Stories for January 1999

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Thursday, January 28

Five years and the story is still the same

I wrote this letter to the editor five years ago and thought the information still applied today. Payson was just starting to explode about then and my letter predicted this.

Supercenter construction penciled for late spring

Wal-Mart has set a late-spring starting date on construction of its Supercenter on the North Beeline Highway.

Desert Vista football, wrestling coach dies

The Arizona coaching fraternity suffered a devastating hit Sunday afternoon when Tempe Desert Vista football and wrestling coach Jimmy Williams, only 35, died of an apparent heart attack.

Longhorn hoopsters hit rocky road

Coach Randy Wilcox might soon be checking out the want ads in search of a snake charmer to counsel the Longhorn boys' basketball team.

Gila trout reintroduction being explored

The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, is exploring the possible reintroduction of the Gila trout, one of Arizona's two native trout species, to an area near Payson.

Town's land deal still on but at a higher price

The Town of Payson, which has been negotiating with the state Land Department for 25.1 acres of state trust land, will have to spend at least $112,500 more than the land's appraised value to buy it.

Firefighters' expertise provides comfort

I stepped out the door on Thursday evening, the 21st of January, to see a multitude of firefighters and several pieces of firefighting equipment across the street from my house.

Town's leash law to go into effect Feb. 28

The Town Council Thursday adopted a leash law that proponents hope is the end of all leash laws.

Genealogical Society secures site for new library building

The Northern Gila County Genealogical Society, which has been forced from borrowed building to borrowed building like a band of gypsies, has signed a lease that will provide the society with a stable home for up to 25 years.

Injury weakens PHS chance for state crown

There are those in coaching circles who claim adversity is a great teacher.

It's time to talk library

The results are in from the Payson Public Library's survey of Rim country residents, and the message was clear: more open hours were in order.

Animal shelter managers resign

Emotions were high Thursday afternoon as Dave and Cindy Bradford said a tearful good-bye to the Payson Humane Society's animal shelter on South McLane the shelter Cindy has been involved with for the past 11 years.

Politicians should serve country, not themselves

The trial of William Jefferson Clinton evokes certain observations:

Phoenix Logistics land deal rejected

The State Land Department has nixed a deal that promised to bring a high-tech manufacturing firm, 200 jobs and $5 million in payroll to Payson.

Monday, January 25

U.S. Senate should just get to the point

It's time for the U.S. Senate to end the charade and find a face-saving way to wrap up its impeachment trial of President Clinton and move on to managing the nation's real business.

Council having another go at free-range dogs

The Payson Town Council will once again try to get a handle on a leash law at its regular meeting Thursday.

Pine man shoots buddy in chest, kills himself

A quiet evening in Strawberry was shattered Sunday by shots fired from a .45 caliber gun, leaving one man dead and another in a Phoenix hospital.

Tim Van Horn Tournament results

Final Team Standings 1. Gilbert Highlands - 297 2. Mesa Red Mountain - 278.5 3. Glendale Mt. Ridge - 268.5

Tussle with Tigers a key contest

There's little indecision in Lady Longhorn coach Jerry Daniels' thinking when he describes today's (Tuesday) Central Division matchup against the visiting Globe Tigers as a crucial encounter.

Toddler and father injured in tumble at Natural Bridge

A family outing to the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park took an unfortunate twist Saturday when 3-year-old Jacob Parrott took a misstep, sending him slipping and sliding 10 feet before free-falling another 15 to 20 feet to the dry bed of Pine Creek.

Wrestlerettes serve spirit and steak

Many a Payson High School sport has been able to afford a few of the "extras" that are necessary to have a successful program because of funds earned at benefit steak dinners.

Deputy will be prosecuted, but not fired, officials say

While the Gila County Attorney's Office has yet to file charges against a sheriff's deputy facing a DUI charge, his superiors have already decided he won't be terminated.

How can Democrats defend Clinton?

I cannot help but wonder why the Democrats are willing to do almost anything and everything to get their president, William Jefferson Clinton, out of the mess that he, and only he, got himself into.

Scoring drought ends J.V. win streak

The Longhorn jayvee boys' seven-game winning streak which included some of the most nip-and-tuck games ever played by a PHS basketball team came to a halt Saturday evening in the old Payson High gym with a 64-51 loss to Cactus Shadows.

Shelby moves to head of roundball class

After watching his team stamp itself the premier middle school/junior high squad in the Rim country with a 52-36 win over the Rim Country Middle School Mavericks, victorious Shelby School coach Steve Rensch spewed superlatives for the vanquished.

Tallying the cost of alcohol abuse

Community leaders talk of effects on children, family, community

Alcoholism is a problem in Payson.

