Stories for April 2000


Thursday, April 27

Diamond squads' fate uncertain

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

Firefighters, cops duke it out Saturday

The sports highlight of the weekend will kick off at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) on the Payson High School football field. The fifth Annual Guns-n-Hoses football game will pit local law enforcement officers against firefighting personnel from around the Rim country.

Spring art show next weekend

The Payson Art League has provided an art show each spring since 1978 that is as colorful as May flowers.

Pressures of the AIMS test could make for a higher drop-out rate

High schoolers are not the only people taking the AIMS test it is also being taken by eighth-graders, fifth-graders and third-graders.

Martinez sets national record

With a phenomenal leap of 39 feet, 6 inches, Lady Longhorn track star Rheanna Martinez stamped herself one of the top-10 high school triple jumpers in the United States.

Horns head to season's end

At mid-week, the Arizona Interscholastic Association, the governing body of prep sports in the state, released the all-important Class 3A tournament pairings for both softball and baseball.

A mother's dying wish should prevail

Imagine how you might feel if your sister called you and told you that she and her son were coming to live in Payson.

Martinez transferred to Valley Wal-Mart

For nine years, Becky Martinez was the manager of Payson's old, now-empty Wal-Mart. And for the last three months, she's been the head honcho of the retail chain's massive new Supercenter and its 425 employees.

Vaillancourt wins T-shirt design contest


After pouring over lots of entries, the judges picked a winner for the T-shirt design competition. Congratulations to Melissa Vaillancourt.

Parks and recreation news

We are currently accepting late registration for youth T-Ball and girls softball on a first-come, first-served basis.

Payson golfers shoot well at Antelope Hills

This spring, almost every interclub meet the Payson Men's Golf Association has hosted or traveled to has been contested in windy, gusty conditions.

Music teacher's legacy lives on in her music and in all of us

My name is Elizabeth Goodale, I am 14 years old, I attend Rim Country Middle School, and I play the oboe in our school band. I am writing you in regard to the article you published on Ilene McElwee Gonzales.

Education key to gun safety and protecting 2nd Amendment rights

When the Majority leader of the Senate, Sen. Lott, a Republican from Mississippi, talked with Tim Russart on Meet the Press regarding gun control March 26, 2000, I heard how the NRA wanted to protect the second amendment rights. The NRA is also known as the National Rifle Association.

Public pool should be covered for winter use

I am an eighth-grade student and I would like to voice my opinion about the issue of our public pool. It is my feeling that the Town of Payson should consider making our community pool accessible year-round, not only for recreation but also for students to participate in swim teams and such. This would not only benefit those of us in school but everyone, since the pool is used by many people for exercise and recreation.

'Talk is cheap' when it comes to teachers' salaries

The two recent articles (Our View and the one written by Carolyn Wall) were very good but didn't go far enough. I believe that the remarks made by Ginger Sparks that the proposed Trigger 2 money would not be going to teacher raises if it weren't required by the legislature.

Trio on track for regional championship

With the East regional championships just over the horizon May 4 and 6 in Lakeside the Longhorn boys' track and field team is showcasing a trio of prime-time performers who could emerge from the fray as gold-medal winners.

Founders Bank bought by Compass

In the wake of its recent buyouts of the Norwest and Arizona Bank chains, Compass Bank has made yet another local purchase: Founders Bank of Arizona.

Payson High celebrates prom Saturday night at Kohl's Ranch

Dozens of Rim country students from kindergarten to seniors have been working tirelessly for the last few weeks to make sure Saturday night's prom at Kohl's Ranch is a memorable and safe event for those attending.

Reporter's daughter proves she's a 'chip off the old block'

Since Thursday was Take Your Daughter to Work Day, Roundup staff reporter Mike Burkett invited his 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, to spend a day working as a newspaper reporter.

Where are all the well-informed Americans?

By publishing the views of four ill-informed people regarding the taking of Elian by the government you are, in my view, indicating that this is also your view. If this is true, please cancel my subscription and refund any balance.

