Up To Date

Weekdays at 11 a.m.

Up to Date focuses on pressing issues, both local and national, including politics, economics, planning and design, history and entertainment - topics that have an impact on the lives of the Greater Kansas City region.

  • Monday: Wes Crenshaw on selecting a college / Local Listen
  • Tuesday: Master Sommelier and Master of Wine Doug Frost
  • Wednesday: Holiday Songs That Deserve To Be Standards
  • Thursday: Special Programming
  • Friday: Special Programming

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Christmas Music
9:00 am
Wed December 24, 2014

The Best Christmas Music You've (Probably) Never Heard Of

James Brown is mostly known for being the "Godfather of Soul," but he's on our list for best Christmas songs that you might not have heard before.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Besides food and presents, Christmas music might be one of the most important parts of the holidays.

From Bing Crosby to Brenda Lee, dozens of music artists have produced timeless classics that never lose their seasonal appeal.

That said, one can only tolerate "White Christmas" so many times before suffering a holiday breakdown. To keep that from happening, here's a list of more obscure Christmas tunes that are sure to brighten your spirits.

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Up to Date
9:57 am
Tue December 23, 2014

The Best Wines In Kansas And Missouri Of 2014

Grape orchards on the Les Bourgeois Vineyard have been in operation since 1986. It's located just off the Missouri River, midway between Kansas City and St. Louis.
Credit Courtesy photo / Les Bourgeois Vineyards

The holidays are a great time to buy local, especially when it comes to picking out a great bottle of wine.

In the past 20 years, Missouri’s wine industry has grown in size and sophistication, with more than 100 wineries throughout the state.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, master sommelier Doug Frost, of Kansas City, Mo., will talk about one of his favorite subjects — local and regional wines.

Here are some of his top 10 picks out of Kansas and Missouri in the past year:

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Up To Date
4:00 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Local Listen: Black Crack Review

Credit Black Crack Revue

Black Crack Review, BCR for short, has been puzzling and thrilling audiences in Kansas City with an eccentric blend of rock, jazz and world music for decades.

This week's edition of Local Listen features "AfroKlez," a representative track from BCR's 1995 album "Off-World Beat."

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Up to Date
11:25 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Wes Crenshaw: Crunching Those College Decisions

When college acceptances come, high school seniors have tough decisions to make.
Credit nshepard / Flickr-CC

For college-bound high school seniors and their parents, December begins the season of decisions. Most applications are due by Dec. 31, and if you've applied early, the results are starting to come.  Now that the admissions departments have spoken, it's time to decide which college is the best fit.

On Monday's Up to Date, Wes Crenshaw joins us to discuss why students often make their college decisions with too much emotion and without enough forethought.

Guests:

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Up To Date
2:11 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Planned Use For Drone At University Of Missouri

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hovers over a cornfield.
Credit nimbus.unl.edu

In the Middle East the U.S. military has used drones with great effect.  More properly called UAS or UAV for Unmanned Aerial Systems or Vehicle, their use on American soil for more peaceful purposes have been a source of controversy.

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Up To Date
1:34 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Jazz Singer Karrin Allyson Is Back In Kansas City

Credit www.karrin.com

A gypsy life isn't unusual among musicians and Karrin Allyson certainly leads one.  Her official biography includes a childhood in the Midwest, schooling in the Bay area, a stint in Minneapolis, a home base now in New York City and tours that take her around the world.

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Up to Date
10:42 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' December 19-21

Both of our critics recommend giving 'Wild' a try this weekend.

Looking for a break from the holiday craziness? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics have a few suggestions for you:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Wild
  • Birdman
  • St. Vincent

Steve Walker:

  • Wild
  • The Theory of Everything 
  • The Babadook
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Up To Date
5:32 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

The Best Local Music Of 2014

Kangaroo Knife Fight is just one of the bands selected as the best of local music for 2014.
Credit Kangaroo Knife Fight

Kansas City is a hotbed of quality music . You can bop your head to The Architects' rockin' sound, sway to the smooth cords of Hembree, or sing along to the powerful vocals of Katy Guillen & the Girls. On this edition of Up to Date, we review the best in area music from 2014.

Bill Brownlee is a music critic for The Star. He writes Kansas City's authoritative jazz blog plasticsax.com.

