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Staff

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.

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 sshepherd@ljworld.com. Follow me on Twitter @saramarieshep.

Recent stories

KU researchers discover new lizard species for sale on Manila’s black market
January 25, 2015
Kansas University’s resident reptile expert and fellow researchers routinely trudge through rainforests overturning leaves and combing streambeds to find live specimens. But that’s not where Rafe Brown and his team first encountered two previously unknown species of water monitor lizard. Instead, their first glimpse of the reptiles was at pet shops in the Philippines — where they say the country’s rampant black market trade in exotic animals threatens its ecosystem. By Sara Shepherd
Sexual violence and related complaints doubled at KU in 2014
03:25 p.m., January 23, 2015 Updated 10:29 p.m.
Kansas University’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access received almost twice as many complaints in 2014 than the previous year, and more than two-thirds of the new cases relate to Title IX. During a presentation Friday to KU’s Sexual Assault Task Force, IOA executive director Jane McQueeny said her office received 85 complaints in 2013 and 169 complaints in 2014. By Sara Shepherd
Obama at KU: Some university community members came for the issues, others for the show
07:10 p.m., January 22, 2015 Updated 10:12 p.m.
To be sure, President Barack Obama’s star power was the driving force behind many Kansas University community members who flocked to see him speak Thursday on campus. But plenty of students, administrators and professors were there for the issues, too.
Reporter’s notebook: Obama’s day in Lawrence
04:58 p.m., January 22, 2015 Updated 10:11 p.m.
A lot of people at Kansas University did a lot of work in a very little amount of time to prepare for President Barack Obama’s visit to the university on Thursday.
Why were ticket holders turned away from Obama’s speech at KU? President was in the building
04:01 p.m., January 22, 2015 Updated 10:17 p.m.
Dozens of people who had tickets to President Barack Obama’s speech Thursday at Kansas University were turned away at the door, starting about an hour before Obama took the podium. The facility wasn’t over capacity, organizers say. Rather, the day’s schedule fluctuates to accommodate the President’s movements, and at that time the President was in the building.
President Obama arrives in Lawrence for speech at KU on Thursday
January 21, 2015
President Barack Obama arrived in Lawrence on Wednesday night in advance of a speech he will deliver on the Kansas University campus Thursday.
Select KU, Haskell students get word they’ll have preferred seating at Obama event
04:06 p.m., January 21, 2015 Updated 10:27 p.m.
Securing a ticket just to be in the same — giant — room with President Barack Obama had thousands of Kansas University students giddy on Tuesday. Imagine the excitement of a select number getting a special spot. “I couldn’t even breathe,” junior Ramiro Sarmiento said of receiving a message he was selected to stand in a group behind Obama when he delivers remarks at KU. “I can’t wait. I saw the State of the Union yesterday and got really excited … for everything that’s to come in the future.”
Thousands in Lawrence brave lines for ‘golden ticket’ to Obama’s speech
11:28 a.m., January 20, 2015 Updated 10:25 p.m.
For admission to what several described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, thousands of Kansas University students got up early and stood in line a long time. “He’s the president,” said law student Brian Vanorsby, who arrived at 4 a.m. and was second in line. “I can say I was in the same room as him — a big room, but the same nonetheless.” Free-but-limited tickets to President Barack Obama’s speech at KU, set for Thursday morning at Anschutz Sports Pavilion, were made available starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. By Sara Shepherd
President Obama to speak Thursday morning at KU; tickets available Tuesday
11:48 a.m., January 19, 2015 Updated 11:01 p.m.
President Barack Obama’s visit to Kansas University will be highlighted by public remarks Thursday at Anschutz Sports Pavilion, the White House announced Monday.
KU cites $3.9M for law enforcement training center as a top legislative priority
January 17, 2015
Kansas University hopes the Legislature will find another $3.9 million a year to offset lower-than-projected revenue for the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, which the university runs in western Kansas as part of its continuing education program. With the state facing a massive budget shortfall this year, that’s a tall order. But KU and center leaders say not getting the money could put the center at risk for defaulting on bond payments and force “catastrophic program and personnel cuts.” By Sara Shepherd

Full story list

Recent photos

Armed with laptop, coffee and a view, KU assistant professor of history Erik Scott works on a conference paper during the Faculty-Staff Day of Writing at the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015.

This small plaque, inscribed as a gift of the class of 1924, is displayed on the main level of the Kansas Union. It reads, "Kansas Memorial Union Building, erected in memory of the one hundred and twenty nine students and alumni of the University of Kansas who gave their lives in service in the world war." A few other World War I related wall displays appear on the sixth floor of the Union.

The photo of former KU student Joseph C. Liggett is among 129 photos of KU students and alumni who gave their lives in service to World War I, displayed on the sixth floor of the Kansas Union. Ray Liggett of Shawnee stumbled upon his great uncle's connection to KU and the war while doing genealogical research, but didn't previously know the Union was a memorial to him and other casualties. Ray Liggett said he learned that Joseph Liggett enlisted in October 1918 and died the next month. He was a member of KU's unit of the Student Army Training Corps but died in Lawrence in the influenza epidemic before he was ever deployed.

Schooners at Louise's Downtown

Shannon Feldt, left, and Susan McSpadden of Merriam fill out their marriage license application Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, at the Douglas County Courthouse. The couple received a license and planned to wed later Thursday in Kansas City, where they had arranged for the same minister that performed their commitment ceremony two years ago to officiate, this time for a legal union.

Full photo list