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: California city posts dramatic results in gun violence reduction.

Segment 1: Embankments necessary for flood managment can also have adverse affects.

Levees offer a sense of security but little regulation on their construction means they can actually make flooding worse for towns and farmland upriver.  Set-back levees found in Europe allow more room for rivers to run but their cost has slowed adoption of the system in the U.S. 

Seg. 1: Jayhawks' Adidas Contract | Seg. 2: KCPD 911 Dispatcher

May 8, 2019

Segment 1: Implications behind Jayhawks signing the $196 million deal. 

The University of Kansas renewed its contract with Adidas, even after the company entangled the school's athletic department in an FBI investigation of illegal payments to recruits' families. A look at why KU stayed with Adidas and "the business of college basketball."

Segment 1: Protest at the University of Missouri - Kansas City highlighted struggle universities and their students face over First Amendment right to free speech. 

The University of Missouri-Kansas City recently made headlines after an encounter between a protestor and guest speaker occurred on campus grounds. Two students present during the incident with opposite views shared a civil conversation about free speech, hate speech and where to draw the line.

Segment 1: The author of "One by One" shares his battle with opioid addiction.

Nicholas Bush found himself hiding from police for crimes related to his to an opioid addiction. After 10 years of drug abuse and the loss of two siblings, Bush was finally able to kick his habit after a dream involving his deceased sister.

Segment 1: Deadly domestic violence cases reached a twenty-year high in Johnson County, Kansas. 

Segment 1: An update on the Kansas Board of Regents' strategic 10-year plan for higher education which wraps next year.

Foresight 2020 has three goals for public universities in the Sunflower State but low unemployment and rising tuition have fewer Kansans seeking a college diploma. The president of the Board of Regents was asked about the plan's progress especially in meeting the state's workforce demand.

Segment 1: With only three weeks left in the regular legislative session there are still major issues to be addressed.

From asking Missourians to vote again on the Clean Missouri intitiative to redefining blight in order to curtail the use of TIF to a strict abortion bill, state lawmakers have their hands full for the rest of the session. A review of these and other major issues offered insight into the bills connected with each.

Segment 1: Legal analyst Joan Biskupic dealves into the life of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. 

There are many interpretations of the law, and Chief Justice John Roberts has assured Congress that his stance is neutral. A new book on his life and times shows that's not always the case, and perhaps there's more that goes into Roberts' rationale than he wants to believe.   

Segment 1: Concerns linger regarding Lake City Army Ammunition Plant.

The largest manufacturing plant for smaller caliber rounds is in Independence, Missouri. It suffered an accidental explosion in 2017 causing the death of one person and injuring four more.  Chris Haxel explained what contributed to the fatal event and the operation's questionable safety record under the current contractor.

Segment 1: Kansas City mourns the death of philanthropist Henry Bloch.

Henry Bloch, co-founder of the tax preparation firm H&R Block and World War II veteran, has had an immense impact on Kansas City. His legacy will persist through the institutions he helped established and support. Today, a look at how his contributions were aimed to serve the community he loved. 

Segment 1: Race Project KC is educating high school students on structural racism in Kansas City.

Built off of Tanner Colby's book "Some of My Best Friends Are Black," Johnson County Library takes students on a bus tour to provide lessons on the ways that segregration is ingrained in the foundation of the city. Shawnee Mission East student Oliver Henry said the tour helped her better understand the lack of diversity at her school. 

Segment 1: Getting more women in the male-dominated world of sports management and media. 

Women have made great advances as coaches, managers, and sportscasters, but still rarely hold the same top spots as their male counterparts. So what would it take to get more women involved? We ask a panel of sports journalists what is needed to give women a better opportunity to secure some these coveted positions.

Segment 1: Party that made gains in 2018 elections will have to find balance of personality, politics and policies for the next election cycle.

There's a large field of aspiring Democratic candidates who believe now is the best time to run for the White House. Our political panel gave us their take for sorting through the many presidential hopefuls, how a shared opposition can keep the party's factions together, and which issues are likely to resonate best with voters.

Segment 1: A developing program in Missouri would help foster youth find gainful employment.

Youth in the foster care program who are not placed with a permanent family face disproportionate levels of unemployment and homelessness. FosterAdopt Connect's new program helps pair young adults with hiring businesses, and ensures employers are prepared for the employees' unique needs associated with growing up in the foster care system.

