Steve Kraske | KCUR

Steve Kraske

Host of Up to Date

Steve got a call out of the blue one day from then-news director Frank Morris who asked if I would be interested in hosting a show. I said no...didn't think I had the time...then thought it over and changed my mind. So glad I did. Our focus of late has been on race and the plight of the poor in Kansas City with shows on health disparities, housing, the sky-high maternal death rate in Missouri, how technology undermines the poor and how immigrants are faring in our community -- all topics of critical importance. Steve loves two things that, chances are, you don't: jazz and the Andy Griffith Show. Now there's a combination for you...

Ways to Connect

Segment 1: Cypress Avenue host Bill Shapiro died at the age of 82.

On Saturday nights for more than 40 years, Bill Shapiro hosted Cypress Avenue, a music show that gave context to songs and artists all over the pop music spectrum. Today, we sat down with two of Shapiro's good friends to remember his life, and celebrate the memory he left behind.

Segment 1: Will new leadership mean a new chapter for the American Jazz Museum?

The American Jazz Museum just welcomed a new executive director, and she's already in the thick of it. She discussed the current state of the struggling museum and where she sees it going under her direction.

Segment 1: Kansas City's journey toward greater inclusivity takes one step forward, two steps back.

The state of diversity and inclusion in Kansas City is shaping up to be one of this year's most tenuous storylines. We previewed both positive and negative issues facing marginalized communities in the metro, including diversity training for law enforcement and seemingly discriminatory legislative efforts.

Segment 1: The Chiefs are the 2020 AFC Champions.

The "loudest stadium in the world" went wild last night after their team defeated the Tennesse Titans and earned a spot in the Feb. 2 Super Bowl game against the San Fransisco 49ers. Our sportscaster guests both picked the Chiefs to win that matchup, but there's still a great deal to consider before the red and gold confetti flies.

Segment 1: The group is pushing against any new abortion amendment and for probation reform

Seg. 1: Vision Zero Proposal | Seg. 2: Far-Flung Chiefs Bars

Jan 16, 2020

Segment 1: Kansas City councilman is aiming for zero annual traffic deaths by 2030.

The goal of Vision Zero is simple: eliminate all traffic-related deaths through smarter engineering, education and enforcement. Despite various levels of success in other metropolitan areas, one city official who is convinced it can work explains how.

Segment 1: Previewing 2020's public safety stories

Kansas City has been staring down a violent crime problem for years and officials at both the state and federal levels are primed to implement a myriad of solutions. But KCUR reporters said it could be months before we see any results.

  • Chris Haxel, Guns and America reporter at KCUR
  • Sam Zeff, metro reporter at KCUR

Segment 2, beginning at 25:56: Where fast food and black entrepreneuership meet

Segment 1: Kansas City's transportation stories to watch in 2020

A preview of the transportation issues KCUR will be following this year included the Kansas City, Missouri streetcar, free bus rides for those in the city, equity and mobility in the single-terminal KCI project and that futuristic 30-minute ride from Kansas City to St. Louis via the Hyperloop.

Segment 1: Kansas lawmakers prepare to tackle myriad issues in the upcoming legislative session.

Kansas' Medicaid expansion seems to be the hottest issue going into the 2020 legislative session, but it won't be the only thing keeping senators and representatives busy in Topeka. Possible outcomes and implications for everything from abortion to state debt to prison reforms were previewed.

Segment 1: Test scores for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools improved last year.

Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools saw last year's test scores jump at least four percentage points from the 2017-18 school year. Today, the superintendent explains his strategies for continued success, and details the work still left to do.

Segment 1: Flooded fields and fallout from trade wars could mean another rocky year for farmers.

Climate change, flooding, and bankruptcies are just a few of farming's biggest issues — a list that spans a country mile. With voices from Kansas and Missouri, representing small farmers and Big Ag, we dug through the biggest obstacles facing farmers going into 2020.

Segment 1: What 2020 could bring for health care

Health care is one of the hottest issues across the country, and Missouri and Kansas are no exception. We previewed what this year might bring for a variety of health-related issues and storylines.

Segment 1: Previewing the next session of the Missouri General Assembly

Today's guests run down some of the issues that lawmakers could tackle during this upcoming legislative session. They also explored how this year's presidential election might influence how this myraid of issues plays out.

Segment 1: Media bias and covering assassination in Iraq

Our Media Critics discussed early coverage of a top Iranian commander's assasination, and how continuing coverage could influence public opinion. The critics also discussed how both journalists and news consumers can manage their own personal biases.

Segment 1: 2019 highlights from the religion beat

From Paris and Christchurch to St. Louis, Missouri, storylines on religion and faith took us around the world over the last year. We reviewed those with the most impact, including the evangelical embrace of President Donald Trump's policies.

