News and notes from around town:
• Prepare to see a new sight traveling down Massachusetts Street. City commissioners are set to partially lift a ban on a large, 16-person pedal-powered trolley car-like device from traveling on Mass. When commissioners originally approved the large pedicab, they said it would not be allowed to travel on Massachusetts Street because its top speed likely would be 5 to 6 miles per hour. But now, upon further testing, it has been determined that the big pedicab can travel about 15 miles per hour downhill. The new proposal would allow the pedicab to go on Massachusetts Street in a downhill direction, but uphill travel still would be restricted to side streets such as New Hampshire and Vermont. Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the change at their Tuesday evening meeting.
• Free State High students and other northwest Lawrence shoppers soon will have access to as much frozen yogurt as they care to eat. Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt is set to open a new store at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive in early November. The store, 4801 Bauer Farm Drive, will be a self-serve operation. That means customers decide how full to fill their cups, and can mix and match 16 different flavors. The business also will have about 40 toppings to choose from. Your creation is then weighed and you are charged by the ounce.
“We think it will really work well in that area of town,” said Kevin Atwood, who is the owner of the local franchise. “It works real well where there are lots of families, and the kids from the high school will be a big market.”
• New exercise equipment soon may be coming to the Lawrence Community Building at 11th and Vermont streets. Leaders with Parks and Recreation are seeking to spend up to $25,000 to replace the fitness and weight equipment in the community center. Most of the current equipment is more than 25 years old, and crews are having problems finding replacement parts.
• As Kansas University basketball season approaches, city leaders are reminding area residents that the rules for gameday parking are different for football and basketball. The city has a specific ordinance that allows people to legally park in yards in certain areas near the football stadium. But no such ordinance exists for people wanting to park in yards near Allen Fieldhouse. The city sent out a postcard to residents near the fieldhouse reminding them that illegal parking can result in a fine between $30 to $100.
• A recent report from the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center provides new statistics on the number of homeless people receiving services from Bert Nash’s outreach team. Among the statistics:
• 153 people were served from July to September, with 77 of the individuals being new to the service.
• 11 families with children were among those served.
• 75 of the individuals presented with a mental illness.
• 51 of the people helped were staying at an emergency shelter, 16 were living on the streets, and 70 were living in an apartment that was not their own.
• 82 of the people were listed as chronically homeless, meaning they have been continuously homeless for a year or more, or have had at least four episodes of homelessness during the past three years.
• 89 of the people served were in 35-50 year old age group. The next highest age group served was 18-34 with 41 people in that category.
• 14 children between birth and six years were served. Other age groups included three children between 7-10; 7 between 11-15; 1 between 15-17.
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