Steve Kraske | KCUR

Steve Kraske

Host of Up to Date

Steve Kraske is an associate teaching professor of journalism at UMKC and has hosted "Up to Date" since 2002. He worked as political correspondent for The Kansas City Star from 1994-2013 covering national, state and local campaigns. He also has covered the statehouses in Topeka and Jefferson City. From 2013-2016, he was a part-time columnist for The Star; he now serves on the newspaper's editorial board.

Before arriving in Kansas City, he worked at daily newspapers in Iowa and Illinois and at United Press International in Madison, Wisconsin. 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.

Ways to Connect

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Segment 1: After recent controversies Missouri's institutions of higher learning working to get back on track.

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Segment 1: Kansas refusal to expand Medicaid has delayed access to medical care and left many poor residents uninsured.

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Segment 1: The Independent candidate discusses his race for Kansas governor. 

The fierce gubernatorial race between Republican Kris Kobach, Democrat Laura Kelly and Independent Greg Orman is heating up. Orman joined us in-studio to talk about his proposals for education, the economy and gun control. He also explained why he decided to run as an Independent in a two-party system, and if low polling numbers will lead him to drop out.

Two Missouri General Assembly candidates sit with headphones on behind microphones for a radio interview.
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Segment 1: Parkville candidates for Missouri House look to replace term-limited state Rep. Nick Marshall.

Lauren Arthur's big Senate win in Clay County has many Missouri Democrats hoping the same could happen in the neighboring state House race for District 13. We sat down with the two major-party candidates to discuss their proposed policies on a gas tax increase, marijuana legalization, violent crime and more.

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Segment 1:  Why public money is needed to get a proposed underwater attraction off the ground.

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Segment 1: As crashes involving large trucks continue to increase, resistance to crash avoidance and mitigation technology remains.

When a tractor-trailer truck runs into the back end of a passenger vehicle at highway speed, there's a good chance that people will die. Today, jumping off an recent Kansas City Star investigation, we talked about collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles, the number of resulting deaths and potential preventive measures.

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Segment 1: "My goal is to fight for the people of my community and solve problems," says Rep. Kevin Yoder.

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Segment 1: American Public Square panelists agree on securing firearms in the home and little else during conversation on ways to prevent children dying from gun violence. 

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Segment 1: Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as newest U.S. Supreme Court justice could launch fresh challenges to women's reproductive rights on the state-level. 

For years, Kansas and Missouri legislatures have been chipping away at a person's ability to terminate a pregnancy. Today, KCUR reporters from both sides of the state line reviewed previous attempts by lawmakers to reduce abortion access and postulated on what a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court might mean for this issue going forward.

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Segment 1: Proposed ordinance looks to reduce theft associated with scrap metal recycling.

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Segment 1: Is a demanding, wide-ranging criminal registry system making the state of Kansas any safer?

A Kansas News Service investigation has found that no other state has a public offender registry as expansive as the one in Kansas. Today, we talked with the Kansas News Service journalist and a law professor about the report's findings and its legal implications. 

Burns and McDonnell

Segment 1: How to analyze political ads.

As midterm election campaigns start to hit their stride, voters in Kansas and Missouri are sure to be inundated with any number of political advertisements. As a public service (and at the request of a listener named Mary Anne) we spoke with trusted, professional fact-checkers about what to keep an eye out for when attempting to separate the fact from conjecture.

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Segment 1: Will Kansas City's new months-long arts festival draw a crowd and make a buck?

3D Development

Segment 1: Updates on the projects that are changing Kansas City's urban neighborhoods.

As property developments continue unabated in downtown Kansas City, we return with a review of the latest batch of projects. This installment covers recent happenings in the River Market, the Crossroads, around 18th And Vine, and along Troost Avenue between 24th Street and Linwood Boulevard. We also discussed the controversial continued reliance on tax incentives in parts of town like the Power and Light District, which have already seen success.

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Segment 1: A proposed ordinance would limit the amount of time pedestrians could spend in crosswalks and traffic islands.

Catina Taylor wearing headphones and seated at a microphone in the KCUR studio.
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Segment 1: KC Fed releases results of study looking at black women starting businesses.

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Segment 1: Proposed work requirements for some public food assistance is ruffling feathers.

While senators and House members in Washington struggle to find the compromises that could turn this year's version of the farm bill into law, millions of stakeholders await a solution. Today, we got an update from Harvest Public Media on how the negotiations, and their eventual outcomes, could affect city- and country-dwellers across the Midwest.

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Segment 1: Local reactions to Pennsylvania grand jury report on seven decades of sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Daniah Hammoude wearing a red hijab sits in front of a microphone in the KCUR studio.
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Segment 1: Young adults head up organization leading the Muslim community in civic learning and action.

Not usually known for being politically involved in the U.S., more Muslims are running for office this cycle than since the 9/11 attacks. Two organizers with the KC Muslim Civic Initiative spoke of what it is doing to empower the area's 30,000 Muslim Americans to become more civically engaged.

The Mission Continues

Segment 1: After a year of controversy, how is the former governor's nonprofit bouncing back?

Before he was Missouri's governor, Eric Greitens founded The Mission Continues to help veterans reintegrate in and improve the communities where they lived. After he became governor and was accused of using the nonprofit's donor list to raise campaign funds, the charity came under intense scrutiny. Now that the dust is starting to settle, we spoke with the organization's leader and a volunteer to see how the group is moving beyond the scandal.

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Segment 1: Most people agree access to pre-K needs to be expanded. Not everyone agrees on how to pay for and oversee it.

Days after Kansas City Mayor Sly James made public the particulars of his plan to fund expanded early childhood education, opposition to the proposal is piping up. Today, we heard educators and community organizers explain why they think the mayor's scheme to get more 4-year-olds into pre-K needs work.

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Segment 1: Legal organization teams with community development financial institution to transform abandoned residences into affordable housing.

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Segment 1: Former Kansas City mayor reflects on the impact of downtown development.

Much of the credit for Kansas City's current downtown boom can be placed at the feet of former Mayor Kay Barnes, whose efforts culminated in the creation of the Power and Light District and the construction of the Sprint Center. Nevertheless, parts of town east of Troost still struggle for invesment and redevelopment. We spoke with Barnes about her legacy and the community-building work that's left to be done.

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Segment 1: A shuttered charter school in Kansas City leaves some families in the lurch.

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Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Primary night in Missouri and Kansas has come and gone, but certainly left lots to talk about in it's wake. We dived into the evening's results on both sides of the state line. 

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Segment 1: Buying school supplies and clothes can be a struggle but local programs are available to help. 

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Segment 1: Tenants suffering domestic violence will be able to break their rental agreements without penalty.

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Segment 1: A last look at candidates and issues before Tuesday's elections.

Kansas and Missouri primaries are just days away and the political climate on both sides of the state line is heating up. Our political pundits gave a rundown of the major races and issues going into the primaries, including controversial ballot measure Proposition A, and contests affecting Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

A red and grey commuter bus at a MAX line stop in Kansas City, Missouri.
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Segment 1: How truthful are claims by Kansas gubernatorial candidates?

Twelve Kansans remain in the race for governor of the Sunflower State. In recent ads and forums some have presented questionable "facts" so, with only a few days left until the state's primaries, our panel of Kansas News Service reporters corrected some of  misstatements heard from candidates running for the state's top job.

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Segment 1: Matthew Merryman wants to be the next Jackson County executive.

A former public defender and political newcomer from Kansas City is challenging incumbent Frank White for Jackson County executive. Today, he shared his reasons for running, and discussed his plans to address a crumbling county jail, keep guns out of schools and forge good relationships with county legislators.

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