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 community and political leaders come together to officially announce creation of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Centennial Commission. One of the speakers was U-S Senator James Lankford, who said Tulsa will be a focus of international attention in 2021, the 100th anniversary of the riot. He says it’s fair to ask how far have we come and where are we going.

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Nine more Oklahomans die of flu related complications in the past week, including one more in Tulsa County, which continues to lead the state with 10. Jamie Dukes with the Oklahoma Health Department says Tulsa County also leads in the number of hospitalizations with 338.                                     

Overall, 37 Oklahomans have died of flu during this season, and more than 14-hundred have been hospitalized. Most of the deaths have been in the age group 65 years old and older. Dukes says it’s NOT too late to get a shot.

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The Tulsa Sheriff’s Office will hire private, armed security guards to staff courthouse entrances. The County Commissioners today okayed Sheriff   Vic Regalado’s request to hire armed private guards from Praetoria Security to takeover courthouse entrances from deputies. They will staff the metal detectors and portable wands and check bags at all public entrances.

He says the change will free up deputies for other duties and save his office about $80-thousand a year. The target date for the switchover is March 1st

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One of the Navy’s newest ships, the USS Tulsa, will be officially christened tomorrow. Tulsa native and Navy Lt. Travis Nicks and his family will be on hand in Mobile, Alabama for the ceremony. He says the naming of a ship for a person or place is one of the highest honors the Navy can give.

The USS Tulsa is a state-of-the-art Littoral LCS-16 combat ship. Former Mayor Kathy Taylor and her family are sponsors of the ship, and she will get to break a bottle of champagne on the bow, carrying out the official christening.

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The number of flu deaths in Oklahoma more than doubles in the past week. Of the 12 latest fatalities in the state, five are in Tulsa County. It brings the total statewide this season to 23, with eight total in Tulsa County. That leads the state. Jamie Dukes with the Oklahoma Health Department says it is just now hitting the high point of the flu season, and it’s not too late to get a shot. Health departments across the state still have plenty of the vaccine.

The number of hospitalizations has reached 827 statewide, with 189 in Tulsa County. That also leads the state.

KWGS News

Applicants show up for a Tulsa Public Schools job fair. Despite financial woes, the district still needs teachers. A steady stream of hopefuls show up at the Education Service Center to fill out applications and sit for interviews to work in the Tulsa school system.

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Three more Oklahomans have died from the flu in the past week. Of the eleven total deaths reported statewide this season, ten have been people age 65 or older. The Oklahoma Health Department’s Jamie Dukes says that is a vulnerable population, as well as the very young, and those with existing health conditions.

Tulsa County leads the state in the number of deaths with three and the number of hospitalizations with 135. There were 95 more hospitalizations across the state in the past week, for a total of 584 since the season began.

KWGS News

A judge denies a motion to dismiss a manslaughter charge against Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby. After denying the motion and another for a new preliminary hearing, Judge Doug Drummond set a trial date of May 8th. Shelby is charged with first degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher in September. Her attorney is Shannon McMurray, who says she is convinced a jury will find Shelby ‘not guilty’.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler denies charging Shelby was a ‘rush to judgement’, and says he is following what the law calls for in this case.

KWGS News

People have many questions about the future of health care insurance in Oklahoma and across the nation. The State Insurance Commissioner is holding town hall forums across the state. Mike Rhoads is Deputy Commissioner. He says it’s a survey on what people would like to see in place of the Affordable Care Act. Some aspects, like not refusing those with a pre-existing condition and allowing kids up to age 26 to stay on your family policy, will likely stay the same.

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The Tulsa Sheriff wants to outfit all patrol officers with body cams. Sheriff Vic Regalado is applying for a grant from the Department of Justice for 50 body worn cameras.

Regalado says it will help with his goals of more transparency and community trust. If DOJ says yes, Tulsa County would need to come up with around 50-thousand in match money to implement the program. The Sheriff says there would be a test period to see how they work. If successful, he would like to outfit all deputies who deal with the public with body cams.

Jose Vega

A rally and march was  held in Tulsa Friday evening to protest President Trump’s orders to build a wall along the U-S-Mexico border.