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Up To Date
2:45 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Private Interest Money Funding Kansas Higher Education

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Koch brothers have donated large amounts of money to universities all over the U.S. including the University of Kansas. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with two reporters, who have been covering these large contributions, about the influence of private interest money on higher education. 

Guests:

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Up To Date
2:06 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Journalism In World War I Through The Pen Of A Kansas City Reporter

Otto Higgins, World War I correspondent for the Kansas City Star, in uniform.
National World War I Museum

For many families in America during World War I, newspaper reports were their only connection with loved ones serving in the trenches. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with a journalism historian and an archivist from the World War I museum about the life of journalists reporting from the front lines during the Great War.

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Up To Date
2:24 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

A Review Of Kansas And Missouri News Coverage In 2014

Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

The police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Royals finally making it back to the world series, intense races for governor and the U.S. senate in Kansas, 2014 was a year of big news on both sides of the state line.

On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske and the Media Critics break down area news coverage. They look at how national and foreign media covered major stories, and they bring us their take on the most over-reported and under-reported news of the year.

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Up To Date
12:15 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Preserving Outdoor Assets

Credit Urban Trail Co. / www.facebook.com/earnyourdirt

The winter cold inspires folks to spend more time indoors, but there's still a lot going on outside. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with an urban forester about protecting trees during the winter. Then, we discuss one organization's partnership with Kansas City, Mo. to build and use trails in area parks which leads us to explore the city's process in joining with outside organizations.  Plus, a look at how business landscaping can protect birds of prey. 

Guests:

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Up To Date
2:49 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Best Books Of 2014 For Children And Teens

Books have the remarkable ability to enthrall, captivate and inspire. When kids are trapped indoors during the cold winter months books  can transport them into new and fascinating worlds.

On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske and three Johnson County librarians review their top picks in children's literature. 

The Best Children's Books of 2014:

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

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Up To Date
1:18 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' December 12-14

'Last Days in Vietnam' made our critics lists this week.
Credit American Experience Films/PBS

If the grey skies are getting you down, why not take a trip to the cinema to lift the gloom? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics have a few recommendations for you:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Force Majeur
  • Birdman
  • Last Days in Vietnam

Steve Walker:

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Up To Date
12:13 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Local Listen: Oleta Adams

Credit oletaadams.com

Oleta Adams has been a favorite of area audiences since she began showcasing her lustrous voice in Kansas City jazz clubs and hotel lounges over three decades ago. 

This week's edition of Local Listen features Adams' rendition of "Winter Wonderland," a selection from her 2006 album "Christmas Time With Oleta."

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Up To Date
2:45 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

The State Of Women's Healthcare In Kansas And Missouri

In recent years, women in Kansas and Missouri have found it harder to access complete health care. In this edition of Up to Date, we talk with two providers about the reasons healthcare access is more difficult. We also discuss the challenges health centers face in providing care, and the difficulties patients face in accessing care. 

Guests:

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Up To Date
1:56 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

A Fan's Notes: Are We Not Entertained?

Credit Greg Echlin

The late, great George Carlin had a classic bit on the differences between baseball and football. One’s a game, he explained. The other is, well, more like war. After all, baseball is played in a park, football on a gridiron. The aim is to blitz and sack the opponent, to break through the line with traps, bombs, even a shotgun. The object in baseball? To go home, and be safe.

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Up To Date
1:49 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Finalists For Missouri Education Commissioner

Credit dese.mo.gov

The slate of candidates to replace Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro has been narrowed to five finalists. On this edition of Up to Date, we examine what the selection committee is looking for in the candidates, what local school districts would like to see in their next commissioner, and who are the frontrunners. 

Guests:

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Up To Date
7:15 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

What Makes A Crime One Of Hate

Mourners attend a memorial for Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein, the Somali teen killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

This spring a man opened fire at Jewish sites in Overland Park, KS killing three.  Just last week a Kansas City, Mo. Muslim Somali youth died after he was the target of a hit-and-run.  Go east and the Bosnian community in St. Louis in the first week of this month has seen one of its members murdered and another dragged from her car and beaten.

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Up To Date
2:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Is Kansas City, Missouri On The Right Track?

Credit Eric Langhorst / Flickr Creative Commons

Throughout the year we put the Kansas City metro area under a microscope examining the details of the events and issues facing its residents and leaders.

