WRITER: Lauren Fox

Audrey Bell and Lisa Manley

Local funeral directors reflect on their role throughout pandemic; some concerned about ‘the mental health crisis coming next’

The families with whom funeral director Todd Miller works are often able to say goodbye to their loved ones prior to their deaths. But in 2020, many families weren’t given that chance. Long-term care facilities closed their doors to visitors, and travel restrictions and health precautions kept many people at home. So when families came to Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home & Crematory to plan arrangements, the ...

Artwork of Baldwin City historic sites available as posters, postcards; depictions of wagon ruts finished in time for Santa Fe Trail bicentennial celebration

Baldwin City is featuring its historic landmarks in a series of posters created by local artists. Jennifer Burkhead and Doug Barth are collaborating to create WPA-style artwork of four sites in Baldwin City: the Black Jack Wagon Ruts, the Women’s Bridge, Baker University and the Maple Leaf Festival. WPA stands for the Works Progress Administration, which commissioned artists in the 1930s and ‘40s to design ...

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, Kansas Rep. Christina Haswood to discuss Davids’ new children’s book at Raven Book Store event

Updated at 4:38 p.m. Monday Rep. Sharice Davids will appear at a virtual Raven Book Store event next week, just two days after the release of her new book, “Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman.” The picture book autobiography tells the story of Davids’ path to Congress. Davids is Kansas’ 3rd District congresswoman, was one of the first two Native American women to serve in ...

Historic home in the Breezedale neighborhood blends original characteristics with functional renovations

From exchanging modern light fixtures for antiques to patching holes in the original wood floor, Darin Fischer and his family are trying to return their historic home to its original style. Their craftsman-style house, located at 2315 Massachusetts St., has a similar look to its neighbors in the historic Breezedale district, which is thought to be Lawrence’s first suburban neighborhood. Many of the homes on ...

Jolene Bechtel

More than 56,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered so far in Douglas County

Updated at 5 p.m. Friday Douglas County saw an increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the last week, the same timeframe that 12- to 15-year-olds became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health reported Thursday that 56,734 first doses and 47,539 second doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered. That’s an increase of 2,015 first doses and 1,475 second doses since the ...

KU’s capital improvements could total $20 million for fiscal year 2022, nearly $40 million for fiscal year 2023

Improvements to two streets on campus, the demolition of a former residence hall and renovations to the Kansas Memorial Union are just some of the University of Kansas’ upcoming capital improvement projects. On Wednesday, the Kansas Board of Regents unanimously approved the capital improvement requests of the six state universities. For KU, that could mean about $20 million in capital improvements for fiscal ...

Douglas County under flash flood watch until Friday morning; chance of thunderstorms throughout weekend

Bouts of heavy rain on Thursday have caused a flash flood watch to go into effect in Douglas County until early Friday morning. Brandon Drake, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Topeka, said some areas of Douglas County have already seen about 1 inch of rain since Wednesday, and that certain areas should expect to receive an extra 1 to 2 inches throughout Thursday evening and into the early ...

KU proposes to hold tuition flat for 2021-2022 academic year, but campus fees could increase

The University of Kansas plans to hold tuition rates flat for the 2021-2022 academic year because of the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on students and their families. KU submitted its tuition and fee proposals to the Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday for a first reading, and the Regents will vote on the proposals in June. According to KU’s proposal, undergraduate tuition would remain at ...

12- to 15-year-olds getting vaccinated just ‘want everything to go back to normal’

Ro O’Leary is looking forward to attending school dances and football games, activities she missed out on this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So the 15-year-old said on Tuesday that she was “really excited” to have received a COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s kind of the first step of being able to do normal things again,” she said. Ro is a freshman at Lawrence High School, but she attended school ...

KU budget cuts 'forcing departments and units to make near-impossible decisions'; KU not providing additional information

After releasing some details earlier this month about its budget reductions, the University of Kansas is not providing any additional information about the extensive cuts — which range from zero to 12% by unit. The Journal-World reached out to various deans and KU’s spokesperson to ask about the impact the cuts would have on the hardest-hit schools, but was met with either silence or referrals back to the ...

