WRITER: Dylan Lysen

Expert says DNA of defendant in Lawrence rape case was found on teen’s underwear

Story updated at 6:44 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31: The DNA of a Topeka man accused of raping a Lawrence teen was found in the alleged victim’s underwear when tested by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, according to testimony during trial Thursday in Douglas County District Court. Jena Sparling, a DNA analyst for KBI, said seminal fluid that was collected from the 15-year-old girl’s underwear, included a DNA ...

In audio recording, defendant in Lawrence rape trial tells police he had sex with teen girl

Story updated at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30: A Topeka man accused of raping a Lawrence teenager admitted to police that he had sex with the girl during an August 2017 house party, the jury heard in a recorded interview Wednesday in Douglas County District Court. But what Jordan K. Ross said in the interview, which was admitted as evidence in his trial, appears to contradict what he said in other admitted ...

Lawrence school district begins advertising 2 open principal positions

Two of the three open principal positions in Lawrence are now being advertised on the school district’s website. David Cunningham, the district’s executive director for human resources, told the Journal-World that his office posted advertisements Monday afternoon for the top positions at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School and Pinckney Elementary School. Although the Liberty Memorial Central position ...

In Lawrence rape trial, teen says defendant 'wouldn't let me' leave, says she remembers crying, screaming

A teenage girl who said she was raped at a Lawrence house party in 2017 recounted the incident in detail during a trial in Douglas County District Court on Tuesday. The girl, who was 15 at the time and about to start her sophomore year of high school, said she attended the party with a friend and Jordan K. Ross, who was 19 at the time. Although the girl said she enjoyed herself drinking alcohol and smoking ...

With conditions, Lawrence school board approves buying software to check building visitors' backgrounds

Schools in Lawrence may soon begin using software to conduct background checks on visitors to their buildings, but the Lawrence school board won’t allow it to be implemented districtwide until some conditions are met. With a 5-2 vote, the board approved the purchase of a visitor management software and related accessories from Hall Pass School Visitor Management for $69,000. The purchase is funded by a ...

KU won't release report it cites as evidence against NCAA allegations

Amid allegations that the University of Kansas basketball program committed recruiting violations, the university has cited a report to argue that its record of compliance with NCAA rules was on par with “the industry standard.” However, when the Journal-World requested a copy of the report, KU officials declined to provide it. When asked on Thursday why the public should take the university’s word that ...

Lawrence school board to consider buying software to check building visitors' backgrounds

The Lawrence school board will consider purchasing new technology that provides background checks on people who enter its school buildings. During its meeting Monday, the board will consider purchasing visitor management software and related accessories from Hall Pass School Visitor Management for $69,000. School district staff suggested the purchase to help schools track and monitor visitors to their ...

KU officials can't say whether KU officially told NCAA it doesn't see Adidas' Gassnola as a booster

University of Kansas officials either can’t or will not say whether KU communicated to the NCAA that it only considered former Adidas employee and recruiting fixer T.J. Gassnola a "booster" to the program for an eligibility case. That could be an important distinction as KU tries to argue in an NCAA infractions case against several alleged recruiting violations tied to Gassnola’s relationship to the ...

Lawrence ACT scores continue to rise while state average drops

Students in the Lawrence school district continue to improve their scores on the ACT exam, despite a drop in the average score across the state. The Lawrence school district reported an average ACT score of 23.95 for the students who took the test during the 2018-19 school year, according to data the school district recently provided to the Journal-World. The school district reported an average score of 23.7 in ...

Stolen KU fossils were plant items that visitors could touch at museum

The three fossils stolen from the University of Kansas Natural History Museum over the weekend are plant fossils that visitors were allowed to touch when on display. Lori Schlenker, collections and facilities coordinator for the museum, said in an email to the Journal-World late Tuesday that the fossils were stolen from the museum’s Paleo Garden exhibit, which allows visitors to feel the different fossils. ...

