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

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Voters living in five Tulsa County school districts are being asked to go to the polls Tuesday for school bond and school board elections.

Bixby residents will vote on the district's largest bond issue ever. Of the $142.4 million at stake, $139 million is for school renovations and three entirely new schools. District spokeswoman Dee Harris said they built the ninth-grade center during the district’s last bond issue.

"That building was pretty much full when we moved in," Harris said. "It's going to be a bad situation if the bond does not pass."

Tulsa’s Vision renewal and other sales tax questions are set for an April 5 election, but debate over some aspects is ongoing.

One phrase written by Senior Assistant City Attorney Mark Swiney in the proposed ordinance spelling out how public safety tax revenue will be spent spurred argument among city councilors.

"It is not the intent of this limited-purpose tax to supplant public safety funding from the general fund but, rather, to supplement funding from the general fund," Swiney said while reading the ordinance in a council committee meeting Thursday.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Three in four Oklahoma 12th graders have already had their first drink — or more.

That’s a statistic cited by Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Terri White at a public safety summit on alcohol abuse held by Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

Alcohol abuse is a big problem in Oklahoma, which ranks sixth in the nation in alcohol-related deaths. It’s also a big problem in Tulsa County, which has a DUI rate 20 percent higher than the state average.

PSO

With public safety, Vision and river task forces’ work more or less complete, Tulsa city councilors worried about dark spots along streets and highways have started a street lighting task force.

Streets and Stormwater Director Terry Ball told them Thursday crews and contractors are making progress on backlogged repairs and new damage. In all, 155,000 feet of copper wiring have been stolen from city street lights. Streets and Stormwater Director Terry Ball said that’s made them repurpose Improve Our Tulsa funding.

Tulsa County

Tulsa County’s third sheriff in four months took time Wednesday to talk about what the agency will do until the yet-to-be-elected new sheriff takes office in mid-April.

Michelle Robinette took over as acting Tulsa County sheriff three weeks ago after former acting Sheriff Rick Weigel announced his retirement. Weigel took charge of the agency in mid-October after Sheriff Stanley Glanz resigned in the aftermath of a grand jury indictment.

Matt Trotter, KWGS; TMAPC

Strip clubs, car dealers, drive-thrus — those are a few things you won't see around the Arkansas River if a design overlay is passed.

A committee has drafted restrictions on land use and some design regulations. There are a few businesses in the proposed area that wouldn't be allowed, but INCOG Land Development Manager Susan Miller said they won't have to suddenly close.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

YWCA Tulsa and the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women recognized 10 women Tuesday for making a difference in the community.

The Women of the Year – Pinnacle Award represents a merger of those two groups. Mayor Dewey Bartlett presented the awards and said the winners work to eliminate racism, empower women and uphold the legacy of the previously independent Pinnacle Award.

Tulsa Animal Welfare

Around 4,300 animals a year are euthanized at Tulsa’s animal shelter, and a new program aims to change that.

Saving the Pets of Tulsa — or SPOT — is a partnership to register more dogs and cats and to increase access to low-cost spay and neutering services. Tulsa Animal Welfare Manager Jean Letcher said they get some sick and injured animals that can’t be saved.

"What we want to stop is the euthanasia for space, for behavior modification, lack of that ability," Letcher said. "We euthanize too many healthy, adoptable animals."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Construction of River Spirit’s Margaritaville hotel reaches another milestone.

The top floor of the 27-story tower is in place, so Creek Nation and local officials marked the occasion with a topping off ceremony. A signed beam, flags and a Margaritaville-appropriate palm tree were hoisted to the top.

Principal Chief James Floyd praised construction workers for a job well done.

"To have a project of this size be on time, on budget and very few incidents to slow us down, they've done a tremendous job," Floyd said.

City of Tulsa

City councilors unanimously passed Thursday night an $884.6 million Vision plan to send to voters, and citizens offered praise and criticism up to the last minute.

The plan includes $11 million for a north Tulsa business park. It’s intended to attract employers in need of large, ready-to-build sites, but some residents would rather not have the project.

Charles Williams lives on Mohawk Boulevard and said developers are buying up homes left and right.

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