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.

Ways to Connect

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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.

KWGS News

After providing all the security right after the Sunday tornado, Tulsa police are backing off some now that cleanup is well underway. Spokesman Sargent Shane Tuell  says the responsibility for security is falling to business and property owners. Many have hired private firms to provide 24-hour security on their damaged property.

Sargent Tuell says it doesn’t mean there isn’t a high profile police presence in the storm ravaged area. They will remain extra vigilant in the shopping and industrial business damage corridor as long as necessary.

Tulsa Jail

County Commissioners pass a resolution that would double the amount the city of Tulsa pays annually to hold municipal inmates. The vote wasn’t unanimous. The rate will be $69 dollars a day per inmate…the same fee U-S Marshals pay. Commissioner John Smaligo says it’s still not enough. He pushed for a flat rate that could have boosted the city share to $3.5-million annually.

But Commission Chair Ron Peters has been working with Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum on the long running dispute, and he wants to resolve the issue.

KWGS News Photo

One more week! County leaders say they’ll give the city of Tulsa that much time before finally unilaterally imposing municipal inmate rates regardless of a new jail contract agreement. It’s a dispute that’s been going on for years, and all three County Commissioners say they’ve had enough. John Smaligo’s been pushing for a flat rate that is unacceptable to the city. Despite that, Commission Chair Ron Peters says he believes he will have a compromise agreement with Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum by next week.

KWGS News

At a time when cutbacks are hurting many medical facilities, a Tulsa psychiatric hospital is expanding.

Ground is broken for a new state-of-the-art patient care treatment center  at Parkside in Tulsa. Robert Farris is chairman of the campaign that raised $38-million for the new facility. He says at a time many hospitals are cutting back or curtailing some services, Parkside is doing just the opposite, stepping up and expanding to treat more patients.

KWGS News

With less than a month until the start of classes, the Tulsa Public School District is still looking for teachers. Job hopefuls attend a TPS career fair at Rogers High School. There are still about 60 teaching positions to fill, according to the District’s Cherie Crosby. She says applicants don’t need to have a current teaching certificate, they can help qualified applicants with obtaining an emergency certificate.

KWGS News Photo

There is a critical blood shortage and the American Red Cross is putting out the call for donors. Jan Hale with the Red Cross in Tulsa says many people responded to a call earlier this month, but more blood is needed. Summer is a difficult time to keep supplies up because families are on vacation and kids are out of school.

Interested donors can go on-line at RedCross.org or call to make an appointment. Anyone who gives blood between now and August 31st will be mailed a $5 Target e-giftcard.

KWGS News

A change in location for the District Attorney’s Supervision Office should make it easier to find and will save Tulsa County money. D-A Steve Kunzweiler says the relocation will save taxpayers $72-thousand a year.

The Supervision Department oversees defendants on court-ordered probation and provides bogus check collection services to business owners and victims. The move from 5th Street to the courthouse first floor was accomplished under budget and ahead of schedule.

Tulsa County

The Tulsa Sheriff seeks a grant to start a Community Engagement Board. The $125-thousand dollar grant would create a Community Engagement Advisory Board for Tulsa County. Sheriff Vic Regalado says it’s not exactly a civilian review panel, but it’s close. He says it will open up closer two-way communication directly with citizens.

The County has tried twice before to get the Oklahoma Attorney General Safe Oklahoma grant but has been turned down in previous attempts. Sheriff Regalado is hopeful third time is the charm.

KWGS News

Results of a regional workforce study show Tulsa is poised for growth, but closer cooperation is needed between educators and business to meet needs. The study, commissioned by the Tulsa Regional Chamber, is by Site Selection Group of Dallas. Chris Schwinden with SSG says while entry level employees can be found, it’s tougher to get highly skilled workers. He says the report shows the area has a high number of under-employed at 13.5%...and that’s where companies will find workers to meet future needs.

Other benefits for Tulsa include short commute times and cost advantages.

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While more research is needed, efforts to manage the potential risk of induced earthquakes not associated with wastewater injection wells are showing some positive results, say officials with the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC).

KWGS News

A study released today shows the economic impact of the non-profit arts industry on the Tulsa region. The bottom line, non-profit arts and culture organizations add $22-million-dollars to local and state government revenues, and support nearly eight-thousand jobs. Tulsa City Councilor  Phil Lakin says that’s important.

He says the arts are not only important to the quality of life of Tulsans, but also to the local economy. 

Tulsa County

Tulsa County settles with a former top deputy in the deposed Sheriff Stanley Glanz administration. An agreement is reached with former Captain Billy McKelvey in his lawsuit. Assistant District Attorney Doug Wilson says it allows the county to confess judgement without admitting any liability.

McKelvey was one of several administrators who were fired, retired,  or resigned after the Reserve Deputy Bob Bates scandal that led to the downfall of Glanz. McKelvey will get more than $137-thousand in the judgement.

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A Tulsa judge rules the lawsuit against the sale of Helmerich Park may continue. The judge today refused to dismiss the lawsuit, ruling against the city’s motion that the citizens did NOT have status to file the suit.

It means the challenge to selling a portion of the park along Riverside Drive for commercial purposes may go forward. A hearing is scheduled later this month.

Tulsa County

Tulsa’s Sheriff says last week’s officer involved deadly shooting shows why more funding and resources are needed to deal with the mentally ill. The investigation into the shooting death is continuing, but Sheriff Vic Regalado says it points out the difficulties in dealing with those suffering from mental illness. He says the workload for deputies in the mental health unit has doubled in the past few years, but resources and funding from state and federal government has been severely cut, ‘leaving us behind the 8-ball’.

