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Crime scenes in Lawrence may all be linked together by a hatchet

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A Lawrence man woke up early Sunday morning to a man standing in his bedroom doorway with a hatchet. That’s the story FOX 4 originally went to Lawrence to cover on Monday.

Turns out, the case just kept getting stranger. The University of Kansas Law School student was not the guy to mess with.

“Oh yeah, I’m a Marine,” he said.

But Sunday morning he woke up to a frightening surprise, a man with a flashlight and a hatchet.

“Rubber handle and a steel blade,” he described.

The two exchanged words and the guy ran off. As we drove through the neighborhood where it happened, we found Hilary Edwards. Late Sunday afternoon, Hilary saw a hatchet resting against the tree in her yard.

“Just happened to see the axe by the tree, I had no idea what it was or what it’s for. I called my husband, I said, ‘Is that your axe?’” Edwards explained.

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Tallgrass Creek Residents/Staff Rescue Four Kittens

Tallgrass Creek Residents/Staff Rescue Four Kittens

OVERLAND PARK, KS (April 21, 2014) -- A litter of four kittens -- two males and two females -- has been rescued by residents and staff at Talllgrass Creek retirement community in Overland Park. The kittens are said by a local veterinarian to be four weeks old. They are now being cared for as they seek their forever homes.

The kitten rescue has been a  labor of love:

A resident, pediatrician Dr. Don Blim, noticed the kittens yesterday and promptly notified security officer David Gregory, who then notified the Front Desk, which notified Sales Director Deborah Messmer, a lifelong animal lover who happened to be Manager on Duty for the day.

Residents and staff surrounded the kittens -- "oohing and aahing" over them in lobby.

Construction of New 87-Apartment Home Building Underway at Tallgrass Creek

OVERLAND PARK, KS (April 21, 2014) – Tallgrass Creek retirement community today announced the addition of Meadowlark Terrace, its new residence building now under construction with 87 apartment homes in 10 new floor plans that vary in size and style from luxury two-bedrooms to more modest one-bedrooms. Seventy-five percent of the new apartment homes are already reserved. Information can be obtained by calling 913-897-2700 or 1-800-893-3118.  

Tallgrass Creek considered feedback about the individual apartment homes when designing Meadowlark Terrace, which will officially open late 2014.  Lantz-Boggio is the architect.

Silver Alert canceled: Missing 75-year-old Kansas man located

UPDATE: Donald Cook has been found and is in the hospital.

PRINCETON, Kan. — The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office hopes someone can help them find Donald Eugene Cook, 75, who was last seen Wednesday, April 16 at his home in rural Franklin County.

Information provided in the Silver Alert says Donald Cook was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness and was upset by the diagnosis.

He left his home at 836 Kentucky Road at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, but did not tell his spouse where he was headed. Donald wears glasses. At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing gray, baggy sweatpants, black tennis shoes and possibly a t-shirt, unknown color. He was wearing a black coat with pictures of horses on the back, and his name “DON on the front and “Cook’s Ranch” written on the back of the coat. He may have also been wearing a hat with KU or OU o the front.

Insurance coverage to be provided for families of children with autism

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Some Kansas parents who have children with autism will soon receive insurance coverage for their kids, thanks to a bill signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Sam Brownback.

Kansas becomes the 34th state in the nation to require that insurance companies provide coverage for autism. The new law is expected to affect 250 children next year. And another 750 kids in 2016.

Jill Robinson, of Lenexa, says the law means help is on the way for her four-year-old son, Oliver, who was diagnosed with autism more than two years ago.

Without the coverage, Robinson says therapies for her child cost more than $60,000 a year. She says that’s not affordable, even for upper middle class households like hers.

Joe’s Weather Blog: 80s To Snow Again?

It’s been a crazy day with a morning news…then a day out in Lawrence for the Douglas County Severe Weather Symposium and now jamming some maps together for the late news due to NASCAR. To top it off the SPC has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch  until 2AM for areas west and north of KC. More in the discussion…


Tonight: We’ll stay dry from downtown KC southwards I think for most of the night. North of I-70 there may be some storms around before 12AM. Parts of NW MO and NE KS will fight some t/storm activity. Temperatures will stay warm with a south wind blowing. Lows 60-65°

Don “Red Dog” Gardner rewarded for community service

LAWRENCE, Kan. — He’s in his 70′s, but young at heart, and now his thousands of hours of volunteering to help others stay young at heart are being recognized.

Don “Red Dog” Gardner is a Lawrence fixture and an inspiration too.

“That one I was proud of, and to be truthful, I even voted one time for myself,” said 75-year-old Gardner, who is the Kansas winner of the Home Instead Senior Care service award. “I’m just overwhelmed!”

Gardner is being recognized for his dedicated community service, including his work with Red Dog’s Dog Days, a free community fitness program for Lawrence residents.

“It helped kids get in better shape,” said Gardner. “What I used to always tell the kids, if I told them to do it, I could do it. Not anymore!”

TJ Everett, who has been participating in Dog Days since he was seven, admires Gardner.