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
10:43 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Finding Kansas City's Hidden Food Gems

Carnitas is one dish on food editor Jill Silva's list of hidden gems in Kansas City.
Credit Pabo76 / Flickr-CC

Kielbasa, carnitas and pulled pork — are you getting hungry? Some local restaurants are proving that Kansas City isn’t just a barbecue town. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we take a look at highlights and hidden gems featured in the Kansas City Star’s Food Issue.

Guest:

  • Jill Silva, food editor at The Kansas City Star
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Up to Date
10:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Going On A Mushroom Hunt

Morels are highly-prized by mushroom hunters.
Credit ~flutterby~ / Flickr-CC

Mushrooms can’t run, but if you go hunting for them, it certainly seems like they’re hiding. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we speak with a few mushroom hunters about their craft and how they find the best fungus among us. 

Guests:

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Up to Date
9:56 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Difficult Choices: Considering Long-term Care

On Up to Date, we take a look at the process people go through when making decisions about elder care.
Credit Mark-Adkins / Flickr-CC

As the parents of baby boomers move into their twilight years, an elephant enters the room: when should we start to talk about long-term care? 

With 12 million Americans already in need of attention and a further 15 million just around the corner, that question of how to best look after ourselves and loved ones is becoming more important by the day.

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Up to Date
11:58 am
Fri February 28, 2014

How Lincoln's Confidants Remade His Image

Joshua Zeitz is the author of 'Lincoln's Boys.'

The image we have of Abraham Lincoln today as the Great Emancipator, father figure and military genius might not be what it is if not for two men: John Hays and John Nicolay. “The boys,” as the president affectionately called them, were Lincoln’s right-hand men during the course of his presidency.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the men who dutifully reshaped Lincoln’s image in the years following his assassination.

Guest:

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Up to Date
11:41 am
Fri February 28, 2014

All That Canadian Jazz Comes To Kansas City

Laila Biali talks with Steve Kraske about her performance at the Blue Room March 1.
Credit lailabiali.com

Not that long ago, Laila Biali was struggling to make a name for herself in the world of American jazz. She was on the verge of giving up when she got an invitation to audition for Sting. She made the cut, and wound up at Sting’s estate in Tuscany for rehearsal.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with Biali about her music as she prepares to open the American Jazz Museum’s Women in Jazz Month. 

Guest:

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Up to Date
11:52 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: February 28-March 2, 2014

The Kansas City Mardi Gras Festival takes place Saturday, March 1.
Credit velo_city / Flickr-CC

Drive away that chill this weekend with Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for Feb. 28-March 2, 2014.

Screenland at the Symphony: “The Wizard of Oz” (re-mastered MGM movie classic with live symphonic accompaniment), 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo., Tickets: $27 (Friday sold out)

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Up to Date
11:51 am
Thu February 27, 2014

What It's Like To Be A Religious Minority In America

Steve Kraske examines America's religious melting pot on Thursday's Up to Date.
Credit 917press / Flickr-CC

Many politicians declare the United States to be a Christian nation-- but it’s not, even though the majority of the population is part of some stream of Christianity. The Founding Fathers, while using religion as a basis for some of their decisions, were very clear about making this a country with no official religion.

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90-Mile View
2:51 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

90-Mile View: Runaway Senior Lands In Kansas City

Patricia Porsche (left) and Brittany Williams
Credit Beth Lipoff/KCUR-FM

We’ve been following the story of Patricia Porsche for the past year.  In that time she has made her way from being homeless and unemployed to working for the True Light Family Resource Center in Kansas City, Mo.  As its volunteer coordinator and as mentor to the women living in the center’s transitional home, Trisha has a front-row seat to the challenges facing homeless women in Kansas City.

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Up to Date
9:43 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Looking At The State Of KCK And WyCo

Mark Holland has been mayor of Kansas City, Kan., for nearly a year.

It’s been nearly a year since Mark Holland became mayor of Kansas City, Kan., and it’s time to see what influence he’s wielded in the city over that time.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, Mayor Holland joins us in the studio to talk about the city’s economic development, public health programs and other issues.

Guest:

  • Mark Holland, mayor of the unified government of Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County
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Up to Date
11:22 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Conquering Broadway And MS

Singer Jennifer Holliday joins Steve Kraske in the studio for Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Jennifer Holliday, the original "Dreamgirl," has known a lot of good times and some rough ones, too. 

She became a star on Broadway in the production of Dreamgirls, but in the years since, she's depression and faced an ongoing struggle with multiple sclerosis.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with her about about her music, her life and why they call her “The Queen of Broadway Gospel.”

