WRITER: Dylan Lysen

Lawrence school board approves new equity policy

The Lawrence school board now has an equity policy that aims to address educational disparities in the school district. During a meeting on Monday, the board approved an amended policy with a 6-0 vote. Board member Paula Smith was absent from the meeting. Board President Kelly Jones said the amendments included using more direct language by changing some wording from “should” to “will,” which was ...

Familiar face to take the reins as principal at Southwest Middle School

The Lawrence school district has selected a familiar face to lead its Southwest Middle School. Superintendent Anthony Lewis announced Thursday that Carissa Miles, assistant principal and athletic director for Lawrence's Billy Mills Middle School, will be the new principal for Southwest. Pending school board approval, Miles will take over the position on July 1, replacing outgoing principal Kristen Ryan. The ...

Lawrence school board to consider finalizing new equity policy

A proposed policy that aims to address educational disparities in the Lawrence school district could soon be put into place. During a meeting on Monday, the Lawrence school board will consider finalizing a new equity policy that focuses on addressing inequities experienced by marginalized groups, such as people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, women and several others. The board reviewed the policy ...

McLouth man convicted of aggravated assault in Lawrence shooting case

One of two McLouth men facing charges in a Lawrence shooting case was convicted in Douglas County District Court on Wednesday after agreeing to a plea deal. Jaren B. Collins, 19, pleaded no contest to an amended charge of aggravated assault, based upon the plea agreement, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office said on Thursday. Collins is scheduled for sentencing on June 18. The other man in the case, ...

Eudora school district names new superintendent

The Eudora school district has found its next leader. The school district announced Tuesday that it has selected Stu Moeckel as the district’s new superintendent. Moeckel will take over the position on July 1 and will replace outgoing Superintendent Steve Splichal. Splichal previously announced that he planned to resign at the end of the school year. Moeckel, who is currently serving as the superintendent ...

Faith group Justice Matters calls on local officials to address issues of homelessness, criminal justice, saying their agenda is God's will

With hundreds of honking cars urging them on, several local elected officials Monday night made promises about ending homelessness, new disciplinary strategies in public schools and more leniency for people who miss court dates, among other issues. Members of the faith-based activist group Justice Matters challenged local elected officials to commit to a variety of social justice proposals at a drive-in ...

Judge approves Innocence Project counsel for Lawrence murder case, notes current trial date could be pushed back

With new attorneys serving as defense counsel in Rontarus Washington Jr.’s long-running murder case, Judge James McCabria said Tuesday that he was not sure the current trial date for September would hold. During a hearing in Douglas County District Court, McCabria approved Washington’s new counsel, which includes Kansas-based attorney Melanie Morgan and Josh Dubin and Tricia Bushnell of the Innocence ...

Free State speech and forensics team wins second straight 6A state title

Free State High School’s speech and forensics team successfully defended its reign as the best in the state, despite having to wait two years to do so. The Firebirds clinched a second straight 6A state championship in speech on Saturday. The team won the competition by scoring 415 points, coach Kelly Thompson said in an email to the Journal-World. The second place team, Garden City, finished more than 100 ...

Lawrence man arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder after reported stabbing in Burcham Park

A Lawrence man is facing an allegation of attempted murder for a reported stabbing Sunday in a city park. Lawrence police arrested Katroy D. Jenkins, 27, around 3 p.m. Sunday on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder after responding to a call at Burcham Park, which is located northwest of downtown Lawrence along the Kansas River. Patrick Compton, a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department, said ...

'I'm actually going to kill you': Affidavit alleges Lawrence man repeatedly beat and threatened woman before she sought refuge in a bank

A Lawrence man facing several felony charges is accused of beating a woman he was in a romantic relationship with and then threatening to kill her with a knife and a stolen gun, an affidavit supporting the arrest alleges. The account from a responding police officer outlines how Robert Brothers Jr., now 19, allegedly beat the woman repeatedly during two separate incidents in February until she could get away ...

