• Stillwater Medical Center: No hospital bills for homecoming crash victims' initial treatment

    BY PAIGHTEN HARKINS, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    STILLWATER — Patients treated at Stillwater Medical Center in the wake of October's deadly homecoming crash will not be billed by the hospital, officials announced Wednesday. The Stillwater Medical Center administration and Board of Trustees decided that victims of the  Oct. 24 crash  who were treated at the hospital's emergency room or were admitted for treatment won't have to pay hospital bills, according to a news release. On the day of the crash, the hospital reported treating 40 people ranging in age from 2 to 65.

  • $5,000 reward offered for info in slaying of Beggs woman

    FROM TULSA WORLD STAFF REPORTS | Published: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    The Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office has announced a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction in the murder of a Beggs woman. Up to $5,000 will be offered to anyone who can provide information that will help solve the case and convict the murderer. Rebecca Hamilton, 62, was killed Oct. 17 after finding an intruder in her home in the 5000 block of Herreld Road in Beggs.

  • Woman leaves newborn with umbilical cord still attached at Tulsa urgent care facility

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    An unknown woman left a newborn whose umbilical cord was still attached at a midtown urgent care facility Tuesday night. Tulsa police were summoned at 9:14 p.m. to Access Urgent Care, 1623 S. Utica Ave., on a report of an abandoned infant. Dispatchers reported the newborn’s umbilical cord was still attached. A nurse told officers a woman approached her holding an infant wrapped in a towel, saying she was homeless and unable to care for the child. The woman handed over the baby and left, police said.

  • Tulsa County deputy takes cover as man fires 10 shots at him during traffic stop

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    A Tulsa County sheriff's deputy ducked for cover behind his patrol SUV to evade a barrage of bullets fired by a passenger of a vehicle he had pulled over early Wednesday southwest of downtown. Capt. Melissa Tapper said Deputy Leighton Boyd avoided injury and the gunman escaped on foot despite a perimeter being established, along with a Tulsa police helicopter and K-9 units attempting to locate the man. The encounter unfolded just after midnight in the 1700 block of Southwest Boulevard. Tapper said Boyd initiated the traffic stop after he spotted a Ford Escape with a license plate and tag that didn't match the vehicle.

  • $250,000 bond set for man accused of sending email threatening mass shooting at Copan school

    BY LAURA SUMMERS, Tulsa World correspondent | Published: Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    BARTLESVILLE — A $250,000 bond was set Tuesday for a 23-year-old Washington County man who is charged with planning a mass shooting at Copan High School. Associate District Judge Russell Vaclaw set the bond on a felony charge of planning, conspiring or endeavoring to perform an act of violence filed against Kyle James Benefiel, who appeared in court Tuesday afternoon. Vaclaw forbid Benefiel to be within 1,000 feet of any Copan school and ordered him to avoid possession of firearms.

  • Former nurse sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping 84-year-old resident of Tulsa assisted living center

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    A 63-year-old man was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison for committing sexual acts with a resident at an assisted living center in Tulsa where he was a nurse. A Tulsa County judge sentenced Stephen Craig Reed of Claremore to 20 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised probation. On Oct. 26, Reed entered a guilty plea without a recommendation from the state to one count of first-degree rape for having sexual intercourse with a woman who was incapable of giving legal consent due to dementia in December 2013.

  • 4.4, 3.0 magnitude Oklahoma earthquakes recorded Monday near site of Thursday's 4.7

    BY ALTHEA PETERSON, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    The U.S. Geological Survey recorded two more Oklahoma earthquakes earlier today. First, a 3.0 magnitude temblor recorded 12:31 p.m. about 9 miles south-southwest of Cherokee in Alfalfa County. The epicenter was a few miles south of Thursday's 4.7 magnitude quake, which was the state's largest recorded since 2011.

  • Two inmates apparently walk away from minimum-security Vinita prison

    BY PAIGHTEN HARKINS, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    Police are searching for two convicts who escaped early Monday from a minimum-security prison in Vinita. John J. Shepherd Jr., 37, and Jason Pedro, 33, walked away from the Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center sometime between 6 and 8 a.m., Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesman Alex Gerszewski said. The facility is a minimum-security prison without a fence, meaning when inmates go outside for work duty or any other reason, they can walk off the premises, Gerszewski said.

  • Sand Springs school district dealing with racist remarks made by students after football game with Booker T.

    BY NOUR HABIB, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    Racist comments from a Twitter account called "@SandSandite" after a high school football game between Sand Springs and Booker T. Washington on Friday have caused a stir in both communities. Screenshots of tweets from the account, which has been suspended, show that @SandSandite tweeted at the accounts of several Booker T. students, calling them n-----. There have also been reports of racist tweets from other Sand Springs students, as well as a racist text message sent to a Booker T. student.

  • Man arrested in connection with mass shooting threat at Copan Public Schools

    BY PAIGHTEN HARKINS, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    A Washington County man was arrested one day before he reportedly planned a mass shooting at Copan Public Schools. Kyle Benefiel, 23, was arrested Monday morning on complaints of threatening to perform an act of violence and assault on a police officer, Sheriff Rick Silver said. Deputies discovered the mass shooting plan when the City of Bartlesville forwarded the Sheriff's Department an email outlining the plot, Silver said.

  • USGS: Oklahoma has 'unheard of' seismicity that might produce 6.0 quake, but Cushing efforts indicate problem is manageable

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    Oklahoma’s surge in seismic activity has cultivated a swath of land with earthquake sequences “unheard of” in any other comparably sized area of the globe and may also produce a 6.0 temblor, according to a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist. But some efforts to mitigate quakes that rattled Cushing a year ago — through more stringent wastewater disposal regulations — have yielded positive empirical results, and it’s a clear indicator that  the issue of induced seismicity  is manageable. That’s according to Daniel McNamara, a USGS research geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center. Oklahomans remain shaken up as the state blasts through its earthquake record from only a year ago . In August Oklahoma surpassed 2014’s banner year of 584 earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater. In 2015, Oklahoma Geological Survey data show a staggering 802 quakes of those magnitudes through Sunday afternoon.

