Massachusetts Street parking meters were taking a holiday. The meters were to be on Christmas vacation through December with two hours of free parking guaranteed, according to Ron Johnson, Downtown Lawrence Assn. president.
Kansas Senate Republicans and Democrats both decided to inject new blood into their top leadership positions during party caucuses in Topeka. Sen. Robert Talkington, R-Iola, wrested the Senate president spot from Ross Doyen, R-Concordia, in a secret 13-11 vote on the first ballot. Doyen had held the job since 1975. Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Parsons, became the new minority leader, winning the post from Jack Steineger, D-Kansas City, on a 9-7 vote. Steineger had held the job for the past 12 years.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Charles Stenholm of Texas dropped his conservative challenge to Democratic Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, clearing the way for O’Neill’s uncontested nomination to a fifth and final term as powerful leader of the House of Representatives.
As the winter progressed, a checkup showed that local natural gas rates were comparable to those in most area cities the size of Lawrence.