Stories for April 2001


Monday, April 30

Explosion rocks neighborhood

Fire destroys two-story home

It started with a loud Sunday evening explosion powerful enough to blow an 8-foot-by-12-foot garage door 30 feet away.

Joker's Night Out was no joke

We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused by the cancellations of our dinner, Joker's Night Out on Friday, April 27.

The dreams and aspirations of the Lady Longhorn softball team to earn a berth into the state tournament have been fulfilled.

The dreams and aspirations of the Lady Longhorn softball team to earn a berth into the state tournament have been fulfilled.

Payson should become a town with a vintage

I recently visited Payson after almost 34 years. While a student at the American Graduate School in International Management in Phoenix, I made many trips to Payson to enjoy the extraordinary Mazatzal Wilderness and wonderful small town atmosphere.

OK for south Pine water expected soon

A single water line in south Pine, which has been testing positive for coliform bacteria, is anticipated to be given a clean bill of health either late today or tomorrow morning, a Gila County Health Department official said Tuesday.

Joseph Mecey

Joseph Edward Mecey, 82, of Scottsdale and Payson, died April 25, 2001. He was born Aug. 18, 1919, in Phoenix.

Tribal land exchange up for final public review

Payson residents are about to get one last chance to officially voice their views on the Tonto Apache Tribe's proposed 273-acre Forest Service land exchange.

Former deputy opts to take plea agreement

Former Gila County Sheriff's Deputy Larry Marrs has agreed to a plea agreement with the county attorney's office that would allow him to plead guilty to one charge of making a false sworn statement.


Duke Wilbanks

"I just wanted to show her how much I love and really care for her," Duke Wilbanks says of his wife, Peggy. "You know, you can tell your wife that you love her, but it's the things that you do voluntarily, without expecting anything back, that really lets them know how you feel."

Golfers advance to state finals

A school record two-day tally of 600 has fueled the Longhorn golf team to the 3A East region championship.

Young athletes may be key to state win

With the East regional track and field championships set for Friday and Saturday in Lakeside, the Longhorns' goal is to qualify as many athletes as possible for the state meet one week later in Chandler.

Pirches catch 2nd at AllStar Bass meet

The husband-and-wife angling team of Clifford and Alicia Pirch fished their way to second-place honors at the AllStar Bass Couples Invitational held Saturday at Lake Pleasant.

Hunt stars on third base at college

Former Lady Longhorn three-sport star Molly Hunt, 21, wrapped up her junior college softball career Saturday as the starting third baseman for Eastern Arizona College.

Lombardo, Lord wed

Melissa Sue Lombardo and Edward Nathaniel Lord were married April 7, 2001, at Apache Wells in Mesa. The maid of honor was Kristi Lombardo.

Smith, Waggoner to wed

Arlene Adkins

Arlene Adkins, 64, of Payson died April 29, 2001. She was born May 26, 1936, in Columbia Falls, Mont. She lived for many years around Kalispell, Mont. and had lived the past few years in Payson. She was a self-employed housekeeper.

Suspect escapes police chase

A routine traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase through local neighborhoods Friday evening, ending on a dead-end road in Strawberry.

'Class Dismissed' is last act

The Payson High School drama department will close its 2000-2001 season with "Class Dismissed" a two-act comedy that offers "a powerful commentary on classroom apathy."

Drawing on new experiences

Art league gives students opportunity to show off

Many people who relocate to the Rim country consider themselves lucky to have found such a paradise, but don't count Adrienne Crim, a junior at Payson High School, among them.

Hazardous household cleanup Saturday

Most people don't associate hazardous waste with the products stashed under their sinks or stowed in their garages, but many everyday cleaners can be harmful to the environment if they're not disposed of properly.

William Rogers

William Alfred Rogers, 68, of Payson, died April 28, 2001. He was born Oct. 12, 1932, in Pennsylvania and had lived in Arizona for the past 30 years.


Happiness is not something you swallow or inhale

Two stories in the news recently caught my attention. One was twin sisters who created such a huge ruckus on an airplane bound for China that the pilot was forced to land at Anchorage, Alaska. The twins, whose violent behavior began after downing several alcoholic drinks served to them legally by attendants, were arrested for their bad behavior, not their imbibing.

