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
12:24 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

House Committee Passes "Right to Try" Bill

Oklahoma is among 29 states considering “Right to Try” legislation, and the state’s version is headed to the full House.

The Public Health Committee passed the bill 10–0. Goldwater Institute attorney Christina Sandefur was on hand to testify about Rep. Richard Morrissette’s bill. She said it will grant terminally ill patients access to drugs that have passed the first phase of FDA testing.

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Local & Regional
2:56 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Last Sign Comes Down in Latest Central Library Renovation Update

Workers take down the last sign at downtown Tulsa's Central Library. The branch is undergoing a $50 million renovation.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

The last Central Library sign comes down as renovations continue on the downtown branch.

Tulsa City-County Library CEO Gary Shaffer said interior demolition is complete.

"Plumbing piping has been installed. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment is being installed. Interior wall framing is underway. Cutouts between floors for new stairs and elevators are complete," Shaffer said. "Electrical systems are being installed, and, fortunately, there have been no accidents to delay work and, overall, we are on schedule for the project."

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Local & Regional
12:45 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

State Arts, Libraries Agencies Prepare for Further Cuts

A state House budget subcommittee asked cultural agencies Monday how they’re preparing for another year of cuts.

Oklahoma Arts Council Director Amber Sharples said their first cuts would be to community arts programs.

"These go very heavily to our rural communities — the festivals that take place everywhere from Claremore, Idabel, across the state," Sharples said. "So, obviously, that would have ramifications."

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Local & Regional
3:51 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Open Records Act Changes Going to Oklahoma House

Credit File Photo

A state House committee approves increased restrictions to the state’s Open Records Act.

House Bill 1361 exempts police audio and video recordings as records. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said he’s afraid witnesses could be identified when video is shown by a news outlet.

"And I'll tell you, in this very violent society that we live in now, there's not a problem with suspects approaching witnesses and perpetrating violence on them to keep them from cooperating," Prater told the House Public Safety Committee.

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Local & Regional
3:47 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Cherokee Nation Institutes Progressive Maternity Leave Policy

The Cherokee Nation adopts a policy giving its female employees eight weeks of paid maternity leave.

Principal Chief Bill John Baker said the tribe’s leaders weren’t worried about the financial feasibility of the policy.

"The joy of having a child should not be a financial burden to anybody," Baker said.

Previously, women had to exhaust their sick leave and vacation time if they wanted their full salaries.

"We really think that it's a good investment not only in our employees, but in their newborn children," Baker said.

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Local & Regional
11:16 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Bartlett Gives Task Force Financial Details of Public Safety Funding Proposal

Mayor Dewey Bartlett spent several task force meetings going over details of his public safety proposal department by department, as in this photo from a December 2014 meeting. He went over financial projections for the proposal Thursday.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

Seventy cops, 16 dispatchers, 34 firefighters, 29 street personnel. Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett met with the city’s public safety task force to go over how two-tenths of a cent will do all that.

Get ready for some numbers. Lots of numbers. The mayor’s office came up with revenue projections for the next 15 years, assuming a sales tax annual growth rate of 1.5 percent.

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Local & Regional
4:50 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Task Force Asks, "What Would Owasso Do?"

Credit File photo

Tulsa city leaders want to know how Owasso successfully passed a permanent half-cent sales tax to fund public safety.

"Given that we can't look to property tax for operational funding, we can't look to income tax, we can't look to the sources that every other state in the United States can look to, there's just not a lot of choices," said Owasso City Manager Warren Lehr. "So, two-tenths of a penny, five-tenths of a penny or eight-tenths, whatever it is — Oklahoma City did it a penny at a time."

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Local & Regional
12:58 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Bill Outlining Court-Ordered Outpaitent Mental Health Treatment Advances

Credit KWGS News File Photo

A bill to establish guidelines for court-ordered outpatient mental health treatment advanced out of committee Wednesday with a slight change.

An amendment to Rep. Lee Denney’s bill will move its effective date to 2016.

"We opted to move the date forward a year instead of putting 'when funds are available', because it sometimes seems we put things in statute and funds are just never available," Denney said. "So this will cause it to take effect next year when — I hope — our fiscal picture's much brighter."

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Local & Regional
3:06 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Committee Hammers Out Process for Developing Common Core Replacement

Credit File Photo

A steering committee works to lay out the process of establishing Oklahoma’s new math and language arts standards for grades K–12.

State Board of Education member Lee Baxter said during the meeting that the group needed to keep its goal in mind.

"So, if we get the process right, we're going to get the standards right," Baxter said. "And we ought not worry so much about what the standard's going to be, because you won't know it when you see it and neither will I."

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Local & Regional
4:15 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Work Begins on Replacing Common Core

Credit File Photo

State education officials heard from experts Monday on developing standards to replace Common Core.

Lawmakers ditched Common Core last year. Now a steering committee is beginning the process of developing replacement standards. The committee heard from educators who have been through the process elsewhere.

Sandra Stotsky helped Massachusetts develop some of the nation’s strongest K–12 standards. She said it will take more than reshuffling Common Core.

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