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Nick’s Picks | Epic Storm Leaves Thousands Without Power Getting Back to Normal

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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

For a lot of Kansas Citians, the biggest question of the week is, “When will we get our power back?” 

About 12,000 homes are still without electricity after a devastating band of storms whipped through the metro on Friday evening. 

Evergy says it has about 2,000 workers trying to restore service and has brought in utility crews from as far as Colorado and Oklahoma to help.  

At the height of the storm, more than 200,000 metro area customers were without power.  

An Evergy news release says it could be Tuesday before service is completely restored. 

Streetcar Shutdown 

As we start a new week, there’s still no word on when the KC Streetcar will be back up and running.  

The entire line has been shut down since July 4. That’s when a streetcar driver noticed a section of steel rail popping out of the ground while crossing the bridge over Interstate 670.  

It’s now thought the rail buckled because of thermal expansion and wear and tear on the concrete surrounding the steel track. While repairs are now underway, the Streetcar Authority says it’s inspecting the entire 2-mile-long line to prevent a repeat of the problem. 

Earlier reports said the shutdown could last three weeks. That means the streetcar would be out of operation at least until the beginning of next week. In the meantime, RideKC buses are picking up passengers at each of the streetcar stops. 

Assessment Anger 

It’s getting to feel a lot like the movie “Groundhog Day” in Jackson County.  

For yet another week, anger over eye-popping property assessments continues to dominate the headlines. More town halls are planned this week and Jackson County lawmakers are vowing yet again to find a solution to quell the public backlash.  

A proposal to freeze property tax rates for seniors did not gain enough votes last week. A second proposal to cap increases to 15% for all Jackson County residents also went nowhere 

Last Week, Reviewed

Chiefs Training Camp 

The Kansas City Chiefs are about to head to St. Joseph for training camp.  

Hundreds of Chiefs fans will be joining the players in their annual pilgrimage up north. Not just to watch the team play but in hopes of snagging an autograph or photo with their favorite player. 

You can watch it for free, but you do need to pre-register at

This is the 13th year the Chiefs will be hosting its pre-season warm-up at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. 

Practice begins Sunday.  

World Cup Watch Parties 

The Women’s World Cup begins Thursday in Australia and New Zealand.  

It’s the first time the global soccer tournament will be hosted by more than one nation. 

The United States team is the defending world champion. 

Kansas City’s Power & Light District is hosting World Cup watch parties, starting Friday when the U.S. women take on Vietnam. The game starts at 8 p.m. 

Three years from now, the men’s tournament will arrive in Kansas City. Mark June 11, 2026, on your calendar. That’s when the first game is scheduled to be played. 

In other sports news, the Tour de France ends this week. The world’s best-known cycling race reaches its climax on Sunday as riders cross the finish line along the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The race lasts 21 days and covers more than 2,100 miles. 

Monarchs All-Stars 

The Kansas City Royals may be having one of its worst seasons in franchise history, but over on the other side of state line, the KC Monarchs are on fire. They’re currently the top team in its independent professional baseball league. 

This week, six Monarchs players will be headed to the American Association’s All-Star Game.  

It’s scheduled for Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. in Milwaukee. 

Alicia Keys Gift 

Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys is performing in St. Louis this weekend and several busloads of lucky Kansas City high schoolers are getting free travel and tickets to the show.  

They are the classmates of Ralph Yarl. Remember him? He’s the Black teen who was shot in the head when he rang the wrong doorbell in North Kansas City.  

Keys was so touched by Yarl’s story she offered him tickets to her show this Friday night. 

She’s also providing transportation and tickets to his classmates at Staley High School.  

And by that she means everyone, including the staff. 

Around 1,500 students attended Staley this school year, along with another 183 staff members, which makes this a gigantic gift. 

Remembering Bob Dole  

Former Kansas senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole is being remembered this week.  

This Saturday, Dole would have turned 100 years old.  

Now there’s a Centennial Celebration on the University of Kansas campus to pay tribute to his legacy. 

This week also marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Dole Institute of Politics on the Lawrence campus. 

The free public event will include the unveiling of an earthworks portrait of Dole by Kansas crop artist Stan Herd. Dole’s wife Elizabeth and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly are scheduled to headline the ceremony, which will feature live music and a military flyover.  

It starts on Saturday at 10 a.m.  

Barbie Time 

America turns pink this week.  

The new Barbie movie hits theaters on Friday. 

It’s taken more than 60 years for America’s favorite polyvinyl doll to get her own live-action film, but remarkably it’s been embroiled in a series of controversies. 

Vietnam and the Philippines have banned the movie and Republican lawmakers have blasted the film for pandering to the Chinese. That after one scene shows a map of China that includes territories that are in international dispute. 

Even Barbie’s boyfriend Ken can’t escape criticism.  

Actor Ryan Gosling has faced claims he is too “ancient” to play Barbie’s male companion. 

Barbie is played by Margot Robbie, who is 33. Gosling is 42. 

Technically, Ken has no official age. He’s a doll, after all.  

But just as a fact check, Barbie was created in 1959, which would now make her 64. Ken was first introduced as Barbie’s boyfriend in 1961, which means he would now be 62 years old. 

Barbie Time

Hollywood on Strike 

Will you have anything new to watch on TV this week now that Hollywood actors have decided to strike?  

It marks the first time in 63 years that those who appear in front of the camera have joined screenwriters on the picket lines.  

The actors are seeking higher pay, which has fallen in the streaming era. 

The good news: The strike won’t affect this Friday’s edition of “Kansas City Week in Review” on Kansas City PBS. 

The bad news: Pretty much every national scripted program is affected. It will also delay the start of the fall TV season and the Emmy Awards may now be in peril. Organizers are already in discussions about postponing the ceremony, currently scheduled for Sept. 18. 

Distractions & Diversions 

Hollywood may be in a tailspin with actors and screenwriters out on strike, but the music business is still going strong. 

This week country music star Shania Twain stops in Kansas City as she embarks on her first tour in nearly a decade.  

She takes the stage at T-Mobile Center on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.  

Meanwhile, British-American rock band Foreigner is at Starlight Theatre on Tuesday at 7 p.m. 

Ziggy Marley, son of reggae icon Bob Marley, performs at Grinders KC on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. 

The Festival of Butterflies begins Thursday at Powell Gardens. 

And this weekend is Kansas City’s Lawn Party, a free family-friendly art and music fest on the south lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It’s this Sunday at 4 p.m.  

Even if you have no plans to go, it could affect your travel plans. You should know several streets around the museum will be closed on Sunday, including Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard. 

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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