Marshall Stewart

Reporter & All Things Considered anchor

Marshall Stewart comes to KWGS after more than 30 years in radio news. He’s been an anchor, editor, producer, and reporter with a focus on government stories. He’s the recipient of numerous state awards and a 2006 Edward R. Murrow national award.

The Air Force veteran is a Ponca City native and Oklahoma State University alum and the proud father of three children and granddad to three granddaughters.

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KWGS News

Several hundred Edison Preparatory students stage a walkout protest over what they see as increasing problems at the school.

The students gathered at the football field, holding signs and chanting as some teachers and parents watched. The kids are upset over the high turnover rate of teachers and what they perceive as less than satisfactory replacements and perceived deteriorating conditions at the school.  

Areas for the protest were designated and school officials say the protesting students will not be marked absent.

KWGS News

The ribbon is cut on a company expansion bringing 250 new jobs to Tulsa.

DISH, a company that provides TV services, officially opens a new sales center in Tulsa. Sean Ayers is General Manager of Direct Sales in Tulsa. He says the city, state, and business community provided help to make the decision to expand here easier.

Some new employees have been hired, but more are needed. Positions include frontline sales, human resources, management, training, and customer retention.

KWGS News

The way to San Jose is now a straight shot from Tulsa. The Silicon Valley town is one of two new non-stop destinations from Tulsa announced by Frontier Airlines. Frontier Director Louie Ligon says the reception of earlier announced non-stops from Tulsa helped with the decision to add more. The second non-stop announced this week is east to Dulles Airport in Washington DC.

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A spectacular lunar event will loom large in the sky tomorrow morning. It’s a super blue blood moon featuring a total eclipse. Super because it’s close to the earth, blue because it’s the second full moon this month, and Tulsa Planetarium Director Bob Ferguson explains why it’s also called a blood moon…volcanic ash and other items in the Earth’s atmosphere will make the moon appear orange-red.

The moon will be visible west-northwest of Tulsa. The eclipse begins at 5:48 with eclipse totality to begin at 6:52am. The moon will set just before 7:30.

KWGS News

The number of flu hospitalizations and deaths jump in Oklahoma over the past week as the peak season continues. The State Health Department’s Jamie Dukes says there’s always a delay in getting numbers to the state offices, but reported fatalities in the past week are up by nearly 30. Total flu deaths in Oklahoma have now reached 74 , an increase of 29 in reporting in just the past week.

KWGS Photo

Along with several other groups, the Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers, endorses a new plan to solve the state’s budget crisis. The Association’s CEO Nico Gomez says ‘Step Up Oklahoma’ could keep long term care facilities from closing and halt cuts to services.

Gomez says Oklahoma nursing homes have seen over $93-million dollars in state and federal budget cuts since 2010. Other organizations announcing support for Step Up this week include the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy and Oklahoma Tomorrow.

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Tulsa County now leads the state in the number of deaths and hospitalizations from flu. According to Jamie Dukes with the State Health Department, the most patients with influenza are reported in the two most populous counties…Oklahoma and Tulsa. Here in Tulsa County, 338 people have been hospitalized since flu season began in September, and the county is now reporting ten deaths. All the deaths statewide are in the age group 50 and older.

Dukes says nearly 15-hundred people have been hospitalized since flu season began. She reminds Oklahomans it’s NOT too late to get a shot

KWGS News

Even in the extreme cold, people line the parade route for Tulsa’s 39th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. Carmen Pettie is the event organizer. She says there are 300 or more entries in the parade and hundreds of participants. Hundreds more, if not thousands, line the parade route to watch, even in the freezing cold weather.

Pettie says the Tulsa Parade is the third largest in the country and the largest in the region. The theme this year is ’50 years later and the dream still lives’. 

Flu cases continue unabated across the nation and in Oklahoma. The latest statistics show more than one-thousand people hospitalized in Oklahoma with 22 deaths attributed to the flu. State Health Department Spokeswoman Jamie Dukes says even though the vaccine isn’t 100% sure, getting a shot is still the best action to take.

She says although the flu is striking across the entire age spectrum, all the fatalities in Oklahoma have been in the 50-and-older age group. Of the 1,020 hospitalizations, 225 are in Tulsa County.

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Will a federal change to crackdown on marijuana ordered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions impact Oklahoma’s vote on medicinal marijuana? Former Western District U-S Attorney Sandy Coats in Oklahoma believes the focus is on RECREATIONAL marijuana, not necessarily medicinal. He thinks it likely Oklahoma will pass marijuana use for medical purposes.

