Archive for Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lead stories

12:00 a.m.
Members of the Central and East Lawrence Elementary School Consolidation Working Group — including, seated at table, from right, Josh Davis, Alison Nye, Stella Murphy, Chris Lempa and others — listen as facilitators outline various "scenarios" suggested for consideration. The presentation, during a meeting Nov. 21, 2011, included discussions of where students might go under a variety of options for consolidating elementary schools. ESL programs factor into Lawrence elementary consolidation plans
December 19, 2011 in print edition on 1A
The future of English as a Second Language programs is among dozens of factors being balanced as an advisory group moves closer to recommending which Lawrence elementary schools should be consolidated in the name of efficiency.
6:00 a.m.
Kansas forward Thomas Robinson drives against Davidson in the first half Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. (Mid)major bummer: Davidson proves KU ‘not that good’
December 20, 2011 in print edition on 1B
Mid-major Davidson’s 80-74 victory over No. 12 Kansas University on Monday night certainly would be considered a major upset in the eyes of most college basketball fans. Not in the realm of KU coach Bill Self, however, who has seen enough of his team to realize the 2011-12 edition of the Jayhawks (7-3) are ripe for the picking on any given night.
10:00 a.m.
Some of the residents at Meadowlark Estates were in a flash mob recently and the video they appear in has gone viral on You Tube.  Some of the residents in the video were, from left, Jackie Marrs, 83, Bob Macleay, 86,  Glenda Anderson, 77, Charlotte Marino, 69, Nancy Yeager, 76, Lorna Allen, 89 and Roberta Lewis, 76. Lawrence senior citizens’ flash mob video at Target getting national attention
December 19, 2011
With nearly a half million YouTube views and mentions on NPR and the Huffington Post and Time magazine websites, a group of senior citizens from Meadowlark Estates has become an overnight sensation.
2:00 p.m.
Lawrence City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets. Lawrence city leaders to ask Kansas legislators for increased speeding fines along K-10, new sales tax for Internet shoppers, SLT to be completed
December 19, 2011 in print edition on 1A
From roads to the speeders who drive on them, Lawrence city commissioners have items they hope state lawmakers will address during the upcoming legislative session.
6:00 p.m.
Representatives of Pinckney School on the Central and East Lawrence Elementary School Consolidation Working Group gather to discuss upcoming meetings. Seated, from left, are David Unekis, Stacey White and Karla Hughes. Standing, from left, are John Wilkins, an architect hired by the Lawrence school district to assist with the group's deliberations, and Pinckney teacher Alison Nye. Bond support builds, as consolidation plans for Lawrence elementary schools lag
December 19, 2011 in print edition on 1A
If there’s one thing members of the Central and East Lawrence Elementary School Consolidation Working Group can agree on, it’s this: A bond issue to upgrade elementary schools should be prepared, proposed and approved.

All stories

Christmas: A time for ugly sweaters
December 20, 2011
For 11 months during the year, they sit neglected and unwanted in closets and on the shelves of secondhand stores. But come December, those tacky holiday sweaters — featuring garish reindeer, snowmen, Santa and Christmas trees — are all the rage.
Westar aims to prevent outages with tree-trimming program
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A3
Crews of Westar-hired tree-trimmers are back in force in Lawrence, and they’re growing in number faster than a well-watered willow.
Salvation Army’s toy shortage resolved
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A10
The Christmas toy shortage for the Salvation Army in Topeka has been resolved.
Conn. mayor seeks to let illegal immigrants vote
December 20, 2011
Already known as a refuge for people from other lands, New Haven is tightening its embrace of newcomers as its mayor seeks to extend voting rights to illegal immigrants and other noncitizens, a policy challenge that comes shortly after attacks on “sanctuary cities” by Republican presidential candidates.
Holiday travelers can expect clear roads, more drivers and lower gas prices
December 20, 2011
More than 91.9 million Americans plan to travel around the 11 days that encompass the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, according to AAA. That’s a 1.4-percent increase from last year.
Paroled American Berenson arrives in US from Peru
December 20, 2011
Lori Berenson, a New Yorker paroled from a Peruvian prison after 15 years behind bars for aiding a leftist revolutionary group, arrived in the U.S. on Tuesday for her first visit home since her arrest in 1995.
Obama, Biden welcome home US commander in Iraq
December 20, 2011
Blending solemn tradition with joyous reunion, the top commander of U.S. forces in Iraq returned home to U.S. soil Tuesday, greeted by his wife and his president in an understated ceremony to mark the end of the nine-year conflict.
Ron Paul emerges as outsider pick in GOP race
December 20, 2011
Suddenly, Ron Paul is in contention to win the Iowa caucuses and positioned to do well in the New Hampshire primary two weeks before the first votes are cast.
