Stories for November 1998


Monday, November 30

Longhorns win state championship

The stage was set for Blue Ridge to repeat another heroic come-from-behind effort that led to a number-one ranking, state-record 64-game winning streak and four consecutive state championships.

Cleaned-up water adds to town's supply

About a third of the town's daily water supply about 420,000 gallons is now coming from the Expanded Groundwater Treatment System on West Aero Drive.

Bible deserves honoring for its influence

Honoring the Bible is appropriate. Let me tell you why.

Elks Hoop shootout Saturday

Payson Elks Public Relations Director Frank Patch is projecting 150 youngsters ages 8-13 could pack Rim Country Middle School gym when registration for the annual BPOE Hoops Shoot opens at 8 a.m. Dec. 5.


Seniors fulfill 5-year-old goal

For at least 14 senior members of the Payson High School Longhorn football team, Saturday's stirring 29-20 upset of the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets represented more than a state championship.

A holiday season plea

The holiday season is upon us. For some, the time of year is bittersweet.

Rain limits Rim fire to 340 acres

A 340-acre forest fire on the Mogollon Rim was doused this weekend by a storm that dropped more than an inch of rain on the Rim country.

Crowds cheer winning Longhorns at Mesa

Our community should be proud of the support shown for the Payson High School football team Saturday evening at Mesa Community College. Local fans filled the home-side of the stadium.

Four players tapped for postseason honors

A banner season during which the Payson High School soccer team qualified for a state tournament berth and went on to win a first-round playoff game has yielded prestigious honors for four members of the squad.

Town Hall lighting up

If you missed it at the Swiss Village Lighting Festival last week, you're in luck the Payson First Assembly of God's traveling 24-foot Christmas tree will appear this Friday at Town of Payson's annual lighting ceremony.

Shelby's hardwood warriors continue winning streak

After watching his junior high-age basketball team jump out to a 5-0 record, Shelby School coach Steve Rensch no longer questions his team's ability.

Horns fall without gridders in lineup against Round Valley

Battling tooth and nail without the services of at least three projected starters, the Longhorn boys basketball team gave the Round Valley Elks all the fight they could handle before falling 52-48.

Bible Week does not force belief

I was saddened to read your editorial regarding Bible week as being wrong.

Thursday, November 26

Credit for Kids great for local schools

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage area residents to take advantage of the "Credit for Kids" program.

Why is there fear about the Bible?

Why the furor over an official Bible Week? Anything but the Bible, right? What is it about That Book that makes those who've probably never read it fear it so?

Universities' rivalry began over a name

The huge state rivalry that pits football teams from Arizona State University against the University of Arizona is on tap for today (Friday).

Food drive hopes to feed hundreds

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, with people getting into the holiday spirit of giving.

Bible Week proclamation: another view

We have received a number of letters in response to our editor's "MY VIEW" column that appeared on the opinion page in the Nov. 17 edition. In it, he expressed his opinion about Gov. Hull's proclamation of Bible Week. As the publisher, I would also like to share "MY VIEW" on this subject.

Winners trot home with birds

Abby Kendall and Gary Kutscher had no worries about shopping for their Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Town volleyball registration starts

Registration is under way for the Payson Parks and Recreation Department's men's and women's volleyball leagues. Sign-up will continue 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays until Nov. 30 at the parks and rec offices at Green Valley Park. Entry fee is $175 per team.

Team's place in history to be decided Saturday

The mother of all football games for Payson High School takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday when the Longhorns and Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets charge, pumped up and battle-ready, onto the Mesa Community College field to wage gridiron war for the 1998 Class 3A state championship.

Skateboarders getting their own park

Young skateboarders and in-line skaters sometimes tagged as nuisances by Payson business owners will soon be off the streets and onto a new skate park.

Genealogical Society has two offers for site of library

The Northern Gila County Genealogical Society, which helps people trace their roots and track down family members, is nearing the end of a 20-year search for a home of its own.

Forest-dwelling vet gets his due

Vietnam vet secures benefits after 25-year battle with bureaucracy

A local Vietnam veteran who waged a 25-year battle for U.S. Army benefits primarily from a 100-square-foot trailer parked here and there in the American wilderness won a six-figure victory Wednesday against a well-armed military bureaucracy.

