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

TPD

Tulsa Police are searching for some fake cops who robbed a man at the Bristol Park Apartments on East 45th Street South. 

Authorities say a man noticed he was being followed to his home at the apartments around midnight Sunday. Two men in a van got out and approached him.

The victim said the two men appeared to be law officers. They carried guns and radios and had badges attached to their belts.

Police say"Clearly they were impersonating officers.”

The fake cops are apparently targeting Hispanics, a group that detectives say often carry a lot of cash.

KWGS News

A federal judge again delays a decision on whether to void union contracts at American Airlines. Transport Workers Union organizer Rick Mullings says it’s to give more time for negotiations to see if an agreement can be reached. He says talks have been on hold while the company negotiated with the pilots.

The pilots’ union board has agreed to order a ratification vote on American’s latest offer, and the company will resume negotiations with mechanics and flight attendants next week.

KWGS News

Tulsa has a new fire chief.

A bell sounds signifying the passing of the Chief’s badge from Alan LaCroix to Ray Driskell. La Croix is retiring, and Driskell has been named the new head of the department. He knows finances are still tight, and he’s visited with the mayor about department needs. Safety and improvements to the medical services division are among his priorities. He also says he wants to focus more on those in the field, those doing the job day in and day out.

Driskell becomes only the 11th chief in the 100-year history of the Tulsa Fire Department.

KWGS News

Members of Tulsa’s Heat Coalition urge caution in this heat wave. They also have a reminder about water usage. It’s way up for this time of year. More gallons were used Monday than on any one day in all of June last summer. Bob Bledsoe with the city of Tulsa says 164 million gallons were consumed Monday, topping the highest usage day in June last year by 13 million gallons.

KWGS File Photo

Triple digit heat is expected in the Tulsa area next week. Last year was a record in Tulsa for ambulance transports due to heat related illnesses. EMSA Captain Chris Stevens doesn’t want to set a new record this summer. He reminds people the most important step is to stay hydrated.

Stevens says if you know you’re going to be out in the heat, start hydrating the night before…don’t wait until you’re outside to begin. Also, hats with wide brims, and light colored, loose fitting clothing are tips to keep in mind.

KWGS News File photo

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa gets a federal grant to help upgrade the main dock. Port Director Bob Portiss says the 6.4 million dollar grant will cover about half the cost of the improvements. The project will increase capacity and provide a more modern cargo handling facility.

The rehab of the main dock will allow more than one million tons of iron and steel cargo a year to be handled at the Port.

KWGS News File Photo

It’s another sign of economic resurgence in Oklahoma as hundreds of hopefuls go for interviews at a job fair in East Tulsa. Fair organizers say companies, especially those in the manufacturing industry, are hiring. More than 30 firms participate in the fair, looking to fill positions from entry level to upper management. One of those hoping for a job is John Hogshooter, who isn’t having much luck in the construction business back home. He says he drove hundreds of miles to attend the event here in Tulsa.

KWGS News

Work on improving Tulsa Courthouse entrances hits a snag. While digging in front of the County Courthouse on Denver Avenue, construction crews discovered an old diesel fuel tank that everyone had forgotten was there. County Commission Chief Deputy Mark Liotta says the Department of Environmental Quality will have to inspect the tank and determine any issues that need to be fixed before it can be removed.

Thunder Basketball souvenirs are selling like hotcakes. Temporary stands in Tulsa selling items with the Thunder logo can’t keep the most popular in stock.

The big seller….Fear the Beard…shirts, pennants, and posters featuring sixth man James Harden’s fuzzy facial hair.

Steven, who has a stand at 36th and South Harvard in Tulsa, sells sports souvenirs all over the country. He calls the Thunder mania in Oklahoma among the most passionate he’s ever seen.

KWGS News

A former city councilor will challenge Tulsa’s incumbent mayor in the Republican primary.

Bill Christiansen announces his bid for mayor at a south Tulsa park. He points to a police station across the street as one reason he’s seeking the city’s top executive post. He says it’s only open Monday through Friday 8-4. He wants it open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and says it’s an example of his priorities if elected mayor.