Slap-on-the-wrist sentence belittles police officer's life

It's not often one can point to a court ruling, and call it a true travesty of justice.


Q: Why do they keep dumping hundreds of gallons of water over on Payson Parkway where they've been working on a well for several weeks now? If it's fresh water, isn't there a way to contain that and save it, and if it's contaminated water, isn't there a problem with letting it just run on the ground and contaminate our aquifers?

Free landfills would make for cleaner forests

As a former bureaucrat, I am always puzzled as to the short-sightedness of those of us in government.

Saturday, April 28

Review Feature

Learning to be clock-wise

If days were 36 hours long and there were 9 or 10 of them in every week, maybe we could get through our "things-to-do" lists and still have time for little personal pleasures like, oh, sitting down.

Around the Rim Country

Men's rules of the road

Last week we used an all-woman's quote book to feature the fairer sex saying some great, near-great and sorta-great things.

Thursday, April 26

Parks & Recreation

Youth T-Ball and Girls Softball Registration

Registration for the youth T-Ball and all girls softball programs ends April 27. The T-Ball program is for boys and girls who are ages 4-7 as of Aug. 1, 2001. The girls softball program is for girls who are ages 7 -15 as of Aug. 1, 2001. Divisions are as follows:

Payson math whiz wins state competition

Quick. What's 17 plus 8?

Inspector: Boil water in Pine

The Payson Health Department has found coliform bacteria in the Pine water supply, and health officials are encouraging residents to boil tap water or use bottled water until the problem is corrected.


Library has top-shelf book buys

The best book buys in town can be found at the Payson Pubic Library. The staff is diligently culling books from the shelves to get ready for the library's long-awaited move to a bigger building in Rumsey Park. The Library Friends also are contributing books. Hardcovers are two for a $1, paperbacks are six for a $1 and the proceeds benefit the library.


Q: It seems like months ago that the Goodwill sign went up where Star Video used to be, but the store has never materialized. What's happening there?

Taking baths, or growing tomatoes?

I found the article in Tuesday's paper concerning water usage very interesting enough so I researched our water usage at home.

The other side of the merchant's coin

This is a rebuttal to your April 3 student mail call "Give Teens a Chance" by Danielle Goebel. As an employee of a local store, I have seen it all.

Enforcement of existing laws will alleviate problems

It is ironic that, after writing the article regarding shooting and the public safety issue, which letter was published in the Tuesday Payson Roundup,

Harold, Spear to marry

Chris Harold of Payson and Tiffany Spear of Pine will be married Saturday, April 28. The groom's parents are Harley and Shirley Harold of Payson.

Troutman, Bowan to wed

Robert and Adrianne Troutman of Payson and Bob and Debbie Bowan of Globe announce the marriage of their children, Shannon Troutman and Steven Bowan, at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the Payson Elks Lodge.

Frederick Olney

Frederick Darwin Olney, 80, of Payson, died April 25, 2001. He was born June 26, 1920, in Utica, N.Y.

Lela Martin

Lela Belle Martin, 87, of Payson, died April 24, 2001, in Payson. She was born Oct. 8, 1913, in Fayetteville, Ark.

Bob Gould

Bob L. Gould, 67, of Arkansas, died April 22, 2001. He was born May 10, 1933, in Saginaw, Mich.

Lucille Burchield

Lucille Billie Burchield, 90, of Payson, died April 24, 2001. She was born Feb. 21, 1911, in Jenkins, Okla.

Thelma Armstrong

Thelma Helen Armstrong, 93, of Payson, died April 20, 2001, in Payson. She was born Sept. 21, 1907, in Clay City, Ill.

Teen racer burnin' rubber in motocross competition

Adolescent life couldn't get much more exciting for 14-year-old Yanni Krehbiel.

Lady Longhorns still in race for state berth

Back-to-back East regions wins early this week have put the Lady Longhorns in position to earn a berth into the state tournament.

It's crunch time for Pettet's crew

After hanging on for a 9-8 win over Blue Ridge Tuesday afternoon, the Longhorn baseball squad might want to tap the Bee Gee's disco hit "Stayin' Alive" as their team song.

