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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The number of Oklahomans who are financially secure drops in the latest national rankings. A report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development says while the national unemployment rate is dropping, in Oklahoma, there’s been little improvement in the number of people stuck in low wage jobs. Kasey Wiedrich is co-author of the report. A key factor is home ownership, and in Oklahoma, Wiedrich says the number of whites owning homes far outstrips the number owned by people of color.

Oklahoma State Capitol

The Republican state senate Finance Chairman says lawmakers should consider delaying the income tax cut that went into effect January 1st. Tulsa Senator Mike Mazzei believes it’s a prudent option given the state’s dire financial predicament. Tulsa area Representative Glen Mulready, also a Republican, agrees. He doesn’t want to eliminate the income tax reduction, but says a delay or postponement until better financial times is reasonable.

KWGS News

A pretty good crowd despite the cold for Tulsa’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. Many waited in their cars until almost the minute the parade passed by, but several thousand still braved the bitter cold for the annual event. Parade Director Carmen Pettie says this year’s theme is ‘One race, the human race.’ She says the theme is especially important this year given recent events that show a racial divide continues in America all these years after the civil rights leader’s death.

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It’s NOT back to square one on the search for a location for a Family Justice Center, but the latest opportunity for a site has fallen through. Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith says the long stalled jail negotiations got in the way. She says citizens are on board, but some in the city of Tulsa, specifically ‘the Mayor’ have unanswered questions. She is optimistic disagreements can be solved and a site chosen in the near future.

KWGS News

Allegiant Airlines adds a fifth non-stop destination from Tulsa. The latest, which begins in May, is to Baltimore and Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport. Mary Smith is head of the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust. She says the more non-stops, the better for the area and business.

Allegiant is offering very low introductory fares for the new destination. All details and the latest information is available online at Allegiant.com.

The service begins May 19th on Thursday and Sundays only. It is seasonal, operating initially only from May to August.

KWGS News

The coldest weather of the winter so far is expected next week in the Tulsa area. EMSA emergency personnel are ready. Paramedic Hannah Sherlock  says they have heavy jackets, woolen socks, and special shoes to deal with the cold and possible ice and snow.

Ambulances are also modified to make it easier to drive on ice and snow. Some this year are equipped with drop-down chains to use when necessary.

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Oklahoma legislators will try to address the contentious issue of modernizing state liquor laws in the upcoming session. Tulsa area Representative Glen Mulready has been attending multiple meetings on the subject during the interim. He says it’s a difficult issue since liquor laws are written into the constitution. Citizens will have to vote on changes and it can only get on the ballot through the legislature or initiative petition. He would prefer lawmakers agree on language since he believes that will better encompass all parties interests in the issue.

KWGS News

Tulsa opens a year round facility for disposing of those environmentally damaging household pollutants. The permanent facility will replace those twice a year collection events at the fairgrounds. It’s been a long-time coming, according to the city of Tulsa’s Roy Teeters. He says people were dumping oil and grease down drains, in storm sewers, and elsewhere damaging the environment.

Backroad Anthem

The body of missing Arkansas musician Craig Strickland has been recovered. Strickland and a friend, Chase Morland, were reported missing December 27th after they failed to return from a duck hunt on Kaw Lake in Kay County. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Kera Philippi says Strickland had been missing more than a week before his body was found this morning in the original search area known as Bear Creek Cove.

Morland’s body was recovered on December 28th. Strickland was a member of the country rock band Backroad Anthem.

U.S Army Corps of Engineers-Tulsa

Tulsa County puts out a warning about removing or ignoring floodwater barricades. County Commission Chief Deputy Michael Willis says there are numerous instances of people moving or driving around barricades that alert drivers to high water on roadways during the recent floods. It’s a dangerous practice that can lead to water rescues or even injury and death. He says a moved barricade may be a factor in the drowning death of a woman in the Bixby area during this most recent flood event.

