Stories for May 2000


Monday, May 29

Freedom is what's right with America

Editor's note: The following column is the first in an eight-part series about "What's right with America" that will appear in the pages of the Roundup through July 4. The author, Stan Brown, is a local historian, a columnist for the Rim Review and a retired minister. This series reflects his take on the implications of freedom in America.

House explosion in Strawberry ruled arson

Investigators have no suspects

An explosion that rocked the town of Strawberry April 20 was caused by a deliberately opened gas valve, according to Pine-Strawberry Fire Marshal John Varljen.

Deputies shoot boat engine to stop suspect

One Roosevelt Lake reveler had a Memorial Day weekend involving a short boat chase and police gunfire that he won't soon forget.

Landra lands top honors in 'Blind 9'

Members of the Payson Women's Golf Association clashed in a "Blind 9" tournament Thursday on the local course.

Keep feds out of State School Trust land deals

(Last month) I attended a fund-raising event in Phoenix. One of the introductory speakers was Sen. Jon Kyl, and he made an impromptu impassioned appeal, that to me, was the most important part of the event.

Discover something special at Relay for Life

This Friday evening, make plans to spend the night on the high school football field.

Raymond Ball

Raymond Leonard Ball, 86, of Payson, died May 22, 2000, in Payson. He was born June 18, 1913, in Iona, Idaho. He was a retired dairy plant worker.

Entrepreneur a fugitive from justice

Mikiyo Yonemura, the self-described entrepreneur who has promised that a controversial restaurant deal he is overseeing will bring $21 million to Payson, is also bringing to town guns and a string of legal woes that span three states including an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest, an arrest for making "terrorist threats," and a history of bankruptcy.

'Chamber volunteers are not walking encyclopedias'

As a five-year Payson chamber volunteer, I challenge Mr. Paul Foster's letter to the editor dated May 23, wherein he states that our local chamber of commerce fails to serve the community because "it doesn't know or care what's going on in Payson. I thought its function was to help local business people?"

Gun control advocates inviting Big Brother into our homes

For Americans to accept serious gun control, they are also going to have to accept extreme toughness in the enforcement of those laws. This will entail an unbelievable amount of police intrusiveness.

Living on the edge

Standing on a cliff 200 feet above the East Verde River, Pine-Strawberry Fire Captain Harris Scott directs his crew to set up its rescue equipment 20 feet from the edge.

AIMS graduation test should be eliminated

I have read the AIMS High School booklet called "Arizona's Instruments to Measure Standards."

Teen jumps for chance at scholarship

Track star favors Southern California

As one of Arizona's best track and field athletes, Rheanna Martinez is laying the foundation for what could turn into a lucrative college scholarship.

Local men's golf action heats up the links

Much like the Rim country's soaring temperatures, local golf tournament action is heating up.

Race ends in rare photo finish

Dead heats in track and field happen about as often as Fife Symington files an accurate financial statement. But one of those rarities happened at the Luke-Greenway Invitational meet last week at Phoenix Central High School.

Payson students headed for 'blowoff'

Students from Payson, Globe, Miami, Hayden and Young proved that blowing off tobacco has its advantages: They each won four tickets to see a Diamondbacks game by pledging not to use tobacco and blowing the biggest, bubble-gum bubble they could muster.

Payson girl earns slot in scholarship state finals

Molly Agnes, daughter of Vic Agnes of Payson, has been selected as a finalist in the Pre-Teen Arizona Scholarship and Recognition Program, which will be held Aug. 18, 19, and 20 at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix.

Town clerk a gypsy at heart

If you've telephoned Town Hall within the past five years, you've probably spoken to Jodi Wilson. She's the clerk who sounds like a young Lauren Bacall.

Thursday, May 25

Yonemura goes before school board empty-handed

Self-described entrepreneur Mikiyo Yonemura stood before the Payson School District's governing board members Thursday morning to formally introduce his controversial plan to pump $6.7 million into the local school system.

Parks and recreation

Swimming lessons and swim team

Swimming lessons and swim team registration for all swimming lessons, swim team, adult lap swim and water aerobics will continue until classes are full. Weather permitting, Taylor Pool will open for daily swimming from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 27. Lessons and water aerobics begin June 5; adult lap swim and swim team begin June 12.

Payson Grays bounce back to trounce Grand Tigers

The Payson Grays senior slow-pitch softball team turned up for this weekend's Memorial Day Senior Tournament by splitting a double header with the Sun City Grand Tigers, Ron Maksymowski, a player and the coach for the Grays, said.

Link leaders swing back into action

For the past two summers, Rim Country teenagers Brandon Kelley and Billy Bob Hoyt have been among the most consistent performers in Junior Golf Association of Arizona play. This spring, they picked up where they left off.

Richard Oviedo

Richard Daniel Oviedo, 47, of Mesa del Caballo, died May 23, 2000. He was born Nov. 11, 1952, in Phoenix and was a diesel mechanic. He married Carol Jeffers Sept. 25, 1974.

Mildred Eaves

Mildred Lurleen Eaves, 79, of Payson, died May 21, 2000, in Scottsdale, Ariz. She was born Jan. 4, 1921, in Mesa, Ariz., and was a homemaker.

Rediscover the glory of Rim country

The unexpected beauty of the Rim country has stopped many an unwary traveler in his tracks. Every day or so, some unsuspecting tourist from Michigan or Minnesota or some other northern land comes tooling over Ox Bow Hill and is overwhelmed by the mountains and pine trees that he finds smack dab in the middle of a state that, by popular legend, is all desert and dirt.


