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Nick’s Picks | Probing the KCPD, Pondering an Exodus in Wyandotte County A Preview of the Week in News

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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

What happens next, now that the U.S. Justice Department has launched a federal probe into the Kansas City Police Department?

We should discover this week what that investigation means and how it could change the inner workings of the KCPD.  

Investigators are specifically focused on the KCPD’s hiring and employment practices to determine if the force engaged in racial discrimination.

The Kansas City Star’s editorial board says the probe should halt the search for Kansas City’s next police chief. 

The KCPD has been under interim leadership since the departure of Rick Smith, back in April.

Catching Up

Exodus in Wyandotte County

What on earth is happening in Wyandotte County? 

Three top government leaders have resigned, two of them on the same day.

Will we get an explanation this week from new mayor Tyrone Garner?

So far, he’s said nothing about the departure of the county’s chief financial officer, and two of the county’s top economic development officials. One of them is Katherine Carttar, the wife of Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.

Special Session Update

A Missouri special session on “tax cuts” is spilling over into its second week.

The Missouri Senate has greenlighted the largest income tax cut in state history. Today, the Missouri House takes up the measure.

While Gov. Mike Parson insists every Missourian will benefit, Kansas City Democratic Sen. Greg Razer says “it’s not going to buy you an extra value meal at McDonald’s.”

According to the Missouri Budget Project, taxpayers making $22,000 or less would receive an average cut of $3 while those in the top 1% of wage earners would receive an average cut of $4,200 next year.

Photo ID at the Polls

This week a judge is expected to decide whether to approve or throw out Missouri’s new photo ID law.

On Friday, Cole County Presiding Judge Jon Beetem heard arguments from attorneys representing two groups that claim the election measure is discriminatory and puts unconstitutional burdens on the right to vote.

Republican state lawmakers passed the law in May after a long push for stricter voting requirements.

Seventeen states including Kansas require voters to show a picture ID in order to cast a ballot.

Supply Chain Problem

We’ve all become familiar with supply chain problems, but there’s a bizarre new shortage affecting one of Kansas City’s biggest employers.

The Ford Assembly Plant near Worlds of Fun is about to have a tough week. They’ve run out of name plates for their vehicles. 

A shortage of the blue oval badges you see at the front of every Ford car and truck is causing new headaches for the automaker.

According to the Wall Street Journal, by the end of this week Ford’s storage lots will be filled with up to 45,000 vehicles that aren’t ready to be sold due to missing name plates and other parts, primarily semiconductor chips.

Jewish New Year

Happy New Year!

The Jewish Community Center and nearly a dozen other Jewish agencies in Kansas City will be closed today to mark the Rosh Hashanah holiday. 

You may also be missing coworkers and classmates as thousands of area families celebrate the Jewish New Year.

This is the start of the year 5,783, according to the Hebrew calendar.

Here’s an idea: If you messed up your New Year resolutions by the second week of January, how about restarting them now?

Mission Gateway

This is make or break week for one of Kansas City’s most beleaguered projects. 

On Thursday, the Mission City Council will decide whether to move forward with an entertainment, food hall and hotel development on the site of the former Mission Mall.

The shopping center along Shawnee Mission Parkway was demolished in 2005. But plans to redevelop the site have been plagued with delays, postponements, backtracking and changes in plans.

Is 17 years enough time to make a final decision? 

A public hearing on the latest proposal is scheduled for this Thursday in Mission. The council will then vote on the development agreement. 

And in Sports…

Who would have thought we’d be declaring the University of Kansas football squad as the winningest team in all of local sports?

After the Chiefs fell to the Colts on Sunday and the Royals look to close out another losing season, the Jayhawks are in the limelight for its best start in more than a decade.

The Jayhawks are 4-0 and hoping to continue their undefeated run this week.

KU hosts Iowa State University on Saturday in Lawrence. Game time is 2:30 p.m.

The Chiefs are on the road this week. They travel to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, if you want to watch the Royals in-person before baseball season ends, you’re going to have to head to Detroit or Cleveland. The team’s last 9 games are all on the road.

Also worth watching this week:  Will there be more changes in Royals management? 

After Dayton Moore was fired last week, several local sportscasters are speculating that manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred could be out by this Friday.

And before we end this sports segment, here’s a shout out to the KC Current. Kansas City’s professional women’s soccer team has just clinched its first playoff appearance, after finishing in last place in 2021.

The Current plays its final regular season game on Saturday against Racing Louisville.

Get an up close look at how the brisket is really made this weekend at The American Royal. (Jonathan Bender I Flatland)

American Royal Barbecue

The world’s largest barbecue contest is coming to Kansas City this week.

The American Royal World Series of Barbecue starts Wednesday at the Kansas Speedway.

More than 500 teams are competing this year.

If you smell something tasty in the air, follow your nose to the Kansas Speedway. The event continues through Sunday.

Distractions and Diversions

Some big music names are heading to our metro this week.

Tonight the Beach Boys – or at least what’s left of them – are at the Lied Center in Lawrence. The disclaimer at the bottom of the Lied Center website reads, “This concert will not feature Brian Wilson, Al Jardine or David Marks.” 

Also in town this week is country music star Keith Urban. He plays at T-Mobile Center on Thursday night.

If you’re one of those folks who like to peek inside other people’s houses, this is your week.

You can walk into 269 new houses during the Kansas City Parade of Homes. The annual event put on by the Kansas City Home Builders Association runs through Oct. 9. It’s free.

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