Several groups collecting toys and clothes

The turkey is put away, the dishes are washed, and the sounds of "Silent Night" fill the air as you start to look toward the Christmas season.

Bible Week would not 'establish' religion

In response to your Nov. 17 editorial about Bible Week, I would like to point out a few things.

Bible should be honored all year long

You're right, there is certainly something wrong with honoring the Bible for just a week in every year. It is our place as a nation founded on Christian principles, to honor God and His Word every day of the year.

South Mountain a lesson for church-state separation

Regarding your editorial on Bible Week of Nov. 17. A few decades ago the city of Phoenix owned (and still does) South Mountain Park. At one time it was the largest city-owned park in the world. These mountains rise south of the Salt River Valley, now called the Valley of the Sun.

Monday, November 23

Bible proclamation doesn't legalize belief

On Nov. 11 I was privileged to attend the program at the Payson High School auditorium honoring the veterans of our community.

Familiarity breeds rivalry among high school football

One of the advantages of attending a small-town high school is the camaraderie that evolves inside close-knit sports teams and the spirited competition between schools.

Death sentence requires long, careful process

Kirk Bloodsworth spent nearly 10 years waiting to die on death row following his conviction in 1984 for the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl.

Can the Horns stop Blue Ridge?

Push aside Notre Dame vs. Southern Cal, Texas vs. Texas A&M and Army vs. Navy, the most anxiously awaited game of the 1998 season for small-town Arizona football fans is on the agenda for 7 p.m. Saturday evening at Mesa College.

Mighty Horns gorge Bulldogs

In state tournament semifinal gridiron action Friday evening at Mesa College, Payson's methodical 27-6 trouncing of Safford muzzled the Bulldogs' barking and sent the caged canines home yelping.

Bible Week editorial way off base

In response to your last paragraph and question of "My View" about Bible Week in the Nov. 17 edition: I really don't want to leave it up to you, as to what I believe in.

Protesters of Childs-Irving a little late

Protesters argue for habitat? In the very good write up of Nov. 17 of the Childs-Irving Power Plant, it notes the plant opened in 1909 and now 89 years later we have protesters about Fossil Creek?

Put president's peccadillos behind us

Listening to Henry Hyde and his Happy Hypocrites and Keyhole Ken (Starr) Thursday was a big setback in any hope to cure the pathological moral smugness exhibited by so many in our nation. It also lacked any appreciation of the harm this continuing vendetta is doing to our country at home and abroad.

Bible Week decree valid it's not a law

In response to your editorial of Nov. 17 concerning a proclamation of a Bible week, I am compelled to give you my opinion.

Publisher from Georgia new manager of chamber

After weeks of narrowing down the stack of applications, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce has found its new manager.

November marks the end of Pine's Justice Court

The consolidation of the Gila County court system nears completion as employees of the Pine Justice Court prepare to move their business to the new Payson Regional Justice Court.

Food Bank provides goods for 125 families

Some 125 families in the Payson area got some holiday cheer Monday from their friends at the St. Vincent de Paul/Payson Food Bank.

Swiss Village lights up Friday

Same great program, another year. That's what organizers are planning for the 1998 Swiss Village Lighting Festival this Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Pair of churches cooking up meals for all to enjoy

Just to make sure no one will miss out celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, two community dinners are scheduled for Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. One starts at noon at St. Philip's Catholic Church at 511 St. Philips St., and another at Payson United Methodist Church at 414 N. Easy St. begins at 11 a.m.

Swing accident puts schools' playground safety to test

School officials are investigating a schoolyard swing accident that sent a 10-year-old girl tumbling into the sand Monday, but the man in charge of playground safety says he considers the equipment safe enough for his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

Speed limit going up to 65 on part of Beeline

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is raising the speed limit to 65 mph on about 20 miles of the Beeline Highway just south of Payson.

Religion does have a place in government

Something is really sticking in my craw! In fact, I just cannot swallow it. That is the assumption that somehow religion has absolutely no place in governmental policy and guidance.

Thursday, November 19

Horns state run continues tonight

A pair of Central Division teams, Payson and Cave Creek Cactus Shadows, are alive and well in the final four of the 1998 Class 3A Arizona State football tournament.

