Stories for September 1999


Thursday, September 30

Runners, take your mark

Cross country teams prepare for Sludge to Judge homecoming run

With a make-up meet and the team's premier event of the season on next week's agenda, the Longhorn cross country teams have both home and away opportunities to showcase their talents.

Bring pride back to Main Street

A subtle shift is under way in the heart of Payson.

Punt, Pass and Kick rained out, set for Oct. 8 on PHS fields

When Town Recreation Coordinator Beth Kreider said the NFL/Gatorade Punt, Pass & Kick contest would be held the evening of Sept 23 "rain or shine," she had little idea of the magnitude of the torrential downpour that would drench the Rim country that day.

Jayvee Lady Horns suffer 'mental lapse'

After running out to a 6-0 start, the Lady Longhorns' jayvee volleyball team suffered through the agony of defeat, losing to the Snowflake Lobos 15-8 and 15-6.

Lady Horns win bronze at invitational

The Lady Longhorn volleyball team wrapped up its 1999 regular season tournament tour with a third-place finish in the 21-team East Division Invitational held in Holbrook last weekend.

Whiteriver next hurdle in Horns' run for a repeat

With all-important East Division football action heating up, the Longhorns will be scrapping for their second league victory Friday evening when the squad travels to Whiteriver to take on the Alchesay Falcons. Kick off is at 7 p.m.

Collision closes Beeline, kills one

Traffic in both lanes of the Beeline Highway came to a standstill at 3:30 a.m. Friday after two vehicles, an 18-wheeler and a minivan, collided near Sunflower.

APS driver made common mistake

Rev. Olin Adams Sept. 14 letter to the editor spreading blame to APS and ADOT for a fatal truck/auto accident on Highway 260 is a bit far fetched.

Mental health board too slow to take action

My ex-husband, Daniel, disappeared from the Four Peaks area north of Phoenix May 29th. He suffered from bipolar disorder and was not taking his medication.

Students plan 'Great Escape

Fire drills, free smoke detectors part of Fire Prevention Week

If you notice your children examining the doors and windows around your house next week, don't be alarmed; they're merely planning their escape.

Library offers life-skills course

Grant funding is bringing literacy and life skills together at the Payson Public Library in a co-venture with the Rim Country Literacy program.

Artists brushing up for fall show

Longtime artist and Payson resident Hugo Dizinno prepared for the Payson Art League fall show by traveling to Alaska.

Arson suspect sought in garage fire

A small fire in Strawberry smells suspicious to authorities.

Old-timers share stories of Pine


Folks who want to know the history of the Pine-Strawberry area are in for a treat. Descendants of the settlers of the area will tell their favorite tales about Pine and Strawberry at 3 p.m., Oct 2 in the Cultural Hall at the Community Center.

Halloween Hayride ready to roll


Can you believe it's October already? I can't. But if you've been out walking lately, you can smell it in the air.

Smoking in public places a fundamental freedom

This is in response to Jeanne Bench's request for feedback on her recent suggestion that all Rim country restaurants adopt a no-smoking policy. First, allow me to extend my sincere and heartfelt sympathies toward Jeanne for her illness, chronic lung disease. Secondly, let me establish that I am not, nor have I ever been, a smoker.

Endangered fish returned to Rim country creek

Here's a fish story for you. It's about the one that got away 100 years ago, but came back Wednesday to inhabit the remote upper reaches of Dude Creek an area of the Tonto National Forest that was devastated by fire nine years ago.

Patients, doctors locked out of Medgroup

Medical center to reopen doctors' offices next week

Barbara Hartranft went to work Wednesday morning at Arizona First-Medgroup medical offices on West Cedar and found the locks had been changed.

DPS officer recovering from injuries

Department of Public Safety Officer Roger Cain is recovering at Tempe St. Luke's Hospital following an accident on the Loop 202 freeway in Phoenix last week.

Wednesday, September 29

Reporter Wanted

Monday, September 27

State historian at home along Christopher Creek

Sitting on the front porch of his log cabin in Christopher Creek Friday, Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble reminisced about the winding path that led him there. Behind him, he'd just hung a sign naming his new Christopher Creek getaway "Querencia."