Wildfire burns 2,100 acres near Roosevelt Lake

A human-caused fire involving more than 2,100 acres in the Sierra Anchas wilderness near Roosevelt Lake is now more than four times the size of what was first reported at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Utility deregulation may mean big savings for local hospitality industry

In a worst-case scenario, Inn of Payson manager Corky Barker will soon be saving her employers about $2,500 or as much as $12,500 per year.

Fischer, Gorry juggle jam-packed schedules

The votes have been counted and the results are in.

Town council weighs in on Tonto Apache land exchange

When the spotlight hit the subject of the Tonto Apache's efforts to obtain a land exchange with the Forest Service at Payson's south edge, the emotions expressed at Thursday evening's town council meeting were as varied as the concerns.

Controversy brews over Tonto Apache land exchange

"These are the lands the Tonto Apache Indians lived on for years," said Lat Celmins, an attorney for the local Native Americans.

Monday, April 24

Lady Horns poised to return to state diamond showdown

The state tournament drought could be over.

Proposed development will overwhelm local character

Over 100 years ago my family came to the Payson area and has been here in one way or another ever since.

Fishing still ideal at Roosevelt

Payson angler Kirk Cowell landed a nice-sized 5 1/2 pound, 22-inch smallmouth bass last Thursday at Roosevelt Lake while fishing with his father Dan Cowell.

Two wins needed to secure playoff berth

Don't ask Payson High baseball coach Teddy Pettet to sort through the East region standings without expecting a tart answer.

Linksters capture regional crown

Out-dueling runner-up Show Low at the Rim and Chaparral Pines golf clubs, the Payson Longhorn golf team easily played its way to the 2000 East region championship, finishing with a two-day tally of 698. Carding a 720, the Cougars were forced to settle for silver-medal honors.

New owner for Ox Bow

C.W. Norman likes to laugh.

High winds, dry brush help fuel Christopher-Kohl's first forest fire

Brisk winds created a problem for firefighters at Christopher Creek Friday when a half-acre blaze quickly grew to 3 1/2 acres and threatened several residences.

Crime down in Payson

"Crime's down," Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner said.

Blind man finds sight through the eyes of a dog

Twenty years ago, when Larry Kontz started to go blind, he had no desire to learn how to read Braille.

Whatever happened to May Day?

For centuries, May Day was a festival celebrating the reappearance of flowers during the spring. But the tradition was also a fun and memorable way to teach children and grandchildren about giving to others and being a good neighbor.

FFA leader honored by students

Awards and presentations were the order of the night Thursday at the 20th Annual Payson Future Farmers of America Chapter Banquet at Julia Randall Elementary School.

Women's wellness is forum topic

When Betty Merritt stands before hundreds of women Saturday as the keynote speaker at "A Women's Wellness Forum," she'll talk about empowering people to renew themselves and find new purposes in their lives.

Main Street gets a clean sweep

With its freshly painted light posts and newly litter-free sidewalks, Payson's Main Street could nearly pass for Disneyland's Main Street. You have Payson Community Kids to thank for it.

More bleachers, more land top council's agenda

Thursday evening's Payson Town Council meeting may finally bring an end to a pair of long-running mini-dramas.

Livestock grazing a most effective tool

I am a former U.S. Forest Service employee with 30 years experience in the science of range management. Much of that time was spent in helping to bring grazing lands back from disastrous past use and working with enterprising ranchers to develop and implement intensive management programs.

Teachers' pay raises: 'Give me a break'

The two recent articles (Our View and the one written by Carolyn Wall) were very good but didn't go far enough. I agree with the remarks made by Ginger Sparks that the proposed Trigger 2 money would not be going to teacher raises if it weren't required by the Legislature.

Why are wider aisles filled with boxes?

We have a brand new Wal-Mart with nice big aisles.

Teachers are valuable to Arizona's future

Ira Gibel's letter to the editor in the April 28 Payson Roundup hit a chord with me. My father was a music and math teacher in Tombstone Union High School for many years. Even in those days, with limited funds in our state, his music department and the sports department were well funded for extracurricular activities and all departments had teachers who were paid equitable salaries.

Same name, very different people

In the recent Rim Review, Jim Keyworth wrote my name in his column about why people in the Rim should be worried he was talking about UFOs.

Thursday, April 20

Record-number crowds vote for favorite booths

Payson's Business Showcase 2000, which beat its old attendance record by about 1,500 people, was an incredible success, co-organizer Judy Miller said.

