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Joel Mathis

Stories by Joel

Fans line up for latest 'Star Wars'

'Attack of the Clones' tickets go on sale; first showing not until 12:01 a.m. Thursday

By Joel Mathis A short while ago at a movie theater not far, far away... They won't gain admission until 12:01 a.m. Thursday, but more than 40 "Star Wars" fans were lined up outside Southwind 12 Theatres at 9 a.m. Friday to buy tickets to "Attack of the Clones," the latest episode in the movie series.

Who owns downtown?

Survey shows most properties owned by local interests

By Joel Mathis Bob Schumm is the happy proprietor of two businesses on Massachusetts Street, but there was a time he felt some trepidation about owning downtown real estate. "It's good now," he said. "I can't say it always felt good to own property downtown."

Bureau decides to retire 'City of the Arts' slogan

Decision raises eyebrows within creative community

By Joel Mathis Lawrence won't be called the "City of the Arts" anymore. At least not by the Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau. The 2-year-old slogan emblazoned on banners downtown and elsewhere seemed to have caught on. But the head of the bureau said Lawrence's official promoters won't use the moniker anymore. And that's left some arts supporters befuddled.

City secures U.S. grant to replace downtown trees

By Joel Mathis The city has received nearly $15,000 in federal funds to replace more than 30 trees in downtown Lawrence. Officials say the grant will speed the normal process of replacing downtown trees. Because they're constricted by concrete planters, the trees don't get very big and can't live very long.

Civil rights relic dedicated

By Joel Mathis The struggle against racism symbolized by the new Hobbs Park Memorial continues today, speakers said Sunday at the monument's dedication. "It's not ancient history" said Mark Kaplan, co-director of the project. "The legacy of slavery is with us today. We must maintain a vigorous assault against the enemies of liberty."

Bus transfer station moving across Mass.

By Joel Mathis The bus transfer station at Ninth and Massachusetts streets won't move so far after all. Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday approved moving the stop at the intersection's southwest corner, at Weaver's Department Store, across Massachusetts Street to the southeast corner near Firstar Bank. Buses stopping at the northwest corner of the intersection will continue to do so.

Mass. St. adds handicapped spots

By Joel Mathis Finding a parking spot in downtown Lawrence isn't always easy and it has been even more difficult for people with disabilities. Now the city is installing wheelchair-accessible parking spots along each block of downtown Massachusetts Street.

Senator intervenes on Cuba art project

By Joel Mathis The U.S. government sends radio signals into Cuba every day in the name of poet Jose Marti, but it doesn't want Lawrence artist Stan Herd to create his likeness there. Now Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is intervening with Treasury Department officials to allow Herd to make a landscape portrait of Marti on a hill overlooking Havana Harbor.

Department store taking case to move bus stop to City Hall

By Joel Mathis Weaver's is tired of the T. Officials of Weaver's Department Store, 901 Mass., have been arguing for months that the city bus system's transfer station on the store's north side is hogging valuable parking spaces and hurting sales.

How they run elections in North Kensington

By Joel J. Gold A recent telephone call soliciting a political contribution got me thinking about my experience with the more colorful political scene in London a few years back. A by-election was required in my North Kensington neighborhood because our Conservative M.P., Sir Brandon Rhys-Williams, had died in office.

Jazz, hip-hop define brass band's style

By Joel Mathis Journal-World Writer YoungBlood Brass Band confounds expectations with its unique style. Listen to the YoungBlood Brass Band, and you'll hear a mix of styles you might never have imagined.

Burroughs estate, eBay track thief

Miscellaneous paperwork items, such as prescriptions and identification cards, apparently were taken shortly after the author's death in 1997.