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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation, on December 18, 2015, agents with the OSBI Internet Crimes Against Children Unit arrested a Cushing man on multiple complaints involving crimes against children via the Internet.


In mid November, the ICAC Unit received several tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a Facebook user was sending and receiving lewd pictures of girls.

The cybertip line identified the Facebook user as Carlos Fritinge, 24, and provided his email address.


With that information, OSBI agents requested information from Facebook and subscriber information from Fritinger’s Internet provider. The information from those sources revealed numerous communications to and from Fritinger involving photographs of girls, some performing lewd acts.


Agents tracked Fritinger to 206 E. 2nd Street in Cushing. OSBI agents and officers from the Attorney General’s Office, Edmond Police Department, Payne County Sheriff’s Office, and Cushing Police Department served a search warrant at Fritinger’s home and arrested him.

Fritinger admitted to the illegal behavior.

A preview of Fritinger’s cell phone at the scene revealed images of girls approximately 12 years old posing in a lewd manner and engaging in sexual acts.

Agents arrested Fritinger on the following complaints:

Possession of child pornography; facilitating, encouraging, engaging in sexual communication with a minor; communication with a minor by use of technology; lewd or indecent proposals to a child; indecent exposure; and violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.


He was booked into the Payne County jail.


Christmas is going to be a little bit brighter for the ladies and children at the Women’s Crisis Services of LeFlore County.

Dianna Manis of Dunn Country Dodge in Poteau presented a check to the center for $500.00.


"This morning (Dec 22) my employer, Dunn Country Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram give me the privilege of taking $500.00 to the Women's Crisis Center to help with the purchase of Christmas gifts for the children of the Ladies as the shelter," said Manis.

Thank you Dunn Country for your contribution.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015 15:01

Lola Mae Smith

Lola Mae Smith of Panama, Oklahoma was born on February 7, 1926 to Henry and Ethel (Lovell) Cardinal in Fort Coffee, Oklahoma and passed away on December 22, 2015 in Spiro, Oklahoma at the age of 89 years.

Lola is survived by two daughters; Sharon Kay Nolan and husband David, of Panama, Oklahoma and Janiece Diane Winters and her companion, Randy DePriest of Miami, Oklahoma, four sons; William Ronald Smith and wife JoAnn, of Claremore, Oklahoma, Melton Ray Smith and wife Darlene, of Spiro, Oklahoma, John Albert Smith and wife Kim, of Grove, Oklahoma, Rickey Lynn Smith of Panama, Oklahoma and the mother of his children Jacquline Ferguson (Smith) of Grove, Oklahoma, 14 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and 6 great great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends and her best friend Catherine Skelton, of Spiro, Oklahoma.

Lola was a member of Panama Free Will Baptist Church.


She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband William Earl Smith, and infant brother Charles Cardinal. Funeral services will be held at 10am on Thursday, December 24, 2015 at the Mallory Martin Chapel of Spiro with Reverends David Nolan and Gary Willett officiating.


Interment will follow at New Hope Cemetery. Pallbearers will be; Justin Smith, Tracy LaRue, Darren Smith, Richard Germany, Chase Germany and Johnny Scott Chaney.


Arrangements have been entrusted to the care and direction of Mallory Martin Funeral Home of Spiro.


Condolences can be made to the family on Lola’s online guestbook at


Tuesday, 22 December 2015 14:58

One injured in wreck in Pushmataha County

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol a one vehicle accident occurred on December 21, 2015 at approximately 4:50 am on State Highway 93 approximately .6 south of Rattan in Pushmataha County.


According to the report, a 1999 Toyota driven by Tonda D. Cook, 43, of Valliant was traveling northbound, ran off the roadway to the right, struck a concrete culvert and then overturning 1 time before coming to a stop.

Cook was transported to McAlester Regional Hospital in McAlester, Ok with head, trunk internal, and leg injuries in stable condition.

The condition of the driver is currently under investigation.


Investigated by Trooper Darrell Wofford #740, assisted by Trooper Nathan Mullins #773 and the Rattan Fire Department, Cloudy Fire Department, Choctaw County Sheriff's Department, and the Pushmataha County Sheriff's Department.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced she has re-appointed Rick Davis to the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. He has served on the board since 2011, when he was appointed to fill an unexpired term.

Davis, of Guthrie, is one of the governor’s three at-large appointees to the nine-member board, which also includes the president of the Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture and representatives from each of Oklahoma’s five congressional districts.

“Rick has done an outstanding job of using his agricultural background to bolster state colleges overseen by the Board of Regents for Oklahoma A&M Colleges,” Fallin said. “I am confident he will continue to guide those institutions as they raise the bar for education in our state, ensuring a bright future for their graduates.”

Davis’ new eight-year term as regent must be confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate.

Davis is managing general partner of Davis Farms, a family-owned farming operation with wheat, beef and dairy production in Logan County. He also is managing general partner of Dimmitt Hay, a hay production and supply company based in Guthrie.

Davis graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. He was recognized as one of the university’s top 10 senior men in 1983.
He is a member of Harmony Community Church and the Guthrie Rotary Club, as well as serving on the board of the Logan County Farm Bureau since 1988.
Davis and his wife, Pam, have two adult children and one grandson.

About the Board of Regents for Oklahoma A&M Colleges
The board supervises Connors State College, Langston University, Northeastern Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Oklahoma State University and its constituent agencies.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015 14:44

Mena Art Gallery announces Christmas events

Stop by the Mena Art Gallery at 607 Mena Street for our Annual Christmas Gift Show.

