WRITER: Rochelle Valverde

City of Lawrence joins NAACP project to create memorial at site where three black men were lynched in 1882

The City of Lawrence has joined a community coalition led by the NAACP to memorialize the lynching of three black men near downtown in 1882. The Lawrence chapter of the NAACP is working with the Equal Justice Initiative, which created a national lynching memorial in Montgomery, Ala., to erect a historical marker with information about the lynching. In response to a request from the NAACP, the Lawrence City ...

2019's harsh weather causes city to focus repair efforts on busiest roads, delay repairs to some neighborhood streets

The harsh winter and heavy rains of the past year have taken a toll on Lawrence streets, causing the city to delay repairs on some neighborhood streets in favor of addressing issues with busier roadways. Lawrence had 11 snow or ice storms and record-breaking rainfall the past year, as the Journal-World has previously reported. City engineers say the extreme weather has caused all the city streets to ...

Lawrence City Commission approves spending additional $1M on $18.5M police headquarters

City leaders have decided to spend another $1 million on the police department’s new headquarters in west Lawrence. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission voted unanimously to spend an additional $1 million to add three more police functions at the headquarters, bringing the total project budget to $19.5 million. As originally proposed, the first phase of the project included a ...

Lawrence City Commission continues to voice support for policies on undocumented immigrants

City leaders on Tuesday affirmed their desire to continue drafting policies related to how police and other city departments interact with undocumented immigrants and federal immigration authorities. As part of its study session Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission reviewed the draft of a document that would codify city policies and practices concerning undocumented immigrants. The topic is in front of the ...

Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St., is pictured Thursday, July 7, 2016.

Lawrence City Commission to discuss policies regarding undocumented immigrants

City leaders will soon discuss draft policies related to how police and other city departments interact with undocumented immigrants and federal immigration enforcement. As part of its study session Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will review the draft of a document that would codify city policies and practices concerning undocumented immigrants. The commission, which previously expressed support for ...

Affordable Housing Advisory Board recommends that city provide $475,000 to two housing projects

Faced for the first time with funding requests from multiple large-scale affordable housing projects, the city’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board recommended that the city fund senior apartments and mixed-income townhomes. As part of its meeting Monday, AHAB voted unanimously to recommend that the city provide $350,000 of its affordable housing funding to Bethel Estates, apartments for seniors that will be ...

Infrastructure, jobs on Lawrence City Manager Craig Owens' mind after 100 days in office

In his first 100 days in office, one of the things City Manager Craig Owens noticed firsthand — while driving the city’s streets, observing the alleyway behind his house or pushing his son’s stroller over the sidewalks — was that the infrastructure was in bad shape. Owens said the story is the same underground, where city water and sewer mains are in need of maintenance. He said that as the city worked ...

Lawrence City Commission to consider spending additional $1M on $18.5M police headquarters

City leaders will soon decide whether to spend another $1 million on the police department’s new headquarters in west Lawrence. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider spending an additional $1 million to add three more police functions at the headquarters, bringing the total project budget to $19.5 million. As is, the first phase of the project includes a significant ...

Sustainability board now supports plastic bag ban or fee; city to consider both options

City leaders will now also be considering an outright ban of plastic disposable bags in addition to a previously proposed disposable bag fee. The Lawrence Sustainability Advisory Board previously recommended that the city charge a 16-cent fee for disposable plastic and paper bags, but it has since updated that recommendation to indicate it would also support a ban. The board issued a statement of support for a ...

New plans in the works for former Penn House property after neighbors voice concerns

Plans to build eight affordable housing units on the site of the former Penn House building in East Lawrence have been withdrawn after concerns from neighbors, and the property owner now plans to build single-family homes. Earlier this fall, Lawrence residents Mike and Tami Nevels filed plans to demolish the existing structure and construct two four-plex buildings, each containing four one-bedroom apartments. ...

