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.

Ways to Connect

Tulsa Animal Welfare

Black Friday this year could be your chance to find a new best friend.

Tulsa Animal Welfare Manager Jean Letcher said the adoption fee will be discounted Friday and Saturday for all animals with at least a spot of black fur.

"Everything from solid black kittens and black with a little bit of white on our dogs to a calico or a tricolor beagle — a little bit of black is all it takes to be special on Black Friday," Letcher said.

Department of Education

Oklahoma faces a budget shortfall of up to $1 billion for the next fiscal year, and that’s causing concern at the state department of education.

"We're bracing ourselves for cuts," said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. "Really, we're anticipating cuts. We've been told to anticipate those cuts. Part of those, I think, cuts are going to hit the classroom."

Hofmeister warns any cuts will have consequences.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man who shot at a deputy 10 times early this morning.

Deputy Leighton Boyd stopped a car near 17th Street and Southwest Boulevard around 12:30 a.m. A passenger in the backseat jumped out and fired a 9-millimeter handgun, hitting Boyd’s Chevy Tahoe six times. One shot hit the suspect's vehicle, and three are so far unaccounted for.

Capt. Melissa Tapper said Boyd did not shoot his gun.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmesiter visits a Tulsa-area alternative school’s Thanksgiving luncheon.

The Margaret Hudson Program gives teen moms a chance to stay in school and graduate. It also teaches students personal management, parenting skills and child development. Hofmeister said the program is an example of how to integrate life skills education into school curriculums.

"And that's really, I think, a model that we could see replicated school after school after school in alternative ed, but also in our regular ed population as well," Hofmeister said.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa's John 3:16 mission is on pace to provide around 5,000 families with free ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal at home this year.

Pastor Rich Blackburn said that's up from the last couple years, but they're working hard to help people spend the holiday with family.

"Not only do people have the opportunity to eat well, but they also have the chance to sit around as a family unit, as a whole family group, and to take a meal in together," Blackburn said.

Sandy Vaughn was in line for a turkey and trimmings. She's making the family meal this year.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

You know it’s hard out here for a chimp — unless they live at the Tulsa Zoo. Then they get a birthday party.

Just like a human child’s birthday, there were carefully wrapped gifts torn to shreds in no time and guests climbing everything. Enloe, now 1 year old, is the 13th chimpanzee born at the Tulsa Zoo since the 1950s. Zookeeper Mo O’Leary said he’s hitting all the important milestones in development.

"We're seeing him eating food, going and foraging on his own now, but he will be continuing to nurse on mom, Jodi, until his fourth year of life," O'Leary said.

Horizon Group Properties

A plan to give developers $20 million in incentives to build an outlet mall in east Tulsa is moving ahead.

The local planning commission said the plan for a tax increment financing district, or TIF, goes along with the city’s policies for planning and land use. Depending on when the city council votes on the matter, it could be on the mayor’s desk before the end of the year.

The TIF plan says it could last up to 25 years. It’s a way to subsidize the cost of making public improvements around the proposed outlet mall for Horizon Group Properties.

Tulsa City Countil

A final proposal is in for a boatload of improvements in and along the Arkansas River in Tulsa, and the cost is just shy of $243 million.

That covers renovating Zink Dam, a new dam in south Tulsa, and an operations endowment. Councilor G.T. Bynum leads the river task force and said that’s not all.

"We're not just talking about one dam here and one dam there, but really it's about improvement of a whole corridor that runs the full length of our community," Bynum said.

Think Progressive

Governor Mary Fallin wants the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to kill its contracts with Planned Parenthood over alleged billing errors.

Fallin spokesman Michael McNutt said after national controversy earlier this year over Planned Parenthood funding, the governor directed OHCA to review the organization’s financial operations.

"They turned in a report which showed a pretty high rate of billing errors: 14 percent at one, 20 percent at the other," McNutt said. "So, the governor is now asking the board to consider terminating those contracts."

Oklahoma Watch

The City of Tulsa has some room to increase the local sales tax for public safety funding.

According to a report given to city councilors, Tulsa's combined sales tax rate is six-tenths of a percent below the area's average and five-tenths below its median. Council Policy Administrator Jack Blair said that would make a big difference.

"So, if our sales tax rate were at the average of these communities, that would translate to an additional $48 million annually," Blair said. "If we were at the median, that would be $37 million."