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

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

KWGS News-File Photo

The spring weather brings storms and the warmer days bring mosquitoes in Oklahoma. The Tulsa Health Department’s testing and spraying for mosquitoes program is about to begin. Scott Meador is the Department’s Vector Control Program Coordinator. Traps will be set out around the county beginning May 1st.

Tulsa Jail

While the Tulsa jail still has problems, Sheriff Vic Regalado is hopeful new pods opened this week specifically for those with mental health issues will help. He says the facility includes programs, counseling, and mental health professionals to help inmates get back on the right track.

At any one time, up to 40% of Tulsa County jail inmates are prescribed psychotropic drugs. Several of those inmates will be candidates for the new mental health pods.

Wikipedia

Add two to the number of fatalities from flu in Tulsa County this season. The latest report from the Oklahoma Department of Health shows a total of 22 deaths from flu in Tulsa. Oklahoma County has recorded 13 deaths. The Health Department’s Jamie Dukes says flu cases can be seen through May, so it isn’t too late to get a shot and take other precautions.

Statewide, 92 people have died of complications from flu so far this season. More than 530 have been hospitalized in Tulsa County alone.

KWGS News

A special primary to replace resigned Tulsa State Representative Dan Kirby is set May 9th, but you may apply now for an absentee ballot. County Election Board Secretary Patty Bryant says there will also be in-person absentee voting opportunities. The Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before the May 9th election will be early absentee voting, but the early in-person is allowed only at the Election Board on North Denver Avenue. You can apply for a  mail-in ballot now by going on-line. The general election is in July.

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This is committee deadline week, and several bills aimed at reforming criminal justice laws in the state remain active. Chairman of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, Kris Steele, says passing the measures could reduce prison populations and save a lot of money…about $2-billion which Steele says could be spent to help fill the state budget hole.

An earlier measure that would have rolled back several changes passed by voters in November failed to get a committee hearing in the senate. Steele calls that a positive step.

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If highway 75 between the Creek Turnpike and downtown Tulsa is on your daily route, you might make alternate plans. Starting today, six miles of highway 75, north and south bound will be resurfaced. Kenna Mitchell, with ODOT, says there will be slowdowns and lane closures. The project covers 75 from just south of I-244 to just north of the Creek Turnpike.

The resurfacing will take several weeks, so traffic flow will be impacted until sometime this summer.

corcohighways.org

If highway 75 between the Creek Turnpike and downtown Tulsa is on your daily route, you might make alternate plans. Starting Monday, six miles of highway 75, north and south bound will be resurfaced. Kenna Mitchell, with ODOT, says there will be slowdowns and lane closures. The project covers 75 from just south of I-244 to just north of the Creek Turnpike.

The resurfacing will take several weeks, so traffic flow will be impacted until sometime this summer.

State of Oklahoma

Parents, children, and non-profit groups will be at the state capitol in May to advocate for child well-being issues. Joe Dorman heads up the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. He says the priority is to straighten out the state budget mess. A contemplated further 14.5% cut threatens the most vulnerable, according to Dorman. He says attendees at the day in May will lobby for bills deemed ‘kid friendly’ and against those deemed harmful.

Dorman says Oklahomans of all ages are invited to attend the Advocacy Day at the state capitol on May 10th.

myoutdoorslife.com

The rain on Sunday has us out of the fire for now…the burn ban in Tulsa County has been lifted. It means it’s legally okay to grill or conduct controlled burns outside for the first time in several weeks. However, Tulsa Area Emergency Manager Roger Joliffe still urges caution. He says vegetation is still dry enough to allow wildfires to spread rapidly.

OPMX

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma blasts a house bill, calling it a blatant attempt to resurrect a Ten Commandments Monument on public land…despite a clear ruling stating its’ unconstitutionality. Allie Shinn is Director of External Affairs of the Oklahoma ACLU.

KWGS News

Law Enforcement Special Operations teams from across Oklahoma come to Tulsa for an annual competition. In the picture, a team from the Edmond police department takes a turn on the obstacle course at the Tulsa Police Academy. Nine departments from across the state are competing. Captain Mike Eckert is Commander of the Tulsa Special Operations team, he says the events help members work as a team in a stressful situation, but have a little fun at the same time. Prizes are awarded for winners in various events.

KWGS Photo

The Trump federal budget, as proposed, would amount to a double hit to Oklahoma, given state budget woes. It’s the word from the Oklahoma Policy Institute’s David Blatt, who says the cuts would hurt programs that help many people.

Blatt says without changes, the budget would entail enormous cuts to health, human services, education, infrastructure, and law enforcement.

KWGS News Photo

Kansas, Baylor, SMU, University of Southern Cal, and Michigan State are among the teams playing 1st and 2nd rounds of NCAA Basketball Regionals in Tulsa. Among the dark horses in the field at the BOK Center, the New Mexico State Aggies. The team faces Baylor in the first round, but long-time Aggie fan Neil Dailey from Las Cruces is optimistic. He’s also a fan of the BOK Center but not our cool March weather. Dailey is just one of many fans from other states and from across Oklahoma attending the playoffs.

There are still tickets left for the games, which run through Sunday.

consumerreports.org

With spring on the way, it might be time to change out that smoke alarm. Not just the batteries, but the whole unit. The Metropolitan Environmental Trust Director Graham Brannin says people frequently keep those around long past the time they should be replaced.

Brannin says home fire extinguishers also have a shelf life and should be changed every few years. The MET is holding a collection event Wednesday from 9am until 1pm at the Home Depot at 41st and Sheridan. Mercury thermostats and batteries will also be collected.

KWGS News File Photo

The rains aren't enough to end the burn ban in Tulsa County. Even with the weekend rainfall, the burn ban in Tulsa County will continue. Commissioners voted to extend the outdoor burning prohibition another week based on a recommendation from fire chiefs and the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency. Deputy Director Joe Kralicek says the rain wasn’t enough to make much of a dent in the drought conditions.

KWGS News

Three more Tulsa County residents die of flu related illness in the past week, bringing the season total to 16, nearly three times the number of any other county in the state. Kaitlin Snider with the Tulsa Health Department says it is the older population that seems to be most vulnerable. There is a potent vaccine available for people age 65 and older which is supposed to provide more protection, and it is available at health department clinics.

Statewide, 56 people have died of the flu and nearly 19-hundred have been hospitalized…more than 400 of those in Tulsa County.

Jarrod Wyatt

The Tulsa Zoo opens a new ‘family den’, but it’s not for the animals, it’s for the people visiting. Lindsay Hutchison is V-P of Philanthropy and Community Engagement at the Zoo. She says the St. John Family Den is a nursing and quiet space for zoo visitors, something the zoo hasn’t had before and something unique to the region.

The Family den is located in the former Amazon Outpost gift shop between the Rainforest and The Grill.

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