WRITER: Dylan Lysen

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 ...

Parents voice frustration over resignation of former Pinckney principal

Several parents of students at Pinckney Elementary School on Monday voiced frustration over the resignation of former principal Kristi Hill, suggesting that the school district did not provide her with enough support. Some of the parents who spoke to the board said Hill resigned because she received harassment for months from parents of a student at the school and the district failed to act to remedy the ...

Lawrence school board candidates come to broad consensus on safety, security issues

Although the issue of school safety and security has long been a priority for the Lawrence school district, a recent event has again made it an important topic of conversation for candidates vying for a seat on the school board. But importance of a topic does not necessarily mean there will be disagreement, which the candidates have shown when the Journal-World recently asked their opinions on the issue. ...

Lawrence school board to receive first progress report on new strategic plan

The Lawrence school board will soon receive its first update on the progress of its new five-year strategic plan. Superintendent Anthony Lewis is scheduled to provide the update to the school board during its meeting Monday. The overall purpose of the strategic plan, which the board approved in June, is to help increase district students’ literacy by third grade, increase students’ math proficiency by ...

September health code inspections: 11 found out of compliance in Douglas County

Eleven organizations in Douglas County failed state health code inspections in September. Each month, I take a look at inspection results and list every place either listed out of compliance or with 10 or more code violations. Full reports are available online at agriculture.ks.gov. There, you can find details about specific violations, which can vary. Noncritical citations include unlabeled products, ...

Lawrence high school student takes a seat on city advisory board, with a mission to save the environment

Lawrence now has its own teenage environmental advocate calling for action to address climate change. But unlike Greta Thunberg — the Swedish girl who has traveled around the world to spread awareness about the dangers of global warming — Morgan Orozco, 16, said she was focused on her immediate community. “The federal government does need to take action against climate change; that’s undeniable,” ...

Douglas County commissioners suggest no changes to Plan 2040, praise its approach to rural areas

The Douglas County Commission didn't suggest any changes to a proposed comprehensive plan for the county and the City of Lawrence at a Wednesday work session, and one commissioner praised the plan's focus on preserving rural areas. Wednesday's session was the commission's first look at the plan, known as Plan 2040, which outlines how the city and county will consider development and land use in the future. The ...

Douglas County Commission to get first look at comprehensive plan on development

The Douglas County Commission will soon get its first look at a proposed plan that outlines how the county and City of Lawrence will consider development in the future. During its meeting on Wednesday, the commission will receive a presentation on Plan 2040, a comprehensive plan that covers Lawrence and the unincorporated areas of Douglas County. The presentation is the first step of the commission's ...

New county administrator gets raise in permanent appointment to position

Douglas County’s new administrator received a raise when the County Commission approved her contract last month. County Administrator Sarah Plinsky will earn a $185,000 base salary in her new position, according to the contract the commission approved on Sept. 11. That’s $16,000 more than she earned — $169,000 — while she was serving as the interim county administrator from December to August. It's ...

KU chancellor: Legislation not the best way to change NCAA rules on pay for athletes

State and federal law is not the best way to change NCAA regulations regarding athletes receiving compensation through endorsements, University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod said. “Rarely is legislation the best way to fix things,” he said. “There are always significant unintended consequences that haven’t been thought through. So we’ll have to think through all of that.” Girod briefly spoke ...

Number of Lawrence high school students taking college courses doubles through new program

Hundreds of Lawrence students are taking advantage of a program that allows them to take several college courses while they are still in high school. Superintendent Anthony Lewis said Monday that 316 high school students were currently enrolled in college courses offered through a partnership with the University of Kansas known as Jayhawk Blueprint. That’s more than twice as many as the 150 students who ...

Rural homeowners at odds with Clinton Lake Project Office over what caused Aug. 1 flooding

As Mike Perryman watched floodwaters surround his home in rural Douglas County while his wife and daughter were still inside, he wondered what could have caused such a disaster. While he was aware of the 8 to 10 inches of rain in the weather forecast the night of July 31, seeing the often-shallow Washington Creek quickly fill with water did not make sense to him. Additionally, the water of the creek, which ...

KU denies open records request seeking more information about NCAA allegations

While the University of Kansas has publicly released the list of recruiting allegations the NCAA has made against the school’s basketball program, it is declining to release other basic information about the case. The University of Kansas on Thursday denied a Journal-World records request for a cover letter and other correspondence the NCAA sent to the university along with its recent Notice of ...

Author Ben Lerner discusses his new book, 'The Topeka School,' ahead of visit to Lawrence

Author Ben Lerner knows his way around Topeka — he grew up in Kansas' capital city and went to Topeka High School. But until recently, he hadn't set any of his novels there. That changed with his newest novel, “The Topeka School,” which places one of his recurring characters — a writer named Adam Gordon — into an environment reminiscent of Lerner's high school years. Lerner will be visiting the ...

Local leaders: As senior population grows, more health workers will be needed

As the number of seniors in Douglas County grows, a shortage of health care providers in the local workforce will become a larger issue. To help address that issue, the state needs to find ways to make sure health care providers earn a living wage, Democratic state Sen. Marci Francisco said during a community forum Thursday. “(Providing a living) wage will make it possible for people to feel that the job ...

Douglas County leaders, staff discuss responsibility for 'abandoned' cemeteries

In the rural part of Douglas County, between Lecompton and Lawrence, a cemetery sitting on private land is an important piece of the county's African American history. But staff told county leaders Wednesday that if the county wants to preserve that history, it will need to work through an issue that has arisen in several "abandoned" cemeteries in unincorporated areas: a lack of clear documentation of the ...

Head-on crash on U.S. 24/40 results in 'serious injuries'

Updated at 4:13 p.m. Tuesday Douglas County law enforcement and emergency personnel responded Tuesday morning to a two-vehicle injury accident on U.S. Highway 24/40 north of Lawrence. The head-on crash occurred shortly before 9:45 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. 24/40 and East 1500 Road, east of TeePee Junction, according to Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Charlie Cooper. A white GMC truck, driven by Ernest ...