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Nick’s Picks: Missouri Primary, Big 12 Basketball and St. Patrick’s Parades

Managing Life in the Age of Coronavirus

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Above image credit: Nick Haines, host of KCPT's "Kansas City Week in Review," provides a news outlook for the coming week. (File | Flatland)

Here’s your news forecast for the week ahead in Kansas City.

KC Doesn’t Feel the Bern

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has canceled his trip to Kansas City, ahead of Tuesday’s Missouri Primary election. The Sanders campaign said the decision was made “due to scheduling constraints.” He was to appear at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.

Sanders’ opponent Joe Biden hosted a rally over the weekend at Kansas City’s National WWI Museum and Memorial. Biden’s wife Jill will also be here today touring the Veteran’s Community Project with former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. She will then join labor union members at a get out the vote event.

Missouri Primary

On Tuesday, Missouri voters will finally get a chance to weigh in on their presidential picks. Polling stations will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.

What you may not know is that there are 22 candidates on the Democratic presidential ballot in Missouri. They include candidates who recently dropped out of the race like Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg. But many of them are Missourians who simply paid the $1,000 filing fee to get their name on the ballot. One such candidate is Leonard J. Steinman, a retired truck driver from Jefferson City. He had the spare cash to put his name in front of you. Just for the record, so did his wife Velma Steinman. She’s also on the ballot. 

By the way, there are five names on the Republican ballot. In addition to President Trump, there are some candidates with little or no name recognition. But a couple have higher profiles, such as former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who is in the race but not gaining much traction.

Missouri is one of six states voting on Tuesday. Much of the media focus is expected to be on Michigan, which has nearly twice as many delegates as Missouri. 

Big 12 Tournament

Expect some disruption if you’re heading downtown this week. Starting today, a number of streets will be closed to make way for the Big 12 basketball tournament. The men’s event starts Wednesday at Sprint Center. The women begin play Thursday at Municipal Auditorium

Swarms of people outside the Sprint Center for the Big 12 men's basketball games.
Swarms of college basketball fans pack the streets outside the Sprint Center for the Big 12 tournament. (Contributed | Visit KC)

Coronavirus Impact

Two weeks ago the advice from Kansas City’s top health official was to take a deep breath. Last week, Public Health Director Rex Archer upgraded that advice to a moratorium on handshaking. Now that our metro has recorded its first positive coronavirus case, will that advice change?

The Kansas Department of Health has confirmed a woman living in Johnson County has tested positive for coronavirus. She is reported to be under 50 years old. The first coronavirus case in Missouri has also been confirmed. A St. Louis woman in her twenties who recently returned from studying abroad in Italy tested positive.

Nearly everyone in Kansas City is now experiencing some form of disruption due to fears over the coronavirus. We know hand sanitizer and face masks have become tough to find in area stores. But other supplies are disappearing too.  A large empty space greeted customers looking for toilet paper at Costco’s midtown store over the weekend. And we’re hearing reports that Costco has stopped handing out free food samples at their locations on both sides of the state line.

We’ve added a link on our KCPT web site to provide coronavirus news updates.

No Saturday Newspaper

Don’t go looking for the Kansas City Star at the bottom of your driveway on Saturday. There won’t be one. Starting this week, the Star will only print six days a week.  The Saturday edition of the paper will still be available online. 

Union Station Upgrade

You may not have seen the hammers, nails and construction work going on, but Science City at Union Station is undergoing its biggest expansion since opening in 1999. The public gets to see that hard work for the first time on Saturday as the kids science attraction reopens with dozens of new interactive experiences, including a train-centric exhibit called All Aboard. 

The changes are geared to Science City’s youngest visitors from babies to 7 year olds. 

Going Green

While St. Patrick’s Day is not until next week, you can get into the Irish spirit early. North Kansas City’s Snake Parade is Saturday at 11 a.m. Brookside St. Patrick’s Day Warm Up Parade starts at 2 p.m. And on Sunday, Shawnee and Martin City host their parades.

Ken Burns is Back

Fresh from telling the story of country music, filmmaker Ken Burns is back. And you can be the first in Kansas City to get a sneak peak of Burn’s latest big epic. It’s “The Gene: An Intimate History.” The documentary explores the history, science, stunning breakthroughs and ethical dilemmas of genetic research. KCPT is hosting a special event and we’d love for you to be a part of it. It’s coming up Tuesday, March 31 at the Kansas City University. Register for free here.

Diabetes Documentary

Coronavirus is getting a lot of attention, but there’s another disease that’s killing more people than cancer and HIV combined. It’s not only deadly, it’s one of the country’s leading causes of blindness and leg amputations. 

So why isn’t there a war on diabetes? KCPT is partnering with PBS on its biggest ever diabetes film project. And we want you to be a part of it. Join us for a pre-screening of the new documentary. We’re also working on a televised conversation with experts. It’s coming, March 24 at the Westport Plexpod Theater. Register for free now.

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