Wednesday, December 29
As we swing into the new millennium, many have speculated on the greatest speech, the greatest personality and the defining events of the century or the 1,000 years that just ended.
While the rest of the world takes a look back at the end of the millennium, we'd like to train our editorial eye on the future of the Rim country.
If you've been waiting for the last minute, this is it. You still have a few hours to find out if your home computers and other electronics will survive Y2K.
A political power struggle smoldering around the Mesa del Caballo Fire Department flared up Wednesday, prompting the three-member fire board to resign and forcing the county to hire an outside administrator.
Payson's second-largest retail building will be converted into a four-screen theater, George Harrison of C&H Properties said Thursday.
Secret to living a long life 'enjoy it, don't be a crab'
New Year, schmoo year. Blanche Eddleston isn't impressed.
Standing on the threshold of the third millennium and looking at the milestones for the last thousand years, is an exercise in retrospect. As the years narrow to the present, dates of apparent significance become more frequent. However, there are certain obvious forks in the road, which have determined what we have become today.
The past points the way to the future
Happy New Year.
Local church leaders will usher in the new year in a variety of interesting ways today, despite millennium forecasts ranging from a gloomy last hurrah to peaceful harmony.
This letter is in response to Carmen and Nancy DeCicco in the Dec. 28 issue of the Roundup: "Photos of young hunters and their kills disgusting."
Athletes who made headlines in 1999
The list of the Rim country's Top 10 athletes for the 1999 year includes a bevy of accomplished locals who reaped in long lists of honors as most valuable players, state champions, national record-setters and gold-medal winners.
From where I sit, and from what little book learning I got, it looks like there are some 368 days from this date, Dec. 31, 1999, before the new millennium rolls around.
Having read the Tuesday, Dec. 28 issue of the Payson Roundup's letters to the editor, I couldn't believe that there are individuals who have nothing better to do than to complain about young hunters and their kills.
Remember those good times you had romping on the Little League field savoring your first try at organized baseball? Those memories wouldn't have been possible had it not been for the many volunteers who annually give of their time to ensure play goes on without a hitch.
The past year will be etched in sports annals as one of the most successful ever at Payson High, a year during which three teams won state championships, another finished second, a coach was selected Arizona "Coach of the Year," and the school was chosen as one of the state's best. Rendering these events even more spectacular is that all of these honors were achieved in less than a two-week period.
Your newspaper's "My View" recently advocated increased firearms restrictions.
Rim country residents are stocking up for Y2K, said Bashas' merchandising manager Paul Ronkainen, and on an average, doubling their normal grocery bills.
Monday, December 27
Former Gila County Assistant Finance Director, Linda Noriega, who was indicted last year on 13 felony counts including misuse of public monies, fraudulent schemes, theft and money laundering, is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 14. She will appear in Globe before Maricopa County Judge David R. Cole.
It was practice as usual for the Lady Longhorns Monday morning when the team took to the Wilson dome court to prepare for a rival that pummeled them earlier this season by 25 points.
A new licensing law will go into effect Jan. 1 to reduce teen driving accidents. It includes an extra step in the licensing process and penalties for those who are convicted of moving violations.
Also an Arizona resident, I found Jeff Wantland's (Dec. 21 letter to the editor) interesting.
Walking into the office of Payson's new redevelopment/housing coordinator Robert Elliott, one can't help but notice the mound of paperwork that seems to have taken up permanent residence on his desk.
Sports star joins team with a mission
Hunter Walden has the world at his feet.
The opportunity for local seventh- and eighth-grade students to participate in Town-sponsored basketball play is just around the corner.
With a goal of bringing home a tournament title, the Longhorn boys' basketball team travels to Camp Verde today to participate in the six-team Yvonne Johnson Memorial Shoot-out.
Moving the finish line of the Phoenix New Times 10K from Margaret Hance Deck Park into Bank One Ballpark was an excellent decision by event organizers.
The rodeo relocation coordinator position has been controversial since it was created 18 months ago by the Payson Town Council. Taxpayers and a few of the councilmembers have been concerned by the amount of public money the town has invested in the rodeo relocation project, including relocation coordinator Barry Cardinael's salary.
Stock is being transferred; late January opening set
It's moving day for Wal-Mart.
Fierce winds and fireplace ashes sparked a shed fire in Strawberry Thursday night that threatened a home and two people.
Since Hunter Walden first began participating in youth football, baseball and basketball as an elementary school student, he demonstrated sports-star potential.
