Stories for February 1999


Thursday, February 25

Molest suspect pleads not guilty

The 28-year-old Mesa del Caballo man accused of molesting five teen-age girls pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Gila County Superior Court Wednesday morning.

Lady Mavs lead school's squads

By posting a 9-1 record, the seventh-grade Lady Maverick basketball team turned in the most successful season among the four Rim Country Middle School teams participating in the White Mountain League.

Schedule shift should ease crowded fields

The fertilizer hit the fan frequently last fall when the Payson Parks and Recreation Department was forced to shift playing and practice sites between the Youth Soccer League and the Central Arizona Youth Football Association due to a lack of facilities.

Dry winter puts town, forest officials on alert

Town officials are asking residents to conserve water and U.S. Forest Service officials fear the worst. They're taking precautions against what has been determined to be the driest winter in more than a decade.

It is parent's job to patrol children's Internet behavior

A California mother has sued the town of Livermore on charges that the local library violated her 12-year-old son's constitutional rights when it failed to install software that would have prevented him from downloading sexually explicit pictures from the library's Internet terminal.

Y2K needs a grassroots effort

Thanks for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's notice of their free Y2K consumer guide, available through their 800 number. Shades of Y2K the computer response told me to call another 888 number. That computer thanked me for my name and address and then told me I would get the consumer guide in about four weeks.

Forest officials not just guessing about how dry the woods are

When national forest officials talk about dry conditions, it's more a matter of science than mere conjecture.

March 9 vote an issue of revenue, red tape

Payson voters will go to the polls March 9 to approve or disapprove 25-year franchise agreements between the town and two utilities, Arizona Public Service Company and Energy West Inc.

Proprietor of halfway house draws on his own experience

Sixteen years ago, when Steve Reynolds was 14, he took his first swig of beer and plunged head first into a murky life gripped by drugs and alcohol.

It's first-come, first-served to switch school attendance

Payson parents who live within the attendance boundaries for one school, but who want to send their children to another, have slightly more than a month to apply for open enrollment transfers.

Shelby School's run ends in first round

Coach Steve Rensch should be pardoned for waxing a tad nostalgic after watching his Shelby School team's season end with a heartbreaking 36-33 loss to St. Matthews in the opening round of the Phoenix Issacs School Tournament.

Schools' student growth slows

The number of students in Payson, which has been growing at a steady clip for five years, has come to a grinding halt, giving school officials reason to think housing costs have risen out of reach for most new families.

Baseball team 8-for-9 in veterans

With eight of nine starters returning from last year's team and a state seventh-place ranking under its sliding pads, the Longhorn baseball squad is rampant with optimism.

Guide should remove some fear of AIMS

Arizona students got some more help on their march toward a high school diploma this week with the State Department of Education's release of its student guide for the AIMS test.

Monday, February 22

First year rocky for Coach Wilcox

In his first year at the helm of the Payson High School basketball program, Randy Wilcox who replaced long-time coach Jim Quinlan didn't have the kind of season he hoped for in terms of wins and loses.

Paper's sex-crime policy at heart of fair reporting

I would like to congratulate you on your journalistic standards regarding the release of an accused child molester's name into the public arena. Far too often today, we see individuals accused of a despicable crime, such as mentioned in your article, only later to be exonerated. But by simply being accused, they can be convicted in the court of public opinion and their name and reputation [can be] forever tarnished.

Dirt roads getting Town Council's attention

A number of Payson residents have asked town officials, "Why doesn't the town maintain my road?"

Family of five is Habitat's pick for house number six

L.A. Jacquez's doctor has been telling his parents they need to find a new home for their 3-year-old asthmatic son one designed specifically with his asthma and allergies in mind.

Kyle Conway qualifies for national roping finals

As if he were tuned to the lyrics of country music star Willie Nelson's long-time hit, "On the Road Again," 17-year-old Kyle Conway spent the past week traveling the highways of Utah and Arizona in search of fresh roping challenges.

Businesses' water use to be defined by council Thursday

The Town Council will take up the matter of defining an equivalent peak residential unit (ERU) and providing for adjustment of fees for water use when it meets Thursday.

