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Archive for: February 2014

Planning Commission approves PUD: Council to hold workshop

Boevers: ‘This will increase economic activity’

Ron Cardwell

Bobby Williamson












By Matt Montgomeryeditor@piedmontnewsonline.com

The Piedmont Planning Commission approved a Planned Unit Development (PUD) ordinance Thursday that is a proposed plat of land for 166 acres of residential plots.

The Piedmont City Council tabled the PUD item this past Monday, during their regularly scheduled February Piedmont City Council monthly meeting.

City Councilman Bobby Williamson said the city council, along with the planning commission and local developers want to have a special workshop to visit this PUD topic a little further.

Local developer Phil Boevers said in a prepared statement to The Gazette Wednesday, “SBS is working with the City of Piedmont to develop this area in accordance with the existing PUD which will increase economic activity in Piedmont and benefit the City and its Citizens. The only item currently being discussed is the Preliminary Plat for the First phase of this development which plat complies with city codes. The
preliminary Plat has been approved by the Planning Commission and City Staff.” Read more →

Gold rush for PHS Swimming at State

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Conner St. John poses with the three gold medals he won at the State swimming meet this past weekend at the Mitch Park YMCA Aquatic Center in Edmond.

By Evan Grice


It was perhaps the finest hour for the Piedmont swimming program in its history.

At the state finals this past weekend in Edmond at the Mitch Park YMCA Aquatic Center, the PHS swimmers managed to bring home four state championships, and in the process set the tone for the future.

As a team, the Wildcats finished in fifth overall, despite having the lowest number of participants on their squad on the boy’s side. Read more →

Indians hand No. 3 Piedmont blowout defeat

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Dupree Millhouse dribbles on the offensive end as El Reno’s Sage Lamebull tries to steal the ball Monday night in El Reno.

By Evan Grice


Less than three days after claiming one of their biggest wins of the season, the No. 3 Piedmont Wildcats got their biggest loss of the season Monday night.

Against No. 6 El Reno, the Wildcats came out strong in the first few minutes, but the buzz fizzled out before the end of the quarter, ultimately leading to a 64-44 defeat.

The loss was the second in three games for the Wildcats (15-4), who will host Guymon in the first round of regionals Friday night at 8 p.m. from Collett Fieldhouse. Read more →

No. 7 Lady Wildcats claim 10th straight victory

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Sydney Morrison brings the ball down in transition as she tries to block the oncoming defense of El Reno players Teresa Blurton (22) and Sheridan Gray during the second quarter Monday night at Jenks Simmons Fieldhouse in El Reno. Morrison finished the game with four points on the night as the Lady Wildcats won 57-48.

By Evan Grice


If you’re going to go into the playoffs with some momentum, you might as well do it on a 10-game winning streak.

That’s what the No. 7 Piedmont Lady Wildcats will be doing this weekend, after they finished off their regular season finale Tuesday night at Jenks Simmons Fieldhouse in El Reno with a convincing 57-48 victory over the No. 8 Lady Indians.

With the win, the Lady Wildcats finished off a season sweep of El Reno and improved to 15-4 on the season. Piedmont will be hosting Guymon (7-14) on Thursday night Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. in the first round of the regional tournament. Read more →

No. 3 Wildcats survive No. 4 Titans in Overtime

Evan Grice/Gazette
PHS students and players from the Wildcat basketball team celebrate on the court following Piedmont’s dramatic 73-71 overtime win Friday.

By Evan Grice


In front of the biggest crowd at Collett Fieldhouse this season, the No. 3 Piedmont Wildcats gave their fans something special to remember Friday night.

Against the No. 4 Carl Albert Titans, the Wildcats fought back from a 49-43 third deficit, to claim a dramatic 73-71 victory in overtime.

Following the contest, the Piedmont student section stormed the court in celebration with the Wildcat players and coaching staff as the Wildcats clinched at least a share of the Suburban Conference title, and in the process ensured the Wildcats finished the regular season with a perfect home record. Read more →

Collett Classic: No. 7 Lady Cats pull upset over No. 3 Lady Titans

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Hayden Priddy pulls up on her dribble as Carl Albert Lady Titans player Jordan Gilbert defends during the second half Friday night at Collett Fieldhouse. The Lady Wildcats won over Carl Albert.

By Evan Grice


It’s been said that adaptation is the key to survival.

For the No. 7 Piedmont Lady Wildcats, their ability to adapt and adjust kept their recent winning streak alive against No. 3 Carl Albert Friday night at Collett Fieldhouse.

Down 25-19 at halftime, head coach Jamie Hill made the chance to go to a 1-3-1 zone in the second half, which left Carl Albert frustrated, and eventually on the wrong end of a 46-43 upset. Read more →

PHS wrestling sending eight to state tourney

Photo Provided by Julia Henry
At the regional tournament this past weekend in Del City, the Piedmont wrestling program qualified eight wrestlers for the state tournament this weekend at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Arena. Pictured from left to right, Michael Lopez, Reece Henry, Steven Sharp, Alex Cardenas, Blane Culp, Brody Largent, Coulton Parker and Francisco Lopez. Matches will begin Friday morning with the finals beginning Saturday evening.

By Evan Grice


There was plenty to celebrate for the Piedmont wrestling team this past weekend in Del City, and there could be even more happening this weekend in Oklahoma City.

At the regional tournament held at Del City High School, the Wildcats qualified eight wrestlers for the state tournament, and in the process finished fourth as a team overall.

