Steve Kraske | KBIA

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: 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.

Segment 1: XP-1, a possible future mode of high-speed transportation, will be on display in Kansas City.

The Hyperloop test pod known as XP-1 is leaving its test site in Nevada and making a stop Kansas City. One expert said, rather than investing in additional lanes for I-70, the multi-billion-dollar hyperloop project could be a more effective use of land, money, and time for travelers between St. Louis and Kansas City. Learn more about the feasibility and funding of the future of transportation. 

Segment 1: "All genocides ... begin with words," says one Emory professor concerned about a rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric. 

Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world, concerning scholars and Jewish communities. Money that could be spent in programming and outreach is being redirected to security measures for area Jewish Centers. "The fear in the community is palpable," says Gavriela Geller, executive director for Jewish Commuity Relations Bureau-American Jewish Committee.

Segment 1: A new state system to determine Medicaid eligibility is under fire.

In Missouri this year, Medicaid enrollment numbers have dropped at more than twice the national rate, topping 7%. This means 120,000 people, including tens of thousands of children, have been dropped from the program. We heard answers as to why this is happening and how the state can and should respond.

Segment 1: Lawmakers from urban districts want their counterparts from rural Missouri to come witness the devestation guns create in their cities.

Members of Missouri's Legislative Black Caucus expressed frustration with Gov. Mike Parson for his unwillingness to take up gun violence in next month's special session. They say they're not shocked, but disheartened, by the lack of urgency to address the issue.

Segment 1: State task force on bullying looks to multiple stakeholders for information on harmful harassing behavior 

The Kansas Department of Education has brought together educators, legislators, students and others to garner recommendations as part of its efforts "to better understand how to combat" bullying. The co-chair of the task force discussed how big the problem is, the impact of technology as a means of bullying and why application of the state policies on bullying may not be applied equally by school districts across Kansas.    

The Making Of Koch Industries

Aug 27, 2019

You won't see its name on many products but the Wichita-based conglomerate touches the lives of most Americans.

Charles and David Koch took their father's oil-refining business and converted it into the second largest privately held corporation in North America. Business writer Chris Leonard discussed what has been behind the brothers' success, their past transgressions against Native Americans and environmental law, and their influence on American politics.

Segment 1: Port KC wields power beyond the banks of the Missouri River.

The goal of Port KC, is to drive economic development in Kansas City, Missouri, but many are questioning the agency's ability to act without answering to municipal voters or elected officials. Today, the organization's chief lends his perspective to the conversation, and defends their conduct when it comes to awarding tax incentives and taking on projects that are miles from the Port of Kansas City.

Segment 1: Nursing homes in Kansas can be a "black hole" for people with mental illness 

Red flags are being raised about a lack of mental health resources in Kansas, and the affect it's having on people's ability to move into independent living situations. In that state, patients who don't need to be institutionalized but aren't quite ready for independence sometimes end up in nursing homes. The problem is keeping that stop-gap measure from becoming permanent.

Segment 1: Addressing gun violence from the pulpit

Local leaders looking for a fix to the gun violence problem in Kansas City have tried policy solutions of their own, and have begged for legislative action from the General Assembly in Jefferson City. Progress, though, has been limited. Will turning to a higher power help? We ask local faith leaders what role their churches have in curbing gun violence.

Segment 1: Davids discusses gun violence, antisemetism and hate, and "Sharice's Shifts"

The August break that federal legislators get is often called a recess, but Rep. Sharice Davids' schedule suggests it's anything but. While back in her home district, Davids shares the concerns she's been hearing from her constituents, and the issues she's focused on for the next session.

Segment 1: CEO of the Health Forward Foundation stepping down but says "I won't be disappearing, I will continue to be a troublemaker in some way."

Segment 1: A memo from journalists in the Midwest: Stop calling us flyover country

"Like any other injury . . . it's something you can treat and you can recover."

