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Enns gets Piedmont opponent, four seek state Senate seat

Lucas, Landford all draw opponents, Murphy, Morrissette square off in Corporation Commission race

Roger Pugh

Dist. 41 State Rep. John Enns, 49, (R-Enid), who represents all of the Piedmont-Surrey Hills area, Cashion, and rural eastern Piedmont and western Okarche, drew a Republican primary opponent when Jeremy Coleman, 27, of Piedmont filed for office last week. Enns is seeking his final term before being term limited.

Dist. 59 State Rep. Mike Sanders (R-Kingfisher), whose represents Okarche and many residents between Okarche and Piedmont in a district that abuts Enns’ district, will serve another term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives after no other candidate filed to oppose him, during the statewide filing period which ended last Friday.

Sanders, 40, has been in the legislature since 2008.

Four candidates filed to replace term-limited Dist. 23 State Sen. Ron Justice(R-Chickasha) whose sprawling district includes Okarche runs to the west side of Piedmont. Read more →

Hader defeats Higgins, Bice defeats Thomas

Marc Hader

By Matt Montgomery

Republican voters in Canadian County have chosen Surrey Hills resident Marc Hader as their candidate for the general election in November against Democrat Justin Atkinson, and have chosen Edmond businesswoman Stephanie Bice as their next senator in Oklahoma Senate District 22.

Hader defeated Higgins in the runoff election Tuesday, garnering 59.1 percent of the total county votes. Higgins received 40.9 percent. Hader received a total of 1,341 votes and Higgins received 927 total votes. Piedmont voters followed suit, casting a total of 328 votes for Hader and 256 for Higgins.

Stephanie Bice

Bice edged Thomas in the senate race by receiving 53.1 percent of the votes, with a total of 2,693 votes. Thomas received 46.9 percent of the votes, with a total of 2,381 votes. Voters in Piedmont also followed the trend of voters in Oklahoma County and Canadian County. Bice received a total of 305 votes from the three Piedmont Precincts and Thomas received 271 total votes in Piedmont.

Hader will face Democrat Justin Atkinson during the General Election in November, but said he and his wife, Denise Crosswhite Hader, will take a sabatical and unwind before they hit the campaign trail again.

Hader also wanted to thank the voters for supporting him in the polls.

“I’m obviously delighted,” Hader said following the results of the election. “Canadian County is the fastest growing county in America. This place is changing. It’s a wonderful place to live. We got out early (in the campaign) and worked hard.”

Hader wanted to thank Piedmont voters in particular for responding to his responses published in recent forums in the local newspaper. Specifically, Hader referred to a question the Gazette asked recently regarding the juvenile justice center.

Bice was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.

In other area election news, Okarche voters passed the Okarche School District Transportation Bond issue Tuesday night by an overwhelming majority. Okarche voters’ “yes” votes totaled 235, accounting for 73.2 percent of the total votes. The “no” votes totaled 80, with 26.8 percent of the total votes. That bond is a $350,000 transportation bond to be used to purchase several new buses for the district. The bond will increase Okarche residents’ taxes by at least 3.71 percent.

The results from the election boards are unofficial results. Once the official results are made public, the Gazette will publish them.

Senate District 22 candidates respond to questions

The Piedmont-Surrey Gazette recently asked Senate District 22 candidates Mark Thomas and Stephanie Bice two questions:

1) Both of you have been outspoken about Obamacare throughout this campaign. If elected, what will be your efforts, on the state level, to repeal the Affordable Care Act? Please describe the steps you would take.
2) What separates you from your opponent? Name a quality or qualities that make you a more viable candidate for Johnson’s seat, than your opponent.

Stephanie Bice

Stephanie Bice:

1) I’ve been in the process of gathering as much information on the ACA as possible, so I’m prepared to help repeal Obamacare on the state level.

We need to repeal this law and replace it with a plan that provides quality care at a low cost while preserving Medicaid, instead of abusing it.

I support Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s lawsuit that has exposed the plain language of the rule of the law. The Internal Revenue Service has illegally implemented the law’s insurance subsidies by making them available in all 50 states.
If the Attorney General’s lawsuit is unsuccessful, then the state legislature must work together to protect Oklahomans.

Read more →

Senate District 22 candidates respond to education-related questions in Gazette forum

The Piedmont-Surrey Gazette asked this multipart question to the two Senate District 22 candidates:

Question: (Part 1 of 3) The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently upheld the decision to repeal the Common Core in Oklahoma Schools. What are your thoughts on the Common Core? Do you feel like it is good or bad for Oklahoma schools and why?
(Part 2 of 3) In further regard to education, Oklahoma ranks at the very bottom of state education in the country (48th or 49th out of 50). If elected, what steps would you take to make Oklahoma schools in your district(i.e. Edmond, Piedmont, Deer Creek) better? Are there specific measures you are already considering?
(Part 3 of 3) If elected, what steps would you take to insure that funding dispersed to Oklahoma schools through bond issues, grants and donations make it to the classroom to be used for education purposes only?

