WRITER: Dylan Lysen

State funding for SLT expansion still a priority for Amyx as Legislature wraps up 2019 session without it

With his first legislative session almost in the books, state Rep. Mike Amyx, D-Lawrence, said his main priority of finding funding for the expansion of the South Lawrence Trafficway has not changed. “That is still the highest thing I’d like to get done,” he told the Journal-World on Tuesday. The state previously expanded parts of the highway in the Lawrence area from two lanes to four lanes, but the ...

Former KDOT Secretary Deb Miller to lead KU's Public Management Center

A former state leader will join the University of Kansas to serve as director of its Public Management Center. The university announced on Tuesday that Deb Miller, who served as the secretary for the Kansas Department of Transportation from 2003 to 2011, will lead the program. Ruth DeWitt, a spokeswoman for the School of Public Affairs and Administration, said Miller took over the position on May 6. Miller ...

National Geographic television show 'The Hot Zone' features KU, K-State connections

A new television series focusing on how the U.S. Army dealt with the first outbreak of one of the most contagious and deadliest viruses on its soil features several University of Kansas and Kansas State University connections. The six-part National Geographic miniseries “The Hot Zone” dramatizes the real-life events of the first ebola virus outbreak — the Reston virus, one of six types of ebola strains ...

KU receives $2.8 million of grant funding to study early childhood development issues

When it comes to punishment for children as young as preschool age, a study shows that African-American students tend to receive more severe discipline than their peers. But do those students receive harsher punishments because of implicit bias, such as unconscious racial stereotyping? And do those harsher punishments lead to poorer educational performance later on? That’s what Brian Boyd, director of the ...

KU closes some campus roads for summer construction projects

Several roads and parking lots on the University of Kansas campus will be closed for the summer as construction projects get underway. On Monday, the university closed portions of four roads on campus — Jayhawk Boulevard, Irving Hill Road, Burdick Drive and and 15th Street — for reconstruction and maintenance projects that are expected to last until early August. According to KU's website, Jayhawk ...

Belgium ambassador to speak at KU about U.S.-European relations

A Belgian diplomat will visit the University of Kansas this summer to discuss the United States' relationship with European countries and other international issues. Dirk Wouters, Belgium’s ambassador to the United States, will speak at 2 p.m. June 13 at the Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Drive, according to a university news release. The event is free and open to the public. Wouters, who has ...

State gives KU authority to sell vacant Oldfather Studios

An old University of Kansas facility will soon be on the market. On Monday, Gov. Laura Kelly signed a budget bill that provides $18.3 billion of state government funding, including a $33 million increase of funding to higher education. Along with the budget, the bill included a provision giving KU the authority to sell Oldfather Studios, a building that formerly housed the university’s Film and Media Studies ...

KU rededicates WWI memorial 'Victory Eagle' in new location on campus

For the third — and likely final — time, the University of Kansas on Monday dedicated “The Victory Eagle” statue in honor of the Douglas County residents who lost their lives fighting in World War I. “Monuments like this ‘Victory Eagle,’ commissioned to honor those from Douglas County who answered their country's call, makes this world history our local history,” said Lorie Vanchena, who is a ...

'I believe in each of you': KU celebrates thousands of graduates during 147th commencement

The nearly 4,000 graduates of the University of Kansas 2019 class have the ability to continue the “winds of change” and make a better world when they leave the university, Billy Mills said during the 147th KU commencement on Sunday. Mills, a Haskell Indian Nations University and KU alumnus, spoke to the graduates after he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his contributions to ...

KU awards posthumous degree to 'dedicated' graduate student, will hold public memorial Monday

In honor of his dedication to his studies, the University of Kansas Religious Studies Department is awarding a posthumous master’s degree to Mahmoud Samak, a graduate student from Cairo who died in class earlier this week. Jacquelene Brinton, an associate professor and graduate director, told the Journal-World Friday that the department was still in shock from the news and was mourning the loss. "Mahmoud was ...