Born to ride

Horses no longer a hobby for young trainer

Lacey Balmer of Pine has been at home in the saddle for as long as she can remember.

Rent-a-cop tournament Oct. 16 at PGC

Payson Police officer Don Garvin has convinced a bevy of local, county and state law enforcement officers to participate in the 14th Annual Christmas for Kids Golf Tournament.

Horns trounce Round Valley Elks in divisional opener

After struggling out to a 2-1-1 record early in the 1999 gridiron campaign, the Longhorns could be in for a breather with lowly Alchesay (Oct. 1) and Holbrook (Oct. 8) on the horizon.

Lady Horns clip Falcons' wings in nail-biter

During Payson High School's short stint in the now defunct Central Division (1996-98), a strong rivalry developed between the Lady Longhorn and Fountain Hills Falcon volleyball teams.

Rim country athletes ready for senior softball touraments

A trio of Rim country softball players will participate in the granddaddy of senior softball tournaments when it is contested Oct. 8 through 11 in Phoenix.

Well-behaved fans teach children about respect

How do we teach good sportsmanship to our children and why is it important?

Arena salary seems misspent

Am I missing something? Why would Payson's council pay Mr. (Barry) Cardinael, (coordinator for the rodeo arena-multi-event center relocation project) $81,000 over 18 months $4,500 a month to find volunteers to move the rodeo grounds?

Cause of accident shouldn't have been reported

We have to respond to your paper concerning the article written about the Barkley accident in the Sept. 22 issue.

Time to pry tax dollars away from government

The Akron Beacon Journal reported the first good news that I have heard from Washington in a long time. This was that (Rep. Dick Armey) said "that if President Clinton vetoes the GOP tax bill, the Republicans will not pursue a compromise with him."

Music student named state fiddle champion

As the 29th Annual Arizona State Championship Old-Time Fiddlers' Contest came to an end Sunday under the trees at Rumsey Park, one young woman stood out from the crowd. Tamara Whetten, 20, of Mesa, held the largest of the five championship trophies.

Small violinists make program a big success

The advent of all-day kindergarten in the Payson Unified School District four years ago put miniature violins in the tiny hands of 66 kindergarten students over the course of three years.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month honors survival

Linda and her four children were visiting family when her husband, angered by some show tickets he found in her purse, beat her for the last time.

Council gives Main Street redevelopment the go-ahead

After 13 months of work, the Green Valley Redevelopment Committee has received town approval to go ahead with revitalization plans for Main Street and surrounding neighborhoods along the South Beeline Highway.

Thursday, September 23

Former Payson officer injured in traffic stop

Department of Public Safety Officer Roger Cain was admitted to Maricopa County Medical Center Thursday evening, when a routine traffic stop on the Loop 202 freeway ended tragically.

Council approves arena contract

The Town Council awarded multi-event-center promoter Barry Cardinael with a three-month contract extension Thursday.

Dead man discovered in woods identified

Examiner rules death a homicide

The Tucson Medical Examiner's Office used dental records to identify the body of a man found by campers north of Tonto Village Saturday as 54-year-old Ronald Bianchi of Paradise Valley. Bianchi was killed by a gunshot wound to the heart, and sheriff's detectives are now investigating the death as a homicide.

Rim country athletes bring home medals at Sr. Olympics

"The older the violin, the sweeter the music."

If that old adage is valid, a pair of Payson senior athletes are playing a sports tune that's honey to the beholder.

Saturday's free prostate clinic an invaluable gift

Our opinion for years has been, "if it's free, it's for me."

Horns regroup to take on Round Valley Elks

Left battered, bruised and downtrodden by last Friday's 40-8 loss to the St. Johns Redskins, the Longhorn football team spent the practice week struggling to regain its defending state championship form.

Boys' soccer heads to third seed in playoffs

With 2-1 credentials in Rim region play, the Longhorns soccer team remains in the thick of the chase for a top-four finish and a third consecutive seed into the state playoffs.

The man behind the buzz

Local beekeeper tames angry swarms in exchange for honey-sweet rewards

Donnie Haught of Star Valley walked out of his house Monday to go roping, just like he normally does, when a swarm of bees stopped him dead in his tracks.


