Danie Alexander

Associate Producer, Announcer

Danette (Danie) Alexander first came to KCUR in 2007 as an intern for Up to Date after completing her B.A. in Communications at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. After her KCUR internship was completed, Danie continued to spend her mornings assisting senior producer Stephen Steigman as a volunteer with the show.  Her radio experience also includes stints with public radio's New Letters on the Air as a broadcast engineer and on local public radio as host of a weekly overnight call-in show.

In December 2011, Danie started as a temporary on-air announcer and is now the regular voice on Saturday afternoons.  In August 2012 she became the associate producer for Up to Date where one of her assignments is  producing the weekly segment 90-Mile View.  

Danette Alexander also holds a B.S. degree from William Woods University. Originally from Long Island, NY, she and her husband Steven Alexander live in Raytown when they’re not working on their future retirement property on Tablerock Lake.

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Up To Date
4:25 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: August 22-24

Kansas City BaconFest 2009
Credit bacontoday.com

Everything's better with bacon, especially the weekend!  Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List where there's something for every taste.

Bacon Fest 2014
Massive appreciation and ingestion
2 to 5 p.m. Saturday
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing
Admission: $50 (GA), $100 (VIP)

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Up To Date
4:56 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Local Listen: The Phantastics

Credit The Phantastics

The Phantastics, one of this area’s most formidable party bands, send audiences into frenzies with a heated blend of funk, jazz and hip-hop.

The ensemble includes the noted rapper The Phantom and several of the region's most versatile musicians.

This week's edition of Local Listen features a dance-oriented track, "Phire," from the Phantastics 2013 EP "Closer."

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Up To Date
5:24 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

The Militarization Of Law Enforcement

The Clay County Sheriff's MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle acquired in April from the Department of Defense.
Credit (Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

Among the many images that have emerged from Ferguson, Missouri, perhaps some of the most arresting are those of law enforcement personnel lined up in riot gear, helmets and vests on with batons at the ready.  And right behind them the sight of an officer atop a military-grade armored vehicle holding a sniper rifle.
 

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Up to Date
10:52 am
Mon August 18, 2014

How To Identify A Depressed Teen--And What You Can Do To Help

Dr. Wes Crenshaw returns to discuss teen depression with guest host Jeremy Bernfeld.
Credit Ryan Melaugh / Flickr-CC

Young people experience complex emotions, and it can be hard to pick out which teens are at risk for depression and other mental issues. Some problems may just be natural growing pains, but some are not.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk about what teen depression is-- and what it isn't-- and examine the broad range of strategies available to treat it.

Guests:

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Up To Date
3:54 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Kansas City's Piano Duelers

(L-R) Brian Babcock, Elijah Hubbard
erniebiggs.com

Imagine a piano bar with not one, but two, pianists, often playing simultaneously and you'll have an idea of dueling pianos. On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske learns that "dueling" is actually the pair working with each other to entertain the patrons. Not only do they demonstrate for Steve, but they also take listeners' requests live in the studio.

Guests:

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Up to Date
10:54 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Take A Hike: KATY Trail Expansion Update

The Katy Trail stretches from Machens, Mo., to Clinton, Mo.
Credit Gvolk / Wikimedia Commons

When the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, known as the KATY, canceled its route from Machens to Sedalia, the railroad’s loss became a gain for hikers and cyclists. The 200 miles of converted rail bed, now known as the KATY Trail, is an economic engine that falls short of reaching Kansas City — but that could be changing.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we find out what’s next for the KATY Trail, and how it might expand. 

Guests:

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Local Listen: The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Credit kcjazzorchestra.org

Patrons of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra may rethink their usual wardrobe choices before attending the big band's next concert.  Instead of appearing at the its regular home at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center, the orchestra will perform at Knuckleheads this Saturday.   On this edition of Local Listen, we'll hear the orchestra's rendition of Freddie Green’s classic "Corner Pocket."

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Up To Date
6:14 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Local Listen: Nuthatch-47

Credit nuthatch47.com

Maksim Kunakhovich of Nuthatch-47 has said that "Russia is my mother and America is my wife."  His distinctive contributions make Nutchatch-47 one of the funniest and most musically unique bands in the Kansas City area.  This week's edition of Local Listen features "I Reckon" from Nuthatch-47's 2013 album "Babushka Bandita."  The song's narrator muses about his affection for unsavory aspects of American culture as his comrades riff on a familiar spaghetti western theme. 

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Up To Date
3:29 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

"The Presidency Of Gerald R. Ford"

Credit University Press of Kansas

Gerald Ford became the 38th president of this country only because his predecessor, Richard Nixon, resigned the office. His presidency lasted only 865 days because he was defeated for election on his own by Jimmy Carter. So the question becomes: Why is Gerald Ford’s presidency worth examining?