KWGS News

The Tulsa Jewish Federation is partnering with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for the hungry. The project to provide the food is a community garden. Jewish Federation Director Drew Diamond says the produce will be donated to the food bank.

Ground was broken on the project today. The garden is on a plot of land owned by the Jewish Federation just north of 71st street. The first plantings in the garden will be in the fall.

KWGS News

It’s an overflow crowd at a delinquent property tax sale conducted by Tulsa County Treasurer Dennis Semler. Some 500 pieces of land on which owed property taxes from 2008 haven’t been paid go up for auction. Potential bidders are looking for bargains. Landlords are looking for rental properties or fixer-uppers to sell.

The auction will continue every day this week at the Convention Center downtown until all properties are sold.

File photo

One person is assaulted with a baseball bat, another shot at a Quik Trip parking lot in South Tulsa. Police Officer Leland Ashley says some sort of confrontation between two groups took place at a store at 51st and Yale, then moved to a second Quik Trip near 71st and Mingo…

Several shots were fired. The person hit was taken to a hospital and at last report was in critical condition. Ashley says it’s lucky no innocent bystander was hit by gunfire with the shooting occurring in such a public place.

File photo

Deputies who helped bring down a courthouse plaza shooter are honored for their ‘heroic’ actions. At a ceremony at the courthouse, Undersheriff Tim Albin read a description of the events outside the Tulsa County courthouse on March 7th. In responding to reports of a shooter on the plaza, Deputy David Fortenberry was wounded in both hands. He received a purple heart and medal of valor at the ceremony.

KWGS News photo

Teenager Dena Dean disappeared from Town West Shopping Center 14 years ago. The murder case is unsolved to this day. On the anniversary of her death, the Tulsa Sheriff’s Cold Case Command Post is set-up in the shopping center parking lot. It’s an annual event seeking tips on Dean’s murder or any other crimes still under investigation. Dean’s father Larry hasn’t given up hope the case will be resolved. He says while he believes there will be justice for his daughter some day, there will never be ‘closure’ for him since he will never have his daughter back.

KWGS News

A milestone is met at an airport based company that isn’t an aerospace business.

The facility on Tulsa airport land once manufactured B-24 bombers. For the past decade, the huge building has been used to make buses, mostly school buses. I-C Bus is now celebrating the 100-thousandth bus rolling off the assembly line. Plant Manager Greg Hutchison says Tulsa has been a good fit.

The first bus rolled off the line here in January 2001.

City of Tulsa

There is no decision yet on which plan, if any, to bring to voters to provide funding to improve airport and aerospace facilities in Tulsa County.

There are three different proposals being suggested. Tulsa County Commission Chairman John Smaligo says his plan is the only one that does not include a tax increase. His proposal would extend the Vision 2025 program for seven years beyond its' current expiration date.

Other plans have been offered by Tulsa City Councilors and the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce.

 

KWGS News

A graduation ceremony is held for the Tulsa police department’s newest rookies.

The 25 police officers and two fire marshals take the oath of office today after successfully completing academy classes. Chief Chuck Jordan says they will be officers-in-training the next 16 weeks before being able to go it alone on patrol.

Jordan says these graduates will help fill positions lost over the year due to retirements and attrition. Another class of 40 is planned to start in July.

Some are dismayed no tax cuts passed the Oklahoma legislature, others are pleased. It’s a battle that will continue in the next session. Count among those pleased with the failure of tax cuts this year, David Blatt with the Oklahoma Policy Institute think tank. He says there must be a much broader debate on tax reform that doesn’t just start with the premise there must be tax cuts.

KWGS News

Tulsa

Tulsa County has a new undersheriff. The Commission meeting room at the courthouse is crowded as Chief Deputy Tim Albin takes the oath of office to become the second in command at the Sheriff’s Office. Albin has been with the office since 1989. He says things have changed a lot in the years since he began his career, with terrorism and illegal immigration, the office works more on issues that have a global perspective.

Albin replaces Brian Edwards, who retired this month, and took a job with the Grand River Dam Authority.

The Oklahoma House passes a $6.8 billion general appropriations bill to fund state government on a second try. It passed by just one vote. Today's first vote ended in failure. 