KWGS News

One challenged candidate in the Tulsa Sheriff’s race will stay on the ballot. Three others, after hearings before the Election Board, are removed. Of the four challenged, only John Fitzpatrick was deemed qualified. He says he was surprised he was challenged in the first place, but confident he meet the requirements.

State of Oklahoma

It’s official, the state is headed toward budget failure. The $900 million dollar shortfall is blamed mostly on dropping oil prices, but the head of an Oklahoma think tank says bad policy has contributed to the crisis.

Oklahoma Policy Institute Director David Blatt says ‘we can’t make it through by doubling down on deep cuts and one-time fixes. The responsible path is to put new revenue on the table and reassess tax cuts and tax breaks granted by the legislature.’

Tulsa County

The draft plan for the Arkansas River is out, with associated costs. Nothing is set in stone, and Tulsa County leaders say that’s good.

Overall, the city of Tulsa plans on taking 0.55% for its’ Vision share, using about a third for the river. It leaves only 0.05% for the county. Commissioner Karen Keith says that’s unacceptable. They need one-tenth.

The river is in Keith’s district. She supports the planned low-water dams and levee improvements, but will not support taking money from other county priorities.

Tulsa County Democratic Party

Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton will be in Tulsa Friday. Clinton will appear at a public event at the Jazz Hall of Fame, and then a private fundraising event later. She will be introduced at the public event by Oklahoma State Senator Kay Floyd, who says the former Secretary of State lengthened her time in the state to speak to supporters at a public event. Originally the visit had just been scheduled as a private reception.

Floyd says she’s been a supporter of former Secretary of State Clinton since her first run for President in 2007.

Google Street View

The dispute over river front land near 71st and Riverside takes a new turn. A group opposed to the sale for a development urges Tulsa City Councilors to reverse the deal. The land is called Helmerich Park, in honor of the late Walter Helmerich, who originally sold the land to the city. Mayor Bartlett claims Helmerich supported commercial development there.

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Concern about politicians’ calls for a moratorium on accepting Syrian refugees leads to a critical response from the Greater Tulsa Area Hispanic Affairs Commission. Chairman Juan Miret fears statements from local, state, and federal elected officials are misleading and confusing citizens. He says there’s already a lengthy, thorough refugee processing system in place and it works.

KWGS News

It’s going to be an El Nino winter, but Tulsa street crews say they’re ready for whatever Mother Nature may throw at us. 12-thousand tons of salt, 64 truck mounted salt spreaders, and 46 truck mounted snowplows are only part of the armada waiting to keep Tulsa streets clear. City Streets Maintenance Manager Tim McCorkell says the last El Nino didn’t produce the bad winter weather predicted, but they’re ready if this one does.

Tulsa Jail

Tulsa County is seeking $9-million in back payments from the Department of Corrections and a daily rate of $55 a day for holding state inmates. Recent court rulings say the state must pay the actual cost of keeping DOC inmates in county jails, and Tulsa Commission Chairman John Smaligo says the state’s been under paying for years. The Commission is asking the Sheriff and the Criminal Justice Authority to join in a lawsuit.

DOC’s been paying $27 a day per inmate, less than half what a study by the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office shows it costs to hold an inmate in the county jail.

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One more case of hospitalization in Oklahoma because of the flu is reported in the past week. It’s still early in the season, so LeAnne Stephens with the Tulsa Health Department recommends taking steps to minimize your risk of getting the flu, including getting the vaccine which is the most effective way to protect yourself.

The very young and those over 60 are most susceptible. So far this year, 17 cases of flu hospitalizations have been reported in Oklahoma, with one in Tulsa County. No deaths are yet recorded in the state this flu season. 

KWGS News

Oklahoma’s largest Veteran’s Day Parade includes a controversy this year. On a warm, windy, springlike day, thousands turn out to watch the annual event. A handful of people hold signs protesting the inclusion of a float sponsored by a Muslim group. One man identifies himself as a voice for God and he says this is a ‘Christian Nation’ and Muslims are our enemies and should not be allowed in the parade.

