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Nick’s Picks | It’s Super Bowl Week (Again) in Kansas City These Are The Good Old Days

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

The Chiefs have now arrived in Arizona ahead of this weekend’s Super Bowl. 

Fun Fact: The team is staying in the same hotel as Sporting KC, which is in the middle of pre-season training in the area. 

It also seems like half of Kansas City’s reporters and local TV news anchors have decided to join them in the sun.  

That means it’s going to be a slow news week here unless it involves coverage of anyone with the last name Mahomes or Kelce. 

Most of our top political leaders are also heading south. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will be at the big game. 

The Chiefs take the field against the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday at 5:30 p.m. 

It’s already going to be a history making game. 

For the first time in Super Bowl history, two Black starting quarterbacks will compete. 

It will also be the first time in NFL history that a pair of brothers will play in the same Super Bowl. 

Travis Kelce’s elder brother Jason plays center for the Philadelphia Eagles. 

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)

Super Bowl Watch Parties 

Where are you going to watch Sunday’s game? 

The Power & Light District is throwing open its doors for what is likely to be Kansas City’s biggest Super Bowl Party.  

You can watch the Chiefs-Eagles matchup on the entertainment district’s 39-foot-wide, 17-foot-tall LED screen. 

But if you live in Kansas, you may be able to skip the trip downtown if you’re looking for that big “watch party” experience. This week an expansive new indoor-outdoor entertainment complex opens in Overland Park. 

It’s called SERV and is the brainchild of Rachel Kennedy, who created the Iron District, the foodie-favorite outdoor restaurant village in North Kansas City. 

At this new location in Johnson County, think huge outdoor video walls, a performance stage, bars, fire pits and cabanas, six shipping container restaurants, including one wholly devoted to vegan food, and eight pickle ball courts. It opens Thursday at 91st and Metcalf. 

It will have special events starting at 2 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. 

Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne poses on stage at the KC Live! Chiefs watch party
KC rapper Tech N9ne poses at KC Live! (Courtesy | KC Live!)

Let’s Have a Parade 

We don’t want to jinx it, but if the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, Kansas City has announced it will host a victory parade on Wednesday, Feb. 15.  

The official downtown parade route hasn’t been released yet but city officials have confirmed it would end in front of Union Station. 

City leaders expect some 500,000 fans to show up.  

The Kansas City Council has just approved $750,000 in city funding for parade security, decorations and equipment. The entire parade is expected to cost $3.75 million. The rest of the money would come from Jackson County government and private sponsorships. 

State of the Union 

It’s not going to get as many viewers as the Super Bowl. But President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. 

It will be Biden’s first address to a divided Congress.  

The president has invited the mother and stepfather of Tyre Nichols to join him as his personal guests. Nichols is the 29-year-old Black motorist who died after being pulled over by Memphis police. Biden is expected to use his beating death to demand changes to American policing.  

Biden will deliver his State of the Union message this Tuesday at 8 p.m. You can watch the speech live on Kansas City PBS. 

We’ll also be carrying the Republican response, which will be delivered by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 

In other news on Capitol Hill… 

This week, House Republicans will launch their promised investigation of the president’s son, Hunter Biden.  

Then on Thursday, Southwest Airlines executives are in the hot seat. A congressional panel is holding hearings on the carrier’s December holiday meltdown that led to the cancellation of 16,700 flights. 

Four Mayors on Kansas City PBS

Statehouse News 

Closer to home, here are some of the biggest items on the agenda in our two state capitols this week: 

In Missouri, lawmakers are ploughing ahead with a plan to ban teachers from talking about sexual orientation or gender identity in the classroom. The Senate Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the measure on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile in Kansas, debate continues on a bill that would make it criminal offense for a drag artist to perform in front of a child.  

Also worth watching this week is a proposal to make it tougher for Missouri voters to pass constitutional amendments at the ballot box.  

The Republican-backed proposal cleared the House last week. The Senate will take it up today.  

If approved, it would require 60% of the vote to pass constitutional amendments, up from the simple majority needed now. 

Critics claim the higher bar would have prevented passage of Medicaid expansion and the legalization of marijuana in Missouri. Both measures attracted less than 60% of the vote. 

Another Missouri Execution 

The death penalty will be back in the headlines this week as Missouri prepares to carry out its third execution in just over two months.  

Leonard Taylor is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on Tuesday after being convicted of killing his girlfriend and her three children in 2004. 

Missouri is one of only four states to have scheduled executions this year. 

Pot’s Big Day 

Who says government moves too slowly? 

On Friday, state regulators surprised Missourians by legalizing pot, several days early.  

The move even caught marijuana dispensary owners off guard. 

Legal weed wasn’t officially expected to start until today.  

But that’s good news for you. Some of those dispensaries are still moving forward with big opening parties this morning where you can snag free food, drinks, swag and door-buster prizes.  

If you didn’t already endure long lines over the weekend to get your legal allotment, here are five things to know: 

  • You just need a valid ID that shows you are at least 21 years old to buy flower, edibles and novel items like “pot-infused” sparkling water. You can buy up to three ounces of marijuana a day.
  • It makes sense to stock-up now. Several cities and counties are placing marijuana tax measures on the April ballot that would add up to a 3% tax on all pot products.  
  • This is for private consumption only. You can still be fined $100 for smoking a joint in public. 
  • You can’t just start growing marijuana plants in your basement. You need a legal permit. Missouri is requiring home cannabis growers to buy a $100 “home grow” card. It’s valid for 12 months and must be renewed annually. 
  • If you live in Kansas, local police departments say they’ve not changed their policies. If you’re pulled over and have marijuana in your vehicle, you will be charged. 
Marijuana in a growing facility.
Marijuana in a growing facility. (Courtesy | Missouri Business Alert)

Pot Paperwork Snafu  

Could a paperwork snafu foil Kansas City’s plans to add a marijuana tax to the April 4 ballot? 

Officials with the Kansas City Election Board says the city missed the deadline to file the paperwork. 

The City Clerk’s office insists they mailed the necessary documents but the envelope wasn’t delivered. 

The city’s attorneys are now heading to Jackson County Circuit Court this week to seek an emergency ruling on the matter. 

The paperwork confusion also affects two other ballot questions. In addition to a 3% marijuana tax, Kansas City leaders were hoping voters in April would approve new taxes and fees on Airbnb and other short term rental stays.  

Bridge Shutdown 

If you’re one of the 50,000 drivers a day who rely on the Buck O’Neil Bridge to get you from the northland to downtown, you’re going to have to find another route over the river starting today. 

The southbound lanes to the bridge are now officially closed and will remain shut for the next 600 days. 

Work is currently underway on a new bridge that’s scheduled to open in the fall of 2024. 

Garrison Keillor Comeback 

Five years ago, Garrison Keillor was fired from his public radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” after a female cast member accused him of “inappropriate touching.” The allegations also cost him his weekly syndicated column in the Washington Post.  

Now he’s on a comeback tour that winds through Kansas City this week. 

Keillor takes the stage at the Uptown Theater on Wednesday night. 

Also in Kansas City this week is actor and comedian Adam Sandler. He brings his stand-up act to T-Mobile Center on Saturday night. 

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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