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Former Piedmont mayor doing well after car fell on him

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Former Piedmont Mayor George Fina poses in front of his 1950 Oldsmobile 88 Friday afternoon, showing the torso brace he recently got to take off after wearing it for weeks. The 76-year-old longtime Piedmont resident has recovered well after a 1964 Chevrolet Impala fell on him, crushing several ribs and fracturing a vertebra in his back. He was installing a new transmission in the car when the car fell off the 10-inch blocks, used to raise the car off the ground, trapping Fina underneath it. Fina, lucky to be alive, recounted that experience and spoke about his memories and experiences working to build Piedmont into what is today in an exclusive interview with the Gazette. Look for that story in next week’s issue of the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette.

Piedmont QB Richert has knee injury, but no ACL damage

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont starting quarterback Lucas Richert’s knee injury suffered in the Wildcats’ season opening scrimmage with Kingfisher, is not as serious as originally feared, Richert confirmed Thursday.

Richert, who’s torn the ACL in his left and right knees previously, escaped that diagnosis this time.

On Thursday, MRI results revealed sprained ligaments and a deep bone contusion to his right knee, but no structural damage to his ACL was found.

Recovery time is expected to be three to five weeks, which means Richert could return to the field as soon as Sept. 19, when Piedmont travels to Noble for a non-district game with the Bears.

Moving forward without Richert for the Wildcats season opener with Skiatook Sept. 5, quarterbacks Noah Ellis and Colby Bricker are expected to split snaps at the position.

Piedmont’s final scrimmage of the preseason is today at Mustang.

Local woman gives birth to quadruplets

Jessie and Joel Lekites hold their newly-born quadruplets in Jessie’s parents’ home in Piedmont. She gave birth in April to three girls and one boy, all born one minute apart from each other. The babies (left to right) are Jaclyn, Jamison, June and Joseph Lekites. The Lekites were living in Houston, Texas, where Joel was working, but since the birth of their quadruplets, they have moved into Jessie’s parents’ home until they find a permanent home here in Piedmont. Joel designs homes and works from home now, while he and Jessie and their parents take care of their four newborns.

By Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

New Piedmont residents Jessie and Joel Lekites are now the proud parents of quadruplets. Lekites gave birth to three girls and one boy in April at Mercy Hospital.

But, due to some complications and health issues, the babies weren’t cleared to leave the hospital until just recently.

The babies were born one minute apart from each other. The new Lekites are June, Jaclyn, Jamison and Joseph. Joseph had a shunt in his head to release fluid built up around the brain and some of the other babies had some oxygen issues. The Lekites’ babies were spread out in different hospitals, from OU Medical Center to Mercy. From the time Lekites was admitted to the hospital in March, it was 142 days before all the babies were home.

The babies were born at exactly 27 weeks. The girls all weighed around 1 pound each–Jamison weighed 1 pound, 10 ounces; June weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces; Jaclyn weighed 1 pound, 14 ounces; Joseph weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces.

The odds of having three girls and one boy in a quadruplet birth are very small, according to the specialist Lekites saw during her pregnancy. He told her that with the treatment she was on, there was only about a 2 to 3 percent chance they would end up with quadruplets.

Because the babies were born three months early, they had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital, on ventilators for some time.
“That in itself was unbelievable,” Jessie said. “You don’t realize the world of NIC U … and I’m a nurse, but I don’t do pediatrics or any of that. It’s hard because you don’t get to take your babies home.”

The babies were in the intensive care unit for 62 days. Joseph and Jaclyn were released from the hospital in June. June was released in July and Jaclyn just came home a few weeks ago.

Read more →

Piedmont cross country opens season Saturday at Carl Albert

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

File photo/Gazette
The Piemdont boys and girls cross country team’s will run at the Titan Invitational at Carl Albert Saturday.

It’s coming around the bend and it isn’t football season.

