By Darla Welchel
Newcastle Police Department recently released information on the shooting that took place on August 23 in Bradford Place IV.
Police Detective Kevin Morrissey said dispatch received a call at 6:34 a.m. that morning from the home owned by Richard Henry Finch III of shots fired and a robbery inside Finch's home.
Multiple Newcastle PD officers arrived on the scene moments later along with assistance from the Lighthorse Police, Morrissey said. Finch gave police a description and partial names of two Asian males, who he said shot him and tried to rob him.
Morrissey took over the case and questioned the victim at OU Medical Center.
"I went and spoke to the victim at the trauma center at Presbyterian OU Medical Center, where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to his arm and chest. When he was shot, he curled in and the bullet entered into the right arm and exited out his right chest."
"The victim knew these two gentlemen previously, and he allowed them into his home. He owed them $40 for drugs. When they saw he had more money, they tried to rob him of all his money. When he refused to hand over his money to them, he was shot, and they fled the scene."
With little more than a rough description of the car – a black older model BMW – and incorrectly spelled names of the two suspects, Morrissey began a 19-hour search for answers, he said.
"Originally, all [Finch] could tell us was he was shot by a Phuoc and a Han," Morrissey said. "He did not know how to spell the names, but he thought they may hang around a certain area in Oklahoma City."
Morrissey started following leads, and with the help of OKCPD, soon located the black BMW, and the driver - Phuoc Cong Do, 23. Do admitted to being at Finch’s home and for the attempted robbery, but denied that he had anything to do with the shooting. He also refused to give up the name and whereabouts of the second suspect.
Do was booked into the McClain Co., jail on charges of accessory to a shooting with intent and robbery. When located later by Oklahoma City police, Do said, "I didn't shoot Ricky. I asked him if he was OK."
Do said he was looking at his phone and didn’t know that Chanraphathep had a weapon. However, Finch reported that at the time of the shooting he remembers hearing Phuoc yell, "Shoot him in the knee."
"We later released information to news channels and received information, which we followed up on, and the victim, through a photo lineup, identified the shooter as Hansana Chanraphathep," he said. "We currently have a warrant for him for the robbery. He is described as 5'5" Asian male, 120 pounds, brown eyes, black hair and was born in 1986."
If anyone has any information leading to the whereabouts of Chanraphathep, they are asked to contact the Newcastle PD at 37-5277 or their local law enforcement office, Morrissey said.
By Darla Welchel
When Newcastle resident and history lover Alan Klein took his family on a trip to Alaska, a tour bus trip to an obscure desert led to the creation of a new app for mobil devices.
"My family and I were on a tour bus trip in the Yukon, when we came to the site of the World's Smallest Desert," Klein said. "I asked myself, 'why is this not on my phone?' The tour guy was telling all these interesting stories and no one knew about them."
This simple question led the retired military man with a degree in computer technology to begin work on Roundabout, the first app that allows people to share old stories they enjoy telling by putting them on a map based on where the story happened.
Klein launched his new app on iTunes on May 9 of this year, and he has already garnered nearly 3,000 users.
Essentially, Roundabout creates an entirely unique way for people to discover and engage others with the stories that have passed down for generations. It contains unique categories that allow users to sort points of interest based on their individual preference: Attractions, Folklore, Historic Sites, Landmarks, Local History, Monuments and Oddities.
The free app allows users to put a "pin" in an online Google map and attach stories, photos, audio recordings and videos to the point. This informational history lesson is then available to all users, thus passing on legacies and folklore, Klein said.
"There are so many interesting things around Newcastle that people don't know about," he said. "It is a great way to record stories that have been passed down from grandparents or parents before they die. This app is good for use in education, newspaper or town history."
The Roundabout App uses the GPS in a phone or tablet to locate the user within a 150-mile radius. The user can zoom in to pinpoint their exact location and begin telling their story.
