WRITER: Lauren Fox

Visiting Nurses Association continues home health care visits, creates COVID-19 team

Many clinicians are fighting the spread of COVID-19 from hospitals and office spaces; others are meeting at-risk patients in the patients' own homes. The Visiting Nurses Association has not shied away from conducting home visits during the pandemic, and three employees have volunteered to work with clients suspected of having COVID-19, should the situation arise. “This is a situation that’s unsettling ...

Yard cards boom during pandemic; hospital receives surprise sign recognizing workers as ‘heroes’

For a blind Eudora resident who turned 85 last week, honks from passing cars were one way the community let him know they were thinking about him on his special day. “Honk,” a sign in his front yard read, “Lou is 85!” Celebrations of all kinds have been upended due to the coronavirus and government orders to stay at home, but many locals seem to have decided that surprise signs in the front yard can ...

Stay, See, Do: Online story time for kids and a virtual dance party with Kelley Hunt

Local storyteller Priscilla Howe has been using different puppets each day in her online story time sessions. Every weekday at 2 p.m., Howe offers a free story on Zoom geared toward children. She’s doing it for the community, she said, but also to brighten up her day. “When everybody is feeling so anxious, this has been really great just to see all the listeners laughing,” she said. “We need a little ...

‘Willing to take the chance’: Blood donors hope to prevent another health crisis on top of pandemic

Despite fears of contracting the coronavirus, a steady stream of donors flowed through an American Red Cross blood drive Thursday at Lawrence's Immanuel Lutheran Church. Social distancing guidelines are impossible to maintain while a staff member takes a donor’s blood, but those involved in the blood drive process felt the services they were providing were equally important to the nation’s health. ...

Local stores offer drive-thru grocery pickup, but it may take days to receive order

Local grocery stores are offering a drive-thru grocery pickup service, an action that may help reduce crowding in-store and allow for at-risk customers to maintain social-distancing guidelines during the coronavirus outbreak. In most cases, customers can order their groceries online, drive to the store and have a worker load the groceries into their trunk. But one customer who has been enjoying the benefits ...

Nonprofits call on landlords to consider renting space to homeless or at-risk sheltered populations

Local nonprofits are seeking landlords who will rent their empty units to the unsheltered homeless or populations living in tightly quartered shelters. Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center will receive $50,000 in state funds to assist with housing unsheltered individuals and families in an effort to contain the coronavirus and will use this funding to pay the rent for these spaces. “Our big request is ...

Couple furnishes final home with diverse decorations from their life abroad

Framed maps line the wall in the entrance of David and Sacie Lambertson’s home, a hint at the worldly collection of decorations the couple has inside. The former career diplomat and his wife have lived in six countries and multiple states, and their renovated home at 715 New York St. exhibits their diverse collection. A bark painting from Australia hangs in the living room, and a piece of driftwood from ...

Douglas County expects COVID-19 to peak in 30 days; 1st case of community spread suspected

Story updated at 8:47 p.m. Monday The local health department said Monday that it is basing its work on a model that shows the number of COVID-19 cases in Douglas County peaking in about 30 days with the potential for about 300 hospitalizations. Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Director Dan Partridge shared those numbers in a video press conference with other local government and health officials Monday ...

Health professional finds messaging from Lawrence chiropractor ‘reckless’ in light of pandemic

A Lawrence chiropractor’s recent messaging in response to the coronavirus is “disturbing,” an area physician says, labeling the chiropractor's advertising as "reckless" and a danger to the community. Amelia Rodrock, of Rodrock Chiropractic, has disseminated information on her business’ Facebook page telling the public to see a chiropractor to increase one’s chances of survival from coronavirus, as ...

Some Lawrence grocery stores designate shopping hours for seniors, high-risk customers

Story updated at 9:18 a.m. Friday Some Lawrence grocery stores are either expanding or altering their shopping hours to reserve periods for customers considered at high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Thursday, senior citizens and other vulnerable customers had the option to shop first thing on certain mornings at Hy-Vee, Walmart, Dollar General and Checkers, when the stores should be the most clean ...

