Up To Date

Weekdays at 11 a.m.

Up to Date focuses on pressing issues, both local and national, including politics, economics, planning and design, history and entertainment — topics that have an impact on the lives of the Greater Kansas City region.


  • Monday: Black Elephants in the Room / Growing Older Gets Funny
  • Tuesday: Polling Place Rules / The End of Segregation at Mizzou Law School / Statehouse Blend
  • Wednesday: Children's Sports Injuries / Local Listen
  • Thursday: U.S. Senator Roy Blunt / Weekend To-Do List
  • Friday: Indie, Documentary and Foreign Film Critics

With Donald Trump urging supporters to watch for instances of voter fraud, we find out how the Jackson County Election Board ensures fair and free voting. Then, a 1938 Supreme Court ruling forced the University of Missouri Law School to accept black students, or create a separate school for them. The litigant, Lloyd Gaines, disappeared soon after, but his case made history.

With the national Republican Party in turmoil, we look at the unexpected politics of African Americans in the GOP. Then, whether it's dealing with doctors, dating in one's 70s, or new and unexpected bodily changes, growing older can dismay some folks, but William Novak says laughter is often the best medicine.

Aaron Pellish / KCUR 89.3

It's been 40 years since Missouri voters have sent two Democrats to represent them in the U.S. Senate. If Jason Kander has his way, that will soon change.

A recent poll released by Monmouth University indicates Kander, the state's Secretary of State since 2013, has narrowed incumbent Roy Blunt's lead to within the margin of error.

Aaron Pellish / KCUR 89.3

Missouri hasn't had two Democratic U.S. Senators in 40 years, but Jason Kander is looking to change that. Today, we speak with the current Missouri Secretary of State about his run to defeat incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt in what has become a very competitive race.

First, the final reactions to last night’s presidential debate from KCUR's panel of undecided voters. Then, a survivor of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, recalls that fateful day. Finally, Brian McTavish presents his latest Weekend To-Do-List.

In a time of diminishing budgets, guest host Brian Ellison learns how fine-arts program Harmony Project is helping underserved kids in Kansas City do better in school. Then, actor Bryan Cranston says a large part of his successful career has to do with hard work and good luck. This week's Local Listen features the classic rock band Kansas, touring in support of its first album since 2000.

Dario Acosta

Tenor Ben Bliss is considered a rising star in the world of opera. And, like opera diva Joyce DiDonato, he grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas. Bliss credits "the support of arts and education and public education" for leading to his musical career. It's something, he says, he "got a really good dose of growing up."

Bliss's father is a freelance cartoonist and his mother sings with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City chorus.

Prairie Village has the distinction among Kansas cities of being the hometown of not one — but two! — operatic prodigies. Hear the latest tenor voice that's delighting audiences from California to Carnegie Hall. Then, we examine a different way to frame victims of sexual violence and the concept of rape itself. Finally, the latest Statehouse Blend Kansas, recorded live in Wichita.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

While the mud flies between the major party presidential candidates, the Smart Money Experts are focused on the issues. Today, we review the proposed tax and economic policies from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

flattop341 / Flickr - CC

Football season… baseball season… none is as seemingly endless as election season. This one has been particularly nasty, brutish and long—and now, as Victor Wishna explains in “A Fan’s Notes,” it’s bullied its way into the sports headlines, too.

Music Box Films

Nobody can stay on top of the world forever, and there's nothing like a well-timed helping hand when you're feeling a little down. This weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics prove it's not just animals that sometimes require a rescue. Whether it's a lonesome neighbor or a long-lost schoolmate — all the lonely people — grab a friend and get to an area theater before these films are gone from screens for good.

Cynthia Haines

Ryan Hennessy / KCUR 89.3

The old rivalry between Missouri and Kansas is getting a new injection of energy from the Granny Basketball League. After its first year of competition, the series is tied at 1-to-1 but the go-ahead game takes place this Saturday in Jefferson City.

First, with more than 5,000 "honor killings" occurring around the world every year, violence against women is a widespread problem with no single solution. Then, we hear both sides of upcoming ballot initiatives that propose a new public safety tax in Johnson County, and a new levy in Kansas City, Missouri, that would fund a light rail network. Finally, the most recent installment of A Fan's Notes.

