Friday, 30 January 2015 22:46

Rance Lee Woodall obituary

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 Rance Lee Woodall

 July 3, 1964-----January 27, 2015       

Rance Lee Woodall went to his heavenly home, on January 27th, 2015. Rance was born to Leroy and Linda Woodall on July 3, 1964, at Carswell Air Force Base, in Ft. Worth, Texas.  In 1965 they moved back to Oklahoma City. The family moved to Newcastle, Oklahoma in 1972.  Rance attended Newcastle School from 3rd grade, thru graduation in 1982.  In high school, he participated in sports and Honor Choir.  He went on to get his Associates degree in Aeronautical Science at Emery Aviation College in Greeley, Colorado. He became a pilot and loved flying.  Rance obtained His CFII license and became an instructor and returned to Oklahoma where he was very active in flying and teaching aeronautics.  He was very disappointed, when medical problems kept him from flying any longer. Rance was born an Air Force Brat, and was very patriotic, he loved the United States of America. These last four years, he  has fought a long and courageous battle with heart disease and diabetes. 

Rance loved snow skiing, water skiing, race cars, computers, and history, but most of all he loved being with his family. He was saved in 1974 at Vacation Bible School and enjoyed growing up in the church and especially going to Falls Creek.  He was a member at Woodland Hills Baptist Church.

Rance was preceded in death by his Grandparents and his sister, Mitzi Woodall, whom he loved very much.  He is survived by his parents, Linda and Leroy Woodall of Newcastle, OK. and a daughter, Alex of Bartlesville, OK. whom he adored, and lovingly called “Sweetpea”, one aunt, Barbara Stone of Oklahoma City, a special cousin, Daren Shepherd, many other cousins, family members and friends.  

Memorial services will be held at Newcastle First Baptist Church at 11:00 AM on February 2nd.  

Officiated  by  Mike Shelton, Worship Pastor at  Woodland Hills Baptist Church.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015 20:42

FSF receive warm gift from local girl scouts

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By Darla Welchel
Managing Editor

During the Friends of the Shelter Foundation volunteer meeting held last Friday at the Newcastle Shelter, special guests donated some very warm blankets for rescue animals.

A local Girl Scout troop, led by Drenda Bigham, made and donated several fleece blankets to FSF and the Newcastle Animal Shelter as a community service project.

“We want to give a special thanks to the Newcastle Girl Scouts, Troop 194 for their generous donation of hand-made blankets to our rescue,” said FSF president Farah Payton-Snider. “It’s always wonderful to see giving at such a young age, and they were so proud to do it.”

Also, the Puppy Food Donation Drive is still in full swing. The FSF is seeking food donations to help with the abundance of rescue puppies at the Newcastle Animal Shelter.

“We currently have two litters of puppies in the rescue,” she said. “The Newcastle shelter also needs dog food, as well as tarps. We can accept donations on their behalf as well, or you can take them directly to the shelter at 717 N. Walker.”

Donations can be dropped off on weekdays at Main Street Florist now located at 524 N. Main Street in Newcastle from 10 a.m. to noon or 4-5 p.m., Payton-Snider said.

The FSF welcomes anyone interested in becoming a volunteer of the rescue organization. For more information about becoming a volunteer or to donate puppy food, contact Payton-Snider at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Wednesday, 28 January 2015 20:20

Candidates vie for school board seat

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By Darla Welchel
Managing Editor

Two candidates have put their names on the ballot to run for a seat on the Newcastle School Board.

Longtime school board member Dawayne Smith has decided to step down opening the door for some new blood on the board.

Newcastle Residents John Maker and Dayton Craig have both filed with the McClain County Election Board and absentee ballots have already been mailed out for the February 10 election.

About John Maker

Maker has made his home in Newcastle for the past 13 years with his wife Kriston and his three children.

“Our oldest daughter Madeline graduated from Newcastle High School in 2014. Our son Grayson is in the 11th grade and Meredith, our youngest daughter, is in the eighth grade,” Maker said. “They are excellent students and are involved in many activities having benefited from the exceptional staff, previous school boards and community support.”

Both Maker and his wife have been involved in many activities and organizations in Newcastle including: little league coach, scout leader and booster parents for the Racer Band and Soccer team, he said.

His motivation for running for school board stems directly from his children’s education, his pride in the community and concerns for decisions being made.

“Our school will continue facing difficult challenges as the Newcastle community grows,” Maker said. “I believe the upcoming issues with capital improvement and operational expenses require careful consideration. Fiscal management, quality of education, and facility planning are my highest priorities.”

Maker said he looks forward to working with all of the educators and staff at Newcastle.  

“If elected, it will be important to remain active in  the community during my tenure on the school board. This will ensure the ideas and opinions of students, parents and residents are included in my decision making process.”

