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Archive for: September 2014

Piedmont battles but falls at PC North

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Madi Boothe tries to deflect a Putnam North shot Tuesday night.

Blake Colston

OKLAHOMA CITY – For perhaps the first time all season, Piedmont’s volleyball team dug in and fought when the odds were long.

The result – a four set loss at Putnam City North (25-15, 22-25, 14-25, 31-33) – wasn’t what the Wildcats wanted, but head coach Brad Brucker liked what he saw out of his team in its regular season finale.

“We finally found some fight and I can be happy with that,” he said afterwards. “That’s all I can ask from them. I’ve asked them all year, I just want you to fight as hard on the court as I’m fighting for you on the sidelines.” Read more →

Local developers file Federal lawsuit against City of Piedmont

By Matt Montgomery

Local developers Cindy Boevers and Reta Strubhar have filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma against the City of Piedmont, three councilmen and two planning commissioners. The defendants named in the lawsuit are the City of Piedmont, Piedmont city councilmen Donnie Robinson, Al Gleichmann and Charles Coffman, and Piedmont planning commissioners Ron Cardwell and Eric Berger.

In the complaint filed last Friday, Strubhar and Boevers (“Developers”) allege they have suffered damages resulting from the Piedmont city council not voting on an agenda item to approve a preliminary plat for “Magnolia Meadows,” a property owned by “Developers.” Read more →

Piedmont hammers McGuinness, finishes perfect in district play

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Madison Giggers’ watches as her third-inning home run clears the fence in the Wildcats’ 19-0 win.

Blake Colston
sports @piedmontnewsonline.com

Confidence oozed, balls jumped off bats and Piedmont waltzed to its 13th district win in 13 tries with a 19-0 run-rule win at Bishop McGuinness Monday night.

Playing in its district finale, Piedmont (25-7) struck early and often, scoring four times in the first, five times in the second and three more times in the third to take a 12-0 lead in a game that was never competitive.

The win polished off the ‘Cats 13-0 district record to go with their district title and improved PHS to 26-2 in district action the past two seasons.

“That’s pretty awesome,” Piedmont head coach Rick Scott said. “In Class 5A that’s a big deal.”

The 19 runs were a season-high, and the shutout was Piedmont’s eighth this season.

Read more →

Deer Creek drops Piedmont, 31-13

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont defenders Dryden Abla (44) and Caleb Maloney chase Deer Creek quarterback Clayton Sims from the pocket Friday night.

Blake Colston

Deer Creek  scored 31 unanswered points in the second half to overcome a 6-0 halftime deficit and beat rival Piedmont 31-13 Friday night at Wildcat Field in both teams’ District 5A II opener.

It was the Antlers eighth consecutive win over Piedmont in a rivalry that’s turned lopsided in recent years.

The Antlers (1-3, 1-0) offense, which managed just 83 total yards in the first half, erupted in the third quarter using its vertical passing game to rack up 21 points and more than 200 yards to take control of the game.

“They made some adjustments in the second half and really went to the outside and challenged our corners,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said. “They made a couple of plays with it and unfortunately a couple of those plays were big and caught us in some bad spots.” Read more →

Kevin Durant, governor, teach youth value the of fitness

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
NBA superstar and MVP Kevin Durant joined Gov. Mary Fallin today on the steps of the Capitol to talk about fitness and show students from area schools a few dance and basketball moves. Read more →

Judge denies motion to dismiss 5 defendants in Boevers’ libel/slander case

Ron Cardwell

Mike Fina

Vernon Woods

Donnie Robinson

By Matt Montgomery

Editor’s note: The Piedmont-Surrey Gazette could not locate a photograph for William Long. The story below is just the result in a motion to dismiss in a lawsuit filed by local developer Phil Boevers against numerous parties. The case is ongoing and The Gazette will update information as the case progresses.

Canadian County District Judge Gary E. Miller denied a motion to dismiss defendants Mike Fina, Vernon Woods, Ron Cardwell, William Long and Donnie Robinson (FWCLR) as “defendants” in the Phil Boevers libel/slander case, Friday morning.

In legal documents filed in Canadian County District Court (CJ-2012-46), attorneys for the defendants wrote in their conclusion “The amended petition must be dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiff has failed to provide even a modicum of facts for the court to determine, under the most liberal of standards, which Plaintiff could prevail in its suit. Over two years have passed since Plaintiff filed the Jan. 19, 2012, Petition, and naming FWCLR defendants 2 1/2 years later is too late.”

