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.
By Cody Johnson
The City of Newcastle held its monthly City Council meeting and Public Works Authority meeting last Monday night at 6 p.m. in the Newcastle Multi-Purpose Center. This is a summary of what was approved, discussed or denied.
Ronald Salsman was presented a plaque in appreciation of 25 years of service to the city. Salsman is officially retiring from his work with the City.
A potential two-year contract for residential poly-cart, recycling, and bulk waste pick-up as well as a two-year contract for commercial solid waste disposal was tabled to be decided at a special meeting in two weeks by the council. Two members believed they needed more time to look at all the options, not just the bottom line cheapest price.
The previous contractor, Republic Services, is asking for a 19 cents increase in their contract with the promise of brand new poly-cart containers for residents. Currently the City has semi-annual bulk pick-up, however they have the option to change to monthly or quarterly bulk pick-up.
Several other companies are vying to win the City's bid including: Waste Connection, WCA, and Veterans Waste Solutions. With prices ranging from 80 cents more than Republic’s new bid to $1.35 more, the other companies bidding for the City’s waste contract have different services to offer.
Veterans Waste Solutions promises to move their corporate headquarters to Newcastle and provide weekly bulk pickup with back loading trucks.
With manual back loading trucks there is less trash that misses the truck and falls to curbside, as is the case with side loading automated trucks, Veterans Waste Solutions representative said. They are the only company bidding for the waste contract that offers back loading trucks. Mayor Karl Nail commented that they have not seen side-loading trucks as a big problem for the City in years past.
WCA promised to provide a quarterly bulk pick-up and an additional on-call bulk pick-up program for residents needing their bulk picked up in between the quarterly pick-ups. WCA was the only company to mention providing curbside recycling to the residents of Newcastle during their presentation.
Waste Connections is a national company that already services other towns similar in size to Newcastle. They promised to provide monthly bulk pick-up and quality service.
Assistant City Manager Kevin Self said City Hall's recommendation is that the City Council renews their contract with Republic.
The City Council also passed Ordinance No. 712 allowing Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, Inc. to install and operate systems within the city of Newcastle.
The Newcastle Youth Council approached the City about buying and maintaining the recreational complex property located on State Highway 130 as well as purchasing more acreage to expand the Parks, Recreation and Beautification Board. The city council approved a motion to begin negotiations between City Manager Nick Nazar and the Newcastle Youth Council.
The City will begin to advertise for bids for a traffic study at the intersection of State Highway 37 and Country Club Road. A traffic light is not needed right now, however the study will find out how soon the traffic light will be needed due to traffic growth.
The Chamber of Commerce Director Janette Lore was given a pay increase to compensate for an increase in the cost of living. Her salary is paid for half by the Chamber and half by the City. She was granted a three percent increase on the City’s half of her salary.
Sharon Ferguson is set to retire from being the City's Treasurer by the end of the year, although she said she would stay around to help the City in her retirement. The Council approved the City to begin advertising for the position.
In the closing comments, the Council discussed reworking the budget or finding additional funds to build a new fire station. Nothing was decided except to put the issue on a future agenda.
By Darla Welchel
Are you the type of person who jumps in whenever a need arises? Do you have the desire to help out your neighbors or community in an emergency?
Have you ever considered joining the Newcastle Community Emergency Response Team – or CERT for short? Then now is the time to get involved.
The City of Newcastle will be holding a CERT training course over three consecutive Saturdays in September, said Emergency Manager Jon Tankersley. On Sept. 13, 20 and 27, citizens looking to become part of the Newcastle CERT team can receive training free of charge. Classes start at 9 a.m. and last until 5 p.m. each Saturday except the last one, which will end around 1 p.m.
Space is limited, so people need to register online at the Oklahoma Homeland Security website by Sept. 10, he said. That website is www.ok.gov/homeland/. Click on the Training Calendar at the top center of the page; find Newcastle and select that link.
"We already have eight signed up, but we can take up to 30," Tankersley said. "If they miss the online deadline, we will accept and register them at the first class."
In order to become a certified member of the team, participants must complete all the classes. Some of the topics that will be covered will be:
Introduction, Disaster Awareness
Disaster Fire Safety Techniques
Disaster Medical Operations
Light Search and Rescue Operations
Team Organization and Management
Terrorism and CERT
"Participants can learn how to take care of themselves, their families, their neighbors and their neighborhoods in case of an emergency," Tankersley said. "It is a very good course, free of charge and they will receive approximately $80 worth of equipment when they complete the course."
The class is open to ages 12 years old and up, but a parent or guardian must accompany all minors, he said.
The Oklahoma Department of Homeland Security CERT program was developed because of the need for a well-trained civilian emergency work force. These teams assist the government by responding during disaster situations where the number and scope of incidents have overwhelmed the conventional emergency services.
For more information, contact Jon Tankersley or Johnny Wingate at 387-2922 or visit http://www.ok.gov/homeland/courses/training_event_detail.php?event_id=991