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Nick’s Picks | Big 12 Takes Over Downtown

St. Patrick's Day Parades Return

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

College hoops takes over downtown Kansas City this week as the Big 12 basketball tournament rolls into town.

The men’s championship begins Wednesday at T-Mobile Center.

The women take up residence at Municipal Auditorium on Thursday.

If you’re heading downtown expect some street closures around both venues.

The men’s tournament wraps up Saturday night. The women’s final is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

T-Mobile Center
The Big 12 men’s basketball tournament takes over the T-Mobile Center this week. (AP Photo | Charlie Riedel)

Royals in Limbo

This week we’ll find out how much of the Royals season can be rescued. 

An ongoing baseball lockout has already cost the Royals the first six games of the season. 

Will there be more?

Talks between Major League Baseball officials and the players association continue this week.

This is the first time the league has lost regular-season games since a strike canceled the 1994 World Series.

Whataburger Opens in Overland Park

Expect huge traffic jams in Johnson County this week.

Whataburger is opening its first Kansas side store today.

The cult Texas based burger chain starts taking orders at its new Overland Park location at 11 a.m. But you can bet there’ll be hundreds of people waiting in line before then. 

The restaurant just east of Antioch Road on 135th Street is Whataburger’s third area location.

The burger chain has already opened stores in Lee’s Summit and Independence. 

There are plans to open 10 more stores around the metro by the end of next year.

Olathe School Shooting

After a shooting at Olathe East High School last week, several Johnson County lawmakers say they plan to push for new gun restrictions when they return to the statehouse today.

Despite the uproar over a student wounding an assistant principal and school resource officer, it appears highly unlikely legislators will move to restrict firearms in what is already a high-stakes election year.

In fact, the only gun related measure on the agenda in Topeka this week is a bill to help the firearms industry. 

The Kansas Senate is considering a measure that would prevent the state from doing business with any financial institution that discriminates against gun makers. It is the exact opposite of a Californian bill preventing the Californian government from doing business with banks that serve the firearms industry.

Saving Plastic Bags in Kansas

Should we outlaw plastic disposable bags at grocery stores?

Nine states have now passed laws banning single use plastic bags. 

But Kansas lawmakers are now on a mission to save them. 

This week, lawmakers in the Kansas House will take up debate on a bill that strips cities and counties of the power to restrict single use plastic bags, or other disposable packaging from Styrofoam cups to plastic straws. 

The measure has already passed the Kansas Senate.

Halfway Point for Missouri Lawmakers

Missouri lawmakers are now at their halfway point and the standoff over congressional maps continues. 

This is the 10th week of a stalemate over how to redraw the state’s congressional districts, a change that’s required every 10 years to keep up with population changes.

Missouri is one of only four states yet to approve a new map.  

At the heart of the dispute is what to do with U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s district. 

A subgroup of Republican Missouri senators wants to split the district in two, making it tougher for the Kansas City Democrat to win reelection.

That doesn’t mean everything is being held up in Jefferson City.

Before heading for a spring break lawmakers are trying to push over the finish line a bill forcing Kansas City to dedicate more of its revenue toward police. 

The Missouri Senate is also set to vote on new restrictions to the state’s Medicaid program. 

This latest measure won’t kill the expanded Medicaid expansion program voters approved in 2020, but it would place work requirements on new enrollees. It would also limit how many low-income Missourians can be added to the program based on how much money is available in the state budget.

New iPhone

Don’t count me as someone who feverishly waits for Apple’s latest product launch, but the tech giant will debut a new low cost iPhone this week.

In a move already attracting lots of buzz, Apple is expected to unveil a $399 phone with an upgraded camera during its annual spring product launch event this Tuesday.

I don’t think many of us would think $399 is “low cost.” So perhaps it’s more accurate to say this is not as outrageously expensive as other smartphones on the market.

The iPhone maker is also expected to launch a new version of the iPad Air and a high-end Mac Mini at Tuesday’s event.

Steve Jobs Coming to Kansas City

Speaking of Apple, the company’s mercurial founder has now been turned into an opera. 

“The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” heads to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts this week. 

The Lyric Opera explores the life of Jobs on his journey from hippie idealist to tech icon.

And the production doesn’t shy away from his ruthless side. Neither does it brush aside his personal demons.

You can judge for yourself starting Friday night at the Kauffman Center. 

“The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” runs through Sunday.

Shamrocks and Leprechauns

While St. Patrick’s Day may still be more than a week away, shamrocks and leprechauns are making an early appearance in Kansas City.

After having so many big events canceled over the last two years, many area cities are going big this year. 

Overland Park is holding its first-ever St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday. 

That’s also when Brookside is hosting a St. Patrick’s Warm-Up Parade and North Kansas City is hosting its Annual Snake Saturday Parade.

And let’s not forget Lee’s Summit, which at exactly the same time will be hosting an Emerald Isle Parade.

If you think that’s enough green for one week, think again.

On Sunday afternoon it’s the Martin City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. 

And after a three-year hiatus, Shawnee brings back Johnson County’s longest running St. Paddy’s Parade. The theme: “What’s Your Irish Super Power?”

With so many parades going on all at once in Kansas City, could your Irish super power be trying to grab a drink at every single one of them this weekend?

North Kansas City hosts the Annual Snake Saturday Parade
North Kansas City hosts the Annual Snake Saturday Parade this week. (File Photo)

Time to Lose an Hour of Sleep

Don’t forget, the clock is changing this week.

Things are about to “spring forward,” baby! That means get ready to lose an hour of sleep.

Daylight saving time begins this Sunday, so prepare to turn your clocks an hour ahead when you go to bed Saturday night.

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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