Former county employee sentenced to 21 months

Linda Noriega, a former assistant finance director for Gila County, was taken into custody Thursday in Globe after Superior Court Judge David R. Cole sentenced her to 21 months in prison for committing fraudulent schemes and artifices against the county.

Student with shotgun gets probation

A 19-year-old Payson High School student who was charged with misconduct involving a weapon March 27 after he was caught with a shotgun in the high school parking lot was fined $366 Wednesday and placed on a year of unsupervised probation.

Parks and recreation

Last chance to sign up for Youth T-Ball & Girls Softball

Payson threesome takes third at Rocky Point triathlon

"Baldy and the Blondes" sounds more like a television sitcom than an accomplished sports team. But as odd as it might seem, the title is the moniker chosen by a trio of Rim country athletes who traveled to Mexico recently to participate in the Rocky Point Triathlon.

Hand injury hampers track star's showing at Blue Ridge

As one of the most accomplished prep track and field stars in Arizona, Rheanna Martinez is accustomed to pocketing as many as four gold medals in any meet she enters..

Back beats Lindo in PMGA scorecard playoff

Longtime Payson Men's Golf Association member Ralph Lindo wasn't as lucky in a post-tournament scorecard playoff as he was earlier in the day battling the tricky 10th hole at Payson Golf Course.

Tonto Apache tracksters have the Midas touch

Practicing on a makeshift softball field, where there is no running track and a piece of wood serves as the shot-put/discus ring, hasn't slowed the success of the Tonto Apache Track and Field.

Local teachers deserve much better salaries

State Legislators spent the recently ended 100-day session haggling over the future of professional football in Arizona. While public education floundered for lack of financial support, the Legislature approved a $331 million stadium ballot proposal.

Teen mother turns tough choice into gift of a lifetime

It is 10 a.m. Monday at Payson Regional Medical Center. Kerwin Kortman of Payson is pacing the halls, anxiously waiting for the birth of his first child.

Highway plan worries town water officials

Payson officials are worried that a highway construction project east of town will sink their efforts to find and develop new sources of groundwater on federal land.

District OKs tentative salary hike for teachers

Payson school teachers may receive a $400 pay raise next year, but that increase hinges on whether state revenue collections are better than conservative predictions.

Twelve nabbed in drug sweep

Officers rousted 12 suspected drug criminals out of their beds and off their job sites early Thursday during a sting that agents said followed months of surveillance.

Prime time for fishing

With the weather warming up, anglers are flocking to Rim lakes to take advantage of decent fishing conditions and uncrowded shorelines.

Congress is real source of high gasoline prices

There has been considerable discussion recently about the high price of gasoline. Various suggestions have been offered, generally along the lines of picketing the local gas stations, or having certain days when no one buys gasoline at all.

New owners bring new ideas to Sears retail dealer store

Bruce and Cherie Griffin say they're a perfect match for their new business.

Groundbreaking at Sawmill Crossing paves way for fall theater opening

Even though the earth movers went to work almost three weeks ago, the official groundbreaking ceremony for the long-planned Sawmill Crossing shopping-dining-motion picture complex was held Tuesday.


Storytime for library's littlest fans

Our little library has a time dedicated to the littlest book fans.

Wal-Mart too big for our town

I am an eighth-grader at Rim Country Middle School. I have a concern I would like to address. It's about the new "Super" Wal-Mart. Why did we need it? We had a Wal-Mart that was, in my opinion, a good store. Big enough for things that we need and small enough that it doesn't take a lot of time trying to find what we need in a hurry, which the new one does. The old Wal-Mart had the same things the new one has, except the new one has a grocery store. We already have two grocery stores that do just fine and they are good enough for our small town.

State's shortage of school funding shameful

Regarding (the Roundup's recent article) "Teacher raises kept to minimum":

Kohl's returns from competition

Kevin Hernandez, executive assistant manager of the Zane Grey Dining Room at Kohl's Ranch, winner of the Mayor's Cup Chefs Appetizer Competition in Payson, said his experience at the Scottsdale competition April 14 was well worth the effort.

