Community Corner (247)

Thursday, 28 August 2014 19:15

FFA Livestock Show & Cake Auction results

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By Darla Welchel

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Not everyone likes the smell that comes from a mixture of sweet hay, sawdust and animals, but for the students and supporters of the Newcastle FFA Fall Livestock Show and Cake Auction, it is the smell of sweet success.

The event took place last Saturday at the Newcastle Fairbarn and in addition to lots of Blue, Red and Purple ribbons won by FFA students, the cake auction brought in over $6,000 to help support the Ag program, said Ag teacher Brandon Morgan. 

There were countless cakes, pies and other sweet treats entered in the cake auction. Each student submitted two entries and many other supporters donated items as well. 

The sell of the cakes is a much anticipated event for the Newcastle community and many businesses and organizations, such as First National Bank and Trust, Wynne Feed and Seed and First Baptist Church to name a few, add this to their fall calendars every year in support of the program. Many other community members, as well as booster parents also bid on the bakery items. 

Winners of the Cake Show were: Grand Champion Cake, Lainee Lawson and Reserved Champion Cake, Austin Hey.

Up next for the FFA students is the McClain County Fair on Sept. 4-6 in Purcell. 

Show Winners



Grand Champion – Cheyenne Nikodym


Grand Prospect – Sydney Bean

Grand Market – Baylor Bonham

Beef Showmanship – Baylor Bonham



Class I 

1st - Rylie Scott

Class II 

1st - Sydney Bean, 

2nd - Kaytlyn Bean, Sydney Bean

Class III

1st - Sydney Bean

2nd - Kaytlyn Morgan

Grand Champion Doe – Sydney Bean

Reserve Champion Doe – Kaytlyn Bean


Class I 

1st - Lainee Grider

Class II 

1st - Lyanna Grider

Class III 

1st – Nicole Lee

2nd – Dereck Price

3rd – Laycin Grider

4th – Shae Richards

Grand Champion Wether – Nicole Lee

Reserved Champion Wether - Justin Scott

Jr. Goat Showmanship – Sydney Bean

Sr. Goat Showmanship – Nicole Lee



Hamp – Breed Champion, Randall Thompson


Class I

1st – Kaytlyn Bean

Class II

1st – Kaytlyn Bean

Breed Champion – Kaytlyn Bean

Reserve Breed Champion – Kaytlyn Bean

Supreme Gilt – Randall Thompson

Reserve Supreme Gilt – Kaytlyn Bean



Class I

1st - Micayla Murffin

2nd – Kaytlyn Bean

   Class II

1st – Randall Thompson

Class III

1st – Kaytlyn Bean

Breed Champion – Randall Thompson

Reserve Breed Champion – Micayla Murffin


Class I

1st – Baylor Bonham

2nd – Micayla Murffin

Class II

1st Randall Thompson

Class III

1st Randall Thompson 

Cross Breed Champion – Randall Thompson

Cross Reserve Breed Champion – Randall Thompson

Grand Champion Barrow – Randall Thompson

Reserve Champion Barrow – Randall Thompson

Jr. Swine Showmanship – Baylor Bonham

Sr. Swine Showmanship – Randall Thompson

Herdsman’s Award – Joshua Miner


Grand Champion – Taylor Elliot, Holland Lop


Grand Champion – Abby Owens, White Leggern hen

Reserve Grand Champion – Wyatt Nikodym, Black Silky hen


Thursday, 28 August 2014 18:51

NFD "shooting" for a happy Christmas

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By Darla Welchel

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There are only 118 days, eight hours and 25 minutes left until Christmas.

Every child has this countdown embedded into his or her brain as they anxiously await the day filled with fun, family and most of all, presents.

Unfortunately, not all children have as much to look forward to as the Holly Jolly season approaches. Although Oklahoma's unemployment rate is lower than year’s past, some families still find it difficult to make ends meet, let alone have enough money for extras like holiday gifts.

This growing trend is why the firefighters and officers of the Newcastle Fire Department are so passionate about their Fire House Santa program, said Lieutenant Tony Samaniego with the NFD. 

The philanthropic endeavor began four years ago to help provide children with a happy Christmas, he said. The NFD teamed up with the Angel Tree Project and other corporate sponsors and played Santa to 100 Newcastle school children last year complete with a huge Christmas party with pizza, inflatables, craft activities and of course Santa handing out gifts. 

In order to fund the Fire House Santa program, the NFD have held a Sporting Clay Tournament for the last two years, Samaniego said. This year's tournament is right around the corner - albeit sooner than Christmas itself. It will start at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 26 at the Quail Ridge Sporting Clays locate at 2401 S. McCloud Rd, Okla. City. Registration begins at 9 a.m.

