Steve Kraske

Steve Kraske is an associate teaching professor of journalism at UMKC, a political columnist for The Kansas City Star and has hosted "Up to Date" since 2002. He worked as the full-time political correspondent for The Star from 1994-2013 covering national, state and local campaigns. He also has covered the statehouses in Topeka and Jefferson City.

Before arriving in Kansas City, he worked at daily newspapers in Iowa and Illinois and at United Press International in Madison, Wis. 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.

Segment 1: Most people agree access to pre-K needs to be exanded. Not everyone agrees on how to pay for and oversee it.

Days after Kansas City Mayor Sly James made public the particulars of his plan to fund expanded early childhood education, opposition to the proposal is piping up. Today, we heard educators and community organizers explain why they think the mayor's scheme to get more 4-year-olds into pre-K needs work.

Segment 1: Legal organization teams with community development financial institution to transform abandoned residences into affordable housing.

Segment 1: Former Kansas City mayor reflects on the impact of downtown development.

Much of the credit for Kansas City's current downtown boom can be placed at the feet of former Mayor Kay Barnes, whose efforts culminated in the creation of the Power and Light District and the construction of the Sprint Center. Nevertheless, parts of town east of Troost still struggle for invesment and redevelopment. We spoke with Barnes about her legacy and the community-building work that's left to be done.

Segment 1: A shuttered charter school in Kansas City leaves some families in the lurch.

Primary night in Missouri and Kansas has come and gone, but certainly left lots to talk about in it's wake. We dived into the evening's results on both sides of the state line. 

Segment 1: Tenants suffering domestic violence will be able to break their rental agreements without penalty.

Segment 1: A last look at candidates and issues before Tuesday's elections.

Kansas and Missouri primaries are just days away and the political climate on both sides of the state line is heating up. Our political pundits gave a rundown of the major races and issues going into the primaries, including controversial ballot measure Proposition A, and contests affecting Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Segment 1: How truthful are claims by Kansas gubernatorial candidates?

Twelve Kansans remain in the race for governor of the Sunflower State. In recent ads and forums some have presented questionable "facts" so, with only a few days left until the state's primaries, our panel of Kansas News Service reporters corrected some of  misstatements heard from candidates running for the state's top job.

Segment 1: Matthew Merryman wants to be the next Jackson County executive.

A former public defender and political newcomer from Kansas City is challenging incumbent Frank White for Jackson County executive. Today, he shared his reasons for running, and discussed his plans to address a crumbling county jail, keep guns out of schools and forge good relationships with county legislators.

Segment 1: Kansas GOP candidates faces tough Democratic — and Republican — challengers.

Segment 1: "Healthy homes" ballot initiative addresses rental property inspections. 

Kansas City, Missouri, voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on a "healthy homes" initiative this August 7. If the measure is approved, rental properties in town will be subject to health department inspections if community members complain about their condition. Today, we learned why supporters think the measure will hold landlords more accountable, while those against it think the initiative will drive landlords away from Kansas City properties.

Segment 1: Former Kansas Democratic governor on the approaching midterm elections.

In 1979 John Carlin began the first of two terms as Kansas governor. He went on to work as the Eighth Archivist of  the United States by appointment of President Bill Clinton. Today, as a Kansas State University professor and leading figure in local civic engagement, he's still heavily involved in state and the state of politics. We got his take on the race for his former office.

Segment 1: Lone Jack animal feed operation expansion concerns Powell Gardens.

Segment 1: Missouri's 2015 reform bill means fewer defendants bother to appear in court for traffic violations.

In the wake of Ferguson, then-Missouri governor Jay Nixon signed a sweeping court reform bill to cut down on percieved predatory traffic stops that burdened the poor unduly. Today a judge and a criminal defense attorney questioned the bill's efficacy that has fewer Missourians showing up for their court dates and has created greater workloads for court clerks and support staff.

Segment 1: How and when will Kansas City use funds from Central City Economic Development Sales Tax?

Segment 1: How local activists are reducing student homelessness on the Kansas side of the metro.

