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.

Ways To Connect

City of Tulsa

Tulsa city councilors enter the last stretch of tinkering with the mayor's proposed budget.

Keith Eldridge in the city finance department said revenue projections are up, but there's not really room to add costs.

"A lot of the budget for 2016 is flat," Eldridge said. "A lot of the increases in the FY16 budget are related to compensation, both for FY15 and 16, and we're looking at a FY16 impact, a full-year impact, for civilians for the increases there. That's going to be the largest part of the increases for the general fund."

Nelson Stowe Development

Coming soon to downtown Tulsa: The Boxyard.

"It's a retail and entertainment center that's built out of repurposed shipping containers," said Casey Stowe with Nelson Stowe Development. "These are containers that have come across the ocean maybe once, maybe multiple times."

The company plans to build The Boxyard at Third Street and Frankfort Avenue.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The district attorney for Craig, Mayes and Rogers counties introduced the newest members of his victim support staff.

Maggie and Jerzy are trained therapeutic dogs. DA Matt Ballard said they’re doing a great job, especially when they work with children who are victims of crime.

"It relaxes them. It grounds them. It gives them something that they can focus on that's good and takes away some of the stress," Ballard said. "And when you take away the stress, what we've found is that you do get better testimony. You get kids that are a little less apprehensive."

KWGS News File Photo

Tulsa’s Vision task force turns to demographics to get ideas for capital projects.

Dan Arthrell with the Community Service Council said the focus is simple.

"In terms of where to spend time looking for capital improvements, look to where the children are, and where they're going, where they're coming from," Arthrell said.

Youth Services of Tulsa

Tulsa city councilors will try to figure out this week why the group running a juvenile booking and intervention center has had enough.

The Community Intervention Center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to handle bookings and divert juveniles to treatment programs. Councilor Karen Gilbert said the council was surprised when they got letters from Youth Services Tulsa last week saying the organization won’t renew its contract.

City of Tulsa

The results are in: Tulsa water is safe to drink.

The levels of elemental, microbial and treatment byproduct contamination found in Tulsa’s water last year were all well below EPA standards. Environmental Compliance Supervisor Cathey Gillingham said testing is a rigorous process, starting at the city’s two water treatment plants.

"We have the operators that are there and performing analysis at required times all during the day," Gillingham said. "My group goes out and does required testing in the distribution system."

Downtown Tulsa boosters make a move to bring the Tulsa Farmer’s Market to Sixth and Main streets in 2016.

The market has to leave Cherry Street next April through October while road work is completed. The Downtown Coordinating Council will offer marketing help and up to $5,000 for workers to close streets.

County Commissioner Karen Keith is on the council and proposed that offer.

"Oh, I think it's a perfect fit for downtown," Keith said about the market. "Easy to ride your bike up to the park, and I just think it's a great idea."

File Photo

A community court program in Tulsa could expand if city councilors find more money for it.

According to Court Administrator Kelly Brader, the community court program brought in $43,000 and cleared 4,500 warrants. But with the municipal court short staffed, she, another employee and a judge worked more than 60 hours a week while community court was being held.

Many people who attend community court are physically or mentally disabled and have a hard time going downtown to pay for tickets and warrants.

If there's an open checkbook, Brader said she needs $500,000.

File photo-city of Tulsa

Tulsa city councilors heard more evidence Thursday to support utility rate increases.

Eric Lee with the water and sewer department said aging infrastructure is a big problem. Spavinaw Dam and the Mohawk treatment plant were built in 1924.

"We're getting to almost 100 years on some of the initial infrastructure that was built in the city," Lee said. "We need to keep up with that aging infrastructure, and so as we address those needs, we need to have rates that cover those additional costs."

Oklahoma teachers have the chance to participate in a climate summit this summer.

Oklahoma Forestry is one of the hosts. State Forester George Geissler said the focus will be on climate variability.

"It helps bring out some of the new research that's available regarding that, and giving teachers the data that is out there and also access to the experts that are out there," Geissler said.

Teachers will hear new data from the state’s monitoring station for PINEMAP, a federal research project on southern pine forests’ response to climate change.

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