Lawrence school board to discuss new equity policy that aims to address institutional injustice in education

Noting the historic failure of government agencies to address systemic racism and other inequities in education, the Lawrence school district is developing a new equity policy aimed at tackling those issues in its schools. During a meeting on Monday, the Lawrence school board will review a proposed equity policy that focuses on addressing inequities experienced by marginalized groups, such as people of color, ...

Lawrence deputy superintendent leaving to take over top post at Kansas City, Kan., school district

The Lawrence school district’s second-highest-ranking administrator will leave her position at the end of the school year, the district announced on Friday. Superintendent Anthony Lewis said in a news release that Anna Stubblefield, the district’s deputy superintendent, has accepted the top leadership position at the Kansas City, Kan., school district. Stubblefield — who is currently serving her 13th ...

Lawrence man to face trial on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated burglary; witnesses describe stabbing, beating

A Lawrence man accused of stabbing another man for insulting him will stand trial on felony charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated burglary. After hearing testimony during a preliminary hearing Thursday in Douglas County District Court, Judge Kay Huff bound Brian Samuel Stubbs, 24, over for trial on four charges. Along with the felony charges, Stubbs is facing the misdemeanor charges of ...

2 teens injured in crash on U.S. Highway 59

Updated at 1:42 p.m. Wednesday Two teenagers were injured Tuesday evening in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 59 in southern Douglas County. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to the wreck around 9:15 p.m. A car with three people heading north had rear-ended a semitrailer near the intersection of North 650 Road, Deputy Charlie Cooper said. The two passengers in the car were injured in the ...

Rontarus Washington Jr.'s counsel withdraws from long-running murder case; he might soon be represented by Innocence Project

Rontarus Washington Jr. will soon have new counsel representing him in a long-running murder case — possibly an attorney from the Innocence Project. During a hearing on Tuesday, Chief Judge James McCabria allowed Washington’s current counsel — attorneys Adam Hall and Angela Keck — to withdraw from the case after serving as his representatives for five years. They filed a motion to withdraw from the case ...

Paola man charged with felonies after reportedly leading Lawrence police on pursuit, running through bystander's home

A Paola man is facing felony charges after allegedly fleeing from Lawrence police in a stolen vehicle and running through a bystander’s home last week. Lt. David Ernst of the Lawrence Police Department told the Journal-World Monday that officers arrested James F. Korgol around 8 p.m. Thursday in the 5800 block of Silverstone Drive after the incident. Korgol, 36, was formally charged in Douglas County District ...

'One chance to bring everybody together': Free State, LHS to hold outdoor prom events with COVID-19 precautions

In a year that has been anything but normal for Lawrence's two high schools, students at both Free State and Lawrence High are making sure the 2021 senior class will end its time at the schools with one of the most traditional events. Next month, both schools will hold their annual proms, which will be some of the first major student-organized events since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This year’s dances ...

Lawrence school district to move Kennedy Elementary principal to open position at Prairie Park Elementary

With Kennedy Elementary School scheduled to close down, its principal has been chosen to take over the same position at a school nearby. The Lawrence school district announced Thursday that Chalita Middleton, who has led Kennedy since 2017, has been selected as the next principal at Prairie Park Elementary School, starting July 1. If approved by the Lawrence school board, Middleton will replace Shannon ...

Woman dies in 2-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 40

A Georgia woman died from injuries she sustained Thursday in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 40 in southwest Lawrence. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call around 10:20 p.m. for a reported head-on collision on the highway near the Clinton Parkway bypass, Deputy Charlie Cooper said. A woman in one of the vehicles was unresponsive when deputies arrived. Despite deputies attempting ...

Lawrence school district recognizes 2021 Master Teacher, Elementary Teacher of the Year award winners

The Lawrence school district recently honored two of its educators for excellence in teaching. Superintendent Anthony Lewis announced Barbara Tholen, Lawrence High School’s journalism adviser and graphic design teacher, as the district’s 2021 Master Teacher, according to a district news release. He also announced Jenny Gorup, a library media specialist at Quail Run Elementary School, as the district's 2021 ...