WRITER: Elvyn Jones

Van Go looks to continue art-based social service mission under new leader with corporate, nonprofit background

A career path that included stints in the corporate and nonprofit worlds has prepared Carol Kobza to fill the big shoes left by Lynne Green at Van Go inc. Kobza took over Jan. 15 as executive director of Van Go after Green, who founded the nonprofit in 1997 and was its executive director until her Dec. 28 retirement. Green said Van Go is an arts-based social service agency that transforms the lives of the ...

Lawrence avoids worst of winter storm, but rest of weekend will be frigid

Lawrence and Douglas County dodged the worst of the latest winter storm to blow through northeast Kansas, but Saturday morning did bring frigid temperatures. Sarah Teefey, a meteorologist with the Topeka National Weather Service office, said reported snowfall totals in Lawrence mostly ranged from half an inch to an inch, but there was a report of 3 inches near 15th Street and Haskell Avenue. That could have ...

Missouri man arrested in Eudora after car chase that started on I-70

A Missouri man was arrested Saturday night in Eudora after a chase that started on Interstate 70 northeast of Lawrence. Sgt. Kristen Channel, of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, said via e-mail that 29-year-old Phillip Candillo, of Smithville, Mo., was arrested at about 11 p.m. Saturday at the Kansas Highway 10/Church Street interchange in Eudora after a sheriff's deputy performed a tactical intervention ...

Snowstorm causes power outages but few traffic problems in Lawrence

A winter storm dropped about 4 inches of wet, heavy snow on Lawrence Friday evening and Saturday morning, causing power outages in the city and Douglas County but not having much of an impact on traffic in the city. Bryan Baerg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka, said snowfall amounts from 3.5 to 6 inches were reported in Lawrence from the storm, with 4 inches being the most consistent ...

Driver suspected of fleeing law enforcement arrested after accident, faces multiple charges

A 23-year-old Lawrence man was booked Friday into Douglas County Jail on multiple charges following a two-vehicle accident that occurred while he was allegedly fleeing a law enforcement officer. According to a Kansas Highway Patrol report, the accident occurred at 7:28 p.m. Friday when Nilo Isaac Pena, 23, of Lawrence, drove northbound on Alabama Street in a 2017 Kia Sedona in a suspected attempt to elude ...

Topeka man treated for gunshot wound suffered near Lawrence's Carnegie Building

The Lawrence Police Department is investigating an apparent shooting at the Carnegie Building Saturday morning that left one man wounded. According to a news release from department spokeswoman Sgt. Amy Rhoads, a Lawrence officer heard what sounded like a gunshot from inside the Carnegie Building, 200 W. Ninth St., about 12:30 a.m. after observing a group of individuals running through a parking lot in the 800 ...

Delaware Tribe that once wanted a local casino steps away from plans to develop North Lawrence property

The Delaware Tribe has abandoned plans to develop as an agricultural heritage center a 92-acre site just northeast of Lawrence. Chester Brooks, chief of the Delaware Tribe, said the Delaware Tribal Council decided the proposed agricultural heritage center would not produce enough revenue to pay for the $500,000 cost needed to develop the site. The Bartlesville, Okla.,-based tribe instead is now attempting to ...

Jail expansion, behavioral health promise to top Douglas County Commission's 2019 agenda

There certainly will be plenty that's new in Douglas County government in 2019. A new commissioner will be seated this month, and the county will be searching for a new county administrator for the first time in more than 25 years. But when it comes to issues, expect two old ones to dominate the year. Once again, the issues of jail overcrowding and the expansion of behavioral health services promise to be the ...

Suspect arrested after chase that started on Kansas Turnpike ends in Lawrence

A Lawrence man was shocked with a Taser and arrested early Sunday morning after a chase that started on the Kansas Turnpike ended in the 1100 block of Lawrence Avenue. Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Mark Christensen said 35-year-old Cory Phast Lane, of Lawrence, was arrested at 1:30 a.m. Sunday after a chase that started about a mile east of the Douglas/Leavenworth county line on the turnpike. Christensen said he ...