Run or walk to Pine for fund-raiser, hootenanny

Run or walk to Pine for fund-raiser, hootenanny

Gisela gunshot victim dies in Valley hospital

Tommy Barkley, 41, of Gisela, died Wednesday morning at a Valley hospital where he had been taken with injuries suffered in a gunshot accident.

Fiddlers fire up for state championship

American fiddle music, an art form that nearly echoed into obscurity here 30 years ago, has struck a chord with a new generation.

Tragedies bring value of life in focus

Tragedy struck close to home this week for those of us at the Roundup. Tom Barkley, the husband of our friend and co-worker Sherrie "Cricket" Barkley, accidentally shot himself in the leg with a hunting rifle and died. Words cannot convey the depth of our sympathy for Cricket, their two children and the rest of Tommy's family. They are all in our thoughts and in our prayers.

Tiny toes tap into maternity program

Some 20 babies born last year in Payson Regional Medical Center and their parents got together this month in honor of the hospital's new "Tiny Toes" maternity program to celebrate.

Henning's Cards stomp Bears, 22-0

A clash involving two Payson teams, the Cardinals and the Bears on the minor division, was one of the highlights of Saturday's Central Arizona Youth Football Association play at Payson High School.

New lease, new life for charter school

Life School College Preparatory is a few steps closer to opening its doors in Payson.

Payson restaurants should ban smoking

Payson restaurants should ban smoking

Fair volunteers are real heroes

Few people take the time to think about what goes into making the Northern Gila County Fair possible. Planning this huge event starts in the spring, many months prior to the fair. Not hours, not days, not weeks, but months, and yes, even years of hard work and personal sacrifices are what make our fair a reality.

Monday, September 20

Coordinator's $1,000-a-week arena contract up for review

Barry Cardinael, chief fund-raiser, volunteer coordinator and project manager for the new rodeo grounds and multi-event center, will seek an extension on his 15 month contract Thursday when the council holds its regular meeting.

Employee suspected of siphoning school cash

With information from top school district officials and a stack of canceled checks totaling $47,600, Payson police served a search warrant on the home of the district's former accounting supervisor earlier this month. There, they found a pile of personal bills suggesting the employee has been using district funds for the past few years to pay her own debts.

Campers discover body in woods

The body of a 50- to 55-year-old man was discovered by a group of campers Saturday morning in the woods north of Tonto Village.

Juror much too quick to convict

I feel compelled to comment on Jerry Thebado's article in last week's issue concerning jury duty; specifically the following statement:

Fair wages for jurors pay dividends in justice

In the spirit of contributing to the ongoing discussion as to what's right, what's wrong, and what could be done to improve our current jury system, I submit the following two cents worth.

Local poet nominated for two awards

Cowboy poetry plays well on video; artists' academy takes notice

Cowboy poet and songstress Dee Strickland Johnson of Mesa del Caballo, who performs under the name Buckshot Dot, has been nominated for two awards by the Academy of Western Artists for her first videotape. The video, "Buckshot Dot: Live the Pioneer, Arizona," was nominated for best video. An original song from the video, "Old Hank Morgan's Place," was nominated in the best song category. In addition, the Western Music Association has nominated Johnson for 1999 Performer of the Year.

Unbeaten girls' jr. varsity faces old rivals at the net

The unbeaten Lady Longhorn junior varsity volleyball express, 5-0 on the year, is steaming unchecked into this week's crucial clashes against Fountain Hills and Snowflake.

Lady Horns head into five-day net action

Only a heady combination of physical and mental toughness will help the Lady Longhorn volleyball team emerge unscathed from this week's demanding schedule.

Gila trout make return to Dude Creek

Traveling the Control Road north of Payson across the bone-dry Dude Creek, gawkers may wonder where is the much-publicized waterway in which the Gila trout reintroduction is to take place?

Payson Country Poems

The Rodeo Parade

Woeful weekend for Arizona football fans

Rim country football fans suffered through a miserable series of gridiron games over the past weekend.

Horns fall 40-8 to Redskins

Executing a football-perfect wishbone offense, the St. Johns Redskins put an end to the Payson Longhorns' 14-game winning streak with a 40-8 victory Friday evening in St. Johns.