Explosion rocks neighborhood

Sam Perez and his family were on their way to a Rocky Point vacation when they were stopped at the Arizona-Mexico border with the news:

Monday, April 17

Getting back to nature

Herbalists Jack Belmont and his wife Joanne Burrescia have taken nearly 100 people out in the woods to eat weeds. For two-years, Belmont and Burrescia have been taking guests on herb walks in the Tonto National Forest.

Fence firm wants county to open gate to new zoning

Ernest Ralls Jr., who wants to open a vinyl fence fabrication business and dealership in Strawberry, is hemmed in by residential zoning, but he's hoping to knock down that barrier Thursday at the next Gila County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

Meyocks, Cook, Althoff take gold in PWGA scramble

The formidable trio of Laura Meyocks, Glenda Cook and Nancy Althoff strutted their gold-medal links stuff in a Payson Women's Golf Association scramble tournament held late last week at Payson Golf Course.

Guns-n-Hoses grudge match April 29

Funding successful youth sports programs in the Rim country requires solid financial backing from a variety of sources.

Grays kick Rockers in pair of senior wins

In Fountain Hills Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored senior softball league play, the Payson Grays upped their record to 6-4 with twin wins over the homestanding Rockers.

Crunch time begins for hopeful Horns basemen

Stamp this week crunch time for Longhorn baseball as the team chases a top-four finish in the East region final standings and a berth into the state tournament.

Halenar among winners heading to sectional meet

Record number turn out for Diamond Skills

Nine-year-old Ridge Halenar could soon be making his third consecutive trip to the state championship round of the Fleer Diamond Skills Baseball Challenge.

Learn code of conduct before games begin

In Jupiter, Fla., parents who want their children to participate in youth sports must now take a class on good sportsmanship. They also are required to sign a code of good behavior that basically says "I will remember that these games are for children not adults."

Payson drama student wins AMC acting contest

If any Hollywood agents come knock-knock-knockin' at Sarah Hock's door trying to wave multi-million dollar movie contracts under her nose, they'd better be prepared for bitter disappointment. Hock isn't interested, thank you very much.

Let's all do our part to conserve water

I am writing to you because I'm concerned about the water situation in Payson.

Ex-military man grateful he never needed to use a gun

In response to Carroll Cox's article about gun control, I hope that she was able to clear her blood-stained conscience.

Old Wal-Mart sale finished; new theaters on the way

George Harrison of C&H Properties cleared one more hurdle Monday in the race to build a movie theater in Payson. He successfully purchased the old Wal-Mart building off Highway 260.

Easter Week Services

Committee didn't have much choice in its 'recommendation'

This is written in response to the article in the Roundup on April 7 entitled: "Committee says teacher raises should stay same."

Local author to appear on national talk show

Payson resident Carol Ann Moody, author of "Hell in Heaven's House a Mother's Story" will appear Thursday on the Montel Williams Show "Free to Rape and Kill Again" on cable channel 13 and satellite station WWOR.

Debate team rides winning streak to national contest

When five award-winning members of the Payson High School speech and debate team go to the National Forensic League's Speech and Debate Tournament in Portland, Ore. June 11-17, they'll take with them a dedication and attention to detail that belies their years.

Head on down to the fishing hole with a guide

Be sure and pick up a copy of this week's Rim Review to learn about the new hunt and fish guide service Clifford Pirch is operating.

Forest Service findings disputed

Greenback Valley rancher Bill Conway, who is among a number of Rim country cattlemen struggling to keep livestock on federal land, may have found some allies in his disagreement with the U.S. Forest Service and its methods of determining the number of cattle allowed to graze on his allotment of federal land.

Thursday, April 13

Two family histories tell Payson's story

Jesse Johnson, 82, and Dr. Christian Risser V, 58, are of different generations and barely know each other.

Trial date set for alleged police shooter

An Aug. 1 trial date was set Thursday for Lenny William Kizzar, who's charged with attempted first-degree murder in connection with the Oct. 30, 1999, shooting of Payson Police Officer Allen Dyer.

Wheelchair Suns play Payson Hot Wheels Saturday

The Payson Hot Wheels will be spinning their wheels Saturday, April 15, when they take on the Samaritan Wheelchair Suns in the Rim country's annual benefit basketball game.

