By Cody Johnson
The City of Newcastle is in its final stages of annexing more land into city limits.
The land in question is located south of Highway 9 and west of Western. It adjoins existing city limits on the west, (see map for reference.)
The land is currently being developed into a subdivision with vacant lots selling from $80,000 up to $250,000 while homes built on the lots are expected to range upwards from $300,000.
The future residents and current developers approached the City of Newcastle over a year ago wishing to annex into Newcastle city limits. Right now the land is county land.
At any point in the discussion, the City Council could have voted no and walked away from the discussions but the Council really feels like this is a smart decision financially for both parties involved, said City Manager Nick Nazar.
"This is not something we were going after, we were approached by the landowners about their desire to be in Newcastle city limits," said Mayor Karl Nail.
This potential annexation brought up many discussions that needed to take place both with the future residents of this area and with the town of Goldsby before a decision could be made by the City Council.
"I want to be very clear on this. The current residents of Newcastle will not see any increase in their bills because of this addition. The cost is being taken on only by the residents of this new area through their impact fees," Nazar said. "That was one of our conditions from the start when these residents approached us."
Talks with Goldsby led to an agreement between both towns signed last February that Newcastle will not annex land east of Western nor south of 290th St., and Goldsby will not annex any land west of Western nor north of 290th St. Any land already annexed will remain in their current city limits.
"This is a real serious dividing line between us and Goldsby," he said.
Goldsby does not have a desire to provide services to this area in question. Newcastle currently sells water to areas along Highway 9 that are in Goldsby city limits, because Goldsby cannot service those areas right now however that is expected to change in the near future.
“Right now Goldsby is developing their own well field and adding some new development to their plant,” Nazar said. “They do not plan on buying [water] from Newcastle long term.”
Goldsby does not have a police force; they hire the sheriff’s deputies on their off-duty time to patrol their city, and they have a volunteer fire department.
"Newcastle basically has the capacity to sell twenty times the water that we currently do now," Nazar said. "The water is basically something we have access to huge amount of. We are able to provide substantial amounts of water to a lot of customers, because we made the investment we did connecting to Oklahoma City. We have a well system of our own to supplement that and keep our water cost low."
“We already have a lot of property south of Highway 9 and this new land butts right up to it, he said.
According to Nail, the land already in city limits that is adjoining to this new annexation does not have fire hydrants for the City to use in an emergency, The new annexation will have hydrants that can be used during emergencies in the surrounding areas.
The Newcastle Fire Station off of Highway 9 is already established and is not receiving its full potential of work, so the City of Newcastle has room to take on more subdivisions in the area, he said.
The developers will pay the majority of the cost to install the waterline, however the City is going to upsize the waterline from 8" to 12" and take on a temporary cost so there is more room for growth around this area. The cost will be offset when the future developers pay the "Impact Fee" to build in the area and the City will be fully reimbursed.
Both Nazar and Nail have expressed the potential for Highway 9 to develop more businesses around the already existing ones.
Some residents of Newcastle have expressed concern over the allocation of sales tax coming from this area due to the zip code not being a Newcastle zip code.
Sales tax in Oklahoma is distributed to the site of delivery, not of purchase. Therefore when these homes are built, if they are in Newcastle City limits the sales tax will go to Newcastle as long as the developers tell the suppliers it is within Newcastle city limits.
The City recently started conducting audits on businesses within Newcastle city limits that have a Norman zip code to determine how much potential sales tax has been misallocated to Norman in the past. Nazar and Nail both say the loss has been minimal in the past, and now that it has been brought to the attention of the City, it should not be a problem in the future as long as they stay on top of the issue.
Nail said that by annexing this land there is an estimated potential of $600,000 in sales tax dollars that the City will benefit from.
A local developer, Daniel Remington, has started the process of changing the zip code to fully cure the issue, however it is a lengthy process and might take a couple years.
By Cody Johnson
His alert eyes flashed around the office, scanning, searching, taking in data.
An above average intellect was heard in his voice as he spoke and made neat introductions. Nathan Owen, a Newcastle graduate, will be whisking off to Seattle on a two-year nonstop mission with his only contact to his family being email come next fall but, for now he tinkers.
