Suspect in arson spree enters not-guilty plea
The former Kansas University student suspected in an arson spree in Lawrence and Johnson County entered a formal not-guilty plea Wednesday in Johnson County District Court.
The appearance by David R. Jay, 24, follows a preliminary hearing last week that laid out evidence and depicted Jay as someone who, in the words of one detective, "simply wanted to see a fire."
Jay is charged with using starter logs and camp fuel to set 14 fires in Johnson County, many of them at homes or businesses under construction. He hasn't been charged in Douglas County but is suspected in three fires here during March: one at a dental office, one at a garden store, and one at Kansas University's Watson Library.
Also Wednesday, a judge scheduled a Sept. 8 hearing on a motion by Jay's attorneys to suppress statements he made to police after his arrest.
Jay is in the Johnson County Jail.
Ottawa Co-op fire still under investigation
Ottawa -- A "suspicious fire" that caused $1 million damage to the Ottawa Co-op a month ago remains under investigation.
"We're still working on it," Richard Oglesby, Ottawa assistant fire chief, said earlier this week.
Oglesby declined to say whether investigators thought they knew what caused the fire. He noted that a $5,000 reward still was being offered by the Kansas Committee on Arson Prevention for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the fire.
Anyone with information is asked to call (800) KS-CRIME.
A task force made up of investigators from the Fire Department, Ottawa Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office is handling the investigation.
No one was injured in the blaze June 5.
D.A., suspect reach plea in ISU airplane invasion
The Lawrence man charged with illegally entering the Iowa State University men's basketball team's airplane in February has entered a diversion agreement.
Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney's office has agreed to suspend prosecution of Gary Dean Patterson, 28, and drop charges of disorderly conduct and criminal trespass if Patterson meets a series of requirements. For example, he'll have to pay court costs and restitution, do 10 hours of community service and write a letter of apology.
Reached by telephone Wednesday, Patterson declined comment on the incident.
Authorities said Patterson entered the ISU charter Feb. 21 as pilots were fueling the plane at Lawrence Municipal Airport. It forced the Iowa State team to return to Ames on a bus while the plane underwent an extensive search.
Manhole work to cause 6th Street traffic delays
Drivers in Lawrence can expect traffic to move more slowly in the next several days on Sixth Street between Arizona and Arkansas streets.
There will be periodic reductions to one lane in either direction in the area where resurfacing and other improvements have been made, city officials said.
The contractor will be adjusting manhole covers and doing other incidental work that will require lane closings, officials said.
The estimated completion date is July 30, weather permitting.
Pump Patrol seeks deals
The Journal-World has found gasoline prices as low as $1.74 at several locations in Lawrence.
If you find a lower price, please call Pump Patrol at 832-7154.