"Using audio or video options makes it more real when you can see the movement or hear the sounds," Klein said. "I took a video of the Old Mill in Little Rock, Arkansas, and it was nothing but the image and sound of the water wheel."
"It is so close to I-40, but people drive by and don’t even know its there. This app helps them locate points of interest."
Klein realizes that not all of the stories and historical data might be 100 percent accurate, but he feels that all stories have a place in history.
"Sometimes, the best stories might not be the most accurate, but they are funny and draw you in," he said.
Every user of Roundabout is allowed one story and one review per point, but they can go back in and edit and add to their previous story, he said. But, you cannot edit anyone else's story lending protection to the app.
Another interesting feature is the Virtual Trip maker allowing users to create a "bucket list" of sorts for either a real or imagined trip pinpointing all the interesting (to them) features along the way, Klein said.
Klein and his wife Monique live in Newcastle with their two sons. Their oldest son, Nathan is a 3013 graduate and Keegan is in sixth grade at Newcastle Middle School. Monique is a 1982 graduate of Newcastle High School. Klein co-owns the Roundabout App with his parents and sister, George, Clara and Shelia Klein who live in Iowa.
"I believe this app will help history be discovered," he said.
By Cody Johnson
His smile was undeniable as the local man was presented a plaque of appreciation for his service to the City of Newcastle.
Ronald Salsman, 64, has worked for the City of Newcastle for 25 years as a fleet mechanic and is now entering retirement. Salsman began his work in 1989 when he answered an advertisement in the paper from the City.
Having taken some vo-tech training in school and a one-year class at Southwest Automotive in Oklahoma City, he has since compiled a lifetime's worth of mechanic knowledge through sheer experience. Salsman has worked at places ranging from the Will Roger's airport working on their ground equipment to being a mechanic at Sears, as well as working for Bridge Creek schools on their building and buses.
As a mechanic for the City of Newcastle, Salsman worked on equipment ranging from small lawn mowers to big diesel construction equipment.
"There is no specialization in 'fleet' work," he said "sometimes you just have to figure it out as you go." But that was part of the excitement for Salsman, he never knew what he would have to fix next.
A brightness shown in his eyes as he spoke of his work, he enjoyed his time with the City.
"You have to find a home. The people I worked with was home," Salsman said.
He has two children, Michael and Vitia. Both also work for the City. Michael reads water meters, as well as performing building maintenance and Vitia works as the water clerk.
"She is the one who shuts your water off when you don't pay your bill on time," he chuckled aloud.
His hands are calloused from years of work, however they will spend most of their time hunting and fishing now with his wife Jane. The couple often travels to Lake Texhoma, Lake Arbuckle, Lake Murray and Lake Ten Killer to camp out.
Salsman and his wife love to bass fish on his pontoon while they are out on the lake. He hunts mainly deer on public land due to the high price of lease land, but brags that he has a good spot that’s secretive and not crowded.
"I like to use bow season to scout more than anything," he said as he smiled. "I am only comfortable shooting [a bow] at close range, but it gets me out in the woods to see what's moving."
He loved always having his nights and weekends off while he worked for the City and admits his "life" happened on the weekend. But now a man that has given so much work to his community has time to relax and spend with his family.
"I'll probably live here till I die," Salsman said with a grin on his face.
By Darla Welchel
Amongst balloons, punch and cake, more than 30 members of the Newcastle chapter of FCCLA met for the first time this year last Thursday.
To kick the year off, students in Family Career and Community Leaders of America, the student organization affiliated with the Family and Consumer Science class, held a baby shower to promote its District Project, said FCCLA sponsor Debbie Chappell.
The students chose Operation Homefront: Star Spangled Babies for this year's project. This important program provides baby showers to enlisted service members and their families while they are away from home serving their country, she said.
To properly get in the mood, the students made and decorated baby shower cakes, had punch and played shower games, she said. The goal of the project is for students to collect and then deliver baby items by Sept. 30 during the District Meeting.
