Mike Belt

Mike grew up in the southeast Kansas town of Columbus. He developed an interest in news and sports writing as early as grade school because of these key influences: watching and reading the coverage of the 1963 JFK assassination, being a St. Louis Cardinals baseball (before the Royals) and Kansas City Chiefs football fan and thinking that Superman had more fun as Clark Kent. He wrote Columbus HIgh School sports stories for the school and local papers. Mike studied journalism while attending both Kansas University and Kansas State University where he earned a bachelor's degree. His first full-time journalism job was in the early 1980s at a weekly newspaper, the Osawatomie Graphic. After a couple of years there he moved on to a daily, the Kansas City Kansan. The Kansan was a bigger newspaper then and Mike enjoyed covering law enforcement, politics and other happenings in Wyandotte County during the 1980s and 1990s. In June 2000 MIke moved to Lawrence and has worked as a reporter in the Newscenter covering a variety of beats. He currently covers Douglas County government, area law enforcement and courts and sometimes writes stories about the military. During his spare time - when not reading baseball or military histories - Mike likes to take a camera and drive the back roads and streets of rural and urban areas. He takes photographs of old abandoned barns, houses and buildings.

Recent stories

Business going dry for dairy farmers
April 21, 2009
Things are not going well this year for dairy farmers. The price farmers are paid for their product is so low many of them are lucky to break even.
Families find lifestyle changes cut financial stress
April 21, 2009
Last year, Chad and Renate Rea were mired in debt and living beyond their financial means. The couple and their two young children were living in a 3,200-square-foot house, driving a new hybrid car and trying to keep up with credit card bills.
Chamber leaders: We’re here to help
April 21, 2009
Tom Kern wants to help. At a time when many businesses are struggling economically, Kern and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, which he serves as president and CEO, are stepping up to help.
Financial advisers suggest how to invest a windfall (however unlikely)
April 21, 2009
It’s your lucky day. The Kansas Lottery scratch-off ticket you just bought awarded you $1,000. Or maybe it’s less dramatic, and you just were frugal enough to scrape together some savings. Now what?
Calling home: Wartime communication much different today
April 20, 2009
During World War II, the only way American families and soldiers had to communicate was by letter. Delivery time was unpredictable. “For the people involved in combat, it could be weeks. In my case, that was typical,” Lawrence resident Roy Creek says.
Discussions link Lawrence, Iraq
April 6, 2009
Iraq is making improvements in more areas than just security as it develops as a democracy, U.S. and Iraqi generals and diplomats in Baghdad told a Lawrence audience on Sunday. “The Iraqi government is working very hard to improve security and also the level of life,” said Ali Aldabbagh, spokesman for the Iraqi government.
Travel bargains a silver lining to recession
April 6, 2009
The recession and worldwide economic downturn is proving to be a benefit to people still planning vacations or wanting to travel. Gasoline prices are stable, airfares are down and bargains can be found in all aspects of travel, according to people who monitor the industry.
City, county conduct review of insurance policies
Lawrence paid $114,018 last year in premium
April 5, 2009
If Lawrence were hit by a major disaster, its local government and school buildings are covered by insurance, officials say.
Kansas Commerce Department looking for workers to come to Kansas
More than 22,000 jobs are available in state right now
April 2, 2009
Despite the recession and a 6.2 percent unemployment rate, Kansas is looking outside as well as inside the state to fill thousands of job openings.
Video documentary about Lawrence veteran who opposes the war to debut
March 31, 2009
A short video documentary about a Lawrence Army veteran who spoke out against the War in Iraq will make its debut Wednesday.

Full story list

Recent photos

Abe and Jake's Landing is one of four bars that has signed up for a new program called “Safe Bar Alliance — Not On Our Watch,” which is partially funded by a United Way grant.

Army Maj. Rachel Sullivan, right, a civil affairs officer, gets briefed on events occurring in a war game at Fort Leavenworth by Maj. David Daniels, left. More than 900 officers in the Command and General Staff College took part in the exercise, which spanned several days.

Soldiers with a military border transition team huddle up to discuss how they did during urban combat exercises last week at Fort Riley. A series of buildings on the base can simulate an Iraqi or Afghan village, allowing soldiers to practice search techniques before they deploy overseas.

July 2002: Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin updates the media on the investigation into a double homicide. Olin offered few details but said police detectives had developed a "working theory" into the slayings Thursday of Pete Wallace and Wyona Chandlee.

Full photo list