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.

Tulsa County Sheriff's Office reserve deputy Robert Bates
Tulsa County Sheriff's Office

Former Tulsa County reserve sheriff’s deputy Robert Bates appeared in court Monday morning and pleaded not guilty to a single felony charge of second-degree manslaughter. Bates shot Eric Harris after confusing his handgun with his Taser while Harris was being detained during a sting operation April 2.

It was standing room only during the 12-minute arraignment, and the courtroom and hallway outside were filled mainly by family and friends of Harris, and by supporters of a grand jury investigation into the sheriff’s office.

Marq Lewis with We The People Oklahoma walks out of the courtroom with his attorney, Laurie Phillips, after a judge ruled signatures collected in support of a grand jury investigation of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office are sufficient.
Matt Trotter / KWGS

A grand jury will be convened before the end of July to investigate the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

District Judge Rebecca Nightingale ruled Tuesday signatures collected by We The People Oklahoma are valid despite a request from Sheriff Stanley Glanz to dismiss them. Marq Lewis with We The People called it a victory for citizens of Tulsa County.

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."

A trio of bills by Rep. Sally Kern are among several anti-gay bills that have been filed with the state legislature.

Oklahomans for Equality Advocacy Chair Mike Redman said Kern's filings especially are no surprise.

"Sally Kern targets the gay and lesbian community every opportunity that she gets," Redman said. "She is at the end of her term limit career, and she's just using this as another publicity opportunity to take one final jab at the gay and lesbian community."

"There are truly many reasons to say we're in the best of times," said the narrator of a video played near the end of Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett's state of the city address Wednesday.

It was a visual summary of the mayor's speech. Bartlett focused on why Tulsa is now in a good position after two recessions: Low unemployment, economic development and industrial partnerships.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Federal authorities say Tulsa gang members have distributed $10 million worth of cocaine from Mexican cartels and murdered at least one witness since 2011.

A federal indictment states more than 50 members and associates of the Hoover Crips have been charged with a total of about 240 criminal offenses. Authorities released the findings of the three-year, multi-agency investigation on Tuesday.

Gov. Mary Fallin’s Democratic challenger wants to boost per-pupil spending on education by $50 by using the state’s franchise tax as a funding source.

"This will be set aside and earmarked completely for classroom funding," state Rep. Joe Dorman said Thursday at a news conference. "This will not go to salaries. It will not go to administrative costs. It will go to the tools needed by educators to educate those students to the level where they can achieve their highest potential."

There was a moratorium on franchise tax collections from 2010 to 2013. ​

According to a new study, in 2012, 56 percent of Oklahoma inmates maxed out — served maximum sentences and were released from prison to no supervision whatsoever.

Lisa Edmonds / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma ranks ahead of only Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky in senior health for 2014.

United Health Foundation found the state’s seniors have a high level of inactivity and receive a low percentage of recommended hospital care.

Jan Figart with the Community Service Council in Tulsa said local health agencies have good plans to improve seniors’ health, "but there's no new monies set aside for this in order to make the improvements that would be necessary to really have a meaningful population effect."

railroad tracks
Luke Jones / Flickr Creative Commons

By early July, the 97.5 mile rail line between Midwest City and Sapulpa known as the Sooner Sub will be privately owned. Passenger rail advocates have fought the sale for years, but they’re feeling optimistic right now.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission knocked out all but the last item of its agenda in about 20 minutes Monday. After a 10-minute recess, Chairman Greg Love moved on to the topic most people came for: Discussion on the sale of the Sooner Sub line.

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