Steve Kraske | KCUR

Steve Kraske

Host of Up to Date

Steve Kraske is an associate teaching professor of journalism at UMKC and has hosted "Up to Date" since 2002. He worked as political correspondent for The Kansas City Star from 1994-2013 covering national, state and local campaigns. He also has covered the statehouses in Topeka and Jefferson City. From 2013-2016, he was a part-time columnist for The Star; he now serves on the newspaper's editorial board.

Before arriving in Kansas City, he worked at daily newspapers in Iowa and Illinois and at United Press International in Madison, Wisconsin. 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.

Ways to Connect

Center for Youth Wellness

Segment 1: How trauma and abuse in childhood can mean a lifetime of illness.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris had already established herself as a provider of care to vulnerable children when she met a patient named Diego, but the boy changed her way of thinking about the effects of toxic stress. We spoke with the doctor about Diego's story, and about the connections between childhood trauma and lifelong illness.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Missouri call for convention of states to amend U.S. Constitution for term limits working its way through legislature.

While Missouri state lawmakers can't be re-elected indefinitely, those elected to serve at the national level don't have such limits, and sometimes hold a seat for decades. Today, we talked about what it would take to get this changed in Washington.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

She's taken her craft from Barcelona to Beijing, but this weekend Joyce DiDonato will grace a stage much closer to home.

Before the Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano brings the music of Leonard Bernstein and Hector Berlioz to life at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, we sat down for a wide-ranging conversation on KCUR's Up To Date. We talked about the kindlings of her now red-hot career, an upcoming tour to Moscow, and recent student protests that have captured the nation's attention.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Prairie Village's mezzo-soprano presents music of Berlioz and Bernstein  with Kansas City Symphony.

Joyce DiDonato has performed on famed stages from Beijing to Barcelona. Today, we sat down with the Prairie Village native to talk about bringing her "In War & Peace" tour to Moscow, working with prisoners at Sing Sing Correctional Facility and her upcoming performance series at Kauffman Center.

mmrogne / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Accusations and investigations result in new rounds of discipline at both universities.

After allegations of hazing and sexual assault, 24 of the 28 fraternities at the University of Kansas and all 29 at the University of Missouri - Columbia have temporarily suspended a number of activities. Today, we asked what led to these decisions and whether it is indicative of a attitude change in fraternity culture nationwide.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Why female voices are often overlooked by military historians.

Women make up approximately 15 percent of the military, but they still face obstacles different from their male counterparts. Today, we explored the history of women in the military, including the challenges American female service members have faced in recent years.

Andrea Tudhope / File/KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Reporters sort through multiple issues threatening governor's hold on office.

Between a felony indictment, a closed-door House committee investigation and talk of dark money, there is lots to keep up with when it comes to Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. We sorted out details of the controversies swirling around the state's most prominent office-holder and what it could mean down the road for Missouri politics.

LeAnn Mueller / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: High-energy ensemble re-imagines jazz music for a younger generation.

The combination of french fries and Champagne, casual and sophisticated, is an accurate representation of The Hot Sardines' lively music. (It's also the title of their latest album.) Today, we talked with members of the group about their younger audiences, their resident tap dancer and how they fill old tunes with new energy.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: With an international shipping center up and running, the Edgerton mayor's job has gotten a lot more demanding.

Infrogmation of New Orleans / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Monuments, memorials and public art displays require accountability, years after installation.

Exact Partners

Segment 1: How the pressure to be a "perfect" parent can debilitate and damage families.

There's a lot of pressure on parents these days to do whatever they can to create a perfect childhood for their kids, but these expectations can do more harm than good. Today, we explored "Mommy Burnout," and found out how it can impact kids, families and mothers.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Overland Park police uncover hoax call in time, Kansas lawmaker sponsors anti-swatting legislation.

Two dramatic 'swatting' calls have occurred in separate Kansas communities. In Overland Park, police responded to one such hoax in January, and in Wichita, a man was shot and killed by police who received a 'spoofed' call just before the New Year. Today, we learn what 'swatting' is, how law enforcement is reacting and what legislators are doing to crack down.

Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law

When it comes to immigration enforcement in this country, a person's fate can be a little "luck of the draw." Is it fair to send away some people who have been living here for years, while letting others stay? Today, Up To Date's Ethics Professors gives us their take on that and two other tough and timely questions. With an investigation swirling around Missouri's governor, how important is it to honor the anonymity request of an involved, but private, citizen?

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Former Kansas City mayoral candidate recalls facing racial and sex discrimination.

From her youth in rural Mississippi to growing up through the civil rights movement, to her eventual career in executive leadership, Janice Ellis spoke of her experiences navigating the political, corporate, and non-profit sectors as a black person, and as a woman.


