Archive for Thursday, March 26, 2009

Also from March 26

Audio clips
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KU women vs. Arkansas Kansas practices in Indianapolis Police investigate after shooting outside The Hawk The day in photos, March 26, 2009 Free State High School Encore 2009
Do you have a superstition that you perform before or during a Kansas University basketball game?

Poll results

Response Percent
I’m not a KU fan
Total 310

Lead stories

12:00 a.m.
Pair tortilla chips with a delicious, made-from-scratch guacamole dip, which is cheaper (and often healthier) than the premade dips sold in stores. Healthy madness: Sweet 16 snacking needn’t be expensive
March 25, 2009 in print edition on 1C
Last year about this time, Kansas University fans were dancing in the streets celebrating a men’s basketball national championship. The parties were endless, the games exciting, and the economy had yet to foul out and hurt the home team.
6:00 a.m.
An architectural rendering of a new track-only facility being considered for the area south of the old football practice facility, along 19th Street. There would be seating for 5,000 people. Total costs of the track facility would be about $8 million. KU Athletics releases report that includes plans for $24.6 million Olympic Village
12:24 p.m., March 25, 2009 Updated 5:44 p.m. in print edition on 1A
The Kansas University Athletic Department released a draft of a self study Wednesday detailing information on budgets, master plans and many other aspects of its operation.
10:00 a.m.
Danny Manning signs autographs for 10 year-old Anastasia Graves and her sister Maria, 12, at Allen Fieldhouse as the KU men's basketball team leaves for Indianapolis. Jayhawks depart for Sweet 16
March 25, 2009 in print edition on 3A
Maria Graves nearly tripped as she sprinted to her parents and sister, pink hat clutched in her hands, the black scrawl of Tyrone Appleton’s signature barely legible on the bill.
2:00 p.m.
In this Feb. 7, 2007, file photo, Sunflower Electric Cooperative’s coal-fired power plant churns out electricity in Holcomb, Kan. Kansas Chamber releases poll showing significant support for coal-burning power plants
March 25, 2009 in print edition on 3A
The Kansas Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday turned up the political heat for a bill to allow the construction of two 700-megawatt coal-burning power plants with the release of a poll that indicates significant support for the proposal.

All stories

Tiller leads Missouri past Memphis 102-91 in West
March 26, 2009
A career night by J.T. Tiller put Missouri one win away from its first trip to the Final Four. Memphis’ 27-game winning streak, meanwhile, is history. Tiller scored a career-high 23 points — 15 more than his season average — and Missouri held off Memphis’ frantic rally for a 102-91 win Thursday night in the semifinals of the West Regional.
McCray, Morris lead KU to win
09:04 p.m., March 26, 2009 Updated 01:15 a.m. in print edition on B1
Those candies are tasty — they melt in your mouth, not in your hands — but Kansas University’s M&Ms may be even better.
Sebelius says she’ll sign legislation to approve graduated drivers’ licensing
March 26, 2009
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will sign legislation raising the age for getting an unrestricted Kansas driver’s license from 16 to 17.
Legislative committee approves another bill allowing coal-burning plants
March 26, 2009
In a room packed with lobbyists, a House-Senate conference committee on Thursday teed up another bill aimed at building two 700-megawatt coal-burning electric power plants.
Volunteer center collects worn prom dresses
March 26, 2009
The Roger Hill Volunteer Center will conduct a Prom Dress Drive in Douglas County.
KU fans look to make good memories of games in Indianapolis
March 26, 2009
Mike Earhart is back for some redemption. The last time he came to Indianapolis to cheer on the Kansas Jayhawks was 1991. That didn’t turn out so well, as KU lost to Duke, 72-65, in the national championship game.
Two men sentenced to life in prison for murder at Bonner Springs Dollar General
04:38 p.m., March 26, 2009 Updated 05:04 p.m.