Rifle accident leaves Gisela man in coma

A Gisela man who was accidentally shot Saturday night at his home remains in a coma and is listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit of Scottsdale Healthcare Osborne.

New perspective needed to guide town's growth

Town leaders returned from the League of Cities and Towns' annual conference last week and decried with a certain degree of smugness that Payson is "ahead of the curve" in managing growth.

Firefighter racks up blue ribbons

Henry Jandayan, Payson fire engineer/EMT, has a friendly competition going with his mother, who taught her son everything he knows about gardening.

Thursday, September 16

No charges in blind hill accident

With only preliminary results in hand, Deputy County Attorney Tim Wright said that at this time, no charges will be filed against Mike Waterman, the driver of a pickup that collided with an all-terrain vehicle the night of July 23.

Teens are not rude, just exuberant

Let's hear it again for Will Smith (Payson Roundup editorial of Sept. 10). I live as close as anyone can get to the Payson High School parking lot. I have a roadrunner's view.

UN has too much power over our land

I truly hope everyone who reads this letter will call their congressman and senators and let them know how they feel about the following issue:

Abusive language leads to abusive behavior

Richard Haddad, publisher of the Payson Roundup, is to be commended for his editorial, "Decency Wins Over Vulgarity and Violence." More people must become outspoken on the subject before we can return to the gentle society I remember from my youth.

Proposal would get neighbors involved earlier in rezonings

The Town of Payson's Community Development Department is hoping to create some good neighbors with a proposal that provides for early citizen involvement in rezoning requests.

Life school still on track, director says

Trouble with two Mesa Life School campuses will not affect the charter school's progress in Payson, said Patrick Tatum, director of the Payson branch.

Council member Murphy taking new job

Payson Town Council member Ken Murphy is resigning from his job as administrator of Manzanita Manor in October to take a job with a company based out of Scottsdale.

Storm leaves summer homes in the dark

Folks in Ellison Creek Subdivision northeast of Payson had to ride out Tuesday's thunderstorm without power due to a downed tree, Jim Spencer, district manager for Arizona Public Service Company, said Wednesday. Most of the company's other customers were unaffected.

A tale of two good editors

If you have enjoyed reading the Payson Roundup the past three years, it is likely that our editor, Brian Beck, played a vital part in your satisfaction. He has worked tirelessly to see that the pages of this newspaper have been filled with interesting stories and entertaining photographs.

Price of land too high for Phoenix Logistics

A Phoenix electronics firm that for more than a year has been trying to obtain state land in Payson for his company has apparently decided not to purchase the property.

Town gets TNF OK to drill wells in forest

Payson water officials expect to start drilling exploratory water wells in the national forest northeast of town sometime in October.

Gila trout to bring renewed life to Dude Creek

The endangered Gila trout, absent from the state for nearly 100 years, will be brought back to Arizona's waters Sept. 29 in a complicated maneuver that rivals any space mission.

Horns out to defend 3A pride

2A challengers bring mighty reputation to game Friday

State second-ranked Payson (1-0-1) will carry the burden of the 3A conference's reputation on its shoulder when the team travels to St. Johns this evening to take on the Class 2A third-ranked Redskins (2-0).

Runners primed for Lakeside invitational

With the East Division rivals Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets on the horizon Sept. 25 in Lakeside, Coach Chuck Hardt will be pouring over the cross country team's past performances to determine both varsity and junior varsity rosters for the competition.

Lady Horns ride winning streak to Camp Verde

Fresh off winning the sportsmanship trophy and fourth-place honors at the Show Low Invitational last weekend, the Lady Longhorn soccer team (4-2 overall) returns to action at 1 p.m. Saturday at Rumsey Park against Camp Verde.

All-stars team up for youth postseason football action

One of the highlights of the Central Arizona Youth Football Association season will be inaugural post season all-star clashes similar to what the Arizona Coaches Association hosts each summer for high school players.

Buccaneers raid Prescott

In Central Arizona Youth Football Association season-openers, played at Prescott's Pioneer Park Sept. 10, the Payson Buccaneers thumped the Prescott Grizzlies 20-0, the Minor Cardinals whipped the Cougars 14-8 and the Major Cardinals tied the Cottonwood Lions 14-14.