Segment 1: How 4,000 years of writing shaped history, people and civilization.

From the "Epic of Gilgamesh" and the clay tablets it was written on in 2000 B.C. to the downloadable content of today, literature and the writing technologies that go along with it have allowed humans to make sense of the world, says Martin Puchner, general editor of "The Norton Anthology of World Literature." Today, he explained how written stories are the foundation of our modern world.

The White House

Segment 1: How the U.S. presidents stack up against each other.  

With a membership of just 45, it's an elite club. But how does this selective group of Americans compare to each other? C-Span's 2017 Presidential Historians Survey tackled that subject for us, and one of the survey's experts told us why our former commanders-in-chief rank where they do. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Political implications of felony indictments against Gov. Eric Greitens.

The big news in Missouri government yesterday was an indictment against Gov. Eric Greitens, who admitted to an extra-marital affair in 2015, but refutes accusations that he took compromising photos of his paramour without her consent. We got reaction from state lawmakers and political watchers about how the charges might affect the governor's ability to lead.

John Singer Sargent / Public Domain

Segment 1: A great and dreadful tableau of Great War horrors.

Segment 1: #MeToo fallout has more parents worried about protecting their kids from sexual predators.

Carol Cox / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: How and why people fall in love with places.

There are all kinds of love affairs, including the ones we have with the cities where we live. While there isn't a perfect recipe, there are certain ingredients that endear people to the places they call home, including "walkability," rituals and traditions, and being able to share the space with other people who are enthusiastic about building a life there.

Lorenzo Cafaro / - CC

Our panel of financial planners explain healthy spending routines and investing in stocks

As we inch closer to the April 15 deadline, you may be putting off filing your tax returns for as long as possible. Our Smart Money experts advise otherwise. Today, they outlined what you can do to leave fiscal irresponsibility in your past, and how you can invest wisely in the stock market.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Kansas City playwright uses murders of Leon Jordan and James Townsend as inspiration to connect 1960s civil rights movements to today's.

In the long history of Kansas City's Green Duck Lounge, two of its owners, both considered icons in the community, were each was shot dead, one in 1970 and the other in 2015. The murders are the basis for a new work, which couples the civil rights activities of the 60s to those of today.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: How Missouri schools prepare for an active shooter situation.

In the wake of Wednesday's mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the 18th shooting at a school in 2018, we found out what Missouri requires for its schools to be ready to deal with similar situations. We also asked how parents can discuss these tragedies with their children before, during and after they occur.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: How a redrawn border influences modern Mexican-American identity

When the U.S.-Mexico border moved at the end of the Mexican-American War, more than 100,000 Mexicans suddenly found themselves living on U.S. territory. Today, we considered how this history, more than 100 years in the making, impacts modern race relations.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR_89.3

Segment 1: Kansas' Third-Biggest School District Picks A New Leader

After a months-long hiring process, the Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education has decided on a new superintendent. We heard about the move, and about the future of one of the largest districts in Kansas and the metro.

Segment 1: How Voting Districts Have Shaped Representation in Missouri

The term "gerrymandering" has flooded headlines recently. But how does it influence Missouri's legislature? We discussed the history of partisan districting, how it impacts state and national government differently, and what might be done to improve the redistricting process.

MRHSfan / Flickr - CC

Caroline Fraser's biography of beloved children's author Laura Ingalls Wilder reveals a life that "was harder and grittier" than the one portrayed in the Little House books. Today, Fraser explains how she was able to piece together Laura's life beyond the books, including the often contentious relationship with her daughter, the journalist Rose Wilder Lane.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Your might think combining jazz and a symphony would like trying to mix oil and water — they don't just go together. Yet jazz artists, including Kansas City's own Charlie Parker, have combined their playing with those of an orchestra to great results.

CBS Television / Paramount Pictures

You'd be forgiven for thinking a jazz club with a throwback feel would end up being a flop. You'd also be wrong. Today, we meet a local entrepreneur whose pair of nightclubs is helping the Kansas City jazz scene live on. Then, we listen to some of your favorite TV theme songs from the 1950s to today, and try to discover why the best of them stick so easily in your head. Sorry in advance for the earworms!

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Despite the raucous Republican reception Pres. Trump's State of the Union received, Kansas City's Rep. Emanuel Cleaver thinks the commander-in-chief missed an opportunity with his speech. Today, he shares his theory on why GOP members in Congress are eager to be seen supporting the president. Then, we get the latest word on the rainbow trout, zebra mussels, and Eastern spotted skunks that the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is keeping an eye on.