MSA tickets going fast

One of the most celebrated events of the Payson social-sports scene is just on the horizon.

'Newspaper a pleasure to read'

I am a resident of the Valley, but also have a home in Strawberry, and I subscribe to the Payson Roundup, as well as the Arizona Republic. I find your newspaper a pleasure to read, it's positive in attitude and it gives credit to people who are doing or trying to do well.

Random team selection deserves player support

Recently, there have been a lot of complaints among town Parks and Recreation league soccer players and their parents about the methods used to determine how the teams were assembled.

Pokey drivers misusing pull-outs a danger to other motorists

I am 14 years old and I have a concern about the slow traffic pull-outs on Highway 87 between Payson and Strawberry.

Residents missed by Census still want to be counted

Channel 12 news reported on April 4 that people are not sending in their census forms. It sounded like people are not responding when the real story is ...

Mesa del man pleads guilty to molestation

A man accused of molesting young girls in his Mesa del Caballo neighborhood two years ago was sentenced Thursday in Gila County Superior Court.

Sentencing delayed for student with gun

The sentencing hearing for 19-year-old Daniel Gillespie, who was arrested March 27 at Payson High School for bringing a shotgun on campus, has been postponed until next week.

Council to make Main Street investor-friendly

Soon, the Main Steet redevelopment area will not only be more pedestrian friendly, but also more private-investor friendly, if a plan unanimously passed Thursday by the Payson Town Council works as planned.

Firefighters save home on West Cherry Street

Fire Marshal Jack Babb said he believes it was a lit candle left unattended that caused the fire at the home of Bob and Brenda Trask on West Cherry Street Wednesday. By the time the Trasks returned home that evening, firefighters said they believe the fire had been smoldering for several hours.

Unconventional Easter service to christen multi-event center

A few years ago, Barry Cardinael prayed that the very first presentation at the long-awaited, much-delayed Payson Multi-Event Center would be an Easter Sunday church service in 1999.

Mayor-elect resigns PEDC post

Ray Schum, who takes office as Payson's mayor June 8, has resigned his position as president of the Payson Economic Development Corporation effective May 1.

I'm taking my to-do list to Showcase 2000

Like many of you, I have a "someday list." It's a collection of things I need to do but just haven't had time to get the information I need to get them done. Even if I get a day off, I barely seem to take a dent out of my list. By the time I figure out who I need to talk to or what I need to get, the sun always seems to race me to the finish line of another day and it always gets there ahead of me.


The Pine-Strawberry Clinic Auxiliary is sponsoring a walkathon T-shirt design competition for all Pine-Strawberry Elementary School and home-schooled students.

Tribe seeks 273 acres

A proposed federal land exchange that could add 273 acres to the Tonto Apache Reservation has some business owners worried that they'll be facing untaxed competition in the next few years.

CABR reports money missing

The Central Arizona Board of Realtors accepted the resignation of its executive officer this week after discovering "irregularities" in the organization's bank accounts.

No rest for the champions

Wrestlers continue honing their skills in off-season

The undying commitment of the celebrated Payson High School wrestling team leaves little doubt why they're on the verge of being ranked one of the nation's 25 best by USA Wrestling magazine.

Lady Horns look to avenge loss to Snowflake Lobos

The eyes of the Longhorn jayvee softball players are focused on April 20 and a rematch against the only team to whip the Rim country diamond ladies this season.

Diamond girls shoot for gold in Show Low

The Lady Longhorn softball team began play this morning in the most prestigious tournament of the regular season.

Spoilers enjoy first-place position with 5-1 record in senior softball

A pair of Rim country teams the Spoilers and the Grays are traveling weekly to north Scottsdale where both compete in a senior softball league sponsored by the Fountain Hills Parks and Recreation Department.

Freshmen, sophomores test their wings at invitational track meet

Underclass members of the Payson High School track and field teams had the opportunity Saturday to show their wares against opposing athletes of similar age and experience.

Parks and Recreation

Last chance to sign up for Youth T-Ball & Girls' Softball

Monday, April 10

Worker killed in backhoe accident

A 32-year-old worker on a construction project west of the Country Club Vistas subdivision died Thursday afternoon when the backhoe he was operating rolled down a 150-foot embankment. Robert Wiles, 32, was pronounced dead at the scene when emergency crews arrived at the site.