New deadline gives players more time to Hoop-It-Up

The registration deadline for the 1999 Hoop-It-Up competition has been extended to 5 p.m. Monday.

County fair has something for everyone


The schedule of events for the Northern Gila County Fair in Pine is in that little golden book known as the fair book. If you haven't got one, you can check yours out at the Payson Public Library or the Pine library, or at the fair today, tomorrow and Sunday.

Prayer renews hope


In a world that is made up of all kinds of people children who have gone bad, news of natural disasters, stories that totally depress the average person we need to slow down.

Monday, September 13

Lady Horns top 16 foes to take 2nd in tourney

A crew of eight new kids on the block know also as Lady Longhorn volleyball team served notice on division rivals they'll be a force to reckon with when East Division action begins in earnest today (Tuesday).

State's growth-control proposals don't apply here, town officials say

There's a lot of concern in the state regarding growth, said Payson Town Council member Ray Schum.

Communities' heritage is irreplaceable

Pine and Strawberry are the kind of places where sons and daughters live in houses built by their grandparents. They're the kind of places where movers and shakers conduct their most important business while standing in line at the post office or over coffee on someone's back porch.

County fair debuts in Pine on Friday

It is time once again for the spotlight to swing north to the mountain hamlet of Pine for three consecutive days of small-town fun.

Burglars heist museum artifacts

Sometime between 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday, someone pried open the side door of the historic Pine-Strawberry Community Center building and made off with between 25 and 50 items of historical value.

Funnel flies south of town

Don Peters of Payson said his neighbors didn't believe him when he told them a funnel cloud formed Saturday afternoon in the sky just south of town.

Police arrest nine at noisy party Saturday

Payson police officers arrested seven juveniles and a pair of young adults in the Trailwood subdivision Saturday afternoon after they responded to neighbors complaining about noise from a party.

Town trades paving for road rights-of-way

Residents along Airport Road between the Beeline Highway and McLane Road are sporting a new look.

Highway problems lie outside the towns

A once-lofty presidential adviser, trying to extricate his sticky boss from an unwelcome wicket, was once quoted as saying, "Let's confuse them with the facts."

ADOT, APS share responsibility in deadly crash

With regard to the unfortunate accident involving the APS driver, John Noack, and the ensuing death of three Arizona residents, surely Arizona Department of Transportation and Arizona Public Service must also shoulder their share of the blame in addition to John's responsibility.

Jury duty better than its reputation

Several months ago, I received a questionnaire in the mail from the clerk of the Superior Court regarding jury duty. I threw it away, realizing that there was probably no way the court would allow a crime reporter to serve on a jury.

PHS football field, track deserve to be improved

With four state championships in 1998-99 and a host of other academic and extracurricular successes to our community's credit, Payson High School is in a position to assume the role of kingpin of the East Division and 3A conference.

Payson Lions' Octoberfest tournament set for Oct. 2

The Payson Lions will once again sponsor their annual Octoberfest Golf Tournament starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Payson Golf Course. Scramble tee off.

Chaparral Pines-Rim Golf Club attract prestigious tournament

A pair of Payson golf courses are playing host to a prestigious four-ball tournament that has drawn 86 teams from around the United States.

Spartans no match for Horns

Only a couple of years ago, sweat-soaked, iron-willed gridiron battles between the Payson Longhorns and the Arizona Boys Ranch Spartans were clashes which highlighted two proud football programs wrestling for post season honors.

Thursday, September 9

Injured man's family struggling

A long-time Payson resident is finding out the hard way that it takes two incomes to live today.

Host PHS girls hope to spike trophy in 18-team tourney

trophy in 18-team tourney

One of the largest prep volleyball tournaments in Arizona will heat up the courts in both the Wilson dome and the Payson High School gymnasium this weekend.

Kreek Kapers

You know you're a flatlander when ...

Boy, is it beautiful, or what? I can't remember when we had such a beautiful Labor Day weekend. It usually rains and is cold. But the days are gorgeous and the nights are great for sleeping.