On this edition of Up to Date, we zoom out for a broader view. Steve Kraske and three area journalists bring us their analysis, thoughts, and observations on what's working and what's not in Kansas City, Mo. 

Guests:

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Up To Date
2:24 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Missourinet's Bob Priddy On Covering The Statehouse And Retirement

Bob Priddy standing in the Missouri Statehouse.
Credit Steve Mays / blog.missourinet.com

Bob Priddy is one of the most highly respected journalists in Missouri. He has spent forty years covering the governors, senators and lawmakers that have passed through the Capitol building.

On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with the recently retired news director of Missourinet about the ins and outs of politics in Jefferson City, what drew him to reporting, and his thoughts on the Senate's decision to boot the news media to the basement. 

Guest:

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Up To Date
12:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Kansas Program Offers Police Alternative To Jail For Mentally Ill

Area police departments are looking for was to reduce the numbers of  mentally ill and substance abusers ending up in jail. A new program in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties is helping to address this very issue. Rainbow Services, Inc provides a way for law enforcement officers to bring people they encounter to resources that can help them.

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Up to Date
2:55 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' December 5-7

'Force Majeure' made our critics' lists this week.

Still recovering from Thanksgiving? Try a good film for your relaxation this weekend. Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics have a few recommendations for you:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Force Majeure
  • Nightcrawler
  • Whiplash

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
1:22 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, December 5

'Pelican Dreams' is just one of the films the critics discussed on Up to Date.

Life on the open prairie can drive you crazy, and Tommy Lee Jones knows it in his latest flick.

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign and documentary film critics review The Homesman, as well as a new Stephen Hawking biopic, and we check out the story of a scramble to survive an avalanche-- and what that can do to a family.

Also on the agenda: our critics share their top 10 films of the year.

Films discussed during the program:

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Up To Date
2:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Ethics Professors: Giving Police The Benefit Of The Doubt

Police in riot gear in Ferguson, Missouri.
Credit Jamelle Bouie / Flickr Creative Commons

  In the wake of grand juries not indicting the police officers involved in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and the choking death of Eric Garner in New York City, the actions of police officers are receiving intense public scrutiny. 

On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske and the Ethics Professors look at the question of whether police officers are too often given the benefit of the doubt. 

Guests:

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Up To Date
3:29 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Chuck Todd On President Obama's Legacy

President Barack Obama entered the White House in 2008 espousing change, hope, and a new America. In his latest book, The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House, Chuck Todd of NBC's Meet the Press examines the successes and failures of Obama's presidency. In this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Todd about the politics and psychology of the presidency, and why President Obama has been unable to accomplish more. 

Guest:

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Up To Date
12:06 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Local Listen: Megan Birdsall

Megan Birdsall is Kansas City's finest young jazz vocalist. As musically accomplished as she is personable, Birdsall is a delightful entertainer. This week's edition of Local Listen features "Hey There (You With the Stars In Your Eyes)" from her album, "Little Jazz Bird."

Hear More: Birdsall will perform at the recently relocated Take Five Coffee + Bar in Overland Park, KS on Friday, December 5th at 8pm.  

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Up To Date
12:04 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Madeleine Albright On The State Of America's Foreign Policy

Credit Albright Stonebridge Group

Madeleine Albright was the first woman to become Secretary of State when she took her oath of office in 1997.  On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Secretary Albright about the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, life after the state department, and the importance of women in politics.

Guest:

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Up To Date
10:59 am
Wed December 3, 2014

The End Of Life For A Champion Tree

The felled logs of the giant silver maple.
Courtesy/Christopher Jones

Trees have lives, but even as long as those lives can be, trees do die. When a tree's condition threatens structures and utility lines, property owners come face to face with the inevitable. On this edition of Up to Date, one such owner tells the tale of a tremendous silver maple that once shaded his backyard. Joining the conversation is a spokesperson for KCP&L with steps utilities take to keep power lines clear and safe.

Guests:

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Up To Date
5:28 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

KCK Mayor Mark Holland: 'We're Going To Move The Needle'

The Healthy Campus master plan for development in downtown Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.

“We don’t have time to wait for a survey to find out what people need. We’ve already known the work, and we know what people need.” That was at-large Commissioner Mark Holland in March of 2013 at a mayoral candidate forum.

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