Area briefs

Commission to help plan freeway to Ottawa

The state knows where a new $210 million freeway will be built between Lawrence and Ottawa, but officials are looking for help deciding which roads will cross the new four-lane U.S. Highway 59.

Kansas Department of Transportation engineers will be in Lawrence for a work session Monday with Douglas County commissioners. The session is set for the end of the commission’s regular meeting, which begins at 8:30 a.m. at the county courthouse, 1100 Mass.

The department’s current plans call for interchanges at U.S. Highway 56, County Road 460 and County Road 458. Bridges crossing the freeway would be built along North 1, North 150 and North 900 roads.

All other roads now intersecting with U.S. 59 would be cut off, said Keith Browning, the county’s director of public works. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2007, with the highway expected to open in 2009.

The work session is open to the public, Browning said, but no public comment is scheduled.

Kansas University

Summit promotes voting among young adults

More than 40 college students arrived in Lawrence on Friday for the two-day Youth Participation in Politics and Civic Engagement Summit at the Dole Institute of Politics on the Kansas University campus. The summit opened with a speech by Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh.

The students represented eight colleges and universities.

The purpose of the summit was to discuss ways to get young adults more involved in voting and the political process and for those attending to return to their schools and work for increased participation, said Barbara Ballard, a Lawrence state representative and associate vice provost at KU, who was the summit’s chairwoman. “This is a training ground,” she said.

Young people don’t vote because of complicated rules involved with registering to vote, and they don’t think their vote will make a difference, said Paul Stuewe, a government teacher at Lawrence High School. Some states have seen improvement in voting participation by adopting same-day registration and voting, he said.


Ryun campaign opens headquarters in Topeka

Topeka — U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, a Republican from Jefferson County, has opened campaign headquarters in his bid to be re-elected to a fifth term.

The office is across the street from the Kansas Capitol in Topeka, at 212 W. Eighth St. in suite 101.

Ryun represents the 2nd District, which includes west Lawrence and Topeka.

Ryun’s campaign can be contacted through his Web site,, or by phone at (785) 273-8901.

He faces no opposition in the Republican Party primary but will match up against Democrat Nancy Boyda of Topeka in the Nov. 2 general election.