WRITER: Elvyn Jones

Eudora's $2 million Church Street project to start in March; city also developing new marketing plan for Nottingham properties

Work will start next month in Eudora on a $2 million upgrade to Church Street, a project that's associated with the city’s current commercial redevelopment of the old Nottingham Elementary School site. The Eudora City Commission approved a contract last month with Amino Brothers Co. Inc., of Kansas City, Kan., to upgrade Church Street from about a block north of its 14th Street intersection to about a block ...

2 recent Lawrence High graduates organize clothing drive to aid homeless community

This winter's frigid temperatures made an impression on Sophie Bracker-Sturm while riding her bike more than six miles to her job at Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop in recent weeks. So when she heard of the extended cold spell about to settle over the Lawrence area, her mind turned to homeless members of the community. “After hearing the forecast, I saw it was going to be pretty cold,” she said. “I talked ...

Pioneering Black educator at Lawrence schools, Baker dies; he was longtime champion for civil rights

Jesse Milan, a pioneering Black educator in Lawrence schools, Baker University professor and former president of the Kansas branches of the NAACP, earned a bookcase of awards and honors during his life, but his son said one was very special to his father. “In 2004, President George W. Bush named him to the presidential commission planning the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Topeka Board of ...

Baldwin City approves $3.1M bond sale

The Baldwin City Council has approved a $3.1 million bond sale that will pay off short-term debt from several projects, including the city's new police station and some infrastructure improvements. On Feb. 2, the bond was put up for bidding, and later that day Jack Ryan-Feldman, of Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, told the City Council that six financial institutions had placed bids. The low bidder, with an ...

Light snow causes several minor accidents; frigid temperatures expected soon

Light snow caused several minor accidents Saturday afternoon on roads and highways in rural Douglas County, and forecasters say frigid temperatures are in store for next week. Daniel Reese, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Topeka, said the Lawrence area received an inch or less of snow on Saturday afternoon. He said the snow started falling at around noon, and that the heaviest ...

Baldwin City leader says substation repair should end recent power outages

Recent repairs at Baldwin City’s electrical substation are expected to put an end to a series of power outages that have plagued the community since late October, the city administrator said. City Administrator Glenn Rodden said a faulty relay at the electrical substation near Seventh and Newton streets was replaced this past week. The city has experienced no outages since the relay was replaced, he said. ...

Baldwin City Council starts the process on $2.86 million bond sale, approves new transparency policy for debt

The Baldwin City Council has started the process on a $2.86 million bond sale to pay for a variety of projects, and city leaders also approved a new policy requiring the city to clearly specify how such debt will be paid off. At its Jan. 19 meeting, the City Council authorized the city to start working on the bond sale that will pay for the new police station on the city's U.S. Highway 56 gateway, the downtown ...

Advisory group wants to ask Baldwin City voters for half-cent sales tax to renovate gym; City Council has some questions

A citizens advisory group wants Baldwin City to hold a referendum on a half-cent sales tax that would allow for renovations to a historic gymnasium, but several Baldwin City Council members have some questions first about the timing of the proposal and what the building should be used for. On Jan. 19, the council got an update from the advisory group, which was appointed last year to brainstorm uses for the ...

Need for K-10 pedestrian walkway highlighted in Eudora Safe Routes to School plan

The Eudora City Commission has adopted a Safe Routes to School plan that is an important step in securing grants to build new sidewalks and getting state approval for a pedestrian sidewalk over Kansas Highway 10. The plan the City Commission adopted Jan. 11 was developed in coordination with the the Eudora school district, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, the Douglas County sustainability office and the ...

Eudora signs deal for company to bring mini-golf, bowling, regional entertainment complex to area

Eudora has found an anchor tenant for the Nottingham redevelopment project, which will attempt to transform the old elementary school site into a regional tourist destination. On Jan. 11, the Eudora City Commission approved the sale of about 3.5 acres of the Nottingham property to the Austin, Texas,-based family entertainment company Anchor Sports & Entertainment LLC, which is doing business in Eudora as ...

