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
11:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

How Corporate Giants Are Dominating Online Commerce

Robert McChesney is the author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy.

You can post just about anything you want on the internet, but when it comes to e-commerce, the online world is dominated by a few major players.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine the corporate giants that control the online marketplace and discuss how consumers might revolt against their monopolies.

Guest: 

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Up to Date
11:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

A Day In The Life Of An Average Pakistani

Haroon Ullah is the author of The Bargain From the Bazaar: A Family's Day of Reckoning in Lahore.

Haroon Ullah knows the pace and color of daily life in Pakistan and the delicate balance between secular and religious culture.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about the struggles of an ordinary middle-class family just trying to live life in a region that's seen constant upheaval.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:36 am
Tue April 1, 2014

One Journalist's Bleak Forecast Of America's Landscape

George Packer is the author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.

If you look at America through journalist George Packer’s eyes, you’ll see a landscape where familiar staples of society, such as Social Security and privacy, are disappearing in a country-wide decline in civilization.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with the National Book Award winner about his latest book, why he sees such a bleak picture for the country and how we might make it to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:33 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Promoting The Arts In The Urban Core

Aaron Dworkin is the founder of Sphinx in Detroit.
Credit sphinxmusic.org

The Musical Bridges program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music aims to give more arts opportunities to young people in the urban core of the city.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with a MacArthur Fellow who's done a similar thing in Detroit.

Guests:

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Up to Date
11:12 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Opening Police Records In Kansas

The KSHB-TV report features several stories, including Beverly Stewart's tale about how her daughter was shot dead by police.
Credit KSHB-TV

If the police staged a massive raid on your house, complete with assault weapons, you’d want to know why. But finding that out in Kansas is tricky and costly. 

On Monday's Up to Date, we look at a KSHB-TV investigative report on the problems local residents have had getting police records open in the state.

Guests:

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Up to Date
11:12 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Examining 100 Years Of The Panama Canal

It's been 100 years since the Panama Canal was completed.
Credit Lyn Gateley / Flickr-CC

You’ve heard of the man, his plan and that canal: Panama. Well, it’s been 100 years since its construction, and the waterway is getting a facelift.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk about a new local exhibit that explores that century of innovation.

Guest:

  • Alberto Aleman Zubieta, former CEO of the Panama Canal Authority
  • Lisa Browar, president of the Linda Hall Library
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Up to Date
12:04 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Life Lessons From A KC Author

Becky Blades found herself bubbling over with advice for her daughter, but she knew bombarding her daughter with life lessons wasn't the best way to go about sharing it.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with Blades about how, in writing down this advice with a good dose of humor, she created the book Do Your Laundry or You'll Die Alone.

Guest:

  • Becky Blades, author of Do Your Laundry or You'll Die Alone

​Listener advice:

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Up to Date
10:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Treading Carefully When Covering Hate Groups

Protests like the ones Fred Phelps led are designed to get media attention.
Credit File photo / Topeka Capital-Journal

Fred Phelps has been a lightning rod of controversy for decades. The late head of the Westboro Baptist Church, who famously picketed funerals of American soldiers and LGBT people, died Wednesday.

On Friday's Up to Date, we discuss the quandary media organizations have faced: How do you decide when events like this are truly newsworthy and when you’re just giving hate groups free publicity?

Guests:

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Up to Date
2:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List, March 21-23, 2014

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike plays this weekend at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.
Credit kcrep.org

Get that spring into your step with Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 21-23, 2014.

Lyric Opera of Kansas City: “La Boheme” (Classic opera by Giacomo Puccini), 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $90 to $160 

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90-Mile View
1:12 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

90-Mile View: Maintaining The Momentum In Manheim Park

Saundra Hayes is past President of the Historic Manheim Park Association.
Credit Danie Alexander/KCUR

Saundra Hayes is a resident of Manheim Park situated on the east side of Troost in Kansas City.  In this edition of 90-Mile View, Saundra and Steve Kraske talk about the effects the Green Impact Zone has had on her neighborhood and what it will take to keep the momentum built by the project going.

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Up to Date
10:27 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Tracing The Atomic Age

The Atomic Age prompted many themed products-- some more dangerous than others.
Credit GetHiroshima / Flickr-CC

If you want drama, the story of how we developed atomic energy has it. From the novelty of X-rays to the destructive power unleashed in Hiroshima, to a major energy source — all the up and downs are there. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with an author who has traced the details of these events and many in-between to construct a history of the atomic age. We look at how scientists managed to get from Marie Curie’s discovery to the Manhattan Project and beyond. 

