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

Douglas County issues blanket burn ban for upcoming month
March 18, 2014
Douglas County issued a burn ban today that will stay in place for the next month, yet still allow some opportunity for burning pasture at safe times.
Tonganoxie Split’ tornado myth lacks science but captures imagination
March 9, 2014
If many people ever truly believed in the Tonganoxie Split, it’s a good bet that number dropped on May 11, 2000.
Kansas: Private discrimination against gays, lesbians already legal in most of state
February 28, 2014
Kansas has attracted an onslaught of national criticism over a proposed bill that media often have summarized as allowing discrimination against gays.
Kansas: Woman, 19, charged with murder in former boss’ slaying
January 27, 2014
Sarah B. Gonzales McLinn, 19, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lawrence resident Harold Sasko, 52, according to the Lawrence Police Department and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.
One-room schoolhouse near Baldwin City joins national historic register
January 24, 2014
A rural Douglas County schoolhouse built in 1900, with roots going back to the 1850s, is one of the newest additions to the National Register of Historic Places. est additions to the National Register of Historic Places. The Kansas State Historical Society announced this week that Clearfield School at 2162 N. 600 Road, northeast of Baldwin City in Palmyra Township, is now one of 1,350 Kansas properties on the national register.
Charge dropped for Baldwin City woman accused of hosting minors consuming alcohol
January 22, 2014
A judge has dismissed a charge against a Baldwin City woman accused of hosting minors consuming alcohol, citing wording of the statute in question. Sherry L. Haskell had been scheduled for trial this week in Douglas County District Court. Instead, during a hearing Tuesday, Judge Sally Pokorny stood by her decision to dismiss the case despite a motion by the state to reconsider.
Trial set for Baldwin school worker charged with hosting minors consuming alcohol
October 23, 2013
One teen reportedly badly burned during June bonfire
Deer mating season means drivers should beware
October 15, 2013
Deer mating season usually begins in mid-October, peaks in mid-November and continues into January
Agritourism provides sales boost for small farmers, fresh air for city slickers
July 8, 2013
Visits to wineries boost sales
More wineries, more elbow room expected for this year’s Winesong at Riverfest
May 30, 2013
Organizers learned two big lessons after turning hundreds away from the inaugural Winesong at Riverfest wine tasting event in De Soto. People — a lot of people, it turns out — are interested in trying Kansas wine. And, in order to better accommodate them, this year’s event would need some major tweaking.

Full story list

Recent photos

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.

Tacos de Lengua are one of the best-selling dishes at Port Fonda, 4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo. The main ingredient is braised beef tongue, served street taco-style with spicy salsa, onion, cilantro and fresh lime.

Full photo list