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

Oklahoma-DOC

A delay in approving new execution procedures means no lethal injections in Oklahoma for at least two years since the last execution. Opponents of the death penalty are glad to see the delay, but want the larger question of should the state still be implementing executions at all answered. Brady Henderson is Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. He says a hiatus in executions should help opponents get the word out about why the death penalty should be eliminated in Oklahoma.

Right to farm, or right to harm? You’ll hear a lot both pro and con on State Question 777 between now and November. Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan’s organization wholeheartedly supports 777. He says it’s a proactive measure to head off unnecessary regulations that would hurt farmers, ranchers, and consumers.

Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is a spokesman for those opposing 777. He believes it would give farming and ranching operations, including those of large corporations, carte blanche to pollute and use harmful practices.

Tulsa County Sheriff

Three bids are received for the buildout of what could become an area wide dispatch center for the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office. The center is a subject of some controversy because it was a pet project of former Sheriff Glanz. Director of Governmental Affairs for the Sheriff’s Office, Terry Simonson, says current Sheriff Vic Regalado hasn’t made a final decision on what to do with the empty building, although planning for the dispatch center is farther along than the training center aspect.

File photo

Recent events show the need for those living in eastern Oklahoma to have an earthquake plan. Most of the big quakes have been in central and western parts of the state, but the newly discovered fault line in the Pawnee area indicates larger magnitude shakers could occur in eastern Oklahoma. Tulsa Emergency Manager Roger Joliffe says look to California for tips. Strap tall bookcases to the wall, don’t leave things lying loose on top of high shelves, and take other precautions Californians have been taking for years.

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The latest unemployment statistics in Oklahoma show the state with a larger number of people out of work percentage-wise than the nation.   Lynn Gray with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says it’s been a long time since that happened. The last time was in 1990, more than 25 years ago.

The state’s unemployment rate from July is five percent, one-tenth of a point higher than the national rate of 4.9%. Gray says it’s the continuing slump in the oil and gas industry that’s the major factor in the rising rate.

Courtesy Tulsa County

A major step is taken toward start of construction of the new Family Justice Center. Tulsa County Commissioners approve opening negotiations with Manhattan Construction as project manager for the center. Commission Chief Deputy Michael Willis says they’re a little behind schedule, but should still be on track for a ground breaking in the spring.

Once a contract is signed with Manhattan, the company will work with architects to finalize plans for the Justice Center.

KWGS

The day after Labor Day, work begins on one of the busiest intersections in Broken Arrow. Some lanes will be closed, but Krista Flasch with the city of Broken Arrow says the improvements at Aspen (145th East Avenue) and Kenosha (71st Street) are badly needed. The intersection hasn’t been upgraded to meet increased traffic in years.

Only a single lane of traffic in all four directions will be open and no left turns will be allowed. The work should take about 45 days. You are asked to plan extra time or use an alternate route.

National Geographic

Two months into the typical season, the first cases of West Nile virus are reported in humans in Tulsa County. While Zika is getting most of the publicity nationwide, West Nile remains a much bigger threat in Oklahoma and this area of the state. Kaitlin Snider is with the Tulsa Health Department and she says while there are no cases of Zika being spread by native mosquitoes in Oklahoma, the same isn’t true for West Nile. For the past several years mosquitoes in the state have infected people with cases of West Nile virus.

KWGS News

County leaders would like to find ways to save more money at the financially strapped Tulsa jail. Commissioner Ron Peters is requesting a study to form a strategic energy and maintenance program to save dollars on utility bills. He believes that could cut costs at the lockup.

One suggestion is to investigate a new power plant for both the jail and the yet to be built Family Justice Center. It could possibly also serve the County Annex. Peters has no estimate yet on how much money could be saved through energy improvements, but believes it could be substantial.

File photo

Action is taken to settle with a former Major in the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office. County leaders agree to a judgment without admitting liability in a lawsuit filed by Major Shannon Clark. He was fired by former Sheriff Stanley Glanz before Glanz was forced out for wrongdoing. New Sheriff Vic Regalado says it’s in the best interest of the county and citizens to resolve the Clark issue. Clark had been the administrator in charge of jail operations and the Office Public Information Officer.

