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Archive for: February 2013

Piedmont family’s home catches on fire Wednesday evening

Lucy Wyant/Gazette
Ty and Kim Brown’s home caught fire Wednesday evening, Feb. 27. The Piedmont Fire Department and the Oklahoma City Fire Department put out the blaze before it could spread much further than the garage. An updated story will appear in the March 7 edition of the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette.

By Matt Montgomery

Kim and Ty Brown, who live on Paulette Drive in Piedmont were at home Wednesday, Feb. 27 at about 6 p.m., when the family dog, Barney, alerted Ty there was a problem. Ty Brown said when Barney normally alerts him the way he did is because it is time for him to go outside. This time, he was letting the Brown’s know their garage was on fire.

Ty Brown looked out the blinds in the living room and noticed smoke coming from the garage area and knew there was definitely a problem. He then woke his wife, Kim, up. She works nights for American Airlines so she was fast asleep when the fire started.

Ty Brown then grabbed their other two dogs, Dixie and Diesel, and the family stood at the edge of the grass as Piedmont Fire and Rescue and the Piedmont Police Department rushed onto the scene to put the fire out before it engulfed the hole house. Most of the damage was restricted to the garage area.

Ty and Kim Brown praised the Piedmont Fire Department for their quick response time and for saving the family Amazon parrot, Oscar, and the family hamster, Houdini. Read more →

Military veterans snubbed by city officials in effort to build Piedmont Area Veterans center

By Leon Meyer
MSGT, USAF, Retired

Organizers of Piedmont Area Veterans Association have officially withdrawn any requests for assistance from the City of Piedmont. This decision was made after the organizers appeared at two city council meetings and met with the city staff on numerous occasions and received no support for the Veterans Center.

The history of the endeavor is fraught with character attacks, false rumors, and council pressure on the city staff to raise numerous roadblocks. In the beginning the organizers had a dream to honor all veterans by construction of a building strictly for veterans. It would contain a military library, museum, and a meeting area for meetings and counseling. Initially it was thought to be a good project for the Historical Society as the organizers would raise all the funds for the building. After several meetings with the Board of Directors, it was clear that an agreement could not be reached.

Meetings were held to decide what direction the project would take. At that point Phil and Cindy Boevers offered to donate a building site on Edmond Road. A survey was obtained, and it was discovered that the site would be too small under City ordinances, lacking 5 feet in width, 70′ instead of 75′. The veterans took the survey to the city staff and understood there should be no problem with the site. Immediately rumor started that somehow Boevers would benefit from the building, which was totally false. Read more →

Apex schedules open houses in Piedmont and Okarche

Staff Reports

Apex Wind Energy is hosting two public information sessions to share facts about wind energy and the Kingfisher Wind farm project.

The first session will take place from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 at Okarche High School.

The second session will take place from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 at the Piedmont First United Methodist Church. Both sessions are free and will follow a “come and go” format, where Apex representatives will present information about wind energy, as well as updates on the wind analysis, development, construction, and technology of the Kingfisher Wind project.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a presentation about several wind energy topics, explore information about the project, review maps, and ask any questions they may have.

Presentations will take about 20 minutes and will be offered approximately every 10 minutes, allowing participants to come and go at their convenience. Light refreshments will be served.

The Kingfisher Wind Project is being developed in the unincorporated area of Canadian and Kingfisher counties east of Okarche, west of Piedmont, and north of Highway 3.

It is planned to include approximately 120 turbines that will produce 300 Megawatts of clean electricity, enough to power 100,000 American homes.

For more information about the community information sessions, contact Apex Communications Director Dahvi Wilson at dahvi.wilson@apexwind.com or (434) 220-6351.

Residents give mixed emotions toward April 2 election

By Matt Montgomery

Several Piedmont residents who have been through major elections in Piedmont before have expressed mixed emotions about the April 2 General Bond Obligation election. In fact, most of those who spoke about it said they are already leaning toward a “no” vote.

Piedmont resident Al Ridgely, who has lived over near Apache and Fina for 30 years said the road repairs project outlined by the $6 million bond doesn’t affect him and his area one bit, so why should he vote for it?

Ridgely believes the city is allocating too much of its money on what he calls frivolous fees and not using it to its full potential. Read more →

Intermediate School faced lock down situation

By Matt Montgomery

Piedmont Intermediate School students faced a scary situation Tuesday afternoon when their school went on lockdown at about 3 p.m.

Piedmont Police Chief Alex Oblein said he got word that Piedmont Fire Chief Andy Logan was flagged down by a resident while driving by the Intermediate School, claiming there was potentially a box that looked like it could be a bomb.

Oblein and other officers arrived on scene in less than a couple minutes after making contact with Logan.

