Local news

Lawhorn’s Lawrence: A tombstone tour
May 23, 2015
I kneel down at his tombstone. It is a particularly sad one: The names of sons come before that of the father. Speer — a fierce-tongue abolitionist editor — had two sons killed in Quantrill’s raid. This soft marble tombstone struggles to still tell the story. The weather-worn epitaph is indecipherable to me except for a few words: “These boys … killed … Lawrence Massacre … Aug. 21, 1863 … streets … his body.” By Chad Lawhorn
Kansas universities lack firm plan for concealed guns on campus, making some anxious
Board of Regents, KU say discussions underway; fearful faculty and students talking, too
May 23, 2015
The calendar is creeping toward the date when, under Kansas law, people will be able to carry concealed guns into buildings on college campuses, even without a concealed carry permit. It’s become increasingly clear that adding security measures to block guns from all entries into all buildings is not financially or logistically feasible. Kansas University’s Lawrence campus alone has 237 buildings, and statewide there are 864, according to the Board of Regents’ most recent facilities inventory. What’s still very unclear is how KU and other schools will implement the change when it becomes effective July 1, 2017. And, at least at KU, that has some faculty and students worried. By Sara Shepherd
Lawrence Public Library’s latest numbers show new facility ranks well statewide
May 23, 2015
The latest numbers at the Lawrence Public Library continue to indicate the expanded facility is a hit with users. Whether the new numbers attached to the library’s 2016 budget request will be a hit at City Hall remains to be seen. By Chad Lawhorn
Critter Buzz: Heartworm a sneaky disease dangerous to dogs during warmer months
May 23, 2015
With the warm spring weather comes our universal enemy the mosquito. This pest is more than just an annoyance during outdoor activities — it can lead to a life-threatening illness in dogs that is entirely preventable.
Kansas City Connection: A bakery to satisfy your cookie addiction
May 23, 2015
This week, baked deliciousness from McLain’s Bakery, high-quality coffee at Post Coffee Company and “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk at the Uptown Theater.
Seeing double: Artists team up for show at Cider Gallery
May 23, 2015
“More Than Meets The Eye.” Those who grew up in the 1980s might remember the phrase from “The Transformers” cartoons. It’s also the name of an upcoming collaborative exhibition at the Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St., featuring the work of Lawrence artists John Sebelius and Jeromy Morris.
Art gives voice, healing to woman living with mental-health condition
May 23, 2015
It all started with a doodle. Lesa Weller had always struggled with mental health. Diagnoses for depression and bipolar disorder came early in life, and several suicide attempts marked her teenage years.
Library’s Lawrence Music Project aims to archive, share local music
May 23, 2015
The Lawrence Public Library is helping to archive local bands past and present in a new initiative called the Lawrence Music Project.
Flash flood watch issued for Douglas County through Monday
04:17 p.m., May 23, 2015 Updated 07:35 p.m.
The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a flash flood watch for Douglas County in effect through Monday morning.
Garden Variety: Creating a garden path
12:00 a.m., May 23, 2015 Updated 10:33 p.m.
Landscape design tends to focus on plant selection, but the hardscape — the built environment in and around the plants — is what allows people to enjoy a garden beyond a faraway view.
Emergency room at Topeka VA hospital could reopen soon
May 22, 2015
An emergency room at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Topeka is expected to reopen soon after it was closed last year on a temporary basis because of understaffing problems.
Lawrence City Commission agenda for May 26 meeting
May 22, 2015
5:45 p.m. Tuesday, City Hall
Fort Hays to offer first doctoral degree
May 22, 2015
Fort Hays State University plans to offer its first doctoral degree, beginning in September.
Eudora man ordered to stand trial on premeditated first-degree murder charge in death of disabled man
05:03 p.m., May 22, 2015 Updated 10:42 p.m.
A 49-year-old Eudora man charged with premeditated first-degree murder in the Sept. 11, 2014, death of a disabled Lawrence man was ordered to stand trial and pleaded not guilty to the charge at a Friday court hearing.
Bishop Seabury class ready to lead, learn from others
May 22, 2015
While many of the audience members that Jack Powell addressed Friday were not done being students, the Bishop Seabury Academy graduate told his classmates to be more than that: “Go out there and teach something.”
