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.

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Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1:  The certified public accountant and former businessman explains why he's fit for the governor's office.

As a fourth-generation Kansan and the current state insurance commissioner, Republican Ken Selzer believes he has the experience to succeed as governor. Today he discussed his approach to taxes, the Second Amendment and the changes he'd make to clean up politics in Topeka.

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Segment 1: Proposed 3/8th-cent sales tax could expand early childhood education.

In an effort to provide quality education to more of Kansas City's youth, Mayor Sly James has proposed a new sales tax that would fund pre-K schools. While almost everyone can agree access to pre-K education should be expanded, some residents have reservations about where the money to pay for it comes from and how it's collected.

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Segment 1: Some residents say big, new homes on small, old lots are changing the nature of the Kansas suburb.

Home teardowns are not a new problem in Prairie Village, but the issue is receiving a lot of new attention. Today, we asked city leadership how they would strike a balance between property owners' ability to build what they want on their own land, and preserving the look and feel of what's long been known as a modest, affordable community.

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Segment 1: Recent development projects will see some of downtown Kansas City's iconic buildings updated.

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Segment 1: The former mayor of Wichita discusses the changes he'd make as govenor.

Democrat Carl Brewer served as the first African-American mayor of Wichita from 2007 to 2015. Now he's campaining to be the first African-American governor of Kansas. Today, he joined us for a conversation about the education budget, restructuring taxes and expanding Medicaid.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Democratic rising star Jason Kander on voting rights, Missouri politics and the 2020 presidential race.

While he may have lost his 2016 bid to unseat Missouri's Republican U.S. Senator, Roy Blunt, Democrat Jason Kander certainly hasn't disappeared from the political stage. Today, he tells us why he's turned his sights to expanding voting rights. Plus, Steve Kraske asks him why he's spending so much time in Iowa and New Hampshire lately.

A large crowd of people outside. They are holding up fists at a protest and there are people with cameras near them.
Tyler Adkisson / KBIA 91.3

Segment 1: With only three of eight seats occupied, Missouri's Board of Education has gone months without a meeting.

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens wasn't short on contentious relationships in Jefferson City. One of them? The state's Board of Education, which lost its commissioner in December and has operated without a quorum since. Today, we learned what the vacancies have meant for the state's public and charter schools, and got some insight about how new Gov. Mike Parson may handle the situation.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: From 2001 to 2013, more than 1,300 phone calls to attorneys from prisoners at a Leavenworth detention facility were improperly recorded.

Considered a bedrock of the American justice system, KCUR reporting has uncovered what appears to be repeated attorney-client privilege violations at a privately-run detention facility in Leavenworth, Kansas. Today, we discussed the ongoing investigation into the improperly recorded phone calls, some of which were shared with federal prosecutors, and considered the implications of the alleged breaches.

Kathleen Pointer / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: A longtime school teacher and a former tech executive are just two of the Democrats looking to take on Kevin Yoder in November.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Kansas governor discusses his transition to power, his election campaign, and the challenges facing his state.

Four months ago, then-Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer stepped into the position vacated by then-Gov. Sam Brownback. Today, he sat down for a wide-ranging conversation that covered school funding, the Kansas Department for Children and Families, a newly-enacted adoption statute, and his campaign to win the governorship without aggressively challenging rival Republican Kris Kobach.

Luke X. Martin / Senator Claire McCaskill / KCUR 89.3 / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: Attorney General Josh Hawley on the resignation of Gov. Greitens and preparing for midterm elections.

As Gov. Eric Greitens gets set to resign this afternoon, Missouri's attorney general maintains he did everything within his jurisdiction to investigate the governor’s alleged indiscretions. In an interview recorded on Thursday, Josh Hawley defended his conduct in the Greitens saga, and explained why he thinks Sen. Claire McCaskill has lost touch with Missouri voters.

Donna Moore seated in front of a microphone in the KCUR studio
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Grassroots organization looks to bring legislative reform to Missouri statehouse.

When states fail to promote a culture of transparency, some organizations believe it falls on voters to bring about the needed change to their government. We learned about the Clean Missouri Initiative, which will appear on the state's November ballots, and calls for open records, a reduction of partisan gerrymandering and the elimination of lobbyist gifts in the General Assembly.  

Black and white image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. surrounded by people.
U.S. National Archives

Segment 1: 50 years after its start, Martin Luther King Jr.'s movement for economic justice has been revitalized.

With his assassination in 1968, the momentum behind the then recently-launched Poor People's Campaign waned. Today, we learned about the national push to resurrect this movement and the 40-day plan for protests at statehouses across the country, including those in Topeka, Kansas, and Jefferson City, Missouri. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Finding the best way to memorialize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Kansas City.