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Up To Date
2:30 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

TEDxKC: Getting Money Out Of Politics And A DIY Musician

Lawrence Lessig and Kawehi
Credit Sage Ross / iamkawehi.com / Wikimedia Commons

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig says we can't begin to deal with problems like climate change, financial reform or anything else until we deal with the corrupting influence of money in American politics. As part of Up to Date's  continuing look at TEDxKC 2014, Lessig explains to Steve Kraske how he believes our system became broken and what it will take to fix it.

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Up To Date
5:07 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

TEDxKC: Alix Lambert On 'The Bully In The System'

Credit http://www.tedxkc.org

In her new documentary, Mentor, filmmaker Alix Lambert examines the culture of bullying at an Ohio high school and two of its victims who committed suicide.  Bullying will also be the focus of her presentation at this week's TEDxKC speakers series.

In this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Lambert about 'bystander culture' and what draws her to individuals who are non-conforming.

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Up To Date
4:32 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Life As A Senior: Independent Living, Continuing Education And City Planning

Credit Oaktree b / Wikimedia Commons

The last of the Baby Boomers turn 50 this year. By 2030 one out of every five people in the U.S. will be 65-plus. These are people not content to sit in a rocker on the front porch. They want to live independently for as long as possible, experience and learn new things, and have communities that help them stay active and engaged.

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Up To Date
3:50 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

TEDxKC: Changing The Narrative

Credit http://www.tedxkc.org

TED talks are those 18-minute presentations about big ideas and theories. Since 2009, Kansas City has hosted a TED conference of its own. Steve Kraske sits down with TEDxKC organizer Mike Lundgren for a look at this year's event including a sneak peek at a local singer/songwriter, 15 year-old Gracie Schram.

Guest:

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Up To Date
2:03 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Local Listen: People's Liberation Big Band

Credit http://peoplesliberationbigband.bandcamp.com

Anyone who clings to the mistaken notion that all of the jazz performed by Kansas City musicians is bound to fusty tradition has yet to hear the People's Liberation Big Band.  The maverick ensemble led by Brad Cox plays a wild and wooly form of jazz.  This week's Local Listen features "Mr. Blister's Naughty Sister," a playful track from the large ensemble's 2010 debut album.

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Up To Date
3:57 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: August 1-3

Credit www.hoahotdogfestival.com

It's a music-packed weekend in the Kansas City area.  Whether enjoying a hotdog or indulging a guitar-shredding fantasy, Brian McTavish has the event for you in the Weekend To-Do List!

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Up to Date
2:50 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Republican Candidates For Kansas Secretary Of State Square Off

Credit Scott Morgan for Secretary of State / Department of Justice

Primary elections in Kansas and Missouri are one week from today. On the Kansas side, a lot of the action will wait until November but one primary race in particular has gained a lot of attention, more than you might expect. Incumbent Kris Kobach is well known for his work on election and immigration laws. His opponent, Scott Morgan, says that's a big part of the problem.

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Up To Date
12:40 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

A Fan’s Notes: Hometown Heroes

Credit Rybass / Wikimedia Commons

Last week in a coffee shop, I saw two young men, each with single name emblazoned on his chest. The first one read, “Jesus.” The other? “LeBron.” Because, hey—every savior deserves his own T-shirt.

The biggest sports news of the summer is the second coming of NBA superstar LeBron James—specifically from the Miami Heat back to the Cleveland Cavaliers and his native northeast Ohio. The national media has been giddy over his maturity and grace in trading the Sun Belt for the Rust Belt and a mere $42 million over the next two years.

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Up To Date
12:56 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Two Hundred Years Of U.S. Presidents And Pop Culture

Credit Regnery History

Presidents have been forced to calculate whether they want to be men of the people...or men of somewhat higher understanding.

On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske sits down with author Tevi Troy for a look at how popular culture has shaped the presidency. From Jefferson’s grounding in philosophy to Obama’s mastery of Internet culture, they examine who was best, or worst, at navigating a president's need to connect with the average citizen through the culture of the day.

Guest:

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Up To Date
11:48 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Ethics Professors Look At Malaysian Crash And Border Kids

Credit Arpingstone / Wikimedia Commons

Pro-Russian rebels wouldn’t let anybody in to view the bodies of that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. What’s to make of their actions?

In this country, thousands of “border children” streamed across the border in recent months. The crisis has raised questions about what’s the appropriate way to handle these kids.

On Wednesday's Up to Date Steve Kraske and the Ethics Professors sort through the moral dilemmas presented by each of these events.

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Up To Date
1:55 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Local Listen: Jason Vivone & the Billy Bats

Credit billybats.com

The Phoenix, one of Kansas City's most popular live music venues, hosts its fifth annual Phoenix Fest this Saturday.  Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats are among the eight area-based acts performing at the event.  This week's edition of Local Listen features "Eddie Ate Dynamite," the humorous title track from the band's 2013 album.

