Newcastle woman airlifted after collision

May 31, 2012

A Newcastle woman was flown by helicopter to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane after she sustained injuries May 4 in a head-on collision on state Route 26 about 30 miles west of Colfax.

Susie S. Koontz, 93, of Bellevue, died and five other people — including 61-year-old Cordelia E. Burris, of Newcastle — were injured, some of them seriously.

The collision occurred when a westbound 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by Diana Chun, 21, of Coulee Dam, drifted off the roadway to the right. Chun, who fell asleep at the wheel, overcorrected and struck the eastbound 2002 Toyota Prius. The Prius, in which Koontz and Burris were passengers, left the roadway to the right and came to rest at the bottom of an embankment.

Chun and her passenger, 21-year-old Erick J. Quezada Bastida, of Pullman, were transported by ambulance to Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax. Chun was treated and released May 4 and Bastida was discharged May 6.

The driver of the Prius, 59-year-old Mary E. Koontz, of Seattle, was flown by helicopter to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

Another passenger in the Prius, 63-year-old Judith A. Koontz, of Bellingham, was also flown by helicopter to Sacred Heart.

Chun and Bastida are both Washington State University students, according to WSU’s online directory.

Funny stories that have found no home

May 31, 2012

Because Dana The Cartoonist asked that I write May’s column the day after I turned in April’s column because he was taking a trip to Italy and would need it to create his cartoon, I am opting for speed over creativity and providing you with a list of funny stuff that I’ve saved over the years but has yet to find a home in print:

— My sister Barb was at a junior high school parent/teacher conference for her son. He tagged along, and as Barb was talking to the teacher, he paced back and forth outside the classroom window, throwing worried looks into the room. He had good reason to be worried. He’s bright, but could be disruptive in class, always with the intention of making everybody laugh. But the teacher recognized that he was special, and said that she loved having him as a student.

Barb nodded toward her fidgeting, nervous son. “The next time he comes to the window,” she said to the teacher, “look very concerned and worried as you talk to me.” The teacher played along, and when Zack stopped for a look, Barb knitted her brow, opened her mouth in mock horror, dropped her face into her hands and pretended to sob.

Read more

Airman completes basic military training

May 31, 2012

Air Force Airman 1st Class Joshua W. Williams graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Williams completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Williams earned distinction as an honor graduate.

He is the son of Kim Brichacek, of Arlington, Tenn., and Tim Williams, of Newcastle.



Take a tour to celebrate National Trails Day

May 31, 2012

Newcastle will celebrate National Trails Day on June 2 with a trail walk beginning at Lake Boren Park at 9 a.m.

Attendees are encouraged to meet at the restrooms. The event will include a tour of the historic Newcastle Cemetery with history highlights of the cemetery given by Jim Price, of Newcastle Trails. Residents can tour the new section of the Olympus Trail, continuing south and returning to Lake Boren Park for light refreshments at the waterline.

Allow approximately two hours for the walk. All ages are welcome, but sections of the walk are not baby-stroller suitable.

View a Newcastle Trails map online at

Local family adopts orphanage in Kenya

May 31, 2012

At age 19, Kyle Legman had saved up enough money to embark upon a solo journey to Africa. A born-and-bred Pacific Northwest native, the young man paid his own way to go on an internship program volunteering at an orphanage located in Nakuru, Kenya, in 2004.

Kyle, who now lives in St. Louis, Mo., had wanted to go to Africa for as long as he could remember, he said, and he liked the idea of working in an underdeveloped country because of its “anything-goes” atmosphere.

“Kenya just seemed like the best place because they have the most diverse wildlife, the ocean, and it was close to Uganda and Rwanda,” he said.

Photo by Marsha Donaldson. Dana Sullivan talks with children on his recent trip to Kenya.

He worked in an orphanage called Pistis, directed by a man named Leonard Muyelele. Thanks to the Internet, Muyelele and Kyle kept in touch, according to Kyle’s mom Vicki Legman.

Around Christmastime in 2009, Kyle, Vicki and her husband, Kyle’s dad Dana Sullivan, of Newcastle, became involved with Muyelele’s new orphanage, appropriately named the Star of Hope.

“That holiday season, we’d decided that we were tired, as a family, of buying each other gifts that we didn’t really need and probably wouldn’t remember, so we decided to help Leonard,” Vicki said.

Read more

Miss Black Washington discusses lupus, children’s health and Trayvon Martin

May 31, 2012

Volunteering in Tanzania? Check.

Raising money for Sisters Against Lupus? Check.

Advocating exercise and healthy eating for children? Check.

Domonique Price, Miss Black Washington 2012, said she could be content doing community service all of her life if it would continue to put food on the table.