Two men were sentenced Thursday to life terms for the Nov. 11, 2005, murder of an employee at the Dollar General Store in Bonner Springs.
LHS track meet canceled for Friday
Topeka West Relays canceled; no make-up date has been set
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B4
Lawrence High’s season-opening track meet has been canceled.
Amtrak to build new passenger platform at Lawrence depot
02:48 p.m., March 26, 2009 Updated 05:38 p.m. in print edition on A3
Lawrence’s Santa Fe Depot will receive $600,000 worth of renovations as part of the federal stimulus package, an Amtrak spokesman said Thursday.
Lawrence included in winter storm watch
11:31 a.m., March 26, 2009 Updated 06:03 p.m. in print edition on A3
The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a winter storm watch for several Kansas cities, including Lawrence.
As Sweet 16 looms, some superstitious fans take special measures
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A1
It’s do or die for the Kansas men’s basketball team. As the Jayhawks head to Indianapolis for their Sweet 16 matchup against Michigan State on Friday, it’s prompting superstitious fans to pull out their strange traditions.
Kansas legislators reach agreement on state budget
09:25 a.m., March 26, 2009 Updated 09:33 p.m. in print edition on A1
Kansas legislators have agreed on a state budget that reduces funding for public school districts but generally leaves higher education alone.
Overland Park man arrested in shooting incident near KU campus
Two students transported to LMH; third nicked by a bullet
02:06 a.m., March 26, 2009 Updated 08:30 p.m. in print edition on A1
A 22-year-old Overland Park man has been arrested in connection with a triple shooting just before 2 a.m. today near the Kansas University campus, Lawrence police said.
Our town sports
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B6
Veritas Honorees: Melissa Hardee of Veritas Christian High earned first team and John Hicks second team on the All-Kansas Christian Athletic Assn. basketball squads. Eagles earning honorable mention were Taelyr Shelton, Kirsten Bennett and Becky Finger.
Kansas St. snubbed out of NCAAs? Beasley says no
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B4
Former Kansas State player Michael Beasley wasn’t afraid to share his opinion on whether the Wildcats deserved to make the NCAA Tournament this season.
Obama’s online town hall today
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
More than 45,000 people have submitted questions for President Barack Obama’s online town hall meeting today. Obama will take questions about the economy and other topics on the White House’s Web site starting around 10:30 a.m. CDT. The questions are being submitted and voted on by the public.
House panel endorses ambitious budget plan
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
President Barack Obama’s allies rallied around his ambitious budget blueprint as he visited the Capitol on Wednesday, and only hours later a House panel endorsed it, pointing the way for major legislation this year on health care, energy and education.
Government gives $55 to low-income workers
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
Thailand’s government began handing out $55 checks to millions of low-income workers Thursday to stimulate an economy battered by the global financial crisis. As the first checks were distributed, thousands of demonstrators converged on Government House, the office of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, demanding the resignation of the government and rejecting the scheme as a “buy off.”
Quakes shake desert
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
Dozens of small earthquakes are shaking the desert of southeastern California, the day after a moderate temblor struck on the edge of the Salton Sea. The largest of Wednesday’s earthquakes was a magnitude-3.7 recorded at 12:59 p.m. and a magnitude-3.9 at 8:25 p.m. Earlier in the day, swarms of smaller ones shook the sparsely populated area 90 miles east of San Diego. A magnitude-3.5 quake struck shortly before 1 a.m.
Workers burn tires, hold manager hostage
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
French workers burned tires, marched on the presidential palace and held a manager of U.S. manufacturer 3M hostage Wednesday as anger mounted over job cuts and executive bonuses. Rising public outrage at employers on both sides of the Atlantic has been triggered by executives cashing in bonus checks even as their companies were kept afloat with billions of dollars in taxpayers’ money and unemployment soars.
Netanyahu: Israel is peace partner
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
Incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday his government will be a “partner for peace with the Palestinians,” the latest sign that the new Israeli leader is softening his stand as he prepares to take office next week.
