WRITER: Dylan Lysen

KU football player Pooka Williams charged with domestic battery, suspended from team

Updated at 4:01 p.m. Friday University of Kansas star football player Pooka Williams has been arrested and charged with domestic battery following an incident at a KU dorm this week. KU police arrested Williams — whose full name is Anthony Ray Williams — at the KU Public Safety Office, 1501 Crestline Drive, and he was booked into jail at 3 p.m. Thursday, according to the Douglas County Jail's online ...

Local artist designs cleats for Kansas City Chiefs players, highlighting special causes

Lawrence artist John Sebelius got the chance recently to work on an unusual canvas — the shoes of his favorite football team. This Sunday, some Kansas City Chiefs players will wear cleats Sebelius designed during their game against the Baltimore Ravens as part of the National Football League’s “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative, according to a news release on the Chiefs' website. The initiative allows ...

KU police: At least $750 of apparel, other items stolen from KU athletic facilities

University of Kansas police are investigating after hundreds of dollars of KU gear and other items were stolen from university athletic facilities. KU Police Deputy Chief James Anguiano said a series of thefts occurred at various dates starting in late October. In early November, a suspect allegedly entered Wagnon Student Athlete Center, 1555 Irving Hill Road, and stole $750 of KU gear in the center and Allen ...

Go, See, Do | Photographer Gary Mark Smith's last book launch, Breakfast with Santa, Canadian Brass and Nerd Nite

Local photographer Gary Mark Smith is hanging up his photographs in public one last time. Smith, who has made a career of international street photography, will soon release what he said will be his last book, “Travelogueing the Dark Side.” He said the book is a memoir of his experiences “photographing the poetry of everyday life on the streets of the civilized world’s most frightening discomfort ...

November health code inspections: 4 found out of compliance in Lawrence

Three restaurants and one bar in Lawrence failed state health code inspections in November. 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, ...

Report: NCAA won't punish programs caught in Adidas fraud trial until after 2019 Final Four

Updated at 4:17 p.m. Wednesday NCAA sanctions on basketball programs caught up in the Adidas fraud trial won’t be resolved until after the Final Four this spring, NCAA president Mark Emmert said, according to a Yahoo Sports report on Wednesday. Emmert, who was speaking at the Learfield Sports Business Journal Intercollegiate Athletics Forum in New York City, said investigations into schools have already ...

KU to shed more than 150 positions, lay off about 30 people, interim provost says

The University of Kansas will be shedding more than 150 positions to deal with a $20 million budget hole, and about 30 people will be laid off as part of that process, a university leader said Wednesday at a town hall meeting. Interim Provost Carl Lejuez said the university would eliminate about 55 faculty positions and 100 staff positions in the next two school years. On the faculty side, the reductions will ...

Post office to halt mail delivery Wednesday for National Day of Mourning

Most residential mail will not be delivered in Lawrence on Wednesday. The U.S. Postal Service announced its nationwide service will be suspended that day for the National Day of Mourning. President Donald Trump designated the day to honor former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday at the age of 94. The Postal Service said regular mail would be halted for the day but “limited package delivery” ...

Lawrence chamber of commerce selects new leader

Story updated at 6:55 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, 2018: A familiar face will soon take over the leadership of the Lawrence chamber of commerce. Bonnie Lowe, who currently serves as the organization’s chief operations officer, will serve as the organization’s next president and CEO, the chamber announced in a news release Monday morning. Lowe will replace current president and CEO Larry McElwain. McElwain ...

Homes: Well-known holiday house holds 45 years of Christmas memories

People keep asking when Donna Osness and her husband are going to sell the house. But for her five children, nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, the Osness home on University Drive is the heart of the holiday season. “Of our grandchildren, I don’t think any of them have spent Christmas Eve anywhere but this house,” Donna said. “They are all very protective of it. This is home.” About this ...

