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.

Pages

Up to Date
11:08 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Saxophonist Kenny G: Still Smooth

Kenny G performs in Kansas City Jan. 17-19.
Credit kennyg.com

His big, curly hair and smooth jazz are iconic. Some play him for laughs, but many enjoy the mellow tones of Kenny G. 

Others have been critical: jazz superstar Pat Metheny is known to be critical of Kenny G., saying among other things that G is "not really an advanced player."  Kenny's response?  Metheny was "obviously on drugs." 

Read more
Up to Date
8:37 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Exploring The Literary World of George Saunders

George Saunders is the author of 'Tenth of December.'

A MacArthur genius, a Guggenheim fellow and now a finalist place for the National Book Award — author George Saunders is riding high on a wave of success.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we speak with him about his latest collection of somber, yet hopeful, short stories.

Guest:

Read more
Up to Date
10:34 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Former NAACP Chair On The Continuing Struggle Of Civil Rights

Julian Bond joins Steve Kraske to talk about civil rights, past and present.
Credit naacp.org

Former NAACP national chair Julian Bond was part of the original Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk with him about his involvement in civil rights and how it’s still relevant in today’s climate. We also get his impressions of Obama’s presidency. 

Guest:

Read more
Up to Date
4:52 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Local Listen: Sundiver

In December, Kansas City band Sundiver released their debut full-length effort, “The Pull.”

The group's sound combines space-rock arrangements with edgy, heavy guitar tones, and as our music coordinator Michael Byars will tell you, it sounds great in headphones.

In this week's “Local Listen,” we hear the opening track from “The Pull” titled “Lover’s Comfort.”

Learn more about the group on their Facebook page and on Bandcamp.

Read more
Up to Date
12:32 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Repairing The Economy With City Policies

Bruce Katz is the co-author of 'The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.'

The economy has been in trouble for a while — that's no secret. But a new idea about the "metropolitan revolutions" proposes investments in things like infrastructure and manufacturing on a city level.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk about the implications of this philosophy and where it could lead.

Guest:

Read more
Up to Date
12:24 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, January 10

'August: Osage County' is on our critics' list this week.

The latest round of film releases coming to area theaters have heavy subjects to say the least.

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign, and documentary film critics return with some praise and some scorn for the latest films to hit the silver screen.

From the story of a family that is ruined by cancer, prescription drug abuse, and divorce to the intimate tale of a man who falls in love with a computer personality, these powerful narratives are sure to raise a few tears and some divisive opinions.

Read more
Up to Date
12:02 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

From the City To The Country: Cindy Hoedel's New Flint Hills Home

The slower pace of the Flint Hills is a far cry from the speed of the city.
Credit thisisfrommarty / CC-Flickr

Fresh steel-cut oats, dozens of Goldfinches swarming a bird feeder, and charmingly eccentric neighbors are just some of the rustic features of Kansas' Flint Hills.

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, we sit down with Kansas City Star writer and columnist Cindy Hoedel to check in on her transition from the big city to the Flint Hills. 

Guest:

  • Cindy Hoedel is a Kansas City Star writer and lifestyle columnist. 
Read more
Up to Date
12:00 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List, Jan. 10-12, 2014

Green Day's musical 'American Idiot' plays in Kansas City this weekend.
Credit Jeremy Daniel / americanidiotthemusical.com

Warm up this weekend with a few selections from Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for January 10-12, 2014.

“Green Day’s American Idiot” (Broadway musical based on rock concept album), 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $65 to $85 

Read more
Up to Date
11:05 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Andrew Jackson: From The Battlefield To The White House

Andrew Jackson led forces in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.
Credit Edward Percy Moran / Library of Congress

Rewind 199 years, and today's the day General Andrew Jackson rode with 5,000 American troops into a battle that would make him a well-known figure throughout the United States.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we sit down with military historian Richard Barbuto to talk about the Battle of New Orleans and how the last major battle of the War of 1812 became Andrew Jackson’s ticket to the White House.

Guest:

Read more
Up to Date
11:04 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Finding The Funny Side Of Marriage

Cindy Chupak is the author of 'The Longest Date: Life as a Wife.'

When it comes to marriage, there are always some unforeseen curves in the road.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with Sex and the City screenwriter Cindy Chupack about how she turned her own bumpy road into a series of comedic episodes in her new book, The Longest Date: Life as a Wife.

Guest:

Read more
Up to Date
11:18 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Western Kansas Drought Effects Reach Across State

The droughts of western Kansas could affect the water supply in Kansas City.
Credit Kansas Poetry / Flickr-CC

You've heard about how farmers in western Kansas have faced drought problems, but you might not know that the drought can affect the water supply here in Kansas City.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we take a look at the drought's far-reaching effects and what actions could fix the problem.