Holiday festivities kick off summer

Memorial Day Weekend has arrived the traditional welcome to summer.

Town housing coordinator dismissed

After only six months on the job, Payson's housing/rehabilitation development services coordinator has been fired.

Pine ordered to save water

With water storage levels dropping and the busy Memorial Day weekend looming on the horizon, Brooke Utilities has placed its Pine water customers on Stage 5 water conservation.

Winning athletes can't take summers off

There was a time not too many years ago when high school athletes could show up on the first day of practice and go on to turn in a successful season.

Some wouldn't know an assault weapon from a ham sandwich

Rarely have I seen so much misinformation contained in a small space. The recent (letter to the editor) by Frank Fader requires some correction.

Newly appointed Lady Longhorn basketball coach Shaun Hardt is no stranger to Rim country sports fans.

Newly appointed Lady Longhorn basketball coach Shaun Hardt is no stranger to Rim country sports fans.

Local Smiths aren't your average American guys

If the figures are to be believed, Mike Smith of Payson is not an average American guy. Neither is his son, Mike Smith of Payson.

Mesa del residents ordered to conserve

Mesa del Caballo was placed on Stage 3 water restrictions Wednesday, which means residents can't water their yards, gardens and all other outdoor landscaping.

Fire restrictions in effect

Areas of Tonto Forest closed

Forest officials have closed three sections of the Tonto National Forest and banned campfires even in some developed campgrounds.

Bible proclamation isn't offensive to the Constitution

I would like to respond to the question "Is a Bible Week proclamation offensive to the Constitution?"

New casino manager feeling lucky

Winds of fate bring manager back to Payson

Jim Gannarelli, the freshly installed general manager of the Mazatzal Casino, is not planning to make any major changes in the way Payson's second-largest private employer and first-largest payroll distributor conducts its business.

Chamber licenses rights to Pro Rodeo committee

An agreement has been signed which licenses the Pro Rodeo Committee to produce Payson's "Annual World's Oldest Rodeo" for a period of two years, for a specified amount of money to be paid prior to the event.

Clover Fire burns 110 acres on Rim

Forest Service officials were still uncertain Thursday what sparked the blaze that has blackened 110 acres of the Coconino National Forest 19 miles north of Strawberry.

Town should create 'Quality of Life Award'

I propose that the Town of Payson establish a Mayor's Annual Quality of Life Award

Teacher salaries in Payson falling further behind

The gauntlet has been tossed in the direction of the Payson Unified School District. On May 16, three East Valley School Districts Gilbert Unified, Mesa Unified and Tempe Elementary all approved district initiated override elections to raise teacher salaries and make other program and student improvements. Even the Dysart Unified District, a low-paying district like Payson, approved an override to raise salaries.

Longhorn matmen to test mettle

Nationally ranked New Mexico team takes on Payson

An ambitious summer training program that includes a visit from a nationally ranked team awaits prospective Payson High School wrestlers.

New councilmembers, mayor sworn in

Following the official exit of Mayor Vern Stiffler and a chorus of "God Bless America," Payson's newest leaders Mayor Ray Schum, councilmembers Bryan Siverson and Dick Wolfe, and re-elected councilmember Barbara Brewer were sworn into their respective offices in the opening ceremony of Thursday's town council meeting.

Tuesday, May 23

Race car driver develops winning formula for business

Jeff Sievert's life would make a terrible movie.


Summer events heating up in Pine

The Hansen family and the Library Friends will have a yard sale Saturday, May 20 under the ramada at the Community Center in Pine to raise money for their Relay for Life team. It's all good stuff, so they tell me. Stop in to say hi, check out the sale, catch up on town gossip and have fun.

Monday, May 22

Skating rink ideal for teens

In your MailCall, I note the boredom expressed by teenagers. I spent a summer in Vermont when I was 14. The only entertainment was a roller skating rink which had been built from an old chicken coop. It was the greatest summer for me.

PHS graduates break school's scholarship record

When Payson High School graduate Justin Cline took possession of his diploma, he celebrated the occasion by doing a full-body flip.

Wildfire danger shuts down forest areas

Due to extreme fire conditions, 140,000 acres within the Tonto National Forest will be closed for the Memorial Day weekend, according to Acting Forest Supervisor Tom Klabunde.

Payson joins recycling effort

Stop throwing out your old newspapers and junk mail ... by July 1, the Town of Payson will enter the recycling business.

New council takes office Thursday

Out with the old, in with the new.

Rodeo cowboys compete for $13,000 in prizes

The Payson Multi-Event Center came alive last weekend as the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo premiered at the new rodeo arena in south Payson.

Sentencing delayed for Forest Service worker

The fate of John and Linda Holmes of Tonto Basin, who were scheduled to be sentenced this week in federal court for theft, will remain undecided until 3 p.m. June 1.

Beating the odds

Man surprised doctors, survived rare cancer at 16

One week from Friday, the Relay for Life will be held on the track of Payson High School to raise money for cancer education and research.

Lady Horns head overseas

A contingent of four promising athletes, accompanied by coach Linda Gibson, will jet to Australia this summer where they will represent the Longhorn soccer program in international competition.

Taylor Pool opens after winter 'facelift'

After 15 years of use, Taylor Pool's opening at 1 p.m. May 27 will be highlighted by several improvements.

Grays turn red-hot against the Rockers

The Payson Grays senior slow-pitch softball team wrapped up play in the Fountain Hills league by sweeping a double-header, 14-8 and 14-7, from the Scottsdale Rockers, Grays player/coach Ron Maksymowski said.

