WRITER: Lauren Fox

Local comic acts, writes in supernatural radio drama ‘Secrets of Harridge House’

Like many people, Cody Lindenberger hates the sound of his own voice. But the Lawrence local loves the voice he puts on when he acts as Richard, a character Lindenberger is voicing for a radio drama involving people across the nation. This fall, Lindenberger joined the cast of “Secrets of Harridge House,” a series that airs weekly on KNVC Community Radio in Carson City, Nev. Radio dramas were popular in ...

Justice Matters to host virtual event for MLK Jr. Day; Van Go will give out free meals

Local activist group Justice Matters will host a free virtual event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day aimed at bringing light to injustices in the community and how they can be combated. Deacon Godsey, the co-president of Justice Matters, said the group hosted a series of listening sessions in the fall of 2020 where hundreds of community members gathered in Zoom meetings to talk about what issues and injustices ...

Over 4,000 vaccines administered in Douglas County so far; 30 new cases of COVID-19

As of Friday, 3,337 first doses and 792 second doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Douglas County, according to the health department. George Diepenbrock, spokesperson for Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, said the 3,337 first doses have been administered at LMH Health, Heartland, the health department, Haskell Indian Health Center and long-term care facilities. The second doses had been ...

Haskell president rescinds October directive to student editor, calling action 'incorrect' and promising not to interfere with free speech again

Months after sending out a directive telling the editor of the student newspaper what he could and could not publish, the president of Haskell Indian Nations University has rescinded his memorandum. In an undated letter that just reached student journalist Jared Nally on Wednesday, Haskell President Ronald Graham wrote that the university “took an incorrect approach” in sending out the Oct. 16 ...

New data suggests COVID-19 vaccines could be more effective than thought; county sees 86 new cases

Doctors from LMH Health and the University of Kansas Health System said Wednesday that they expect the COVID-19 vaccines to last six months to a year — or longer. On Sunday, the Journal-World reported that local infectious disease doctor Jennifer Schrimsher said the vaccines should work for at least three months. This week, Schrimsher noted that she expects the vaccine protection to last “well beyond ...

Kansas attorney general says that KU’s pandemic meetings are ‘akin to staff meetings,’ do not violate open meetings act

Kansas’ Office of the Attorney General said Friday that the University of Kansas was not breaking state law by keeping the meetings of its pandemic advisory team private. The nine-member team of medical professionals and KU leaders, known as PMAT, was established in June to help inform the university’s decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In early September, the Journal-World reported that KU ...

Vaccinated individuals still need to wear masks — and other important vaccine information

COVID-19 vaccinations in Kansas have been underway for a little less than a month, with priority being given to health care workers, EMS responders and residents in long-term care facilities. This past week, some health care workers received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, meaning they are now fully vaccinated. That group included Shannon Fletcher, a respiratory therapist who was the first person in ...

KU Endowment adopts cost-saving measures, including hiring freeze, 10% budget reduction

Like the University of Kansas, KU Endowment adopted cost-saving measures this fiscal year because of financial uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Michelle Strickland, spokesperson for the nonprofit organization, said in an email to the Journal-World that these measures include a 10% operating budget reduction for the current fiscal year, the implementation of a hiring freeze and no salary increases ...

‘Eureka moment’: KU graduate research assistant discovers new species, genus of snake

It just took a fresh pair of eyes for three preserved snake specimens to be recognized as something special — and entirely new. In 2017, graduate research assistant Jeff Weinell realized that three snake specimens in the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum had been misidentified. He had been studying a genus of snakes called Pseudorabdion and sequencing their DNA in order ...

Watkins Museum to host student art contest focusing on the U.S. Constitution's 15th Amendment

An upcoming art competition at Lawrence's Watkins Museum will help local students become more involved in the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The museum is inviting kindergarten through 12th grade students to participate in an art contest with the theme “The 15th Amendment at 150: The Art of Voting.” The 15th Amendment, ratified on Feb. 3, 1870, ...

