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

KWGS News File photo

A meeting will be held this week to finalize plans for upgrading security and entrances to the Tulsa County Courthouse. Plans are to boost security, improve traffic flow into the Courts, and make entrances conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Commissioners’ Chief Deputy Mark Liotta says a meeting with contractors is planned later this week. Work should begin soon and is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The courthouse entrance renovation will cost about a million dollars.

File Photo

(A-P Washington, D.C.)-A Canadian company that wants to build the disputed Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S. has submitted a new application for the project. The route has been changed to avoid environmentally sensitive land in Nebraska.

TransCanada filed a new application today for the project to carry oil from western Canada to Nebraska and then link up with other pipelines to carry oil to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. The southern part of the route passes through Oklahoma.

A special representative of the United Nations comes to Tulsa University to hear concerns of Native Americans. James Anaya is an independent expert designated by the U-N to report on the rights of indigenous people. He heard from a myriad of tribal leaders on issues from water rights and gaming to domestic violence and fears the Keystone Pipeline will disturb sacred grounds.

Several tribal leaders asked for a seat at the United Nations representing indigenous people. Anaya will file a report on what he’s learned with the United Nations Human Rights Council.

With the arrival of summertime heat, you’re reminded to never leave your child or pet in the car alone. Safety officials and medical professionals remind you summertime heat poses a deadly hazard to children or pets left in automobiles. Dr. Phil Barton with the children’s hospital at St. Francis says it doesn’t take 100 degree temperatures outside to pose a danger. He says cars heat up quickly even when the outside temperature is 75 or 80 degrees.

 

Interpreters who help doctors communicate with patients who don’t speak English convene in Tulsa. When it’s a life or death medical situation, communication is important. Sometimes it’s an English speaking doctor and a foreign language patient. That’s where medical interpreters come in. Louis Provenzano is President of Language Line Services…a phone network with interpreters covering more than 170 languages and dialects. He says the translators undergo about two years of training to become proficient in a language and medical terminology.

To keep Tulsa vital, organizers of a summit on the city’s future say there must be more of an effort to keep and attract young people. Members of Tulsa’s Young Professionals took part in today’s EnVision Summit to kick around ideas on how to make the region a better place to live, work, and play. One of those young professionals is Janae Castell, who says she’d like to see the city use its’ positives to become a draw for young families.

Castell mentions the Arkansas River as an asset that should be more fully developed in order to help make Tulsa shine.

KWGS News Photo

There is a month left in the legislative session and Tulsa leaders go to the state capitol to lobby for regional priorities.

There are six items on the list for action wanted by business, education and civic leaders in the area. At the top, education funding, health care expansion and transportation infrastructure dollars.

It is hoped the regional approach will work in directing more money for needs in the Tulsa area.

The Tulsa delegation heard from Governor Fallin and other state leaders.

(Tulsa, Ok)-The grandmother of a Bixby teenager meets and thanks the EMSA dispatcher who helped save her grandson’s life. Monday, Trent Morris received a 9-1-1 call from Bixby High School. A 15-year-old was in cardiac arrest. He guided a teacher through CPR and use of a defibrillator and the boy was revived. The grandmother,  Barbara Smart, says it’s critical to have those devices available in public places.

The boy has been transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and will be placed on the heart transplant list.

Tulsa County’s second-in-command law enforcement officer is leaving. It’s been announced that Tulsa Undersheriff Brian Edwards will become the chief law enforcement officer at the Grand River Dam Authority in northeastern Oklahoma. His official title will be Assistant General Manager for Law Enforcement and Homeland Security. The official announcement came at the GRDA’s board meeting in Vinita. Edwards will retire April 27th. He’s been with the Tulsa Sheriff’s Office 31 years.

After citizen complaints and pressure from city councilors, the Tulsa trash board decides to allow you to choose your refuse cart size after all. The original plan was for everyone to start with the largest size and wait three months before making a change. Not a popular plan with residents or councilors like Phil Lakin, who doesn’t understand why small trash generators would have to use the large carts, even for a short amount of time.

KWGS News

(Tulsa, OK)-Charges have now been filed against the two suspects in the Good Friday shooting spree in North Tulsa. District Attorney Tim Harris’ office announced today that Jake England and Alvin Watts were each charged with three counts of 1st degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill, and five counts of malicious harassment. Both men are being held in the Tulsa jail on bonds of more than 9-million dollars each. A judge is expected to set a preliminary hearing date Monday.

At times, Tulsa is still trying to overcome that image of ‘neglected stepchild’ to Oklahoma City, where the seat of state government is located. Tulsa city councilors and Tulsa area lawmakers hold an informal summit to talk about state legislation and its’ possible affect on citizens here. One of those in attendance at today’s meeting is Representative Jabar Shumate. He says Tulsa doesn’t want to lose out on opportunities, and the get together is a good start to improving collaboration.

KWGS

Protestors want bond denied for the two suspects in the Northside shootings. Outside the Tulsa Courthouse, they also call for the case to be prosecuted as a ‘hate crime’. About a dozen sign carrying demonstrators gather in the courthouse plaza to demand those arrested in the shooting spree be held without bond. Protestor Andrew Burkes also says it’s a hate crime and should be treated as such.

Suspects Jake England and Alvin Watts are being held on bonds of more than nine million dollars each. It’s not been decided whether the case will be prosecuted as a hate crime.

Pastors in North Tulsa and city leaders call on people of faith to meet and discuss ways to keep young people on the right path. The pilot project will begin with a focus on the northside. At a city hall news conference, citizens are urged to attend a May 1st meeting at Greenwood Cultural Center. The effort is not specifically a response to the tragic shootings and manhunt over Easter Weekend, but Reverend Weldon Tisdale with Friendship Church says it shows how the city can come together.

A plan to adopt zoning changes in an older area near downtown Tulsa creates controversy. A lot of people turn out to debate a proposed form-based code for the Pearl District. The code focuses on developing dense urban areas into pedestrian and mass transit friendly neighborhoods, discouraging the use of cars. Jamie Jamieson, chairman of the Pearl’s urban design committee, says change is needed to revitalize the district.

Planning Commissioners will hold a May 16th work session to discuss the issue further.

Stateimpact Oklahoma

Tulsa County leaders update a plan for improving bridges and some roadways over the next eight years. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is asking for an eight year plan instead of a five year plan as in the past.

Chief Tulsa County Engineer Tom Rains says the state rates bridges in the county, and those at the bottom of the list that need to be replaced are used to prioritize the transportation plan. More funds may be available in future years due to Governor Fallin’s plan to add dollars for upgrading bridges throughout the state.

An experiment using attention getting terms when issuing tornado warnings in Missouri and Kansas this year could spread to other states like Oklahoma. The new warnings contain words like catastrophic and even unsurvivable to describe approaching tornadoes. Chief Meterologist Steve Piltz in the Tulsa National Weather Service Office says the concept is a good one that Oklahoma has actually been doing for several years, but they have not been using the 'shock' language included in the Missouri and Kansas experiment.

The latest Oklahoma statewide unemployment figures are out, and more people had jobs. John Carpenter with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says in February the unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 6.0 percent.

                      

It’s the second straight month unemployment has dropped in Oklahoma.The county by county unemployment numbers won't be out until April 10th.

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.

                            

Pages