First, a look at how an increasing Latino population in the Heartland is changing the region. Then, how the border showdown between Kansas and Missouri lives on through Granny Basketball. Finally, Brian McTavish gives us the latest Weekend To-Do List.

With the presidential campaigns reaching a fever pitch, the Media Critics discuss whether or not journalists hold Hillary Clinton to a different standard than Donald Trump, and if the press is giving political "spin" the same importance as evidence-based facts. Then, Bill Brownlee introduces Various Blonde in this week's Local Listen.

In conjunction with NPR's A Nation Engaged project, Native people answer the question, "What it means to you be an American now." Then, we find out why George Washington may not have agreed with the United State's role as policeman to the world. Finally, President of the Kansas Senate, Susan Wagle, gives us the inside story about what's going on with that state's tax revenues.

First, local undecided voters react to the slug fest that was the second presidential debate. Then, a look at a few measures on the Missouri 2016 ballot concerning cigarette taxes and establishing ID requirements for voting. 

Jacob Blickenstaff

Millions of people will tune their TVs to the second presidential debate this Sunday, but maybe you're looking for something on the big screen instead. If so, check out this weekend's non-political movie recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics. 

Steve Walker

Mia Madre, R

Teen films from the 1980s (think Fast Times at Ridgemont High and 16 Candles) helped define a generation, but their influence on American culture lasted much longer than the decade in which they were released.

First, the Ethics Professors decide whether complaining about politics without casting a vote is something to feel guilty about, and discuss the morals of disclosing Donald Trump's old tax returns without his permission. Finally, Brian McTavish gives us a rundown of the latest Weekend To-Do List.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of the Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, candidates for the House and Senate discuss running for office, elections, and policy.


First, Ambassador Allan Katz examines the diminishing role of civility in politics, and what might be done to reverse it. Then, the story of Forsyth County, Georgia, which became a "white county" in 1912, after a campaign of violence and intimidation against its black inhabitants. This week's Local Listen features Brody Buster's One Man Band.

We begin with a look at the many challenges media outlets face when, under increasing scrutiny from all sides, they are covering a presidential race unlike any other.

Aranami - Flickr CC

On November 8,  Missouri voters will decide on a number of ballot questions, the most controversial being a photo voter ID amendment and a pair of cigarette taxes. 

But a far less attention-grabbing question is a measure that could affect sales taxes on services. 

Constitutional Amendment 4 would ban sales and use taxes on any service that was not already being taxed as of Jan. 1, 2015.

For Cuban exile Carlos Eire, coming to the U.S. as a boy was a gift but it took him a few years to realize the freedoms it afforded him. Then, a new book from journalist Gary Younge brings statistics to bear by chronicling the stories of 10 young people who were killed by gunfire on November 23, 2013.

Magnolia Pictures

If the excitement of the first presidential debate left you with a little drama fix you need to itch, Up to Date has your prescription. This week, our film critics return to bring you the latest indie, foreign and documentary films showing on local screens. 

Robert Butler

Hell or High Water, R

Up To Date's film critics review the latest independent, foreign and documentary movies showing in area theaters.

Here's a list of the films reviewed on the program:

  • Little Men
  • The Dressmaker
  • The Hollars
  • The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
  • Hieronymus Bosch, Touched by the Devil
  • Dough
  • The Light Between Oceans

St. Teresa's Academy is still going strong, 150 years after the school's founding on Quality Hill. Though a lot has changed since then, the staff's belief in the benefits of single-gender learning has not. 


Debunking The Voter Fraud Myth

Sep 29, 2016

In an effort to protect against voter fraud, new and stricter voter I.D. laws have proliferated. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach now requires proof of citizenship when registering to vote. We take a look at how claims of ballot-rigging are not as accurate as once thought.


An awesome snapshot of Kansas City is more than just picking an iconic location. Up to Date host Steve Kraske talks with three professional photographers who say  making a great photo takes plenty of preparation, a good plan and, in some cases, a tiny hexacopter.