Organizer   Jose Vega has been assured by city leaders and law enforcement that the Hispanic community here has nothing to fear, but says the march will go on to show Tulsa support for all cultures and people.

The rally and march began at the Guthrie Green and ended at Tulsa's City Hall.

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A rally and march will be held in Tulsa this evening to protest President Trump’s orders to build a wall along the U-S-Mexico border. Organizer   Jose Vega has been assured by city leaders and law enforcement that the Hispanic community here has nothing to fear, but says the march will go on to show Tulsa support for all cultures and people.

The rally and march will begin at Guthrie Green. It’s scheduled for 5 to 8 this evening.

KWGS News

Plugging a nearly $900-million budget hole is top priority for Oklahoma State Senators. Members of the leadership and area senators hold a news briefing in Tulsa to outline the 2017 legislative agenda. New Senate President Pro-Tem Mike Schulz says everything is on the table right now.

Schulz says revenue raising and cutbacks are being considered. Education, economic development, health care, and public safety are listed priorities.

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President Trump signs executive orders beginning controversial immigration changes he promised during the campaign. One is the first step toward building a wall on the U-S and Mexico border. The President of the Tulsa Hispanic Chamber, Francisco Trevino, calls it expensive and unworkable.

The executive orders also seek to end sanctuary cities and end the practice of releasing detained undocumented immigrants before trial. Trevino also believes ending NAFTA, the North American Trade Agreement, as Trump has promised…will cost Oklahoma thousands of jobs.

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The Sheriff’s Office takes bids on providing private armed security at the Tulsa Courthouse. A handful of bids are received from companies that want to take over armed security at courthouse entrances. Sheriff Vic Regalado says it doesn’t necessarily mean the posts now manned by deputies will go private. It will depend on whether adequate security can be provided by the private sector at a lower cost.  

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A third person in Tulsa County has died of the flu. The latest stats from the State Health Department show six deaths this flu season, half of those in Tulsa County. Tulsa County recorded its’ third death in the past week. A fourth death occurred earlier in Rogers County. There’s no specific reason as to why so many in this area, according to Jamie Dukes with the State Health Department. Tulsa County also leads the state in the number of flu related hospitalizations with 73 out of a total of 311 this year.

npr

In a new poll, nearly 70% of Americans say Donald Trump’s use of Twitter to comment on just about everything from policy to personal viewpoints is a bad idea. Chrysta Castaneda is a communications expert and she agrees the President-Elect should be more judicious with his tweets. She says it isn’t the most effective way to communicate policy.

89% of Democrats give ‘Trump Tweets’ a thumbs down, but even 47% of Republicans say tweets aren’t a good communication idea for a President.

Tulsa County Sheriff

A day to educate the community about the high pressure job of law enforcement is deemed a success by the Tulsa Sheriff. Elected officials, community leaders, and members of the media recently received a hands-on lesson on how law officers respond in emergency situations, like the use of deadly force instances. Tulsa Sheriff Vic Regalado calls the education day a success, although he wishes the weather had been better. The winter storm forced many to cancel. Regalado anticipates holding more of the community education days in the future.

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Oklahoma has the first flu death of the year. Tulsa County still leads in the number of flu related hospitalizations this season with 11, but the first flu death occurred in Johnston County in southern Oklahoma in the past week. Kaitlin Snider with the Tulsa Health Department says we’re just reaching the height of the flu season so it isn’t too late to get a shot.

KWGS News

The bitter cold and taste of winter precipitation put the state in the deep freeze, but Tulsa Area Emergency Manager Roger Joliffe says it could have been worse. He says the lack of significant snow and freezing rain and quick work clearing slick spots kept crashes down.

Joliffe says it did give people a chance to test how they would respond to a more significant winter event. He reminds Tulsa area citizens major winter storms are more likely to occur in January, February, or even March. 

KWGS News

A Tulsa police officer charged with manslaughter will be back in court on Feb. 1 for formal arraignment.

A judge set the new arraignment date after Betty Shelby’s attorney asked for more time to file motions. Assistant D.A. Kevin Gray says such a request isn’t unusual. After Shelby’s attorneys file motions in January, Gray has two weeks to respond, then the arraignment will be held.