Not the usual garage tinkering. Not on cars or on home improvement projects, but with a completely different language, Java language.
At 19 years old, Nathan has built his own website and designed his own App for mobile phones that run Android operating systems.
Both projects include videos, not of laughter, horror or religion, but videos of Newcastle Football.
In fact, many residents of Newcastle have seen them without even knowing who made them. Nathan has been making videos for the Jumb-tron at home Racer games for over four years. From introducing the offensive and defensive players to making highlight reels of each game, Nathan has filmed it all.
Since he was ten years old, he and his father would make highlight videos of his four older brothers playing football.
"Back then, we were not using a computer or anything. It was old school type of stuff, and it was really fun," Nathan said. "Finally we got into the new age of good computers. I started using that, and I got really excited about it."
His first video for school was a drug video for his health class. His second was a video for history class.
"People liked them. That kind of encouraged me to keep going. Then in my freshman year, my friends and I made a Romeo and Juliet video for our English class. That was really popular," he said. "So people knew who I was, and I was always known around the school as the IT helper."
This year due to the Racers success, Nathan has stepped up his video making producing more videos than years past. An introduction video and a starting lineup video are in the making right now. They will premier at the Anadarko home game on Halloween night.
Most of his videos are filmed with an Iphone 4s, and he says people who watch his videos typically do not believe him.
Motivation and ideas for his videos often come from seeing college videos at football games.
"If I see that people watch a video with an open field with the sky and that’s something they like then I might use that idea. I do not copy it exactly, but I will modify the idea based on other people’s reaction," Nathan said after mentioning his family often goes to University of Oklahoma football games. "When I first started out, the video would start, and it was pure football. Lately my videos have transformed, so the first minute and a half might be a stadium and stuff like that. It’s kind of evolving."
When Nathan did one of his starting lineup videos, he had his phone taped to a tri-pod.
"I had the players stand in front of it and they kind of gave me some weird looks," he laughed. "I had to tell them, believe it or not this is going to turn out really well, and it did."
Nathan said he decided to build a website for his videos just because he knew how and he was not looking to make any money off of them. All of his videos can be viewed at www.racervision.tk
While building an App two main factors came into effect, price and his audience. While walking through the field house, Nathan noticed most people had android phones. Android also does not cost to build or offer for download to consumer. Iphone on the other hand cost $100 per year, even if the app is free for consumers to download.
After spending two years in Seattle, Nathan is planning on studying Electrical Engineering at Oklahoma University while working as a student worker at Soonervision, which make the videos for OU sporting events.
As for now, Nathan will continue to produce videos for the Newcastle Racers.
By Darla Welchel
What began as an attempt to help children suffering from severe malnutrition in America in 1967, ended with Big Food controlling the way the Federal Government looks at nutrition.
This may not be the first time food producers, by the use of lobbying power, had controlled the government, but it began a 40 year trend of more and more "diet" products to hit the grocery shelves and higher numbers of overweight and obese Americans.
After Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Joseph S. Clark went on a fact-finding trip to visit emaciated children in Cleveland and Mississippi, the House and Senate committees were uninterested in pursuing the nutrition issue saying, "The basic problem [of hunger and malnutrition] is one of ignorance as to what constitutes a balanced diet, coupled with indifference by a great many persons who should and probably do not know."
This didn't sit well with Senator George McGovern, who soon put together a committee to begin studying the problem in 1968. McGovern, who had been involved in food-related issues throughout his congressional career and who had been Director of Food for Peace in the Kennedy administration during the early 1960s, thought that confining the committee to just the more liberal Senate would produce better chances for action.
Hearings were held - gathering data from academics, non-governmental organizations, educators, health and nutrition experts, school officials, the medical community and the general public. By 1974, McGovern expanded the committee's scope to include national nutrition policy, expanding the committee's focus to include eating too much in addition to not eating enough.
By 1977, the McGovern Committee issued a new set of nutritional guidelines for Americans that sought to combat the leading causes of death: heart disease, certain cancers, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and arteriosclerosis. Titled Dietary Goals for the United States was best known as "The McGovern Report."
In this report, which encompassed volumes, the committee suggested that Americans consume less fat, cholesterol and refined and processed sugar. McGovern warned that obesity would soon be the largest form of malnutrition.