Douglas County has administered over 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses; only 461 first doses administered in past week

On Thursday, Douglas County surpassed 100,000 in the number of the COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. Of those 100,000 doses, data from local health organizations showed that more than 54,000 were first doses. Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health reported that 54,719 first doses and 46,064 second doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered. That’s an increase of 461 first doses and 1,140 second doses ...

Rain, scattered thunderstorms expected Friday through Monday

Douglas County is expected to have numerous rainy days ahead, according to the National Weather Service. Douglas County will likely see a slow progression of rainfall through Monday, Brandon Drake, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Topeka, told the Journal-World. He said Douglas County might expect between 2 and 3 inches of rain from Friday through Monday. Drake said flash flooding was not ...

KU graduate continuing on to medical school is also a poet, advice columnist

At the end of high school, Aroog Khaliq had the option of going straight into an accelerated medical school program or first attending a four-year university. The high school senior was pretty sure she wanted to be a doctor, but she also wanted to study a variety of subjects and take advantage of the experiences a traditional four-year undergraduate institution offers. So Khaliq went to the University of ...

In case of severe weather, KU could postpone, cancel Sunday's graduation ceremonies

A forecast of rain and scattered thunderstorms throughout the weekend could lead to another canceled University of Kansas graduation. Commencement ceremonies for KU's Class of 2021 graduates are scheduled for Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. According to KU's website, graduation will take place rain or shine. If severe weather is in the forecast, however, university administrators may postpone the ...

Haskell's new acting president stays silent on plans for university after former leader fired

The acting president of Haskell Indian Nations University is keeping mum on her plans for the university she is now leading after Haskell's former leader was fired last week. The Journal-World reached out to Tamarah Pfeiffer, the new acting president, about her vision for Haskell, how long she expects to serve in the role and whether she plans to move to Lawrence, among other questions. According to her bio on ...

KU alumna and Kansas native wins $100K fellowship to expand her technology business

A University of Kansas alumna has won a large grant to help expand her business, which seeks to provide AI-powered technology to entrepreneurs who are women of color. Michelle Tran Maryns is one of 24 recipients of the 2021 Bush Fellowship. The Bush Fellowship is granted by the Bush Foundation, which was started by Archibald and Edyth Bush in 1953. Each of the recipients will receive a $100,000 grant to ...

vaccine drive-thru sign

LMH Health vaccine clinics bring about 63 newcomers daily; health department awaiting direction from CDC regarding Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Douglas County’s health department has been administering COVID-19 vaccines to about 280 people a day during its weekday clinics at LMH Health, according to data from Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health. Of those roughly 280 people per day, around 63 are receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, while the others are receiving their second doses, health department spokesperson George Diepenbrock ...

Jolene Bechtel

Douglas County’s recent vaccine distribution numbers show smallest increase in vaccinations to date

Data from local health organizations showed that more than 54,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Douglas County as of Thursday. Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health reported that 54,258 first doses and 44,924 second doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered. That’s an increase of 521 first doses and 743 second doses since the county last reported vaccine distribution ...

Graduating Haskell student with passion for Indigenous and American Indian studies hopes to one day help lead a tribal government

As a child, Sam Riding In, whose tribal name is Riding In Front As a Leader, would wait for what seemed like hours whenever his parents reconnected with old friends from Haskell Indian Nations University. His mom is an alumna of the school, and the ties between her and her former classmates are strong. Now, the graduating Haskell senior understands why. “We all have a kind of shared experience,” the ...

Local community center hosting unofficial Haskell graduation; student newspaper hosting virtual ceremony

Graduating students at Haskell Indian Nations University have the option to celebrate their accomplishments in person or virtually on Friday, thanks to a local community center and a Haskell student organization. Sacred Ground Haskell, a community center and campus ministry organization across the street from the university, will be hosting a graduation ceremony, dinner and powwow for Haskell graduates. Deon ...