Matt Trotter


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 File Photo

Attorneys begin work on a Tulsa ordinance to spell out how the city will handle offenses under Oklahoma’s new ban on texting behind the wheel.

City Prosecutor Bob Garner said the local penalty should mirror the state law. That would be a $100 fine.

"For those that want to fight it, then they can come in and plead 'not guilty,' and they'll be entitled to their day in court," Garner said. "And the city must prove they are guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt."

KWGS News File photo

Shutting down Riverside Drive for two years wasn’t a flippant decision.

The road is getting major improvements while the Gathering Place is built. City Engineer Paul Zachary compares it to an upcoming total closure on Apache Street.

"We're raising the road there right at 7 feet or 8 feet, and that closure's going to be a five- or six-month closure just on its own," Zachary said. "And it's not going to be complete until October of next year, so a total closure is not just due to the park. It's due to the realignment and the work adjacent to it."

File Photo

A brief feud between Tulsa city councilors and Mayor Dewey Bartlett appears to be over.

Councilors passed a resolution last week stating their goals for a Vision sales tax renewal after several expressed frustration over Bartlett’s level of participation. Bartlett says the public shouldn’t worry — that’s just how government works sometimes.

"We have different views, and there's nothing wrong with that," Bartlett said. "If we don't get personal on it and don't criticize improperly, then we have the ability to get along and just have a discussion."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Grand jurors assemble this morning to begin an investigation of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

"This is a win for the county of Tulsa," said Marq Lewis, organizer of We The People Oklahoma, the activist group that began the petition drive calling for the grand jury. "This is a win for the citizens. I mean, hope. Anything is possible. This is what we have done. This is what we kept pushing our message for."

The petition lists 20 areas of interest, including discrepancies in volunteer deputies' training records.

Tulsa Preservation Commission

A Tulsa apartment building just outside of downtown is among four new properties in Oklahoma added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Elizabeth Manor was designed by architect Arthur Atkinson and built in 1925. It's located at 1820 S Boulder Ave.

The Tulsa Preservation Commission describes the building's style as Late Gothic Revival and Collegiate Gothic. It originally contained six units. It's been converted into office space.

In this morning's news:

  • Oklahoma's Supreme Court allows a grand jury investigation of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office to proceed.
  • President Barack Obama visits the federal prison in El Reno.
  • Tulsa city councilors want to hear the mayor's stance on a potential Vision sales tax renewal.   

It may be time to forget everything you’ve heard about putting dams in the Arkansas River.

City Councilor G.T. Bynum has a new proposal.

"Stage one would be rebuilding Zink Dam in Tulsa at 29th and Riverside, building a dam at 49th and Riverside, which will create more of a continuous lake effect in midtown Tulsa, and then doing another one at 103rd and Riverside that we would be sharing with the City of Jenks," Bynum said.

That would leave out Sand Springs and Bixby.


Mark your calendar. City councilors are leaning toward April as the month Tulsans vote on a Vision sales tax renewal.

The process of calling the election will need to start a few months before that. Senior Assistant City Attorney Mark Swiney said the council needs to pass ordinances spelling out what the tax rate changes will be and what the money will be spent on specifically.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa city councilors consider a resolution to force Mayor Dewey Bartlett into clarifying his concept for a potential Vision sales tax renewal.

"I don't want to speak for everyone else, but I have no problem saying that I think it would be appropriate that the mayor of the city would be more actively involved in the process than he has been," said Vision/Economic Development Task Force Chair Blake Ewing.

With interest in the city's Vision renewal building, Ewing said Bartlett's position needs to be clear.

President Barack Obama began a two-day visit to Oklahoma yesterday, stopping in the Choctaw Nation before heading to Oklahoma City to stay overnight. Today, he's going to the federal prison in El Reno.