WRITER: Elvyn Jones

Hot, humid weather in store for Lawrence before thunderstorms return Wednesday

Lawrence and Douglas County residents can enjoy a brief respite from summer rains before the next round of thunderstorms start on Wednesday. It won’t, however, be a comfortable respite, as a combination of heat and humidity will push heat indexes to above 100 degrees Monday and near 110 on Tuesday, said Matt Wolters, meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Topeka. The NWS weather station at ...

Yoga studio, bookstore fill last available storefronts in downtown Baldwin City

A recent opening of a new business coupled with the imminent opening of another has filled all the storefronts available in downtown Baldwin City. Sandy Chapman and Lora Rimmer opened the doors to their Om Grown Yoga Collective at 707 Eighth St. in June, and Niki Manbeck plans to open The Nook at 703 Eighth St. next month. Chapman and Manbeck said they spent a year looking for a location before finding a ...

Lawrence Humane Society finds homes for 150 cats, dogs at Clear the Shelters event

Phillip Rodriguez arrived at the Lawrence Humane Society at 4:30 a.m. Saturday determined to get a dog. By the time the Humane Society opened its doors for the Clear the Shelters adoption event at 10 a.m., he was at the front of a long line. But his patience paid off when he found and adopted Delly, a three-month-old golden retriever/great Pyrenees mix. “I’ve never had a dog, actually,” he said. “My ...

Storm dumps nearly 2 inches of rain on Lawrence on Friday night and Saturday morning; high winds close Clinton marina

Thunderstorms brought nearly 2 inches of rain to Lawrence on Friday night and Saturday morning, along with strong winds that forced the Clinton Lake Marina to close for the weekend. Matt Wolters, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Topeka, said 1.92 inches of rain fell at Lawrence Municipal Airport during the storm. Overnight winds were clocked as high as 69 mph. “That’s high enough ...

Children, families tour emergency vehicles and meet first responders at community safety fair

With booths, prizes and tours of emergency vehicles, Saturday’s Community Safety Fair in South Park was a lot of fun for 7-year-old Rowan Bull — and also a great learning experience. “I learned a lot, like where they keep things in the ambulance,” Rowan said. The Tulsa, Okla., girl was visiting her grandmother, Teri Lutz, of Lawrence, before starting school. At the fair, Rowan not only got a quick ...

Baldwin City, Eudora 2020 budgets forego tax increases

Residents of Baldwin City will get a bit of a tax break next year, while those of Eudora will see the city share of their tax obligation remain steady. The Baldwin City Council approved Aug. 6 an $18.2 million budget for 2020 that essentially held the 2019 mill levy in place, with a slight reduction from the current year’s 44.753 mills to 44.724 mills in 2020. “I think the council did a good job of ...

Vinland Fair returns Thursday for 3 days of homespun fun

Stretched out near the cattle show ring Saturday at the Douglas County Fair, a relaxed Kyle Norris revealed his favorite feature of the county’s other fair. “The pies,” the Vinland Valley 4-H Club member said. He and his sister, Claire Norris, will be showing the heifers they took to the county fair at the Vinland Fair livestock show, but Kyle said the three-day fair was a laid-back final chance to enjoy ...

Perry-Lecompton school district voters will soon decide whether to create recreation commission

In a special election next week, residents of the Perry-Lecompton school district will decide whether to establish a recreation commission. The ballot question in Tuesday's election would create a commission that partners with the school district to fund recreational sports and activities for the community. J.B. Elliott, the Perry-Lecompton school district's superintendent, said the commission would start ...

Local Santa Fe Trail enthusiasts plan to improve access to surviving wagon ruts

Three miles east of Baldwin City and just south of a U.S. Highway 56 roadside park is a patch of prairie that Roger Boyd says is one of the hidden treasures of Douglas County. Right now, a carpet of thigh-high native grasses green from the abundant summer rains and speckled with yellow, blue, white and purple wildflowers covers the 18-acre Douglas County-owned plot named the Ivan L. Boyd Memorial Prairie Park ...

Eudora entices new parks and rec director from city twice as large

The newly named Eudora parks and recreation director said she is stepping down from a similar position in a much larger community because of the greater opportunities Eudora offers. Sally Pennington is wrapping up her duties as parks and recreation director at Neosho, Mo. She has had the job in the city of about 13,000 people 15 miles south of her hometown of Joplin for 2 1/2 years. “The size of a city has ...

