WRITER: Jackson Barton

For 'Sea Witch' author Sarah Henning, of Lawrence, time is the real villain

Even if it’s just an hour a day, Lawrence author Sarah Henning always finds time to write. Henning recently released "Sea Witch Rising," her second novel in just more than a year, all while holding down a full-time marketing job, running ultramarathons and raising two kids. To keep up, Henning said she lives and dies by her schedule. Almost every day, she is awake before 5 a.m. to go for a run. Afterward, ...

KU graduate leads successful YouTube career documenting life from 13-foot camper

Looking into her rearview mirror while driving through the Colorado wilderness, University of Kansas alumna Elsa Pageler always has her home in sight — all 13 feet of it. Pageler, 28, has been living on the road in a Scamp trailer with her partner, Barron Link, and a Shiba Inu named Kamp for almost three years. She documents their adventures and challenges on her Youtube channel, which currently has almost ...

Fields & Ivy chef's ratatouille bars take top spot in county fair culinary challenge

Fields and Ivy Brewery head chef Kodiak Baer, 22, is a newcomer to Lawrence's culinary scene, but his ratatouille bars impressed judges and the audience enough to win the Douglas County Fair’s Chefs Challenge Thursday night. Each year at the fair, chefs compete to prepare a dish using a specific kind of local produce. This year's featured ingredient was tomatoes, which Douglas County Master Food Volunteer ...

Lawrence Police giving away Royals baseball cards to build community support

Teaming up with the Kansas City Royals and Royals Charities, Lawrence police officers are now packing “Cops Are Topps” baseball cards to hand out to the community while they're on patrol. Lawrence Police Sgt. Amy Rhoads said officers started handing out the trading cards recently to help build a closer relationship with the younger Lawrence community. “I handed out some cards this morning, and the kids ...

Solar car team at KU aims to build a vehicle and race by next summer

Zoning out during an engineering lecture, KU student Michael Srimongkolkul and his friends were distracted on their laptops in November 2017 when one of Srimongkolkul’s friends shared some information he found on a solar car competition. They were instantly hooked. “I had no prior experience with cars, electric vehicles or batteries ... so I thought (creating a solar car) would be a good place to get ...

Van Go's young artists unveil their colorful benches

After two months of work, young artists at Van Go unveiled 20 vibrant handmade benches to their clients and the community on Friday. The unveiling event was the culmination of the arts-based social service agency's annual Benchmark program, and Van Go program director Kristen Malloy said it was also an opportunity to celebrate how much the apprentice artists had grown while working on their pieces. “This ...

At rally, hundreds call on local leaders to make Lawrence a sanctuary city

Hundreds of community members rallied in Watson Park Friday night to kickstart a movement calling on city officials to make Lawrence a sanctuary city. At the rally, which was organized by a local coalition of Latino activists, more than 300 people signed a petition urging Lawrence leaders to pass ordinances aimed at protecting immigrants, including measures that would restrict the Lawrence Police Department ...

Photo gallery: 2019's first Live on Mass concert

Saturday marked the first concert of this year's Live on Mass concert series, in which the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street closes for a free show. The event is organized by Mike Logan, owner of the Granada. For more information about Live on Mass, including a full schedule of concerts, visit the Granada's website.

Lawrence native wins game show about sleep deprivation

When he went on the the Netflix game show “Awake: The Million Dollar Game” last August, Lawrence native Ben Thomas was put in a windowless room with nothing to do but count quarters for a full 24 hours. His mind began to wander as he became exhausted from the repetitive task of putting coins in a wheelbarrow. At one point, he even started hallucinating. But he didn't stop counting. And he eventually took ...

Revelers at Lawrence Go Fourth describe what Independence Day means to them

The Lawrence Journal-World asked attendees and performers at the Lawrence Go Fourth celebration at Burcham Park what the national holiday meant to them. Ian Sotomeyer, 43, performed his DJ set to open up the event early in the evening. He said the holiday represents a time for his family to come together and appreciate all that they have, and of course, set off fireworks. “My brother and my father and I, ...

