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

Matt Trotter / KWGS

ImpactTulsa and the Tulsa Regional Chamber say the coming loss of 667 local school jobs will mean more than $33 million in lost wages.

Those jobs represent the total number 15 area districts plan on losing next school year. Chamber President Mike Neal said that will cause the loss of 340 non-school jobs and a $4.2 million drop in state and local sales taxes.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The former reserve deputy convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the death of an unarmed man is staying in jail.

Robert Bates asked to be released on bond until sentencing in four weeks. He fatally shot Eric Harris last April during an undercover gun buy.

Harris family attorney Dan Smolen said Oklahoma law doesn't allow bail for felonies when a gun is present.

"There's not a lot to debate with respect to what the statute says, and so I think for the court to do anything otherwise would have been giving special treatment to Mr. Bates," Smolen said.

Tulsa County Sheriff's Office

A former volunteer sheriff's deputy in Oklahoma who was convicted last week of fatally shooting an unarmed and restrained man wants to be released from jail on bond while waiting to be sentenced.

A judge will consider the request for former Tulsa County Sheriff's reserve deputy Robert Bates at a hearing Tuesday.

Bates was convicted Wednesday of fatally shooting Eric Harris during an illegal gun sales sting last year. Moments after the conviction, Bates was booked into jail.

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Oklahoma lawmakers send a work release program bill to the governor.

The Debt to Society Act allows counties to create their own work release or community service programs for nonviolent misdemeanor offenses.

"There's no directives in this to tell counties they have to do this program," said Rep. John Paul Jordan, one of the bill's authors. "We're just giving them, basically, another arrow in the quiver to be able to use this program."

The Oklahoma Hospital Association floats a new plan to help struggling rural hospitals stay open with Medicaid reimbursement rates on the state’s chopping block.

OHA’s 24-hour outpatient model would eliminate inpatient services at rural hospitals. Outpatient services like primary care and behavioral health would help offset losses from running emergency rooms. OHA’s Andy Fosmire said few rural ER visits turn into admissions at those hospitals.

"Most of them are treated and released, or stabilized and then shipped to a higher level of care," Fosmire said.

KWGS News

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.

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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.

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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.

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