Sara Shepherd (Enterprise reporter)

I’m the Journal-World’s enterprise reporter, tasked with finding interesting stories that reflect the Lawrence and Douglas County communities. My beat includes daily news articles and more in-depth projects on a variety of subjects.

I also write about the Lawrence restaurant scene — where everything from garden-fresh craft cocktails to exotic Asian hotpots to bacon cheeseburgers slathered with peanut butter can all be yours (to actually eat, or just read about if you’d rather). Check out my blog, Wined & Dined, and weekly food spotlight, Off the Beaten Plate, on

Previously, I was a cops and courts reporter for The Kansas City Star, where I covered untimely death or destruction of some kind most every day for a few years. I’ve also covered suburban city government and schools for The Star and The Shawnee Dispatch, a weekly paper just up the road. My first beat at the Journal-World was features, covering food, arts, entertainment and lifestyle.

I’m a fourth-generation graduate of Kansas University, where I majored in journalism, art history and French. To reach me, call 785-832-7187 or send email to Follow me on Twitter @saramarieshep.

Recent stories

Local law enforcement agencies help patrol Topeka after officer’s funeral
September 15, 2014
Local law enforcement officers helped out neighboring Topeka this weekend, as police there mourned a fellow officer killed on duty. The Lawrence Police Department and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office sent more than 40 officers to help patrol the streets of Topeka Saturday evening and Sunday morning. By Sara Shepherd
KU, prosecutors face challenges in rape investigations
September 13, 2014
To her, it’s black and white. What happened in a fellow Kansas University student’s dorm room — two times during the fall of her freshman year, both after nights of heavy drinking — was rape. To her alleged assailant and those investigating her case, it’s not so cut and dried. Campus rape has emerged as a top political and social issue this year. It’s one where federal Title IX law, criminal law, campus policies, enforcement of them and education about them all intersect. Further complicating investigations? Alcohol abuse figures prominently in most of them. By Sara Shepherd
Off the Beaten Plate: Mac N’ Cheese Omelet at Ladybird Diner
September 10, 2014
An omelet stuffed with macaroni and cheese — hey, why the heck not?
Sit down and savor — first Lawrence Restaurant Week kicks off Sunday
September 10, 2014
Does a sit-down dinner complete with aperitif, appetizer, salad and dessert, all in addition to your entree — seem decadent for an average night out? During the first Lawrence Restaurant Week, that kind of dining experience will suddenly become more accessible.
Handcuffed suspect ran onto Turnpike, escaped troopers
September 9, 2014
A handcuffed man who ran onto the Kansas Turnpike before heading for the grass, jumping a fence and escaping Monday was still at large Tuesday afternoon. By Sara Shepherd
Teen accused in sex crimes with underage girls considers withdrawing plea
September 9, 2014
A teen who previously pleaded no contest to sex crimes involving one or more underage girls wants to consider withdrawing his plea. By Sara Shepherd
Man wanted in police officer killing skipped sentencing Friday in Lawrence for unrelated case
September 8, 2014
A man connected to Sunday’s Topeka police officer killing was supposed to be sentenced in another case Friday in Douglas County but didn’t show up for his hearing. By Sara Shepherd
Rollover crash kills man in Jefferson County
September 8, 2014
A 40-year-old man died Sunday after the pickup he was driving left the road and rolled an estimated four times in Jefferson County.
KU campus rape allegation under review by district attorney
September 3, 2014
District Attorney Charles Branson says his office will take another look at the possibility of filing charges in an alleged Kansas University campus rape after receiving new information related to the case. The 20-year-old victim, in a recent interview with the Journal-World, said she was raped in October in Lewis Hall, where she and her alleged attacker both lived. Then a freshman, she said she went to a party with him, drank heavily and returned to his room, where he had sex with her and continued after she asked him to stop. By Sara Shepherd
Library announces first author visit enabled by new donation
September 1, 2014
The Lawrence Public Library has announced the first writer who will visit the city as part of the library’s new Ross and Marianna Beach Author Series. And he’s not showing up with nothing but a book. By Sara Shepherd

Full story list

Recent photos

Mac N’ Cheese Omelet at Ladybird Diner, 721 Massachusetts St.

Grilled octopus antipasti at Genovese, 941 Massachusetts St.

Sausage Pie at Daylight Donuts, 935 S. Iowa St.

Thousand year egg, with tofu, at Panda and Plum Garden, 1500 W. Sixth St.

Grilled octopus antipasti at Genovese, 941 Massachusetts St.

Full photo list