Community members, nonprofits discuss Douglas County food and health inequities

At a community conversation on food security and health issues Thursday evening, area nonprofit leaders said health equity issues were a chief concern — and one of the organizers even used the location of the meeting itself to make his point. “We have significant gaps,” Douglas County Community Foundation Executive Director Chip Blaser said during the meeting at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. “The fact ...

Plymouth Congregational Church senior pastor retiring after 24 years of ministry and advocacy

In his 24 years ministering at Plymouth Congregational Church, senior pastor Peter Luckey has always viewed politics as part of his job. While several states across the U.S. adopted constitutional amendments against gay marriage, Luckey and his congregation adopted an “Open and Affirming” policy toward LGBT people. When then-Gov. Sam Brownback's administration closed a state welfare office in Lawrence in ...

‘What I can, I’ll do:’ Woman waiting for kidney seeks to raise awareness about organ donation

Julie Arenson has always struggled to ask for help. Now her life depends on it. “It humbles me to my core to know that people are willing to donate an organ to help me lead a better and healthier life,” Arenson said. “I had to ask for help and that was hard.” Arenson, 60, of Lawrence, knew in January that her donated kidney would fail. She’s currently on a waiting list of over 100,000 other patients, ...

Butch Patrick from 'The Munsters' to meet fans at Massachusetts Street toy shop

Having borrowed the home address of “The Munsters” for the name of his toy shop, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, owner Terry Taylor thought he was being pranked when a Munster’s manager called him about hosting a signing event at his store. “If there is a store named after 'The Munsters,' having a Munster in the store ... It doesn’t get much more awesome,” Taylor said. Fans of the 1960s sitcom “The ...

Cancer victims and their supporters rally, surpass fundraising goal in annual Relay For Life

Almost 1,000 luminary bags — each one representing someone who died of or is currently fighting cancer — surrounded the Rock Chalk Park track as the local American Cancer Society chapter's Relay For Life got underway on Friday night. “I really wish this would be the last relay ever needed,” participant Bob Silipigni said. “But I know that’s not the case.” This year’s relay raised an estimated ...

Theatre Lawrence aiming for 'feel-good' vacation vibe with 'Mamma Mia!'

Theatre Lawrence hopes to take its audience on a musical vacation when its production of “Mamma Mia!” opens on Friday. Director Mary Doveton said the show's popularity comes from the combination of the music — a collection of hit songs by the band ABBA — and the classic love story theme. The musical, which was adapted into a film by the same name in 2008, follows Sophie, a woman who never knew her ...

Overcoming obstacles, Lawrence school district's adult education graduates start new chapter in life

Ifa Nassor had nothing left and no family to turn to when her husband divorced her two years ago. Between raising her son, who is now 3 years old, and juggling two full-time jobs, she completed her GED by taking classes at the Adult Learning Center. “The day that I passed the last test, I cried really loud," Nassor said. "It wasn’t easy.” The Lawrence school district honored Nassor and 116 other ...

Lawrence high schools offer to restore photos damaged in storm

Emerging from his basement to find large portions of his home destroyed by an EF-4 tornado, Lawrence High School senior Daniel Davidson notified his yearbook teacher, Barbara Tholen, that he would be unable to help finish the spring section. While brainstorming how to help Davidson, Tholen said she saw an opportunity to help the community by restoring irreplaceable photos damaged in the storm. “Those ...

'All I know is her name': Ottawa resident injured in tornado rescued by stranger

Driving home to Ottawa despite a tornado warning Tuesday afternoon, Terry Seymour pulled to the side of Kansas Highway 10 when visibility dropped to less than 10 feet in the rain. “I figured I would try to get as close to home as I could before having to pull over,” Seymour said. “Everything hit the fan.” Seymour was caught in the devastating EF-4 tornado on the South Lawrence Trafficway. His leg was ...

'I'm lucky': Hard-hit Linwood residents reflect on disaster

LINWOOD — Watching traffic pass by his decimated home from his insulation-coated chair, Linwood resident Tim Bunrein became emotional while reflecting on Tuesday’s tornado. “I’m lucky,” Bunrein said. “This stuff, we can fix it.” A mile-wide tornado, which originally touched down in southwestern Douglas County, destroyed almost 20 homes in Linwood and Leavenworth county Tuesday evening, according ...