WRITER: Dylan Lysen

Many Douglas County businesses providing goods for Gov.-elect Kelly's inauguration festivities

Many locally owned Douglas County businesses will contribute in some way to the festivities when Democrat Laura Kelly is officially sworn in as the state’s governor next week. Communities from all over the state are providing goods — including flowers, food and music — for Kelly’s inauguration, which will take place Monday in Topeka. Of the 35 businesses contributing, 11 are located in Lawrence, the ...

At trial of Lawrence man, woman describes being raped as teen, devastation that followed

Occasionally fighting back tears, a woman told a jury on Tuesday how she was raped by a man she met at a college bar — an incident that her family said has cast a shadow over her life. “She would have nightmares and get in bed with me,” the mother said of her daughter, who was 17 when the alleged rape took place on Sept. 11, 2016. “She hasn’t done that since she was a baby.” Jurors heard testimony ...

January off to a warm start in Lawrence but could flip to colder than normal

January weather in Lawrence is off to a warmer-than-normal start, but it could flip the other way before the end of the month, said Mary Knapp, a climatologist at Kansas State University. Temperatures in Lawrence reached the high 50s and low 60s on Sunday and Monday. Similar weather is expected for Tuesday, said Bryan Baerg, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Topeka. Those temperatures are ...

Famous sidekick Dr. John Watson takes the lead in new Theatre Lawrence production 'Holmes and Watson'

A trusty sidekick to one of the greatest detectives in literature will find himself at the center of a story in a Theatre Lawrence show this month. Rather than the normal story of Sherlock Holmes solving a complex mystery as his sidekick Dr. John Watson chronicles the events for the audience, Watson will be the one trying to solve the mystery in the play “Holmes and Watson.” “Dr. Watson usually is not ...

December health code inspections: 4 found out of compliance in Douglas County

Four establishments in Douglas County failed state health code inspections in December. Each month, I take a look at inspection results and list every place either listed out of compliance or with 10 or more code violations. Full reports are available online at agriculture.ks.gov. There, you can find details about specific violations, which can vary. Noncritical citations include unlabeled products, improperly ...

Lawrence hotel closes two rooms because of bed bugs

A Lawrence hotel recently closed two rooms to the public because of a bed-bug infestation. The University Inn and Suites, 2309 Iowa St., closed two rooms after a health code investigation by the Kansas Department of Agriculture found dead bed bugs in the box springs of rooms on the fourth and fifth floors. After a Dec. 19 inspection, the owners of the hotel voluntarily closed the two rooms to the public, ...

Former housing supervisor waives right to preliminary hearing in child sex abuse case

A former Haskell Indian Nations University housing supervisor charged with sex crimes against two children spanning a decade waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case on Thursday. Thomas A. Spotted Horse, 60, formerly of Lawrence and now of Lawton, Okla., appeared in Douglas County District Court, where Judge James McCabria accepted his decision to waive the hearing, at which the judge would have ...

Go, See, Do | 'Good Night, Lawrence!' comedy revue pokes fun at community, and more

In Card Table Theatre's one-night comedy show “Good Night, Lawrence!” absolutely no one in the city is safe — not even the performers. “We pride ourselves on being equal-opportunity satirists,” said Will Averill, a local playwright and co-artistic director of the group. “Nobody gets off easy, including ourselves.” The group of funny people will take the stage Saturday at Maceli's, and they're ...

Gov.-elect Kelly aware of state's higher education issues, but they're not likely to top her agenda

Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly is aware of the turmoil at the state’s flagship university caused by a $20 million budget hole, she said. Although the Democratic leader knows some state actions may be needed to help the University of Kansas and higher education throughout the state, she recently told the Journal-World that the state government has more pressing issues she needs to focus on during her first ...

While in Lawrence, Moran says Medicaid expansion could help Kansas hospitals; denounces 'tariff battle'

Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran wants to leave the decision of Medicaid expansion in Kansas to the Legislature, but health care professionals have suggested to him that it could be the best way to help hospitals and address mental health issues, he said during a visit to Lawrence on Wednesday. After meeting with LMH Health president and CEO Russ Johnson, Moran told the Journal-World he was happy to learn about ...