Guest:

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Up to Date
11:22 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Contentious Views Dominate Female Bishop's Tenure

Katharine Jefferts Schori is Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Credit Ozma1981 / Wikimedia Commons

The Episcopal Church’s first female presiding bishop has experienced her share of strong reactions to her progressive views on gay marriage, immigration and more.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, Katharine Jefferts Schori joins us to talk about her positions on these issues. We also talk about what’s next for the 110 church dioceses she oversees.

Guest: 

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Up to Date
2:42 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Controversial Bills Loom Over Kansas Legislature

Controversial bills are on the talk of the town for the Kansas Legislature.
Credit Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas politics have been making national headlines over several controversial bills—and not in a good way. First, there was the one that appeared to make discrimination against same-sex couples legal. Then, there was the one trying to make it legal to spank children hard enough to leave marks.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk about those bills and how statehouse politics might affect this fall’s gubernatorial race.

Guests:

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Up to Date
11:46 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Examining The Real 'Mad Men'

George Lois is famous for his Esquire covers.

"Mad Men" might be a fictional television drama, but the kinds of ad men it portrays were real. 

Up to a point, according to George Lois.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with George Lois, perhaps best known for his work on Esquire covers from 1962 to 1972. We talk about his contentious campaigns and allegations of plagiarism.

Guest:

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Up to Date
12:42 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: February 21-23, 2014

Martin City Melodrama's latest show is 'The A-Lone Ranger.'
Credit Martin City Melodrama

If you want to brave our weird weather this weekend, Brian McTavish has some ideas for you on the Weekend To-Do List for Feb. 21-23, 2014.

Bobby Watson & Horizon (Reunion of Watson and the band he started 30 years ago), 9 p.m. Friday at The Blue Room - 1600 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $30

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Up To Date
12:20 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Up To Date 2014 Heart Of America Entry

Living with Alzheimer's (March 28, 2013)

Former Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease just six months after leaving a six-term career in the U.S. House. His wife, Stephene Moore, is the Region 7 director of the federal Health and Human Services Department. She and Dennis joined us to talk about his experiences with the disease. Our other guest was Michelle Niedens, director of programs and public policy for the Alzheimer's Association’s Heart of America chapter.
 

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Up to Date
11:14 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Opening Up Extreme Sports To People With Disabilities

Sean O'Neill, who is a paraplegic, now leads climbs as part of Paradox Sports.
Credit Lourdes Irizarry / paradoxsports.tumblr.com

You wouldn’t think mountain climbing would be an activity a paraplegic person could still enjoy. But one group’s efforts to adapt activities like mountain climbing are coming to fruition.

In the first part of Friday's Up to Date, we talk about how they’re making sports more available to people with disabilities and what inspired them to get involved with this project.

Guests:

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Up To Date
11:09 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Parents Illustrate The Funny Side Of Autism In Kansas City Production

'An Evening With The Rents' runs 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at The Mission Theatre.

To call raising kids with with autism or autism spectrum disorder a challenge would probably be underselling it ... by quite a bit.

For many parents of kids with autism, maintaining a sense of humor is an essential component. Those experiences will be illustrated by some Kansas City area parents in An Evening with the Rents where they will deliver stand-up comedy routines centered around living with children on the spectrum.

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Up To Date
11:47 am
Thu February 20, 2014

After 5 Decades, Graham Nash Still Loves Rock And Roll

Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills & Nash fame, sings a song after delivering the keynote address to a group of musicians assembled for the 2014 Folk Alliance International conference.
Julie Denesha KCUR

At 72, Graham Nash remains part of rock royalty, a musician who came to the U.S. as part of the British invasion with his band The Hollies and plays on today with his super-group Crosby, Stills & Nash.

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Up to Date
1:44 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Using Science To Stop Violence

Dr. Gary Slutkin is the founder of Cure Violence.
Credit cureviolence.org

An expert on the epidemic of gun violence that has gripped Kansas City and cities across the country for decades, says the issue has been "completely misunderstood."

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about his method of viewing violence as an epidemic, a condition that can be reversed using "science-based methods."

Guest:

  • Dr. Gary Slutkin, epidemiologist and founder/executive director of Cure Violence
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Up to Date
11:47 am
Wed February 19, 2014

JJ's Update: One Year After The Explosion

It's been a year since an explosion destroyed JJ's Restaurant on the Plaza.
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

Last February, a gas explosion rocked the Plaza, destroying JJ’s restaurant. In the wake of the destruction, 15 people were injured, and one died.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we’ll take a look at the issues surrounding the blast and its continued legacy, both on the Plaza and in the courtroom. We’ll also talk with one of the owners of JJ’s about what the future holds.

Guests:

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Up to Date
11:17 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Prairie Village Surgeon Confronts Death By Building His Own Coffin

Dr. Jeff Piehler of Prairie Village reacted to his stage-four prostate cancer diagnosis by building his own coffin.
Credit Shari Hartbauer / Lincoln Journal Star

It’s one thing for a doctor to counsel a seriously-ill patient about how to deal with his illness and how to face the idea of death. But imagine going from being the doctor to being the patient.

