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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KWGS News

Hundreds fill the Floral Haven Memorial Chapel to say goodbye to Tulsa City Councilor David Patrick. Patrick died suddenly last Friday. He had recently announced he would not run for re-election….and was planning retirement. Relatives, friends, government leaders, fire fighters, police officers, business associates, and others filled the Chapel to overflowing.

It’s being billed as the FIRST Cannabis Business Expo in the state.

The  Oklahoma Cannabis Business Alliance is co-sponsor of the event being held at the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa. Alliance CEO Whitney Wehmeyer says the expo covers the science and business side of the industry.                   

The Expo will run through today  until 6pm. Admission is free.

KWGS News

Last minute preparations are complete. The Gathering Place opens. It is a $465-million project that has been  in the works for years.

Park Director Tony Moore says it’s unique in that much of the expense is borne by the private sector, about $400-million. The rest comes from the city of Tulsa in infrastructure and related items.

The new riverside park opens at 10am. A parade  at 8:30  preceded the official opening ceremonies.

Shuttles are running every 15 minutes from OSU-Tulsa, Expo Square and the River Spirit Casino.

KWGS News Photo

The kids at the McLain 7th Grade Academy will get backpacks full of school supplies when they arrive for class. It’s courtesy of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office through its partner, James Mission. Academy Principal Tarsha Guillory says many students would return to class without basic school supplies except for the donations.

The supplies include pencils, notebooks, crayons, paper, rulers, and other essentials.

KWGS News File Photo

Time is short to register to vote in the August 28th run-off in Oklahoma.

Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman says you can’t change parties in time to vote in the coming run-off, but any other changes to be made or first-timers have until Friday.                              

She does expect a good turnout August 28th, given June’s record primary vote and interest in several competitive run-off races.

KWGS News

With temperatures expected to be the highest of the summer this week, a donation of fans to the Tulsa Salvation Army is arriving just in time. The box fans come from Westlake ACE Hardware. The Salvation Army’s Major Mark Gilliam thanked the company for helping those in need. He says the donated fans come just in time for the dangerously hot temperatures. The Salvation Army’s supply of fans is being rapidly depleted due to the heat wave we’ve already seen in recent weeks.

U-S Forest Service

You may camp at Cedar Lake, but no boating or swimming for now. The swim beaches at the popular southeastern Oklahoma lake have been closed as well as the boat ramp due to an outbreak of blue-green algae. U-S Forest Service Spokeswoman C.J. Norvell says the algae can be dangerous if you get in it, but not a health risk if you stay out of it.

Groups supporting medical marijuana will go to the courts to fight rules tweaked and adopted by the Oklahoma State Board of Health and signed by Gov. Mary Fallin this week.

"We have a law. We don't need any more laws done. We have a proper law that 57 percent — over 500,ooo of us — just approved. So, we don't need to change the law, but we do need to change what happened," said Chip Paul with Oklahomans for Health. "And, again, we all live in a republic, by gosh, and we got screwed, and we're not going to take it. We're not going to take it."

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This weekend will see the hottest temperatures of the year in the Tulsa area. Highs are expected to be 100, with a heat index well into triple digits. Adam Paluka with EMSA reminds people to have a plan to deal with the heat. He says the most important thing is to pre-hydrate…that means start drinking water well before you go outside to get your body ready to deal with the heat.

When outside, continue drinking water. Also, take frequent breaks in a shady area, wear light colored loose clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your head and face.

KWGS File Photo

Halfway through the year, Tulsa homicides are less than half what they were at the same time during 2017’s record year. Officer Jeanne MacKenzie says rates are also much better than in 2016, the previous record year. She says there have been 19 murders in Tulsa so far this year, compared to 46 during the same time frame last year, and 31 in 2016.

MacKenzie says the homicide solve rate is also very high this year, better than 95%. She says large, targeted enforcement efforts against gangs and guns have helped keep the homicide numbers down.

KWGS News

Tulsa Public Schools holds another job fair for teachers, and turnout is good. Coy Nesbitt is Director of Talent Services with TPS. He says the district still needs about 150 teachers in all subject areas, with the highest needs in pre-K through 6th elementary grades, and special education. Those with certifications and those without are encouraged to apply. Nesbitt says the district can help those seeking emergency certification. A meet and greet and then interviews are scheduled. If more career fairs are needed they will be held in time to hopefully fill all positions.

KWGS News

Getting violent criminals who use guns off the streets is the focus of Operation Alpha. Results of the joint law enforcement effort were announced during a news conference at the office of Northern District U-S Attorney Trent Shores. He says the operation ran for two months. He says 174 felony arrests were made and 106 guns seized in the 60 days from mid-April to mid-June.  

KWGS News

Early in-person absentee balloting for next Tuesday’s primary will be allowed beginning on Thursday. Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman says you may only do in-person voting at the satellite location at Hardesty Library and the Election Board Headquarters. Hours at both locations are Thursday and Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm.

Local, State, and National offices as well as questions are on the ballot. Independents may vote in the Democratic primary, but not the Republican primary.

KWGS News

The prospect of a teacher raise hasn’t stopped the educator drain across the state or in Tulsa. A teacher career fair at Will Rogers College High brought out several hopefuls….some already certified and some seeking certification.

Teachers are needed in most disciplines, but there is a great need in math, science, and English. Information about job positions is available on the TPS website.

KWGS News

June 6th marks the 20th  anniversary of the unsolved murder of 16 year old Dena Dean. The Dean Family will commemorate the anniversary by holding a vigil to remember their daughter and pray for justice. Members of TCSO’s Cold Case Task Force will be there to staff a Command Post and speak with anyone who wants to stop by and offer potential leads on the case.

Today through Friday, Task Force members are answering a Tip Line where callers can speak with them directly: 918-388-7686.

