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Nick’s Picks | Holiday, House Fight and War in Israel Busy Week 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

Many Kansas Citians have the day off today. It’s the federal holiday long known as Columbus Day, but increasingly referred to as Indigenous Peoples Day. 

Federal government offices are closed. So is your local post office. And don’t forget, there is no mail delivery today. 

Speaker of the House 

Your local members of Congress are back in Washington this morning trying to elect a new speaker, following the stunning ouster of Kevin McCarthy last week. 

Here’s the current schedule. 

The House of Representatives GOP conference will host a candidate forum on Tuesday and hold an internal election for speaker on Wednesday. Their choice would then go to a vote of the full house, possibly by the end of the week. 

There are two formally declared candidates for the chamber’s top leadership post: House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, and House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. 

Both men are to McCarthy’s political right. But Jordan has the backing of former President Donald Trump. 

Until lawmakers elect a new speaker, there’s likely to be little work done in Washington. Even the Senate is taking a break. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is currently in China, leading the first congressional visit to the country since 2019. 

War in Israel 

As the death toll rises in Israel and Gaza and the United States now moves aircraft carriers and ships closer to the region, Kansas City’s Jewish community is coming together to host a solidarity event tonight

The chief rabbi at Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah says anyone who wants to show their support for Israel is welcome to attend. B’nai Jehudah is at 123rd Street and Nall Avenue in Overland Park. It starts at 5 p.m. 

Last Week, Reviewed

UAW Strike 

Will there be a breakthrough this week in the nearly month-long United Auto Workers strike? 

It’s now entering its fourth week. Kansas City’s GM Fairfax plant has already been idled and there are concerns that Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo will be next. 

Local car repair shops say they’re already feeling the impact of the strike as they struggle to get parts for their customers. 

Independent Bid for White House 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is expected to drop his campaign as a Democratic candidate for the presidency today. He’s teasing a “historic” announcement in which he is expected to launch an independent presidential campaign. 

There are conflicting reports about which party benefits most from the move. 

Voter Registration Deadline 

Voters will head to the polls in about a month to decide local election races on both sides of state line. 

Here’s an important reminder: 

If you live in Missouri, your deadline to register to vote In the November election is this Wednesday. 

If you haven’t voted in recent elections, a new Missouri law makes it easier for your name to be dropped from the voter rolls. 

Here’s where to go if you want to see if you’re still registered or to sign up for the first time

The deadline for Kansas voters is Tuesday, Oct. 17. 

Nordstrom Opening 

Eighteen months after Nordstrom announced it was dropping plans to move to the Country Club Plaza, the high-end retailer will open a new store this week in southern Overland Park. 

Nordstrom Rack opens at 119th Street and Metcalf Avenue on Thursday morning. 

Last Call for Carousel 

While a new Ferris wheel is lighting up the downtown sky just west of Union Station, another long-time family attraction is being torn down this week. 

Oak Park Mall’s fairground carousel will offer its last rides on Sunday after more than 25 years in the shopping center. A leasing dispute is behind the move. 

By the way, if you’re curious about riding the KC Wheel, the official name of the downtown Ferris wheel, you’re going to have to wait a little while longer. 

The rotating attraction isn’t scheduled to open until next month. 

Rides are expected to last 12-15 minutes and cost $17 a person. 

Taylor Swift on stage.
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour” at Allegiant Stadium on March 24, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Casey Flanigan,imageSPACE | Sipa USA via AP Images)

Taylor Swift Concert Film 

Pssst! There are rumors Taylor Shift could show up at your local movie theater this week. 

If you missed seeing the music sensation during her recent Kansas City concert or didn’t get a selfie with her while she was cheering on the Chiefs at ArrowheadnStadium, you can now see her on the big screen at a megaplex near you. 

Taylor Swift’s “Era Tour” concert film hits theaters on Friday. 

Will anyone even be interested? 

According to the entertainment press, it has already surpassed $100 million in advanced ticket sales. 

‘Saturday Night Live’ 

“Saturday Night Live” returns this weekend, five months after ending its season early due to the writers’ strike. 

The show has been on an indefinite hiatus since the beginning of May. NBC has announced that comedian Pete Davidson will host its first show back on Saturday, with musical guest Ice Spice. 

KC Current 

KC Current wraps up its season this weekend with an away game Sunday against Gotham FC. 

The next time the team plays will be in their new stadium on Kansas City’s riverfront. 

The new 11,500-seat soccer stadium is scheduled to open in March. 

In other sports news…. 

The Chiefs have a short turnaround following Sunday’s win against the Minnesota Vikings. The team is back in action on Thursday night as they take on the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Game time is 7:15 p.m. 

Rendering of the KC Current stadium with the downtown skyline in the background.
The Port KC development committee endorsed incentives for a $650 million mixed-use redevelopment anchored on the KC Current soccer stadium being built on the downtown riverfront. (Rendering | Generator Studio)

That’s Entertainment 

Look up: Don’t be freaked out when the skies start to darken over Kansas City on Saturday morning. We’re just days aways from experiencing a rare “ring of fire” solar eclipse. 

The moon will block out a large part of the sun between 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. local time on Saturday. The partial eclipse will last until about 1:30 p.m. 

Boo! The Kansas City Ballet is getting a head start on Halloween this week as it brings the gothic horror tale “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 

It’s the first time the production will be seen in the United States since premiering in Europe in 2020. Representatives from ballet companies around the country are expected to attend the Kansas City performance, which begins Friday night and runs through Oct 22. 

Chili Challenge: A two-day chili showdown is on the way. The Lenexa Chili Challenge features more than 200 teams vying to be crowned the best chili maker in the galaxy. Or at least in this part of Kansas City. 

The chow down starts Friday night in Old Town Lenexa. 

Ghost Light: If you’re a sucker for old-fashioned ghost stories, look no further than the dark woods of Roanoke Park this week. 

It’s the 4th annual Ghost Light, a free evening of ghost stories and songs, art-making activities, live performances and a haunted parade. The two-night affair begins Friday after dark at Roanoke Park, just north of Westport. 

It’s kosher: After a six-year absence, Jewish Culture Fest returns this weekend. There are few places you can go to eat kosher sushi and listen to Jewish country music at the same time. You can do both at the Jewish Culture Fest this Sunday on the grounds of the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park. 

PorchFest: After a three-year hiatus, PorchFest also makes its big return this week. 

If you aren’t familiar with it, PorchfestKC transforms two Kansas City neighborhoods into a one-day, walk-up music festival. 

Starting on Saturday, 135 bands will perform sets on the front porches of nearly 50 homes in Midtown’s Roanoke and Valentine neighborhoods. The music starts at noon and the neighborhoods have hired food trucks to keep the party going. You can check out the bands and schedule at 

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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