WRITER: Kathy Hanks

Author takes risks with first novel, which explores love and atomic bombs in Las Vegas

Kansas native Shannon Pufahl was mulling over the plot of her first novel long before she began writing “On Swift Horses.” At first, she thought the story would focus on her grandparents, who moved from Kansas to Southern California after the Korean War. Her grandmother spent time in Las Vegas, where she developed a passion for gambling. Along with Pufahl’s own family memories, including trips to Las ...

In Lawrence, flu season is hitting earlier than it did last year; experts emphasize prevention

Flu season won’t peak until early next year; however, coughs, aches and fevers are currently on the rise, according to the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department. In recent days, there has been an uptick in the number of Douglas County residents who have gone to an emergency department in Kansas with flu-like symptoms, according to Sonia Jordan, director of informatics with the health department. On Nov. ...

Steam locomotive roaring through Lawrence has special meaning for 95-year-old woman who worked for Union Pacific

Mable Durrant was a petite young woman, but that didn’t stop her from standing by the railroad tracks and holding out messages to enormous passing trains, doing her part for the war effort back in 1942. Mable, now 95, had just graduated from high school in Arkansas during the height of World War II when she heard that the Union Pacific was training women to be telegraphers. “All the boys were getting ...

Go, See, Do: Holiday Extravaganza, stargazing and an audio-described musical coming up

This year’s Holiday Extravaganza craft show will span three basketball courts at Sports Pavilion Lawrence. There will be 206 vendors, including local and regional artists selling their work. Plus, there will be a variety of items from pottery, photography, holiday decorations, jewelry, handmade furniture, baked goods and much more, according to Duane Peterson. “We have been sold out since September, with ...

Forget 'Jingle Bells'; a band will be coming to Lawrence with original holiday tunes

JD McPherson knows his Christmas song “Socks” might not be as popular as Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You,” but that’s not what he was going for when he wrote it. He knows his band has its own small following who enjoy his original song. It’s about a kid on Christmas morning who gives his gift a  “shimmy and shake" and discovers “socks, the worst gift I ever got. Why waste the ...

Almost beyond repair: Lawrence couple gives midcentury house a second chance

For several years overgrown trees hid most of the house at 1051 Wellington Drive. Built back in 1960 by Dwight Burnham, a University of Kansas art instructor, the house fell into disrepair before Burnham died in 2013. When the property came up for auction in 2015, Gordie Sailors and Paula Kellogg saw potential. Four or five other people were interested in the house, which was being sold “as is," but they ...

Following open-heart surgery, high school athlete will be back on the court

On a recent morning, Cobe Green confidently spun a basketball on his fingertip. Ten months after open-heart surgery to correct a defect in a coronary artery, the Bishop Seabury Academy senior says he’s ready for the upcoming season opener, Dec. 6. He acknowledges that he has some catching up to do after a year of not playing basketball. “I feel like I’m behind the eight-ball,” he said. Last fall ...

Go, See, Do: Christmas tree exhibit, Ten Thousand Villages pop-up shop and more

More than 200 festively decorated trees will be on display throughout the holiday season at the Territorial Capital Museum in Lecompton. This is the 16th year for the display, which features trees with a variety of themes. Some of the trees have ornaments dating back to the Victorian era, said Cynthia Breitenbach, a staff member at the museum. The focal point is an 18-foot tree on the second floor of the ...

Cross-section of Lawrence comes together for LINK Thanksgiving dinner

Larry Beerbower was feeling blessed on Thanksgiving — and it wasn't just because of the turkey and gravy on his plate. At the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen's annual Thanksgiving dinner, Larry said he and his wife, Misti, had been living in a tent for more than a year. But recently their luck improved and they came into possession of a 2002 Kia Sedona they now call home. “We are fortunate ...

Holiday travelers should expect crowded roadways; Thanksgiving likely to have rain or snow

With an expected increase in travel and a threat of snow on Thanksgiving day, travelers need to pack a little patience when they head out for the holiday, according to Shawn Steward, public affairs manager with Kansas AAA. “Our projections show this will be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000,” Steward said, speaking by phone with the Journal-World. It’s expected ...