Mexico Mayan region launches apocalypse countdown
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A6
While some doomsday theorists may suggest putting together survival kits, people in southeastern Mexico, the heart of Maya territory, plan to throw a yearlong celebration of the pending end of the world. And to make a profit while they party.
Jon Bon Jovi: ‘Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey’
December 20, 2011
Jon Bon Jovi wants duped fans to know he’s not dead, and he has posted a photo proving it.
Hunter’s body recovered in SE Kansas
December 20, 2011
The body of a hunter missing for more than two weeks has been recovered in southeastern Kansas.
Panel: Corps not to blame for Missouri River flood
December 20, 2011
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did what it could with the record flooding on the Missouri River this year although proposed changes could help avoid a disastrous repeat, especially since such floods could become more frequent, an expert panel said in a report released Tuesday.
Former Kansas SRS Siedlecki chief hired by Florida
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A4
The former Kansas secretary of Social and Rehabilitation Services has a new job in Florida.
Drifting snow makes travel tough in Great Plains; at least 6 dead
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A3
A deadly storm that halted travel throughout the Great Plains weakened Tuesday as it headed east into Missouri and toward the Great Lakes, and officials reopened interstates in areas where motorists had been forced to adjust holiday plans mid-trip.
Overland Park man pleads guilty to aggravated battery in Lawrence case
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A5
A 38-year-old Overland Park man has pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery in connection with a July domestic incident in Lawrence.
NYC man sentenced for 1981 Riley County rapes
December 20, 2011
A New York City man has been sentenced in Kansas to 12 to 20 years in prison for two rapes that occurred 30 years ago.
Most major highways in southwestern Kansas now open
December 20, 2011
Most of the major highways in southwestern Kansas have reopened after a winter storm closed them temporarily.
Lawrence retailers report rebound in holiday sales from last year
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A3
“Hallelujah” is Linda Lester’s response to this holiday shopping season.
Lawrence woman enters no-contest plea to stealing from employer
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A4
A 45-year-old Lawrence woman pleaded no contest Tuesday to stealing money from her former employer, a Lawrence rental company.
Search continues for missing college student Aisha Khan
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A5
Police in northeastern Kansas are continuing to follow up on tips as they search for a missing 19-year-old student.
Kim Jong Il body displayed behind glass, flowers
December 20, 2011
North Korea displayed the body of ruler Kim Jong Il in a glass coffin surrounded by red flowers Tuesday, and his young heir was one of the first to pay respects — a strong indication that a smooth leadership transition was under way.
Egypt’s ruling generals face mounting criticism
December 20, 2011
Egypt’s ruling generals are coming under mounting criticism at home and abroad for the military’s use of excessive force against unarmed protesters, including women, as they try to crush the pro-democracy movement calling for their ouster.
House begins debating payroll tax cut
December 20, 2011
The House has started debating a Republican proposal that rejects a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits that the Senate passed last weekend with strong bipartisan support.
Kansas jobless rate down slightly in November
December 20, 2011
Unemployment was down slightly in Kansas in November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.5 percent, down from 6.7 percent in October and 6.9 percent in November 2010.
Kansas Democrats unveil jobs, gambling proposal
09:58 a.m., December 20, 2011 Updated 12:12 a.m. in print edition on A1
Kansas Democratic leaders are preparing to announce a 2012 legislative agenda aimed at creating jobs and growing the state economy.
Town Talk: Speciality grocer has looked at Borders but building still on the market; city to consider traffic calming for Crescent Road; bike lanes vs. on-street parking may become future issue
December 20, 2011
News and notes from around Lawrence and Douglas County:
Small forward Brannen Greene commits to KU basketball
09:46 a.m., December 20, 2011 Updated 10:18 a.m.
Brannen Greene, a 6-7 junior small forward from Mary Persons High in Forsyth, Ga., on Tuesday orally committed to play basketball at Kansas University.
Winter weather advisory canceled
December 20, 2011
The National Weather Service has canceled a winter weather advisory for Lawrence. It was originally in effect until 6 p.m. today.
Storm closes I-70 in western Kansas
December 20, 2011
The winter blast that dumped nearly a foot of snow in southwest Kansas continued north, closing a section of Interstate 70 in western Kansas.
Heard on the Hill: More people remember former alumni association director Dick Wintermote; KU animal rights group up for award; alumna is finalist on Brazilian version of “The Apprentice”
December 20, 2011
Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
Pacers send Brandon Rush to Golden State for Lou Amundson
December 20, 2011 in print edition on B2
The Golden State Warriors have completed a trade sending forward Lou Amundson to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for guard Brandon Rush.
(Mid)major bummer: Davidson proves KU ‘not that good’
December 20, 2011 in print edition on B1
Mid-major Davidson’s 80-74 victory over No. 12 Kansas University on Monday night certainly would be considered a major upset in the eyes of most college basketball fans. Not in the realm of KU coach Bill Self, however, who has seen enough of his team to realize the 2011-12 edition of the Jayhawks (7-3) are ripe for the picking on any given night.