Having just read your paper this evening, we are again disgusted upon seeing the photo of a young person with a rifle and their kill featured in your sports section.
New Year's resolution: Since early November, I have called the town manager and (Payson's) flag chairman's attention to the lack of illumination on the large flag at the south end of town.
Just a brief thank you to my fellow Payson Packers who came forward to help the Lioness prepare the holiday food boxes.
Wednesday, December 22
Family recovers from November house fire
When fire destroyed Walter Devaney's home three weeks before Thanksgiving, he thought he and his family would have to spend the entire holiday season in a hotel.
For those of you making the journey to Camp Verde for the post-Christmas boys' basketball tournament, coach Randy Wilcox just received the final tournament schedule.
Earning a collegiate baseball scholarship can be an almost impossible task for small town athletes in Arizona.
Payson High School senior Jimbo Armstrong is hoping there's a collegiate athletic future on the horizon.
In response to the gun control editorial Dec. 3 and the letters criticizing the editorial, I'd like to point out the full text of the Second Amendment:
Real heroes aren't the pumped-up action stars of Hollywood who get $100,000 an hour for pretending to leap from an exploding car.
We want to thank all you wonderful musicians in Payson for the enjoyable Christmas music you have provided this December.
Atsuko Ikemune has a warning for any foreign-exchange-student-wannabes dreaming of visiting her home country of Japan.
Officers from around the county arrested six drivers Friday who were allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
That ringing you hear isn't coming from jingle bells, angels getting their wings or Salvation Army volunteers.
I'm confused about whose birthday we are about to celebrate.
First of all, I want to thank the school, the staff, and all those who made Veterans Day in Payson a very special event. Those beautiful ladies who danced on stage, they made my day. And those youngsters made the veterans special by escorting them to their seats. Thank you for the honors, especially to our Gold Star Mothers.
Local domestic violence calls increase 20 to 25 percent during the holidays, Sgt. Bob Birgam, a 20-year-veteran with the Gila County Sheriff's Department said.
Late one Christmas Eve an eon or two ago, a group of friends and I while consuming large amounts of what was surely non-alcoholic eggnog broke into a spontaneous round of "The 12 Days of Christmas."
There are no well-kept secrets behind the overwhelming success of Payson Longhorn wrestling program that has won nine state championships and is ranked among the top 40 winningest in the United States.
Christmas wish for community is for moments worth treasuring
I hope Christmas brings each of you peace, joy and happiness. I hope that you are surrounded by the ones you love. And I hope Santa brings us snow soon.
Tuesday, December 21
Why didn't you save the school children in Littleton, Colorado?
Monday, December 20
A family of four with an income of up to $2,784 a month can get health insurance for children through a state-run, federally funded program called Kids Care and, although there's no representative for the program in the Rim country, it's available to families here.
As a pilot and former control tower operator, the (letter) about the Payson Airport that appeared in the Roundup Dec. 17 seems nothing more than an attempt to create hysteria over a problem that does not exist.
On Nov. 15, I received in the mail four postcards, four significant, and now very valuable, postcards.
Regarding the greenbelt hazard comments made by Payson North Unit IV Homeowners Association President (Keith) Blankenbuehler and Mr. (Roger) Trasher (in the Dec. 10 issue of the Roundup in an article about the fire hazard the subdivision's overgrown greenbelt has created).
Being a resident of Arizona all of my life, and an avid hunter and outdoorsman, I take a lot of interest in wildlife, the weather and nature in general. I read with great interest the recent (Arizona) Game and Fish survey that claimed that only seven mountain lions reside in the area from the Rim to Mesa.
Veterans of Christmas past honored
When Tom Fox was 18 years old, he spent the Christmas of 1950 in a Japanese hospital recovering from three gunshot wounds and frostbite, injuries he suffered during a march from the Chosin Reservoir in Korea that ended the lives of 1,500 of his comrades.
When I saw the Sunday Republic in the racks last weekend, I didn't recognize the place pictured on the front page.
Coordinator calls it quits with work still to be done
Nearly 18 months after rodeo relocation coordinator Barry Cardinael launched "Payson's Promise" to move the rodeo grounds to its new 36-acre site south of town, the project still hasn't been completed, Cardinael is looking for another job, and the town has invested $154,000 in the project.
A film crew making a commercial for Honda of Canada backed up traffic Sunday in and around Pine. Directors Film Company of Toronto drove south to the small mountain hamlet to film commercials for two of the company's car models the Civic and the Accord.
