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Dave Ranney

Stories by Dave

Medical tent may curb trips to LMH

Last year's Wakarusa Fest generated about 60 visits to Lawrence Memorial Hospital's emergency room.

State rains on Wakarusa parade

Festival didn't have lease for event

There won't be a Mardi Gras-style parade Saturday at Wakarusa Fest. It's been canceled. But don't blame the weather.

American Indian professors to gather at Haskell

American Indian professors from across the United States will be in Lawrence late this afternoon for "Reservations Without Borders: Indigenizing the New World Order," a national conference co-sponsored by Haskell Indian Nations University and Kansas University's Center for Indigenous Nations Studies.

Native films in spotlight

One of the nation's busiest and best-known American Indian actors will be in Lawrence this weekend for the Stories 'N Motion Film Festival at Haskell Indian Nations University.

Kansas has produced its fair share of movers & shakers

Maybe it's the sunflowers, or perhaps there's something in the water. Or is it because the summers are too hot, the winters too cold? Kansas, it seems, has more than its share of noteworthy characters.

BR549 to perform tonight on Grand Ole Opry

R549, a country rock band that includes Lawrence native Chuck Mead and former Lawrence resident Shaw Wilson, will play the Grand Ole Opry tonight. The band is scheduled to be on stage sometime between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

Artist to immortalize biographer, his subject

A foundation dedicated to promoting the works of John Neihardt has selected Lawrence artist Jim Brothers to create a sculpture of the author and of Black Elk, an Oglala holy man and subject of Neihardt's best-selling "Black Elk Speaks."

Hemingway of folk music

Austin artist's pointed lyrics cut to the quick

A long time ago, I had a creative writing teacher who gave us an Ernest Hemingway short story to read. I forget which one. For the next day's assignment, we were supposed to come up with a list of excess words. After about 30 minutes, we realized there weren't any.

Chain-saw sculptures a hobby for Perry couple

Vicki and Patrick Langston's front porch is like no other. "Oh, we probably have 70 pieces out here. They vary in size," she said, referring to the chain-saw sculptures she and her husband carve from the hauled-in remains of dead trees.

Keen edge

Straight-talking singer-songwriter reveals 'What I Really Mean'

RollingStone.com's one-paragraph bio on Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen isn't quite right. It says Keen and his college pal Lyle Lovett "used to sing and play in their underwear to astonished churchgoers across the street from Keen's house."

Unusual labors of love

Holiday honoring working people finds a few with unique passions

Richard Renner would prefer not to eat fire, but "I'll do it if I have to," he says.

Haskell filmmaker headed to Hollywood

$50,000 Disney fellowship to help pay way

Less than a year after putting together the Haskell Film Festival, Thomas Yeahpau is headed for Hollywood.

Minister who was addicted to porn says case not rare

When the Rev. Darrell Brazell, an evangelical minister, first heard that police had found thousands of pornographic images on former Christian-school leader Martin K. Miller's home computer, he wasn't surprised.

Tease photo

Chained melody

Inmate's introspective song serves as apology, anthem

Essex Sims may have fired the shot that killed a rival gang member. Then again, he may not have. A lot of people were shooting that night.

Garage sale to feature Burroughs memorabilia

The last time she counted, Patricia Elliott Marvin had about 30 boxes of books, posters, drawings and other assorted leftovers from the Beat Generation. "I want to get down (to) two boxes," Marvin said Thursday while sorting through a pile of William S. Burroughs paperbacks, many of them signed by her good friend, the author.

Mandy Patinkin engages KU in 'A Conversation'

Alumnus shares experiences acting, battling cancer during theater department fund-raiser

Actor and former Kansas University student Mandy Patinkin bared his soul before 500 admiring fans Saturday during "A Conversation With Mandy Patinkin" a fund-raising appearance at KU's Crafton-Preyer Theatre in Murphy Hall.

Haskell plans 1st film fest

Television actor offers film to counter stereotypes

Former "NYPD Blue" star Rick Schroder will be in Lawrence this week for the Midwest premiere of "Black Cloud," a movie he wrote, directed, produced and stars in.

City's blues scene gets a spark

Lawrence's left-of-center music scene is booming. Ani DiFranco sold out Liberty Hall a few weeks ago, as did Interpol. Saul Williams played in town Sunday. Steve Earle will be here April 3. Indeed, times are good. But for the city's small-but-tireless band of blues lovers, pickings have been slim lately.

