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

Wearing hoodies and holding signs, Tulsa Central High School students rally in support of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and his family. The killing of Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer has sparked a national debate. President of the Central student council, Berthaddaeus Bailey, calls the gathering a ‘Hope in Hoodies’ rally. He says the idea is to show people stereotyping can be dangerous and end in tragedy. Bailey told the crowd there is hope in every situation, it doesn't have to end in violence.

                             

KWGS News File Photo

A Tulsa District Judge strikes down a law allowing state funds to be used for special needs students at private schools. Judge Rebecca Nightingale says the law is unconstitutional, based on separation of church and state. Jenks and Union schools sued, claiming the measure was unconstitutional. Union Superintendent Cathy Burden says the judge agrees.

 

The attorney for the parents of the special needs children says he plans to appeal. Burden says the district is prepared to battle all the way to the State Supreme Court.

EMSA Attorneys file a motion seeking dismissal of a class action lawsuit alleging patients have been wrongfully charged for ambulance transportation. EMSA attorney Kris Koepsel says the facts don’t support claims by those suing for alleged wrongful billing.

 

The motion also disputes that the plaintiffs have the status to constitute a ‘class’. And EMSA also denies claims that the alleged wrongful billing is widespread. The plaintiffs will have a chance to respond to the motion to dismiss, and then a judge will decide the issue.

NBC

Journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein will speak together tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Center on the TU campus. This event is free & open to the public; no tickets, registration, or reservations are required.

KWGS News File Photo

A contract is delayed on upgrading security entrances at the Tulsa County Courthouse. The Sheriff says parts of the plan are being re-thought because of the shootout earlier this month. Sheriff Glanz says they’re looking at bullet resistant glass for the renovated entrance on the plaza side of the courthouse and the new entrance on the east side.

                            

Glanz says the new entrances, depending on the cost, would have bullet resistant or bullet proof glass installed.

In Oklahoma to tout his energy policy, President Obama announces he wants to expedite work on a pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf Coast.

                       

He wants to speed the southern leg of the pipeline to ease the glut of oil at the Cushing hub, but says the northern leg…from Canada to Oklahoma… needs more study. He also took a swipe at those blaming his policies for rising gas prices, saying it's concern over the Mideast and not domestic production driving the increase.

                                          

A committee has submitted recommendations on bringing back passenger rail service to and from Tulsa. Advisory Committee Chairman Rick Westcott says the state should re-establish passenger rail connections between Tulsa and the rest of the nation. He calls the lack of such service ‘an emergency’.

                  

The committee believes passenger rail service between Oklahoma City and Tulsa could revitalize economically depressed areas between the state’s two largest metropolitan cities.

As tax cut measures move through the state legislature, the head of an Oklahoma think tank calls for lawmakers to adopt ‘Pay as you go’. Director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, David Blatt, says pay as you go, or paygo, requires policymakers to pay for the cost of any tax reduction or service expansion. He says state leaders should not cut taxes this year without first identifying how to pay for them.

Blatt says Paygo was used effectively in the late 1990’s to return the federal budget to a surplus, but has never been implemented at the state level.

Several of the older recreation centers in Tulsa Parks are coming down to be replaced with splash pads and new playgrounds. It’s a controversial plan that has upset some citizens, but park officials say some of the centers are in such bad shape they’re too costly to repair. Special Projects Manager Gary Shellhorn uses the Maxwell Park rec center as an example. He says it would cost two million dollars to renovate the center and make it meet regulations for those with disabilities.

                           

KWGS File photo

With many inches of rain expected, emergency managers warn people not to drive or walk into rushing floodwaters. Severe storms are possible with this system, but Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency Director Roger Joliff says the biggest threat is flash flooding. He says even if rushing water doesn't look deep, it's best not to take a chance. Turn around and find another route.

                              

The FBI has now entered the probe into allegations of financial wrongdoing involving Tulsa Public Schools Athletic Department. Chris Payne is Public Information Officer for the school system. He says an internal investigation uncovered activities that have the potential of being violations of federal law. He says the FBI and U-S Attorney approached school officials about helping in the investigation, and that help was accepted.

                                 

Stephanie Spring resigned in January as Athletic Director, after she and two assistants were suspended.

KWGS News File Photo

Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s first ‘smart meters’ in the city of Tulsa are being installed on the T-U campus. About a thousand meters are going in on and around campus, primarily in student apartments. Derek Lewellen, GridSmart project manager, says the ability to communicate electronically with the meters improves efficiency and is perfect for a campus environment where students continually come and go.

                            

Next to New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day is a major focus of law enforcement on the lookout for drunk drivers. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown says troopers will join other agencies in a crackdown on impaired drivers. Saturation patrols and bar checks will be part of the effort.

                              

Brown says the Patrol is urging anyone with Holiday party plans to include a designated non-drinking driver in those plans.

Tulsa city leaders are prioritizing needs and the councilor for district three says fixing unsafe intersections is high on his list. David Patrick says his area of town has some of the most dangerous intersections for drivers and pedestrians. He’d like money to start addressing the problem.

                             

Patrick singles out Pine and North Yale as the most dangerous intersection in District Three, and one of the most dangerous intersections in the city.

Missing Bixby hiker found alive in state park

Mar 12, 2012
Oklahoma Campers

BRAGGS, Okla. (AP) — The search is over for a missing 37-year-old Bixby man who disappeared after going hiking in Greenleaf State Park over the weekend.  Jacob Stephens was found alive and well this afternoon, after a helicopter spotted him on the east side of the lake in the park. He not contacted his family since he left to go hiking Saturday morning in the Muskogee County park. Family members told police that Stephens is diabetic and not an experienced hiker. That caused concern and prompted a search. Again, Stephens was located this afternoon alive and okay.

