Up To Date | KCUR

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 culture — topics that have an impact on the lives of the Greater Kansas City region.


  • Monday: Healing Toxic Childhood Trauma and Stress
  • Tuesday: Kansas City Food Deserts / Kansas County Health Rankings / Statehouse Blend Missouri
  • Wednesday: Keeping "Hope in Uncertain Times" / City Council Panel on KC East of Troost / Local Listen
  • Thursday: The Gamification of Learning / Weekend To-Do List
  • Friday: Indie, Foreign and Documentary Film Critics
ataelw / Flickr - CC

In August, Kansas City voters made any future streetcar expansions a little more complicated. Nevertheless, the Streetcar AuthorityKCATA and Port KC are convinced they can come up with $32 million to extend service from River Market to Berkley Riverfront Park.

Lane Pearman / Flickr - CC

Kansas doesn't usually rank high as an outdoor destination state. But, while there are no grand canyons, snowcapped peaks, or white sand beaches, it does have a subtle character all its own. Today, we meet two sisters-in-law who made a mission of visiting every state park in Kansas. They say outdoorsy-types might be giving the Sunflower State the short shrift. Then, only about 1 percent of Americans currently serve in the armed forces. While some see this as evidence of progress, others think it's a problem.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

There's a lot going on next year in Kansas and Missouri politics. The Sunflower State is sure to see a heated gubernatorial race, and Missouri will play host to one of the most competitive Senate races in the nation. Then there are the local races — like the one for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri — which can fly a little under the radar but affect the daily lives of residents nevertheless. Today, our panel of political pundits help make sense of an upcoming election season which promises to be every bit as contentious as 2017.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

December 1 means the countdown is on, and we're not talking about Christmas. With just two weeks left for open enrollment on the federal health care marketplace, our experts are back to help answer all your "how" questions. Then, a conversation about America's favorite meat.

Gloria Baker Feinstein / Argot Pictures

It's December, which means the holiday season is well underway. We've passed the Thanksgiving turkey, racked up those Black Friday credit card charges and driven by the now-illuminated Country Club Plaza. It seems like there's no hiding from this jolly time of year. For those looking to hold off on watching It's a Wonderful Life and Elf for a few more weeks, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have a few recommendations.

Steve Walker

David Shankbone / Ryan J. Reilly / Max Goldberg / Flickr - CC

Are threats of coal the best way to get children to behave? Today, the Ethics Professors take a look at what Santa's naughty-and-nice list may be teaching our kids. Then, a conversation about the ongoing surge of sexual misconduct allegations. Brenda Bethman, director of the UMKC Women's Center, joins the ethics team to take a deeper dive into how to handle the the assault and harassment revelations that continue to surface.

B. Allen / VOA

It's no secret that race influences a lot of things in our lives, including how our cities are laid out. Today, urban designer Tyler Cukar explains the lasting legacy of racism and redlining that's shaped Kansas City, and how we can move toward a more racially integrated future. Then, if you remember one image from last year's Democratic National Convention, it's probably of Khizr Khan. The Gold Star father raised a lot of attention when he held up a copy of the Constitution and challenged Donald Trump to give it a read.

Courtesy of Jane Pronko

Jane Pronko has for years captured the spirit and flavor of Kansas City with her paintings, which have in turn captured the fancy of collectors around the world. Today, meet one of the metro's pioneering female artists.

Helvetiq / Flickr - CC

Rarely do public places and spaces in the U.S. cater to the needs of people with dementia. Today, we find out how advocates in Kansas City are creating social events and activities to help reduce the stigma surrounding the condition, and make the world an easier place for folks with dementia to navigate. Then, we learn what other drivers might think about you because of the stickers you put on your car. The messages they send may be different from what you intend.

Sony Pictures Classics

After the turkey day hubbub settles down (but before heading back in to work on Monday), get back in the swing of things with a movie. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics each have three suggestions for your weekend. They may not include dangerous car chases, big explosions or political intrigue but — hey! — didn't you get enough of that during Thanksgiving?

Cynthia Haines

Lady Bird, R

mliu92 / Flickr - CC

Tummy troubles, belly burdens, gastrointestinal grievances — call them what you will, but no one likes having a stomachache. That goes double for children. Today, Drs. Natasha Burgert and Craig Friesen help us figure out when a soothing word is just what's needed to settle your youngster's upset stomach, or when it might be a harbinger of something more severe.

A handgun and six bullets on a desk.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office / Wikimedia Commons

Drag is big these days in pop culture, but the cross-dressing tradition goes back further than most people realize. Today, we trace its roots on the American frontier. Then, we take a close look with sociologist and researcher Jonathan Metzl at claims that gun violence in America is primarily a mental health issue, and not one related to the easy availability of firearms.

A person sits by a microphone in the KCUR talk show studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Today, a look at how a new initiative is gearing up to combat youth violence in Kansas City, Kansas. Then, we get some insight into the Kansas City Municipal Domestic Violence Court. The U.S. Department of Justice's  STOP Violence Against Women initiative recently awarded the court "mentor" status — the first municipal court to earn such a distinction.