Charlie Weis undergoes successful hip surgery
December 20, 2011 in print edition on B3
Kansas football coach Charlie Weis had successful hip-replacement surgery Monday in Florida, KU announced on its Twitter account Monday night.
Coach thrilled by Wildcats’ defense
December 20, 2011 in print edition on B4
Davidson coach Bob McKillop was beaming about his team’s defensive effort following Monday’s 80-74 victory over No. 12 Kansas.
Lack of depth costs Kansas carrot, stick
December 20, 2011 in print edition on B1
If Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self sounded Monday night like a man who has been working without his two best friends this season, well, maybe that’s because he has had to make that adjustment.
Packer shocker gives Chiefs new life
Once-reeling Kansas City keeps slim playoff hopes alive with stunning win over Green Bay
December 20, 2011 in print edition on B1
Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli were on center stage last Monday, answering questions related to the firing of coach Todd Haley. The Kansas City Chiefs were a team in turmoil, and the owner and general manager were searching for answers. They may have found at least one in Romeo Crennel.
Kansas basketball notebook: Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor ‘fine’ after 33-minute stint
December 20, 2011 in print edition on B4
Kansas University senior guard Tyshawn Taylor started and played 33 minutes just eight days after surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Regents’ action
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A8
Dolph Simons’ wish that the Board of Regents get more involved in matters at the University of Kansas echoes my feelings with regard to the ticket scandal, football problems and the leadership issue at the medical school.
Residents care
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A8
In the Dec. 11 Journal-World, the editorials and Public Forum letters were of thoughts and insights from local citizens who obviously care about Lawrence, as do I.
Firebirds’ Wilson wins weight class
December 20, 2011 in print edition on B3
Free State High’s Spencer Wilson won his weight class (182 pounds) at a wrestling tournament Saturday at Emporia High.
Committed group
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A8
Thank you to the County Commissioners for awarding the Clinton Lake Historical Society grant as the society proposed for the museum addition for storage, research and exhibition space. I would like to state for the record the Clinton Lake Historical Society has received two grants from the Kansas Humanities Council, museum consultation services from the National Park Service as well as funding for research, two grants from the National Park Service, a grant from the Kansas Arts Commission, and private donations since 2005. The Society has a strong honorable stewardship in their board and community volunteer support. I have been involved with the museum since 2006 initially as an art consultant for the sculpture project which you are each invited to view (“Freedom Rings” by Stephen Johnson). The sculpture represents the ten communities past and present which were affected by the Clinton Lake construction.
IMF aid would highlight failures in Cuba
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A8
An old joke I heard for the first time more than 20 years ago in Havana says that the three biggest achievements of the Cuban revolution are health, education and low infant-mortality rates, and that its three biggest failures are breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Street focus
Plans for next year indicate the city remains focused on the goal of catching up on delayed street maintenance.
December 20, 2011 in print edition on A8
The 2012 maintenance plan on tonight’s Lawrence City Commission agenda indicates that the city is trying to remain aggressive in its efforts to upgrade city streets.
Cooking Q and A: Safe storage and preparation of Christmas dinner
December 20, 2011
Susan discusses the proper way to freeze and reheat mashed potatoes and turkey for easy transport.
25 years ago: City to lose regulatory power over natural gas utility
December 20, 2011
The Lawrence City Commission was to lose its jurisdiction over the natural gas rates paid by city residents.
40 years ago: Local merchants agree: It’s back to basics
December 20, 2011
Lawrence shoppers were rejecting ‘gimmicky appliances and flimsy TV toys.’
100 years ago: ‘Useful gifts’ recommended for men
December 20, 2011
“Perhaps he would like an umbrella or a belt or suspenders.”
Horoscope for December 20
December 20, 2011
You express an unusual intensity this year. If you are single, you might put a suitor on a pedestal. This tendency could damage a potential bond. If you are attached, you, too, might not be seeing your sweetie clearly. When this person falls off his or her pedestal, don’t blame him or her, but you — you put this person there. Scorpio makes a good healer.
New ‘Deck’ is a few cards short
December 20, 2011
Murder, mayhem and mistletoe mingle in the 2011 mystery “Deck the Halls” (8 p.m., TNT), based on a novel by Mary Higgins Clark. Stuffed like Christmas fruitcake with too many coincidences, “Deck” stars Scottie Thompson as Regan Reilly, a fetching super sleuth who just happens to be the daughter of world-famous crime novelist Nora Reilly (Jane Alexander). Kathy Najimy is Alvirah, Nora’s most avid reader and amateur crime solver. She and her husband (Larry Miller) just happened to have won $40 million in the lottery. And Alvirah just happens to meet Regan at the exact moment that her funeral director father has been kidnapped!