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
12:04 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Retiring Planned Parenthood Leader Reviews Years Of Battles

Peter Brownlie is retiring as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

Protests and legal challenges are common when you’re the regional head of the prominent family planning organization, Planned Parenthood.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we sit down with Peter Brownlie, the retiring president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. Brownlie discusses his legal battles with former Kansas Attorney General and District Attorney Phill Kline, protests, and why he wore a bulletproof vest to work.

Guest:

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90-Mile View
11:55 am
Mon November 11, 2013

90-Mile View: Kansas City Woman's Journey Through Homelessness

Credit rDanie Alexande / KCUR-FM

When we first met Patricia (Trisha) Porsche, she was working her way out of homelessness for the second time. Back in February she was just several weeks into her residency at Freedom House, a transitional home for women run by the True Light Family Resource Center in Kansas City, Mo.

That residency is for only one year and for Trisha that year ends in December.  She talks with Steve Kraske about how her job search led her to a very familiar place and where she will be in 2014.

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Up to Date
11:32 am
Mon November 11, 2013

VFW Adapts To Changing Veteran Needs

The Veterans of Foreign Wars have chapters all across the United States.
Credit Pete Zarria/Flickr-CC

Today's recent veterans are finishing their service with different experiences than previous generations, and Veterans of Foreign Wars groups across the country are trying to figure out how to adapt.

On Monday's Up to Date, Adjutant General John Hamilton joins Steve Kraske to talk about the changing needs of veterans.

Guest:

  • Adjutant General John Hamilton recently finished his term as the commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
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Up to Date
11:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Duke Ellington: Behind The Jazz

Terry Teachout's new book is 'Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington.'

Duke Ellington's jazzy orchestrations are the stuff of music legends. However, his star power hid a very private life.

In the second part of Friday's Up to Date, Wall Street Journal drama critic and biographer Terry Teachout takes us into the world of Ellington.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:59 am
Fri November 8, 2013

A Look At The New KU Basketball Film, 'Jayhawkers'

Kevin Willmott's latest film is 'Jayhawkers.'

KU basketball had a different sort of atmosphere back in the 1950s. In addition to some Phog, one of the things that changed the weather there was a certain player called Wilt Chamberlain.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with local filmmaker Kevin Willmott about his newest movie, Jayhawkers, that takes a look at the Chamberlain era and how it changed KU forever. 

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Transfer Limbo: KCMO Schools And Parents Explore Options

Some worry that allowing students to transfer out of the Kansas City, Mo., School District will result in a mass exodus.
Credit Curtis Gregory Perry/Flickr-CC

To transfer or not to transfer? That’s the question for Kansas City public school students who are in limbo as they wait for the outcome of a lawsuit to find out what their options are.

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Up to Date
10:28 am
Wed November 6, 2013

NPR's David Folkenflik On Rupert Murdoch's Media Empire

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik is the author of 'Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.'

Phone hacking and bribing police are just a couple of the scandals that have come to light about Rupert Murdoch’s vast media empire.

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Up To Date
11:40 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Evocative Portraits From Photographer Gregory Heisler

Oceanographer Robert Ballard discovered the wreckage of the Titanic.
Greg Heisler

Photographer Gregory Heisler admits that the process of making a portrait is fraught with unease.

The sitter, Heisler says, doesn't want to face reality. For the photographer, that's all there is.

Greg Heisler has spent a quarter century photographing covers for Time, Life and Sports Illustrated.

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Up to Date
3:22 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Veterinary Advice For Dealing With Badly Behaved Animals

Cats and other pets often behave in ways that mystify their owners.
Credit McBeth/Flickr-CC

Fido’s making strange sounds, and Fluffy’s decided to carve your couch into a masterpiece with her claws. If all your solutions so far seem to be barking up the wrong tree, we’ve got another option for you.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, animal behavior expert and veterinarian Wayne Hunthausen joins us to answer your questions about pet behavior.

Guest:

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Up to Date
11:41 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Steve's Bookshelf: Cracking Camelot And Becoming American

Steve Kraske speaks with authors Thurston Clarke, Robert Dallek and Domingo Martinez.

John F. Kennedy was no King Arthur, but his life has often been compared to Camelot.

