Decorated Marine Dies in Tragic Crash

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

A Salem man serving as a Corporal with the U.S. Marine Corps was killed in a tragic motor vehicle accident early last Saturday in San Clemente, CA, near Camp Pendleton where he was stationed.

Corporal Edmond Vandecasteele IV, 22, of Salem was riding in the passenger seat of a 2003 Ford Mustang driven by a fellow marine when the driver lost control of the vehicle, striking a tree.  Vandecasteele was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, Andrew Stueber, 24, sustained life-threatening head injuries according to Orange County officials, while two other marines in the vehicle were not injured.  Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in the crash.  Orange County officials say that Stueber will likely face motor vehicle manslaughter charges if he survives.

Vandecasteele was a distinguished young soldier who was an ammunitions technician with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, who had also earned several medals; the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment ribbon.

Vandecasteele was a 2006 graduate of Salem High School, and enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps just three months after graduating high school.  He enjoyed model cars and sports, and was an avid New England Patriots fan.

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized as of yet, but arrangements will be handled by Douglas and Johnson Funeral Home in Salem.

Pacers to Race on Turf at Rockingham Park

Following the smashing success of trotters racing on the grass course at Rockingham Park last Saturday, the pacers will take center stage and try the turf this coming Saturday (August 8) at the venerable 103-year-old racetrack.

Rockingham raced harness horses on the turf course, which heretofore had always been the exclusive domain of the Thoroughbreds, for the first time in its history on August 1, and the pair of trotting races was only the sixth time that Standardbreds had raced on the grass at any track in North America.  All of the races were contested at the standard distance of one mile.

While turf racing at various distances is an everyday occurrence for Thoroughbreds at tracks all across America, it is an anomaly for Standardbreds, which race on their preferred main track surface of crushed limestone.  The other grass races for Standardbreds were held at Indiana Downs on October 29, 2005 and on October 10, 2006 and then at The Meadowlands on July 24.

Rockingham will card one or two grass races for pacers on Saturday, weather permitting, and the fields will be drawn this Wednesday.

Also on Saturday, the track will give away a custom-designed Rockingham Park hat to every paid admission over 18, while supplies last.  Racing fans can watch and wager on the Hambletonian, which is the most prestigious and coveted leg of the trotting Triple Crown for three year olds, as well as the prestigious Thoroughbred racing at Saratoga and other tracks around the country.  Post time is 1:05 p.m.

Harness horses race on the turf at Rockingham

Classy Annual Ball Held by Senior Center

This past weekend the Senior Center held their Annual Ball, complete with the Entertainers Orchestra.  The tables were nicely set with small pastries, and there were tasteful decorations.  Many beautiful outfits were worn by the ladies, and many of the men wore matching suits, from pink to white to yellow.  This group had class, and it showed.  The music covered all styles, and there wasn’t a minute during the entire night when the floor was empty.  It was nice to see these seniors having so much fun, and it was a nice incentive for all, too!

Entertainers Orchestra

A great night

Emma and Melvin Chabanovich say it all!

Cartooning Workshop Held at Kelley Library

The Kelley Library recently held an intensive workshop on cartooning.  Stephan Casazza, from Salem High School, brought in many of his pieces to show the students.  He then sat with the kids and did the same lessons that they were working on.  This class of 32 kids was not a hardcore “This is the way it is” class, but rather, the students were given many pages of cartoon ideas to look at and combine into their own images.  There were pages of eyes, mouths, hair, hats, and such to choose from.  The final project was for each student to make three images exactly the same in cartoon form.  This class was geared for all ages, and much laughter went on as many of the finished items were looked at by all.

Part of the class - waiting to start

Stephan Casazza - showing some of his work

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