Payson wins 5 golds at rained-out AJ meet

In most prep Class 3A track and field meets, younger athletes find themselves battling older and more seasoned juniors and seniors. That fact of life makes the playing field somewhat uneven for those just learning the sport.

LaHaye named All-American

Attaining All-America high school status is a prestigious honor only a select few ever attain. But through hard work and dedication, some uniquely talented athletes like Payson High School senior R. C. LaHaye eventually reach the pinnacle of prep success and earn the national laurels.

Drug scare prompts school to ban candy

Sour Powder. Pixy Stix. Crazy Dips.

Town council may consider conservation

Commercial water users account for the largest share of winter consumption increases, Public Works Director Buzz Walker told the town council at a special water meeting Thursday night.

Celebrating the open road

It's been more than 30 years since work began on Highway 87, the Rim country's "beeline" to the Valley of the Sun.


Our little community was rocked as the phone chain worked its way from Payson to Pine and Strawberry, carrying the tragic news of Gail Phylow's death.

Drip irrigation helps gardeners waste,want not

Editor's note: This is the third in a seven-part series on water-wise gardening techniques for the Rim country. Each installment, written by local author and garden expert Barbara Bourscheidt, will appear in the Friday issue of the Roundup.

Xeriscaping: See how these low-water-use gardens grow

Xeriscaping is a key component of the town's plan to maximize Payson's water supply.

Take the first step before they step out

While attending a father and son camping trip a few years ago, I was casually hiking along a trail, not paying much attention to what was ahead of me, when suddenly I heard what sounded like a pulsing electrical current.

Officials mull off-road options

Off-highway vehicles are increasingly popular modes of entertainment in Arizona's back country, yet the rules governing OHVs vary from forest to forest.

Fair will be crawling with wildlife

The snakes will be back in Green Valley Park Saturday, May 5 as will the Gila monsters and the monster trout for Payson's 7th Annual Wildlife Fair and Fishing Fest.

Payson loses fast Internet access

Local Webheads who were looking forward to tapping Cybertrails' long-hyped, high-speed DSL Internet connections are out of luck.

Monday, April 23

Restricting off-road vehicles key to preserving peace

The residents of south Star Valley applaud the proposed changes regarding open roads in the national forest (that would make all Forest Service land in Arizona) "closed unless posted open" to control irresponsible access by motorized vehicles.


Q: Is it true that the winner of the museum's recent drawing for a free trip to Washington D.C. was none other than the head of the museum?

Recycling is still an important issue

Before the Payson Town Council intervened in the recycling issue, Road Runner Rubbish Removal was prepared to initiate a curbside recycling service for a nominal fee. Road Runner is an established business in this area and, in my experience, has been very reliable.

Environmental groups' interference can have 'tragic' results

In your April 17 edition on page 10A is an article from the Tucson paper about an environmental group, the Center for Biological Diversity, that is filing suit against the Forest Service to have them stop the thinning of the forest and stop logging in some areas because of the suspicion that the good old spotted owl might use that part of the forest to breed. It wants the Forest Service to do long, expensive studies to find out if this is true.


Frost warms community with spirit, generosity

What you are about to read is an interview by proxy.

Cunningham, Daniels to wed

Michelle Leigh Cunningham and Dustin Jack Daniels will be married May 5 in the Prescott Resort garden in Prescott.

Thelma Armstrong

Thelma Helen Armstrong, 93, of Payson, died April 20, 2001, in Payson. She was born Sept. 21, 1907, in Clay City, Ill.

Lady Mavs win in 5-way meet

The Rim Country Middle School girls track team turned in a nice effort at Show Low last week. In a five-way White Mountain League meet, the Lady Mavericks ran roughshod over Show Low, Cibicue, Heber Capps and St. Johns by amassing 217 points. The host Cougars finished second (153) and St. Johns (69) was third.

Rate hike plan riles Rim Trail users

A proposed 37.5-percent rate increase has fanned the flames of an ongoing political fight between the board members of the Rim Trail Domestic Water Improvement District and a number of the 92 customers it serves.

Council reviews river walk plan

The Payson Town Council will consider spending up to $17,300 Thursday to determine whether the town can feasibly build a river walk in the American Gulch flood plain near Main Street. Town Manager Rich Underkofler will ask the council to fund a survey of the area, a title investigation, soil tests and an appraisal of one of the three properties within the American Gulch flood plain.