Crew error suspected in Buffalo crash
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
Flight data point to possible flight crew errors rather than ice accumulation as a key factor in last month’s plane crash near Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 50 people, aviation safety experts said Wednesday. The National Transportation Safety Board said information obtained from the craft’s data recorder shows the stall warning system had activated before the accident and there was some ice accumulation, but no mechanical problems were found with the plane.
F-22 crashes in desert; pilot killed
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
One of the Air Force’s top-of-the-line F-22 fighter jets crashed Wednesday in the high desert of Southern California, killing a test pilot for prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. The F-22A Raptor crashed at 10 a.m. about 35 miles northeast of Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert. The Bureau of Land Management identifies the area as Harper Dry Lake, a vast and empty expanse of sometimes marshy flat land.
EU presidency: U.S. stimulus is ‘road to hell’
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
The head of the European Union slammed President Barack Obama’s plan to spend nearly $2 trillion to push the U.S. economy out of recession as “the road to hell” that EU governments must avoid. The blunt comments by Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek to the European Parliament on Wednesday highlighted simmering European differences with Washington ahead of a key summit next week on fixing the world economy.
Home Helpers caregiver honored
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B9
Susan Gurrieri, a senior caregiver for Home Helpers of Douglas, Johnson, and Franklin Counties, is a featured caregiver on the national Home Helpers franchise Web site for the quarter. Gurrieri was nominated by Julie Mettenburg, owner and director of Home Helpers locally, as well as by a client.
UMB Financial receives two strong ratings
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B9
UMB Financial Corp. received good marks recently in two financial strength ratings. UMB, with headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., earned a “stable” rating from Moody’s Investors Service. The rating goes to those institutions that can absorb a level of stress beyond Moody’s expected loss assumptions and remain appropriately capitalized at their current rating level.
Bank holding firms coming back together
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B9
Peoples Inc., a local bank holding company that split in two a couple of years ago, is coming back together. Lawrence-based Peoples Inc., the holding company for Peoples Bank locations in Kansas and New Mexico, announced Wednesday that it would be merging with Peoples Bancshares Inc., the holding company for Peoples National Bank locations in Colorado. The merger takes effect April 1.
Overdraft protection bill deserves notice
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B9
Consumer advocacy groups are urging bank customers to weigh in on a proposed rule change by the Federal Reserve concerning the practice called overdraft protection. With a bad economy, unemployment, and a dismal housing market, you might be tempted to ignore this issue.
AIG executive resigns, gives away bonus
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B9
An American International Group Inc. executive who received a retention bonus worth more than $742,000 after taxes has resigned publicly — in an Op-Ed column in The New York Times. Jake DeSantis, an executive vice president at AIG’s Financial Products division, said Wednesday he’s leaving the company and will donate his entire bonus to charity.
Izzo fires up MSU
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B4
Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo has issued a challenge to his 2008-09 Spartans. That is: To “Become Legendary.” The Detroit Free Press reported that MSU’s video coordinators created a highlight video to share with the team prior to last Sunday’s second-round NCAA Tournament victory over Southern Cal in Minneapolis.
Tax change will hurt charities
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A9
President Obama’s proposal to limit the tax deductibility of charitable contributions would effectively transfer more than $7 billion a year from the nation’s charitable institutions to the federal government. But the high-income taxpayers affected by the rule change are likely to cut their charitable giving by as much as the increase in their tax bills, which would, ironically, leave their remaining income and personal consumption unchanged.
Hate is incurable disease
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A9
There are now 926 hate groups in this country. Take a second and consider that number. It represents an increase of more than 50 percent since 2000. And by “hate groups,” I don’t mean guys in their bathrobes who go online and pretend their followers are legion.
Opposing view
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A8
To the editor: I have quite a different view of the AIG debacle than Mr. Hayes (Public Forum, March 23). I believe the mortgage crisis that started the snowball effect on the U.S. economy was the result of too much regulation, not too little. It was a case of the government overreaching into business practices that had worked for centuries and would still be working today if not infringed upon.
