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

The Tulsa Public Facilities Authority approved a contract Tuesday to develop land at 71st and Riverside.

The $1.46 million deal is for 12.3 acres on the eastern banks of the Arkansas River. Two of five members of the authority voted against the deal because they weren’t sure whether the land was formally declared as surplus.

Chairman Patrick Cremin was one of the two noes. He asked developer Don Bouvier whether this is going to be a big-box development.

Lisha Newman / Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation

Somebody’s watching while you float down the Illinois River.

Several agencies are helping rangers with the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission patrol the river undercover as people canoe, kayak or raft down it. The main problem they encounter is floaters tying rafts together.

"We've had five drownings, and two of those were caused as a result of people having their rafts tied together, running into logjams, being ejected," said Capt. Bill James. "And we've had numerous other near-drownings."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa city councilors and the mayor have worked out a compromise on using part of a Vision sales tax renewal for public safety.

They intend to dedicate 0.2 percent of the renewal and $4.4 million in additional use tax to public safety, with the remaining 0.35 percent going to other projects.

Gov. Mary Fallin is optimistic currently low energy prices will rebound.

"We're hoping that this energy depression is on its down side and getting ready to come back up," Fallin said. "We think it will soon, because we've been here for a little bit of a time. But it's certainly challenging to the state budget, and it's challenging to Oklahoma families."

Macy's

State and local officials and Macy’s executives dedicated the new Tulsa County fulfillment center Thursday.

Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said the building houses state-of-the-art handling equipment, but it won’t work without employees who can run it.

"Four hundred fifty people are already hired here. We're going to ramp that up over time to 1,500 full-time," Lundgren said. "We'll have another 1,000 during the holiday peak period, so creating jobs is what this is really about for so many."

KWGS News

A plan to build an outdoors store on the Arkansas River is a step closer to becoming reality.

A Tulsa city-county planning commission is recommending the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority sign an agreement with retailer REI for a store at 71st and Riverside.

Former Tulsa Mayor Terry Young is among those against the development.

"In the area of the 71st Street bridge, there was never any expectation of anything but public recreation and preservation and enhancement of the natural state of the land between Riverside [Drive] and the river," Young said.

City of Tulsa

There are six weeks left to submit Vision proposals to the City of Tulsa.

Councilors have agreed on Sept. 10 as the cutoff date for accepting ideas.

"We're really looking at an end of 2015 deadline for us to have the package ready to present, and we know we're going to need to give the engineers and the finance guys a couple of months to look through what we've put together and really help us to make sure our numbers are right," said Vision task force Co-chair Blake Ewing.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa city leaders had a long night at a Vision hearing.

"This is good. We don't normally see a crowd like this unless we're doing something you hate," City Councilor Blake Ewing said to a nearly full council chamber before the first speaker came to the podium for what became a nearly four-hour session.

A downtown restaurateur thinks it’s time for a soccer stadium. Elliot Nelson said a Vision renewal could provide $30 to $45 million for an 8,000 seat stadium that could be expanded later.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Funding to finish building Tulsa’s fire training center may shift from a public safety tax to a Vision renewal.

The fire department may meet with the city’s Vision task force to talk about the training center. Deputy Fire Chief Andy Teeter said a completed training center will save the city money.

"The savings not only comes through your return on investment, it also comes back through injury reduction, efficiency in your crew, insurance premium reduction," Teeter said. "We're able to show more training and reduce our insurance rates."

Steven Michaels

On the heels of the Boy Scouts announcing openly gay adults can serve as scout masters, Oklahomans for Equality decide the Dennis R Neill Equality Center will host a new Cub Scout pack.

Cubmaster Andrew Grimes comes from a scouting family and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He also worked as a district executive with Boy Scouts of America.

"I truly believe in the benefits of the character development, the leadership opportunities and the family time that scouting provides," Grimes said.

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