WRITER: Elvyn Jones

Maple Leaf Festival canceled; organizers plan virtual event

Because of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the annual Baldwin City Maple Leaf Festival has been canceled for this year. Mike Curran, Maple Leaf Festival Committee chairman, said the committee last week voted to call off the festival, which annually draws more than 30,000 visitors to Baldwin City during its two-day run. This year’s festival was scheduled for Oct. 17-18. Curran told the Journal-World last ...

Farmers' Market still has plenty of fans, despite changes brought on by pandemic

With a red, white and blue face mask, Abbey Berland, of Lawrence, was appropriately accessorized for the current COVID-19 pandemic and the Fourth of July holiday as she shopped Saturday at the Downtown Lawrence Farmers' Market. “This is my first time here this year,” she said in front of the booth of Pendleton’s Country Market. “We always come here for tomatoes. It’s good to see all the booths ...

Feed Eudora free lunch program returns, serves hundreds in its first few days

Judy Erpelding, her 17-year-old daughter Kate and Kate’s friend Madison Grosdidier grabbed free pizza lunches from the Feeding Eudora summer meal program on Friday, joining hundreds of other people who took part in the program over the past few days. “It frees me from cooking,” Judy said as they sat down to eat at Eudora’s CPA Park. “And the girls enjoy having a picnic.” Friday was the third day of ...

Exhibit honors Lawrence exercise guru Red Dog and wife, Beverly

Founding a Lawrence institution was not on the mind of Don “Red Dog” Gardner when he helped start a summer-conditioning program 36 years ago for Lawrence High School athletes. “Oh no,” he said. “That never crossed my mind. We had six athletes the first year.” Nonetheless, the idea of a summer-conditioning program caught on in the community. A new exhibit, which will run through Sept. 18, at the ...

Part of Massachusetts Street closed as protesters set up tents, demand investigation into 'heinous and racist' banner

Updated 6:40 p.m. Massachusetts Street remains closed from 11th Street to a half-block to the south to accommodate activists protesting the placement of a racist banner and letter found Saturday morning in South Park. The banner and letter, both of which attacked the Black Lives Matter movement, were removed Saturday. The banner appeared to depict the lynching of George Floyd. A protest related to the banner ...

Morning storms dump up to 4.5 inches of rain on Lawrence

Lawrence officially received 2.4 inches of rain from Saturday morning's thunderstorms, but those checking rain gauges around town might have found an inch or two more, according to the National Weather Service. Matt Wolters, a meteorologist for the NWS office in Topeka, said the weather station at Lawrence Municipal Airport had recorded 2.4 inches of rain as of 11 a.m. Saturday. But he said that amount wasn't ...

Baldwin City, Midland at odds over proposed depot lease agreement

The Baldwin City Council will have a special meeting Tuesday to further discuss a depot lease agreement with Midland Railway. On June 16, the Baldwin City Council voted 5-0 to approve an offer to lease the city-owned depot, 1515 High St., to Midland for $1 a year. The offer also would revoke an existing utility credit that gives the nonprofit Midland a break on city utility bills of from $4,000 to $5,000 ...

Baker University to start fall semester classes Aug. 17 on Baldwin City campus

Baker University will welcome back students in August to its Baldwin City campus for the fall semester. Like other private and public universities in the state, Baker closed its classrooms and campus in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic and finished the spring semester with online classes. Jason Hannah, Baker executive director of marketing and communications, said the university sought feedback from ...

Baldwin City, Eudora plan July 4 fireworks shows minus traditional related activities

Baldwin City and Eudora will have Fourth of July fireworks shows this year, but — because of the COVID-19 pandemic — without the other activities usually associated with the holiday. Sally Pennington, Eudora Parks and Recreation director, said a community fireworks show has been scheduled for July 4 at Eudora Middle School. However, she encouraged residents to watch the show, set to begin at dark, from ...

Lecompton Territorial Capital Museum reopens with display of hometown football star

After nearly three months, the Territorial Capital Museum in Lecompton has reopened with a display that celebrates a local sports hero. The museum, 640 E. Woodson Ave. in Lecompton, reopened Wednesday after closing in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, said Cynthia Breitenbach, a docent at the museum. The ...

