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Morning rush: GOP wins in Kansas, ammunition plant explosion kills one, weekend events

Republican Ron Estes wins 4th District congressional race

Republican Ron Estes gives his acceptance speech after winning the 4th District congressional race Tuesday night, April 11, 2017, at his watch party at the Marriott Hotel. (Video by Fernando Salazar/The Wichita Eagle)
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Republican Ron Estes gives his acceptance speech after winning the 4th District congressional race Tuesday night, April 11, 2017, at his watch party at the Marriott Hotel. (Video by Fernando Salazar/The Wichita Eagle)

There are plenty of events to choose from this weekend in KC. But first, some positive news for Republicans.

Ron Estes wins congressional seat

In deep-red Kansas, Ron Estes prevailed Tuesday night against Democrat James Thompson — but not by much — to keep the 4th Congressional District in the GOP’s corner. Estes won by 7 points. In November, that seat was picked up by 31 points by the GOP.

Bryan Lowry has more on the race that gained national media attention.

Democrat James Thompson speaks to supporters at the Murdock Theatre after narrowly losing the 4th District congressional race to Republican Ron Estes on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Thompson announced plans to run again in 2018. (Video by Travis Heyin

Brownback dethroned

And more good news for Kansas Republicans: A new poll found Gov. Sam Brownback is no longer the least popular governor in the country. That title now belongs to Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill is on the unenviable list of most unpopular lawmakers, ranking near the top in terms of disapproval ratings among U.S. senators.

One killed in ammunition plant explosion

One died and four were injured at an explosion Tuesday at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence. They were all employees with the plant’s civilian contractor. The plant has been cited for workplace safety violations in the past, and this isn’t the first death at Lake City. The breaking news team has more information.

An explosion at the Lake Army Ammunition Plant in Independence reportedly killed one person and injured four others. OSHA fined the company for workplace safety issues in 2008, 2011 and 2012.

Pay to play?

Missouri Senate leader Ron Richard is facing pay-to-play allegations after he received a $100,000 check from a Joplin businessman after filing legislation that would benefit the businessman’s company.

Senate President pro temp Ron Richard responded to questions in April about a bill he sponsored that would benefit a major donor.

The Star’s editorial board weighed in:

“Blatant conflicts of interest should be avoided at all costs. These days in Jefferson City, that guiding principle has been forgotten.”

Check out the opinion piece here: Editorial: Conflicts of interest abound among Missouri officials

Weekend happenings

On a lighter note, if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, options abound in KC.

John Mayer comes to town. The Royals will square off against the L.A. Angels. Comedian Lewis Black will perform. And UFC is coming to the Sprint Center.

Here’s more weekend events.

And an upcoming concert list.

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