Ian Cummings (Public safety reporter)

Ian began reporting police and courthouse stories at the Lawrence Journal-World in the winter of 2012. First, he tried many other kinds of work. Ian is an obtuse young man and failed to realize he was supposed to be a crime reporter. The Kansas City native studied anthropology at Kansas University in 2006 before disappearing into Central America for a stretch of years. He hitchhiked to El Salvador on a banana truck. He briefly worked as an amateur electrician before returning to Lawrence as a graduate student in journalism. At various times, he pretended to be a schoolteacher, an archeologist, and a bartender. He has small hands and a quick temper. Ian likes to say he shares those traits with great men: Napoleon, Houdini, and former Kansas City Royals manager Hal McRae. Others say McRae had normal-sized hands. Ian’s work has also appeared in The Kansas City Star. He served as editor of the University Daily Kansan student newspaper in the spring and fall of 2012. You can follow him at

Recent stories

Pet guru specializes in snakes, smiles and open doors
September 29, 2013
For many animal lovers in Lawrence, Pet World is a whole lot more than a place to buy fish food. To some, it’s the best place to go to find a rare breed of python. For others, especially kids, it’s a neighborhood zoo and later, a first job. For three dozen employees and more than 100 volunteers, it’s a unique community of people who love sharing animals with others.
Marijuana enforcement numbers sky-high
September 14, 2013
In 2005, a city ordinance downgrading marijuana possession to a municipal offense, to be met with a ticket rather than handcuffs, was seen by both supporters and detractors as a softer approach to drug crime. Eight years later, the result has been quite the opposite, according to some measures. By Ian Cummings
Fraternity agrees to fines, community service, in turkey abuse case
September 13, 2013
The KU chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity has agreed to settle last year’s turkey abuse case through fines and community service, according to Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson. The agreement comes months after witnesses told police that a turkey was abused and killed at a fraternity party in December. By Ian Cummings
Lawrence man arrested on suspicion of drug, gun, offenses after injury accident in North Lawrence
September 11, 2013
A 40-year-old Lawrence man was arrested on suspicion of drug and gun offenses Tuesday night after being involved in an accident that injured two other people in North Lawrence, according to police.
Fall Book Sale canceled after inventory contaminated by bedbugs
03:18 p.m., September 11, 2013 Updated 06:38 p.m.
The Friends of the Lawrence Public Library’s Fall Book Sale has been canceled because of a bedbug infestation in some of the books intended for sale. The book sale was to be held at the Douglas County Fairgrounds from Sept. 26 to Sept. 29, but in on hold indefinitely after the group learned someone had donated books had contained bedbugs. A large portion of Friends’ inventory for the fall sale has been removed in an effort to be certain of eliminating the bugs. By Ian Cummings
Renter beware: real estate scam surfaces again
September 11, 2013
Please don’t try to rent the 1,290 square-foot home, with two beds and two baths, advertised at $500 per month. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In the case of one house on Moundridge Drive, some prospective renters have already been cheated out of a $250 deposit that they will never get back. They learned the hard way that the house is for sale, not for rent, and the online listings offering the house for that low, low rent are bogus, operated by an anonymous con artist who might be in California or Siberia, for all the authorities know. By Ian Cummings
Ottawa man sentenced to more than four years after accidental shooting of 4-year-old boy
September 9, 2013
A 40-year-old man has been sentenced to more than four years with the Kansas Department of Corrections after being found guilty in the accidental shooting of a 4-year-old Ottawa boy in January. Whether he serves the sentence in prison or on probation will be decided by a judge at the end of the month. By Ian Cummings
Topeka man guilty in May shooting in Lawrence that injured two
September 9, 2013
A 20-year-old Topeka man has been found guilty in a shooting that left two men in critical condition in Lawrence earlier this year. By Ian Cummings
Drug-related home invasions on the rise in Lawrence
September 8, 2013
Several times a year, Lawrence residents answer a knock at the door only to be assaulted by armed robbers demanding drugs, cash, or both. Very often, but not always, police say, the victims are drug dealers, typically college-age young people selling marijuana from their homes. In some cases, more aggressive criminals who see them as easy targets beat them up. In others, people have been shot and killed. By Ian Cummings
Former state Rep. Solbach back home, working again, after April collision
September 7, 2013
John Solbach is picking up where he left off after he was badly injured in a head-on collision earlier this year near his home in Douglas County. It hasn’t been easy, Solbach said. He is still using a cane and continues with physical therapy sessions three times a week. But now he is back at home, walking again, and and even spending a few hours a day at his office downtown, where he works as a Lawrence attorney. By Ian Cummings

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