Latest Information:

Matt Trotter

Reporter

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN. 

He has a master's degree from Arizona State University, where he spent a semester on the first reporting staff of Cronkite News Service's Washington, D.C., bureau. As a grad student, he won awards for multimedia journalism and in-depth TV reporting.

Matt is from Southern California, so he's slowly following Route 66 across the United States. He would have made it Chicago by now, but he's not a fan of long drives.

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Local & Regional
2:36 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

No Cuts, But Tulsa Transit Makes "Tweak" to Lift Service

Credit Tulsa Transit

Extra funding means Tulsa Transit no longer has to cut hours, but Lift service passengers will see a small difference.

An additional $210,000 from city council and a $20,000 donation meant Tulsa Transit could avoid fare hikes AND service cuts. Assistant General Manager Debbie Ruggles said a review showed buses were routinely getting back after their out-of-service time.

"And so while we were funded up to the 9 p.m. as we had been promised, we discovered that we needed to tweak our pickup times just slightly so that we could stay within our budget," Ruggles said.

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Local & Regional
2:26 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Secondhand Store Ordinance Back on City Council Radar

GameStop is one retailer that would be affected by a secondhand store ordinance the city council is considering.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa City Council is again considering an ordinance tracking sales at secondhand stores.

Discussion on the ordinance began in May but was delayed by budget and river meetings. A new version was presented this week, and Tulsa Police Sgt. Shellie Seibert said the changes are minor.

"We just tried to make it a little bit more narrowly defined," Seibert said. "There were some things that were left out there about nonprofits, things like that, that we're not targeting."

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Local & Regional
4:55 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

City Councilors Seek Details on Available B.C. Franklin Funding

North Tulsa residents want a new rec center at B.C. Franklin park after the old one was demolished.
Credit KWGS News

Tulsa city councilors asked for more details today about funding for projects at B.C. Franklin Park.

After a community meeting, it was rumored up to $2.5 million should be available. Parks Director Lucy Dolman said that's not the case.

"Well, we had $470,000, plus we ended up getting $330,000 from the Graham Trust for a total of $800,000," Dolman said.

The $470,000 comes from sales tax revenue going back to 2001. The money was allocated for projects that were never completed.

Community members aren't satisfied with what's available, though.

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Local & Regional
2:51 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Trash Board Proposes to Keep Burning Green Waste

If a TARE board proposal is approved, Tulsa will hire a company to haul green waste from residents' curbs to the incinerator.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

A new plan would take Tulsans’ green waste to the incinerator.

The TARE board will vote Aug. 5 to solicit bids for curbside pickup and hauling to the incinerator. Vice Chairman Paul White said the new plan meets all the board’s criteria.

"We have to implement a plan that is cost-effective, operationally feasible, customer-friendly and environmentally responsible," White said.

If the plan goes forward, White said as few changes will be made as possible, so customers would likely continue putting green waste in clear plastic bags next to their trash carts.

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Local & Regional
3:10 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Tulsa No. 4 in U.S. for Rate of DUI Fatalities

Credit File photo

Tulsa comes in at number four on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents.

John Kuo, an analyst for the financial website NerdWallet said Tulsa had 74 deadly crashes from 2010 to 2012 — as many as some much larger cities.

"Tulsa actually has as many alcohol-related fatal crashes as Oklahoma City, which is a city that has almost 200,000 more residents than Tulsa," Kuo said.

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Local & Regional
4:01 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

School Board Approves Overcrowding, Sixth-Grade Proposals

The Tulsa school board approves reopening the former site of Mayo Demonstration School.

TPS chief of staff Amy Polonchek said population growth in east Tulsa means more classroom space is needed there, and it will be enough to accommodate up to eighth grade.

"We will renovate and expand, and make available to that neighborhood for children K–8," Polonchek said. "With the sixth-graders that we put back into the elementaries, we have seen some great results, so we look forward to a K–8 model in that building."

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Local & Regional
3:02 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Officials Break Ground on County Law Enforcement Training Center

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz (foreground) speaks Friday at a groundbreaking ceremony for a law enforcement training center bearing his name.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

The first work — the ceremonial tossing of shovelfuls of dirt — has been done for a 26,000 square foot county law enforcement training center.

Tulsa County Undersheriff Tim Albin said agencies from the local to the federal level will be welcome to send officers there.

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Local & Regional
12:26 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Task Force Thinking Trust for Dam Funding

Zink Dam has an estimated annual maintenance cost of $21,000, but expensive repairs and part replacements aren't being saved for between projects. An Arkansas River task force is discussing forming a trust to pay for the operation and maintenance of low-water dams along the river.
Credit KWGS News File Photo

A task force continues to figure out how to pay for dams that would put water in the Arkansas River.

Members support a trust funded by sales or property taxes. Tulsa City Councilor Phil Lakin said operating and maintaining low-water dams needs consistent funding.

"It's tons easier to contribute $100,000 a year for 30 years rather than trying to find $3 million in a budget 30 years from now to replace the gates or paint or replace parts of the dam or do anything else," Lakin said.

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Local & Regional
4:11 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

No Post-Construction Plan Yet for Apartments to Be Demolished for A Gathering Place

An aerial rendering of the first phase of A Gathering Place for Tulsa, which will be built between 27th and 31st Streets on both sides of Riverside Drive.
Credit A Gathering Place for Tulsa

Two apartment complexes near the future site of A Gathering Place for Tulsa will be mostly demolished early next year.

Project Manager Jeff Stava said contractor needs were behind the decision.

"They came to us after three or four weeks and said that we really needed to consider trying to identify a laydown yard and an area to do our soil amendments that's close to the site," Stava said. "And so that's why we chose to use the apartment complexes."

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Local & Regional
5:30 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tulsa Chamber Workforce Analysis Produces Recommendations

Credit File Photo

The Tulsa Chamber has a comprehensive plan to transform the region’s economy after getting a list of recommendations from its six-month Workforce Analysis Project.

A consulting group gave several recommendations to be completed within two years. Sarah Miller with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning said a career-awareness campaign they suggested is the low-hanging fruit here.

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