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Archive for: May 2014

Winners through coaching: Three PHS coaches earn awards and honors

Brad Brucker image

By Evan Grice


It’s been said that behind every great team, there’s a great coach.

For three Piedmont coaches, their achievements with their respective teams have not gone unnoticed this season, and they have been honored for their accomplishments.

PHS Tennis coach Liz Sawatzky, Softball coach Rick Scott and girls soccer coach Brad Brucker all received coaching awards within the last few weeks for their respective seasons. Read more →

One-on-One with Piedmont Golfer Dustin Hasley

Photo Submitted
Piedmont’s Dustin Hasley prepares to swing an approach shot during a tournament earlier this season for the PHS Golf Team.

Piedmont freshman golfer Dustin Hasley recently sat down with the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette to talk about his standout season with the Piedmont golf team, what his expectations are for next season, and what tournament he’d like to play in outside of high school.

PG: When did you first pick up a golf club and play?

DH: “I first picked up a golf club when I was about 7 years old. But, I didn’t play in my first tournament until I was 9.”

PG: What drew you to the sport of golf?

DH: “Well, my dad introduced me to it, but I really started getting into it when Tiger Woods was on TV.” Read more →

Correction: King’s Gate Christian School hosts open house

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Evan Rollins, left, and Elena Mann dissect a shark during the King’s Gate Christian School open house earlier this month at their Hefner Pointe location in Oklahoma City. King’s Gate is now enrolling for their Surrey Hills location at Surrey Hills Baptist Church.

Sundance has large turnout from Discover Aviation airshow

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Bill Holland successfully lands and controls his R/Cx5 remote controlled aircraft last Saturday afternoon during the Discover Aviation airshow at Sundance Airport near Piedmont. Holland had the only remote controlled aircraft of the airshow.

By Matt Montgomery

The Discover Aviation airshow at Sundance last Saturday brought more than 2,500 people to the Piedmont and Surrey Hills area for an action packed Memorial Day weekend event.

Sundance owner Jerry Hunter said he was really pleased with the turnout and events like the airshow put Sundance on the map.

“This puts Sundance on the map,” Hunter said. “For years the airport was neglected and wasn’t really the thriving hub of aviation it should have been or have the potential to be. I believe it wasn’t managed effectively. There’s a thriving aviation community here and I’ve just enjoyed the wheels off of it.”

Hunter bought the airport in 2012 and made plans to add more hangers, build a restaurant and renovate the out-dated building and facilities. Read more →

City council postpones utility fee increase decision

By Matt Montgomery

The Piedmont city council unanimously voted to postpone approving an action Tuesday which will raise the water, sanitary, sewer and refuse fees for Piedmont residents.

The council decided it wanted to wait until Piedmont residents could have an opportunity to read the letter Piedmont utility rate increase they are sending out before they made their decision to approve the fees increase.

The council said the utility rates are going up because Oklahoma City is raising their rates.

“Oklahoma City is raising their rates, so we have to raise our rates in order to keep up,” Councilman Charles Coffman said.

Coffman said according to the city accountant, for every $1 the city pays toward utilities, it only collects 87 cents.

He said the city needs to make some adjustments to get the costs in line with what the city collects. Read more →

Flying high over Sundance

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
A biplane stalls in mid-air about 1,000 feet over Sundance Airport Saturday in Piedmont. Sundance held the Discover Aviation Airshow from noon to 4 p.m. and featured many flying planes, exhibits and food and drinks for more than 2,000 area residents.

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
A parachutist soars to the ground waving the American flag while a woman on the ground sings the National Anthem Saturday during the Discover Aviation airshow at Sundance Airport near Piedmont. The parachutist timed his jump just right so that he landed the second the anthem ended.

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
This plane takes a nose dive towards the runway Saturday at Sundance Airport during the Discover Aviation airshow. Sundance owner Jerry Hunter said he was happy with the turnout to the airshow Saturday and hopes events like this put Sundance on the map. For more information about the airshow and for more pictures, see next Thursday’s edition of the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette.

Northwest Expressway liquor store sells to underage during compliance check

By Chris West
Canadian County Undersheriff

Officials with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office conducted alcohol compliance checks of twelve Canadian County retail establishments this past Saturday, resulting in two unlawful sales.

