Mike grew up in the southeast Kansas town of Columbus.
He developed an interest in news and sports writing as early as grade school because of these key influences: watching and reading the coverage of the 1963 JFK assassination, being a St. Louis Cardinals baseball (before the Royals) and Kansas City Chiefs football fan and thinking that Superman had more fun as Clark Kent. He wrote Columbus HIgh School sports stories for the school and local papers.
Mike studied journalism while attending both Kansas University and Kansas State University where he earned a bachelor's degree. His first full-time journalism job was in the early 1980s at a weekly newspaper, the Osawatomie Graphic. After a couple of years there he moved on to a daily, the Kansas City Kansan.
The Kansan was a bigger newspaper then and Mike enjoyed covering law enforcement, politics and other happenings in Wyandotte County during the 1980s and 1990s. In June 2000 MIke moved to Lawrence and has worked as a reporter in the Newscenter covering a variety of beats. He currently covers Douglas County government, area law enforcement and courts and sometimes writes stories about the military.
During his spare time - when not reading baseball or military histories - Mike likes to take a camera and drive the back roads and streets of rural and urban areas. He takes photographs of old abandoned barns, houses and buildings.
He was a hip-hop artist who performed in a musical genre that often focused on a world of money, drugs, guns and women. A year ago, that world became all to real for Anthony "Clacc" Vital. On the morning of Oct. 15, 2006, the body of Vital, 28, was found along the side of a private country lane west of Lawrence. He died from multiple gunshot wounds. The case remains unsolved.
Variety of books and other items available
One of the city's best-attended book events kicks off Thursday.
Kevin Lucey knew Sunday afternoon would be emotional for him as he sat in a small Kansas University theater in Murphy Hall. But it turned out to be a little more emotional than he was expecting.
Lawrence has lost a key figure in its downtown entertainment scene.
The owner of a carnival that provided entertainment at the Douglas County Fair has been cited by state health officials for operating without a food service license.
On the move at KU
Throngs of Kansas University students returned to campus residence halls Sunday, traveling in vehicles packed with everything from clothes and food to stereos and television sets.
More than 20,000 people, almost 6,000 exhibits and hundreds of pounds of funnel cake. That's what's in store at the Douglas County Fair, which begins officially this weekend with horse shows, and which hits full gear Tuesday with a carnival, exhibit judging and other popular events.
They enjoy working on cars, scouring salvage yards for early 1970s Impalas, and they absolutely love the sound of metal crashing against metal on hot summer nights.
Connecticut man left town without telling friends
A Connecticut man sought during an intensive search at Clinton State Park left a message on his parents' answering machine Tuesday evening saying that he had left a weekend music festival and had arrived at another location.
It had been more than 12 hours since the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival had concluded, but Vincent Scerbo and Laurie Marshall were in no hurry to pack up and leave.