Local news

Auditor praises city for efforts on Rock Chalk Park project
March 2, 2015
Lawrence city commissioners and their private partners on the controversial Rock Chalk Park sports complex received a glowing report from a city-hired auditor on Monday. By Chad Lawhorn
February report: Economic growth likely in Midwest, Plains
March 2, 2015
Economic growth lies ahead for nine Midwestern and Plains states despite pullbacks in the energy sector, according to a monthly report released on Monday.
Kansas Supreme Court sets deadline for school finance motions
09:48 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Plaintiffs in the ongoing school finance lawsuit have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file a motion stating whether they want the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the latest lower court order, or if they want the case to stay in the hands of a three-judge panel which has been asked to reconsider its last decision. By Peter Hancock
District, teachers begin negotiations for 2015-16 school year
08:51 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Teams for the Lawrence school district and the local teachers union met Monday to begin negotiations for teacher contracts for the 2015-16 school year.
Former home builder, mechanic and racer builds motorcycle out of wood
March 2, 2015
Back in their heyday, Leroy Mize and Jerry Casebier would grab their wives, hop on their motorcycles and travel across the country.
Jenkins supports Israeli prime minister’s controversial speech to Congress
06:51 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:28 p.m.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress has ignited controversy in Washington, and in Jewish communities throughout the United States, including Lawrence. But U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins says she looks forward to his appearance Tuesday and does not think it’s a violation of protocol. By Peter Hancock
Firefighters investigating cause of house fire on West 21st Street
06:19 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 08:24 p.m.
Investigators are working to find the cause of a fire that destroyed much of a house at 2040 West 21st St. on Monday night.
Westar asking Kansas regulators for $152M rate increase
March 2, 2015
The largest supplier of electricity in Kansas is asking state regulators to increase its rates by $152 million annually to cover upgrades at power plants and other costs.
Visiting KU professor shares Israeli perception of Netanyahu visit
05:28 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Many Israelis are cynical about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the United States, viewing it as an attempt to drum up popularity for his reelection that could even harm Israel’s relationship with America, a Kansas University visiting professor says. While Israelis see party politics of one kind — Netanyahu’s Likud v. Herzog’s Zionist Union — many Americans are talking about other party politics in connection with the visit — Republican v. Democrat. By Sara Shepherd
LMH named in top 100 hospitals for third year running
04:45 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 05:04 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital has been named one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals in the country for the third year in a row.
Kansas lawmakers to focus on resolving budget, tax issues
04:02 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:32 p.m.
Kansas legislators have their own form of March Madness, when they focus on building the next state budget after their annual session has cleared its midpoint.
Officials fear Kansas is complacent about tornado season
12:49 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:18 p.m.
Weather officials in Kansas are worried that the state’s lack of tornados last year will make citizens complacent going into tornado season this spring.
Bond amounts set on case-by-case basis
March 1, 2015
When reviewing bond amounts set for defendants in Douglas County, it can be a bit confusing. While one defendant charged with a DUI may receive a $250 bond, another may get a $500 bond. That’s because according to Kansas statute, the decision is left entirely up to the judge. Judges must base their decision on a number of factors, balancing the defendant’s needs with the safety of the community, but there are no official guidelines of which crimes come with what bond amounts. By Caitlin Doornbos
Academic freedom: Scholarly concept sparks lively mainstream debate
March 1, 2015
Academic freedom is a source of lively debate right now among some at Kansas University, where the cases of two faculty members have propelled the term out of academia and into mainstream headlines. And KU is not the only school with academic freedom disputes making the news. By Sara Shepherd
Only in Lawrence: Janet Johnson’s keys unlock youth music potential
March 1, 2015
Janet Johnson spent a portion of her Thursday afternoon teaching a small group of young girls how to find Middle C on the piano. Deliberately, Johnson drew the five lines of the staff on a small blackboard. Her students watched, smiles on their faces, as they sat cross-legged on the carpet. By Conrad Swanson
KPR host Laura Lorson to appear on ‘Jeopardy!’
