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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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

Wikipedia

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.

Micheala Dorrough

Thousands fill hallways and steps at the state capitol, rallying to protest healthcare and social service cuts and calling for a budget that includes long-term funding. Mental Health Care Association CEO Michael Brose says band-aid after band-aid just won’t cut it anymore. He says it’s time for lawmakers to end partisanship and do what’s best for all the citizens.

Brose says the budget deal announced by the Governor and legislative leaders does NOT solve the year to year funding gap. Those who attended the rally want lawmakers to address the long-term issues.

KWGS News File Photo

An early evaluation of the new video arraignment system in the Tulsa Courthouse is positive. County Commission Chairman Ron Peters says feedback from the judges and even some inmates is a ‘thumbs up’. He says the new system is proving more efficient and safer.

Peters says transporting of inmates back and forth from jails to the courts has been reduced by 40% a day. Peters says the transportation of inmates to the courthouse and then back to the jail is the most dangerous time for potential problems, so reducing trips and prisoner numbers is safer

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation Health Services adopts a program to educate patients on alternative ways other than antibiotics to heal common illnesses. According to the U-S Centers for Disease Control, antibiotics are often misused for illnesses like flu and the common cold. Medical Director for W.W. Hastings Indian Hospital, Dr. Sharon Smallwood, says the tribe is using the CDC guidelines to help educate patients and staff on the proper use of antibiotics.

The tribe will use the guidelines to more closely monitor the use of antibiotics by patients in all Cherokee Nation health facilities.

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A ‘Walk for Freedom’ will be held Saturday in Tulsa, part of an international event to draw attention to victims of human trafficking. Meg Weinkauf is an organizer of this weekend’s Walk. She says OSBI statistics show nearly 100 men, women, and children were human or sexually trafficked in Oklahoma in 2016, and hundreds more cases go unreported.

Tulsa’s first ever Walk for Freedom is Saturday at Veteran’s Park beginning at 9am. Similar events are scheduled in hundreds of cities across 50 nations.

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Progress proceeds on Tulsa’s new Family Justice Center. An agreement is okayed this week to remove waste from the former Storey Wrecker site, which will be the new home of the Family Justice Center. Justin Jones is the current Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau Director. He says after an underground storage tank is removed, it’s full speed ahead with construction documents and then a ground breaking by spring of next year.

It’s taken years to get a site since voters okayed funds for a new justice center, but Jones says all is on track for a September 2019 grand opening.

All Souls-Facebook

An interfaith vigil will be held in Tulsa tonight for victims of the Las Vegas shootings. The event at All Souls Unitarian Church is co-hosted by Moms Demand Action. Senior Minister at the Church, Reverend Marlin Lavanhar, says the vigil is to come together to grieve but also to demand action against senseless deaths and gun violence. Moms Demand Action is a group formed after the Sandy Hook shootings of 20 elementary school students. The organization calls for what group members term ‘sensible gun control’ measures.

OSU Center for Health Sciences

Oklahoma State University Health Sciences Center in Tulsa opens a new simulation teaching facility containing the largest program of its’ kind in the state. The Tandy Simulation Center uses life-like computer programmed ‘manikins’ that can imitate almost any medical emergency.                                   

The four-story, 84-thousand square foot Tandy Building contains teaching exam rooms, a medicine lab, conference rooms, and lecture halls.

The grand opening and dedication were held today.

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With Fall officially here, the Tulsa Health Department will begin offering flu shots next week. Ellen Niemitalo is Health Department of Manager of Clinic Services. She says a vaccination is the best way to avoid or mitigate the effects of flu. A shot is recommended for everyone six months of age and older.

The shots will be available at Tulsa County clinics beginning Monday. You can go online to the Health Department website or call to get hours or make appointments.

KWGS News

Churches, a college, and businesses come together to form a Cathedral District on the southern edge of downtown Tulsa. The area, named for six historic churches located there, will join other districts downtown in an attempt at revitalization and to draw new development. Gordy Guest is  C-E-O of Cyntergy and co-chair of the group organizing the district.

While urban renewal decades ago eliminated a lot of historic buildings and infrastructure in the area, Guest says the parking lots and open spaces now make it attractive for new development.

KWGS News-File Photo

The latest numbers are in, and Tulsa County leads the state in the number of hospitalizations due to West Nile Virus. Jamie Dukes with the Oklahoma Department of Health says Tulsa is leading the way in the number of cases of the mosquito borne illness reported this year. Of the 19 cases reported statewide, five are in Tulsa County, four in Oklahoma County. The only death attributed to West Nile was in Pottawatomie County.

While we are moving into fall, the mosquito season isn’t over. Dukes says it’s still important to cover up, use Deet, and dump any standing water.

The largest small equine competition in the world will be held in Tulsa over the next several days. The American Miniature Horse Registry National Show is at Expo Square through September 17th. Susan Galloway is Marketing Manager for the American Shetland Pony Club. She says there will be 1700 horses competing in 435 different classes. The competition ranges from ‘beautiful halter’ to ‘driving classes’ and jumping. It’s held at Expo Square and admission is free.

KWGS News

Hundreds of people line up at Guthrie Green in downtown Tulsa today to audition for the new season of American Idol. Hopefuls include people from all around the region. Some say they’re just there for the experience, others seek stardom like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

Tulsa is one of 19 stops around the country. The show was cancelled before the 2015-2016 season, but ABC reached a deal to revive it for the new 2017-2018 season.

KWGS News

There are nearly 40 unsolved homicides still being worked in Tulsa County, some dating back to the 1970’s and 1980’s. Members of a special Cold Case Task Force will be available to meet with members of the public or take information at the new Crimestopper’s Office in Promenade Mall through September. One of the investigators is former Tulsa Police homicide detective Mike Huff, along with former F-B-I, Sheriff’s, and other jurisdiction’s officers…more than 20 in all. Members of the team will be available at Promenade every Tuesday in September.                                      

KWGS News

The federal government is offering loans to businesses and homes damaged or destroyed in this month’s tornadoes. While only a handful of homes were hit by the twisters, nearly 150 businesses sustained some sort of damage. They will be getting help in the form of low interest loans from the Small Business Administration. Joseph Kralicek is Deputy Director of the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency. He says the loans are fast-tracked but since they are loans, although at low-interest, they will have to be paid back.

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There’s work underway on the third floor of the Tulsa County Courthouse. A holding cell facility is being constructed in response to the city of Tulsa’s decision to turn the current holding area into a municipal jail. County Commission Chairman Ron Peters says there’s not much time, the city wants the county out of the current holding facility by mid-September. Peters says they’re working on ways to keep inmate numbers down in the holding cell area by using teleconferencing and improving communication with the Public Defender’s Office.                                      

nasa.gov

Did you see it? Most Americans at least took a glance at the total solar eclipse. In Oklahoma there was about 90% coverage. We have been able to predict eclipses, their exact paths, and timing for many years. But Tulsa Planetarium Director Bob Ferguson says the Mayan Civilization was able to predict eclipses hundreds of years ago working with just sticks and stones and their primitive science.

KWGS News

Law officers and safety agencies warn drivers classes are beginning this week and next in the Tulsa area, and it’s time to strictly obey laws in school zones. It’s not only speeding and reckless driving rules that will be enforced. The Triple A’s Mark Madeja says distracted driving while on an electronic device like an I-phone is a growing problem. He says focus on driving, especially around school zones and school buses.

Sheriff’s deputies and other law officers say there will be NO tolerance when enforcing laws in school zones.

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