Luke X. Martin

Associate Producer, Up To Date

Luke X. Martin is an associate producer for KCUR's Up To Date.

Born in Manhattan, Kansas, and raised in Wichita, Luke fell in love with public radio listening to KMUW. He got his start pulling early morning DJ shifts at KJHK in Lawrence while he was a student at KU.

Luke was previously an intern for Up To Date, and joined the team as a producer in 2016. His work has appeared online for UPI.com, The Daily Caller, Politics Daily and The Pitch.

He has a Master of Science degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. If you see him limping along a running trail in Kansas City or the suburbs, please offer him a drink of water or a high-five.

Ways to Connect

A handgun and six bullets on a desk.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office / Wikimedia Commons

Drag is big these days in pop culture, but the cross-dressing tradition goes back further than most people realize. Today, we trace its roots on the American frontier. Then, we take a close look with sociologist and researcher Jonathan Metzl at claims that gun violence in America is primarily a mental health issue, and not one related to the easy availability of firearms.

Cpl. Samantha Braun / Office of Marine Corps Communication

Thanksgiving is practically upon us, marking the start of the holiday season. Today, we listen back to a conversation with Master Sommelier Doug Frost and others to get you prepared for winter partying with some great wine and drink pairing ideas. Then, we sit down with Vietnam veteran and poet John Musgrave.

A24 Films

Thanksgiving is a time for family, but sometimes a break from all that togetherness can be a good thing. This weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics will give you a great excuse to get away for a few hours, and an "R" rating means the wee ones won't be able to go. (Darn!) From wistful to just plain weird, these off-beat movies are a great way to squeeze in a little personal time before the holiday season.

Steve Walker

Florida Keys--Public Libraries / Flickr - CC

In more than 30 years of writing for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik has covered everything from the science of meditation to the relationship between baseball and art. Today, he joins Steve Kraske to help recalibrate the true meaning of liberalism. Then, we find out why some consider Harry Truman's presidency an accident, which nonetheless changed the course of history in its first few months.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

After three months on the job, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith has laid out a set of changes he would like to make within his department. Most of them would involve hiring more personnel, both uniformed and civilian.

This comes less than a month after the chief released his requested budget for the next fiscal year, which includes an ask for an additional $9.3 million from the Kansas City, Missouri, general fund and a total budget of $251.9 million.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Star published on Sunday a long list of ways the state government in Topeka resists efforts to disclose information to the public. Today, we discuss The Star's assertions with reporters who broke the story and former state Rep. John Rubin, who tried to fix the problem from inside the Statehouse. Then, among other post-holiday events is an increase in the number of separations and divorces.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Despite several unsuccessful attempts to repeal Obamacare outright, Pres. Donald Trump has made substantial changes in how the healthcare exchange works. Today, we discuss those changes, and how they're affecting folks who depend on the Affordable Care Act. Then, the City School Fair wants to make Kansas City, Missouri parents aware of all the possibilities for K-12 education that don't require moving to the suburbs.

Tiffany Matson / James Beard Foundation

When Beck Weathers' climbing group joined other expeditions summiting Mount Everest in May of 1996, no one knew eight mountaineers would not return. Today, we speak with Weathers about his survival story, and learn about an opera depicting the deadly climb. Then, we catch up with three Kansas City chefs lending their prowess to a high-profile culinary event hosted by the James Beard Foundation.

Wikimedia Commons

For as long as there has been recorded music, there have been cover songs.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

As the race for the Unified Government's top job draws to a close, the two candidates for mayor/CEO are drawing distinctions between themselves and their proposed policies.

Mark Holland was elected mayor in 2013 and says his re-election would maintain the momentum that his administration has built in Wyandotte County, especially when it comes to job increases, low unemployment and growing household incomes.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Kansas City residents will vote on the fate of existing facilities at KCI in a week. We hit the most common points of concern about the project, and city council members Jolie Justus, 4th District, and Dan Fowler, 2nd District, respond to them.

Photo courtesy of Pat O'Neill

It was 120 years ago this week that George Wigert was born in Axtell, a speck of a town in rural Nebraska. Wigert would grow up to attend military school, fight in World War I, then return home to start a family.

It was just three years ago that Wigert's grandson, author and publicist Pat O'Neill, came across hundreds of letters Wigert exchanged with his mother while preparing for and fighting in what was called "the war to end all wars."

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

During World War I, millions of letters were sent between the American servicemen in Europe and their loved ones back home. Kansas City author and publicist Pat O'Neill focused in on 223 letters sent during the war by his grandfather. Today, we learn Sgt. George Wigert's story.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

It's not every day you see — well, hear about — a set of 17-foot-tall, 4 1/2-ton gilded doors, but today is that day. We broadcast live from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and get the rundown on just such a set of doors, originally sculpted in the 15th century by Lorenzo Ghiberti.

Pete Souza / The White House

When Kansas City native Josh Earnest first moved to Washington he wasn't necessarily after a job in the White House, but that's where he ended up. Today, we find out how the former press secretary handled the daily barrage of questions from journalists, while maintaining the president's confidence and his own credibility. Then, we hear experiences of sexual harassment from metro listeners, and find out how they're responding to the #MeToo hashtag campaign.

