By Darla Welchel
The first ever Racer Dye color run was a huge –colorful – success, said race organizer RaeAnn Thomas.
"I would like to say that I was overwhelmed with the community support and enthusiasm that we had for this event," Thomas said.
Around 300 runners, walkers and scooter riders and over 200 volunteers and supporters filled the Newcastle Middle School parking lot last Saturday morning before 8:30 a.m. for the 5K race.
Not your typical marathon, this one was all about the fun. Even before the runners lined up for the start, they were showering each other with colored powder in every color of the rainbow. Each runner received a t-shirt, sunglasses and packets of harmless hippie powder to help them enjoy the day.
Prior to the start of the 3-mile run – although some chose to cut some time off their run with a detour – the runners participated in one big Color Bomb where they drenched each other in pink, orange, red, green and purple powder, Thomas said.
As the runners made the loop from the middle school west to Wright Street, up Fox Lane and back to Walker Ave., the volunteers at the Color Stations bombarded the runners with even more color, she said. By the time a runner completed the circuit, the hippie powder was really sticking to their sweat-soaked clothes.
"We had a ton of volunteers including most of my staff at Physical Therapy Central, the Newcastle Public Library, the Newcastle wrestlers along with Coach Hale and several other businesses. We had incredible support from our Corporate Sponsors and the City of Newcastle and couldn't have done it without them," she said.
Crossing the finish line, the runners were met by a host of people enjoying the race, as well as the fun music and DJ provided by the Newcastle Casino, Thomas said.
"I love this event as it is a way to not only get people involved and bring awareness to the great city of Newcastle, but it also allows us to promote health and wellness in a fun and exciting way. I am passionate about health and wellness education, particularly to our young people, and what better way to do that than to lead by example. If they see us and their parents and friends being active and having fun doing it, they will follow suit," she said.
The organizers are already planning next year's Racer Dye 2015 and will build on the success of this year's event, Thomas said.
"We want more runners, more vendors and sponsors, and more fun things to do surrounding this event. It looked like everyone was having such a great time they didn't want to leave," she said. "I had an incredible time planning the event over the last six months with Jeannette Lore, who has brought an incredible energy to our community!"
By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle Fire Department held their third annual Firehouse Santa clay target shooting competition last Friday at Quail Ridge Sporting Complex.
The event was a huge success with 15 teams making up 60 shooters from surrounding businesses and fire departments.
"I think it was really successful today. We had five more teams than we have ever had before," NFD Captain Andy Campbell said.
Lieutenant Tony Samaniego said they moved it a little earlier in the year compared to their date last year. Last year it was cold in the morning and then got nice around the time everyone was finishing up. He thinks it worked out better this year with the warmer weather.
The courses were in a wooded area off the beaten path. As the trail made its way through the trees, clearings on each side would appear. Twenty yards wide and seventy-five yards long, each course had a wooden platform for the shooter to stand on, as an automatic target thrower would send clay sailing through the air at different angles and distances.
Each person was chanced with 100 clay targets to shoot at and teams were made up of four people at each station.
By 1 p.m., teams made their way back to the pavilion next to the main office. Ted's had provided lunch for everyone in the tournament and trophies were stacked on a table. Some prizes included a Mossberg shotgun, Yeti cooler and a night’s stay at Riverwind Hotel.
The shooters began to eat and waited for the results to be announced.
As expected they embarrassed the person with the lowest score first, but his shame shall remain hidden to those in attendance at the tournament.
"And the top shooter award goes to... Allen Moore with a score of 87 out of 100," Lieutenant Tony Samaniego announced.
Moore shot his way ahead of Randy Harnsberger by one target and was four targets ahead of third place finisher Gage Billeg. It was no surprise Moore’s team made up of Justin Rowe, Cody Hames, and Derald McConnell won the top team award with 275 combined targets shot.
This tournament was not only for males though, the top female team award went to Jessie Campbell, Anjuli Smith, Veronika Walters and Robyn Taylor for 171 combined targets shot.
"This is the third year for the skeet shoot the two previous, we have had 10 teams and between 5 to 8 lane sponsors. Next year our goal is 20 teams and 15 lane sponsors," Campbell said. "I really want to thank this year’s tournament sponsors: First National Bank, Ardor Solutions, Horn Equipment, Thru Tubing, Riverwind Hotel, Community Bank, Waste Connections, Wal-mart, Smoking and Tri-City trophies among others who have donated so much."
