WRITER: Rochelle Valverde

Consultants predict Lawrence district's enrollment will fall by 300 in next 5 years; committee discussing potential school closures, other cuts

Consultants hired by the Lawrence school district are projecting enrollment will decline by about 300 students over the next five years, and members of a committee tasked with making budget recommendations were asked to consider potential school closures. The Futures Planning Committee received some of the enrollment projections as part of a meeting Wednesday evening at district offices. The district hired RSP ...

Lawrence soccer fans celebrate U.S. win over Iran in World Cup

Story updated at 7:13 p.m. Tuesday: With only one goal protecting the U.S. from elimination from the World Cup, the chants of "U.S.A." and “I believe that we will win” were a hope rather than a guarantee as they echoed through the tense crowd in the Red Lyon Tavern. The nine minutes of extra time in the U.S. team’s 1-0 win against Iran included a close shot against the U.S in the 92nd minute and a ...

Lawrence school board votes to terminate Billy Mills Middle School teacher for 'endangering students'

The Lawrence school board has voted to terminate a Lawrence school district teacher for reasons that included endangering the safety of students. The board met in executive session as part of its meeting Monday to discuss a “personnel matter.” Following the 15-minute executive session, School Board President Shannon Kimball said action related to the executive session would be taken as part of the consent ...

Lawrence school board approves elimination of some high school courses, addition of others

The Lawrence school board has approved various course additions and eliminations for the district’s high school students. As part of its meeting Monday, the Lawrence school board voted 7-0 to approve 16 high school course eliminations, 19 course additions, and eight course changes. Chief Academic Officer Patrick Kelly said most of the eliminated courses were being replaced with similar courses, but that some ...

The global game: Lawrence residents gather to watch and celebrate the World Cup

Before the kickoff whistle has even been blown, the Red Lyon bar is already at capacity, with dozens of people watching on a big-screen TV that has been moved outside onto the bar’s patio along Massachusetts Street. In the crowd, which has gathered to watch the U.S. vs. England game on Friday afternoon, there are U.S. soccer scarves draped around shoulders, a man with his face painted, and a woman with round ...

Lawrence school board to discuss high school course offerings for next school year

Lawrence school board leaders will soon consider a revised curriculum schedule and potential changes to high school course offerings. As part of its meeting Monday, the Lawrence school board will consider adopting a revised curriculum review schedule and the high school course description book for next school year, “including course deletions, additions and changes,” according to the board’s meeting ...

Lawrence resident to play role of Clara in 'Nutcracker' performance at D.C.'s Kennedy Center

As mouse king battles and waltzing flowers take over the stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., this week, Lawrence resident Elise Pickert will be center stage among them, performing the role of Clara in "The Nutcracker" with the Kansas City Ballet. Her starring role on such a big stage comes seven years after Pickert, 14, first performed in "The Nutcracker" with the KC Ballet. Pickert, speaking from ...

Commissioner Amber Sellers selected for position on National League of Cities' Black Caucus

Lawrence City Commissioner Amber Sellers has been selected for a position on the executive board of the National Black Caucus for the National League of Cities. Sellers was nominated and selected to the role of assistant secretary of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials as part of a meeting on Nov. 19, and will serve in that capacity for two years. Sellers said the Black caucus and the National ...

'A transformative time in Lawrence': City is one of 8 in the state to receive grant to preserve history from 1970s

Lawrence is one of eight communities across the state to receive a grant to preserve community history from the 1970s, a decade that local historians say represented a transformative time in the city’s history. Humanities Kansas announced this week that eight nonprofit cultural organizations across the state would receive a total of $25,346 in grants to support projects that preserve and create access to ...

Leader of Downtown Lawrence Inc. to step down after holiday season

The executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. is stepping down after close to a decade of leading the nonprofit organization dedicated to the success of downtown. Sally Zogry said she would leave the organization at the end of January, enabling her to remain in her position through the busy holiday season and to help with the transition of the new director. Zogry, who has been with DLI for 9.5 years, said ...