Guest:

  • Josh Swatty, vice president of the Land Institute
Read more
Up to Date
11:05 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Exploring Ham Radio In A Digital World

Ham radio operators can communicate with basic equipment like this.
Credit Whiskeygonebad / Flickr-CC

With smartphones and Wi-Fi everywhere, ham radios can seem a little dated. However, the machines have quite a following, and they can be lifesavers when disasters strike.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with a ham radio enthusiast about their continued popularity and check in to see how useful they can be for area hospitals.

Learn More: interested in becoming a ham radio operator? Learn more about classes

Guests:

Read more
Up to Date
12:56 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Missouri And Kansas Lawmakers Tackle New Sessions

Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Jan 13 for the new legislative session.
Credit stgermh / Flickr-CC

When lawmakers go back to work in Kansas and Missouri, they’ll have some hot issues to keep them warm.

On Monday's Up to Date, state lawmakers from both Kansas and Missouri join us to talk about those contentious topics. In Kansas, the buzz centers around school funding and how the state’s Supreme Court could change the budget for education.

Read more
Up to Date
10:36 am
Fri January 3, 2014

TV Critics: New Year, New Shows

Greg Kinnear heads the cast of the American remake of 'Rake.'

The new year brings a clean slate, fresh resolutions ... and new TV shows. Among these freshman programs, there might be a couple that will get us through the chill of winter. 

On Friday's Up to Date, we look at these offerings from the networks and from cable. Join us as we check out the story of a former beauty queen turned Texas Ranger and the American remake of an Australian dramedy.

Guests:

Read more
Up to Date
11:33 am
Thu January 2, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: January 3-5, 2014

The Johnson County Museum is offering 'A Very Fifties Christmas' in its All-Electric House.
Credit nonasuch / Flickr-CC

Looking for something to ward off the chill this weekend? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for Jan. 3-5, 2014.

American Aquarium (Americana: country, folk, rock), 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $12 

Kid Sister (Rap), 8 p.m. Saturday at the Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $5.00 - $10.00 

Read more
Up To Date
1:32 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

What's In Store For 2014?

Credit Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0

Happy New Year! Or is it? What will it take for the Kansas City metro area to have a joyful 2014?

On Thursday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske asks members of KCPT's Ruckus to gaze into their crystal ball for the answers. From how well local leaders are doing, to the prospects for landing the GOP National Convention, to whether the Chiefs can go all the way, we examine how people, issues and events are shaping up for the year ahead.

Read more
Up to Date
12:22 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Not Your Parents' Christmas Music

Husky Team's 'The Man With All The Toys' is just one of the non-traditional tunes on Up to Date's holiday music show.

If you celebrate Christmas, chances are you know all the classic names that go along with it. Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and Elvis are synonymous with Yuletide cheer, but what about new compositions?

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we dive into some Christmas deep-cuts with two disc jockeys, who spin up the holiday spirit year after year. From new to obscure songs, we hit the worlds of country, rockabilly and R&B.

Guests:

Read more
Up to Date
3:37 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

The 10 Best Songs From Kansas City Area Bands In 2013

Local band Radkey hails from St. Joesph, Mo.
Credit Courtesy / Radkey

It is that time of year. Lists. And we couldn't let it pass by without doing a best of Kansas City area music (which of course, includes Lawrence, Kan.).

The list is made up of contributions from Bill Brownlee, music critic for The Kansas City Star, Chris Haghirian with Ink Magazine and Laura Lorson, editor, host and producer for Kansas Public Radio. When possible, the link will take you to the song. They are in no particular order.

Radkey, "Start Freaking Out"

Read more
Up to Date
11:29 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Parents, Teens And Starting College

College life can be a big adjustment for freshmen.
Credit Sweetapathy / Flickr-CC

Late nights, too much microwave popcorn and a whole lot of work—getting used to college in your first semester is tough.

On Monday's Up to Date, psychologist Wes Crenshaw joins us to talk about the difficulties freshmen have adjusting to a whole new lifestyle away from home. Steve Kraske's son, Nick, just finished his first taste of college, and he joins us to give the view from the trenches.

Guests:

Read more
Up To Date
1:36 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

90-Mile View: Dairyman Looks To New Zealand Model

Eric Neill discusses his dairy operation, located in Cass County, Mo.
Credit Beth Lipoff/KCUR

We’ve been keeping abreast with dairy farmer Eric Neill out at his place in Cass County, Mo. Through drought and mud, searing heat and freezing cold, it’s never the same two years in a row for Neill and his family.

Thursday, Eric talks with host Steve Kraske about the options he's weighing to keep the dairy afloat, including his return to work and copying the New Zealand practice of hiring a "share milker."

