WRITER: Kim Callahan

Lack of information during middle school lockdown led to needless 'terror,' parents say

The administration badly mismanaged a lockdown Tuesday at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, causing needless panic and trauma among the young students there, according to some parents familiar with the situation. “For more than 15 — possibly 20 — minutes” hundreds of children “contemplated their own demise,” said Andrea Albright, the mother of a seventh grader, in a letter she sent to ...

Students safe after unfounded report of gun at Lawrence middle school; worried parent broke window to pull kids out

Story updated at 5:52 p.m. Tuesday A parent worried about his daughter’s safety broke a window late Tuesday morning at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School and helped pull several students out after he heard a report that someone with a gun was in the school. The report turned out to be a “miscommunication,” said Patrick Compton, a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department. There was no threat, and ...

Theatre Lawrence kicks off 43rd season with a Broadway hit and a county official in starring role

The season opener for Theatre Lawrence is not just a chance to see a Broadway hit; it’s a chance to see a local politician playing a bunch of “really terrible people.” “I mean, they’re pretty awful,” said Douglas County Commissioner Patrick Kelly of the multiple characters — at least eight — that he plays in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” which won four Tony Awards in 2014, ...

Lawrence middle school student recognized nationally for excelling at 'lost art' of cursive

Thirteen-year-old Rose Kennedy just got her first cellphone, a long-promised present for completing the seventh grade. Soon, she’ll undoubtedly be talented at “writing” with her thumbs, although that’s not a talent likely to win her a national award the way her cursive writing has. Nor is it likely to impress her grandmother in California quite as much. Her grandmother was the reason Rose developed ...

Rainbow group forms to help families in Lawrence school district navigate LGBTQ issues

As a kid in Lawrence, Isidore Weis didn’t know anyone like himself. “I didn’t personally know anyone who was gay or transgender,” Weis, now in college, says. He did, of course — statistically, we all do. What he means is he didn’t know anyone who was out. He didn’t know anyone well enough to talk to and share experiences with. It wasn’t until he was almost in high school, thanks largely to ...

Grandmother, classmates seek recognition for Eudora High student who died; principal says it's against policy

For Anita Musick, seeing her granddaughter graduate from high school was going to be especially sweet. Seventeen-year-old Aftyn Hankins had had a sad and troubled childhood, and she had bounced around a handful of area schools. Her experiences had left her “rough around the edges," her grandmother says, but ready to get on with her adult life. Finishing high school was an important milestone in that journey, ...