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.

Ways to Connect

The City of Tulsa may have up to $350,000 to help low-income residents make repairs after severe storms last month.

There's $100,000 available now and approved by city councilors to be awarded in emergency repair grants up to $5,000. The money comes from unallocated federal community development funds.

Community Development Director Dwain Midget has asked the Tulsa Development Authority to contribute $250,000 toward the efforts. That board meets Thursday.

KWGS News

Tulsa city councilors support a proposal to halt drastic cuts to Oklahoma’s health care system.

Phil Lakin was one of six votes for a resolution telling state lawmakers to pass the Medicaid Rebalancing Act because there are no options left.

"Medicaid matches go 10 percent for the state of Oklahoma, 90 percent for the federal government, but we don't have anything to use for our 10 percent unless we get this $1.50 cigarette tax," Lakin said.

The tax would fund bringing Medicaid reimbursement rates back to 86 percent and covering 175,000 Oklahomans without insurance.

file photo

Creditors are concerned about Oklahoma’s $1.3 billion budget hole. That’s a problem for schools and potentially taxpayers.

Voters overwhelmingly approved capital improvement and transportation bonds totaling $27 million for Union Public Schools in February. Chief Financial Officer Debbie Jacoby said they were moving ahead with the second-highest bond rating on Moody’s scale until Gov. Mary Fallin made her budget proposals April 13.

File photo

Outraged Oklahoma lawmakers say they'll move quickly to change a loophole in the state's forcible sodomy law after the state's highest criminal court found it doesn't apply to cases where the victim is unconscious or intoxicated.

Chickasha Rep. Scott Biggs will change his bill tweaking victim notification laws to expand the definition of forcible sodomy instead.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Anger, sadness, confusion — those are some of the feelings area school officials expressed at a budget forum Thursday in Tulsa.

As they prepare for slashed budgets next school year, Oklahoma’s public schools were told this week another round of cuts will happen this year. Catoosa Superintendent Rick Kibbe said the state is in a crisis.

Ahead of National Small Business Week, new rankings have Tulsa as the ninth-best city for Hispanic entrepreneurs.

The nation's 150 largest cities are included in the WalletHub rankings, which incorporate 11 business-friendliness and eight purchasing power measures.

Tulsa scored well in the latter, standing out in its measure of Hispanics’ income growth — 20 percent from 2010 to 2014.

Governor's Office

Four measures intended to reduce the strain on Oklahoma’s prison system are now law.

Former Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris was on the steering committee that came up with a set of unanimous recommendations that turned into four bills that should reduce the number of felony charges when they’re unwarranted.

"We put a lot of people in the penitentiary that we were mad at but that we weren't really afraid of, and that's breaking the bank," Harris said. "We need our tax dollars for other things, like education."

Tulsa Public Schools

Anticipating a $13.5 million dollar cut next year, the Tulsa Public Schools board is asked to consider a proposal to cut 142 teaching positions.

"We, up until this point, have made every decision we possibly could as far away from our classrooms, as far away from our students and teachers," said TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist. "At this point, though, we have really no other choice but to make decisions that will impact our schools directly."

Going out to eat tomorrow can help pay for local HIV services.

It’s the 10th year in Tulsa of national AIDS fundraiser Dining Out for Life, and participating restaurants will donate 25 percent or more of your bill to Health Outreach Prevention Education. It's H.O.P.E.'s biggest fundraiser the past nine years.

"It brings in between $20,000 and $40,000 a year for us, and it helps us pay for testing supplies, tests, mileage, prevention education, prevention supplies, a plethora of things we need here at H.O.P.E.," said Executive Director Kathy Williams.

Wikipedia

A measure stating Oklahoma’s desire for a Constitutional Convention won final approval Tuesday by the state Senate.

House members passed Senate Joint Resolution 4 last week with amendments, meaning it needed another vote by senators.

Sen. Anthony Sykes was among the 16 "No" votes.

"I do not trust the other state legislatures to be of like mind," Sykes said. "Certainly, Oklahoma is one of the more conservative states in America, and I don't think we can do as good a job as our Founding Fathers did."

Pages