Coach Hardt pulls double-duty in track


Coaching a high school varsity team single-handedly is almost an insurmountable task. Coaching two teams takes on Herculean proportions.

Lady Horns set sights on state

Coach Jerry Daniels and his Lady Longhorns will be hard pressed to repeat the accomplishments of last season's record-setting basketball team.

River's flow likely to be cut

For the past 37 years, Phelps Dodge Corp. has pumped an average of 8,900 acre-feet of water per year over the Rim and through the East Verde River, sending it to Phoenix.

Teachers work long and hard for children

I'm responding to R.L. Green's letter of Oct. 16 regarding teachers' pay. Mr. Green, you were right in two aspects. Paying someone more money doesn't always equal better performance, and the desire to teach does come from the heart and mind.

Track stars shine at state meet

Etch Stephanie Ray and the 1998 Lady Longhorn cross country team into the record books.

Mavs grapplers win at 10-team tournament

The Rim Country Middle School Maverick wrestling team continued to build on its already impressive 1998 performance with a 68-18 dual-match win over Winslow and a tournament victory at the 10-team Camp Verde Invitational.

Schools not yet getting much 'Credit'

Longhorn fans stand up. They stand up at Longhorn football games when Payson High School's small section of home-team bleachers fill up something that happens fast and often. The district doesn't have enough money to buy more bleachers.

One last sale before Weber closes IGA grocery store

Nearly 20 employees will be looking for work after the closing of Weber's IGA though when that will be is still up in the air.

PRMC scores '93' in review for accreditation

Payson Regional Medical Center officials, who recently launched a major cleanup campaign at the hospital, say they were rewarded for their efforts.

Main St. site for library unlikely

Despite three offers on the table for a library site on Main Street, members of the town's Library Project Policy Committee will recommend going back to "plan A" a site that is already owned by the town at Rumsey Park.

It's time to control dogs

We don't like having to write stories about children whose faces are scarred by dog bites.

Town needs strong advocate for handicapped

Recently I have received several telephone calls: 1. A woman who lost an eye in an auto accident and as a result was terminated from her employment following five years with the same employer.

Bible provides groundwork of freedom

To the A.C.L.U. A point of law: Where did the phrase "separation of church and state" come from? The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the Congress from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the exercise thereof." Often, these clauses come into conflict and are misinterpreted.

Monday, November 16

Horns win in second-half rally against Cougars

Shunning aside a listless first half in which they appeared uninterested, the Payson Longhorns rallied in the final two quarters to salvage a 22-14 victory over the Show Low Cougars in a state tournament quarterfinal game Friday at Mesa College.

Government's 'Bible Week' not appropriate

While there is certainly nothing wrong with the Bible, there is surely something inappropriate in having Arizona Gov. Jane Hull proclaim a week in its honor.

Future of Childs-Irving power plants on the line

The APS-owned Childs-Irving Hydroelectric Project west of Strawberry is up for relicensing, and it may be the first hydropower dam system in the state to be forced from service.

Water district needs to be prodded into action

A couple of weeks ago, I am sure that I heard the simultaneous retching sounds of your readers after having read Howard Matthews' self-grandizing commentary on the "accomplishments" of the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District.

Doctors staying in same place with same insurance

I would like to take this opportunity to address and clarify some issues regarding the closing of Scottsdale Healthcare FamilyCare Payson.

Tonto Apaches join local hunt for water

The Tonto Apache Tribe, which stands to add 300 acres to its reservation south of Payson next spring through a federal land exchange, is low on water and searching for more.

IGA grocery store closing its doors

It was Halloween 1991 when Jake Weber began operating Weber's IGA in what was previously Fairway.

Cuts required on police station

The basic building will look the same, but architect Karl Derrah and Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner are going back to the drawing board to "nibble a little more" at the plans for a new police station.

Pink bellies 'exposed' by Valley press


The "pink belly" controversy of last week has failed to create diverseness in the Mesa Mountain View High School football program.

Shelby's hardwood warriors going strong

Throughout the 1997 junior high/middle school hardwood campaign, tiny Shelby School of Tonto Village produced a highly successful team that continually whipped schools with student bodies boasting hundreds more students.