KWGS News

Over the Labor Day Holiday, there will be a concentrated effort to crackdown on drinking and impaired drivers in the Tulsa area. It involves law enforcement, the ABLE Commission, the courts, and prosecutors. Tulsa District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler knows people will celebrate this last holiday of the summer, but he says don’t get behind the wheel unless you’re sober.

Lots of people will be at the lakes, and the ‘don’t drive drunk’ admonition goes for boaters also.

A company donates backpacks filled with school supplies to homeless kids staying in the Tulsa County shelter. County Social Services Director Linda Johnston says the donation was a surprise to the children and to the employees at the shelter. Employees from Bob Moore Auto just showed up with the backpacks before the first day of school and dropped them off for the children.

Johnston says it’s a struggle every year to find supplies for the shelter kids, so the unexpected donation is ‘greatly appreciated’.

KWGS News

At least three Tulsa Quik Trips have been robbed at knifepoint this week.  Police Officer Leland Ashley says investigators believe it is the same two suspects involved in all the robberies. He says using a knife as the robbery weapon is unusual, descriptions match, and methods such as hiding their faces are similar in all cases.

No one was hurt in the latest robberies early Tuesday morning, but Ashley says serial robbers usually don’t stop until they are caught. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers.

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Tulsa County takes a couple steps forward in criminal justice reform. A timeline is established for the new family justice center. Commissioner Karen Keith says environmental issues on the site shouldn’t be a big stumbling block. The facility will be located at 10 North Elwood, where Storey Wrecker currently sits. Architectural plans should be ready in October.

The county is also partnering with the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Vera Institute of Justice on a criminal justice reform study. It will provide strategies on how to better deal with incarceration rates.

KWGS News Photo

Railroad track maintenance will disrupt traffic at some downtown Tulsa crossings this week and next. The City's Lara Weber says the Madison Avenue crossing between 2nd and 3rd will be closed for a time today and tomorrow. Then the crossing at North Trenton will be affected tomorrow and Friday. Next Tuesday the work will move to the Elgin Avenue tracks between 1st and Archer. Weber says while the maintenance is underway, the various crossings will be closed to all vehicular traffic.

Tulsa County Sheriff

The name of former Sheriff Stanley Glanz is dropped from the Office’s new training center. The center was named for Glanz before he was forced to resign in disgrace. Some Tulsa County leaders felt it was inappropriate to leave his name on the regional training center. New Sheriff Vic Regalado says he put it to a vote of deputies and staff. They voted overwhelmingly to change the name.

Commissioners today unanimously okayed the change to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Training and Communications Center.

Terrorist attacks, police shootings, riots in the streets. Times today are the most turbulent since the 1960’s, and the nature of 24/7 news and seemingly ubiquitous social media magnifies everything. Michael Brose, Mental Health Association Oklahoma Director, says one of the best things you can do is continue with your routines and not let events dictate how you live your life.

Brose says take reasonable precautions, but remember the world is still a relatively safe place for most people.

PSO

With 100,000 power outages in the Tulsa metro area from Thursday afternoon's storm, it will take time to restore everybody's electricity. The good news, PSO's Stan Whiteford  says the job is going more quickly in many areas than anticipated, and the timeline for getting everybody back to power is now set at Monday, 5pm...moved up from Tuesday at 5pm. Crews from other states have been called in to assist and that's helping move things along.

Tulsa County Sheriff

The first Tulsa County Sheriff’s reserve deputy under a revamped program has entered the final stage of training. The program has been reworked by new Sheriff Vic Regalado after problems came to light following the shooting of an unarmed suspect by former reserve Robert Bates. Reserve Mike Leitch has now become the first to finish required field training under the new standards. Sheriff Regalado has increased training hours for all reserves, and made several other changes.

Four other reserves could potentially finish training and return to active duty over the next six weeks.

BOK

A Tulsa bank on Brookside is robbed. Police Officer Jeannie MacKenzie says a man walked into the Bank of Oklahoma branch at 31st and Peoria Monday morning, implying he had a gun. The teller complied with his demands, and he fled the scene northbound. No one was injured.

