Businesses evacuated during natural gas leak
Firefighters evacuated a handful of businesses and blocked off Seventh Street just east of Massachusetts Street for about an hour Thursday after construction crews accidentally ruptured a natural gas line.
No fire and no injuries were reported from the leak, which occurred in the alley east of the 600 block of Massachusetts Street. A backhoe broke a 2-inch natural gas line, forcing evacuation of the Raven Bookstore, 8 E. Seventh St.; Liberty Hall, 642 Mass.; and La Prima Tazza, 638 Mass.
Firefighters used gas-detecting equipment inside Free State Brewing Co., 636 Mass., but didn't find any leaking natural gas, officials said.
Construction crews were working behind the old post office, 645 N.H., where the Lawrence Journal-World and Sunflower Cable news operations are to be housed.
Kansas Public Service workers had to shut off three valves to stop the leak, fire officials said.
In the photo above, Bill Keith, left, owner of Spectrum Optical, 4 E. Seventh, retreats to the corner of Seventh and Massachusetts streets after giving Lawrence-Douglas County firefighters a key to the business. Seconds later, the firefighters entered the building to check gas levels.
Phi Kappa Theta to move to former fraternity house
Phi Kappa Theta fraternity at Kansas University has found a new home.
Members of the fraternity, formerly located at 1941 Stewart Ave., will reside at the former Delta Tau Delta chapter house at 1111 W. 11th St. beginning Aug. 1.
The fraternity has been without a house since June 1, when members were ordered to move out of their Stewart Avenue location because a city-mandated sprinkler system had not been installed.
In late February, a fire struck the vacated premises, causing an estimated $300,000 in damage.
Delta Tau Delta fraternity moved out of its 11th Street house last spring due to a lack of members.
The Delta Tau Delta alumni board has agreed to lease the house to Phi Kappa Theta for four years, with an option on a fifth year, president Chris Vetter said.
Phi Kappa Theta is weighing several options in selling its Stewart Avenue property.
Edwards Campus names associate dean
Mary Ryan, director of new student orientation at Kansas University, has been named associate dean of the university's Edwards Campus in Overland Park.
Ryan, who will assume her duties June 4, will be responsible for academic programming and development at the campus. She has worked at KU since 1991.
She replaces Bruce Lindvall, who left last year to become director of higher education services for the Midwestern Regional Office of the College Board in Evanston, Ill.