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Archive for: September 2012

Stout Drive south of Monroe closing Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept. 23

By Matt Montgomery

The City of Piedmont will Stout Drive just south of Monroe Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept.23 to replace a small sewer line in a trench on the side of the road.

City Manager Jim Crosby said the city made the decision to close the road on a weekend because the intersection of Stout Drive and Monroe is a heavy traffic area for buses during school hours.

He said the work is minor and should only take about six to eight hours and should be reopened in time for school and work on Monday.

He added that the city took precautionary measures to trench the sewer line by making sure they didn’t damage existing electrical lines that run underground in that area.

“We you take a chance on breaking somebody’s electrical lines or breaking electrical lines, it’s better to go ahead and trench it and get it fixed,” Crosby said.

Missing dog found after extensive search

By Matt Montgomery

Julie Riggs can finally find some sort of closure knowing where her 12-year-old boxer, Deacon is. A family who lives down the road from the Riggs found Deacon lying dead in a field while riding their four-wheeler in an area where friends and family had searched for him for days.

It was Thursday, Aug. 30 when the terminally-ill Deacon came up missing. Riggs said he had stage-end cancer and didn’t walk more than 250 feet from their front doorstep.

So, when he suddenly disappeared, Riggs became suspicious that someone could have picked the dog up thinking it was lost or even stole him.

“He had gotten to the point where his balance wasn’t very good, so he wouldn’t go very far,” Riggs said. “He really liked to go to the mailbox.”

The Riggs live on a five-acre isolated area with a fence line surrounding the property, so Riggs said it would’ve been virtually impossible for him to escape.

Riggs said she knew Deacon’s days were numbered because of the poor health he was in, but never thought he could just disappear the way he did. She said their family had even considered putting him down, but decided against that idea.

“We put him out with one of our younger dogs, put them out together and my son went to let them back in and the other dog barked and he was gone. He was just absolutely gone.”

After an exhausted search, Riggs called the Piedmont Police Department and filled a report that her dog went missing.

She even sought out the help of an only pet search engine called, www.lostmydoggie.com.

She paid the company $90 online and the company reacted immediately by sending out calls to 500 homes in and around her house on County Line and Edmond Road.

Riggs made flyers, called every veternarian clinic in the surrounding areas, pet shelters and utilized Facebook to enhance the search, but to no avail.

She said she and her family took riding lawnmowers and go-carts and searched their five acres for nearly two weeks.

It was Tuesday, Sept. 11 that a neighbor and his family found Deacon while riding their four-wheeler with their daughter.

He was about an acre away from the Riggs’ property.

Riggs said she would suggest to any animal owners in Piedmont that if someone’s animal were to get loose, to utilize the pet search website because although it didn’t find her dog, she said she felt that it would be a very effective tool for somebody else.

Apex set to hold open house Thursday

By Matt Montgomery

Virginia-based wind energy company, Apex, is scheduled to host its first open house today from 6 to 8 p.m. at Piedmont First United Methodist Church.

Apex Development Manager Kent Dougherty said he and members of Apex will be discussing the Kingfisher Wind Farm project that could potentially become a part of the Piedmont landscape.

Dougherty also indicated that Monday, Sept. 24, Apex will take a group of city officials, councilmen and Planning Commissioners on a guided tour of Apex’s existing project in Calumet called “Canadian Hills,” but this outing is not open to the public.

The Piedmont Planning Commission recently voted to adopt a commercial windmill ordinance at their last meeting.

Some residents, including a man who spoke at the Planning Commission meeting have their doubts about the potential project while others are welcoming the idea.

Dougherty, representing Apex at August’s Planning Commission meeting said the Kingfisher Wind Farm project would be beneficial to the Piedmont community by giving back to the schools.

Apex released its estimates for annual property tax revenue projections and its wind energy value by school districts Tuesday.

The charts, provided by Apex, indicate that six school districts including, Kingfisher, Cashion, Piedmont, Darlington and Okarche are estimated to receive $2,899,000 per year from Apex infrastructure. However, Dougherty emphasized that these figures are estimates and only estimates at this time.

Another chart sent by Apex highlights the local tax revenue estimates based on Oklahoma Tax Commission guidelines as well as each county’s Tax Levy tables and respective Units
of Taxation.

