WRITER: Elvyn Jones

Lawrence, Baldwin City each receive more than $1 million in KDOT grant money for trail projects

Lawrence and Baldwin City will each receive more than a million dollars in state grant funding for bicycle and pedestrian trail projects, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced Friday. Lawrence will receive a $1.07 million grant to help close one of the gaps in the Lawrence Loop trail network. The grant will help pay for a concrete path from the intersection of Peterson Road and North Iowa Street to ...

Staged musical performances to return this summer to downtown Baldwin City park

After a six-year absence, outdoor performances of staged musical entertainment will return to downtown Baldwin City this summer. Baldwin City Councilwoman Julie Constantinescu and Jeannette Blackmar, Lumberyard Arts Center executive director, said the expected completion of the $850,000 Sullivan Square project in May was central to the planned return of music-theater entertainment downtown. A 25-foot-wide ...

Agreement allowing company to install fiber optic line in Eudora could lead to more service options

An agreement between a fiber optic company and the city of Eudora will provide the city $4,000 a year and could offer the community future options for internet, phone and cable TV service. On Monday, the Eudora City Commission approved a franchise agreement with Kansas Fiber Network that will allow the company, which has offices in Wichita and Overland Park, to bury a fiber optic line through the city along ...

Baldwin City negotiating construction easements in advance of KDOT-funded sidewalk project

In a step needed to advance the planned construction of an Elm Street sidewalk, the Baldwin City Council agreed Feb. 3 to allow city staff to negotiate temporary construction easements with two property owners. Last year, the city secured a $580,000 transportation alternative grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation for the construction of the sidewalk. The project will install a 6-foot-wide concrete ...

Crews battle grass fires near Eudora; K-10 closes temporarily

Area fire departments battled two grass fires near Eudora on Saturday afternoon, one of which threatened homes on the western edge of that city and required traffic on Kansas Highway 10 to be shut down temporarily. Chief Mike Baxter of the Eudora Township Fire Department said one of the fires reported about 1 p.m. was at K-10 mile marker 17, near the Winchester Road overpass. The second fire was three miles to ...

Lenexa company offers Eudora $100,000 for old public safety building

A Lenexa company wants to convert City of Eudora's former public safety building at 840 Main St. into a restaurant, and it's offering the city $100,000 for the property. Brothers Jay and Jason Musick, of Musick Group LLC, made their offer at the Jan. 27 Eudora City Commission meeting and shared their plans to turn the the 4,320-square-foot building into a restaurant called Barbwire Barbecue. The city has used ...

9-year-old Deerfield student overcomes nerves, wins Douglas County Spelling Bee

After accepting the first-place trophy for the 2020 Douglas County Spelling Bee, Charlie Maples said winning the annual contest wasn’t his only notable accomplishment Saturday on the stage at Southwest Middle School. “I also set a personal heart-rate record of 247,” the Deerfield Elementary School fifth grader told the crowd. The county bee, sponsored by the Lawrence Journal-World, drew 28 elementary and ...

157-year-old Pinckney home is a good fit for Busker Fest organizer

Richard Renner thinks he and his home at 408 Indiana St. are an ideal match for each other — and for Lawrence's Pinckney neighborhood. Renner owns the Vodvill Entertainment Company, a talent agency for variety acts, and organizes the quirky Busker Fest in downtown Lawrence every year. His livelihood may be unusual, but Renner has found a lot of kindred spirits living nearby. “I juggle, ride a unicycle – ...

Baldwin City Council names new downtown park for town's 1st female mayor

The Baldwin City Council has agreed to name a park being constructed in downtown Baldwin City in honor of the city’s first female mayor. At the recommendation of Councilman Brian Cramer, the Baldwin City Council on Jan. 21 unanimously approved the name Sullivan Square for the multi-use park now being constructed in an undeveloped downtown lot in the 700 block of High Street. The name honors Lucy Sweet ...

New director of Baldwin City chamber looks to apply smart growth lessons learned in California

The recently named executive director for the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce will have a small commute when she starts her duties next month, but that is nothing for a woman who now travels half a continent to her job. Mandy Latzen currently splits time between Sacramento, Calif., where she works as the deputy director of the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Land Resource Protection, and ...

