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County News
Posted Friday, December 17, 2021 - 3:16pm

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health was notified today of the first confirmed case of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Douglas County by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. It is the second confirmed case in Kansas.

Dr. Jennifer Schrimsher, deputy county health officer and infectious disease physician at LMH Health, said detection of the variant in the county does not come as a surprise as it has rapidly spread across the country since the first confirmed U.S. case of Omicron was identified on Dec. 1.

Posted Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 8:00am

Douglas County GIS web sites will be unavailable Friday, Dec. 17, while GIS web software is being upgraded. Popular items including “Property Viewer” and Map Gallery web applications such as “Survey Lookup,” “Cemeteries,” “Floodplain Lookup,” and others will not be available during the upgrade. 

The upgrade will not affect how users interact with the web resources after the upgrade but will allow for better security and enhancements to be introduced during the next year.

Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 10:42am

Douglas County has been allocated $23.7 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds. These funds can be used for qualifying expenditures that occur between March 3, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2024.

The Board of County Commissioners is seeking project or program information from agencies interested in receiving funding through a letter of interest form. The form does not guarantee funding, but will help Commissioners further establish program parameters, guidelines and spending priorities. The deadline to complete the form is 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.

Posted Friday, December 10, 2021 - 10:50am

Douglas County Unified Command leaders and public health officers strongly encourage COVID-19 vaccination, testing and wearing masks in crowded places as the holidays near and cases and hospitalizations increase in Douglas County. While the local public health order that requires masks for children will expire Dec. 22, health officers say it is not time for residents to let their guard down.

Posted Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 3:00pm

Douglas County Commissioners approved changes to the Douglas County Animal Control Code on Dec. 1, 2021, during their business meeting. The Lawrence Humane Society proposed the changes to update the code with more clear, consistent and enforceable language. The nonprofit agency said the updated code provides more clear and humane procedures regarding animals in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Posted Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 4:12pm

The Douglas County Public Works Department is proposing to make changes to posted route numbers on several county roads.  The changes will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners for review, discussion and approval at their Dec. 8 business meeting.  The proposed changes do not affect mailing addresses or emergency operations. Route numbers — such as 442, 458, 1029 and 1055 — are primarily used by Public Works to define maintenance operations and snow removal. 

Posted Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 4:47pm

The Douglas County Treasurer’s Office mailed real estate and personal property tax statements to Douglas County taxpayers on Wednesday, Nov. 24.

The first-half real estate and personal property taxes are due on or before Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, and the second-half taxes are due on or before Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 11:07am

The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office is working with local nonprofit Building Peace Inc. to establish a Restorative Justice program.

In restorative justice programs, a trained facilitator convenes the offender with a victim or victims to talk about the act and how it affected the victim and the community. Through this process, the offender is held accountable for their actions and makes amends and the victims can begin healing.

“The community benefits, the victim benefits and the offender benefits,” Valdez said. “It’s a win-win-win.”

Posted Monday, November 29, 2021 - 2:32pm

Robert Bieniecki has spent nearly 40 years protecting citizens through his work in the military, law enforcement and emergency management. He has flown planes during the Persian Gulf War, maintained aircraft for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and retired as a captain at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Now, he is serving as director of Douglas County Emergency Management during a global pandemic.

Yet, he remains humble. “I like helping people. I think I’ve always been a helper and wanted to provide community service,” he said.

Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 10:25am

Douglas County Government’s offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25 and 26, for the Thanksgiving holiday. There also is no County Commission meeting Wednesday, Nov. 24. 

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Dispatch Center and Criminal Justice Services will be operating. If you have an emergency, please call 911. If you have a non-emergency, call 785-843–0250.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

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