WRITER: Elvyn Jones

Baldwin City's Lumberyard Arts Center opens store for local artists

For 10 years, the Lumberyard Arts Center has offered Baldwin City residents a venue to view or make art. Now it has expanded their opportunity to buy the creative output of local artists. Lucy’s Corner art boutique opened Sept. 21 at the Lumberyard, occupying the southwest corner of 718 High St. Jeannette Blackmar, Lumberyard executive director, said its shelves and walls feature the drawings, paintings, ...

With new duplex development, Baldwin City is having best year of housing starts in over a decade, officials say

Baldwin City is experiencing its best year of housing starts in well over a decade despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn it spawned, city officials said. “We’re having the best year since the early 2000s,” said Ed Courton, Baldwin City's community development director. “COVID isn’t having any impact. Interest rates are so attractive, people are willing to step up.” So far this ...

With an eye toward future improvements on the Kansas River, Friends of the Kaw group cleans up sandbar

A small group of nature lovers spent Saturday morning cleaning up a sandbar in the Kansas River in hopes that more people can enjoy the river's natural beauty in the future. Kansas Riverkeeper Dawn Buehler, who leads the Friends of the Kaw advocacy group, said about 10 members of the group turned out to clean junk and scrap metal from a sandbar just below the Bowersock Dam. Buehler said a lot of the metal they ...

Construction to start this week on Eudora's Nottingham retail development site

Work will start this week to prepare the old Nottingham Elementary School site for commercial development, five years after the city of Eudora bought the 15-acre property with the vision of expanding the community’s retail tax base. That vision received a boost in September when the Eudora City Commission finalized the sale of a second lot in Nottingham’s four-lot first development phase. The agreement ...

Biden's supporters in Lawrence celebrate his victory, end of election anxiety

Local supporters of Joe Biden took to the streets on Saturday to celebrate his election as the 46th president of the United States, staging an impromptu parade on Massachusetts Street with blaring horns, American flags and campaign signs. At about 11:45 a.m., an hour or so after major news agencies called the presidential race, vehicles began honking horns as they cruised through downtown Lawrence. And in the ...

Eudora, county enter agreement designed to give city developmental control of growth areas

Eudora has entered into an agreement with Douglas County designed to give the city control over development of unincorporated areas on its fringe. The Eudora City Commission approved the interlocal agreement on Oct. 26, which establishes an urban growth area in unincorporated areas adjacent to the city. The Douglas County Commission approved the agreement on Oct. 21. Eudora City Manager Barack Matite said such ...

Leavenworth County deputy killed in crash involving school bus

A Leavenworth County sheriff’s deputy was killed while on duty Friday afternoon when his unmarked vehicle collided with a school bus about seven miles north of Tonganoxie. The deputy, 59-year-old Daniel R. Abramovitz of Leavenworth, was driving westbound on McIntyre Road at about 4 p.m. Friday when a northbound school bus failed to yield at McIntyre Road's intersection with 211th Street, according to the ...

With help from artists and a church, East Lawrence gets some new bus stop benches

Thanks to some help from a church and two local artists, those waiting for buses at Muncipal Stadium in East Lawrence now have a place to sit. On Saturday, Lawrence Transit celebrated the installation of two benches at the southwest and northeast corners of 11th and Delaware streets. Transit director Adam Weigel said the benches at the Municipal Stadium intersection were among seven that the city is placing ...

Above-average fall harvest moving quickly in northeast Kansas as fields stay dry

Relatively dry weather is helping northeast Kansas farmers make rapid progress this year in what is reportedly a very good fall harvest, area grain elevator operators told the Journal-World. Steve Wilson, owner of the Baldwin Feed Company elevator, and Clark Wenger, general manager of Ottawa Cooperative Association, said 2020 has been a rare year, in which combines have been able to roll in fields continuously ...

Dry conditions to persist as 2 cold fronts pass through this week

Two cold fronts will move through the area in coming days, bringing more fall-like temperatures but doing little to reverse recent dry conditions. Lawrence is running 3.5 inches below normal rainfall for the year. Matt Wolters, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Topeka, said 29.62 inches of rain have been recorded as of Sunday at the Lawrence Municipal Airport. That is 3.5 inches less than ...

