Agencies offer help with heating bills
Teaming up to launch the Gift of Warmth program, The Salvation Army Western Missouri Division and Kansas Gas Service will assist families with paying their winter heating bills.
Funds will be granted to qualifying families regardless of the energy source -- gas, propane, electricity, fuel oil or firewood.
Applicants may request application materials by calling (877) 566-2769, ext. 402, or by visiting the local Salvation Army Office, 946 N.H.
The organizations will award funds on a first-come, first-served basis to applicants with a gross family income not exceeding 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
County residents finish basic training
Four Douglas County residents are among the 62 graduates who completed training last month at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.
The center, a division of KU Continuing Education in Hutchinson, provides a 14-week basic training course for officers in the state. About 350 people go through the program each year.
Douglas County residents who graduated were Lance Parker, Baldwin Police Department; Caleb Lewis, Eudora Police Department; Lorelei Springer, of Lawrence, Douglas County Sheriff's Office; and Justin Koehn, of Lawrence, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
Fire departments receive federal grants
The Department of Homeland Security announced assistance grants to Overbrook and Tonganoxie and eight other fire departments in Kansas.
The department granted the Tonganoxie Township Rural Fire Department $6,518 and the Osage County Fire District $28,106 for purchasing new equipment, enhancing emergency service programs and conducting fire education programs.
This 19th round of grants provided nearly $89.54 million to fire departments across the nation.
Toys for Tots program kicks off in Lawrence
The holiday spirit begins early for the Board of Directors of the Douglas County Toys for Tots program.
Secret Santas are planning the 10th annual toy collection, as well as various events that benefit the program.
"We have no idea how many children and what their ages are until just before the toys are needed," said Mary Jones, coordinator.
For more information about the Toys for Tots program and how you can help, call Jones at 766-3023.
The kickoff event for the drive was the 11th annual Blues Review at Liberty Hall earlier this month.
All proceeds from the event, including shirt and CD sales, go to Douglas County Toys for Tots.
"We are happy to have this event to kick off the start of the Toys for Tots program," Jones said. "No child should have the blues at Christmas."
Senior Center requests inactive cell phones
Douglas County Senior Services is encouraging people to donate unused cell phones for the "911 cell phones for seniors" program.
The phones will be used in emergency situations and are able to reach only 911 operators.
People wanting to donate cell phones that are no longer activated can bring the phones to the Lawrence Senior Center, 745 Vt. Phones must have a battery pack and charger.
For more information, call Katie Glendening, community services program assistant, at 842-0543.
Special ed professors receive national awards
Two Kansas University researchers have won national awards recognizing their work to improve life for people with mental disabilities and their families.
Ann Turnbull received the distinguished research award and Rud Turnbull received the Franklin Smith Award, both from Arc of the United States. The awards will be presented during Arc's annual convention next week in Boston.
The distinguished research award, which comes with a $1,000 prize, recognizes an outstanding researcher whose work has had a significant impact on the prevention or improvement of mental retardation. The Franklin Smith Award recognizes national service to the field of developmental disabilities and is the highest honor bestowed by the organization.
The Turnbulls are professors of special education and are co-founders and co-directors of the Beach Center on Disability at KU.