Many in Kansas City agree there should be something here to memorialize the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The question is, what? Following suggestions The Paseo be renamed (or 39th Street or 63rd) Mayor Sly James appointed an advisory group to recommend how best to proceed. Today, we spoke with the co-chair of that panel, which recommended attaching Dr. King's name to a yet-to-be-built terminal at the airport.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

  Segment 1: Missouri State Auditor on what she counts as legislative victories in this year's regular session.

This past legislative session, Missouri lawmakers passed a law that strengthens protections for so-called "whistleblowers." Today, the Missouri state auditor told us why she pushed for this legislation, and what the implications are for state workers. We also learned why Gov. Eric Greitens' move to use taxpayer dollars to pay for private attorneys has her concerned.  

Chris Moreland / Missouri House Communications

Segment 1: Kansas and Missouri "silence breakers" speak up about their own sexual harassment and assult. 

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, awareness of sexual misconduct in state government has increased steadily. Today, two women recalled their experiences of sexual harrassment while working in the Missouri and Kansas statehouses. They say speaking out about the misconduct will help other women avoid similar harrassment. 

Two people stand in front of a small white prop plane. The background is a blue sky.
James and Deborah Fallows

Segment 1: What Missouri lawmakers passed — and what they didn't — during last week's end-of-session chaos. 

There was certainly lots of news coming out of Jefferson City this year, but much of it didn't have a whole lot to do with legislation. Today, two regular faces around the Missouri Capitol tell us about the bills lawmakers pushed through, and what was lost or ignored this session in the wake of controversies swirling around Gov. Eric Greitens.

Charlize Theron sits with a pregnant belly.
Focus Features

Segment 1: Will Missouri lawmakers move to impeach Governor Eric Greitens?

This evening, the Missouri legislature will convene for a historic special session to determine whether to bring forth articles of impeachment against Gov. Eric Greitens. But how complicated is the process, and how will it unfold in the coming weeks? We sat down with two political watchers to ask what could be next for the governor.

Steven Depolo / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: Keeping kids engaged, fed and healthy during summer months.

Most students are overjoyed when summer break rolls around. But what about the families who rely on school for access to meals, health care and mentorship? Today, we learned about what local school districts are doing to minimize the downsides of students being away from the classroom during the summer months.

A prosthetic hip made from titanium alloy.
Wellcome Images / Welcome Trust

Segment 1: How tax increment financing helps blighted neighborhoods.

Last week, we heard arguments opposed to tax increment financing, a tax abatement measure used to incentivize urban developement. Today, we learned about the benefits of TIF districts, and why supporters say they're a crucial tool to revitalizing our neighborhoods.

A dry crop field under a blue sky.
Madelyn Beck / Harvest Public Media

Segment 1: How national headlines impact local farmers.

Even if agriculture may not seem like a big part of your life, farmers are responsible for much of our food, our clothes and even our medicine. Today, we sat down with three reporters from Harvest Public Media to learn how farmers across the Midwest are responding to drought, tariffs and the newest version of the farm bill.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Segment 1: As the legislative season ends in Kansas, Democrats look ahead to midterm elections.

While state lawmakers shift their focus from drafting laws to campaigning, we checked in with two Democratic Party leaders to get a sense for how they'll gauge success at the ballots this August and November. We also reviewed some of the higher-profile bills that made it out of the legislature and onto the desk of Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

Segment 1: A review of the Kansas veto session.

Kansas lawmakers concluded their veto session on Friday, ending the 2018 legislative session with significant votes on adoption law and gun rights. To help us understand what these laws could mean for the state, we spoke with Kansas News Service reporters covering events at the Capitol.

Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Segment 1: Douglas County voters are deciding on a contentious tax increase for jail and mental health services.

Claire Verbeck / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Why a consent decree between Kansas City and the EPA is impacting how much you pay for sewer services.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Segment 1: A merger with T-Mobile could change Sprint's long-standing relationship to the metro.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: County lawmaker says citizens think a charter change "should have been done before."

Dank Depot / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: What science does (and doesn't) know about medical marijuana.

Missouri and Kansas are edging closer to legalizing medical marijuana under limited circumstances, but what do we really know about its health effects? While state lawmakers debate possible harms or benefits of cannabis and its derivatives, we spoke with a scientist who helped write a major study about the good, bad and unknown health effects of marijuana.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The policies and techniques that are best at keeping drunk drivers off the road.

Last month, the Missouri House of Representatives voted for the second year in a row to cut the state funding for sobriety checkpoints to $1. The plan to catch drunk drivers and keep them off the street? Saturation patrols. Today, we talked about the effectiveness of these options. 

Paul Sableman / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: Schools in the Shawnee Mission district have been accused of stifling expression during student demonstration.

During last Friday's national school walkout, parents and students at several Shawnee Mission schools reported that administrators attempted to curate and censor student speech. These complaints have spurred an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas. Today, we asked what happened during the demonstrations, and how the school district is responding.

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