Firefighters' quick action put resident's worries to rest

For weeks, maybe even months, I have been pondering my motivation for living in Mesa del Caballo and devoting hours in service to this community. I was really questioning my motivation after the negative articles appeared in last week's Roundup.

DUI laws need to be strict, but fair

There's no excuse for drunken driving, but there should be a limit to how far government goes in punishing those suspected of the crime.

Suspected molester waives hearing

A 28-year-old Mesa del Caballo man scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Payson Justice Court on charges of child molestation involving five girls waived his hearing this morning (Tuesday) and will now face those charges in Gila County Superior Court.

New hillside construction rules make P & Z grade

Proposed changes in how subdivisions are built in hilly areas have been passed on to the Payson Town Council following a split vote by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Garage destroyed, house saved

Fire inspectors believe it may have been a wood stove or an electrical problem near it that caused an early morning fire Monday on Vista del Norte in Mesa del Caballo.

Appetizer contest among local chefs proving popular

Tickets are selling like hotcakes for the Mayor's Cup Chefs Appetizers Competition Saturday so much so that organizers will be putting a freeze on ticket sales.

Lady Horns awards Thursday night at FES

The members of the 1998-99 Lady Longhorn basketball team will have one last opportunity to gather and reflect on a season in which the squad won the Central Division Tournament championship, and advanced to the state tournament quarterfinals in Flagstaff before being eliminated.

Vickers continues career on motocross track

In 1995, Jimmy Vickers was a promising young motocross rider who captured racing aficionados' attention with a second-place finish in a year-long Whiplash Motorsport Racing series.

Thursday, February 18

God's name must not be taken in vain

This is in response to your recent editorial regarding foul language.

Grocery cards have more than one pitfall

Hats off to Iona Stiffler for pointing out the unseemliness of penalizing certain classes of customers, with higher prices because they won't turn over personal information to their grocer.

Town must accept responsibility for long-maintained dirt roads

After reading a report on the maintenance of dirt roadways in Payson compiled by the transportation administrator, that took nine months to complete, I have concerns about the area that includes East Canyon Drive and Graham Ranch Road.

State's formula for schools not a true representation

The following is for further clarification of the Feb. 9 Roundup article, "Latest proposal from State Legislature imperils P-S School."

Research may show cards are worth it

Regarding Iona Stiffler's comment in the Roundup dated Feb. 12, concerning store discount cards Iona, it is true that Fred Myers did away with the discount card, but I recommend that anyone interested in saving money, take a notepad and pen, and stroll down their aisles you be the judge.

Champion Horns state wrestling results

Following is a breakdown of team and individual scoring at the state wrestling tournament.

Curriculum guide stresses classroom quality

Local teachers are using a new book to teach Payson's youngest students their ABCs and their 123s.

Friends, fans pitch in to help Horn sports star

Nothing is more admirable in young people than the willingness to pitch in and help friends in need.

Lady Horns eliminated from state tournament

In a twist of deja vu, the Lady Longhorns were eliminated from the Class 3A state tournament during Wednesday's quarterfinal play in Flagstaff, one game short of advancing to the final four at Phoenix Suns America West Arena.

Season ends for Horns jayvee team

With a record of 11 wins and six losses, the Longhorn boys' jayvee team posted some of the best credentials in the PHS hoop program.

Haught verdict: negligent homicide

GLOBE When the verdict came, Roy George Haught of Star Valley stood silently, looking at the floor of the Gila County courtroom where he had spent five days on trial for second-degree murder, accused of beating-up local mechanic Jim Cooper and killing him.

Tonto Apache track off and running

The 25-member Tonto Apache Track and Field team debuted Valentine's Day at the Flagstaff Indoor Classic meet.

Rudeness no way to debate town's issues

Without a doubt, I recently experienced a new low in behavior in Payson. While working at my desk, I received a phone call that went like this: "Are you the one that is complaining about 'no growthers'?" I replied "no." The individual then stated, "If you are, you must have your head up your -." I dialed *69 to trace the call and found that it was blocked and unable to connect. The caller was a woman.

