John Durkee

News Director & Morning Edition anchor

John Durkee is the News Director for KWGS. He has over 40-years of experience in radio news and has served as News Director of radio stations in Tulsa, Missouri and Kansas.  He was also a reporter in Oklahoma City, early in his career. He is a Tulsa native and served as the City of Tulsa Communications Director prior to joining the staff at KWGS.

Durkee has won countless awards for his work as a broadcaster, including awards from the Radio and Television News Directors Association, the Associated Press, United Press International, The Society of Professional Journalists and the Oklahoma and Missouri Association of Broadcasters. He is a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. Durkee was named the Tulsa Press Club's 2016 Tulsa Media Icon.

He is a past board member of the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, the Kansas Association of News Broadcasters and the former Tulsa Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He resides in Bixby with his wife, Carol.

 

 

Ways to Connect

In the local news:

  • The State Senate tells the House to pass a Gross Production Tax hike.
  • The State Health Department is the latest agency to brace for cuts.
  • Oklahoma's AG wants to tackle the opioid problem.

In the local news:

  • A budget deal dies in the state house.
  • Scott Inman drops out of the Governor's race.
  • An apartment fire leaves some Tulsans homeless.

In the local news:

  • Republicans push a budget bill out of committee.
  • Thousands rally against social service cuts.
  • Coyotes are spotted in suburban Bixby.

In the local news:

  • The new budget deal: pro and con.
  • Union dedicates a new elementary school.
  • Police investigate a late night Tulsa murder.

In the local news:

  • The new budget deal: pro and con.
  • Union dedicates a new elementary school.
  • Police investigate a late night Tulsa murder.

In the local news:

  • The new budget deal: pro and con.
  • Union dedicates a new elementary school.
  • Police investigate a late night Tulsa murder.

The head of the Oklahoma Policy Institute doubts the new budget plans will become reality. David Blatt says the cigarette tax hike would require a two-thirds majority and the Republicans don’t have it.

David Blatt; "Oklahoma's structural budget problems will not be solved while lawmakers insist on asking nothing from the wealthiest households and most profitable businesses in our state. This proposal simply continues the political grandstanding that has prevented the obvious, popular, and fair solution preferred by a large majority of Oklahomans."

The head of the Oklahoma Policy Institute doubts the new budget plans will become reality. David Blatt says the cigarette tax hike would require a two-thirds majority and the Republicans don’t have it.

David Blatt; "Oklahoma's structural budget problems will not be solved while lawmakers insist on asking nothing from the wealthiest households and most profitable businesses in our state. This proposal simply continues the political grandstanding that has prevented the obvious, popular, and fair solution preferred by a large majority of Oklahomans."

In the local news:

  • More angst among mental health care providers in Oklahoma.
  • It may have been the Beach Boys on stage, but those were not "Good Vibrations" in Norman as an EF-1 tornado hits a Norman casino over the weekend.
  • A Tulsa man is critically injured after stepping in front of an oncoming  vehicle.

In the local news:

  • With state social service budgets slashed, local non-profits are bracing for an influx of clients.
  • U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses Oklahoma Sheriffs.
  • Bob Bates is out of prison.

In the local news:

  • Mental Health programs brace for a drastic state cut.
  • A jury finds Ex-Cop Shannon Kepler guilty of killing his estranged daughter's boy friend.
  • The mayor thinks Tulsa has a real shot at landing Amazon's 2HQ

In the local news:

  • The head of Tulsa's ambulance service steps down.
  • New state tests scores are not pretty for Tulsa School students.
  • A proposal is floated to cut lawmakers' pay.

In the local news:

  • Oklahoma has the highest Hispanic teen birth rate in the nation.
  • The Tulsa School Board renews Deborah Gist's contract as superintendent.
  • Still no state budget deal.

McCurtain Hospital

Regional hospitals are taking the brunt of forced budget cuts from the legislature. With $70-million  pulled from the Health Care Authority’s budget, that amount is trickling down to Medicaid providers like the McCurtain Regional Hospital at Idabel.

Hospital C-E-O Jahni Tapley says lawmakers are playing with the health of Oklahomans. She says hospitals like her’s can’t holdout much longer.

In the local news:

  • State budget cuts are crippling rural hospitals.
  • Feral Hogs are causing problems now in eastern Oklahoma.
  • Tulsa School Superintendent gets a school board review tonight.

In the local news:

  • The governor says lawmakers are moving too slow on a budget patch.
  • Country star Jason Aldean resumes his concert tour in Tulsa. It was his first concert since the Las Vegas shooting spree.
  • Republican Senator Lankford holds a town hall meeting in Democratic north Tulsa.

Tulsa's News from KWGS

Oct 12, 2017

In the local news:

  • Test scores drop in Oklahoma. We explore why?
  • A Tulsa City Councilor says he will not seek re-election.
  • State lawmakers consider selling Oklahoma water to Texas.

In the local news:

  • State lawmakers debate wind farms and the military.
  • Owasso voters approve bond issues.
  • State agencies face more budget cuts.

In the local news:

  • Tulsa celebrates its first Native American Day.
  • Jury selection continues in the Shannon Kepler trial.
  • Owasso votes decide the fate of $62 million in school bonds.

In the local news:

  • State officials explore unlicensed day care facilities.
  • The 4th Shannon Kepler murder trial begins today.
  • The Tulsa State Fair wraps up for another year.

In the local news:

  • A high school program at Union will held students get an Associates Degree while still in high school.
  • Funeral services start today for NSU students killed in a Tahlequah traffic crash.
  • An Oklahoma Air Force Colonel comes home, a half-century after being shot down over Vietnam

In the local news:

  • Tulsa City Council members approve a discount store moratorium. 
  • OU President David Boren will retire.
  • Iron Gates gets a judge's approval for a new site.

In the local news:

  • Tulsa Police gets a crime fighting grant
  • A Broken Arrow instructor is Oklahoma's Teacher of the Year.
  • Lawmakers urged to get serious during next week's Special Session.

In the local news:

  • A downtown parking lot will become Tulsa's newest development.
  • The state releases its 8-year education plan.
  • NSU pauses to remember students killed in a Tahlequah area traffic crash.

In the local news:

  • An immigration attorney speaks out about DACA.
  • Five are dead in a Tahlequah area pick-up crash.
  • Tulsa records its 62nd murder.

In the local news:

  • A Sapulpa Hotel is evacuated after a fire is reported.
  • Poverty rates in Oklahoma are bucking a national trend of dropping.
  • Man is dead after overnight store shooting in Tulsa.

The Top Local News

Sep 14, 2017

In the local news:

  • The Tulsa City Council rejects an EMSA rate increase, but does not take action on a dollar-store moratorium.
  • Proposed new names for the Brady Arts District are released.
  • One size does NOT fit all when it comes to Oklahoma economic development effort.

In the Local News:

  • A Tulsa commission wants to explore the economic opportunities of  Route 66
  • A State Senator resigns amid a scandal.
  • Electric cars show off in Tulsa.

Somber Homecoming for Fallen Air Force Colonel

Sep 12, 2017
Wikimedia

It was over a half century ago that Colonel Martin Scott was shot down over Vietnam. Now, 51-years later his family is finally getting closure.

The Colonel's remains have been positively identified and are being brought back to Oklahoma for internment. A memorial service is planned in Claremore for a week from this Friday.

In the local news:

  • The latest on Helmerich Park.
  • Tulsa County will try its first death penalty case in five years.
  • GOP voters in West Tulsa County select a candidate for the state senate today.

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