City of Eudora encourages residents to complete survey as comprehensive plan update starts

As the city of Eudora starts updating its comprehensive plan, it's asking residents how they want their community to grow over the next 20 years. An 18-question survey on the comprehensive plan is now available on the city's website. Mayor Tim Reazin said it's important for residents to fill out the survey because the plan will provide a blueprint for the city's growth, land use and infrastructure ...

Fire extensively damages Baldwin City home, displaces family

Three people were displaced on Friday after a fire started in the chimney of their Baldwin City home and spread through the attic. Julie Koerner said she called the Baldwin City Fire Department at 11:18 a.m. after discovering smoke billowing from the roof vents of her two-story wood-frame home at 1011 High St. “It sounded like it was hailing,” she said. “I went outside to see if it was hailing on the ...

First snowfall of the year drops 2 to 3 inches over layer of ice

Lawrence received 2 to 3 inches of snow Saturday — deposited on a layer of ice from Friday's freezing rain — before the first winter storm of 2020 cleared the area. Daniel Reese, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Topeka, said the weather service did not officially track snowfall amounts in Lawrence, but he estimated from social medial reports and photographs that 2 to 3 inches ...

Midland Railway has ambitious plans in wake of recent success and $750K grant

Buoyed by a successful second year of the holiday season Polar Express rides and a $750,000 state grant, Midland Railway is upgrading its passenger cars and making ambitious plans that include a possible railroad museum. Wrapped up in those plans are changes that stem from the Midland Railway Association board’s decision last year to create a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, the Baldwin City & Southern ...

2020 to be a busy city project construction year in Baldwin City

The year ahead will be one in which the Baldwin City government is occupied overseeing the completion of projects that have been in the pipeline for one to four years. “We did a lot of planning last year,” said Baldwin City Administrator Glenn Rodden. “Now it’s time to get things completed.” Two projects planned during 2019 are either underway or slated to start, Rodden said. Work has started on the ...

First baby born at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in 2020 skips Christmas due date for New Year's birth

The first baby born at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in the new year arrived at the wrong holiday. “She was due on Christmas, actually,” said Christin Bowman, who delivered Brynne Paige Bowman at 1:35 a.m. Wednesday. “She’s a little late. We joked she’d show up on New Year’s. I think it’s better. She will have more fun in the future having her birthday on New Year’s.” Parents Christin and Sarah ...

2019 sets new record for rainfall totals at Lawrence Municipal Airport

With an annual rainfall total more than 9 inches above normal, 2019 was the wettest year in Lawrence since the National Weather Service placed a station at the local airport in 1998. Daniel Reese, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Topeka, said the airport received a total of 47.69 inches of rain over the past year, including the 1.14 inches of rain that fell on Saturday. The Lawrence ...

Nottingham redevelopment foremost on Eudora City Commission's plate for 2020

The Eudora City Commission will get a jump on an issue that will be on its plate throughout 2020 when it is asked early next month to approve the sale of a lot on the former Nottingham Elementary School property. Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin said he expects the City Commission to consider selling part of the property to a chain restaurant company at its Jan. 13 meeting. He did not specify which company wants to buy ...

Jayhawk AAA reintroduces senior meal sites in Douglas County

On a recent Thursday, Dorothy Resco and Wilbur Heath enjoyed a noon meal and conversation with Rhonda Seitz at the Eudora Community Center. Seitz had delivered the meals Resco and Heath were eating through her job with Meals on Wheels of Eastern Kansas. She had time to visit with Resco and Heath because the Eudora Community Center was the last of four Douglas County sites where she delivers the meals that her ...

Baldwin City mayor appoints committee to plan town's 150th anniversary

Baldwin City officials are starting to make plans to celebrate the city’s 150th birthday. Baldwin City Mayor Casey Simoneau appointed a committee earlier this month to help plan the sesquicentennial celebration. Historic Baldwin City, about 20 miles south of Lawrence, was founded on Sept. 22, 1870. The committee is charged with developing proposals on how the community can mark the event and suggesting how ...