The suspect is described as a white male, late 30’s or early 40’s, 5’11” to 6’ tall, 175 to 185 pounds, wearing a ball cap, a dark short sleeve shirt, and blue jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers.

KWGS News

An all-day Tulsa Public Schools Teacher job fair brings in several qualified candidates. Given all the publicity about cutbacks, there’s a perception TPS isn’t hiring. Not true, says Bradley Eddy, Director of Certified Talent for the district. Because of attrition due to retirements and resignations there are jobs that need to be filled. Teacher positions range from Special Ed to Math and even librarians. There are also support positions available.

 

Police have discovered a second victim of apparent celebratory gunfire from the Tulsa Freedom Fest Monday night. Officer Leland Ashley says this victim is a 35-year-old man who attended the fireworks display. When walking to his car, he felt a pain and thought someone had thrown something at him.

The hospital staff indicated the wound was consistent with a bullet falling from the sky. A nine-year-old boy who also attended Freedom Fest was hospitalized Monday with a bullet wound to the head. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers.

KWGS News

It’s been several months since the March 30th tornado struck North Tulsa, and it will be months more before some victims are in their homes again. There is a special North Tulsa long-term recovery committee working on helping those without insurance who suffered damage. The city and county are working together without benefit of FEMA help this time, according to co-chair Linda Johnston.

Many churches and non-profits are assisting the 111 families without insurance who have requested help.

KWGS News

One of the state’s highest performing high schools gets help to make up for budget cuts by legislators. The Booker T. Washington Foundation for Excellence will take money from its’ rainy day fund to restore four teaching positions and reduce class sizes. State Representative Regina Goodwin, a BTW graduate, was on hand for the announcement, and lamented that lawmakers didn’t do more for education.

The foundation money will pay for teachers in math, science, social studies, and Chinese, and allow classes to be cut from 35 students to 25.

File photo

Apparent confusion over the non-partisan nature of the Tulsa Mayor’s race led to some voters not getting a ballot for the chief executive’s post. Election Board Secretary Patty Bryant says although volunteers received training about the change to non-partisan, some precinct workers did not understand that every voter, regardless of party, got a mayoral ballot.

National Geographic

While there are no locally acquired cases of Zika in Oklahoma, there are now nine travel associated cases of the illness reported here. State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristi Bradley says it’s a bigger problem elsewhere, but with vacation season, more residents traveling could acquire it elsewhere. She says, for now, West Nile remains the bigger threat in Oklahoma. There has been at least one case of locally acquired West Nile from a mosquito in the state this year, in the McAlester area.

KWGS News

Hundreds of wrestlers, their families, and coaches are in Tulsa this week for the USA Wrestling National Junior Duals.

The kids for a free clinic range from seven years of age through high school, then the dual meet features athletes from middle schools and high schools from 35 states across the nation. Chris Forbes is with Oklahoma USA Wrestling. He says the Junior Duals bring the best grapplers in the country to town. Competition runs through Saturday.

The Tulsa Sports Commission is hosting the meet at the Cox Business Center downtown.

KWGS News

Despite community protests, Tulsa County leaders renew a controversial illegal immigrant detention program. Several people spoke against 287-G in which the federal government uses the Tulsa jail to hold people for Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement. One of the protestors is Jordan Mazariegos, who claims 287-G causes fear in the Hispanic community and leads to racial profiling.

File photo

Most area cities don’t allow fireworks inside city limits, but Broken Arrow does. You need a permit though and they are now available for purchase. Spokeswoman Krista Flasch says you can buy the permits in person at City Hall or online. You must be 18 to buy a permit and they’re only good certain days and certain hours. To apply online go to brokenarrowok.gov/fireworks.

In person permits must be purchased by July 1st and online by July 3rd. They cost $20.

KWGS News

Tulsa County leaders will likely okay the continuation of a controversial program with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Sheriff Vic Regalado says there are a lot of misconceptions about the 2-87-G program which allows his office to hold undocumented aliens for ICE. He says they do not drive streets looking for possible illegals as some believe. He says authority for the program, which pays $54 a day to hold wanted undocumented inmates for a brief time, does not extend beyond the walls of the David L. Moss Justice Center.

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