Segment 1: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas reviews the year that was, and discusses his 2020 to-do list.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has only been in office for five months, and has been busy for the duration. He defended his record on curbing tax incentives, standing up for tenant's rights, and pushing to make bus service free in Kansas City. Lucas also answered questions on the city's soaring crime rate.

Segment 1: Missouri does not enforce a 2008 federal law on mental health parity.

When President George W. Bush signed the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act in 2008, it established that health insurers must cover mental health the same as other medical conditions. Missouri remains one of only two states to not enforce that law with a state statute.

Segment 1: A new KC Pet Project facility is set to open next month in Swope Park.

Kansas City's current animal control shelter was never intended to house and care for animals — and it shows. But a new building specifically designed for the purpose will open its doors to humans and animals starting Jan. 1. Learn what the new digs will enable the KC Pet Project to do, that they weren't able to do before.

Segment 1: Royals' new owner knows "Kansas City fans are incredibly engaged."

Kansas City businessman John Sherman is in his third week as owner of  the Kansas City Royals. He's been working on getting to know the staff and to "get a little flavor for the culture." Sherman spoke about what the revenue from a new TV contract will mean for the team and when it comes to construction of a stadium downtown said, "there's a lot of things to think about, relative to whether or not we can make that happen." 

Segment 1: Some institutions of higher education use tracking software to assess prospective applicants.

Segment 1: Annual Kansas City event encourages musicians to eat better and focus on their health.

Segment 1: Reporters unravel the dysfunction that plagues government in one Missouri county.

Clay County, Missouri, residents want answers as to how their commissioners are making decisions. The county is currently embroiled in legal wrangling with the state auditor and the county sheriff, and citizens are complaining their voices are not being heard. Journalists covering the situation say they've "never seen a series of actions quite like this."

Segment 1: Decades after desegregation, there remain students in the Kansas City area who are still not receiving a quality education. 

Education professor John Rury detailed the inequalities as they exist in urban and suburban school districts. As the Kansas City area expanded in the 1950s, wealth moved to the suburbs. The levels of poverty in many urban, black neighborhoods have remained in the 30-40 percentile. "This brings a whole host of issues that makes it very difficult for schools to function," Rury said. 

Segment 1: Why Iowa holds the first caucuses in the country, and what their results mean for each political party.

Advertising guidelines and an agriculture convention landed Iowa in the No. 1 spot in the country's presidential primary process. One political science professor said, for Republicans the caucuses show who will not be president, and, since 2000, the Democrat who won Iowa has gone on to be the presidential nominee.

On this very special edition of KCUR's Up To Date, one of Kansas City's most renowned chocolatiers discussed responsible sourcing of cacao beans, his approach to the combining of other flavors with his favorite ingredient, and how non-experts can stear clear of junk when shopping for something to satisfy a chocolate craving.

Segment 1: Richard Nixon's impeachment parallels that of President Donald Trump.

President Richard Nixon's impeachment trials were about more than just the Watergate scandal. Biographer John Farrell said Nixon's use of presidential power to advance his personal political ambition mirrors that of the current Oval Office occupant, who is currently being investigated by the U.S. House of Representaives.

A Wine-Tasting Lunch With Doug Frost

Dec 3, 2019

Kansas City-based wine expert attributes his expansive knowledge to his "drinking and reading" habits.

Seated in Room 39, Master sommelier Doug Frost guided a group of KCUR supporters through a tasting of six distinctive wines. A number of his selections underwent unique growth, harvesting or barrelling processes like the sauvignon blanc from Napa Valley which was harvested at night. Chef Ted Habiger also offered insight into how he selects wines for his restaurant's dishes.

Segment 1: Mike Pompeo looks more likely to enter the race for Kansas' U.S. Senate seat.

When it comes to the race for president, The Call's Eric Wesson expects another four years of Trump. However, Mike Mahoney of KMBC sees U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar as the sleeper Democratic candidate while Caroline Sweeney is looking at Andrew Yang to gain ground. They also analyzed the U.S. Senate race in Kansas, the early days of Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and former city manager Troy Schulte's shift to Jackson County government. 

Simon and Schuster

How did Harry Houdini make an elephant disappear?

It happened in 1918 in New York. One night, the great magician showed the audience a huge cabinet. After feeding Jennie the elephant some sugar, she was led inside. Curtains were closed around the cabinet. And when they reopened, Jennie was gone.

Segment 1: Teachers highlight current events and human impact to help students learn about climate change.

Teachers are seeing less resistance to teaching climate change in Missouri schools. The state has adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, and one Raytown High School teacher said, "I've also changed my approach some, in the sense that I really don't indulge argument on the topic at this point."

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