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

A Tulsa riverfront restaurant struggling with the closure of Riverside Drive gets a hand.

Blue Rose Café leases its property from River Parks, and investor Sig Brown said they’re seeing a lot fewer people and a lot fewer sales with the road closed.

"We're still measuring because it's early in the process, but there's a significant decrease," Brown said.

Brown said restaurateurs rely on high traffic counts.

State Impact-Oklahoma

Oklahomans concerned about earthquakes showed up at the capitol in numbers.

Hundreds came for what turned into a daylong public hearing hosted by Rep. Richard Morrissette. Payne County resident Jackie Dill said it’s hard to keep track of all the earthquakes there, but she remembers one of the big ones.

"My front porch separated from my house. The rafters in my roof buckled, and my foundation is cracked," Dill said. "The rock walls are cracked up through a 2-inch cement windowsill on all windows."

Three weeks from the filing deadline for a targeted April election, City of Tulsa officials are trying to figure out how to present a broad funding package to voters.

Tulsa city councilors worry the Vision renewal ballot is getting too complex. The funding package has grown to include a partial Improve Our Tulsa renewal and two rounds of general obligation bonds.

City of Tulsa

An agreement is in the works to keep Tulsa city and county in step for the upcoming Vision sales tax renewal.

County leaders balked at a 0.05 percent allocation of the city's 0.6 renewal, saying they’d go for 0.1 percent on their own. But now they’ll take the lesser amount if the city finds $35 million in its package for fairgrounds work.

Councilor G.T. Bynum presented the idea to the council and Mayor Dewey Bartlett at a committee meeting Thursday. He said the city benefits more from events at the fairgrounds than the county does.

The Tulsa Artist Fellowship is looking for its next cohort.

"Art is here to stay, and by bringing in different varieties of artists, whether they be visual artists or writers, it gives the community — any community — strength,"  said TAF Program Manager Julia White.

A dozen visual artists recently arrived in Tulsa for the fellowship. White said they’re looking for 15 artists for 2017.

"We are searching for public and gallery-oriented art, so that can be anything from large-scale to ceramics and in between," White said.

Tulsa Public Schools is taking a big hit to its budget because of cuts triggered by Oklahoma’s revenue failure last month.

The district will be short $2.1 million in state appropriations after the state board of education announced $47 million in cuts last week. TPS has already found about $2 million in savings outside of classrooms to offset the loss.

Superintendent Deborah Gist said a workplace safety program saved the district $900,000 in workers compensation costs.

City of Tulsa

A series of public meetings on Tulsa’s Vision funding package begins tonight at 6 p.m. at the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N Greenwood Ave.

Councilors decided late last week the public should get a chance to weigh in on the funding structure, which has changed to include other sales taxes and general obligation bonds.

As it stands now, the package includes more than $1 billion over 15 years: $320 million for public safety, $177 million for Arkansas River dams, $464 million for more than two dozen economic development projects and $60 million for public transportation.

File photo

The state senate seat in Oklahoma District 34 is up for grabs Tuesday.

The seat represents voters in Sperry, Owasso, Collinsville, Catoosa and part of northeast Tulsa. The election pits Owasso teacher and Democrat J.J. Dossett against Skiatook business owner and Republican David McLain.

It’s a special election to replace Republican former Sen. Rick Brinkley, who stepped down in August when he pleaded guilty to six felonies and admitted to embezzling more than $1.8 million from the Tulsa Better Business Bureau.

Matt Trotter

With snow and freezing temperatures in the forecast, city street crews will be out in force.

Snow and ice crews will be on stand-by starting at 10 p.m. Street Maintenance Manager Tim McCorkell said they have a good-sized fleet to deal with any frozen roads and bridges.

"There's 64 trucks that have spreaders mounted on them, and of those trucks, we now have 48 with plows. We gained two more plows this year," McCorkell said.

If you get behind a truck with a salt spreader or plow, obey the sign on it and stay back 150 feet.

file photo

Oklahoma tribes will benefit from federal aid to end homelessness among veterans.

The Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, or HUD-VASH, program boosted the number of housing vouchers in eastern Oklahoma from 35 in 2008 to 241 today. With five Oklahoma tribes getting a combined 20 percent of a $5.9 million expansion to help Native Americans, the VA’s Melanie Goldman said they can do even more.

"With the new Tribal HUD-VASH vouchers ... it will be well over 300 vouchers for homeless veterans and their families in our communities," Goldman said.

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