Steve Kraske | KCUR

Steve Kraske

Host of Up to Date

Steve Kraske is an associate teaching professor of journalism at UMKC and has hosted "Up to Date" since 2002. He worked as political correspondent for The Kansas City Star from 1994-2013 covering national, state and local campaigns. He also has covered the statehouses in Topeka and Jefferson City. From 2013-2016, he was a part-time columnist for The Star; he now serves on the newspaper's editorial board.

Before arriving in Kansas City, he worked at daily newspapers in Iowa and Illinois and at United Press International in Madison, Wisconsin. 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.

Ways to Connect

Danie Alexander / KCUR 89.3

Before reaching for a bottle of red or white from California, Italy or France, you might think again about shopping a little more close-to-home. Today, Master Sommelier Doug Frost returns to give us the low-down on the award-winning local vino that deserves your attention, and which bottles are garnering attention from winemakers around the country.

Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

Given the importance of the American presidency, it's no surprise photos of the commander-in-chief tend to become iconic. Today, veteran White House correspondent Kenneth T. Walsh explains what makes the White House photographer role so influential, and why he thinks Pres. Trump is missing an opportunity with his chief image-maker. Then, we hear from two leaders in the Missouri Statehouse, Democrat Rep.

Stigma Films Ltd.

Well, another year is drawing to a close, which means it's time to get the Up To Date Film Critics' picks for the best movies of the year. They also review what's currently showing on area screens, just in time for the holiday break. The titles include comedy, drama and a sci-fi romance: The Shape of Water,  Kaleidoscope, Wonder Wheel, Disaster Artist, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,​ and Lady Bird.  

Best Films of 2017:

Cynthia Haines:

Taking America's Political Temperature

Dec 14, 2017
Public Opinion Strategies

For Pres. Donald Trump, the one-year mark of occupying the Oval Office is in sight. As he enters year two, the country remains politically tense and ideologically divided. Today, Neil Newhouse, one of the country's top Republican pollsters, looks at what attracted voters to candidate Trump and whether they continue to stand with him. Newhouse also offers his thoughts on the efforts of Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill to retain their seats in 2018.

Arlington National Cemetery / Flickr - CC

Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, a gay couple living in Texas, strove to keep a low profile and their sexual orientation private. However, as the movement for marriage equality expanded, they finally agreed to be plaintiffs in the lawsuit that would overturn their state's ban on same-sex marriage. Author David Collins recounts their journey in Accidental Activists.

National Archives and Records Administration

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James is a pretty colorful character, but did you know he wears a magical bow tie that lets him travel through time? Today, the authors of a new children's book tell how they chose the mayor and his neckwear to recount Kansas City's history.

Kansas City Crafts And Drafts For The Holidays

Dec 8, 2017
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

When you think of holiday beverages, you probably imagine eggnog and spiced cider before you think of beer. Today, we hear from brewers and brew-enthusiasts from Bier StationKC Bier Co., and Crane Brewing who think that's a shame. Find out what seasonal concoctions they're cooking up, how they critique a beer and when "pastry stouts" take flavoring too far.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

It's the holiday season once again, when many of us look to donate some time to a worthwhile cause. Today, we ask representatives of local non-profits what makes a great seasonal or year-round volunteer, and how you can have the most impact when you give back to the community. Then, learn about a debate that has been raging since the 1940s — what is the better winter holiday snack; the latke or the hamantash? It may sound like apples and oranges, but the Hanukkah potato pancake and the Purim stuffed cookie square off year after year to help debaters hone their craft.

ataelw / Flickr - CC

In August, Kansas City voters made any future streetcar expansions a little more complicated. Nevertheless, the Streetcar AuthorityKCATA and Port KC are convinced they can come up with $32 million to extend service from River Market to Berkley Riverfront Park.

Lane Pearman / Flickr - CC

Kansas doesn't usually rank high as an outdoor destination state. But, while there are no grand canyons, snowcapped peaks, or white sand beaches, it does have a subtle character all its own. Today, we meet two sisters-in-law who made a mission of visiting every state park in Kansas. They say outdoorsy-types might be giving the Sunflower State the short shrift. Then, only about 1 percent of Americans currently serve in the armed forces. While some see this as evidence of progress, others think it's a problem.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

There's a lot going on next year in Kansas and Missouri politics. The Sunflower State is sure to see a heated gubernatorial race, and Missouri will play host to one of the most competitive Senate races in the nation. Then there are the local races — like the one for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri — which can fly a little under the radar but affect the daily lives of residents nevertheless. Today, our panel of political pundits help make sense of an upcoming election season which promises to be every bit as contentious as 2017.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

December 1 means the countdown is on, and we're not talking about Christmas. With just two weeks left for open enrollment on the federal health care marketplace, our experts are back to help answer all your "how" questions. Then, a conversation about America's favorite meat.

David Shankbone / Ryan J. Reilly / Max Goldberg / Flickr - CC

Are threats of coal the best way to get children to behave? Today, the Ethics Professors take a look at what Santa's naughty-and-nice list may be teaching our kids. Then, a conversation about the ongoing surge of sexual misconduct allegations. Brenda Bethman, director of the UMKC Women's Center, joins the ethics team to take a deeper dive into how to handle the the assault and harassment revelations that continue to surface.

