WRITER: Kathy Hanks

Haskell president not surprised by his former student's peaceful stance when being mocked by teenagers in D.C.

Dan Wildcat hadn't seen Nathan Phillips for years, but when viral videos on social media showed his former student maintaining a stoic calm as he was mocked by teenagers in Washington, D.C., he wasn't surprised. Wildcat, acting president of Haskell Indian Nations University, taught Phillips, now 64, back in the late 1980s and he remembers him for his humility and for his dedication to helping young ...

Ahead of Lawrence visit, Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas talks about 'undocumented' experience

As a journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas has always preferred asking the questions rather than being asked. But since publicly sharing his secret of living as an undocumented immigrant for the past 25 years, he has had to answer plenty of questions himself. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker and founder of the nonprofit organization Define American will be in Lawrence as the Kenneth A. Spencer ...

KU's performance agreement with Regents shows mixed results

The University of Kansas saw a recent rise in the number of degrees awarded and the retention of students, but its ranking for receiving federally funded research dollars dropped, according to its most recent performance agreement with the Kansas Board of Regents. The performance agreements for KU and the other five Regents universities were approved during the Kansas Board of Regents' January meeting ...

KU chancellor says reaction to controversial dean appointment has been mostly positive, expects decision soon

The majority of reaction to the unusual — and controversial — appointment of a dean at the University of Kansas “has been positive,” KU Chancellor Douglas Girod said Wednesday, but he declined to say whether the appointment would be made. Girod briefly commented on the matter Wednesday to the Journal-World during a break in the January Board of Regents meeting in Topeka. Last month, KU’s interim ...

'Night of 1,000 Fridas' event to celebrate famous Mexican artist, encourages everyone to participate

A Lawrence art studio will become a hub for an upcoming global effort to create 1,000 depictions of internationally acclaimed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who is known for her intense self-portraits. “Night of 1,000 Fridas” was created by Theodore Carter, a Washington, D.C., author and street artist, with the goal of building community and bringing free and accessible art to the public. Here in Lawrence, ...

Want a selfie with a polar bear? KU has your ticket

As part of International Museum Selfie Day, KU's Natural History Museum will have its big polar bear back on display Wednesday — and you can take your picture with it. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the museum will have its taxidermied bear available to the public. The polar bear traditionally stands just outside the panorama case inside the museum on Jayhawk Boulevard, but it has been missing recently as it has ...

Faculty group adamantly opposes bypassing hiring protocol for KU liberal arts dean, likens administration to plantation 'overseer'

Leaders of the American Association of University Professors at the University of Kansas are voicing adamant opposition to a dean appointment at KU that violates typical protocol for such appointments. Lorie Williams, who is the AAUP chapter president at KU, and Mohamed El-Hodiri, who is the state conference president for AAUP, told the Journal-World that the process being used to appoint a new dean of the ...

Local bakery and food pantry extend helping hand to unpaid federal workers during shutdown

A “Shutdown Shelf” of free bread is available at a Lawrence bakery for federal workers and contractors who are going without paychecks as the partial government shutdown drags on — Saturday will be the shutdown's 22nd day. Sarah Burtch, the owner of Great Harvest Bread Company, 807 Vermont St., said she set up the shelf because she was feeling emotional reading about the struggles of federal employees on ...

Decision on unusual appointment of KU liberal arts dean expected soon

An announcement on whether the current interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas will be appointed dean for the next three years could come sometime next week. “We are using this week to look closely at the feedback and evaluate and prepare to report on this and other appointments with ongoing searches," Carl Lejuez, KU's interim provost, told the Journal-World ...

Jungle House plant store aims to combat winter blues

On dark winter days, Rachel Guffey always feels better when she is nurturing houseplants. “I get awful seasonal depression, and plants bring life back into the house,” she said. However, when the number of plants in their home soared into the hundreds, she and her husband, Jhami Guffey, decided to open Jungle House at 924 Delaware St. First, they tested the water in August, with a pop-up plant sale at ...