Read more
Up to Date
11:43 am
Thu December 19, 2013

The Weekend To-Do List: December 20-22, 2013

Look on Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List to see how you can skate with Santa.
Credit Arrqh/Flickr-CC

Need something to light your winter fire this weekend? Brian McTavish has our Weekend To-Do List for Dec. 20-22.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Holiday rock opera), 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sprint Center, 1407 Grand, Kansas City, Mo., Tickets: $30-$59.50

The Lettermen (Pop), 8 p.m. Friday at Yardley Hall, Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan., Tickets: $35

Read more
Up to Date
11:38 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Exploring Some Doggone Fun Poetry

Francesco Marciuliano is the author of 'I Could Chew on This.'

Ever wonder what your dog thinks of that raincoat you made him wear? What about his thoughts on bath time?

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, we look at the thoughts of dogs in poetry form, courtesy of writer and humorist Francesco Marciuliano.

Get a taste of his poetry:

Guest:

  • Francesco Marciuliano, author of I Could Chew on This and the Sally Forth comic strip
Read more
Up to Date
11:37 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Getting Jazzy With Bobby Watson

Bobby Watson performs Friday night at Unity Temple on the Plaza.

Even if you don't know what jazz saxophonist Bobby Watson looks like or own one of his albums, you know his sound, because his music greets you each day on Up to Date.

In the first part of Thursday's Up to Date, Watson joins Steve Kraske to talk about his new album, a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Guest:

Read more
Up to Date
11:20 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Best Books Of 2013 For Children And Teens

Kate McNair, Dennis Ross and Debbie McLeod join Steve Kraske to share their favorite children's, young adult and teen books from this year.

  The cold weather is starting to set in, and your kids will need something to keep them occupied—or you may risk a case of cabin fever.

 In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, three librarians join us to offer their recommendations for the best children's, young adult and teen reads. 

The "Best of 2013"

 From Kate McNair, young adult librarian, Johnson County Library:

Read more
Up to Date
10:30 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Kansas City Business Development: A Year In Review

Kevin Collison joins Steve Kraske to discuss this year's business developments in Kansas City.
Credit Photoguyinmo / Flickr-CC

We all know that Kansas City likes to be, well, up to date, and several new businesses are helping make that happen. 

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, reporter Kevin Collison joins us to take a look at the top ten developments in Kansas City businesses this year. We'll examine Cerner's announcement for a new campus on Bannister Road, the GSA's move downtown, the sale of Boulevard Brewery to a Belgian company, and more.

Guest:

Read more
Up to Date
10:27 am
Tue December 17, 2013

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill On The Budget, Sexual Assault In The Military

Sen. Claire McCaskill joins Steve Kraske to talk about the latest legislative issues.
Credit U.S. Senate

  We’re nearing the end of this year’s legislative session in Washington, but things aren’t cooling off quite yet.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joins Steve Kraske to discuss the future of the farm bill, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the recent House budget deal and what’s going on with John Boehner after his speech about the Tea Party to Republican lawmakers.

Guest:

Read more
Up to Date
11:36 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Debate Still Rages Over KCI Rebuilding Ideas

The debate goes on over whether the KCI airport should build a new terminal.
Credit Kansas City Aviation Department

Whether or not to rebuild KCI is still a hotly-debated topic, and Kansas City voters might have a say in the matter.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, the issue at hand is whether the airport, built in the early 1970s, can still efficiently serve the community's needs with its current infrastructure.

Guests:

Read more
Up to Date
11:25 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Controversy Brews With Court Ruling, KCMO School Plans

Controversy is ripe in the Kansas City Public Schools over the recent transfer law decisions and plans for the future.
Credit MyTudut/Flickr-CC

You might have guessed that the Kansas City, Mo., schools aren’t happy with the recent ruling that will make them pay for students transferring outside their district. Now, they’re channeling that fury through the courts.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we discuss the details of that and take a look at the controversial and secretive long-term plans from the education commissioner for the unaccredited district.

Guests:

Read more
Up To Date
5:03 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Local Listen: Victor And Penny

Jeff Freeling and Erin McGrane make up the duo "Victor and Penny."
Credit VictorAndPenny.com

Jeff Freeling and Erin McGrane make up the duo Victor and Penny, who have been touring all across America with a sound that they like to call “antique pop.”

In this week's Local Listen, we hear the song "Stomp, Stomp" from the duo's album Side By Side.

Victor and Penny will be back in Kansas City to host “Eve 2013”, Dec. 31 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Read more
Up to Date
1:55 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, December 13

'The Armstrong Lie' is on our critics' list this week.

Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace after years of secrets and denials was ripe for telling on the silver screen. When the complicated web of performance-enhancing drugs collapsed, his career lay in ruins.

On Friday's Up to Date, our indie, foreign and documentary film critics share their reviews of the latest films to hit area screens and talk about their favorites of this year.

Read more

Pages