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.

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Up to Date
1:29 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

DVD Gurus: Film Noir

Actress Peggy Cummins joined Steve Kraske and the DVD Gurus in the studio.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Beautiful women, crime and doomed lovers dominate the screen when it comes to film noir. At their height, these films featured star players, such as Humphrey Bogart, Burt Lancaster and Marilyn Monroe.

On Friday's Up to Date, our DVD Gurus highlighted their favorites of the genre. We also talked with a few special guests from the Noir City film festival.

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Up To Date
2:42 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Veterinarian Wayne Hunthausen: Preparing Your Pet For Cold Weather And The Holidays

Yellow Labrador Retriever
Credit Hand / Wikimedia Commons

Here comes cold weather. And here come the holidays. So it's probably a good time to have a conversation about how to prepare your dogs or cats for all this.

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Up to Date
11:15 am
Fri November 7, 2014

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, November 7

'Birdman' is just one of the films our critics discussed this week.

A marriage proposal leads one woman to hiding out in the home of her 16-year-old best friend, and a young boy finds an unlikely friend in the bawdy, hedonistic veteran next door.

On Friday's Up to Date, our indie, documentary and foreign film critics are back to review the latest films showing on area screens. We also look at the story of Edward Snowden and how an actor tries to make a comeback on Broadway.

The films:

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Up To Date
1:24 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Anna Quindlen On Life's Second Acts

Credit Anna Quindlen

 

Anna Quindlen's most recent work, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, tells the story of a 60-year old New York photographer and feminist who moves upstate in an effort to remake her life. On this edition of Up to Date, Quindlen talks with Steve Kraske about her connections to the lead character, why she never wants to be 25 again, and the changing face of the news business. 

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Up To Date
12:08 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Dirt: The Foundation Of Civilizations

Credit Anne Biklé

Dr. David Montgomery is a Professor of Geomorphology at the University of Washington.  He works to bring the impact of geological processes on human history to a wider audience.  Montgomery joins Steve Kraske to explain why dirt is the foundation of civilizations, how we're losing it to erosion, and the lessons geology teaches us.

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Up to Date
11:24 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Political Pundits: Election Aftermath

Political Pundits Robyn Kuhlmann and Dave Helling discuss the November election.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Kansas was a fierce battleground in this election, but when the dust settled, it was the Republicans who eked out a victory for the governor’s office. Their 10-point Senate win came with less political sweat.

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Up To Date
2:31 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Mortician Encourages Embracing Our Mortality

Credit W.W. Norton & Co

Death may be inevitable, but that does not lessen our fear of it. Mortician and author, Caitlin Doughty, looks to transform our fears of our own mortality.  On this edition of Up to Date, Doughty talks with  Steve Kraske about what it's like to work with the dead, how our culture has chosen to hide death, and why understanding the funeral business can lead us to embrace our own mortality. 

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Up To Date
2:20 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Kansas City's Union Cemetery: The Garden Of Time

Grave markers at Kansas City's Union Cemetery.
Credit Union Cemetery Historical Society

Union Cemetery in Kansas City, MO is the city’s oldest public cemetery. It serves as the final resting place for some of the area’s early pioneers, civic leaders and veterans. On this broadcast of Up to Date, we look at this "hidden gem in the middle of a busy city" and the new book that tells the story of Union Cemetery.

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Up to Date
11:39 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Remembering The Legacy Of WWI's Buffalo Soldiers

Soldiers from the 367th Infantry were one part of the many units of Buffalo Soldiers in World War I.
Credit Western Newspaper Union / NARA/Wikimedia Commons

They served with distinction in World War I but the Buffalo Soldiers are not always remembered for their contributions during the Great War.

On Monday's Up to Date, we look at these regiments of African-American soldiers, their heroism and the racism they faced. 

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Up to Date
11:25 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Saved By The Whistle: Truman's Campaign Of 1948

Credit University Press of New England

Candidates crisscross the country with relative ease these days, but back in 1948, a real train whistle ruled a whistle-stop campaign. That year the presidency went to Harry Truman after he covered 31,000 miles by rail and gave 352 speeches along the way.

On Monday's Up to Date, we take a look at the underdog effort that kept Truman in the White House.

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Up to Date
11:09 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Political Pundits: Midterm Election Blitz

Paul Davis and Sam Brownback are running a very close race for governor.

There’s a chill in the air, and a forbidding wind is rustling through the trees. But which is scarier—the ghouls and ghosts of Halloween or the campaigning for the midterm election?

On Friday's Up to Date, the Political Pundits return to talk about the issues surrounding the close races in Kansas for secretary of state, governor and especially for the U.S. Senate, where a leadership change is a real possibility.

