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Archive for: July 2013

City Council remains divided


Piedmont City Council Meeting

Councilman Vernon Woods (left) speaks during Monday nights City Council meeting. Also pictured: Councilman Robert Simpson, Jennifer Smith, City Clerk, and Wade Harden, Community Development Director.


By Blake Colston

Councilman Vernon Woods argued the 50 cent increase on all new buildings built in excess of 2,000 square feet and a 25 cent increase on buildings in excess of 3,000 square feet would help pay for road improvements in Piedmont. Ordinance 585 brought the most heated debate of the evening. The ordinance provides an amendment to the city code to increase fees on all new construction of residential, private, commercial and public buildings.

“We’ve got problems we’ve got to solve,” Woods said. “How are we going to solve them? Are we just going to bury our heads in the sand and ignore it?”

But Coffman argued that Piedmont’s building fees are already amongst the highest in the metro area, and that any further increase could stunt growth. Currently, only Edmond has a higher building fee than Piedmont.

“Is that what you really want to do?” Coffman asked.

“I’m tired of driving on broken roads that we have allowed to occur in the past,” Woods responded, arguing that new builders have a responsibility to help pay for roads they will use.

Woods contends that because of a lack of sales tax revenue, Piedmont is forced to bring funds in from other places to make necessary repairs to essential infrastructures.

“We do not have a sales tax base to pay for the stuff that’s going to be going on, I guarantee it,” he responded. Read more →

Son follows in fathers footsteps


Blake Colston
Sports Editor

EDMOND – The saying, like father, like son, applies here.

Piedmont boys head basketball coach Ryan Wagner is preparing to coach the West team in the All-State basketball game Aug. 3 in Tulsa at Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center.

Something his dad, George Wagner, did almost 20 years to the day that Ryan will.

That’s something that brings a smile to Wagner’s face.

“I’m really proud of him. I think he’s a done great job there in Piedmont building the program,” the elder Wagner said.

“I’m kind of prejudiced being his Dad, but I think he’s done a great job and he’s a great coach.”

When Ryan Wagner received his notification letter in April, he initially didn’t realize he had been selected.

“I got a letter saying they had removed me from Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Selection Committee. I was like, ‘Oh, OK,’” he recalled.

As Wagner continued reading through the letter he soon understood why.

“At the bottom of the letter it read, ‘because you’ve been selected to coach the all-state game.’”

Wagner’s excitement was palpable then and now, but his Dad’s still hasn’t subsided.

“He hasn’t stopped talking about it since we found out,” Ryan Wagner said. “He’s really excited about it.” Read more →

Piedmont pair earn starting spots at SWOSU

Blake Coulson

Sports Editor

WEATHERFORD – For four seasons Caitlyn Deason and Courtney Miller got used to seeing each other on the softball field at Piedmont High School.

So much so they decided to play together in college. Actually, the duo’s choice to play together at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford was the result of a bit of a domino effect.

“We took our visits back to back and we both just loved it,” Miller recalled. “I remember I called coach (Tami) Loy and committed. Then Caitlyn was just kind of like, ‘I love that you’re going there.’ I think that’s when we decided that’s where we should both go.”

Once they were at Southwestern, it didn’t take long for Miller and Deason to find one another in a familiar position. The pair both cracked the starting lineup as freshmen for the Lady Bulldogs.

Recruited as infielders with the potential to play outfield, Miller and Deason both found playing time in the outfield. Miller started 32 of SWOSU’s 44 games while Deason made 11 starts.

But not everything was the same. Coming from a highly successful Piedmont program, Miller and Deason experienced something during their first college season they’d never dealt with before – losing – the Lady Bulldogs lost nine straight games at one point and finished the season 16-36 overall and 10-24 in Great American Conference play.

“It was a lot different,” Deason said. “Courtney and I kind of got through it together because it was tough at times.”

SWOSU head coach Tami Loy said she brought the Piedmont pair into her program because of their talent and because they were used to winning.

“Coach Scott does a great job giving them that winning taste,” she said. “They’re constantly in the state tournament. That’s what we’re trying to bring in, kids that have that desire to push themselves to get to the highest level possible.” Read more →

Local company makes it a shade better

Chad Banks

Robert Flippo/Chieftain
Chad Banks, of Outback Concepts, stands in front of a finished pergola at a home in Okarche.


By Robert Flippo

Chad Banks knows how to keep cool. Specifically, he knows how to keep other people cool. His company, Outback Concepts, specializes in building pergolas, as well as screen rooms and sun rooms, and does business all over Oklahoma.

“People come to me looking for shade,” Banks said.

That might sound a little abstract, people calling up and asking for shade, but that is the way Banks sees it.

For Banks, it is not just about constructing a pergola or screen room, it is about providing a unique service. When it gets as warm as it does in Oklahoma, frequently surpassing the hundred degree mark, the last thing most people want to do is go outside.

The things that Banks builds give people the ability to enjoy the outdoors while staying cool.

Knowing that he brings people together outside is one of the main reasons Banks enjoys what he does. “I love to see the look on people’s faces when it’s done.” Banks said. “I love when they call me two or three months down the road and say ‘This is awesome. I love the shade, thanks for coming out.’” Read more →

Piedmont slugger ready to shine at OC

Jordan Chism


Blake Colston
Sports Editor

Jordan Chism lit up Class 4A softball with her bat.

As a senior at Piedmont, Chism was named first team Little All-City after hitting .518 with seven home runs and 61 RBI for a Lady ‘Cats team that reached the state finals.