Payson's Habitat for Humanity breaks ground for sixth house

Sometimes it takes a combination of hearts, hands and shovels to build a dream.

PAHH builds upon divine inspiration

Not long ago, the question "What would Jesus do?" became what may be the unlikeliest best-selling bumper-sticker catch phrase the world has known.

Boys place fourth in five-team meet

Coach Chuck Hardt's preseason prediction that the Longhorn boys' track team wouldn't sport the depth it did during last year's regional championship campaign is turning into reality.


Former Peace Corps volunteers aid refugees

Betty and Bob Poynter, who spent four months volunteering in Mitrovisa in northern Kosovo, said they were struck by how similar the people in Kosovo seemed to the couple's neighbors in the Rim country.

Recovering addicts warn teens about drugs

Payson High School's Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) started off its annual week-long drug and alcohol Awareness Week with "Coming To," a touring theater group of talented and dedicated teens who are recovering addicts.

Frontier volunteers dig 'field of dreams'

A three-year project at Frontier Elementary School a "Field of Dreams" is nearing completion. Nearly 50 volunteers, parents, grandparents and students turned out Saturday to bring that dream to reality.

New owner of Manzanita confident about future

Two Tucson-based companies have taken over the lease and operation of Manzanita Manor's nursing home and apartment complex.

Public invited to tour new police station

Most law-abiding citizens won't ever see the cold, steely interior of a holding cell in a police station.

2000 Payson showcase isn't business as usual

It's hard to imagine now, but Payson's annual Business Showcase wasn't always a popular attraction, Business Showcase Committee Chairman Judy Miller said.

Town considers regulations to shape Green Valley area

A proposed plan to make the Main Street redevelopment area more pedestrian friendly will be considered by the Payson Town Council during a public hearing Thursday night.

Post office prepares for local tax day rush

This year, the normally-dreaded April 15th will be just another Saturday.

Teacher raises kept to minimum

Roger Wholly, a member of the Superintendent's Advisory Council, told the Payson Unified School District Board Monday that the council had very little interest in increasing the base salary for teachers. The advisory council suggested no significant increases for any position in the district unless it requires more work, Wholly said.

Zumbro sidelined with shoulder injury

Last spring, the Longhorns rode the pitching arm of Bryan Zumbro to Payson High School's first state baseball championship.

Freshmen athletes heading for excellence

Payson High's freshman class is the most athletically talented group of boys to go through the school in the past 15 years.

Gila County on fast track to highway improvements

The Arizona Department of Transportation's tentative highway construction program for 2001 to 2005 calls for spending $2.7 billion on the state highway system including $174 million for Gila County's highways.

ADOT suggests $3.5 million in airport improvements

The state has tentatively earmarked $3.5 million to improve Payson Municipal Airport during a five-year period from 2001 to 2005.

Tax money funds school athletics and fine arts

I feel outraged and that it is very necessary to respond to Joey Ann Durand's letter to the editor published April 4. You really must get all of your facts straight before you voice such opinions.

Government blackmail more dangerous than guns

In your March 21 editorial (NRA Should Support Smith and Wesson Deal), the subject of gun deaths was introduced with the words "Gun violence claims more than 30,000 lives ... annually ... an increasing number of those being killed are children ... Even more alarming is the number of children doing the killing."

Girls take gold at Blue Ridge meet

The powerful Lady Longhorn track and field team returns to Lakeside Friday as overwhelming favorites to run away with the Blue Ridge Invitational championship.

Longhorn linksters win by 4

A pair of East region toughies boasting solid golf reputations received a slap-in-the-face preview of what to expect from the Longhorns when the regional tournament is played April 26 at Rim Golf Club.

Father of two arrested on drug charges

Two children from Camp Verde were placed in their grandmother's care after their father was arrested early Tuesday morning at a local motel.

Thursday, April 6

Forest preparing for prescribed burns near Pine

Dan Eckstein, assistant fire management officer with the Payson Ranger District, said residents in Pine can expect to see some prescribed burning within the next few days.