KU softball team drops doubleheader
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B5
Val George paused to ponder one final post-game question before stepping off the softball field, and it seemed to throw her for a loop following a long Wednesday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark.
USPS chief: Post office running out of money
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A6
The post office will run out of money this year unless it gets help, Postmaster General John Potter told Congress on Wednesday as he sought permission to cut delivery to five days a week. “We are facing losses of historic proportion. Our situation is critical,” Potter told a House panel.
MSU guard adds toughness
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B3
Travis Walton strolled onto Michigan State’s practice court shortly after midnight with a McDonald’s cup in one hand and a basketball in another.
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B8
This year, you make a big impression. Wherever you go, others inevitably seem drawn to you. Express your authenticity, and you will succeed way beyond your expectations. If you are single, you will have your choice of sweeties. If you are attached, allow your significant other to play a larger role.
Pump patrol
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A3
Gas prices as low as $1.87 were found at BP, 19th Street and Haskell Avenue.
Eight-step strategy to start a vegetable garden
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C1
So you’d like to follow Michelle Obama’s lead and start your own vegetable garden? With just a little planning, having a kitchen garden can be rewarding and fun, especially for people new to the hobby. Here is a common-sense, eight-step strategy that can help get you growing.
UConn will review report
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B3
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said he and the university are looking into a Yahoo! Sports report claiming the school broke NCAA rules during the recruitment of former basketball player Nate Miles, but added Miles is not at UConn and his team remains focused on the NCAA Tournament.
NFL may expand regular season
Goodell says 17 or 18 games possible in 2011
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B2
More games that count, perhaps as early as August 2011? That’s exactly what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants. There are several hurdles before the league can expand its regular season from 16 to 17 or 18 games. Among them is reaching a new collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union.
Fireman dresses as Spiderman for rescue
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A2
Spiderman to the rescue! A Thai firefighter put on a Spiderman costume to rescue a superhero-loving autistic boy who climbed onto a third-floor balcony and dangled his legs over the side because he was nervous on his first day of school.
Lions, Firebirds ready for softball season
Free State’s Hull sisters healthy; Lawrence looking for pitching depth
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B1
Pitching may be an area of concern for the Lawrence High and Free State High softball teams this spring, but, fortunately, excitement and anticipation won’t be. While the Lions return five key members of last year’s squad and welcome nearly a dozen newcomers to the varsity level, the Firebirds return nine players, including all-state outfielders Rosie and Maggie Hull, who missed last season with knee injuries.
Calm, collected Obama more effective
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A8
I took a one-week vacation from this column and the stock market went crazy. The letters AIG were translated into SOS, and the House of Representatives, responding to an outburst of anger across the country, voted for a retroactive 90 percent tax on the AIG traders who had been awarded bonuses even as their company turned to the Treasury and the Federal Reserve for rescue.
Crisis is revenge of the nerds
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A8
Last week we read a lot about those guys at AIG who were paid $165 million in bonuses largely because (we were told) that, having screwed up the company, they were the only guys who could unscrew it. Many of these people were bond traders. Others were “quants,” an occupation of whose existence most of us were blissfully unaware until last year, when the financial markets began to come unraveled.
Unfair slap
Targeting low-income Kansans for mandatory drug testing is demeaning and unfair.
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A8
Is this what class warfare looks like? That term has been mentioned in relation to the angry reaction triggered by the bonuses given to AIG executives and the perhaps-hasty action taken by Congress to seek financial revenge on the recipients. The possibility was raised that the anger of middle-class Americans at the rich may finally have boiled over.
WIU player enjoys trip home
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B5
Not long after Western Illinois first baseman Tyler Metcalf had battered the Kansas University pitching staff for two home runs in a losing effort Tuesday, the cell phones of the Jayhawks’ coaching staff began blinking with text messages.
