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County News
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 1:03pm

Lawrence, Kan. – Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez today announced that Michael Hormell, 21, of Lawrence was sentenced to 18 years for aggravated robbery and attempted voluntary manslaughter.

Posted Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 5:07pm

The proposed 2022 Douglas County budget is $150 million with a mill levy of 48.198 mills, which is an increase of 1.768 mills from last year. One mill is one dollar per $1,000 dollars of assessed value. A 1.768 mill levy increase would cost the owner of a $200,000 home $40.66 next year.

The increased mill levy is being proposed to cover $2.8 million in a cost transfer of ongoing expenses associated with the joint cooperation agreement between the City of Lawrence and the county to finance the operation and maintenance of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical.

Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 11:36am

Fireworks can be legally discharged in the unincorporated areas of Douglas County as long as the property owner has given permission and provides supervision. Fireworks are allowed at the following times:

  • Thursday, July 1 - 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday, July 2 - 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 3 - 7 a.m. to midnight
  • Sunday, July 4 - 7 a.m. to midnight

Fireworks should not be discharged on a public street or roadway.

Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 10:40am

Sentencing for Michael Hormell, 21, of Lawrence for aggravated robbery and attempted voluntary manslaughter was continued by District Court Judge Amy Hanley to 9:30 a.m. on June 30, 2021, to allow the defense time to file a motion requesting mitigation at sentencing. The defense had been waiting to receive two expert reports.

Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 9:50am

For the past 30 plus years, Richard (Rich) Failla has made the mental health field his life’s work. He will bring that wealth of experience to his new role as executive director of the Treatment & Recovery Center, which is part of the Treatment and Recovery Campus of Douglas County.

Behavioral Health Partners, Inc., a nonprofit partnership between the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and LMH Health, announced the hiring of Failla. He will begin his new duties later this month.

Posted Monday, June 7, 2021 - 4:04pm

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew announces election and other operations will relocate this summer from the first floor of the Douglas County Courthouse in downtown Lawrence to leased space in The Malls Shopping Center on the southwest corner of 23rd and Louisiana streets. The new location is the former site of Epic Fun, 711 W. 23rd St., Suite 1, which is next to Rent-A-Center. The location is 8,510 square feet and will provide more space, parking and accessibility for staff, poll workers and voters.

Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 12:01pm

Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez today announced that District Judge Amy Hanley approved a settlement of a habeas corpus case filed by Sarah Gonzales-McLinn. As a result, Judge Hanley resentenced Gonzales-McLinn to a hard 25 years in state prison.

Gonzales-McLinn was convicted in 2015 of first-degree murder in the 2014 killing of local business owner Harold “Hal” Sasko and received a “hard 50” sentence.

Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 10:06am

The District Attorney’s Office wants to notify the public that Douglas County traffic court is again being held at 8:15 a.m. every Friday.

Traffic court had been on hold since March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted Monday, May 17, 2021 - 3:00pm

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health through the local health officers will recommend that the Douglas County Commission remove a current local public health order that includes a mask mandate, but LDCPH still recommends residents take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. Douglas County Commissioners will consider the recommendation as part of their 5:30 p.m.

Posted Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 5:16pm

Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez today announced that Johnathon L. West, 43, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Jennifer Mosby, 41, of Lawrence.

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