WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

After 11 years of art and supplies, downtown retailer expanding with full-fledged gallery

Whether you like to collect art or simply collect doodles in a notebook, a downtown retailer has news for you. Wonder Fair has signed a deal to open a second store in downtown, which will allow the art and stationery retailer to open a full-fledged gallery while also expanding its offerings in the worlds of pens and paper. Wonder Fair currently is located at 841 Massachusetts St. It will remain in that ...

Major bike manufacturer plans to open corporate-owned store on south Iowa Street

I have gone round and round on this rumor, but I’m now confident in reporting that Lawrence is getting a major new player in the world of bike shops. Trek, one of the biggest names in both the road racing and mountain biking worlds, is opening a corporate-owned store in Lawrence. Trek’s website lists a variety of job openings for a store in Lawrence, which matches with the rumors I’ve been hearing in the ...

$1 million-plus expansion on tap for Douglas County manufacturer of aviation parts; job totals to hit 150

An aviation company in the tiny unincorporated Douglas County community of Vinland continues to make a case that it is one of the best high-tech success stories in the county. McFarlane Aviation Products has filed plans for a $1.4 million plant expansion that should easily add another 50 jobs to the company. Plans filed with the county’s planning department call for a new 24,000-square-foot manufacturing ...

Lawrence seeing a slowdown as sales tax collections now dip into negative territory for the year

February was cold in more ways than one in Lawrence. Yes, there were the temperatures outside, but you should have felt the chill inside from all those cheap Valentine’s Day gifts. At least the latest numbers from the state show something caused retail spending to take a downward turn in February. Plus, the statistics show most of 2019 hasn’t been good either. The city of Lawrence received its April sales ...

Local trio opens unique members-only billiards club in downtown Lawrence

A pool table without pockets sounds a bit like that closet I built without a door. (The worst mistake was building it from the inside out.) But this pool table is no mistake. In fact, a trio of local residents think it may be a calling card for a unique new business: a private billiards club. The Billiards Studio has opened in downtown Lawrence in a building at Eighth and New Hampshire streets that houses a ...

As new KU deal is signed, it's unclear what Adidas will do to help prevent future basketball scandal

Adidas will do more in the future to help prevent college basketball recruiting scandals, a Kansas Athletics official said Wednesday as KU and Adidas announced a nearly $200 million dollar extension of their marketing partnership. But specific steps the apparel company will take to prevent a repeat of the past scandal — where three of its former employees or consultants have been convicted on federal fraud ...

Girod: KU has changed basketball procedures in wake of FBI case; 'We have to make sure we do it right going forward'

KU Chancellor Douglas Girod acknowledged Wednesday that internal procedures of the men’s basketball program have changed after a pay-for-play scheme ensnared two KU players, saying KU has to “make sure we do it right going forward.” Girod said changes have been made regarding which individuals are allowed to have access to the men's basketball program and its staff, but he did not elaborate on what those ...

Lawrence's population growth among tops in the state; city now among the 100 fastest growing metro areas this decade

There are about 800 more people in Lawrence than there were a year ago, and despite what the K-State fans will claim, they’re not all NCAA investigators. The U.S. Census Bureau has released new population estimates, and Lawrence continues to rank as one of the fastest growing metro areas in Kansas. Actually, if you wanted to, you could make a banner saying that Lawrence is the fastest growing metro area that ...

Budweiser Clydesdales to be in downtown Lawrence Saturday to celebrate new beer law

Big horses and beer both can be fun, although as a general rule I don’t recommend combining the two. (I still don’t know how the horse ended up wearing the hat and I ended up wearing the halter.) The exception to the rule, of course, is the Budweiser Clydesdales, and Lawrence soon will have a chance to see them. The Clydesdales will be in downtown Lawrence from about 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. You’ll ...

Historic Castle Tea Room building to be put up for lease as nonprofit ownership falls on hard times

Passersby soon will see a “for lease” sign in front of the historic Castle Tea Room building on south Massachusetts Street. Yes, it also is a sign that the future of one of Lawrence’s more distinctive buildings is uncertain. The nonprofit foundation that owns the Castle Tea Room, 1307 Massachusetts St., has fallen into disarray. A Douglas County Court judge has appointed a custodian — a position ...

