Local news

Lawrence man’s soon-to-be ex-wife testifies he sodomized her
March 31, 2015
A 38-year-old Lawrence man was bound over for trial Tuesday on one charge of aggravated criminal sodomy after his ex-wife testified at a preliminary hearing that he sodomized her.
Martin Miller retrial: Still no jury after second day of voir dire
March 31, 2015
The second day of jury selection in the retrial of Martin Miller, charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife more than 10 years ago, concluded Tuesday with 48 potential jurors selected for the jury panel. A Douglas County jury convicted Miller, 56, in 2005 of first-degree murder in the July 28, 2004, death of Mary E. Miller, 46, at the family’s central Lawrence home. The Kansas Court of Appeals ruled in February 2014 that Miller should get a new trial based on errors in the jury instructions during his initial trial.
City Commission candidates debate downtown parking issues at forum
March 31, 2015
Improving the availability of parking in downtown Lawrence is likely on the to-do list of the next City Commission, but candidates on Tuesday weren’t of the same mind on how to get the job done. By Chad Lawhorn
Construction expected to slow traffic at 14th and Haskell on Wednesday
March 31, 2015
Motorists should expect traffic delays on Wednesday around East 14th Street and Haskell Avenue, Jeanette Klamm, management analyst for the city of Lawrence, said in a release.
KU adds soil microbiology specialist to list of Foundation Distinguished Professors
March 31, 2015
A world leader in soil microbiology will join the Kansas University faculty as a Foundation Distinguished Professor, KU announced Tuesday. James Bever, professor of biology at Indiana University, will begin his joint appointment with KU’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Kansas Biological Survey in January 2016.
United Way offers summer volunteer program for youth
March 31, 2015
The United Way of Douglas County is offering area youth a way to stay busy this summer by helping the community.
KU alumnus, expert in ancient DNA returning as Foundation Distinguished Professor
09:21 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:39 p.m.
A Kansas University graduate who went on to become a leading scholar of migration and settlement of the Americas is coming back to KU as a Foundation Distinguished Professor. Dennis O’Rourke, professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, will join KU’s Department of Anthropology in January 2016, KU announced Monday.
City Commission candidates debate health, wellness issues
09:17 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:47 p.m.
A Lawrence City Commission candidate forum on health and wellness issues Monday produced a variety of ideas, including a candidate who said he thinks the community could benefit from a lower drinking age. By Chad Lawhorn
KU hires leading sociology professors to establish center for immigration studies
09:00 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:47 p.m.
Kansas University is hiring two top sociologists as Foundation Distinguished Professors and to lead the creation of a new center focused on migration and immigration studies. Victor Agadjanian and Cecilia Menjívar, both distinguished professors at Arizona State University, will start in KU’s department of sociology this fall, KU announced. By Sara Shepherd
Lawrence man charged with animal cruelty, making threat
08:33 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
A Lawrence man faces felony charges after he was accused of killing a 10-week-old puppy and threatening a victim he shared the animal with, police said.
Former U.S. Rep. Jim Slattery offers insight into relationship between U.S., Iran
07:53 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:43 p.m.
Former U.S. Representative Jim Slattery, D-Kansas, spoke Monday afternoon at Kansas University’s Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Dr., on the United States’ relations with Iran, the countrys’ histories and current nuclear negotiations.
Lawrence Public Library’s Teen Zone reopens after Saturday car crash
06:02 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:47 p.m.
The Lawrence Public Library’s Teen Zone is back open after the building was hit by a pickup early Saturday morning, said Brad Allen, the library’s director.
As cold weather rule ends, energy company offers billing help
05:16 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:36 p.m.
Kansas’ cold weather rule, which prevents utility companies from shutting down heating services because of lack of payment, ends Tuesday, and Black Hills Energy is encouraging customers to explore billing options and payment plans.
Theatre Lawrence announces 2015-16 season
05:11 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
A mermaid, a deathtrap and classic Broadway hits will be coming to the Theatre Lawrence stage, as Monday the group announced its show lineup for the 2015-2016 season that will debut in September.
Spencer Museum to host ‘Last Look’ events before closing for renovations
03:40 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:39 p.m.
With renovations slated for May, the Spencer Museum of Art is giving guests the chance to take a last look at the galleries with a series of programming that will culminate in a closing party April 12.
Martin Miller trial: Jury selection begins in retrial of Lawrence man once convicted of murder
10:42 a.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:44 p.m.
Jury selection began this morning in the retrial of Martin Miller, charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife in 2004.