The department is still seeking sponsors for this unique event, he said. Corporate Lane Sponsors run $800 and include signage at the lane with additional signs up around the shooting range to promote the business. There are 10 lanes set aside for the morning's event.

First National Bank and Trust is the only Major Corporate Lane Sponsor, Samaniego said, but the fire department wouldn't turn down other interested parties. This lane sponsorship is $1,500, and businesses are given "extra special attention." 

In addition, individual community members give donations to help make the Fire House Santa program a huge success, he said. 

The cost for shooters for the day's event is $100 for individual shooters or $350 for a four-man team – each shooter receives 100 clays, Samaniego said. Last year, the tournament saw nine teams supporting the Christmas event, so far this year, there are already 14 teams signed up.

But it is not too late to join the fun and help give a child a huge smile on Christmas, he said. Anyone interested in sponsoring should contact Andy Campbell at 405-227-5467, Aaron Bunch at 201-5407 or Samaniego at 802-1757. 

 Those who would like to join in the shooting at the Sporting Clay Tournament, can pre-register on the NFD Firehouse Santa Facebook page or just show up the day of the event. 


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Many of The Newcastle Pacer's readers have noticed a bit of change in the past couple months, to not only the staff of The Pacer, but also the look.

Clarence Wright was hired in June of 2011 as graphic designer when the paper was still owned by the Chickasaw Enterprises, he said. After the acquisition of The Pacer by Tri-City Publishing, Wright was promoted to production designer. More recently, he was promoted to General Manager of the paper. 

"It has been an honor working with the Newcastle community," Wright said. "I look forward to expanding the relationship we have with Newcastle. Anyone with news tips or ideas is welcome to contact me."

Even though he has taken on these new duties, Wright is continuing to improve the look of The Pacer through his graphic design talents. He not only is credited with the newest mast banner displaying the name of Newcastle's hometown paper, but he most recently did a complete redesign of the front page and interior layout.

Wright attended Oklahoma State majoring in graphic design.  He started his college career in journalism and worked as writer for the college newspaper The O'Collegian. 

"We are excited to include more coverage of education and sports in The Pacer," he said. 

After a nearly three-year hiatus, Darla Welchel is back on the beat covering everything from education to city news. Welchel brings back to The Pacer not only over 20 years experience and a passion for the communities of both Newcastle and Bridge Creek.

"Newcastle is my hometown, so I have a deep connection here," Welchel said. "I moved here in seventh grade from the city because of my horse. People still say they remember me riding my horse to school. I now live in Bridge Creek, so I have a real commitment to showcase both these wonderful communities. It is my goal to put the community back into the paper."

Welchel, who has an Associate’s Degree from OKCCC in journalism and photography, worked at the college’s paper The Pioneer as the photo editor for two years. 

"I love capturing what’s going on in town through photographs," she said. "People love to see themselves and especially their kids in the paper, and I can never resist snapping an adorable kid."

 Also joining The Pacer is Cody Johnson. 

Johnson, 22, is from the small community of Talala, Okla., so he understands the dynamics of a hometown community. He started at The Pacer August 18.

He graduated from Oologah High School in 2010 and attended the University of Central Oklahoma where he graduated last May with a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism with a minor in advertising. 

"I took some journalism classes in college because I was an advertising major, and they are in the same department," Johnson said. "I fell in love with writing and talking to people to get their unique story."

Johnson, who will tackle all of Newcastle's sporting stories, was a sports reporter and later editor for The Vista newspaper at UCO for one and a half years, he said. Although he will be focusing on sports-related news, Johnson will be seen covering a multitude of stories throughout town. 

"The people in Newcastle have impressed me most with their nice and welcoming personalities. They retain the small town feel, which reminds me of home," Johnson said. "It’s hard to get homesick that way."

"One thing all three of us have in common is our love for community, and the desire to make The Pacer a great paper," Welchel said. "We know we can't cover everything in this ever-growing town, but we want to be available to do what we can to promote the city and its people."


Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:52

Red Dirt for Big Blue

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By Cody Johnson

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The Bridge Creek Quarterback Club is teaming up with a local artist to fundraise on Saturday in the high school parking lot for the Bridge Creek football team after their field house was vandalized.

Kevin Foster, 20, a Bridge Creek graduate and local red dirt musician, decided to put on a benefit concert to help his alum. 

"I have to give back to the program that gave me a lot," Foster said. "I can’t just sit around when stuff like that happens."

The event grew from a simple concert to a full fundraiser with food vendors and kids entertainment when the Quarterback Club came onboard. 