On May 3, 2014 at 2:28 p.m. Reagan Moore, an employee of “Union Mart Convenience Store” located at 102 North Main in Union City unlawfully sold a six-pack of “Bud Light” beer to an under-aged person assisting authorities with the compliance checks.
In this case, the clerk actually checked the minor’s identification, and then made the transaction anyway.

At 5:03 p.m. on the same date, Jamie Davis, an employee of “Wine & Liquor Oasis” located 9001-A on the North West Expressway unlawfully sold a bottle of “Rich & Rare Canadian Whiskey” to an under-aged person without asking for identification.

“Because this was the first time these establishments broke the law during one of our compliance checks, we didn’t jail the clerks. However, my deputies will be filing charges with the Canadian County District Attorney’s Office on both subjects,” said Randall Edwards, Canadian County Sheriff. Read more →

Sander retires from Surrey Hills Elementary

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Surrey Hills Elementary Principal Maggie Sander joined Mrs. Stults’ class last Thursday during recess.

By Matt Montgomery

After 30 years in the education field in Oklahoma, Surrey Hills Elementary Principal Maggie Sander is hanging up her educator’s cap and retiring from her duties as principal.

Sander is from Woodward and plans to stay here in this area so she can go to Seiling once and a while to help her father who lives there.

“My dad is getting older and I want to be able to spend some time with him,” Sander said. “I can help him and take him to the doctor or whatever needs to be done.”

Sander is also looking forward to spending time with her grandchildren who live close by her.

She finished out her long teaching career as principal at Surrey Hills Elementary for three years.

She said she enjoyed her time in Surrey Hills and said references to Surrey Hills Elementary as being Yukon’s step child are not true, in fact she said she considers Surrey Hills’ location as an enhancement to the school and community. Read more →

Stone Ridge logs most students in OKC Memorial Marathon

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Stone Ridge Elementary physical education teacher Riley DeLong, right, accepts the $500 check and first place trophy from the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Foundation for having the most students from any school in the state participating in the OKC Memorial Marathon.

By Matt Montgomery

Stone Ridge Elementary in Piedmont was awarded a $500 check and a first place trophy last week after they had the most students from any school in Oklahoma participating in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

Stone Ridge Elementary physical education teacher Riley DeLong said his students got excited about the opportunity to run for a good cause and to promote a healthy lifestyle.

“For our school there is the whole idea that we wanted the kids to understand what it means to come together,” DeLong said. “I explained to them that this wasn’t for us necessarily but it was for the community, and so the people can remember and see what happened and mainly to see how well Oklahoma came together.”

He said on a personal level, finding an avenue to promote healthy living is important.

“I want them (the students) to find something that they can do for the rest of their lives,”
he said. “Especially as we are starting to see Type 2 Diabetes on the rise and child obesity on the rise, we are trying to combat that and trying to make sure that kids understand what healthy living is. But more than understand it, to really find out about how to love living a healthy lifestyle.” Read more →

D-Day: 70 years later Surrey Hills resident who stormed beach gets to go back

Bill Byers

Bill Byers circa 1944

By Matt Montgomery

It was 70 years ago on a beach head in Normandy, France. Bill Byers was advancing on German troops in a battle that would turn out to be one of the bloodiest single days in U.S. military history: D-Day.

For his gallantry and service, Byers was given the Silver Service Star, Good Conduct Medal and EAME Service Ribbon. Billie B. Byers was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after serving as a technician fourth grade in Company A 300th Engineer Combat Battalion. His discharge papers list his occupational services as a Carpenter Bridge 035 with military qualifications as a sharpshooter rifleman.

Now, 70 years later, Byers will have the unique opportunity to revisit the infamous beachhead in northern France as a civilian.

Byers will take part in a trip that will leave Oklahoma City June 1 headed to Paris then arrive in Normandy June 2. He and his group will then head to Utah Beach June 3 to meet with students and visit the American Cemetery.

Utah Beach was front and center that day in 1944 when U.S. troops during World War II were attempting to advance in France and seize control of the area which was heavily occupied by German soldiers. It would turn out to be the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Byers was born on Nov. 7, 1923 in Blanchard. He was stationed at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas and was enlisted as a machinist apprentice.

He was given his honorable discharge from the Army on Oct. 25 1945.

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