Jayhawks soak up Sweet 16 in Indy
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B1
Police sirens blared at 6 p.m. on Wednesday as Kansas University’s basketball team bus pulled up to the front door of the Omni Severin Hotel.
KU hoping to get rare second win in WNIT
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B5
Ivana Catic wants to do something no Kansas University women’s basketball player has ever done. “I want to play in April,” said Catic, the Jayhawks’ senior point guard, “but I know you can’t look ahead.” Two victories ahead, in fact. Kansas would need to defeat Arkansas tonight, then win one more game in order to reach the early-April semifinals of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
After slow start in NBA, Rush making major strides
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B1
Brandon Rush had the ball in the right corner and Dwyane Wade, one of the world’s best basketball players, was guarding him early in the first quarter. Rush pump-faked, Wade bit, and the rookie from Kansas drove around him. He passed the ball to the top of the key, ran to the left corner, caught a pass, and hit that jumper of his that comes right out of the West Point textbook. Swish.
Clinton: U.S. shares blame for Mexican drug wars
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A7
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday pledged to stand with Mexico in its violent struggle against drug cartels and admitted that Americans’ “insatiable” appetite for illegal narcotics and their inability to control weapons smuggling was partly to blame.
Chalmers comfortable, confident in starting role
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B1
Mario Chalmers might be a rookie, but he sure doesn’t act like one. Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley has seen it all in the locker room: Mario walking over to knock off a teammate’s headphones. Mario getting up to kick a teammate’s shoes to the side.
Sooners preparing to face zone
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B3
A zone defense doesn’t seem all that menacing to Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin, even if it is the one Jim Boeheim has used in leading Syracuse to such great success all these years.
Pioneering historian John Hope Franklin dies
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C8
John Hope Franklin, a towering scholar and pioneer of African-American studies who wrote the seminal text on the black experience in the U.S. and worked on the landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed public school segregation, died Wednesday. He was 94.
Economy perks up but not out of the woods
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A7
Glimmers of hope for the economy — better home sales and higher demand for goods, plus optimism from the White House and a nearly 20 percent rally in stocks — have some people wondering whether the worst is over.
Stimulus could cost states billions in taxes
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A6
President Barack Obama told the nation’s governors in February that the states’ $229 billion share of the stimulus package “will ensure that you don’t need to make cuts to essential services that Americans rely on now more than ever.”
Home of ex-Royal Bank chief vandalized
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C8
Vandals attacked the home of the former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland, smashing windows early Wednesday at the house of the ex-CEO who resigned in disgrace but with an annual pension of about $1.2 million.
Woman charged after in-flight birth
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C8
New Zealand police charged a woman with abandonment on Wednesday after she secretly gave birth aboard an international flight and dumped the newborn in a garbage can in the plane’s bathroom. Soon after the 29-year-old Samoan mother walked off a Pacific Blue flight from Samoa to Auckland last Thursday, cleaners found a newborn girl still alive amid bloodied paper towels in a toilet trash can.
Male circumcision helps prevent 2 STDs
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C8
Circumcision not only protects against HIV in heterosexual men, but it also helps prevent two other sexually transmitted infections, a large new study found. Circumcised males reduced their risk of infection with HPV, or human papillomavirus, by 35 percent and herpes by 28 percent. However, researchers found circumcision had no effect on the transmission of syphilis.
Students aren’t the only ones complaining about homework
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C8
Rachel Bennett loves playing soccer, spending time with her grandparents and making jewelry with beads. But since the 12-year-old entered a magnet middle school in the fall — and began receiving two to four hours of homework a night — those activities have fallen by the wayside.
Saudi women launch lingerie shop boycott
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C8
Before her wedding last year, Huda Batterjee went abroad to buy her bridal lingerie — she just couldn’t bear the humiliation of discussing her most intimate apparel with a man. She had little choice: there are almost no saleswomen in Saudi Arabia.