Attorneys representing the five defendants made arguments to the judge, but most specifically wanted the judge to consider the statute of limitations in this case, before he made his ruling. The attorneys for the defendants cited several cases in their brief to the court including, Kanuebbe v. McCuistion and Graves v. Foster.

In his conclusion, Judge Miller said to the attorneys, “Based upon the pleas that you have filed, at this time, I’m going to find that there is a possibility that when a party has deliberately hidden their identity, then that changes the statue of limitations. Based upon that, I am going to deny the motion to dismiss.”

Boevers’ attorneys said they were pleased with the judge’s decision to deny the five defendants a dismissal as “defendants” from the lawsuit.

For more information about the libel/slander lawsuit, visit the archives of www.piedmontnewsonline.com or visit oscn.net and click “search dockets.” Then find Canadian County and type in case number CJ-2012-46.

Crews begin work on PUD project

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Construction crews begin tearing away chunks of land at the end of Gooder Simpson Boulevard last week in Piedmont. This construction is part of the first plat approved from the PUD project.

By Matt Montgomery

Construction crews began the clearing away of land on Gooder Simpson Boulevard last week, as part of the preliminary work on the first plat from the Planned Unit Development project the Piedmont city council approved earlier this year.

The planning commission, then the city council approved two separate plats of land in the PUD project. This project is Phase One of a two-phase development project. Hawks Landing and Autumn Chase are the two residential developments to be completed in this project.

The piece of land for these developments is located South of Edmond Road Northeast and East of Piedmont Road North with access to the site provided by Gooder Simpson Boulevard, approximately 835 feet south of Edmond Road Northeast off the east side of Piedmont Road North.

The plat is comprised of 37 single-family lots and eight duplex lots. The proposed plat has an average lot size of 10,200 square feet, with the largest plot proposed to be 16,378 square feet and the smallest to be 8,227 square feet.

The PUD was originally passed in 2008, with amendments made in 2010, 2012 and the most recent one the planning commission approved in February.

In March, the Piedmont city council approved the PUD just narrowly with two ‘yes’ votes, two ‘no’ votes and one abstention vote from Robert Simpson. It took Piedmont Mayor Valerie Thomerson’s mayoral vote to break the tie and pass the PUD.

The city council did have some questions and concerns during the March 2014 meeting. Some questions arose regarding drainage and the amount and locations of detention ponds in the proposed plat. Also, water and sewer line diameters and water line routing were discussed.

Traffic studies were also looked at, and Piedmont Community Development Director Wade Harden said the traffic study done on this preliminary plat proposal showed the traffic to be comparable to other Piedmont developments.

The two plats, Hawks Landing and Autumn Chase are plats owned by local developer Phil Boevers. When the city council passed the PUD back in March, Boevers issued a statement to the Gazette then.

Phil Boevers stated, “SBS Development is pleased that a majority of the Council followed Piedmont’s ordinances, the advice of legal counsel and staff recommendations and approved the preliminary plat for what is planned to be a quality residential development for Piedmont. We look forward to continuing to work with Piedmont to increase economic activity and help generate additional revenues for the city with this type of quality growth.”

Piedmont Planning Commissioner Ron Cardwell also agrees this development project will benefit the city as it continues to grow.

“This will help spur some commercial growth,” Cardwell said. “Especially downtown Piedmont, an area where future commercial development could occur.”

He also echoed concerns the city council raised during their March meeting.

Cardwell said there are going to be some limitations, stemming from infrastructure needs, which effect the entire development of the land.

He said the development can not be built on the existing infrastructure like it is now.

“The city also has to be able to prepare itself to figure out a way or make sure the developer knows, ‘Hey, you’re going to reach a threshold when some capital investments are going to have to be made,’” he said. “Water is one of those big concerns, because Piedmont Road only has that one water line.”
Cardwell also noted the economic conditions of the country, specifically the housing collapse that happened several years ago, has an effect on development.

He said if things continue to stay stable, then Piedmont will continue to see more residential and commercial growth, similar to the PUD project that is already underway.

Piedmont schools receive A’s, B’s on A-F Report Card

By Matt Montgomery

The Piedmont School District was one of 77 districts statewide that received all A’s and B’s on its A-F Report Card from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Stone Ridge Elementary received the highest score of Piedmont’s seven school sites, with an A+.