Bradfords should be returned to animal shelter

I want to thank you for your excellent editorial regarding the Payson Humane Society and the Bradfords.

To name or not to name?

In the Feb. 16 issue of the Roundup, a story appeared about a 28-year-old man from Mesa del Caballo who was arrested on suspicion of molesting five children.

Former firefighters doing Mesa del no good

I have read and reread the letter published Friday, Feb. 12 regarding "Emergency Services Suffering in Mesa del" and I have some questions for the signers.

Dog owners need to treat park with respect

Aren't we lucky to have such a beautiful park to walk in as the Green Valley Park?

Horns look to postseason honors

Fans, players, teachers and coaches are wondering: Did any of the Longhorn basketball players perform well enough during the team's up-and-down season to earn All-Central Division honors?

Strawberry shooting ruled attempted murder

Shooter's death was suicide, officials say

Kevin Mahaffey of Strawberry, who is recovering from a bullet wound to the chest, said his friend Don Bearden shot him Jan. 24 "with the same emotion you would toss a beer bottle" during what investigators have ruled an attempted murder-suicide.

Membership calls for meeting with the humane society board

It was standing-room-only Thursday night as more than 50 people crammed into the tiny Womans Club meeting room to discuss the status of the Payson Humane Society.

School board members earn praise

Our school has five hard-working, dedicated governing board members that work for the good of our children and community. Pine-Strawberry School would like to extend a "Welcome" and a "Thank you" to Myndi Brogdon, Suzanne Fumusa, Patti Horton, Karen Randall and Lynn Sommars for their dedication to our students, school and community.

Monday, February 15

Roy Haught on the stand

Defense attorney Tracey Westerhausen called her client, Roy George Haught, to the witness stand Friday morning to testify in his own defense.

Shelter was not being run the way it should be

As spokesman for the Board of Directors of the Payson Humane Society, I submit that the board has delayed too long in airing its account of the recent shelter upheaval. We, also, were lulled into complacency thinking the shelter was being run properly it was not.

Man credits dog for saving him from fire

A bark in the dark of the night may have saved a Mesa del Caballo man's life after his house caught fire Saturday morning.

Haught testifies in his defense

GLOBE In a last-minute change of strategy, attorneys for Roy George Haught of Star Valley, who is accused of beating up local mechanic Jim Cooper and killing him, dropped two key witnesses from their lineup Friday morning and sent Haught to the stand to testify in his own defense.

Lady Horns survive, advance to state tournament

In one of the biggest upsets of the prep sports season, the third-seeded Lady Longhorns unseated regular season champion Fountain Hills 59-56 in the final round of the Central Division tournament.

Wrestlers pin 6th state championship

Sports history books might soon refer to the 1990s as the Payson High School wrestling program's decade of domination.

Warm weather makes for better fishing

Arizona Game and Fish officials in Pinetop are anticipating good trout fishing opportunities in the Rim country during March and April, partly due to the abnormally warm weather we've experienced this winter.

County should require covered landfill loads

A few weeks ago, I was taking my daughter to Strawberry on a beautiful Saturday morning. As many of you know, there are some breathtaking views of the Rim country from the Beeline Highway as you travel north to our neighboring communities of Pine and Strawberry.

Legislative proposal would shift tax burden to our town

A fundamental shift in how local governments are financed is being proposed at the Arizona Legislature. We need help to let legislative leaders know that this is not good for Payson.

Rollover blocks traffic on Beeline

Two people were injured when their 1992 Lincoln Continental spun out of control and flipped on its top into the path of a Winnebago Monday at "infamous Corvair Curve" on the Beeline Highway.

Local man reportedly confesses to molesting five teen-age girls

A 28-year-old Mesa del Caballo man faces five counts of child molestation following his arrest Friday.

New director, staff hired for Payson animal shelter

Ann VanGheem, a former Payson Humane Society employee, was hired Monday as the animal shelter's new manager. VanGheem, who worked at the shelter from 1994 to 1998, is replacing long-time manager Cindy Bradford, who resigned last month due to a conflict with the society's board of directors.