Special Olympians enjoy morning of fishing at Lawrence lake despite lack of luck

Not many fish were biting on Saturday at Sandra J. Shaw Community Health Park, but that didn't spoil the morning for the contestants in the Special Olympics fishing derby. Fish could be spotted jumping in the park's lake, and an angler who wasn't competing reeled in a catfish that was about a foot long. But none of the derby contestants was reeling in anything that big, said Chris Burt, of Mission, who was one ...

Stained-glass window and masonry repairs start on historic Lawrence church

The Rev. Verdell Taylor is now witnessing the fruits of a task assigned to him when he arrived in Lawrence 25 years ago as the new pastor of St. Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church. “I was instructed to get the church on the historical register,” he said of the goal realized in 2005 when St. Luke was placed on the national and Kansas registers of historic places. “We were able to do that because of ...

Baldwin High School graduate pens book on legendary Bulldog coach

When Baldwin High School graduate Chris Ridley was recovering from a cancer surgery once, he remembered hearing an instantly recognizable, booming voice outside his hospital room. His visitor was his former high school football coach Merle Venable, who was coming to encourage his former student and player as he started his recovery. “He brought me a book on history that I still have,” Ridley, a 1974 ...

Owner of downtown Baldwin City bakery, cafe plans to open burger restaurant next door

Citing her desire to give her community something different, Baldwin City cafe and bakery owner Lori Gardner is expanding her business to include a new restaurant that will serve hamburgers, hot dogs and other classic fare. Gardner opened Homestead Kitchen and Bakery at 719 Eighth St. in 2018. Homestead offers a breakfast and lunch menu, fresh baked goods and ice cream Monday through Saturday in downtown ...

Midland Railway defendant in five lawsuits filed in District Court seeking more than $70,000

Five different lawsuits have been filed in the past five months in Douglas County District Court against the Midland Railway Historical Association, seeking to recover more than $70,000 in debt. Among those taking action against the Baldwin City-based tourist excursion railroad line is the Kansas Department of Revenue, which filed a tax warrant against Midland on Aug. 21 A tax warrant alleges the tourist ...

Lumberyard Arts Center showcases artist with close ties to building's history

A watercolor in the Lumberyard Arts Center depicts the center as Sandy Cardens envisioned it once it shed its former commercial purpose and became the home for the arts in Baldwin City. Cardens, a one-time art education student, moved to Baldwin City with her husband, J.T., in 1997. Her watercolor documents her early interest in saving and renovating the distinctive downtown lumberyard building at 718 High ...

Citing safety concerns, Baldwin City buys old motel property; several tenants to be evicted

A number of residents and two businesses face eviction in a month after Baldwin City recently purchased a site on U.S. Highway 56. At its Sept. 1 meeting, the Baldwin City Council approved the purchase of the property at 109 U.S. 56 from Les Foster for $250,096. The property, which fronts the south side of the highway east of First Street, is currently the site of an old motel and a mobile home park that ...

Midland vows to move tourist train rides from Baldwin City as city demands repayment of grant money

The relationship between Baldwin City and Midland Railway has unraveled to the point the company is vowing to move its tourist train operation to Franklin County and the city is demanding the railway immediately repay more than $300,000 it received last year from a Kansas Department of Commerce grant that the city administers. A.J. Stevens, chief financial officer of Baldwin City & Southern Railroad, a ...

Cold front to bring Lawrence early taste of fall

Northeast Kansas residents might want to pull out the blankets they stashed for the summer as a strong cold front blows through the Midlands. Shawn Byrne, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Topeka, said the cold front will drop tempatures the next three day well below the normal daytime high of 84 and overnight low of 51. “We have a pretty strong cold front coming at us,” he ...

With plans and cost estimates in hand, Baldwin City Council eyes voter referendum on community center

The Baldwin City Council now has plans and a cost estimate for converting the old Chapel Street gym into a community center as it moves toward a voter referendum on funding for the project. At an Aug. 25 special meeting, Lawrence architect Jay Zimmerschied presented plans for the gym’s conversion into a community center. The project would cost an estimated $2.2 million, but Zimmerschied said it would qualify ...