Douglas County still waiting on vaccines for many health care workers in Phase 1A; new death brings county total to 35

Douglas County has received about 4,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines since the rollout began, but many health care workers who qualified for Phase 1A of the county's vaccination plan are still waiting for their shots, officials said Monday. As of 1 p.m. Monday, Douglas County had received 4,120 doses since the start of the vaccine rollout last month. But in its COVID-19 update on Monday, LMH Health said more than ...

Douglas County addiction recovery program pivoted to Zoom meetings, call hours during pandemic

Two years ago, Matt J. desperately wanted to stop drinking alcohol. His wife had had enough of his behavior; his kids couldn’t trust him to show up when they needed him; and Matt knew he wasn’t being a productive member of the family. “I was not contributing to anything. I was a disappointment to myself,” the 56-year-old said during a Wednesday Zoom call with the Journal-World. Matt had been to ...

‘I pick up everyone’s paper’: 91-year-old delivers newspapers to neighbors’ doors on his daily walks

Newspapers in one Lawrence neighborhood always land right outside subscribers’ front doors. That’s because of 91-year-old Allen Meyer, who delivers his neighbors’ newspapers from the top of their driveway right up to their front door as part of his morning walk. “I was walking by them and I thought, ‘Why am I walking by these? Why don’t I just take them up to the door?’” he explained. On ...

Lawrence could see over 5 inches of snow Friday; winter weather expected to start around 3 a.m.

This story was updated at 4:20 p.m., Dec. 31. Expect wintry weather in Lawrence on Friday, and for those who may be on the road after midnight, expect snow to start falling around 3 a.m. Bill Gargan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka, said the official forecast for Lawrence is 5.5 inches of snow, but that depending on how the storm moves, the city could only see a couple ...

Haskell’s historic archway receives preliminary repairs, but more preservation work needed

Last month, roofing and concrete patching repairs were made to Haskell Indian Nations University’s historic stadium archway entrance, but more work will be needed to keep the structure up for generations to come. Aaron Hove, executive director of the Haskell Foundation, spoke to the Journal-World on recently about the renovation efforts, which were made possible through two grants from the Heritage ...

Thousands of sales for ‘Ladybird, Collected’ will help local diner’s free meal program continue through February

Since its release in October, Meg Heriford’s book “Ladybird, Collected” has been purchased more than 3,000 times, and it was this year’s top-selling book at a local bookstore. Heriford, the owner of Ladybird Diner, said the sales from the book would help the diner continue its free meal program — which the diner started at the beginning of the pandemic — through February and possibly into March. ...

Residents, staff at Pioneer Ridge Health & Rehab receive COVID-19 vaccinations; hospital receives 300 more doses

Staff members and residents at Pioneer Ridge Health & Rehab were given the option to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, according to the skilled nursing facility. Walgreens administered the Pfizer vaccine at Pioneer Ridge Health & Rehab, 4851 Harvard Road, to staff and residents of the facility’s skilled nursing and rapid recovery units, a news release from the organization said. “We feel so ...

vaccine drive-thru sign

Health department distributes COVID-19 vaccine itself after not receiving approval to transfer doses to Lawrence's hospital

Story updated at 5:24 p.m. Monday: Two weeks ago, some health leaders in Douglas County were disappointed by a local health center’s decision not to transfer its COVID-19 vaccine doses to Lawrence's hospital for distribution. Now that organization, Heartland Community Health Center, has completed its distribution of 1,000 doses of the vaccine. Meanwhile, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, which intended ...

Japanese exchange students had unique 9-month experience in Lawrence during pandemic

Students who study abroad are often faced with adjusting to a new culture, learning a language and coping with being far from home. Now imagine all that — plus a global pandemic. That’s what Hanae Matsuda, Rena Nakamura and 10 of their classmates from Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, experienced for the past nine months during their exchange program through the University of Kansas. When the Japanese ...

Community Christmas Dinner serves more than 1,000 people through deliveries, to-go meals and outdoor dining

Knowing Christmas would be quieter than usual this year at their homes, Betty Ruhlen and Kathleen Weber spent their morning and afternoon volunteering for the first time at Lawrence's annual Community Christmas Dinner. “It was just going to be a quiet Christmas at home with nobody, and I just thought that it would be nice to come down here and help people out,” Weber said. When people started streaming in ...