Governor Fallin has set a June election on medicinal marijuana use. It does not include legalizing recreational marijuana.

Wikipedia

Another death from flu is reported in Oklahoma. It isn’t in Tulsa County, but several more hospitalizations occurred here in the last week. Jamie Dukes with the State Health Department says we’re in peak flu season, with hundreds of cases of hospitalizations across Oklahoma. 120 of those are in Tulsa County.

Since September 1st, more than 600 people have been hospitalized in Oklahoma with the flu and 13 have died. All the fatalities have been in the population age 50 and older. Dukes says it isn’t too late to get a shot since flu season can run well into the spring in Oklahoma.

KWGS News File Photo

Retirements, resignations, and for various other reasons, the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office has been understaffed for some time. This week, for the first time in three years, seven applicants have been sworn in to become full-fledged deputies. Sheriff Vic Regalado says while the seven were promoted this week, it will be a while before they begin field work. They must finish CLEET law enforcement training and other training first. It will likely be six months before they see the field.

KWGS News File Photo

Tulsa is only one murder away from tying the homicide record of 82. It was set only last year. Releasing a report this week, homicide detectives say 73 of the 81 killings have been solved. It's a very respectable 91% solve rate, but down from last year's rate of 97% solved. Police say there's no one thing leading to the the high number of homicides this year like gang warfare or battles between drug dealers. It's more a matter of someone introducing a gun or weapon into an argument, fight, or robbery that turns many disputes deadly.

Daniel Paquet/Wikimedia

The weekly statistics are out, and another person has died from flu in Oklahoma. It brings the season total to ten, with one more fatality reported this past week. Statewide, 121 more patients were hospitalized with flu symptoms, bringing the total this year to 425. Counties with the most hospitalizations are those  with the largest populations. Oklahoma County reports 120 cases, Tulsa County reports 88. Two people have died from flu in the Tulsa area. Most of the state's fatalities are in the age range 50 and older.

Tulsa Police

The Tulsa Police Department will conduct a DUI checkpoint as part of the department’s continued commitment to reducing injuries, deaths, and raising awareness about the dangers caused by alcohol and drug-impaired drivers. The checkpoint will be conducted on Saturday, December 30th from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. in Downtown Tulsa with the assistance of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Tulsa County Sheriff's Department.
 

KWGS News

The flu has now killed one person in Tulsa County, the first death here this season. 35 patients have been hospitalized in the county, according to the Tulsa Health Department’s Leanne Stephens. There have been 179 total hospitalizations in Oklahoma. Stephens says plenty of vaccine is left and it’s not too late to get a shot.

Four people in the state have died this flu season, with the Tulsa County flu fatality reported in the past week. All the deaths have been in the vulnerable population of age 50 and older.  

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Oklahoma Democrats are celebrating along with Alabama Democrats the victory of Doug Jones over Roy Moore in the U-S Senate race. Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Anna Langthorn believes it provides hope in some deep red states. She points to recent victories for Democrats in special elections in Oklahoma suburban areas near Tulsa and Oklahoma City as examples where inroads are being made.

KWGS File Photo

Tulsa County Commissions, on Monday afternoon, vote to enter into a contract to purchase the Community Care building at 216 West 6th.

That is right across the street from the Tulsa County Court House. The $11.5-million sale will also include some furniture, fixtures and equipment.

The building will become the new headquarters for Tulsa County government. That will open needed space at the Tulsa County Court House. It will also provide needed parking space

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No new deaths, but another two-dozen-plus people are hospitalized in Oklahoma with the flu in the past week. In Australia, a strain which proved highly resistant to the vaccine hit hard, but Jamie Dukes with the State Health Department says that strain has not been reported here.

Most Oklahoma cases involve those age 50 or older or those four and younger. Oklahoma County leads the state with 33 cases of hospitalizations. Tulsa County is second with 30. No deaths have been reported in the state’s two most populous counties.

KWGS News Photo

Turnpike toll rates in Oklahoma will go up again next month. The 2.5% jump follows a 12% hike in March. Jack Damrill with the Turnpike Authority says it’s the second of a planned phase-in of increases to fund the Driving Forward initiative. The initiative will fund the Gilcrease toll road and an expansion of the Turner Turnpike between Tulsa and Bristow.