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Up To Date
4:14 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

How To Have 'The Talk' With Your Teen

Credit www.drlauraberman.com

It’s something that every parent should do, but many don’t know how, or feel really awkward trying, to get it together to have ... "The Talk."  These days it’s about more complicated issues than just the birds and the bees — gender identity, casual hookups and more play into the discussion. 

Steve Kraske talks with psychologist Wes Crenshaw about how parents can approach the topic of sex with their kids. A teenager and her mother join the conversation to discuss their method for handling the subject.

Guests:

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Up to Date
12:24 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Finding Food Flavors In A Local Lab

Michael Feingold, lab manager and food technologist for Cereal Ingredients in Leavenworth, stands with a bag of strawberry-flavored pieces about to be shipped to a client.
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

From “weird-beers” to your typical TV dinner, all the processed food we eat has been carefully crafted to taste and smell as appealing as possible.

In the first part of Friday's Up to Date, we visit a local lab to see how flavors are modified and enhanced to make that morning muffin you enjoy taste so much like fresh blueberries-- even though there aren't any in it. 

Guests:

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Up to Date
12:24 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Kansas City's Secret Supper Club

The Test Kitchen often features more unusual ingredients, such as quail.
Credit Stewart Butterfield / Flickr-CC

The Test Kitchen isn't a glamorous place filled with Food Network cameras-- it's Kansas City's own secret supper club.

The location is a secret until the day before, and you're in for new cooking techniques and some interesting ingredients. Picky eaters might want to skip this one, but if you've got adventurous taste buds the Test Kitchen might be the place for you.

In the second part of Friday's Up to Date, we talk with its founder and the chef who will be behind the club's next meal.

Guests:

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Up To Date
2:46 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Mayor Sly James On Kansas City's Current Issues

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James speaks with Steve Kraske on Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Though the snow may be melting away in Kansas City, the burning issues aren't going anywhere.

On Thursday's Up to Date, Mayor Sly James takes our questions, and yours, about the troubled school district, the proposed KCI expansion project, and more. 

Guest:

  • Sly James is mayor of Kansas City, Mo.
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Up to Date
12:59 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List, Feb. 14-16, 2014

The Cupid's Undie Run will raise money for children's charities.
Credit Fred Dunn/Flickr-CC

Looking for something to do with your sweetheart, or simply want to enjoy the improving weather? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for Feb. 14-16, 2014.

54th Annual World of Wheels (Celebration of hot rods, custom trucks and motorcycles), 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $18; $5 ages 6 to 12

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Up to Date
12:10 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Looking Back At 40 Years Of Policing Overland Park

Retiring Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass stopped by Up to Date to talk about his years on the force.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

After 40 years with the Overland Park Police Department, Chief John Douglass is riding off into the sunset…sort of. He’s not ready for a quiet retirement just yet. Instead, he’s going back to school as the director of safety and for the Shawnee Mission School District next spring. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we sit down with Douglass to discuss how policing Overland Park has changed over the years and the new challenges that await him in the coming months.

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Up To Date
11:09 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Grandview Mayor Pleads Guilty

Former Grandview Mayor Stephen Dennis plead guilty to wire fraud after FBI and local news investigations uncovered misuse of $35,000 in charity funds.

Former Grandview Mayor Stephen Dennis, who resigned without explanation last January, has plead guilty to wire fraud. The former mayor admitted Tuesday that he improperly used two checks worth $35,000.

In the second half of Wednesday's Up to Date41 Action News reporter Ryan Kath, who broke the story last month, joins us to discuss this turn of events and what it means for local politics.

Guest:

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Up to Date
4:51 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

What It Means To Be A Gay Athlete

Michael Sam plays football for the University of Missouri and recently announced he is gay.
Credit mutigers.com

What does it mean to be an openly-gay athlete? Just ask Michael Sam. The Mizzou football player, who was out to his teammates, made it public on a national scale this weekend.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with some of the organizations that support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender athletes about the issues these athletes face.

We also talk with an athlete who’s dealt with the problems that can come with a public coming-out announcement.

Guests:

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Up To Date
2:31 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

90-Mile View From The Hill

Credit Flickr Commons

After her husband died in 1986, June Jewitt continued to live in the house they had built on a hill in Douglas County, Kan., and began writing. One of her daughters slipped a sample of June's views of life under the door of the Baldwin City Signal and a column, Musings from the Hill, was born.

On this edition of 90-Mile View, Steve Kraske talks with the nonagenarian about why she continues to live on the hill, what she most likes to write about, and why she hasn't retired.

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