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.

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KWGS News File photo

Major work is happening on bridges over the south leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop throughout the weekend.

With the deck being taken off the Main Street bridge over the IDL, south and westbound lanes are closed now until 7 a.m. Saturday. Then, north and eastbound lanes will close until 10 p.m. Sunday.

More major work is in store after this weekend.

PSO

Work continues to make more than $1.5 million worth of repairs needed to re-illuminate Tulsa highways.

City councilors formed a task force earlier this year to keep tabs on the efforts. Streets and Stormwater Director Terry Ball said all lights along the Gilcrease Expressway should be back on within two weeks, even though work has slowed from copper thefts and other mishaps.

The Tulsa Regional Chamber takes local teachers on a road trip.

They didn’t go far — just down Highway 169 to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. The visit was part of the chamber’s Road Trip for Teachers program, which shows them opportunities and challenges in seven high-growth industries. The chamber’s Kuma Roberts said there are two main goals.

Cherokee Nation Welcome Center

Cherokee Nation is the first tribe in Oklahoma to join an online network aimed at helping foster children.

The tribe has joined CarePortal, a network that partners with churches. Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said churches will receive alerts when foster children in Cherokee County have needs.

"For example, if it's something as simple as needing a new change of clothes for a toddler, I mean, we can have the faith-based community step up and get that resource to the child," Hoskin said.

Nine churches have signed up for alerts so far.

A coalition of business and community leaders in Oklahoma is calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Supporters launched the Reasons to Reform campaign Tuesday as part of a national effort to encourage Congress to work toward simplifying citizenship guidelines and creation of a guest worker program.

Republican state Sen. Brian Crain, whose Tulsa district includes a large Hispanic population, says the nation's immigration system is broken.

KWGS News

There’s been a delay in the lawsuit to halt sale of land at 71st Street and Riverside for a development anchored by outdoor retailer REI.

The lawsuit was filed nearly a year ago. Attorneys for both sides agreed to push the suit’s first hearing, which was set for Tuesday, back to Oct. 11 so talks can continue.

The lawsuit asks for a temporary halt in the process of the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority selling 12 acres of Helmerich Park to a Dallas-based developer.

ODOT

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will likely ask lawmakers next year to consider several ideas to bolster funding in the face of declining fuel tax revenue.

Director Mike Patterson said the state’s political climate has given ODOT an odd funding mix.

"With a lack of desire, I guess, to increase taxes, you can see why the legislature made the decision that they did back in 2005 and didn't raise taxes but provided us a portion of income tax," Patterson said.

File Photo

Tobacco sales to minors in Oklahoma have more than doubled over the past four years. That could be problematic for hundreds in need of substance abuse services.

Statewide, the noncompliance rate with laws against underage tobacco sales is 14.1 percent. Four years ago, it was 6.8. Jeff Dismukes with Oklahoma Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services said if noncompliance goes above 20 percent, the state could lose up to 40 percent of its federal funding for substance abuse services.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa Police worry undercover prostitution investigations will be hampered by a new state massage licensing law.

When the law goes into effect next month, Tulsa’s massage ordinance will be invalidated. The 4-year-old ordinance requires businesses to be licensed, keep a customer log and make sure its employees are licensed. Police said it helps them go after businesses serving as fronts for prostitution.

Facebook

Signatures to get a state question about medical marijuana on the November ballot are due in three weeks, and the group behind the initiative is going to pay signature gatherers if they succeed.

Oklahomans for Health is offering $1 per pair of signatures. It currently has 30,000 to 50,000 of the necessary 86,000 signatures. Board member Frank Grove said interest should pick up in the last few weeks of the campaign.

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