Program helps children keep dignity in tact
Being a kid is tough. Being a kid in foster care can be downright demoralizing. Children in the foster care system are often removed from their homes at a moment's notice. There's little time for packing. Their belongings are often bundled into plastic bags or carried out by the armful.
When the Longhorn wrestling team travels to Lakeside Jan. 12 to challenge East rival Blue Ridge, the Rim grapplers will sport a perfect 3-0 divisional record and teeter on the verge of capturing the school's 22nd divisional championship.
A furious fourth-quarter rally which produced the second-most points ever scored in a single stanza by a Longhorn basketball team, propelled Payson to a 62-46 East Division win over the Holbrook Roadrunners.
It sports only 1-6 credentials, but during a 63-61 loss to the Holbrook Roadrunners Tuesday in Wilson dome, the Payson High School boys' basketball team proved it can be competitive in the torrid East division.
Payson High School senior Jimbo Armstrong was one of the state's football players under consideration for selection to The Arizona Republic's All-Arizona team. Being chosen is one of the most prestigious honors a prep player can receive since the selections are for all-classifications 1A through 5A.
Thursday, December 16
Less than a week after scorching a trio of Tucson Class 5A squads, the Payson Longhorn wrestlers jump from the frying pan into the fire against some of Phoenix's most heralded "big school" powers.
Drinking too much eggnog at your holiday office party could land you in jail.
Payson's election ring is full of proverbial hats, with a total of 10 candidates vying for four seats on the Town Council.
Rim country residents have been using up sick days left and right as they try to fend off the "creeping crud."
Ray Schum may be down, but he is not out. Ray has the assurance of his physicians that he will be good as new very shortly. In fact, Ray plans on being out campaigning in mid-January.
Entering the White Mountain League Wrestling Championships held last week in Whiteriver, Rim Country Middle School wrestling coach Jon Vick said he believed his team had an outside shot at winning its first WML crown.
This comes from the "better-late- than-never" department.
It's been almost two months since the prep soccer season wrapped up, but only now are state officials announcing the members the 1999 boys' and girls' all-state teams.
The 1999 edition of the annual Payson Girls' Holiday Hoops Tournament tips off Monday morning in Wilson dome with a scaled-down field of 12 teams batting for top honors.
Contest winners light up the holiday
The Pine-Strawberry Residential Christmas Tree Lighting Contest results are in. Four judges toured Pine and Strawberry recently to check out the grand displays our residents created and pick their favorites.
'I could have been going to funerals right now'
Wayne Breeland's "best friend," a 3-year-old boxer named Amos, has been making a habit of keeping his master alive.
After reading the various letters to this newspaper over the past few months regarding flight patterns over our town, some of which seem unnecessarily vitriolic, I am compelled to add my two cents.
I take exception to the editorial in the Roundup, "Gun-control laws making a difference," dated Dec. 3, 1999.
Where is the rest of the story to your Dec. 3 editorial about gun laws making a difference? You cited the Associated Press as saying that "More than 160,000 people, nearly three-quarters of them convicted felons, were barred from buying a gun during the first year of computerized instant criminal background checks."
As the clock ticks away toward a new millennium, the time to allocate up to $200 of your state tax money for local schools is running out.
The best advice on how to approach Y2K comes from two vastly disparate sources: The Boy Scouts of America and The Artist Who Has Apparently Changed His Mind And Doesn't Care If We Call Him Prince.
It takes gumption and a sincere desire to make a difference to run for public office, and this week, 10 brave souls volunteered to lead the town into the 21st century. (See page 2A for story.)
Monday, December 13
In the tiny Apache County community of Whiteriver where almost every home sports some type of hoop and 5-year-olds can dribble between their legs basketball is said to be king.
The police may be looking for you if, that is, you're interested in joining the Payson Police Department as a recruit.
Payson High School teachers know that all of their students won't attend a college, university or trade school. Some students will go directly to work.
Faster traffic along Fossil Creek Road may be just around the corner.
A tanker truck filled with diesel fuel crashed through a guard rail Saturday on Corvair Curve, burst into flames and plummeted more than 100 feet into a ravine, dumping nearly 7,500 gallons of fuel into a creek bed.
A guest at the Days Inn hotel in Payson holed up in his room Monday and kept police at bay for nearly two hours after he threw a luggage rack at the hotel manager and threatened to kill a maintenance worker.
Putting families first is often spoken about, but more often waved overhead like a flag to which few pledge their true allegiance. Too many families are left standing in line behind careers, ambitions and recreational pursuits.