According to the estimates, the total average annual tax revenue is $3,679,000; 18.73 percent or $689,000 would be allotted to Piedmont through county, Emergency Medical Services, school district and vocational technology.

Piedmont blasts Western Heights

By Greg Evans

The Wildcats jumped out on top early against Western Heights on Friday and never let up. Piedmont dominated in all aspects of the game and cruised to a 47-6 victory.

Western Heights was able to move the ball with their spread option attack on the opening drive but a pair of back-to-back penalties stalled out the Jet attack. Brett Adams and Christian Foster connected for a touchdown passes few plays later and away went Western Heights. Piedmont’s extra point attempt was blocked.

On the ensuing kickoff, Dryden Abla was able to strip the ball away from the Jet return man and the Wildcats found themselves in great field position. Mitchell McGinnis waltzed his way into the endzone for the easy score. Piedmont went for two but failed. The Wildcats lead 12-0 midway through the opening quarter.

After struggling a bit on Western Height’s first drive, Piedmont’s defense made some major adjustments.

“We just started filling our gaps,” Kyle Owens said. “We had intensity, we hustled and we got to the ball.”

Trevor Gianfillipo picked off a Western Heights pass to set up, yet another, Wildcat scoring burst. Foster reeled in a pass to score on the resulting possession with just over a minute left in the first quarter. Read more →

Last minute drive lifts Piedmont over Harrah

By Greg Evans

Coaches look for players to step up with things get difficult. On Friday night, Brett Adams and Steffen Funkhouser were the players to step up.

Piedmont found themselves down three points with just over a minute left in the game following a Panther receiving touchdown. Rather than drop their heads and let the game slip away, the Wildcats rose up.

Piedmont got the ball on their own 47 yard line. Following a big loss on first down, Funkhouser caught an Adams pass to get the Wildcats in position for an easier first down. Another Funkhouser catch got Piedmont a first down with 29 seconds remaining. Adams found Funkhouser again on the next two plays to move Piedmont to the 20 and then in the endzone. The Wildcats’ final score came with just 19 seconds left on the clock.

“(The final drive) went so fast,” Coach Craig Church said. “The thing is we had guys step up in big situations. Brett had that cool head and Funk(houser) was making huge plays. With the talent we have at receiver, if we stay healthy, we’re going to be a hard team to stop.”

Piedmont’s night got off to a slow start due to an hour rain and lightning delay. Harrah came out and took a 7-0 lead with 4:50 left in the first quarter. Both teams struggled to move the ball in the first quarter and thanks to a late field goal, the Wildcats trailed by just four points after the first quarter. Read more →

Piedmont bats go silent in loss to Deer Creek

By Greg Evans

It’s hard for any team to eek out a victory when they only manage two hits all night. That’s exactly what happened on Thursday night when the Lady Antlers of Deer Creek held on to beat Piedmont 4-2.

Deer Creek hopped out to a one run lead after two, but Piedmont was able to pull it even when Jamie Lowrie scored on a Deer Creek error. The Lady Antlers extended their lead to 3-1 after a two run single in the bottom of the fourth. Lowrie batted in Brittany White, who was running for Kassidy Scott, in the fifth. It was just too little too late for Piedmont. Deer Creek tacked on another run in bottom of the fith.

The Lady Wildcats rotated through three pitchers on Thursday night. Courtney Anderson got the start and pitched one and one third inning, walking one. Scott two and two thirds innings, striking out and walking one. Lowrie closed the game for Piedmont, stepping into the circle in the bottom of the fifth and striking out five in two innings.

“I don’t get the chance to pitch much,” Lowrie said. Lowrie appeared in the circle for the third time this season on Thursday night. “I’m always ready to come in, I love to pitch.

“(Nights like tonight are) hard because we rely on our bats so much. When our bats aren’t on, we need to step up defensively and play lights out. We need to relax and play like we do when we are up; not uptight and nervous.”

The two run loss is tough, but something Piedmont has to put behind them quickly. Read more →

Founders Day is slated for Saturday

By Matt Montgomery

Piedmont Founders Day Chairman Cleve Wheeler said this year’s Founders Day Parade will officially begin with check-in at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 8 at the middle school. The committee will stop parade entry forms tonight.

