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Monsoon rains tame Cedar Fire

Forest Service crews demobilize as 46,000-acre fire near Show Low subsides

Monsoon rains over the weekend dampened the Cedar Fire near Show Low, prompting the US Forest Service to start demobilizing the firefighting force. The fire remained at about 46,000 acres with 75 percent containment, with only 546 firefighters still on the line on Monday. Now, the focus of the fire managers has shifted to fears that the monsoon rains will cause flooding and erosion.

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Payson business has international reach

The Rim Country has an international reputation as a recreational mecca. Not many residents realize it has an international business reach as well.

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A passion for education

Roy Sandoval launches county schools campaign advocating change

Longtime educator Roy Sandoval launched his campaign for Gila County School Superintendent with an impassioned call for higher test scores, stronger principals and fewer excuses, speaking this week before the Payson Tea Party.

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SCRUBS camp introduces students to the health field

A sobering taste of blood, guts and needles

It might seem like a good idea to a choose a career in health care, but the reality might not live up to expectations — because, you know, blood, guts and needles are involved.

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Cedar fire largely contained

Pre-evacuation orders lifted for Show Low, Pinetop

The 46,000-acre Cedar Fire no longer poses a threat to subdivisions and the authorities have lifted pre-evacuation orders for Show Low and Pinetop. The fire has not grown in the past two days, but continues to burn within the existing perimeter. The fire has moved away from Highway 60, prompting the state to re-open the highway. The fire is 51 percent contained. Although 900 firefighters continue to work to contain it, the focus has now shifted to trying to calculate the risk from mudslides off denuded slopes once the monsoons start -- which could come next week.

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Smoke from Four Peaks Fire alarms Tonto Basin

Fire burning in wilderness area no threat to structures

A 330-acre fire burning in the rugged Four Peaks Wildness area is creating a pillar of smoke visible throughout much of Rim Country, especially in the Tonto Basin. Firefighters are mostly letting it burn due to the rugged terrain and wilderness area restrictions. Some will likely settle in the Tonto Basin overnight. The Forest Service will hold a community meeting there at 6 p.m. tonight.

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New signs point way to fossils from a vanished world

No more guessing at the Rim Country’s own Paleo site just outside of Kohl’s Ranch.

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Hellsgate firefighters will get new breathers

The Hellsgate Fire Department recently secured a huge federal grant that will go a long way to ensure firefighters’ safety.

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To the rescue

Payson to operate Houston Mesa

Payson has agreed to continue managing the Houston Mesa Fire District for another year.

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Fierce struggle

45,176-acre Cedar Fire impacts Gila County

The impact of the 45,176-acre Cedar Fire is being felt in Gila County, so the board of supervisors on Thursday declared an emergency —mostly to qualify for federal help if the fire causes problems — including mudslides when the monsoon arrives.

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Runnin’ with the Pups, Kickin’ It with the Kittens Saturday

Saturday, June 25 is a big day for the Humane Society of Central Arizona. We have two events going on.

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Payson schools losing veteran teachers

Music, vocational programs hard hit by loss of teachers

Each May, the list of teachers leaving the district due to retirement, another job, dissatisfaction with the profession, low salaries and other reasons gets longer and longer.

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Tonto Basin hit with huge tax increase

In a unanimous vote this week, the Tonto Basin School Board approved the 2016-17 school year budget, which includes a 75 percent property tax increase.

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Payson neighbors fret about bed and breakfast plan

A couple looking to open a bed and breakfast at their home off the Payson Golf Course drew concerns from neighbors who worry it will ruin the peaceful, quiet neighborhood.

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Gila County plans public forum on budget next week

Taxpayers can ask questions about a possible property tax increase next week at two forums sponsored by Gila County.

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Volunteers needed to serve as advocates for abused children

A group that advocates for children in state custody this week issued an urgent plea for a volunteer who can help “Michael,” a 1-year-old baby removed from his home due to abuse and neglect.