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Nick’s Picks | Hail to the Chiefs, and Other News Bittersweet Celebration

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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

The Kansas City Chiefs will be at the White House today to celebrate the team’s latest Super Bowl title. 

Mayor Quinton Lucas will also be tagging along as the players meet with President Joe Biden. 

It’s a long overdue visit to Washington. 

The Chiefs didn’t get to go to the White House when they won the Super Bowl in 2020, due to the COVID pandemic. 

It will also be a bittersweet celebration. Chiefs matriarch Norma Hunt died over the weekend. The mother of Chiefs owner Clark Hunt and the wife of team founder Lamar Hunt was 85 years old. 

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)

Republican Race Expands 

The race for the presidency is getting a lot more crowded. 

Three more politicians will look in the mirror this week and see the next president of the United States looking back at them. 

On Wednesday, former Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Iowa to officially launch his campaign for the Republican nomination.  

On Tuesday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will declare his candidacy during a campaign event in New Hampshire.  

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has also signaled he will throw his hat in the ring this week.  

There are now 11 declared candidates for the Republican nomination. 

Student Loan Payments to Restart 

You may have missed it, but tucked into the debt ceiling deal signed by President Biden over the weekend is a measure requiring student loan borrowers to start paying their monthly bills again. 

A freeze on repayments has been in place since March 2020 due to COVID, and it’s been extended several times as the pandemic dragged on.  

The new bill prevents the president from issuing any more pauses in payments. That means tens of thousands of former students in Kansas and Missouri will be on the hook for repayment, starting Aug. 30. 

Another White House plan to cancel up to $20,000 in college debt is awaiting a verdict from the U.S. Supreme Court. That decision could come in the next few days. 

Missouri Preps Another Execution 

Unless there’s a swift decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, Missouri this week will execute its fourth death row inmate in less than a year.  

Michael Tisius is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Tuesday.  

Last week, a federal judge placed a hold on the execution after it was revealed that one of the jurors in the 42-year-old’s original trial could not read or write, a requirement under Missouri law. 

But the U.S. Court of Appeals has now overturned the decision allowing the death sentence to be carried out.  

Tisius was 19 when he shot and killed two guards during a botched jail escape in 2000. 

Reparations in KC 

Kansas City PBS hits the road this week for a televised conversation on reparations. 

If you haven’t been following the issue, Kansas City is now on the clock. 

A new Mayoral Reparations Commission has been tasked with making amends for the city’s role, “in the enslavement of Black people and historic enforcement of segregation.” 

The 13-member panel has been given 12 months to come up with recommendations.  

But how will it work? Who should get help? And who’s on the hook for paying? 

Your voice matters!  

Be among the first to weigh in during a televised community conversation this Wednesday, June 7, at the University Academy, 6801 Holmes Road. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. 

Kansas City PBS is partnering with American Public Square to convene the issue’s leaders and critics, alongside panelists with first-hand knowledge of how reparation programs work.  

Flying into Kansas City to take part will be Robin Rue Simmons, the Illinois council member credited with helping pass the nation’s first publicly funded reparations program in Evanston. Simmons is the subject of the new PBS documentary that chronicles that effort, The Big Payback. 

You can guarantee your seat for this lively special program by registering in advance at

Reparations Debate

Pride and Protest 

It’s Pride Month and the region’s biggest Pride festival is this weekend.  

As organizers make final preparations for KC Pride Fest, several American towns have canceled similar events amid a contentious political climate that has seen a wave of new laws restricting drag shows, gender-affirming care and limits on transgender bathroom use and participation in women’s sports. 

There’s also renewed concerns over safety. Over the weekend, someone allegedly fired a BB gun at patrons outside a popular gay venue in Westport. Police are still investigating the incident. 

KC Pride Fest starts Friday and continues through the weekend at Theis Park, directly south of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. 

Dragon Boats 

Racing Chinese dragon boats take over Brush Creek on the Country Club Plaza this weekend.  

The annual International Dragon Boat Festival is on Saturday.  

If you’d like to watch the free event, prepare to get up early.  

The boats enter the water for practice at 8 a.m. and the race begins at 9:45 a.m. 

Celebrity Sightings, Distractions and Diversions 

A new season of mega concerts gets underway this week at Arrowhead Stadium. 

Next month, Taylor Swift takes up residence at the “Home of the Chiefs.”  In the meantime, Arrowhead plays host to country music superstar Luke Combs on Saturday. 

Also this weekend… 

The Barenaked Ladies are at Starlight on Sunday. 

And Weezer takes the stage at the Azura Amphitheater that same night. 

If you’re looking for something a little less heavy on the eardrums, then you may want to consider a road trip. The Kansas City Symphony is on the move. Kansas City’s premier orchestra plays its annual outdoor Symphony in the Flint Hills concert on Saturday. 

All these big concert experiences don’t come cheap, but there is a free option you may be interested in. 

This weekend is the Future Stages Festival at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. It’s a daylong showcase of Kansas City’s best up and coming young performers. The free event starts Saturday at noon. 

30 Years of ‘Jurassic Park’ 

Name a better movie about dinosaurs. We’ll wait. 

This Friday marks 30 years since “Jurassic Park” hit the big screen. 

Back in June of 1993, the movie broke all movie attendance records and become the highest-grossing film of all time.  

That record now belongs to James Cameron’s science fiction epic, “Avatar.” 

Christmas in June 

Put on your ugly holiday sweater and Santa hat, Christmas is coming early this year. 

You may be familiar with Comicon. Now get ready for Christmas Con

A convention for fans of Hallmark Christmas movies is coming to Kansas City for the first time this week.  

You can meet the stars of your favorite Hallmark holiday rom-coms and take family photos with Santa. 

There’s a tree-lighting ceremony, Christmas-themed vendors and even a gingerbread house contest as part of the three-day celebration. 

It may be June and 90 degrees out there, but is it ever too early for Christmas? 

Christmas Con starts Friday at the Overland Park Convention Center. 

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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