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
2:43 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

LGBT Individuals Not a Protected Class for Fair Housing Purposes

A review of fair housing practices reveals lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not a protected class in Tulsa.

Nathan Harvill in the city’s human rights department said although LGBT individuals aren’t protected by federal law, local governments can act.

"Cities are free to expand those protected classes as many as they want to," Harvill told city councilors during Thursday night's meeting. "Federal law is the floor, and local and state law is the ceiling."

Current federal law protects LGBT individuals from workplace discrimination.

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Local & Regional
2:31 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

City Council Formally Agrees to Increased Jail Fee

Credit KWGS News Photo

City councilors approved last night a resolution agreeing to a jail fee increase.

Tulsa’s daily rate for inmates arrested on municipal charges went from $59 to $69. Mayor’s Chief of Staff Jarred Brechja told councilors that’s not the final word, however.

"It is important to add that while that rate has changed, there is an opportunity to evaluate the appropriateness of that rate once our audit is complete," Brechja said. "So that is, again, part of the terms."

The news was met with incredulity during a committee meeting.

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Local & Regional
2:22 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Zink Dam Designer Shares Insights on Low Water Dams

Credit KWGS News

The man who did the original design for Zink Dam has a message for the river infrastructure task force.

"Constructing a dam is one thing, but maintaining a dam is absolutely another thing," said hydrologist W.B. Smith. "And it's not just the physical structure."

Smith said the Arkansas River throws trash, debris and corrosion-causing chlorides at Zink on a daily basis. He said local leaders need a plan to maintain proposed low-water dams from Sand Springs to Bixby even when funding is down.

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Local & Regional
3:36 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Corps of Engineers Moves Ahead With Study of At-Risk Arkansas River Levee System

Approximate layout of levees in Tulsa County Drainage District 12.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is performing a high-level assessment of Tulsa’s levee system.

A screening last year found it’s at one of the highest risk levels in the nation. USACE official Jaime Watts said the next step is having experts brainstorm every possible threat to the system.

"Could the flood wall fail? Could the pump station fail?" Watts said. "Could somebody drive a truck into the levee and cause something to happen? Probably not, but we'll come up with all these ways that this could possibly fail and then decide which ones are credible."

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Local & Regional
3:29 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Education Department Grants Testing Waiver for Some Oklahoma Students

Credit File Photo

A federal waiver means Oklahoma students won’t be double tested on math this year.

The U.S. Department of Education approved the state’s request to waive grade-level assessments for students who take end-of-instruction tests in algebra I, algebra II or geometry.

"We're very happy that this has happened, because we think, you know, we're going in the right direction now," said Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton. "We at the Oklahoma Education Association certainly aren't opposed to testing. I mean, teachers probably invented tests.

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Local & Regional
3:25 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

TPS Hosting Public Forums on Bond Proposal

Tulsa Public Schools begins a series of public forums to answer questions about next month’s bond vote.

The first forum is tonight at Edison Preparatory, 2906 E 41st St. It starts at 6:30.

"It's a $415 million bond with a focus on capital improvement projects, also looking at doing a centralized STEM center, doing one-to-one computers to students ... and also looking at adding a large number of storm shelters," said district spokesman Chris Payne.

Payne said the series of public forums won’t lead to changes in the proposal, however.

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Local & Regional
10:10 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Business Incentives Review Legislation Must Answer Who, What and When

Credit File Photo

In her state of the state address, Gov. Mary Fallin asked Oklahoma lawmakers to send her a bill to regularly evaluate dozens of tax credits and business incentives.

State Auditor Gary Jones knows all about the problems posed by Oklahoma’s 70-plus business incentives.

"We can't estimate corporate income tax because there's so many tax credits. And we can’t tell you who has a tax credit, how much they have and when they’re going to cash that in," Jones said during a panel discussion at Oklahoma Policy Institute's budget summit.

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Local & Regional
4:49 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

ODOT Comission Approves More Work on I-244

Get ready for a lot of construction on I-244.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s transportation commission approved a $22 million pavement rehab project between the Inner Dispersal Loop and Delaware Avenue.

Spokeswoman Kenna Carmon said that will dovetail into another project that starts next month.

"So we're going to have this entire corridor ... about five miles of I-244 between downtown to near Memorial that will be under construction," Carmon said. "And this will be replacing the pavement from the ground up, so it's some very extensive work."

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Local & Regional
2:24 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

DVIS Makes Some Logo, Name Changes

Tulsa's DVIS Call Rape has rebranded itself to better reflect its services. "Call Rape" has been dropped from the name, and a new logo was adopted.
Credit DVIS

Tulsa’s Domestic Violence Intervention Services has done some rebranding.

The organization has dropped "Call Rape" from its name.

"We decided to brand ourselves as an umbrella organization because we help many types of abuse, including sexual assault, trafficking, domestic violence, stalking and dating violence," said spokeswoman Rachel Smith.

And the bold purple capital letters are gone from the logo. They've been replaced by lower-case letters in light blue. A green house dotting the "I" connects to a box of the same shade around them.

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Local & Regional
2:13 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Bixby, Sand Springs Awarded Surplus Vision Funds

Sand Springs is one of two cities with projects approved by Tulsa County's Vision authority this week.
Credit KWGS News

Tulsa County’s Vision authority approved surplus funding requests from Bixby and Sand Springs.

"This is a great project, and this is one of those where the taxpayers will see their tax money going to work for them," said Sand Springs Parks Director Grant Gerondale. "So we're excited, and we're getting ready to go to work."

Sand Springs will get nearly $2 million in surplus Vision 2025 collections. Gerondale said the city is planning a lot of work on River City Park, starting with water line and electrical upgrades.

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