Deadline extended for 3-on-3 basketball

Payson High School boys basketball coach Randy Wilcox, along with the town's parks and recreation department, will host a 3-on-3 basketball league this summer.

Remember the sacrifices made by those on the Wall

Memorial Day: As this special day approaches, I remember the names I know on "the Wall." When those around us treat this day as a mini-vacation and the beginning of summer, I shed a few tears for the names I know on the Wall.

Visitor center not too helpful for rodeo fans

First of all, let me say that I am not a member of the rodeo committee in any shape or form.

Teens with little to do looking in wrong places

In answer to the letters two teens wrote recently asking the town to do something to bring entertainment into Payson so they won't have to be couch potatoes and watch TV or "do drugs:" I can remember a time when my own teens complained about the same lack of something to do.

Do your part to keep the forest safe

As the 10th anniversary of the Dude Fire approaches this June, concerns of another catastrophic wildfire here loom large.

Donna Evans

Donna Evans, 69, of Payson, died May 9, 2000, in Las Vegas, Nev. She was born April 6, 1931, in Chicago, Ill. and had resided in Arizona for 35 years.

John McCaulley

John S. McCaulley, 78, of Payson, died May 15, 2000, in Payson. He was born to John Henry and Sarah Adeline Friend McCaulley March 7, 1922, near Chandlerville, Ill. He was a former resident of Pekin, Ill and Peoria, Ill.

Dena Ostwald-Zoe

Dena Cheree Ostwald-Zoe, 34, of Whispering Pines, died May 20, 2000. She was born April 28, 1966, in Denver, Colo., and had lived in Arizona since 1978.

Alfred Petersen

Alfred Dale Petersen, 69, of Payson, died May 21, 2000, in Payson. He was born Nov. 27, 1930, in Ringsted, Iowa and had lived in Arizona for the past 15 years.


A steep & deep place to live

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Joining AARP, I mean. AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons, an organization with millions upon millions of members. Once you reach 50 you're eligible to join, so I did. I figured the discounts for hotel rooms and rental cars alone would be worth it.


Summer camps to help brush up on hoop skills

Want to give the kids some much-needed recreation and exercise by dragging them away from the video games and boob tubes this summer?

Thursday, May 18

Race car driver develops winning formula for business

Jeff Sievert's life would make a terrible movie.


Summer events heating up in Pine

The Hansen family and the Library Friends will have a yard sale Saturday, May 20 under the ramada at the Community Center in Pine to raise money for their Relay for Life team. It's all good stuff, so they tell me. Stop in to say hi, check out the sale, catch up on town gossip and have fun.

Landra's foursome battles winds to win tournament

Battling 20mph wind gusts Tuesday morning, the members of the Payson Women's Golf Association struggled through their weekly tournament dealing with the elements as best they could, members say.

Parks and Recreation

Registration for all swimming lessons, swim team, adult lap swim and water aerobics began Monday, May 15 and will continue until May 26, or until classes are full. Weather permitting, Taylor Pool will be available for open swimming Saturday, May 27. Lessons begin June 5; swim team begins June 12.

Taylor Pool set to open

With lifeguard training wrapped up, Taylor Pool now has a full complement of certified lifeguards and will open at 1 p.m. May 27.

Wrestlers set for Grand Canyon Games

A contingent of eight Rim country wrestlers prepped for the upcoming Grand Canyon Games by honing their skills last weekend in the USA Wrestling State championships.

170 PHS seniors to get diplomas

This Saturday, the first class of the millennium 170 students, 28 more than last year will graduate from Payson High School.

Mother credits miracle baby with saving her life

Five-year-old Frankie Marazza was not just your average, run-of-the-mill miracle baby. She was a double-miracle baby.

Ask graduates to make one simple promise

High school graduation can mark the beginning of a new chapter in a lifetime of achievement. Or, if celebrated irresponsibly, it can represent the final chapter in a life that could have been Anyone who has spent some time on the high school campus these past few days can feel the excitement and anticipation in the air. Graduating seniors gather in the shade of trees and discuss their plans for the summer and the plans for their lives.

Wheelis new PHS football coach

A man who spent 20 years of his life tracking down criminals will be in charge of chalking the Payson High School football team's x's and o's next season.

FBI arrests local man on federal charges

Bernadine Gilles was just about to fix breakfast the morning of May 10, when she noticed a caravan of cars heading up West Chatham Drive in front of her house.

Neighbor pulls man safely out of blaze

John Ryan doesn't remember much about Wednesday night, but he does know he's lucky to have a fast-acting neighbor like Joe Martin.

Town Hall breaking down walls; making more room

More than 200 square feet of working space may sound like enough elbowroom for anyone.

Water conservation tips for the summer

Did you know that this has been one of the Rim country's driest seasons in recorded history? The fall of 1999, set the area's record for most consecutive days without rain.

Fradsen's shot 'very rare,' Neal wins the tournament

George Fradsen turned in the best played hole of the day last Wednesday in the Payson Men's Golf Association's most recent tournament.

Town launches water conservation campaign

Public invited to name that drip

Jeff Durbin, water resource specialist for the Town of Payson, is part of a team that oversees the town's most valuable commodity water.

Crews bring Coon Fire under control

The Coon Creek Fire, which scorched "a projected final size" of 9,359 acres of the Sierra Ancha Wilderness in the Tonto National Forest north of Globe, was completely contained Wednesday, according to Dave Killebrew, a fire information officer for the U.S. Forest Service.

Crosswalk on Highway 260 a potential deathtrap

Lacking any flashing caution lights or even caution signs, I think the crosswalks on Highway 260 near Country Kitchen and Jiffy Lube are potential deathtraps and provide a false sense of safety to pedestrians.

