WRITER: Kim Callahan

Hundreds in Lawrence rally for reproductive rights as nationwide marches take place

Hundreds of people rallied Saturday in Lawrence in support of reproductive rights. The event, one of hundreds that took place across the U.S. this weekend, began in Watson Park with a series of speakers, including various legal experts and state politicians, and ended with a march up and down Massachusetts Street, where “My body, my choice!” and other chants reverberated. The event came in the wake of a ...

Lawrence grandma chosen for superfan episode of 'Talking Sopranos,' ahead of prequel's much-anticipated release

As the highly anticipated prequel to “The Sopranos” is set to be released on Friday, millions of fans have been reacquainting themselves with the HBO series, which ended its celebrated run 14 years ago.  Not Rose Foster. No need. The Lawrence grandma can recap all 86 episodes of her favorite TV show with ease, plus recount various stories about particular scenes and riff on theories about the show’s ...

Two Lawrence nonprofits team up to ensure pets are properly cared for when their owners can't afford it

Two Lawrence nonprofits dedicated to helping area families have joined forces to make sure all members of the family — including the four-legged ones — are properly cared for. Over the weekend, the Lawrence Humane Society teamed with Just Food to vaccinate and microchip the pets of dozens of food pantry customers free of charge. People experiencing food insecurity and who are having to make choices between ...

Longtime political science professor Burdett Loomis dies at 76; 'It’s hard to imagine the University of Kansas – past or present – without Bird'

Updated at 5:22 p.m. Monday Burdett Loomis, a longtime political science professor at the University of Kansas and a well-known supporter of local arts, has died. He was 76. Loomis, who had retired from KU, died Saturday at his home in Lawrence after recently being diagnosed with cancer. KU Chancellor Douglas Girod, in a message to the KU community Monday, said Loomis, known as "Bird," stood "among the giants ...

Family of Lawrence 11-year-old hopes research keeps progressing in fight against genetic condition

Autumn Schierling tells how everyone in kindergarten — “the whole entire class, except my three friends” — laughed at her on the first day of school. “I cried,” she says, but her tone is matter of fact, like someone talking about ancient history. “It was after you dropped me off,” she says to her mom across the table. Her mom, Lindsay Revenew, nods, knowing this story and that it’s not the ...

KU student helps get his family out of Afghanistan, anticipates happy reunion in Lawrence after terrifying ordeal

This summer was hellish for Ahmad Baset Azizi, a University of Kansas student who was working desperately to get his family out of Afghanistan as the Taliban overran the country. But in the final week of August, his fear and anxiety gave way to relief and joy as he learned that his parents and three sisters had safely boarded a plane from Kabul to the United Arab Emirates — just a day before a suicide bomber ...

Prestigious museum and airport commissions propel career of Lawrence Indigenous artist

Mona Cliff says she was “kind of blown out of the water“ when she heard her art was selected to adorn a wall of the new $1.5 billion Kansas City airport, not just because the competition was so stiff — fewer than 2% of the 1,900 artists who applied were chosen — but also because the announcement “propelled” the already great year she was having professionally. Earlier this year she was selected to ...

More than 100 dogs and cats find forever homes Saturday, including Bear, the dog who was stabbed last month

More than 100 animals at the Lawrence Humane Society were adopted Saturday and left the shelter for their new homes. On Saturday, which was Clear the Shelter Day across the nation, all adoption fees were waived for dogs and cats. In Lawrence, 102 animals were adopted, according to Elina Alterman, the shelter's development and communications director. That includes 47 dogs and 55 cats — the first time more ...

Lawrence artist's celebrity portraits among huge variety of creations as Art in the Park returns for two-day event this weekend

The two artists couldn’t be more different — he paints celebrity portraits; she paints abstract landscapes — and that’s why sharing a space has been such a breeze, says Patrick Schlotterback of his studio mate Maria Martin. "It's perfect because it's so eclectic. She's completely abstract, and I love her work, and I'm more realistic, almost a Norman Rockwell type," Schlotterback says. The two, along ...

Looking to adopt a pet? 150 dogs and cats to be available at no cost Saturday at Lawrence Humane Society

Mixie, Miffy and Luna — and all their animal companions at the Lawrence Humane Society — are in for a life-changing surprise Saturday if all goes as planned. That’s the day when the animal shelter hopes to match every animal in the building with a caring new human — at no cost to the human. The event, known as Clear the Shelter Day, is in its seventh year locally, and it’s part of a national push to ...

