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.

The Royals won the division title, and are looking forward to the postseason, still riding high on last year's World Series appearance. Up to Date host Steve Kraske talks with KCUR's Greg Echlin about the team's performance so far and if the boys in blue are ready for another run to win it all.

After the mortgage meltdown and bank bailouts that kicked off the Great Recession, many were pointing fingers at those who were supposed to foresee these catastrophes, economists. Steve Kraske talks with one who defends his profession, saying economists' ideas have contributed $1 trillion to this country’s economy.


  • Robert Litan, author of "Trillion Dollar Economists: How Economists and Their Ideas Have Transformed Business"
Chronicle Books

Up to Date host Steve Kraske makes no bones about it, he does not like cats. Find out if Francesco Marciuliano and KCUR staffers can change his mind as they explore Marciuliano's humorous book, You Need More Sleep: Advice From Cats.

They were not the best of friends but, as the two first female Supreme Court Justices, Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were allies on key cases affecting the rights of women. Linda Hirshman, author of Sisters in Law, describes the lives and relationship of these two remarkable women.

His character, Jerry, was the butt of numerous jokes on NBC's Parks and Recreation which ran for seven years. Actor Jim O'Heir fills in Steve Kraske on what went on at last weekend's Emmy Awards, what it was like working on Parks & Rec and the reason he's in town.

Jim O'Heir appears in 'You Can't Take It With You' at the New Theatre Restaurant September 24 through November 29. For more information go to

Byron Motley

Byron Motley was born in Kansas City, Mo. but the first time he stepped off the plane in Cuba he knew he was home. He talks with Steve Kraske about expressing his love for the country and its people in his book Embracing Cuba

Undocumented immigrants are a hot topic in the presidential race, but every year, thousands of people complete the process to come to America legally. On this edition of Up to Date, we look at the twists and turns in the process to become a permanent resident of the United States.


Getting a job can be tough--even impossible-- when you've been in prison. On this edition of Up to Date, we talk with a Lawrence man who started the non-profit Sun Cedar specifically to give these people a fresh start in the workplace.


  • Shine Adams, founder of Sun Cedar 

The third annual conference of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project (KSTEP) was held recently in Manhattan. Steve Kraske talks with KCUR's CJ Janovy who covered the conference and one of the event's presenters about the challenges and advances of transgender residents of the Sunflower State.


Methamphetamine production has declined significantly in Missouri, but users of the drug have not decreased  due to a cheaper version coming from Mexico. Steve Kraske talks with Jim Salter of the Associated Press about the new supply and why Kansas City has more access to it.

In 2014, in South Sudan, Ken Payumo faced an angry government official and soldiers demanding access to the 12,000 civilians taking refuge from the civil war in the United Nations compound behind him. He tells Steve Kraske of the incredible step he took to save their lives while endangering his own.


KCUR's Political Pundits join Steve Kraske to discuss the ascendant Donald Trump, and the second GOP presidential debate.


  • Dave Helling is the Kansas City Star's political reporter.
  • Burdett Loomis is a professor of political scientist at the University of Kansas.
  • Jessica Lee is an assistant professor at KU's School of Business.

On this edition of Up to Date, we explore Charles Hyer's footwear innovation and how his choice of employees boosted a deaf community.


  • Sandra Kelly, executive director of the Deaf Cultural Center Foundation in Olathe.

The Deaf Cultural Center hosts the 2nd biennial Boots and BBQ Un-Gala from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Heritage Center, 1200 E. Kansas City Road in Olathe. 

A new short-story collection, "I Was A Revolutionary" looks at Kansas history from a multitude of takes -- from Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence during the Civil War to the Populist era to the meat-packing plants of today. We take a closer look at the stories on this edition of Up to Date.


What's the process being used to determine how well teachers are educating their students? Steve Kraske examines how educators are evaluated in Kansas and Missouri.


In 2014 Kansas lawmakers passed a bill changing how district court chief judges are selected. Since then judges have filed lawsuits against the state and legislators have made it possible to stop funding the judiciary.  Steve Kraske traces the timeline in the ongoing conflict and asks what the next move will be.


  • Kansas State Sen. Jeff King, Chair of the Judiciary Committee.
  • Matthew Menendez, Counsel, Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.

  Katy Guillen & The Girls are a hard-driving, blues-drenched trio with deep Kansas City roots. Steve Kraske asks the band how they got together and developed their signature sound.

Katy Guillen and the Girls will perform at 1:15 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 at KKFI's Crossroads Music Fest. They'll play at  the Coleman Hawkins Blues Festival in St. Joseph, Missouri on September 12

 Karrin Allyson is one of the premier jazz vocalists in the world. On her latest album, "Many A New Day," she revamps Rogers and Hammerstein classics with jazz-world superstars Kenny Barron and John Patitucci.

Karrin Allyson performs tonight at The Blue Room in Kansas City, Missouri. 

He's known as the host of "The Tonight Show" and that guy with all the cars, but legendary comedian Jay Leno is much more. On this edition of Up To Date, Leno tells some of his favorite stories, including the real one behind his children's book, If Roast Beef Could Fly.

Jay Leno performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday Sept. 13 at the Kauffman Center. For tickets, visit

The McFadden Brothers, Ronnie and Lonnie, have been front-line entertainers in Kansas City for years with their combination of singing, tap dancing, sax and trumpet. In this conversation with Steve Kraske, they recall the influences that shaped their professional lives.

An Idaho District Court judge recently struck down the state’s law that criminalized undercover investigations of agriculture operations. As more states' Ag-Gag laws are challenged, we discuss how that ruling could affect similar laws in Kansas and Missouri. 


There comes a moment in every parent's life when they have to give up control of the wheel and hand it over to their children. We discuss how to prepare your kids for the responsibility of driving a car.


It's that in-between time when the summer blockbusters are winding down, but the holiday movie machine hasn't fired up yet — and that makes the perfect opening for independent, foreign and documentary films to fill the theaters. Up to Date's critics have numerous suggestions from this glut of possibilities to cover your whole holiday weekend.

Meru, R, Glenwood Arts

In light of the recent hack of marital affairs website Ashley Madison, the ethics professors discuss whether it's right for hackers to appoint themselves judge and jury. Also, as laws regarding marijuana change, is it ethical to keep nonviolent drug offenders behind bars?


  He only spent four years of his childhood there, but Walt Disney always held Marceline, Missouri close to his heart. On this edition of Up To Date, we learn why the north-central  Missouri  town had such an impact on the entertainment mogul's life. 


If you are an immigrant to this country, finding employment can be a challenge. According to a University of Kansas study, if you're an immigrant with particularly dark skin, then your chances of getting a job are that much tougher.


  • Andrea Gomez Cervantes is one of the authors of the study and a doctoral student in the Sociology Department at the University of Kansas.

Kansas City-area students who transfer during the school year face daunting challenges. Student mobility interrupts a child's education and presents teachers with the task of catching pupils up with the rest of the class.


  • Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight is the Executive Director of the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium.
  • Ann Jarrett is Teaching & Learning Director for the Missouri National Education Association.

As Kansas City continues to wait for its streetcars, Up To Date asks Executive Director of the Streetcar Authority Tom Gerend what is causing the delay and what we can expect when the cars finally do arrive. 

For many, the idea of public speaking is petrifying — nobody wants to put an audience to sleep with a dull talk. One solution: learn from stand-up comics and inject a little humor into your speech. 


Whether you want to view World War I from the trenches, explore the war's Christmas truce or cruise the skies, our Video Gurus have something to feed your historical need. Check out what they had to say on this edition of Up to Date.

All Quiet on the Western Front, unrated (before current ratings)