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Up To Date
3:29 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Kansas City Women Versus Tom Pendergast

Former Kansas City, Missouri mayor Kay Barnes
Credit MId-America glcc

In the 1920s and '30s, Kansas City was defined by the corruption of the political machine run by “Boss” Tom Pendergast. But the machine finally was brought down, in no small part through the efforts of reform-minded women.

Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes tells the story of these “civic housekeepers” whose fight came to a dramatic conclusion with the ballot-box victories of 1940, Pendergast’s imprisonment in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, and the smashing of machine-mob rule.

Guest:

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Up To Date
3:25 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Kansas City, Kansas Group Works To Keep Children From Becoming Border Kids

This is a family in Guatemala who has received support from Unbound.
Credit unbound.org

As the U.S. struggles with the thousands of "border kids" crossing its southern boundaries, one organization in Kansas City, Kansas is working with families in Latin America to help children remain in their own communities.

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Up To Date
10:45 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Dr. Hunthausen's Tips For Animal First Aid

Credit hawaiimobileveterinaryservices.com

The list below contains items that you will find helpful for addressing common emergency situations.  Individual pets may need specialized first aid kits. Talk to your veterinarian if your pet has special needs or ongoing medical problems. You should also discuss dosages for the recommended oral medications. If you’re not inclined to build your own kit, there are commercial kits available from a variety of sources. Organizations in some cities have first aid classes for pets that you might also want to check out.

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Arts & Culture
6:01 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Local Listen: Ensemble Ibérica

Ensemble Ibérica
Credit Jeff Evrard / ensembleiberica.org

Often characterized by Americans as the blues of Portugal, fado is a melancholy music.  Vocalist Rodrigo Costa Félix is one of three Portuguese fado artists that will headline a concert Saturday, July 12, at Polsky Theatre on the campus of Johnson County Community College.  Kansas City's Ensemble Ibérica, a group led by event organizer Beau Bledsoe, will open the show.  This week's Local Listen features Ensemble Ibérica's "Fado Pechincha."

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Up To Date
5:26 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Michael Feinstein: Ambassador Of The Great American Songbook

Michael Feinstein in studio at KCUR.
Credit Beth Lipoff / Up to Date

His career includes multi-platinum recordings, 200-plus live performances per year, two Emmy and five Grammy nominations, conductor of the Pasadena Pops, nightclub owner, and that’s just the half of it. Perhaps his greatest recognition, though, is as “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook”. On Friday's Up to Date, Michael Feinstein talks with Steve Kraske about his love of classic American popular music and his efforts to preserve it for future generations.

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Up To Date
3:57 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Should Rest Requirements For Truckers Be Relaxed?

Credit wikipedia commons

When New Jersey prosecutors charged the truck driver who crashed into comedian Tracy Morgan's limo, they said the man behind the wheel had not slept in more than 24 hours.  Not long after that accident, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to rescind some of the rest requirements for big rig drivers.

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Up To Date
3:14 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Death of Kansas City Veteran Emphasizes Need For Timely PTSD Treatment

Army Specialist Isaac Sims seen here in a holiday greeting sent from Ramadi, Iraq in 2009.
Credit 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs/US Army

The death last month of 26-year old Army veteran Isaac Sims in a confrontation with Kansas City, Missouri police raised many questions including whether this loss of life could have been prevented.

On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske brings together a panel to look at the events leading up to Sims' death, the special municipal court that works with veterans facing criminal charges, and a therapy program treating military PTSD sufferers while they are still on active duty.

Guests:

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Up To Date
6:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Delirium Tremens Changed Views On 19th Century Alcoholism

Imagine watching a group of men mutilate the body of your mother.  This is what poet Edgar Allan Poe experienced as a hallucination brought on by alcohol-induced delirium tremens, DT’s.  On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with historian Matthew Osborn to discover how this condition, first described in 1813, was the catalyst for changing how the medical profession diagnosed and treated the problems of alcohol abuse.

Guest:

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Up To Date
10:22 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Journalist Examines 'What Wars Leave Behind'

While armed conflicts are ongoing, media coverage brings images and sounds from the center of war zones to the world. But what happens when the guns go silent and the combatants and media go home?

J. Malcolm Garcia looks at the people left to survive in the aftermath in his book, What Wars Leave Behind: The Faceless and the Forgotten. On Wednesday's Up to Date, the author talks with Steve Kraske about "the endless messiness of war and the failings of good intentions."

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Up to Date
3:10 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' June 27

Credit Canal+ Polska

  Up to Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Chef
  • Belle
  • Ida (English subtitles)

Steve Walker:

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