Payson needs another clothing store

As we all know, (school) promotions are coming sooner than we thought and everyone is running back and forth to the Valley to buy promotion clothes. This procedure takes time, money and gas.

Time for government to stop playing with fire

The government is playing with fire. Prescribed burns are ineffective, cause greater ecological problems, and, as we see in Los Alamos, (N.M.) and the Grand Canyon, have devastating consequences when control is lost.

Legislature needs to support schools, teachers

I read recently that Wal-Mart announced its Teacher of the Year. Wonderful! This is an honor earned by a hard-working, dedicated teacher.

Platform for free speech much appreciated

Thanks to the Payson Roundup for printing my comments. There is something more important than issues argued freedom of speech.

School district generously supports athletics, fine arts

Every child learns through a little different means, and in America, we as parents and schools are challenged to find a student's most efficient method of learning to motivate our students to learn.

Canale heading to the big show

The word out of California is that former Payson High School baseball star Tom Canale is set to forego his final year of college and enter the professional draft on June 6.

Monday, May 15

Hospital continues to grow with the community

1999 was a year of progress and growth for Payson Regional Medical Center. In the second year of PRMC's affiliation with Community Health Systems the ninth-largest health system in the U.S. the partnership is proving beneficial to the Rim country and its residents.

Tonto Apaches on the verge of gaining more elbow room

The Tonto Apache Tribe's greatest achievement for 1999 was the signing of an Initiative of Agreement with the U.S. Forest Service that will provide the tribe with 272 more acres through a federal land exchange. This negotiation process was much different than our experience in the 1960s when the elders of the tribe traveled many times to Washington, D.C. with attorney Joe Sparks negotiating for the initial reservation. These current negotiations have been government to government.

Little airport adds big bucks to economy

It wasn't why I came, but Ben Hitzhusen wasn't taking any chances. "I really don't want to get involved in the controversy that's going on over the airport," he warned me right up front.

Rim country goes national

Payson among nation's top-10 retirement towns

The countless perks of living in Payson have long been secretly appreciated by the people who reside within its zip codes. But this past year, the joys of living in the Rim country went national. For its Feb. 11 cover story, USA Today published a national survey in which Payson was listed as one of the most popular places in the country for second homes and vacation properties with absentee owners.

New Wal-Mart Supercenter stimulates local competition

There's rarely a unanimous definition of progress when it comes to a community-altering project like the 142,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter that opened in Payson in January.

Water rules stall affordable housing

The phrase "water and growth" could easily stand as Payson's mantra of the new century. And these two hotly debated concerns share one important characteristic: too little can kill a town, too much can drown it.

Top markets for second homes

Vacation homes and weekend getaways represent a huge part of many local real estate markets, particularly some of those near oceans or mountains or in the desert. Places in the USA where second homes and vacation properties with absentee owners represented the biggest share of the real estate market last year are:

Coming soon: Two theaters near you

In terms of movie-going entertainment, 2000 may well be the year that Payson is elevated from abject poverty to an embarrassment of riches.

Local attractions

Riding high on special events

Rim country events, festivals and celebrations have changed over the years to satisfy the community's changing fancies.

Clubs spotlight talent, focus on fun

The cultural clubs in the Rim country are as rich and varied as the talented people who belong to them. Groups devoted to art, music, drama and crafts provide the people here with a rich palette of artistic endeavors to choose from, and the clubs provide the community with a host of entertainment options.

Library construction just around the corner

Here's a definition of progress that everybody can agree on, courtesy of Library Friends President Judy Buettner.


Living the good life

When I moved to the tiny hamlet of Pine, high in the mountains of Arizona, my city friends who I now refer to as flatlanders started to kid me about my primitive, small-town lifestyle.


Free spirits have room to roam in Mesa del

There is a definite "Rim country type," according to local clinical social worker Penny Navis-Schmidt. "For some reason," she said, "this area seems to attract people who don't want to be told what to do, who want self-determination. It's kind of a western renegade mentality. You know, 'Don't fence me in.'"


Life quickens by the lake

Tonto Basin is a community of about 2,000 residents near Roosevelt Lake, 35 miles south of Payson on State Route 188.


Friendly folks are the star of the show

If you want to know about the history of Star Valley, there may be no better person to ask than long-time resident Pat Cline, who grew up in the area when the total population was comprised of four families.

The halls of higher learning

New college opens doors, opportunities

When the doors opened in January to Payson's first permanent community college, it was a dream come true for local resident and former EAC Committee President Doyle Coffey, who had spent 14 years working to build a college that would inspire local young people.

The man behind the vision

When Eastern Arizona College's Payson campus was little more than a pipe dream, EAC Dean, Donald B. Allen, envisioned a "little college nestled in the woods."

Payson School District aiming higher

Laboring under a new state funding formula that's put money for new classrooms out of reach for a few years, Payson school officials developed a clever way last year to free up classroom space. School officials expanded the Payson Unified School District's modest business office on Wade Lane and moved district business employees who were working across campus at Payson High School into the new offices.

PHS students shine in classroom, on field


Pine-Strawberry school holds high standards for its students

Pine-Strawberry School's mission is to help students become lifelong learners in an informational age. We believe that teachers, parents and community members working together can help children succeed and encourage them to be the best that they can. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their behavior, beliefs and actions. Standards for students and staff are high.

Frontier Elementary School students follow own path

frontier elementary school principal

The unique design of Frontier Elementary School three domes joined by a solid center structure mirrors the dynamic academic environment students enjoy at FES. The core of learning is built on an aligned curriculum, authentic assessments and full inclusion.

