WRITER: Dylan Lysen

Mother accused of leaving toddlers in car while at bar charged with child endangerment, tells judge she 'made a mistake'

A Lawrence mother who allegedly left her two toddlers in a car while she was in a bar pleaded with the judge to not take her children away when she made her first appearance in Douglas County District Court on Thursday. Tiara Dillon, 26, who has been in Douglas County Jail since early Wednesday morning, appeared in court from the jail through video stream. She was formally charged with two felony counts of ...

'Honk for Hemp' sign holder not satisfied with legalization of the crop, will continue to picket for marijuana

He’s been asking drivers in downtown Lawrence to honk their car horns in support of hemp for years. But now that the plant is a legalized crop in Kansas and no longer a federally listed controlled substance, Thomas Trower recently told the Journal-World he isn’t satisfied. He plans to continue picketing with his large white sign that says “honk for hemp” until he can legally enjoy the recreational use ...

KU study: Americans overestimate number of gun owners, which could have political ramifications

When it comes to guns, Americans tend to overestimate just how many people actually own them, which could be influencing the politics of one of the most polarizing issues in the country, according to a study from two University of Kansas political scientists. In the study, which was published in the Politics & Policy journal, co-authors Don Haider-Markel and Mark Joslyn examined results from a 2016 ...

Strong winds blow semitrailer over on I-70 near Lawrence, bringing westbound traffic to a halt

Updated at 2:59 p.m. Monday All lanes of westbound traffic on Interstate 70 were brought to a halt just east of Lawrence on Monday morning because of an overturned semitrailer, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. KHP Lt. Mark Christesen said the truck, which was not carrying cargo, rolled over because of strong winds around 8:15 a.m. near the 205 mile marker. He said no other vehicles were involved in the wreck ...

During KU visit, Sen. Moran says compromise needed to avoid another shutdown; learns of visa struggles for students

After the longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended on Friday, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, said Monday that Congress needed to work toward a compromise to avoid another shutdown in just a few weeks. “It seems to me this should be a normal congressional negotiation, which is a give-and-take and we get an outcome where people can claim victory and no one is terribly upset,” Moran said. ...

Interim dean declines controversial direct appointment to lead KU's largest school

Story updated at 6:02 p.m. Thursday The interim dean of the University of Kansas' largest school has declined an unusual offer to be directly appointed to the permanent position, the university announced Thursday. Clarence Lang, who is serving as interim dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, withdrew his name after considering the offer, KU Interim Provost Carl Lejuez said Thursday morning in an ...

Go, See, Do | Raven Book Chat at Watkins, 'Goodnight Moon,' 'The Sleeping Beauty' ballet, and Kansas Day exhibits

What was it like to live through the turmoil of the Bleeding Kansas era and the Civil War? Author Lana Wirt Myers knows better than most, having recently finished editing and compiling the diaries of a 19th-century Kansas settler who saw the events unfold. This weekend, you can learn more about those accounts — which Myers has published as “The Diaries of Reuben Smith, Kansas Settler and Civil War ...

Sen. Holland introduces bill to make church clergy mandatory reporters of suspected sex crimes

Story updated at 5:43 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019: TOPEKA — State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, introduced a bill Wednesday to require that church clergy and employees be mandatory reporters of sexual assault. “Clergy leadership are adults that children must be able to trust to keep them safe,” Holland said during an afternoon news conference at the Capitol in Topeka. “(The bill) mandates that ...

Lawrence native awarded Langston Hughes short fiction writing award

What was originally written for a class assignment has turned out to be a winning fiction submission in Lawrence. Molly Weisgrau, a senior studying English at the University of Kansas, told the Journal-World via email Monday that she was excited to see that a short story she wrote for a class at KU was selected as the winning fiction entry for the 2019 Langston Hughes Writing Awards. “It’s really cool to ...

In MLK march across KU campus, interim dean calls for working together to improve society

Through a misty rain, members of a historic black fraternity and a second-line band led a large group of students and faculty in a march across the University of Kansas campus Tuesday in honor of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Prior to the march — which started in Strong Hall in the center of Jayhawk Boulevard and traveled east to the university’s student union — Clarence Lang, interim ...