Often, military parents-to-be live far from their extended families and support systems due to deployments and relocations. Star Spangled Babies helps provide them with some of the necessities they might not otherwise get.
Although FCCLA members are collecting the items, community members can become involved by delivering needed items to the high school before Sept. 30, Chappell said. Some of the needed items are:
Diapers (size 1-2)
Baby wash clothes
Diaper Cream, lotion, wash, etc.
Teething rings and rattles
The purpose of FCCLA is to promote personal growth and leadership development through family and consumer sciences education. This organization is available to anyone currently enrolled in FACS courses, or anyone who have previously taken the courses, Chappell said.
By Darla Welchel
Ever since The Newcastle Pacer published Newcastle: Looking Back at Looking Forward, the history book about Newcastle, it has needed to be updated.
That is what happens with history; everyday new things happen, thus outdating itself all the time.
The arduous task of compiling a book of a town's history gets more difficult as each founding father (and mother) passes. It is difficult to get all the stories, and get them correctly.
We at the Pacer have talked ever since the first book came out about updating or adding to it, both to advance the history or to correct misinformation.
Unfortunately, in a town where there is very limited written records, word of mouth is all we have to go by – and sometimes memories fail or contradict.
That is why I, as the writer of the first history book am excited about Alan Klein’s new history app for iPhones and tablets – Roundabout – that allows anyone to contribute to recording the history of our town. (See: A Point in History on pg. 1)
If everyone would download the app and start recording what they know about the history of Newcastle – even if it just happened like last Friday’s stupendous win over Tuttle – it would make compiling an update so much easier.
Currently, there are no additional copies of the current history book.
By Darla Welchel
An attempted child abduction has Newcastle Police and the school district on alert, and parents are more than just a little shook up.
On Saturday, Sept. 13, a little after 10 p.m. police were notified when a nine-year old boy while walking his dog in the 2900 block of NW 33rd street was approached by a black or dark blue SUV – possibly a jeep Cherokee. The passenger, a white male in his mid-twenties, wearing a yellow shirt got out of the truck and said, "Come on boy," said NPD Detective Kevin Morrissey.
The young man immediately ran home yelling prompting the vehicle to speed off, he said. The boy did not get a look at the driver nor could he tell if there was anyone else in the vehicle.
This report came after a similar one a few weeks ago. A father and son were walking to school when an older man pulled up along side of them and started telling them that his dogs like to be petted by kids.
"At this point, we are not treating this one as an abduction attempt, but we are still following up on it," Morrissey said. "The father had met the man previously when the older man was walking his dogs."
The NPD contacted the school district to make them aware of the incidents, which prompted Superintendent Tony O'Brien to send out a school-wide text making parents aware of the incidents and asking them to be vigilant when it comes to the safety of their children.
O'Brien said in his text that, "the district will be taking steps to ensure the safety of our students. These events have occurred in two different neighborhoods here in our community of Newcastle. I am asking that each of you remain very vigilant about the safety of the children living in your household and in the surrounding neighborhoods."
Morrissey concluded, "We take these things very seriously, and we are following up on them."
Jill Denise (Fleming) Rea was born April 19, 1976 in Oklahoma City to Jimmie Earl and Karen Jeannie (McHenry) Fleming. She passed away Thursday, August 21, 2014 at her home in Oklahoma City at the age of 38. Jill graduated from Emerson High School. She lived in Hinton, Newcastle, and Oklahoma City, OK. Jill was a bi-lingual bounty hunter and bail bondsman. She was fun loving and was always up for an adventure, friendly, loving, and never met a stranger.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, John and Jewel McHenry, and Eugene and Mable Fleming, uncle, Robert Fleming, aunt, Fleeta Shoptaw, and cousin, Frank Shoptaw.