Arturo Pardovila III / Wikipedia Commons

Fans know their favorite teams are full of drama, on the field and sometimes off. Players come and players go, but at every game there’s at least one real character whose only job is to be a good sport. Commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month’s edition of 'A Fan’s Notes.'

Who says there’s no good news anymore?

Cpl. Samantha Braun / Office of Marine Corps Communication

Thanksgiving is practically upon us, marking the start of the holiday season. Today, we listen back to a conversation with Master Sommelier Doug Frost and others to get you prepared for winter partying with some great wine and drink pairing ideas. Then, we sit down with Vietnam veteran and poet John Musgrave.

A24 Films

Thanksgiving is a time for family, but sometimes a break from all that togetherness can be a good thing. This weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics will give you a great excuse to get away for a few hours, and an "R" rating means the wee ones won't be able to go. (Darn!) From wistful to just plain weird, these off-beat movies are a great way to squeeze in a little personal time before the holiday season.

Steve Walker

Florida Keys--Public Libraries / Flickr - CC

In more than 30 years of writing for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik has covered everything from the science of meditation to the relationship between baseball and art. Today, he joins Steve Kraske to help recalibrate the true meaning of liberalism. Then, we find out why some consider Harry Truman's presidency an accident, which nonetheless changed the course of history in its first few months.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

After three months on the job, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith has laid out a set of changes he would like to make within his department. Most of them would involve hiring more personnel, both uniformed and civilian.

This comes less than a month after the chief released his requested budget for the next fiscal year, which includes an ask for an additional $9.3 million from the Kansas City, Missouri, general fund and a total budget of $251.9 million.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Today, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the latest data on the state's public schools, so we ask Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell to explain where his district did well and what areas still need improvement. Then, this summer, Kansas City, Missouri, got a new chief of police, a 29-year veteran of the force.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Author Whitney Terrell told the story of a female soldier in his novel, The Good Lieutenant. His consultant for that book, Angela Fitle, lived it in the Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. They share their thoughts on the female experience of war. Then children's author Brian Selznick reveals what it was like to condense his novel Wonderstruck​ into the screenplay for the just-released film version.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Star published on Sunday a long list of ways the state government in Topeka resists efforts to disclose information to the public. Today, we discuss The Star's assertions with reporters who broke the story and former state Rep. John Rubin, who tried to fix the problem from inside the Statehouse. Then, among other post-holiday events is an increase in the number of separations and divorces.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Despite several unsuccessful attempts to repeal Obamacare outright, Pres. Donald Trump has made substantial changes in how the healthcare exchange works. Today, we discuss those changes, and how they're affecting folks who depend on the Affordable Care Act. Then, the City School Fair wants to make Kansas City, Missouri parents aware of all the possibilities for K-12 education that don't require moving to the suburbs.

A24 Films

It's starting to feel a lot like ... winter. With lower evening temps driving you inside, you might as well cozy up in a local theater with a good film, right? No worries! Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are here to help you pick the best flicks to keep you company while you stay warm this weekend. 

Cynthia Haines

Jane, PG

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The election results are official. The big surprises: The single-terminal proposal at Kansas City International Airport is an overwhelming "go," and Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland was unseated by challenger David Alvey. Today, we discuss the impacts Tuesday's elections will have on the metro.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum campus with an illuminated Bloch Building on right.
Charvex / Public Domain

It's been a decade since the Bloch Building began illuminating the east side of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and its architect, Steven Holl, says it remains one of his most important works.

The sentiment was echoed by Time magazine in 2007, when it dubbed the structure that year's top "architectural marvel."

The Nelson-Atkins Museum campus with an illuminated Bloch Building on right.
Charvex / Public Domain

When the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opened the Bloch Building, its "lens" architecture was so different from the existing museum that many didn't see how the two could stand side by side. Today, the architect of the addition, Steven Holl, talks about returning to his building ten years later.

Tiffany Matson / James Beard Foundation

When Beck Weathers' climbing group joined other expeditions summiting Mount Everest in May of 1996, no one knew eight mountaineers would not return. Today, we speak with Weathers about his survival story, and learn about an opera depicting the deadly climb. Then, we catch up with three Kansas City chefs lending their prowess to a high-profile culinary event hosted by the James Beard Foundation.

Wikimedia Commons

For as long as there has been recorded music, there have been cover songs.

National Geographic Studios

The world is a complicated place full of important decisions and things beyond our control. Which way to vote on the KCI single-terminal ballot question? Will Amazon HQ2 come to the metro or not? Will they ever open all the lanes on I-435?

Shamley Productions

The Kansas International Film Festival begins this weekend.  Today, Up To Date's Film Critics talk with the filmmaker behind one festival entry, The Weight of Honor, that looks at the impact on families when wives and mothers of soldiers become caretakers for their catastrophically injured husbands and sons.  Then the critics review the best (and worst) indie, foreign and documentary movies now showing on area screens, including Jane, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Blade of the Immortal