2022 in review: 12 of our favorite feel-good stories this year

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This may be the most difficult assignment we’ve taken on all year: We picked out 12 of our favorite feel-good stories, one from each month of 2022.

Some months were really hard to narrow down to one story! (And for April, we just couldn’t do it. But we tried.)

Sometimes we have a lot of good news; sometimes we have a lot less. But we want more, and we want to do a better job of highlighting it when we have it.

So in addition to reflecting on this year and highlighting the posts below, we created a new page: Good news from The Lawrence Times! (There you can look back at the many, many posts we struggled to narrow down to compile this list.)

Without further ado, here are our favorite feel-good stories from 2022.

Happy New Year to our readers in Lawrence and beyond. We’re so looking forward to spending 2023 with you!


Young entrepreneurs open shoe store, Soled Out LK, in downtown Lawrence

With aspirations to level up from their online shoe resales, business partners and co-owners Anthony Wahquah and Riley Henley set their eyes on opening a physical store in their hometown of Lawrence.

Wahquah, 19, and Henley, 20, opened Soled Out LK in October 2021, reaching their goal of owning a shoe store by age 21 with time to spare. 

Click here to read the story …


Lawrence school district alum returns, hopes to spark BIPOC students’ interest in education

First-year teacher Tori Mitchell didn’t wait for Black History Month to share information about her mentor.

When West Middle School students filed into the ancient world history teacher’s classroom in August, they were greeted by a bookshelf displaying a quote from the late Congressman John Lewis: “Too many of us still believe our differences define us.”

Click here to read the story …


Unique elements of North Lawrence make up new welcome sign

A new sign celebrating a few of North Lawrence’s distinct features now greets residents and visitors just past the intersection of North Second and Locust streets.

Designed by North Lawrence resident and graphic designer Wade Kelly, the sign prominently features a bald eagle in flight above the slogan “Colorful Past. Bright Future.”

Click here to read the story …


JAYHAWKS WIN! KU takes national championship; Lawrence celebrates

… Yeah, we couldn’t pick just one story. We were honored to capture so much joy as the Kansas Jayhawks became national champions once again and the city of Lawrence celebrated.

Click here to revisit the magic …


Liberty Memorial Central students create unique multimedia poetry project with Lawrence Arts Center

Call it a colossal community collaboration featuring the creativity of nearly 150 seventh-graders.

The Zinn Writers of Liberty Memorial Central Middle School once again have partnered with the Lawrence Arts Center, resulting in a multimedia literary project called “I Hope You Know.”

Click here to read the story …


Lawrence Juneteenth celebration unites community, honors people who make a difference

A celebration at South Park, which was very well attended despite sunny, humid heat, was part of four days of Juneteenth events that Janine Colter and her fellow organizers planned this year. 

The day also featured recognitions of numerous community members — and the organizations and businesses they run — who have made a difference in Lawrence. 

Click here to read the story …


Young artists of Van Go unveil benches commissioned for clients

When Ian Hoopes pulled the cover off of his 2022 Van Go Benchmark piece, he wasn’t just unveiling a piece of art — he was unveiling a piece of himself. 

The lifesaver featured at the center of the bench, one of 19 unveiled, was designed and painted by Hoopes. It was originally reflective of the group that hired him, the Treatment and Recovery Center of Douglas County. But during the entire artistic process, it also became a symbol of how Van Go had saved him over the last four years.

Click here to read the story …


Contributions from community members in Lawrence and beyond make couple’s wedding ‘amazing’

Angela Selleck’s son Ryan Selleck and then-fiancee Amanda were expecting a baby and wanted to get married, but they couldn’t afford a wedding. Ryan has been unable to work because of a recent traumatic brain injury, and Amanda, a cook at a local nursing home, didn’t make enough for such a luxury.

Amanda and Ryan had resigned themselves to getting hitched at the courthouse without any to-do. But Angela wanted more for them.

Click here to read the story …


Haskell’s Welcome Back Powwow builds community, honors tradition

Haskell Indian Nations University hosted its Welcome Back Powwow, giving students an opportunity to come together for healing and tradition.

Click here to check out the photo gallery …

Click here to watch the Lawrence Times TV episode …


Self-advocate Kathy Lobb to retire but still fight for disabled Kansans

When Kathy Lobb retires, she’ll vacate her position at the Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas, but she’s not leaving the field. She’ll continue advocating for Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

After all, there’s still a bill named after her that she wants to see resurrected and turned into law.

Click here to read the story …


Lawrence high school Unity Step Team encourages individuality, self-confidence

One minute the practice gym echoes with jokes and laughter, and the next, it fills with rhythmic stomping and clapping. More than just an extracurricular activity, the Unity Step Team is cherished by its members.

The Unity Step Team, or the Unity Steppers, abide by the motto of “bringing folks together, building community, and embracing being unique, unsilenced, and unified.”

Click here to read the story …


Kids help rabbi press oil, make wicks for menorah candles at Lawrence library

Families gathered in the Lawrence Public Library auditorium to hear Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel tell the story of Hanukkah, snack on latkes and applesauce, and help make olive oil and wicks to use in a menorah. 

Click here to read the story …

Want more good news? Click here to check out our new page:

August Rudisell/Lawrence Times
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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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