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AAA offers back-to-school safety tips

As the new school year begins, AAA wants to remind motorists about safe ways to share the roads with young pedestrians, other drivers, bicyclists and school buses.

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County approves $94 million budget

A $94 million budget won approval of the Gila County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, July 26 at a special meeting.

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Woman gets prison for high-speed chase

After nearly hitting an officer head-on and then leading officers on a drunken high-speed chase earlier this year, a Whiteriver woman was sentenced to prison recently.

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Payson Parks & Recreation Competitive league lives up to name

Waylon Pettet Ins. survives challenge from Quality Movers

Five teams battled all summer. The Payson Parks & Rec Men’s Summer Competitive Slowpitch Softball League featured Mike’s Custom Auto Body finishing first with a 7-3 record and a trio of teams finishing a game back at 6-4.

Hellsgate Fire District honors its board and firefighters

Somebody must have done a rain dance for Tonto Village. The thunder and lightning started and my hopes rose.

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Five seek three town council seats

Voting ballots will hit Payson residents’ mailboxes next week. Voters have five candidates to choose among for three Payson Town Council seats and two candidates vying for mayor.

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More tiger trout to be stocked into Rim Country lakes

Tonto Fish Hatchery to raise them

In mid May sport anglers throughout the state that flocked to Willow Springs and Woods Canyon Lake welcomed the inaugural stocking of the hybrid tiger trout.

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Fire near Herber grows to 1,000 acres

Firefighters managing fire to burn off brush, debris

The 1,000-acre Baldwin Fire five miles south of Heber continues to burn quietly, thanks to damp monsoon conditions. The Forest Service issued the following update on Friday morning:

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State fighting suit against big game retrieval

The State of Arizona and Office of the Arizona Attorney General has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by several environmental groups challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to allow limited off-road motorized big game retrieval by elk and bison hunters on the Kaibab National Forest.

Community Almanac Friday, July 29, 2016

Flake staff in Payson today. In order to make his staff more available to citizens of Arizona, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) will send a member of his staff to Payson on Friday, July 29.

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Lightning-caused fires burn atop the Rim

Fires managed to thin, restore forest

Several lightning-caused fires continue to burn atop the Rim, but the Coconino National Forest fire crews are mostly letting them burn within defined areas, taking advantage of damp, monsoon conditions to use the forest to thin rather than destroy the forest. The Coconino Forest put out the following update on Friday morning:

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Fire restrictions lifted with return of monsoon

Campfire and smoking restrictions on the Tonto National Forest were lifted effective at 8 a.m., Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

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Smoke hangs over Pine from three lightning-sparked fires

Smoke was hanging over Pine Thursday afternoon, alarming residents. Fire officials say while there are lightning-sparked fires burning on the Mogollon Rim, Pine-Strawberry is not threatened and the smoke is coming from fires miles away.

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Students keep music program going

In May, Payson High School lost all of its music teachers.

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Minister challenges Rep. Gosar

Strauss mounts challenge in the primary

Minister turned congressional candidate Ray Strauss once more brought his longshot insurgency to Rim Country, with a meet-the-public gathering this week at Tiny’s Restaurant.

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Maybe Can’t Stop Smokin’ just can’t stop growin’

You may have smelled something tasty as you drove into Payson from Star Valley recently.

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Star Valley continues senior programs

Star Valley town officials are paying close attention to the community’s budget this year.

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From outer space to inner space

Pastor Stein was once a top NASA engineer

At least three things make Mount Cross Lutheran Church’s new pastor Scott Stein a unique minister.

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Former commissioner decries effort to ‘kill solar’

Dark money, solar make election ‘most important’ in state history

“I believe this is the most important election in the history of Arizona,” said former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes of the campaign to fill three seats on the utility-regulating commission in the shadow of a debate about solar energy and dark money.

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Challenger blasts Sen. McCain

Fresh from the Republican National Convention, Dr. Kelli Ward renewed her slash-and-burn attack on Arizona Sen. John McCain — who skipped the convention crowning Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.