Farming makes a bit of a comeback in Douglas County, new numbers show

About 20 years ago, one of the great hand-wringing fears was that homebuilding was going to grow so quickly that all the good farmland in Douglas County was going to be built over. And there was some reason to worry. From 1997 to 2002, the number of farms in Douglas County fell by about 4 percent, the number of acres in production dropped by about 13,000, and the value of all agricultural products grown or ...

Longtime Capitol Federal branch moves out of 11th and Vermont building as part of merger

If you are old enough, there was a time when a trip to the bank was at least a weekly event. As a tag-along kid, I got discs of gum wrapped to look like silver dollars from the tellers. (That’s the No. 1 reason I never became a coin collector. I chipped too many teeth hoping to find gum.) Well, a downtown bank branch that evoked memories of that era has closed. The old Capitol Federal branch at 11th and ...

A conversation with Mayor Lisa Larsen on city-county cooperation, a new fire chief, downtown growth

One of the things I hope to do more of over the next year or so is have face-to-face conversations with more community leaders. While sitting across from my face is a lot to ask of someone, I’m hopeful to do such interviews with community leaders on a semi-regular basis. I’ll call it a "Conversation With ..." and it will become a new addition to the Town Talk lineup. So, first up, a Conversation With ...

New North Lawrence skateboard shop plans to ride growing popularity of sport

Maybe I'll do a melon-grab when I'm on the half-pipe. All right, I confess, I don't know what any of that means — and probably shouldn't guess — because I can't speak skater lingo. Whenever I get on a skateboard it's not words, but numbers — like the type on my insurance card — that take precedence. But there are plenty who do speak the language, and they once again have their own store in ...

Associated Press Executive Editor touts value of 'good old-fashioned facts' at KU awards ceremony

Associated Press Executive Editor Sally Buzbee remembers how her fellow journalists at the AP were being labeled as unpatriotic in the mid-2000s when they reported the war in Iraq was going poorly for the U.S. “I thought the U.S. was over that sort of thing,” said Buzbee, who was the AP’s Middle East regional editor at the time. “Hadn’t Vietnam taught us to listen to those on the ground?” Buzbee ...

New pub featuring 1,000 board games, plus mead, plans to open in downtown Lawrence

I no longer drink beer when I play Monopoly. I’ve hurt myself too many times falling off the Boardwalk. But booze and board games, plus some food, is precisely the type of activity that will be encouraged at a restaurant and pub in the works for downtown Lawrence. A Lawrence duo has reached a deal to open Trader’s Cache at 724 Massachusetts St., in the spot that used to house the Latin American restaurant ...

Lawrence's Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade in jeopardy of shutting down after this year; organizers say they are stepping down

One of Lawrence’s most beloved holiday traditions may be ending. Organizers of Lawrence’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade — the horse-drawn spectacle in downtown — say they plan on quitting after this year’s event. That means someone else will have to take the reins, or else this year’s event — slated for the first Saturday in December — will be the last. If so, it would mark the end of a ...

Questions about missing money and documents at Clinton State Park have state ready to investigate

After being presented with evidence of accounting irregularities, leaders with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism have said they’re launching an investigation into cash-handling practices at the state park near Lawrence. But already the effort is facing a roadblock: The public documents that could prove the case have mysteriously turned up missing. “They were stolen by someone for some ...

Briggs Auto Group agrees to sell its remaining Lawrence dealerships; large Kansas City-area dealer is the buyer

Get ready for a brand new player in the Lawrence auto market. McCarthy Auto Group, which owns nine dealerships in Missouri and the greater Kansas City area, soon will own two in Lawrence. A McCarthy official confirmed today that it has reached a deal to buy the Lawrence Nissan and Subaru dealerships currently owned by Manhattan-based Briggs Auto Group. The deal, once completed, will mark the end of the ...

East Lawrence garden center undertakes major expansion, launches effort to partner with Just Food

Some of you may still have a green thumb left over from St. Patrick’s Day. (I told you that was way too much food coloring for a pint of beer.) For the rest of us, green thumb syndrome is about the start of gardening season. I do have news of an eastern Lawrence garden center expansion, which also involves an effort to grow food for the hungry. One Heart Farm and Nursery has been operating kind of quietly ...