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Archive for: February 2013

Piedmont High School student joins elite academic all-state club

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Piedmont High School senior Hunter Edwards made the 2013 Oklahoma Academic All-State team. He was the only student from Piedmont to do so.

By Matt Montgomery

Hunter Edwards is the only student from Piedmont and one of 100 students statewide to join the elite and prestigious 2013 Oklahoma Academic All-State team.

He is also the 13th person in Piedmont High School history to achieve this honor.

Edwards attributes his academic success to his faith, determination to succeed and good work ethic. He carries the highest grade point average (GPA) at Piedmont High School. He holds a whopping 4.21 GPA, scored a 1430 on the SAT, a 34 on the ACT and will be the 2013 Valedictorian. Edwards said he wants to go to Oklahoma Christian University next year and major in mechanical engineering.

Edwards said his experience at Piedmont High School was a great one.
He said he only wanted to take advanced placement classes as he could, to prepare himself for college.

To Edwards, knowledge is power and spells a lifetime of success.

“I’d always been taught that everything you’re doing, you’re doing for the Lord,” he said. “So I didn’t do it for competition between other people, I just measured myself to myself. What I could do rather than what other people could do.” Read more →

Piedmont family preserves piece of history, restores iconic barn

Submitted by Maree‘ Treece
The Treece family sits in front of their original family barn which is widely considered one of the most iconic structures in the Piedmont community. At over 100 years old, the younger generation of the McGranahan family has decided to build a new barn, preserving a rich legacy left behind in the process. From left to right are Joan Yowell, Robert Treece, Aimee’ Treece, Maree’ Treece, Melissa Prigmore and her daughter, Ashlynn Prigmore.

By Matt Montgomery

Preserving history is important to the Treece family. The iconic and historic barn that sits on top of the hill to the southwest of the intersection of the Northwest Expressway and Piedmont Road has been in their family for more than 100 years.

The McGranahan family settled on this piece of property in the late 1800s, before the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. They raised they family in that house that still stands on top of the hill and they died in that house on top of the hill to the south of Piedmont. But, their legacy lives on.

Maree’ Treece is a third generation McGranahan. She said the iconic house on the hill is her great-great-great grandparents’ house. She recalled her great-great-great grandfather, James McGranahan, was Oklahoma City’s first postmaster. McGranahan’s wife, Sarah, ran the first hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

The McGranahan’s used to have a barn next to their home on top of the hill, but it collapsed in the 1990s. So now, the Treece’s are carrying on their family’s history and building a new barn, modeled after the original one.

Robert Treece said their family had talked about rebuilding the barn since the original one collapsed. He said after noticing all of the recent development that is happening in the Piedmont area, he and his family decided it was time to go ahead and build the barn. Read more →

Sundance CEO plans major overhaul to airport

By Matt Montgomery

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Sundance CEO Jerry Hunter has a major overhaul planned for Sundance Airport including a new terminal, 80 new hangers, an aviation-themed restaurant and condo hangers.

Edmond entrepreneur Jerry Hunter recently purchased Sundance Airport and plans to sink about $3.4 million into the facility. He said he plans on a major overhaul to the airport, located near 122nd and Sara Road.

Hunter isn’t new to running a well-organized and efficient business model. In addition to being the Chief Executive Officer for Sundance, he is also the CEO of U.S. Fleet Tracking.

He said he’s a little embarrassed to show visitors around the 1980s-themed Sundance in its current state, decked out with gaudy décor and pink-painted bathrooms and hallways.

“The carpet is torn and tattered and ratty,” Hunter said. “The place looks like a 1970s gas station.”

But Hunter has a vision to turn the rundown gas station airport into a thriving business hub for pilots and community members alike. Read more →

Original Williams Grocery in Tuttle burns down

Williams FireWilliams Fire 2
Jeff Harrison/Tuttle Times

The original Williams Grocery in Tuttle caught on Fire early Thursday morning. Firefighters from Tuttle and surrounding communities battled the blaze for several hours early Thursday morning.

Seefeldt replaces Blankenship’s vacant school board seat

By Matt Montgomery

Karen Green and Andrea Seefeldt

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Piedmont School Board President Karen Green swears in Andrea Seefeldt to the Piedmont School Board at the Monday, Feb. 11 meeting.

Andrea Seefeldt was sworn into the Piedmont School Board Tuesday to fill the vacant school board seat last occupied by Alan Blankenship, who moved out of the area from which he was elected to serve.

The five school board members are elected from geographical districts within the Piedmont School District.

Piedmont Schools Superintendent James White said Blankenship moved into a different geographical boundary within Piedmont late last year.

White said Seefeldt will serve the rest of Blankenship’s school board term, which is one year. After that year is up, the school board seat will be appointed by a vote of the people in a general election.
The other school board members are Karen Green (president) Jerrod Moser (vice president) Stanley Nance (Clerk) and Laura King-Reed (member).

Wildcats fall to Wagoner at dual state

By Greg Evans

Piedmont’s first ever trip to dual state ended in the opening round last Saturday against Wagoner. The Wildcat wrestlers fought hard but the Bulldogs were able to pull away late and Piedmont fell 34-23.