It took almost 12 years for Jason Kander to realize he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and seek treatment for it.  The former Kansas City, Missouri, mayoral candidate and his wife Diana recalled the years leading up to the diagnosis and how that time affected them individually, as a couple and as a family.

Segment 1: 'We tend to feel like we're captives in our own homes and neighborhoods,' says one neighborhood leader.

Last weekend Brian Bartlett became the youngest victim of gun violence this year in Kansas City, Missouri. Today, neighborhood leaders east of Troost revealed how prevalent shootings have become, how residents are taking more action to record and report activitites in their neighborhoods, and the frustration in trying to find a solution to the gun violence.

Segment 1: Continuing developments still don't seal the deal for a merger of Sprint and T-Mobile

Last month the Justice Department gave final approval to the $26-billion deal between the communications companies. This week the Federal Communications Commission chair recommended going ahead with it. In the way is a lawsuit brought by 16 attorneys general looking to derail the proposed union. Learn what the success or failure of the merger could mean for Sprint and T-Mobile, urban and rural consumers and company employees.

Segment 1: The Kansas City Public School Board prepares for a new school year

Both new and returning school board members are preparing for the start of the school year next week. They talked about the timeline for accreditation, the inefficiency of charter schools and how the Jackson County reassessment issues are making an impact on the district. 

Segment 1: The fact and fiction of mass shootings.

Last week's shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, highlighted misconceptions when it comes to these tragedies. Is there a profile of a mass shooter, can red flag and gun laws reduce the number of incidents and are all the perpetrators mentally ill? Three Guns & America reporters discussed what they have discovered in covering the firearms issues in this country. 

Segment 1: Creating a winning bid for major events

The U.S. Gymnastics Championship this weekend and the NFL Draft in 2023— what do they have in common? They will both take place in Kansas City, Missouri. Visit KC and the Kansas City Sports Commission played roles in bringing these events to town. The CEOs of both explained a process that can take years and described what they think makes the metro appealing to those looking for a host city. 

Segment 1: Normally obscure ballots in Kansas county drawing greater attention

Without a high-profile race for governor or Congress, the Johnson County, Kansas, primary elections are usually on the sleepy side. Not so this time around as controversies have made even the community college's open seats on its Board of Trustee highly-contested.

Segment 1: Weekend shootings in Kansas City spark concern about public events

This weekend saw multiple fatal shootings in Kansas City, one of them occurred shortly after First Friday in the Crossroads, where thousands of people had congregated. The incident has community members and leaders reconsidering Kansas City's violent crime problem, and how to rein it in. 

Segment 1: A new program allows employees to get help with money through employers.

A new program available to Kansas City companies allows employees to use a benefits system that helps them save money, get access to low-interest loans and establish credit. It's offered in lieu of taking out payday loans, which can have high interest rates. 

Segment 1: Former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, can be remembered for more than brick-and-mortar accomplishments

With his successor officially sworn in as mayor, Sly James has ended his eight years  at City Hall. His legacy goes beyond a convention hotel, a single-terminal airport and the streetcar. A panel of non-profit representatives spotlighted James' fights for a higher minimum wage, women's equality and literacy in young children. 

Working To Recover In Linwood, Kansas

Aug 1, 2019

'You could hear it coming. It sounded like a thunder that never stopped.'

The small town of Linwood, Kansas, was struck by an EF-4 tornado on May 28, 2019. In a live broadcast from the Community Library, local officials and residents recalled the moment the storm struck and what they did in the immediate aftermath.  They also addressed ongoing efforts to recover.

Segment 1: Missouri's junior senator is 'playing for that long future.'

Segment 1: Documentary follows the Quinton Lucas campaign

Ater receiving unfiltered access to the Quinton Lucas campaign for mayor, KMBC reporter Micheal Mahoney saw things no one else got to see. He shared what Lucas was like off-camera, his personality quirks and his team's reaction to winning the election. 

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