WRITER: Rochelle Valverde

League of Women Voters car parade will 'cruise for voters,' share info about mail-in ballots

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts of the local League of Women Voters to inform voters and increase turnout will take a new form, and perhaps greater urgency. Under normal circumstances, the League of Women Voters of Lawrence/Douglas County registers voters at the farmers markets in downtown and North Lawrence, at both high schools, and at events such as the city’s Earth Day Celebration and Art in ...

Lawrence outdoor pool to remain closed this summer

The Lawrence outdoor pool will remain closed for the summer under the city’s phased reopening plan for parks and recreation facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the city’s plan, the Outdoor Aquatic Center, 727 Kentucky St., and the South Park wading pool will remain closed this summer. Community pools could technically be allowed to open under phase three of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s ...

Lawrence wins census response competition with Manhattan; Manhattan mayor must wear KU jersey

In a friendly competition involving the U.S. Census between the cities of Lawrence and Manhattan, Lawrence has come out on top. Last month, Lawrence Mayor Jennifer Ananda accepted a challenge from the mayor of Manhattan for the two cities to compete for the highest self-response rate — meaning that residents responded either online, by mail or by phone — to the 2020 Census for each city. It was agreed that ...

Lawrence City Commission approves rezoning that allows apartments on former Oldfather Studios property

City leaders have approved a request to rezone a University of Kansas property to allow for apartments to be built, but they want neighbors’ concerns about traffic to be addressed as the project moves forward. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission voted 4-1, with Commissioner Courtney Shipley opposed, to approve a request from KU to rezone the former Oldfather Studios property, 1621 W. ...

Lawrence City Commission approves changes allowing retail, other shops the ability to sell alcohol

City leaders are allowing for more flexibility on what types of businesses can sell alcohol, at least temporarily. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission voted unanimously to approve several changes to the city's development code that allow more businesses in downtown and other commercial areas to sell alcohol, though only as a secondary aspect of their business. Specifically, the changes ...

City to consider rezoning that would allow apartments on former Oldfather Studios property

Updated at 2:32 p.m. Monday City leaders will soon consider rezoning a University of Kansas property to allow for apartments to be built, a move some neighbors say is not appropriate. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider a request from KU to rezone the former Oldfather Studios property, 1621 West Ninth St., from university zoning to multidwelling residential. KU's plan is ...

Lawrence City Commission to consider allowing retail, other shops the ability to sell alcohol

City leaders will soon decide whether to make the rules for what types of businesses can sell alcohol more flexible, at least temporarily. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider several changes to city development code that would allow more businesses in the downtown and other commercial areas the ability to sell alcohol, though only as a secondary aspect of their business. ...

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

'Cuts are going to be necessary': Lawrence leaders prepare for tough budget choices amid falling revenue projections

With revenue projections predicting multimillion-dollar losses, city leaders are facing tough budget choices, including potential city service reductions, staff layoffs and pay cuts. The City Commission recently received updated 2020 revenue projections to account for the pandemic and resulting economic slowdown. The projections estimate the city will lose more than $8 million in the most optimistic scenario ...

South Lawrence Trafficway expansion included in KDOT's new transportation plan

Story updated at 3:57 p.m. Thursday The expansion of the South Lawrence Trafficway is on a list of 40 projects that the Kansas Department of Transportation plans to pursue within the next 10 years. As part of a virtual news conference Thursday, Gov. Laura Kelly, KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz and state Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, announced the first 40 highway expansion and modernization projects selected ...

Some restaurants look to provide outside dining; city to consider more flexibility for downtown restaurants

Updated at 4:33 p.m. Wednesday When restaurants begin to reopen for in-house dining, some of those dining options will actually be outside. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission voted unanimously to approve changes to the city’s temporary special event permitting process that allow businesses more flexibility in how they use their properties, and additional options are being ...

Some city leaders open to idea of tolled express lanes on SLT as long as existing lanes remain free

City leaders indicated they were more open to using tolls to fund the expansion of the western leg of the South Lawrence Trafficway as long as some lanes would still remain free. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission received an update from the Kansas Department of Transportation on the study to expand the western leg of the SLT using both open-access lanes and tolled express lanes. ...

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

City leaders say they favor budget cuts over tax increases in the face of revenue loss due to COVID-19

Lawrence city commissioners said they were largely uninterested in raising taxes to make up for the millions in revenue that the city projects it will lose because of the coronavirus pandemic, but they aren't ruling out any options right now. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the City Commission received updated 2020 revenue projections to account for the pandemic and resulting economic slowdown and directed ...

KDOT to update Lawrence City Commission on SLT expansion project, including options for tolling

City leaders will soon receive an update on the potential lane expansion of the western leg of the South Lawrence Trafficway, including the option to make the trafficway a toll road. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will receive an update from the Kansas Department of Transportation on the study to expand the western leg of the SLT using both open-access and tolled options, ...

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

City projections estimate multimillion-dollar revenue loss due to pandemic; Lawrence leaders to consider budget changes

Revenue projections estimate the City of Lawrence will lose millions — more than $8 million in the most optimistic scenario — due to the coronavirus pandemic, and city leaders soon will discuss potential changes to the budget as a result. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will receive updated 2020 revenue projections due to the pandemic and resulting economic slowdown and direct ...

Lawrence inspected less than 1% of rental properties last year; commissioner calls for city to reassess program

There are more than 20,000 rental properties in the City of Lawrence, but there is very little chance any one of them will be inspected. Last year, of the 21,174 rental units that were licensed by the city, only 206 were inspected, or less than 1%, according to the city’s annual rental licensing and inspection report. After Commissioner Courtney Shipley pointed out that the regulations the city is developing ...

Following zoning dispute, planners to consider letting East Lawrence bar open up again

A longtime family-run tavern in East Lawrence that was denied the ability to reopen now has a second chance to make its case. In March, city planners determined that the former Charlie’s East Side Grill & Bar, 900 Pennsylvania St., had forfeited the grandfathered tavern use that had allowed it to operate despite zoning that disallowed such use. Members of the Del Campo family, who own the building and ...

Lawrence leaders question whether city should continue to postpone policy decisions

The Lawrence City Commission will soon weigh whether it is appropriate to make decisions on contentious policy issues while it is largely operating virtually, with more limited options for public feedback. The City of Lawrence has indefinitely postponed various agenda items with high public interest because of a desire to reduce large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, and the commission has had ...

City Commission approves providing additional lot in Lawrence VenturePark to manufacturing plant

Updated at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday City leaders have approved an expansion of the multimillion-dollar incentives package for a manufacturing plant that plans to bring 140 jobs to Lawrence over the next five years. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission voted unanimously to provide an additional free lot at Lawrence VenturePark to Kansas City, Mo.-based U.S. Engineering Metalworks and to make a ...

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

Lawrence City Commission to consider new method for prioritizing spending on capital projects

City leaders will soon finalize a new method for prioritizing the infrastructure projects and other capital expenses that make up a significant portion of the city’s budget. As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider approving a new prioritization method for the city’s Capital Improvement Plan that scores one-time projects and purchases against nine factors or categories. ...

Some of Lawrence's landmark music venues say their future is in jeopardy without more federal aid

The artists' names and concert dates have disappeared from the marquees of Lawrence’s iconic venues, replaced instead with messages related to the coronavirus pandemic. Though local shows could be able to return sooner, many national tours are postponing shows until next year, and some in the industry are worried that without help, some venues may not be there to welcome them back. While the shows may have ...