Fate of 2020 Maple Leaf Festival to be announced Sept. 1

As of now, Maple Leaf Festival organizers continue to plan for the annual October arts and crafts festival that draws an estimated 30,000 people to Baldwin City. However, Mike Curran, chairman of the Maple Leaf Festival, said concerns about holding the festival during the COVID-19 pandemic could cancel this year’s event, which is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 17-18. The plan now is to make a final ...

Baldwin City receives grant funds to help small businesses survive COVID-19 closings

Baldwin City's local government has received state funding to help businesses survive and reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Mayor Casey Simoneau said the Kansas Department of Commerce approved $132,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding for the city to distribute. The funding is intended to help businesses that were forced to close or limit activities because of public health orders ...

Unlike Lawrence, two Douglas County towns plan to open their outdoor swimming pools for the summer

In contrast with the city of Lawrence, Baldwin City and Eudora are planning to open their municipal swimming pools this month with modifications designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although the two cities are taking different approaches to opening their pools, officials in Baldwin City and Eudora said safety was the foremost planning consideration. “We know everybody is itching to get out, but at the ...

Fire does light damage to northwest Lawrence duplex

Lawrence firefighters quickly suppressed a house fire Sunday afternoon in northwest Larence. Capt. Chris Morrow of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical said firefighters responded at about 3:30 p.m. to a reported structure fire at 3545 Morning Dove Circle. Firefighters arrived to find light smoke coming from the exterior of the rear of the duplex unit after a neighbor had knocked back the flames with a garden ...

Baldwin City, Eudora collecting more in local sales taxes during pandemic

Residents of Baldwin City and Eudora appear to have done more of their shopping close to home since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the latest sales tax figures from the Kansas Department of Revenue suggest. Both communities collected more revenue from their local sales taxes in March of this year than in March 2019. And Baldwin City Administrator Glenn Rodden and Eudora City Manager Barack Matite say that's ...

Photo: American Legion has shortened Memorial Day ceremony due to virus precautions

The honor guard of the Lawrence Dorsey-Liberty American Legion Post fires a rifle salute Monday, May 25, 2020, to mark Memorial Day. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the post had a brief ceremony with the playing of "Taps" and the gun salute in the parking lot of the post rather than its traditional ceremony at Memorial Park Cemetery. Related story - May 10 — Pandemic forces Lawrence veterans’ ...

Baldwin City children's reading, meals programs to continue through summer

The COVID-19 pandemic may have eliminated many traditional youthful summer options, but the Baldwin school district and local library are ensuring community youngsters are nourished in body and mind. Kelley Bethell-Smith, president of the Baldwin City school district board of education, said the district will continue to provide free meals this summer for children ages 1 through 18. The meals are available ...

Local group ensures Civil War Union vets' graves honored for Memorial Day

Sprinkled among the tombstones in Lawrence cemeteries are those that reveal an important chapter in the settlement of Lawrence and Kansas. The tombstones are upright makers with a rounded top above a shield-like carving. Within the carvings, the individuals in the graves are identified as veterans of Union forces during the Civil War. This weekend, the graves will also be marked with American flags placed by ...

Trinity Lutheran Church's Pet Pantry adapts, carries on during pandemic

Saturday was a routine morning for the Pet Pantry at Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 1245 New Hampshire St., much to the surprise of its longtime volunteers. “We thought we would see tons of new people with so many people losing their jobs, but it still hasn’t hit us,” said Susan Hadl, who helped start the pantry more than four years ago, with fellow Trinity Church member, Joan Wohlers. “Our numbers ...

Motorcyclist struck by car, taken to hospital

A motorcyclist was transported to Lawrence's hospital after being hit by a car Saturday morning on West Sixth Street. Lawrence Police Department Sgt. Mike Cobb said the car struck the motorcyclist from behind shortly before 11 a.m. near the intersection of West Sixth Street and Eldridge Street. The motorcyclist was transported to LMH Health with injuries that weren't life-threatening, Cobb said. Cobb said the ...