Payson pair injured in collision in Nevada

Retirees Bob and Arlene Keefer of Payson were critically injured Thursday when their car crossed the highway center line during a sandstorm and ran head on into a tractor-trailer between Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nev.

Thursday, January 21

President made a mess of things

When they found Monica's dress in such a mess he had no choice, he had to confess

Horns hoopsters, matmen work for state

High school basketball and wrestling coaches from around the state are scratchin' their noggins trying to figure where their teams might ultimately fall into the state tournament bracketing that was announced early this week by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Nate Perna is master of the charity stripe

Free throw shooting has become a lost basketball art since the heyday of the likes of former NBA all-star Rick Barry whose underhand shots swished the nets at more than a 90-percent completion rate.

County group also in hunt for water

A regional water committee formed 14 months ago to find more water for northern Gila County is looking to the Colorado River, Blue Ridge Reservoir and the deep limestone beds beneath Pine and Strawberry.

Maverick basketball season tips off this week

For members of the Rim Country Middle School Maverick boys' and girls' basketball teams, the much anticipated 1999 hardwood campaign is about to open.

New water source surfaces for Town Council

The Payson Town Council wants to look at any water offer that comes down the pike, whether it's at Blue Ridge or somewhere else.

Charges dropped against bank robbery suspect

Gila County officials will now have to start a new investigation into the October 1997 robbery of Bank One in Pine.

Warm winter, good quail hunting

These warm winter days may mean quail aren't normally in gigantic coveys in the lower elevations, but the conditions are great for those hunters taking advantage of the sunny weather, advised Arizona Game and Fish Department officials.

PHS dropout rate falling faster than state's

It's not easy to ditch class at Payson High School. In fact, it's a lot of extra work.

Legislature again attacking local control

The State Legislature is horning in again on local control a practice both hypocritical and arrogant.

Road issue not settled, but T.B. School moving ahead with field

Tonto Basin School officials are moving ahead with the construction of a regulation-size school ball field, even though they haven't reached an agreement with a family that will lose the road to their homes when the field is built.

Payson owes it to itself to recycle

My husband and I are occasional Payson residents (two months a year) with the hopes of eventually moving there full time. In the meantime, we keep up with Payson happenings by having the Roundup mailed to us in Missouri.

Monday, January 18

Highway 260 curves part of project to widen road

A winding stretch of highway near Kohl's Ranch that has been the site of half a dozen rollover accidents in the past 15 months is scheduled for realignment but not for another three years.

PUSD would feel sting of bill's cuts

Payson Unified School District is one of 102 school districts in the state that will have to slash administrative expenses if a new legislative proposal is adopted as part of the next state budget.

Winter activities abound for Rim country athletes

It's winter in the Rim country, but that doesn't mean the sports scene is not alive and kicking for amateur athletes of all ages.

U.S. needs a clear policy toward Saddam Hussein

Americans were proud of the men and women of our armed forces when, in 1991, they successfully ejected Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's military forces from Kuwait. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait represented a threat to a region of vital importance to America's interests. Unfortunately, as recent events have demonstrated, Saddam Hussein still poses a substantial threat to America's interests and a significant challenge to America's policy-makers.

HMO patients deserve more consideration

A bill recently proposed by Rep. Debra Brimhall in the Arizona Legislature takes aim at HMOs. This is surely a worthy target for legislative action.

Childs-Irving power plants are still valuable

We have been urged by one Andi Brown to write the President of A.P.S., requesting that he take the Childs-Irving power plants out of service and mothball them to appease the visual desires of the people who hike to Fossil Creek.

Longhorns gear up for Van Horn match

Two weeks ago at the Bolsa Grande Classic Invitational Tournament near Anaheim, the Longhorn wrestling team proved it was more than an equal of Southern California's big schools by handily winning the 12-team mat battle.

Police say woman tried to peddle meth to agent

Police said a late-morning drug sale to an undercover agent resulted in a trip to the Gila County Jail for a Show Low woman Thursday.

Horn hoopsters back on track

In early season hardwood wars, the Longhorn boys' team struggled for victories due to a malady of problems including injuries and a lengthy football season that eliminated preseason training for many of the veteran players.

Lady Horns struggle to stay in race

The Lady Longhorn basketball team will be fighting for its playoff life when it travels to Southern Arizona this evening, Tuesday, for a 7 p.m. Central Division clash against the homestanding Coolidge Bears.

Turmoil continues at fire department in Mesa del

The dust hasn't settled yet from the mudslinging campaign launched in Mesa del Caballo over the Nov. 3 election of that community's fire board.

Hashknife festivities kick off Friday, continue next week

The members of the Navajo County Sheriff's Posse are brushing off their dusters and dusting off their cowboy hats to get ready for the 41st Annual Hashknife Pony Express Ride.

