Law Enforcement & Fire
OKLAHOMA CITY – Following charges filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Amy Gustina Klimkowski pleaded guilty to misappropriating funds from residents at an Oklahoma City nursing home.
Klimkowski, 45, pleaded guilty to three counts of financially exploiting an elderly adult and 10 counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. Klimkowski was sentenced to 20 years in prison and more than $124,000 in restitution and fines.
Klimkowski worked as the business office manager for Windsor Hills Nursing Center and was the trustee on the victims’ Medicaid Income Pension Trust Accounts. Klimkowski took money from the MIPT accounts as well as from residents’ Medicaid Trust Funds. She also used her position to divert funds family members paid directly to the nursing home intended to be used for the board and care of the nursing home residents. In total, Klimkowski diverted more than $100,000.
Klimkowski used the misappropriated funds on insurance payments for her personal vehicle, registration fees for her personal vehicle, and payment on her personal cell phone account, among other items, according to court records.
The AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is the only Oklahoma law enforcement agency dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of Medicaid fraud and provider fraud. The unit also investigates and prosecutes abuse of residents in Medicaid-funded nursing homes and state facilities. To report suspected Medicaid fraud, contact the AG’s Office at (405) 522-2963.
Okmulgee Police Dept. responded to a shooting call at the Briarwood Apartments Sunday evening around 5 p.m.
Police Chief Joe Prentice said, “When officers arrived they were told by the victim’s boyfriend that Casey Blasingame had shot himself once in the chest.”
Blasingame was transported to a Tulsa hospital by Life-Flight.
According to the apartment manager Joe Hicks, Blasingame was alert and talking when Life Flight arrived. Hicks said he spoke with the victim's roomate who said he was not sure why Blasingame did it, but that he had been taking medication and was depressed.
Photos courtesy of Joe Hicks
Fatality report for the month of March, 2016
Preliminary information from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety shows 53 traffic-related fatalities in March 2016, compared to a preliminary total of 38 for the same month last year.
Some 48 of the fatality victims were Oklahoma residents.
The highest number of fatalities occurred on U.S. highways with 12, followed by city streets with 17 and interstate highways with 10.
Some 30 of the fatality victims were drivers; three were pedestrians, 15 were passengers, and five were motorcycle operators.
The daily fatality numbers include 13 deaths on Wednesdays, followed by eight on Fridays. Seven deaths were reported on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. There were seven days in the month of March with no reported fatalities.
According to police reports, four fatalities were alcohol-related.
There were 15 female victims and 38 male victims.
Four of the victims were age 20 or younger. The 21- to 25-year-old age group had the most fatalities with 10, followed by the 31-35-year-old group with eight.
Oklahoma County led the state with a total of 11 fatalities, followed by Tulsa County with nine.
Some 40.9 percent of those who died in traffic collisions were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash.
For additional statistics, please visit the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office website: www.ohso.ok.gov.
Samantha Stansifer was sentenced to a term of Life without Parole today for her murder of Jim Anthony Hall which occurred June 14, 2015 in Henryetta, Oklahoma. The State, represented by DA Rob Barris and the Defendant, present and with her attorney Bret Jennings presented evidence and argument to District Judge Mike Claver who then pronounced the sentence based on a plea of Guilty to Murder in the First Degree by Ms. Stansifer.
The Court, in his pronouncement of sentence remarked that the facts of case as presented by the State cried out for justice and a Life Without the Possibility of Parole Sentence. The Judge said he also looked into what mercy the Defendant might deserve in deciding the proper punishment. He stated that he was going to show the Defendant exactly the same mercy that Stansifer showed to her victim, which he characterized as “none”.
Many members of Mr. Hall’s family were present at the hearing and heard the argument and sentence being pronounced. “This murder was thought out by the Defendant as evidenced by text message evidence from days before the murder wherein she told a friend, she would either get him put in jail or kill him. She then attacked Mr. Hall while he slept, stabbing him 58 times and slashing his throat to be sure he was dead. This cold-blooded, premeditated crime fully justified the punishment the Court imposed” said DA Barris.
“Nothing will ever bring Jim Anthony Hall back for his family or ease their pain and loss but at least a measure of justice to the fullest extent of the law has been attained for them”, said Barris.
20-year-old Samantha Stansifer stabbed her boyfriend to death before making a Facebook post that confessed to the murder. She then called 911 and again confessed to the murder.
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Multiple agencies responded to a multiple vehicle accident around 6 p.m. on HWY 75 and Wilson Road in Okmulgee County Monday evening claiming one persons life.
Roscoe L. Neal, an 88-year-old male, of Henryetta was driving a 1998 Honda CRV traveling eastbound on Wilson Road. Cecil S. Harry, a 64-year-old, of Mounds driving a 2015 Chrysler 200 and Ryan D. Logan, 29-year old male, of Seminole were heading southbound on HWY 75.
Neal attempted to turn northbound onto 75 and failed to yield to oncoming traffic and struck the Chrysler. His started to spin and was struck by the Volkswagen in the driver side.
Neal was killed. Harry was not injured and Logan was transported by EMS to Okmulgee Hospital where he was treated and released with several injuries.
The accident was investigated by Trooper Levi Foreman Bobby Raines of Creek County Troop B and Trooper Jared Sharp of the Tulsa County Detachment of Troop B. Also assisted by members of Henryetta Fire
Department, Dewar Fire Department, Schulter Fire Department and Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office.
