WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

Lawrence sales tax collections fall in latest month; totals for year just slightly above 2017

Maybe you were glued to the TV watching all the political advertisements. Maybe you were pondering whether the key to life is periodically stating your name and saying “and I support this message.” Whatever you were doing, it appears you didn’t spend October shopping and spending your money. The latest sales tax numbers show spending levels fell in Lawrence and elsewhere as campaign season came to a ...

Despite record donation, KU Athletics loses $5M in 2018; salaries increased 13 percent

Fundraising was up — including a historic $50 million pledge — but Kansas Athletics still posted a more than $5 million loss as department spending again exceeded athletic revenues during the 2018 fiscal year. KU alumnus and billionaire investor David Booth made history in September 2017 by pledging $50 million over a five-year period to the athletic department. That pledge showed up for the first time on ...

State shuts down Lawrence car dealership over unpaid taxes

If you were in the process of buying a car at 6th Street Auto in Lawrence, you’ve got a new wrinkle to deal with — the state has shut down the used car business over allegations of more than $100,000 in unpaid sales taxes. A red “seized” sign is hanging on the front door of the dealership at 1716 W. Sixth St. A spokeswoman with the Kansas Department of Revenue confirmed the state has taken over all ...

New Japanese steakhouse opens in west Lawrence

To me, “yum-yum sauce” is the phrase I use when Thanksgiving meat sweats prevent me from remembering the word “gravy.” Come to find out, there is a whole different meaning, and a new Japanese steakhouse in Lawrence aims to give diners a taste of it. As I briefly mentioned earlier this month, Tokyo Steakhouse has signed a deal to locate in the shopping center at Sixth Street and Kasold Drive. Well, the ...

Local real estate company expands, opens downtown Lawrence office

On a day like today, you can take comfort that a home in the country doesn’t require you to shovel one of those city sidewalks. Less comfortable may be the knowledge that you need either a tractor or a flamethrower to get out of your driveway. Nonetheless, rural homes remain popular, so much so that a Lawrence real estate company that specializes in rural land is expanding. Heck Land Company has opened an ...

West Lawrence bar and restaurant set for major expansion

After 65 years of hamburgers and pizza, I’m sure I’ll need a bigger place to call home too — plus a titanium La-Z-Boy roughly the size of Texas. That’s what’s happening (minus the La-Z-Boy) with Johnny’s Tavern. While it celebrates its 65th birthday, the Lawrence-based bar and restaurant chain confirmed it is expanding its Johnny’s West location. Johnny’s West, which is located in the shopping ...

As holiday travelers fill up, there's actually good news on Lawrence gas prices

There are signs the stars really are aligning in a nearly unprecedented way this Thanksgiving season. Yes, the all-you-can-eat buffets in the region still have banned my entry, but I might get a heck of a deal on gasoline. Just as you are ready to fill up the holiday cruiser, gas prices in Lawrence are the cheapest in the state. Indeed, you heard that right. According to AAA, Lawrence currently has the lowest ...

A month after KU coach caught on wiretapped phone call discussing recruit and money, chancellor has not talked to coach

On Oct. 16 federal court proceedings revealed a University of Kansas basketball coach discussed on a wiretapped phone conversation a high-profile recruit and potential cash payments that could get him to come to KU. A month later, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod still hasn’t talked to assistant basketball coach Kurtis Townsend about the matter or received an explanation from him. “We are waiting for direction ...

New figures show Douglas County residents earned more in 2017, but may still be jealous of our neighbors

If you are a Douglas County resident, chances are you had more money in your pocket last year, even more so than most other Kansas residents. That’s the good news. The bad news is you are still in Kansas, which continues to lag behind other states when it comes to personal income growth. Federal officials on Thursday released numbers for every county in the country showing personal income levels, which is ...

KDOT to permanently close K-10 intersection at Kasold

Story updated at 4:29 p.m. Thursday After 28 accidents in about two years, state transportation officials are eliminating a west Lawrence intersection on the South Lawrence Trafficway. The Kansas Department of Transportation will close the intersection of Kansas Highway 10 and Kasold Drive, also known as East 1200 Road, beginning Monday, Dec. 3. After that date, motorists no longer will be allowed to use ...

