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Nick’s Picks | Here’s the Latest on the Super Bowl Parade Shooting Stadium Tax Vote Looms

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

This time last week we were celebrating a back-to-back Super Bowl win and expecting the largest victory parade in Kansas City history. This week the city is still trying to come to terms with what went so terribly wrong.  

How did a scene of immense joy turn so quickly into tragedy? 

Here are some of the news developments we’re keeping an eye on this week: 

Investigation Continues: Charges have been filed in Jackson County against two juveniles in the mass shooting that killed one woman and wounded 22 others at the Chiefs victory celebration at Union Station. 

Currently, the teens are being held at the Juvenile Detention Center on gun-related charges and one count of resisting arrest.  

We’re expecting more charges to be filed this week as the police wrap up their investigation. There’s also a push underway to try the teens in adult court, so they face stiffer penalties. 

In addition, some are clamoring for the Jackson County prosecutor to go after the parents of the teens. Last week, a court in Michigan ruled that parents can share criminal responsibility for their child’s gun crimes.  

The Funeral: We’re waiting to get details on funeral services for Lisa Lopez-Galvan. She’s the 43-year-old mother of two from Shawnee who died after being shot in the stomach at the Chiefs rally. She co-hosted a Hispanic music program on the community radio station, KKFI.  

Over the weekend, Taylor Swift contributed $100,000 to a GoFundMe page set up to help offset the family’s funeral costs.  

The Injured: While there were news reports over the weekend that Children’s Mercy Hospital had released the last of its patients injured in the shooting, four victims remain hospitalized at Saint Luke’s and University Health – Truman Medical Center as of Monday. They are not considered to be in a life-threatening condition. 

Future Parades: While some have questioned whether the shooting would shut down future parades, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says no. Organizers of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade have already announced plans to move forward with its 50th anniversary event, scheduled for March 17. 

Less certain is whether last week’s tragedy will prompt the Chiefs or the NFL to change their policy on future celebrations. ESPN and the Associated Press both ran stories this weekend arguing future parades will be unlikely. The AP spoke with several sources that claimed winning teams would likely opt for controlled events at their stadiums, where they can scan for weapons, restrict backpacks and better control crowds. 

Last Week, Reviewed

Changing Gun Laws: Over the weekend, nearly 200 people rallied at Washington Square Park, near Crown Center, to call for new gun control measures following the shooting.  

Don’t hold your breath. 

Kansas City is handcuffed on what it can do by a four-decade old Missouri law that blocks cities from restricting firearms. And there appears to be no appetite from Missouri leaders to change any existing laws. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has told reporters this is “a culture issue” not a gun issue.  

Despite the new t-shirts proclaiming “Kansas City Strong” there is no consensus on how to respond to the tragedy. 

When some of our panelists mentioned gun laws on our “Week in Review” program over the weekend, my mailbox was filled with comments from viewers who disagreed. 

Even one of our TV station’s significant funders wrote to me: “Every single thing that happened here was already illegal. It is illegal for juveniles to carry handguns. It is illegal for them to shoot at each other in a public place. What new gun law would have stopped this, exactly?” 

Chiefs/NFL Response: As we retreat to our ideological corners, there is one significant dynamic that could shift the response and that’s a bold statement demanding action from the Chiefs organization or one of its star players. 

What if Patrick Mahomes or Travis Kelce were to travel down to Jefferson City and implore lawmakers to act?  

The players have been visiting the shooting victims in hospitals and taking to social media to express how “heartbroken” they are. Would they use their immense platforms to go a step further and call for more systemic change?  

And would the same lawmakers who have watched every game and attended the victory parade with their families turn around and say no to them? 

School Response: Was this the last time a local school district canceled school for a parade? 

Last week’s shooting is likely to prompt some serious soul-searching from school leaders who have long claimed their number one responsibility is their children’s safety.  

Does giving students a day off to attend a parade signal a district’s informal endorsement of the event, opening them up to legal liability if things go wrong? 

Stadium Tax Vote  

There’s been a lot of speculation about how last week’s shooting would affect the upcoming stadium vote, especially as the Royals plan to play baseball just blocks from where the tragedy happened.  

The most likely immediate impact will be to slow down the ad campaign. Showing political commercials featuring joyous fans and players may be considered a bad look, so soon after the tragedy. 

But the pro-stadium tax campaign may have more things to worry about this week. One of the city’s most potent political forces announced this morning it will oppose the tax. 

KC Tenants is the renters’ rights group that has scored multiple victories at City Hall and played an oversized role in last year’s City Council elections. 