Kenton Blosser

Kenton V. "Vic" Blosser, 54, of Sun City, Ariz., died at his home April 19, 2001. He was born Oct. 6, 1946, in Goshen, Ind. Mr. Blosser was a longtime resident of Arizona and recently retired as president and owner of Southwest Audio Visual in Phoenix.

Alfonso Coppelli

Alfonso Coppelli, 89, of Payson, died April 16, 2001, in Payson. He was born Oct. 19, 1911, in Mulchen, Chile.

Harold, Spear to marry

Chris Harold of Payson and Tiffany Spear of Pine will be married at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the home of the bride's parents, Gene and Andrea Mawby of Pine.

Study: Water use up

Town of Payson residents are using more water than projected three years ago, according to a new study by the town water department.

Pettet pulls win out of his sleeve

A trick play Payson High baseball coach Teddy Pettet used only four times in 15 years has kept the Longhorns in the thick of the East region pennant chase.

Transport officer dies en route with prisoner

A 31-year-old transport officer who was accompanying a prisoner to Globe Sunday died on the way, according to Gila County deputies.

PHS golfers tune up for East showdown

With the East region championships set for Friday and Saturday at Pinetop Country Club, the Payson High golf team has the opportunity to tune up for the all-important showdown tomorrow (Wednesday) on its home course at the Rim Club.

Jones wins A-flight in PWGA season opener

In a season-opening Payson Women's Golf Association tournament contested under Mutt-and-Jeff rules, Mary Jones, Joyce Goff, Glenda Cook, Doris Lemmage and Wilma Smith claimed first-place honors in their respective flights.


Regular exercise can help asthmatics breathe easier

When my second son, Josh, was just a few years old, he was diagnosed with asthma. Suddenly Candace and I had a lot of questions, not the least of which was: What will it be like for him growing up? Will he be able to enjoy the active life of a little boy?

Register now for PAHH Wildflower 5K

The annual Wildflower 5K spring walk/run, sponsored in past years by the Town Parks and Recreation Department, has taken on a new look.

Xeriscape a water-wise alternative

Water is the issue that dominates life in the Rim country, and according to a new study for good reason.


Wrestling with the Imp of the Perverse

There are doubtless few, if any, high school graduates of the past 50 or more years who were not exposed to the macabre writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Could any 15-year-old have failed to feel his or her own heart thumping in sync with "The Tell-Tale Heart?" Didn't we all shiver just a bit when the teacher read aloud those sonorous words, "Quoth the Raven, nevermore?"

Prepping for prom night

Like most rites of passage, prom night burns itself in your memory with the effectiveness of molten lead on butter. It marks the beginning of a transformation, the start of something new and exciting, an entry into a radically different world.

Teacher earns fellowship with classroom innovations

Rim Country Middle School teacher Joe Schmidt, who was recently recognized as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, says he has young people pretty much figured out.

Search on hold for Valley murder suspect

Despite reports that murder suspect Robert Fisher was cornered in a cave near Young Friday, police are no closer this week to finding the man they think killed his wife and two children before blowing up his Scottsdale home.

Public safety issue regarding shooting in the forest a sham

Regarding the Payson Roundup's article concerning the Forest Service's proposed closure of Tonto National Forest to shooting:

Payson residents should carry 'community checklist'

Every year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation selects 12 cities and towns across America as "picturesque, proud of their heritage, fun places to visit ..."

Payson doesn't need a slice of pie-in-the-sky

Regarding the potential relocation of The Door Stop facility to Payson, some additional thoughts are:

Saturday, April 21

Review Feature

The medicinal value of laughter

Medical science has yet to prove whether it's actually true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But they do know beyond any doubt that frequent doses of laughter have a direct correlation to our health and well-being.

Around the Rim Country

Giving women their say

This is a self-serving attempt to make up in one column for all the slights both perceived and imagined that I have visited upon the gender feminine. These slights include, but are not limited to:

Thursday, April 19

Dancing 'old codger's' favorite exercise

I've always felt romantic before and after a dance. I'm 89 years old and my young wife, Betty, is only 78.