Dreams of a Lawrence boardwalk on the Kansas River re-emerge in new development plans

There are new plans for multistory buildings with nearly 400 apartments and condos to overlook the Kansas River, and the iconic North Lawrence bar Johnny’s Tavern would get a bit of a facelift too. Indeed, dreams of Lawrence’s own riverfront development are back in vogue. A group that owns the property including and around Johnny’s Tavern at North Second and Locust streets has filed new plans at City ...

Change may be coming for local veterans health care; Topeka medical practice expands in Lawrence

I have heard from some of you veterans recently, and it hasn’t been to just mock my winless streak in bingo at the American Legion. Instead, several of you have had questions about whether the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is planning a pullback in medical services in Lawrence. The short answer is no, but changes are coming for the primary care outpatient clinic that the VA operates at 2200 Harvard ...

An old-school record store finds a new home in North Lawrence

When I recently told my kids I had an old J.C. Penney turntable in the storm shelter, I thought I would have to explain what a turntable was. Actually, no need. (They are still confused, though, about a J.C. Penney.) Instead, they made me drag out the turntable. That tells you a bit about why a pair of entrepreneurs have opened a vinyl record store in North Lawrence. Orange Cat Records has opened in the last ...

Report finds Lawrence ranks last in America in having enough jobs for college graduates

I have a friend who once was in a blue-collar management job. Just to keep his employees on their toes, he used to remind them that “you don’t need to have a college degree to do this job, but there are plenty of people with one that will.” It appears that nowhere in America is that statement more true than in Lawrence. A new report shows Lawrence ranks last among all metro areas when it comes to having ...

Board of Regents member wants KU explanation on issues related to college basketball corruption case

A top official with the Kansas Board of Regents said he expects to receive an explanation about what a KU basketball coach meant when he was recorded on a phone call discussing a recruit and money. Shane Bangerter, vice chair of the Board of Regents, said he’s been in communication with University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod about KU issues related to the recent federal trial involving corruption in ...

News and notes, including a fast food remodel and what is being built next to Zaxby's

Some news and notes from around town: • Election season is done, but somehow we didn’t get this national controversy resolved: round or square hamburgers? If you are a square hamburger fan — hold onto your hammer and sickle — the west Lawrence Wendy’s has closed for major remodeling. Work began in recent days on the small Wendy’s in the shopping center that is at the southwest corner of Sixth and ...

KU's basic housing and dining rates will stay flat for next school year, but will still be highest among Regents universities

Emporia — The University of Kansas will continue to have the highest housing and dining costs of any Regents university in the state, but KU leaders said they will forgo raising the standard rates for the next school year. University leaders on Wednesday told the Kansas Board of Regents that the housing and dining rate for KU’s basic on-campus living package would remain unchanged for the 2019-2020 school ...

Lawrence manufacturer seeks tax break as part of $5M expansion; city set to approve other economic incentives

Needing more space for beer glasses and T-shirts is usually considered a problem at my house, but it is a sign of booming business for one Lawrence manufacturer. Grandstand Glassware & Apparel has plans for an approximately $5 million expansion at its East Hills Business Park location. As part of the deal, the company is seeking a property tax break from the city, and commissioners will begin the process ...

Another longtime downtown retailer to close; Compton buys Mass. Street building

Sure, Amazon and the host of other online retailers are fierce competitors, but when Cinda Garrison decided to close her longtime downtown business, Prairie Patches, there were a pair of adversaries that were even tougher to defeat — her knees. Garrison recently confirmed the speculation that I had heard: Prairie Patches at 821 Massachusetts St. will close early next year, ending about 45 years in business ...

From bingo to kiddos: Longtime Eagles Lodge building to become pediatric center

I always assumed that if a medical office were ever to locate in the old Eagles Lodge building, it would be a heart specialist. That building’s bingo games were notorious for breaking hearts. (If you are scoring at home, I still have yet to ever win a bingo game in my life.) But instead, I have news about the building being converted into a major pediatric center. Panda Pediatrics has signed a deal to take ...