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

The dust has settled in Tulsa International Airport’s Concourse A.

A brass band played in the renovated concourse. It’s the most comprehensive renovation of the airport since it was built, involving 44 contractors, costing $21.7 million and taking 18 months.

The overhaul brings efficient restrooms and lighting, new shopping and dining options, a business center, and hundreds of outlets — including USB ports and wireless Powermats — for device charging.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The CEO of a Tulsa-based company that buys consumer debts launches a free consumer debt negotiation service.

Bill Bartmann said his Financial Samaritan venture will help boost people’s credit scores. Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett took the unusual step of stating his support during a news conference for the company, saying often people seeking financial help get caught in government bureaucracy.

City Councilor G.T. Bynum pitches another change for a water in the river proposal: a canal from Zink Dam to south Tulsa rather than a 49th Street dam.

"Having this canal would, in essence, allow someone to get on a boat in downtown Tulsa — if they are so inclined to go through the whitewater flume on Zink Dam — take that canal all the way down to the south Tulsa-Jenks lake and go as far south as 103rd," Bynum told the river infrastructure task force today.

Tulsa International Airport

Still no word on when the air traffic control tower at Tulsa International will reopen.

It was closed after two evacuations on one day in June over solvent fumes.

Airport spokeswoman Alexis Higgins says the FAA gave them a list of 48 repairs to make.

"The most critical is the sealing of windows that go around the control tower," Higgins said. "What we've found is the contractors that do that work are really busy and it's an unscheduled repair, and so it's been difficult for us to find someone that can come in and get that work done."

KWGS News

The Tulsa Public Facilities Authority approved a contract Tuesday to develop land at 71st and Riverside.

The $1.46 million deal is for 12.3 acres on the eastern banks of the Arkansas River. Two of five members of the authority voted against the deal because they weren’t sure whether the land was formally declared as surplus.

Chairman Patrick Cremin was one of the two noes. He asked developer Don Bouvier whether this is going to be a big-box development.

Lisha Newman / Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation

Somebody’s watching while you float down the Illinois River.

Several agencies are helping rangers with the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission patrol the river undercover as people canoe, kayak or raft down it. The main problem they encounter is floaters tying rafts together.

"We've had five drownings, and two of those were caused as a result of people having their rafts tied together, running into logjams, being ejected," said Capt. Bill James. "And we've had numerous other near-drownings."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa city councilors and the mayor have worked out a compromise on using part of a Vision sales tax renewal for public safety.

They intend to dedicate 0.2 percent of the renewal and $4.4 million in additional use tax to public safety, with the remaining 0.35 percent going to other projects.

Gov. Mary Fallin is optimistic currently low energy prices will rebound.

"We're hoping that this energy depression is on its down side and getting ready to come back up," Fallin said. "We think it will soon, because we've been here for a little bit of a time. But it's certainly challenging to the state budget, and it's challenging to Oklahoma families."

Macy's

State and local officials and Macy’s executives dedicated the new Tulsa County fulfillment center Thursday.

Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said the building houses state-of-the-art handling equipment, but it won’t work without employees who can run it.

"Four hundred fifty people are already hired here. We're going to ramp that up over time to 1,500 full-time," Lundgren said. "We'll have another 1,000 during the holiday peak period, so creating jobs is what this is really about for so many."

KWGS News

A plan to build an outdoors store on the Arkansas River is a step closer to becoming reality.

A Tulsa city-county planning commission is recommending the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority sign an agreement with retailer REI for a store at 71st and Riverside.

Former Tulsa Mayor Terry Young is among those against the development.

"In the area of the 71st Street bridge, there was never any expectation of anything but public recreation and preservation and enhancement of the natural state of the land between Riverside [Drive] and the river," Young said.

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