The year that was 2019…
Here are a few of the top stories this year that graced the pages of The Newcastle Pacer:
On Jan. 10, the Pacer announced that the City of Newcastle was named as one of the top 50 cities in the entire United States to live in. This was first published by USA Today.
On Feb. 8, Newcastle basketball player and cross country runner Caleb Freeman was honored as a “captain” for The University of Oklahoma basketball team during the Sooners’ game against Texas Tech. Freeman was severely injured in a car crash in December 2017 as he made his way to an OU basketball game along with his younger brother. Freeman has made a miraculous recovery.
On Feb. 21, it was announced that Newcastle was deemed the 10th safest city to live in among all cities in Oklahoma. The top nine were Piedmont, Blanchard, Alva, Mustang, Collins-ville, Yukon, Holdenville, Edmond, and Choctaw.
On March 7, the Newcastle High School girls’ basketball team made the Class 4A state tournament and ended the season with a sparkling 25-4 record under head coach Brett Sanders.
On March 14, the City of Newcastle announced that a sales tax was approved for another eight years by voters.
On April 1, Terry Garrett was honored at First Baptist Church in Newcastle with a Quilt of Valor for his service during the Vietnam War in 1970 and ’71. Later on in June, fellow Vietnam veterans Larry Garrett, William Weston, and Joe Craig were honored with their own Quilts of Valor at Woodland Hills for their service during the Vietnam War.
On May 16, the McClain-Grady County EMS broke ground on a new facility.
On May 23, the Class of 2019 from
Newcastle High School graduated. A total of 18 valedictorians led the class totaling 120 graduates.
On May 23, the Newcastle High School baseball team finished fourth in the Class 4A state tournament at Dale Mitchell Field on the campus of OU with a 24-12 overall record under head coach Mike Crossley.
On June 6, it was announced that long-time Newcastle Public Library librarian Kathie Thomas passed away on May 28 at age 71.
On June 29, Newcastle resident Deborah Wedel was announced as a finalist for the prestigious title of Miss Senior Oklahoma.
On July 1, Melonie Hau was officially named the new superintendent for Newcastle Public Schools. She officially replaced former superintendent Tony O’Brien. Hau was previously at Duncan.
On Aug. 8, Newcastle resident Tom Gilliam was announced as a member of the 2019 class of the Oklahoma Cattle Marketing Hall of Fame. Gilliam and his wife Reta own Brush Creek Barbecue and run the Tri City Cowboy Church at the intersection of Highways 37 and 76 in Newcastle.
On Sept. 26, it was announced that Newcastle athletic director Nikki McCann unexpectedly resigned her position with the school. She was replaced on an interim basis by Chris McKenzie.
On Oct. 19, the Newcastle High School fast-pitch softball team won the Class 4A state championship with a 1-0 win over Purcell. It was the second state title in program history behind the 2014 state crown under head coach Mike Crossley.
On Nov. 8, it was announced that former Newcastle athlete Tony Gwinn died at age 55 from cancer. Gwinn graduated from Newcastle High School in 1982, becoming the very first All-State baseball player for the Racers. He played minor league baseball for several years in the New York Yankees farm system.
On Dec. 12, state superintendent Joy Hofmeister announced that the Newcastle Public School district received an overall grade of “B” for its performance.