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Nick’s Picks | A Hot Week for Weather and News Abortion, recreational marijuana and plenty of sports

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Above image credit: "Kansas City Week in Review" host Nick Haines. (John McGrath | Flatland)
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3 minute read

After a week of cool and soggy weather, Kansas City is now turning up the heat.

Are you ready for temperatures in the 90s and heat indexes topping 100 degrees?

We may even shatter some weather records this week.

Tuesday’s high is expected to be 96 degrees. That would make it the hottest May 10 in Kansas City history.

Abortion Pushback

Expect another round of local protests this week over abortion. A leaked draft opinion that suggests the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to throw out Roe v. Wade has thrust abortion back into the center of the nation’s political debate.

In Washington, an imposing eight-foot-high fence has now been erected outside of the Supreme Court, after days of protests.

Neither the Supreme Court nor Capitol Police have said anything publicly about possible threats to the court or the justices.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate will vote Wednesday on a bill protecting abortion access.

It would enshrine the right to an abortion in federal law.

All four senators from Kansas and Missouri have signaled they will vote no.

Most political watchers say the bill is almost certain to fail, since 60 votes would be needed to move the measure forward in the face of a filibuster. Democrats control 50 seats in the Senate.

Catching Up

Missouri Congressional Map

With a week left in this year’s legislative session, Missouri lawmakers will try one more time to approve a congressional map. 

The session officially ends at 6 p.m. on Friday.

If lawmakers fail to come to an agreement by then, it is likely that a panel of judges will take over the job of redrawing the state’s eight congressional districts.

For months now, a faction in the Missouri Senate called the Conservative Caucus has been pushing Republican leaders to draw a map that would have allowed the party to pick up an additional seat in Congress.

They’re target has been the district currently held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City.

Marijuana on the Missouri Ballot

Sunday was the deadline to submit petition signatures for statewide ballot measures in Missouri.

Now the verification count begins this week.

The campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri submitted its petition just ahead of the deadline. 

It would allow adults age 21 and older to buy and grow weed for personal use. It would also automatically clear criminal records for people who have been convicted of nonviolent marijuana-related offenses.

Also submitting signatures for possible inclusion on the November ballot was a group calling for ranked choice voting in Missouri. If approved, the measure would eliminate party primary elections. Instead, Missouri voters would get a single primary ballot with both Republican and Democratic candidates. The top four vote getters would advance to the general election.

NASCAR Returns

The country’s top race car drivers are heading back to Kansas City this week.

Kansas Speedway plays host to the first of its two annual NASCAR weekends.

The stars of the NASCAR Cup Series compete Sunday in the newly named AdventHealth 400 at the Kansas Speedway.  

But it’s a full weekend of racing events, starting on Friday evening when fans can walk the Kansas Speedway’s 1.5 mile oval track with some of NASCAR’s leading drivers.

NASCAR at Kansas Speedway
Kansas Speedway will welcome fans back to the track this weekend. (Credit: ©2014, Phillip Abbott LAT Photo USA)

What a Traffic Jam

Kansas City’s biggest traffic jam is likely to be in Blue Springs this week. 

That’s the location of the newest Whataburger store.

The Texas-based cult burger chain is opening at 11 a.m. today on the site of an old Winstead’s restaurant in Blue Springs.

It is Whataburger’s fourth metro location. 

Openings tend to attract long lines of customers. And there may be good reasons for that.

The first few customers through the door get free Whataburger for a year gift baskets. The company says it will also be handing out free swag to customers throughout the day.

Another Big Sporting Event for KC?

Kansas City will find out next month whether it’s been picked as a host site for the 2026 World Cup.

But as we wait for that news, could Kansas City be playing host to another worldwide sporting event?

On Thursday, Kansas City will learn if it’s been chosen as a site for the Rugby World Cup, which includes tournaments for both men and women.

Kansas City is among the 24 cities listed as potential host sites, if the United States wins the games in 2031 and 2033.

Held over the course of seven weeks, the Rugby World Cup is considered the world’s third largest sporting event, after the Summer Olympics and the World Cup.

Nick Haines, tracks the week’s most impactful local news stories on “Kansas City Week in Review,” Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Kansas City PBS.

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