Foster, who will be playing with his band The Travelers, will be headlining the show. He also recruited the Nathan Burris Band from Tuttle to play, along with a "surprise acoustic guest" to open for the concert. 

"Hopefully we can bring the community together to help out," Foster said. 

Food vendors Trevino's, Robbie Bell's Pizza and barbeque will be set up selling food, while Allison's Fun House and a dunk tank will be set up to entertain children. A jail where people can pay to have their friends or family locked inside and who then in turn have to pay to be released will also be available.

The event is drawing some big companies to sponsor such as Crest Foods, Bob Moore, Great Plains Coca Cola and Frontier City. More local companies such as Joe Bobs Bail Bonds, At-Link and French's Printing have also stepped up to help sponsor the event for the Bobcats.

Admission to the event is $10 per person or free for children ages 12 and under. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the Music is set to start at 6:45 p.m. All proceeds go to the Quarterback Club who will use the money for replacing equipment damaged during the August 3 vandalism. 

Last Saturday at Meet the Bobcats day, the team sold T-shirts, lemonade, and hotdogs, along with a raffle featuring University of Oklahoma autographed memorabilia. The event raised $5,574 to go towards recovering from the vandalism. 


Wednesday, 27 August 2014 20:36

Centennial Squares celebrate lucky 7 anniversary

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By Darla Welchel

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Swing your partner round and round. This phrase conjures images of swirling skirts, smartly dressed gents and an abundance of good company.

The Centennial Squares square dance club would like to invite anyone who has ever thought about square dancing to come help them celebrate their 7th Anniversary. The dancers, who represent McClain County, will hold a night of food, fellowship and great dancing at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30 at the Newcastle Community Building located inside the library.

This year's Centennial Squares celebration will have a Mexican theme and will feature great food, visiting dancers and a special intermission entertainment, said dance caller Mike McCormick.

"We expect to have most of our club members present (about 35 people) and visitors from around the south metro area, Shawnee and Yukon," he said. "This dance is a celebration of the anniversary of forming the club here in Newcastle America in 2007 - Oklahoma’s Centennial and the inspiration for our club name."

McCormick and his wife Linda took over the microphone as callers for the club in 2013, when former callers Tom and Faye Moore stepped down due to health reasons, he said. The Moores formed the club in 2007. Today, McCormick calls for Centennial Squares and is Vice President of the Oklahoma State Callers and Teachers Association (OSCTA).

"We began square dance lessons while dating in 1971 with Jim and Cathy Adams, current Centennial members," McCormick said of he and his wife.

After they graduated from lessons, the couple was married in 1972. McCormick founded the "Spirit of 76" square dance club in 1975 and called for several local clubs, regional and national events in the 1970's and early 80's, he said. After hanging up his mic to raise three adopted children, two daughters and a son in the 80's, 90's and new Millennium, Mike and Linda returned to dancing in 2008 and to calling in 2009.

Learn to dance

The Centennial Squares will be offering square dance and western line dance lessons beginning Tuesday, Sept. 16. Each class will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the library's community center, McCormick said. 

Those new to the idea of dancing can come and try it for free for the first two lessons, he said. If they like it and decide to stay for the entire 15-week session, the cost is only $2.50 per person per lesson. 

"Square Dancing is an amazing opportunity to turn off the stress and troubles of the daily grind, find a getaway with your significant other and kick it up a notch," McCormick said. "If you wonder what it is like, come out for our Open House Dance where we will give new dancers a taste of square dancing at our regular dance on Sept. 5 to get a flavor for what it is all about."

For more information about the Anniversary Celebration or the dance lessons contact either Brenda Medrano at 831-6625 or Mike McCormick, 517-4097. 


Wednesday, 20 August 2014 19:12

Construction begins on new recreational field

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By Cody Johnson

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Construction started last week for a new recreational field within Newcastle city limits. Shane and Carla Tillison, owners of Bigg Papa’s restaurant, are fronting the project on land leased to them behind their restaurant. 

“We are trying to give the kids the potential to be in sports and play sports, Carla said, “because there are a lot that don’t get to do it and sports does a whole lot for someone.”

The main purpose is to give any local sports team a place where they can raise funds, Carla Tillison said. It is also going to be a safe family oriented environment for local kids to come practice and to stay out of trouble. 

The whole project is coming about through donations from the community, although not all the donations are officially lined up yet, she said. Bob’s Dozers Service donated four days worth of dirt work to level the one-acre lot and remove growth. 

The project does not have a completion date but they hope to either sod or turf the field and add goals, Tillison said. The recreational facility will include a soccer field, however the other sports to be included are undecided. Potential sports are volleyball, Frisbee, and flag football. 