Lecompton community effort aims to preserve headstone of man killed in Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence

A Lecompton community effort set for Wednesday will attempt to preserve a piece of Douglas County history long thought to be lost. Paul Bahnmaier, president of the Lecompton Historical Society, said employees of the city of Lecompton and Lecompton Township will team up Wednesday to relocate two tombstones rediscovered on private property east of the town to Maple Grove Cemetery in Lecompton. One of the ...

Demolition derby, bull riding, beer garden all on tap for 2019 Douglas County Fair

The 2019 Douglas County Fair will arrive in two weeks, and this time, the fair's staple events like the demolition derby and the tractor pulls will be joined by a new attraction: a beer garden. Although a few events are scheduled for this week, the annual fair officially begins Monday, July 29, and continues through Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper St. Douglas County Fair ...

Pets take center stage to unofficially kick off 2019 Douglas County Fair

Blake Wohler wasn’t upset when his cat Opie, whom he was showing in this year’s Douglas County 4-H cat show, noticed another competitor opening some cat food and jumped off the judging table. Cats being cats, the rules for acceptable pet behavior are more relaxed than in the dog show. So Blake, 13, calmly retrieved the domestic shorthair cat and returned to the table, where judge Sue Schmidt asked him how ...

Gov. Kelly to visit Eudora on Tuesday for ceremonial signing of library bill

Gov. Laura Kelly will make a visit to Eudora for an event that was postponed because of the May 27 tornado. The governor will make an 11:30 a.m. Tuesday visit to the Eudora Public Library, 14 E. Ninth St., for a ceremonial signing of legislation that is important to the library’s future. The legislation authorizes the Eudora City Commission and Eudora Township Board of Trustees to pass a joint resolution ...

Santa Fe Trail post office on Baker campus being restored with help of grants

Baker University will be richer for preserving the 162-year-old post office from the long-gone Santa Fe Trail settlement of Palmyra, the university’s archivist says. The historic post office, which was also a general store, is getting a much-needed restoration, thanks to a $65,000 Douglas County Natural and Cultural Heritage Grant awarded in 2018, plus $7,500 from the Douglas County chapter of the Santa Fe ...

Baldwin City mayor proposes using sales tax to fund recreation center

Baldwin City's mayor is restarting discussion about building a recreation center, and he wants to ask the city's voters to authorize a sales tax to fund it. At Tuesday's Baldwin City Council meeting, Mayor Casey Simoneau said many residents had told him they wanted a recreation center, and that it was something the commission should have on its radar. “I continue to hear from people, so I have to bring it ...

Fire destroys vacant North Lawrence mobile home

A Sunday morning fire destroyed an unoccupied mobile home in a North Lawrence trailer park. Capt. Mark Hummel, of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, said firefighters arrived at about 10:45 a.m. at 100 Maple St., Lot 4, to find the mobile home engulfed in fire. Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 15 minutes, he said. No one was living in the mobile home, which Hummel said was destroyed by the fire. ...

Cities around Lawrence announce fireworks hours and quiet times

Although their use is banned in Lawrence, fireworks are allowed elsewhere in Douglas County, with restrictions meant to provide overnight quiet time. Firework stands are open for business in Baldwin City, Eudora and the unincorporated areas of the county, and they can continue doing business through Thursday. Baldwin City allows fireworks to be sold and discharged from June 29 through July 4. The sale and ...

Eudora housing starts slow as lots become scarce

The city of Eudora has had just six housing starts thus far in 2019, despite city officials regularly fielding calls from individuals interested in building homes. “The demand is there,” said Eudora City Manager Barack Matite. “Our planning department is getting calls from interested home builders all the time. We just don’t have the lots.” This year’s new housing starts seem destined to fall far ...

Adult in canoe rescued from west Lawrence pond

Emergency responders on Sunday morning rescued an individual in a west Lawrence pond who was trapped from the suction of an outlet drain. Shawn Gross, of the Lawrence Police Department, wrote in an email that emergency personnel responded at about 8:45 a.m. Sunday to a report of an adult trapped under a canoe in a pond in the 4000 block of West 14th Street. The person also was caught in the suction from the ...