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.

If you want to catch a flick in Kansas City, there are plenty of options. You could stream movies from your own couch, or venture out to a multiplex for an IMAX screen experience. We explore what keeps so many Kansas Citians going to smaller, independent movie theaters. 

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For decades, politicians have battled over how to regard people who suffer chronic pain.  Are we a compassionate nation or are we enabling people to take advantage of the system?

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New revenue numbers in Kansas have dipped again, leaving lawmakers with a budget shortfall in the hundreds of millions of dollars. On this edition of Up To Date, we talk about what led to the larger than expected deficit, and what Kansas lawmakers can do to close it. 

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  • Bryan Lowry is with the Topeka bureau of The Wichita Eagle.
  • Duane Goossen served as the Kansas Budget Director from 1998 to 2010.

On this Earth Day, we speak with two conservationists about local and nationwide efforts to protect the planet. We talk about how preserving our air, water and land can be good for business, and the challenges of passing environmental legislation in the United States. 

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You can’t avoid death and taxes, but you can -- and should -- plan for them. The financial planners return on Monday's Up to Date to discuss how you can do that successfully.

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  The gun has officially gone off for the 2016 presidential elections, and NPR's team of political correspondents and editors are working around the clock to bring you the latest from the White House and the campaign trail. On this edition of Up To Date, we check in with Tamara Keith, Scott Horsley, and Domenico Montanaro

Jennifer Teege was strolling through her local library in Hamburg, Germany when she happened upon a book about the daughter of a brutal Nazi commandant—and recognized her mother's picture. Her life was turned upside down as she learned more about her infamous grandfather. It resulted in her recently released book, My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers her Family’s Nazi Past.

The last time Conrad Anker reached the summit of Mount Everest, he did so without the aid of supplemental oxygen. This feat is achieved only by the world's top climbers. He collaborated with researchers from The Mayo Clinic,  National Geographic and others to study the effects of high-altitude on human physiology. 

On this edition of Up To Date, Scott Simon discusses sharing his mother’s final days on Twitter and recalls his start with NPR. Plus, his thoughts on people he's interviewed — including Bill Cosby, Ernie Banks, and Michael Jordan. 

Little, Brown and Company

If we learned anything from the David and Goliath legend, it's that underdogs can win, right? On this edition of Up To Date, journalist, author and critical thinker Malcolm Gladwell speaks with Steve Kraske about the traditional understandings of the weak and the powerful. Plus, the advantages of thinking outside the box. 

andrewlawler.com

A descendant of Tyrannosaurus Rex, the chicken has made an legendary and winding journey from pre-history to our dinner plates. In his new book, Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization science writer Andrew Lawler provides an account of the long partnership between human and chicken.

Todd Zimmer

    

The bold rock and brash stage presence of Kangaroo Knife Fight is better suited to cavernous concert halls than the humble taverns where this Kansas City band most often performs.  This week’s edition of Local Listen features “It’s You,” an arena-ready burst of melodic rock.   

Catch them live at Danny's in Lenexa on Saturday, April 11. 

Missouri Department of Transportation

Missouri has the seventh largest highway system in the country, but it ranks 46th nationally in funding per mile. That ranking could drop still more. Last year, the Missouri Department of Transportation spent $700 million on road improvements— in two years, that amount will be cut my more than half. 

Dave Nichols has been with the Missouri Department of Transportation for 31 years, serving as director for the last two. He recently announced his retirement, effective May 1.

Nichols spoke with Up To Date host Steve Kraske about the hard choices the department will have to make and the future of the state's transportation systems. 

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On the gap between the current and future budget:  

It takes about $485 million just to maintain the system in the condition the roads are in today, so we're $160 million short [with a $325 million budget in 2016]. If there are any capital improvements, any additional work that needs to be done, that's on top of that. It's a pretty big gap, and that's what we're talking about with the legislature right now — how do we take care of that gap that we have.

In 2017, we will not be able to match $167 million of our federal dollars. In 2018, that number grows to $400 million and last thing any of us in Missouri want to do is have tax dollars that are paid from Missourians go to Washington and not come back to our state.

Interactive toy maker Sphero has challenged University of Kansas design and engineering students to create its next generation of products — robots that can be  companions and have emotional value to a person. On this edition of Up To Date we talk about the potential social significance of robotics and what the future looks like in the field. 