Guest:

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Up To Date
2:31 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill On Sexual Assault In The Military, Affordable Care Act

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill visits Kansas City on Wednesday and Thursday as part of her 'McCaskill on Main Street' tour.  

She’s fresh off a big legislative win in the Senate where her version of a bill dealing with sexual assault in the military won out over a competing measure.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Sen. McCaskill about sexual assault in the military and her opinions on progress made as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:02 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Looking Back At The U-2 Spy Plane Incident

Pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down by the Soviet Union while flying his U-2 spy plane in 1960.
Credit RIA Novosti archive / Wikimedia Commons

Threats to sovereignty along the Black Sea, lots of discussions about spying … it all brings back memories of the Cold War.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk about one of the most notorious incidents of that period. When Russia shot down the U-2 spy plane, pilot Gary Powers became the international face of a mission gone wrong. His son joins us to talk about that event.

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Up To Date
5:46 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Cultural Conflict In Ukraine Reaches Back To KC

The Crimean peninsula is the focus of the Ukrainian-Russian tensions at the moment.
Credit mwmbwls / Flickr-CC

Russia’s incursion into the Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula has sparked a reaction across Europe. The region voted over the weekend to secede to be part of Russia, but the European Union, the United States and others have called that vote illegal. 

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Up to Date
9:50 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Parents, Teens And A Different Gender War

Girls seem to be winning the gender war, according to Dr. Wes Crenshaw.
Credit DJOtaku / Flickr-CC

The idea of a gender war is nothing new, but what has changed is who’s winning: It's the girls.

On Monday's Up to Date, psychologist Wes Crenshaw joins us to talk about the switch and why it’s happening. We’ll look at how lower graduation rates and grades from boys are affecting this trend.

We’ll get a teen perspective on what we can change to help boys regain equal footing.

Guests:

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Up To Date
5:13 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Local Listen: Schwervon

The duo Schwervon is featured in this week's 'Local Listen.'
Credit schwervon.bandcamp.com

This year’s Middle of the Map music festival will take place April 3-5 at many locations in and around Westport. For the next several weeks, our “Local Listen” segment will focus on musicians from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stages with regional and national artists.

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Up to Date
12:55 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Tech-Savvy Students Contend In Local Robotics Competition

High school students will put their robots up for competition this weekend.
Credit North Charleston / Flickr-CC

It seems like we depend on machines for nearly everything we do, and a whole new breed of mechanical wonders is invading Kansas City this weekend for the 2014 KC Regional First Robotics Competition. 

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the competition that's attracting more than a thousand high school students who have designed their own robots.

Guests:

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90-Mile View
9:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

90-Mile View: The Signs of Spring In Warsaw, Missouri

Spoonbill fish inhabit the Osage River in Missouri.
Credit RGB / Flickr-CC

It's been a quiet winter in Warsaw, Mo., where the Osage River empties into Truman Lake.  The bitter cold had even the hardiest inhabitants staying indoors.  Now this little town on the lake is showing the unmistakable signs that the "season" is about to begin.

In this installment of 90-Mile View, newspaper publisher James White tells Steve Kraske what stories The Benton County Enterprise has been covering.  Then White describes one of the sure signs of Spring, the start of the spoonbill fishing season and an accompanying aroma.

Guest:

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Up to Date
12:44 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

'The Elders' Bring Celtic Flair Back To Kansas City

Brent Hoad (left) and Steve Phillips of The Elders perform during Thursday's Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

The Kansas City-based band, The Elders, with their blend of American roots rock and Celtic folk, have performed together since 1998. This year marks their 12th annual Hoolie, a celebration of Irish culture through music and dance.

On Thursday's Up to Date, some of the band members talked about the March 15 event with host Steve Kraske.

"Mostly, it’s just the joy of playing. We all love to play. That’s why we’re still doing it in our mid-50s,” said Brent Hoad, who plays keyboards, as well as fiddle, guitar, mandolin.

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Up to Date
12:18 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: March 14-16, 2014

If you're headed to Planet Comicon, you might find some friends trying out some cosplay.
Credit OnceAndFutureLaura / Flickr-CC

If you're a proud geek, basketball fan or want to feel Irish for a day, we've got just the thing for you. Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 14-16, 2014.

