Local news

Lawrence Journal-World wins 33 Kansas Press Association awards
08:05 p.m., February 26, 2015 Updated 10:15 p.m.
The Lawrence Journal-World won 33 news and advertising awards, including best column writing and all three news story awards, in the 2015 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence contest.
Missouri man charged in Lawrence triple shooting near KU
04:08 p.m., February 26, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
A 22-year-old Grain Valley, Mo., man was charged Wednesday in the Feb. 8 shooting of three men in a home just south of the Kansas University campus. Caleb Kent Chrisman is charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and three counts of aggravated kidnapping after allegedly holding Phillip Hawley, Seth Peterson and Arthur Perez at gunpoint in an attempt to rob them of cash around 4 p.m. Feb. 8, court documents state. By Caitlin Doornbos
Rock Chalk Park audit recommends city make final $1M payment, but finds accounting of project was incomplete
04:07 p.m., February 26, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
The private contractor who built nearly $12 million worth of no-bid infrastructure work at Rock Chalk Park “did not provide a complete accounting for the project,” a city-hired auditor has determined. But the audit firm of McDonald & Associates is recommending that the city of Lawrence proceed with an approximately $1 million payment that had been withheld from the contractor as questions had arisen about the public-private sports complex. By Chad Lawhorn
KU professor creating digital app to interpret black teen’s 1955 murder
02:39 p.m., February 26, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Founders of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Miss., have dealt with numerous roadblocks to commemorating the black teenager’s 1955 killing. Among them, many versions of Till’s death circulate in the area, and roadside markers at significant sites have been stolen or shot and replaced, only to disappear again. A Kansas University faculty member is working on an app for that. By Sara Shepherd
Off the Beaten Plate: Tostada pizza at Minsky’s
February 26, 2015
For this week’s Off the Beaten Plate, we traveled south of the border by way of Italy with Minksy’s tostada pizza.
Driver and passenger in Pontiac Grand Am arrested after long police chase
11:57 a.m., February 26, 2015 Updated 10:14 p.m.
The Kansas Highway Patrol apprehended a man and woman Thursday afternoon after they allegedly led law enforcement on an hour and a half chase through east Lawrence and into Jefferson County.
February Final Friday preview: Artist Roger Shimomura to talk, sell work at Makerspace
February 26, 2015
For one night only during this month’s Friday Friday, celebrated artist Roger Shimomura will offer approximately 35 other prints at a solo show at Lawrence Creates Makerspace, 512 E. Ninth St.
KU jazz colloquium to feature scholars, performance
February 26, 2015
Scholars and artists will discuss the idea of “place” within creative improvisation during a colloquium next week at Kansas University.
Kansas panel considers holding 2016 presidential primaries
February 25, 2015
A Kansas Senate panel balked Wednesday at a proposal from Secretary of State Kris Kobach that would cancel the state’s 2016 presidential primary elections, with a Republican leader telling one of Kobach’s aides that a primary allows more people to participate.
Osawatomie State Hospital avoids losing federal funds
February 25, 2015
Federal authorities are no longer threatening to end Medicare and Medicaid funding for the Osawatomie State Hospital after work began on $3 million worth safety improvements.
Kansas earthquakes worsen damage to century-old courthouse
February 25, 2015
Harper County officials are grappling with how to fix a century-old courthouse that already was deteriorating before a sharp increase in earthquakes began rattling south-central Kansas.
School board candidates discuss budget cuts, Common Core at forum
February 25, 2015
The four candidates competing for a two-year term on the Lawrence school board found little to argue about Wednesday night when they gathered to outline their positions on various issues.
Severe Weather Awareness Week approaches; Douglas County prepares
06:08 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Douglas County Emergency Management is hustling to prepare itself and the rest of the county as peak months for severe weather draw near.
Local day care closes after allegations of improper punishment, force-feeding
04:34 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:18 p.m.
A Lawrence child care agency closed Friday after Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials alleged the owner had multiple violations, such as prohibited punishment, leaving young children unattended and force-feeding a small boy, going back to May 2014.
Lawrence’s GaDuGi SafeCenter to receive nearly $40,000 in grant money
04:02 p.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:16 p.m.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announced the recipients of the 2015 Federal Sexual Assault Services Program grants this week. Lawrence’s GaDuGi SafeCenter is among the recipients and will receive nearly $40,000 in grant money.