Jury reaches verdict in Haught trial

A Gila County Superior Court Jury has found Payson businessman Roy George Haught guilty of negligent homicide and aggravated assault, according to a press release faxed to the Roundup office late Tuesday afternoon from the county attorney's office.

Sunday, February 14

Haught takes the stand

GLOBE Star Valley businessman Roy George Haught, who is on trial for second-degree murder in the 1997 death of local mechanic Jim Cooper, took the stand Friday to testify in his own defense.

Thursday, February 11

Team will attempt to find trends in deaths of kids

A group of volunteers from around the county have been appointed by the Gila County Board of Supervisors for the unenviable task of reviewing children's deaths.

Talk of botched abduction creates trouble for police

Payson's grapevine is long and fast, and when a repeated rumor hits the wrong lips, it can create a lot of confusion.

P-S School Board to discuss school's locked-door policy

The Pine-Strawberry Elementary School District Governing Board will discuss the school's lock-down procedures Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the school's conference room.

Council split over water 'refunds'

The Payson Town Council split Thursday night on the question of rebates for new developers who will use less water than estimated.

Town working through program to clean up anticipated Y2K woes

With a comprehensive plan developed by town officials, Payson's information systems specialist Rich Edgar is confident the Town of Payson will have the upper hand on the Y2K crisis by June.

Prosecution rests its case against Haught

GLOBE This morning, for the fourth day, a crowd of blue jean-clad well-wishers escorted Roy George Haught to the wood-paneled courtroom where he is standing trial for second-degree murder to hear the prosecution's last witness.

End of the road for Longhorn boys' basketball

Turn out the lights, the party's over. A 65-56 Central Division tournament loss to the Globe Tigers Tuesday evening in Wilson Dome ended any hopes the Longhorn boys' basketball team harbored for postseason hoopla.

Sometimes-dry reservoir a questionable pursuit

The Payson Packers hiking group [hiked] on the dry lake bed of the Blue Ridge Reservoir during one of their weekly hikes, Sept. 3, 1996. [There was an] absence of water. The location [was] the southwest finger of the lake, north of the Battle of Big Dry Wash Monument.

Emergency services are suffering in Mesa del

We feel that the residents of Mesa del Caballo, Wonder Valley and Freedom Acres need to know the truth about their fire department. A letter distributed throughout the fire district on Jan. 24 from acting Chief Hansen indicates that our fire department is doing fine.

Shelby thumps Big Park to win league crown

The Shelby School boys' basketball team played its way to an impressive 26-4 record this season, but was never able to win a tournament, settling most of the time for either second or third place.

Land deal for firm may still be alive

A contingent of town officials and Payson citizens learned Thursday that a state land deal that would bring a high-tech firm to Payson is still possible.

Trash belongs at the dump

On Thursday, Feb. 4, I went out to help pick up litter and trash for one group that I help. On the way, I walked through some woods north of Payson Pines.

Wrestlers pin down division title

Looking for 4th consecutive state championship

When trying to motivate athletes who might not fully understand the value of commitment, coaches often turn to the old adage, "Tough times don't last, tough people do."

A worthy character and a generous deed

Sometimes good character is rewarded in mysterious, almost unbelievable ways.

Grocery stores should give up their cards

This is a suggestion to the grocery stores who have issued the discount cards to their customers. Please go back to just lowering your prices and forget all the gimmicks.

All-tournament medal goes to Mav Herrera

Remember your first big sports feat?

Monday, February 8

Don't just sit there, say something

Should it be a crime to use foul language in front of children?

Council to define levels of water use

The Payson Town Council will have a first reading and public hearing Thursday of an ordinance to define the equivalent peak residential unit (ERU) and to provide for potential water use and later adjustment for new development.

Editorial too quick to condemn Humane Society board

I am responding to your Tuesday, Feb. 2 editorial , which is a good example of an incomplete, biased viewpoint of a situation about which you admittedly don't know the whole story.

Latest proposal from State Legislature imperils P-S School

A state plan to slash school administrative costs would cut so deeply into Pine-Strawberry Elementary School's budget, the school wouldn't be able to afford a principal, school officials said Monday.