Lifelong friends finally realize in their late 60s that it's time to say 'I do'

In 1966, Barbara Bosley asked Stan Jones to the Sadie Hawkins dance at Dighton High School. Then, 49 years later, they shared their first kiss. The couple, who recently moved to Lawrence, recalled the dance, popular in the 1960s when girls demurely waited to be asked on a date. A Sadie Hawkins dance was a girl's chance to do the asking. The two had known each other since 1957, when Stan was the new kid ...

Feeling gloomy during fall and winter? It could be seasonal affective disorder

Kate Gramlich flipped the switch on the tabletop lamp, and the dreary fall day outside the window seemed to disappear. Gramlich, an information services assistant with the Lawrence Public Library, was demonstrating one of the lamps the library provides for light therapy. The lamp mimics outdoor light and helps lift the mood for those experiencing seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a depressive disorder that ...

Go, See, Do: Holiday fun at the Watkins Museum, Pendleton's Country Market open house and more

Kids can design a Star of David mosaic, make jewelry with jingle bells and do other holiday-themed crafts and activities Saturday at the Watkins Museum of History's "Celebrate the Season" event. Most of Saturday's activities will be geared toward children ages 4 to 10, said Emily Wellborn, a Watkins Museum staff member who helped organize the event. Children will learn more about three winter holidays — ...

New book about petroglyphs offers a glimpse into the lives of the earliest people in Kansas

Carved deep into sandstone, primitive drawings have survived for centuries in the outcroppings, bluffs and caves of Kansas. Now many of those carvings can be viewed in the book “Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills,” by Rex C. Buchanan, Burke W. Griggs and Joshua L. Svaty. Recently published by the University Press of Kansas, the book is filled with color photographs by Griggs and explores many of the ...

Poetry and fiction submissions sought for the 2020 Langston Hughes Awards

It’s time for Douglas County residents to finish the story they're working on or polish up their poems and submit them for the 2020 Langston Hughes Awards. The annual event, jointly sponsored this year by the Lawrence Arts Center and The Raven Book Store, will offer two awards of $500 each, one for fiction and one for poetry. The deadline to submit work is Dec. 20. Guidelines for submissions are available ...

'These are human beings': Lawrence woman helps asylum seekers waiting at the U.S. border

Cynthia Smith just returned from the U.S.-Mexico border, where she handed out winter coats, socks and peanut butter sandwiches to stranded asylum seekers. Smith made the trip to see how she could use her years of experience as an attorney working in government relations to help those seeking asylum in the U.S. The asylum seekers she met from Cuba, Central America and Africa are all stuck in Matamoros, Mexico, ...

Lawrence woman's mysterious illness traced to tick bite

The lingering effects from the bite of a tick have been haunting a Lawrence woman for several years. Jamie Miller, 48, doesn’t know when she was bitten by the Lone Star tick. It might have been six years ago, because that’s when nausea and vomiting and other gastro-intestinal problems began, all symptoms of Alpha-gal syndrome or allergy, which is short for Alpha-galactose-α-1,3-galactose. More prevalent ...

Go, See, Do: Poetry workshop on the Kaw, 6 short plays and more

Theatergoers can take in six stories in one evening during this weekend's Festival of Short Plays at Theatre Lawrence. The event, now in its second year, only features scripts from regional playwrights, said Dani DeGarmo, the theater’s marketing coordinator. She said the selection process for this year's festival started in the summer of 2018. Two performances are scheduled, one on Friday and one on ...

Homes: Couple find cozy bungalow, community in East Lawrence

After moving from a west Lawrence apartment to an East Lawrence bungalow, Kristen Allen and Jake Bellucci felt they had relocated to a different state. There was that much of a difference going from a contemporary apartment complex to a tree-lined, neighborhood just a block from Lawrence’s downtown. The small 1920s bungalow, at 1320 New Hampshire St., is their first home, which they purchased fully ...

Chris McDougall, author of "Running With Sherman," will be visiting Lawrence on Oct. 13, 2019.

A man takes a rescue donkey on a run and discovers a bonus of well-being for both of them

When Chris McDougall arrives in Lawrence to promote his new book “Running with Sherman,” he’ll leave Sherman, the donkey, at home. But, he’ll be running with anyone who wants to join him. McDougall's stop in Lawrence will be part run, part book talk because standing still for very long isn’t part of McDougall’s persona. The event begins at 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at Ad Astra Running, 734 Massachusetts St., ...