Contributed Domonique Price poses with one of the young runners at the Run Disney event during her reign as Miss Black Washington 2012.

So it’s not surprising to hear that the 25-year-old was intrigued by the idea of running for Miss Black Washington, which has a big service platform.

“I am a huge advocate for people giving back in any way, shape or form,” Price said in a phone interview from Florida, where she is attending law school.

After graduating from Franklin High School in Seattle in 2005, Price moved to Newcastle with her dad. Soon after, she left to attend Virginia State University.

Read more

Newcastle man’s exotica album wins Hawaii Music Award

May 31, 2012

There can be a hard, cold rain blowing outside, but the atmosphere is always as warm as a tropical breeze at a luau in the basement of Andy Nazzal’s Newcastle home.

With nearly 900 records and dozens of instruments surrounding him and his two young sons, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Nazzal — the winner of the 2011 Best Exotica Album at the 15th annual Hawaii Music Awards for his third album, titled “Under the Midnight Sun” — knows what it’s like to grow up in a music-rich environment.

Contributed Andy Nazzal (right) plays the keyboard during a Tiki Joe’s Ocean performance with special guest Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid at the Bali Hai in San Diego.

“I grew up in a musical family,” he said. “My grandfather played drums in polka bands in Milwaukee. My mother played piano. My brother played the saxophone. My other brother played the drums. There was always music around.”

The family moved to the Seattle area from Milwaukee when Nazzal was 10. After beginning his musical roots with the piano at age 5, Nazzal picked up the guitar after hearing one of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time — The Beatles.

He went on to form and play in several rock bands in the Seattle area throughout the years, but in 2000, Nazzal knew he was due for a change.

“I made a real conscious effort to not pick up a guitar,” he said. “I didn’t want to play any instruments. I wanted to see where a muse would take me.”

Nazzal had just turned 30 when Capitol Records put out a compilation CD called “Mondo Exotica.”

Read more


May 31, 2012


An open house and food drive for Northwest Harvest is from 4-6 p.m. June 5 at City Hall, 12835 Newcastle Way, Suite No. 200.

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon is from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. June 13 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, 6920 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. Guest speaker is Bobbie Daniel, of the King County Library System. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. RSVP to

The Newcastle Weed Warriors has the following maintenance and restoration projects through June (from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Learn more at

  •  June 2 — National Trails Day Walk, meet at Lake Boren Park by restrooms at 9 a.m.
  •  June 9-10 — blackberry removal, Lake Boren Park

The Newcastle Shell Charity Golf Event to Benefit the Fisher House Foundation is June 16 at The Golf Club at Newcastle. Event registration begins at 6:30 a.m. with the first tee off at 9 a.m. Cost is $250 per golfer. Register at Learn more by calling 255-2754 or email

The sixth annual Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic, presented by Key Bank to raise funds for children at risk and in need, is June 25 at The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane. The event features 34 teams of four paired with a celebrity. There will be course contests, car giveaways and a BackSwing Bash Happy Hour and Dinner Auction. Learn more about sponsorship and participation availability by contacting Executive Director Casey Kennedy at or 206-396-4441.

The Mack Strong TEAM-WORKS Academy Golf Tournament, Dinner and Auction is July 18 at The Golf Club at Newcastle. Tee off is at 1 p.m. with the auction and banquet at 6 p.m. Register at

Read more

City to host open house at City Hall

May 31, 2012

The city of Newcastle will open its doors June 5 for an open house for the public to tour the new City Hall and meet the City Council and staff members.

Visitors can learn more about city services, and members of the Newcastle Police Department will be on hand to meet younger residents of the city and provide fingerprint identification cards for children. Staff members will provide information about animal licensing, passport services, city finances and city services.

City staff members will conduct a food drive and ask visitors to bring nonperishable food donations on behalf of Northwest Harvest.

The open house will be from 4-6 p.m. at Newcastle City Hall, 12835 Newcastle Way, Suite 200. Learn more by calling Aleta Phillips at 649-4444 or email her at

Newcastle Elementary School hosts its first science fair

May 31, 2012

By Christina Lords Jenna Silvestri, 7, a Newcastle Elementary School first-grader, prepares to create a combustion reaction after Pacific Science Center outreach coordinator Carrie Pucko gives her the proper safety instructions at the school’s first-ever science fair May 11.

Jenna Silvestri stands atop the Newcastle Elementary School stage with more than 100 students clustered around its stairs in eager anticipation.

Outfitted with neon safety glasses and a long plastic tube that connects to a metal pot in front of her, she’s ready to go.

A countdown begins.

Read more

« Previous PageNext Page »