The Missouri Department of Transportation closed the roadway north of the Wheeler Downtown Airport in order to replace sections of the retaining wall next to the northbound lanes of U.S. 169. Engineers had opted to shut down the lanes because the proximity of rail lines and the Missouri River left no room for the staging of construction equipment. Rusted corrugated steel installed in the 1960s' was replaced with concrete. MoDOT's contractor, Pyramid Construction Co., also improved drainage and performed remediation work on both the north- and southbound lanes. The $13.6 million project finished ahead of the December 16 targeted completion date. The southbound lanes will open first.
The 15,000-square-foot restaurant (named for Keith's 2003 hit) will be the 16th of the singer's branded bars in the United States. The overall decor is somewhere between a country western bar (hosting national and local country acts) and a neon salute to the Mall of America. The prime rib is served by the ounce (you've got to be able to eat at least 8 oz. to step up to the plate), the fries are freedom fries, the corn is creamed and the salmon is smoked (for those cowboys sitting a little low in the saddle). Who's ready to line dance?
Here's your tone-deaf candidate of the week: Steve Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald is the Republican running against incumbent Kansas state Sen. Kelly Kultala. On Friday, October 26, he took part in a candidate forum in Leavenworth, put together and moderated by Ernest Evans, a political science professor at Kansas City, Kansas, Community College. At the end of Fitzgerald's remarks, the candidate asked the audience if there was anything else they wanted to ask him.
"When did you stop beating your wife?" Evans asked, off-camera.
"Who said I stopped?" Fitzgerald replied. Some members of the crowd laughed and applauded as Fitzgerald then left the podium.
"Forum went well," Evans told us Monday in an e-mail confirming that his was the joking voice. "Both Fitzgerald and Kultala on their good behavior!"
But neither man looks good coming out of this one. Evans made a bad joke that leaves us longing for the quiet reserve of Jim Lehrer. And Fitzgerald took the bait on a textbook loaded question, with a response that — especially in this election season's "legitimate rape" climate — wasn't just unfunny but offensive.
It's not too late to raise a toast to the memory of a great restaurant owner: Victor Fontana. But nothing too fancy.
"Victor wasn't a big drinker," says restaurant veteran Laser Avery, who worked for Fontana, on and off, for over three decades. "But if he did have a drink, it was a scotch and water."
Avery is one of the many, many men and women in Kansas City's restaurant community who got their start working for Fontana, who died last Friday at age 73 after a long and difficult illness. "But he never complained," says restaurateur Michael Garozzo, who began his Kansas City career working for Fontana in the 1970s. "He kept his sense of humor to the end."
The Chiefs are ceding that day to you. Their next two games are on a Thursday and a Monday. So use this moment as a clean break. Take them off the calendar and instead start circling some other dates. Missouri fans can circle Saturday, with the Tigers finally getting a win in the SEC. Kansas State fans can circle the same day as the start of a potential path toward the national championship game. And Sporting KC fans know that the team's playoff run begins Sunday, November 4.
There are channels just waiting to be clicked and games where you can once again have a real rooting interest. The Chiefs don't deserve your anger. They don't deserve your attention. They don't deserve you.
If you're still licking your wounds from the Chiefs' carnival of suck yesterday, there's good news. One of our professional sports teams, Sporting Kansas City, is good and heading to the playoffs as the top seed in the Eastern Conference. And in order to usher the team into the playoffs with momentum, Sporting is hosting a rally at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Crossroads KC at Grinders.
Players will be there, television announcers Callum Williams and Jake Yadrich will host a live version of The Sporting KC Show on WHB Sports Radio 810 from 7 to 8 p.m., and prizes will be given away. Equally important, there will be $3 16-ounce Budweisers (cash only) and $5 slices of pizza. Even if soccer isn't your bag, you should still go, if for no other reason than to be around winners for a change. Try not to be startled by SKC fans' enthusiasm.
SKC will play its first playoff game on the road against either the Chicago Fire or the Houston Dynamo at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, November 4. They'll return to Livestrong Sporting Park on Wednesday, November 7, for an 8 p.m. game.
Starfucker, tonight, Monday, October 29, at the Granada.
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