The fourth month of 1998 featured a potpourri of city and court news, including goals outlined by the Lawrence City Commission for the year.
Those goals included maintaining the long-term viability of downtown, becoming more customer-friendly, increasing efficiency, continuing maintenance of existing infrastructure and enhancing the historic-review process for historic structures.
The city, however, suffered a legal setback on April 13, when Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin ruled that commissioners were "unreasonable" when they denied a building permit to Columbia Healthcare Corp. in 1996, when the corporation sought to build a new hospital here.
In other city news, a new Municipal Court building opened on April 27 at 1008 N.H., and a new $605,000, 100-foot ladder truck went into service April 23 for Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical.
In other news, Samuel Mutfwang, 46, was bound over for trial in the Jan. 30 murder of his ex-wife, Cindy Mutfwang, in Lecompton.
Arrested earlier in the month was Deon Hale for the murder of Robert Baldwin in 1997. Hale was arrested in North Dakota on April 17.
At the state level, the Kansas Legislature on April 10 approved the expenditure of $3 million for a new institute for public service and public policy at Kansas University. The center is to be named after former U.S. Senate majority leader and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole.
Later in the month, Gov. Bill Graves signed a bill that tightened restrictions on late-term abortions and banned "partial-birth" abortions.
The Journal-World on April 26 ran the first in a series of articles about the state's privatized foster-care system. The series continued though the year.
On April 13, Mark Buhler, a county commissioner for eight years, announced that he would not seek re-election to the post.
Environmentalists in April renewed calls for cleaning the Kansas River after American Rivers announced that it was the 20th most-endangered river in the country.
In sports news, KU All-American Paul Pierce announced that he would be leaving KU for the NBA.