March 1, 2015
As moderator of “Quest,” a televised quiz bowl competition for Kansas high school students, Laura Lorson is used to dishing out tough questions. On Wednesday, audiences nationwide can watch Lorson as a contestant on “Jeopardy!” — where she’ll be the one on the hot seat.
Fix-It Chick: How to repair a toilet’s closet flange
March 1, 2015
Beneath the bathroom toilet, covered with a layer of wax, lies one of the more important pieces of the plumbing puzzle: the closet flange.
Kansas school funding plan aimed at ending budget surprises
March 1, 2015
Top Republican officials in Kansas who hope to eliminate a budget deficit while sustaining personal income tax cuts are working on a plan to overhaul the state’s system for funding public schools in a way that would prevent unanticipated demands for new spending.
Natasha Trethewey, former U.S. Poet Laureate, to visit KU
March 1, 2015
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will speak and read from selected works at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. The event, titled “Poetry and History: An Evening with U.S. Poet Laureate (2012-2014) Natasha Trethewey,” is free and open to the public.
Racial divide: Theatre Lawrence, KU Theatre collaboration examines race, property
March 1, 2015
If talking about race makes you uncomfortable, it may be time to ask yourself why. That’s the idea behind Theatre Lawrence’s current production, “Clybourne Park,” which opened Friday and is being staged in conjunction with KU Theatre’s “A Raisin in the Sun.”
Behind the Lens: How to survive a court-storming
March 1, 2015
If my calculations are correct, Kansas University men’s basketball opponents are more or less good for about three to four court-stormings a season. I’ve learned a few things about how to protect myself and how to convey the gravity of the moment without getting trampled.
Business Briefcase for March 2
March 1, 2015
The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce has announced Heck Land Company, Mar Lan Construction, YWCA Northeast Kansas and the Voter Education Coalition as new members of the organization.
Kansas City Connection: Women artists, puppets and Sporting KC
March 1, 2015
The Epsten Gallery is much smaller and lesser known than institutions like the Nelson-Atkins, Kemper or Nerman museums. But the gallery, located in the center of Overland Park’s Village Shalom assisted living facility, is currently hosting one of the most interesting exhibitions in the city.
Lawhorn’s Lawrence: Delivering more than a meal
February 28, 2015
It is chocolate cake day, and I know I’m pretty excited. I don’t think I’m alone. How can I be? A piece of chocolate cake shows up at your doorstep, and suddenly the sun shines a little brighter. On this day, about 130 people across Lawrence got their cake, and were able to eat it too. Knock, knock, knock. “Meals on Wheels,” Carolyn Landgrebe says, just like she has since she began volunteering for the organization during its first year of Lawrence operations in 1970. By Chad Lawhorn
Best of Lawrence voting opens March 1
February 28, 2015
Here’s an election where researching the candidates can be a lot of fun. That’s right, it is time to once again pick the Best of Lawrence. Voting in the contest, which is sponsored by, starts March 1 and runs through March 31.
KU School of Music to host Jazz Festival this week
February 28, 2015
The Kansas University School of Music will host the 38th Annual Jazz Festival concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Kansas Union’s Woodruff Auditorium.
Garden Variety: The right way to prune grapevines
February 28, 2015
Just like the informal communication system, the grapevines growing in your backyard can get a little unruly if left to their own devices.
Everest most popular Kansas hard red wheat variety
February 27, 2015
A government report shows that two varieties of winter wheat developed by Kansas State University are the leading varieties planted in the state.
Lawrence City Commission agenda for March 2 meeting
06:37 p.m., February 27, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
5:45 p.m. Monday, Lawrence City Hall
Lawrence commissioners pleased with main findings of Rock Chalk audit, but some concerns remain
06:32 p.m., February 27, 2015 Updated 10:38 p.m.
The results of a city-ordered audit should make the public feel more comfortable that it got a good deal on controversial, no-bid Rock Chalk Park construction work, several city commissioners said on Friday. City Commissioner Bob Schumm said he was pleased that the audit made strong findings on two points: The infrastructure work at the site either “met or exceeded” the standards set out by the city, and the prices charged to the city compared reasonably to other construction projects that the city had bid in the past. By Chad Lawhorn