KWGS News

Tulsa police and sheriff's deputies, some in riot gear, were called to  the scene of a deadly officer involved shooting at 46th street north and MLK, Jr. Blvd. Reports are a man with knives entered a store there, and perceiving a threat to customers, officers fired. The man died later at a hospital. A large crowd gathered, at times shouting obscenities and surging toward  officers behind the crime scene tape. Things  escalated and then calmed , but the crowd and officers remained on the scene several hours after the shooting.    

KWGS News

Officials from the City of Tulsa, the Oklahoma Department of Energy and Environment, and the Oklahoma Department of Labor held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to officially open the City’s second public-access Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station at 7932 E. 33rd Street. The NGV Road Rally Across America, a coast-to-coast road trip in natural gas vehicles, also participated in the opening of the station.

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Oklahoma is one of the least safe states according to a new study, ranking behind only Louisiana and Mississippi. Oklahoma is the third least safe state in America in 2017, according to the report from WalletHub. Analyst Jill Gonzalez says areas studied ranged from assaults per capita to total loss from climate disasters. When population is considered, Oklahoma ranked too high in murders, manslaughters, assaults, and loss from climate disasters. Gonzalez says the state could use more law enforcement officers to deal with the safety issues.  

KWGS News

A special Sheriff’s unit is working on unsolved cold case murders in the Tulsa area. It’s been 19 years since teenager Dena Dean was found murdered. Every year since, her family has held a vigil hoping the case would be solved. One focus of the cold case task force is the Dean homicide. Retired Tulsa Police Officer Tim Bracken is a member of the cold case unit. He says the volunteer experts can devote time and effort regular force officers don’t have.

KWGS News

America’s Mother Road and the Red, White, and Blue combine for a fun Memorial Day weekend…celebrating Route 66 and military veterans. It’s the third annual Route 66 PatriotFest in Tulsa Saturday. The famous road runs through City Councilor Jeannie Cue’s District. She says proceeds will benefit several veterans’ groups, including Folds of Honor.

PatriotFest starts Saturday morning with a Classic Car Cruise, then heads along Route 66 to Webster High School where day-long activities are held.

KWGS News File Photo

The Tulsa Undersheriff says courthouse security will be assessed in the wake of the Betty Shelby trial, but all in all the enhanced force and security worked well. George Brown does say an evaluation of current procedures will result in some changes, for example the Sheriff’s Office will take over the process of checking and issuing courthouse passes.

Governor's Office

Oklahoma Baptist Relief teams are helping victims of the Elk City tornado this week. Deployment Coordinator Dave Carr says a shelter is set up at the First Baptist Church in Elk City with a feeding station and chainsaw teams are helping clear debris and downed trees. He says chaplains always accompany the teams to help meet spiritual needs of the victims.

Other teams are still helping clear damage from straight line winds in the Oklahoma City area, and aiding farmers who lost fences in the Northwestern Oklahoma wildfires earlier this spring.

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Tulsa’s 27th homicide of 2017 is recorded after a stabbing death early Wednesday morning. Police Officer Leland Ashley says the victim is identified as Wade Warthen, who died of his wounds at St. John Hospital. A suspect has been arrested. He is identified as Reginald Thompson. Detectives say the stabbing is apparently the result of a disagreement over money.

2016 was a record year for homicides in Tulsa. Through May of last year, 22 people had been murdered in the city. The count this year is already 27.

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The company Axom is donating 55 body cams to the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Vic Regalado has been searching for a way to outfit patrol deputies with body cameras. He says the deal with Axom is a way to test how the body cams work in the field and if they are the best fit for the office.

Tulsa County leaders approved a one-year contract with Axom, which will donate the cameras and maintenance for the first year, then the Sheriff will decide whether to sign a longer term contract.

KWGS News file photo

Americans lose roughly $100 billion dollars a year through gambling. A new study of all 50 states shows where gambling addiction is most prevalent, and Oklahoma ranks high in several categories. Jill Gonzalez is a top analyst with WalletHub. She says Oklahoma ranks 7th overall in the list of most gambling addicted states.

Oklahoma is tied for first in casinos per capita, second in gaming machines per capita, ranks high in illegal sports gambling, and is 11th in the percentage of adults with gambling disorders.

Okmulgee County EM

‘Turn around, don’t drown’ is emphasized as more heavy rainfall is predicted this weekend. Tulsa Area Emergency Manager Roger Joliffe says there are always incidents when people drive around barricades erected in low-lying areas…sometimes with tragic results. He says be safe and don’t chance it just to save a few minutes.

Heavy rainfall with the possibility of several inches filling creeks and lakes is expected this weekend.

Regalado Facebook

'Every 100-thousand dollars will count’ is the drum beat as Tulsa County leaders try to find cuts to make the budget balance. The biggest trouble spot is the jail, where Sheriff Vic Regalado says he needs nearly $3.5 million dollars to make ends meet.

      

Members of the budget board okay $2.4 million for the jail cost overrun, about a million less than the Sheriff says he needs. They also cut his vehicle request from $300,000 to $100,000. The new fiscal year starts July 1st.

KWGS News

For the first time in nearly ten years, the Tulsa County Election Board will have a new boss. Patty Bryant is leaving the post when her latest two-year appointment is up April 30th. She’s been a real estate broker for 30 years, and is headed back to that profession. She says she will miss co-workers and friends she made while running the election board, but is looking forward to returning to real estate and spending more time with her granddaughter.

Gwen Freeman, a former Tulsa radio personality, has been appointed to take over as Election Board Secretary.

Tulsa Police

Tulsa Police will conduct another DUI checkpoint this weekend downtown. It’s part of an on-going effort to get drunk and impaired drivers off the roadways. Officer Leland Ashley says motorists are warned ahead of time these enforcement efforts are coming, but the exact location isn’t publicized.

The checkpoint will be conducted downtown, no specific location is given, from 10pm tomorrow night until 3am Sunday morning

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