He is a licensed aviation professional who owns his own business, Compass Aviation Group, on Main Street. He has experience in working with major airlines, banks, leasing companies and aircraft manufactures, Maker said.

“As a businessman, I’m continuously finding creative solutions to complex problems and implementing projects in the most cost effective way possible,” he said.  “I understand what it takes to conduct detailed analysis in order to make informed decisions.  I would apply that knowledge to analyze any project or problems facing the school board.”

Maker concluded that he is committed to working collaboratively with the other school board members and staff, as well as listening to stakeholders.

“I am certain that we can provide an exceptional education for our students while still managing to control costs.  This will allow us to maintain Newcastle as a desirable place to live and work that we can all be proud of,” he said.

Check back next week for coverage of Dayton Craig

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 20:09

Gaming Center begins large building project

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By Darla Welchel
Managing Editor

Many may have wondered what is going on behind the Newcastle Gaming Center.

Large earth movers, construction fences and loads of laborers have been spotted working behind the casino owned by the Chickasaw Nation.
According to City Manager Nick Nazar, the gaming center will be adding square footage on to the back of its facility, and construction will soon begin on a new five-story parking garage to the north of the parking lot.

“When it is completed, it will be the tallest building in Newcastle,” Nazar said.

In addition, the casino will be finished with a concrete façade like stucco or Drive-it, he said. There are no plans to change the exterior look of the existing buildings.

“We’re working with them to change the frontage façade to make it look nicer when you come into town,” Nazar said. “It is our understanding that part of the project involves extensive landscaping. They will work with us to improve the appearance of their facility.”

The foundation of the parking garage has been dug, but there is no estimate as to the completion date of the project, he said.

As to the talk of the Nation putting in a truck stop on the northwest corner of NW 24th street, Nazar said the only information the city has is that the Chickasaw Nation has made application to purchase fill dirt.

The Nation will need a large amount of dirt to prepare the spot chosen for the propose truck stop.

“They  will  need a temporary permit to excavate that large of an amount of dirt,” he said. “They won’t have to apply for a permit to build [on the site] from the city because they are building on Trust Land.”


Wednesday, 28 January 2015 19:18

Haley Michelle Rader to wed Bryce Don Ward

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Steve and Linda Rader of Canadian, TX, are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Haley Michelle Rader, to Bryce Don Ward of Oklahoma City, OK, son of Ronnie and Sue Ward of Newcastle, OK.

Grandparents of the bride-elect are Don and Esther Rader of Canadian and the late Hillmer and Lottie Koch of Lipscomb, TX.  Grandparents of the prospective groom are the late Jody Ward and Virginia Ward Howard of Seiling, OK, and Calvin and Alvena Barney, also of Seiling.

The bride-elect is a 2009 graduate of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. She is also a 2012 University of Oklahoma College of Law graduate. She is employed at the Lemon, Shearer, Phillips and Good law firm with offices in Booker, Canadian and Perryton, TX.

The prospective groom is a 2004 graduate of Oklahoma State University. He recently left a ten year career at Chesapeake Energy to form his own oil and gas brokerage firm, Forward Land, in Oklahoma City.

The couple plans to wed June 13 in Canadian, TX.         

Monday, 26 January 2015 22:41

William Lee obituary

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William J. Lee age 85, of Newcastle went home to be with his Lord on Friday, January 23, 2015 in Oklahoma City. He was born April 14, 1929 in Blanchard, OK. He was the 3rd child of nine children born to Robert Boyd Lee and Mary (Bacon) Lee. William grew up and attended school in the Dibble community. As a farm boy he learned the value of hard work and he kept that same work ethic throughout his life. As a young man he learned the welding trade which later became his lifelong career. For many years he worked in oil field related businesses, welding oil field equipment. He then worked over 30 years as a maintenance and repair welder for American Trailers and City Trailers.

         William married the love of his life, Martha Chapman on Oct. 10, 1953. They made their first home in OKC before moving to Newcastle in 1957. Together they raised two children, Roger and Saundra.

         William was a faithful Christian and member of the Newcastle First Baptist Church for over 50 years. For many years he served as a Deacon, he taught Sunday School and sang in the church choir. On his own he started a jail ministry, preaching and singing at the OKC Jail and the McClain Co. Jail. He also ministered at the OKC Rescue Mission for nearly 20 years.

