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Archive for Saturday, September 14, 2013

25 years ago: Downtown merchants complain of vandalism

September 14, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Sept. 14, 1988:

  • Downtown Lawrence business owners were beginning to make their complaints heard in reference to increased crime in the area. Blame was directed at large numbers of young people who reportedly congregated on Massachusetts Street intersections, committing acts of vandalism that damaged several properties. Reports from owners of Beneficial Kansas Inc., The Superlative Ice Cream and Deli, and Taco John's, all near that intersection, had reported thousands of dollars' worth of damage to police. "They've destroyed windows and, I'd say, three levels of bricks," said one business owner. "I've seen writing on our back wall. They destroyed a satellite dish. We've had electric meters broken, glass broken, cars damaged. And this is in broad daylight."
  • Lawrence city officials were preparing for discussions with riverfront retail developers about the design of a pedestrian promenade to be incorporated into the planned retail project on the Kansas River. Because the 750-foot-long walkway was to be built into the foundation of the shopping center, City Manager Buford Watson said that its design should be deferred to the builders of the development. Although city commissioners agreed that the walkway's technical specifications should be left to the developer, the city should still have a say in how it would look. "That's one of the factors we want to keep square on the table. That particular amenity is one of the prizes of the center," said Mayor Bob Schumm. "At this point, we should keep some local design involved ... so it doesn't come out as something we don't want."
  • Down in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Gilbert was bringing death and havoc in its path. Gilbert was the strongest and most destructive Atlantic hurricane up until that time, not to be surpassed until the year 2005. On this date in 1988 it was slamming into the island of Cozumel with 175 mph winds, and Texas Gulf Coast residents were preparing to evacuate. The storm had already ripped through Jamaica, where it was estimated that almost one-fourth of that country's population had been left homeless by the storm.

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