Payson businesses stars of the show

Payson's 2001 Business Showcase is making its ninth appearance today (Friday) and Saturday in and around a giant tent in the parking lot of the new Rim Country Mall located on Highway 260.

Murder suspect hunt reaches Rim country

Within moments of receiving a tip from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Department, officers from three local law enforcement agencies were scrambling Thursday afternoon, searching for Scottsdale murder suspect Robert Fisher.

Road rally to cruise through Rim country

More than 60 of the world's rarest and most beautiful cars will make a pit stop in Payson Sunday, April 22, as their drivers participate in the 11th Annual Mercedes-Benz Copperstate 1000 road rally.

Spring garden planning saves time, water, money

Editor's note: This is the second in a seven-part series on water-wise gardening techniques for the Rim country. Each installment, written by local author and garden expert Barbara Bourscheidt, will appear in the Friday issue of the Roundup.


Hundreds hunt for hidden treasures

Last Saturday, hundreds of Pine-Strawberry little ones scrambled through grass and manzanita in search of colorful eggs left by the Easter Bunny and his volunteers. Inside the eggs, children found candy and prizes. T-shirts, toys and gift certificates were just some of the prizes the Rim Country Kiwanis gathered and gave out Saturday.

Strawberry teenager burns up lanes in Southwest Regional tournament

Strawberry resident Alan Prewitt, 14, bowled his way to the championship of the Southwest Regional Junior Bowlers Tournament held April 7 at Tempe Village Lanes. The victory was Alan's first on the junior tournament trail.

Payson Parks & Recreation

Take A Hike! (to Tunnel Trail)

Dunman's girls squeak out 5-4 win over Holbrook

Despite turning in a masterful no-hitter, Lady Longhorn pitcher Rachel Ray barely escaped Tuesday afternoon with a victory.

Diamond crew thumps Holbrook

A pregame meeting, in which players had the opportunity to hash over issues affecting their play, might have been just what the doctor ordered.


Q: What's the problem with those lazy people at Payson Parks and Recreation. It seems all they do is sit at their office by the lake, and they never go out and check for fishing licenses. What are we paying them for?

Instinct to survive calls for drastic measures

This is my response to Ron Hamric's recent letter to the editor wherein he states that he sees "little difference between the motives of the illegal aliens and common thieves. Both are simply seeking to 'better themselves' at the expense of others."

Resignation renews resident's respect for chamber

I am not known for my poetry, but rather for my tall tales. But after reading the Tuesday (April 17) paper, I could not resist sending you my latest poem.

Private property is basis of all rights

The April 6, 2001 issue (of the Roundup) contained an interesting fantasy piece by Professor Richard E. Wentz. I completely agreed with exactly one sentence of his, to wit, "The point is, the understanding and practice of private property must change if we are to survive in this cosmos."

Next chamber manager could make a world of difference

The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce is poised for an important change one we hope the chamber board will weigh carefully.

Lila Stufflebeam

Lila Marie Stufflebeam, 75, died April 18, 2001 in Payson. She was born Dec. 14, 1925 in Tomah, Wis.

Volunteers begin training to back local police officers

Within the next few months, a few dozen local residents will don uniforms and badges in an effort to assist the local police force.

P-S student suspended for making gun threats

A Pine-Strawberry Elementary School student who threatened to harm himself and another student with a gun last week has been suspended.

County plans hefty rate hikes for landfills

As of July, what you throw away at Buckhead Mesa landfill is going to cost you more.

Firm's recycling claims mostly rubbish

More than 400 Payson residents plunked down $19.20 each for a year's worth of recycling service, and in the past four months, their newspapers, magazines, bottles and cans were picked up by Arizona Recycling Curbside Specialists.

Customer fights $1.60 error and wins

It was just one in a pile of monthly bills, and the amount in question was only $1.60, which would hardly send anyone into bankruptcy court.

Public can help restore historic cabin

Those who've never been to a chinking party will get a chance to attend one in May at the Rim Country Museum.

Anna Mae Peace

Anna Mae Hale Peace, 80, of Gisela died April 4, 2001, and was buried in the Gisela Pioneer Cemetery April 7.