The Piedmont boys and girls cross country teams are set to open the season Aug. 29 at Carl Albert’s Titan Invitational.

Which means the Wildcats spent the past few weeks gearing up and getting in shape for their season opener.

“For half of the team they had a great summer pride,” head coach Todd Johnson said. “For a lot of kids I was worried missing summer pride would set them back, but everyone has run well so far in practice I think we’re going to be pretty tough.”

The boys squad ran to a seventh place finish at the 5A state meet a season ago and hopes to better that mark this season.

They return junior Jon Anderson, a 19th place finisher at the state meet last season, who should be the ‘Cats top runner.

Also returning is Piedmont’s No. 2, senior Tyler Wade, who finished 37th at state last season. Ethan Taylor and Connor McIntosh, who both placed in the top 100 at state, are also back.

Taylor is still rounding into form, after a longboard accident over the summer kept him out of action for parts of summer pride.

“Their goal is to be better than seventh this season,” Johnson said. “They really thought we should’ve been in the top 4 last year. If every one of them is working towards that, I think we’ll be right where we need to be.”

Devin Bingham and Colton Lindsey didn’t race on varsity last season, but could be added to the team this season along with Pablo Canas, a foreign exchange student from Spain.

“Pablo didn’t do summer with us because he was still in Spain, so he’s not all the way in shape, but he looks good running,” Johnson said. “He’s definitely a guy that could contribute some this season.”

Johnson said his lineup could be fluid early in the season, but that all his returners should start at Carl Albert.

“This Friday will be these guys’ first time running together,” the coach said. “I’m interested to see where we stack up with some of the other teams from our conference.”

After its season opening race, Piedmont hosts the Piedmont Invitational Sept. 5.

Girls team coming together

A Wildcat squad that just missed out on qualifying for the state tournament a year ago, has had a busy offseason filled with some good, and some bad.

Some of the runners which Johnson was counting on moved out of district, which constitutes the bad.

A pair of sophomores, Kyle Burris and Mikayla Lunsford, each had strong summers and give Johnson optimism for this year’s team.

Burris and Lunsford lead the class of returners, while Johnson says Aubrey Ross, Cecily Mildren, Josilyn Shenk and Megan Wortman all have the potential to contribute as newcomers to the program.

“They’re not running at full speed yet, some of them ran in the summer and some didn’t,” he said. “But here in a couple of weeks they’ll be ready to go.”

The biggest change in the offseason, other than the roster, was the switch from a two-mile race to a 3.1 mile trek in Class 5 and 6A.

“It’s a completely different mentality and strategy,” Johnson said. “It’s tougher and it takes some adjusting. Here in a couple weeks I think we’ll be more comfortable with it.”

In a two mile race, Johnson says, he turns his runners loose, but a 5K requires more pacing. Mother Nature has made that transition a slower one. A cooler than normal summer has meant that the recent heat wave has given Piedmont its first real opportunity to run in extreme heat.

“We’re really running into our first true heat of the summer, so we haven’t been able to run the kind of distance I would like to yet,” the coach said.

Which has tempered Johnson’s expectations for the Titan Invitational.

“I’d just like to see how well we go and compete,” he said. “For our first 5K it’s less about running against the competition and more about coming together as a team.”

Hader defeats Higgins, Bice defeats Thomas

Marc Hader

By Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

Republican voters in Canadian County have chosen Surrey Hills resident Marc Hader as their candidate for the general election in November against Democrat Justin Atkinson, and have chosen Edmond businesswoman Stephanie Bice as their next senator in Oklahoma Senate District 22.

Hader defeated Higgins in the runoff election Tuesday, garnering 59.1 percent of the total county votes. Higgins received 40.9 percent. Hader received a total of 1,341 votes and Higgins received 927 total votes. Piedmont voters followed suit, casting a total of 328 votes for Hader and 256 for Higgins.