The struggling Longhorn boys' basketball team (1-6) will try to get its fast break on track this evening (Tuesday) against a team that features the same type of run-and-gun philosophy as does PHS coach Randy Wilcox.
There has been a lot of talk about the Green Valley Redevelopment Area and especially the Main Street Project over this past year.
Recently in the Roundup, my son and I read an article that talked about showing support for our police officers by lighting a blue light bulb on our front porch. My son, who is 6 years old, was very excited about this and wanted to show his support.
I am a 1982 graduate of Payson High School, a Navy veteran of the Iran/Iraq War, the Persian Gulf War and a survivor of the USS Iowa explosion. I am currently a high school teacher and member of the Industrial Workers of the World.
A revision to the Payson Unified School District's science curriculum will go into effect in the 2000-2001 school year.
The Rim Country Middle School Mavericks' Cinderella ride through the season-ending White Mountain League Volleyball Tournament came to a screeching halt Saturday afternoon in Wilson dome.
Time to participate in the Credit For Kids program is rapidly running out.
Thursday, December 9
The Payson Men's Golf Association season officially wrapped up a month ago, but members still haven't hung up their clubs for the winter.
Payson leaders are preparing for disaster, and they want to make sure residents are ready, too.
I would like to comment on your gun control editorial of Dec. 3.
I want to thank all the folks who came by the hospital, called, sent cards, floral arrangements and the generous, warm wishes from the entire community. Your sincere concern and support for Lee and me is greatly appreciated.
This is an open letter to the NFL and the Players Association:
The Payson High School drama department is to be highly commended. The two plays they presented Dec. 1 and Dec. 4 were extremely well done. "Courtesy Chip" was very entertaining, and at the same time reminded us that we all do better if we do have courtesy chips in us.
The day I heard Sen. McCain say on TV that our service families were on food stamps it made my blood boil. I had a husband who was a veteran of WWII.
Worried business owners blocked a plan Thursday to improve the intersection between highways 260 and 87.
Too chilly or too busy to cruise the aisles of your favorite Payson shops?
Volunteer actors bring holiday traditions to life
The Tonto Natural Bridge may not pop into your mind as a Christmas tradition, but volunteers Larry and Linda Johnson are hoping to change your mind.
'Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through your house, not a present was mailed, and you felt like a louse. Your cards were all stacked by the address book with care, in hopes that you'd mail them but you need not despair.
The paint on the Wal-Mart Supercenter wasn't even dry last month before people began wondering if Wal-Mart was living up to its construction agreements with the town.
On a danger scale of one to 10, Payson Assistant Fire Chief Don Rose calls the manzanita-choked greenbelt in Payson North Unit IV a nine.
Maybe they didn't fit the mold.
Northern Arizona State University's new Payson coordinator, Gary W. Moore, has a vision for the future of Eastern Arizona College's new school building and a plan to keep graduating high school seniors in town.
Look out Chicken Little, the planets are aligning.
As if those of us on Earth don't have enough to worry about, what with the Y2K computer bugaboo bearing down on us and the doomsayers shouting "End of the world!" on every corner, a planetary catastrophe is just too much to take.
If any doubts lingered in prep wrestling circles about Payson High School's ability or readiness to defend its state championship, they were erased last weekend at the Camp Verde Invitational.
After opening the season in dismal 0-5 fashion, the Longhorn boys' basketball team finally experienced the thrill of victory with a 51-48 overtime win over River Valley.
Averaging more than 20 points per game and dominating on both the offensive and defensive boards, junior center Rheanna Martinez paced the Lady Longhorns to a 2-2 record in the River Valley Invitational Tournament held last weekend near Needles, Calif.
Tuesday, December 7
Crunching through the midst of leaves around your feet,
Monday, December 6
A wildfire that started Saturday along the Highline Trail had burned more than 80 acres by Tuesday morning.
They have to move their hands and stuff and they get tired, but the first-grade students studying music with Kathy Kaufman at Julia Randall Elementary School are creating something special.
When the Payson Town Council meets Thursday night, council members will consider an intergovernmental agreement between the town and the Arizona Department of Transportation to improve the intersection at Highway 87 and Highway 260.
Due to a late schedule change, the defending state champion Longhorn wrestling team will host Show Low at 6 p.m. Dec. 8 in Wilson dome, rather than travel to Cougarland.
In past years, the clash against the Eloy Santa Cruz Dust Devils (today, 7:30 p.m. in Wilson dome) would have been a crucial Central division showdown for the Lady Longhorn basketball team.
