Sara Shepherd Lawrence Journal-World reporter

I’m the Lawrence Journal-World’s enterprise reporter, tasked with finding interesting stories that reflect Lawrence, Douglas County and surrounding communities. My beat includes daily news articles and more in-depth projects on a variety of subjects. Previously, I was a cops and courts reporter for The Kansas City Star, where I covered untimely death or destruction of some kind most every day for a few years. I’ve also covered suburban city government and schools for The Star and The Shawnee Dispatch. To reach me, call 785-832-7187 or send email to Follow me on Twitter at

Recent stories

Most state university leaders will not get raises this year
June 16, 2016
With one exception, state university presidents will not get raises for the coming year.
KU proposes even larger tuition increase in response to budget cuts
University now requesting 5 percent increase instead of 4 percent increase proposed last month
June 13, 2016
Kansas University is now proposing a 5 percent tuition increase for the upcoming school year, an even larger hike than the 4 percent increase proposed a month ago.
KU Medical Center mulls unique challenges to implementing campus concealed carry law
March 14, 2016
Research subjects coming in for a brain scan at Kansas University Medical Center’s Hoglund Brain Imaging Center are usually asked to strip down to scrubs.
KU’s lavish shrine to Naismith’s ‘Rules of Basket Ball’ takes shape
February 28, 2016
James Naismith’s original “Rules of Basket Ball” now have a home at Kansas University — right down to the nook they’ll rest in — but there’s a lot of finishing touches yet to complete.
Kansas enrollment in adult education programs hits five-year low
February 21, 2016
The lowest number of people in five years enrolled in Kansas Adult Education programs in 2015, mirroring a nationwide enrollment decline in such programs.
Free speech group urges KU to exonerate professor who used N-word in class
February 19, 2016
A national free speech group issued a strongly worded message to Kansas University this week about the case of a professor under investigation for discrimination after using the N-word in class.
Kansas fantasy writer’s penchant for the unexpected appeals to international audiences
KU’s Kij Johnson expects to publish her next novella this year
January 25, 2016
Especially now, in a world where people can get replacement hearts and some cars even drive themselves, there’s a narrow line between fantasy and reality, says Kij Johnson. Johnson likes to waver over it, experiment with the expectations of her genre, and never write the same thing twice.
Kansas universities accept hundreds of students who don’t meet minimum admission standards: report
January 22, 2016
Kansas state universities accepted a total of 815 freshmen who didn’t meet the schools’ minimum admission requirements last year, according to a new Kansas Board of Regents Report. These “exceptions” made up as little as a fraction of 1 percent to as high as 7 percent of each university’s entire 2014-2015 in-state freshman class, according to the report. Exceptions made up 1 percent to 10 percent of universities’ out-of-state freshmen admissions.
Kansas regents approve new gun policy to comply with state law; university policies to come next
January 21, 2016
The Kansas Board of Regents updated its weapons policy Wednesday to comply with a state law requiring universities to allow concealed carry of guns on their campuses starting July 2017.
Document proving WWII military sex slaves now at KU library
January 18, 2016
A longtime University of Kansas professor’s report that played a role in Japan acknowledging the government-controlled brothels that operated during World War II has been added to a campus research library.

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Recent photos

Shawnee residents regularly pack Swarner Park for the city's annual Summer Concert Series.

Ariela Unz, who moved to Kansas from Israel, has a number of her latke recipes written in Hebrew. This one is for Apple Cinnamon Latkes, one of the recipes she often makes for her family during Hanukkah.

Sweet and salty come together in Pretzel-Nutella Bars with White Chocolate Chunks.

Sweet and salty come together in Pretzel-Nutella Bars with White Chocolate Chunks.

Sopa Port Fonda at Port Fonda, 4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo. The spicy dish features pork belly, shredded pork shoulder, fresh vegetables and a fried egg.

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