“We just want people to know we opened it for the kids,” she said. 


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By Darla Welchel

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Do you have a kid who loves to take things apart and put them back together?

You probably have come home to your toaster or DVR in pieces only to wonder if it will ever be the same.

Instead of getting frustrated at your little mechanic with the inquisitive mind, load them up and take them to the Science Museum Oklahoma’s newest permanent exhibit The Tinkering Garage.

“Tinkering Garage is a space to investigate, experiment, design and create,” said Museum Network Director Sherry Marshall. “Customized interactive programming and access to innovative tools and technology allows visitors of all ages the opportunity to dive deeper into problem solving, exploring science, engineering, math, art, and technology. By taking time to test, adapt, and retest, visitors will take part in the scientific process and discover how that process helps better explain our world.”

Although the exhibit had a soft opening a month ago “to beta test” the workstations with the museum’s target audience, the official Grand Opening took place on Friday, August 8. Filled with every kind of mechanical and technological castoffs, The Tinkering Garage is a gadget lover’s nirvana. In fact, they are always looking for donations of old mechanical items and AA batteries.

“As we move forward as a society, we want to make sure we have generations who know not just how to use technology but also who can create it,” Marshall said. “This exhibit builds critical thinking skills and logic skills.”

The new exhibit is actually a rework of the existing tinkering center, and it is filled with so many new and exciting things to do, said media director Christa Copeland. The exhibit has taken recycling and upcycling to a whole new level with hundreds of old phones, toys and other gadgets available for visitors to take apart and put back together. 

In addition to The Tinkering Garage, the Science Museum Oklahoma has hundreds of other exhibits for the science-minded  - most of them interactive. Also available is Destination Space, filled with items like one-of-a-kind space artifacts such as the actual Apollo Command Module Mission Simulator and Science Live a daily live science performance show where visitors can see first hand chemistry and physics in the form of some amazing chemical-reaction explosions. 

There are also several areas for children just to run, play and be physical such as the Gadget Trees, which feature the world’s tallest spiral slide. And of course, the museum formally known as the Omniplex still has its famed planetarium. 

The Tinkering Garage is fun and fascinating for all ages of children and adults, as is the entire Science Museum Oklahoma. But if you intend to visit, be sure to plan for the whole day as you can not see and do it all in just a couple hours. 


Wednesday, 20 August 2014 17:53

Golden Spotlight

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July's Golden Spotlight honors Ellamae Thompson Dobbs. 

Ellamae, 84, was born in Foster, Okla. but moved to Canute, Okla. within a couple years of birth where she started kindergarten and continued her education unto graduating high school. 

At 16, Ellamae married Iver Thompson and had three children: Betty Jetty of Newcastle, 67, Ronald Thompson of Dibble, 64, and Darrell Thompson of Dibble, 59. The Thompson family moved to Oklahoma City in 1965. 

Iver worked at O'Brien Paint Company while Ellamae worked at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in the operating area taking care of office work. While working one day, a surgeon pulled Ellamae into the surgery room where she watched the first open-heart surgery performed at the OU Medical Center. 

"I saw it in his chest beating while they hooked up hoses to the new one," Ellamae said, "One of the surgeons asked, 'are you alright?' or if I was going to faint?"

Iver suffered a stroke in 1985 and passed away two years later. Ellamae tried to retire several times, but always went back to work at the OU Medical Center. She supported her mother until her passing in 2002. 

 After having her own open-heart surgery in 2005, Ellamae officially retired and moved to Newcastle with her daughter Betty. 

Ellamae enjoys traveling. She has gone to many places including the western Oklahoma beehives, Kansas, and Branson, Mo. Her favorite trip was a steamboat trip that floated up the Mississippi River into Nebraska where she stayed in a big lodge. While traveling in April 2009, she met a man named Gayle Dobbs. 

"When you love someone, age doesn't matter," Ellamae said, "I never really thought about my age." She was 80 when her and Gayle Dobbs were married in November of 2009 in Rocky, Okla. with around a 100 people in attendance, mostly seniors. 

   "A big wedding for me," she remarked.

   Ellamae moved to Rocky with Gayle and they traveled on senior tours. Gayle Dobbs had five children from a previous marriage; Clint Dobbs of Yukon, Okla., Jeff Dobbs of Missouri, Trudy Berlander of Dallas, Tex., Molly Jones of Snyder, Okla., and Bridget Walker of Fort Cobb, Okla. 

 "I finally had a big family," Ellamae said, "Molly even called me 'mom.' She didn't have to, but she did."

