Joel Mathis

Hometown: Hillsboro, Kan.

College: Tabor College; Hillsboro, Kan.

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Communications, with an emphasis in journalism

At what moment did you realize you wanted to become a journalist (videographer, meteorologist, sports reporter, etc.)? And if there wasn't a specific point in time, what was the motivating factor?

I've always loved history. When I was in high school watching coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests in China during the summer of 1989, I knew I wanted a job that would help me touch history as it was being made.

When you really want to relax and let your hair down in Lawrence, where do you go and what do you do?

Cover myself in chocolate sauce and... never mind.

As is probably too well known, I spend lots of time in downtown coffee shops -- great places to read, meet new people, get into lively discussions and make new friends.

What comes to your mind as the most memorable local story you've covered?

I would say the December 2000 bank robbery standoff that resulted in the evacuation of businesses around Ninth and Massachusetts streets. I remember that story because it was more complicated than a simple crime -- it was about a financially desperate man who committed a foolish and desperate act.

If you couldn't be a reporter, what occupation would you want to try?

Owner of a small, struggling bookstore.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only one song to listen to and one book to read for the duration, what would they be?

The "Kansas: Land of Ahs" theme from 20 years ago. "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving.

If they were going to execute you tomorrow, rightly or wrongly, what would your last meal consist of?

A small Rudy, thin wheat crust, from Rudy's Pizzeria in downtown Lawrence.

Recent stories

Celebrated philanthropist Tensie Oldfather dies
October 3, 2007
Tensie Oldfather served on the board of directors for Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. Her $4 million gift in 2000 helped found the Douglas County Community Foundation, a charitable organization that supports a variety of activities meant to improve life in Douglas County.
Retracing trail resurrects history
September 29, 2007
You know about the horses. You know about the wagons. What you may not know is that many settlers crossed the Oregon Trail in the 1800s on their feet. But Karen and Dave Vixie know it all too well. Last week, they joined a wagon train that followed the Kansas portion of the trail, both of them walking stretches that covered 13 or more miles a day. The trail goes through Lawrence.
Boulder offers lessons on attracting retirees
City much like Lawrence anticipates older population growth
September 16, 2007
See if this sounds familiar: A mid-sized town with a left-of-center reputation, not far from a big city, offering more amenities than your typical suburb thanks to a Big 12 university and all the sporting, cultural and intellectual offerings that go along with that.
Cup O’Joel: College freedom breeds new identities
August 11, 2007
Welcome to Lawrence, Class of 2011!
County fair in full bloom
August 3, 2007
It’s not just cows, goats and swine being displayed and judged at the Douglas County Fair. There are also cacti and caladiums, hibiscus and herbs, sunflower and sage.
City’s No. 2 heads for KU
Assistant city manager takes job in athletics department
July 31, 2007
City Hall’s No. 2 administrator is leaving to take a job with the Kansas University athletic department. Debbie Van Saun, assistant city manager since 2000, will become associate athletics director and senior women’s administrator at KU. “It just seemed like a good fit,” said Van Saun, who has worked for City Hall more than 28 years.
24 hours of life in Lawrence
May 22, 2007
We love our history in Lawrence, whether it be Quantrill’s Raid, Wilt Chamberlain, the Kansas Union fire, the making of “The Day After” or the 1988 basketball championship. But a community is more than the sum of its most dramatic events. A community is created every day in the work, play and life of all its residents.
Heavy lifting
May 22, 2007
Here is a partial list of items unloaded from a supply truck, early in the day at Cottin’s Hardware & Rental:
Family time
May 22, 2007
A dozen or so individuals gather in an upstairs room at the Lawrence Arts Center for Hollie Rice’s family pottery class.
They’re real: Southern Illinois’ Salukis are dogs with long history
March 22, 2007
Unless you’re a dog expert, Southern Illinois’ mascot, the Saluki, might sound every bit as made-up as the Jayhawk.

Full story list

Recent photos

Terri Furman is director of sales for Wonderland Hill Development Co. in Boulder, Colo. It includes four condominium-type units that will be permanently affordable - in the range of $140,000.

Terri Furman, director of sales for Wonderland Hill Development Co. in Boulder, tours the Silver Sage project. The development offers affordable co-housing for senior citizens in Boulder.

Tom Cottin, owner of Cottin's Hardware & Rental, unloads a truck full of stock early in the morning.

The sun rises over Cottin's Hardware & Rental early the morning of May 10.

Jeff Harkin and his son, James, work together on a pottery piece during a May 10 "Family Pottery" class at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Full photo list