Lady Horns make tracks for state three-peat

As the Lady Longhorns heat up the track in late-season practice sessions, speculation grows about the team's chances of a state championship three-peat.

Monday, April 16

Realignment of Houston Mesa Road still in limbo

Important note to those residents of north Payson who are holding their breath, waiting for the planned Houston Mesa Road realignment and reconstruction to become a reality:

Blanche Maglione

Blanche Bessie Maglione, 86, of Payson, died April 14, 2001, in Payson. She was born June 5, 1914, in Akron, Ohio.

Meeting may pave way to protecting open roads

On Tuesday, April 24 at 5 p.m. in the Payson High School auditorium, the U.S. Forest Service will hold a public open house regarding proposed changes in its land-use policies for all of northern Arizona's national forest lands.

Chamber CEO resigns

After working two and a half years as the chief executive officer of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tom Kaleta has decided to call it quits.

William Davis

William S. Davis, 74, of Payson, died April 15, 2001, in Payson. He was born Aug. 1, 1926, in Dayton, Ohio.

Ruby Bondurant

Ruby Alice Bondurant, 83, of Phoenix, died April 14, 2001. She was born March 18, 1918, in Pine, Ariz. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, president of the Church Relief Society for 10 years, a member of the Historical Society of Pine and a member of the Daughters of the Pioneers.

Gladys Bailey

Gladys Mable Bailey, 83, of Payson, died April 14, 2001. Gladys was a homemaker.


Fast forward through the cyberjunk

Like most things in life, having a computer is a mixed blessing. I found 87 e-mails on mine when I returned home from a two-week absence recently. About 90 percent of them were "forwards" from various friends, relatives and mere acquaintances on whose e-mail list my name resides.

payson people

Kay Loftfield

"When I was a little girl," remembers 91-year-old Kay Loftfield, "my mother called me Pollyanna, because every morning I would jump out of bed certain that something nice and exciting was going to happen. And I still expect something nice or something happy every day. I can't help it. There's always a reason to go on. If you didn't have that, where would you be?"

Beeline two weeks from completion

Travelers heading north on the Beeline Highway will notice their drive is a little shorter, with a completely different view as they head from Fountain Hills to Payson.

Ox Bow may house Cowboy Hall of Fame

As the Arizona Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum starts to take shape in the minds of the committee members putting the project together, the historic Ox Bow Saloon remains in the running to become the attraction's home.

Airport expansion won't bring brown pollution cloud to Payson

In response to Carl and Judy Fox's concern expressed over possible expansion of the Payson Airport, I agree in wishing to keep growth minimal and beneficial to the local quality of life.

Edward Winters, Jr.

Edward Stuart Winters, Jr. 81, of Show Low, Ariz. died April 13, 2001, in Payson. He was born Oct. 3, 1919, in Minneapolis, Minn. Mr. Winters was a switchman for the railroad and retired in 1985.

Dawn B. Weihermiller

Dawn B. Weihermiller, 83, of Payson, died April 6, 2001. She was born Sept. 4, 1917, to George S. and Beatrice T. Carlson in Seattle, Wash.

Mastering the art of change

The most incredible detail of Cherie Cloudt-Powell's career in oil painting is not that she was one of only 19 artists in the country asked to contribute some of her artwork to one of the most prestigious charity auctions last month.

Workshop organizers counting on show of community support

Parents and the rest of the community can find out why Rim country educators are so excited about the Character Counts program at a Parents for Character Workshop from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at the Payson High School auditorium.

Hospice 'angels deserve our heartfelt appreciation'

April 22-28 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.

Jail time is a judge's decision

As Gila County Attorney, I wish to respond to a recent letter to the editor from Megan O'Neil regarding Rocky Castaneda.

Hurray for Payson's medical professionals

How fortunate Payson-area residents are to have such fine medical services available. We hope they don't take them for granted because they aren't the (norm). Whatever Payson, the hospital and the medical community are doing to encourage their professionals to focus on excellent patient care, identify those factors and keep it up.

Coach Pirch 'made champions of us all'

I heard recently that coach Dennis Pirch was considering hanging up the whistle, but I still can't believe it's true. I enjoyed very much the article about his career and its span of 28 years.


