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Nick’s Picks | Missouri Tax Cut, Kansas Governor Debate Election Season Ramps Up

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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 expected to sign off on a $1 billion income tax cut this week.

The measure was passed by Missouri lawmakers during a two-week special session that ended on Thursday.

The bill will gradually lower the state income tax rate from 5.3% to 4.5%. 

It could save high earners more than $4,000 a year. But Sen. Greg Razer, a Kansas City Democrat, claims lower income families will be lucky to buy “a McDonald’s extra value meal” with their savings.

Final Kansas Governor’s Debate

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and her Republican opponent Derek Schmidt will be in the Kansas City area this week.

They’re sharing the same stage for the final Kansas governor debate.

Apparently, they found a terrific moderator.

Ok, it’s me. 

Kansas City PBS is presenting the debate with the Johnson County Bar Association.

You can watch the hour-long exchange live from the Doubletree Hotel in Overland Park on the KCPBS Facebook page, starting at noon on Wednesday.

You also can watch the debate on TV from the comfort of your couch, Wednesday at 7 p.m. on KCPBS.

Catching Up

Police Chief Candidates

Who will be Kansas City’s next top cop?

This week we should learn who wants the job. 

The Kansas City Police Board says it’s received 21 applications for the position and are now selecting a smaller field of candidates to interview.

The Kansas City Police Department has been without a permanent leader since Chief Rick Smith hung up his badge six months ago.

The job pays $189,000 a year. 

It’s not clear how many of the applications came from inside the department, which is now under a U.S. Justice Department investigation. The federal probe is focused on the KCPD’s hiring and employment practices to determine if the force engaged in racial discrimination.

Another Streetcar Expansion?

We’re still three years away from riding streetcars down to the Country Club Plaza, but this week you get to weigh in on another streetcar expansion line, this time to the sports stadiums.

Kansas City is considering the first east-west route that would start at the University of Kansas Hospital and run along 39th Street, ending at the Truman Sports Complex.

Some city leaders want to fast track the plan so it will be up and running by the time international visitors head to Kansas City for the World Cup in 2026. 

Is that really possible?

The current expansion from Union Station to the Plaza has been an eight- year planning and construction project.

Can Kansas City construct a new streetcar line that is twice as long and in half the time?

It seems implausible, but you get to decide for yourself. 

The first public hearing is this Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at Drexel Hall, 3301 Baltimore Ave. in Kansas City, Missouri.

The second meeting is set for 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Linwood YMCA Community Center, 3800 Linwood Blvd.

A virtual public hearing is slated for noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

If you’re interested in participating, you can reserve your spot by registering at

The Kansas City streetcar
Transit advocates cite the streetcar as one method of recruiting young people to Kansas City. (Brad Austin | Flatland)

No Drought About It

It would be nice to get some rain.

But don’t count on it.

The National Weather Service is reporting drought like conditions continuing through the end of the week.

In the entire month of September we saw less than an inch of rain in Kansas City.

That’s just 20% of the four inches we usually get, according to the local weather office.

September 2022 is going to finish as the ninth driest in 135 years of record keeping.

End of the Season

The Kansas City Royals wrap up the season this week.

The Royals final game is this Wednesday against the Cleveland Guardians. 

The MLB playoffs begin on Friday.

No Chiefs game this week. After overpowering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the team is getting a break.

The Chiefs don’t play again until next Monday night when they take on the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead. 

Taco Day

Tuesday is National Taco Day. 

And tourism officials in Wyandotte County want you to celebrate in the place they claim is the epicenter of taquerias in the metro, Kansas City, Kansas. 

They may be on to something. There are 57 local taco joints clustered in a relatively small part of downtown KCK. 

And they’ve just banded together to form “The Taco Trail.”

If you join the trail on National Taco Day this Tuesday you can win swag, gift cards and a catered 15-person taco party.

You can download “The Taco Trail” map at

So Many Festivals

Are you a bacon lover?

Are you addicted to the taste and smell of thin strips of crackling pork?

Well you may want to head out to Children’s Mercy Park this weekend.

That’s the venue for BakCon Fest, a celebration of all things bacon.

This Saturday, Sporting KC’s home stadium will be turned over to bacon samples, bacon-inspired cuisine and even a bacon eating contest.

There’s bacon themed games, plenty of beer and a daylong showcase of bands.

Might it also be the best smelling place in Kansas City this week? 

If bacon’s not your thing, what about gumbo?

I’m not joking. This weekend is Gumbo Fest

Yes, there is such a thing. 

The event is this Saturday in the 18th and Vine Jazz District. 

It’s not just bowls of gumbo. There’s a lot of music too. And Tamba Hali will be performing.

The former Chiefs linebacker is now producing albums and has his own recording label.

Also this weekend, Crown Center becomes the “Munich of the Midwest” as Kansas City’s largest Oktoberfest celebration gets underway.

It’s a two-day Bavarian style event with beer tents, polka music and dancing and more than enough German style pretzels and brats to feed an army.

KC Oktoberfest starts at 5 p.m. on Friday and runs through Saturday night, just outside the front door of Crown Center.

KC Oktoberfest crowd hoists a beer In celebration.
KC Oktoberfest crowd hoists a beer In celebration. (Courtesy | KC Bier Co.)

Now all of these events cost money. If you’re looking for a “cost free” diversion, check out Troostapalooza, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this weekend.

Think vendors, food trucks, music, art and maker booths and even a special basketball showcase, featuring Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.

Troostapalooza is this Saturday starting at noon along Troost Avenue, between 30th and 31st streets.

The roads will be closed off for the celebration.

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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