Get your fare ready for the fair

I just know you have your fair book in hand and your entry tags made out. All you are waiting for is entry day, Thursday, Sept 16, when, from noon to 6 p.m., you will cart all your best to the Community Center in Pine to be entered in the fair. You will see everyone you know and get a peek at the competition.

Southeast bypass needed right away

We're so happy that the Town Council is moving on the Southern bypass. This is so important to Payson.

JV runner tops the field in Flagstaff

Running probably the best race of her short career against a bulging field of 176 runners from 25 schools, Payson High sophomore LeighAnn Haynes sped her way to a gold medal in the jayvee girls competition at the Peaks Invitational cross country meet Saturday.

Construction on schedule at EAC campus

Construction of Payson's first college building is on schedule and within budget, school officials say, and they're getting ready to celebrate with a grand opening later this year.

Half Way Home

Men in alcohol, drug recovery find solid foundation on South Goodfellow Street

When the jail doors slid open in March for George D., a 33-year-old alcoholic and drug addict, two things stood between him and the bar down the street hope and Goodfellow House, a halfway house for recovering addicts and alcoholics.

Consensus on Hwy. 87 north could be long, winding road

More than 6,000 cars per day travel from Payson to Pine, and only 3,000 of them climb to the top of the Rim and beyond, according to a recent highway traffic count.

3 vehicles, 2 propane tanks, 1 injured

Six people in a multi-vehicle collision south of Buckhead Mesa Wednesday escaped serious injury in an accident that could have been explosive.

Decency wins over vulgarity and violence

Last night, a vital message was sent to our youth at an event that most parents and grandparents were not even aware took place.

Police looking for suspects in vandalism of dentist's office

Vandals broke into Dr. Harold Rush's dental office in the 300 block of Airport Road last weekend and caused extensive damage to the dentist's furnishings and office equipment, police said.

Dancers raise more than $1,400

The Zane Grey Twirlers brought in $1,400 for Jerry's Kids by dancing over Labor Day weekend.

Horns face diminished foe in ABR

"Crank up the O" might be the rallying cry of Payson faithful this evening when the Longhorn football team plays host to the Arizona Boys Ranch Spartans.

Babies can land scholarship through Tiny Toes program

Having a baby is a life changing experience. It is a time of joy and love, as well as stress and learning.

Monday, September 6

County takes step toward setting up own college

With a bill signed by state legislators Aug. 25, Gila County moves one step closer to forming its own community college district.

Local deep-pit specialist once had a racier hobby

It was a hobby something the former motorcycle and stock car racer did "just for fun."

Blue Ridge the team to beat once again

Bundles of state football eyes were pointed toward Payson Friday evening, where the second-ranked Longhorns were opening defense of their 1998 state championship against fourth-ranked Safford.

P-S teacher in line for state honors

Teaching music and drama in a small community has its problems, but Daria Mason, a teacher at Pine-Strawberry Elementary School, wouldn't have it any other way.

Hayworth visits Payson

U.S. Rep. J.D.Hayworth, R-Ariz., spoke at the American Legion Hall Saturday.

Commission starting to consider hike in hunt fees

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission will begin the public process to increase license and hunt-tag fees at its Sept. 10-11 meeting in Flagstaff at the Little America Hotel. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. both days.

Sign-up for volleyball, punt, pass, kick starting

The Payson Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting two of its more popular events coed volleyball and punt, pass and kick competition during the month of September.

RCMS Mavericks roll up perfect record in middle-school football

A pair of Rim Country Middle School Maverick football teams upped their records to 2-0 Thursday afternoon with stirring wins over a long-time Payson nemesis.

Horns notch last-minute tie

A football-crazed crowd packed Payson High School stadium Friday evening to cheer two state-ranked teams that sported the talented quarterbacks and receivers necessary to turn the clash into an all out aerial circus.

Airport Road improvements worth the wait

They said they'd do it and they did.

APS driver faces 12 counts in fatal crash

The driver of an Arizona Public Service vehicle that struck an oncoming car and killed two people east of Payson Aug. 15 has been indicted on 12 charges by a Gila County grand jury.

Work to disrupt traffic on Hwy. 87 north

Motorists between Payson, Pine and Strawberry will have to put up with occasional delays over the next two months while pullout lanes are improved along Highway 87.

