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Nick’s Picks | Election Day Fallout and Veterans Day Shape the Week Ahead

Holidays Just Around the Corner

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Above image credit: "Kansas City Week in Review" host Nick Haines. (John McGrath | Flatland)

What will President Trump do? That’s the big question on people’s minds, here and across the country, this upcoming week. 

Will he concede? Or will he continue to look for evidence of counting infractions that he can use to challenge the election results in court?

We may be anxious to put the election behind us, but technically it’s still not over. Last week’s results are still considered unofficial until they are certified by the chief election officer in each state. 

And there are tight races, even locally, that have yet to be decided.

Who says one vote doesn’t make a difference? It is in the race for a Kansas House seat in Johnson County. 

Almost a week after the election, one vote still separates former Johnson County Community College track star Rashard Young from piano teacher Linda Featherston.

It will now be down to uncounted provisional ballots to decide the race that covers parts of Overland Park and Lenexa. 

The final count will continue through Thursday, when the election results will be officially certified at the Johnson County Election Office.

2022 Race Underway

While many of us still haven’t fully processed what happened during the 2020 election, the next election is already getting underway.

You may not want to think that far in advance, but speculation is growing that Roy Blunt won’t seek re-election in 2022. At least that’s the take from the St. Louis Business Journal, which claims disgraced former governor Eric Greitens is eying the Missouri U.S. Senate seat.

Other possibilities are three of the Republican incumbents who cruised to re-election last week: Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe.

As for Democrats, former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is being widely mentioned. He narrowly lost to Blunt four years ago. But Kander’s name is also being circulated as a possible Biden cabinet member. Some insiders say his military background positions him well to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Day

Wednesday is Veterans Day. That’s likely to impact you if you’re trying to access any government services.  City Hall in Kansas City, Missouri, will be closed. And you won’t get trash pick-up. That’s being delayed a day.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial will get a jump start on Veterans Day, literally. A military parachute team will land on the grounds of Liberty Memorial and the Kansas City Symphony will play on the lawn.  Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas will deliver a special reading and Bob Kendrick, CEO of the Negro League’s Baseball Museum, will give a keynote address in the memorial’s courtyard. 

All these outdoor events are free. The museum will also be free on Wednesday to veterans and active duty military. Tickets are half-price for everyone else.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial.
The National World War I Museum and Memorial. (Courtesy | National World War I Museum and Memorial)

Did you know that nearby Leavenworth holds the oldest Veterans Day Parade in the nation? They’ve been hosting that event through downtown Leavenworth since 1919. This year’s event starts Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. 

Many other groups are pushing their events online, including in Johnson County where leaders decided to cancel an in-person gathering amid concern over rising COVID-19 cases. Their salute to veterans gets underway at 11 a.m. on the county’s Facebook page

Holiday Spirit

Crown Center has another holiday on its mind, Christmas.

Amid all the intense focus on the election, you may have missed the arrival of the mayor’s Christmas tree. If you head over to Crown Center this week you can see the 100-foot fir now standing upright outside the shopping center. It will be officially lit later this month. 

If you want to see a totally decorated tree, head over to Union Station where because of the pandemic they’ve decided to celebrate the holiday early. You can take snaps next to a fully lit 40-foot tree just inside the historic building.

Icy Hot?

It could get as high as 75 degrees today. Fancy going ice skating? 

This will be the first full week of the season for the Crown Center Ice Terrace. 

But like so many other attractions, the outdoor ice rink is placing a lot of new restrictions on skaters. 

You’re going to have to make an advance reservation to get on the ice. You will also have to wear a mask and adhere to social distancing rules. 

COVID Spike

There seems to be no political appetite in the metro for imposing any new coronavirus restrictions. But that’s not stopping local health leaders from warning we’re in “dangerous territory.” 

Several area hospitals say a lack of hospital beds is not their primary concern. Rather, it’s a lack of staff.

Hospital leaders met virtually Friday and claimed a record number of nursing and care team members are off the job as they quarantine following exposure to the virus. 

In Kansas, the state’s largest hospital chain is bringing in more than 60 nurses from out of state to fill staffing gaps.

Flavored Tobacco Ban?

It may not be massive news, but it’s worth noting that the Kansas City Council is working this week on banning all flavored tobacco products.

What does that mean? Well, no more menthol cigarettes or any flavored cigars, vape pens and e-cigarettes. 

Backers of the ordinance say more African Americans die of tobacco related illnesses than any other racial group. And the vast majority use menthol products. 

But retailers claim the proposed ban would just force people to take their business to surrounding cities. 

A council committee will take up the issue on Tuesday.

Transgender Week

This Friday marks the start of Transgender Awareness Week and Kansas City will be in the spotlight. The movie channel HBO is premiering a new film that tracks four transgender kids from Kansas City. 

It’s called “Transhood” and it comes from Overland Park-based director Sharon Leise. She’s spent the last five years chronicling the lives of four transgender children from 4 to 15.

“Transhood” can be seen nationwide on HBO Thursday at 8 p.m.

Powell Gardens Light Up

Starting Friday, get a pandemic pick-me-up at Powell Gardens. In addition to reconnecting with nature, you can walk through a mile of holiday lights while experiencing exotic cocktails at a Hawaiian tiki bar, a wine station with fire pits, a soup bar and a hot cider and chocolate stop. 

The Kansas City Ballet will also be there performing excerpts from “The Nutcracker” 

Get the details at powellgardens.org

All You Can Eat

It was claimed at the beginning of the pandemic that no one would ever go to a buffet again.

Well that prediction is falling flat.

This week the granddaddy of all buffets in our metro reopens for the first time since shut down orders began back in March. 

Cinzetti’s Italian Market reopens in Overland Park on Wednesday. And it’s not the only one.  I’ve been getting emails over the last few days from local Chinese and Indian restaurants saying they want me back at their all-you-can-eat smorgasbords.

When you’re super hungry and want to pile up your plate without a wait, nothing satisfies like a buffet.

But would you go, right now?

Nick Haines tracks the metro’s most important local news stories on “Kansas City Week in Review.” Watch Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Kansas City PBS.

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