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Staff

Sara Shepherd

Public safety reporter

Photo of Sara Shepherd

I'm the Journal-World's public safety reporter. I cover crime, courts, fire and related features in Lawrence and Douglas County and, sometimes, neighboring counties.

I’ve been a reporter at the Journal-World since 2012. Prior to taking over the public safety beat I covered the University of Kansas and higher education beat — including some of our local post-secondary institutions’ occasional, inevitable intersections with the law. Previously, I was the night police reporter for The Kansas City Star, where I covered untimely death or destruction most every day for a few years, everything from quadruple homicides to massive chemical fires. I’ve also covered suburban city government and schools for The Star and The Shawnee Dispatch, a suburban weekly paper just up the road in Johnson County.

I'm originally from Emporia, but I had ancestors living here in Lawrence when William Quantrill sacked the town in 1863 (they survived the massacre, probably thanks to being politically insignificant German immigrants). I’m also a fourth-generation KU grad, led by my great grandfather, who got his undergraduate and law degrees from KU. I majored in journalism, art history and French and wrote for The University Daily Kansan, where my reporting beat was campus police.

For local public safety news, see all the Journal-World’s recent stories here, and check out the Lights & Sirens blog.

To reach me, call 785-832-7187 or send email to sshepherd@ljworld.com. Follow me on Twitter @saramarieshep.

Recent Stories

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Testing complete, DA awaits input from alleged victim in KU basketball dorm rape case

Additional testing in the case of a 16-year-old girl’s alleged rape at the University of Kansas men’s basketball dorm is now complete, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said this week. Now, the DA’s office is awaiting input from the alleged victim.

Affidavit alleges KU football player threatened to shoot girlfriend's 'kneecaps out'

A University of Kansas football player allegedly threatened to shoot his girlfriend while holding a loaded gun, according to a newly released court document, leading to his arrest and dismissal from the team.

Prosecutors: Woman accused of battery against former KU basketball player now charged with DUI

The woman accused of battery against former University of Kansas basketball player Carlton Bragg Jr. reportedly got a DUI, which appears likely to cost her her diversion in the case.

KU football player charged with felony assault, dismissed from team

A University of Kansas football player has been kicked off the team after allegedly threatening someone with a gun and being arrested Sunday evening in Lawrence.

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KU counting on donations to enable $300 million football stadium renovation

The University of Kansas is counting on a significant amount of donations to enable a planned $300 million renovation to Memorial Stadium.

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DA: No suspect identified in McCarthy Hall rape allegation, case remains under review

Six months after the rape of a 16-year-old girl was reported at the University of Kansas men’s basketball dorm, the case remains unresolved. The case is still under review by the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office pending results of additional lab testing, Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to District Attorney Charles Branson, said this week.

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KU Athletics budget will increase to $93.3 million next year

University of Kansas Athletics expects its budget to increase to $93.3 million next year.

Community service, alcohol class ordered for woman who got in fight with KU basketball player

A woman accused of picking a fight with a University of Kansas basketball player she was dating last winter must perform community service and take an alcohol class as a result.

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District attorney requests additional testing in McCarthy Hall rape case

The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office is seeking more testing in the case of a 16-year-old girl’s alleged rape at the University of Kansas men’s basketball dorm.

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Majority of KU AD's $700K salary to be paid by private funds; KU says negotiations began more than 6 months ago

Kansas Athletics Inc. — as opposed to state dollars — will pay the majority of University of Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger’s salary, which was recently raised to $700,000 and extended for another four years.

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