WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

'Pet campus' with day care, grooming and more could develop along Wakarusa Drive

First I had to learn about the phrase “pet resort.” Now, it appears I need to learn about a “pet campus.” (Apparently it is not enough for my dog to have better vacations than me. He soon will have a better GPA, too.) Whatever the case, a pair of for-profit pet businesses are teaming up with a pair of nonprofit animal firms with hopes of building a pet campus along Wakarusa Drive. Preliminary plans ...

Have an idea on what kind of businesses should come to downtown? There's a text line for that; plus, an update on grocery store project

A couple of months ago, I told you how Downtown Lawrence Inc. was looking for ideas on what new types of businesses ought to locate downtown. At that point, the organization hadn’t yet gotten a formal system set up to take your ideas, but it has one now. The executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. tells me the ideas are starting to trickle in: an arcade, a grocery store, a bowling alley. Here is one ...

Plans filed for homeless drop-in center in downtown Lawrence

Plans have been filed with Lawrence City Hall to convert a downtown building into a drop-in center where the homeless can do everything from take a shower to get some temporary relief from the elements. City commissioners will have to approve the plans before they can move ahead, and it is unclear whether the proposal will bring up a new round of debates that surrounded the homeless and their presence in ...

As KU Athletics posts another financial loss, leaders say focus needs to be on increasing revenue, not decreasing expenses

After Kansas Athletics posted a second straight year of financial losses, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod’s office highlighted the need to grow revenue and upgrade athletic facilities. Not mentioned was the idea of cutting expenses of the athletic department, despite new financial statements that showed the department’s overall expenses grew about twice as fast as revenue and income last year. After Kansas ...

Plans filed for a Starbucks on 23rd Street

Plans call for Lawrence to get a new drive-thru Starbucks, and, just to add extra fun, it will be next door to a place that sells lots of power tools. (The only thing that makes a project go faster than a power nailer is a power nailer with a trigger finger fueled by a triple espresso.) Look for a Starbucks to be built at 23rd and Ousdahl in the parking lot of the shopping center that includes the Harbor ...

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 ...