City of Lawrence reveals new logo as part of brand update process

The City of Lawrence has revealed its new logo as part of an ongoing update to the city’s brand and marketing strategies. The logo continues to use a symbol that represents both a flame and a phoenix, a reference to the city’s abolitionist roots and struggles against pro-slavery factions leading up to the Civil War, but with some updates. City spokesperson Maureen Brady said that public input sessions ...

Lawrence Parks and Recreation begins reviewing its budget, prepares for discussion on $1.2M in fee increases

Lawrence Parks and Recreation officials have begun a review of the department’s budget as they prepare to draft possible scenarios for fee increases, including the possibility of creating new fees. In September, the Lawrence City Commission approved a $1.2 million increase in parks and recreation fees as part of its budget for 2023. Finance Director Jeremy Willmoth said at the time that the details of those ...

Family Promise of Lawrence purchases two homes as part of new supportive housing program

A nonprofit that helps local families experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless is expanding its services with the purchase of two houses, which the organization will use to launch a supportive housing program. With the help of donations, Family Promise of Lawrence recently purchased two houses that it will use to provide supportive housing for two families at a time, allowing them to lease the ...

With as many as 200 people living outside, Lawrence shelter options remain limited as temperatures fall; winter shelter won't open for weeks

As overnight temperatures drop into the teens, there is still no place for the up to 200 people who are living unsheltered in Lawrence to sleep that is fully protected from the elements. While the city is working to set up its emergency winter shelter, it is still in the process of hiring staff, and there are no plans to open the shelter ahead of the previously scheduled date of Dec. 1. Lawrence Community ...

City leaders say code change request from John Brown’s Underground should be part of larger conversation about downtown’s future

A request for a change to city code from a business that has struggled to comply with the city’s limit on downtown alcohol sales sparked a larger conversation at City Hall on Tuesday. John Brown’s Underground, which since its opening in 2014 at 7 E. Seventh St. has on multiple occasions failed to meet the city’s requirement that it derive no more than 45% of its sales from alcohol, requested an amendment ...

Lawrence city leaders take first step in considering multimillion-dollar economic incentives request for West Campus project

City leaders have taken the first step in the potential creation of special taxing districts for a mixed-use development on the University of Kansas’ West Campus that will include research-related buildings, retail businesses, affordable and market-rate housing and a child care center. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission voted 5-0 to establish a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district ...

Lawrence City Commission to consider increases to trash collection rates, finalization of water and sewer increase

City leaders will soon consider approving increases to city solid waste collection rates, including a 3% increase for residential customers, a 6% increase for dumpster rentals, and a 10% increase for downtown trash collection. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider adopting the proposed rate increases for residential, downtown and multiple commercial and rental services for ...

Lawrence school district expects to see millions more in funding as 1,200 more students qualify for free lunch

Though a sharp rise in the number of students qualifying for free school meals will mean a few million dollars more in funding for the Lawrence school district, district leaders expressed concern about seeing such a significant rise in poverty. As part of its meeting Monday, the board reviewed the district’s recent enrollment counts and potential outcomes for the 2023-2024 budget based on those counts. That ...

Lawrence city leaders discuss concerns after developer withdraws rezoning request for duplex project

The most recent infill development project to go through City Hall will likely not be the last to raise protests from neighbors, and commissioners on both sides of the vote hope the city’s development code update, which began recently, will result in a better process in the future. Last month, a request to increase the density of a 3.4-acre parcel of land at 1100 Kasold Drive to allow for duplexes to be ...

Steady enrollment in Lawrence school district means better budget picture for next school year, but multiple factors still at play

The Lawrence school board will soon get its first look at some of the numbers that will go into determining what next school year’s budget looks like. And while multiple variables are still undetermined, steady enrollment means the district is not likely to face the shortfalls related to enrollment declines that it did going into this school year. As part of its meeting Monday, the board will review the ...