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: Are lobbyists the secret to keeping local companies competitive?

A man in a black suit and blue tie waved to an unpictured crowd after having just given a speech.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: Instead of a divided country, Sen. Blunt sees "great capacity to come together."

In a live broadcast from NPR studios in Washington, Missouri's junior U.S. senator weighs in on upcoming midterm elections and the fate of the state's senior senator, who's engaged in one of the hottest midterm races in the country. He also discusses his efforts on the behalf of Missourians in pushing legislation to help ease the opioid epidemic, and on a bill that would make air travel more traveler-friendly.

A man with dark hair wearing a suit and tie smiles while sitting behind a microphone.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: New UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal is focusing on building community and investing in research.

Although the chancellor has only been at UMKC for a few months, his impact is already felt around campus. Today, he talked about one of his main initiatives, raising school spirit, which can be hard to do at a commuter school. Chancellor Agrawal also discussed possible solutions to issues the university currently faces, including housing, student safety and building a new music conservatory.

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Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: CBS News veteran on Trump's impact: "Washington is still, on a day-to-day basis, knocked off balance."

Few journalists have the depth of experience in covering presidents and presidential campaigns as Major Garrett, but even he admits covering President Donald J. Trump is whole new playing field. Today, Garrett recalled some of the confrontations he's had with the chief executive who "just loves to be the one who is churning the waters."

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Andrew Eccles

She's well known for her stints as assistant Erin on the television show "The Office," the naive friend in the movie "Bridesmaids" and the lead role on Netflix comedy "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Now Missouri-native Ellie Kemper is branching out from the screen to the page with a newly-released collection of personal essays. We talked about why her the book devotes a chapter to squirrels and what it was like to make the jump from from the Midwest to Hollywood.

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Segment 1: Missourians have the choice this November to gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.85 to $12 an hour by 2023.

Can Kansas Citians live comfortably on Missouri's current minimum wage? What would happen to our economy if it were higher? Can small businesses afford to pay more without laying off workers? Today, we discussed the pros and cons for Propositon B, a statewide minimum wage ballot measure.

Missouri state Rep. Brandon Ellington, wearing a black hoodie and glasses, sits behind a microphone.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: A Kansas City state representative spotlights poor conditions at a Northwest Missouri correctional facility.

Crossroads Correctional facility in Cameron, Missouri, is still recovering from a violent riot on May 12. In the wake of that uprising, which involved more than 200 inmates, the facility was placed on lockdown. The inmates were denied hot meals and family visits for 4 months. Today, we discussed the conditions inmates are still dealing with. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The state of KanCare.

Since it's creation in 2013, KanCare has received heavy criticism. The privatized Medicaid dispursement program started by former Gov. Sam Brownback has struggled with long processing wait times, bad data collection and lawsuits. Today, administrators of the program discuss the myriad issues they've dealt with already and the ones that remain to be solved.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Jason Kander's withdrawal from the Kansas City mayor's race illustrates the long-term effects of PTSD.

As political watchers in Kansas City deal with the fact that the leading candidate in next year's race to replace Sly James is out, we sat down with a veteran and a counselor to discuss the challenges of living with and managing post-traumatic stress disorder.

A person sits behind a microphone with an N-P-R sign in the background.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: State auditor says her look into Clay County government is forthcoming.

Many in the metro think of Clay County politics as dull, but disputes on the board of commissioners and accusations of misused public money are anything but tedious for concerned citizens there. Today, we reviewed a segment from July about what drove one group to ask state officials to take a closer look. Then, we got an update on the audit in question.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KBIA

Segment 1: Going "Beyond the Ballot" to find what drives Missouri voters to the ballots.

Sundance Selects

It’s always a good day when Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics are in the house to run down the best movies showing in town! Today, they shared their thoughts and reviews of "The Children Act," "Blaze," "Fahrenheit 11/9," "Love, Gilda," "Lizzie," "The Wife," "Pick of the Litter," "The Bookshop," and "Operation Finale."

frankieleon / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: Government agencies suing pharmaceutical companies look to legal lessons learned from previous settlement against Big Tobacco.

A class-action lawsuit against tobacco companies in the late 1990s netted hundreds of billions of dollars, compensating states for costs associated with treating tobacco-related illness. Now, a comparable strategy could help defray the money cities, counties, and states are shelling out to deal with the opioid crisis. Today, an attorney involved in both cases explained the differences and similarities involved in each.

Keith O'Brien, white male in shirt and tie wearing headphones and seated in front of a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Second accusation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee increases some people's doubts about confirmation.

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

"A Blade So Black," a new young adult novel, is a modern twist on the children's classic, "Alice in Wonderland." This Alice faces the challenges of growing up a black teen in urban Atlanta while also fighting the nightmares in Wonderland. Author L. L. McKinney spoke with us about the novel and how she wrote the female protagonist so her niece could read books with characters that look like her. 

Then-state Sen. Mike Kehoe stands on the Missouri Senate chamber floor of the General Assembly.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Segment 1: Missourians will vote on the first gas-tax increase in 24 years. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Will redevelopment on a single block of Troost be the bellweather for how the city revitalizes other neighborhoods?

David Steelman wearing headphones while seated in front of a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

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

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BigStock

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

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

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.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

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.

A man wearing glasses and a plaid shirt smiles while seated behind a microphone for a radio interview.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

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

Two lines of forward-facing trucks with a man walking away between them.
Tech Sgt. Larry E. Reid, Jr. / U.S. Air Force

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.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

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

Jeanette Jones wearing headphones and seated at a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

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.

www.elchatarrero.com

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

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Crysta Henthorne / KCUR 89.3

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.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

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

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