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Tulsa is part of a national effort to house homeless veterans. At a time when thoughts turn to those who served the nation, The Project Zero goal in Tulsa of housing for veterans is within reach. Jeff Jaynes is chairman of A Way Home for Tulsa and director of Restore Hope, part of a housing homeless coalition.

Jaynes says the coalition is only about 60 vets away from housing 289 veterans by the end of the year.

KWGS News

Cadets are ushered into graduation ceremonies at the Tulsa Police Academy this morning. They take the oath, are given badges, and will be officers in training for the next 16 weeks. Then they become full-fledged officers and will be assigned to fill vacancies in the patrol divisions. There were 19 police officers and one fire marshal in the class graduating today. There is another class underway scheduled to graduate in the spring, but it still leaves the department understaffed and unable to keep up with attrition.

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A half-dozen new cases of flu in Oklahoma are reported in the past week, but no deaths in the state so far this year. Tony Sellers with the State Department of Health says it makes 16 hospitalizations to date, which is about on par with last year.

It’s not too late to get a shot. Sellers says choosing the right vaccine is a guessing game, but it’s expected this year’s batch will be more effective than last year’s. The very young and those age 60 and older are most vulnerable.

Tulsa International Airport

A special district on Tulsa International Airport land could help boost development there. Airport officials are taking the first steps to create a tax increment district giving breaks to businesses that expand or develop there. Airports Spokesperson Alexis Higgins says this special type development tool is something new for TIA, and is a long term tool for development

Tulsa County leaders give the go ahead today for a review committee to study the potential impact of the special district, one of the first steps in the process. 

Tulsa County

Despite being forced from office, out-going Sheriff Stanley Glanz gets to keep his badge and gun. The Tulsa County Commission votes to allow Glanz to retain his peace officer status. It comes over objections from a citizens’ group that circulated petitions leading  to a grand jury investigation. Spokesman Marq Lewis says Glanz failure to do his duty shouldn’t allow the law officer designation. He refers to the shooting of an unarmed suspect by Reserve Deputy Bob Bates, a close friend of Glanz. The incident led to Glanz resignation and two grand jury indictments.

KWGS News

People line up near Barnes and Noble on 41st street in Tulsa awaiting Ben Carson, who is holding a book signing. It’s not officially a campaign stop, but Carson is among the leaders in the Republican presidential field. Outside the bookstore are John, his wife Shannon, and daughter Sheila. John says he needs more information about Carson’s stances before he makes up his mind, but Sheila and Shannon are already on board.                                 

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A cluster of earthquakes in the Cushing area prompts the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to take action against more disposal wells. Commission Spokesman Matt Skinner says wells within three miles of the epicenter must halt operations, and those between three and six miles must reduce injection volumes by 25%. He says it may take time to see if it makes a difference, but the rash of quakes makes action necessary.

Another 13 wells have been put on notice that further action may be required.

Public Radio Tulsa

It’s ‘Back to the Future’ for the Tulsa Library’s summer reading program. It’s a popular program, but changes implemented this summer met with dissatisfaction and plunging participation, a 51% drop. Kimberly Johnson, Chief Operating Officer with the Library, says a survey shows complaints in two areas that will be addressed for next year’s program. Patrons were concerned about the on-line only signup and the requirement you must have a library card to participate.

KWGS News

Tulsa is getting a new hospital dedicated to the care of seriously injured or ill people that need specialized longer term rehabilitation.

Ground is broken for the Post Acute Medical Rehabilitation Hospital of Tulsa near 91st and Highway 169. Spokesman Lee Simpson says it will provide a higher level of care not available at most facilities.

The 40-bed in-patient with out-patient services hospital should be finished in the fall of next year.

KWGS News

Various dignitaries turn dirt on a multi-million dollar project to improve interchanges at the Creek toll road and on Elm Street in Jenks. It’s near the Oklahoma Aquarium and a planned outlet mall…and Jenks City Manager Mike Tinker says citizens passed a bond initiative to help meet growing development demands in the area.

In addition to enhancing economic development, officials say the changes will improve safety for drivers and visitors.

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