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Archive for: August 2012

Volleyball focusing on understanding the game

By Greg Evans

Piedmont’s volleyball team is in the middle of an uphill climb as the girls try to get up to speed with the rest of their competition this season. Right now, working on the mental aspects of the game and fundamentals are a major focus for the Lady Wildcats.

“(Since team camp), I think they have mentally improved their understanding of the game,” Coach Jamie Hill said. “At team camp, they were just focused on getting the ball over the net. Now, we’re attempting to get an offense and a defense going. That’s a great progression.”

While the Lady Wildcats have had to learn a lot this summer, Hill says their attitude and desire to learn has been a major benefit to the process.

“These last two weeks of practice have gone well,” Hill said. “They have a good attitude and a good energy. They work hard. We’ve had to throw a lot at them and they are handling it as well as we could ask.” Read more →

Apex plans wind farm in Piedmont

By Matt Montgomery
News Editor

Apex Wind Energy, based out of Virginia has proposed a plan to the Piedmont Planning Commission to possibly have about 20 towers located within the Piedmont City Limits.

Apex Development Director Kent Dougherty made a presentation Monday to the Planning Commission to explain the near $500 million project and to try to adopt an ordinance.

The city council had been in the process of creating an ordinance and voted to hold a public hearing in September to vote on it.

In the process of installing a meteorological test tower just northeast of 234th Street and Cimarron Road, Apex accidentally installed it within city limits.

Dougherty said they take their jobs very seriously and the engineers from the project didn’t notice they had installed the 200 foot ‘met’ tower within Piedmont city limits.

“Apex deeply regrets this error – we strive to do our very best with regard to total compliance with all local ordinances and we fell short in this instance. It never occurred to our engineers that this temporary location, far as it is from downtown Piedmont, was within the city limits; this was an honest mistake,” he added. “It should be noted that we did bring this to the attention of the City immediately upon realizing our error. We apologize and hope to work with the city council to resolve the issue going forward.”

The City of Piedmont filed a complaint with the Police Department on Aug. 6.

The total project could include as many as 150 windmills stretching out towards Kingfisher and will connect to the main transmission line that OG&E customers could connect to. Read more →

City drops speed on SH 4

By Matt Montgomery
News Editor

The City of Piedmont had new speed limit signs placed before Williams Grocery Store on SH 4 leading into town on Tuesday.

City Manager Jim Crosby said the City went out and installed the 45 mph speed limit sign before cars get to 164th Street so they can begin slowing down for school traffic.

“When the school opens there will be a lot more traffic going that way,” Crosby said. “A lot of people, school buses, parents taking their kids to school … that’s a very dangerous intersection. It’s probably our number one intersection as far as wrecks.”

Crosby added that the goal of the city isn’t an attempt to fine people, but to slow them down before they approach 164th Street, because this will be the first year for the Piedmont Intermediate School to bring in traffic from that area.

“They moved the 45 speed limit back and the 35 speed limit back because you were still going 45 once you hit that intersection,” he said. “We moved it back; we requested the state to do it.”

He added that the City of Piedmont has also put in a request with the state to put in a four-way stop sign at that intersection.

It’s football time in Piedmont

The familiar sounds of football are starting to be heard again in the home of the Wildcats. With a practice that began at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Piedmont started its 2012 football campaign.

The Wildcat coaching staff is already pleased, as the team has been able to continue what it was working on during the summer, rather than starting from square one.

“Honestly, it’s a continuation of what we’ve been doing this summer,” Coach Craig Church said. “Football has evolved to where two-a-days are kind of anticlimactic. We just pick up where we were just a few weeks ago.”

The Wildcat football program is under year two of Church and the second year in his system is paying off for players.

“I feel like, for the first time since we’ve been together, we’re just picking up where we left off,” Church said. “We’re not restarting. In terms of getting things installed, we’re light years ahead of where we were this time last year. We lost a lot of experience, though, with that big senior class. We have a lot of good kids, though. We are just awful young. In terms of learning curve, what we worked on on (Tuesday); last year we were working on in week three.” Read more →

Police Officer exonerated of ‘double dipping’ charges

Alex Oblein

Piedmont Police Chief Alex Oblein

By Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont Police Chief Alex Oblein released a statement Wednesday indicating an officer had been exonerated from charges of an investigation.

The investigation was prompted after an anonymous letter was sent to City Manager Jim Crosby on May 30 indicating that an officer had been double dipping on the job.

The complaint accuses the police officer of claiming hours worked under a grant from the Highway Safety Program while he was actually working his regular job as a police officer.

The results of the investigation and inquiry have shown that there was no improper action by the officer involved and he has been fully exonerated from the allegations in the anonymous letter, Oblein explained in his statement.

He added this allegation has been investigated by the Yukon Police Department at the request of the City Manager of Piedmont, and further inquiry made by the Chief of Police of Piedmont.

The grant is supposed to pay for hours over and above regular police hours to help communities better enforce traffic laws.

Crosby said officers have to document their work under the Highway Safety Program, including the times worked, the number of stops they make and the kinds of traffic violations they find.

