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Nick’s Picks | Assessments, Newspaper Raid and Dolly Parton Busy Week Ahead

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Above image credit: "Kansas City Week in Review" host Nick Haines. (John McGrath | Flatland)
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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has ordered flags to fly at half-staff today to honor Jonah Oswald. 

The 29-year-old Fairway police officer was gunned down last week during a shootout at a QuikTrip. 

His funeral is at 11 a.m. this morning at the Westside Family Church in Lenexa. 

Oswald is the first member of the Fairway Police Department to be killed in the line of duty.  

Jackson County Assessments 

The clock is ticking in Jackson County this week. 

County leaders have been given until Friday to comply with a state order to turn over documents relating to its property appraisal process. 

Missouri State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick says he’s investigating a whistleblower complaint over the county’s handling of home valuations. His office has also asked for documents concerning Tyler Technology, a company the county hired to conduct its property appraisals. 

The county has dealt with a flood of appeals. Nearly 55,000 Jackson County residents have challenged their assessment notices. Meanwhile, a class-action lawsuit has been filed by a group of residents who contend the county didn’t follow its own rules. 

Kansas Newspaper Raid  

We should get more answers this week on why police raided a small Kansas newspaper, making off with computers, cellphones and servers.  

It’s a story making national and international headlines

The raid on the Marion County Record has been condemned by press freedom groups as a brazen attack on the First Amendment.  

But the chief of the Marion Police Department said law enforcement’s actions will be vindicated once the details are made public. 

Marion is about 45 miles west of Emporia. Its police chief is a former captain in the Kansas City Police Department.  

Dolly Parton Visit 

Did you know that the queen of country music will be stopping by today? 

She’s not going to be hosting any concerts while she’s here, but Dolly Parton will be joining Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly in a special event celebrating the singer’s philanthropic efforts. 

In 1995, Parton founded the Imagination Library, which provides free books to children. The country music legend has gifted more than 200 million books since the program launched.  

So why mark that milestone in Kansas? Pratt, Kansas, has the distinction of starting the first Imagination Library site outside Parton’s home state of Tennessee. 

Kelly says the state is kicking in the funds to allow every Kansas child under the age of 5 to receive a free book once a month, through Parton’s program. 

Here’s how to sign up your child or grandchild

In this July 31, 2015 file photo, Dolly Parton performs in concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)
In this July 31, 2015 file photo, Dolly Parton performs in concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)

Back to School in Kansas 

While some schools have already headed back to the classroom, nearly every Kansas district begins the new school year this week.  

Most Missouri districts will start the fall semester next Monday. Except if you live in Independence, where you’ll get to sleep in. The district is no longer holding classes on Mondays as it adopts a four-day school week. 

KC Ballet Campus 

The Kansas City Ballet makes a huge move south this week as it opens a $2.1 million campus building in Johnson County. 

A ribbon-cutting is scheduled this Friday for what the dance company is calling its Kansas City Ballet -Meadowbrook campus. The ballet has operated a dance school at 95th Street and Nall Avenue in Prairie Village since 2002, but the new center is nearly four times the size and has twice as many studios. 

KC Ballet says the expanded space will allow them to offer dance classes to older adults and for children with disabilities. A new harness and overhead rigging system will let kids who can’t walk experience what it’s like to perform classic ballet moves. 

Ballerinas on stage in the production of Swan Lake.
The KC Ballet performing Swan Lake at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. (Courtesy | KC Ballet)

816 Day 

There may not be a section dedicated to it at your local Hallmark greeting card store, but on Wednesday we celebrate 816 Day.  

It’s Kansas City’s made-up holiday named after the city’s area code. 

The biggest party starts at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the City Market, with free swag, prize giveaways and back-to-back music concerts. 

Dozens of local restaurants are also offering $8.16 meal specials and some of our biggest event spaces are running $8.16 ticket promotions. 

To check out the full list, go to 

Women’s World Cup 

The Women’s World Cup wraps up this week.  

Thirty-two teams have been competing for the better part of a month. Now only four nations remain.  

Spain will face Sweden in Tuesday’s semifinal, and England will play Australia on Wednesday. The winners will square off in the World Cup final on Sunday at Stadium Australia in Sydney. 

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs head to Arizona this week for their second of three preseason games. 

The Chiefs take on the Cardinals this Saturday night. Game time is 7 p.m. 

Distractions and Diversions 

With the Chiefs on the road again this week, Arrowhead Stadium is playing host to another massive music concert.  

You can see two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members for the price of one this Saturday night as Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks take the stage as part of their Two Icons, One Night tour. 

Also in town… 

ZZ Top plays Starlight Theatre on Wednesday. 

And rapper, Soulja Boy performs at The Truman on Sunday. 

And it’s a big week for festivals… 

The 44th annual Ethnic Enrichment Festival starts Friday in Swope Park. 

The Kansas City Air Show is this weekend at the New Century AirCenter in Olathe. 

And Kansas City’s Great Balloon and Puppet Glow takes over the grounds of the National World War I Museum and Monument on Saturday. 

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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