Brenna Hawley


I began working at the Lawrence Journal-World in May 2009 as an intern on the features desk while still in school at Kansas University, where I worked on my college paper all four years. After a semester off, I came back as a news intern and eventually became overnight reporter, where I covered breaking news and maintained It was then I learned the beauty of understanding a 10-code from the police scanner, and how beneficial blackout curtains are for sleeping during the day.

I have since started working as a general assignment reporter, and have learned to appreciate the value of daytime schedule. I get to sleep during the nighttime hours!

I have two types of stories I love. First, the quirky kind, like the one about the guy who goes to micro-mini tractor pulls or the baby who was born in the hospital’s elevator and has since been nicknamed Ellee.

My other favorite is people who do really cool things, such as the man who renovates pinball machines or the 93-year-old man who still flies airplanes. I’m fascinated by people who do these sorts of things, so if you ever know of anyone who does something really unique, let me know!

In my spare time, I bake. A lot. I write a personal baking blog called Ingredients of a 20something, and often bring treats into the newsroom (I’m pretty sure I’ve made some lifelong friends this way). Cupcakes tend to be my go-to treat, but I bake everything from cookies to cannolis to ice cream cakes.

I'm definitely an animal person, and right now I have one cat, named Melvin. I also have a vast (and fairly useless) array of Disney knowledge. If I were any Disney character, I'd probably be Belle. Who would you be?

Recent Stories

Lawrence musician's business making bassoon reeds 'appeared out of nowhere'

Leigh Miller Muñoz hunches over a table filled with supplies. Wood, Duco cement, an X-Acto knife and crochet thread are all laid out. Metal instruments with pointed pricks sit on shelves above her. The room is 70 degrees, at precisely 30 percent humidity. Reruns play on the flatscreen television next to the table. She’s not building a model or completing a sewing project. No, she’s operating her business — Muñoz makes bassoon and contrabassoon reeds.

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Teachers' pets: How Lawrence schools use critters in the classroom

Lawrence classrooms aren’t all about textbooks, lectures and worksheets. A few teachers around town keep a different type of learning tool: animals.

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East meets Midwest: Lawrence convenience store evolves into Indian grocer

The front of the store looks like any other gas station. Pumps outside, pop in the refrigerator section, chips and candy for purchase, every kind of cigarette under the sun.

St. Luke’s AME Church to host annual Black History Month Musical Sunday

Musicians from Lawrence and area communities will come together Sunday to celebrate Black History Month, as well as the many cultural and ethnic groups in Lawrence.

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The Grateful Dead tell tales and other stories behind downtown Lawrence fixtures

Stories behind some of Lawrence's most familiar downtown shops.

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How to make your own Kansas Day cake

When working on a separate story about Kansas Day, I ran across a website that asked Kansans to bake a cake for their state's 150th birthday. I happily accepted this challenge, adding it to a long list of goodies I've brought into my coworkers at the Journal-World.

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Pinball wizard restores old machines

Gary Martin sure plays a mean pinball.

Lawrence man's extreme passion for Christmas illuminates the whole neighborhood

Zach Stoltenberg moved furniture into his new house on a corner lot with his wife, Alicia, on Nov. 7. The very next day, he started putting Christmas lights up on the house.

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Meet The 2010 Phoenix Award Winners

Five of Lawrence’s top artists will be recognized Sunday afternoon during a ceremony and reception for the 15th annual Phoenix Awards.

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Lawrence pumpkin patch owners carve out family attractions

It’s a giant metal trough filled with thousands of corn kernels. It seems silly, childish, but kids and adults love it alike. They get in, sit down and relax, sinking into the kernels.

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