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Credit above: Nick Haines, host of “Kansas City Week in Review.” (John McGrath | Flatland)
Funeral services are being held this week for former Kansas City Mayor Charles B. Wheeler.
Wheeler led Kansas City through a period of explosive growth in the 1970s.
The Kansas City International Airport, Crown Center, Truman Sports Complex, Kemper Arena, Bartle Hall and Worlds of Fun were opened during two terms ending in 1979.
Current Mayor Quinton Lucas will eulogize Wheeler at a funeral Saturday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 40th and Main streets.
Mayor Wheeler was 96 years old and lived in a nursing home in Overland Park,
Cancel the parade
I’m sure more than a few Kansas Citians were hoping for a big parade downtown this week to celebrate Kansas City’s newest professional sports champion.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t like that.
The KC Current fell short in their bid to win the biggest prize in women’s soccer over the weekend. The Current lost 2-0 against the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League Championship final.
But the Current’s strong showing in front of a nationally televised audience should help boost season ticket sales at its new stadium, now located on the Kansas City waterfront.
It will be the first US stadium built exclusively for women’s soccer.
It opens in 2024.
New Royals manager
The Kansas City Royals have a new manager.
A Thursday morning news conference was scheduled at Kauffman Stadium to formally welcome Tampa Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro to Kansas City.
Quatraro replaces Mike Matheny, who was fired after the Royals went 65-97 this season and finished in last place in the American League Central division.
The Royals have not made the playoffs since their 2015 World Series championship.
Halloween has finally arrived. But will you be giving out candy tonight?
Many Kansas Citians seem to skip a trip to the candy aisle.
Economic pressure is having an impact. The National Retail Federation says one in three Americans don’t plan to give out treats this year.
And has opening doors on Halloween become akin to watching the televised awards show? You can barely recognize any of the characters.
According to surveys, the most popular costumes for children this year include characters from the popular Netflix show “Stranger Things” and the new line of movie superheroes, including Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.
But traditionalists should be relieved to know that according to Google search data, the most popular costume for children in Kansas this year is a fairy. She’s a witch in Missouri.
Preparation for election day
Forget Halloween, the midterm is only a week away and we’re gearing up for Election Day.
After hosting nearly a dozen candidate debates on both sides of the state line, we now turn our attention to a staggering number of ballot questions.
This Friday night on Kansas City PBS, we present your “Handy Dandy Guide to Election Day.”
We break down all the questions on the Kansas and Missouri ballots, look at the races we missed and the trends to watch for on Election Day. will you join me
Fridays at 7:30pm on KCPBS is our week in review Kansas City Week “Pre-Election Edition”.
On the ballot
A new round of disease
You may notice a few more absences at work this week. Not because of Halloween, but because of the flu.
The flu hit the United States early and exceptionally hard this year, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health experts predict that this year’s flu season will be the worst since the swine flu hit in 2009.
Last week, an Olathe elementary school closed for several days after nearly 150 students and staff fell ill.
Clearwater Creek Elementary is scheduled to reopen today.
Reparations for slavery
The Kansas City Council is expected to address the issue of cash payments to black residents this week at City Hall to right the historical wrongs of slavery and segregation.
On the agenda tomorrow is a resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Melissa Robinson calling for a new “Mayor’s Commission on Reparations” to be established within 90 days.
Last summer, Mayor Quinton Lucas joined a group of 11 U.S. mayors who pledged to support a reparations pilot program aimed at reducing the racial wealth gap in the nation’s largest cities.
In national news…
Affirmative action: Four months after overturning the landmark abortion decision in Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court this week takes up the issue of affirmative action.
Today, a court will consider whether universities can use race in making decisions.
At the center of the case are Harvard and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Both schools have been sued for favoring minority students. It claims the practice violates the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which provides equal protection under the law.
The court’s decision could have far-reaching implications for colleges and universities in Kansas and Missouri.
Interest rate increase: The Federal Reserve is signaling another interest rate hike this week. That decision is expected Wednesday afternoon after the Fed’s Open Market Committee meeting.
Skyrocketing interest rates are already having a huge impact on borrowers in Kansas City.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled this year.
Here’s the statistic that drives this home: A $300,000 mortgage today will cost you $710 more per month than if you secured that loan in January.
World Series: Major League Baseball crowns its World Series champion this week.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros are currently tied at one game apiece.
The seven-game series could be decided as early as Wednesday evening.
Plaza Hole still unfilled
It’s been six months since Nordstrom announced it was scrapping plans to move to Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza. But there’s still no word on what will happen to the gaping hole the department store left behind on the western edge of the Plaza.
There has been speculation for months that a Target or Dillard’s would move into the location. However, Plaza management has not yet confirmed this.
Now, Nordstrom is announcing expansion plans elsewhere in the metro.
The luxury retailer says it will open a second Nordstrom Rack store at 119Thursday Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.
The opening is planned for autumn next year.
New water park
Blue Springs makes a splash.
This Thursday, the city broke ground on a $36 million water park that features a surf simulator, wave pool, lazy river, Ninja water slide and slide.
It opens in May 2024.
Funding comes from the parks tax, which was renewed in 2021.
An immersive art exhibition
Why go to a museum or art gallery when you can get better selfies and Instagram photos at a virtual art exhibition?
That may be the attraction for the hordes of people who now visit these technology-focused, projection-based exhibits that now flood Kansas City.
The latest digital projection show is “Monet & Friends Alive” and it’s coming to the Starlight Theater tomorrow.
You can be surrounded by the most famous works of Monet, Renoir, Cézanne and other impressionist painters.
I think this may be the last time I mention the opening of one of these immersive “multi-sensory” shows, especially now that they’re popping up faster than new Whataburger stores.
But you can see “Monet & Friends Alive” through Dec. 31 at Starlight.
Almost every weekend during the warm months there is a festival somewhere around Kansas City.
At this time of the year, however, the festival calendar has pretty much dried up.
With one exception.
This weekend, whiskey lovers unite at the Weston Whiskey Festival.
The historic town north of Kansas City gives you a chance to sample whiskeys from around the world with hundreds of whiskey nerds from around the metro.
Weston is also home to the McCormick Distilling Co., the oldest distillery west of the Mississippi River. It was opened in 1856. You can taste the local spirit during the 90-minute tour.
The Weston Whiskey Festival is this Saturday.
History of whiskey
With nearly two out of three Americans paying for Netflix, we wanted to let you know about a big change to the subscription service happening this week.
This Thursday, the TV and movie streaming service is launching a $6.99 plan that the company hopes will stem a growing exodus of customers reluctant to pay a monthly fee of more than $15.
But there is a catch. For the first time, you will have to sit through a lot of commercials, just like watching regular commercial TV. There will be four to five minutes of commercials every hour.
Would it be worth saving almost $10 a month? Or will you just beg a friend or family member for the password to sign up for free instead? That’s just one of the other annoying problems Netflix is trying to fix now.
Change of hours
It’s getting dark really early.
Daylight saving time ends at the weekend.
This means you should turn your clocks back an hour before going to bed on Saturday night.
While we’ll get an extra hour of sleep, it also means you’ll be watching the sunset from your office window and driving home in the dark.
But did you know it’s possible that this is one of the last times the clocks are turned back?
In March, the US Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill to make daylight saving time a year-round affair.
To become law, the bill would then have to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and then receive President Joe Biden’s signature.
If it becomes law, the law would not go into effect until November 2023.
Nick Haines, follows the most compelling local news of the week on “Kansas City Week in Review,” Fridays at 7:30 p.m. on Kansas City PBS.