PCS students chart their own courses

Payson Center for Success High School, Payson Unified School District's only charter school, has been open for four years.

Tradition of education rock solid at Julia Randall school

The rock building at Julia Randall Elementary School, the oldest building in the district, once housed all of Payson's students, from first grade through high school.

Frontier Elementary School Wolves leaders of the pack

Number of students: 460 School's capacity: 460 Average number of student per classroom: Kindergarten through third grade 20; fourth and fifth grades 28.

Now is the time to make a donation to the library

How great it is! For the past 15 plus years, the Library Friends of Payson have worked diligently, often, it seemed, against insurmountable odds, to find a way to build a new library in Payson.

Bonds of friendships woven into May Day basket

Your My View about May Day baskets was very, very good. I wish the practice would be revived. When we moved here from Phoenix and were strangers, I was amazed and delighted to find a beautiful bedraggled May Day basket on my door knob come May first. No one in sight.

Monument to fallen police chief would show community's heart

As an occasional visitor to Payson over the last 20 years, I am impressed with the fast pace and yet the quality of the growth Payson has accomplished. Each visit I've made seemed to have a new surprise waiting an expanded airport, new schools, new stores and shopping centers, a new hospital and most recently, your new police headquarters.

Teen looking for something to do in town

I would like to know why it is so hard to get the people in this town to bring in things for the young people to do. We have had the Stampede (miniature golf and game center), but most of the time it's closed and once you've been there a couple of times that's enough.

Search and Rescue helped injured hiker during 'scariest moments'

I was rescued May 7 from Bear Flat Canyon/Thompson Draw by The Tonto Rim Search and Rescue.

ADOT fines for signs no bargain

With spring comes the annual ritual of spring cleaning, which leads to the preponderance of spring yard sales. Those seemingly benign rummage rituals often lead to headaches for workers from the state highway department.

1,200-foot tower to be built in Strawberry

It will be three-and-a-half times taller than Godzilla.

Four-year-old through chemo with flying colors

Four-year-old Ashley Allen, a Payson pre-schooler who has undergone two surgeries for brain tumors, has just completed two-and-a-half months of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants at UMC Hospital in Tucson.

Payson spring rodeo this weekend

The much-anticipated grand opening of the Payson Multi-Event Center will happen this weekend when cowboys from all over the country gather for the Spring PRCA Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo.

Husband and wife win AllStar Bass

Gila County anglers were well represented when the top-10 finishers at the AllStar Bass Invitational Tournament were announced last week.

Wild Flower 5K Saturday at Green Valley Park

Registration for the Town-sponsored Wild Flower 5K walk/run begins Saturday, May 20, 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at Green Valley Park.

A rodeo field full of dreams and traditions

In Kevin Costner's famous movie, Field of Dreams, a man built a baseball park in the middle of his corn field. And while some neighbors and townsfolk criticized and ridiculed the project, he pressed on. A voice kept telling him, If you build it, they will come. The ball field turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to the town and the family who supported the dream.

Grays kick Fountain Hills in double-header

In Fountain Hills Parks and Recreation-sponsored senior league softball play May 11, the Payson Grays whipped the home-standing Kool Kats 13-12 and 18-11.

More Gila trout brought to Dude Creek

High country angling for the endangered Gila trout species could become a reality in a few years, Arizona Game and Fish officials predict.

Meyocks wins Mutt and Jeff

Laura Meyocks is on a golf winning streak that would rival the exploits of Tiger Woods.

Progress proves positive at dawn of new millennium

Three new police officers were hired in 1999 for the burgeoning Town of Payson. By year's end, one was critically wounded. He remains at home recovering, eager to rejoin his new department.

Best storyteller gets a blast from the past

The fun part of interviewing the Rim country's best storytellers is the very nature of the beast: All you have to do is wind 'em up and let 'em go.

Payson's friendliest person quick with a smile

It's one thing to be named the Friendliest Person in town during the Roundup's annual "Best of Payson" competition. It's something else to earn that honor when you've only lived here eight months.

Payson's top citizens

Each year, the Payson Roundup honors what it deems to be the Rim country's top citizens. The Man and Woman of the Year are selected based on their characters, caring and service to the community. The Man and Woman of the Year are chosen from a list of nominees submitted by members of the public.

Private schools capitalize on small classroom sizes

Parents who prefer to send their children to private school have three choices in the Rim country Shelby School, Payson Community Christian School and Community Presbyterian Child Learning Center. All three schools have small student populations, provide intimate learning environments and charge tuition.

Elderhostel program brings Rim country culture, history to life

Over the years, thousands of mature adults have learned about the history, culture, wildlife and natural wonders of the Rim country through the international Elderhostel program.

PES by the numbers

Payson Elementary School

Girls win second state title

Fueled by a second-day come-from-behind effort, the Lady Longhorn track and field team won its second successive Class 3A state championship.

Rabies threat on the rise

Rebecca Jones of Christopher Creek must endure two more painful shots in her arm to make sure she doesn't get sick. The eight-year-old was bitten by a bat while she was playing near Christopher Creek earlier this month. The bat was later found to be carrying the rabies virus.

Affordable housing coming to Payson

Affordable housing in Payson has been about as rare as ice water in Hades, said Robert Elliott, the town's housing/rehabilitation development services coordinator, "but that may change within the next year."

Trailblazers clear path

On a sunny spring day in May, a group of 16 friends known as the Arrowhead Wildlife Society gathered for a work party at the Pine Trailhead.

