In case you missed it: some interesting local reads from 2017
Maybe the long holiday weekend gives you a chance to catch up on some reading. If so, here are some of the most interesting reads from the Journal-World, as selected by our newsroom editors and staff — not to be confused with our list of top 10 news stories of the year elsewhere on the site.
• Voter fraud? Do you actually have to live in the community that you vote in? That became an open question in Kansas that still isn’t very settled. The Douglas County sheriff and his elderly mother inadvertently caused the question to be raised when allegations were made that the sheriff helped his mother vote in Douglas County despite her residence in Johnson County. The case ended up being a rarity in one other way: It was a potential voter fraud case that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach decided not to prosecute.
• ‘No Excuses:’ Check out the story of Tom Babb, a University of Kansas sophomore who became paralyzed from the neck down while a pledge at Beta Theta Pi. He was determined to come back to KU, and he has with the help and care from his fraternity brothers.
• Jail mystery:The Douglas County Jail is overcrowded and may cost nearly $45 million to expand. But this overcrowding is happening at a time when arrests in Douglas County actually are on the decline.
• Honoring the dead: The city has had a mausoleum in its Oak Hill Cemetery since 1917. Walking inside the structure today can be a harrowing experience, even if you aren’t afraid of ghosts.
• School sit-in: Questions about equal treatment for minority students was a hot topic during much of 2017. The issue became a highly noticeable one for a day in September at Lawrence High School. More than 70 students skipped class and staged a sit-in to protest what they described as a pervasive culture of discrimination against LGBT students.
• Chicken craze: With fast-food chicken restaurants opening at a dizzying pace, it is hard for Lawrence diners to keep up. So, a crew of Journal-World reporters loosened their belts and took one for the team: They ate at six chicken restaurants in two hours to give you a finger-licking look at Lawrence’s newest dining scene.