All the proceeds from the tournament go to supplement the Newcastle Public Schools Angel Trees. Any leftover children off the Angel Trees after the students choose their Angel are then taken by the NFD, he said. The money from Firehouse Santa is then divided and given to the Angel Tree children's families.
By Darla Welchel
The town of Newcastle lost one of its oldest citizens last week. Paulene Ida (Bass) Harryman passed away on Thursday, September 18 at the age of 101.
Although I did not know her as well as many others in our community, I will never forget this indomitable lady.
I was working on the history book for Newcastle, and everyone I spoke with said, you need to interview Ms. Paulene, she’s been here a long time.
When I met Paulene Harryman, she was already 93; she was born August 2, 1913. But I did not find a frail old woman; I found a plucky lively spirit, who was still mowing her own lawn – with a push mower!
Paulene wasn't just an older Newcastle resident; she had lived here almost her entire life. She witnessed more than most as she watched her hometown grow, struggle and succeed. She moved to Newcastle in 1921 with her family – parents Cora and Clarence Bass and siblings Viola, Ernest and Clell – in the back of her father's Model T.
Paulene attended primary school at Old Newcastle School and after a short time, her teacher, Jessie Barefoot, realized that she needed to move at a faster pace. She soon completed three grade levels. She told me that it wasn’t because she was "that smart," it was that she learned while her mother taught her older brothers. I personally think she was "that smart."
She graduated in 1931 as the class Valedictorian and soon after leaving high school she married her sweetheart, Vencil Harryman on October 10, 1932 in Oklahoma City. City life wasn't for Ms. Paulene and they soon moved back to her beloved Newcastle.
She was first and foremost a homemaker and raised her family in this town, but she also worked along side her husband first in farming and then in the Harryman Insurance Agency.
Although Paulene was involved in many community activities, such as a supporter of the Newcastle FFA, what she was most passionate about was her church, Newcastle First Baptist Church, which she was a member for 89 years.
The reason I wanted to talk to this sweet lady about the history of Newcastle was because, in a town where written records were few and far between, Paulene's passion for journaling and keeping records was invaluable. She had scrapbooks of old photos and news clippings dating back to the mid-1920s.
Because of time constraints, I was not able to pour over this treasure trove of information, but I hope that someday I might be delve into the records about the town Paulene loved. She was a force to be reckoned with and this town will feel her passing.
To read more about this amazing woman and pillar of our community, please read her obituary and a tribute written by her pastor, Jeremy Freeman in the Newcastle Pacer hardcopy.
By Darla Welchel
You won't want to miss the chance to Blast the Boomers during the 2014 Newcastle Homecoming Parade on Oct. 3.
This year's event is sponsored by the City of Newcastle in partnership with the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, said Chamber President Jeannette Lore. Lineup begins at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Newcastle Library on Veterans Parkway, with the parade starting at 1:30 p.m., rain or shine.
The parade will run north on Veterans Parkway, east on NW 14th to Main Street and travel south to the high school.
All participants must adhere to this year's theme - Blast the Boomers and need to check-in with the parade coordinators on time; late arrivals will be placed at the back of the line, Lore said.
This year, for safety reasons, parade entrants may only pass out candy on the west side of the floats and vehicles. An adult must supervise all children under the age of 18 at all times during the parade, she said.
Immediately following the parade, the Newcastle student council will be hosting its annual carnival. To date, there is no information on this yearly fun activity.
For a complete list of rules and a copy of the parade route, contact Lore at 387-3232.
By Darla Welchel
In order to make the Racer Dye 2014 more fun and safe, organizers have changed the route for the first ever 5K-color run.
The new route will begin at the Newcastle Middle School at 611 E. Fox Lane and stay east of Main Street, said Chamber President Jeannette Lore. Originally the run was to begin at Veterans Park and run south up US 62.
Also new are two options for runners, she said.
"Everyone will start in the parking lot of the middle school," Lore said. "They will travel west down 2nd street, go south on Wright and then east on Fox lane. When they get to Walker they can decide to be a true athlete and do the three-mile to Portland or turn north and do the two-mile option."
Lore said the three-milers wouldn't miss any of the color fun if they decide to complete the 5K challenge. There are multiple color stations where volunteers will "shower" runners with the special Hippie Powder – a non-toxic, food grade colored cornstarch. Also, the chamber has procured 1,200 color packets to hand out to the runners.
"At the start, everyone will have color packets, and we will do one giant color bomb," she said. "The runners will also be given individual color packets, so they can bomb the other runners, their friends and just have a lot of fun."
If you haven't signed up to run in this year's Racer Dye 2014, it is not too late, The event is being held this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., with early packet pickup still taking place from 4-7 p.m. at the Newcastle Community Center.
