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Nick’s Picks | Tricks, Treats and News of the Week It's Getting Scary Out There

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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

Halloween is on Tuesday. Have you picked out your costume yet?

Apparently, the traditional black-and-orange Halloween palette is about to turn hot pink. 

Get ready to see a lot of Barbie at your doorstep on Halloween night.

According to the National Retail Federation, Barbie is set to be the third most popular Halloween costume after witches and vampires.

Remember these are national figures. In Kansas City, the most popular costume is likely to be a “heavy overcoat.” Near record low temperatures are expected Tuesday night with the mercury dropping to 22 degrees.

Another Pharmacy Walkout

More than 2,000 pharmacy workers have agreed to walk off the job today to protest working conditions they say are threatening patient safety.

From Monday through Wednesday, workers at Walgreens and CVS have pledged to call in sick, including staffers at more than 20 stores in the Kansas City area.

One local organizer has dubbed the protest, “pharmageddon.”

Last Week, Reviewed

Ballpark Drama

We’re waiting for the next shoe to drop this week in the ongoing Royals stadium saga.

It’s getting ugly. 

Two months after the Kansas City Royals walked back a self-imposed deadline for deciding the location of its new ballpark, there is still no timetable for picking a site.

Now behind-the-scenes tensions are spilling into public view.

Last week, the Jackson County executive’s office released a confidential report that claimed the price tag for the stadium would be billions more than what the club has estimated.

The Kansas City Royals blasted the numbers as erroneous and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas pushed back, saying that if true the Royals would be constructing the most expensive ballpark ever built.

Among the claims and counterclaims, there’s still time to sort things out. The Royals have until mid-January to reach an agreement with either Jackson or Clay Counties to place a stadium question on the April ballot.

A view from the east of a possible Royals ballpark in the East Village area of downtown.
A view of a possible Royals ballpark in the East Village area of downtown. (Rendering | Populous)

Tale of Two Speakers

It’s back to business in Washington this week now that the House of Representatives has finally selected a new speaker.

But after 22 leaderless days when nothing got done, the House has its work cut out for it.

New Speaker Mike Johnson has to try and head off another government shutdown before the federal money tap runs dry again on Nov. 17.  He also must work through divisions in the House over providing new financial aid to Israel and Ukraine.

Closer to home, the speaker of the Missouri House is walking an even more treacherous path this week.

A growing number of Republicans are calling on Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher to resign. The chamber’s top leader is accused of falsifying five years of expense reports by charging the state for travel already paid for by his campaign.

Plocher insists it was an unintentional error and that he’s already paid back nearly $4,000 to the state after learning of his mistake.

Other News

  • Israeli forces are expanding their ground assault into Gaza in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called Israel’s “second war of independence.” In a televised address, he stopped short of calling it an invasion. The World Bank reported today that oil prices could be pushed into “uncharted waters” if the violence between Israel and Hamas intensifies.
  • The Federal Reserve meets Tuesday and Wednesday to decide whether to raise interest rates. Most experts expect them to remain the same, but interest rates are already upending the housing market and the ability of Kansas Citians to take out car loans. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage now tops 8%, the highest level in 23 years.
  • Workers at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant are breathing a sigh of relief this week now that the UAW has reached an agreement with the carmaker that will give full-time employees a 25% pay bump. Over in Kansas City, Kansas, more than 2,000 workers at the GM Fairfax Plant remain off the job as the United Auto Workers union widens its strike against General Motors, the lone holdout among the three Detroit automakers.

Early Voting

Early in-person voting continues this week, ahead of the Nov. 7 local elections.

Scores of local school board and council seats are up for grabs. Leawood, Lenexa and Shawnee are picking new mayors.

From Blue Valley to Leavenworth the teaching of race and gender in the classroom is dividing candidates in contentious school board races.

Sharp divides over affordable housing and zoning laws are heating up council races in Prairie Village.  

In Missouri, Kansas City voters will be deciding whether to renew a sales tax that funds the bus service. Improving 9-1-1 response is on the ballot in Clay County. Jackson County voters are being asked to approve an online sales tax to help fund homeless programs and infrastructure projects.

By the way, if you live in Kansas City don’t try to vote early at the Kansas City Election Board’s office at Union Station. It has moved. The KC Election Board is now operating out of the Blue Parkway Shops at 4209 E. 50th Terr.

From Denver to Deutschland

After an ugly loss against the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs are now getting ready to board a plane for Europe.

The Chiefs are preparing for their first regular season game in Germany. It’s also the NFL’s first game in Frankfurt.

With the time difference, you’ll have to get up early to watch.

Sunday’s kickoff against the Miami Dolphins in Germany is 8:30 a.m.

World Series

Are you cheering for the Texas Rangers or the Arizona Diamondbacks? Do you care?

The World Series will be decided this week, possibly as early as Wednesday night.

The Rangers and Diamondbacks are currently tied one game apiece.

Arizona is making its first trip to the World Series in 20 years. The Rangers are one of six franchises to have never won MLB’s greatest prize. Their journey to the big game may also be inspiring to Kanas City Royals fans. The Rangers have gone from being a 100-loss team to the World Series in just two years.

Other Sports News

Sporting KC continues its playoff run this week. The team is currently one game ahead in a best-of-three series against St. Louis City SC.

Game two is this Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at Children’s Mercy Park.

Union Station Announcement

Union Station leaders have scheduled a news conference on Wednesday to make a big announcement that they claim has been “100 years in the making.”

While station officials are tight-lipped, they are expected to reveal the attraction’s latest blockbuster exhibit “Disney100.”

Currently having its world premiere at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Co. with behind-the-scenes looks at some of the studio’s most iconic films, details about how some of its theme park attractions were created, as well as how some characters, movies and shows came to fruition.

It’s scheduled to arrive next year.

Union Station at night with the downtown skyline in the background.
Union Station at night with the downtown skyline in the background. (Courtesy | Kent Auf Der Heide)

Riverfront Beer Garden

After years of neglect, the Kansas City riverfront is seeing an explosion of growth.

With a new KC Current stadium just months from opening, there’s a groundbreaking ceremony today for a new two-story beer garden on the waterfront.

It’s scheduled to open in early July.

Crown Center Ice Rink

I got my first Christmas card over the weekend.

Is that a little early to be mailing out your holiday greetings?

Here’s another sign Christmas is on the way: The Crown Center ice rink opens this week.

The outdoor ice terrace opens for the season on Friday with free skating and hot chocolate from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.  

Shortly after, at 10 a.m., the Mayor’s Christmas Tree will be lifted by crane and placed on its stand.

Dia de los Muertos

In addition to Halloween, Kansas City celebrates Dia de los Muertos this week, the Mexican “Day of the Dead.”

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is hosting one of the holiday’s biggest festivals with dance and music demonstrations, poetry readers, food, other activities and a large ofrenda, an altar that honors loved ones who have died.

The 13th Annual Day of the Dead Festival at the Nelson is on Sunday. Admission is free.

Fall Back

It’s clock-changing time again. This time it’s in our favor.

On Sunday, we will “fall back” and gain an extra hour of sleep.

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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