Matt Trotter


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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The Admiral and Memorial Walmart will reopen sometime this fall.

"Plumbing repairs and store upgrades are still ongoing, [but] our goal is to begin serving customers by late October or early November," said Walmart spokeswoman Erica Jones.

The east Tulsa store and four other Walmart Supercenters across the country closed suddenly on the same day in April. At the time, the company said the stores had plumbing problems that would take at least six months to fix.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Science, technology, engineering and math education in Tulsa is set for a boost.

The Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance is among 27 picked for a new national program. Tulsa Program Director Xan Black says the STEM Ecosystems Initiative includes newer and older groups, and the goal is to share information.

Thursday night is the first of nine community forums to help shape Tulsa Public Schools’ new five-year plan.

Those who attend will be asked to consider the district’s previous five-year plans as well as its future needs. Everything is on the table, from facilities to teacher recruitment.

Superintendent Deborah Gist recently asked for Vision funding for teacher housing. She said the idea has come up at every district event so far.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A legislative study of Oklahoma's civil asset forfeiture laws spanned the entire state Tuesday.

Supporters of a bill that would change the laws testified in Oklahoma City, saying the current system makes it nearly impossible for innocent people to recover money seized from them without being arrested. Later in the day in Tulsa, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics attorney Travis White said there are several safeguards in place.

"Not a single penny has been forfeited in the state of Oklahoma without a neutral and detached magistrate looking over those cases," White said.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The City of Tulsa is testing new parking meters in the Brady Arts District, and you’ll have to pay starting Tuesday morning.

There are will be a total of 21 solar-powered, automated pay stations. You’ll have to enter your car’s tag number, but then you can park in any legal space. Brady Arts District Business Association President Bob Fleischman said the goal is to encourage commerce by having available parking.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Blue Bell’s Broken Arrow production plant will be running again soon.

The company announced about 70 percent of the plant’s 200 workers are back at work, with the rest expected to return next week.

"My favorite food is ice cream, so I'm excited about it, but I think a lot of people are really excited about the fact it is a big part of our community," said Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond. "They really are a big contributor toward things that go on in our community."

Night Light Tulsa

City councilors resolved a permit problem Thursday threatening a weekly event to help the homeless.

Volunteers with Night Light Tulsa have gathered under a highway bridge at Maybelle Avenue and Brady Street for nearly two years, giving food and essentials like soap to the homeless. The organization started getting city permits a few months ago to establish a formal relationship.

September's permit was in jeopardy after the Oklahoma Department of Transportation took issue.

The public hearings are over and the deadline is approaching for Tulsa Vision renewal ideas. Meanwhile, Broken Arrow has already decided on its approach.

Police Chief David Boggs said twenty-five hundredths of a penny will go toward streets, with the three-tenths going to public safety.

"Then public safety will be equally divided between police and fire," Boggs said. "So, we see that going before the public Nov. 10."

Boggs said they already know what the three-tenths for public safety will pay for.

The master plan for Tulsa’s River Parks doesn’t cover development, so leaders are looking for guidance amid talk about water in the river and a Vision renewal.

A 10-year-old River Parks master plan calls for the preservation of green space, and 54 pages of design guidelines from almost seven years ago don’t cover riverfront development.

Even without water permanently in the river yet, there are plans in the works to guide Arkansas River development in Tulsa.

One priority in Tulsa’s effort to build a series of low-water dams will be connecting the riverfront with downtown. Some of the groundwork is already in place for that.

City Planning Director Dawn Warrick said the Boulder Avenue bridge was built to accommodate transit, including some forms of light rail.