Southeast bypass moves east and south

Sutton Road route taken out of new plan

George Flanagan of ASL Consulting Engineers objected to Town Manager Rich Underkofler's statement that the public could now take pot shots at his company's solutions for the town's transportation problems.

Thursday, January 14

Small-town Horns thump big city foes

It must be a humbling experience for Southern California's big city wrestlers to continually have sand kicked in their mugs by small-town Arizona boys.

Garduno, Brunson secure a last-minute win over Globe

Teddy Pettet calls the Longhorn jayvee boy's 53-50 victory at Fountain Hills Friday evening "one of the most exciting JV basketball games to be played in a while."

Still no court for suspect in bank robbery

The bank robbery trial involving former Payson businessman David Cunningham has been rescheduled.

Burglars try rush-hour heist

A pair of burglars were breaking through the front window of the Payson Pawn Shop Monday as workers were driving home on the busy Beeline Highway less than 50 feet away.

Details dog proposed leash law

A proposed leash law for Payson was tabled by the Town Council Thursday night in a 4-3 vote after Round Valley resident Susan Birchak, during a public hearing on the matter, asked to have language in the amended ordinance changed to exclude trails within the town limits.

Safety of human life should be our legislators' concern

It is my understanding that people can be transported in the bed of a pickup truck. I'm not sure whether there is a law now that allows this, but the legislators had a bill that passed the Arizona House and Senate (in May) that allowed such a happening to continue under the protection of a state law. The governor vetoed it because it had restrictions on where it was applied on a reservation, or depending on the population of a town.

Neighbors risk injury to save man during dog attack

The quick response of a couple of neighbors may have saved the life of a Payson Ranchos man when he was attacked Wednesday by his dog, a 4-year-old male Chow.

Deputy's blood level .21 alcohol

Department of Public Safety officials confirmed Wednesday that the blood-alcohol content of Gila County Sheriff's Deputy Rodney Cronk was more than twice the legal limit when he crashed his motorcycle Halloween night.

Making the cut is never an easy call

There were tears shed in the hall ways of Rim Country Middle School early this week.

Ability, not age, should determine driving privileges

Arizona lawmakers are considering raising the legal age for driving to 18 years old. Some states have already done this in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents related to young drivers.

Payson golfers shine despite fashion foul

Officials weren't about to allow Troy Neal to step onto the prestigious Desert Mountain course to represent the Payson Men's Golf Association in the Arizona State Two-Man Scramble championships held Jan. 5 in Carefree.

Monday, January 11

Can this house be saved?

Firefighters learn to evaluate forest fire danger to homes

A fire has been reported and you can see the smoke from your deck. Sirens fill the air and officials are telling you to evacuate the area. A brush fire is threatening your neighborhood.

Women's volleyball in the works

A new recreational women's volleyball league will start play in Payson if there's enough interest.

Governor on track in support of education

Arizona Gov. Jane Hull made many good points in her State of the State address Monday. In particular, we like her focus on education issues.

Sign up begins for Little League

Attention Little League Baseball Players: Baseball season is almost here again, and it is time to register.

Copper State a first-rate hardwood jam

Kudos to Steve Rensch and all those at Shelby School who helped put on the 1999 Copper State Jam basketball tournament held last weekend in the very nice Tonto Apache gymnasium.

Special Olympics prospers with Knights' donation

Thanks in part to the generosity of the local Knights of Columbus, Payson Special Olympians will be able to represent the Rim country at the Arizona State Winter Games to be held Feb. 19 to 21 near Flagstaff.

Ashes cause messy fires

A garbage truck fire in Christopher Creek last Thursday was the third in a string of avoidable blazes suffered by USA Waste Services.

Wrestlers struggle while 'reloading'

Because the nucleus of the 1998 state championship Longhorn wrestling team graduated last spring, the squad was expected to flounder through a rebuilding year.

Leash law being limited to canines

Payson residents can forget about having to restrain their pot-bellied pigs and iguanas, but if a new leash law is adopted Thursday, they will have to leash their pitbulls and poodles in public.

Service to country starts in home and community

"Service," as Webster defines it, "is the performance of official or professional duties." As citizens of this great nation, it is our right and responsibility to serve this country. Documents, such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights, clearly state the duties and requirements of an American citizen. Service to our nation begins in our own homes and evolves into our society.

Water impact costs may be altered

The Payson Town Council will consider a proposal to replace a flat water-impact fee with a system that assigns varying charges for different kinds of new development.

Extra penny for first class causes line-up at post office

The cost of sending a first-class letter in the United States went up a penny Monday, forcing people with obsolete 32-cent stamps to line up nearly 30 deep at the Payson post office to buy penny stamps.