Steven Sharp (106), Coulton Parker (120), Michael Lopez (126), Alex Cardenas (132), Reece Henry (138), Francisco Lopez (145), Blane Culp (170), and Brody Largent (182) will all have the chance to wrestle for a state title after punching their tickets to the big dance this weekend. Read more →

Piedmont softball adds three college commits

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Courtney Anderson prepares to lay down a bunt during the PCO Tournament earlier this season. Anderson will play college softball at Rose State College in Midwest City after making a verbal commitment last week.

By Evan Grice


It’s been a banner year for the Piedmont softball program when it comes to college signings.

This past week, three more Lady Wildcat standouts added their names to the college ranks as senior Courtney Anderson committed her future to Rose State College in Midwest City; junior Michelle Brandon gave a commitment to East Central University, and sophomore Kassidy Scott officially gave a verbal commitment to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Read more →

School enrollment numbers showing big increase

By Matt Montgomery

The number of students enrolled in Oklahoma public schools has increased for the 2013-14 school year. The total enrollment of students attending public schools in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 is 681,578. That is an increase of 8,388 students from 673,190 in 2012-13 enrollment and 27,036 more than in 2009, five years ago.

“Because of this sharp growth in enrollment over the past five years,” said state Superintendent Janet Barresi, “I have asked for additional funding for schools from the state Legislature. I’m pleased that even in a tight revenue year, Gov. Fallin has proposed a significant increase for K-12 education.

“Additional funding certainly isn’t the sole answer, but we are working to ensure that common education receives as much funding as possible given fiscal realities. I also continue to ask local school boards and administrators to do their best to get dollars to the classroom so our teachers are better equipped to teach this growing number of students.”

Piedmont Schools Superintendent James White acknowledged that Piedmont Schools’ enrollment numbers have increased as well.

Over the past year, our enrollment has grown by almost 200 students,” White said. “This growth has been a trend in our district for the last several years, and it is a pattern that we anticipate continuing in the future.”

With Piedmont’s population at about 6,800, nearly have of the population of Piedmont is comprised of students. The difference of students enrolled is 3,280 in 2013 and 3,093 in 2012. ”Our school district provides a well-rounded and quality education to each student,” White said. “And this effort is reflected in the increased enrollment.

Annual enrollment numbers come from the Oct. 1 enrollment count taken annually by every public school district and charter school site in the state as received by the State Department of Education’s accreditation office. Results are then certified.

Oklahoma’s student population is 52 percent white, 15 percent Hispanic, 15 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native, 9 percent black, 7 percent “two or more races” and 2 percent Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, according to the 2013-14 data.

The three largest school districts in the state remain Oklahoma City Public Schools with 45,717 students, Tulsa with 41,115 and Edmond with 23,020. Moore, Putnam City, Broken Arrow, Norman, Union, Lawton and Midwest City-Del City round out the top 10.

All 10 districts made up the same list last year, although some have changed ranking.

Piedmont Schools Superintendent James White

Piedmont’s enrollment numbers for 2013-14 by school are as follows: Piedmont Elementary-428; Piedmont Primary-233; Stone Ridge-393; Northwood-451; Piedmont Intermediate-486; Piedmont Middle School-510; Piedmont High School-773.

Cops raise money for Special Olympics

By Matt Montgomery

Piedmont Police Officers Scott Gibbons and Brian Alexander were part of the group who have raised $7,670 so far this year for Special Olympics Oklahoma.

Gibbons and Alexander and the rest of the Plunging Po-Po’s dived into the frigid water Saturday at White Water Bay during the Polar Plunge event. They were joined by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office, Oklahoma City Police Department and many other area law enforcement agencies.

The Plunging Po-Po’s took home the Guardians of the Future Spirit Award for being the organization who raised the most money so far towards Special Olympics of Oklahoma in 2013.

Gibbons has been participating in the Polar Plunge for nine years now and enjoys raising money for a good cause.

“For me, it’s kind of hard to put into words,” he said. “I started my career in law enforcement in 1998. Almost immediately in 1999, I started in small functions on L.E.T.R. (Law Enforcement Torch Run). Everybody assumes that LETR is a running aspect and I’ve never had to run in anything that I’ve done, but it is the largest grass roots fund raising effort for Special Olympics.”

Gibbons is an avid fund raiser for Special Olympics of Oklahoma, participating in several events throughout the year. Two of the events he participates in is Polar Plunge and Cops on Donut Shops.

At Saturday’s event, there was one Piedmont resident, two Piedmont Police officers, two twin 7-year-old girls and some of Gibbons’ friends who decided to volunteer to take the plunge.

“Brian Alexander is a rookie officer and he didn’t know any better,” Gibbons said. “The rest of them are basically friends of mine.”

Gibbons said it was totally worth jumping into the pool at White Water to raise money for Special Olympics. He said once someone gets involved with the program, it is hard to step away from it.

He is also a unified partner in Special Olympics Oklahoma Summer Games, having worked with inner-city Crooked Oak school for the past 10 years.

Because Gibbons represents the City of Piedmont, 10 percent of the money raised by his team will be earmarked for special needs athletes within Piedmont.

He said that 10 percent could be used to pay for the special needs athletes’ room and board from Piedmont who play in the Special Olympics.

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Piedmont Police Officer Scott Gibbons and the rest of the Plunging Po-Po’s dive into the frigid cold water last Saturday morning at White Water Bay in Oklahoma City during the Polar Plunge event. The event was a fund raiser, to raise money for Special Olympics of Oklahoma.

“Not only is it making sure the games are there, but it’s making sure that our local kids get there,” he said.

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