This bold report triggered strong negative reactions from the cattle, dairy, egg and sugar industries. These producers rejected the report and demanded a re-write and the words "reduce intake" of these foods were removed forever. Instead, the report encouraged Americans to buy leaner and lower fat products, thus starting the diet trend of low-fat, low calorie foods.
Not all calories are alike
In the wake of the failed McGovern Report in 1977, America saw an influx of products and programs during the diet revolution. The biggest misrepresented catch phrase was "Calories In, Calories Out," instilled the idea if you just ate a bit less and exercised more, you could lose weight.
This phrase was fashioned by the food industry in order to lull America into the belief that they could keep consuming these foods without consequences, according to the documentary Fed Up. First, there are not enough hours in the day to exercise away an average's person's daily intake of calories. For example, to get rid of just one 20-ounce coke or one medium French fry, a person or child would have to ride a bike for one hour and 15 minutes.
The second truth that was covered up is that not all calories are created equal. This means that you cannot just say, I'm going to only eat "X" amount of calories and then eat whatever you want as long as it fits within your perimeters.
For example, if you eat 160 calories in almonds (about 1 oz), it is not the same as 160 calories from a sugary pop. Sure, they have the same amount of calories, so why can’t you exercise enough to burn the pop off.
The answer lies in your own digestive tract. Almonds are fiber and protein, nutritional supplements that take a long time to digest. When they are digested, they are converted to energy to fuel your body. Whereas, the sugar in the soda goes directly to your liver and is immediately converted to fat, according to experts.
The food industry, FDA and our own government have been continually selling the American people the bill of goods that all calories are alike. Instead of removing high sugar foods, the industry began offering all sorts of "low calorie" and "low fat or fat free" foods. Unfortunately, when you take away the fat, to make it pitiable, the manufacturers add more sugar - defeating the purpose of a diet food.
At the bottom of this untruth is Big Food. To avert the general public from getting wise to medical studies linking the addition of sugar to almost every food item, many soda companies and other Big Food companies are funding research into the obesity and diet-related health issues.
In the documentary, one report showed that Coke Cola actually funded research that said soft drinks do not cause obesity. The doctors related to that research were receiving financial support from food industries.
But throughout the years, people have become wise to industry related studies. Unfortunately, the countries biggest victims to the battle of the foods, are our nation's children many who get the biggest part of their daily calories from their school meal programs - programs that are dictated largely by Big Food.
By Darla Welchel
Its here! The 2014 Great Pumpkin Fest!
The much anticipated fall event will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., this Saturday at TG Farms, so pick out your costumes, pack up your family, come hungry and expect to have a fantastic day.
Tickets for the event are:
Advance Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at Main Street Florist, Community Bank, First National Bank & Trust and New Life Bible Church.
Tickets on the day of the event will be $10 each.
A family pack of four tickets is available for $30.
Each ticket holder will receive a pumpkin of choice.
This year, all entrants to the pumpkin patch must purchase a ticket, said Pumpkin Fest organizer Misty Haynes; this excludes vendors.
Something for everyone
Although the Great Pumpkin Fest is "mostly" about the children, mom and dad will find plenty to see and do by visiting any of the nearly 30 vendor booths.
Dads will especially enjoy a new attraction this year; New Life Bible Church will be hosting the Arm Chair Quarterback inflatable to give the men a chance to show their stuff, or maybe they will want to check out First National Bank & Trust's Chili Cook-Off. Dad's can also pick up some MIO salsa from "the Salsa Guy from Edmond," Haynes said.
While dads are busy tossing around the pigskin, moms will love perusing through many of the boutique booths such as: The Cargo Room, a mobile clothing boutique, Way Out Yonder, specializing in jewelry and leather items, Tickled Pink Designs, with handcrafted home decor, Younique makeup, Clark Leather Creations, with handcrafted leather goods, Pug Hallow, selling dog related fundraising items and the Old General Store, selling many of their Amish candies and ciders.
The kids need not worry whether they will have fun looking at the booths as many local business will be hosting games and activities that will be sure to delight, as well as fill their candy buckets. Activities like The Newcastle Library's Storytime, Therapy In Motion’s children's games, The Newcastle Pacer's Pumpkin Painting, Maness Veterinarian Clinic's Pet Costume Contest and Team Eating Contest, plus many more.
