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

Officers testify about chaos, life-saving measures in aftermath of downtown Lawrence shooting
January 20, 2018
The first Lawrence police officers to reach two men fatally shot on a Massachusetts Street sidewalk described a scene of chaos, panic and hostility during testimony Friday morning at a hearing in the downtown triple-murder case.
Court testimony: Topeka feud led to ‘mayhem’ that left 3 dead on Massachusetts Street
January 12, 2018
As hundreds of downtown Lawrence bar-goers spilled onto Massachusetts Street about 1:40 a.m. Oct. 1, two comparatively small groups of feuding young men from Topeka collided — and some of them had guns.
Services set for Shawnee woman, 22, killed in downtown Lawrence shootings; Leah Brown described as loving, ‘vibrant’
October 3, 2017
Friends have stepped up to raise money to help the family of Leah Brown with funeral and other expenses, as they prepare to bury her this week.
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.

Full story list

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.

Full photo list