International students acclimate to KU campus in heart of winter break

The University of Kansas won't feel as deserted as it has for the past three weeks of winter break now that about 100 new international students have arrived. They arrived Monday to get acclimated before the spring semester begins on Jan. 22, said Amy Neufeld, managing director of the Academic Accelerator Program. The students, ranging from new freshmen to graduate students, began orientation Monday, according ...

Award-winning journalist who wrote about undocumented status to speak at Liberty Hall

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated filmmaker, will give the annual Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture later this month at Lawrence’s Liberty Hall. As a journalist, Vargas wrote a New York Times Magazine article in 2011 revealing his life in America as an undocumented immigrant. A year later he appeared on the cover of Time magazine with fellow undocumented immigrants as part ...

Mistake leads to brief insurance cancellation, anxiety for some KU retirees

A number of University of Kansas retirees received a surprise letter from Aetna Medicare RX in December stating that their prescription drugs would no longer be covered after Jan. 1. The error occurred because an incorrect file, listing retirees who are on the state employee health plan, was sent to Aetna by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Gerald Kratochvil, communications director with KDHE, ...

New 'Wall of Respect' art project to add local stories during stop at KU

A collaborative art project inspired by an influential 1960s mural will be on display in Lawrence beginning Saturday at the Dole Institute of Politics. The "Wall of Respect" mural was created in 1967 in Chicago by a group of black artists and featured images of notable figures in African-American history. It gave birth to a larger mural movement that eventually spread nationwide, and a couple of years ago, the ...

From India to Lawrence: Businessman creates community around beloved doughnuts

Selling doughnuts is the only job Sonny Patel has ever had. Considering his upbringing, it's surprising that he has such a passion for the sweet little rings of dough. After all, growing up in Unjha, India, Patel, 50, had never tasted or even laid eyes on a doughnut. That didn’t happen until he arrived in the U.S. and began working at a Dunkin' Donuts in Chicago. On New Year’s Day, the Lawrence businessman ...

First baby of 2019 arrives a few days early at Lawrence hospital

While revelers rang in the New Year at midnight in Lawrence, Hussain Alantari was rushing his wife, Asail Aljmeeli, to the hospital. Their daughter, Durar Alantari, came into the world at 9:06 a.m. Tuesday, weighing 6 pounds and 12 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. “'Durar' means 'pearls' in Arabic,” Aljmeeli said. Durar’s entrance came a few days early, earning her the title of the first baby of ...

Haskell has concerns over partial government shutdown; 'fingers crossed,' it looks like everyone will get paid

During the second week of a partial shutdown of the federal government, Haskell Indian Nations University is still operating, but it's had to get creative to pay some key employees, including its facilities workers. “Haskell remains open,” said Dan Wildcat, acting president of the university, on Wednesday afternoon. “That’s good news. We are looking forward to new students arriving Jan. 9, and classes ...

15 Lawrence kids share their New Year's resolutions

Lawrence elementary school children shared their New Year’s resolutions with the Journal-World before the winter break. Students spoke about their resolve to do such things as accomplish new goals and make their lives better in 2019. Grace Oparaji, 7 second-grader at Prairie Park Elementary School “My New Year’s resolution is to appreciate more things that I have because other people are less ...

Following a family legacy in the arts, Lawrence native is singing opera in Germany

Sarah Bodle couldn’t just come to Lawrence and spend Christmas with her family; she had to squeeze in a performance. The 28-year-old opera singer, who lives and studies in Berlin, will give a winter-themed recital at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1263 North 1100 Road. She’ll be singing excerpts from German composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel," and Russian ...

Heading out to measure aquifer levels, crew expects to see some decline from previous year

Like clockwork, during the first week in January, a crew with the Kansas Geological Survey will make its annual trek west to measure groundwater levels in the High Plains Aquifer, one of the largest reserves of groundwater in the world. “At some wells, we’ll arrive at the same hour we arrived the year before,” said Brownie Wilson, KGS support services manager, during a phone interview Thursday. For 22 ...