Survivors include, her significant other, Armando Hernandez of 10 years and helped raise his three sons, Junior, Adrian, and Andres; three children, Denise Sierra of Newcastle, Maria Sierra-Hurtado of Tulsa, and Jasmina Trujillo of Newcastle; grandson, Vincent Hurtado; parents, Jeannie Sierra and dad Visente of Newcastle and her father, Jimmie Fleming of Norman, OK ; siblings, Jennifer Rios of Newcastle, Geneva Martinez of Oklahoma City, and Errick Fleming of Norman, step siblings: Paulin Sierra, Christian Sierra, Juan Sierra, Walter Grimes, Cassandra, Candice, and Marie; her cousin, Jimmy Shoptaw, and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
William E. "Marty" Martin, age 69, died Thursday, September 11, 2014 at VA Regional Hospital in Oklahoma City after a long illness. He was born September 15, 1944 in Shafter, CA to Johnnie W. and Etta E. (Smith) Martin. He grew up in Fort Towson and Newcastle, OK and was a graduate of Newcastle High School. He proudly served in the US Army during the Vietnam conflict. He was a longtime union driver, driving twenty plus years for Roadway Express. Marty was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers Olen, Lonnie, Clabourne and one sister Opal. Survivors include his wife Dianne of Mustang, one son Todd Martin and wife Shari of Mustang, two daughters Rev. April Buckley and husband Rev. Thomas of Yukon and Tiffany Martin of Yukon. Also by four grandchildren Kristyn, Paiyten, Brett and Gage, one brother Loyd Martin of Blanchard, OK, three sisters Dovie Sossamon of OKC, Lillie Rose of Newcastle and Brenda Rieves of Talihina, OK. Visitation will be held from 1pm until 8pm on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 at McNeil's Mustang Funeral Service, Mustang, OK. Services will be held at 2pm on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 in the funeral home chapel at Resthaven Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Moore, OK. Arrangements are being handled by McNeil's Mustang Funeral Service, Mustang, Oklahoma. The Family would like to express special thanks to the Palliative Care nurses and Doctors at the VA Hospital who cared for our family.
Online condolences may be made at www.mcneilsmustangfs.com
By Darla Welchel
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle might not be the 3 R’s that most of us grew up with, but in today’s ecology it is very important for the health of the planet.
The Newcastle Elementary School is turning lessons into practice and earning cash doing it. On Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. the grade school will be holding a Recycling Event in front of the cafeteria.
The recycling extravaganza is being held as a fundraiser for the elementary school to raise money to beautify the front of both the first and second grade and fourth and fifth grade buildings.
Students have already been sent home with pink bags to fill with gently used clothing, shoes and small household items, but there is still a big need for more items, said event sponsor Duane Alexander of Recycle for Charity. Community members are urged to bring their boxes and bags of donations in to help fill the truck.
The school will receive $60 per 3x5 foot cart and there is no limit to the amount that Recycle for Charity will accept. The local donation center, located at 1612 NW 32nd St. to the west of T.G. Farms, donates 80 percent of what they take in back to the Newcastle community, he said.
“Parents get tired of all the school fundraisers,” Alexander said. “This is easy, they just have to clean out their closets and the school gets money.”
The event will accept all gently used items including small household items and battery operated toys and electronics, working or not, he said. Just no TV sets or monitors. Tax receipts will be issued and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the school. Special arrangements can be made for large furniture donations by calling (405) 681-9926.
The class with the most donations brought in will win a Pizza Party.
“Help us keep it out of the landfills and keep our community looking beautiful,” he said. “Feel Great and Donate.”
By Cody Johnson
Have you been craving some good Italian pasta? Do you also want the chance to help out the junior class put on a great prom?
Then come out and support the Newcastle junior class's fundraiser for Prom. They will be holding a spaghetti dinner on Thursday night. Come on out from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the high school cafeteria for a plate full of delicious pasta.
The junior class will also have their parents out to help serve the community along side them. A $5 donation will get you in the door for spaghetti with some traditional sides.