Kyl inconsistent about religious freedom

U.S. Senator Jon Kyl recently published a guest column in the Payson Roundup saying that "in many countries people are ... arrested by the authorities ... because of their faith" and that "religious persecution" was "documented in 77 countries last year." Kyl declared that the U.S. Senate recently passed a bill to stop such persecution.

Boys up, girls down in Rim country basketball

In their respective quests for Central Division honors and berths in the season-ending state tournament, the Longhorn basketball teams took steps in opposite directions Friday evening.

Thursday, January 7

Hope has no limits for a parent

This is a personal message written with a heart full of concern for a little girl.

Rim Country Duals "as good as state"

All feedback from coaches and wrestlers who participated in the Rim Country Duals in mid-December is that they returned to their home towns singing the praises of our schools, community and tournament.

PUSD wrong in not allowing home-schoolers to participate in sports

Three members of the Payson School Board have again voted against allowing home-taught students from participating in public school extracurricular activities such as sports.

Copper State Jam takes over Tonto Apache gym

Almost as if by magic, the Tonto Apache Gymnasium will transform into a hotbed of basketball this weekend complete with visiting players from the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona State University football team.

Lady Horns thump Globe, Robertson leads the pack

Riding a school record 43 points from Stephanie Robertson, the Lady Longhorn express steamed its way back on the winning track Tuesday evening in Wilson dome with a 78-59 caging of the Globe Lady Tigers.

When it snows, cars may just have to go

Proposal would make room for snowplows

People parking on Gila County streets might have a problem the next time it snows.

Sign-up under way for mens', womens' league

Often it takes recreational basketball players and coaches a few weeks to scour town and find a sponsor willing to come up with the $360-per-team entry fee for participation in the Town of Payson men's and women's leagues. Often it takes recreational basketball players and coaches a few weeks to scour town and find a sponsor willing to come up with the $360-per-team entry fee for participation in the Town of Payson men's and women's leagues. So, Town Recreation Coordinator Beth Kreider decided to help the players get a jump start on finding a backer by announcing early the registration dates for the upcoming league. Teams may register from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 25 to 29 at the Town Parks and Recreation offices located at Green Valley Park. Last year, six teams competed in the men's competitive league, nine in the men's recreation league and only three in the women's division. Kreider said she would like to see at least four teams join the women's league to make play more varied. There's also a possibility that a men's 35-years and older division will be formed if enough interest in shown. Again, Kreider said, that would mean at least four teams. Play will begin in mid-February and continue through March when season-ending tournaments will be held in each league. Payson High School basketball players must be at least 16 years old to participate. Also, players who are on the jayvee or varsity high school teams must sign up in the competitive league. For more information on the upcoming hoop play, call Kreider at 474-5242, ext 272.

Rush of donations fulfills schools' hopes

Taxpayer donations to local schools nearly doubled during the two weeks before the state's Dec. 31 contribution deadline, giving school officials enough money to build a ballfield, buy band instruments and put a down payment on new bleachers.

Payson Police lieutenant heading to FBI Academy

For the next 11 weeks, the Payson Police Department will be short one officer.

Sounf off

Local chefs to compete to represent Payson

Ladies and gentlemen, start your stoves.

Hardwood Horns still hanging on in title chase

"Stayin' alive" was the theme song of "Saturday Night Fever," the huge musical hit of the disco-crazed 70s.

Monday, January 4

1998 in Sports

A brief look at Payson Sports throughout the past year.

Suspects arrested in trailer drive-thru

Two suspects have been arrested in the accident last week in which a pickup truck crashed through a woman's trailer in Star Valley.

Natural Resource Committee attempts to 'bring all sides together'

Powerful forces in the Rim country have long been at odds over the proper directions to take in managing, preserving and harvesting the state's supply of wildlife.

Words of wisdom made a great Christmas gift

Among the Christmas presents found under the tree in the Foster home was a gift of two books given to me by son Gerry a teacher and coach in Ahwatukee.

The Rim country's best and brightest

Last year is fast becoming a memory and there are only a few things left to do to wrap it up and tuck it away.

Squirrel shooter caught at high school with a gun

An 18-year-old man was arrested Monday morning in the parking lot of Payson High School after he allegedly fired a pistol near another vehicle north of town.

Sheriff's Posse members trying to freshen up old Payson jail

It's cold in the old Payson jail.

Donation gives boost to Payson's event center

Payson Regional Medical Center contributed $10,000 to Payson's multi-event center project Monday, bringing funding for the $150,000 first phase of the project to the halfway mark.

Sound off

Congress is taking steps to improve U.S. health care

Congress is taking steps to improve U.S. health care by U.S. Senator Jon Kyl Republican-Arizona