WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

LMH, doctors optimistic that deal will get done to keep local firm in charge of hospital's emergency department

LMH Health is continuing to make progress in extending a contract with the local company that has been managing the hospital’s emergency department for more than 25 years. A committee of medical professionals at the hospital was told at a special meeting Wednesday evening that contract negotiations with Lawrence Emergency Medicine Associates were going well. The contract had become a point of controversy ...

Next week, Lawrence residents will be able to get a COVID test — even if they don't have symptoms

A Johnson County nonprofit is expanding its program to test asymptomatic people for the COVID-19 virus in Lawrence next week. Lenexa-based Heart to Heart International will operate free testing sites for basically anyone in the community, Mark Gleeson, a Lawrence resident who works for the nonprofit told me. It basically is the first real opportunity for large numbers of Douglas County residents to get a ...

A $100 million medical plant expansion to land just on the other side of the Douglas County line

A community just on the other side of the Douglas County line has landed a $100 million high-tech industrial project. Merck Animal Health announced Monday morning that it is has approved a $100 million expansion plan for its facility along Kansas Highway 10 in De Soto. The press release didn’t provide details on how many new jobs the expansion may provide for the area, but I’ll do some checking on that ...

An update on a pair of large vacant properties downtown; a look at Kansas' ranking in 'tax burden' report

News and notes from around town: — A development group looking to build a downtown grocery store has won a key lawsuit, but it has lost the grocery store project anyway. The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday announced it has ruled in favor of Treanor Investments, a local development group that has wanted to build a grocery store and apartment project on the old Borders bookstore property at Seventh and New ...

New sales tax numbers show Lawrence took one of the hardest hits in the state during shutdown

The hit to retail businesses from the pandemic is showing up in new sales tax numbers, and they indicate Lawrence has suffered one of the starkest slowdowns of any major city in the state. Lawrence’s sales tax collections dropped 13.2% in the June sales tax report issued by the state today. The June report, due to normal delays in sales tax reporting, mainly represents sales that were made in April, which ...

Company that makes parts for railroads considering deal to locate factory in Eudora

A company that makes flashing red lights for the railroad industry is on the verge of giving the green light to a project that would bring dozens of manufacturing jobs to Douglas County. Canadian-based Modern Manufacturing is in negotiations with the city of Eudora to locate a factory in the eastern Douglas County town that would employ about 40 people. The Eudora City Commission earlier this week gave ...

An East Lawrence bistro closes; a couple of restaurants test the trend of a hospitality fee in lieu of tipping

It used to be that a bonbon fix in Lawrence meant a box of fancy chocolates, a pair of stretchy pants and at least an hour’s suspension of all shame. Then along came the East Lawrence restaurant Bon Bon, which brought new meaning to the idea. Now — find the stretchy pants — we are back to where we started. Bon Bon has closed with no plans to reopen. Simon Bates, co-owner of Bon Bon, confirmed the small ...

LMH gives up on proposal to move management of ER to large national firm, reopens negotiations with Lawrence company

Story updated at 4:28 p.m. Monday After an outcry from its medical staff and members of the public, LMH Health has abandoned its plans to reach a cost-savings deal for a large, national company to manage the hospital’s emergency department. Instead, LMH will reopen negotiations to renew its contract with a Lawrence-based company that has been providing the emergency room with doctors for more than 25 years. ...

Douglas County district attorney seeking public's help in investigation of loan practices at Lawrence Kia dealership

Allegations of loan fraud at a Lawrence auto dealership are now drawing the attention of the Douglas County District Attorney’s office. Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said Monday he wants to hear from customers of the Lawrence Kia dealership after a recent Journal-World article reported on allegations of loan fraud. A June 4 article by the Journal-World reported on allegations that ...

LMH Health pauses controversial decision related to emergency room doctors

Updated at 7:47 p.m. Friday LMH Health has pressed “pause” on a controversial plan it announced earlier this week to replace the local physicians group that oversees the hospital’s emergency department with a large national firm. The hospital’s executive team announced Friday morning that it wanted to pause the process after large numbers of area residents started speaking out about the preliminary ...

