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...

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New insights about the development of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, can help explain what causes nerve- and muscle-cell failure in sufferers, and researchers hope the new knowledge will help design drugs to combat the disease.

A recent study shows that 9% of U.S. cable subscribers dropped their cable TV subscription in 2011. Why? Perhaps some of them did so because of the economy, but more did so because they're able to get their favorite TV shows through the Internet - on their schedule.

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Kansas City, Missouri City Manager Troy Schulte’s recently proposed budget recommendations for 2012 include a number of cuts, most notably a reduction of more than 100 positions in the fire department. On Wednesday, Fire Chief Smokey Dyer told the City Council’s public safety committee that the proposed cuts would violate national fire safety standards.

For more than forty years, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has married the intricate rhythms and harmonies of the native South African musical traditions. The ten member vocal ensemble has recorded forty albums and sold more than six million records.

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet, which features two members of one of America's most accomplished musical families, performs this evening at 8:30 at Johnson County Community College.

So here we are three weeks into the year.  How about a show of hands: how many of you have already broken your new year’s resolutions?

Higher education is on the chopping block once again in Jefferson City.

According to a Kansas City Star article by sportswriter Kent Babb, "secrecy, intimidation, fear and a watchful eye have become hallmarks of working for the Chiefs."

The Kansas City (Missouri) Police Department searched far and wide for a new chief last year. Finally, they chose from within its ranks: Darryl Forté.

Tuesday on Up to Date, Steve Kraske welcomed Chief Forté to talk about Kansas City's consistently-high homicide rate, community policing, and his background. 

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Bellman, concierge, housekeeper, valet:  If the Pullman porter’s job was complex, his place in the American consciousness is even harder to pin down. 

There comes a time in every marriage when many wives begin to wonder “What the heck is wrong with my husband’s brain?!”

At his annual State of the State address on Wednesday night, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback advocated a plan to cut taxes for roughly 1.6 million Kansans

He also outlined a plan to change the way Kansas public schools are funded, and called for the Kansas Legislature to fix the Sunflower State's state employee pension plan.

Ready to face the great urban outdoors this weekend?  Brian McTavish is back to offer up a few options in his Weekend To-Do List for January 13-14, 2012.

Wendell Potter, a former vice president of CIGNA, says that health insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and skew political debate with multibillion-dollar PR campaigns to mislead the press and public.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will name its Oscar nominees on January 24th.  No, our own critics aren't involved in the nominating process, but that doesn't mean they don't have opinions on which films should receive accolades!

Seeking a way out of the house this weekend?  Brian McTavish is back to offer up a few options in his Weekend To-Do List for January 6-8, 2012.

Boeing

Will 2,100 aerospace workers find other jobs in Wichita once Boeing closes its plant next year?

Thursday at 11:40 a.m. on Up to Date: Steve Kraske talks with Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer about Wednesday's big news that Boeing is pulling out of city after nearly 85 years.

University of Kansas Film and Media Studies professor John C. Tibbetts is not just a film scholar, but a fan of its work, more specifically, science fiction.  He had a strong influence: Tibbetts' father was an early science fiction fan who named his son after Edgar Rice Burrough's second great hero, John Carter of Mars.

Whether you're searching online for the best shoe sales or driving directions, chances are good that the first thing you do is "Google it." And why wouldn't you? With its recent foray into social media and services offering everything from out-of-print books to cell phones, Google is fast becoming a one-stop shop for, well, everything. But could the search engine be too good at what it does?

50 years ago, Alan Shepard became the first American in space, making a brief suborbital mission that marked the first manned launch of Project Mercury.

An assassination attempt on the American president, a world-famous inventor on a deadline and a hard-headed doctor named Doctor Bliss. You couldn't make this stuff up, and Leawood author Candice Millard found it too good not to write about.

X-ray vision, doubled life spans, lots of robots, and zoos filled with animals that are now extinct.

It may sound like a science fiction novel from your childhood, but this is the not-too-distant future envisioned by quantum physicist Michio Kaku in his book Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100.

 

If you're still looking for that perfect gift, it may not be too late.  Sure, you could buy some clothing, jewelry, or (men - don't do this), blender, but why not pick something meaningful for your friend or loved one - something that matches their personal taste?  Here's an idea: the gift of movies.

So it's not going to be a white Christmas.  But that's okay: there's still plenty to do this holiday weekend.  To help get you out, Brian McTavish offers up these five fun and unique things to do in Kansas City.

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So your kid went off to college, experienced freedom, set his own schedule, abided by his own rules, and now he’s home for winter break…for a few weeks.

Yeah, there’s gonna be some tension.  We've seen it play out in movies and TV shows that poke fun at family dysfunction around the holidays.

It’s hard enough to keep your kids away from the Xbox on a normal weekday… it must be even tougher when they’re home for winter vacation.  But technology might just help this time around: perhaps you can even convince your child to turn off the video game and pick up a Kindle...or a Nook… an iPad or even (yes!) paper…and dig deep into a great story.

When religion is part of the news stories of the day, it can be very good - as when people of many faiths work together to provide disaster relief - or very bad, as when religious institutions become embroiled in financial shenanigans or sexual abuse.  In today's pluralistic world, even stories that might never be covered by the religion desk - like foreign policy debates, armed conflicts worldwide, or presidential election campaigns - have undeniably religious angles and implications.

Whether it's the opening of a beacon of the performing arts, a shopping mall revived from near death, a business fleeing one side of the state for the other, or a law firm's attempt to build a new office structure on the Country Club Plaza, it's been a busy year in development across the Kansas City region.

When it comes to shuttered and abandoned buildings, the terms “adaptive reuse” and “repurposing” are being heard more and more.  Whether talking about the numerous facilities sitting unused within the Kansas City Missouri School District or on iconic building like King Louie West in Overland Park, finding new uses for old sites seems to make good sense for buyers and sellers alike.

The Book Doctors' Top Picks For 2011

Dec 14, 2011

Tablets and readers might soon supplant the printed word, but there's nothing quite like snuggling up with a great book on a cold winter day. In the interest of keeping you cooped up in just that condition, the Book Doctors share their favorite page-flippers from the past year on Wednesday's Up to Date. Whether you're looking for literature for yourself or your loved ones, our panel of readers is sure to find something that fits just right.

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