WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

How deeply will NCAA dig into KU's recruiting? That question and others still loom after trial

The trial is over but the questions aren’t for the University of Kansas and its involvement in a college basketball recruiting scandal that may well send some former KU partners to prison. Former Adidas employee James Gatto, former Adidas consultant Merl Code and aspiring NBA agent Christian Dawkins all were convicted of various fraud charges by a federal jury in New York on Wednesday. Various media outlets ...

New ownership for one of Lawrence's longtime Italian restaurants

Justin Wilk has eaten more pasta in the last month than at any other time in his life. For some of us that would be saying a lot since my motto once was “I put the uh-oh in Spaghetti O's.” But don’t worry, Wilk is not eating that low-brow fare. Instead, he’s become the owner of one of Lawrence’s longtime Italian restaurants. Wilk last month took over ownership of the The Basil Leaf Cafe at 616 W. ...

KU cites lack of personnel for delay in providing records related to unexplained $1.5M in Adidas payments

Update - In statement following verdicts, KU says it is evaluating options on Adidas contract As former Adidas executives face a federal jury, KU continues to delay the release of documents that could shed light on the university’s financial relationship with the now controversial apparel company. The Journal-World reported on Oct. 12 that the board of directors of Kansas Athletics Inc. had been told ...

KU says it's evaluating options on Adidas contract, doesn't answer whether it will conduct independent investigation of recruiting practices

Story updated 6:02 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018: The University of Kansas is continuing to evaluate whether it wants to be in partnership with Adidas after two of the company’s former employees were convicted Wednesday on fraud charges related to a pay-for-play college basketball recruiting scheme. In a statement from Chancellor Douglas Girod and Athletic Director Jeff Long, KU said it did not have a ...

Plans for major shopping center at SLT and Iowa Street get boost, but motorists may have to get used to new stoplight

Thanks to a stoplight, plans are once again moving ahead for a major new shopping center at the interchange of the South Lawrence Trafficway and Iowa Street. Developers have filed a new set of plans with City Hall to build a shopping center on the southeast corner of the interchange that could house up to eight big retailers, a couple of hotels and more than a half-dozen restaurants and other smaller ...

Car dealer closes 23rd Street location as part of new plan; a self-storage business with a twist

My wife mutters about trading up all the time, which I assume means she is looking for a new vehicle. She now has one less option on 23rd Street. Several readers have asked what is going on with the Auto Exchange used-car lot at 23rd and Haskell. It indeed has closed, but the company has not. Natalie Duncan, comptroller for Lawrence’s Auto Exchange, told me the 23rd Street closure was part of a plan to ...

LMH to support voter efforts on mental health sales tax question, but some question fairness

The upcoming ballot issue to create a quarter-cent countywide sales tax to fund additional mental health services will get a boost from Lawrence Memorial Hospital, although not without some criticism. The hospital’s board of trustees on Monday evening agreed to allow the LMH Health logo to be part of an informational flyer about the sales tax proposal, which voters will decide as part of the Nov. 6 election. ...

French-style bakery set to open in downtown Lawrence

The only bad thing about butter is it doesn’t come with its own lollypop stick. If you are that type of butter lover, you’ll want to take note of a soon-to-open downtown bakery that promises lots of rich European creations. E Barn Farm Bakery is set to open in the former Sandbar sub location at Eighth and New Hampshire streets by the end of the month. Owner Samantha Elmer thinks the shop will have a ...

Chancellor won't say whether he still has 'complete confidence' that KU follows recruiting rules

As a federal corruption trial has made new allegations regarding the recruiting practices of the University of Kansas, Chancellor Douglas Girod won't say whether he still has “complete confidence” in the university’s staff to follow recruiting rules. The trial underway in New York also has brought forward new information that raises questions of what Girod knew about potential recruiting violations and ...

Nonprofit buys downtown parking lot in hopes of helping historic building

Well, here’s one solution to the problem of finding a place to park downtown: Just buy yourself a parking lot. One has sold recently, and it may end up being a real boon for one of Lawrence’s oldest buildings. The Lawrence Preservation Alliance confirmed it has finalized a deal with US Bank to buy the business’s small parking lot at the northeast corner of Ninth and Rhode Island streets. No, finding a ...