Man allegedly robs west Lawrence restaurant employee at knifepoint

UPDATED STORY - Police: Armed robbery reported at Lawrence Subway was a hoax A man brandishing a knife allegedly robbed an employee outside the Subway restaurant in west Lawrence Tuesday afternoon, police said. Officers were called to the restaurant at 4000 W. Sixth St. at approximately 2:30 p.m. for a reported robbery, Lawrence Police Officer Derrick Smith said. Smith said the suspect was described as an ...

Homes: Couple renovates old Lawrence home for a mix of historic, modern

Renovating a rundown home in a historic part of town allowed for a young couple in Lawrence to mix the old with the new. Lindsey and Kyle Weiland purchased their home at 1327 New Hampshire St. in January 2014 with plans to gut the interior and rebuild it to their liking. Kyle, who is a general contractor in town, has plenty of experience building homes and the couple knew it was the perfect match before they ...

Some KU faculty support controversial hiring process for dean; they say 'crisis' demands it

Another group of University of Kansas faculty is wading into the unusual appointment of a dean at the university, this time in support of KU leadership’s controversial plan to bypass its normal hiring procedures. In an open letter to the Journal-World, a group of 14 faculty members associated with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences — led by Maryemma Graham, a distinguished professor for the college ...

All the performers at this year's Busker Fest will be women

A popular annual festival in downtown Lawrence is going to look a little different this year. The 12th annual Lawrence Busker Festival, scheduled for May 24-26, will feature only female performers, organizer Richard Renner said Wednesday. Renner decided to go with such a lineup after Linsey Lindberg, who performs at the event each year as Strong Woman Mama Lou, explained that women were often overlooked when ...

Douglas County lawmakers appreciate Kelly's focus on schools, Medicaid, child welfare

Lawmakers representing Douglas County in the Kansas Legislature were glad to hear Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s focus on three main issues during her State of the State address Wednesday. “There were no surprises for me from what the governor discussed in her State of the State,” said state Rep. Jim Karleskint, R-Tonganoxie, who also represents Eudora. “I agree with her priorities on funding schools, ...

Go, See, Do | 'Ovation! USD 497 Talent Show,' author talk with Chigozie Obioma

Update, 8:40 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2019: Kaw Valley Eagles Day has been canceled because of inclement weather. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Clinton Lake said in an email to the Journal-World that no alternate date has been set yet. This weekend, the talents of local middle and high school students will be on display for all to see — and on one of Lawrence's biggest stages, too. “Ovation! USD 497 ...

Lawrence lawmaker sponsors bill to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day

A local lawmaker is pushing to change a holiday that honors a European man who “discovered” America to honor instead the people who originally inhabited the land. State Rep. Boog Highberger, D-Lawrence, is co-sponsoring a bill with Wichita Democrat Rep. Ponka-We Victors, who is Native American, to change the state’s recognition of the second Monday of October from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, ...

Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission changes Culture Chat format to encourage more public turnout

A new year means a new way to chat with the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission. The commission will change the format of its monthly Culture Chat for 2019, said Porter Arneill, the city liaison for the advisory board that focuses on culture and art in town. This year, the chat will continue to take place in the afternoon of the fourth Tuesday of every month, but it will focus on a specific topic each meeting ...

Mike Amyx sworn in to Legislature; Lawrence now has all-Democratic delegation

TOPEKA — With the addition of state Rep. Mike Amyx on Monday, Democrats entirely represent the city of Lawrence in the Kansas Legislature for the first time since at least 1917. While Lawrence is now completely blue, the rest of the House of Representatives took a turn in the other direction for an overall more conservative Statehouse. Chief Justice Lawton Nuss swore in Amyx as the representative for the ...

Locally produced film examines acceptance of diversity, immigration in Garden City

When it comes to immigration, Lawrence filmmaker Steve Lerner said he finds the national debate has generally become polarized, rage-filled and uncivil. But in Garden City, a small town in a generally conservative area of southwest Kansas, the residents seem to have a different view, he said. “There is something happening there that is much more civilized than the national dialogue would suggest,” Lerner ...