Lady Wildcats kick off 2012 campaign

Celebration Shout

Greg Evans/Gazette
(Left to Right) Courtney Anderson and Bre Davis give a shout in celebration of the start of softball practice early Monday morning.

By Greg Evans
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

To accomplish anything, one must put in the work. The Lady Wildcat softball team started putting in work towards making this season a memorable one early Monday morning.

“I’m excited,” Coach Rick Scott said. “I’m super excited, really. The girls have been so good to work with and their attitudes are wonderful. The last time I saw the girls (as a group) was in summer pride, around June 14. Here is what makes me excited, they are going up and doing extra stuff on their own, as a group. They are doing things together outside of softball and that makes me very pleased.”

Scott said the camaraderie of the 2012 Lady Wildcats is one thing that will set this team a part. He said that there have been many occasions where the girls have called him up and said ‘we’re going to go up and practice, is that ok?’ Something Scott said never happened last year on a large scale.

There will be a lot of new faces taking the field when the Lady Wildcats first step on the diamond this year. Piedmont graduated a staggering six starts last year. Read more →

Most expected the move to 5A

Greg Evans

Greg Evans, sports editor

By Greg Evans
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com 

Last week, the top news in sports was Piedmont’s move up to Class 5A. This would have been a wildly surprising to some communities around the state, but residents of this community have been long awaiting the jump.

Coaches, administrators and fans around the community have been talking about the move for, at least, as long as I’ve been a part of the community. With that long of a lead up time, coaches are prepared for the move.

The odd position Piedmont has been in for the past few years has been that many of their sports were already a part of Class 5A.

Despite the jump for many programs, some individual sports, like track, know the 5A all too well.

Piedmont’s luxury in this situation is that coaches knew the move was coming and could prepare. By joining a conference like the Suburban Conference in basketball, softball (before Classes 5A and 6A transitioned to districts) and other sports, players have long been getting tuned for the class jump.

The enrollment numbers from the largest Class 5A school to the smallest school in the class vary by over 300 students a day. Compare that to the about 150 or so disparity in 4A and the wealth of talent at the largest schools in 5A can be a challenge. This is also the part where I bring up the fact that the enrollment between Broken Arrow, largest school in the state, and Booker T. Washington, smallest Class 6A school, is over 3,000 students a day.

Yeah.

The depth of the larger Class 5A teams might be the most difficult adjustment the Wildcats have to make in the next few years.

The odds of finding an Adrian Peterson or Brandon Weeden, for example, in a pool of 1,200 students would be much higher than finding such a player in a pool of 600. Even if we don’t look at All NCAA level players, the more students you have at a school, the better the odds are you can put together a complete team.

At smaller schools, coaches have to game plan to hide their weaknesses. In basketball for example; if you don’t have a tall man, you center your offense around the perimeter. The larger schools, in theory, should be more able to make a complete team.

Of course, if it was all about numbers then Broken Arrow would win 6A everything every year, right?

You can’t win with 100 untrained players and you can’t win with a hall of fame coach who can’t field a full roster. Once you strike that perfect balance, special things will happen.

The jump will mean different things for every sport at Piedmont, which I plan to talk about in due course. For now, let’s acknowledge that the years of preparation for this move has Piedmont in a situation where most of its sports have maneuvered in such a way where they should be ready to compete at the 5A level.

We’re Back!!

Gazette back online with new site

The Piedmont Surrey Gazette is now back online at www.piedmontnewsonline.com.

This new site at least temporarily replaces the newspaper’s former website which was recently hijacked by a competitor.

Since access to e-mail addresses associated with the former Gazette website were also lost when the site was taken, the Gazette has established new e-mail addresses for readers and advertisers to communicate with the newspaper.

Publisher, Roger Pugh
publisher@piedmontnewsonline.com
Advertising, Randy Anderson
advertising@piedmontnewsonline.com
News, Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com
Sports, Greg Evans
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com
Accounts Payable, David Crain
dhcrain@piedmontnewsonline.com
Production, Becky Pearce
production@piedmontnewsonline.com
Classified Ads, Subscriptions, Legal Notices, Faye Edwards
fayeedwards@piedmontnewsonline.com

The newspaper is preparing legal actions to regain its old site, which was taken by a former employee after he became involved with a new competitor. Read more →

County issues burn ban

Burn Ban

Canadian County has officially been placed under a burn ban.

By Matt Montgomery
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

Canadian County has officially been placed under a burn ban and Piedmont Fire Chief Andy Logan said that means there is no outdoor burning allowed.

He said the burn ban was enacted by the Canadian County commissioners, and all burning is prohibited. He did say there is one exception for gas grills, with no exposed flames and a covered cooking surface.

However, the Piedmont Fire Department will make exceptions for welders and torchers, but it is on a limited basis.

“As far as welding and torching goes, it is on a case-by-case basis and you have to have adequate fire watchers, which are people other than the person doing the welding or the torching,” Logan said. “Obviously, you have to have fire extinguishers or some sort of pressurized water source.”

He explained that an adequate fire watcher would just be someone else there to act as a spotter, in case a fire were to ignite. Read more →

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