WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

KU hires New Mexico physicist, dean to serve as leader of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

A physicist and interim dean at the University of New Mexico has been selected to become the leader of KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the university’s biggest academic unit. Arash Mafi was chosen from a field of four finalists to take over as executive dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He’ll oversee a college that has 11,000 undergraduate students, 1,700 graduate students and ...

New report finds 177 degree programs at state universities that need review as Regents look for ways to reduce degree duplication

If you want to get an undergraduate degree in physics, there is no shortage of options in Kansas. All six of the state’s public universities offer an undergraduate degree in physics, despite data showing that enrollment in the programs is below average at all six schools, and that few physics graduates end up being employed in Kansas or Missouri. While every university is likely to keep offering some ...

Habitat for Humanity ReStore opens in new location along south Iowa Street, expands inventory of furniture, other large items

It almost is a truism in a college town: When you get a place with more space, get more couches. (The two hardest parts about moving my college-age son were the number of couches, and getting people off of them.) The situation is not quite the same at Habitat for Humanity’s new ReStore, but couches and other furniture are playing a big role in the new space. As we reported in July, Habitat for Humanity ...

Just how high was inflation this fall? Lawrence sales tax collections were up 30% from a year ago; state posted similar numbers

As the calendar turned to fall, inflation was soaring in Lawrence and across the state, the latest Kansas sales tax figures suggest. But they also suggest something else: Consumers never blinked. The latest numbers from the state show sales tax collections in Lawrence were up a whopping 30% for the one-month period, compared with the same period a year ago. But Lawrence was nothing special. The statewide ...

Journal-World opens online gift card store focusing on offerings from local businesses

The day after KU won the NCAA National Championship, the Journal-World set up a folding card table outside our office door to sell copies of the newspaper. We sold so many that I joked if I had gotten an MBA, I would have thought to set up two card tables. Less visible but even busier were our online sales operations at shop.Lawrence.com. We sold newspapers and other souvenirs at a very rapid rate. It was a ...

Whataburger deal on 23rd Street still moving forward but not yet final; signs of a new seafood restaurant emerge

Obviously the pilgrims chose turkey for the first Thanksgiving because the drive-thru burger joint was closed for the holiday. Maybe the history books differ on that contention, but it is a fact that I’ve got hamburgers on my mind. Particularly, Whataburgers. In case you have forgotten, plans were filed in June at City Hall showing that the popular hamburger chain Whataburger wants to open its first ...

Maternity clothing store that will sell both new and used items set to open on 23rd Street

Maybe the online buying trend has gone a step too far. (I’m not saying that because Amazon has asked whether my home has a loading dock.) One new Lawrence entrepreneur believes online shopping has taken hold in an area that doesn’t make much sense — maternity clothing. Kisha Cranston is in the process of opening The Bump Store in The Malls Shopping Center at 23rd and Louisiana streets. She came up with ...

A look at how much incomes in Douglas County trailed the state and other counties in 2021

Last year wasn’t a great year to earn money in Douglas County. But — brace yourself for a phrase we don’t often say when it comes to money — at least we weren’t Johnson County. The federal government has released statistics showing the per capita personal income for every county in Kansas in 2021. They show incomes in Douglas County grew at a rate slower than both the national and state averages. ...

Concept plan shows KU would build 600-seat conference/event center in north bowl of football stadium; south end would get new plaza area

Story updated at 4 p.m. Wednesday: KU plans to build a 600-person conference and event center that would be integrated into the north bowl of its football stadium, according to a concept plan obtained by the Journal-World. While the plans aren’t set in stone, the concept answers one of the biggest questions that’s been floating around Jayhawk tailgaters this season: Where is everyone going to park and ...

Regents approve policy that will require KU, other state universities to get new approvals to change athletic conferences

If the University of Kansas ever decides it wants to change athletic conferences, it will have to win some state approvals that aren’t required today. Members of the Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday unanimously approved a policy that will require any Regents university — KU, K-State, Wichita State, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State and Emporia State — to get approvals from at least three ...

