Editorial: Star Brights, celebrating the positive people and events around us

We like to think Kansas City is a lay-up when it comes to college hoops.
We like to think Kansas City is a lay-up when it comes to college hoops. rsugg@kcstar.com

The NCAA tourney’s here

Welcome back, NCAA men’s basketball regional finals. We’ve missed you.

We like to think Kansas City is a lay-up when it comes to college hoops. We’ve got the NAIA headquarters and tourney. We’ve got the College Basketball Experience. We’ve got plenty of NCAA history at Municipal Auditorium and Kemper Arena.

We know — the Sprint Center isn’t big enough for a Final Four. And it was too costly to put a roof on Arrowhead just so talented college athletes could strut their stuff every decade or so.

But downtown is a perfect fit for a regional final. If you don’t believe us, talk with the thousands of out-of-town fans enjoying our hospitality for the first time.

You’ve taken your party to other cities for almost a quarter century. Think about putting us in a more regular rotation. Welcome back, and welcome home.

Mamie who?

A whole lot of Kansas Citians know the venerable Mamie Hughes, who is looking back on a good life lived with a new book, “Mamie Who? The Life and Times of a Colored Woman (An Autobiography).”

The title refers to one voter’s reaction when Hughes introduced herself during a run for the Jackson County Legislature in the 1970s. She won that race, becoming one of the first women to serve there.

She’s also a founding member of the Central Exchange and a past chairwoman of the Mid-America Regional Council. She’s a former board member of the Samuel U. Rodgers Community Health Center, named after her second husband, and she has held so many other positions that we can’t list them all here. In the 1960s, she worked to integrate our town.

Hughes made Kansas City a better place, and we appreciate her.

Gifts of the ballet

In a town full of artistic bright spots, none shimmers more brilliantly than the Kansas City Ballet.

It has been 60 years since Tatiana Dokoudovska founded the company, now 30 dancers strong. As the Kansas City Ballet gears up for a big celebration, it received the happy news that it has been invited to perform its spectacular “Nutcracker” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., during the week of Thanksgiving. That’s giving back to the whole nation.

But the ballet offers much more than performance. It reaches out to the community with two ballet school campuses for students of all ages. And its Reach Out and Dance program brings dance instruction, set to live music, directly to elementary schoolkids.

Here’s looking to Year 120, Kansas City Ballet — and beyond.

Good job, Mom

A 95-year-old St. Louis woman who never stopped believing in her son was proven right in a California court this week when he was exonerated in the 1984 murder of a man who was stabbed to death while sleeping in his car. For decades, Margie Davis said, she wrote officials disputing her son Andrew Wilson’s guilt.

Loyola Law School’s Project for the Innocent eventually took on the case, and Wilson was released from prison two weeks ago after prosecutors admitted suppressing that the victim’s girlfriend, who was with him when he was killed, had stabbed him in the past. She picked Wilson out of a photo lineup only after a police detective asked if he was the one.

Now, Davis will welcome him home after 33 years and says she has a long list of chores she has been saving for her son.