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Nick’s Picks | Missouri Scrambles to Keep Chiefs, Royals Gov. Mike Parson Comes to Town

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Above image credit: "Kansas City Week in Review" host Nick Haines. (John McGrath | Flatland)
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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is in town today as he launches a new effort to save Kansas City’s sports stadiums. 

The Republican governor has scheduled a string of closed-door meetings with Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Jackson County Executive Frank White and members of the Clay County Commission. 

Parson says he’s already met with representatives from both teams.  

His visit comes nearly three weeks after a vote in Kansas that dangled billions of dollars in front of the Chiefs and Royals to lure them across the state line. 

Parson has acknowledged that Missouri would have to “spend some money” to keep the teams but he has not offered any specifics.  

The clock is ticking. Parson leaves office in January and there are currently no plans to bring lawmakers back to Jefferson City before then.  

Another Jackson County Stadium Tax Proposal 

While Missouri Gov. Mike Parson continues his rescue mission to keep the Chiefs and Royals, Jackson County lawmakers are making another effort to pass a Chiefs-only stadium tax. 

The issue is back on the agenda at the Jackson County Courthouse today.  

Proposed is a 1/8 of a cent sales tax for 25 years to fund renovations at Arrowhead Stadium.  

If approved, it would be added to the ballot for voters to decide in November.  

The Secretary of State’s deadline to place a question on the ballot is Aug. 27. But Jackson County lawmaker Manny Abarca says the county would need to pass the ordinance by Aug. 5 so there’s time to overturn a possible veto from Jackson County Executive Frank White. 

An aerial view of Truman Sports Complex.
An aerial view of Truman Sports Complex, home of the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs. (G. Newman Lowrance | via Associated Press)

National Stories to Watch 

Beryl: Now that Hurricane Beryl has reached landfall in Texas, it’s expected to barrel its way north as far as Kansas and Missouri. Local meteorologists say most of the storm’s remnants will be felt outside of the metro area, but Kansas City could experience thunderstorms and heavy cloud cover on Tuesday. 

Biden’s Future: President Joe Biden faces a crucial week. Congress returns today for the first time since the presidential debate sent many Democrats into panic mode.  You can expect extensive deliberations about Biden’s future at the head of the ticket. Senate Democrats will meet behind closed doors tonight. House Democrats will meet on Tuesday. So far, 10 congressional Democrats have explicitly called on Biden to quit the race. 

NATO Summit: World leaders gather in Washington on Tuesday to mark the 75th anniversary of NATO.  

Hereford House Case 

The restaurant worker at the center of the Hereford House food contamination case heads back to court on Wednesday. 

Jace Christian Hanson, 21, has been charged with 22 counts of criminal threat for allegedly contaminating food with bodily fluids and skin contact. He also faces one count of criminal damage and 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a child after police discovered videos of child sex abuse at his home.  

Hanson is being held in the Johnson County jail.  

Nine lawsuits have been filed against the Leawood steakhouse from customers claiming they got sick after eating there.  

Parson to Sign Blair’s Law 

Over the Independence Day holiday, Kansas City Police tracked 280 rounds of gunfire across the city.  Two houses were struck by bullets randomly fired in the air. Though no injuries were reported. 

Now, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is set to sign into law this week a new ban on celebratory gunfire.   

Called Blair’s Law, it’s named in honor of Blair Shanahan Lane, the 11-year-old who was killed by a stray bullet in Kansas City during a Fourth of July celebration in 2011. 

The bill signing is on the governor’s calendar for Tuesday.  

Coast Guard Shuts Down Missouri River  

Last week’s heavy rainfall caused flooded basements and disrupted Independence Day fireworks shows. It also shut down the Missouri River. 

The U.S. Coast Guard has closed the waterway to all boat traffic between Kansas City and St. Charles through Wednesday, due to dangerously high-water levels and debris.  

High water along the Missouri River during the flood of 1993. The downtown skyline is in the background.
While they came close, the flood of 1993 did not top the levees in the Central Industrial District on July 27, the same day the Missouri River crested just south of what is now Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. (Courtesy | U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District).

Christmas in July 

Don’t be alarmed if you happen to see scores of people wearing heavy coats today, along with winter hats, gloves and scarves. There isn’t an unexpected cold snap on the way.  

They’re cast members in the new Christmas film being co-produced by the Chiefs and the Hallmark Channel. 

Filming begins this week in Independence Square. Over the weekend, the TV production company was installing holiday decorations in front of several of the stores. Arrowhead Stadium will also be a location for the new movie called “Holiday Touchdown: A Chiefs Love Story.” 

It will air as part of the Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” event in December.  

Homebuilders Clash with Climate Activists 

Are new city environmental rules to blame for a sharp slowdown in home construction in Kansas City? 

It’s a question that’s making its way to City Hall this week as council members are asked to tear up or walk back a series of recently passed green building codes.  

Councilman Nathan Willett claims an ordinance enacted last year to raise energy efficiency standards is now adding between $12,000 and $35,000 to the cost of new homes. He says it is pushing developers to build homes elsewhere.  

Environmental groups like the Sierra Club say developers are trying to use the city’s housing shortage as an excuse to skirt their environmental responsibilities. 

The issue is pitting home builders against climate activists.  

Now, after many delays, the Kansas City Council’s Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee is set to hold a hearing on the matter. It is scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. on the 26th floor of City Hall. 

Sports News 

ESPY Awards: Patrick Mahomes’ trophy case is already packed but he could add to it Thursday night at the 2024 ESPY awards. The Chiefs quarterback is a nominee for Best Male Athlete. He’s also a nominee for Best NFL Player. The Chiefs are nominated in the Best Team category. 

All-Star Game: Ahead of next week’s All-Star Game, four Kansas City Royals players have just been picked to join the American League team. 

Catcher Salvador Perez, pitchers Seth Lugo and Cole Ragans and shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. are all scheduled to play in the 94th All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas, next Tuesday.  

Big Week in Soccer: The Euros and Copa América finals take place on Sunday. 

Wimbledon: And Wimbledon wraps up this weekend with the ladies’ singles final on Saturday and the men’s final on Sunday.  

Everybody’s Gone Surfin’ 

One of the longest-enduring rock bands of all time surfs into town this week.  

The Beach Boys (or what’s left of the original group) will play their deep catalog of hits this Sunday night at the Uptown Theater

In other events around town this week… 

The KC Fringe Festival celebrates its 20th birthday this week, with 17 days of performance, film and visual arts exhibitions across the city. The festival starts Friday night. The schedule and venues are online at kcfringe.org

Hundreds of classic and vintage cars will be on display on the grounds of the National World War I Museum on Sunday. The Great Car Show is a fundraising event for the Kansas City Automotive Museum. 

And grab your teddy bear and head to Swope Park on Friday for National Teddy Bear Picnic Day

The free event presented by the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium includes music, ice cream, face painting and a Teddy Bear Health Clinic. 

It starts on Friday at 11 am. 

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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