Gayle fell sick and was taken from Ellamae two and a half years after they were wed. Afterward, she moved back in with her daughter Betty in Newcastle. 

"I can't seem to get well since he died," Ellamae said, but she tries to stay active.

"It's not funny getting old, but I guess you know you are old when even your doctor says so," Ellamae chuckled.

Ellamae enjoys playing Bingo. She and her daughter travel to Moore on Tuesdays to play. On Mondays and Fridays, she travels to Dibble to see her sons. 

Ellamae is a member of Cole Baptist Church and is able to attend on Sundays because James Carol Ferguson offers to drive her.

"I'll just like anybody I'll see. I'll talk to anybody. I don't care," Ellamae said. 

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By Darla Welchel

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Members of the Lions Clubs International have been prowling around Newcastle for the past couple of weeks hunting down community members interested in reestablishing a new Lions Club in Newcastle.

Marvin Ainsworth, Global Membership Team District Coordinator and Dawn Miller, Oklahoma State Secretary and District Governor, visited local businesses and city offices to sign up people for the new club.

“Lions meet the needs of local communities and the world. When you join Lions, you join a global service network. So, at the same time you’re doing local community service, you can also contribute to Lions volunteer efforts around the world,” stated the organizations website.

Ainsworth stressed the “we serve” mantra of the club.

“We have three teams in Newcastle today seeing how the Lions Club can help the community,” he said. “We are not here to take away from anything anyone else is doing, but to add.”

Newcastle used to have an active Lions Club many, many years ago, and its Ainsworth goal to see one here again. 

Jeannette Lore, President of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce said, “We don’t have a civic organization like this in Newcastle. They can do so many things that the chamber or the city can’t do, and they can step up and help complete ongoing projects.”

Lore pointed out the Lions Club do many things for communities like helping with parks projects, the schools and the senior citizen center; they also put on health screenings and they have a great eye glasses program. Another way they help the community is by volunteering at various community events.

In  order  for  the Lions Club to re-organize in Newcastle, they will need at least 20 members to sign up, Ainsworth said. So far, they are a few members short. The Lions Club is the world’s largest organization with 1.3 million members, but it is looking to add some younger adult members, he said.

“There is a tremendous need for the Lions Club,” he said. The only thing the Internet can’t replace is a couple of hands to do community service – for that you need people.”

To become a member of the Newcastle Lions Club requires a $10 a month membership fee. And although communication is mandatory, attendance to the bi-monthly meetings is no longer mandatory, Ainsworth said. 

“They do a broad spectrum  of things as an organization to help a community,” Lore said. “I am an official charter member of the Newcastle Lions Club.”

 The Lions Club is hoping to be able to use the community room located inside the library for their meetings. You can pick up an application at Stephanie’s Place located at 994 North Main or by calling Marvin Ainsworth at 819-1045. 


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Even though school is back in session and football will start soon, nothing let’s you know that fall is upon us like the annual Newcastle FFA Fall Livestock Show and Cake Auction.

This fun and tasty show will be on Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Newcastle Fair Barn. The show allows FFA students to showcase their livestock, while the Cake Auction is designed to raise much-needed funds for the program, said Ag teacher Brandon Morgan. 

Also, back by popular demand this year is the Booster Club’s Pig Poop raffle. One hundred squares will be sold at $10 each, and whichever square gets “pooped on,” wins, he said.

This year all animals are required to be in place in the barn by 4:30 p.m. on August 23. The Cake Auction will be held immediately following the livestock show. 

“There will be cattle, goats, swine, sheep and poultry exhibited at the show,” he said. “The cakes brought for the auction will also be judged with a prize given for best cake.”

Every exhibitor in the livestock show is required to bring two cakes, he said. The proceeds from the auction will go towards the upkeep of the Newcastle Fair Barn.

“All the cakes will be homemade by FFA and 4-H students and other adult supporters. In the past, cakes have sold beginning at $10 and gone up from there.”

The schedule for the day will go as follows:

4:30 p.m. - All animals in place

6:00 p.m. -  Poultry Show

6:00 p.m. -  Goat Show, Beef Show, Sheep Show and Swine Show

7:15 p.m. -  Cake Auction

In other FFA news, the Newcastle FFA will be selling Blue and Gold sausage, as well as T&D meats until September 3. Items available for order include sausage, bacon, chicken, hot links, sausage biscuits, sausage rolls, fajitas, salsa, turkeys and hams. If you would like to place an order and support the Newcastle FFA chapter, contact any FFA member. Orders can also be placed through Brandon Morgan or Aaron Aubrey at 387-6398 or 387-6399. 


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