         Throughout his life William enjoyed raising, riding and training horses. He also enjoyed growing a garden, doing yard work, playing his guitar and reading his Bible.   He will be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was a special brother and a great friend to all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by:

Parents,               Boyd and Mary Lee;

Brother,               Joe Lee;

Sister,                  Ana Mae Duncan, Bonnie Lee and Wynona Weeks;

Infant daughter,              Carol Jean Lee;

He is survived by:

Wife,                   Martha Lee of Newcastle;

Son,                     Roger Lee and wife Ellen of OKC;

Daughter,             Saundra Stone of Newcastle;

Two brothers,         Bruce Lee and wife Eunice of Alex,

                           Roy Lee and wife Mary of Lexington;

Two sisters,         Hazel Wright and husband Jim of Texas,

                           Shay Williams of Noble;

Three grandchildren,       Jared Stone and wife Julia of Blanchard,

                                    Renee Lee of Moore, and Kelsey Lee of OKC;

Three great grandchildren,                Allie, Autumn and Sadie.

Many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends

Funeral services will be 1:00 P.M. Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 at the First Baptist Church in Newcastle. Interment will be at the Blanchard Cemetery. Arrangements are with Wilson-Little Funeral Home in Newcastle. Send online condolences


Friday, 23 January 2015 18:54

Tiger safari denies allegations by HSUS

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By Darla Welchel
Managing Editor

A report and video released by the Humane Society of the United States shows Tri-City’s interactive zoological attraction, Tiger Safari in a dark light.
Owner Bill Meadows claims the allegations are bogus.

The video stems from an investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

In a personal blog, CEO of HSUS Wayne Pacelle says, Tiger Safari and another zoo –  the Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia – breed tigers for “two-bit photo shoots with paying customers.”

“Both these roadside zoos breed tiger cubs for the spring and summer seasons to attract members of the public who want their photo taken with a tiger cub. It’s a lucrative business, and people pay fees ranging from $50 to $1,000 for these photo shoots. Tired, overheated, thirsty, hungry or sick cubs are expected to sit still for a parade of paying customers - and are often physically disciplined to ensure that they do so. Our exclusive undercover video provides a glimpse of the suffering the cubs endure, and the entirely unnatural torment they endure day after day,” Pacelle said.

HSUS claims abuse

The Senior Director of Investigation for HSUS, Mary Beth Sweetland spoke with The Pacer Friday morning. She said an undercover investigator, employed by the HSUS worked at Tiger Safari for a total of 63 days beginning May 21. The unnamed investigator arrived two or three days before the white tiger cub, Maximus, turned three-weeks old.

HSUS reports claim that the baby tiger was taken away from his mother and immediately exposed to the public and used for photo shoots, Sweetland said.

“During one session, a little boy was sitting on the couch with his siblings holding the tiger. Maximus was pacing and crying,” she said. The little boy asked where’s his mommy, and the investigator replied she’s outside in a cage. Then the little boy asked is he going to get to go back to her? Out of the mouths of babes . . .

A yellow tiger named, Sarabia was also at the center of the investigation according to Sweetland.

She said Meadows picked up the female tiger from a breeder in Florida.

According to Sweetland, Meadows was told by Dr. Kevin Antle a veterinarian, that Sarabia had ringworms and should be quarantined.

However, according to HSUS, Meadows allowed 27 people to handle the tiger on July 27, and 100 people came in contact with the tiger before the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) arrived on September 11 on complaints that Tiger Safari was using sick tigers, she said.

The USDA told [Meadows] to quarantine both tigers because they were both infected, Sweetland said.

 “Our investigator said they were put in a dark room that was full of junk,” she said. “At one point, a Melissa told the employee to at least leave the light on during daylight hours, but Bill wouldn’t allow it.”

Sweetland said it was not the HSUS that notified the USDA and speculates it was another employee or a patron.

Tiger Safari speaks out

Meadows spoke to the Newcastle Pacer Thursday afternoon and denied claims of any wrong doing claiming this investigation was a smokescreen to take the spotlight off Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s case against the HSUS.

In the wake of the May 2013 tornadoes, AG Pruitt issued a consumer alert, warning that the Humane Society of the United States is under investigation for deceiving Oklahomans into donating to them under false pretenses.

Meadows claims the HSUS was looking for a “scapegoat” to take the heat off Pruitt’s investigation. When asked why HSUS came after Tiger Safari,

Meadows claims it was because he is not afraid to let people take photos at his park.

“I’m laid back and don’t worry about cameras; I trust people,” he said.

Pacelle claimed specific areas of abuse in his blog, “At the Oklahoma-based Tiger Safari, a white tiger cub named Maximus was dragged, punched, choked, slapped and deprived of proper food and nutrition that is essential for a carnivore of his age.”

Meadows claimed he has been training tigers for 25 years, and how he trains tigers to not bite is by “popping them on the top of the nose, saying ‘no bite’.” He said he never punched or deprived food as a training method. He also said that all his animals are well fed and that his park is beautiful, clean and well kept.

Meadows also claimed the tiger, Maximus, who was born at Tiger Safari, was removed and fed by hand because the mother “didn’t show any interest in him.”

