25 years ago: Lawrence man found guilty in two arson incidents

From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Sept. 2, 1988:

  • A 28-year-old Lawrence man was found guilty this week in Douglas County District Court on charges stemming from two arson incidents, including the discovery of a homemade bomb in a local grocery store earlier this year. The man pleaded no contest to a felony count of attempted aggravated arson filed in March after an employee of JL’s Westridge grocery store, Sixth and Kasold, had found a bomb in the store’s aisle. The other arson incident, at the O’Connell Youth Ranch in August 1987, resulted in the man entering an Alford plea to a felony count of theft. (An Alford plea allowed a defendant to plead guilty to a charge — while maintaining innocence — in order to avoid possibly being convicted on a more serious charge.)
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was seeking public comment on a proposal to improve the southern bank of the Kansas River at the site of the planned riverfront shopping center. The city wanted permission to build a 20-foot-wide concrete deck along a 750-foot stretch of land north of the planned mall to serve as a pedestrian promenade on the riverfront as well as an emergency lane for fire trucks.