Student housing company files plans for 7-story building in downtown Lawrence

Story updated at 6:40 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15: A Chicago-based company that specializes in student housing has filed plans for a seven-story apartment and retail building to be constructed across the street from the historic Douglas County Courthouse. Core Spaces announced Monday afternoon that it had filed plans to construct a mixed-use building at the northeast corner of 11th and Massachusetts streets. Plans ...

As allegations mount, KU mum about Adidas ties and extra $1.5M it has received from the company

The University of Kansas has seemingly increased its financial partnership with Adidas at the same time the apparel company finds itself at the center of a federal trial alleging crooked basketball recruiting practices. For the past year, Kansas Athletics officials have said a multimillion-dollar deal to extend Adidas’ contract to be KU’s official athletic apparel provider remains unsigned. However, the ...

A look at how much home prices may go up next year, plus other Lawrence real estate figures

Home sales in Lawrence are expected to increase next year, and so too is the amount people will have to pay for houses, according to a new housing forecast compiled by Wichita State University. But the report also found that — despite good demand from buyers — construction of new homes in Lawrence is expected to remain tepid for the next year. The reason? Lawrence is still struggling to produce jobs. ...

Large East Hills Business Park employer to be sold as part of $400 million deal

One of Lawrence’s largest employers soon will have a new owner. The General Dynamics call center in the East Hills Business Park is part of a $400 million deal that will transfer ownership to a company that specializes in operating customer service centers for the federal government. A General Dynamics spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the call center at 3833 Greenway Drive is part of a pending purchase by ...

See the latest plans for a big new building on Vermont Street

If plans hold true, a major new building is coming to Vermont Street — and likely more competition for a space in the city parking garage next to the library will materialize too. As promised, former City Commissioner Bob Schumm has come forward with another plan to build a multistory building on the vacant lot at 815 Vermont St. Schumm previously abandoned his plan to build a five-story building on the ...

With three-quarters of the year gone, Lawrence sales tax numbers still lackluster

Story updated at 4:27 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8: Nationally, there are plenty of signs that the economy is improving. Unemployment is at its lowest level since the 1960s, the stock market continues to post new highs, and there’s a rumor at my house that we’ll get to turn the thermostat all the way up to 62 degrees this winter. None of that, though, has translated into a banner year for retail sales tax ...

One of the city's biggest developers says downtown Lawrence is in crisis

Eight years ago, there was a certain amount of angst surrounding the construction of the seven-story building that Doug Compton now surveys downtown from via a corner office perch. Compton, one of the largest developers and property owners in Lawrence, was leading the group to build the 901 New Hampshire building, the first of what would become a trio of new highrises — by Lawrence standards anyway — near ...

Downtown chain restaurant expanding into west Lawrence

If you are going to be in the business of delivering hot, toasted sandwiches, you had better get them there fast, or have a toaster with a really, really long extension cord. The downtown restaurant Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe believes in getting them there fast, which is one of the reasons the restaurant has struck a deal to open a west Lawrence location. “Delivery is really big for us, and there are a few ...

Halloween stores open, including a new store from a longtime local retailer

I’ve been told that any time of year is a good time for me to wear a mask, but for the rest of you, Halloween is prime mask season. Predictably, a couple of Halloween stores have popped up in Lawrence, but this year one of them is a local operation run by a family that has dressed Lawrence residents in funny outfits for years. Kyle Billings, the former owner of Lawrence’s Fun & Games store, has opened ...

Downtown Lawrence grocery project loses Price Chopper tenant, but plans still moving forward

Plans to bring a grocery store to downtown Lawrence are still alive, but still complicated and uncertain. A proposal to put a 40,000-square-foot grocery store on the site of the former Borders bookstore at Seventh and New Hampshire now includes plans for a four-story mixed-use building, instead of the previous three-story plan. But the project is short on something else: a tenant for the grocery store. A ...