Segment 1: Expert in climate impact says ending poverty and hunger should be part of our strategy to protect the planet.

The lead author on several assessments for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  described the social causes and consequences of climate change on the fate of the disadvantaged and disempowered.

Segment 1: The voter ID laws enacted in 35 states are inefficient and have little to no impact.

Segment 1: As cold storage fills up, food banks are seeing a bump in donations of meat and dairy. 

A scarcity of space in cold storage sites for beef, pork, chicken, milk, and cheese has prompt market players to find ways to balance production and demand. Hear what led to the dilemma, who could benefit from it, and whether or not food producers will be able to respond quick enough.   

The owner of Kansas City's oldest independent movie theater talks about his decision to close.

Jerry Harrington has been a boon to independent, documentary and foreign filmmakers for devoting the screens of The Tivoli to their work for 35 years.  He explained how he managed to grow the audience for these types of films, added innovative content over the decades and gifted Kansas City with the opportunity to see many of the greatest films ever made.

Segment 1: A Kansas bill aims to make the state the nation's first to check new-case DNA evidence with connection to closed cases.  

Currently, biological evidence from current crimes is not investigated when it produces a hit in the DNA database on a case that already has a conviction. Kansas lawmakers want to audit what's happening when those hits arise and the potential to help exonerate innocent people. 

NPR's Mara Liasson

Apr 8, 2019

The veteran journalist's path to NPR and what it's like working the political beat today.  

Mara Liasson started her career with NPR  in 1985 becoming one of the most highly respected voices in political journalism. She shared what it was like covering seven presidential elections and what her plans are for covering the one in 2020. 

  • Mara Liasson, NPR National Political Correspondent 

Segment 1: Storm spotters are the first line of defense against incoming severe weather.

Meteorologist don't just rely on sophisticated equipment to provide weather reporting, they also use trained, volunteer storm spotters to relay exactly what's being seen in the sky. But what goes into the training, and what are the risks?

Segment 1: Supreme Court decision involving Wayfair.com has lawmakers looking at making online retailers collect state sales tax.

With the state revenue in Missouri short by about $300 million, legislators are considering making online retailers, not residents, calculate, collect and remit the sales tax for purchases made on their websites. Brick-and-mortar businesses in the Show-Me State could benefit from the move as well by having a more level playing field on which to compete.

Segment 1: Primary winners will have to highlight differences going into June's general election.  

Two candidates managed to distinguish themselves in a pack of eleven contenders for Kansas City mayor and are moving on to the general election. Quinton Lucas and Jolie Justus offered their thoughts on why they won and what they will do to gain votes in the general election.

Segment 1: Architects need to change the way they design buildings to adapt to the complex changes in our environment.

The benefits outweigh the costs when designing architecture that can withstand the effects of climate change, says one leading voice on the matter. Natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy and recent flooding throughout the Midwest show why cities need resilient design that also makes them quicker to recover.

Segment 1: The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility is four years behind schedule and $800 million over budget estimates.

The 47-acre facility in Manhattan, Kansas, will work to detect, diagnose and vaccinate against deadly animal diseases that could be part of a bio-terrorism attack. We find out what's behind redesigns of some aspects of the facility, costly delays and a revised 2022 opening date.

Segment 1: Former ambassador to the U.N., Israel,  Jordan and Russia critiqued American foreign policy in the Middle East.

President Trump took a new route with America's policy on Iran by making the decision to withraw from their nuclear treaty and reimpose sanctions on the country. Ambassador Pickering offered his views on the U.S. strategy in the region and how our role can help or hurt the cause of peace and security there.

Segment 1: Congresswoman Davids discusses her first few months in Congress. 

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids says that she didn't know what to expect when she first got to Washington, but that she's managed to keep her campaign promises nonetheless. "It's as busy as I thought it might be, but experiencing it is a whole different thing," she told us today.

A Catholic parish school in Praire Village, Kansas, opted not to enroll a same-sex couple's child in kindergarten. We examine the reasoning behind the decision made by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the split among Catholics on the issue.

Segment 1: The Tomb of the Unkown Soldier is located at Arlington National Cemetery.

Established in 1921, the Tomb is the final resting place for unknown service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in both World Wars and the Korean War. Hear the history of the monument and what it takes to become a sentinel at this national landmark.

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