Apartment complex cleared after fireworks shot off
Tower C of Jayhawker Towers Apartments was evacuated early Thursday morning when fireworks were set off inside an elevator, the Kansas University Public Safety Office said.
About 3 a.m., smoke from the fireworks set off alarms in the building at 1603 W. 15th St., which houses KU students. The smoke was present on the tower's fourth floor, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical said.
Both Fire & Medical and KU Police responded to the scene.
No one was injured, and no arrests were made, KU police said.
Sister city's mayor extends sympathies to Lawrence
The mayor of Lawrence's sister city in Japan has offered sympathies for hijacked airline attacks on America, Lawrence Mayor Mike Rundle said Thursday.
Itsuo Yoshino, mayor of Hiratsuka, Japan, sent the message Wednesday to Rundle.
"I hope that you will overcome the sorrow and grief that have been shared by all the people in your country," Yoshino wrote. "We would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to those who were killed in the attacks, as well as sympathy to our friends in Lawrence."
Accidental Gas line rupture causes evacuation Thursday
About 20 people were evacuated Thursday afternoon after a contractor punctured a natural gas line with an auger, authorities said.
A private contractor digging a hole for a utility pole near 23rd Street and Barker Avenue ruptured a natural gas line, which leaked for a little more than half an hour, said Bill Stark, battalion chief for Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical.
Two businesses and three nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution, he said, and other people in the area may have self-evacuated. No injuries were reported.
Emergency personnel blocked the intersection from about 2:30 until just after 3 p.m., when the gas company located valves on the line and shut it down.
The gas company was repairing the line Thursday afternoon, Stark said.
KU professor wins award for John Wesley Powell book
A Kansas University history professor's biography of a 19th-century explorer has won the 2001 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award.
Donald Worster won the award for his book, "A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell." Powell in 1869 navigated the Colorado River from its main stream through the Grand Canyon.
The book addresses social and religious issues in the 18th and 19th centuries, the history of American science, the anti-slavery movement, and relations with American Indians.
The Byron Caldwell Smith Award, given by KU's Hall Center for the Humanities, is open to any humanities author who lives or works in Kansas.
The award was established in honor of Smith, a former professor of Greek language and literature at KU.