Labor department reports weak job growth in Kansas
12:17 p.m., May 22, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
The Kansas unemployment rate ticked up to 4.3 percent in April as the state lost 2,900 private-sector jobs. Over the past year, private-sector job growth was only 1 percent. By Peter Hancock
Court rules Highway Patrol must pay KU Hospital for prisoner’s medical bills
11:07 a.m., May 22, 2015 Updated 10:37 p.m.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the Highway Patrol is responsible for paying the medical bills of an indigent man who’d been arrested for drunk driving after crashing his car into a tree. By Peter Hancock
Westar Energy rates to increase to cover environmental costs
09:18 a.m., May 22, 2015 Updated 10:32 p.m.
Westar Energy plans to increase its rates starting in June to cover the costs of its environmental projects.
Pinckney Elementary principal promoted to district curriculum job
May 21, 2015
Kirsten Wondra, principal at Pinckney Elementary, has been named assistant director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the Lawrence school district, the district announced Thursday.
Budget negotiators drop tuition freeze, narrow revenue gap
May 21, 2015
House and Senate budget negotiators agreed Thursday to drop a proposal in their spending plan that would have prohibited state colleges and universities from raising tuition. They also made other adjustments in the proposed budget that narrow the projected revenue shortfall for next year to about $380 million. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center to open this weekend
05:46 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:13 p.m.
Lawrence’s Outdoor Aquatic Center will open this weekend for the summer, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department said in a news release. The center, 727 Kentucky St., will open May 23 through Sept. 7, the release said.
36-year-old Topeka man charged in connection with pistol-whipping incident
05:34 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:20 p.m.
A 36-year-old Topeka man was charged Thursday with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and interference with law enforcement after allegedly pistol-whipping his girlfriend and resisting arrest in Lawrence Wednesday night.
Amy McAnarney named assistant principal at Free State High School
05:09 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:16 p.m.
Amy McAnarney, assistant principal of curriculum, instruction and assessment at Emporia High School, has been named the new assistant principal at Free State High School, the Lawrence school district said in a release.
KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recognizes professors for commitment to education
05:07 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:13 p.m.
Kansas University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has recognized several professors and one department for outstanding performance and commitment to advising and teaching both undergraduate and graduate students, the university said in a release.
Kansas Senate calls off tax debate
04:12 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
Senate GOP leaders postponed the debate until next week to give members more time to draft proposed amendments. Both the House and Senate are now expected to debate tax bills next week, after they return from an extended four-day Memorial Day weekend. By Peter Hancock
KU announces Steeples awards for faculty contributions to Kansas
02:31 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Faculty efforts on a statewide anti-bullying project and the preservation of archives from across Kansas have been recognized with the Steeples Service to Kansas Award, Kansas University announced Thursday.
Haskell suspends football program, possibly others, to cut costs
02:01 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
In a move that stirred up emotions across campus, Haskell Indian Nations University on Thursday announced that it has suspended its football program for the 2015 season, citing a lack of funding as the main reason. By Matt Tait
Summer construction, detours begin on KU campus
01:56 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Graduation is over. Let the summer construction detours on campus begin. Several projects are underway that will cause road closures and detours for cars and pedestrians for the coming weeks and months, Kansas University announced this week. Here’s what to watch out for.
LMH CEO receives performance evaluation, salary increase
01:52 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:16 p.m.
The Lawrence Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees conducted its annual evaluation of hospital President and CEO Gene Meyer and concluded that Meyer has continued to provide excellent leadership for the hospital, the hospital said in a news release. The board approved a 2 percent salary increase for Meyer, bringing his annual salary to $482,535. This is the same across-the-board pay increase that all LMH employees received this year, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Regents report: Almost half of all Kansas college students taking ‘distance’ classes
01:03 p.m., May 21, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
More than 45 percent of students enrolled at Kansas institutions of higher learning are taking at least one class from a distance, according to a new Board of Regents report. On Thursday, Regents vice president of academic affairs Gary Alexander presented the board with this year’s annual report for the Regents Distance Education Plan. It showed that distance education is widespread at Kansas schools and growing. By Sara Shepherd