Archive for Friday, January 1, 1999


January 1, 1999


The month started out with rains heavy enough to later qualify Douglas County for federal disaster relief.

Oct. 15 brought the wrap-up of a temporary complaint department created by state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to gauge discontent among child welfare professionals. The special telephone hotline, operated by Kansas University's Beach Center, responded to criticisms of state foster-care services.

Gov. Bill Graves announced that Johnson County businessman and former KU business instructor Clay C. Blair would replace Phyllis Nolan of Louisburg on the Kansas Board of Regents, the agency that oversees state universities. Blair was the developer of the KU Regents Center in Johnson County.

Three thrill-seeking teen-agers were arrested Oct. 14 for trespassing at Stull Cemetery, which local folklore decribes as a "gateway to hell" frequented by devils on Halloween. The day before Halloween, workers sawed down the monster pine tree, more than a century old, that stood by the supposed gateway's front gate.

Police that week also arrested a Eudora woman for allegedly "cooking" methamphetamine on a hotplate. The woman's 6-year-old daughter was home at the time.

Baker University in Baldwin announced it would seek a permanent conservation easement to preserve the 573-acre wetlands it owns south of 31st Street in Lawrence. Highway officials said the move wouldn't affect proposed completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway.

Various downtown businesses, including Coco Loco, Jazzhaus and Miltons, reported receiving counterfeit $10 bills that apparently were made with a high-quality color copying machine.

The owners of Johnny's Tavern announced the historic North Lawrence pub was on the sale block due to slow trade there.

The month ended with the death from diabetes complications of Ron Todd, a former state insurance commissioner. The longtime Lawrence resident and Kansas GOP party activist was 66 when he died Oct. 29.

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