Longtime reporter and editor Dave Toplikar was born in Olathe and has lived in Kansas most of his adult life. After graduating from Olathe North High School he went to the University of Kansas in Lawrence and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 1977.
After college, he worked for a year at the Coffeyville Journal, where he covered area crime, fire, government and police news.
Toplikar then went on to work for the Lawrence Journal-World in Lawrence, where he and his wife made a home and raised their four children. He was a reporter for many years and also wrote a statewide political column that was picked up by many weekly newspapers throughout the state.
In 1998, Toplikar became a multimedia journalist and served as web editor, web managing editor and a multimedia reporter for World Online, the newspaper’s online operations.
During that time, he also planned, edited and wrote stories for the Journal-World’s website and appeared weekly on the 6News cable TV nightly news shows. He helped the newspaper achieve national prominence in terms of multimedia reporting and helped it win several national and international journalism awards.
In 2007, Toplikar was recruited by the Las Vegas Sun to be their online managing editor. Within a year, he helped the Las Vegas Sun be named the top news website in the country in their circulation class and helped usher in a whole new era of multimedia reporting for websites in that city.
In 2009, Toplikar was part of the Las Vegas Sun newsroom team that won a Pulitzer Prize for bringing to light the need to strengthen federal and state safety regulations for construction workers, following several deaths on major building projects on the Las Vegas Strip.
He also began reporting on a wide range of topics, including city government and Clark County courts, which led him to report stories about celebrities who had run-ins with the law, including socialite heiress Paris Hilton, singer Vince Neill and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Toplikar won a statewide journalism award for multimedia coverage on a look back at the deadly 1980 MGM Grand Hotel fire through the eyes of firefighters, which won first place for multimedia storytelling in the 2013 Nevada Press Association’s Better Newspapers Contest.
He has now moved back to Lawrence, where he is an editor for the University of Kansas’ Marketing Communications office, pursues several other personal writing and editing projects and drinks way too much coffee.