As an example of the new prices, the PikePass rate on the Turner between Oklahoma City and Tulsa will rise from $4.40 to $4.50, and the cash rate going to $4.75 from $4.50. The hike will take effect in the first week of January.

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More than 100 people have now been hospitalized this season with flu in Oklahoma, and, in the past week, the first two deaths from the illness in the state are reported. The level of activity in Oklahoma has now reached the ‘widespread’ category. Jamie Dukes is with the State Health Department. She says of the 105 total number of patients hospitalized this season in the state, 65 are 50 years of age or older, and 13 are under four years of age.

KWGS News File Photo

While Tulsa County Commissioners all vote to endorse the region’s 2018 One Voice legislative agenda, at least one says he isn’t happy with the total package.

John Smaligo supports education and road and bridge funding called for in the agenda, but says he won’t sign on to a demand for new revenue through tax increases.                              

The legislative agenda is a list of priorities compiled by the regional chamber with input from various sources including area government officials, business, and education leaders.

KWGS News

People line up around the block at the John 3:16 Mission for the free Thanksgiving food basket giveaway. The Mission has been feeding the hungry for many years during the holiday, and the food basket giveaway runs through Wednesday. In line at the Family and Youth Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard are many who say if not for the Mission, they would have no Thanksgiving holiday.

John 3:16’s goal is to feed 20-thousand people through the free Thanksgiving meal and the food basket giveaway. Donations are still needed.

Tulsa County

In the near future you will see a bison herd grazing in LaFortune Park. They will look real from a distance, but the herd will be made up of lifesize sculptures donated by NatureWorks. The herd will include bulls, cows, calves, and yearlings, some 25 to 30 sculpted animals in total.

Tulsa County Parks Director Richard Bales says taxpayers won’t be out anything except for the donation of a portion of parkland near the picnic area off Yale Avenue. The process of placing the sculptures will take 15 to 18 months.

KWGS News

This Veterans Day Parade in Tulsa coincides with the Marine Corps 242nd birthday, so saluting the Marines is a focus of today’s event. Bob Thomas is a member of the Marine Corps League and has participated in Tulsa’s parade the last five years. He’s glad to see such a good turnout and the thanks shown by people for military veterans and their service.

Weather was nice, and several thousand marched and several thousand more watched Tulsa’s parade today. Tulsa’s annual parade is the largest in the region and one of the largest in the nation.  

 

KWGS News

What will be the largest capacity natural gas fueling station in the state is being built in northeast Tulsa. It’s being built along the I-44 CNG Corridor, linking St. Louis and Dallas. Oklahoma Energy Secretary Michael Teague was there for the groundbreaking. He says more infra-structure, like the new station, is needed for natural gas vehicles to make it more convenient for drivers.

The natural gas company, Sparq is building the station along I-44 at 129th East Avenue. It’s the company’s 5th CNG station in Oklahoma.

Tulsa Sheriff's Office

The Tulsa Sheriff will add some psychological testing to background checks for jail guards. At least six Tulsa County officers have been arrested and fired since summer. Most are in roles as detention officers. Sheriff Vic Regalado admits it seems like a lot in a short period of time, but says his office remains committed to transparency on these cases. He does say another aspect will be added to the background checks, psychological tests for potential new employees.

Regalado says ‘violations of the law and the public’s trust will not be tolerated by his agency’.

Tulane University

A national expert speaks to early childhood educators and health care professionals in Tulsa on supporting young children impacted by traumatic experiences. Dr. Allison Boothe is a clinical psychologist and associate professor at Tulane University. She says children are resilient, but they need proper support and proven ways to judge if additional help is needed.

She says without proper support, trauma can adversely impact the development of young children later in life. Boothe spoke last night at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center.

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Special drug take-back days are held to dispose of unused, expired medications…but you can get rid of them safely most days of the year. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Mark Woodward says law agencies in all 77 counties have take-back boxes. He says the idea is to limit the availability of dangerous opioids.

47% of young people say it’s easy to get prescription drugs from a parent’s medicine cabinet.

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The Tulsa Sheriff gets a grant that will pay for enough body cams to outfit almost all deputies. The Department of Justice grant can cover another 218 body cams to combine with 55 others already donated to the office. Sheriff’s Director of Government Affairs, Terry Simonson, says the county won’t be out any money for the initial cost. The Axon Company has donated 55 cameras, and the DOJ grant of $291,600 will pay for the other 218.

The grant and donation will cover the initial equipment cost, but the Sheriff will need to fund on-going camera maintenance and data storage costs.

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