The other Piedmont school site grades were as follows: Piedmont Elementary – B; Piedmont Primary – N/A; Northwood Elementary – A; Piedmont Intermediate-B; Piedmont Middle School – B+; Piedmont High School – A.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) released the 2014 A-F Report Card for public schools statewide last week. In this third year of A-F, more than one-third of Oklahoma schools improved their overall score, with 289 receiving A’s. Unfortunately, this year also saw a rise in F schools with 200, or 11 percent, as compared to 163 in 2013.

Mandated by state law, the school grades provide parents, students, businesses and communities with a clear, easily understood snapshot of how local schools are performing.

“The A-F report cards are vital to ensuring accountability. Parents and communities must know what schools are excelling and what schools need additional help,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi. “In so doing, Oklahoma educators and schools can build on successes and focus on particular challenges.”

The 2014 school grades are as follows:
A — 289 (16.1 percent)
B — 473 (26.4 percent)
C — 504 (28.1 percent)
D — 299 (16.7 percent)F — 200 (11.1 percent)
No report card — 30 (1.6 percent)

While the A-F calculation essentially remained the same from last year, there were a few modifications.
The Piedmont School District received an A on its 2013 grade.

High school End-of-Instruction (EOI) tests taken by middle school students only counted for middle school and not high school, as previously had been the case.

Moreover, middle school students taking an EOI in math were not required to also take the grade-level math assessment.

In contrast to 2013, the A-F calculation this year factored in advanced coursework and year-to-year growth for high school bonus categories, such as graduation rates.

Eleven districts with more than one school site received all A’s: Amber-Pocasset, Thomas-Fay-Custer Unified, Arapaho-Butler, Burlington, Freedom, Lomega, Mountain View-Gotebo, Reydon, Ripley, Tushka and Waynoka.

Fifteen single-site districts received an A: Banner, Bishop, Cottonwood, Flower Mound, McCord, Moffett, Oakdale, Pioneer, Deborah Brown Community School (Tulsa), Dove Science Academy (Oklahoma City), Dove Science Academy Elementary School (Oklahoma City), Harding Charter Preparatory High School (Oklahoma City), Harding Fine Arts Academy (Oklahoma City), KIPP Reach College Preparatory (Oklahoma City) and Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences.

Seventy-seven districts received entirely A’s or B’s.

Barresi emphasized that the A-F grades enhance accountability and are not a punitive measure.

“This is about empowering parents and students,” said Barresi. “These grades do not tell the entire story of a school, nor are they intended to. But they do provide an important and concise look at how a school is performing in terms of academic achievement.”

Schenk quiet, but driven

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Josilyn Schenk runs at the Edmond Santa Fe meet earlier this season.

Blake Colston

Quietly, Josilyn Schenk might be the most driven member of Piedmont’s girls cross country team.

As a freshman Schenk has crossed the finish line first for Piedmont in two of its three races. And although lofty, she’s already set a goal of the running at the Meet of Champions before her career ends.

“That’s a lofty goal, that’s some of the best runners in the state,” Piedmont head coach Todd Johnson said. “The fact she wants to run at that shows that she’s determined and has a great work ethic.”

But don’t expect to Schenk to talk about it necessarily. Soft spoken, but with boundless determination, she’s surprised even herself this season.

“I’m really not that great at long-distance running, I’m usually better at short distances,” she said. “I’m surprised because I’ve knocked off like two minutes from my time each meet. I’m proud of myself for that.”

Schenk paced Piedmont with a 25:03 at the Titan Invitational to start this season. A week later on Piedmont’s home course, which runs slower than most, she finished in 28:33. Two weeks ago at the OK Runner Classic she led Piedmont with a 22:54. Read more →

Lang gets lucky ‘break’

Blake Colston

A broken wrist could’ve ended senior Ryan Lang’s cross country career, instead, it rejuvenated it.

When Lang fractured a bone in his left wrist during a skateboarding accident in early July, he thought nothing of it.  A day later with his wrist swollen and Lang in discomfort, he went to the doctor where doctors told him about the broken bone.

“I was supposed to be out for six months,” he said. “I had to immobilize it and couldn’t run.”

It was a prognosis that would’ve ended his cross country career.

“It was definitely frustrating to think I was done,” Lang said. “And for a while I really did think that.”

But on a routine checkup with his doctor, Lang got good news. The bone, which normally requires six months of healing, had mended in less than three. As far as the doctors were concerned Lang was cleared to run. Read more →

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