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Talkers: Bert & Ernie, Bubba Watch

No sexual orientation here.


1. For Gardner Edgerton High School phenom Bubba Starling , the decision about his future came down to college or cash. He chose the latter, signing what’s believed to be a $7.5 million, three-year contract with the Royals just before his 11 p.m. deadline Monday. The fifth overall draft pick had been wrestling since June with the choice of playing for his hometown major league team or accepting a football scholarship at the University of Nebraska. Get more Royals news on KansasCity.com/sports.

2. Mayor Sly James quickly became convinced that Kansas City needs an earlier curfew for youths when a Country Club Plaza shooting Saturday night prompted James’ bodyguard to shove him to the ground. “They basically forced me into the flowerbeds by the Cheesecake Factory,” James told The Kansas City Star. Three teens were shot in the incident, which happened the night that James was walking the area to assess the curfew situation. In a letter to community leaders Monday, James said he might impose a 9 p.m. curfew citywide as early as Friday.

3. The death toll has risen to two after the July 31 Warrior Dash , an extreme 5K obstacle course that incorporated fire and barbed wire. Jeff Fink died last week after suffering heatstroke at the event, family and friends said on a website they set up to share his condition. Jeremy Morris, 28, also died. The obstacle course trend picks up again with the Ruckus race Nov. 5 in Grain Valley.

4. In lighter news, Fort Collins, Colo.-based breakfast and lunch chain The Egg & I will open in November at 8180 W. 135th St. in Overland Park. Also, Texas-based Bar Louie brings its signature fresh fruit shots and small plates to the former Ted’s Montana Grill spot in the Power & Light District starting Sept. 6. For more restaurant and business news, search JoyceKC on Facebook and Twitter to follow The Kansas City Star’s Joyce Smith.

5. P.S. Tomfooleries Restaurant & Bar in Zona Rosa has closed. The Plaza location remains open.

6. Responding to an online petition pushing for the marriage of Bert and Ernie , “Sesame Street” insisted last week that the pair “remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation.” Not that toddlers care.

7. And in case you were wondering, it is possible to lose an eight-foot pet snake . A red tail boa constrictor about that size recently showed up in someone’s yard in Trimble, Mo., north of Smithville. Roger Davolt told the St. Joseph News-Press that he corralled the serpent using a child’s playpen. The Missouri Department of Conservation is looking for the owner of the snake, which was curled up at a Northland pet store in the meantime.

8. In a Strange (Music) celebrity encounter, Charlie Sheen introduced Tech N9ne before his Saturday night performance at the Gathering of the Juggalos in Cave-in-Rock, Ill., according to a blog on Tech’s website. Sheen tweeted his #winning assessment: “When I say Tech you say 9..! These guys blew my mind Do not walk … Run to get their new album! #tech9”

9. The nationally syndicated radio show “This American Life” spent 32 minutes of its weekly hourlong show profiling Cole Lindbergh, who runs the games department at Worlds of Fun. Host Ira Glass compared Lindbergh, 25, to a young Tom Hanks and said on the show that “it’s rare to witness somebody so happily great at any job.” Go to thislife.org to listen to the episode, which is called “Amusement Park.”

10. Speaking of amusement parks, Missouri politics have turned on the carnival in the run-up to the election season. Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (left) last week denied ties to former Penthouse model Tammy Chapman, who told the St. Louis Riverfront Times that Kinder was a customer of hers at Diamond Cabaret in the 1990s in Sauget, Ill. Kinder, a Republican who’s expected to run for governor, said Democrats had created the story, which he called “bizarre” and “not true.”

— lindsay hanson metcalf and sarah gish { ink }


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