Stephanie Bice

Bice edged Thomas in the senate race by receiving 53.1 percent of the votes, with a total of 2,693 votes. Thomas received 46.9 percent of the votes, with a total of 2,381 votes. Voters in Piedmont also followed the trend of voters in Oklahoma County and Canadian County. Bice received a total of 305 votes from the three Piedmont Precincts and Thomas received 271 total votes in Piedmont.

Hader will face Democrat Justin Atkinson during the General Election in November, but said he and his wife, Denise Crosswhite Hader, will take a sabatical and unwind before they hit the campaign trail again.

Hader also wanted to thank the voters for supporting him in the polls.

“I’m obviously delighted,” Hader said following the results of the election. “Canadian County is the fastest growing county in America. This place is changing. It’s a wonderful place to live. We got out early (in the campaign) and worked hard.”

Hader wanted to thank Piedmont voters in particular for responding to his responses published in recent forums in the local newspaper. Specifically, Hader referred to a question the Gazette asked recently regarding the juvenile justice center.

Bice was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.

In other area election news, Okarche voters passed the Okarche School District Transportation Bond issue Tuesday night by an overwhelming majority. Okarche voters’ “yes” votes totaled 235, accounting for 73.2 percent of the total votes. The “no” votes totaled 80, with 26.8 percent of the total votes. That bond is a $350,000 transportation bond to be used to purchase several new buses for the district. The bond will increase Okarche residents’ taxes by at least 3.71 percent.

The results from the election boards are unofficial results. Once the official results are made public, the Gazette will publish them.

Piedmont beats the Creek

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont catcher Cassidy Ray tries to block the plate and corral the ball as a Deer Creek baserunner slides into home plate Tuesday night in Edmond.Ray and the Wildcats beat the rival BlakeAntlers, 13-2.

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

EDMOND – Piedmont head coach Rick Scott understated the performance, but the scoreboard spoke loud and clear.

Piedmont, led by Scott’s daughter, Kassidy, hammered rival Deer Creek 13-2, in a five inning run-rule win behind a 4 for 4 performance from Scott to go with seven RBIs Tuesday night at Deer Creek High School.

Rick Scott sarcastically called Scott’s performance, which included two mammoth home runs, ‘decent’ afterwards, while lauding his team’s most complete effort of the season.

“Deer Creek is really good and they’re well coached,” he said. “We put together a really good effort tonight.”

The Wildcats scored twice in the first, two more times in the second and put the hammer down in the third by putting up six runs to take a 10-0 lead.

“Coming out here today we prepared ourselves really well in practice and we were taking names,” Kassidy Scott said of the fast start. “We were ready to go.”

Scott started the scoring in the first with a home run deep over the left field fence to stake Piedmont to a 2-0 lead, then worked a scoreless bottom half of the first.

She drove in her third and fourth runs of the game with an RBI-double to right field a half inning later. Then added another colossal home run in the third inning, this one a three-run home run to deep center that gave Piedmont a 13-0 lead.

“I was just looking for the right pitch,” she said. “I was expecting it to be a strike and just thinking, hit it, wherever it goes it’ll be fine.”

The 11-run victory over Deer Creek snapped a brief two-game losing skid to the Antlers that dated back to last season, and also snapped a two-game losing streak after
Piedmont went 0-2 in the Rogers State festival last Friday.

“This was important. Deer Creek beat us twice last season for the first since 2003 and it was hard to take,” Rick Scott said. “I really felt like we had them on the ropes from the first inning on after Kassidy hit the home run.”

Perhaps most importantly, the victory moved Piedmont to 1-0 in district play and 6-4 overall with another district contest against El Reno looming Thursday.

“We’re sitting in the driver’s seat in district now,” he said. “We’re going to savor this victory until tomorrow, then get ready to play El Reno.”

Sagely McAdoo added a 3 for 4 game with three RBIs and every Piedmont starter had at least one hit in the Wildcats 12-hit outburst.