Of course the main attractions for the entire family are the Pumpkin Patch’s Hay and Corn Mazes, Petting Zoo ($1 for food), Giant Hay Slide and Jump, Pig Races, Tri-Cycle Races, Face Painting, Pony Rides (with additional $4 fee) and of course the Pumpkin Patch itself where every ticket holder can pick out that perfect pumpkin.
And what would be a fall festival without entertainment? Beginning at noon, live music will grace the festival stage until closing at 6 p.m. With talents such as: Ken P, Gabby Ramanello, Annie Oakley, Muscadine Jelly and Andy Adams & the Fictioneers, the music is sure to please. The featured artist is Award Winning Oklahoma recording artist, Carter Sampson.
Last but not least, the food. Big Truck Tacos out of Oklahoma City will bring their unique blend of spicy concoctions to the festival this year in addition to the TG Farms' Concession Stand.
By Darla Welchel
"There is no risk
of Ebola to passengers who were on the cruise ship with the Dallas healthcare worker," said Tony Sellars, Office of Communications with the Oklahoma State Health Department.
After the news spread that two Newcastle families were indeed on the cruise ship in which a Dallas Healthcare worker was traveling, Newcastle Schools have taken a hit on its decision to permit those students to attend classes on Monday morning, said Superintendent Tony O'Brien.
O'Brien said he received a letter from the CDC stating that said passenger on the cruise ship remains well and was showing no signs of illness at the time of her voluntary isolation on the ship last week. The letter went on to report that the cruise ship's medical doctor monitored the passenger and confirmed she was in good health and had no symptoms of the Ebola virus.
The superintendent made the decision to allow the two students to return to school based on the confirmation sent out by the CDC in which it stated that the healthcare worker's 21-day restriction on travel would be complete on Monday, Oct. 20, O'Brien said.
The CDC also assured that the Ebola virus is not spread through the air, but is transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of someone sick with the disease. They also confirmed that individuals who do not have symptoms are not able to spread the virus.
O'Brien said he had no idea that the local school districts of Blanchard, Moore and Mustang had decided not to allow their students who were also on that same cruise to return to classes.
"If we had all know about this [incident] together, we could have talked about it and decided together what to do," he said. "I made the call before then."
The call the O'Brien is referring to was the mass text alert that he sent out. In it, the superintendent assured the parents the district had received sufficient evidence from the CDC that no one had come in contact with the deadly strain, and that it was safe to allow entry to classes by the students. No where in the text did it say that parents should be on "high alert" as was stated on TV news channels.
On Monday, a number of parents held their students out of school because of the current scare, O'Brien said. No staff members were absent from school and only five percent more of the student body elected to stay home than is normal.
Why is Newcastle safe?
In a statement to The Newcastle Pacer, Tony Sellars, director of communications for OSDH said, "While we appreciate the overabundance of caution shown by the Moore School system and others, the risk of anyone becoming ill is absolutely minimal. Based on the information, we believe the Newcastle School system made the right call. There is no indication that anyone on the ship was ill. Ebola virus is not airborne and can only be transmitted by direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person, or materials such as needles or medical gloves contaminated with the blood or body fluids of someone who is ill with Ebola virus disease."
Sellars understands people are scared, but reminds the public that the risk of exposure to Ebola is extremely low, and currently there are no community outbreaks of Ebola in the United States, and there are no confirmed or even suspected cases of Ebola in Oklahoma.
Why the scare
According to the CDC website, Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Currently, there are no FDA-approved vaccine or medicine (e.g., antiviral drug) available for Ebola.
Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.
Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive care and the patient’s immune response. It isn't known if people who recover are immune for life or if they can become infected with a different species of Ebola. Some people who have recovered from Ebola have developed long-term complications, such as joint and vision problems.
Currently, the CDC is specifying that the disease is transmitted by direct contact through broken skin or the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth. Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick, because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of sick patients.
Prevention is still the best defense the deadly disease, and it is uncertain how the Dallas healthcare workers were infected as they were on "high" contact protocol.
