Steve Kraske

Host of Up to Date

Steve Kraske is an associate teaching professor of journalism at UMKC, a political columnist for The Kansas City Star and has hosted "Up to Date" since 2002. He worked as the full-time political correspondent for The Star from 1994-2013 covering national, state and local campaigns. He also has covered the statehouses in Topeka and Jefferson City.

Before arriving in Kansas City, he worked at daily newspapers in Iowa and Illinois and at United Press International in Madison, Wis. Kraske is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received a bachelor's degree in journalism. He was a 1992 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

Kraske has won awards for both his print and radio work and has appeared on NPR, CNN and Fox. He's a big fan of "Prairie Home Companion" and Kansas City jazz. His father lives in Stillwater, Minn., not far from the St. Croix River.

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.

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.

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.


Of the millions who watched last night's presidential debate, eight undecided voters from the Kansas City area watched from KCUR's studios. UMKC's Division of Diversity and Inclusion Vice Chancellor Susan Wilson invited them to see if what they heard influenced how they would vote. Susan shares what she found with Up to Date host Steve Kraske.

As Missouri's gubernatorial election draws near, the right-to-work debate hangs in the balance. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is in Kansas City to address his group's state convention, and says results from the races for governor and president will affect the future of organized labor.

How Uncertainty Builds Faith In 'A Gray World'

Sep 27, 2016

During troubled times some turn to prayer, but when left with no answers they may question their beliefs. Religion writer Bill Tammeus says that doubt is natural, and can play a big part in strengthening one's faith.

You know Chuck Haddix as host of KCUR's Fish Fry, but his day job is director of UMKC's Marr Sound Archives. He finds truly surprising audio clips while working there, and he shares some with us in this edition of Up to Date. "It's like Christmas everyday," he says.

Meet the young woman who runs a boxing program just for people with Parkinson's and the neurologist who explains how specific boxing movements can improve the quality of life for those with the disease.


Employers throughout the nation will soon need to ensure all salaried workers are making at least $47,476 annually, or will need to make them eligible for overtime pay by changing their status to hourly. The new rules about who is and isn't eligible for overtime are set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, but 21 states have joined in a lawsuit to have the higher standards declared invalid.


In the early 1690s, Massachusetts got swept up in the madness of witch hunts, which culminated in the Salem witch trials and the execution of 20 people. On this edition of Up To Date, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff talks about the 1692 tragedy that still fascinates us today, and how it compares to modern times.

Water is life — you drink it, cook with it and even shower in it — but unregulated runoff from farms and business can pose a threat to keeping it clean. A new series from Harvest Public Media, based at KCUR, looks at the conditions of water in Kansas City and throughout the Midwest.


When children get headaches, it can be difficult for them  to understand or express what's bothering them. It can be equally challenging as a parent to decide on the appropriate action to take.


While small towns continue to lose population to cities, they're working to reverse that migration.  We talk with a panel of Kansans who made the decision to come back about how they're encouraging others to do the same. 


Democratic strategist and pollster Celinda Lake says Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both know women will play an important role in the 2016 election, and they need to win them over by November. Lake says women and men look for different things, so the candidates will need a multifaceted approach to win.

Monet's Final Endeavor Of 'Water Lilies'

Sep 19, 2016
Claude Monet / Public domain

Claude Monet's water lily paintings are some of the most beloved works of art in history, but the painter was endlessly frustrated by the elusiveness of his subject. Ross King, author of Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies, says the artist worked tirelessly on them, going so far as to have his barber trim his hair while he painted.

Greg Lam Pak Ng / Flickr - CC

When US Airways Flight 1549 took off from La Guardia airport on January 15, 2009, no one expected it to come to rest minutes later in the middle of the Hudson River. A movie released this month recalls the incident and the quick thinking of pilot, Chesley Sullenberger. Sully recounted that experience with host Steve Kraske in October 2009.

Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy are the mother-and-son team starring in  Have You Met Miss Jones, a musical that chronicles the life of the talented actress and soprano. They share what it's like to balance show business with everyday life and how a family that works together stays together. 

'Have You Met Miss Jones' premieres at New Theatre Restaurant September 22 and runs through November 27. Find more information at

Designing and planning an urban landscape is about more than just figuring out which building goes where, and John Ruble should know. His architectural firm has taken on projects around the world that he hopes will serve their host cities for years to come.

When President Dwight Eisenhower started People to People International, he envisioned everyday people from around the world coming together to form friendships that could bridge cultures and discourage conflict. Sixty years later, Ike's granddaughter Mary Jean Eisenhower, now CEO of the organization, continues to advance that ideal.

While Mother Teresa certainly had her critics, she did spread a lot of hope to a lot of people. Her expedited canonization highlights the role saints play in the modern Catholic Church, and a process that's happening with unprecedented frequency.


The American Housing Act of 1949 reshaped Kansas City in enduring ways, but was it for the best? Local historian Michael Wells, who works in the library's special collections department, examines how the law changed the metro's infrastructure and how its effects are felt today.

Before becoming one of today's most popular mystery writers, Canadian Louise Penny was a CBC journalist and radio host. She struggled while pursing her childhood goal of writing a book, but finally found her stride, and fame,  in a series of novels around the central character of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.

Local artists are painting the town red (and other colors too) as the annual Brush Creek Art Walk competition strikes canvases next weekend, along the banks of Brush Creek. You can watch people create their works en plein air, but keep in mind that dealing with the great outdoors isn't as easy as the masters might make it seem.


Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's time in office ends in a few months, but forthcoming attempts in the Statehouse to override his vetoes of bills proposing tighter voter ID rules, looser concealed carry regulations, and an increased price-tag for a driver's license are keeping him plenty busy.

Henry Grossman

With their cameras, the best photographers can change how we see and think about the world around us. For more than 50 years, Henry Grossman has made portraits of cultural and political  legends, including The Beatles, Muhammad Ali and President John F. Kennedy.

An Alzheimer's diagnosis impacts not just the person who has the disease but their family and friends who take on a caretaking role, as well. Too often, the health and happiness of the supporters is overlooked, to the detriment of everyone involved.


Garrison Keillor hosted A Prairie Home Companion for 41 years but the baton has now been passed. Singer and mandolinist Chris Thile is the new host of the variety radio show, and he's excited to make his mark on the legacy program.