Marshall Stewart

Public Radio 89.5-1 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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The state senate passes a measure to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell strong beer and wine. It now goes to the house, where Tulsa Representative Glen Mulready is one of those working on language for a bill. At least two groups are circulating petitions to get measures on a statewide ballot. Mulready would prefer the legislature do it, but says the people will make the ultimate decision. Since Oklahoma liquor laws are incorporated into the state constitution, it will take a vote of the people to amend them.

KWGS News Photo

Three are in custody after a Monday night shooting that sent two people to the hospital. Officer Leland Ashley says a father and son were shot in an attempted robbery in the parking lot of a busy shopping center in East Tulsa.

Both victims’ wounds are described as non-life threatening. Ashley says there were plenty of witnesses and security cameras in the area. It led to a quick round-up of three persons of interest, and after interviews with investigators…they were arrested.

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The Tulsa City-County Health Department gets a grant from the Public Health Institute to study the mosquito that carries the Zika virus. The Division Chief for Environmental Public Health in Tulsa is Elizabeth Nutt. She says the grant is actually a climate change grant that will allow the study of the impact of a warming climate on the mosquito that causes Dengue fever, Chikungunya, and Zika.  

KWGS News

There’s a line outside the door before it opens on this first day of business for Trader Joe’s in Tulsa. Among the first in line is Sharon, formerly from L.A. and an experienced Trader Joe’s customer. She says she lived in L.A. for 28 years and frequently shopped at the specialty grocer. She and friends are glad to see one open in Tulsa.

Well known in other parts of the country as a popular specialty grocery, the Tulsa Trader Joe’s in Brookside is the first to open in Oklahoma. A Costco is scheduled to open in Tulsa in April.

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16 more hospitalizations from flu are reported in Oklahoma in the past week, and for the first time this season, three people died from the illness. They are the first deaths reported this year, and one of the fatalities was in Tulsa County. Health Department Spokesperson Kaitlin Snider says the number of reported cases is increasing. The other deaths were in Rogers and Harper Counties. More than 200 people have been hospitalized with flu symptoms in Oklahoma this year, 41 in Tulsa County…a number which leads the state.

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The initiative is called makeOKbetter, and it’s an effort to broaden health care coverage under Insure Oklahoma. Craig Jones, President of the Hospital Association, says it would take federal dollars normally targeted for Medicaid expansion and put them instead into an Oklahoma based plan. He says it could create jobs and help save rural hospitals.

He says for each dollar invested with Insure Oklahoma, nine more would come back to the state…money now being left on the table.

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Early in-person absentee voting begins later this week for the Super Tuesday Presidential Primary and the Republican race for Tulsa Sheriff.

Tulsa County

Transportation and juvenile justice are two areas where Tulsa County should see cutbacks from the state because of the budget shortfall. County Commission Chief Deputy Michael Willis says while it isn’t yet known exactly how much or where the cuts will come, they are inevitable, so department heads are preparing as much as possible.

Willis says county leaders will lobby lawmakers to try and keep cuts to a minimum, but it’s likely they will have to do more with less and some projects may be delayed or put on hold.

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The latest flu statistics are out, and there are still no deaths from the illness in Oklahoma this year. While Tulsa County leads the state in number of hospitalizations with 31, the good news is there are far fewer this flu season than in the past two years. Nicole Schlaefli is Epidemiologist with the Tulsa County Health Department. She says the vaccine is much more effective this year.

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Beer distribution giant Anheuser-Busch opposes Senate Joint Resolution 68, a measure supporters claim will modernize Oklahoma’s liquor laws. Also in opposition are members of the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma. President Bryan Kerr says the bill is not good for package stores and the smaller Mom and Pop businesses. He says the resolution as written could mean the closing of dozens of package stores in the state.

The resolution would lead to a public vote to allow cold, strong beer and wine to be sold in grocery and convenience stores. It must still pass the full senate. 

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