KWGS News photo

Tulsa Police hold a news conference to announce they have made arrests in a total of seven Tulsa  rapes. This includes last month's pre-dawn jogger attack at Tulsa LaFortune Park.  Suspect Willis McPherson, also known as Willis Sisco, has been charged in that attack as well as another at a nearby apartment complex. In custody in connection with five unrelated rape cases is Michael Ray Harris. Police say it's rare to have serial rapists attacking in Tulsa, and very unusual to have two operating in the area at the same time. Both suspects are now behind bars.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa Police this morning are investigating a bank robbery that took place about 8:15 this morning.

The Arvest Bank and 15th and South Utica was robbed by a lone bandit. He entered the bank shortly after it opened this morning and presented the teller a note demanding cash.

He took the money and exited the bank. Police believe he left on foot. No weapon or get-away car was seen. Police tell KWGS  News,  at the scene, there were no injuries associated with the robbery.

Tulsa Councilors question EMSA officials about the ambulance service’s policies regarding billing and collection practices. Some citizens complain they’ve been wrongly billed for ambulance transportation. EMSA President Steve Williamson admits there may have been a few mistakes, but he believes the policies on collection are solid.

                                     

Mayor Bartlett says he wants EMSA to devise a way of running things to become more ‘customer friendly’, and he’s requesting several changes to current policies.

KWGS News Photo

A shootout on the Oakley Plaza in front of the Tulsa County Court House leaves for people injured, including a Tulsa County Sheriff’s Deputy. The shooting took place about 2:40 this afternoon. People rushed for cover from the busy court house plaza as the bullets were flying.

As part of the effort to become more environmentally friendly, the city of Tulsa is testing a new type of concrete. It’s called ‘pervious’ and it’s more porous and able to contain water runoff much better than most concrete materials. Jack Petreikis is Director of the state concrete association. He says the environmental properties of the product is the big reason why it’s getting so much attention.

                            

PSO

Strong winds this afternoon caused scattered power outages in the Tulsa area. At one point, several thousand PSO customers lost power. There were reports of lines down in the area of 36th & Hudson, causing nearly a thousand people to lose electricity. A feeder line knocked out power to another thousand homes and businesses in Northwest Tulsa.  In all, more than four thousand homes and businesses, including St. John Hospital briefly, lost power.

Former presidential hopeful Herman Cain stumps in Tulsa on behalf of Newt Gingrich. Speaking at Joe Momma’s Pizza downtown, Cain talked about energy prices and Gingrich’s plan to return to $2.50 a gallon gas. Gingrich has made cutting the price of gas a centerpiece of his campaign.

The '$2.50 Gas Tour' included Cain, former Congressman J.C. Watts, and Gingrich’s daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman.

MAGNOLIA, Ark. (AP) — A judge has set a trial date for a 19-year-old woman who is accused in the theft of five rodeo horses from Southern Arkansas University.

Jaci Rae Jackson faces six felony theft counts in Magnolia, where she is to be tried in late July. Prosecutor David Butler tells Shreveport, La., television station KSLA that Jackson didn't steal the horses herself but created the scheme and got two other people to remove the animals.

Four of the horses were recovered in Oklahoma but one of them was killed.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma voters looking to get a jump on Super Tuesday can begin casting their ballots.

In-person absentee voting is beginning at county election boards across the state. Offices are open until 6 p.m. Friday.

Early voting also will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across the state on Tuesday as Oklahoma joins nine other states in selecting presidential candidates as part of Super Tuesday.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An anti-abortion group that wants to ban abortions in Oklahoma launches a petition drive, with the goal of amending the state Constitution to define a fertilized human egg as a human being.

MEDFORD, Okla. (AP) — Medford schools are closed Friday after a propane leak at a fuel-storage plant prompted a voluntary evacuation of the town's 1,000 residents.

The American Red Cross says two people checked into a shelter in nearby Wakita after the evacuation advisory was issued Thursday.

The leak started Tuesday at the ONEOK plant 2.5 miles south of town. ONEOK spokeswoman Megan Washbourne said crews are working Friday to fix the leak but they don't yet know when it will be contained. Washbourne says the vapors are at a "low and very safe level."

Gas Prices Jump

Mar 2, 2012

Tulsa gas prices jumped 13 cents at the pump overnight. Chuck Mai with Triple-A Oklahoma says a false report of a Saudi Arabian pipeline explosion sparked the latest rise, but there are other factors involved, including the volatile situation in Iran, and Wall Street speculation.

                               

Mai says it’s likely prices will increase another 25 or 30 cents a gallon in Oklahoma by summer, but very unlikely they will top $3.80 a gallon here. The price could reach four dollars a gallon in other parts of the country.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge has given final approval to a settlement agreement between the Department of Human Services and a national child advocacy group that sued the agency over the safety of foster children in its care.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell OK'd the settlement at a fairness hearing in Tulsa on Wednesday, ending nearly four years of litigation between the department and New York-based Children's Rights.

The settlement calls for the agency to prepare a plan to better prevent child abuse and neglect in care and make other improvements.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin's plan to cut the personal income tax rate for more than 60 percent of Oklahomans has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

Republican House Speaker Kris Steele introduced the 100-page bill late Wednesday in the House Appropriations Committee, which passed the measure on an 11-6 vote, mostly along party lines.

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