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Nick’s Picks | Chiefs, Stadium Vote and Warmer Weather Super Bowl Push

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

Is there going to be any bigger story around town this week than the Kansas City Chiefs? 

Just two games now separate Kansas City from lifting another Super Bowl trophy.  

After beating the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, the Chiefs now head to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.  

It’s going to dominate pretty much every local newscast for the rest of the week. Get ready for lots of stories about Chiefs apparel flying off shelves and local bakeries making cookies shaped like Jason Kelce’s bare chest.  

The AFC Championship Game is this Sunday at 2 p.m.  

If you like to avoid crowds, that would be a good time to go to Costco.  

Patrick Mahomes takes part in the Kansas City Chiefs' victory celebration and parade in Kansas City, Missouri, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, following the Chiefs' win over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game.
Patrick Mahomes takes part in the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory celebration and parade in Kansas City, Missouri, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, following the Chiefs’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game. (AP Photo | Colin E. Braley)

Break Out the Flip-Flops 

If we can get through today’s freezing rain, you may want to break out the flip-flops and tropical drinks to celebrate. Temperatures are going to be in the 40s for the rest of the week. Even better, there are no more single-digit temperatures in the long-range forecast.  

After a bone-chilling stretch of arctic weather, we may finally be able to say goodbye to wearing two pairs of pants and three sweaters just to make a quick trip to the grocery store.  

Stadium Vote 

The future of Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums will be decided this week. 

This afternoon, Jackson County lawmakers will try to overturn a veto from County Executive Frank White, who has just blocked a stadium tax from appearing on the April ballot. 

It will take six votes on the nine-member legislature to do that. 

Over the weekend, the Royals and Chiefs were running ads encouraging the public to call their local lawmakers to support a veto override.  

With just hours to go before the meeting, even those involved say they don’t know which way it will swing. 

I’ll be checking out area emergency rooms to see if there’s an uptick in patients coming in with dislocated shoulders. There’s going to be an awful lot of arm twisting going on behind the scenes before the final vote gets underway at 3 p.m. at the Jackson County Courthouse. 

Last Week, Reviewed

New Hampshire Primary 

With the votes now counted in Iowa, the race for the White House heads to New Hampshire on Tuesday. 

The Republican primary has just been scrambled with the announcement than Ron DeSantis has quit the campaign. The Florida governor has endorsed his main rival, Donald Trump. 

Tuesday’s election will now be a head-to-head contest between Trump and his former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.  

The rules of the state’s primary make predicting an outcome somewhat tricky.  

Unlike in Iowa, you don’t have to be a Republican to vote in the New Hampshire GOP primary.  

Apparently, a grassroots effort is underway to convince independents and Democrats to help slow down the former president by casting ballots for Haley. 

Parson’s ‘State of the State’  

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is getting ready for his big moment in front of the cameras. 

He delivers what will be his last State of the State address before lawmakers on Wednesday.  

Parson leaves office at the end of the year and he’s ready to “reveal all” in a new book about to drop called “No Turnin’ Back.”  It will be released in March. 

Postage Stamp Increase 

If you’re heading to the post office today, prepare for sticker shock if you’re buying a book of stamps. 

Starting this week, a Forever Stamp will now cost 68 cents. It is the third rate hike in 12 months. 

If you watched national news reports about the price change, you may have seen a familiar face talking about the issue. 

Former U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder is the new head of an advocacy group called Keep US Posted. He claims if the twice-a-year rate increases continue, a first-class stamp could jump to more than a dollar by 2030. 

Veto Decision 

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has a big decision on her plate today.  

Will she sign or veto a new tax cut plan just dropped on her desk by lawmakers? 

The measure abolishes all income tax brackets in the state, replacing them with a simple flat tax of 5.25% for everyone. 

Kelly has expressed concern about the flat tax measure, arguing it favors the wealthy and threatens the state’s budget in the future. 

Police Scanners 

No more listening in on police scanners in Johnson County. 

Starting Tuesday, more than a dozen law enforcement agencies, from Overland Park to Prairie Village, will encrypt their primary channels so the public can no longer hear what police and dispatchers are saying over the air. 

The move is being blasted by several broadcast organizations who claim it’s a disturbing shift in policy. They argue it makes the police more secretive at a time when they need to be more transparent with the public. 

But local law enforcement leaders say criminals are using the scanners to keep track of and evade police.  

A spokesperson for the Lenexa Police Department says the change is also about protecting the privacy of victims, witnesses and suspects, especially as exact addresses and sometimes mental health references are shared over the airwaves. 

Encryption is happening across the country. Kansas City has already encrypted its public radio scanner. So has the Kansas City, Kansas, and Independence police departments.  

News Feed 

Here are some other stories you may see popping up on your news feed this week. 

On Tuesday, watch out for the word “snubbed” on your social media feed as the Academy Awards committee releases its 2024 Oscar nominations.  

The Winter Olympics will be trending, even though it’s still two years away. Thursday marks the 100th anniversary of the first Winter Olympics held in Chamonix, France.  

And on Sunday, the Wizard of Oz returns to the big screen to mark the film’s 85th anniversary. 

More than a dozen area theaters have special showings to mark the milestone. 

Shawnee Indian Mission 

Kansas lawmakers have scheduled a hearing on Wednesday to decide the fate of a Johnson County historic site that’s at the center of a tug-of-war over its ownership.  

At issue is who should control the Shawnee Indian Mission, a 180-year-old former boarding school that hundreds of Native children were sent to as part of a now discredited effort to “civilize” them.  

Currently, the state of Kansas owns the land. But a new bill proposes conveying the land to one of three Shawnee tribes based in Oklahoma. The tribes argue the school was built on Native land they were forcibly removed from in the 1830s.  

But the site sits on a 12-acre campus in the city of Fairway. And the city’s leadership is opposed to the ownership change. They’re concerned about what the tribe might do with the land in the future, including using it for economic development. They also question whether tribal leaders will continue to make the site’s history available to the public. 

Johnson County Library 

Johnson County is shuttering its first and oldest library branch this week. 

Antioch Library will permanently close on Sunday. It opened in 1957.  

For decades it served as the headquarters of the Johnson County Library system. 

A library spokesperson says the building has limited parking and would require prohibitively costly repairs to keep operations running. 

A new library is being built about a quarter of a mile away. It’s scheduled to open in late spring. 

Things to Do 

With the better weather on the way, you may finally want to come out of hibernation and experience the city again. Here are some events coming our way this week: 

Britain’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra takes the stage at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday night. 

Another famous British music act is in town. Elvis Costello performs at the Uptown Theater on Thursday. 

Disney on Ice makes its return to Kansas City on Thursday with eight back-to-shows at T-Mobile Center.  

And Ira Glass, the creator and host of public radio’s “This American Life” is at the Lied Center in Lawrence 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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