From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Oct. 23, 1987:
A local man was running into problems with his renovation project. Merle Rothwell had begun converting a house at 1620 Tennessee into a triplex but had not first applied for the necessary permits for the work. Gene Shaughnessy, Lawrence's chief building inspector, said that Rothwell had until Nov. 4 to tear out several electrical, plumbing, and structural changes made to the house, or the city would begin legal proceedings. Among other changes, Rothwell had installed interior partition walls, a new kitchen on the second floor, and electrical circuitry to serve the kitchen and a bathroom. He had also installed stairs and an exterior door to allow private access to the first floor apartment. Shaughnessy estimated the cost to undo the work at about $2,500. It was not yet clear whether Rothwell would be able to rebuilt the improvements with proper permits. Shaughnessy was also seeking to have the Board of Electrical Examiners and Appeals to suspend or revoke Rothwell's journeyman electrical license. "To me ... this was a blatant violation," Shaughnessy said. "As an electrical man himself, he's not unknowing of what he can and cannot do." Rothwell had no comment in response to the matter.