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Nick’s Picks | Here’s Your Kansas City News Forecast Changes Ahead

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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

Welcome to your weekly news forecast for Kansas City. 

Let’s start with the weather. What happened to the fall? 

The National Weather Service says we’ll make a run at 85 degrees today, before dropping into the 50s by this weekend.  

The weather office says it may be unseasonably warm, but summer-like temperatures at the end of October aren’t unheard of.  

The latest 80-degree day in Kansas City occurred on Nov. 14, 1964, when we reached 81.  

November Elections 

Early in-person voting gets underway this week, ahead of the Nov. 7 local elections. 

If you live in Missouri, you can cast ballots starting on Tuesday.  

If you’re in Kansas, in-person advanced voting begins on Saturday in Wyandotte County and Johnson County

Scores of local school board and council seats are up for grabs. Leawood is picking a new mayor following the retirement of Peggy Dunn, who has led the city for 25 years. 

From Blue Valley to Leavenworth the teaching of race and gender in the classroom is dividing candidates in contentious school board races. 

In Missouri, Kansas City voters will be deciding whether to renew a sales tax that funds the bus service. Improving 9-1-1 response is on the ballot in Clay County. And Jackson County voters are being asked to approve an online sales tax to help fund homeless programs and infrastructure projects. 

If you live in Kansas City, don’t try to vote early at the Kansas City Election Board’s office at Union Station. It has moved. The Kansas City Election Board is now operating out of the Blue Parkway Shops at 4209 E. 50th Terr. 

Flatland in Focus

Security Threat 

The most unpredictable and volatile news story of the week is happening more than 6,000 miles away from Kansas City. 

As we start our week, the Pentagon has announced it’s sending more military firepower to the coast of Israel and putting thousands of U.S. troops on “prepare to deploy” orders. 

With concerns that an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza will widen an escalating Mideast conflict, the U.S. State Department has issued a rare “worldwide caution,” advising Americans of the potential for terrorist attacks or violent actions against U.S. citizens. 

Local universities have sent special precautionary messages to their exchange students studying overseas. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Jewish Community Center has stepped up security along with area synagogues.  

Still No House Speaker 

It’s back to square one in Washington today as House Republicans try to finally break a stalemate over its next speaker.  

The chamber has been without a speaker since Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the position nearly three weeks ago.  

So far, no candidate has managed to secure the votes necessary to win the top leadership post. 

After lawmakers rejected Ohio Republican Jim Jordan’s bid in a third round of voting on Friday, a new slate of candidates has come forward.  

Nine Republican are now seeking to somehow unify their splintered party.  

A closed-door candidate forum is scheduled for today and the House Republican caucus is expected to vote on Tuesday. 

The leadership vacuum has frozen work in Congress. 

Aid packages for Ukraine and Israel are currently in limbo. And the country is headed for another federal government shutdown if the House can’t pass a new budget by Nov. 17. 

DeValkenaere to Prison 

A former Kansas City police officer convicted in the shooting death of a Black man will finally be transferred to a Missouri prison this week. Eric DeValkenaere is currently being held at the Platte County Jail.  

Over the weekend, DeValkenaere’s wife took to social media to plead for the community’s help in encouraging the governor to pardon her husband. 

University Cuts 

Pink slips are going out this week at Park University. Lower enrollment is forcing the Parkville-based school to cut costs, and that includes reducing faculty. 

A memo from the university’s provost says those affected will be alerted by the end of the week. The university has not determined how many positions could be affected. 

Online records show that Park’s enrollment declined nearly 33% between fall 2019 and fall 2022. 

KC Current Coach 

Up until two months ago, he was coaching the U.S. Women’s Soccer team. Now Vlatko Andonovki is expected to be announced today as the new head coach of KC Current. 

It’s just the latest big announcement from Kansas City’s women’s professional soccer franchise. Last week, the team announced a new naming rights deal for its 11,500-seat stadium going up on the Kansas City riverfront.  

It will be called CPKC Stadium, the short form for the newly named Canadian Pacific Kansas City railway company. The stadium is expected to open in March. 

Rendering of the KC Current stadium with the downtown skyline in the background.
Port KC recently endorsed incentives for a mixed-use redevelopment anchored on the KC Current soccer stadium being built on the downtown riverfront. (Rendering | Generator Studio)

Big Week for Sporting KC 

It’s going to be a wild week for Sporting KC.  

Over the weekend, the team improbably clinched an MLS Cup playoff spot, becoming the first team to lose its first 10 matches and still make the postseason. 

Sporting’s first playoff match will be a wild card game at home against the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday. Game time is 8:30 p.m. 

Other News… 

Monday: Get ready to add a new word to your vocabulary: Croots. That’s the name of the new cowboy boot version of Crocs being released today. The footwear company best known for its bright, bulky, rubbery slides has decided to offer a mid-calf cowboy boot version, complete with rubber spurs.  

Giddy-up! They will set you back $120. 

Tuesday: The NBA regular season tips off Tuesday night. 

Sunday: Chiefs Kingdom heads to Denver on Sunday as they take on the Broncos.  

It’s the Chiefs’ last game before boarding a plane to Europe for the team’s first regular season game in Frankfurt, Germany. 

Celebrity Sightings, Distractions and Diversions 

Kansas City turns pink this week. Not for Barbie, but for the Grammy Award-winning singer and international pop icon with the same name. 

P!NK performs on Friday and Saturday nights at T-Mobile Center

And Kansas City jazz legend Marilyn Maye will make a rare appearance this week. Acclaimed for shows in Europe and New York, Maye joins the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra for two back-to-back performances at the Folly Theater, starting Friday night.  

In April, Marilyn Maye celebrated her 95th birthday with a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. 

Here’s a blast from the past…  

John Boy Walton is in Kansas City this week. Richard Thomas, one of the stars of the 1970s hit TV show “The Waltons,” is taking on one of American literature’s most heroic roles. He plays Atticus Finch in a new national touring show of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  

The production became the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history before being forced to close prematurely because of the COVID pandemic. 

You can catch the first of eight shows at the Music Hall on Tuesday night.  

It’s a big week for theater in Kansas City. 

Opening on the same night as “To Kill a Mockingbird” is another acclaimed Broadway play, “What the Constitution Means to Me,” starring Tony-nominated actress Jennifer Westfeldt. 

It’s at the KC Rep’s Copaken Stage

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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