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.

Henry Grossman

With their cameras, the best photographers can change how we see and think about the world around us. For more than 50 years, Henry Grossman has made portraits of cultural and political  legends, including The Beatles, Muhammad Ali and President John F. Kennedy.

An Alzheimer's diagnosis impacts not just the person who has the disease but their family and friends who take on a caretaking role, as well. Too often, the health and happiness of the supporters is overlooked, to the detriment of everyone involved.

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Garrison Keillor hosted A Prairie Home Companion for 41 years but the baton has now been passed. Singer and mandolinist Chris Thile is the new host of the variety radio show, and he's excited to make his mark on the legacy program.

Building a community isn’t easy; people and ideas may be the brick and mortar, but what are the tools? Fortunately, KU has narrowed that down to a toolkit — a website with resources to teach skills that improve the health and wellbeing of society. 

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When you think of earthquakes, you think of California and Japan, but not usually southeast Missouri. As the most seismically active region of the country this side of the Rockies, maybe that should change. Experts say a big tremor's only a matter of time, and Kansas City needs to be ready with a helping hand when the shake-up happens.

Guests:

  • Mike Curry is the Jackson County emergency manager.
  • Jeff Fox is a reporter and business editor at The Examiner.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

For five years, the sounds of violins strumming, ballet slippers prancing, and opera singers hitting high notes have filled the performance halls of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. In a live broadcast from the iconic structure's massive foyer, Up to Date visits some of the people who make it all possible.

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On this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics Professors take on the recent outcry involving athletes Ryan Lochte and Colin Kaepernick, and look at the University of Chicago's refusal to create safe spaces on campus.

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  • Wayne Vaught is dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of philosophy, medicine and bioethics.
  • Clancy Martin is a professor of philosophy at UMKC and a professor of business ethics at the Bloch School of Management. 

The kidnapping of a red-headed, half-Irish, half-Mexican Arizona boy was the unlikely impetus for the longest war in American history, says historian Paul Andrew Hutton. The Apache Wars lasted from 1861 until 1890, and revealed the tensions that existed between tribal communities and American settlers.

Nearly everyone agrees that parental involvement is critical to kids' success in school, but knowing how to participate isn't always obvious. Kansas City Mayor Sly James supports a program aimed at giving parents the tools they need to engage with schools, and affect positive change in their children's future.

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When you make the jump into retirement, what will catch you? On this edition of Up to Date, the Smart Money Experts discuss the long-term prospects of Social Security and Medicare and how to prepare for an uncertain future. We also take a look at cyber-security and protecting your personal information in the digital era.

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Up To Date's film critics review the latest independent, foreign and documentary movies showing in area theaters.

Here's a list of the films reviewed on the program:

A completely new terminal at Kansas City International Airport may be out of the question (for now), but other changes are in the works. Patrick Klein, director of the Kansas City Aviation Department, speaks about the challenges and misconceptions of ongoing projects, and what travelers can look forward to in the coming years.

Activist and author Irene Tinker has spent more than 60 years of her life researching women's contributions to homes and societies all over the world. Despite being encouraged by decades of progress toward parity, she says barriers to equality still exist.

Making a contest-worthy cocktail takes more effort than just pouring a mixer over the right spirit. You've got to get the correct flavor, balance, presentation, even the appropriate kind of ice! Just the thought of all that work makes one mighty thirsty...

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People in Atalissa, Iowa, knew about the intellectually disabled men who lived in the town’s old schoolhouse and worked in the nearby turkey plant, but they didn’t know those men were being neglected by a business set up to provide cheap labor. It's a heart-breaking story told by New York Times reporter Dan Barry in The Boys in the Bunkhouse.

Brian Paulette

Tennessee Williams' masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948, has been called the greatest play ever written by an American, and the character Blanche DuBois is at the center of nearly everything that happens in it. It's a daunting role that Kansas City actress Cinnamon Schultz has spent months preparing for. No pressure, right?

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Congress is in recess until September but the upcoming general election, ongoing data breaches, and sustained congressional unpopularity means our elected officials won't get much time to relax. While they sit on opposing sides of the aisle, Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, and Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, agree there's plenty of work left to be done.

Jam sessions are about more than just "noodling" on a horn or keyboard. Saxophonist Tivon Pennicott says jamming is a great way to socialize with other musicians and see how your skills stack up. He's joined by bassist Bill McKemy, who is the director of Education and Public Programs at the American Jazz Museum.

For various reasons, victims of sexual assault are often reticent to report crimes. But support systems for them can make a difference in reducing incidents and bringing perpetrators to justice. Researcher, educator, and activist Jess Ladd is attempting to overcome that public health hurdle using a computer system she helped develop, called Callisto.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Even if you're not a fan of science fiction, you've probably heard of George R.R. Martin. (Does Game of Thrones ring a bell?) Melinda M. Snodgrass is no slouch herself, having written and edited for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Together, they edit a book series called Wild Cards, which could soon be adapted for television.

The end of Billie Holiday's musical career is infamous because of her drug and alcohol abuse, not to mention her tumultuous relationships with men. That's the Billie Holiday that actress Nedra Dixon is taking on in her latest role. Dixon says that, despite the drama, Lady Day "left a legacy of song and style unlike any other."

The federal government created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce laws aimed at reducing discrimination in the workplace. In its 51-year history, the commission has made real progress but work remains to be done.

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Eduard Solà / Wikimedia Commons

They may not look like much, but research scientist Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado thinks planaria — tiny freshwater flatworms —might hold the key to cell repair and duplication. The hope is that studying these self-cloning little invertebrates can help scientists figure out the biological mechanism behind their renowned regenerative abilities.

Composer, artist, software designer ... whatever you want to call him, R. Luke DuBois is a thinker. He's done a portrait of every president using only words from their State of the Union addresses, and employed a real gun and blank bullets to visualize every shooting in New Orleans, all with the aim of helping people better understand the world around them.

If you feel like your smartphone has a mind of it's own, it's not just you. After years of stacking new systems on top of generations of old technology, things have become so complicated no one really understands it. 

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Why is it the person we were head over heels for just a few months ago now seems a bit ... boring? Clinician and researcher Stan Tatkin says our brains are wired to kick into auto-pilot after a while, but it doesn't have to mean the end of the relationship.

Everyone hates stale potato chips, but that little annoyance was the inspiration  that got Mark Shaw thinking about how to reseal the bag. Since then, Shaw's been a prolific inventor and innovator whose nanotechnology work has revolutionized several industries. He says the key to unlocking the inventor's mindset is constantly looking for ways to create doors where there once were only walls.

Advocates for tighter gun laws might feel a little like believers in a lost cause, but researcher Daniel Webster holds out hope. The director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research says some proposals do have support from a majority of gun owners.

Before public officials in Platte County, Missouri, make a plan for spending tax dollars, they know it'll have to pass the muster of Ivan Foley, editor and publisher of The Landmark. That's why he was awarded the 2016 Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity in rural journalism.

The head of Missouri's public defender system appointed Gov. Jay Nixon to handle a case in protest of withheld funding. So, just how dire is the situation for Missouri's public defenders?

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