Wikimedia Commons

During the Vietnam War, military conflict in Southeast Asia aggravated flaring social issues back home. Today, we discuss how activism during the war advanced the fight for civil rights on many fronts, and how mass protests then compare to today's resistance movements. Then, renowned biographer Walter Issacson takes us into the mind of Leonardo da Vinci.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

After spending 23 years incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit, Lamonte McIntyre has spent the last week getting used to being a free man. Today, we ask McIntyre, his mother Rosie McIntyre, and one of his attorneys, Cheryl Pilate, about the crime he was wrongly convicted of, the court fight that finally liberated him, and how he moved through the anger and frustration he initially developed behind bars.

Good Deed Entertainment

With Royals' season at a disappointing end, and the Chiefs having gotten their game out of the way on Thursday, sports fans might be looking for other things to do. This weekend's a perfect chance to check out recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics. They won't get our boys in blue into the playoffs or make up for two painful losses on the gridiron, but they might help you forget.

Cynthia Haines

78/52, Not rated

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The executive director of the Kansas City Symphony is a busy man, but Frank Byrne has carved out some time for Up To Date. Today, he leads us through a Shostakovich symphony he's been listening to a lot lately. Then, we learn about the reporting, the writing, and the living Ernest Hemingway did in Kansas City during his 18th year of life.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

One Missouri photographer has spent years collecting stories and making images of musicians and their most prized possession; their guitars. Today, Chuck Holley shares some of his favorites. Then, we visit with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller about the possibility of an upcoming bubble. Shiller says many harbingers of recessions in the past are present, but something important is missing.

El-Toro / Flickr - CC

For migrants attempting to illegally cross the deserts guarding our border with Mexico, survival is far from a given. Today, we revisit a conversation with anthropologist Lori Baker about how forensic science is helping identify the unfortunate travelers who perish and return their remains to loved ones. Then, guest host Sam Zeff explores how mass shootings affect the likelihood that new gun laws will be passed with Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

You could be forgiven for not realizing there's an organization based in Kansas City that's helping people around the world gain access to sanitation and clean water. Today, we meet the CEO and co-founder of Water.org. Then, astrophysicist Angela Speck returns to discuss what the scientific community learned from the eclipse on August 21. We also find out what it was like for folks living in St. Joseph, Missouri, to play host to more than 80,000 total eclipse tourists.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Not only is David Litt one of the youngest presidential speechwriters ever, but he also has the distinct (dis)honor of deplaning Air Force One in his pajamas. Today, Litt shares stories about his time writing jokes — and some serious stuff, too — for President Barack Obama.

Music Box Films

KCUR prides itself on the breadth of our coverage, but Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are really pushing the envelope with this weekend's recommendations. From the slow creep of Nazism in the 1930s to the partition of India to a shoemaker whose name is regularly dropped by fashion editors, movies stars, and rappers alike, this batch of movies is all over the map. We'll leave it up to you to find a through line.

Cynthia Haines

13 Minutes, R

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

You wouldn't believe some of the things that bring people to violence, says Annette Lantz-Simmons. Mundane, seemingly everyday occurrences can lead down a dark path. 

The executive director of the Center for Conflict Resolution recalls an incident several years ago between neighbors with kids.

"The children would play outside and be noisy and use screaming voices," she says. "It got to the point where one of the parents was making death threats because of the noise."

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Chances are good that you've heard of Dan Brown before. (Does The Da Vinci Code ring a bell?) Today, the mega best-selling author talks about about his latest thriller, Origin, and explains why he thinks God won't survive the next hundred years. Then, we find out how reframing the gun control debate can help prevent more children being killed in gun violence.

Public Domain

They may be icons of the old west, but cowboys aren't just an American phenomenon. Today, we learn the long history of the horseback herdsmen, whose roots go back to Africa. Then, we discuss climate change and the complexities of reducing fossil fuel use with environmentalist Bill McKibben. Later, we ask Sam Cossman why on earth he climbs into active volcanoes and what he hopes to gain from doing so.

Travel Nevada / Flickr - CC

With the country's attention trained on Sunday night's tragic events in Las Vegas, we discuss whether the worst mass shooting in modern American history might shift the attitudes of Second Amendment advocates, and hear how police departments train and respond to quickly-developing kinetic events.

Sundance Selects

From Puerto Rican devastation and despair to the political caterwauls playing out on football fields, there are plenty of reasons people may want to tune out for a few days. For those looking to pause and pardon themselves from current events, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics present the following movie recommendations, which will provide some respite and, hopefully, perspective.

Steve Walker

The Unknown Girl, Not rated

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Emergency preparedness is in the national consciousness in a big way. Today, the Smart Money Experts make a special trip to the studio to discuss preparing your family's finances for the wide-ranging effects of a natural disaster. Then, Kansas City voters in April approved a one-eighth-cent sales tax increase aimed at developing the long-neglected east side of town.

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