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By Darla Welchel

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"There is no risk of Ebola to passengers who were on the cruise ship with the Dallas healthcare worker," said the 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 the Dallas Healthcare worker was traveling, Newcastle Schools has 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 the said passenger on the cruise ship remains well and is showing no signs of illness at the time of her voluntary isolation on the ship. The letter goes on to say 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.

Currently, a number of parents held their students out of school because of the current scare, O'Brien said. On Monday, 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 that people are scared, but reminds the public that the risk of exposure to Ebola virus is extremely low, and currently there are no community outbreaks of Ebola in the United States and that 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.

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.

Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.

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 or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and to avoid contact with blood or other body fluids.

Symptoms of Ebola include:

  • Fever
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • 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 is this frightening situation.

For more information on Ebola visit www.cdc.gov.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 21:00

Harvest festivals in the community

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By Darla Welchel
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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.
The organizers are still seeking volunteers to work shifts, and also candy donations would be appreciated. Contact Joanah Salas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to volunteer or donate.
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.   
In addition to the blessings bestowed upon the animals, the Sacrament of Holy Communion will be available for humans. The service will be held outside in the church’s parking lot and on the churchyard. For more information, please visit the church's website newcastleumc.org, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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
•Newcastle Chamber of Commerce hosting "Trick or Treat Newcastle." From 3:30-5:30 p.m., children can don their costumes and hit the streets of Newcastle. Not limited to just Main Street, the event will allow kids to visit various businesses to receive their treats throughout all of Newcastle. "We want to encourage businesses all over Newcastle to participate," Chamber President Jeannette Lore said. Any business that would like to help make Halloween safe and fun for community children can get on the list by emailing the chamber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling the chamber office at 387-3232.
•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.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 20:32

NHS making wishes come true

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By Darla Welchel
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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.
The Past
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.
The Present
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."


Wednesday, 15 October 2014 19:59

The Horse Handler

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By Cody Johnson
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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."


Wednesday, 15 October 2014 19:24

Golden Spotlight - Johnny Files

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By Cody Johnson
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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."


Wednesday, 15 October 2014 19:09

Newcastle Poultry Show

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By Cody Johnson
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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.

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By Darla Welchel
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People usually hate when others play mind games, but not so for Bridge Creek High School.
On Oct. 26 at 5 p.m., the Bridge Creek Academic Team will be on the KSBI show, Mind Games, competing with other local academic teams for cash prizes. Team members for the Bridge Creek team are seniors Darby Bryce, Robert BlueBack and Jenny Corbin with Juniors Morgan Danker and Justin Meyers.
The teams earn cash prizes for their school; $10 a question sponsored by the Choctaw Nation. There is also a single Oklahoma history question worth $250 for each team, sponsored by Ward Petroleum, said team advisor and high school technology teacher Adam Carr.
"Mind Games recruits academic teams at the Oklahoma Academic Coaches Association meetings every September, so I had been hearing about it for a couple of years," Carr said. "Last spring, one of my team members, Morgan Danker, asked if we could do it. Once I knew I had a little buy-in on the part of the team, I knew it was time to push the opportunity forward."
Carr loves to show off his team's prowess at academic bowls, and was looking for a different venue for them to compete.
"I like to find different opportunities for students to show what they are made of. I figure, if I believe in them enough to make the opportunity available to them, they will feel confident to put themselves out there and make a good showing," he said. "I feel like that's my biggest challenge as an educator – to get kids to believe that hard work makes a difference. That confidence is a choice we make, not a feeling that is fleeting, and that the status quo is a construct we have control over."
In order for the team to be chosen for the show, they had to take a "quiz" as one unit, he said. They had to take an online test and answer 24 questions as fast as possible, and the team that got the most questions correct in the shortest amount of time received the highest seed in the tournament.
Filming actually started in September, and the team had to sign a confidentiality agreement not to leak the results before the airdate, Carr said. The filming for the tournament has been completed, but one unfortunate turn of event may keep further shows from airing - KSBI was purchased by Griffin Communications and future shows are in question.
"We were told that no matter what happens with Griffin and KSBI anything that is taped, they intend to air even if they can only air it online," he said. "The big thing [the show] means, is a new and novel experience for students. The second thing it means is students get to see their community supporting them as they assert themselves and take on new challenges. The third thing it means is that any question they get right they now have $10 to spend as a team."
Carr, who has taught at Bridge Creek for 12 years, has coached the academic team for 11 of those years. In addition, he has also coached the robotic team for the past two years.
"I am hoping the Mind Games game show continues; I have some sophomores and freshmen that I would like to take in years to come. I have a very diverse team with lots of really smart kids. As we learn confidence and develop a hunger for competition, my Academic Team shows a lot of potential. When people watch the show, no matter how you want it to go, you will be yelling at the screen, I know I was, it is really a good game," Carr said.


Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:05

NFD gets pumped up to save lives

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By Darla Welchel
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The Newcastle Fire Department recently purchased a new brush pumper truck and have made some serious upgrades from their old model of truck.
The old truck will not go to waste. Despite being 18 years old another department will find use out of it.
The department recently took ownership of a brand new 2014 F 550 brush pumper truck on Sept. 30, said Fire Chief Todd Yates. The vehicle cost $170,000 and was paid for out of county funds. The newest member of the NFD fleet has already been christened BP4 and will replace the old BP4, a 1996 F350.
"We will be donating the old truck to the water department," Yates said. "We are very pleased with the truck; it’s the first time we have gone with a single axle on the back. We will see if it will keep us from getting stuck in the field."
All of the other brush pumper trucks have two axles. This new truck also has 4-wheel drive, and a wench that can be used on the front or the back, he said. The water turret on the front of the truck is operated with a joystick by a firefighter in the cab; in addition, firefighters can use whip water lines from the top.
There is a 300-gallon water tank plus a foam tank, and the newest feature is a bumper water curtain, he said. This uses nozzles positioned behind the bumper in front of the tires.
"The nozzles spray a wide curtain of water to knock down the fire as we go [through a field on fire]," Yates said. "This is the first time [for one of our vehicles] to have this feature."
Brush Pumper 4 made its first public appearance during last Friday’s Homecoming Parade, and it looked very sharp. The NFD is sure it will also look good when saving lives.


