Local news

City to host reception, tour for outdoor sculpture exhibition
May 28, 2015
The 27th Annual Downtown Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition will kick off Friday with an opening reception and tour starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.
Officials break ground on NBAF
May 27, 2015
A $1.25 billion animal research facility in Kansas will fill a vital role in protecting the nation’s food supply while also providing a boost to the state’s economy, federal officials said Wednesday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.
Senate kills $496 million tax proposal
May 27, 2015
The Kansas Senate on Wednesday defeated a $496 million tax bill, sending Republican leaders back to the drawing board in search of a way to fill the state’s budget hole. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence school district proposes more than $1.2 million in budget cuts and reallocations
09:36 p.m., May 27, 2015 Updated 10:43 p.m.
The Lawrence school board is proposing more than $1.2 million in budget cuts and reallocations as a result of an expected decrease in state aid, said Lawrence schools Superintendent Rick Doll.
Companies Cannot Buy State Employees,’ says KU in open records case involving teacher with Koch ties
06:53 p.m., May 27, 2015 Updated 10:37 p.m.
Kansas University has reinforced its stance that business lecturer Art Hall’s emails are subject to the Kansas Open Records Act, no matter who’s bankrolling his salary. At the end of the day, KU writes his checks, the university argued in a document filed this week in Douglas County District Court. “Companies Cannot Buy State Employees — And Then Keep Their Work Secret,” the document asserts. By Sara Shepherd
City Commission hears proposal to have homeowners benefit from tax breaks
06:30 p.m., May 27, 2015 Updated 10:35 p.m.
Lawrence city commissioners on Wednesday were asked to consider using some tax breaks to help ordinary homeowners rather than the large developers who have typically benefitted from them. Douglas County commissioners asked city commissioners to consider how the city uses the Neighborhood Revitalization Act, a popular tax rebate program. That program has been mostly used for larger projects, such as the development of new apartment buildings and the pending expansion of The Eldridge Hotel.
Busker Festival, Art Tougeau keeping Lawrence weird this weekend
May 27, 2015
Things got a little weird at Tuesday night’s city commission meeting. Citing “a car shaped like a phone,” a “street legalU.F.O.” and Lawrence’s general proclivity toward the odd, mayor Jeremy Farmer proclaimed May 29-31 as “The Official Weird Weekend.”
University Senate forms committee to address guns on campus
05:39 p.m., May 27, 2015 Updated 10:35 p.m.
Kansas University faculty, staff and students are forming their own committee to address the issue of concealed guns coming to KU’s Lawrence campus. By Sara Shepherd
State employees, including those at KU, could face furloughs if budget not resolved soon
05:09 p.m., May 27, 2015 Updated 10:43 p.m.
State employees, including many at Kansas University, could face furloughs if state lawmakers fail to reach an agreement on a budget and taxes by the end of next week. Other deadlines are also looming as the end of the current fiscal ends June 30. By Peter Hancock
Market Match program launches at farmers markets for second year
May 27, 2015
The Market Match program has launched for its second year at the Lawrence Farmers Market and Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market.
Suspect arrested in Monday homicide; victim’s name released
04:21 p.m., May 27, 2015 Updated 10:42 p.m.
Lawrence police on Wednesday afternoon arrested a suspect in connection with a fatal stabbing Monday in Lawrence. Police also on Wednesday announced the name of the victim as Tracy Dean Lautenschlager, 45, of Lawrence. By Caitlin Doornbos
Hikers, bikers concerned about illegal motorized vehicles destroying popular Kansas River trail
03:56 p.m., May 27, 2015 Updated 04:01 p.m.
A caretaker for a popular hike and bike trail along the Kansas River is asking people to be on the lookout for a rogue ATV rider who is damaging miles of trails and wildlife habitat. By Chad Lawhorn
K-State can test for new strain of dog flu affecting Midwest; no cases reported in Kansas
12:41 p.m., May 27, 2015 Updated 10:35 p.m.
Kansas State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory can test for a new strain of canine influenza, or dog flu, that has infected more than 1,000 dogs in the Midwest since April, according to a news release Wednesday by the university.
Off the Beaten Plate: Pig ear sandwich at Kingfish Soulfood Bistro
May 27, 2015
It’s a popular item at Kingfish Soul Food and Bistro, but you won’t see folks eating the pig-ear sandwich on a daily basis down South. At least that’s what the restaurant’s owner, who goes simply by Kingfish, tells me during a recent trip to the eastern Lawrence eatery.
Westar plans to buy wind power from new plant
08:08 a.m., May 27, 2015 Updated 10:35 p.m.
Westar Energy says it plans to buy energy from a new wind farm to be built in Pratt County.
Cooking from Scratch: Clean out the fridge to make these savory waffles
May 27, 2015
We broke in our new waffle iron by making stuffed, savory waffles one night for dinner. They’ve since been dubbed “clean-out-the fridge” waffles, and you should take that as an order if you’re making them.
The verdict on tax cuts: Lawmakers must decide if 2012 tax experiment is working
10:04 p.m., May 26, 2015 Updated 10:30 p.m.
