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.

Pete Zarria/Flickr-CC

Today's recent veterans are finishing their service with different experiences than previous generations, and Veterans of Foreign Wars groups across the country are trying to figure out how to adapt.

On Monday's Up to Date, Adjutant General John Hamilton joins Steve Kraske to talk about the changing needs of veterans.

Guest:

  • Adjutant General John Hamilton recently finished his term as the commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Duke Ellington's jazzy orchestrations are the stuff of music legends. However, his star power hid a very private life.

In the second part of Friday's Up to Date, Wall Street Journal drama critic and biographer Terry Teachout takes us into the world of Ellington.

Guest:

KU basketball had a different sort of atmosphere back in the 1950s. In addition to some Phog, one of the things that changed the weather there was a certain player called Wilt Chamberlain.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with local filmmaker Kevin Willmott about his newest movie, Jayhawkers, that takes a look at the Chamberlain era and how it changed KU forever. 

Guest:

Curtis Gregory Perry/Flickr-CC

To transfer or not to transfer? That’s the question for Kansas City public school students who are in limbo as they wait for the outcome of a lawsuit to find out what their options are.

Phone hacking and bribing police are just a couple of the scandals that have come to light about Rupert Murdoch’s vast media empire.

Greg Heisler

Photographer Gregory Heisler admits that the process of making a portrait is fraught with unease.

The sitter, Heisler says, doesn't want to face reality. For the photographer, that's all there is.

Greg Heisler has spent a quarter century photographing covers for Time, Life and Sports Illustrated.

McBeth/Flickr-CC

Fido’s making strange sounds, and Fluffy’s decided to carve your couch into a masterpiece with her claws. If all your solutions so far seem to be barking up the wrong tree, we’ve got another option for you.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, animal behavior expert and veterinarian Wayne Hunthausen joins us to answer your questions about pet behavior.

Guest:

John F. Kennedy was no King Arthur, but his life has often been compared to Camelot.

On Monday's Up to Date, we revisit Steve’s Bookshelf, a collection of books on Steve Kraske's radar right now. We talk with Thurston Clarke and Robert Dallek the authors of two different books that examine the former president’s policies. Also, author Domingo Martinez takes us into the life of a family trying to become “real” Americans on the Texas border.

Guests:

A young girl in Saudi Arabia searches for a way to make her life better, and a free man finds himself shackled and enslaved for 12 years on a Louisiana plantation. 

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign and documentary film critics return to review the latest films showing on area screens. We’ll also take a look at some local theaters’ switch from film to digital projectors.

Films our critics discussed:

Kansas City Missouri Police Department

Fall weather brings changes for Officer Nicole Wright as she works her beat for the Kansas City, Mo. Police Department. Kids are back in school, there's Chief's home games to work, but as for October 31, well, as Wright observes, "everyday's Halloween" in East Patrol.

crowncenter.com

Looking for something to do this Halloween weekend? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for Nov. 1-3, 2013.

Straight No Chaser (A cappella), 7:30 p.m. Sunday at The Midland, 1228 Main. Tickets: $29.50-$49.50 

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt (Singer/songwriters and their guitars), 8 p.m. Sunday at the Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway. Tickets: $32.25-$141.85  

mikecollar/Flickr-CC

Planning a funeral can be one of the most personal and vulnerable times for any family, but that doesn’t stop funeral homes from trying to up-sell grieving friends and family on gold rimmed caskets and other additional merchandise.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with Josh Slocum, executive director of Funeral Consumers Alliance, who believes consumers are getting stiffed when it comes to laying themselves or loved ones to rest. We also discuss why green burial is making a comeback.

KNAU

Why do governments rely on the sales tax for big projects, like the medical research proposal in Jackson County?

And how fat can the sales tax get before shoppers stop buying? 

In the second half of Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with two experts about sales taxes, what makes up the total sales tax you see on a receipt, and why governments have turned to sales taxes for raising funds when revenue is down.

Guests:

National Library of France

It's been 800 years, but the words of Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet, still seem to entrance people

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske speaks with Rumi scholar Coleman Barks about the poet's legacy and why his verses continue to thrive.