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court wants more information on the battle over State Question 788, which would legalize and regulate medical marijuana. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma’s Legal Director Brady Henderson says the order is a standard part of the legal process.

With medical marijuana now legally regulated in 28 states, Henderson says backers of 788 remain confident legal precedents will allow a vote in Oklahoma. If all issues over the ballot title are resolved, he expects a statewide vote on the marijuana issue no later than 2018.

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There have already been cases of carbon monoxide poisonings in Tulsa this year, even though the first bitter cold weather has just arrived. Joe Ringer with EMSA in Tulsa says when homeowners first fire up the heater, it’s a dangerous time if there’s a leak. He says a working CO detector is a good idea to help keep the family safe. He also recommends having a professional check out your heating system.

Symptoms of CO poisoning are nausea, headaches, dizziness, and eventually unconsciousness. He says if they appear, get outside and call 911.

KWGS News

Green is one of the colors of Christmas, and you’re being encouraged to ’go green’ as in environmentally friendly when buying gifts this year. The Metropolitan Environmental Trust’s Lauran Drummond says the 2016 top ten green gift list is out.

The list includes a $25 donation to Up With Trees where the group will plant a tree in your gift recipient’s honor, a reusable water bottle, and a recycled Stupid Sock Creatures kit. The gift list can be viewed at METrecycle.com.

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City Hall, family and friends say "thank you" to Jack Henderson at his final Tulsa City Council meeting. After 14 years on the city’s governing board, Henderson is leaving, defeated in his last bid for re-election. He hasn’t decided for sure what he will do next, but says he intends to remain involved in the community.

Henderson is the longest serving African-American in the history of Tulsa city government. He will be replaced in District One by Vanessa Hall-Harper who defeated him in the November 8th election.

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The cash-strapped Oklahoma Highway Patrol, to save money, is limiting daily driving by Troopers. Starting this week, OHP officers can drive no more than 100 miles per day. OHP Trooper Dwight Durant says in Tulsa County they’ll still be able to patrol during heavy traffic times, but after that daily operations will likely be impacted.

Durant says troopers will remain focused on public safety, and there will be some leeway in emergency situations. A hiring freeze is already implemented at the Patrol, and Trooper furloughs are being considered. 

KWGS News

A rally will be held Wednesday in support of Tulsa’s minority communities who feel they’re under attack in the current political climate. The rally will be held at 11am at Liberator’s Park on the Jewish Federation’s Zarrow campus. Tulsa Jewish Federation Director Drew Diamond says it’s in response to the increase in hate speech and harassment across the country. He says it’s a call to action for those who truly believe in the Golden Rule.

The rally is sponsored by the Coalition for the American Dream and the Tulsa Committee for Compassion.

Tulsa County Parks

Tulsa County leaders will kick in some money for a park system master plan, but not without some controversy over possible consolidation. County Commissioners, in a split vote, agree to participate in funding a study, but there are concerns a park consolidation would benefit the city of Tulsa at the expense of the county. Private funds have been contributed, and chairman of Tulsa’s Leadership Vision, John O’Conner believes it’s important to finish the master plan. He says it could save troubled parks and help the area’s lifestyle image and economy.

KWGS News

John 3:16 Thanksgiving food basket giveaway is underway. This year, the non-profit received enough donated turkeys for the baskets, but Pastor Steve Whitaker says they still need canned goods for all the trimmings. Things like green beans, dressing mix, cranberries, and other holiday goodies are still requested to fill all the baskets.

The basket giveaways continue through Wednesday afternoon. Free meals at John 3:16’s shelter will be Tuesday evening through Sunday evening.

KWGS News

Ground is broken for a new Osage Nation Casino and Hotel in north Tulsa.

A prayer in the Osage language is said during groundbreaking ceremonies on 36th Street North next to the existing casino. Byron Bighorse is CEO of Osage Casinos, and he says the project will help spur development in an area of North Tulsa seeking growth.

The new casino features 15-hundred state-of-the-art electronic gaming machines, a sports bar and restaurant, and full service brew pub. The hotel has 126 guest rooms. The project should be finished in 18 months.

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