For more information contact Jeannette Lore at 387-3232 or the Racer Dye Color Run/Walk Facebook page.
By Darla Welchel
Two students in the Newcastle 4-H club brought home the gold during the Oklahoma 4-H Dog Show at the State Fair this past week.
Senior Jackie Elliott and freshman Taylor Elliott both represented their 4-H club during the dog show, and both girls and their dogs came away with top honors, said 4-H leader Tammy Elliott.
Jackie, age 17, showed her English Pointer, Stone, and her younger sister Taylor, age 14, showed Oliver a black Labradoodle. Jackie and Stone won gold medals in Showmanship and Rally, and Taylor and Oliver brought home a gold in Showmanship and a bronze in Obedience.
"Competing in 4-H is a really unique experience," Jackie Elliott said. "When I show my dog, winning is great, and it gives that 'Yes. Look at this, look what I've accomplished,' feeling. But failure isn't a set back, because when you are part of the 4-H family, everyone is pushing and striving for the same thing: to make the best better. So you may fail this time, but you can take that experience and use it to advance yourself next time, and you know that your 4-H family is going to be there encouraging you the entire time."
Both girls attend Newcastle High School and are active members in the Newcastle 4-H Club. Jackie is the 4-H State Recreation Leader. They are also involved in the McClain County club, ASAP – Amazing Small Animal Projects, which meets in Newcastle.
On Sept. 21, Jackie and Stone started volunteering at the Newcastle Library as part of the Read to Therapy Dogs program. Stone recently was certified as a therapy dog.
"It is an amazing program that we are lucky enough to have here at our Newcastle Library where kids come and read to the dog," Tammy Elliot said. "Thanks to Jackie's work with Stone as her 4-H dog project, they are now certified and qualify to take part in the program."
Both girls will take their four-legged, tail wagging projects to compete at the Tulsa Fair on Oct. 5.
By Cody Johnson
A 33-year-old former Newcastle teacher and assistant football coach turned himself into authorities Tuesday morning after a warrant was issued in McClain County for his arrest.
Jared Feroli is facing felony sexual battery charges after he was accused of touching a former female student 16 years or older in a lewd and sexual way according to court papers filed last Friday.
Authorities said the incident occurred December 13, 2013 and was reported by two school custodians, according to court papers. Court papers say the custodians happened upon Feroli's room after school hours when they noticed the door was locked and the lights off. After the custodians unlocked the door, Feroli came from the back of the classroom and blocked the entrance. They said a female student was the only person present with Feroli in the classroom.
The female student told investigators "she put a book away in Jared's closet and when she turned around Jared was there and they started making out," according to court papers.
Feroli is set to appear in court for the first time on Friday. He is out on $5,000 bond. He resigned from Newcastle Public Schools on May 31.
In civil court, the girl's family is suing Feroli and Newcastle School District for $10,000 or more according to court documents.
By Darla Welchel
By the time fall rolls around, most people put severe weather season out of their minds.
However, now is the time to get prepared for next storm season's fury. From noon to 5 p.m. on October 11, Newcastle Emergency Management will conduct an Emergency Preparedness Expo and Blood Drive. This free event will take place at the Newcastle Storm Shelter at 851 N. Carr.
Everyone is invited to come listen to experts as they demonstrate how each person can be prepared in the event of another community disaster like the tornadoes that have struck Newcastle on three separate occasions in the last 15 years, said Assistant Emergency Manager Johnny Wingate.
"We welcome our industry leaders here to show you what you can do to prepare your family for emergencies," he said.
The Newcastle Emergency Management will partner with the Oklahoma Blood Institute to host a blood drive from 12-4 p.m. during the expo.
"Every two seconds, someone needs blood, yet less than ten percent of those eligible to give blood do it," according to the OBI. "Blood donors with Oklahoma Blood Institute know they are, literally, saving the lives of their friends, family and co-workers, some who may have no idea they will need blood in an urgent situation. One blood donation can save up to three peoples' lives."
Other contributors to the Emergency Preparedness Expo include the National Weather Service, Oklahoma Forestry, the Medical Reserve Corp and OK-Strong, Wingate said. Also, attendees can learn how to join Newcastle's Community Emergency Response Team.
The Emergency Management will be giving out free smoke detectors for Newcastle homeowners, and everyone in attendance can enter in a drawing for a chance to win an Emergency Preparedness Kit Go Bag, he said.
For more information contact Johnny Wingate at 387-2922 or at City Hall at 387-4427.
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.