Firefighters gain ground against Coon fire

Containment of the Coon Creek Fire, which was at 50 percent only two days ago, is now at 85 percent, Forest Service public information officer Fred Coe said Tuesday.

'Battle of the Bands' broke up monotony

The "Battle of the Bands" was so cool. I had lots of fun and so did my friends. It's a lot better than just sitting around doing nothing.

Water pressures top concern of town staff

One of the Town of Payson's most significant challenges is supplying enough quality water to the community.

Project Magnolia to help thirsty Pine

In its fourth year as the owner operator of water companies in Pine-Strawberry, Brooke Utilities has for the first time requested a rate increase for the area's 2,600 customers.

Water tops county leaders' list

Gila County's top 10 accomplishments in 1999 included several road projects, assistance to families in need and individuals impacted by the BHP copper mine layoffs, working with other groups to find a long-term solution to the county's water needs, and securing additional funding for payment of federal lands from Congress.

Redeveloping the Main plan

Groundwork laid in 1999 will pave the way for the future

To better plan for the future, volunteers on the Green Valley Redevelopment Area started by studying the past.

Volunteers wrap up arena relocation project

It truly has become Barry Cardinael's field of dreams, and within a few short months, those dreams will become reality when the town's spring PRCA rodeo in May kicks off the opening of the new rodeo grounds.

Mogollon Health Alliance on a mission of service

Merging the former Payson Regional Medical Center Foundation, the former Hospital Operations Board and the Payson Regional Medical Center Auxiliary created Mogollon Health Alliance. The reason behind the metamorphosis may not be obvious.

Little airport adds big bucks to economy roundup correspondent

It wasn't why I came, but Ben Hitzhusen wasn't taking any chances. "I really don't want to get involved in the controversy that's going on over the airport," he warned me right up front.

Thursday, May 11


CERCA raising money to raise the roof

The people of Pine and Strawberry are lucky to have a community center in Pine for events, activities and organizations.

Adopted daughter thinks birth mother made best choice

I am writing in response to the article about young Amber Evanson and to the new proud parents, Kristi and Kerwin Kortman.

Credit for Kids money could be better spent

In a recent editorial in the Roundup, the editor wrote that we should have come up with more money to increase teachers' salaries. I support that idea.

Teacher injured in head-on crash

Payson school teacher Jayne Peace was air-lifted to Scottsdale Healthcare - Osborne Thursday evening, following a head-on collision with Richard Pool on the Gisela Road.

Town council tables zoning issues

Two potentially controversial rezoning applications were tabled at Thursday's Payson Town Council meeting, putting off any debate on the issues for a couple of weeks.

Student brushes up on his business skills

Shawn Harris is a 21-year-old Northern Arizona University student with a double major in finance and philosophy, a minor in astronomy, and no real employment history.

Mother's fortitude under fire not forgotten

In face of death, plucky sense of purpose prevailed

Most of us, sooner or later, encounter difficult and troublesome predicaments that can stretch us to our breaking point. It is during these dark days of tribulation and trial that our true characters are revealed.

Entrepreneur to transplant 130 workers

Mikiyo Yonemura of Phoenix says he has big plans for the Rim country.

Ox Bow Estates fire leaves two homeless

Two Rim country residents are homeless this week, following a fire that destroyed their single-wide mobile home in Ox Bow Estates late Tuesday evening.

Firefighters in the sky

Flying above the Sierra Ancha Wilderness, Steve Bliss plots his next move in the Forest Service's fight against the Coon Creek fire.

Writer's legend lives on in museum

Zane Grey's son comes to town for opening

He is the son of Zane Grey, the writer who arguably made Arizona famous, or at least honed its image as the rootin'-tootin'est state west of the Mississippi.

Senior flying high on Air Force award

"Bryan Zumbro was an easy choice," said Col. Kathy Swan of the United States Air Force Academy. "We only select from the top 3 percent of national high school graduates, and Bryan is particularly good."

Happy Mother's Day, Mrs. Burns

What kind of Mother's Day card do you send a woman like Ruth Ann Burns?

Seven Horns tapped for All-East Region teams

For seven Longhorn baseball players, the disappointment of opening round elimination from the state tournament finally eased a bit.

White, Lee, Shaw top guns in state track tournament

A trio of veteran performers will lead the Longhorn track and field team into the state tournament today (Friday) at Chandler High School.

Lady Horns earn third regional crown

Chalk up a three-peat for the Lady Longhorn track and field team.

Meyocks cards a win

Carding a 65, Laura Meyocks played her way to the A flight championship of the Payson Women's Golf Association low-net tournament contested last week at Payson Golf Course.

Payson Parks & Recreation

Swimming Lessons & Swim Team

Registration for all summer aquatics programs will begin Monday, May 15. Weather permitting, Taylor Pool will be available for open swimming Saturday, May 27.

Softball camp moves from ASU to NAU

Last summer, potential Lady Longhorn softball players prepped for the 2000 campaign by participating in an Arizona State University-sponsored camp held in Flagstaff.

Voters should be allowed to decide teacher salaries

Val Dickey's recent guest comment in the Roundup reinforced the notion that Payson, being so close to the Phoenix area, is both a blessing and a curse.

Vietnam veteran 'made me proud to be an American'

On May 3, Jack Koon, a Vietnam veteran, came to Payson Center for Success High School to talk about his Vietnam experience.

Gun education is best way to protect rights

The letter written by Mr. Kevin Moran and published in your April 28 edition was very interesting because it presented two ideas that haven't been talked about too much.

