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

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.

Inhofe Press Office

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe delivered a harsh assessment of President Barack Obama’s time in office to the Tulsa Rotary Club.

Inhofe told a lunchtime crowd there are seven scandals from Obama’s presidency that will have lasting consequences.

File photo

“Teach. Live. T-Town.”

That’s part of a Vision pitch from Tulsa-area schools. The program would provide housing assistance and summer professional development for Tulsa teachers. Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist said it would cost a little more than $5 million a year.

"The goal is to recruit teachers, to encourage them to reside in our community, and to contribute to neighborhood revitalization and development," Gist said.

KWGS News

The City of Tulsa paid $7.6 million last fiscal year for police and fire overtime, exceeding the budget by more than $2 million.

Those overtime costs come out of the city’s general fund, so they affect other departments. The police department went $1.6 million over its overtime budget, and Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks said that’s sort of a double whammy.

Federal Highway Administration

Putting public safety funding toward maintaining Tulsa streets can cut down on accidents, especially if the right materials are used.

Part of that street maintenance money would be for striping and signs. Traffic Operations Manager Kurt Kraft said accidents could be reduced 12 to 16 percent by using retroreflective materials.

KWGS News Photo

Downtown business owners look at a possible Vision renewal for a $20 million boost to Tulsa’s downtown development fund.

They want to bring in retail businesses, which Downtown Coordinating Council Chair Jeff Scott calls the glue that holds downtown together between meals.

"If you want people to say, 'I'm going to go downtown for lunch and then wander around and look at all the retail,' they're going to be going home 10 minutes after they finish lunch with the way it is right now," Scott said.

Cherokee Nation Welcome Center

The Cherokee Nation looks to be involved in another adoption battle. A couple has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Oklahoma’s Indian Child Welfare Act.

"A biological father and mother cannot voluntarily place a child for adoption if it’s an Indian child without having to notify the Indian tribe in question, and that is not the same thing as what’s required in the federal act," said the couple's attorney, Paul Swain.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A newly renovated Central Library will open in June, and if you need a tall, half-caff soy latte while you’re there, you’re in luck. A Starbucks will be on the ground floor.

"We will be the first public library in the nation to have a Starbucks in its building," said Tulsa City-County Library Chief Operating Officer Kim Johnson. "We really see this as an extension of our library service and enhancing the customer experience."

The coffeehouse will likely be open earlier and close later than the library, which will be a perk for patrons.

KWGS News

Tulsa City-County Library CEO Gary Shaffer is taking some time off.

He’ll be gone about three and a half months starting in September so he can complete his doctorate in library and information science. The library commission approved Shaffer’s request for a sabbatical, and Chair Judy Randle said it was a good move.

"We'll be very honored to be one of the few libraries in the country that has a CEO with a Ph.D., so we're looking forward to that," Randle said.

City of Tulsa

A recent compromise to use two-tenths of Tulsa’s upcoming Vision renewal on public safety may not be the final word.

A former state senator at this week's Vision public hearing urged city councilors to move ahead with a public safety funding package that would capture a total of three-tenths of a cent. James Williamson said citizens won’t care about economic development projects if they’re afraid of becoming crime victims.

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