Crop prices depressed as soybean harvest finally concludes

The drawn-out 2018 soybean harvest may be finished locally before the first of the year, a local elevator manager says. The late summer and fall rains that saved the soybean crop also delayed its harvest, said Clark Wenger, general manager of Ottawa Co-op. The 15 Ottawa Co-op elevators, including the two elevators in Lawrence, were open into December as the harvest dragged on, he said. “We ended up taking ...

New company resurrects founder's dream of giving jobless people a second chance

Second chances are what Phoenix Woodworking is all about, and that starts with the company itself, its founder says. The goal of Shine Adams' new woodworking shop, which opened in September at the Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center, is to hire the homeless, prison parolees, recovering addicts and others with employment challenges and give them a second chance to rejoin the workforce. But it's not the ...

Baker University minister ready for adventure, new duties in Antarctica

Like many area snowbirds, Kevin Hopkins will take leave of Kansas for January and February to head south. But Hopkins, Baker University's campus minister, will travel so far south that he will actually chase down the sun and not experience a sunset until halfway through February. Hopkins leaves Jan. 2 for McMurdo Station in Antarctica, trading his campus minister duties for those of chaplain at the base that ...

Community input sought as Lawrence school district develops 5-year strategic plan

The five-year strategic plan the Lawrence school district will develop this spring will be an inclusive community effort that will spell out specific steps for improvements and will keep people accountable, Lawrence Superintendent Anthony Lewis vows. The strategic planning process is new to the district, said board member Shannon Kimball. While serving as board president last year, she suggested that the ...

Off-leash dog park for Baldwin City nears final approval

A plan to build an off-leash dog park at the city-owned nine-hole golf course in Baldwin City is set to get final approval in January, Baldwin City Administrator Glenn Rodden said. The Baldwin City Planning Commission voted Dec. 12 to recommend that the Baldwin City Council approve a conditional-use permit for a dog park to be built on the 63-acre golf course at 1102 Main St., Rodden said. The permit for the ...

County Commission approves subsidy for new psychiatrists, discusses Fire Medical negotiations

The Douglas County Commission agreed Wednesday to subsidize the hiring of three new psychiatrists for $350,000 — a move that one official said would allow about 1,100 more people to get the mental health treatment they need in 2019. The subsidy will allow Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center to hire a new full-time psychiatrist and will allow Lawrence Memorial Hospital to hire two psychiatrists who will ...

New water plant near Kansas River to serve thousands of customers in Douglas County, Osage County

Early next year, a new water plant east of Lawrence in the Kansas River bottoms will start supplying water to customers living more than 30 miles to the southwest, said the president of a new wholesale water district. The $9 million plant about three miles east of Lawrence on North 1500 Road is already producing water on a test basis, said Larry Wray, president of the Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. ...

Sunflower Elementary paraprofessional recognized for going extra mile for special-needs students

Witnessing a family member be deprived of educational opportunities left a lasting impression on Mike Harris, much to the benefit of special-needs students at Sunflower Elementary School. Harris, a special-needs paraprofessional at Sunflower since 2008, was presented Tuesday with the Lawrence Schools Foundation’s annual Dedication to Education Award and the $5,000 check that comes with it during the ...

County Commission to consider $350,000 subsidy to hire 3 psychiatrists for Bert Nash, Heartland

The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday will consider a proposal that would add three new psychiatrists to the county health system in 2019. The proposal would have the county subsidize the cost of hiring three new psychiatrists at a cost of $350,000, said Bob Tryanski, county director of behavioral health projects. The positions would be funded from the $1.9 million the County Commission allocated in the ...

Housing components of behavioral health campus set for 2019 construction

The transitional group home and apartments to be built in 2019 as part of Lawrence's newly approved behavioral health campus can’t open too soon. “The truth is when we cut the red ribbon at the opening, we will be full,” said Mathew Faulk, housing program supervisor for Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, which will manage the housing. County voters in November approved a quarter-cent countywide ...