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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Local & Regional
5:32 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

There's an iPad at Every Desk at Clinton Middle School

Principal Dixie Speer (left), seventh-grader Savannah Sorrels and teacher Katherine Holland praised Clinton Middle School's new iPads, which are now in full-time use.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

Clinton Middle School has jumped into the digital age.

Every student and teacher there is now using an iPad in the classroom. Teacher Katherine Holland oversees technology at the school. She said the difference is already clear.

"Everybody's quiet and engaged, and the level of learning is going through the roof, and I'm so excited because it's truly making a difference in how our students learn," Holland said.

Seventh-grader Savannah Sorrels said iPads hold an advantage over pens, paper and books.

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Local & Regional
3:24 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Tulsa's First Elephant Turns 64

Tulsa Zoo elephant Gunda digs into a birthday cake offered to her by caretaker Jessica Scallan. Gunda turned 64 this week, and the zoo celebrated on Wednesday.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

The Tulsa Zoo wishes a happy 64th birthday to Tulsa’s first elephant, Gunda.

Gunda has lived at the Tulsa Zoo for 60 years. Jessica Scallan has been one of Gunda’s caretakers for 13 years now. Scallan said she’s one exceptional elephant.

"Elephants live approximately to about 47, and then from that point, every day is making history," Scallan said. "Gunda has definitely made history living ... to 64."

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Local & Regional
2:37 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Marks Successful First Year

It’s been one year since the Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy launched, and Tulsa's teen pregnancy rate is way down.

Tulsa’s teen pregnancy rate fell 20 percent in that time. Campaign Director Kim Schutz said they’ve set a new goal.

"We'll be gauging our success from 2013 to 2020," Schutz said. "So it will be a seven-year goal of a 25 percent reduction."

In the last two decades, Tulsa’s teen pregnancy rate has dropped 30 percent in all. From 2012 to 2013, it dropped 20 percent. Schutz said to give credit where it's due.

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Local & Regional
2:27 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Tribal-State Gaming Compact Passed 10 Years Ago This Week

Credit KWGS File photo

It’s been a decade since Oklahoma voters passed the Tribal-State Gaming Compact.

The agreement paved the way for 34 tribes to open casinos in return for paying the state exclusivity fees. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker says the compact has helped keep Oklahomans’ money in the state.

"The profits aren't going someplace else," Baker said. "That's how we're able to take $100 million of profit and build four clinics and a new hospital."

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Local & Regional
2:54 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Downtown Public Art Initiative Announces First Project

James Woodfill stands next to a prototype of his temporary public art installation. The piece, which has the working title "Fireflies," will be unveiled April 2.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

Artist James Woodfill will install Oklahoma’s first temporary public art project in downtown Tulsa.

His working title is “Fireflies” for a work that will be unveiled at Third and Detroit in April. Woodfill said the subtle, shifting LED installation will reflect the relationship between the urban Midwest and the surrounding environment.

"I've thought about it in many ways over the years in different kinds of configurations, but it became a balancing act of the idea of a temporary project, the particular budgets and everything, and it seemed feasible to do," Woodfill said.

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Local & Regional
10:31 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Tulsa Set for Seventh Year in Global Entrepreneurship Week

Credit Global Entrepreneurship Week

Local businesses are in the spotlight as Tulsa joins in Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Tulsa’s events are the result of collaboration among several groups, including the Tulsa Chamber. Entrepreneurship project manager Jessica Flint said they’ve drawn nearly 6,000 people total since 2007.

"As we continue to work on this, we see more people jumping in and collaborating, putting together events, and the quality of events just keeps getting better," Flint said.

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Local & Regional
2:13 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Gas Industry Company Expanding at the Port of Catoosa

Company, port and local officials, and guests participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking for Linde Process Plant's 13,000 square feet expansion at the Port of Catoosa.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

More growth is announced for the Port of Catoosa, and it will mean a few new jobs with a major company.

Gas industry company Linde Process Plants will invest nearly $2.5 million in a 13,000 square feet expansion of its fabrication facility at the port. Port  Director Bob Portiss said when the project is complete next June, Linde will occupy about 170,000 square feet of the port’s industrial space.

"We're really proud to have Linde as a longstanding member of our industrial family, now consisting of over 70 industries and some 4,200 people," Portiss said.

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Local & Regional
4:20 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Survey Indicates "Digital Divide" Growing in Tulsa Public Schools

Credit File Photo

Despite a $38 million bond issue last year emphasizing classroom technology, Tulsa Public Schools educators say more needs to be done.

Educators recognize a growing gap — referred to as a "digital divide" — between wealthy and not-as-wealthy students. District spokesman Chris Payne said they recently surveyed nearly 1,200 teachers, principals and staff.

"About 74 percent said that they do think the gap is widening and it's going to create issues trying to get kids college and career ready — that it is definitely an issue," Payne said.

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Local & Regional
3:40 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Creek Turnpike Given State Highway Designation

The Creek Turnpike has official state highway designation and will start showing up on maps as Oklahoma 364.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

The Creek Turnpike now has official state highway designation as Oklahoma 364.

Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce President Wes Smithwick said that will help draw businesses from retailers to manufacturers all along the 33-mile toll road.

"In other parts of the country, people don't always know what a turnpike is, what type of road it is," Smithwick said. "By us putting a major state highway designation on it, it helps us tell the story to potential developers that we have a great roadway infrastructure there ringing not only Broken Arrow, but east and south of the metro."

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Local & Regional
3:24 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Budget Cuts Jeopardize Juvenile Offender Program

Credit Youth Services of Tulsa

A program that’s processed more than 6,000 juvenile offenders since 2010 will likely close March 1 when it runs out of money.

"We're short about $111,000 of funding," said Jim Walker, executive director of Youth Services of Tulsa, which runs the Community Intervention Center. "We have talked with the county and the city and the state and have not found that any additional funds are available for us this year."

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