Burgers, beers and a whole lot of fries featured at new south Iowa Street restaurant

The world is beginning to learn that everything is better with mac ’n cheese on it, which is why I try to keep my face mask full of it at all times. Or, I suppose, it could be easier just to eat it on top of a hamburger. That is one of many specialty options at a south Lawrence restaurant featuring beers and burgers. Mr. Brews Taphouse recently opened in the spot formerly occupied by BurgerIM in the Pine ...

LMH starts to see finances improve as pandemic restrictions ease; big changes on tap for emergency room doctors

LMH Health is starting to see a small change in its finances as surgeries and other procedures have started occurring again after pandemic-related restrictions have begun to ease at the hospital. But on the change front, it is the hospital’s emergency room that may soon see a large one. Members of the hospital’s board of trustees were meeting Wednesday, largely in a closed door executive session, to ...

LMH reaches tentative deal to shake up management of emergency department and other doctor staffing

Updated story - June 19 — LMH Health ‘pressing pause’ on controversial decision related to emergency room doctors The company overseeing the care at Lawrence’s only emergency department is set to go from a Lawrence-based company to a large, national firm. LMH Health announced Wednesday that it has reached a tentative deal to end its more than 25-year partnership with a local physicians group that ...

Lawrence home sale totals tumble in May, but prices rise; selling prices up 10% from a year ago

It might be impossible for me to buy a new home right now. By the time I figure out how to unmute myself on the Zoom call negotiations, the house already would be sold. A new report shows Lawrence home sales fell in May as fewer homes were on the market. But those that did come to market sold exceedingly quickly. How quickly? The latest report from the Lawrence Board of Realtors found that the median number of ...

Cheese shop with a classic sandwich menu opens in downtown Lawrence

The phrase “say cheese” has ruined many a photo. Rather than smile, I bolt to get a flask of wine and a bag of tortilla chips (just in case it turns into a nacho party.) If cheese also excites you, there is a new shop in downtown Lawrence to take note of. Pedestrian Cheese has opened at 845 Massachusetts St. — the former home to Luckyberry — in recent weeks. Patrons have multiple ways to enjoy cheese ...

New downtown coffee and frozen custard shop will have an edge to it; small diner won't reopen after pandemic

A new downtown shop that sells coffee and frozen custard is not a big corporate operation. If it were, I sure would like to meet the manager who signed off on naming the business after a heroin-addicted punk rocker who also got tied up in a murder allegation. (Submit your expense accounts to that manager.) But, no, Sid and Nancy’s, 947 New Hampshire St., is not about being corporate. It is about a lot of ...

Car buyers allege that loan scheme ensnared hundreds at local dealership; dealer says 'errors' were not widespread

Sasha Jefferson last fall drove all the way from her southeast Kansas home in Pittsburg to get what she thought was a good deal on a used BMW at Lawrence Kia. That luxury car instead has taken her to a place she never expected to be: the center of an alleged loan scheme. The auto division of the banking giant Wells Fargo has determined that the income listed on Jefferson’s loan application was overstated, ...

LMH signs deal to bring longtime walk-in medical clinic to south Iowa Street

A longtime Lawrence medical practice has been bought by LMH Health and soon will have a new home on south Iowa Street. The nonprofit hospital announced today that it has finalized a deal with First Med, a nearly 30-year old walk-in clinic that operates just east of 23rd and Iowa streets. LMH will be moving First Med from its current home at 2323 Ridge Court into a renovated retail building at 3211 south Iowa ...

Yes, some local candidates running as Democrats were Republicans not long ago

The local election season is hitting a key moment with Monday’s filing deadline near, and some readers have questions about some of the politics behind the races. Two questions seem to be the most frequent: Why is there a dearth of local Republican candidates, and have some of the Democrats recently been Republicans? It is easier to start with the second question: Yes, several have switched from Republican ...

Lawrence's July Fourth community fireworks show canceled because of pandemic concerns

Not even Lawrence’s longtime tradition of a community fireworks show is safe from COVID-19. A representative of the local Jaycees club confirmed Wednesday that the show along the Kansas River won’t happen this year. “We safely could shoot off the fireworks, but we don’t have a way to safely have everybody watch the fireworks,” said Sherri Cannon, a member of the local Jaycees club that has conducted ...