Diamond Rim next target in town's search for water

Town officials hope to find a diamond in the rough when they explore for water in the national forest east and northeast of Star Valley.

Zoning granted for new health care facility on South McLane

The Town Council has paved the way for a proposed adult care facility next to Manzanita Manor.

Middle School grapplers show promise

If early season results are a true measure of strength, the Rim Country Middle School Maverick wrestling squad could be in for a banner year.

Tribute one of vet's proudest moments

The tribute to veterans on Nov. 11 at the Payson High School auditorium was definitely a winner and I must say "Thank You, Payson," to the flag chairpersons, students, all youngsters, Scouts, the school staff, and all those lovely people who attended.

Thursday, November 12

GOP must get back to the basics

First, congratulations to Rep. Matt Salmon on his re-election. The people of the United States need him in Washington. Second, congratulations on his being among the leaders of the group who forced Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to resign.

Hot coals burn through deck, threaten home

Hot coals placed in a cardboard box set on a wooden deck. That was the recipe for disaster that destroyed the front deck of a home at the Cedar Grove Manor Trailer Park on East Frontier Street.

Greiner's guys fall in second-half let down

After watching his team's 4-1 first half lead dissipate into a 7-4 double-overtime state tournament victory for Palo Verde Christian, Longhorns soccer coach Dave Greiner said he felt the better team did not win.

Korean War epitomized sacrifices of veterans

The Korean War - Americans who served in this so-called conflict, who died and who were disabled from their wounds, went willingly to a war that many felt had no purpose or winnable future. It was the ultimate sacrifice to place yourself in harm's way and even to lay down your life for an unknown people's freedom.

Water impact fees more than doubled

The Payson Town Council is sending a message to the public on how it stands on the water issue: It will do what it takes to get water to the town.

Less federal aid makes food bank's work harder

Joe Calderone's weekly shopping list includes 200 loaves of bread and 100 cans, bags and boxes of everything from fruit and vegetables to sugar, flour, potatoes and packages of meat.

Hopes dashed, Lady Horns out of the race

After whipping the Wickenburg Wranglers 15-13 and 15-13 in the opening round of the Arizona State Class 3A volleyball playoffs Friday in Eagar, the Lady Longhorns - plagued by inconsistency all year long - were eliminated in quarterfinal action later the same day by Monument Valley 15-17, 15-8 and 15-7.

Skateboarders may soon have a home at park


Payson's young skate boarders and in-line skaters might soon have a new place to practice, if a proposal by the Town Parks and Recreation Department is approved by the Town Council at this week's meeting.

Mighty Horns take on Cougars in Mesa

What will it take for the Show Low Cougars to pull off the upset of the Class 3A Arizona State football tournament and whip state second-ranked and Central Division champion Payson (10-0) Friday evening at Mesa College? That depends on which side of the Mogollon Rim you live.

The importance of gratitude

I left the office on Tuesday evening with a dozen thoughts about work still lingering on my mind. With appointments to keep and children to feed, I paid little attention to what was going on around me. I found myself standing in line at a local restaurant looking at my watch and hoping I could hurry through yet another task.

'Hoops for Heart' to raise funds for heart disease

Physical education students at Payson High School will turn to the sport of basketball to raise money for the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Wednesday, November 11

Former Horn stars continue soccer prowess at college

As Payson High School seniors in the 1997 fall sports season, Ben Plumb and Travis Byler paced the Longhorns soccer team to its first berth in the state championship tournament.

There's not enough words to thank vets

Not enough can be said in gratitude for the men and women who have served our country as members of the armed forces. They placed their faith in our country's founding principles on the line in the most fundamental way: as a matter of life and death.

Town eyeing purchase of golf course

Harry Parsons, long-time owner of the Payson Golf Course, said if the price is right, he would be willing to sell the golf course to the Town of Payson. And town officials just might want it.

Wickenburg whipped, Horns head to state quarterfinals

Flying high on quarterback Hunter Walden's passing arm, the state second-ranked Payson Longhorns debuted successfully in the opening round of the state tournament with a 53-13 victory over the Wickenburg Wranglers.