Monday, May 8

Library donor plans to match $100,000

An anonymous donor has offered to match up to $100,000 in donations to the Payson Library Friends this year for its library building fund.

Students pay their respects at the Wall

Just when adults are left wondering what's going on in the seemingly self-centered lives of teenagers, the youngsters step up to lead some of the most stirring of tributes.

Lady Mavericks benefit from school's sister acts

Some local prep coaches have labeled teenager Whitney Hardt a running "phenom." Judging from her performances at the White Mountain League track and field finals May 4 in Winslow, the Rim Country Middle School eighth-grader could be deserving of the impressive title.

Former talk show host 'bit by the relief bug'

Two years ago, Payson's Randy Roberson was a news director and weekday morning talk-show host for local radio station, KMOG, when he met on-air guest-wannabe Dr. Larry Ward.

Fabulous forms

She called it serendipity and said that everything just fell together, but the woman who came to live in Payson three years ago made the move with as much thought as she had put into any of her carefully crafted bronze sculptures.

Armed Informed Mothers march against Million Moms

The Second Amendment Sisters is holding the "Armed Informed Mothers' March" Sunday, May 14 in Washington, D.C. We want to provide a strong pro-Second Amendment presence at a crucial moment in history, to let everyone know that our Second Amendment rights are non-negotiable.

Guns harmless until someone pulls trigger

May I serve as the devil's advocate and discuss at some length a letter to the editor in your April 18 issue by Mr. Timothy J. O'Connor.

Teen mother 'made a great choice'

Regarding the story "Teen mother turns tough choice into gift of a lifetime":

Stance on Gonzalez case off base

Re: Your editorial regarding Elian Gonzalez.

Council decision puts young adults in the lead

I am writing in regard to the Payson Town Council's recent decision to let students serve on council (boards and committees) as nonvoting members.

Better BMX track needed

If you would like to know what a BMX racetrack looks like, take a trip to the Chandler BMX track.


Whether or not the Year 2000 Payson Strategic Plan will be adopted at the request of Town Manager Richard Underkofler is just one of several questions that will be put to councilmembers at Thursday evening's meeting.

County to drill borehole

The search for water in the Pine-Strawberry area by drilling an exploratory borehole is a go.

Teacher's passion lives on in the music

When school music teacher Ileane Gonzales died in March, her friend and fellow music teacher Lois Atkin vowed to carry on the rich teaching tradition Gonzales had established in Payson.

Walk on the wild side at Wildlife Festival

There's no need to forage in the forest looking for fauna, when native animals, birds, and reptiles can be seen up close and personal at the Sixth Annual Payson Wildlife Fair and Fishing Fest Saturday, May 13 at Green Valley Park.

Coon fire losing strength

Fewer smoke signals are wafting into the sky south of Payson. The message the Coon Creek Fire that has blackened 8,752 acres of Sierra Ancha Wilderness is losing strength.

Students take test that counts

Shay Scott, a sophomore at Payson High School, wonders if the AIMS test will prevent her from graduating in 2002.

Rabid bat bites girl near creek

A little girl playing in the water near Christopher Creek last Wednesday was bitten by a bat.

Painful past, hopeful future found at Wall

There it was on the Wall.

Book signing great way to build library

Have you ever wondered what life would be like for a pioneer woman in Arizona? Have you heard about the plane that crashed in the Rim country with the famous MGM lion on board? Do you know the legends that make up Arizona's history and mystery?

Playoff dreams fall short for Horns

If the Longhorn baseball team boasted a distinct advantage entering the opening round of the state tournament, it was the crunch-time experience earned on the rocky road to the 1999 championship.

Lady Horns' season comes to bittersweet end

A sense of achievement was mixed with the disappointment as the defeated and sweat-soaked Lady Longhorn softball players strolled off Phoenix Rose Mofford diamond Friday afternoon.

Thursday, May 4

Tonto Apache track team continues it's winning ways

Jennifer Flores, 13, decided two years ago to try out for the newly founded Tonto Apache Track and Field team.

Mother's dying wish' shouldn't supersede father's rights

Your recent editorial on the Elian Gonzales case is the most blatant sexist piece of writing I have seen in many years.

Haught's motion rejected

The Arizona Court of Appeals denied Roy George Haught's motion Tuesday to reconsider its ruling that he received too lienient a sentence for his role in the 1997 death of Strawberry resident James Cooper.

SettleInn remains unsettled

The Gila County Board of Supervisors temporarily tabled a proposal Tuesday for the development of SettleInn at Pine Meadows, a 133-acre, 498-unit adult retirement community that developers want to build 15 miles east of Payson on Highway 260.

Lucky lady wins cruise from local Kiwanis Club

Shari Carpenter of Payson was the lucky winner of a seven-day Carnival cruise to Alaska during a recent Kiwanis Club auction.

SO woes continue, relatively speaking

Gila County Attorney Jerry DeRose and Dist. 1 Supervisor Ron Christensen confirmed that the man who allegedly admitted to stealing at least $300 of inmate cash Detention Officer William Thomas Brunson is, in fact, the son-in-law of Chief Deputya Byron Mills.

Board responsible for improving teacher salaries

The salaries paid to our Payson Unified School District's teachers are depressing, dismal, demeaning, degrading and discouraging.

Low teacher salaries eroding school system, short-changing students

I (want) to express my dismay over the salary schedule for certified employees for the coming school year. Speaking personally, my raise will be 1.8 percent after 21 years and a master's (degree) plus 66 hours (of continuing education). This situation is deplorable, and I believe others in the education community would agree with me.

Memorial holds special meaning for surviving soldiers

The Vietnam War Memorial has special significance to me and others like myself who were directly involved in the conflict.