KU proposing housing, dining rate increases of nearly 5% as inflation and labor costs surge

Get ready to see new signs of inflation at KU and most other public universities in the state. The University of Kansas and every other Regents school in the state are planning to make significant increases to their housing and dining rates for the upcoming school year. In one popular category, KU is asking for the largest percentage increase of any of the six Regents universities, and KU generally will ...

Bed Bath & Beyond to close its lone Lawrence store, creating opening for new retailer in Pine Ridge Plaza

Shoppers will soon have to look beyond Lawrence to find a Bed Bath & Beyond. The chain retailer has announced that it is closing its lone Lawrence location. The store in the Pine Ridge Plaza shopping center near 33rd and Iowa streets has the going-out-of-business signs up and is running deep discounts. The retailer had announced in early September that it planned to close about 150 stores across the ...

Group forms to create 1,500-member union to represent KU faculty members; vote expected in coming months

UPDATED 8:30 A.M. NOV. 15, 2022 Professors and other academics at the University of Kansas are taking public steps to form a union that would represent more than 1,500 KU faculty members. Several KU faculty members have banded together to form United Academics of the University of Kansas. The group is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors. ...

City says homeless camp with 80 tents isn't a campground; if it said otherwise, it would be violating its own zoning code

As a city-operated campground for the homeless has grown on the edge of downtown, business owners in recent weeks have begun protesting that the central business district is no place for such a campground. Come to find out, they may have a powerful document on their side: the city’s own zoning code. When questioned by the Journal-World this week, the city’s director of planning acknowledged that a ...

KU rededicates Vietnam Memorial after research by a cadet sheds new light on a fallen airman

A star was delivered on Friday at the University of Kansas. KU leaders gathered on Veterans Day to rededicate the Vietnam Memorial on the KU campus and to add a star next to the name of Major Glenn McCubbin, a KU student who died during the Vietnam War. McCubbin had an extra star placed beside his name because for years the memorial listed him as missing in action. But KU recently learned that McCubbin’s ...

KU files paperwork with Regents estimating football, 11th and Mississippi gateway project to cost $335M in phase one

The University of Kansas now thinks the first phase of its plan to upgrade its football stadium and the area around it at 11th and Mississippi streets will cost $115 million more than once envisioned. KU officials have submitted new documents to the Kansas Board of Regents requesting that the phase one budget for the project be increased to $335 million, up from $220 million when KU last submitted paperwork to ...

Johnny's Tavern plans to reopen on Friday after having closed due to safety concerns related to adjacent homeless camp

Johnny’s Tavern in North Lawrence plans to reopen on Friday morning after owners had closed the historic bar for the last three days in protest of how the city is operating a homeless encampment next to the business. Rick Renfro, an owner of Johnny’s Tavern, said he’s decided to reopen the restaurant and bar after city officials told him they were working to address his concerns. Renfro said he ...

Sobering numbers about whether Lawrence will ever fit into the 1st Congressional District; a look at other election trends

Lawrence got its welcome into the Big 1st Congressional District on Tuesday. Consider these numbers: 1st District Democratic candidate Jimmy Beard won Douglas County by 17,125 votes, receiving 75% of the vote in the largest county in the sprawling 1st District. Yet, Beard came nowhere close to winning the overall 1st District. He lost to incumbent Republican Tracey Mann by 83,782 votes. To put it another ...

Just days after vehicle crashes through building, Big Mill restaurant reopens; owner says SUV was going 50 mph

Brad Ziegler is convinced that a German stonemason a century ago saved lives at his Lawrence restaurant last Friday. Ziegler got a call from the manager at his Big Mill restaurant saying that a vehicle had crashed through the storefront of the restaurant at the corner of Ninth and Mississippi streets. When Ziegler arrived on scene, a simple thought went through his mind. “I just kept thinking how lucky it ...

Business leaders push for city ordinance that would prohibit camping in downtown as homeless concerns grow

An ordinance to prohibit the homeless from camping in downtown Lawrence continues to be pushed for after a two-hour meeting between business and city leaders on Monday left unresolved downtown safety concerns. About 60 people attended a Downtown Lawrence Inc. meeting on Monday morning, with several business owners saying their employees are frightened as they come to and from work, and they are hearing from ...