Walk in forest proves every day has its dog

This is the way it really happened. You see, I have these two dogs. One of them is mostly border collie, with a few touches out of wedlock from some Australian shepherd along the way.

Caring people can solve local cat crisis

The Payson Humane Society is in the midst of a cat crisis. The society's tiny shelter on Main Street is housing more than 70 cuddly felines, many of which are on the short list to be euthanized.

Lack of trails agreement blocks planned subdivision

"A trail runs through it," and because the developers of a proposed gated community haven't guaranteed public access to the Forest Service trails system, their project is now on hold.

Door Stop's Payson options still open

Lawyers for the Town of Payson and The Door Stop, the cabinet door manufacturing company that wants to move from Chandler to property south of Payson Municipal Airport, have once again moved in to try and iron out the details of a 30-year lease/purchase option.

Saturday, April 14

Around the Rim Country

IRS lays an egg on Easter Sunday

Talk about your harmonic convergence. When's the last time Easter Sunday has fallen on April 15? The very day we have to settle up with Uncle Sam.

Review Feature

Surviving your daughter's date with destiny

I'm worried. My 11-year-old daughter will soon want to start dating. And with my luck, she'll probably want to date boys.

Thursday, April 12

Ex-probation chief's 'deal' a disappointment

(I'm) thoroughly disgusted with our judicial system and (Gila) County Attorney Jim Hazel. He played right into felon Rocky Castaneda's hands. Castaneda stole big bucks from Gila County residents. Not only does he not have to serve jail time, but he doesn't have to make full restitution. Wow, what a deal! It pays to be a felon. It makes one wonder about the moral values of those in the legal system.

Council moves forward with community center study

After a protracted debate, the Payson Town Council voted unanimously to move ahead with a feasibility study and needs assessment for a community recreation center at its regular meeting Thursday.

Curbside recycling down for the count

It's finally official: the Rim country's curbside recycling program is dead.

Post office prepares for local tax day rush

American taxpayers get a 24-hour break this year.

Dancing is a good old Payson tradition

Regarding Jim Keyworth's recent (Rim Review) column in which he says dancing in Payson should be banned:C'mon, Jim, dancing in Payson has been going on here since there was a place and a band to dance to.

Suspected robber awaits day in court

Suspected Valley bank robber Michael Molsberry, a Payson resident arrested in late December by local police officers bearing a federal FBI warrant, remains in custody awaiting his day in court.

Beware of the sleeping giant

I was indifferent regarding the outcome of the recent effort to add two cents per dollar to the sales tax on food and beverage purchases at Payson restaurants and bars, possibly because its impact on me personally would have been minimal.

Judge not, lest ye be judged

I am physically disabled. I have a terminal illness. I started working after school at the age of 12. At the age of 16, I began paying into social security. In May of this year, I will be 50. After 10 years of marriage I was divorced. I worked and raised two sons by myself.

April 14, the day the world laughs with you

If you're one of those personality types who fail to find much amusement in anything, you may want to spend tomorrow locked in your room.

Spring Rodeo looking for two grand marshals

If you know anyone who'd be perfect to serve as grand marshal or junior grand marshal in a parade, march this way ... the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee is seeking nominations for two local residents who have what it takes to fill those positions at the Spring Rodeo "Main Event" Parade.

Main Street gets its own board of directors

The Main Street project finally has its own board of directors. And no one is happier about that slow-coming turn of events than Karen Greenspoon, the program's recently appointed coordinator. "We have come up with a great board," Greenspoon said. The new appointees, will direct the activities of Main Street and act as an advisory board to the Town of Payson.

Experts explain 'new economy'

Rim country businesses may miss the boat if they don't launch quickly into the sea of the "new economy" the topic of discussion at a Thursday morning meeting co-sponsored by the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation.

Barbara McKee

Barbara Lewis McKee, 78, of Payson, died March 5, 2001 in Payson. She was born Sept. 25, 1922 in Geneva, Idaho.

Helen Phillips

Helen Phillips, 86, of Payson, died April 9, 2001, in Payson. She was born March 25, 1915, in Sioux City, Iowa.

Division of church and state keeps balance

During his election campaign, President George W. Bush promised voters, that if elected, he would direct public money into faith-based charities.