Plus, we have a look at the buzz surrounding the Missouri governor’s race of 2016. 

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Up To Date
4:04 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Writes A Poem For The Kansas City Royals

Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate 2001-2003, joined Steve Kraske in-studio Thursday.
Credit Bill Anderson / KCUR

When Up To Date host Steve Kraske was joined in studio by Billy Collins, he wasn't expecting the former U.S. Poet Laureate to have scribed a few lines a la Casey at the Bat as he waited in the green room.

But, impressed by the Royals and their fans, Collins offered this tribute.

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Up To Date
3:10 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

The Suburban, Domestic And Middle Class Poetry Of Billy Collins

Credit Bill Anderson / KCUR

Billy Collins likes to remind people that he once served as Poet Laureate of the United States when he gives talks around the country. It serves as a punch line of sorts for him, but what a line it is. 

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Up To Date
1:11 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Celebrating A Remarkable Royals Season

Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

The month of October has been a rollercoaster ride for Kansas City. The Royals made it through an amazing postseason, all the way to Game 7 of the World Series. We may have lost that final game to the San Francisco Giants 2-3, but our boys in blue gave this city an unbelievable and unforgettable postseason. Kansas City celebrated the remarkable accomplishments of our Royals at Kauffman Stadium today. On this edition of Up to Date, we bring you part of the festivities at the K including a chat with Mayor Sly James. 

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Up To Date
12:58 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Political Strategist Reveals D.C. Reactions To Kansas Races

Credit www.hawthorngroup.com

Election Day is coming up, and Kansas is brimming with close races. These could have a huge effect on the make-up of Washington DC. On this episode of Up to Date, host Steve Kraske talks with Washington political strategist John Ashford. We find out what those inside the Beltway think of goings-on in the Midwest. They also discuss the life of a political consultant in dealing with candidates and issues. 

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Up To Date
12:57 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

DiDonato Invites 40,000 Fans To Sing With Her At Kauffman Stadium

Mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato, a Royals fan for decades, sings the National Anthem on Wednesday.
Credit courtesy: Joyce DiDonato

After a social media campaign with the twitter hashtag #LetJoyceSing, a Change.org petition, an invitation from Major League Baseball to sing in Game 7 of the World Series -- and the Royals victory that assured there would be a Game 7, Prairie Village, Kan. native Joyce DiDonato is ready to sing the National Anthem in the final game.

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Up to Date
12:34 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

For Some KC Businesses, World Series Impact Isn't So Big

People are flocking to buy Royals gear, but some local businesses aren't seeing a World Series boom.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

Here in Kansas City, the hotels are booked solid, and people are snatching up anything in royal blue. For some sectors of the business community, life is very, very good right now. For others, the baseball action doesn't translate into extra dollars.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we take a look at how the World Series is having an impact on the local economy and why it might not be pumping in extra money as much as redistributing business success.

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Up To Date
2:26 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

'Only A Game' Host Bill Littlefield On Sports And Poetry

Credit Zephyr Press

Bill Littlefield is host of Only a Game the syndicated program aimed at the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider. (It airs Saturday mornings at 6:00 on KCUR.)

Littlefield has written several books on sports and two novels so his latest work, Take Me Out, a book of sports-related poems, is a bit of a departure. Bill talks with Steve Kraske about what inspired him to poetry, the history behind Only a Game, and his thoughts on this year's World Series.

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Up To Date
2:00 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Tonganoxie Teen Runs For Kansas Legislature

Austin Harris, Democrat candidate for Kansas District 42.
Credit www.harris4house42.com

While many millennials are feeling disaffected with politics, Austin Harris is hoping to make a difference. The 19-year old from Tonganoxie is running for the Kansas State Legislature and, if he wins, he would be the youngest House member in Kansas in decades. Austin sits down with Steve Kraske to discuss the issues and the intricacies of attending Washburn University while campaigning against Republican incumbent Connie O’Brien.

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Up to Date
10:28 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Voter Guide: Races In Kansas, Amendments In Missouri

Kansas voters face several close races at the polls next Tuesday, while Missouri voters must sort through a tangle of ballot amendments.
Credit Keith Ivey / Flickr-CC

The campaigning is getting intense in the last week before this year's general election. From the fierce Senate and governor's races in Kansas to a handful of constitutional amendments over the state line in Missouri, there's a lot of information to plow through on your way to the ballot box.

On Monday's Up to Date, we explore some of the key issues of these races.

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Up To Date
4:06 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

New Novel Set In Overland Park Looks At Online Video Gaming

An Overland Park teenager plans his life around his favorite online video game to the point where his divorced parents agree on this much: “Get off the damn computer!”

