Archive for Friday, January 1, 1999


January 1, 1999


In a slow election year, Lawrence voters went to the polls and overwhelmingly passed a $16.16 million bond issue for Lawrence Public Schools. The result will be the construction of a new elementary school west of Wakarusa and other improvements to schools in the Lawrence district.

Voters also elected Democrat Dennis Moore to the 3rd Kansas Congressional District, previously represented by incumbent candidate Vince Snowbarger. It was the first time a Democrat had been elected to the post since the district was established in 1962.

"Maybe the best thing I can do is to be a good congressman and make people say it's OK to have a Democrat in public office," Moore said after the election.

Other changes were not viewed as favorably.

Chris's Fresh Market Place, the only grocery store in North Lawrence since 1949, closed unexpectedly on Nov. 14. Owners never gave a full explanation for the shutdown.

Plans were also made to close the Mercantile Bank location at 647 Mass. The site will be used for future retail development.

And Pier I Imports, located downtown since it opened in 1976, announced plans to move to a larger location in South Lawrence next year.

The City of Lawrence unveiled a $100 million plan to guide transportation improvements through the next five years.

The plan, called the Lawrence area's Transportation Improvement Plan, or TIP, calls for federal, state and local governments to chip in for the cost of improvements to streets and highways including the South Lawrence Trafficway, traffic signals, bridges, transit and the airport.

Announcement of the plan came just days after the Kansas Department of Transportation pulled traffic funding for the eastern leg of the South Lawrence Trafficway.

Kansas Secretary of Transportation E. Dean Carlson referred to the trafficway project as "essentially dead" after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to uphold an injunction on trafficway work until an environmental study is completed.

Douglas County commissioners voted against an appeal of the decision and said they would explore the feasibility of completing the supplemental environmental impact statement in question.

Thanksgiving came and went on a mild note, with high temperatures in the low 70s. While the warm front was a welcome respite to some, it didn't set a record. That happened in 1990 when the high reached 77 degrees.

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