Over the last several years a coalition of social services groups in Kansas City, Kansas, operating under the banner Impact Wednesday, have been working to cut in half the number of homeless students in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. Today, we heard how the district is collaborating with Impact Wednesday and volunteer teachers to reach zero homelessness among students by 2020. 

Segment 1: New Kansas City Public Schools sub-district map creates controversy. 

Segment 1: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach looks to step up to governor.

As one of two Republican frontrunners in the Kansas gubernatorial election, Kris Kobach brings his reputation for controversy with him. Case in point, last month his campaign made national headlines for using a faux machine gun during a parade appearance in a Shawnee, Kansas. Today, he outlined his plans for higher office, and compared his style of leadership and that of President Donald Trump.

Segment 1: Kansas Supreme Court rules new school funding plan lacks sufficient money but gives legislature another year to eliminate shortfall.

In order to avoid school shutdowns, the Kansas Legislature recently added $522 million to the education budget over the next five years. Still, critics argue this will not be enough and more needs to be added for inflation. Today, we looked at this latest development in the longstanding Gannon case and its implications for the future of public education in the state.

Segment 1: Former four-term state representative and agriculture secretary Josh Svaty wants the state's top job.

Segment 1: The latest in state and Kansas City politics.

Jason Kander announced on Monday his candidacy for mayor of Kansas City, making him the ninth person to enter what's sure to be a closely-watched race. Today, our panel of pundits shared their take on the coming mayoral elections, the Kansas primaries, and the Missouri Senate race that is garnering national attention.

Segment 1: Leaders of the Kansas and Missouri chapters of the ACLU discuss their organizations' goings-on.

With a federal court ruling Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's voter I.D. laws unconstitutional, the ACLU has something to celebrate. In the meantime, they're still fighting restrictive abortion laws in Missouri and for more funding of the state's public defender's office. Today, they updated us on these lawsuits and more.

Segment 1: The mindset of asylum-seekers in Trump's America.

Sticking to his campaign promise of strictly enforcing the law at our southern border, President Trump's immigration policies resulted in thousands of migrant children being seperated from their parents. Though he ended that policy with an executive order last week, families crossing illegally are still being detained with children. Today, we heard a first-hand account of what it's like living in a family detention center.

Segment 1: State Sen. Laura Kelly makes her case in the race for Kansas governor.

In Kansas' crowded field of candidates for governor, there is a lone woman running. Today, we met Laura Kelly, the Senate Minority Whip whose district stretches along Highway 24 from Wamego to Topeka. She discussed her multi-continental childhood, her passion for education and her plans to bring the state back from the financial brink.  

Segment 1: Former Kansas state senator Jim Barnett is throwing his hat back in the political arena.

In 2006, Jim Barnett wanted to be governor of Kansas, but lost the job to Kathleen Sebelius. Now, he's campaigning again for the highest office in the state, this time with a new running mate. Today, we learned how he feels about school finacing, medical marijuana legalization and found out why he picked his wife to be his running mate.

Segment 1: KCUR's interview with Kevin Yoder about the treatment of immigrant detainees at the U.S.-Mexico border.

KCUR's Kyle Palmer spoke with U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) on the seperation of parents and children coming across United States' southern border. 

Segment 2, starting at 8:33: A look at Mike Kehoe, the newly appointed lieutenant governor of Missouri. 

Segment 1: A labor lawyer who campaigned for Bernie Sanders and a Leawood-based banking executive hope to unseat U.S Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS). 

In the final episode of our three-part series covering Yoder's Democratic challengers, we talked with Brent Welder and Sylvia Williams. They discussed the difficulties of running in a densely red state on platforms that include planks like universal healthcare. 

Segment 1: Kansas City Police Department shootings raise questions about when it's acceptable for police to use lethal force.

In the course of one afternoon last week, Kansas City police officers shot and killed three people in two separate incidents. The first involved the shooting of a woman in the Northland who was armed with a decorative sword. In the first part of today's program, we heard an eyewitness account of the killing, and discussed when police can and should use deadly force.

Segment 1: A former White House fellow and a small business owner are just two of the Democrats looking to take on Kevin Yoder in November.

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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