You will find unique items from stocking stuffers to that special piece that will make someone's eyes light up on Christmas morning.

There are paintings, drawings, photographs, jewelry, wood art, fiber art, and much more.

The show will be up until Tuesday, December 29.


Tuesday, December 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is "Art Day" at Mena Art Gallery, 607 Mena Street. Bring your current project and join other artists working in the classroom at the gallery.


Mena Art Gallery will have extended hours on Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24. We will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for your last minute Christmas gift shopping. The gallery is full of beautiful, unique gift items. Stop by and find that perfect gift and we will gift wrap it for free!


Tuesday, December 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is "Art Day" at Mena Art Gallery, 607 Mena Street. Bring your current project and join other artists working in the classroom at the gallery.


Get your garage sale items ready! We will be accepting entries for the Gallery Garage Sale on Wednesday, December 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The sale is for any art related items and is a members only show. For entry form and membership form call Mena Art Gallery at 479-394-3880 or go online at

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Frank Simpson recently filed legislation to better protect Oklahoma veterans while on duty. Senate Bill 913 clarifies that Oklahoma Army or Air National Guard personnel with proper authorization may carry loaded or unloaded concealed weapons on Oklahoma Military Department facilities while performing a military function.

In July, a terrorist opened fire on military recruiting centers as well as a Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center. Four Marines were killed. A Navy sailor, a Marine recruiter, and a police officer were wounded; the sailor died from his injuries two days later. Violent attacks against our military are becoming more common. Since 2009, there have been eight attacks on military personnel. Currently, however, only certain military officers are allowed to carry concealed weapons on military property in Oklahoma.

“It’s sad that our guard members, who are trained in the use of weapons, are not allowed to carry them. With so many recent shootings, including the one in July in Chattanooga where four Marines and a sailor were killed by an Islamic terrorist, it’s important that all authorized military personnel be armed and able to protect themselves and others in emergency situations,” said Simpson, R-Springer.

The Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard will establish guidelines for the implementation of the legislation.

Gov. Fallin issued an executive order in July allowing authorized military personnel to carry concealed weapons. SB 913 will make that executive order permanent in state statute.

The bill will be up for consideration when the 2nd Session of the 55th Legislature convenes session in February.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015 14:37

Applications available for aging academy


OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Aging Advocacy Leadership Academy (OAALA) is accepting applications for its class of 2016. OAALA provides free training for individuals to become volunteer community leaders and advocates for Oklahoma's aging population. Applications are being accepted until Dec. 31, 2015.


Applicants should demonstrate a willingness to utilize constructive advocacy techniques to effect social change and a commitment to build communities that include and value all older persons and persons with disabilities. They should also demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of people and the ability to see things from the point of view of others.


OAALA classes are held at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Aging Services office in Shepherd Mall in Oklahoma City. Each monthly class session meets Friday evening and Saturday. Classes are tentatively scheduled for February to November 2016.


There is no cost to participate and meals, books and resource materials are provided. Overnight accommodations are available for those who qualify. Travel reimbursement may be provided under the state travel reimbursement act. However, since tuition is provided by sponsors, students should plan to complete the 10-month entire course.


“For almost two decades, graduates of the academy have made, and are continuing to make, a great impact on the services available for older Oklahomans. Thanks to this effort, older people of our state have almost 300 foot soldiers working for their best interests,” said Lance Robertson, DHS Aging Services director. “Many long-lasting programs and initiatives have been germinated by graduates who then find funding when necessary to create gap-filing services, programs and initiatives.”


OAALA is sponsored by DHS Aging Services and is funded in part by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. For more information or to request an application, contact Aging Services at (405) 521-2281.


Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman released the following statement of the State Board of Equalization.


“Today’s certification of revenue figures makes clear that the state faces a difficult budget situation, and that the Legislature must act to ensure that we do not face such a challenge in future years. The Senate stands ready to make the tough decisions that will be necessary to guide the state through these difficult times, and reduce the likelihood of future shortfalls,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa.


“The Legislature must move away from a reliance on using one-time monies to fund ongoing expenditures, and we must address the structural issues that are reducing the amount of revenue available to the Legislature for discretionary spending. Additionally, we will continue our efforts to review ineffective tax credits and tax exemptions, eliminating those exemptions that are not providing us with a return on our investment.”

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced she is appointing Andy Lester to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Lester will replace Marlin “Ike” Glass Jr., whom Fallin thanked for his 18 years of dedicated service to the state as a regent. Glass's second nine-year term expires in May.
Lester, of Edmond, has served on the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) Colleges since 2007. His appointment requires Senate confirmation
Lester will continue to serve on the A&M board until the Senate approves his appointment.

“Andy has proven himself to be a champion for education,” Fallin said. “That is what our state needs as we try to close the skills gap that has left nearly 80,000 jobs unfilled in Oklahoma because of a lack of qualified candidates.”

Lester is a partner in the Edmond law firm Lester, Loving and Davies. His areas of emphasis include constitutional, employment, local government, civil rights and general business litigation. He also has taught at the Oklahoma City University College of Law as an adjunct professor since 1988.

Lester earned his law degree and a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University in 1981. He graduated from Duke University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

Lester is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City and has served on the board of advisors for the Salvation Army’s Oklahoma City command since 2002. He also is part of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

About the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
The state regents coordinate Oklahoma’s system of 25 colleges and universities, 11 constituent agencies and two university centers. Regents prescribe academic standards of higher education, determine functions and courses of study at state colleges and universities, grant degrees and approve each public college's and university's allocations, as well as tuition and fees within the limits set by the Oklahoma Legislature. Regents also manage scholarships and special programs.

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