‘I wasn’t ready to say goodbye’: Lawrence’s high school seniors faced with sudden ending to their final year

Nyasha McVay’s friends were showing her what dresses they were going to wear to prom. She was still just trying to decide on a color. But that was before the spreading coronavirus prompted the governor to close Kansas’ schools for the rest of the school year, and before Lawrence’s high school seniors found out what they thought was an ordinary school day was in actuality their last. “We basically ...

‘It’s that bad’: Shoppers, store owner react to shopping craze that’s stripping some stores of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and more

People don’t need to scour the CVS at Iowa and 23rd streets in search of toilet paper, hand sanitizer or face masks. A sign in the entranceway alerts visitors with red block letters spelling “Attention” that they are out of those items, plus sanitizing wipes, rubbing alcohol and gloves, among others. Due to the spreading coronavirus, people nationwide have been stocking up on non-perishable food and ...

Director answers questions about Douglas County health department's coronavirus response

Local health departments are helping lead efforts within communities to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which as of Saturday had infected at least eight people in Kansas. Health departments in Kansas have the authority to cancel public events and isolate individuals, per the advice of their health officer. On Friday afternoon, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health ordered the closure of all K-12 schools, ...

Go, See, Do: Traditional Irish music session, swing dancing to Sinatra and more

Updated at 12:24 p.m. Thursday This month calls for a variety of Irish-themed events, but a traditional Irish music session at Henry’s is a weekly staple in Lawrence. The session draws anywhere from six to 20 musicians each week, organizer Tony Silvestri said in an email to the Journal-World. Most come from Lawrence and Topeka, but every week musicians from Kansas City also drive out, he said. The session ...

As new coronavirus spreads, nursing homes in Lawrence begin restricting nonessential visitors

Story updated at 4:10 p.m. Thursday Retirement communities in Lawrence have started taking precautions against the new coronavirus by implementing new policies designed to limit exposure. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Health Care Association recommended on Tuesday that nursing facilities admit only essential visitors. On Thursday afternoon, Lawrence-Douglas County ...

Lawrence's hospital begins restricting visitors; entrance screenings under consideration

Effective immediately, Lawrence's hospital will not be permitting any visitors under the age of 18, as well as those with respiratory symptoms or those who have recently traveled to a confirmed coronavirus outbreak area. LMH Health announced the measures Thursday afternoon, and spokeswoman Rebecca Smith said that Dr. Christopher Penn, who specializes in infectious disease, provided that guidance to the ...

Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich tells student writers to ‘go for the big stuff’ and ‘don’t let up’ during lecture at Haskell

Louise Erdrich said in her latest novel, "The Night Watchman," that she wanted to show how a group of people can come together to create change. She did this through the story of her grandfather and his fight against Native American termination laws in the 1950s. “They came together, they went to Washington, and they fixed something,” Erdrich said Wednesday night in Lawrence. “And they did it because they ...

Paper Plains Literary Festival boasts ‘world’s first’ book club parade among event lineup

The world’s first book club parade will take place in Lawrence next month as part of the Paper Plains Literary Festival, event organizers say. Will it truly be the “world’s first” book club parade? Paper Plains festival director Danny Caine believes so. An “educated guess” and Google search led him to believe this quirky event — designed for book club members — would be the first of its kind in ...

In ‘Staging Shimomura,’ paintings meet performance art, offering fuller picture of Japanese American experience

A new exhibit at the Spencer Museum of Art combines the paintings of local artist Roger Shimomura with videos of his performance art, all digitally remastered and cut for the exhibit. While the Lawrence-based artist describes himself as a painter, he also created staged performance pieces from 1984 to 2002. Exhibit curator Kris Ercums believes this is the first time there has been a comprehensive exhibit ...

Willow Domestic Violence Center launches capital campaign for new building, repairs to current space

The Willow Domestic Violence Center launched a capital campaign on Monday to raise money for the purchase of a second property and to repair and update its current location. The center, which serves survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking for Douglas, Franklin and Jefferson counties, can hold 28 people, but because of January flooding that damaged the center’s basement, it can currently only ...