State's shameful funding record adds up to low teacher salaries

In recent weeks, a lot of commentary has appeared in the Payson Roundup concerning teacher salaries. There have been several misleading statements presented. I would like to take this opportunity to present the facts and correct some well-intentioned but misguided perceptions.

Whitehouse, Roundup earn Press Club honors

The awards just keep on coming to the Payson Roundup.

Smooth seas never a skillful mariner made

For the first time in 30 years, the unemployment rate in America has dropped to 3.9 percent, according to the nation's Labor Department.

Vietnam War Memorial replica comes to Payson

John Wilson Owen graduated from high school in the spring of 1966 before Flower Power, before "Make love, not war" became the mantra of the day to join thousands of Americans in fighting a war he new little about.

Teacher of the Year a class act

Students in Alane Eaton's third-grade class at Julia Randall Elementary School may not always get along, but they agree on one thing: Mrs. Eaton makes learning fun.

Police arrest pair for buying ingredients to make meth

An alert security staff at Wal-Mart helped police arrest two Valley residents Tuesday who were allegedly in the midst of a three-day shopping spree for cold medications containing the primary ingredient for methamphetamine.

Coon fire 50-percent contained

Nine of the 16 fire crews battling the Coon Creek Fire 13 miles northeast of Roosevelt Lake in the Sierra Ancha wilderness were sent home Thursday.

Dunman's Lady Horns enter state fray today

Much to the relief of hardened Longhorn sports fans, the softball team's three-season state tournament drought comes tumbling down at 1 p.m. today at Rose Mofford Complex in Phoenix. On field #2, the Horns are set to take on the Safford Bulldogs in the opening round of the 3A conference tournament.

Martinez's triple jump misjudged, still a record

Sometime during the next two spring sports seasons, opponents might ask to rename Lady Longhorn track and field meets "The Rheanna Martinez Show."

AIMS test may have unintended consequences

Recently, I conducted an (informal) poll and collected 100 signatures by asking people if they think the high school dropout rate will increase when the AIMS test goes into effect.

Band teacher a strict but caring lady'

I am writing this letter to acknowledge Mrs. Gonzales. As many band students know, she passed away a couple of weeks ago.

Mother's motives paint a different picture

Regarding the (editorial) in the April 28 (issue) of the Payson Roundup, "A mother's dying wish should prevail":

PWGA golf match features unusual scoring

Payson Golf Course played host Tuesday to members of the Payson Women's Golf Association who locked themselves in an unusually formatted foursome tournament.

Men, women mix it up on the links

With Rim country weather heating up to 90-degree temperatures, members of the Payson Men's Golf Association have turned their attention to poker. But rather than playing the game at the traditional table, the linksters are contesting it on the course.

Monday, May 1

Defense motion stalls Haught's resentencing

The resentencing of Star Valley businessman Roy George Haught, who was convicted more than a year ago of aggravated assault and negligent homicide, has been delayed.

Three more fires under the Rim

U.S. Forest Service officials in Phoenix said Tuesday that three small fires that started in the Tonto National Forest Monday are still being monitored.

Golf course subdivision unsuited for forest glade

My husband and I are property owners in Bear Flat.

'Slum' remark a shameful characterization

I am now ashamed to be a white person.

Money trail leads to confession

When faced with the prospect of submitting to a lie-detector test, Gila County detention officer William Thomas Brunson confessed to stealing several hundred dollars from an inmate, according to an internal investigation report.

Vietnam veterans to gather at Wall of remembrance

"I haven't even convinced myself that I can go to the Wall." Pat Willis

Wall brings chance for healing to Payson

The Vietnam War Memorial Moving Wall makes a four-day stop in Payson the only place in Arizona the exhibit will be available to the public from May 4 through 8.

Coon fire burns 6,300 acres

The latest numbers on the Coon Creek Fire prove its strength.

Lazaro Gonzalez isn't after freedom; just a free lunch

I cannot ignore the letter by Marilynn Leisch in the April 28 edition of the Payson Roundup, in which she insults the "uninformed" people who answered a question asked by an "irresponsible" journalist in the Street Talk column of the April 25th Roundup because she apparently did not agree with the answers that were given.

Hot off the press

Students make News for first time in decades

Payson High School teacher Tim Fruth and the students in his computer applications class revived a Payson High School tradition last week that had been dead for18 years.

Roosevelt still hot-spot for fishing, despite fire

There's a fire raging near Roosevelt Lake but the inferno hasn't hindered fishing.

Special Olympians compete this weekend

Payson has long carried the reputation of fielding some of the most accomplished athletes on the state Special Olympics scene.

Horns lose coin toss to Jackets, enter big show as fourth seed

By virtue of an 11-7 eight-inning upset of the homestanding Show Low Cougars Friday afternoon, the Longhorn baseball team accomplished its season-long goal of advancing to the Class 3A state tournament.

A wall that stands for freedom

This weekend, the memory of 58,213 men and women will visit the Rim country. Payson has the distinct honor of hosting the Vietnam Memorial Wall exhibit Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Green Valley Park.

Jury awards $1.4 million to mine shaft victim's widow

A jury has awarded Linda Wagenknecht of Payson $1.403 million in damages for the 1994 death of her husband, Danny Wagenknecht, who was killed when he fell 50 feet down an abandoned mine shaft.

Criminal investigation into missing CABR funds

Jill Morgan, president of the Central Arizona Board of Realtors, confirmed last week that Payson Police are moving forward with the criminal investigation into the embezzlement of funds from the firm's various accounts.