The opening round of dual state starts at the 126 pound weight class. Alex Cardenas lost 8-5. Reece Henry (132 lbs.) lost by 4-2 in an overtime period and Piedmont fell behind 6-0.

Francisco Lopez (138 lbs.) got the Wildcats their first win of the day with a 7-1 decision.

Shelby Miller lost the 145 lbs. match by a score of 7-3 and Piedmont trailed 9-3.

Blane Culp scored four points for the Wildcats in the 152 lbs. match by winning 17-2 in the second period. Piedmont trailed 9-8.

Dryden Abla (160 lbs.) lost 5-2, Darryl Burns (170 lbs.) lost 12-1 and Brody Largent (182 lbs.) lost 15-9. Wagoner’s lead grew from one to 11 over the three matches.

Caleb Richter won the 195 lbs. match 4-1 to break the drought. Piedmont trailed 19-11. Read more →

Phone solicitation aimed to scam Piedmont residents

Staff Reports

A report has been filed on Wednesday, Feb. 13 with the Piedmont Police Department about somebody soliciting Piedmont citizens for money for the Metro Firefighter Association to provide fire prevention, CPR and other activities.

The person named “Chris” stated he was associated with the Piedmont Fire Department. Chief Logan stated there is nobody that should be calling and soliciting funds for the Piedmont Fire Department.

Piedmont Fire Chief Andy Logan said he has also received phone calls from someone claiming to be from the Metro Firefighters Association.

“Local residents, including myself, are receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be from the Metro Firefighters Association, soliciting donations that will be used for fire prevention, CPR classes and other important areas for local firefighters,” Logan said. “When asked what firefighters will be receiving these funds, the caller states that the funds will go to the Piedmont Fire Department.”

Logan was at home when he received the call and told the man that he was the fire chief then the man hung up. Logan said when he tried to call back the number was disconnected.

Logan said the Piedmont Fire Department is not soliciting any donations from Piedmont residents.

He said if anyone from Piedmont receives a call like this to not give any money and to call the Piedmont Police Department.

“We are also not affiliated with a group called Metro Firefighters Association,” Logan said. “I have notified the police department and we will put a notification on our website.”

Great Plains National Bank presents check to Piedmont Students to help with Odyssey program


Great Plains National Bank presentation of $500 check

Submitted by Great Plains National Bank
Katie Blankenship of Great Plains National Bank presents a $500 check to the Piedmont Creativity Club for their Odyssey of the Mind teams.

Great Plains National Bank presented a check for $500 to local Piedmont students who are currently participating in the Odyssey of the Mind program. The money will be used by team members to help with the cost of their trip to the World Finals that will take place at Michigan State University in May.

Team members include elementary students Dylan Kling, Justin Whiting, Parker Taggart, Colby Bethea, Ashton Raymond, Nate Brant, and Gabby McGarraugh, coached by Cheryl Taggart. High school team members are Jaidyn McAdoo, Parker Strubhar, Payton Strubhar, Chad Weemhoff, Jake Loper, Quent Wheeler and Lennart Denecke. They are coached by Rustin and Jennifer Strubhar.

To make a donation to the Piedmont Creativity Club to help with costs for Odyssey of the Mind, an account has been established at Great Plains National Bank.

For more information, call Great Plains National Bank Piedmont Branch at 720-4700.

Dr. Tamra States resigns from Board of Adjustments, cites political factions: ‘Can’t afford to upset’

By Roger Pugh and Matt Montgomery

Piedmont Board of Adjustments (PBOA) member Dr. Tamra States resigned today (Thursday) from that board, apparently amid a battle she thinks might be starting to brew over the location of the proposed new Piedmont Area Veteran’s Center.

“…there are political factions in Piedmont and as a business owner, I cannot afford to make a vote that will upset either side, States said in her resignation letter to Mayor Valerie Thomerson, delivered Thursday to city hall. States is a Chiropractor with a practice here in Piedmont.

She said she felt the situation would be a ‘no win’ for her and her business, no matter how she voted on the matter to grant certain variances on the property where the veteran’s group is proposing to build the center.

“I have friends and patients on both sides of the issue,” she said.

A group of Piedmont military veterans have organized a non-profit organization, the Piedmont Area Veterans Association, Inc, (PAVA) to build a proposed center for area veterans and to house military memorabilia from these veterans. Read more →

Robert Simpson files as only candidate for Ward 1 City Council seat

Staff Reports

The Piedmont City Council Ward 1 seat filing period closed at 5 p.m., yesterday, Wednesday, Feb. 6, and Piedmont resident Robert Simpson was the only person who filed.

The Ward 1 City Council seat, currently held by Larry Gage, will be Simpson’s after the April 2 election.

Canadian County Election Board Assistant Secretary Vada Holstein said as of Thursday, no one other than Simpson had filed. She said he will atomically be elected as Ward 1 City Councilman.

Gage decided not to run again for Piedmont City Council Ward 1, so he could spend time with his family and his grandchildren.

Simpson is also a former Piedmont City Councilman.

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