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Up To Date
4:43 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Kansas City Millennials Talk Politics At First Generation Listen KC Event

Up To Date's Steve Kraske asked the crowd at Generation Listen KC's inaugural event this question about the massive amounts of student loan debt piling up in the United States: "Why are you putting up with it?"
Alyson Raletz KCUR

Generation Listen KC is a new networking group through KCUR aimed at engaging and connecting with millennial public radio listeners in the Kansas City area.

As part of its Forward Promote series, Generation Listen KC invited Up to Date's Steve Kraske to speak with young voters about the upcoming elections at the group's inaugural event on Wednesday night.

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Up To Date
1:20 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Congressional Candidate Kelly Kultala's Goals For Washington

Credit Eliza Spertus / KCUR

The race for Kansas' 3rd District Congressional seat pits incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder against Democrat Kelly Kultala. On this edition of Up to Date,  Steve Kraske talks with Kultala about what she would do to make the House more functional, and why she supports the Affordable Care Act. They also discuss her stance on education funding, gun rights, and the conflict in the Middle East. 

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Up to Date
10:28 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Janet Napolitano Discusses Middle East, Academia

Janet Napolitano is the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.
Credit United States Department of Homeland Security / Wikimedia Commons

After her stint as secretary of Homeland Security ended in 2013, former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano became president of the University of California system. The transition made for quite a change, but she said she's up for the challenge.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with Napolitano about looking in hindsight at Middle East policies and the challenges her new position presents.

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Up to Date
10:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

In Wake Of Angel Hooper Shooting, The Community's Role In Decreasing Violence

Angel Hooper died last week after being shot in a drive-by.

As Kansas City prepared for the spotlight of the World Series, a little girl stepped out of a local convenience store. A car drove by, someone fired shots, and in seconds, six-year old Angel Hooper was dead. In the days since her murder, the Kansas City Police Department has received only two tips in its investigation.

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Up To Date
4:39 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Wes Crenshaw: Young Voters

Credit Theresa Thompson / Flickr Creative Commons

Less than half of under-30's are registered to vote in the United States. What does it take to get young people to the polls and what drives them away? On this edition of Up to Date, psychologist Wes Crenshaw and two young adults talk with host Steve Kraske about the voting habits of teens and young adults. We look at the disconnect some feel between themselves and their legislators, and why many just aren't into politics.

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Up To Date
5:03 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Kauffman Stadium On World Series Eve: 'The Center Of The Sports Universe'

Up To Date broadcasts live from Kauffman Stadium on the eve of the 2014 World Series.
Credit Beth Lipoff/Eliza Spertus / KCUR

On the eve of the 2014 World Series, Up to Date broadcasts live from Kauffman Stadium, the "center of the sports universe."

During the hour we look at the team's chances in this year's series, what makes the Royals comeback so fascinating, how the staff of the Royals and Kauffman Stadium are preparing for packed houses and an onslaught of world media, and some new additions to the Royals Hall of Fame.

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Up to Date
1:22 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Debate Continues Over Plans For Kemper Arena

The future of Kemper Arena remains uncertain.
Credit Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

Two competing plans are in the works for the future of Kemper Arena-- one would tear down Kemper Arena, the other would keep it.

On Friday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske discussed the two plans with Kansas City Star reporter Lynn Horsley and Kansas City Councilman Ed Ford, who is chair of the planning and zoning committee. The first plan, from the Foutch Brothers, would spend $22 million to acquire Kemper Arena from the city, then repurpose it for youth basketball, volleyball and other athletics. 

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Up to Date
1:07 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

That Sniffle Probably Isn't Ebola, KU Med Chief Says

A worker in Guinea takes precautions related to Ebola.
Credit European Commission DG ECHO / Flickr-CC

We've all heard about the specter of the Ebola outbreak, yet many people don't understand what Ebola actually is.

On Friday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske discusses how the virus spreads and how to tell if you've just got the flu and not Ebola with the chief medical officer of the University of Kansas Hospital, Dr. Lee Norman.

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Up To Date
5:09 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Kansas Secretary Of State Candidates Kobach and Schodorf Debate

Democratic secretary of state nominee, Jean Schodorf debated Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the KCUR studios.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR

The office of Kansas Secretary of State is usually a sleepy, bottom-of-the-ticket office that doesn't draw big attention at election time.

Not this year. Kris Kobach has been a high-profile, stir-it-up secretary of state in his four years in office where he's made cracking down on voter fraud a central concern.

His opponent, Jean Schodorf, is a former 10-year Republican state senator who later switched to the Democratic Party. She calls the way Kobach has handled the office an "embarrassment" to the state.

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