Wednesday, 08 October 2014 18:18

Pucker up and help fund education

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By Darla Welchel
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Limeades are a sweet and sour way to cool off when you are hot, it is also a way to help raise money for education.
Voting is now going on for Sonic Drive-In's Limeades for Learning give-away.
Two Newcastle teachers have submitted three projects in which they hope to receive educational funding, according to Sonic ad agency representative Madison LaRoche. Sixth grade reading teacher Blaire Harrison and middle school technology teacher Vickie Crossley have entered in this year’s contest.
Harrison's project Tech It Out is requesting 10 Chromebooks to promote the use of technology in her reading classroom. The cost of this project is $2,989.40.
"We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher's hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world. Please help bring our classroom into the future by donating to our project," she said in her project submittal.
Her second project Look, Look, Look it Up! Asked for actual dictionaries, thesauruses and almanacs to teach her students to look information up in reference books; this project has already been funded for $856.45.
Crossley's project I Didn’t Know That! - Tech Resources for Middle Schoolers is requesting books and reference materials about technology, which she says can be used in numerous ways and have a multitude of uses. Her project cost is $437.06.
"Technology is often confused with the term 'computers'. But technology is about problem solving and improving things. How people use tools to create new things and develop new ideas are better descriptions of technology. I try to reinforce that throughout the school year," Crossley said in her project report.
Limeade for Learning allows people to vote on their favorite project to help local teachers receive funding for educational needs in their classrooms. Go to www.limeadesforlearning.com to find and vote on a project.
You will have to sign in either through your Facebook, twitter or pintrest accounts or you can sign up using your email, LaRoche said. You can vote once a day, but there are other ways to earn more votes like visiting your local Sonic. When you order an item, you will receive a sticker with a special code on it for more votes.
You can also get additional votes for sharing the link on Facebook, twitter, pintrest and through email, she said. And, when you have voted 10 days in a row, you will get extra votes for your favorite teacher's project.
Christi Woodworth, Senior Director of Communications & Community Relations at Sonic Drive-In  said, "As a national brand, SONIC Drive-In is dedicated to supporting our local communities and we are passionate about education. Limeades for Learning is our way to give back to the communities we serve, empowering our guests to vote for their favorite projects and connecting each local drive-in to the public schools in the area."
Sonic has pledged $500,000 for education and have been giving away $100,000 a week since the contest started Sept. 22; the voting and funding will continue through Oct. 26, so there is still plenty of time to get online or visit Sonic to cast your vote.


Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:12

Craft your way through Christmas shopping

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By Darla Welchel
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Fall is a wonderful time of year; the weather is nicer, the smells are wonderful and craft shows start filling up a person's calendar!
Just in time to help with your Christmas shopping, the Craft Fair & Market Bazaar Event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., this Saturday at the Newcastle Fair Barn at 400 N. Main Street.
The semi-annual event premiered this past spring, and since that time, has doubled its amount of vendors, said organizer Mindi Stucks. Admission and parking are free, and you can shop over 40 vendors inside and out.
"Attendees can come enjoy the open atmosphere of the craft show and have lunch as well," Stucks said. "We will have lots of different types of vendors planned for this bazaar event, and Ridgecrest Baptist Mission Team will once again be selling their famous Indian Tacos, as well as cotton candy, hot dogs and more. Ridgecrest will also be doing face painting."
Stucks, who is from Bridge Creek, said she chose Newcastle to host what she plans to be an continuing event because there wasn't anything like this in town.
"The surrounding towns of Blanchard and Tuttle are always having some kind of free craft fair," she said. "I love craft fairs and thought it was time for one to be held at the Newcastle fair barn. So instead of waiting for one to happen, I thought I would get the ball rolling and host one myself and make it an annual event."
When the Craft Fair & Market Bazaar was first premiered last spring, Stucks planned it through a local Bride Creek church.
"Ridgecrest Baptist Church had a fall craft fair last year in Bridge Creek to raise money for mission trips. They still needed to raise more funds, so I decided to find a place in Newcastle to host a spring craft fair in 2014," Stucks said. It was a success with a great turn out of vendors and people.
"The vendors asked if we were going to host any more at this location. I then decided, 'why not have a fall event when the weather cools off'. I started in August planning this event. Ridgecrest is planning to host their own fall craft fair, Sellabration, on November 15," Stucks said.
Some of the booths that people can expect to find at this Saturday's craft event are:
*Boutique gifts like: purses, leggings, jewelry and more.
•Hand crafted items like: home decor, wreaths, hair bows, jewelry, aprons, paper crafts, furniture and repurposed items.
•Product vendors like: Young Living Oils, Jamberry Nails, Zeal and much more.
•Specialty Food items like: baked goods, popcorn and candies.
•Local businesses like: She Said Yes Wedding & Events Coordinating, Paine & Carlin Insurance and Clint Welchel Metro First realtor.
For more information, check out the Facebook fan page www.facebook.com/CraftMarketBazaarNewcastleOk.


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