For now, the people should practice good hygiene as they would during a normal flu season, which includes thoroughly washing hands with soap and water and using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and to avoid contact with blood or other body fluids.
Symptoms of Ebola include:
Abdominal (stomach) pain
Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
Sellars with OSDH said, "With flu season approaching, it is important to distinguish differences in symptoms between influenza and Ebola. Respiratory symptoms such as sinus congestion, sore throat, runny nose, and cough are associated with influenza and other respiratory viruses; whereas early symptoms of Ebola are fever, headache, and abdominal pain, followed by vomiting and diarrhea or bleeding tendencies."
Although this is a serious disease, The Pacer strives to educate and reduce panic. We will keep the community updated on any changes as information becomes available.
For more information on Ebola visit www.cdc.gov.
By Darla Welchel
As the end of the month approaches, children are all atwitter about what costumes they will be wearing to either go trick or treating or to attend one of the many fall activities planned around the area.
Here is a brief summary of the multitude of events going on in the community this fall. Each event, sponsored by a different group or organization, has one goal in mind - to provide a safe and fun activity for area children and their families. The events are listed in order of date.
Oct. 23 - Library Make-up Workshop
To help you prepare for your night of spooky fun, the Newcastle Library is hosting a Halloween Makeup Effects workshop during an after school program at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Tweens or teens can be part of the program, where they will learn basics in stage make-up effects to work as a Halloween costume or for any future use. The library will provide all supplies, so registration is required to attend the program.
For more information, visit the library, call 387-5076 or go online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org/newcastle.
Oct. 25 - The Great Pumpkin Fest
Are you ready for some pumpkins? This annual event will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday at T.G. Farms located on Hwy 37, just west of Tri-City.
The family fun day will feature: hay mazes, multiple contests (pie eating, costume, pet costume, "Rattiest Overalls," "Most Worked" boots and "Best Beard"), live musical entertainment, free activities for children, food from the likes of Big Truck Tacos and much, much more.
Advance Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at Main Street Florist, Community Bank, First National Bank & Trust and New Life Bible Church. Tickets on the day of the event will be $10 each. A family pack of tickets is available for $30 (includes four tickets). Ticket holders will receive a pumpkin of choice.
Oct. 25 – PTO Fall Carnival
Moving its fall carnival from back-to-school to Halloween just seemed to make a lot of fun sense to the Newcastle PTO – allowing children more celebrating during the fall holidays. The carnival will be from 5:30 – 8 p.m. on Saturday in the gym at the 4/5 elementary building located on 10th Street west of Sonic. They will have another carnival in the spring.
This fall carnival will be Halloween Themed and children are encouraged to wear their costumes to participate in the costume contest. The organizers request that if a child's costume has a weapon, to please NOT bring it onto school grounds.
There will be hotdogs, Frito Chili pies, nachos, cotton candy, drinks and more. The cost of the event is $5 per person with a separate charge for food items. Children under two are free.
Oct. 26 – Newcastle UMC to hold animal blessing service
At 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26, the Newcastle United Methodist Church, located at 121 E Fox Lane, will be conducting a Blessing of the Animals service. The service honors animals that act as faithful companions, as well as animals that contribute to people’s livelihood and enjoyment. It is also a reminder that animals are prominent in many Biblical stories.
All animals, large and small, are welcome at this service, along with their owners. The church requests that dogs, cats and other smaller animals be on leashes or in carriers for everyone’s protection. There is plenty of room for horse and cattle trailers if you wish to have those animals blessed.
Oct. 26 – Fall Festival at FBC
Don't miss this fun outdoor fall festival from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Sunday in the parking lot of Newcastle First Baptist Church. It will be a time of games, candy, live music and family fun. This event is for children, ages birth to sixth grade. Feel free to come in costume, but the church requests no scary costumes please. Everyone is asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the McClain County food bank. For more information, please contact the church at 387-4366.
Oct. 29 - NCC Fall Festival
Are you looking for a safe and fun activity to take the place of a night wandering the streets? Then check out Newcastle Christian Church's Fall Festival from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at NCC located at 2200 N. Main.
There will be games, prizes and free hot dogs and chips for all who attend. "It will be a safe environment for kids, and we think an enjoyable time," said church secretary Ellen Story. Costumes are welcomed, but the church requests no scary ones, please. Contact 387-4100 for more information.