Mesa del covered, but mutual fire aid is adrift

Payson firefighters will continue to take care of the citizens of Mesa del Caballo, although the two fire departments no longer have a mutual aid agreement.

Sarah Scott, Cameron Omoto honored as top young citizens

A pair of Payson High School seniors with long lists of school and community activities have been named the Payson Roundup's 1998 Young Man and Young Woman of the Year.

Man wields hose to help save his mobile home

Firefighters were called to a fire in the 300 block of North Masters Way in Payson at 7:18 p.m. Monday for a wood stove fire. When they arrived, they found the owner of the single-wide mobile home fighting the fire with his garden hose.

PHS graduates fish their way through college

Most youngsters heading off for college pack up their CD player, maybe a television, possibly a VCR, some tapes and a lap-top computer.

Wrestlers dominate Central division championship

With six individual weight-class champions and six runner-ups, the Payson Longhorn wrestling team dominated the Class 3A Central Division championship tournament contested Saturday in Coolidge.

Members to meet on issue of animal shelter directors

Dr. Mark Meyers has been waiting for an amicable resolution to the turmoil surrounding the Payson Humane Society's animal shelter.

Lady Horns head to Central play

A 50-36 regular-season-ending victory over Coolidge Friday evening in Wilson Dome nailed down a third-place Central finish for the Lady Longhorns basketball team (8-4 in the division).

Doyle Coffey, Lee Pretsch picked as Payson's top citizens

Long years of dedicated service to the community have earned Doyle Coffey and Lee Pretsch honors as the Payson Roundup's 1998 Man and Woman of the Year.

Jury selection starting in trial of Roy Haught

Jury selection began today in the trial of Roy George Haught, the prominent Star Valley businessman accused of punching local mechanic Jim Cooper in the head and killing him.

Nursing aide found guilty of abuse of elderly man

It took the jury a little more than three hours to return a guilty verdict in the trial of Eric B. Charron a 22-year-old nursing assistant accused of abusing a 90-year-old resident at Manzanita Manor.

Board should bring Bradfords back

As a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Zeta Zeta Chapter of Pine, I felt compelled to write you concerning the termination of the Bradfords from the Payson Humane Society.

Finding solace as a writer

Woman publishes book about her daughter's rape

For seven days Ann Moody sat through a trial in a Florida courtroom and listened to her daughter and other women testify about being brutally raped and beaten.

It's win or bust for Horn hoopsters

To be successful in the first round of the Central Division tournament 7 p.m. today (Tuesday) in Wilson Dome against Globe the Longhorn boys' basketball team must come up with a much more inspired effort than it turned in Friday in Coolidge.

MSA supports Payson's athletes, wildlife

Since the inception of a tackle football program at Rim Country Middle School in 1994, the Mavericks have fielded some of the best teams in the White Mountain League with four unbeaten championship squads.

Is glory ahead with Al Gore as president?

In response to Kathryn J. Loftfield's letter of Jan. 26 about the impeachment trial, her brilliance caused my playwright juices to flow.

Multi-event center needs community's help

Whatever happened to the good old folks of Payson? Where did they all go?

Thursday, February 4

Going backward by giving schools less is unacceptable

This is the year to improve learning in Arizona. Last year, the Legislature and I finally resolved the school construction p

People getting wrong opinion about Payson Humane Society Board

I think people are getting the wrong opinion about the Payson Humane Society Board. There are two sides to every tale, and this paper should be properly informed before committing itself to unfounded complaints. Just because the board members refrain from gossiping doesn't mean they are in the wrong.

A journey of discovery

The 'Littles' become the 'Santanas' after a father finds his roots

There's big news in the Little house: Eric Little and his family made a brief court appearance in January, answered a few questions for Commissioner Alan Slaughter, and emerged with a new name.

Shooting investigation continues

The Jan. 24 shooting in Strawberry that left one man dead and another in intensive care is still under investigation by the Gila County Sheriff's Department, Detective George Ratliff said Thursday.

Volleyball coach, player are all-stars

A Payson coach and one of his most accomplished players have been tapped to participate in the 1999 Arizona Coaches' Association North vs. South All-Star Volleyball game to be played June 18 on the campus of Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher.