B. Allen / VOA

It's no secret that race influences a lot of things in our lives, including how our cities are laid out. Today, urban designer Tyler Cukar explains the lasting legacy of racism and redlining that's shaped Kansas City, and how we can move toward a more racially integrated future. Then, if you remember one image from last year's Democratic National Convention, it's probably of Khizr Khan. The Gold Star father raised a lot of attention when he held up a copy of the Constitution and challenged Donald Trump to give it a read.

Courtesy of Jane Pronko

Jane Pronko has for years captured the spirit and flavor of Kansas City with her paintings, which have in turn captured the fancy of collectors around the world. Today, meet one of the metro's pioneering female artists.

Helvetiq / Flickr - CC

Rarely do public places and spaces in the U.S. cater to the needs of people with dementia. Today, we find out how advocates in Kansas City are creating social events and activities to help reduce the stigma surrounding the condition, and make the world an easier place for folks with dementia to navigate. Then, we learn what other drivers might think about you because of the stickers you put on your car. The messages they send may be different from what you intend.

Cpl. Samantha Braun / Office of Marine Corps Communication

Thanksgiving is practically upon us, marking the start of the holiday season. Today, we listen back to a conversation with Master Sommelier Doug Frost and others to get you prepared for winter partying with some great wine and drink pairing ideas. Then, we sit down with Vietnam veteran and poet John Musgrave.

Florida Keys--Public Libraries / Flickr - CC

In more than 30 years of writing for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik has covered everything from the science of meditation to the relationship between baseball and art. Today, he joins Steve Kraske to help recalibrate the true meaning of liberalism. Then, we find out why some consider Harry Truman's presidency an accident, which nonetheless changed the course of history in its first few months.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Today, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the latest data on the state's public schools, so we ask Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell to explain where his district did well and what areas still need improvement. Then, this summer, Kansas City, Missouri, got a new chief of police, a 29-year veteran of the force.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Author Whitney Terrell told the story of a female soldier in his novel, The Good Lieutenant. His consultant for that book, Angela Fitle, lived it in the Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. They share their thoughts on the female experience of war. Then children's author Brian Selznick reveals what it was like to condense his novel Wonderstruck​ into the screenplay for the just-released film version.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Star published on Sunday a long list of ways the state government in Topeka resists efforts to disclose information to the public. Today, we discuss The Star's assertions with reporters who broke the story and former state Rep. John Rubin, who tried to fix the problem from inside the Statehouse. Then, among other post-holiday events is an increase in the number of separations and divorces.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Despite several unsuccessful attempts to repeal Obamacare outright, Pres. Donald Trump has made substantial changes in how the healthcare exchange works. Today, we discuss those changes, and how they're affecting folks who depend on the Affordable Care Act. Then, the City School Fair wants to make Kansas City, Missouri parents aware of all the possibilities for K-12 education that don't require moving to the suburbs.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The election results are official. The big surprises: The single-terminal proposal at Kansas City International Airport is an overwhelming "go," and Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland was unseated by challenger David Alvey. Today, we discuss the impacts Tuesday's elections will have on the metro.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum campus with an illuminated Bloch Building on right.
Charvex / Public Domain

When the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opened the Bloch Building, its "lens" architecture was so different from the existing museum that many didn't see how the two could stand side by side. Today, the architect of the addition, Steven Holl, talks about returning to his building ten years later.

Tiffany Matson / James Beard Foundation

When Beck Weathers' climbing group joined other expeditions summiting Mount Everest in May of 1996, no one knew eight mountaineers would not return. Today, we speak with Weathers about his survival story, and learn about an opera depicting the deadly climb. Then, we catch up with three Kansas City chefs lending their prowess to a high-profile culinary event hosted by the James Beard Foundation.

Wikimedia Commons

For as long as there has been recorded music, there have been cover songs.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

After losing her son to murder in 2011, Rosilyn Temple turned her grief into action. She formed Mothers in Charge, whose members respond to every homicide call in Kansas City, Missouri. Her story is now the subject of a new documentary, and Temple and director Jon Brick explain how the film came about. Then, Overland Park is having its first competitive mayoral race in two cycles.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Kansas volunteers are committed to preserving a national icon: the bald eagle. Today, we speak with the filmmakers of a documentary short about the year-round work to document and band the offspring of nesting eagles in the Sunflower State. Then, we meet the two candidates for this year's mayoral election in Kansas City, Kansas. Incumbent Mark Holland and challenger David Alvey discuss current issues in Wyandotte County and how their plans differ in terms of moving the Unified Government forward.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Kansas City residents will vote on the fate of existing facilities at KCI in a week. We hit the most common points of concern about the project, and city council members Jolie Justus, 4th District, and Dan Fowler, 2nd District, respond to them.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

John Grisham's career has taken him from attorney, to Mississippi state representative, to best-selling author. Today, we speak with the acclaimed writer about his latest legal thriller, The Rooster Bar, which explores the underbelly tactics of for-profit law schools.

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