The group says it cannot support subsidizing “a playground for the wealthy.”   

Presidents Day 

If you need to go to the bank or post office today, think again. They’re closed for the federal holiday. 

It’s Presidents Day. 

There’s no mail delivery, most government buildings are closed, and schools are out for the day. 

Also, depending on where you live, you may not get your trash picked up. 

Moon Landing 

A historic moon landing could happen Thursday.  

If all goes according to plan this week, a U.S. spacecraft will land on the moon for the first time in more than 50 years.  

The Odysseus lunar lander would also be the first privately built spacecraft to touch down on the moon. 

Haley’s Last Stand 

The presidential campaign roadshow moves to South Carolina this week. 

Saturday’s vote could mark Nikki Haley’s last stand.  

If the former South Carolina governor loses her home state, most political watchers say it will be the end of her campaign. But Haley is vowing to fight on.  

A CBS poll released last week showed Donald Trump leading Haley by 35 points. 

Kansas Presidential Primary 

For the first time in more than 20 years, Kansas is hosting a presidential primary. And if you want a say in who should be the next president of the United States, there’s an important deadline. 

This Tuesday is the last day to register to vote or to request an advance mail-in ballot.  

The Kansas presidential primary is set for March 19.  

If you live in Missouri, be aware the state has adopted an unusual hybrid election with votes taking place three weeks apart.  

Missouri Democrats are hosting a presidential preference primary on March 2. 

Missouri Republicans will caucus on March 23. 

Parson’s Border Announcement 

We’re still waiting to hear from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson about how many state troopers and National Guard units he plans to send to the border after vowing to help Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. 

Parson was scheduled to make that announcement last week but canceled the news conference after the parade shooting. 

Missouri lawmakers are also moving forward with a series of bills targeting those who cross the border illegally.  

One measure would create a new state offense called “trespass by an illegal alien.”  

Initiative Petitions 

The Missouri Senate has been in session for the better part of two months, but did you know they’ve yet to pass a single bill?  

That’s not a typo.  

Political in-fighting has brought legislative business to a standstill. 

But this week, the state’s highest chamber is expected to break that logjam with a pivotal vote to limit initiative petitions. That’s the century-old provision that allows citizens to bypass lawmakers and place issues directly before voters. 

In recent years, it’s been used to legalize marijuana, expand Medicaid and raise the minimum wage in Missouri.  

But if this latest measure passes, it would raise the bar for enacting future changes. 

No longer would constitutional amendments require a simple majority to pass. They would also need majority support in at least five of the state’s eight congressional districts. 

The measure is a top priority for legislative Republicans who are trying to head off an abortion rights amendment on the November ballot.  

It may also have found new urgency now that a petition drive has been launched to make changes to the state’s gun laws.  

A Jefferson City attorney is collecting signatures for what is being called, “The Missouri Possession of Firearms Amendment. “ 

It would require background checks for all gun sales (including at gun shows) and require a permit to carry a concealed weapon. 

Kansas Executions  

Kris Kobach is back in the news. The Kansas attorney general wants to follow Alabama’s lead and begin nitrogen gas executions in the Sunflower State.  

With some states struggling to obtain the drugs necessary to conduct lethal injections, Kobach says Kansas needs to explore an alternative method. 

Kansas hasn’t executed a single inmate since reinstating the death penalty in 1994. 

But time is running out for lawmakers to consider Kobach’s measure. This is turnaround week in Topeka. Friday is the cut-off for considering new bills that have not passed their house of origin. 

Time is also running out for lawmakers wanting to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s flat tax veto. 

The deadline to consider a veto override is this week.  

Apparently, there’s a behind-the-scenes effort underway to flip one vote in the Senate.  

Spring Training 

The Kansas City Royals are now basking in the sun in Surprise, Arizona, as spring training gets underway.  

The teams play their preseason opener on Saturday against the Texas Rangers. 

Opening day is a month away, on March 28 against the Minnesota Twins. 

Sporting KC 

The MLS season begins Wednesday. Sporting KC’s season opener is on Saturday in an away game against the Houston Dynamo. 

Folk Festival 

The Folk Alliance International Conference is taking over downtown this week.  

It’s 150 folk concerts over five days at the Westin Crown Center Hotel. 

But last week’s parade shooting is unsettling some of the scheduled artists. Organizers are promising stepped up security efforts to reassure skittish attendees, who are flying in from around the world. 

The Folk Alliance International Conference starts on Wednesday. 

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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