Haught trial set to start next Tuesday

Jury selection begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Globe in the trial of Payson businessman Roy Haught, the man accused of killing Strawberry resident James Cooper.

Local bulk-food vendor preaches preparation

The fatalists believe that civilization will grind to a halt at the stroke of midnight Dec. 31, 1999, when a programming oversight will cause computers to shut down worldwide.

Library committee backs fall funding vote

Plans are moving along for the new public library at Rumsey Park and members of the library project's policy committee are hoping they meet with the approval of the voters in November.

Parks & Rec has full menu of activities

There's not much snow in the Rim country, but if a downpour of the white stuff arrives anytime soon, the Town Parks & Recreation Department has a fun ski and snowshoe trip tentatively scheduled for Feb. 19.

Opponents key on Shelby's top threat

With impressive 22-4 credentials , the Shelby School boys' basketball team will travel to West Sedona school today (Friday) to participate in tournament play.

Horns get stingy in 3rd quarter for key win

The Payson Longhorn boys' basketball team stayed in the hunt for a fourth-place Central Division finish with a 68-53 win over Santa Cruz Tuesday evening in the Wilson Dome.

Depleted Mavericks still take 3rd in state tourney

With only seven entries in the 16 weight classes, the Rim Country Middle School Maverick wrestling team didn't figure to make much of a splash in the Arizona State Junior High School Championship Tournament.

The proper way to Y2K

Doomsayers who preach a technological apocalypse as the year 2000 approaches and foment panic rather than caution are doing no one any good.

Monday, February 1

Loss of Bradfords a sign of the times

It is unfortunate for Dave and Cindy Bradford that they would have to leave the Payson Humane Society, to which they have dedicated so much of their time.

A big leap from small town to city

Taking that frightful first step onto a university campus has always been a huge adjustment for Arizona's small-town kids.

Truck driver survives Highway 260 rollover

Christopher/Kohl's Fire Chief Ray Larsen has some advice for drivers traveling a two-mile stretch of road between milepost 267 and 269:

Long-time police reserve dies following surgery

Funeral services for Payson police reserve Gene Podschweit, 62, will be held Saturday, at Mount Cross Lutheran Church in Payson.

Improvements to Houston Mesa Road on schedule

A $1-million cooperative venture on Houston Mesa Road between the Arizona Department of Transportation, the U.S. Forest Service and Gila County, that began in early December, will most likely be completed sometime this spring.

Girls' fate hinges on final two games

Don't ask coach Jerry Daniels to predict his Lady Longhorn basketball squad's future it's an impossible task.

Injuries shrink chances for state wrestling trophy

With the regular season campaign at an end, the Longhorn wrestling team will dive head-first into preparations for a run at what could be the school's 21st divisional championship and ninth state crown.

Cost for reservoir water 'do-able'

Bringing water from the Blue Ridge Reservoir down a pipeline into Payson should cost about $13.8 million, according to a recently completed study by ASL Consulting Engineers of Payson.

Horns left hobbled as postseason play looms

With just two games remaining in the regular season, the Payson High School boys' varsity hoop squad resembles a M.A.S.H. unit more than it does a basketball team vying for a playoff berth.

Animal shelter board misguided

Payson's shelter for lost and abandoned pets lost its direction and its director last week to the kind of petty bickering and division that can sidetrack even the most dedicated and well-intentioned group.

PUSD gets good news on reading proficiency

Payson students are "normal," according to the Arizona Department of Education, and school officials are celebrating.

Let localities, not state, solve problems

About six weeks ago I wrote concerning the fact that all too frequently when Maricopa County had a problem they turned to the State Legislature for a solution. Thus, however, Maricopa County's problem was solved and so were Apache and Gila counties' problems solved, whether they had one or not.

Early voting starts Feb. 4 on franchise agreements

March 9 is the date set for the Town of Payson Special Franchise Election being held for the purpose of submitting proposed franchise agreements between the Town of Payson and Arizona Public Service Company and Broken Bow Gas, to a vote of the people.