Seatbelt’s were in use by all.
Photos by Allen Gardner - ONN
By Betty Anderson
April 10-16, 2016 is the time to recognize and celebrate the difficult job Okmulgee 911 Communications Center employees have and to honor them for their efforts in being the first line of help in difficult situations.
Okmulgee businesses showed their generosity by contributing to a gift basket for each of the dispatchers, including, Okmulgee County Commissioners, Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office, Tulsa RV Ranch, Arvest Bank, Mabrey Bank, First National Bank, Creek Nation Behavioral Health, OSUIT, East Central Electric, Check and Go, Hoppers, Johnny Appleseed, Blossom Shop, Kirby’s Café, Capps BBQ , MC Squared and Hibbits Sports. The dispatchers also were given a 2016 dispatcher’s t-shirt.
Additionally to show appreciation, the County Commissioners personally provided the funds for Taco Tuesday, prepared by Supervisor, Leah Spears. Anderson’s BBQ and Catering provided a rib and pulled pork lunch for them on Thursday. To add to the fun, they wore pajamas to work a couple of days during the week.
The 911 Dispatchers start their day just like everyone else; getting up, getting dressed, driving to work and then they step into a different world of, police calls, fire calls, medical emergencies, non-emergency calls and many other situations. No day is the same and there are surely days of dis-belief when they answer the phone, “911 what is your emergency?”
ONN spoke with Kasey Johnson, County Communications Director, who said they take over 300 calls per day, non-emergency and emergency answering 9 lines into the center.
Asking Johnson what is the secret to staying calm in an emergency, she said, “You grow accustom to it with the high adrenalin rush and then the lows of nothing happening.” Asking about really tough emotional calls she said, “We lean on each other. When a dispatcher has taken a really tough or heavy hearted call, we allow them to take a break and talk through it with them if needed.”
The dispatchers work 12 hours a day with 4 day and 3 day work weeks. All of the dispatchers must be OLETS Certified (Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System) to operate the State and Federal Computer.
Director Johnson speaks very highly of the 911 dispatchers. “I am super proud of our dispatchers; they go above and beyond every day. That is why we make a big deal out of this week for them; we just couldn’t do it without them.” She added, “We also are grateful to the community for showing their appreciation for all that they do.”
Happy National Public Safety Telecommunications Week to the Okmulgee 911 Communications Center.
One person is dead after several collisions occurred on Interstate 40 west of Henryetta Friday afternoon according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
According to OHP the eastbound and westbound lanes at mile marker 235 was closed due to a grass fire with smoke over the roadway causing several collisions in the area.
One vehicle heading east drove into smoke from a grass fire and came to a stop. The car was then hit from behind by a semi. OHP reported the passenger in the car died.
Traffic was deterred through Henryetta. By 4:30 p.m. the westbound lanes reopened but the eastbound lanes were still closed.
Photos by Allen Gardner
By Betty Anderson
Huge flames were shooting high as Okmulgee Firefighters rushed to 4900 North Wood Drive to try to save the Clearview Baptist Church which was fully engulfed on Monday evening.
Okmulgee Fire Dept. responded with Engine 1, Engine 2, Rescue Truck, and brought 2 tankers to fight the fire.
Unfortunately there is no fire hydrant in that area so the firefighters had to shuttle water from McCoy’s to fight the fire.
Fire Marshall Rick Chisum said, “It was not a problem in the way we had to shuttle in the water, just about the time we would run out, another full truck would roll in, dump and go again. That part worked out good.”
At this time with the preliminary investigation going on Chisum is unsure of the cause of the fire.
“It started in the northwest corner of the house, in the hallway, adjacent to the Pastor’s study,” said Chisum.
The Clearview Baptist pastor will meet with an adjuster today to access the damages.
The City is planning a municipal warrant day in the near future where officers will focus on municipal warrant service on that day. Anyone with an outstanding warrant is encouraged to come in and clear those warrants before that day.
“I am sure we will receive calls asking for the date, but we are not sharing the planned date,” said Police Chief Joe Prentice.
For those who are trying to clear their warrants, they come to the Court Clerk's office at Okmulgee City Hall during business hours.
If you have paperwork regarding your warrant, you are asked to bring it in. If you do not have the paperwork, they can look it up for you when you arrive.
“What is at risk?” If you have an active warrant and are pulled over for speeding and the police officer runs your information and finds out you have a warrant, you are going to jail.
A single car accident occurred at 20th and Seminole at 10:30 p.m. in Okmulgee Tuesday night.
Carolyn Long of Okmulgee was driving a Red 2008 Chevy HHR west on 20th Street when she lost control of her vehicle according to the police report. Long ran off the road to the right and struck a speed limit sign. Her vehicle continued west, partially off the roadway, and struck two more traffic signs, a bridge load limit sign and a bridge reflective sign. The vehicle then hit the bridge rail and rolled, landing on its top; on top of the bridge’s culvert. It then came to rest on its passenger’s side, still positioned on top of the bridge culvert.
Long was transported to Muskogee Creek Nation Medical center by ambulance where she was treated and released.
The report stated the unsafe reliable contributing factor was, “Inattention, other distraction inside vehicle” which was ruled as the cause.