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Nick’s Picks | Presidents Day, KCI Opening and the NFL Draft Life After Chiefs

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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

For many Kansas Citians, it’s another four-day week. 

No, we’re not shutting down for a second Super Bowl parade, though that would be fun. It’s Presidents Day. 

That means all banks are closed and you won’t get mail delivery. 

Most government offices will be shut today, so are many area libraries and school districts. 

And if you’re scratching your head wondering why your trash wasn’t collected today, that could be affected by the holiday too.  

Kansas City is delaying trash pick-up until Tuesday. 

Longest Living President 

As we mark Presidents Day, tributes and prayers are pouring in for Jimmy Carter. 

At 98, Carter is the longest living president in American history.  

Over the weekend, the former president’s charity announced he was entering hospice care after a series of illnesses. According to a release, Carter will forgo further medical intervention and has “decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family.” 

Last Week, Reviewed

Bloody Anniversary 

This Friday marks the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The conflict has caused tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. 

The Kansas City Library will host a public forum about the conflict this Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Downtown Central Library. 

Police Funeral 

Large crowds are expected this week at a public funeral service for James Muhlbauer. He’s the Kansas City police officer who was struck by a driver running a red light at East Truman Road and Benton Boulevard. 

A pedestrian and Muhlbauer’s police dog Champ also died in the high-speed collision.  

Muhlbauer is the first Kansas City Police Department officer to be killed in the line of duty in 22 years.  

A public visitation is planned for this Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City. The funeral will follow at 11.30 a.m. 

Muhlbauer served 20 years with the KCPD, the last three with the K-9 unit. He leaves behind his wife and a 10 year-old son. 

KCI Preps for Takeoff 

It’s almost time for takeoff. 

This week, construction crews will be making some final adjustments and touch-ups on Kansas City’s new $1.5 billion airport terminal. 

It opens to passengers next Tuesday. 

A public test of the new Kansas City International Airport with pretend passengers last week garnered rave reviews. But it also revealed the need for beefed up signage in some places. 

The security gates were also not quite done, and KCI officials now acknowledge that most of the 45 restaurants and stores will be ready to open on the first day. 

It will also be one of the only airports around the country without a Starbucks. If you booked one of those early flights next week, you’ll have to get your caffeine fix at Dunkin Donuts or at one of the local shops that won contracts at the new airport. Parisi and Messenger Coffee Co. both have spots in the new terminal. 

Next up at KCI: Demolishing Terminals B and C. Neither building is being repurposed. Teardown work will begin in the next few weeks. 

NFL Draft 

If you’re already feeling a huge hole in your life now that the NFL season is done, don’t despair, Kansas City is just weeks away from hosting the NFL Draft. 

Visit KC officials say we can expect 300,000 visitors converging on downtown for the three-day football spectacle that starts April 27. 

We may find out this week what performers will be heading into Kansas City for the nationally televised event. In addition to the athletes, there will be multiple free concerts as part of the experience.  

In fact, the whole event is so big Union Station says it’s going to take them four weeks just to build the stage. Also, a heads up, the historic building will be completely closed during the week leading up to the draft. 

Trash Talk 

We all make trash. But none of us want to live within smelling distance of a landfill. 

Amid worries that Kansas City is planning to open a large new trash site in south Kansas City, residents are putting up signs in protest and neighboring cities from Raymore to Lee’s Summit are getting state lawmakers involved. 

On Tuesday, the Missouri House will hold a public hearing on a bill that would require Kansas City to get state approval for any new landfill within a mile of another city’s borders. The Kansas City Council is expected to address the issue this week. 

Disney Story 

The Walt Disney Co. is in a tailspin as it sheds thousands of jobs, but backers of Walt Disney’s old animation studio in Kansas City are hoping for a more fairy-tale ending. 

A big press conference is scheduled for Wednesday to announce $2 million in federal funding to help complete the renovation on Disney’s former studio space near Troost Avenue and 31st Street. 

The building has been characterized as the cradle of Hollywood animation. Walt Disney and six other animators learned their animation craft making cartoons in the building before moving to California. 

It was put on Kansas City’s demolition list in 1995. 

Sporting KC 

As the Chiefs season ends, Sporting KC’s season begins this week.  

Kansas City heads to Portland to take on the Timbers on Saturday. It’s a late game. Kickoff is 9:30 p.m. 

As they launch a new season, Sporting is hosting a free watch party at Chicken N Pickle in Overland Park. In addition to watching the game, you can play pickleball for free, take a selfie with the team’s 2013 MLS Cup Trophy and get reduced prices on food and drinks. 

Tickets are free but you do need to reserve your spot in advance.  

Royals Spring Training 

The Kansas City Royals play their first spring training game this week. 

The team is now in Surprise, Arizona, for spring training. Their first Cactus League matchup is this Friday against the Rangers.  

Opening day is March 30. 

Entertaining the Troops 

With tens of thousands of out-of-state visitors arriving for the Big 12 basketball tournament in a couple of weeks and the NFL Draft in April, our area museums are trying to tap into the passions of those sports fans. 

This week the National World War I Museum and Memorial features the football angle as it opens “Entertaining the Troops,” a new exhibit that spotlights what soldiers did to relieve boredom during the war: from football to baseball, gambling and card games, to music, food and drink.  

The new exhibit opens on Thursday. 

Black Dance 

It’s still Black History Month and the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey want to take you a journey through the history of Black dance.  

“Setting the Stage: The Moving Story of African American Dance” features local and national artists who will dance their way through minstrel, jazz, Afro-Caribbean and modern styles. 

And as part of the Gem Theater’s 25th anniversary celebration, the show is free.  

It’s this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Gem Theater, 1615 East 18th St. 

Hmmm, Beer  

Before it closes for a week for the NFL Draft, Union Station is managing to pull off one more big event. 

This Saturday, more than 40 local breweries and some national and international ones take over Union Station for KC Brew Fest.  

You can sample dozens of craft beers with all sorts of strange names, if you reserve a ticket in advance. 

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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