In light of racist graffiti, Douglas County to explore adding murals to underpasses in southern Lawrence

When Lawrence resident Cheryl Lester recently walked on a pathway to the Baker Wetlands Trail in southern Lawrence, she noticed graffiti markings on an underpass that were racist and anti-Semitic. In response, Lester asked Douglas County to not only remove the markings, but consider adding some sort of public art over them to “turn that ugliness into something beautiful,” County Commissioner Nancy Thellman ...

Douglas County Commission to discuss plans to stop graffiti on underpasses

Underpasses in southern Lawrence have recently been marked with graffiti, which may lead to action from the Douglas County Commission. During their Wednesday meeting, commissioners will discuss ways to hinder future graffiti, possibly by adding murals to the underpasses. In a memo to the commissioners, County Administrator Sarah Plinsky said underpasses carrying 31st Street and Kansas Highway 10 over ...

3 fossils stolen from KU's Natural History Museum

Updated story - Oct. 23 — Stolen KU fossils were plant items that visitors could touch at museum Three fossils were apparently stolen from a display case at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum. The fossils were reported missing about 9 a.m. Monday from the museum, which is in Dyche Hall at 1345 Jayhawk Blvd. They are believed to have been stolen between 12:30 p.m. Friday and 5:30 p.m. ...

Lawrence resident John Minoglio is pictured in this Journal-World file photo from 2016.

Witnesses saw 2 men fighting on Massachusetts Street before one was stabbed to death

A fatal stabbing that occurred in the 1900 block of Massachusetts Street Sunday evening appeared to be the result of a fight between two men, a witness said. Lawrence police on Monday morning identified John M. Minoglio, 40, of Lawrence, as the man who died shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday after being stabbed during an altercation with another man. Robert Riley, a business owner in the area, told the Journal-World ...

Lawrence enrollment data shows disparity among elementary schools; addressing issue difficult, board candidates say

Three elementary schools on the west side of the Lawrence school district may be a little more tight on space than other schools for the 2019-2020 school year. At the same time, three elementary schools on the east side of the district are struggling to fill their buildings, with one school — Kennedy Elementary — not even reaching half its capacity. The disparity highlights an issue with the dispersal of ...

Lawrence school district enrollment drops about 1.5%

Story updated at 4:40 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, 2019: The Lawrence school district saw a decrease of more than 180 students this school year compared with last year. But the drop in enrollment may not have an immediate effect on the school district’s state funding. The school district shared its enrollment numbers for the 2019-2020 school year with the Journal-World on Thursday, showing a decrease of 182 ...

Lawrence school district to receive $150,000 grant for leadership training

A $150,000 grant will soon allow the Lawrence school district to focus on improving its leadership qualities. The Kansas Leadership Center, a nonprofit organization that aims to foster better leadership in the state’s communities, announced Wednesday that the school district is one of 63 state organizations selected to receive the grant for 2020. The grants allow the selected organizations to participate in ...

Douglas County Commission approves new city-county comprehensive plan

The Douglas County Commission signed off on the implementation of a new city-county comprehensive plan on Wednesday after a discussion about the wording of one of the plan's provisions. While considering Plan 2040, which outlines how the city of Lawrence and the county will consider growth and development in the future, the commissioners said they were confused by a provision about land requirements for ...

Douglas County Commission to consider approving comprehensive plan

The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday will consider approving a comprehensive plan for the county and the City of Lawrence. The commission received its first look at the plan, known as Plan 2040, last week and did not propose any changes. The plan outlines how the city and county will consider development and land use in the future. The county portion of the plan focuses on how to consider development in ...

Construction company tweaks parts of schedule for Lawrence High renovation project

The construction company in charge of renovating Lawrence High School announced it is pushing back the completion dates for two phases of the project to make up for delays that occurred over the summer. “We have to make sure we do a really good job setting realistic expectations for the amount of work that can be completed in a realistic time frame,” said Luke Deets, McCownGordon Construction’s project ...