Key Kansas lawmakers defend plan to issue pension bonds
08:00 a.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
Kansas is considering $1 billion or more in pension bonds because it has a chance to improve the state retirement system’s financial health, not because officials want to back off short-term funding commitments, the Legislature’s pension committee chairmen said Monday.
LMH to study program that would provide free legal assistance to low-income patients
March 29, 2015
LMH board of trustee members have agreed to consider a potential partnership with the Kansas University law school that would allow low-income patients at the hospital to have access to free legal professionals who could help solve problems that may be impacting a patient’s health. By Chad Lawhorn
United Way: Investment in early childhood education pays big dividends throughout a child’s life
March 29, 2015
When the teachers at the Ballard Center tell their 1- to 5-year-old students to “catch a bubble,” they aren’t urging the kids to scramble after soap bubbles floating in the air. They are instructing them to sit quietly and listen. Like most schools, Ballard has unique vocabulary and procedures for its students. But when you are a parent who is not privy to the lingo or the expectations set for your child, you can feel like an outsider, making it difficult for you to connect with the school and provide your child with the support he or she needs to continue learning at home.
New ‘all gender’ restroom signs at KU rec center welcome all
March 29, 2015
If you are not a woman, and you are not a man — or at least don’t identify yourself as either — which public restroom do you go in? At KU’s Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center you can avoid the conundrum by choosing one of the newly labeled “all gender” restrooms. By Sara Shepherd
Business Briefcase for March 30
March 29, 2015
Kaylee Johnston, branch manager of Truity Credit Union, has been recognized as a Department of Defense Patriotic Employer. The award recognizes supervisors for their work supporting employees in the National Guard or Reserve. Johnston was nominated by Airman First Class Jayce Donnelly, with the 190th Air Refueling Wing.
Fix-It Chick: Hay vs. straw — what’s right for your needs?
March 29, 2015
Farmers and ranchers know the difference between hay and straw, but the average homeowner often confuses the two. Understanding the differences and benefits of each will help you make a decision on which product to choose.
WellCommons to host Lawrence candidate forum
March 29, 2015
The public is invited to a City Commission candidate forum on public health and wellness issues at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lawrence Public Library auditorium.
Vanished towns dot prairie in Kiowa County
March 29, 2015
Traveling down a dirt path sandwiched between a wheat field and pasture, Ed Schoenberger abruptly motions to stop the car. “You’re now in downtown Reeder,” he says as he steps out of the vehicle — facing the cold wind that whips across the wide-open prairie on this early March day. But all around him, there is nothing but farmland and grass. Reeder, once a bustling community where residents dreamed of a railroad, has disappeared.
Ex-Brownback aide lobbying against tobacco tax increase
March 29, 2015
Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff is lobbying against a proposed tax increase on tobacco, one of the governor’s primary proposals to balance the state’s budget.
Kansas officials hope budget puzzle pieces drop into place
March 29, 2015
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback hopes the GOP-controlled Kansas Legislature wraps up several key budget issues this week, though he’s not pushing lawmakers to finish a spending blueprint for state government that also erases a projected shortfall of nearly $600 million.
KU’s multi-choir ‘Joy of Singing’ concert this Thursday
March 29, 2015
Kansas University’s School of Music will host a multi-choir concert Thursday at the Lied Center, the school said in a release.
Kansas City Connection: Library activities go way beyond books
March 28, 2015
In addition to being an excellent place to do research, check out books or attend film and public speaking events, the Kansas City Library’s Central Branch, located in the First National Bank building at 10th and Baltimore, also functions as something of a museum.
How to Help for March 29
March 28, 2015
Agency: United Way of Douglas County Contact: Shelly Hornbaker at volunteer@unitedwaydgco.org or at 785-865-5030, ext. 301 Calling all youth, ages 12-18, who are looking for a fun way to spend the summer. The United Way has youth volunteer opportunities with a variety of local agencies — Lawrence Humane Society, Baker Wetlands, Theatre Lawrence, Operation Wildlife, Just Food, and many more — available through our Summer of Service Program, running June 1 through July 31. For more information and to register for a project or internship after April 1, please go to www.volunteerdouglascounty.org. Contact Shelly Hornbaker at 785-865-5030, ext. 301, or at volunteer@unitedwaydgco.org for more information.
Candidates differ on rental licensing program; discuss views on city management, commission changes
March 28, 2015
When the current City Commission passed a new rental registration and licensing program last year, it was one of the more sweeping program changes made by the commission in recent memory. Now the question is whether the program will be swept out with a new commission.

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