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.

New Master Plan for Johnson County Libraries

May 21, 2015

There's a new master plan for the Johnson County Library system. On this segment of Up to Date, hear consultants' recommendations how many new libraries should be built and which existing ones should be expanded.

Guests:

  • Christopher Leitch is the Community Relations Coordinator for the Johnson County Library.
  • Jill Airs is an Associate at Group 4 Architecture, Research & Planning.  She is a consultant on the library master plan.

Just how risky is eating poultry? On this edition of Up to Date, we look at salmonella contamination in poultry processing and the health risks to consumers.

Guests:

  • David E. Hoffman is the correspondent for Frontline's The Trouble with Chicken. He is also a Pulitzer Prize winner and a contributing editor at The Washington Post.
  • Peggy Lowe is the investigative editor for KCUR and Harvest Public Media that follows agricultural issues in the Midwest.

When a President leaves office, the thousands of papers and other material relating to the events of his presidency are just ripe for the creation of a presidential library.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we get the scoop on what you can find in a presidential library and how they work.

Guests:

Dwight Eisenhower came into the presidency with a storied background as a U.S. Army general, but when he got into office, he did his best to keep the country out of wars.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we discuss how he used his strategic experience to keep the peace.

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If you favor a hike in the minimum wage, are you obligated to boycott businesses that don't pay their employees enough? Also, should a distasteful comment on Twitter ruin your life? The Ethics Professors tackle these issues on this edition of Up To Date

On this edition of Up To Date, we continue our ongoing conversation about the economics of Kansas City's east side. 

Guests:

  • Rev. Dr. Vernon Howard is with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Urban Summit.
  • Councilman Scott Taylor represents the 6th District. He is chair of the Special Committee on Small Business.
  • Councilman Jermaine Reed represents the Kansas City’s 3rd District.
Simon & Schuster

The Spanish Civil War inspired both artists and soldiers. The idealism of the cause and the brutality of the conflict haunted great artists, and it spurred medical and military breakthroughs we still use today.

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George Mitchell’s career in public service has been one of the most distinguished in recent times. After 15 years in the Senate, Mitchell’s work as a negotiator in Northern Ireland and the Middle East earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Flatland KC

As the movement for equal rights grew during WWII, an internal struggle was underway among black publications to see who would be the voice of African Americans. 

In 1941, representatives from black publications around the nation gathered to form The National Negro Publishers Association, now called the National Newspaper Publishers Association, of which The Kansas City Call was a founding member.

The Call, Kansas City's prominent black newspaperwas established in 1919 by Chester A. Franklin. Its managing editor was Lucile Bluford.

Maz Jobrani has used his Iranian heritage to shape his comedy, and he laughs in the face of the stereotypes he sees of Middle Eastern people.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about when he was asked to wear a turban on stage, what it's like to be a panelist on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! and his Axis of Evil comedy tour.

Guest:

Author Jen Lancaster has learned never to take a Prada bag to the unemployment office or wear a fur coat to the animal shelter. She's lived like Martha Stewart and discovered that pie is not the answer.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, she joins Steve Kraske to discuss her origins as a blogger, how her projects become memoirs and her new book, I Regret Nothing.

Guest:

Once the sole property of science fiction and our imaginations, the technologies coming out of current space programs at NASA are a case of life imitating art. Learn the latest projects underway as we prepare to travel to Mars and which space designs are finding practical uses here on the third planet from the sun.

Guest:  

The culture for gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, and queer teens appears to be changing so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up. We explore this swiftly changing environment and how it affects teens as they explore sexual identity during high school.

Guests:

  • Dr. Wes Crenshaw is a psychologist board certified in couples and family psychology.
  • Julia Poe is a senior at Shawnee Mission East who identifies as bisexual. She’s Editor-in-Chief of the Shawnee Mission East Harbinger.

On April , The Village Square’s Kansas City group hosted a panel discussion on "American Justice: The Impact of Incarceration." An expert panel examined imprisonment as the most effective form of achieving public safety, the racial disparities that exist in our prison system, and the alternatives to solving these issues. Former U.S. Ambassador Alan Katz moderated the conversation. 

Panelists: 

From her upbringing in the segregated south side of Chicago to her life in White House, Michelle Obama’s is a noteworthy journey. On this edition of Up To Date, we explore the First Lady's experiences with Peter Slevin, author of her latest unauthorized biography, Michelle Obama: A Life.

Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt traveled around the country on state business more than her husband? Or that Dolly Madison liked to break the Washington gridlock by throwing fantastic parties? First ladies are closer than anyone to the presidency, and they have the stories to prove it. 

Guest:

Missouri families in need are facing some big changes. On May 5, the Missouri House completed the override of Governor Nixon’s veto of the Strengthening Missouri Families Act.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine the reasons behind the governor’s rejection of the act and what its supporters say will result from altering welfare assistance.

What if Bill Clinton had 90 minutes to give a no-holds-barred TED talk? That's the scene in "Bill Clinton Hercules," a one-man show starring Kansas City actor Bob Paisley. Hear about the  off-hand comment that inspired the play and how Paisley evokes the 42nd president. 

Want to see "Bill Clinton Hercules"? The show opens at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre on Wednesday, May 6 for a 4-day run. For tickets and information, click here.

According to former NPR correspondent and foreign policy expert Sarah Chayes, some governments now resemble glorified criminal gangs, using power to pad their own pockets. She illustrates how government corruption is undermining society in her new book, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.

Poison in your mouthwash? Roach killer in your coffee? On this edition of Up To Date, we discuss some of the ingredients in everyday products that may surprise you. 

Guest:

  • Patrick Di Justo is a former editor at WIRED and author of This Is What You Just Put In Your Mouth? From Eggnog to Beef Jerky, the Surprising Secrets of What’s Inside Everyday Products.

For the estimated 15 million Americans with food allergies, what they eat can be deadly. On this edition of Up To Date, we discuss how food intolerances develop in children and adults and how to treat them.

Guest:

Dr. Jeffrey Wald is an allergist with Kansas City Allergy & Asthma Associates.

Explore the story behind the mysterious gnome houses that appeared along a local walkway, and get the inside scoop on a special group of studio musicians. These stories and more are appearing on local screens this weekend, and our indie, foreign and documentary film critics know which ones are worth the ticket price.

The Gnomist,  special showing at the Jewish Community Center May 9

The Gnomist

When Sharon Liese started to hear buzz about tiny fairy homes in an Overland Park forest, she knew it was something special. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske speaks with Liese about how she and her crew discovered the stores of the three women she features in her 19-minute documentary film, The Gnomist.

How much is a good teacher worth? Around $50 trillion by 2090, according to Eric Hanushek's calculations. On this edition of Up To Date, we discuss the economic value of quality teaching and the radical steps Hanushek proposes to achieve that goal.

Guests:

Last year's shootings at Jewish facilities in Overland Park highlighted continuing anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States, but it remains a global problem as well. So much so that in 2004  the U.S. created a position dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism around the world. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske speaks with the man who holds that job. 

Guest:

  • Ira Forman is the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. 

At the same time people were taking to the streets and marching for civil rights in the 1960s, a few men were fighting to end racism simply by going to work — for NASA. On this edition of Up To Date, we learn about the contributions of the first African-Americans to the space program and to the struggle for civil equality. 

Guests:

Mat Shoare  is a fixture on the area’s indie-rock scene. He recently released “Right as Rain,” a collection of melodic power-pop songs with gloomy undercurrents.  

  This week’s edition of Local Listen features the album’s opening track which plays as a sardonic fantasy about committing a heinous act.  Here is “Murder”.      To hear more, Mat Shoare will perform at the RecordBar on Friday, May 1. 

Creative genius is often considered a solo act, but history and science tell us that success more often  stems from collaboration. From John Lennon and Paul McCartney to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, we discuss the power of working in pairs. 

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With a growing reputation for welcoming and fostering tech startups, things became awkward for Kansas City , Mo. last year when ride-hiring services Lyft and Uber came to town. Now that an agreement has finally been reached, we recount the steps it took to get there. 

Guests:

  • Andy Hung is the General Manager of Uber Kansas City.
  • Cindy Circo is Mayor Pro Tem of Kansas City, Mo.
  • Matt Hodapp has been reporting on the Uber story for KCUR.
Ashley Gilbertson

When heading into a war zone, not many choose a camera over a rifle. This edition of Up To Date explores the lives of two war photographers who covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the States. 

Guests: 

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