Guest:

No one says that caring for a sick relative is easy, especially when Alzheimer’s disease is involved. However, the day to day struggles of caregivers are often lost in the shuffle. 

theocean/Flickr-CC

Jackson County voters head to the polls on November 5 to vote on a 1/2 cent sales tax increase to fund a translational medicine institute. 

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, a proponent and opponent of the tax meet in our studios to debate the controversial proposal, including how county residents will actually benefit from the project.

Guests:

stockmonkeys.com

Not many retail companies can or want to boast that their employees are paid $21 an hour and given health insurance, but Costco is proud to do so. 

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with founder and former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal about the wild success and the almost unparalleled employee compensation that his company is known for. We'll find out why Sinegal decided to pay his workers over twice the national minimum wage, and what effects it has on their work ethic and shareholders' blood pressure.

Guests:

henrybushkin.com

With Jimmy Fallon due to take over "The Tonight Show" in early 2014, many are looking back to the days when Johnny Carson hosted the late night show.

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Carson's former lawyer, Henry Bushkin about his new behind-the-scenes memoir detailing his relationship with the longest running "Tonight Show" host. From their initial meeting in 1970 to their falling out in 1988, Carson trusted Bushkin as his legal advisor, tennis partner, and close friend. 

Guests:

Looking for something to ward off the chill this weekend? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for October 25-27, 2013.

Deborah Voigt (Soprano in recital), 8 p.m. Friday at the Folly Theatre, 300 W. 12th. Tickets: $25-$75 

The Kinsey Sicks (Parody group), 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Polsky Theatre, Johnson County Community College. Tickets: $25-$30 

The Benton County Enterprise

The economy in Warsaw, Missouri in Benton County relies heavily upon visitors coming to Truman Lake, water controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  When the government shut down earlier this month so did all the facilities the Corps controls along the lake.

worstgig.com

It's hard to imagine Def Leppard, John Mayer, or any other rock musician having a bad day, but Jon Niccum​ begs to differ. 

National Cancer Institute

When we talk about breast cancer, much of the conversation often centers on treatments such as chemotherapy and mastectomies. But once the cancer’s gone, patients still have a long recovery ahead.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk about how reconstructive surgery options have changed and the new options available to women that can help them retain core muscles.

Guests:

A boy gets a book he thinks is cheesy-- a tale about a bunny and his birthday. His next move is to take a pen to the pages of the book and make the story a bit more interesting.

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, we take a look at a lighter side of life with children’s book authors Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett as we talk about their new book, Battle Bunny

Guests:

Gender equality is a major issue in many parts of the world, and the United Nations is working to promote it.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we’ll talk with Kristin Hetle, UN Women's director of strategic partnerships, who has taken experiences from her home country of Norway to help lead a push for international gender equality.

Guest:

Making history come alive is tricky, but some historians manage to paint people like the czars of Russia or Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany not just as dusty textbook figures.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with historian Robert Massie about his vivid descriptions of the powerful people pulling the strings behind World War I.

Guest:

Not all war wounds are as obvious as a missing limb, as we’ve learned from scores of veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

By 1919, much of continental Europe lay in ruins in the aftermath of World War I. Prior to that conflict, with three European empires ruled by the “Kingly cousins,” most people thought a war was nearly impossible.

That chill in the air isn’t the only thing that will give you goosebumps. With the approach of Halloween, all kinds of spooky stuff is coming your way.

On Friday's Up to Date, DVD Gurus Mitch Brian and Jason Heck join us to share their favorite horror films. We’ll follow the creepy tale of a pair of hands with minds of their own, cower from an invisible demon and duck a mad man’s sharp axe. They’ll leave you wanting to check under the bed before you go to sleep tonight.

Mitch:

Jelle Druyts/Flickr-CC

Looking for something to do this Fall weekend? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for October 18-20, 2013.

Bonnie Raitt with Marc Cohn (Blues, r&b, rock, pop), 8 p.m. Friday at The Midland, 1228 Main. Tickets: Sold out

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Covering sports in Kansas City can be a real rollercoaster. Often, you’re reporting on a losing season, but sometimes you hit a high point, like the current Chiefs’ season. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with Kansas City Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger about what it’s like to write about sports in this town.

Guest:

  • Sam Mellinger is a sports columnist for the Kansas City Star.

Pages