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Nick’s Picks | Hotter Politics, Cooler Weather and Chiefs Students Head Back to School

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

The road to the White House is finally winding through Kansas City. Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis will be here this week.  

The Florida governor is hosting a big donor event on Tuesday. He’ll be in Wichita today. The VIP fundraiser with DeSantis isn’t cheap to attend. How about $13,000 a couple?  

So far, DeSantis hasn’t announced any public events while he’s in Kansas City, which means this trip seems more about collecting checks than convincing voters to give his flagging campaign a second look. 

Back to School 

Is it just me, or is the start of the new school year getting earlier and earlier?  

This week, thousands of area kids head back to the classroom for the start of the fall semester. 

Thursday is the first day of school in the Gardener-Edgerton School District. Most students in the Olathe School District go back on Friday, with other Kansas districts starting at the beginning of next week.  

Students in Missouri still have several more weeks for “chillaxing.” 

A new Missouri state law prevents districts from starting classes until two weeks before the first Monday in September.  

The rule came about after an outcry from Missouri employers, including Silver Dollar City, who were alarmed about losing teenage workers during tourist season. 

That means back-to-school for Missouri districts won’t be until Aug. 21, at the earliest. 

Last Week, Reviewed

Vacation for Congress 

As your kids and grandkids get ready to go back to school, your local members of Congress are on a long summer vacation. 

The U.S. House and Senate are not scheduled to reconvene again until after Labor Day.  

So, there is a chance you might bump into your local representative at the grocery store or coffee shop over the next few weeks.  

In Kansas, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids has been doing a ride-along with Overland Park police.  

Other area congressional leaders are hosting business roundtables and town hall meetings. 

U.S. Rep. Mark Alford hosts a town hall tonight on fentanyl abuse with area health and law enforcement leaders. Five families who have lost loved ones to the drug are expected to take part in the forum at Memorial Station in Belton. It starts at 7 p.m. 

Election Worth Watching 

Could an election in Ohio this week be an important trial run for what we can expect in Missouri next year? 

On Tuesday, Ohio voters are being asked to raise the percentage of votes necessary to pass constitutional amendments. It’s an effort to head off a November ballot measure that would give women the right to an abortion in the state. 

Does it all sound remarkably familiar? 

That’s exactly the political strategy now underway in Missouri, where a petition effort is underway to place a reproductive rights amendment on the November 2024 ballot. 

But Missouri lawmakers are vowing to head off the proposal by asking voters to raise the threshold to amend the state constitution from a simple majority to 57%. Missouri legislative leaders say they are working to place the change on next August’s ballot. 

Beating the Heat 

During this week in 1936, Kansas City recorded the hottest temperature in its history.  

The mercury reached a sweltering 113 degrees. And our ancestors lived through it with no air conditioning.  

Here’s the good news. After several weeks of punishing weather, triple-digit temperatures have been banished from the forecast.  

Grab a picnic basket, the National Weather Service says you can expect highs in the low 80s this week, with comfortable early morning temperatures in the 60s. 

Big Dreams 

Would this encourage you to buy a lottery ticket? 

The Mega Millions jackpot now currently stands at $1.55 billion.  

It’s the third-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. 

Remember, you can’t retire early or take that round-the-world cruise if you don’t play! 

The next drawing is Tuesday. 

World Cup Woes 

Will you continue to watch the World Cup now that the U.S. Women’s team is headed home? 

Team U.S.A. fell to Sweden on Sunday in its earliest Women’s World Cup exit ever. 

The Power & Light District has already decided there’s nothing left worth watching. With the Americans out, the entertainment district has halted its World Cup watch parties and are now advertising events for the upcoming Chiefs season. 

The Women’s World Cup continues “down under” for the next two weeks. The final will be played Sunday, Aug. 20, at Stadium Australia in Sydney. 

Patrick Mahomes throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 23, 2022.
Patrick Mahomes throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 23, 2022. (Jamie Squire | Getty Images)

Chiefs Preseason Game 

Football is finally back! 

The Kansas City Chiefs take the field this week for their first NFL preseason game.  

The Chiefs travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints.  

Game time is Sunday at Noon. 

The Chiefs begin the regular season at home on Thursday Night Football against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 7. 

Distractions and Diversions 

British pop singer Ed Sheeran rocked Arrowhead Stadium this past weekend. Now it’s Boy George’s turn to get Kansas Citians up on their feet.  

The English performer, best known for his 1980s hits “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” takes the stage at Starlight Theatre on Tuesday night. 

The “RuPaul Drag Race” stops at the Midland on Wednesday. 

The Missouri State Fair starts Thursday in Sedalia. 

And grab your boots and cowboy hat, Y’allapalooza takes over the Azura Amphitheater on Friday night. The music festival spotlights some of the best up-and-coming performers in country music. 

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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