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

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."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

It’s mosquito season, and the Tulsa Health Department’s control and surveillance program is already underway.

Trapped mosquitoes are tested weekly for potential illnesses, including West Nile and Zika. The health department will also spray hundreds of square miles for adult mosquitoes. Vector Control Coordinator Scott Meador said there are 64 species of mosquitoes in Oklahoma.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

You’re going to see a lot of cones on 11th Street this week, but it’s not because of construction.

"We are narrowing down 11th Street, which is Route 66 going through Tulsa, and we are showcasing — narrowed down for the bike lanes," Tulsa's Young Professionals urbanist crew leader Nimish Dharmadhikari said. "We are showcasing it as protected bike lanes."

Despite weak implementation, a financial literacy mandate is boosting credit scores and cutting severe delinquencies among Oklahoma high school graduates.

Amy Lee heads the Oklahoma Council on Economic Education and said not teaching financial literacy hurts students.

"They're being set up to not be prepared to make financial choices, and they make financial choices every day," Lee said. "They walk out of the classroom and they're making a financial choice."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a bill to ban abortion by revoking the license of any physician who performs one.

On deadline day, House members passed Senate Bill 1552, which adds performing an abortion to a list of actions constituting "unprofessional conduct," which will get a doctor's license taken away.

SB1552 has no exceptions for rape, incest or severe abnormalities. Rep. Emily Virgin said Thursday she knows three women who aborted when they found their babies had serious defects and would die shortly after birth.

Tulsa Public Schools will present its board with another proposal to deal with state budget cuts of up to 20 million next school year.

TPS has up to another $1.6 million in savings outlined for the board’s consideration. The bulk of it, as much as $1.4 million, comes from adjusting bell times. Starting some schools earlier and others later will mean TPS will have fewer buses on the road at any given time.

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