Stephanie Bice:

Stephanie Bice

Part 1: I oppose federally created standards like Common Core. We must improve our education outcomes in Oklahoma, but the standards created must be done at the local level with the guidance of teachers, parents and local school districts. I will fight to give Oklahoma teachers and parents the flexibility they need to help our children reach their full potential.

Part 2: Continuing to throw money into our education system will not fix the root causes of poor performance. I come from a business background where innovation is encouraged and rewarded. I’d like to find ways to take that model into the classroom and reward teachers and schools for excelling.

Part 3: Bond issues are typically used for physical building improvements or additions, and in several areas of District 22 they have been used to build new schools to accommodate the growing student population within our community. They are necessary to ease the burden of classroom size, as some classes have more than 25 students per teacher, making high-quality instruction a challenge.
I’m discouraged, however, that donations are even part of the equation. We must adequately fund our schools in order to ensure the types of quality education outcomes our children deserve.

Mark Thomas:

Mark Thomas

I am a product of the public school system, and two of my daughters still attend Yukon Public Schools, so these chosen topics are still very close to me as I am sure they are to us all. Quality education is one of the foundational cornerstones of a free and prosperous society, and paramount for continued freedom and prosperity.

The three questions asked in regard to education are in reference to my position on Common Core, making the schools better in Oklahoma, and insuring that monies find their way to the classroom. I don’t view these as individual issues, but rather three individual symptoms of one issue, central government control.

The Constitution of the State of Oklahoma provides for education, which is not the same thing as providing education. The provision of resources to support or facilitate a process is not the same as controlling the process. So how is the control of the process working out for us? I suggest not very well.

The short answer to the resolve of these issues is to dismantle the central control of our education system.

History has taught us that central control with concentrated power and money will always create bureaucracies that become inefficient, ineffective and corrupt. These are the very issues that are addressed here.

Common Core is in no way good for our children. Education is a personal issue, not a state mandate. To allow legislation to be written that mandates how our children are taught, or what they are taught, turns our children into property of the state. Our children are not property of the state.

There are no functions that take place within the state educational bureaucracies that can’t be carried out within the individual school districts. Once we remand the education of our children to the local school districts, school boards and parents, we will once again have a much improved chance of providing the quality of education we desire for our children. The local choices will once again open the door for free market models of competition that will result in better education for our children.
Government that is closest to the people is always better. Limited government is where it’s at. As Dr. Phil may ask “how’s the other working for you?”

I will work to remand the control of the education of our children to the parents.

Unofficial election results show runoff for county commissioner, senate

Unofficial Election Results imageBy Matt Montgomery

Unofficial election results posted by the Canadian County Election Board Tuesday night show Edmond businesswoman Stephanie Bice and Yukon home builder Mark Thomas will go into a runoff for Senate District 22, and Marc Hader and Wes Higgins will go into a runoff for Canadian County Commissioner District No. 1.

Incumbent U.S. Representative Frank Lucas received more than 82.8 percent of the votes with 54,596 total votes for U.S. House of Representatives District No. 3, and Canadian County Republican Party Chair Robert Hubbard received 12 percent of the votes with 7,907 total votes.

For county commissioner, Surrey Hills resident Marc Hader received 37.5 percent with a total number of 1,588, and Wes Higgins received 21.8 percent with a total number of 924. The runoff election will be Aug. 26.

For Senate District 22, Stephanie Bice received 37.2 percent with 3,375 total votes and Mark Thomas received 33.2 percent with 3,012 total votes. Leif Francel received 29.6 percent with 2,685 total votes. The runoff is also Aug. 26.

For Canadian County Treasurer, Incumbent treasurer Carolyn Leck received 62.4 percent of the votes with a total of 6,996 and Republican challenger Kimberly Rhodes received 37.6 percent of the vote with a total of 4,212. Read more →

Area addiction medicine doctor prescribes NA, safe medicine

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Dr. Charles J. Shaw holds up a Narcotics Anonymous handbook in his office.

By Matt Montgomery

Oklahoma City addiction medicine doctor Charles J. Shaw, M.D., has been treating addicts with an effective and non-addictive drug called Subutex and requiring his patients to attend Narcotics Anonymous, both at a fraction of the cost of inpatient treatment.

Shaw, who operates out of an office in northwest Oklahoma City and who has been a doctor for more than 50 years in Oklahoma, says his patients who follow his treatment plan are far more likely to succeed and have their names added to his wall of stars who have celebrated one year of sobriety than those who check into a high-priced inpatient facility, often times paying more than $30,000 for treatment.