Oct. 30 – Make-A-Wish “Mummy” Son Dance
The Newcastle High School Student Council is hosting a Mummy/Son Dance to raise funds a Make-A-Wish trip for a young 9-year old cancer patient. The dance will begin at 6 p.m. and last until 8 p.m. and will be held in the 4/5 gym at the elementary school on 10th St. The cost of this worthwhile and spooky event is $10 a student, with "Mummies" getting in free. All ages are welcome and the suggested dress for the evening is "Halloween Attire" (costumes)
Oct. 30 – Middle School Halloween Dance
Get your "Thriller" on at the Newcastle Middle School Halloween Dance from 6:30-8 p.m. in the gym – sponsored by the middle school STUCCO. Admission is $5 per student with drinks costing only 50 cents; this event is for NMS students only. Costumes are encouraged but not required, but there will be costume contests for willing participants. First prize is $30, second is $20 and 3rd, $10. Costumes must meet school dress code: no skimpy or short costumes and no strapless costumes allowed.
Oct. 31 - The Big Night
•The City of Newcastle has made the official spook-tacular night of trick-or-treating to be held on Oct. 31 for residents of Newcastle. The City is hoping to wrap up the trick or treating by 10 p.m.
•Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Bridge Creek has switched up their annual Halloword celebration in honor of Bridge Creek’s Homecoming. They will be joining forces with the high school to make it a night to remember by holding the annual alternative to Halloween in the school’s parking lot from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Bring your kids before the game for candy, cake walk and a few games. Halloword will have Trunk or Treat along with carnival activities such as face painting, lollipop pull, beanbag toss, basketball toss and a cakewalk. If the weather is bad, the event will move back to the church inside the main building during the same time. For more information, contact RBC at 387-2811.
Nov. 1 – GPC Craft Fair and Fall Festival
On Saturday, Nov. 1, the Glory Promise Center Learning Academy will be hosting an inside craft fair and outdoor Fall Festival at 417 S Main St. The craft fair will begin at 9 a.m. and run until the event closes, and the activities for the Fall Festival will begin at 2 p.m. until the fun is all played out. The activities include: moon bounces, face painting, live music and food – all in a carnival-like atmosphere. Children may come in costume.
Having a child with cancer is probably one of the hardest things a family ever has to endure.
Long hospital stays, the disruption of schooling, not to mention a family often separated for weeks, if not months, at a time can take their toll a family.
The constant turmoil, stress and fear are why Make-A-Wish trips are such a welcome respite for those enduring the unimaginable.
For the third year, the Newcastle Student Council is raising funds to send one child on a trip of a lifetime through Make-A-Wish, which grants the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy, said MAW Development Officer Katie Hargis.
"Make-A-Wish Oklahoma grants 175 wishes a year. The funds raised in Oklahoma stay here in Oklahoma to grant wishes to local children," she said.
Last year, Newcastle raised $8,000 for a Tuttle high school student, Madison "Maddie" McConnell and her family to take an all expense paid trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
"This trip was important to me, because it gave me something to look forward to during the countless hours of treatment," Maddie said. "My favorite part of the trip was probably Universal Studios. I want Newcastle to know how much I truly appreciate how they stepped up taking me in as if I were their own, before I ever went [to school] here. I appreciate what Make-A-Wish does, because it does help having something to look forward to."
The 16-year-old McConnell, who is now in remission from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, has since transferred to Newcastle High School and loves it. She began her junior year as a Racer.
"Newcastle is an amazing school. I am treated great here, and transferring was the best decision I have ever made," she said. "The things I like most about going to Newcastle is how much school spirit we have, and everyone is so welcoming and caring to me."
Hargis added, "Newcastle had multiple assemblies and events for Maddie and invited her whole family to participate in every event."
Maddie is in STUCCO this year, so she will have a hand in raising money for this year’s recipient, Trevor Storie from Shawnee. Trevor suffers from Rhabdomyosarcoma.
Trevor is nine years old and will turn 10 this November, Hargis said. He is just like every other nine-year-old boy except he has cancer.