After years of decline, KU spring enrollment increases slightly
08:39 a.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
After four years of decline, Kansas University’s Lawrence campus reported a small uptick in spring enrollment after totaling numbers from a count taken last week on the 20th day of classes. Total enrollment on the Lawrence campus went up 85 students, or .4 percent, from 22,971 in spring 2014 to 23,056 in spring 2015, according to the university. By Sara Shepherd
Cooking from Scratch: Add some zest to winter with preserved lemons
February 25, 2015
Can I safely assume that everyone is done enjoying winter by now? I’m good with snow and bitter cold until about Valentine’s Day, but after that the cabin fever starts to set in. The view outside my window is gray (again) and everything seems “blah,” even cooking. This can only mean one thing: It’s time to make a big jar of preserved lemons.
Construction bids for Lawrence sewer plant come in higher than expected
February 24, 2015
Plans to build a new sewage treatment plant south of the Wakarusa River may cost more than city leaders once envisioned. By Chad Lawhorn
2014 Kansas crop values down as drought, market takes toll
February 24, 2015
A new government report shows the value of principle Kansas crops plummeted last year to $6.51 billion.
KU taking piecemeal approach to $4.8 million budget cuts for current fiscal year
06:08 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Responding to statewide spending cuts announced earlier this month by Gov. Sam Brownback, needed to close a budget gap created by lower-than-projected state revenue, KU leaders are discussing how to trim $2.7 million from the Lawrence campus budget and $2.1 from KU Medical Center for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
Lawrence police officer arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, kidnapping charges
02:09 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:16 p.m.
Lawrence police on Tuesday morning arrested one of their officers, 32-year-old William Jacob Burke, on suspicion of domestic battery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, kidnapping and criminal threat.
Preliminary hearing for man shot by police pushed out again because of uncooperative witnesses
12:00 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:10 p.m.
The preliminary hearing and arraignment of a Lawrence man charged with various offenses in three separate cases — aggravated assault of an officer, aggravated battery and DUI, eluding police, criminal threat, interference with law enforcement duties and battery of a law enforcement officer — was delayed once again after prosecutors said they have been unable to subpoena three witnesses needed to testify.
Irving Hill overpass to be painted ‘KU blue’ as part of improvement project
11:51 a.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:27 p.m.
By summer’s end, the Irving Hill Road bridge over Iowa Street will be bright blue with “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” on one side and “The University of Kansas” on the other. That’s according to a plan announced Tuesday by KU. By Sara Shepherd
Successful Aging mental health program helps clients deal with losses of all kinds
12:00 a.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:07 p.m.
It is never too late to get help. Which is why the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center offers a program geared specifically toward older adults. “I have worked with people in their 90s,” said Ruth Shadel, the Bert Nash therapist who started the Center’s Successful Aging Program in 2004. In fact, older people, knowing the clock is ticking, can tend to be more open about seeking help.
Seniors call for action as White House starts aging forums
February 24, 2015
Amid a profound shift in America’s demographics, advocates for seniors pressed Thursday for changes on long-term care, retirement security and elder abuse as the White House launched a series of forums on aging.
Limitless fitness: Exercise options for seniors aim to get, keep older people moving
February 24, 2015
Seniors in Lawrence have several options for fitness classes and workouts in town, from the Parks and Recreation Lifelong Recreation programming to the classes and training offered at membership gyms. Either way, all classes are available to try out and see if it’s your cup of tea.
Healthy aging: What does it take?
February 24, 2015
Much has changed to improve the odds you’ll become a centenarian, but what does it take to reach that milestone? There are many research studies that suggest a person who follows healthy habits can expect a lifespan of 86 years or more. Life insurance companies have a pretty good handle on the factors that determine whether a person dies young or old. Some of the most important factors they track are weight or body mass index, drinking, smoking, driving record and stress management.
Idea of increasing City Commission size discussed at candidate forum
08:49 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:24 p.m.
The idea of expanding the number of Lawrence city commissioners in future years seems to be gaining momentum, based on comments made by candidates at a Monday evening campaign forum. By Chad Lawhorn
KU project explores black writers with Kansas ties
07:22 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:20 p.m.
In observance of Black History Month, Kansas University Libraries in conjunction with KU’s Project on the History of Black Writing will host a program that explores black writers with roots in the Sunflower State.
Lawrence chapter of NAACP to host membership drive through month’s end
05:44 p.m., February 23, 2015 Updated 10:20 p.m.
Lawrence’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is hosting a membership drive through the end of February to try and double its membership, chapter president Ursula Minor said.