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: One oncologist says cancer research is not progressing, and she offers new ideas.

Dr. Azra Raza says the public believes cancer research and treatments are advancing, but that's not the case. The death rate from the most common cancers is no lower now than it was 5o years ago. She suggests an alternative to radition and chemotherapy and says more interdisciplinary collaboration could advance the cause.

Segment 1: Republicans in Missouri say gun control is not the answer to gun violence.

Segment 1: Voters will next month determine the fate of the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard name.

Residents displeased with the process of renaming The Paseo petitioned to restore its original name, leaving a heated debate to be settled by voters on November 5. The Rev. Vernon Howard Jr., an advocate for renaming the boulevard after the civil rights leader, says "this issue is also about race," but the group that collected more than 2,000 signatures says they reflect people of all backgrounds who want their voices heard.

Segment 1: Why and when high school athletes should be getting physicals

Instead of every year, high school athletes in Missouri are now required to get physical exams every other. It's a rule change that has some pediatricians worried, but may come as a relief for parents and student-athletes who are ultimately on the hook for paying for the exam.

Segment 1: Gender-nonconforming people share their experience living as nonbinary.

The pronouns "they" and "them" have been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to describe nonbinary individuals, but the transition to gender-neutral terms can be difficult for some to figure out. "It is hard," admits Shallyn Ward, who is nonbinary, "but it's not impossible." Today, a conversation about understanding the changing language etiquette, and what it's like living as nonbinary.

Seg. 1: Medical Debt Collection | Seg. 2: Health Insurance Finance

Oct 21, 2019

Segment 1: Even though debtors prisons were outlawed in 1983, the threat of jail is being used to pursue unpaid medical bills.

Segment 1: Kansas voters will see a census-changing initiative on the November ballot.

The 2020 census is coming up, and Kansas is looking to change where some people are counted. For the past three decades, the state called individual college students and military members who don't live at their permanent address, and asking if they'd like to be counted at their permanent address or their temporary one. We learned why this census calculation method began, and why many in the state now want it to change. 

Segment 1: Obama's national security advisor advisor recounts the impact her upbringing had on her success in Washington.

Susan Rice shared insights from her new autobiography, which details how she balanced her political roles with her personal life and family. As a black woman in America, Rice's parents told her she "had to be twice as good to be considered almost equal." She said her parents had a great impact on her success, noting they enstilled in she and her siblings the values of "education, of service and of trying to acheive excellence." 

Segment 1: Two men formed an unlikely friendship through a shared tragedy.

Tariq Khamisa was a 20-year-old college student delivering a pizza in 1995 when he was shot and killed by 14-year-old Tony Hicks. Azim Khamisa said he reached out to Ples Felix, the grandfather of his son's murderer, because he saw "victims at both ends of the gun." They became friends and work together in addressing gun violence through The Forgiveness Project.

Segment 1: Johnson County activists say there are signs to look for when detecting illicit sex trafficking businesses.

The business of sex trafficking often operates through a powerful underground network. This is why an Overland Park couple believies it's so hard to stop the practice. Mike and Pam Jensen pointed to one contributing factor, treating women who are trafficked as criminals rather than victims. They also outlined signs of illicit massage parlors which are well known as sources of human trafficking.

Segment 1: New poll data suggests Americans don't know much when it comes to gun-related deaths.  

The results of the latest survey by Guns and America asked people about the causes of gun deaths. Their answers show that more Americans believe it be “murders other than mass shootings" than the actual cause – suicide. Two reporters for the project broke down the survey results and what it means for gun policies in this country.

Segment 1: Schulte talks of the progress and set-backs Kansas City faced during his term as city manager.

Troy Schulte's 10-year term as manager of Kansas City, Missouri, will in a few months come to a close. He said one of the hardest things about his job was finding a balance in handling pressing crises and working toward long-term goals. Schulte talked about things he's proud of, like the new airport terminal design, which is set to acheive net-zero carbon emissions. He also spoke of critical issues, like the overcrowding in city jails.

Segment 1: Research points to health dangers, but billions of pounds of Roundup are applied to plants each year.

Investigative journalist Carey Gillam has spent 20 years researching and reporting on the dangers of Monsanto's Roundup, and has seen the corporation attempt to discredit scientists and journalists. The product is increasingly popular, with global application increasing 16-fold since the 1990s. Gillam says, "it's not an understatement to say we're actually poisoning the planet."

Segment 1: Jackson County legislators answer questions of current budget, property tax and working with county executive Frank White.

Jackson County lawmakers say recent budgeting and property tax issues have caused county residents to distrust their local government. Legislator Jalen Anderson attributed the root of the problem to a lack of transparency and communication between the legislative and executive branches. "The time for talking is done. There needs to be change now," Anderson said. 

Segment 1: Once invisible, Native American women are making strides in having their issues heard. 

Eighty-four percent of Native American women will experience violence in their life, the most  of any population group. Professor and Muscogee Nation citizen Sarah Deer says facts like this are often missing from dialogues surrounding activism and feminism. Deer says if the focus in these conversations is placed on finding solutions for assaults on Native women, then those solutions will benefit everyone.