Natural gas prices will likely lead to higher heating bills this winter

Heating a home in the Lawrence area this winter may be more costly than originally expected. Black Hills Energy, which is one of two providers of natural gas to local consumers, originally expected the costs to remain flat this winter, according to an October news release. But in November, colder-than-expected temperatures have led to increased gas consumption across the country, depleting stored inventory of ...

Go, See, Do | A menorah on a drone, KU Holiday Vespers, Watkins Museum Tails and Traditions and more

There’s been a balloon menorah, an ice menorah and a glow-in-the-dark menorah. But this year, the menorah is going to fly. You read that right. It’s going to be flying up in the sky. Chabad of KU, a campus Jewish community center, will celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah on Sunday with the lighting of this flying menorah. The public is invited to the free event to help kick off the eight-day holiday, which ...

Ahead of Lawrence concerts, singer Ashley Davis discusses Kansas inspiration for newest album

Ashley Davis did not initially realize the inspiration for the title track of her new album when she wrote it, she said. For her newest album, "Burning Down," she chose to focus on the theme of destruction and regeneration, and it came to her only later that that seed was planted during her childhood on the plains of her native Kansas. “I realized I got this concept from my childhood watching the prairies ...

Know someone who needs a winter coat? More than 2,000 to be given away this week

As a blizzard blew through the Lawrence area earlier this week, a local charity and a dry-cleaning service were getting thousands of winter coats ready to give away. The Salvation Army of Douglas County and Scotch Cleaners on Thursday and Friday will hold the 32nd annual Scotch Share the Warmth coat giveaway, which provides a winter coat to any person in need. The event will be from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 ...

Sunday blizzard causes 27 car wrecks in Douglas County

Sunday's blizzard and icy roads played a part in more than two dozen car wrecks in Douglas County, said Officer Shawn Gross, a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department. Law enforcement agencies received calls for 27 car wrecks throughout the county on Sunday. Two of the wrecks caused injuries, but they were not life-threatening, Gross said. As of 4 p.m., three wrecks had occurred on Monday, none of which ...

With double cast, 2 girls bond over portraying title role in 'Annie'

Adelle Spiess and Vivi Riffel knew each other before this month, but now the two 11-year-olds are much closer friends, they said recently. After all, it's easy to get to know someone when you're both playing the same iconic musical theater role. Spiess and Riffel both play the title role in Theatre Lawrence's production of "Annie." “Being and sharing the same role has made us friends,” Spiess said. ...

Go, See, Do | 'Jane Lynch: A Swingin' Little Christmas,' Bizarre Bazaar, saving Santa and People's Art Speakers Series

Personally, I find holiday music to be a bit grating when it comes on each year. This might be because my dad used to play it all throughout the house nonstop from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day when I was growing up. But who knows? A good way to switch it up and keep those tunes fresh and interesting is to make them funny. That’s exactly what Jane Lynch, who may be best known for her role as Sue ...

Downtown Lawrence businesses deal with new Black Friday competitor: KU football

Some Lawrence stores encountered an unusual stretch of slow business on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Black Friday just happened to coincide with a University of Kansas football game taking place just a few blocks away. Mackenzie Lomshek, manager for Mass Street Mercantile, said the store was packed when it opened at 8 a.m. The business sold several Jayhawk sweatshirts and other items, she ...

Ready for some heavy-duty holiday shopping? Here are a few things to keep in mind

The holiday season may mean a fun time with family and friends, but often it also means spending a lot of money for gifts, holiday food and other items. With so much money coming out of our wallets, it's a good time to brush up on how to avoid lesser known spending surprises and to find some cost-saving deals before Black Friday. Below is some information that me be useful to local shoppers: In-store credit ...

Holiday Happenings: Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade

There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than hearing the clip-clopping of horses in downtown Lawrence, says Elaine VanDeventer, director of Lawrence’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade. The 26th annual parade will include horses of all colors and sizes trotting down Massachusetts Street to celebrate the holiday season in Lawrence. The horses will take to the street at 11 a.m. Dec. 1. Although ...