Baldwin City Council considering proposal that puts all bond funding in writing

The Baldwin City Council will take a rare third look at a measure that requires it to identify the source of funds used to retire debt when approving a bond issue. With the ordinance on the agenda for the second time at its Jan. 5 meeting, the council agreed to have its bond counsel review the measure and bring it back for final consideration on Jan. 19. The council traditionally has an up-or-down vote on ...

Topeka man in Lawrence driver's truck dies in Jefferson County accident

A Topeka man was killed in a one-vehicle accident late Friday in Jefferson County. According to a Kansas Highway Patrol online crash report, the accident occurred at 10:35 p.m. Friday on Kansas Highway 237 about 3 miles north of U.S. Highway 24. The report states that Morgan M. Kabler, 21, of Lawrence, overcorrected the southbound 1998 Chevrolet pickup she was driving after the vehicle’s right wheels ...

Lawrence finishes 2020 in moderate drought after year-end dry spell

Lawrence finished 2020 in a moderate drought after recording about 6 inches less than its normal annual rainfall, the National Weather Service reports. Jenni Pittman, meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Topeka, said Lawrence recorded 32.63 inches of rainfall in 2020; the annual average is 38.55 inches. A four-month dry spell starting in September accounted for that shortfall and created ...

New Year's Day snowfall brings about 4 inches to Lawrence

The new year started with a recent rarity as a winter storm brought moisture to the Lawrence area in the form of snow and sleet. Jenni Pittman, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Topeka, said sleet began falling in the Lawrence area about 3 a.m. and switched to snow about 7 a.m. By 3:30 p.m., the National Weather Service had received reports from central Lawrence of 4 inches of snow, ...

Baldwin City Council approves unexpected request to buy new firetruck

The Baldwin City Council has approved an unexpected request to buy a new firetruck after some discussion about how the $584,657 purchase would fit into the city's budget. Although the purchase was eventually approved 5-0 at the Dec. 15 City Council meeting, members had questions about the timing of the request. Council members Julie Constantinescu and Scott Lauridsen both asked why the request for such an ...

Midland Railway's legal woes grow with Douglas County, Colorado filings seeking nearly $1 million

Legal woes continue to mount for Baldwin City's nonprofit Midland Railway and its two for-profit subsidiaries as recent lawsuits in Douglas County and Colorado seek recovery of nearly $1 million. The Baldwin City government filed suit Nov. 30 against Midland, a tourist railroad, and its subsidiaries Baldwin City & Southern Railroad and Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad, seeking to recover ...

Lawrence agency secures funding for affordable housing program in Baldwin City, Eudora

A Lawrence housing nonprofit will be using $400,000 in funding from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation to help 10 homebuyers find affordable housing in Baldwin City and Eudora. Rebecca Buford, executive director of Tenants to Homeowners, said her organization usually receives funding that must be spent in Lawrence. However, it recently received a $400,000 allocation from the Kansas Housing Resources ...

Eudora City Commission to consider amending fireworks code

After receiving recommendations from a committee it appointed, the Eudora City Commission will consider at its meeting Monday tweaking its Fourth of July fireworks regulations to reduce the hours of their use and sale and ban their discharge on city property. Mayor Tim Reazin said the 11-member committee headed by City Commissioner Roberta Lehmann was appointed after the City Commission received complaints ...

With system upgrades needed, Eudora City Commission OKs water, sewer rate increases

Eudora water and sewer service rates will increase in 2021 to help fund future upgrades to the city's water and sewer plants. On Nov. 23, the Eudora City Commission approved an 8% increase to water rates and a 2% increase to sewer rates for next year. These amounts were originally decided as part of the 2021 budget process this past summer. Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin said the increases are intended to cover the ...

Amid pandemic, community Thanksgiving dinner perseveres with outdoor dining, home deliveries

Jennifer Pellegrini said there was a smile under her face mask as she prepared to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner provided by the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen. “I’m happy,” she said Thursday afternoon. “This is a feast.” The meals Pellegrini, her partner, Matt Chambers, and his son, Alex Chambers, had before them included turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and other holiday trimmings. It ...