Scott pitched a complete game, surrendering two runs, one earned while allowing two hits and walking one with three strikeouts.

Deer Creek scored twice in their half of the fifth off Scott, but couldn’t score enough to keep the game going past the ten-after-five, run-rule.

‘Cats outlast Chisholm in four sets

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont head coach Brad Brucker said he saw progression out of his team in Tuesday night’s loss at Bethany.

Thursday he saw more than that.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Kayden Carver tries for a kill Thursday against Chisholm.

His Wildcats knocked off Chisholm in an entertaining four set match, 17-25, 26-24, 25-17 and 29-27 to improve to 2-4 on the season.

“We found a way to take a few early blows and come back strong and really play well,” Brucker said. “We needed that one big time.”

Piedmont did it behind seven kills each from Anna Young and Brooke Spears, and a solid all-around game from Kayden Carver.

“Our player of the game tonight was probably Kayden,” Brucker said. “She played all the way around tonight, something she hasn’t been doing. I really challenged her this week that if she wanted to play more she would have to start playing better up front and she did.

She was really the difference for us tonight. She kept balls off the floor tonight that no other kid, outside of Skylar (Mylonas) could have.” Read more →

Water rates to be hiked

By Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

Over the next two years, water bills are likely to gouge Piedmont residents’ pocketbooks, as the amount the City of Piedmont pays for its water from Oklahoma City will likely increase significantly.

Piedmont, along with the many other municipalities that buy wholesale water from Oklahoma City on a monthly basis, will feel the sting of this increase beginning when an Oklahoma City ordinance takes effect Oct. 1.

That ordinance includes an amendment to usage charges outside of the city. Piedmont falls under that category.

Piedmont City Manager Jim Crosby said while Piedmont residents should be thankful to Oklahoma City for the water, they should also be aware of the upcoming rate increase.

“Oklahoma City has been very progressive, as far as getting water rights,” Crosby said. “You need to salute Oklahoma City for their forward thinking and having the ability to provide us water.” Read more →

Local legend dead at 86; community mourns loss of Mac-T

Mac Thompson

 

By Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

During the January Piedmont Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet, longtime local resident Mac Thompson was honored with the highest honor a local citizen can receive and was inducted into the Piedmont chamber’s Hall of Fame.

The longtime owner of Mac-T’s restaurant passed away in his sleep, early last Saturday morning, according to his step-daughter, Dena Carney Jensen.

Thompson was respected by his family, his peers, his neighbors and the many people whose lives he impacted throughout the years.

Thompson’s neighbor of about 40 years, Don Rubley, said he was the best neighbor he could have ever asked for.

Rubley recalled the first time Thompson knocked on his door after moving onto the property next door.

“He knocked on the door one day and it was cold and rainy and he said, ‘I want to ask you about Piedmont,’” Rubley said. “We discussed Piedmont and he asked me what I would think if he was my neighbor. I said whatever you do on your five acres is your business and what I do on mine is my business. I told him I think we’ll get along fine, and he said, “I think I’m going to buy the place.’” Read more →

Bethany knocks off Piedmont volley in three sets

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Kellee Coker celebrates after a point on Tuesday night at Bethany.

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

BETHANY — Progress was the word of the evening for the Piedmont volleyball team Tuesday night at Bethany.

Although the Class 4A Bronchos took the match in straight sets, 25-14, 25-19 and 28-26, Piedmont pushed a solid Bethany club all evening and was in position to win the third set before falling to the Bronchos.

“Not happy with the 3-0 loss, but I am happy that I think we finally figured some things out tonight,” Piedmont head coach Brad Brucker said. “I told the kids at the beginning of the year that competition either makes you bitter, or it makes you better.”

The Wildcats were in position to force a fourth set late in the third game of the night after Anna Young put home a kill to break a 25-all deadlock and bring Piedmont within one point of a win.

But Bethany scored the next three points to hold on for the victory. Read more →

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