Planet Comicon (Pop culture and comic book convention), Noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $20 Friday, $35 Saturday, $30 Sunday (separate admission to Sunday Trektacular)

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Up to Date
1:02 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Checking Out The Science Behind Dreamworks Animation

Jason Schleifer was the head of character animation on 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman.'
Credit DreamWorks Animation

Your average animated film today looks a lot different from Snow White or The Jetsons, and it's all due to the computer animation techniques we use today.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with a Dreamworks animator and a look at the science that makes the silver screen computer animation work.

Guest: 

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Up to Date
11:51 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Creating A Calm Setting For Controversial Conversations

The Village Square promotes civil discussion groups.

Don’t discuss religion or politics — that’s what they say about making polite conversation. But a non-profit is trying to change that way of thinking.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with representatives from the Village Square, a group that encourages civil discussion about often controversial civic issues.

Guests:

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90-Mile View
3:43 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

90 Mile View: The Power Of The White Coat

Dr. Gary Yarbrough in the countryside outside Parsons, Kansas where he practices among the Amish and English.

Dr. Gary Yarbrough has been a rural family physician for more than 30 years, first in Kentucky then Michigan and, since 1994, in Parsons, Kan.

On this edition of 90-Mile View he talks with Steve Kraske about making house calls in the severe cold this winter plus shares a tale from his latest book, Office Calls: And Other Stories From Thirty Years of Rural Medicine.

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Up to Date
10:39 am
Tue March 11, 2014

How Bystanders Made A Murder Case Famous

A new book examines the strange murder case of Kitty Genovese.

If you heard or saw a crime happening, what would you do? The people who heard Kitty Genovese scream as she was murdered didn’t do anything, in a famous case that became known for the bystander effect. 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk about the case that helped drive the development of the 911 emergency call system and what new details about the killing have emerged over the years.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:34 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Missouri's Poet Laureate Draws On King Kong For Inspiration

William Trowbridge is Missouri's poet laureate.
Credit williamtrowbridge.net

From King Kong to a certain accident-prone coyote, the things that inspire Missouri's third poet laureate are different, to say the least. 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with William Trowbridge about his unusual muses and his tenure as poet laureate.

Guest:

  • William Trowbridge, Missouri poet laureate

HEAR MORE: William Trowbridge speaks at 7 p.m. March 11 at the Mabee Theater at Rockhurst University for the Midwest Poetry Series.

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Up to Date
12:26 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

The Book Doctors: Adventure Tales

The Book Doctors share their favorite reads with Steve Kraske on Up to Date.

Follow the adventures of a boy as he swaps toys for grown-up pursuits and childhood tales of Lenin for the American Dream. And if you like a little adventure, join a pizza hotline operator as he tries to figure out how to deal with a time traveler.

On Monday's Up to Date, the Book Doctors return to share these tales and more as they tell us about the books that have been keeping them warm this winter.

Guests:

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Up To Date
4:16 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Local Listen: Rev Gusto

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival.  Running from April 3rd - 5th, the festival takes place at various locations in and around Westport. 

Rev Gusto is one band from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stage with regional and national artists.  This week we hear the summery garage-band sounds of Rev Gusto in the track “Click-Click” from their self-titled EP.

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Up to Date
2:07 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Analyzing The Kansas School Funding Ruling

The Kansas Supreme Court released its long-awaited ruling on school funding Friday morning.
Credit MyTudut / Flickr-CC

This morning, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a lower court will deal with what it called unconstitutional inadequate funding for the state's K-12 schools.

On Friday's Up to Date, we take a look at what the 110-page ruling will mean for school funding, how the lower court might handle the the details and how all this affects this fall's race for the governor's office.

Guests:

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Up to Date
11:48 am
Fri March 7, 2014

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

A new documentary follows the career of veteran actress Elaine Stritch.

The film world is still all aglow with radiance from the recent Academy Awards, and our indie, foreign and documentary film critics are talking about some of the films in the limelight.

On Friday's Up to Date, take a trip into the treacherous Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have fun with veteran actress Elaine Stritch and her brassy personality and be a poetry superfan with Emma Roberts and John Cusack.

Our critics' list:

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Up to Date
3:08 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List, March 7-9, 2014

The Monster Drawing Rally features artists drawing for an hour before selling their creations to benefit a scholarship fund.
Credit waltarrrrr / Flickr-CC

Want to get rid of the post-Mardi Gras blahs? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 7-9, 2014.

Golden! Girls Gone Wild!!! (Late Night Theatre returns with cross-dressing satire of TV’s “The Golden Girls”), opens at 8 p.m. Friday with performances through March 31 at Missie B’s, 805 W. 39th, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $18 (816-235-6222)

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