'What's the Matter with Kansas' author to return

The last time Thomas Frank, author of the best-selling "What's the Matter With Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America," spoke in Lawrence, he packed the Lawrence Arts Center's 300-seat auditorium.

What's the matter with Kansas?

Corporate conservatism has consumed state's proud populist past, writer argues

Lawrence newsstands have sold out of the April issue of Harper's Magazine. "It flew out of here so fast, I didn't even get to see it," said John Fackler, manager at Borders, 700 N.H.

Haskell to loan statue for Smithsonian exhibit

A sculpture from Haskell Indian Nations University is being sent to Washington, D.C., as part of opening events for the Smithsonian Institution's new National Museum of the American Indian.

Victim's mother to warn community of hate crimes

Judy Shepard's speech at Lied Center will kick off 'Into the Streets Week' at KU

Five years ago, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, was taken to a field outside Laramie, tied to a fence and savagely beaten because he was gay. Police said Shepard was hit on the head 18 times with the butt of a .357 Magnum pistol. His skull was fractured in four places. Shepard died a slow death.

Photo book celebrates Flint Hills' fires

Former Lawrence resident chronicles beauty of Kansas phenomenon

Larry Schwarm is blessed. He can find and capture beauty in landscapes most Kansans take for granted. He's especially fond of the Flint Hills in early spring, a time when ranchers, like the American Indians before them, set fire to the previous year's grasses to hasten new growth.

Local bass player to tour in Russia

Once again, the road is calling Stan Sheldon, one of the area's more accomplished rock musicians.

Mike Finnigan looks forward to homecoming

It's hard to imagine someone who was young, hip and living in Lawrence in, say, 1968 who doesn't have a dozen or so fond memories of Mike Finnigan and his band The Serfs.

KU professor laid groundwork for HBO film

In a roundabout way, a Kansas University professor's research is at the heart of "Unchained Memories," a 73-minute documentary now airing on HBO.

Outlaw's life shrouded in myth

Jesse James was no noble Robin Hood, author argues

Back when my wife and I ran the newspaper in tiny Bern, I wrote a story about an old but well-preserved stone house on the outskirts of town. The owners shared a handed-down account about how Frank and Jesse James' gang had once spent the night there, and how, after they left, the woman of the house found a $20 gold piece under one of the James brothers' breakfast plates.

Down from Mountain a joyous journey

By Dave Ranney About two-thirds of the way through the "Down from the Mountain" concert Tuesday at Kansas City's Starlight Theatre, emcee Rodney Crowell asked the almost-full house, "Doesn't it do your heart good to know this music is alive and well?"

Horse-chestnut tree near arts center doing just fine, thank you very much

By Dave Ranney Every year about this time, the majestic horse-chestnut tree in front of the Lawrence Arts Center looks awful, its gnarled branches nearly naked.

Legacy of conflict lingers in Lawrence

There's something about Lawrence that attracts people who disagree, whether it's John Brown taking on slaveholders or environmentalists battling the South Lawrence Trafficway. Conflict is a big part of who we are, according to editors of a massive, soon-to-be published book that traces Lawrence history from founding to present.

Mike Finnigan, Percy Sledge bring soul to Salina

By Dave Ranney In a roundabout way, last winter's soaring energy prices are luring Mike Finnigan back to Kansas for a one-of-a-kind Saturday appearance with soul master Percy "When a Man Loves a Woman" Sledge.

Soul survivor

Nulisch brings diverse influences to blues circuit

By Dave Ranney If turntables could talk, they'd be thanking Darrell Nulisch. He's got a lot of the 40-and-over crowd looking for their Al Green albums, which, more than likely, are still in the basement in that lone surviving box of vinyl memories that are just too good to part with.

SEVEN QUESTIONS with Chris Duarte

By Dave Ranney The early word on Chris Duarte had him sounding like just another directionless guitar whiz imitating Stevie Ray Vaughan doing Jimi Hendrix. Duarte can, in fact, replicate the Hendrix and Vaughan catalogs perfectly. But after playing 250-plus gigs a year for more than a decade, he's nobody's wannabe.

Play Ball

Texas pianist mixes democracy into her music

By Dave Ranney Besides being an extraordinary pianist, singer, songwriter and bandleader, Marcia Ball is a voracious reader. She loves books, which, in a roundabout way, explains how, for the first time in years, she found something nice to say about her governor, George W. Bush.

Indigenous coming to KC blues-jazz festival

Band gets break from Indigo Girls

By Dave Ranney Journal-World Writer The Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival's all-star lineup includes Indigenous, an American Indian blues band.