Accomplished student with 'deep commitment to public service' among 4,000 expected to graduate from KU on Sunday

The end of her time at the University of Kansas has not yet sunk in, said Zoya Khan, an accomplished student from Overland Park who will graduate from KU on Sunday. “I don’t know if it’s going to hit me while I’m walking down the hill,” she said, referring to the commencement procession from the Campanile to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. “I think it will be after the fact when I’m not ...

KU student killed in car wreck on K-10 in Johnson County

A University of Kansas student was killed Tuesday in a car wreck in Johnson County. Dylan Garnett, of Shawnee, was driving west on Kansas Highway 10 at 1:30 p.m. when a semitrailer in front of him slowed down because of traffic, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol crash report. Garnett was unable to stop in time and crashed into the rear of the truck, suffering a fatal injury. Garnett, 19, was pronounced dead ...

Despite increased state funding, KU and other state universities propose tuition hikes

TOPEKA – Despite legislators' recent approval of a multimillion-dollar increase in higher education funding, most of Kansas' state universities, including the University of Kansas, want to hike tuition and fees for the 2019-2020 school year. During the Kansas Board of Regents' meeting on Wednesday, Matt Casey, director of government relations for the Regents, said that the Legislature approved the $28.4 ...

KU's Studio 804 ready to show off 2 new homes in eastern Lawrence

Two new sleek and minimalist homes built in eastern Lawrence's Brook Creek neighborhood are ready to join a long list of homes designed by University of Kansas students. Since August, 15 KU architecture students participating in the Studio 804 program have been building the two new homes and will soon share them with the public. The homes — located at 1501 and 1503 Oak Hill Ave. — will be on display for ...

Actor Alan Alda to headline Hall Center for the Humanities 2019-2020 lecture series

A well-known Hollywood actor is set to headline a series of lectures at the University of Kansas next school year. KU's Hall Center for the Humanities on Monday announced Alan Alda, who may be best known for portraying Hawkeye Pierce in the TV show “MASH,” as one of the five speakers lined up for its 2019-2020 lecture series, according to a KU news release. Alda will appear in “An Evening With Alan ...

With very wet weather, plans to kick off state's first hemp growing season slow down

This month, many farmers had hoped to make history in the state of Kansas by planting a newly legalized crop for the first time. But high amounts of rain and flooding throughout the state have put those plans on hold a little longer. “We’re flooded down here,” said Rick Gash, a hemp farmer in rural Butler County. Gash, who operates the Hemp Development Group with his wife, Stacy, said they had been ...

KU research team helping to develop telescope that could be launched into space to study sun's rays

With the help of more than a million dollars in NASA funding, a University of Kansas research group hopes to take its studies to the deep reaches of space. The group, which is led by KU physicist Christophe Royon, recently received a three-year, $1.4 million grant from NASA to help develop a telescope that could one day be rocketed into space on a satellite to orbit the sun. Researchers plan for the telescope ...

After marathon meeting, Lawrence City Commission denies controversial downtown apartment project

After hearing hours of comments on proposed plans to build a five-story apartment and retail building complex in downtown Lawrence, the Lawrence City Commission early Wednesday morning denied the project the necessary certifications to move forward. With unanimous votes cast shortly after 1 a.m., the commission denied a certificate of appropriateness to Chicago-based developer Core Spaces to build the Hub on ...

With denial of controversial downtown apartment plans, mayor says developer will need to start over

A day after the Lawrence City Commission put a stop to a controversial five-story apartment and retail complex in downtown Lawrence, the developer’s future plans for the site are not clear. Lawrence Mayor Lisa Larsen told the Journal-World Wednesday afternoon that she has not heard from Chicago-based developer Core Spaces since the commission’s vote early that morning to deny issuing the project the ...

Lawmakers increase Kansas higher education funding by $28.4 million in proposed state budget

State universities will expect to receive more funding from the state next year after the Kansas Legislature approved a statewide budget on Saturday. Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, who serves on the Senate’s higher education funding subcommittee, told the Journal-World Monday that the approved budget included the $28.4 million increase to higher education in the state. The budget now awaits Gov. Laura Kelly’s ...