New Langston Hughes award to celebrate poetry performance

Poetry is an art that is meant to be heard, says Lawrence poet Eric McHenry. And now that audible art form will be recognized with a special local award. As part of the annual Langston Hughes Creative Writing Awards, Lawrence Magazine is funding a new prize to celebrate the performance side of poetry. The Langston Hughes Spoken Word Poetry Prize contest will judge the best spoken-word poetry performance of high ...

Lawrence area to receive a cold start to the new year

Story updated 3:37 p.m. Monday Lawrence residents will need to bundle up to start the new year on Tuesday, said Audra Hennecke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka. The temperature in the Lawrence area was expected to drop into the teens early Tuesday morning, with a wind chill in the low single digits, when many people were celebrating, she said. The rest of New Year’s Day is ...

Local businesses feel holiday sales bump seen across the country

Nationwide holiday spending saw its largest bump in six years in 2018, according to a report from financial services company Mastercard, and local businesses say they're also feeling that trend. Specifically, the Mastercard report said that in November and December of this year, U.S. consumers spent a total of $850 billion — an increase of 5.1 percent from the same period last year. Joe Flannery, president ...

Go, See, Do | New Year's Eve parties, Final Friday, Dance Party for Littles and more

The year is coming to an end, and it is time to party once again. If you’re looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Lawrence, there are plenty of places to go. Here are a few events that caught my eye: • It may soon be 2019, but the Granada is letting people celebrate by taking it back to the 1990s and early 2000s with Los Angeles-based group Emo Nite. The three-person group doesn't describe itself as ...

Kansas state parks to host 'First Day Hikes' to kick off the new year outdoors

The holiday season can be a time of eating tasty treats and lounging around, often leading to weight gain and a plan to shed the pounds with a New Year’s resolution. Luckily for Douglas County residents, the Kansas State Parks are offering a way to get a head start on those resolutions with a hike on the first day of the year. The state parks will host “First Day Hikes” events on Jan. 1 at 19 locations ...

A Kansas comeback: 30 years ago, bald eagles began population resurgence in Lawrence

About three decades ago, a remarkable ecological comeback started in Lawrence, local eagle biologist Mike Watkins said. For decades, Kansas had not documented a nesting location for bald eagles within its borders. But in 1989, a fisherman reported seeing America's national bird in the Lawrence area at Clinton Lake. “I was skeptical,” said Watkins, who served as a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wildlife ...

Lawrence man arrested on suspicion of hitting someone in the face with metal object

A Lawrence man was arrested Friday afternoon for allegedly hitting someone in the face with a metal object. The Lawrence Police Department arrested Micheal Jerome Jordan, 50, at 3:10 p.m. Friday on suspicion of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, which is a felony. Officer Shawn Gross, a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department, said the police were dispatched to the 700 block of West 25th Street ...

Wichita-area couple want Kansas to become leader in soon-to-be legal hemp production

Rick and Stacy Gash, an entrepreneurial couple in the Wichita area, want to help make Kansas a leading state in the production of hemp, a newly legalized crop. Hemp, a cannabis-plant cousin to marijuana, was once a major commercial crop in the United States, used mainly for making fabric and rope. Although it contains less THC, the chemical in cannabis that causes a high, the plant was criminalized nationwide ...

Lawrence-area Reps. Ballard, Highberger to serve in minority leadership positions; Rep. Horn assigned to new committee

Updated at 4:15 p.m. Friday Two local lawmakers will again serve as the highest-ranking Democratic leaders of Kansas House of Representatives committees during the 2019 legislative session, and another will serve on a newly created committee focusing on rural issues. Democratic state Reps. Barbara Ballard and Dennis "Boog" Highberger, both of Lawrence, will serve as ranking minority leaders for the social ...

Credits for Westar customers mean dramatically lower electric bills

Lawrence residents may notice significantly lower electric bills this month. As part of an agreement approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission last summer, utility customers will begin seeing credits on their bills that reflect savings that Westar Energy will realize as a result of recently enacted federal tax cuts and a merger of Westar and Kansas City Power & Light. The credits were to begin at the ...