On Monday's Up to Date, we revisit Steve’s Bookshelf, a collection of books on Steve Kraske's radar right now. We talk with Thurston Clarke and Robert Dallek the authors of two different books that examine the former president’s policies. Also, author Domingo Martinez takes us into the life of a family trying to become “real” Americans on the Texas border.

Guests:

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Up to Date
1:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign And Documentary Film, Nov. 1

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in '12 Years A Slave.'

A young girl in Saudi Arabia searches for a way to make her life better, and a free man finds himself shackled and enslaved for 12 years on a Louisiana plantation. 

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign and documentary film critics return to review the latest films showing on area screens. We’ll also take a look at some local theaters’ switch from film to digital projectors.

Films our critics discussed:

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90-Mile View
12:17 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

90-Mile View: Autumn Days In KCPD East Patrol

East Patrol Station of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
Credit Kansas City Missouri Police Department

Fall weather brings changes for Officer Nicole Wright as she works her beat for the Kansas City, Mo. Police Department. Kids are back in school, there's Chief's home games to work, but as for October 31, well, as Wright observes, "everyday's Halloween" in East Patrol.

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Up to Date
12:11 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

The Weekend To-Do List, Nov. 1-3, 2013

The Crown Center Ice Terrace opens this weekend.
Credit crowncenter.com

Looking for something to do this Halloween weekend? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for Nov. 1-3, 2013.

Straight No Chaser (A cappella), 7:30 p.m. Sunday at The Midland, 1228 Main. Tickets: $29.50-$49.50 

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt (Singer/songwriters and their guitars), 8 p.m. Sunday at the Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway. Tickets: $32.25-$141.85  

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Up to Date
3:19 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Finding A Fairly-Priced Funeral

Josh Slocum joins Steve Kraske to talk about the difficulties of navigating funeral planning.
Credit mikecollar/Flickr-CC

Planning a funeral can be one of the most personal and vulnerable times for any family, but that doesn’t stop funeral homes from trying to up-sell grieving friends and family on gold rimmed caskets and other additional merchandise.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with Josh Slocum, executive director of Funeral Consumers Alliance, who believes consumers are getting stiffed when it comes to laying themselves or loved ones to rest. We also discuss why green burial is making a comeback.

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Up to Date
1:13 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Are Raising Sales Taxes A Solution For Everything?

Arizonans pay some of the highest sales taxes in the country.
Credit KNAU

Why do governments rely on the sales tax for big projects, like the medical research proposal in Jackson County?

And how fat can the sales tax get before shoppers stop buying? 

In the second half of Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with two experts about sales taxes, what makes up the total sales tax you see on a receipt, and why governments have turned to sales taxes for raising funds when revenue is down.

Guests:

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Up to Date
1:44 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Persian Poetry Brings The Past To The Present

Rumi's poetry has been popular for centuries, as seen in this 16th century book.
Credit National Library of France

It's been 800 years, but the words of Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet, still seem to entrance people

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske speaks with Rumi scholar Coleman Barks about the poet's legacy and why his verses continue to thrive.

Guest:

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Up to Date
1:41 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

The Challenges Of Caregiving

Deborah Shouse is the author of 'Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver's Journey.'

No one says that caring for a sick relative is easy, especially when Alzheimer’s disease is involved. However, the day to day struggles of caregivers are often lost in the shuffle. 

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Up to Date
5:22 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Is Translational Medicine Too Taxing For Jackson County?

Jackson County residents will be voting on the translational medicine sales tax.
Credit theocean/Flickr-CC

Jackson County voters head to the polls on November 5 to vote on a 1/2 cent sales tax increase to fund a translational medicine institute. 

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, a proponent and opponent of the tax meet in our studios to debate the controversial proposal, including how county residents will actually benefit from the project.

Guests:

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Up to Date
9:30 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Former Costco CEO On His Company's Success

Credit stockmonkeys.com

Not many retail companies can or want to boast that their employees are paid $21 an hour and given health insurance, but Costco is proud to do so. 

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with founder and former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal about the wild success and the almost unparalleled employee compensation that his company is known for. We'll find out why Sinegal decided to pay his workers over twice the national minimum wage, and what effects it has on their work ethic and shareholders' blood pressure.