Now, she’s ready for her next challenge. This fall, she’ll begin her college softball career at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond.

Chism is one of only two players to start all four seasons during head coach Rick Scott’s tenure at Piedmont and Scott believes she’ll make an immediate impact on an Oklahoma Christian program that finished 22-22 overall last season.

“I think she’ll be the catalyst that helps turn that team around into a contender in NCAA Division II,” the coach said.

A third baseman and pitcher by trade, Chism expects to focus primarily on hitting and fielding at OC. And because the Lady Eagles return a senior starter at third base, Chism could play on the other side of the infield as a freshman. Read more →

A comeback story

Landon Sharp image

OU Athletics Communication
Landon Sharp Posted a top-10 finish at the Razorback Invitational after he cleared 6-9.0 (2.06m) to finish ninth in the high jump.


Blake Colston
Sports Editor

NORMAN – Landon Sharp thought his track career was finished.

During the Big 12 Track and Field Championships at Baylor University in Waco, Texas this past May, Sharp felt some tightness in his left Achilles.

“I was doing some warm up approaches and my Achilles just really started hurting,” Sharp said. “But I didn’t want to stop so I kept going.”

A few minutes later, on his first attempt of the meet, Sharp’s leg gave out and the Achilles tendon in his take off leg tore.

“I knew what happened as soon as it happened,” he said. “When it snaps all that pressure is released and the tendon shoots up into your calf muscle.”

The University of Oklahoma high jumper crumpled to the ground in pain. For minutes and maybe hours afterwards, Sharp worried his career at OU might be over. Read more →

Piedmont residents celebrate freedom

Piedmont Roundup Club

Robert Flippo/Gazette
Members of the Piedmont Round-Up Club carried an American flag at the end of the parade.


Robert Flippo

Piedmont’s annual Freedom Fest once again brought big festivities to a small town.

It started with wonderful weather, clear skies and temperatures that were warm but not too warm. It was the perfect weather to go outside, fire up the barbeque and then head to Piedmont Road for Freedom Fest.

The parade did not start until seven, but the area around Piedmont Elementary was thriving for hours preceding the parade.

With an array of inflatable playgrounds provided by Bounce Town, booths set up by various Piedmont organizations, and games set up by the Piedmont Fire Department, there was no shortage of ways for family to stay entertained.

There were also a number of refreshments, from watermelon provided by the city to snow cones and barbeque for sale. Read more →

From teenage prodigy to professional?

Florida State Media Relations

Blake Colston
Sports Editor

Dria Hampton wouldn’t change a thing about the last four years. She’s happy with where she’s been and where she’s going.

“When I look into the mirror I can look into it and be honest with myself and be pretty happy with where I am today and the decisions I’ve made,” Hampton says.

That says a lot.

The Piedmont High School graduate wrapped up her college soccer career at Florida State University in May when her Seminole team lost to Penn State 2-1 in the NCAA Tournament Semifinals in San Diego.

Ending her career in the NCAA Semifinals might’ve always been part of Hampton’s plan, but playing at Florida State was not.

Considered a teenage prodigy since age 14, Hampton played with the U.S. National soccer team pool. After her freshman season at Putnam City North High School, Hampton transferred to Piedmont.

With no high school program at Piedmont, Hampton continued to play with her club team, ESC 90, where she garnered national attention, leading her team to eight state championships and three regional finals. Read more →

Undercover sting at Lake Hefner nets Piedmont resident

Jay Stout

Jay Stout, seen here celebrating his 70th birthday last year, was arrested this week on charges of lewd acts in a public place by Oklahoma City police.

By Becky Pearce

In an undercover sting at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, police arrested 34 people including 70-year-old Jay Stout of Piedmont, a former Piedmont city councilman.

Responding to numerous complaints of lewd activities from concerned citizens, including a father who had been sailing on the lake with his two children and reported seeing two men having sex on the road at Hobie Point, police conducted a four-day sting operation which lead to multiple arrests. Those arrested, ranging in age from 26 to 78 years old, were accused of engaging in an act of lewdness in a public place and included Stout along with three employees of the State of Oklahoma: Yanskton Jesko, 37, employed by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Romeo Taguinod, 62, employed by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and Ernest Hall, 43, who said he was an assistant coach at Stillwater High School. The Stillwater High school denies having anyone employed by the name of Earnest Hall.  According to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, Taguinod was fired immediately after the incident. Read more →

Piedmont Historical Society, Parks and Recreation to host Yard and Garden Tour

  • Matt and Lisa Capshaw
  • Matt and Lisa Capshaw
  • Lois Dickerson
  • Lois Dickerson


By Robert Flippo

The Piedmont Historical Society and the Piedmont Parks and Recreation Department are joining forces to put on a Piedmont Yard and Garden tour July 13.

The yard and garden tour is the brainchild of Lois Dickerson, chairman of the public relations committee for the Piedmont Historical Society.

“We decided we’d do this as something to promote the community,” Dickerson said.

The tour offers people the opportunity to visit homes in the Piedmont area with exceptional yards and gardens. At each stop along the tour, participants will be able to speak with the homeowners and get gardening tips and ideas to use at their own homes. In addition, there will be a drawing for door prizes at each stop. The prizes will include gardening related items.

When Dickerson announced the Yard and Garden Tour at a Piedmont Chamber of Commerce meeting, it caught the notice of Lyn Land, chairman of Parks and Recreation. Land has been working toward getting Piedmont classified as the first Community Wildlife Habitat with the National  Wildlife Federation. Read more →

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