Cancer concerns have states mulling teen tanning bans
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C8
Miss Florida Teen USA Kayla Collier was 15 when she first visited a tanning salon so the stage lights at a local pageant wouldn’t make her fair skin look ghostly white. Later that year, as she tried on homecoming dresses, her mother noticed what looked like a scab on her back. It turned out to be skin cancer.
Teacher sells advertising space on schoolwork
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A1
Good morning, class, and welcome to U.S. history, brought to you by Molto Caldo Pizzeria. In a cash-strapped Idaho high school where signs taped near every light switch remind the staff to save electricity, an enterprising teacher has struck a sponsorship deal with a local pizza shop.
Lawmakers cite confusion over proposed budget cut
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A1
Several officials Wednesday said there was confusion over the extent of a proposed cut in the higher education budget that was adopted by the Senate. After the Senate approved its state budget proposal Tuesday, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius praised the action, saying that the Senate had “adopted my budget recommendations on both K-12 and higher education.”
Housing values down 8 percent
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A1
There are new signs that Douglas County homeowners — and governments — may feel more pain from the downturn in the housing industry. Douglas County Appraiser Marion Johnson said Wednesday that preliminary home sale numbers for 2009 show that housing values have dropped by about 8 percent from a year ago. “I would anticipate 2009 being a declining year again,” Johnson said.
Doctor testifies in abortion case
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B10
One of the nation’s few providers of late-term abortions testified Wednesday that he relied on advice from his lawyers and a Kansas official before getting second opinions that prosecutors say were illegal. Dr. George Tiller testified at his trial on 19 misdemeanor charges stemming from abortions he performed at his Wichita clinic in 2003.
‘Motherhood’ not good for laughs
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B8
To mangle Gertrude Stein, a sitcom is a sitcom is a sitcom, no matter how much you monkey with the formula. We’re told “In the Motherhood” (7 p.m., ABC) is based on a Web site that solicits stories about motherhood from real women. So why does it seem like the least original and most indifferently conceived new series of the year?
People in the news
March 26, 2009 in print edition on B8
• Family friend says Richardson was donor • Haggard says he suggested divorce • Fla. prosecutors giving Smith case new look • Isaiah Washington faces eviction • Actress-author marries composer • Armed man arrested at ‘DWTS’ studio
Vegetable gardens can be a pleasing part of landscape
March 26, 2009
’Tis the season when everyone gets the urge to plant. And if you choose to grow vegetables, there’s no need to relegate them to a far corner of your yard, where they are sure to suffer neglect. A vegetable garden need not be an eyesore. It can be an oasis of beauty, pleasing your eyes as much as your palate.
Garden makeovers: Freshen up your yard on a budget
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C2
The silver lining to the recession? The chance to take control of your overgrown yard by getting out there and bringing it back to life yourself. Stephen Anderton put it succinctly in his 1999 book, “Rejuvenating a Garden”: “Good gardening can be very expensive or extraordinarily cheap.
Free State’s ‘Encore’ opens today
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C1
Junior Megan Bracciano, foreground, rehearses a performance of “Lift You Up” with other members of the cast Tuesday evening in preparation for Free State High School’s “Encore” musical performance this weekend.
Baled mulch easy to use, environmentally friendly
March 26, 2009 in print edition on C1
Baled mulch is just as easy to use as bagged mulch, but it creates less waste and reduces fuel use and emissions related to shipping. Bales of wood chip mulch are a little smaller than your average bale of straw but are otherwise similar. Instead of wire or twine, mulch bales are held together by two thick plastic straps.
Candidates discuss goals at public forum
March 26, 2009 in print edition on A4
The seven candidates vying for one of three spots on the Lawrence school board had their final say at their last public forum sponsored by the Voter Education Coalition on Wednesday night. Candidates talked about a wide variety of topics, including social services, economic development and what exactly a school board’s purpose is.