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April 13 will mark one year since Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. is alleged to have made his way to two Jewish sites in Overland Park and opened fire, killing three people. As we approach the anniversary of the shootings, Up To Date visits with Jewish leaders in Kansas City about the changes —both tangible and intangible— they've felt in their community.

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Cristopher Crance / Burns &McDonnell

When you were a kid, did you ever dream of becoming an astronaut? Some area students are taking the first steps. Grade-schoolers at Resurrection Catholic School in Kansas City, Kan. and Prairie Fire Upper Elementary in Independence are creating experiments to send into near space in a big weather balloon.

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Women make up almost half of the workforce in the United States. Even so, the higher you look on the corporate ladder the fewer women you'll find.  On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske speaks with a journalist and producer who continually explores how gender is perceived in the workplace. 

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Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Kansas City has been waiting anxiously for baseball season to officially begin after an epic World Series run last year that left the Royals just short of the title. As fans waited outside the ballpark before the home opener, Up To Date was inside talking to the people behind the scenes at Kauffman Stadium.

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  In a new twist on classic horror films, a sexually transmitted  demon stalks a group of Detroit teenagers in It Follows.  This is just one of the plots our critics review in a roundup of independent, foreign, and documentary film. 

Among the other plots discussed is a young woman in the center of a love triangle, personal stories of vengeance in Argentina, and a British soldier abandoned on the streets of Belfast following a riot. 

The critics weigh in on what's good, what's bad and what's ugly. 

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Indiana and Arkansas are in the news for controversial legislature aimed at protecting religious freedom. On this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics professors discuss when religious freedom infringes on other freedoms. Plus, what  responsibilities do employers and employees have when it comes to illness, mental or otherwise, in the workplace?

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David Axelrod’s theme of “change” propelled Barack Obama to the presidency. He went on to serve as the President’s Senior Advisor. Steve Kraske speaks with Axelrod about his time with the President, and his new book  Believer: My Forty Years in Politics.

Johnson County native Sonia Nazario won a Pulitzer Prize for her series in the LA Times chronicling one Honduran teen's journey to the United States to find his mother.  On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske speaks with Nazario about the risks she took to get the story, and the ongoing struggle of immigrants and families in Central America. 

The name Boston Corbett may not ring a bell, but the man who killed John Wilkes Booth led a life filled with strange and unbelievable events.  Meet the madman who spent the final years of his life in Kansas. 

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New York City’s waterfront was once a place of abandoned buildings and industry. Today it’s a vibrant community with housing for a variety of incomes. We talk with one of the urban designers behind the reshaped neighborhoods and learn how Kansas City can apply similar ideas to its riverfront. 

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Financial transitioning is a challenge whether you're entering the workforce for the first time or planning your retirement. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Certified Financial Planners about planning, budgeting, saving and spending at the beginning and end of your working life. 

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Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well-documented. Research by the Wikimedia Foundation determined that less than 15% of its contributors identify as female, which creates a great disparity in the popular online encyclopedia's content. We discuss what organizations in Kansas City and around the world are doing to fix this problem.

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Sexual assault on college campuses is getting new attention these days as societal attitudes change regarding this issue. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske speaks with two local Title IX officials about how they educate students and faculty, and investigate sexual assault allegations.

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Kansas and Missouri, among other states, are pushing a bill calling for a national constitutional convention —the first since the original convention in 1787. Steve Kraske discusses the issues surrounding this call to action, and why supporters feel they can succeed when 750 other attempts have failed.

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  • Burdett Loomis is a political science professor at the University of Kansas.
  • Rep. John Rubin (R) represents Shawnee, Kansas, and supports the bill calling for a constitutional convention.

Kansas City producer Jim McCullough is fulfilling a dream to create a Sci-fi show filmed in his hometown. Paradox City takes place in a world where superheroes can't use their powers and everyone lives in a giant fortress that hovers above ground. On this edition of Up To Date, McCullough explains his team's method of crowd funding the pilot episode by breaking it into short webisodes to be released as each dollar goal is achieved. 

In order to become a naturalized citizen, immigrants must pass a basic U.S. civics test. Some Missouri lawmakers are pushing for the state to adopt education policies that would require high schoolers to pass the same test to graduate. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks with two lawmakers supporting this requirement, and quizzes listeners with questions from the U.S. Citizenship Civics Test.

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