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

National Hurricane Center

Members of the Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief team are joining those of several other states to help out along the Hurricane Matthew battered East Coast. Oklahoma State Director Sam Porter says the primary job will be feeding victims and emergency workers. He says Oklahomans and teams from nine other states will be preparing 300,000 meals a day beginning on Tuesday.

Porter says they’re anticipating millions of displaced victims and thousands of relief and recovery workers that will need to be fed.

youtube.com and OMEGLE

Clown crime is a phenomenon across the country right now, and there have been incidents in Tulsa. Police Officer Jeanne MacKenzie says a facebook post from someone in a scary clown outfit threatened some students and a man in a red fright wig, with a clown suit and makeup, assaulted a man out walking his dog near 81st and Yale early Thursday morning. She says the time of year, October and the Halloween season, may have something to do with all the incidents across the country since it’s so easy to get clown costumes now.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has thrown out another state law that would put new restrictions on abortion providers.

In a unanimous opinion handed down Tuesday, all nine justices agreed that the statute adopted by the Legislature last year "contains different and unrelated purposes" in violation of the Oklahoma constitution's requirement that legislation cover a single subject.

The law encompasses four abortion-related topics: minors and parental consent; tissue preservation; inspection of clinics; and legal liability for abortion providers.

KWGS News File Photo

The deadline to register to vote in the November general election is approaching. It’s Friday, October 14th. Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Patty Bryant says the ballot includes the Presidential race, federal, state, county, and local races…and seven state questions.

You may register at the Election Board, or you can get the forms online or at any tag agency in the county.

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A 2016 voter guide will let people know who is running for state and federal office in Oklahoma and help explain the seven state questions. One of eight organizations contributing to the guide is the League of Women Voters, and Spokeswoman Mandy Winton says the exact language of the state questions is included and then explained to help people better understand exactly what the state question would mean.

The guides have been published in various newspapers across the state, are available in many libraries, and can be downloaded from okvoterguide.com.

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Getting vaccinated is the single best way to prevent flu according to medical professionals…and the Tulsa Health Department will offer shots starting next week. Times and locations are listed on the Health Department website or by calling 918-582-WELL. The shots are available on a walk-in basis.

Kaitlin Snider with the Health Department says the cost of the shot is $25, but children and adults over age 65 without insurance who qualify may get the vaccinations free.

Tulsa state fair

For the first time in four and a half decades, there’s a new ride vendor on the midway at the Tulsa State Fair. Marketing Supervisor for the fair, Sarah Thompson, says an Indiana company replaces locally based Murphy Brothers, the company that had the ride vendor contract the past 45 years.

Of the 60 rides provided by North American, at least a dozen are new to  the Tulsa Fair. Others are the same or similar to last year’s rides. The midway is open until 11pm most nights during the fair run and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

KWGS News photo

The Sheriff says his office is prepared to keep everyone attending the Tulsa State Fair safe. With as many as 100-thousand people on the fairgrounds at the busiest times, safety is a big job for deputies. With the depletion of the reserve deputy program, and concerns about terrorism and possible civil unrest, Sheriff Vic Regalado says some changes are in place to ensure safety. With fewer reserve deputies, the gap will be filled by full-time deputies. He says safety will not suffer on the fairgrounds.

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.

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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.

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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.

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