If the results of the first three games of the season are true indicators, the Longhorns might not have the horses to run in the stake races.
Please remember the animals this season. The dogs and cats of Payson are not at the shelter because they want to spend the holidays there.
As a local resident, I'd like to inform your readers about another new tax law program that's a great way to help schools.
I will agree with two of your statements made in your (Dec. 3 editorial). Yes, no one likes to wait in line to get a drivers license and the Brady Bill has not stopped criminals from buying guns. It has always been illegal for criminals and unbalanced individuals to buy guns.
It's already happened to Prescott, several times over.
Years ago, during the Payson School District's Christmas vacation, a group of Rim Country Middle School eighth-grade football players who had months earlier won the 1994 White Mountain League championship with an 8-0 record traveled to Tempe to participate in a one-day football clinic put on by the Fiesta Bowl.
Swirling, dusty winds on the high desert softball field in Sun Lakes rendered playing conditions almost intolerable for both the Payson Grays and the Devils senior softball teams.
Wanted persons who are willing to be publicly criticized, ridiculed and mocked for even their best efforts. Must be willing to give up years of their lives in the service of others, many of whom will not appreciate or recognize that service. Qualified persons must also be able to stand and defend every decision they make and be expected to only make good decisions.
Today, Dec. 7, is one of those days when Americans stop and reflect on their freedoms, and the men who fought to preserve the American way of life.
For the past 10 years, Payson Town Clerk Silvia Smith has spent her two-week vacation each November making hundreds of tamales for an annual toy drive she and her husband, Don, produce each December.
Thursday, December 2
It's almost time to stand up and be counted for Census 2000, a nationwide head count that will begin next spring.
I am not sure, but there appears to be something amiss with the AIMS testing.
Actors recreate Christmas at the bridge
The Tonto Natural Bridge may not jump into your mind as a Christmas tradition but volunteers Larry and Linda Johnson are hoping to change your mind.
Fledgling elementary and middle school wrestlers who have not earned first-line status on their teams will have the opportunity to shine at the Second Annual Chance Amon Memorial "Battle of the Upstarts" tournament.
Nobody enjoys waiting in line at the DMV for a driver's license. But few people consider the wait an infringement on their civil rights. That's because most of us understand that the testing system, despite its inconvenience, helps keep unqualified and possibly dangerous drivers off the road.
Although the U.S. Forest Service has had a series of suspected employee thefts in recent months, that's not why forest officials have installed automated fee collection machines at all popular Tonto National Forest destinations, forester Joe Sitarzewski said.
Want to check up on your doctor or a doctor you're thinking about seeing?
In response to the letter from Carol who was upset that some Payson shops don't have public bathrooms, I want to comment on her statement "a person is a Christian by their acts."
As a former pilot, I am continually reminded of the enormous disparity between the pilot and his stodgy earthbound cousin.
As the controversy continues over whether pilots should make right turns upon landing at the Payson airport to avoid flights over populated areas, as opposed to circling over the town in the usual left-turn pattern, no one has touched on the subject of the madness that goes on in the air over Payson during the annual "fly-in."
When U.S. Highway 1-10 was built south of Phoenix 40 years ago, it passed through a desert that was green. It was covered with mesquite, iron wood and other desert shrubs as much as eight feet high. Today only an occasional decaying trunk stands in a lifeless landscape. Now a person drives through the desert preserve near Florence to see the desert as it used to be. What happened?
Trimmed to look like a candy-laden gingerbread house, Sunny Mountain Realty in Pine took top prize for the fourth year straight in the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce's annual Christmas lighting contest.
Pine resident Joshua Peck was sentenced in Gila County Superior Court Thursday for stabbing Jack Morris during an Independence Day party in Pine.
Dr. Ronald Peterson, a rehabilitation psychologist, has opened a new office, the Vector Center, at 700 W. Main.
People were sitting on the floor and standing in the hall Tuesday as state leaders and representatives of Native American tribes met at Payson Town Hall to discuss the evolution of Arizona casino gambling.
There's a brew haw occurring in football coaching circles regarding one of the most distasteful acts a coach can do to another team run up the score.
The Rim Country Middle School wrestling team travels west to Prescott tomorrow (Saturday) where the Mavericks will show their prowess on the mat in the Glassford Hills Invitational.
In a voting of East coaches held at regular season's end, nine standouts on the 1999 Longhorn football team reaped prestigious all-division honors.