WRITER: Rochelle Valverde

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 ...

Downtown Lawrence to host annual trick-or-treating event and community Halloween party

Downtown’s annual Halloween trick-or-treating event will take place Thursday evening and will be followed by a new community Halloween party. Downtown trick-or-treating begins at 5 p.m. and goes “until the candy runs out,” or until about 6:30 p.m., according to the Downtown Lawrence Inc. Facebook event page. More than 100 downtown businesses typically participate. The weather Halloween night is ...

Lawrence Human Relations Commission to consider sanctuary city proposal

The city’s Human Relations Commission will soon hold a special meeting to discuss a proposal from a local group to make Lawrence a sanctuary city. The Sanctuary Alliance is proposing that the city create policies that restrict the Lawrence Police Department from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in noncriminal circumstances and help ensure immigrants are not discriminated against. The ...

Lawrence wins state award for best-tasting tap water

Those filling their glass with water from the tap in Lawrence can now say they are drinking award-winning water. The City of Lawrence recently won an award for best-tasting tap water. A sample of tap water from the city’s Kaw River Water Treatment Plant competed against about 10 other Kansas communities from across the state in the taste test, according to a memo to the City Commission. The competition was ...

Several projects have applied for funding from Lawrence's Affordable Housing Advisory Board in 2019. They are, top row from left, Penn Street Lofts (rendering by H2B Architects) and Bethel Estates of Lawrence Phase II (rendering by Wallace Architects), and bottom row from left, Westside Affordable Ownership Development (rendering by HMA Architects) and 23 Tenn Flats (rendering by Hoke Ley Architecture & Design).

7 projects, programs apply for funding from Lawrence's new affordable housing sales tax

Affordable housing projects requesting money from the city include a mixed-income townhome community, apartments for seniors and the city’s first building project to utilize a new density bonus. Seven projects and programs recently submitted funding applications to the city’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board, and the board will provide its funding recommendation to the Lawrence City Commission following ...

Lawrence City Commission candidates share their views on plastic bag fees, Tobacco 21, environmental policies

The next Lawrence City Commission is poised to consider various ordinance changes, from disposable bag fees to raising the tobacco age, and candidates vying for the commission’s three open seats are promising to bring additional proposals. The Journal-World asked the six candidates their positions on the proposed plastic and paper bag fee, upcoming environmental policy and the proposed ban on tobacco sales ...

City of Lawrence to update climate protection plan; mayor wants city to aim for 100% renewable energy

The City of Lawrence is preparing to update its climate protection plan, and the mayor wants the city to aim high when it comes to renewable energy. The city allocated $75,000 as part of its 2020 budget to update its climate protection plan, and the process is expected to get underway early next year. The city’s Sustainability Advisory Board has recommended some environmental goals for the city, including ...

Lawrence City Commission candidates share priorities for addressing housing issues

At a forum on housing issues, Lawrence City Commission candidates shared their policy priorities as well as broader proposals to move the needle on the city’s affordable housing shortage. The United Way of Douglas County, Tenants to Homeowners and the People's Owned and Operated Collective Housing, as well as other community partners, organized the event. University of Kansas School of Social Welfare ...

Judge denies Lawrence developer Thomas Fritzel's motion for a new trial; sentencing pushed back

A judge has denied Lawrence developer Thomas Fritzel’s motion for a new trial, rejecting Fritzel's claims that the trial included insufficient evidence and improper procedure. Fritzel’s defense attorneys Thomas Lemon, Ed Novak and Steve Six requested a new trial this summer following his felony conviction related to illegal asbestos disposal at the former Alvamar Country Club, now known as the Jayhawk ...

Lawrence City Commission candidates share their views on addressing city infrastructure maintenance, including sidewalks and utility rates

A backlog of city infrastructure maintenance is influencing policies ranging from sidewalk repair to land annexations and creating debate on the campaign trail for the Lawrence City Commission. The Journal-World asked the six candidates whether they think the annexation limitations in the newly approved comprehensive plan are necessary to keep the city’s infrastructure costs down, whether they think recent ...

City of Lawrence moves excessive-force lawsuit against police department to federal court

The City of Lawrence has moved an excessive-force case involving its police department to federal court and requested that the case go to trial. Last month, a motorist who was shot by police after a traffic stop turned violent filed a lawsuit in Douglas County District Court claiming that police used excessive force against him and that the city failed to properly train its officers. On Wednesday, attorneys ...

East Ninth art project seeking youth proposals; $1,000 to be awarded for each project

Organizers of the East Ninth Street art project are seeking young artists who want to add their artistic touch to the East Lawrence neighborhood. The East Ninth Project has already awarded grants to fund 10 artist proposals from adults, including sculpture, film and musical projects, and is now seeking youth proposals. Five $1,000 grants are available for youth projects, and applications are currently being ...

Residents share ideas for future of downtown Lawrence, including more housing, green space and river access

Lawrence residents at a meeting Wednesday envisioned a future downtown that included additional housing, more green space and improved access to the Kansas River. The next phase of the development of Lawrence’s Downtown Master Plan began Wednesday evening with a workshop at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, where residents were asked how downtown should look and function in the years to come. The new master ...

Lawrence City Commission approves density bonus that allows lots to be divided for affordable housing projects

City leaders have approved a proposal that allows two houses to be built on one lot as long as both homes are affordable. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission voted unanimously to approve a text amendment to the city’s land development code that codifies the so-called density bonus. In response to concerns that the Brook Creek Neighborhood brought to the Lawrence-Douglas County ...

Lawrence City Commission candidates say what they would do to make the city more equitable

Lawrence City Commission candidates discussed several social issues at a forum Monday evening, including what steps they would take to make Lawrence more equitable. The League of Women Voters of Lawrence/Douglas County hosted the forum, which took place at the Lawrence Arts Center, and League President Kristin Salmans moderated. The focus of the forum was nonprofit support, and Salmans said the questions were ...

Lawrence City Commission candidates share their ideas for addressing affordable housing

Thousands of Lawrence residents are spending more than they can afford for their homes and apartments, and Lawrence City Commission candidates have no shortage of ideas for how to fix it. The Journal-World asked the six candidates what locally controlled factors, policies or practices they thought were contributing to the housing shortage and what changes they would make to address those issues. Candidates ...