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State: Lawton pastor faces sexual abuse charge
World's own Service

Lawton pastor faces sexual abuse charge

LAWTON -- The 25-year-old pastor of Another Chance Outreach Ministries Inc. faces one count of lewd molestation following an investigation into whether he sexually abused members of his congregation.

James Lamont Newton is free on $3,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set March 24.

Lawton police Detective John Whittington said the department's investigation began in April but stalled because people were afraid to come forward because of Newton's position in the church.

Whittington said the investigation reopened recently when several Fort Sill soldiers claimed Newton made inappropriate sexual advances toward them.

"That's when the others decided to come forward," Whittington said.

Whittington said others may have been victims.

Cherokee Job Corps' rating improves in latest poll

TAHLEQUAH -- The Talking Leaves Job Corps center has received it highest rating ever from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Cherokee Nation announced Friday.

The center had a ``high acceptable'' rating of 6.44 on a point scale ranging from 1 through 9, the tribe reported.

The rating was the fifth highest in the Dallas Department of Labor region, said Diane Kelley, a liaison for the Cherokee Nation Job Corps.

Noting that one year ago the center was ranked among the lowest nationally, Chief Joe Byrd said the improved ranking is due to the work of both students and staff.

Former Demo congressional candidate seeks Starr's ouster

CLAREMORE -- Jim Bob Wilson, an unsuccessful Democratic Party candidate for 2nd District Congress in 1998, said Friday that he is starting a nationwide petition drive calling for the dismissal of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.

Wilson said he would conduct the petition drive on the Internet.

``The most divisive incident to confront our nation in many years is the apparent never-ending investigation by Ken Starr and his persecution of President Clinton,'' Wilson said.

Wilson said a continuation of Starr's efforts ``must not be allowed to happen.''

The only alternative, Wilson said, is to have U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno ``dismiss Ken Starr immediately upon the U.S. Senate adjourning the impeachment hearings. . . .''

Highway speed limits to rise in central Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The speed limit soon will match the speed of drivers on stretches of U.S. 412 and U.S. 60 in northern Oklahoma.

The state Transportation Department agreed this week to raise the speed limit to 70 mph on U.S. 412 east of Enid to Interstate 35, on U.S. 60 west of Ponca City to I-35 and on U.S. 412 west of Enid to Lahoma.

The speed limit has been 65 mph. Nico Gomez, a spokesman for the department, said a speed study showed about 85 percent of those traveling on U.S. 412 east of Enid and U.S. 60 west of Ponca City are going 70 mph now.

The highways are four-lane, divided routes and can be driven safely at 70 mph.

From staff and wire reports

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