Town lights up Rumsey Park ballfields

Work is nearing completion on a $151,000 lighting project at Rumsey Park which will make the multipurpose field and a nearby baseball field suitable for evening play.

Brooke raising water rates

Water rates went up April 1 for more than 4,000 Brooke Utilities customers in the Rim country. After a year-long rate review, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved rate increases last week for four water companies managed by Brooke Utilities, including E&R Water Company, United Utilities and Williamson Water Works.

Manzanita Manor files for Chapter 11

According to nursing care leaders, the crippling effect that Medicare cuts have had on America's nursing homes has sounded "a wake-up call" for lawmakers and communities across the nation.

Shooting suspect competent for trial

Doctors who examined Lenny Kizzar the suspect in the shooting of Payson Police Officer Allen Dyer Oct. 30 have determined that he is mentally competent to stand trial.


Spring blood drive a success

Congratulations to the 109 folks who turned out for the first-ever Pine-Strawberry spring blood drive.

Business would be great if it weren't for the customers

It is the long-held tradition of the restaurant/customer relationship that while paying customers are free to be rude, obnoxious or outrageously impossible to please, restaurant personnel can only bite their tongues and pleasantly thank such cretinous clients for their valued patronage.

Greeter died of heart trouble

An autopsy of 82-year-old Lloyd Linderson, a former greeter at Safeway in Payson, confirmed this week that he died of heart failure and exposure to the cold.

Parents of drowning victim file lawsuit against Boy Scouts

A wrongful death suit was filed in Phoenix March 27 against the Boy Scouts of America by the parents of Scott Adams Zimmerman, who drowned in Sycamore Creek nearly two years while on a scout camping trip.

Competency ruling puts local murder trial on hold

Paul Roosen, the 37-year-old man accused of fatally shooting Calista Wright Feb. 11 in her Star Valley home, will undergo a series of examinations to determine his competency to stand trial.

Lights would improve skate park

I am a 14-year-old eighth-grader, and I really like the skate park that Payson made for the people who like to skateboard and rollerblade. And I think it is very cool how we don't have to pay money to get into it. I think it has very good quality.

Hospice volunteers deserve our heartfelt appreciation

April 9-15 is National Volunteer Week. It's a week set aside every year since 1974 to recognize and celebrate the efforts of the thousands of men and women in this country who volunteer their time and energies to help others.

Tonto Apache trio finds gold at Phoenix invitational

Representing the Tonto Apache track and field team, Michael Waterman, Waylon Quotskuyva and Anthony Johnson won gold medals at the Phoenix Invitational meet held last weekend at Glendale Community College.

Payson provides children with plenty of things to do

I think there are plenty of things to do in Payson. Teens need to stop complaining about having to live in a small town and not having anything to do.

Citizens have the right to protect themselves

As a person who spent more than 40 years helping defend this nation and one who believes in the Constitution as it was written, I can no longer be silent and allow a very few people to take our rights away.

Kools, Jones in PWGA opener

Spring links action for members of the Payson Women's Golf Association teed off last week at Payson Golf Course with "irons only" play.

Safford main obstacle in Payson's shot at state

The Payson High School golf team now knows what it will take to win the school's first state golf championship beat Safford.

Iguanas kick San Carlos 38-35 in double overtime

In one of the most exciting youth basketball games witnessed locally, the Shelby School Iguanas slipped past San Carlos 38-35 in double overtime to win the championship of the Town of Payson Boys' Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Music teacher's gift struck chord with students

Music has a way of transforming a moment into a memory. It can bring peace to a troubled heart, and change gloom into gladness. Because of its power to heal and uplift, music is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children.

Census 2000 skipped some Payson people

Still time to stand and be counted

So far, Gila County residents aren't returning as many of their Census 2000 forms as expected, but that could be because some Payson residents haven't received their forms.

Charter school finds new life in Star Valley

By the end of next week, the 28-foot-by-60-foot modular building that will house Life School College Prep off Highline in Star Valley will be set up and ready for student registration.

Freshman, sophomore invitational Saturday

Thanks to financial support from the local Rotary Club and the Mogollon Sporting Association, the Payson High School Freshman and Sophomore Track and Field Invitational set for tomorrow (Saturday) should be one of the premier prep athletic events in the state.