Segment 1: Clay County, Missouri, audit is stalled amid ongoing litigation.

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway launched an audit into Clay County last December, after more than 9,000 citizens requested it. Since then, the county has withheld documents needed to complete the audit, received a subpoena and sued the auditor's office. Sherry Duffett of the group Citizens for a Better Clay County points to Luann Ridgeway and Gene Owen, two of the county's three commissioners, as the reason the audit is at a standstill.

Segment 1: Three journalists based in Washington speak to the unique challenges of covering national politics up close.

Each day brings something exciting and newsworthy in Washington, D.C., whether it's an impeachment inquiry or a new health care policy. Three journalists spoke about navigating the political web of the Capitol, the "glorified stalking" of politicians for quotes, and the sheer enormity of working in the nation's hub for political decision-making. 

Segment 1: Long-time NPR reporter talks national economics and highlights his experience covering the Obama and Trump administrations.

Scott Horsley made the transition to NPR's chief economics correspondent earlier this year. He provided a rundown of the House's current impeachment inquiry and explained its impact on the U.S. economy. Horsley also shared experiences from his previous post reporting from the White House for the past decade.

Segment 1: UM System President Mun Choi speaks to the impact of enrollment, funding and a new health initiative across campuses.

The University of Missouri System recently launched a new health initiative, which President Choi says is "the most important and the largest project in the history of the UM System." President Choi says university enrollment is steady right now, and that the Columbia campus has recovered from the tumult of 2015. He does note, however, that state funding this year is the same as it was 1998, even though there are 40% more students. 

Segment 1: Ned Yost's retirement announcement prompts discussion on the future of the Kansas City Royals.

Ned Yost is the winningest manager in Kansas City Royals history, and he led the team to its second-ever World Series win. But he also endured some tough losing periods. To some, his announcement comes as no surprise but many fans are now wondering: Who will be his replacement?

Author releases her second novel featuring her teenage black female superhero.

L. L. McKinney's experience as a woman of color in the publishing industry has required patience and persistence, but it has resulted in two young adult novels. Both revolve around the heroine Alice, caught up in a Wonderland very different from the Lewis Carroll original. McKinney talked about the importance of representation in fantasy fiction and said, when it comes to writing for teens, "you have to come at them with respect, with understanding."

Segment 1: Heavy caseloads and long hours are taking a toll on Missouri's public defenders.

Officials say public defenders in Kansas City, Missouri, are sometimes handling more than 100 cases at a time, and staffing and workload situations have been dire for years. We speak with leaders of the public defender's office to find out how those pressures are affecting attorneys' mental health and the ability of clients to get a fair trial.

He brings us local news highlights with his primetime public affairs TV program each weekand his journalistic experience spans from the BBC to Kansas Public Radio. Nick Haines is rarely the one answering the questions, but today he shares an exclusive look at what makes KCPT's Kansas City Week in Review happen every Friday.

Segment 1: A Missouri man is free after spending 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.

With his newfound freedom, Ricky Kidd said he's excited to be a "responsible citizen and embrace the freedom that should have never been taken away from me in the first place." The Midwest Innocence Project attributes part of the failed system to an overworked public defenders office, and it's costing people like Kidd their lives.

Can you land an airplane on the deck of a submarine? Can you build a swimming pool out of cheese? Can you lift a house with two helicopters glued together? These are the strange and hypothetical questions that inspire Randall Munroe, whose internet-famous comic series xkcd is known for its stick figure cast and impractical wit. Dig deep enough for answers, and you may just learn a lesson in science.

Segment 1: Kansas City area officials adapting strategies for climate mitigation  

Since December 2018,  governments in the Kansas City region have been working to make their cities and counties climate resilient.  Two people behind the Metro KC Climate Action Coalition explained how everything from direct renewables agreements to LEED zero standard development are among the tools being used to meet that goal.

Segment 1: What Kansas City area organizations are doing to reduce gun violence 

In 2017, firearms killed nearly 40,000 people with 60% of those being suicides. Every year 1,500 children die from guns including those left unlocked in the home. This week in Kansas City, Missouri five persons died in a 24-hour period from gun-related incidents.  Three women deeply involved in these issues expressed frustration, desperation and determination about reducing gun violence. 

Segment 1: Gun policy specialist says the gun control debate needs to shift.

In his book "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America," constitutional law specialist Adam Winkler examines how Americans approach the gun control debate. He explained the need to concentrate on ending everyday gun violence rather than mass shootings, and says gun rights and gun control are not mutually exclusive.

Segment 1: Young adults are making life decisions with their carbon footprints top of mind.

From your morning ablutions to your night on the town, every action you take these days impacts the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Young people are acutely aware of this, and it's changing the day-to-day and long-term decisions they make in life.

Segment 1: The most reliable source of qualified teachers now produces half the candidates it once did.

The number of undergraduate education degrees awarded every year peaked in the early 1970s at almost 194,000. Today that number is less than 92,000. Two college deans discuss the challenges of bringing future teachers into the education major, meeting the need for special education and bilingual educators, and graduating teachers more reflective of today's diverse communities.

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