ in damaged areas of Douglas County UPDATED: 10:20 a.m. May 29 An area informally known as the Shank Hill neighborhood was hit particularly hard by Tuesday's tornado. At least a dozen homes in the subdivision had significant damage, with many likely to be complete losses. The subdivision is ...

Lawrence ranked one of the best cities for new college graduates, despite some of the lowest wages

Lawrence is one of the best towns in the country for recent college graduates — especially those who slept through economics class. At least that is my takeaway from a new report that ranks Lawrence the eighth best city in America for recent college graduates. The financial news website Business Insider recently published a list of the 20 best metro areas for college graduates looking to start their ...

Lawrence's population growth slows, but it's still in better shape than most cities in Kansas

Lawrence’s population in 2018 grew at its slowest rate in years, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. The new figures also show that Lawrence continues to live life on the edge. (Don’t worry, that’s not a reference about the Census Bureau knowing what you did last weekend.) Rather, Lawrence seemingly is the western edge of significant growth in the state. Lawrence’s population in ...

Downtown breakfast, lunch spot opening soon in west Lawrence; a bloody Mary with a beef jerky twist also set to arrive

Morrie Sheets, owner of the new Jimmy’s Egg restaurants in Lawrence, has a better alarm clock than I have. “When I smell bacon at 5 a.m., I know it is time to get up,” Sheets said. Sheets, who owns Jimmy’s Egg restaurants across the state, lives in an apartment above the Lawrence restaurant at 10th and Massachusetts streets in downtown. (For the record, when I smell bacon at 5 a.m., I hope the ...

Lawrence home sales off to their slowest start in years; selling prices begin to fall slightly

With all the rain, maybe you too are considering that the best home is a houseboat. (I think my household is giving it serious consideration based on the number of times I’m told to go jump in a lake.) Regardless, something has caused traditional home sales in Lawrence to take a nosedive. The local real estate market is definitely off to a slow start in 2019, based on the latest numbers from the Lawrence ...

New health care building to be constructed near west Lawrence Walmart, plus other news and notes from around town

Look for construction to begin soon on a new building near the Walmart in west Lawrence. While that area has attracted a host of new restaurants — Old Chicago, Spin Pizza and Blue Moose, among others — this project is on the other side of the street, where they must be a little more practical. A dentist’s office will be the main tenant of this new building. The Kansas City-based real estate firm Block ...

National food delivery company targets Lawrence; North Lawrence bar and unique downtown gift shop announce closures

  News and notes from around town: • It used to be if a waiter showed up at my door, it was a sign that I took way too many of the complimentary breath mints. Now, it's just evidence that another tech company looking to combine the internet and dining has chosen Lawrence as a potential hot market. A company called Waitr has chosen Lawrence and Topeka to make its Kansas debut. The Louisiana-based ...

Lawrence aviation company in growth mode after winning NASA contract

A Lawrence-based aviation firm has won a new NASA contract, and it also moved into new space that will allow it to go from just designing high-tech aviation prototypes to actually building them. DARcorporation this week was selected by NASA for continued work on a project that will test how artificial intelligence can be used to pilot unmanned aircraft in the future. DARcorporation previously had done work ...

From a stone in your pocket to a several thousand dollar gemstone, downtown shop expands for rock lovers

I have learned the hard way that there are people in my life who are not a fan of fake gold. (In my defense, it did take me $5 in quarters to get the ring out of the bubble gum machine.) But maybe you are a genuine fan of pyrite — fool’s gold — or any number of other minerals. If so, I have news of a downtown Lawrence store expanding for people just like you. Summit’s Steps Minerals has moved to 11 W. ...

Lawrence-based suicide prevention organization signs deal for new space; move will allow statewide hotline to grow

A Lawrence nonprofit is undertaking a major expansion that it expects will cement its standing as the leading suicide prevention organization in the state. Headquarters Counseling Center later this month will move from its longtime, but small, home in downtown Lawrence into a new space in eastern Lawrence. The center has signed a deal to occupy about 6,700 square feet of office space in the industrial park ...

Mexican restaurant chain closes its location on 23rd Street

Story updated 10:24 a.m. Monday One stretch of Lawrence street is losing another Mexican restaurant. The city's lone Qdoba Mexican Eats announced Friday that it has closed. Qdoba was located at 1714 W. 23rd St., which is a stretch of street that at one point probably had more Mexican restaurants per square foot than any place in town. It maybe still does, but the Qdoba closing comes a few months after Taco ...

Party supply store finds new Lawrence home with demolition of shopping center imminent; look for new type of drive-thru on 23rd Street

If you are like me, a steak dinner is plenty of a reason to wear one of those pointy party hats. Throw in a loaded baked potato and we’ll have a heck of a fiesta, once I wake up from my nap. So, maybe it makes sense that Party America is moving into a space just behind the steakhouse chain Texas Roadhouse. There had been some concern that Party America’s days were numbered. As we’ve reported, the 23rd ...

Whistleblower who brought forward concerns of missing money at Clinton State Park fired by state; leader says it wasn't retribution

A whistleblower in a case involving missing documents and accounting irregularities at Clinton State Park has been fired by the state, the Journal-World has learned. At least three other park employees also have had their jobs impacted, although it is unclear whether they also were fired or placed on leave while the state investigates whether accounting irregularities led to stolen money at the park. In late ...

After 11 years of art and supplies, downtown retailer expanding with full-fledged gallery

Whether you like to collect art or simply collect doodles in a notebook, a downtown retailer has news for you. Wonder Fair has signed a deal to open a second store in downtown, which will allow the art and stationery retailer to open a full-fledged gallery while also expanding its offerings in the worlds of pens and paper. Wonder Fair currently is located at 841 Massachusetts St. It will remain in that ...

Major bike manufacturer plans to open corporate-owned store on south Iowa Street

I have gone round and round on this rumor, but I’m now confident in reporting that Lawrence is getting a major new player in the world of bike shops. Trek, one of the biggest names in both the road racing and mountain biking worlds, is opening a corporate-owned store in Lawrence. Trek’s website lists a variety of job openings for a store in Lawrence, which matches with the rumors I’ve been hearing in the ...

$1 million-plus expansion on tap for Douglas County manufacturer of aviation parts; job totals to hit 150

An aviation company in the tiny unincorporated Douglas County community of Vinland continues to make a case that it is one of the best high-tech success stories in the county. McFarlane Aviation Products has filed plans for a $1.4 million plant expansion that should easily add another 50 jobs to the company. Plans filed with the county’s planning department call for a new 24,000-square-foot manufacturing ...

Lawrence seeing a slowdown as sales tax collections now dip into negative territory for the year

February was cold in more ways than one in Lawrence. Yes, there were the temperatures outside, but you should have felt the chill inside from all those cheap Valentine’s Day gifts. At least the latest numbers from the state show something caused retail spending to take a downward turn in February. Plus, the statistics show most of 2019 hasn’t been good either. The city of Lawrence received its April sales ...