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Archive for: July 2012

City imposes outdoor watering ban

Watering Ban

The City of Piedmont has imposed a ban on outside watering effective immediately

By Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com 

The City of Piedmont has imposed an outdoor watering ban effective as of Wednesday, Aug. 1.

City Manager Jim Crosby indicated that residents are allowed to use a water hose or water can if needed. However, they can’t leave a hose or sprinklers unattended. The City will hold an emergency meeting regarding the water ban at 5:30 p.m., Thursday at the George Fina Municipal Building. The meeting is open to the public.

Crosby said he made the decision to ban outdoor watering and the major reason is keeping Piedmont’s water towers full.

“That not only affects water pressure in town, but it also affects firefighting capability,” he said. “So we’ve got to maintain as much pressure as we can in that.”

He added that Piedmont is using as much water as it ever has drawing almost 1 million gallons a day, mainly because of the drought, and last year the City pulled a tremendous amount of water from Oklahoma City, also affecting Oklahoma City’s water pressure.

He stipulated that under Piedmont’s contract with Oklahoma City, the City is allowed to take 12 million gallons a month and beyond that the City pays penalties and the cost of water goes up.

“We are way over, and we haven’t finished the month, but right now we are at about 20 million gallons,” he added. Read more →

OSSAA releases new ADM, Piedmont to make jump to 5A

By Greg Evans
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association released the 2012-13 average daily membership (ADM) numbers last week and Piedmont High School averaged 696.15 students a day last year.

The district saw its ADM jump by over 49 students compared to last year. The jump in students means the district will now be competing in Oklahoma’s second largest classification in many sports this year, Class 5A. Piedmont will be the 62nd largest school in the state and the third smallest Class 5A school.

“It’s no major surprise,” Piedmont Athletic Director Tom Ewing said. “All the sports that don’t have districts will play in 5A this year. Football, wrestling and soccer won’t (play in 5A) because of districting. We may go to 5A in regular wrestling but for dual state we will still be 4A. 6A and 5A went to districts in softball last year, so I don’t think they will step up quite yet.

“A lot of our sports are already competing in 5A. Golf, tennis, all of our individual sports, like track and cross country, already compete in 5A, so there is no change there. Cheer also already 5A.” Read more →

Former Miss Piedmont competing at Miss International pageant

Natasha Alikhani

Former Miss Piedmont Natasha Alikhani is competing this week in Chicago in the Miss International Pageant, representing Oklahoma as Miss Oklahoma International.

By Roger Pugh
publisher@piedmontnewsonline.com

A former Miss Piedmont, Natasha Alikhani, is competing this week in Chicago in the Miss International Pageant, representing Oklahoma as Miss Oklahoma International.

After not holding a Miss Piedmont Pageant for a number of years, the pageant was resurrected in 2006 and Alikhani was named winner of that first local pageant after the event was resurrected. She went on to do well in the Miss Oklahoma Pageant the following June, finishing among the top finalists. In fact, her finish in the state pageant remains the highest ever by a Miss Piedmont representative.

A graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, she later held the Miss Bricktown crown on two occasions.

Alikhani was crowned Miss Oklahoma International in March at the state pageant in Broken Arrow. There, she won a prize package valued at more than $15,000 and the chance to compete this week in the international pageant.

The 2012 international pageant began earlier this week at the Northshore Center for the Performing Arts in Chicago, Ill with a number of events and activities leading up to the actual Pageant this weekend.

The event is designed to give each contestant the opportunity to learn about customs and family life in other countries, along with the chance to share her beliefs and make new friends during the entire week of activities leading up to two evenings of competition.

In Chicago, she will be judged on her interview with the judges, evening gown, fitness wear, and fun and fashion wear.

Committee formed to look at city charter

‘Bidding war’ erupts for financial advisor

By Roger Pugh
publisher@piedmontnewsonline.com

The Piedmont city council took steps Monday to begin a review to revise the city charter and also decided to seek a lower rate for a financial advisor to assist the city with a possible bond issue to repair city streets.

During discussion of a possible update of the city charter, Councilman Vernon Woods said he would like to see a citizen’s committee appointed to review the charter and make recommendations to the council for possible changes to be put before the voters.

“It’s the people’s charter,” Woods said.

After additional discussion, in which Charles Coffman suggested such a committee might benefit from having some former city officials as members, the council decided that each council member will each nominate two citizens from their respective wards to sit on the committee. The Mayor will nominate two citizens at large. The nominations will be brought to the August council meeting. Read more →

City considers annexation at NW highway

By Roger Pugh
publisher@piedmontnewsonline.com

Many Piedmont city officials and city leaders have long wanted to figure out a way to get a piece of the Northwest Highway corridor into the Piedmont city limits. Monday, the city council began discussion of a possible annexation of land where Washington Ave (NW 164th) intersects with the highway west of the city.

Councilman Vernon Woods said his studies show the land in that area was in the county jurisdiction and not a part of Oklahoma City.

He said he would like to find a way to capture a strip on both sides of the highway so Piedmont could benefit at some future date from commercial development he believes will eventually come that way.

Washington and the highway intersect almost one-half mile west of Cimarron Road. By law, over one-half of the landowners in the affected area would have to agree to the annexation. Read more →

Volleyball welcomes clinician

By Greg Evans
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Iris Simmons, a well-known Oklahoma volleyball clinician, spent much of this week at Stone Ridge Elementary with Piedmont’s new volleyball team. With the team set to start practices next week, having a new voice in the gym has been a big benefit to the squad.

