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.

The right to vote was not in the original version of our Constitution, but the fight to vote has been with us since Revolutionary times. Hear how voter ID, suppressed voter turnout and other issues are not exclusive to the current day.

Guest:

  • Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center of Justice and the author of The Fight to Vote.

A look at the Veterans Treatment Court programs in both Jackson County, Missouri and Johnson County, Kansas. 

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Thought of as one of the most significant 20th Century songwriters, Cole Porter filled the American songbook with his compositions. His style was greatly influenced by his life experiences, many of which were in stark contrast to those of his contemporaries. 

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Is the United States' education model broken? We ask an advocate for progressive education what's wrong with the current standard and look at a Liberty, Missouri school that has turned classrooms into innovative, project-based studios.

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Fresh off his third State of the Government address, Mayor and CEO of Wyandotte County Mark Holland is thinking about health care, small businesses and the need for population growth.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that prevalence of human papillomavirus has been dropping since the vaccine was recommended a decade ago. Yet nationally in adolescents, four out of 10 girls and six out of 10 boys haven’t had it. 

Guests:

  • Dr. Barbara Pahud specializes in pediatric infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
  • Dr. Natasha Burgert is a physician with Pediatric Associates of Kansas City. 
Phil Roeder / Flickr--CC

Kansas hasn’t gone Democratic in a U.S. Presidential election in more than 50 years, but ahead of his visit to Kansas City Wednesday, candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders told KCUR he thinks he’ll do well in the state’s caucuses on March 5.

“Sometimes to be a Democrat in a conservative state means that you are pretty progressive because you’ve got to stand up to the tide there,” says Sanders. “So we think we have a chance to do very, very well in Kansas.”

It’s hard to keep up with Kansas government these days. From balancing the budget, to school finance formula and recent "communist" name-calling, Up To Date checks in with statehouse reporters to try and make sense of it all.

Guests:

  • Bryan Lowry is the statehouse reporter for The Wichita Eagle. 
  • Stephen Koranda is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for Kansas Public Radio.

When it comes to our war on terrorism, boots on the ground and bombers in the air are only part of the struggle. What we know about the culture behind ISIS and how the United States portrays itself to the world makes for a different kind of weapon.

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Money is the leading cause of stress in many relationships. On this edition of Up To Date, a panel of Certified Financial Planners discusses solutions to common monetary problems couples face. 

Guests:

  • Alex Petrovic is founder of Petrovic Financial Services.
  • David Jackson is with the Financial Planning Association.
  • Barbara McMahon is the president of Innovest Financial Partners in Brookside.

In a school setting where curriculums and lesson plans rule, some argue that our littlest learners could benefit more with less. Author and childhood education lecturer Erika Christakis suggests we stop trying to over-structure our preschoolers. 

New business creation in the United States is half of what it was in the 80s. There is reason for optimism, though, as a wave of millennials enters the peak age for business creation. The question is: Will public policy support or interfere with this new wave of entrepreneurship?

Guest:

  • Dane Stangler is the vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation.

Paper dolls have been popular toys for children for centuries, but the black versions of these toys often depict racial stereotypes that reflect how society viewed African Americans. 

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It’s tough starting a new life after being in prison. Although there are many programs to help, a lot of them focus on male ex-cons but don’t do much for women making the transition. Journey House in Kansas City, Missouri, is giving these women — who have nowhere else to go — a place to belong and a fresh start.

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His name is Otzi, the oldest human in such a complete state. Discovered in 1991 in the Italian Alps, he’s the most studied human in history. We speak with the Kearney, Missouri-based paleo-sculptor who recently completed a replica of Otzi for research and study.

KCUR's Central Standard introduced us to Gary Staab in August 2015. Listen to that interview here.

 Kansas is seeking a renewal of the Medicaid waiver for its KanCare program. As the federal government decides whether to grant the waiver, we discuss  future ideas to streamline the program and how well it provides healthcare for the most vulnerable Kansans. 

Guests:

  • Tim Wood is director of the Community Developmental Disabilities Organization for Johnson County.
  • Kari Bruffett is the policy director for the Kansas Health Institute.
  • Dan Margolies is KCUR's Health Editor.

Since the 1950s, injuries have replaced infectious diseases as the biggest threat to children's health. Most of these injuries, however, are easily preventable. 

  • Dr. Dale Elizabeth Jarka is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at The Children’s Mercy Hospital.

These days, individuals can get a hold of almost every song ever recorded. All this access, says New York Times music writer Ben Ratliff, is actually changing the way we listen to and enjoy songs.

Guest:

  • Ben Ratliff has been writing about music for The New York Times since 1996. His latest book is Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty.

Abraham Lincoln is remembered for his skill as an orator, but the president also utilized other tools to better connect with voters. His use of photography, which was a cutting-edge technology in his day and age, helped him to victory in the tough 1860 election. 

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Take a look into the brutality of the Holocaust through one man's eyes or glimpse the golden era of Hollywood. See how one man overcomes a stutter and another overcomes the challenges dealt to him by Agent Orange. Our indie, foreign and documentary film critics discussed all of these and more in this edition of Up to Date.

Here's a list of the films from the show:

A momentous decision from the Kansas Supreme Court came down this morning. It says block-grant funding is unconstitutional and also indicates that if the state can’t find a ‘constitutionally equitable’ way to fund public schools, then they will shut down June 30. Hear first reactions from school officials and Kansas residents.

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Have you ever wondered what your great-great grandfather did for a living or if the family story of a famous relative is really true? Genealogy has been a popular hobby for many looking for answers and recent advances in digital research offer new opportunities for those plotting family trees.

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Should the current funding model for Kansas schools be changed?  On this edition of Up to Date, we talk with three young people who debated that issue February 9 as part of Debate KC.

Guests:

  • Alex Trobaugh is a senior at Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Candace Villanueva is a graduate of Sumner Academy and currently works for Johnson County Community College.
  • Kayla Gilmore is a student at Emporia State University.

Steven Washington says the answer to racial equality in the United States is not black and white — it's green. The Philadelphia real-estate investor says that entrepreneurship is be the key to establishing economic empowerment for African-Americans. 

The Student Senate at the University of Kansas cut funding for the University Daily Kansan in half for the 2015-2016 school year after the newspaper published an editorial critical of the governing body. Now, the student newspaper at KU is suing the university for violating its First Amendment rights.

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The Lawrence Journal-World recently sought information on fraternity hazing from the University of Kansas under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. But the documents the newspaper received were so heavily redacted as to shed almost no light on the issue. 

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From the singular twang of a flat-picked guitar to the tight harmonies of a bluegrass band, folk music is more than a sound — it’s an essence. Local labels Mud Stomp Records and Little Class Records work not only to preserve that essence, but to show the rest of the world what Heartland artists have to offer. 

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The University of Kansas is taking a bold step into the fight against cybercrime. It recently announced a $4.7 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to train a new generation of cyberdefense experts who will be dedicated to public service.

Guest:

  • Bo Luo is an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at KU and the program leader of CyberCorps.

The Enlightenment was a time marked by logical thought and a questioning of traditional authority. Among the great male minds of this period were some notable women. One in particular equaled, and often outshone, many men during the Age of Reason.

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Kansas courts are staying open. At least, that’s what it looks like now that Kansas lawmakers have sent a bill to Governor Brownback to repeal the portion of a statute de-funding the judiciary. On another front, lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would change how Supreme Court judges are picked.

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