The House voted 47-47 today for the annual budget bill, falling short of the 51 votes needed for passage. Democrats who opposed the bill for not putting enough funding into education teamed up with Republicans who thought the bill spent too much.

KWGS News File Photo

Tulsa’s School Superintendent confirms he will leave when his current contract expires at the end of June in 2013. Dr. Keith Ballard says it was never his intention to stay longer than five years…and that time will be up next year.

Dr. Ballard says he’s not leaving because he’s disgruntled about anything in his job with the Tulsa district. And while he says current budget woes had nothing to do with his decision to leave,  he did blast state lawmakers and the governor over the ‘flat budget’ for education, saying that they had failed Oklahoma’s school children.

File Photo

Legislative leaders and the governor’s budget deal does not include additional funding for education. School and city leaders in Tulsa say a flat budget will be devastating. Public school funding won’t increase under the budget agreement and Union Schools Superintendent Cathy Burden says it will mean cuts impacting the quality of education. She says while the district has lost millions in state funding since 2008, the number of students continues to grow.

KWGS News

Mayor Dewey Bartlett, City Councilor Karen Gilbert and school superintendents Dr. Keith Ballard from Tulsa Public Schools, Dr. Cathy Burden from Union Public Schools and Dr. Kirby Lehman with Jenks Public Schools held a news conference today about the need for additional funding from the state level for education.

Councilor Gilbert championed a resolution in the City Council to help support education in the City of Tulsa and requested the Oklahoma Legislature to increase educational funding for elementary and secondary schools in the 2012-2013 budget.

KWGS News Photo

A federal judge hears arguments in the case of a controversial casino being constructed in Broken Arrow.

Neighbors don’t want the Red Clay Casino being built by the Kialegee Tribal Town. The attorney general has entered the case, seeking an injunction to halt construction. In arguments before Judge Greg Frizzel, state’s attorneys say the casino violates tribal compacts and doesn’t have the necessary permission from the Creek Nation.

Lawyers for the Kialegees claim they don’t need permission, and that the law prohibits local governments from vetoing tribal decisions.

In a time of cutbacks and teacher layoffs, the Jenks School District gets a gift of more than one-million dollars. The donation is announced at Jenks West Elementary. The money comes from a private fundraising effort spearheaded by parents of Jenks school children. The idea is to use the money to reduce class sizes for kindergarten through 6th grade. Danny Christner is one of those heading up the donor effort. He says this money will be used strictly for hiring more teachers to reduce class sizes, but the plan is for the private dollars fundraising to continue.

After an exhaustive investigation, authorities haven’t found anything that would have caused the mass sickness experienced at the Tulsa jail last week. Sheriff’s Sargeant Shannon Clark says no evidence of chemical or carbon monoxide poisoning has been discovered to explain what caused nearly 40 people…most of them students on a field trip…to be treated for nausea.

KWGS News File Photo

Advocates of cutting the state income tax quote polls showing a majority of Oklahomans favor the reductions. But a new poll released by the Oklahoma Advocacy Project shows the opposite is true, if it would mean less funding for schools, roads, and public safety.

David Blatt with the Oklahoma Policy Institute says the poll also shows many voters oppose paying for the cut by eliminating popular tax credit programs, as proposed by the Governor and legislative leaders.

Tulsa American Airlines union leaders urge members to vote on a ‘last best contract’ offer, but refuse to take a stand and encourage a vote up or down. Transport Workers Union negotiator John Hewitt calls it a concessionary contract, which means pay cuts and benefit losses no matter which way the vote goes.

Hewitt says, on the positive side, a yes vote would save about 13-hundred jobs in Tulsa. A no vote would give the bankruptcy court authority to terminate the current contract and the company would then impose new terms. Voting starts tomorrow and continues through Monday.

File Photo

There are millions of dollars in projects going on in downtown Tulsa. Most of them are in the Brady Arts District, but next door, the Blue Dome area is seeing its’ share. Only blocks from OneOk Ballpark, a loft project that will include S and J Oyster Bar and Café on the ground floor is underway. Developer Michael Sager admits it’s been a challenge….he’s months behind on the loft work, but the restaurant should open soon. He calls it an example of how the heart of the city is being reborn.

Pages