“Because we are a beginning squad, I wanted to bring in a different voice with a lot of experience,” Coach Jamie Hill said. “She can teach the girls how to do technique in different ways and when they hear something from a different voice, it may click for them.”

The main focus of the four-day clinic was the fundamentals of volleyball. Simmons emphasizes the fundamentals through drills that not only help those skills but are also fun for the players.

“My theory and belief is that, regardless of level, success in volleyball, or any sport, comes from an athletes ability to perform the fundamental skills of the sport,” Simmons said. “Basically, the objective in this camp is to work on fundamentals until they are fundamental. I try to present them in a way that is fun but I also want the material to be challenging.”

Simmons said the fundamental skills in volleyball are passing, setting, hitting, spiking, serving, blocking and digging. Read more →

Piedmont wraps up four day camp

Piedmont 4-day football camp

Greg Evans/Gazette
Tevin Mitchell (left) prepares to take a handoff from Darrius Burris (right) during last week’s team camp.

By Greg Evans
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Last week was a busy one for the Wildcat football team as they held a four day team camp and welcomed four teams to the confines of Stout Field.

“We improved every day without question,” Coach Craig Church said. “We’re finding out our Achilles Heel is our numbers. We did really well early in practice but started to get tired as things went on. That has a lot to do with our guys on the inside playing both ways.”

The Wildcats are looking to replace a large senior class from last year and that inexperience showed at times during team camp.

“We’re inexperienced but there are bright spots,” Church said. “That inexperienced compounded some of the problems we were having but the kids are getting better. The second year in the system is starting to show. We’re having a lot of good things happen, I really like our freshmen group.”

Piedmont hosted Ardmore on Thursday, a semifinalist last year in Class 5A, and a week of team camp showed at times for the Wildcats.

“They are exhausted,” Church said. “What the guys don’t realize right now is that this was Ardmore’s only day of camp. From what I saw, I feel like if we went against a team like Ardmore in week one; we could play with them. Read more →

More state colleges moving to the NCAA

Greg Evans

Greg Evans, sports editor

More and more Oklahoma colleges are are moving from the NAIA up to the NCAA. That’s only a good thing for the state.

First, I have to stop and say that there are a lot of talented kids and incredible schools in the NAIA. The schools that play in the NAIA are good, fun to watch, schools but the exposure gained by a move to the NCAA can only mean good things for the state of Oklahoma.

Schools in the NCAA have much better exposure than the schools in the NAIA, for better or worse. When there are more schools in the state, getting more exposure on a more national level, people get to know the smaller schools that do so much for Oklahoma. And that exposure is something Oklahoma needs.

One of the cultural things that has always been interesting about the Oklahoma collegiate sports atmosphere is that you rarely see fans of the smaller schools in the state really show their school pride. Yes, you might see the occasional blue SWOSU or orange East Central shirt. However, those flags rarely fly as high as those of crimson of Oklahoma or the orange Oklahoma State. Golden Hurricane fans are even tough to find in this red and orange dominated state.

I’d love to be able to walk around the mall and see a wider selection of in state colleges represented, but it seems like the ‘red or orange or bust’ mentality is rooted deep in Oklahoma. I have friends who attended the University of Central Oklahoma, East Central, Northwestern and other colleges in the state. They have said that it’s more common to see a Cowboy or Sooner shirt than it is to see one of their own. Read more →

City of Piedmont continues to recover from housing downturn

Building Permit ChartBy Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

The City of Piedmont had some of the highest figures for residential building permits in 2011-12 dating back to 1996.

Piedmont City Manager Jim Crosby said the devastating tornado that hit Piedmont last year did increase the number of homes being built, but even with that Piedmont is still growing and not all of the homes that were built last year were because of the tornado.

“Our growth has been pretty steady considering what has happened nationally,” Crosby said. “Right now, the eastern part of Canadian County is still the fastest growing county in the state.”

He explained that Piedmont is one of the five fastest growing cities in Oklahoma and the city is going to continue to grow. However, he said the challenge Piedmont faces is containing the quality of the growth.

He emphasized that Piedmont is a bedroom community, or a commuter town and a very attractive community because of the low crime rate.

“We don’t have the murders, the rapes or hard crimes,” he said. “People look at it as a great place to live. We have a great school system, so ‘Why would you not want to live in Piedmont?” Read more →

Gazette website redirected

Staff Report

The Piedmont-Surrey Gazette website, Piedmonttoday.com, was redirected last week without the newspaper’s authorization to another newspaper’s website.

Last Thursday in the late afternoon to early evening, traffic to the Gazette website was redirected to the Piedmont Citizen newspaper’s website known as piedmontdaily.com.

In addition to visitors being directed to the competitor’s site, the Gazette also cannot access any of its Piedmonttoday.com email accounts.

“This means since our site was overtaken, we have not been able to receive emails from anyone who sent us communications addressed to our accounts ending in piedmonttoday.com,” said Gazette Publisher Roger Pugh.

He said this includes news items and photos submitted to the Gazette for publication.

“If anyone sent anything to a Piedmonttoday.com address since July 11, we ask you to please resend your item,” Pugh said.

These items can be resent to piedmontgazette@sbcglobal.net or piedmontsports@sbcglobal.net.

The newspaper is working to bring its website back up at www.piedmontnewsonline.com, Pugh said.

He asked readers and advertisers to please periodically check the new address for all the latest local news and sports. Read more →

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