  • Ex-Tulsa County deputy gets eight-year sentence on indecent exposure, sexual battery convictions

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    A Tulsa County judge on Monday sentenced a former sheriff's deputy to eight years in prison after being convicted last month of groping a woman and exposing himself to her while on duty in September 2014. Gerald Nuckolls, 27, appeared in District Judge Bill LaFortune's courtroom just before noon Monday, handcuffed and in a Tulsa Jail uniform. He and his attorney, Terry Funk, asked LaFortune to sentence him to probation or a short Department of Corrections term despite a jury's Oct. 16 recommendation that he receive four years imprisonment on sexual battery and indecent exposure convictions. Funk said Nuckolls intends to appeal.

  • Four-day school weeks: Districts weighing benefits, but Hofmeister says it's bad for kids

    BY ANDREA EGER and NOUR HABIB, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    A sudden surge in public schools looking to entice teachers and squeeze more out of limited budgets by moving to a four-day week could change the way thousands of Oklahoma students learn. But State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister isn’t pulling punches on the subject — she says any benefits are questionable at best and believes the scheme is detrimental to academic instruction. “I think this is certainly being amplified in local school districts because of the teacher shortage. Frankly, I think it’s a short-term, promotional tactic to attract teachers at the expense of kids,” she said.

  • Man bound over for trial in Owasso infant's death

    BY STACY RYBURN, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    OWASSO — A man who is charged with killing a 10-month-old baby was bound over for trial Friday at a preliminary hearing in Tulsa County District Court. Brandon Wade Nordstedt, 22, of Jennings  was charged  in August with child-abuse murder in the  July 12 death  of 10-month-old Emmerson "Emmy" O'Rourke of Owasso. Five witnesses testified during Friday's preliminary hearing. Nordstedt's arraignment is set for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 30 before District Judge Doug Drummond, court records indicate.

  • Eufaula woman reported missing since Monday

    BY STACY RYBURN, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    EUFAULA — A Eufaula woman who was last seen dropping off her child at school Monday has been reported missing. Peggy McGuire, 27, was reported missing by her family on Wednesday afternoon. She had last spoken to a friend or a family member over the phone on Monday morning, McIntosh County Sheriff Kevin Ledbetter said. Deputies found McGuire's pickup in the parking lot of T&J's Ice House, a bar in Eufaula, on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man could be seen on surveillance video driving the pickup to that location and leaving it there, Ledbetter said.

  • Victim follows stolen trailer in north Tulsa, leading to suspect's arrest

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    Officers arrested a man accused of stealing a trailer after the victim reportedly followed the suspect through north Tulsa and gave police his location. The victim reported to police Thursday that his trailer was stolen, and he was driving behind a truck that was towing it near Third and East Pine streets. Police were given a detailed description of the trailer and truck, which they later learned also had been reported stolen. Officers located the trailer on East Pine Street near 129th East Avenue, according to police. The suspect, Jonathan Barger, 29, reportedly told the officers he was not driving the truck and that the real driver fled when he saw police.

  • Police investigating allegations of inappropriate photos taken at Owasso school

    BY STACY RYBURN, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Nov 19, 2015

    OWASSO — Police are investigating a report made last week that a staff member at the Owasso Eighth Grade Center had taken inappropriate pictures of a student. Detectives informed Owasso Public Schools administrators after learning of the allegations on Nov. 13., according to a news release from Owasso Police Department Deputy Chief Jason Woodruff. The department declined to elaborate on what the allegations entailed. “The incident is currently under investigation by detectives, and the school administration is aware of the allegation,” Woodruff stated. “Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, the sensitive nature of the allegation and the age of the alleged victim, it would be inappropriate for the Owasso Police Department to make further comments at this time.”

  • Attorney for former Tulsa police officer charged with murder maintains that prosecutors are withholding evidence

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Nov 19, 2015

    The January trial date for a former Tulsa police officer charged with murder still stands, but prosecutors and the defense have a new deadline by which to complete their exchange of documents and other items -- a procedure that has been prolonged for months. A hearing Thursday was the fourth that has been held concerning the exchange of information each party is obligated to turn over to the other prior to Shannon Kepler's trial, District Judge Sharon Holmes said at the hearing. Kepler’s trial remains scheduled for Jan. 11. Before setting the new deadline, Holmes said she had asked the parties to complete their exchange in time for Thursday’s hearing. Instead, she was met with allegations of withheld evidence.

  • Officers find marijuana operation after girl's report that dad grows strawberries in closet, Owasso police say

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Nov 19, 2015

    An Owasso man accused of growing marijuana inside his home was arrested after his 7-year-old daughter said he was growing strawberries in his closet, according to police. Officers joined a Department of Human Services agent in performing a welfare check at Richard Eric Reyes' residence in the 11800 block of East 80th Street on Tuesday afternoon. The check was in response to Reyes's daughter reporting he was growing strawberries, and the agent suspected he was actually cultivating marijuana, according to an arrest report. Upon arrival, police reportedly found two shop lights with red bulbs and a small fan, both in plain view. Officers asked Reyes, 32, if he was growing marijuana, to which he allegedly responded that he was. The report states Reyes led the officers to a back bedroom, where they found a small table with a "loose green leafy substance on top of it."

  • KOCO: Enid police investigating multiple drive-by shootings

    Published: Wed, Nov 18, 2015

    Enid police are investigating close to 20 drive-by shootings Wednesday, KOCO reports.