"He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December of 2013. He is very outspoken and loves sports. His favorite color is pink, and he loves macaroni & cheese and likes to play football. His favorite show is Sponge Bob Square pants, and he cheers for the OKC Thunder," she said
Trevor's "wish" is to be a dolphin trainer for a day, said his mom, Zona Storie. He has an older sister who loves dolphins and he wanted to do this with her.
"His sister's favorite animal is dolphin and she always wanted to swim with them, so that is what he chose," she said.
The details of the trip are just in the beginning stages, Hargis said, but already, Newcastle is busy raising money.
"This year, to raise money in honor of Trevor's wish, Newcastle High School has a Halloween dance planned as well as many other activities," Hargis said. "Each year NHS does a special cheer that encourages the wish family and welcomes them into the Newcastle family. This year the cheer went," We believe that Trevor Will Win!"
The student advisors for STUCCO are from the Math Department; Melissa Rippy and Jake Phillips are helping their students make a difference.
"We have several activities that we will do throughout the school year to help raise the funds desired for Trevor’s trip." "We have two coming up this month. We are having our annual Powderpuff football game on Oct.23rd at the high school football field, and we are sponsoring a 'Mummy'/Son dance at the elementary school gym on Oct.30th."
The Powderpuff game will begin at 6 p.m, Oct. 23, she said. The admission is $2 a person and there will be a limited concession stand. Everyone must enter through the field house gate.
Then, on the night before Halloween, Oct. 31, STUCCO will hold the dance for mothers or mummies and their sons. The event last from 6-8 p.m. The admission for this spooky fundraising event is $10 a student with mummies getting in free. The dance is open to all ages, and dancers are encouraged to wear Halloween attire. There will also be spot for moms and sons to take pictures in their costumes. All the proceeds for this event also go to Make a Wish.
"This is our third year to work with Make a Wish," Rippy said. "In the past, our student council has tried to fundraise for different charity groups during the year. Three years ago, our principal challenged us to think about focusing our fundraising efforts on one charity. Our student council group thought it would be great for the student body to be able to connect with the individual we were raising the funds for; that is how we found Make-A-Wish adopt a child."
Hargis added, "We are truly thankful for everything Newcastle High School is doing for Make-A-Wish Oklahoma and Trevor! We appreciate all of their hard work to help bring countless smiles to Oklahoma children."
Trevor recently received his last round Chemo a few weeks ago and is now on maintenance, his mom said. He is eagerly awaiting his Make-A-Wish trip.
"His prognosis is good, and is showing no sign of cancer,” she said. “We have begun the phase of scans every three months and are praying for NED (No evidence of disease). Also praying for an easy transition into our 'new normal.' Emotions are running high in the Storie household as we struggle to adjust. God is good."
By Cody Johnson
From his blonde hair styled short in the front and long in the back, Kaden Judkins is not your average looking Newcastle resident. With a scar encircling his right arm and thick country accent, Judkins has a relaxed country charm about his person.
He attends vo-tech in Wayne for equine production, but already has his own business at the age of 18.
Judkins has horses sent to him from a ranch in Petersburg, Nebraska and sometimes from around the Newcastle community. He can be found breaking two or three of them at a time.
"When I first get them, I will work with them on leading and sacking them out," Judkins said.
Sacking them out is a process of rubbing a sack all over the horse’s body. After the horse becomes accustom to the sack, a saddle can then be placed on the horse without it becoming jumpy. Once a saddle is put on the back, Judkins will ride the horse around his grandpa's land.
"I will take them out back and through water to get them used to that. I will put a tarp down and get them used to that. Basically, I work with them, so they are used to everything and won’t be jumpy," he said.
This is a skill that is past down from generation to generation.
"When I was five or six, I really liked horses. My grandpa knew Tom Ferrell who had some, so he took me over there. I was looking at them, and he asked me if I wanted to ride one," Judkins said.
The Newcastle native started breaking miniature horses and has worked his way up to full size breeds.
"I went to my aunts' who lives in Oregon, and I started team pinning there and have done it ever since," he laughed. "Then I started cutting with Tom Ferrell."
The first horse Judkins broke on his own was at the age of 15.
"It was different. I was working on figuring things out and learning from everyone that I could," he said with a shy voice.
