County Government

Proposed ‘status quo’ budget would leave Douglas County mill levy flat

Story updated at 3:07 p.m. Monday, July 1: The interim Douglas County administrator has proposed a budget that maintains the current mill levy — however, Sarah Plinsky said, she “would call it a ‘status quo’ or ‘inflationary increases only’ budget.” Any new programs or ...

Photos: Reception honors retiring Douglas County Judge Paula Martin

Family, friends and colleagues of retiring Douglas County District Court Judge Paula Martin attended a reception in her honor Friday at the old county courthouse. Martin, whose announced retirement date is Saturday, has been on the bench 25 years and presided over some of Lawrence’s most ...

Douglas County commissioners approve Lawrence Community Shelter’s $148K request

After years of financial issues at the Lawrence Community Shelter, its board sought supplemental funding of $148,000 from the Douglas County Commission. Commissioners on Wednesday approved the request, each noting that the shelter couldn’t be allowed to close its doors but also offering ...

Douglas County sheriff won’t seek another term, plans to retire in 2020

Updated at 2:19 p.m. Wednesday Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern will retire instead of seeking reelection to a fifth term in 2020, he announced Wednesday. McGovern, 60, has worked for the sheriff’s office for 37 years and was elected sheriff, as a Republican, in 2004. He said his ...

Drug court pilot program to be considered in Douglas County budget

Although plans aren’t yet fully fleshed out, the Douglas County Commission will consider a proposed drug court as part of its budget process for 2020. As part of ongoing efforts to provide alternatives to incarceration and reduce recidivism, particularly for those with substance use ...

Fire Medical chief finalists say recruitment will be big challenge for department

Recruiting firefighters and paramedics will be a big challenge for the next chief of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, the three candidates for the vacant chief position told those attending a question-and-answer session Saturday at the Lawrence Public Library. The forum, which drew about ...

Douglas County Commission approves expansion of school-based mental health program

Kids in Eudora, Baldwin City and Perry-Lecompton schools will have some extra mental health support next year. Douglas County commissioners on Wednesday approved an expansion of the WRAP, or Working to Recognize Alternative Possibilities, program, which places master’s-level mental health ...

Protesters at Douglas County Commission meeting: ‘No pride in jail expansion’

Inside the Douglas County Courthouse, supporters packed the county commission’s meeting room Wednesday for proclamations of LGBTQ+ Pride Month and National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Outside on Massachusetts Street, however, a group of protesters held signs, spoke with passersby and handed ...

Coordination site provides structure as volunteers pitch in with tornado cleanup

Hollie Tapley was as close to her Topeka home this week as she has been since the severe weather season started in the late winter. “I’ve been on the road since March 14,” she said. “My team (has) been all over Kansas and Nebraska.” Tapley is the disaster relief coordinator for the ...

Douglas County Commission’s Wednesday meeting canceled

The Douglas County Commission will not meet on Wednesday, May 29. Interim County Administrator Sarah Plinsky said after the commission's May 22 meeting that the tentative plan going forward would be for the commission to meet four times a month. When a month has five Wednesdays, she said, the ...

Douglas County behavioral health leaders hope to break the norm with crisis center

Just as local behavioral health leaders want to build up a crisis intervention center at the future Douglas County Recovery Campus, they want to break down some infrastructure that could stand in their way. Douglas County commissioners heard Wednesday about plans beyond the blueprint for a ...