Oblein said there were a couple of storage containers propped up in front of the drainage outlets at the Intermediate School. Piedmont School Resource Officer Scott Gibbons immediately took action and locked the school down until Piedmont authorities could identify what the boxes were.

Piedmont Det. Brian Dawson and Oblein approached the boxes and noticed there were holes in the boxes.

“Once we figured out what it was we unlocked the school,” Oblein said. Oblein speculated that the boxes were a makeshift refuge for stray cats. he said if they hadn’t seen the holes, they would have called the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad to inspect the boxes.

Area residents frustrated with early morning phone call alert

By Matt Montgomery

Piedmont Mayor Valerie Thomerson was sound asleep late Saturday night into Sunday morning when her phone abruptly went off. Usually when one gets a phone call like that late in the night, a friend’s in trouble or a love one has passed. Neither were the case.

Thomerson and every Piedmont resident who has a land line phone registered with the City of Piedmont got a CTY or a “Robo” call at about 1:40 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 24. The call was alerting residents to an impending blizzard that wasn’t even set to hit for at least another 24 hours after the phone call was made.

The second call Thomerson got was at about 1:48 a.m., from an irate neighbor asking about the phone call and why she got it if there was no imminent danger.

The Piedmont City Council originally approved an agreement at the January city council meeting to approve an unlimited use National Weather Service automated weather alerts service proposal from Blackboard Connect. Read more →

Janice Mills rebuilds after last year’s tragedies

Matt Montgomery?Gazette
Janice Mills sits in her chair in front of her house before it burned down. It has since been almost restored and she is set to move in by the end of March.

By Matt Montgomery

Piedmont resident Janice Mills has shown bravery and courage over the last year. First she lost her husband, Dennis, Nov. 21, 2012, she then lost her mother. After losing two of the loves in her life, Mills’ home caught on fire and was destroyed more or less.

She recalled the Sunday night when her house caught on fire, because it was the day after what would have been her 40th wedding anniversary. She said she dozed off to sleep in the living room in her home at 2408 Piedmont Rd. N around 10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, only to be awakened by a frantic pounding on her front door. It was passerby Mark Means beckoning her to get out of her burning house. Means, driving past the house, had noticed the flames shooting from Mills’ roof.

She managed to get out alive and could only watch as her house continued to burn. Read more →

Chamber Business After Hours Event rescheduled

Due to the inclement weather, the Piedmont Business After Hours originally scheduled for today will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 28.

The event will be at the offices of Piedmont Chiropractic and Piedmont Vision Center, 51 Gooder Simpson Boulevard.

The Plunging Po-Po’s dive into Polar Plunge frigid water

The Plunging Po-Po's

Submitted by David Annis
Piedmont Police officer Scott Gibbons and The Plunging Po-Po’s dived into the frigid cold water last Saturday, Feb. 16 at White Water Bay in Oklahoma City taking part in the Polar Plunge fundraiser.

By Matt Montgomery

Piedmont police officer and school resource officer Scott Gibbons bore the 40 degree water last Saturday at White Water Bay in Oklahoma City by diving into the Polar Plunge event.

Gibbons told The Gazette The Plunging Po-Po’s raised $5,000 representing the Piedmont Police Department. His team, The Plunging Po-Po’s is comprised of officers from several police departments including Oklahoma City and Piedmont.

“My personal goal was $1,000 and I beat that by about $700 so I was real pleased with that,” Gibbons said. “The money is what puts the (Special Olympics) winter and summer games on.”

Gibbons said the great thing about the Polar Plunge program is 10 percent of the funds that were raised are directly earmarked for the students in Piedmont. He said the money helps facilitate trips for students and student athletes to go on summer sports outings, and 10 percent of the assessed fees for a summer trip comes from the money generated from the Polar Plunge fundraiser.
“We are helping both the kids in our community and helping the (Oklahoma Special Olympics) games, too.

Sen. Rob Johnson introduces wind farm buffer Senate Bill No. 912 into legislation

By Matt Montgomery

Oklahoma Sen. Rob Johnson introduced two pieces of legislature recently, one of which calls for a moratorium on wind farm facilities utilizing wind turbines located within a 10-mile radius of any municipality of 200,000 or more residents. This piece of legislature is Senate Bill No. 912.

Johnson said this senate bill will come up for committee to vote on this in the next couple of weeks. He also sought out the opinion of the Oklahoma Attorney General.

“That’s just to clarify that Attorney General’s opinion to make it clear if the Canadian County commissioners would like to do this,” he said. “This is up to a three-mile buffer.”

He said the distance of the buffer around a proposed wind farm will be up to the Canadian County commissioners.

Johnson said he has met with landowners on both sides of the wind farm argument.

He said he is a strong supporter of wind energy. Read more →

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