Shaw, now in his 80s, is passionate about helping his patients recover from pain pill addiction. He’s helped thousands recover their lives by prescribing them the safe, but effective, opiate antagonist drug, Subutex, and by assigning them to go to 90 Narcotics Anonymous meeting in 90 days and complete the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous.

“Almost every day, I see or talk to people about their addiction – most are younger people between 20 and 40 years old,” Shaw said. “They seek my help as a specialist in addiction medicine – many in utter desperation from their addiction to pain pills.”
Most of Shaw’s patients began their road down addiction using hydrocodone as a teenager to party or use with others usually in their age group. Read more →

Former Piedmont softball standouts lead OC to regional title

Courtesy Oklahoma Christian
Former Piedmont High School softball stars Jordan Chism and Sarah Endres helped lead the Oklahoma Christian Eagles to a regional championship and now have the chance to win a national championship.

By Oklahoma Christian communications

Former Piedmont softball standouts Jordan Chism and Sarah Endres, who now play at Oklahoma Christian, led their team to a regional tournament win and are headed to nationals.

It was a day of celebration for OC softball on Saturday, as the Lady Eagles captured the program’s first-ever postseason title with a 5-2 win over Central Baptist (Ark.) in the championship round of the National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region tournament at Tom Heath Field.

OC (39-14) is headed to a national tournament for only the third time in school history and for the first time since making the NAIA tournament field in 2003. The Lady Eagles will carry an 11-game winning streak – matching their longest of the season – into the NCCAA Championship, which will begin Thursday at Botetourt Sports Complex in Troutville, Va.

“It’s been a long time, with a lot of close calls,” said Tom Heath, who has coached the Lady Eagles since the program’s inception in 1995. “We got beat by Central Baptist last year and missed winning that tournament by one game. It took a lot of hard work and we’re really proud of this team and what we’ve accomplished this year.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s what you work for. We keep telling the players, ‘It’s the process and don’t worry about the outcome.’ If you work hard, the outcome will take care of itself, and we’ve been doing that this year … and it paid off. We get to enjoy the outcome a little bit.” Read more →

State Senator Rob Johnson will not seek re-election in 2014

Sen. Rob Johnson
District 22

By Robert Flippo


State Senator Rob Johnson of District 22, which includes Piedmont, Deer Creek and Yukon, announced he will not run for re-election in 2014.

Johnson said he made the decision to not run for re-election in order to focus on spending time with his family and working in the private sector. When his term expires, Johnson will have spent eight years in the Oklahoma Legislature, with four years in the House of Representatives and four years in the Senate.

“I’ve enjoyed it but at some point everybody has to move on and I think that time for me is right now,” Johnson said.

As far as what the future holds for District 22, Johnson said he believes there will be numerous good, qualified candidates that run to fill his seat.

“One of the reasons I announced as early as I did was to give people the opportunity to know that it’s open,” Johnson said. Read more →

County issues burn ban

Burn Ban

Canadian County has officially been placed under a burn ban.

By Matt Montgomery

Canadian County has officially been placed under a burn ban and Piedmont Fire Chief Andy Logan said that means there is no outdoor burning allowed.

He said the burn ban was enacted by the Canadian County commissioners, and all burning is prohibited. He did say there is one exception for gas grills, with no exposed flames and a covered cooking surface.

However, the Piedmont Fire Department will make exceptions for welders and torchers, but it is on a limited basis.

“As far as welding and torching goes, it is on a case-by-case basis and you have to have adequate fire watchers, which are people other than the person doing the welding or the torching,” Logan said. “Obviously, you have to have fire extinguishers or some sort of pressurized water source.”

He explained that an adequate fire watcher would just be someone else there to act as a spotter, in case a fire were to ignite. Read more →

Piedmont soldier returns from Afghanistan

Ryan Anderson

Sgt. Ryan Anderson and two buddies pause for breakfast on a mission in Panjwaii (Southern Kandahar) Afghanistan while with the Afghan National Army.


After spending a year in Afghanistan, Piedmont soldier Sgt. Ryan Anderson returned home to a warm welcome from family and friends last Friday.

The grass at the front yard entrance to the home of Anderson’s parents was painted with a giant red, white and blue American Flag and next to it was a giant message painted in white proclaiming “Welcome Home Ryan.”

Sgr. Anderson is a 2003 graduate of Piedmont High School and the son of Carter and Denise Anderson.

After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2008 with a degree in Industrial Safety, Sgt. Anderson joined the Army in 2010. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 as a part of the Infantry.

While in that country, he said his job was to go on patrol, talk with the natives and perform counter insurgency.

“It was definitely a nerve wracking experience any time we were on patrol,” he said of his assignment.

“It was kind of like dribble, shoot and hope it goes in,” he explained. Read more →

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