Over the years, he has learned new tips and tricks from around twenty people.
"You learn something new everyday," Judkins said. "The people I learn from say that they learn something new everyday too, so it's just different everyday."
Already Judkins has been drug by a horse with a rope wrapped around his leg, has had a horse flip over on top of him and has had a horse run him into a barbed wire fence.
He was all cut up and admits it was not fun, but nothing has ever made him want to stop what he does.
"You just get back up and go," Judkins proclaimed.
Vo-tech has taught him how to give shots to equine, check their vital signs and diagnose problems with their health. He will graduate in May.
In the future, Judkins hopes to own a ranch and continue working with equines. He has thought about moving somewhere else but says he knows more people around here.
"I'd rather just travel to wherever I need than move," Judkins said. "There is some pretty good money if you have a good horse."
By Cody Johnson
The Golden Spotlight would like to shine a light on Johnny Files, a 79-year-old resident of Newcastle. File has lived on Fox lane by the Middle School campus for 49 of the 54 years he has spent in Newcastle.
Johnny had been living in Oklahoma City before the move to Newcastle, although he was raised in Rush Springs on a watermelon farm.
"I wish I had a nickel for everyone of them [watermelons] I handled," Johnny said in his thick country accent. "I would have a few dollars in my pocket, I'll guarantee you."
In the second grade, he became acquainted with a first grade girl by the name of Dorothy. Her family however moved to another school district west of Comanche where she attended school until moving back to Rush Springs during Johnny's junior year. They rode the same school bus.
"Well she was dating an old boy from Comanche, and I looked at that cute little thing and said 'well this is just not gonna work,'" he chuckled out loud. The two have been married for 60 years now.
Johnny and Dorothy raised five children, all of which graduated from Newcastle. They had eleven grandchildren. Two of the children died at a young age; one girl with heart problems since birth and one boy in a car wreck his senior year. They also have six great grandchildren.
"I'm talking about the whole town [of Newcastle] that I have met and known. Hey, you couldn't ask for a better town," he said.
Johnny has worked a variety of places including a lumberyard where he went from a delivery truck driver to lumberyard supervisor. He has also worked on a freight dock and drove a cement truck.
"I enjoyed it. As long as I was getting a little bit of money where me and that little woman could survive, I'd do a lot of things, ya know," he said with a grin on his face. "When they were out there building new houses, I'd be out there working for some of those guys, cleaning out footing, pouring footing and stem walls on the house. In fact, me and one of my brothers framed our house up on the weekends."
Johnny and Dorothy moved out to Newcastle before it became a city, he said. "It was just a little town."
"These are as good of people as you will find anywhere in the United States," Johnny said. "I could make a phone call right now and I'd have help. They wouldn't ask questions of why or what; they'd be here."
"It's not just the Newcastle area. It's all around. The whole community of Blanchard, Tuttle, Newcastle." he said. "You are gonna have a bad apple every once in a while but I am talking as a whole. It's just a good group of people. We might argue at the ball games, but that's about it."
Johnny retired sixteen years ago, but poured cement up until two years ago. In fact, he poured cement all over the community.
Files can't find anything to "belly ache about, except maybe the casinos," saying they can take money away from a community and make it where people can't make their payments to the bank, "if you aren’t careful." But overall, "We’ve been blessed."
Eighty exhibitors from five different states will take over the Newcastle Fair Barn this Saturday in the 13th Annual Newcastle Poultry Show starting at 9 a.m.
Competitors from Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Oklahoma will compete in four divisions: Bantam, Waterfowl, Large Fowl Chicken, and Turkey. Each category has a separate junior division as well.
The show will be fun for the whole family and is free to watch. Exhibitors will also have birds for sale.
"It's just something neat. Not many people know you can show birds," said show director Scoots Hames. "It's a good little hobby."
Hames has been putting on the show since it started along with help from Johnny Files, Kenny Adams, James Flag and several others.
Hames said there used to be a poultry show in Newcastle a long time ago so one year he got together with Files, Adams, and Flag and they decided to bring it back.
The Newcastle Poultry Show has been held the third week of October in the Newcastle Fair Barn since its start and has helped competitors prepare for the Texas All Game Show the following week.