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Nick’s Picks | April Fools’ Day, Stadium Tax Vote Counting Time

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

Today, I have officially lost my title.  

I am no longer Kansas City’s best-known Welshman, now that the Chiefs have signed Welsh rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit to their roster.  

I just came back from visiting family in Wales, and it was the biggest topic of conversation in every pub I visited. A Welsh rugby player joining the Super Bowl champion Chiefs is a mammoth news story there. Interest in the NFL in Wales just went from “close to zero” to “must-see TV.” 

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s look at the week ahead.  

Last Week, Reviewed

Today is April Fools’ Day!  

No joke: Prepare for a bumpy evening. As we mark the first day of April, the National Weather Service says the Kansas City area could be in store for some dangerous storms, including damaging winds, hail and localized flooding. The time frame for severe storms is between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. The weather service says a few tornadoes can’t be ruled out, especially for areas south and east of the metro. 

“We’re not fools.” Opponents of the stadium tax are marking April Fools’ Day with a protest rally on the spot where the Royals plan to build their new ballpark. Organizers say they want the teams to know “they’re not fools.” The demonstration starts at noon today in the Crossroads. 

April Surprise? In a stadium tax campaign that has seen more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, are we in for an April surprise today? Could there be one last big inducement to get voters to say yes?  

It’s April Fools’ Day and anything is possible.  

What about a last-minute announcement that Kansas City is in line for another All-Star game if voters say yes to a new ballpark? What if the NFL promises a Super Bowl if voters approve upgrades to Arrowhead?  

If that were to happen, do you think it would change some votes? 

It’s not out of the question. While the league has favored stadiums with domes or venues in year-round warm cities, the 2014 Super Bowl was played in a chilly MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, which like Arrowhead has no covered roof. 

Stadium Tax Vote 

More than two years after Royals owner John Sherman first announced plans to move the Royals downtown, voters finally get their chance to weigh in on the idea. On Tuesday, Jackson County residents will go to the polls to decide on a new Royals ballpark in the Crossroads. They’ll also decide whether to approve a revamped Arrowhead Stadium, which would include a new entertainment space on the site of what would be a bulldozed Kauffman Stadium.  

As this is a stadium tax involving the teams, election workers have been told they cannot wear Royals shirts or Chiefs caps at polling stations. But voters can.  

Polling stations open at 6 a.m. on Tuesday and will remain open until 7 p.m.  

Still figuring out how to vote? Watch our debate with proponents and opponents of the tax. 

And check out more reporting on the stadium tax at

Stadium Tax Vote

More On the Ballot 

As the stadium tax has sucked up most of the media’s attention, you may be surprised to learn that there are other items on Tuesday’s ballot. 

There are scores of local school board races being decided. In some districts, candidates are divided over cultural issues, including the removal of books from libraries and whether schools should ban cell phones. 

In Lee’s Summit, a victory for even one conservative candidate on Tuesday could change the makeup of the board and potentially roll back recent diversity initiatives. 

Blue Springs is picking a new mayor following the retirement of Carson Ross, who has led the city for the past 16 years.  

And in Liberty, voters will decide a $60 million bond election for a new sports and activity center. 

If you live in Kansas, you get to sit this one out. You won’t vote again until August. 

State Primaries 

I’m not sure if anyone cares any longer, but seven more states cast ballots this week in presidential primary elections. 

Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin hold primaries on Tuesday. 

Democrats in Alaska, Hawaii and North Dakota make their presidential picks on Saturday. 

If the results in the recent Kansas primary are any indication, turnout will be abysmally low.  

Only 6% of voters in Johnson and Wyandotte counties showed up at the polls. It was even less in other parts of Kansas. 

Kansas Legislative Session  

Kansas lawmakers head for home on Friday as they wrap up the regular session of this year’s legislature.  

They leave Topeka with some of the biggest items on their agenda unresolved.  

Medicaid expansion has been tabled for the year. So has an effort to legalize marijuana. And lawmakers have failed to reach agreement on cutting taxes. 

The House and Senate will reconvene in late April for the annual veto session where lawmakers will try to override the governor on measures she’s blocked from becoming law. 

One measure sitting on Gov. Laura Kelly’s desk is a ban on hormone therapy and gender transition surgery for Kansans under 18. Kelly has promised to veto the bill. 

Volleyball Tournament   

Many of the nation’s top up-and-coming volleyball stars will be competing downtown this week in a national qualifying event for USA Volleyball. 

With 27,000 hotel nights booked, Visit KC lists it as the third largest event of the year.  

The games will be played at the Kansas City Convention Center and Hy-Vee Arena. It starts Saturday and continues over two weekends.  

Final Four 

How is your bracket going?  

March Madness is now reaching its climax. 

The Final Four is this Saturday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  

Alabama is making its first Final Four appearance in school history. The Crimson Tide play UConn on Saturday night.  

In this weekend’s other Final Four matchup, North Carolina State takes on Purdue. It’s the first time either team has made it to the Final Four in more than 40 years. 

Also, this week, the top team in women’s hoops will be crowned.  

The NCAA Women’s Final is on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland. 

The closest local team still in contention is Iowa, which takes on the LSU Tigers tonight in the women’s Elite Eight. 

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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