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Nick’s Picks: Your Outlook for the Coming Week

‘Kansas City Week In Review’ Host Nick Haines Provides a News Roadmap

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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)

Life is complicated. It moves fast. And we’re here to help. Here’s a quick checklist of what’s happening in the Kansas City area this week.

President’s Day

Almost anything to do with government is closed today. If you planned to head to the post office or renew your driver’s license, you picked a really bad day. You will be met with shuttered doors.

Trivia

Speaking of President’s Day, are you ready to play presidential trivia?

The first American presidents were all born British because they were subjects of the British crown. Who was the first president to be born a United States citizen?

The answer is coming at the end of this post.

Pot Pardons

On Tuesday we’re going to find out details of Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas’ plan to pardon thousands of Kansas Citians who have been convicted in municipal court of marijuana related charges.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.

It’s not going to happen automatically. There is going to be an application process that Lucas will outline Tuesday afternoon at City Hall. It will help a lot of folks who will no longer have to check “YES” in the box that asks, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”

Lots of legal questions still remain. For example, if someone has been pardoned and is arrested again, can that pardoned conviction be used against them to impose tougher sentencing?

Toll Roads in Johnson County

This week, Kansas lawmakers begin weighing a new transportation plan that would have big highway projects approved every two years instead of every 10. Why is that important? Well, it will fast-track plans for a toll road in Overland Park.

City officials are working on plans with the state transportation department to add express lanes on an expanded U.S. 69, which is apparently the busiest stretch of road in the entire state of Kansas.  Don’t like tolls? Want to know more? Here’s an excellent fact sheet on how it will all work. 

Pressing Questions

Will this be the week the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs head to the White House? President Trump says it’s going to happen soon. That was two weeks ago. There’s been radio silence since.

Will the Super Bowl winning Chiefs visit the White House?

Will this be the week Missouri lawmakers vote to repeal parts of Clean Missouri?  That’s the statewide ballot measure voters approved in 2018 that would cap campaign contributions, limit lobbyist gifts and change the way political districts are drawn. Republicans contend the Clean Missouri redistricting system isn’t really about creating “fairer” districts, but rather making the playing field more favorable for Democrats. 

Can we expect another push this week in Kansas to put an abortion amendment on the statewide ballot? It passed the Kansas Senate but narrowly failed in the Kansas House 10 days ago. Democrats complain Republicans are now blocking every item on the governor’s agenda until there’s movement on the abortion issue. That includes a bi-partisan deal to expand Medicaid for up to 150,000 Kansans.

‘Shark Tank’

TV’s “Shark Tank” will be here Friday.  And the show is looking for local entrepreneurs with the next million-dollar idea to pitch. The casting call is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Opportunity Hub Ecosystem Lab in the 18th and Vine District. If you’re ready to make your TV debut, here’s the info. Remember you have to register online first. 

Interstate 70 Closing

If your travel plans this upcoming weekend include Interstate 70 in Missouri, beware!

Both directions of I-70 where it connects with Interstate 435 in Missouri will be shut down starting Friday at 9 p.m. for a major roadway reconstruction project.  The busy highway will remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday. MoDot is setting up detours to redirect traffic.

Missouri’s Role in White House Race

On Saturday the race for the White House moves to Nevada. But the longer it takes for a Democratic frontrunner to emerge, the more importance Missouri will have in the outcome.

Eighteen states vote before Missouri weighs in on March 10. But the interest is already mounting. Michael Bloomberg has just opened two field offices in the Kansas City area. Elizabeth Warren is the only other candidate with an office here.

By the way, Kansans will be among the last in the nation to vote on May 2d.

Presidential Trivia Answer

Who was the first president to be born a United States citizen? Our nation’s eighth president, Martin Van Buren. He entered the White House in 1837.

Nick’s Picks is a regular Monday feature on Flatland and 90.9 The Bridge. You can also tune into KCPT’s “Kansas City Week in Review” Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.

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