Lawrence artist among select few chosen to create art for new Kansas City airport

Of the 1,900 artists from around the world who wanted to see their artwork adorn the new Kansas City airport, only 28 — fewer than 2% — have been selected, and Hong Zhang, of Lawrence, is among them. “I’m happy to be in this diverse group,” said Zhang, noting not only the intensity of the competition but the opportunity to have her Kansas-inspired artwork seen by countless travelers at the ...

On 20th anniversary of 9/11, rural Lawrence neighbors renew roadside Old Glory

The flag painted on the barn 20 years ago had badly faded. That bothered Chris Koenig, who saw the decay as a metaphor for our memories of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. "It just bummed me out," he said. He was a freshman at Pittsburg State University on 9/11, deeply saddened by the day’s horror, and he remembered how seeing the vivid little flag on the barn with the word ...

Theatre Lawrence opening new season with fresh revival of a local classic, 'The Ballad of Black Jack'

"The Ballad of Black Jack,” a homegrown musical about Bleeding Kansas, has been around for about half a century, but it's hardly a static relic from another era. If you saw it at Baker University in the 1970s, as many schoolchildren on field trips did, and then in some later decade, something likely was quite different about the second show: a new song, a new character or two, an extended — or vastly ...

Local company donates labor and materials to rebuild Wishing Bench after fire

Updated at 5:15 p.m. Thursday Jeff Hamm has an office just west of the Wishing Bench in East Lawrence. Like many, he was saddened to wake up on Aug. 15 to discover that the quirky little landmark had been consumed by an overnight fire that destroyed much of the structure and all of the whimsical decorations that passersby had contributed over the years. "I knew that was an iconic part of East Lawrence," he ...

Friends of late 'Honk for Hemp' guy hold up familiar signs one last time, give away his hemp clothing

Friends of cannabis activist Thomas Trower gave the local icon a memorial he surely would have loved as they stood on the corner of 11th and Massachusetts streets and asked — one last time — for passing cars to “Honk for Hemp.” Hundreds of drivers honked not just once, but repeatedly — once for the cannabis cause and many more as a clearly emotional tribute to Trower, who had stood at the downtown ...

Thomas Trower, a Lawrence icon who asked drivers to 'honk for hemp,' has died

Updated at 11:08 p.m. Tuesday Thomas Trower, popularly known in Lawrence as the "Honk for Hemp" man, has died at age 70, the Journal-World confirmed with the Douglas County Coroner's Office on Tuesday. The office provided no additional details about Trower, who was well-known in Lawrence for regularly standing at the northeast corner of 11th and Massachusetts streets — dressed head to toe in hemp — with a ...

East Lawrence's 'Wishing Bench' making colorful comeback just a day after devastating fire

The spirit of East Lawrence's "Wishing Bench" is undaunted after an early-morning fire Sunday consumed the beloved art installation at Ninth and Delaware streets. By Monday afternoon, the shrine-like structure was looking more like its old self as well-wishers festooned it with signs, flowers, drawings, socks and other decorations. Someone even left a large office chair on the charred platform, presumably as a ...

Beloved 'Wishing Bench' in East Lawrence destroyed by fire; neighbors say they'll restore it

Updated at 1 p.m. Sunday East Lawrence residents awoke to disbelief and grief Sunday morning as they discovered that someone had burned down a beloved community art installation at Ninth and Delaware Streets known as the Wishing Bench. The installation had been at the corner in the Warehouse Arts District for years. It featured a "wishing" bench on a platform surrounded by decorations and other items that ...

Avid walkers tout benefits of keeping fit while cultivating familiarity with Lawrence

Rod Kummer used to be a big runner — marathons, the whole bit. Now he's a big walker. True, he's 70 and his joints aren't quite what they used to be, but that's not the main reason he has slowed his pace. The main reason is a realization, shared by many in the wellness community, that walking is maybe the single best exercise for your body — and your spirit. “There is probably no exercise that provides ...

Instead of herbicides, Lawrence is using a herd of goats to weed a city park

Updated at 8:44 p.m. Thursday The City of Lawrence has enlisted the eager assistance of goats to help weed a city park. The Parks and Recreation Department is using about 50 goats in Prairie Park, 2730 Harper St., to assist with eradicating honeysuckle, which is an invasive plant. The program is intended to be a natural alternative to using herbicides. Honeysuckle has overtaken an area of the park, crowding ...