Kansas lawmakers will have to decide soon how to fill the state’s estimated $400 million budget hole. Their decision will likely be seen, both in Kansas and nationally, as a verdict on whether the massive income tax cuts of 2012 have worked. Advocates on both sides point to mounds of economic numbers to support their arguments. By Peter Hancock
Lawrence approves new stop signs for busy portion of 27th Street
09:38 p.m., May 26, 2015 Updated 10:30 p.m.
Lawrence motorists should soon expect to give their brakes an extra workout on a busy portion of 27th Street. By Chad Lawhorn
Police, fire chiefs tell Lawrence commissioners of needs for facility, mental health services
08:01 p.m., May 26, 2015 Updated 10:26 p.m.
City commissioners heard “frank” comments from both their police and fire chiefs Tuesday regarding the need for more facilities and greater mental health care services in the community. By Chad Lawhorn
Pet World owners vow to rebuild after fire destroys store, kills animals
Vigil scheduled for 8:20 p.m. Wednesday
06:22 p.m., May 26, 2015 Updated 09:37 a.m.
In the wake of a Memorial Day fire that killed an undisclosed number of animals and injured dozens more, members of the Lawrence community flocked Tuesday to the burned ruin of Pet World, 711 W. 23rd St., to mourn and show support for the business that brought them so much joy. A candlelight vigil at the store was scheduled for Wednesday evening.
No suspect identified in Monday’s fatal stabbing; K-9 unit investigates area
04:54 p.m., May 26, 2015 Updated 10:30 p.m.
Lawrence police detectives continued to work the scene Tuesday of a home at 700 Arkansas St., where investigators say a man was fatally stabbed Monday. By Caitlin Doornbos
Survey: Lawrence-area officials use both personal and government email accounts for public business
04:46 p.m., May 26, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
For months, Hillary Clinton has been under fire for her exclusive use of a private email account to conduct government business while she was secretary of state. Earlier this month, Gov. Sam Brownback acknowledged that he uses a private email account to communicate with staff and has done so since he was a U.S. senator. In a survey of Lawrence-area elected officials, the Journal-World found that many use government accounts and some use personal accounts. By Karen Dillon
Some greek organizations have had success with curbs on alcohol
May 25, 2015
When the Interfraternity Council at Purdue University in Indiana voted to ban all hard liquor from fraternity properties and chapter events this year, Purdue IFC President Matt Gebbie said the reaction from fraternity members was mixed. Kansas University’s IFC followed Purdue’s lead this month, banning hard alcohol from fraternity houses beginning this fall. Some say implementing hard-liquor bans will be effective; others say liquor-specific prohibitions don’t go far enough.
Welcome to Jayhawkville: Virtual school district engages KU education students
Online course relies on newly launched tool for realistic scenarios, diverse school demographics
May 25, 2015
As a Kansas University student pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies, you once would have read a typewritten case study and responded to questions for your class on how to be a principal. Now, you head to Jayhawkville. The virtual town and its Jayhawkville United School District are complete with colorful maps including urban to rural schools, pictures of each building, profiles of their principals — foibles included — and graphs of demographics and test scores. By Sara Shepherd
Pet World fire kills many small animals; python, some others survive
Community expresses heartbreak, support for popular store
01:17 p.m., May 25, 2015 Updated 10:26 p.m.
An unknown number of animals died Monday in a midday fire at Pet World, 711 W 23rd St. Rescue workers brought out 20 to 30 tarantulas, many fish, a large python and other reptiles. In addition, Pet World’s tortoises and some feeder rats, a few hamsters and gerbils were safe in separate locations. The store’s mammals and birds died from smoke inhalation, Pet World’s owners said.
Kansas state hospitals face staffing shortages
May 25, 2015
New data show that state hospitals in Kansas face persistent staffing shortages, with at least one facility posting a recent 40 percent staff vacancy rate.
Lawrence police: One man dead following stabbing on Arkansas Street
Police followed trail of blood from Sixth Street restaurant to nearby home
08:25 a.m., May 25, 2015 Updated 07:11 p.m.
One man is dead following a stabbing Monday morning in the 700 block of Arkansas Street, Lawrence police said. Shortly after 6 a.m., police and medical personnel went to the parking lot of the McDonalds at 1309 W. Sixth St. after a 911 caller reported a person outside the restaurant was bleeding, Lawrence police Sgt. Trent McKinley said in a news release. The man, in his 40s, was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where he later died, McKinley said.
Lawrence receives about 2.6 inches of rain over weekend
May 24, 2015
Thunderstorms on Saturday and continued rain on Sunday helped Lawrence reach normal year-to-date precipitation levels, Shawn Byrne of the National Weather Service in Topeka said.
City facing $600,000 shortfall in street maintenance funding this summer
May 24, 2015
Lawrence shoppers may be coming to the rescue of city streets this summer. Engineers are alerting city commissioners that they are expecting about a $600,000 shortfall in funding for the city’s summer street maintenance program, which includes work such as repaving and curb repair. By Chad Lawhorn
As rare cicadas begin to emerge, KU researchers, students examine the insects
May 24, 2015
Hanna Rankin, a Kansas University junior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, never considered herself to be particularly fond of bugs. But after the first few days in KU Environmental Studies Professor Robert Hagen’s Biology of Cicadas class, Rankin said her interest in the insects has been piqued.