Forms are available on their website at www.piedmontokfoundersday.org.

The parade route will start at the road just north of the elementary school, go on to Piedmont Road south to Monroe, then west to Second Street and back to the middle school.

Wheeler said there are about 25 entries in the parade this year, and the outdoor vendor booths are almost sold out completely.

He also said there are at least 40 outside vendors and 40 inside vendors this year.

The Piedmont Historical Society will play a big part in Founders Day by hosting an art auction in the Piedmont Annex building.

Historical Society Third Vice President Lois Dickerson said the artwork that will be auctioned off was donated by the family of Dorothy Dickerson.

“After she passed away, her boys brought her art to us and told us we could do whatever we wanted with it,” Dickerson said. “We hope people who knew her will want to buy some of her work.”

The Historical Society will also have an area set up for people to play horse shoes next to the Annex.
“We’ve got an old timer in his 90s that wants to play horse shoes,” she said.

The society is also using the Service Center’s bus to take people on a tour of the metro part of Piedmont.

They will be serving pies in the Historical Society building on Monroe Street.

There will also be a quilt raffle at the Historical Society.

Intermediate School’s year is off to a good start

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Students walk down the halls in between classes Tuesday at Piedmont Intermediate School.

By Matt Montgomery

Piedmont Intermediate School Principal Shawn Blankenship said he has received very positive feedback from the community so far about the school.

He said the biggest thing he hears from students and parents is the kids are excited about school.

“Kids have used the words ‘hard fun,’” he said. “Kids want to problem solve to do everything they can to work through what it is that they are doing.”

He said one of his favorite compliments so far is that the staff is very nice, and he added that one of the school’s focuses since day one has been to be a developmentally responsive school that’s built around 10 to 12-year-olds.

“We’ve worked hard to put together a staff that buys into that philosophy,” he said. “We understand that kids are still learning at this age.”

There are 465 students enrolled in Piedmont Intermediate School so far this year and Blankenship added that technology must be a big part of the learning process.

He said the second biggest priority is to include communication into the child’s education. Read more →

Planning Commission votes to adopt a windmill ordinance draft

By Matt Montgomery

The Piedmont Planning Commission voted Tuesday to adopt the first draft of a commercial windmill ordinance.

The commission took comments from the crowd during the meeting Tuesday, and among those who spoke was Piedmont resident John Guthrie who said he was very concerned about moving windmills into Piedmont.

“I’m concerned enough to a point that I had to come down here,” Guthrie said. “I don’t know if I should sell now or later.”

He added that he was concerned with windmills coming into Piedmont for several reasons, including affecting the property value.

Early concerns were about the height of the towers and noise. Commissioners originally said the height should need to be no higher than 45 feet for private use and the sound should be no more than 50 decibels.

Guthrie said he wants some answers and some clarification about the benefit to the community from wind farms. Read more →

Volleyball wins three of six in past week

By Greg Evans

Piedmont volleyball went three of six in the past week, including its first ever home victory. While the Lady Wildcats stumbled late against Chickasha on Tuesday, the week was a big success for the young program.

Piedmont hosted Chickasha on Tuesday and dropped the game in five sets; the Lady Chicks won 25-23, 19-25, 15-25, 25-23, 15-8. Piedmont rallied from a six point deficit in the first set but couldn’t overcome its slow start. The Lady Wildcats found their groove in the second set, taking an early four point lead and were able to pull away down the stretch. Piedmont got its biggest lead of the match, 14 points, in the third set enroute to a 10 point win. Chickasha battled back from a seven point deficit in the fourth set and battled to tie the game. The Fighting Chicks jumped out to a 6-4 lead in the fifth set and steadily pulled away to win the game.

“(After the game) we talked about how we don’t lose a lot of games, we defeat ourselves,” Megan Fuller said. “We have to be mentally there every set. We can’t count ourselves out when we get down and we can’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s about fighting and getting back in it.

“In a 15 point game, it’s a completely different game. Every point matters and it’s over so quick. You have to be strong from the start.”

Despite the outcome, Tuesday night was a strong showing from the Lady Wildcats. Read more →

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