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

Today's top stories:

  • A former Tulsa volunteer lawman's manslaughter trial begins.
  • Assistance is available for people affected by last month's tornado in north Tulsa.
  • A Tulsa Zoo sea lion has been euthanized.
U.S. Navy

The Oklahoma Senate sends Gov. Mary Fallin a bill increasing the penalties for what it refers to as "stolen valor."

The bill increases the fine tenfold for impersonating a member of the military by wearing decorations or medals. If signed into law, the fine for the misdemeanor offense will jump from $100 to $1,000. Co-author Sen. Brian Bingman said it's about protecting service men and women's integrity.

Tulsa Fire-Facebook

The Tulsa Fire Department is being imitated in a new phone scam.

Someone is using spoofing technology to appear as though they’re calling from a fire station. Deputy Chief Scott Clark said they’re asking for money to buy smoke detectors.

"We don't solicit via telephone. We get our detectors donated through corporate sponsors and other ways, so no, we wouldn't do this," Clark said.

The fire department occasionally canvases neighborhoods with recent fires to install smoke detectors, but firefighters are in uniform and don’t ask for money.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa Public Schools named its Teacher and Support Employee of the Year at two separate assemblies Tuesday.

Cooper Elementary’s third-year physical education teacher Rob Kaiser is this year’s winner. He was surprised at an assembly he thought was about safety.

"I honestly teach at the best school in the world, I work with the best teachers in the world and I teach the best kids in the world," Kaiser said. "I was just so humbled and so unbelievably honored to have received this award."

Wikipedia

Oklahoma lawmakers officially joined the call this week for a convention of the states to amend the U.S. Constitution.

The state House passed a resolution 57–33 Monday.

"Oklahoma wants to be a part of the conversation about bringing our fiscal house under control and restoring a balance to the relationship between the federal government and the states," said Rep. Gary Banz, an author on Senate Joint Resolution 4.

File photo

The George Kaiser Family Foundation announced a new slate of pledges for A Gathering Place for Tulsa.

Nineteen new donors are contributing more than $14 million in all toward the riverside park. The money will fund park features and programming.

"Very important aspects to continue to allow us to really make the kind of investments and create the kind of features you'll never have seen before here in Tulsa, so we're really excited about that," said Gathering Place Executive Director Jeff Stava.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A bill initially presented as a way to give retired teachers cost-of-living pension adjustments goes to the governor.

The House passed the Pension Improvement Act after some back-and-forth over the fact it deals with all Oklahoma state retirement systems.  Rep. Todd Thomsen said cost-of-living adjustments may not be the only thing a proposed new revolving fund pays for.

"It's for the improvement of the pension funds," Thomsen said. "And that could be reducing the liability or that could be by providing a COLA, so one of the two may be the most important at the time."

Tulsa city officials are learning about public inebriation centers: places people who may have passed out in public from drugs or alcohol without committing a crime.

Mental Health Association Oklahoma CEO Mike Brose said police officers can drop them off there rather than spend a couple hours booking them into jail.

"The average length of time that police officers or law enforcement are in and out of there is somewhere in the range of 10 to 30 minutes," Brose said. "So, they're back in duty, doing what we want them to do, [which] is fight crime."

Oklahoma Policy Institute

About two-thirds of Oklahoma voters in a new poll favor income tax increases to deal with the state budget crisis.

Gene Perry with Oklahoma Policy Institute said 67 percent of those surveyed want a top rate of 6.65 percent restored for individuals earning more than $150,000 and couples earning more than $300,000.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa Public Schools got a gold star Friday from the U.S. Secretary of Education for work to reduce its number of student assessments.

Education Secretary John King praised a TPS study group that halved the number of district tests students must take. King said he's seen districts with as many as four nearly identical reading tests.

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