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Nick’s Picks | Solar Eclipse, Stadium Drama, Kansas Taxes Don't Stare at the Sun

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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

Did you pick up some solar eclipse glasses over the weekend? Kansas City is about to plunge into darkness. 

This afternoon the sun will do a disappearing act across North America, eerily turning day into night. 

While some parts of the country will be experiencing a total solar eclipse, Kansas City will see only a partial eclipse with the moon covering about 90% of the sun. 

If you want to watch, the moon will start crossing in front of the sun at 12:37 p.m. today. The entire eclipse will be over for Kansas City at about 3:11 p.m.  

Short on time?  

Kansas City’s best sky-watching experts say have your solar eclipse glasses ready at 1:54 p.m., when the eclipse will be at its peak in the metro. 

Don’t worry if you’re in meetings this afternoon and can’t get away. You can see it again decades from now. 

The next total eclipse that will cross over Kansas and Missouri is in 2045. 

Stadium Saga 

A week after voters overwhelmingly rejected a sales tax that would have helped fund a new downtown ballpark and renovations at Arrowhead Stadium, a big unresolved question remains. What happens next?  

This week, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas will meet with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to discuss what role the state can play in keeping the Chiefs and Royals in Jackson County. 

It comes amid news reports that Kansas may make a play for one or both teams. The Kansas City Star reports that former Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman is quietly working with unnamed parties interested in bringing the Chiefs across the border. 

Meanwhile, Royals owner John Sherman isn’t willing to make any announcements quite yet. On election night, he said the team would “take some time to reflect.” But his wife Marny may have missed the memo. Over the weekend, she posted on Facebook that “neither team will work with Jackson County again.” 

That doesn’t mean the teams are leaving town. On our “Week in Review” program, former Star journalist Dave Helling said the teams could now negotiate directly with City Hall in Kansas City and bypass the Jackson County Legislature. 

Last Week, Reviewed

That’s unlikely to sit well with Jackson County Executive Frank White, who says he’s ready to move on a Chiefs-only ballot question that voters could decide in August. 

I think it’s fair to say that no one knows for sure how this will play out. 

Jackson County Ransomware Attack 

Several critical Jackson County offices remain closed today as the county scrambles to recover from a ransomware attack, first reported on Election Day. 

“Bad actors” had apparently taken over the county’s computer systems, shutting down the assessment, tax collection and recorder of deed offices and affecting everything from marriage licenses to county jail records.  

Those offices remain closed today. And the Jackson County prosecutor says her staff are dealing with limited computer and telephone service. 

Missouri Execution 

This week, Missouri is set to carry out its first execution of the year. 

Barring intervention from Gov. Mike Parson or the courts, Brian Dorsey will be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the maximum-security prison in Bonne Terre. 

Dorsey, 52, was convicted in the 2006 killing of his cousin Sarah Bonnie and her husband Ben Bonnie in central Missouri. 

Missouri would be the fifth state to carry out the death penalty this year. 

Kansas Tax Bills 

Kansas lawmakers headed for home over the weekend after wrapping up the regular session of the legislature.  

Now the bills are piling up on Gov. Laura Kelly’s desk. 

Will she sign a new tax relief deal this week that Republicans claim will put money in the pockets of every Kansan?  

The package wipes out the state sales tax on food and eliminates the tax on social security benefits. But it’s the $1.5 billion in income and property tax cuts that may give the governor heartburn. 

Also waiting for Kelly’s signature is a ban on hormone therapy and transition surgery for minors. 

Kansas lawmakers also sent to the governor’s desk a measure imposing up to 25-year prison terms on anyone coercing a woman to have an abortion.  

Student Loan Forgiveness  

If you’re one of the tens of thousands of Kansas Citians still holding out hope of getting your college debt canceled, President Joe Biden has a big announcement that will interest you. 

The White House is set to unveil a new proposal today to reduce or cancel student loan debt for millions of borrowers. 

It comes nearly 10 months after the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s original student loan forgiveness program, which aimed to deliver up to $20,000 of relief for most borrowers. At the time, the president vowed to pursue another student relief approach by using a different legal authority. 

Few details have been shared about how this latest plan will be different. 

Jewish Community Center Shootings 

This Saturday marks the 10th anniversary of the Jewish Community Center shootings in Overland Park. 

Frazier Glenn Cross said he was looking to kill Jews when he fatally shot three people outside The J and Village Shalom on April 13, 2014.  

All his targeted victims would turn out to be Christians. 

Cross was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. But he would die in prison in 2021. 

This week, Kansas City PBS will revisit the hate crime in a new documentary called “Healing Hate,” airing Thursday night at 7 p.m. 

On Friday at 5 p.m. the Jewish community will remember the tragedy during a commemoration ceremony outside The J’s White Theatre, where most of the shooting took place.  

On Sunday, a free Community Kindness Festival is planned at the Jewish Community Center featuring music and food trucks. It runs from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Ralph Yarl Shooting 

This Saturday marks the anniversary of the Ralph Yarl shooting.  

He’s the Black teen who was shot in the head after ringing a wrong doorbell in Kansas City’s Northland.  

Andrew Lester has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action. 

His trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 7. 

Yarl is now a senior at Staley High School. An accomplished musician, he was recently selected to join the Missouri All-State band. 

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum 

The bronze cleats from a Jackie Robinson statue that was cut at the ankles and set on fire is now on its way to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. 

The statue was stolen from a Wichita park last month. Fire crews would later find the dismembered statue ablaze in a trash can.  

The last remnants of the statue are set to arrive at Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Thursday. 

Museum President Bob Kendrick says it will be displayed alongside a bullet damaged historic marker from Robinson’s birthplace in Cairo, Georgia. It was donated to the museum in 2021. 

Ramadan Ends 

Thousands of area Muslim families are about to celebrate the end of Ramadan.  

As Islam follows the lunar calendar, the exact date depends on the sighting of the crescent moon. That means the holy month, which includes dawn-to-dusk fasting, will end on either Tuesday or Wednesday. 

March Madness Ends 

How many of you picked UConn and Purdue to make it all the way in your March Madness bracket? 

College basketball’s biggest showcase officially ends tonight with the NCAA Men’s title game. 

Connecticut is looking to become the first program since Florida in 2007 to win back-to-back titles. Purdue has never won the tournament. 

The final is tonight at 8:20 p.m. in Phoenix. 

One question now being asked is will it attract more viewers than Sunday’s women’s final between South Carolina and Iowa. The matchup, which South Carolina won, was the most-watched basketball game in ESPN history

In other sports news: 

  • The Masters tees off on Thursday in Augusta. 
  • The NBA regular season ends on Sunday. 
  • And the Royals are hoping to continue their winning streak. The team is off today after sweeping the White Sox on Sunday. It was their first sweep of a four-game series since they beat the Tigers in April 2021. 

KC Gets Messi 

Global soccer superstar Lionel Messi is scheduled to be in Kansas City this week as Miami takes on Sporting KC. 

It’s such a big deal that Sporting has moved the game to Arrowhead Stadium

Will Messi play? The Argentinian striker missed four straight games in March due to a hamstring injury. 

Don’t panic yet if you have tickets. Messi finally came off the bench on Saturday and played the entire second half of Miami’s game against the Colorado Rapids. 

Saturday’s game at Arrowhead starts at 7:30 p.m.

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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