Committee says teacher raises should stay same

When members of the Payson Unified School District Board meet Monday, they'll have money on their minds.

Furniture donation will be put to good use

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Lennons Furniture for donating a queen-size bed and brass headboard for our newly incorporated hospitality suite.

Monday, April 3

Proposed pay raises for county judges out of line

I was shocked when I learned that there is a bill that is apparently going to pass through the Arizona State Legislature that will give our judges a 17.5-percent pay increase.

Party-going teens, beware date-rape drug

Hi, my name is Sarah Gilson. I am 14 years old, and I'm writing to you because I want to tell teens how I feel about drugs at parties.

Students cash in on velvety voices

Four Rim Country Middle School students and three Payson High School students faced the music and the Payson Choral Society last week to compete for two scholarships.

Greenshield wins Nassau-formatted golf tournament

After having season-opening intra-club tournaments against Oak Creek and Beaver Creek postponed because of inclement weather, the members of the Payson Men's Golf Association took to the local course March 29 in a Nassau-formatted tournament.

David outruns Goliath when Payson takes on Coronado

Although they represent a Class 4A metropolitan school, the Coronado Dons track and field team was no match for small-town Payson when the cinder crews clashed last week in Scottsdale.

Grapplers pin wins at All-Star clash

When the winning tradition of the Longhorn wrestling program is at stake, PHS seniors Doyle Van Horn and Jimbo Armstrong are at their best.

Plant selection, placement key to water-wise landscaping

Grouping plants with similar water requirements together will simplify the design of your low-water-use irrigation system. This technique also reinforces the concept of planting in zones placing those plants with the highest water needs nearest the house, those with moderate water needs in the transition zone, and low-water-use plants in the arid zone, farthest from the house.

Longhorns to take the sting out of Yellow Jackets Tuesday

In a showdown that could sport huge consequences by the time the state playoffs roll around in early May, the defending state champion Longhorn baseball team plays host to East rival Show Low at 4 p.m. today (Tuesday) on PHS diamond.

Local officers head to Arizona Police Olympics

A contingent of five local athletes will be among the hundreds of law enforcement officers expected to gather this week in Scottsdale for the 2000 Arizona Police Olympics.

Copperstate rally rolls through town

Those 88 beautiful vintage automobiles that passed through Payson Monday were on the second leg of the 10th Annual Copperstate 1000 road tour.

Pine man enters race for county attorney

Pine resident Jim Hazel plans to give Gila County Attorney Jerry DeRose a run for his money this November when DeRose's position comes up for election.

School officials on right track with new policy

Last week, Payson School District administrators took a phenomenal leap forward by amending their policy on crisis communication.

Woman run over by own pickup truck

It sounds like a scene from Stephen King's vehicles-with-minds-of-their-own thriller, "Maximum Overdrive."

Former Safeway greeter found dead in forest

The man who greeted local Safeway customers with a smile for the past eight years died last week in the Tonto National Forest.

Car hits jaywalker; shuts down Highway 87

Margaret Martinez of Payson told police she didn't see the man she hit with her car Friday night while she was driving north on the Beeline Highway.

'Enough will never be enough when there's money to be had'

Finally, I have found someone to say what I have been saying for years.

Performing arts shouldn't play second fiddle to sports

I just read the Tuesday March 28 paper. Its front page article about tax money puts Payson on better track made me furious that all this town can think of is sports. If it isn't something for the athletic department, it isn't important. What about the arts, music, drama and art classes? All have to take what is left over.

AIMS standards set too high for average student

I feel it necessary to respond to Kathy Arnold's letter to the editor on March 31. Ms. Arnold, I think that you may have misunderstood my intent in my plea to parents to ask the powers that be to rethink the AIMS test.

Laws don't distinguish between unwitting and larcenous

The Phoenix television news last evening had a story of a Valley student who brought a handgun to school. He was brandishing it about in the rest room, showing off that it was loaded, and he was heard making verbal threats against another student.

Payson Fire hiring for front line

One of Payson's paid on-call firefighters has a shot at parlaying that part-time position into a full-time career with the Payson Fire Department. The department is hiring a new firefighter to help staff the town's new fire station on Rancho Road.