KWGS News

The 46th annual Mayfest gets underway in downtown Tulsa. The yearly spring festival features artists from across the country. One of the most unique offerings comes from April Byrd from Arkansas, who paints used surfboards you can hang on your wall. She started out by turning her old board into a work of art and says it just bloomed from there. She has items starting at $25, but a surfboard original will cost you $15,000.

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Due to an increased number of trauma patients in local hospitals, there is an immediate need for O-negative blood. Kenda Burnham, Donor Recruitment Director for the Oklahoma Blood Institute in Tulsa, says they’re down to less than a one day supply. There’s also a higher need this time of year because of travel, vacations, and storms. Burnham says O-negative is the universal blood type and can be given to anyone in need to help stabilize them.

KWGS News

An iconic Tulsa business is closing its’ doors after eight decades. Ann’s Bakery at Admiral and Harvard will close at the end of July. The granddaughter of the founders, Shannon Harris, says there are many reasons, but mainly it’s because most younger family members have other jobs and people have moved south away from the neighborhood. Also, she says constant construction on nearby I-244 has kept some customers away.

KWGS News-File Photo

The traps are out, and the Tulsa Health Department begins testing for mosquitoes this week that might be carriers of West Nile Virus. Division Chief of Environmental Public Health with the Tulsa Department, Elizabeth Nutt, says while Zika gets a lot of news time, West Nile is the biggest threat in Oklahoma.

Last year, four deaths in the Sooner State were attributed to complications from West Nile. It’s also tick season, so people are cautioned to check closely for ticks after being outside for any length of time.

KWGS News

One man is dead, two more under arrest after a police shooting at a hotel in east Tulsa. Captain Rick Helberg says members of the Organized Gang Unit were working a special grant designed to get drugs and guns off the street.

KWGS News photo

With a proliferation of lotteries and casino gambling, Oklahoma has become one of the most gambling friendly states in the country. On the other hand, a new study shows the state is the tenth most gambling addicted. We’re tied for first in casinos per capita and second in gaming machines. With the ninth highest percentage of adults with gambling disorders, WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez says we could do better with treatment, more gambling counselors and programs like Gamblers Anonymous are needed.

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A prescription drug take back is scheduled Saturday in Tulsa. Environmental Compliance Specialist with the city, Bren Summerlin, says it’s a chance to dispose of unwanted and expired medications in a way that isn’t damaging to the environment.

The event is this Saturday, April 28th, from 10am until 2pm at three locations…the Reasor’s lot at 71st and Sheridan, Patrick Henry School on 41st Street, and the MET recycling center at 21st and 129th.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A Tulsa judge rules for the city in a move that could allow development on a portion of Helmerich Park land to go forward. The dispute is over plans for a sporting goods store at 71st and Riverside. Protestors sued, claiming the land was purchased for a park and intended to always be used as a park. Attorney Greg Bledsoe represents the plaintiffs. He says the ruling sets a ‘horrible’ precedent by selling land bought with taxpayer and private funds for a park, then declare what he calls public trust land abandoned to sell for private development.

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Tulsa County law enforcement officials want state lawmakers to pass a measure allowing use of a new technology called Rapid DNA. Director of Government Affairs, Terry Simonson, says it would mean taking a DNA swab of a suspect at booking and results could be returned within 90 minutes.

KWGS News

Victims’ rights are highlighted at an awareness event on the Tulsa Courthouse Plaza.

Tulsa’s leading law enforcement agents address the crowd during ‘Crime Victims’ Rights Week’. District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler implores the media and citizens to focus more on victims and less on criminals. Support is also offered for Marsy’s Law, a proposed constitutional amendment to solidify the rights of crime victims.

More than two dozen local service agencies who offer resources to crime victims were represented at the awareness event.

OSHD

Someone returning to Tulsa recently from an international trip contracted measles…and the City-County Health Department is alerting people of possible exposure. Leanne Stephens with the Health Department says measles is very contagious, and can linger for as long as a couple of hours after the carrier has left the area.

The Health Department has all the pertinent information about where and when possible exposures may have occurred. Anyone concerned or with questions may call the Department’s measles hotline at 918-595-4500.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Health officials say almost twice as many Oklahomans have died from influenza this season than any previous season on record.

The Oklahoma Department of Health said Thursday that 253 people have died from the virus since the flu season began on Sept. 1 — the most fatalities since the agency began tracking the illness in 2009. The previous record death toll of 130 was recorded a year ago.

KWGS News

A veteran’s group working to solve food insecurity in rural and under-served areas is honored by Tulsa County leaders. Honor Capital is on a mission to help end food deserts through a program called Hub and Spoke. Jim Allen is President of Honor Capital, a veteran’s owned organization. He says Hub and Spoke partners grocery stores with mobile units to bring fresh, nutritious food to areas where it isn’t easy to find or where transportation is lacking.

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After a couple of starts and stops finding a location, bids are finally opened for a new Tulsa County Family Justice Center. Five bids were received, all under $30-million, below the estimated cost of around $39-million. Current Justice Center Director Justin Jones says alternatives were included within the bids, so a committee will determine the lowest and best.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, a bid should be awarded next week, and construction will begin in mid-April. Construction time is estimated at about 18 months. 

TPD

Homeland Security, Oklahoma Alcohol Beverage Law Enforcement, and the Tulsa Police Financial Crimes Unit are working to halt a fake ID factory. At least 100 false ID’s have been intercepted in the past several months, some bound for Oklahoma students. Corporal Matt Rose with TPD says at least one has been confiscated at a downtown Tulsa bar. He says it’s difficult to tell the real from the fake.

The ID’s are being ordered online and then mailed to high school and college students in Oklahoma and elsewhere.

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