Changes will address safety and traffic concerns at intersection of SLT and Wakarusa, KDOT official says

Changes coming next year will improve safety and traffic jams on a troublesome intersection of the South Lawrence Trafficway, Kansas Department of Transportation engineers told Lawrence city leaders Tuesday. As part of its regular meeting, the Lawrence City Commission received updates from KDOT on the upcoming project to expand the SLT. They were also briefed on interim safety improvements to the ...

Brad Finkeldei

Finkeldei, Shipley and Boley win seats on the Lawrence City Commission

Two newcomers led the pack in the Lawrence City Commission race and will join incumbent Stuart Boley on the city’s governing body. Attorney and nonprofit board member Brad Finkeldei finished first in Tuesday’s general election. Fellow newcomer Courtney Shipley and Boley, the only incumbent in the race, joined Finkeldei in the top three. All three winning candidates watched the election results come in at ...

Lawrence City Commission to consider purchasing body cameras for police department

City leaders will soon consider a contract to purchase body cameras for all Lawrence police officers. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider authorizing the police department to enter into a five-year contract with Axon Enterprises Inc. for $1.26 million, which will be funded in part by a $231,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a city staff memo to ...

Lawrence Human Relations Commission to address immigration status as part of anti-discrimination efforts

The city’s Human Relations Commission would like to more deliberately address discrimination related to immigration status as part of its duties. At a special meeting Monday, the HRC voted unanimously to adopt immigration status as part of the scope of its dealings in the future. HRC Chair Katie Barnett said she thought addressing such discrimination was within the board’s duties, which include eliminating ...

Lawrence City Commission to review proposed safety improvements for troublesome SLT intersection

City leaders will soon review changes meant to improve safety at a troublesome intersection on the South Lawrence Trafficway. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will receive updates from the Kansas Department of Transportation on the upcoming project to expand the SLT and interim safety improvements to the trafficway’s intersection with 27th Street/Wakarusa Drive. The intersection ...

Homeless shelter remains at reduced capacity as temperatures fall, launches new fundraising campaign with $20,000 match

As overnight temperatures fall below freezing, leaders at the local homeless shelter say their phones have been ringing with people hoping to find an open bed. And for now, the shelter has no good news. Lawrence Community Shelter Executive Director Renee Kuhl said that since the weather turned colder, the shelter is getting 10 to 15 calls daily asking if there is room. Kuhl said because those selected to ...

Lawrence Veterans Day parade, scheduled for Nov. 9, to honor local veterans

This year’s Veterans Day Parade in downtown Lawrence will include a military flyover, military vehicles and veterans from many eras, and parade organizers hope to see spectators lining the streets in support. The Lawrence Veterans Day Association puts on the parade, and parade association vice chair Michelle Mailand said the whole purpose of the parade was to thank and honor local veterans. “We’ve ...

Lawrence City Commission candidates share ideas on supporting the indigenous community

At a forum focusing on the indigenous community, Lawrence City Commission candidates shared what they would do to encourage indigenous businesses in Lawrence, among other issues. Lead Horse LLC, a consulting agency, hosted the forum and it was moderated by Lead Horse CEO and founder Freddy Gipp and Indigenous and American Indian Studies Professor Eric Anderson. The forum, which took place Wednesday evening at ...

Lawrence City Commission candidates Finkeldei, Boley and Hentzler lead in overall fundraising

Lawrence City Commission candidate Brad Finkeldei leads the pack by a wide margin this campaign fundraising period with more than $13,000 in contributions, doubling the amount raised by his closest contender. Candidates were required to turn in receipt and expenditure reports on Monday that list contributions to their campaigns from July 26 to Oct. 24. Behind Finkeldei is fellow newcomer Rob Sands, who raised ...

Faulty gas valve thought to be cause of underground booming sounds in west Lawrence

The city believes it has addressed an issue that was causing some west Lawrence residents to hear a booming sound coming from underground over the weekend. City spokesman Porter Arneill said Tuesday afternoon that Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical responded to concerns raised this weekend about a possible gas leak. Arneill said department personnel discovered a faulty gas valve for a pool heater in the 1700 ...