Archive for Friday, January 1, 1999


January 1, 1999


As winter gave way to spring in Lawrence, so turned the fates of several local employees, personalities, businesses and teams.

A rundown:

  • Stella Luse, city clerk in McLouth, retired after 25 years on the job.
  • George Catt, Lawrence's municipal judge, announced he would retire in September after 25 years of hearing traffic cases, misdemeanor complaints and small-claims cases in Municipal Court.
  • Jane Johnson, longtime secretary to the chancellor at Kansas University, retired after 27 years at Strong Hall. She served through the full tenures of Archie Dykes, Gene Budig and Del Shankel -- twice -- before working with the school's current leader, Robert Hemenway.
  • Marguerite Carlson announced her resignation after more than three years as executive director of Douglas County Senior Services, which provides transportation, meals, leisure programs, adult day care and community services for people 60 years of age and older.
  • After leading Mercantile Bank of Lawrence for much of the 1990s, John Elmore left town to become president and chief executive officer of Mercantile Credit Corp. in St. Louis. Charles Warner, until then head of trust and investment services for the bank, took over as the bank's president and chief executive.
  • Ivan Flory, Douglas County's road and bridge superintendent, retired after 36 years on the job.

March also brought several other losses.

Jennifer Trapp, a standout basketball player at Lawrence High School and Kansas University before playing professionally in Europe, took her own life at her parents' Lawrence home.

Cracker Barrel, a Tennessee-based restaurant and gift-store chain, announced it was pulling the plug on plans for locating adjacent to the Tanger Factory Outlet Center in North Lawrence.

An embezzlement scheme at a survey research center at KU left 40 student employees out of work during the month as investigators tried to track down the $1,086.16 in extra wages tacked onto student time slips and then partially paid to a supervisor.

A Kansas University basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA basketball tournament, but it wasn't the storied men's team. The KU women's team lost to Arkansas in Oakland, Calif., after advancing to the round of 16 for the second time in history.

The men's team -- led for the last time by All-Americans Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce -- lost to Rhode Island in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

"It's hard to explain the pain and hurt," Coach Roy Williams told about 300 fans during a season-ending rally at Allen Fieldhouse. "I'm not intelligent enough to say the words that need to be said. But please understand that we love you."

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