“Animal parents are like real parents, you get some good ones and some not so good,” Meadows said  from an earlier interview. “This is one of only 25 white tigers bred in captivity.”

In conclusion

The HSUS filed complaints with the USDA against Tiger Safari and Natural Bridge Zoo in 2014 requesting that both attractions be shut down.

“Our investigator had to sign an affidavit as to the accuracy of the complaint we filed [against Tiger Safari], so that shows how willing we are to support what we are saying,” Sweetland concluded.

To read more of Pacelle’s blog or watch the entire video visit

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 21:22

January Senior Spotlight

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By Darla Welchel
Managing Editor

Darlene Faires may have spent the middle of her life in that “other” state to our south, but she considers Oklahoma her home.

Faires was chosen as the Newcastle Senior Center’s January Senior of the Month.

She was born and raised in western Oklahoma near Arnett, but graduated from Enid High School. Her parents moved to the Bridge Creek area after she graduated, and Faires soon found herself at business school.

However, after she met and married her husband Frank the couple soon moved back to his home state of Texas. He was in the Army but was stationed at Tinker. They raised their family in Orange, Texas.

Faires had lots of family in Bridge Creek and Newcastle, which brought them back to Oklahoma quite often. Seven years ago, Darlene and Frank moved back to Bridge Creek where they live by her sister and brother-in-law Roberta and Otto Morse.  

“I consider myself an Oklahoman,” Faires said. “But he considers himself a Texan.”

Frank may be a Texan, but it was his idea to move back to Oklahoma, she said. The one thing she does like about Oklahoma over southeast Texas is that Oklahoma has four distinct seasons.

“It was hot and humid [where we lived], and we traveled a lot, so we decided to come back,” Faires said. “My sister said, ‘you left Texas to get away from hurricanes’ and I said, ‘Roberta, I sure wouldn’t move to Tornado Alley if I was running away from hurricanes’.”

They have been visiting the Senior Center going on seven years, enjoying the lunches and the friends. They are also members of Newcastle First Baptist Church and attend Senior Faith and Fitness two times a week, Faires said.

The couple used to travel a lot, RV’ing around the United States in their motor home, she said. In fact, they have visited 49 of the states by vehicle, but they flew to Hawaii. They have since sold the motor home and now only take shorter trips by car.

“Whatever’s over the next hill,” Faires said about her next trip. “Its not the destination, it’s the fun of getting there.”
The Faires have one daughter, Jeri Beard, a son-in-law, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild who lives in Vinton, Louisiana.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 21:17

Chamber excels in helping its business members

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By Darla Welchel
Managing Editor

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce recently announced five new Business Education Workshops to benefit its members.

Although the first class, Excel for Business, took place on Jan. 20, there is time to get involved in next month’s class.

The workshops, which are presented by Mid-America Technology Center, were selected based on member’s recommendations, said Chamber President Jeannette Lore.

The remaining classes are:

•Windows 8
•Small Business Accounting Basics
•Effective Website Design
•Intro to QuickBooks 2013

There will be one workshop per month, which began January 20 and will run until May, and each will be held at the Newcastle Storm Shelter located at 851 North Carr, she said.

The registration fee is $20 for Newcastle Chamber members and $25 for non-members. Members can register online to reserve their spot at

The times and dates for the remaining four workshops are as follows:

Windows 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 17
Accounting Basics, 5-9 p.m. on March 24
Website Design, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 21
QuickBooks, 5-9 p.m. on May 19

For more information about these workshop contact the Chamber at 387-3232 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 21:13

It is never too early to plan ahead

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By Kevin Self
Assistant City Manager

Spring is just around the corner; the season that causes people to start thinking about planting gardens, flowers, mowing lawns, and fishing if time permits. But as all of us know, springtime in Oklahoma is often a season of tumultuous storms as well.

Newcastle residents have experienced some of the most violent storms in Oklahoma during the past few years. On May 24, 2011 and May 20, 2013, tornados cut paths through Newcastle leaving several houses and businesses severely damaged or destroyed. Thankfully, only one injury occurred amidst the destruction. This is due in part to preparing before the storm and having a safety plan in place.

Now is the time to start thinking about a safety plan and getting prepared for the spring storm season.

If you do not have a storm shelter, where will you go in the event of a tornado? Does your neighbor have a shelter in which you can take refuge? Are you prepared to take shelter inside your home?

Do you have a 72-hour preparedness kit should you become displaced from your home? Are you registered with the City of Newcastle’s Blackboard Connect system?

These are just a few questions to consider before a storm. Newcastle Emergency Management will be offering suggestions and tips over the next several weeks as the spring storm season approaches. However, please feel free to call us at 387-2922 if you have any questions.

Remember, it is never too early to plan ahead.

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