Guests:

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Up to Date
9:30 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Johnny Carson: The King Of Late Night

Credit henrybushkin.com

With Jimmy Fallon due to take over "The Tonight Show" in early 2014, many are looking back to the days when Johnny Carson hosted the late night show.

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Carson's former lawyer, Henry Bushkin about his new behind-the-scenes memoir detailing his relationship with the longest running "Tonight Show" host. From their initial meeting in 1970 to their falling out in 1988, Carson trusted Bushkin as his legal advisor, tennis partner, and close friend. 

Guests:

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Up to Date
11:45 am
Fri October 25, 2013

The Weekend To-Do List, Oct. 25-27, 2013

The Kinsey Sicks parody group performs at Johnson County Community College this weekend.

Looking for something to ward off the chill this weekend? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for October 25-27, 2013.

Deborah Voigt (Soprano in recital), 8 p.m. Friday at the Folly Theatre, 300 W. 12th. Tickets: $25-$75 

The Kinsey Sicks (Parody group), 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Polsky Theatre, Johnson County Community College. Tickets: $25-$30 

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Up To Date
3:37 am
Fri October 25, 2013

90-Mile View: Warsaw, Missouri Shuts Down For The Season

Participants ready to welcome visitors to Heritage Days in Warsaw, Missouri.
Credit The Benton County Enterprise

The economy in Warsaw, Missouri in Benton County relies heavily upon visitors coming to Truman Lake, water controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  When the government shut down earlier this month so did all the facilities the Corps controls along the lake.

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Up to Date
3:00 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Worst Gigs In Rock 'N' Roll

Credit worstgig.com

It's hard to imagine Def Leppard, John Mayer, or any other rock musician having a bad day, but Jon Niccum​ begs to differ. 

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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Reconstructing Lives And Bodies After Breast Cancer

Implants such as this one are often part of breast reconstructive surgery.
Credit National Cancer Institute

When we talk about breast cancer, much of the conversation often centers on treatments such as chemotherapy and mastectomies. But once the cancer’s gone, patients still have a long recovery ahead.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk about how reconstructive surgery options have changed and the new options available to women that can help them retain core muscles.

Guests:

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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Children's Book Puts Reader In The Story

Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett join Steve Kraske to discuss their new book, 'Battle Bunny.'

A boy gets a book he thinks is cheesy-- a tale about a bunny and his birthday. His next move is to take a pen to the pages of the book and make the story a bit more interesting.

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, we take a look at a lighter side of life with children’s book authors Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett as we talk about their new book, Battle Bunny

Guests:

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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

WWI: Making History Come Alive

Author Robert Massie discusses World War I with Steve Kraske.

Making history come alive is tricky, but some historians manage to paint people like the czars of Russia or Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany not just as dusty textbook figures.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with historian Robert Massie about his vivid descriptions of the powerful people pulling the strings behind World War I.

Guest:

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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Reaching For International Gender Equality

Kristin Hetle joins Steve Kraske to talk about projects encouraging gender equality.

Gender equality is a major issue in many parts of the world, and the United Nations is working to promote it.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we’ll talk with Kristin Hetle, UN Women's director of strategic partnerships, who has taken experiences from her home country of Norway to help lead a push for international gender equality.

Guest:

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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

From War To Peace: Soldiers And PTSD

David Finkel is the author of 'Thank You For Your Service.'

Not all war wounds are as obvious as a missing limb, as we’ve learned from scores of veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

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Up to Date
12:00 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

1913: Before The Great War

Charles Emmerson joins Steve Kraske to discuss the state of the world in 1913, just before World War I started.

By 1919, much of continental Europe lay in ruins in the aftermath of World War I. Prior to that conflict, with three European empires ruled by the “Kingly cousins,” most people thought a war was nearly impossible.

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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

DVD Gurus: Putting A Fright In Halloween Night

Mad Love is on the DVD Gurus' list of their favorite horror films.

That chill in the air isn’t the only thing that will give you goosebumps. With the approach of Halloween, all kinds of spooky stuff is coming your way.

On Friday's Up to Date, DVD Gurus Mitch Brian and Jason Heck join us to share their favorite horror films. We’ll follow the creepy tale of a pair of hands with minds of their own, cower from an invisible demon and duck a mad man’s sharp axe. They’ll leave you wanting to check under the bed before you go to sleep tonight.

Mitch:

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