Courts: Judge declines to modify priest's prison sentence
A priest convicted of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy while living in Lawrence will remain behind bars.
Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone denied a motion by Dennis Schmitz's attorney to modify the imposed sentence. In October, Malone sentenced the 41-year-old priest to nearly three years in prison.
Schmitz's attorney had asked that the judge reconsider and place Schmitz in a residential treatment facility in Missouri, where he would receive intensive counseling.
The judge denied the motion, noting the defendant has no constitutional right to out-of-state treatment just because a similar program isn't offered in Kansas.
Community: Construction blocks busy post office parking
Construction to fix the Lawrence Post Office's damaged garage blocked parking Tuesday, right in the middle of the busy holiday season.
"It is a problem," Lawrence Postmaster Bill Reynolds said, "and I regret that."
The garage was damaged last month when a driver accidentally rammed it with his vehicle, Reynolds said. He didn't know until Tuesday morning that repairs would begin the same day. Construction will take two to four days, he said.
Construction equipment blocked postal customers' access to free parking in front of the garage, on the north side of the post office at 645 Vt.
Holidays: Salvation Army prepares for Christmas toy shop
Children from at least 250 families in Douglas County will pay a visit to the Salvation Army's toy shop next week to get their Christmas gifts.
The toy shop will be set up at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds and workers, such as Diane Zinn, above, have been getting the shop ready for the onslaught of children on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, said Judy Forney, chair of the Salvation Army Christmas Committee.
The families also will be picking up a box of groceries with food for their Christmas dinner, Forney said.
Applications from families who want their children to be able to get toys still can be made this week at Salvation Army headquarters, 946 N.H. The family member making the application must bring a photo identification of themselves, Social Security cards for every member of their family, proof of income and proof that they are Douglas County residents.