Writer wrong about library, Chaparral Pines

This is in response to Thomas R. Craig's blatantly ignorant letter to the editor of Aug. 31. In his editorial he claims the town of Payson does not need a new library. Obviously, Mr. Craig has never been in the current library, because if he had, he would understand the need for a new one.

Earthquake victims need Payson's help

Even looking down from the air, as we swept over earthquake-ravaged areas of Turkey in a U.S. Marine helicopter, we were impacted by the incredible heartbreak which we know will cling to our hearts forever.

Traffic heavy, infractions light over Labor Day

When DPS Sgt. John Whetten began seeing traffic back up Friday afternoon, he knew the Rim country was in for a busy Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, September 2

Bulldogs a test of Longhorn mettle

Payson High's road to the 1998 state football championship was littered with the wrecks of 13 prep teams that struggled but failed to stand in the Horns' way during the three-month long season.

Peaks Invitational will provide peek at cross country talent

Almost a full month has trickled by since the Longhorn cross country teams tipped off grueling preseason practice sessions that often included leggin' up the stands at the Rumsey Park rodeo grounds.

Hiker publishes book of poetry

Another Payson author has joined the self-publishing trend to bring his unedited voice to readers. Author Greg Ginter says his book presents his perspective of his experiences, hikes and travels in Arizona, and his interaction with people.

Towns need to work with county in taxpayers' best interest

The Gila County Board of Supervisors views their responsibilities seriously and are always required to follow the Arizona Revised Statutes when addressing any issue. Primarily, the supervisors must consider what is best for the most citizens.

Negative Web site creator needs some counseling

I have just seen the "" Web site. I hope the things the creator of this Web site has written make him happy. I feel very sorry for him because he must have a small, narrow mind, and if he has any friends, I feel sorry for them too, because they can't be too bright either.

Rodeo parade, band were terrific

What a super rodeo parade! The weather was perfect, there was a big crowd and all the entries were worthy of applause from all the folks sitting around us. But we believe the most applause and yelling was for our wonderful Payson Longhorn Band and cheerleaders. We were so proud of them! They added so much to the parade.

Don't discount value of Little League cards

The Payson Little League has a bundle of discount cards left over from its spring fund-raiser. The cards, which sold for $5 last spring, are now available for $3, or four for $10.

New PHS track a long and winding road

As Bobette Sylvester remembers, the movement to build Payson High School an all-weather track and field surface had its roots in the early 1980s.

Demand high for construction, service workers in Rim country

In July, the unemployment rate for Payson was reported as 3.1 percent or 115 people, said Dan Anderson, administrator for the Department of Economic Security Research Administration Statewide, unemployment for July was 4.2 percent, just about the same as the national average of 4.3 percent.

What you look for is what you get

Everyone in the United States has a right to express their opinion, but the one broadcast at the Web site "" sure is a shortsighted and mean one. The anonymous author of the site expresses a whole bunch of sour grapes about how Payson has changed none of it for the better, and all because of evil real estate agents, in the eyes of our mysterious penman.

Firm picks Zurcher as 'firefighter of the year'

When Dawn Zurcher received a telephone call at the Payson Fire Department a few weeks ago informing her that she had been named firefighter of the year, she assumed it was a joke.

Flash flood traps three at Natural Bridge

Three hikers had to scale the walls of Pine Creek Canyon to get out of the way of a roaring flash flood Monday afternoon at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.

Developer aims for affordable housing in SV

Many have come to town promising an affordable version of the American dream of home ownership in Payson.

Mentally challenged adults get new start

Jane Crawford, 39, and Daniel Blaylock, 26, are learning to shop and they're learning some other things, too.


Caricaturist will draw out the best - or worst - in us

The caricaturist of Pine will be laboring over the characters of Pine and Strawberry, putting his colorful talents to use at the Oldest Standing Schoolhouse in Arizona from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday this Labor Day weekend.


The long haul to Creek residency

Chuck and Alice Simpson have been coming to Christopher Creek since 1992. They have finally reached their dream to move here full time, as many would love to do.

County mounts attack on tobacco

Even though Gila County just last week received $239,368 in funding from the state for tobacco education, county school officials have already launched their annual campaign to stamp out tobacco use.