Immigration rules preserve nation's social fabric

I just read the letter to Mail Call from an eighth-grade student concerning the plight of Mexican Nationals and their pursuit of a better life. I would simply ask this young person, "What type of label should be put on someone who enters your house uninvited, takes things that rightfully belong to you, and does it all in as secretive a manner as possible?"

Harvesting runoff for lush gardens

Editor's note: This is the first in a seven-part series on water-wise gardening techniques for the Rim country. Each installment, written by local author and garden expert Barbara Bourscheidt, will appear in the Friday issue of the Roundup.

Gail Phylow

Gail Marie Culver Phylow, 46, of Payson, died April 8, 2001 in Payson. She was born Jan. 25, 1955, in Ft. Collins, Colo.

Girls track legs in a win at Chino Valley Invitational

A well-rounded team effort that produced nine gold medals lifted the two-time defending state champion Lady Longhorns to yet another meet crown.

Pirch reign ends at Payson High

His program reached the epitome of success 10 state championships, 23 regional titles, more than 100 tournament championships and a top-20 national ranking.

Wheelchair Suns roll in for benefit game next Saturday

Players will be burning rubber at the Wilson dome next Saturday, April 21, when the Payson Hot Wheels take on the Banner Wheelchair Suns in a benefit basketball game. Proceeds from the 5th annual wheelchair grudge match will be used to buy books, equipment and other materials for Rim country children with special needs.


Q: There's an "Opening Soon" sign on the Swiss Village Bakery. When is it opening and what is it going to be?

ScriptSave to offer discount prescriptions

Payson's uninsured or underinsured patients, as well as seniors who lost their Medicare HMO prescription drug coverage as of January 2001, can now take advantage of a new prescription drug discount program which offers instant point-of-sale discounts of up to 35 or 50 percent at local participating pharmacies.

Monday, April 9


The big, brown recliner enfolds her in its protective arms day and night, hour after hour, day after day, week after week. Her son bought the chair for her before she left his home to take up residence at the nursing home. She couldn't breathe, lying in bed, she said, even though it could be raised at the top or the bottom.

Volunteers ham it up in science class

Local radio station KMOG is about to pick up a host of new listeners.

The art of color

The students enrolled in B.J. Sherrill's Art 102 class at Eastern Arizona College in Payson are learning to look at color in new ways.

JRE searching for new principal

The search is under way for a new principal for Julia Randall Elementary School.

Council considers easing home business rules

Relaxing zoning regulations that constrain home-based Internet businesses tops a long agenda for the Payson Town Council's regular meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall.

Bobbi Hlavaceck

The tale of how Bobbi Hlavacek's family ended up moving from Machias, Maine, all the way to Payson 18 years ago surely ranks as one of the shortest stories ever told.

Bradley pitches a win against Round Valley

Fueled by the yeoman-like pitching efforts of a junior hurler who had not won a game this season, the Payson Longhorns chalked up one of their most impressive wins of the season.

Sunflower bypass now open after weather delay

After a three-day delay due to inclement weather, the new, seven-mile, four-lane stretch of the Beeline Highway known as the Sunflower bypass finally opened to northbound traffic Monday.

Wheelchair Suns roll into town April 21

One of the fun events of the spring is the Payson Hot Wheels vs. the Banner Wheelchair Suns benefit basketball game April 21 in Wilson Dome. Tip off time for the classic is 7 p.m.

Out with the mold at PES

While clean-up efforts at Payson Elementary School have reduced fungus and mold contamination, the permanent solution changing the school's cooling system from evaporative to air conditioning will take time and money, Principal Roy Sandoval said.

Myrtle Jessup

Myrtle Lucille Jessup, 87, of Happy Jack, died April 7, 2001, in Payson. She was born Dec. 23, 1913, in Washburn, Wis.

Counting on character

Wanted: Young people who are trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring and good citizens. Also wanted: An opportunity for all children to learn these characteristics.

Feeding wildlife puts animals at risk

Urban wildlife specialist, Arizona Game and Fish Department

Girls basketball team deserves recognition

I am writing this letter as a member of the eighth-grade girls basketball team. I would just like everyone to know that we work really hard and that our team is undefeated. I think our team, school, and our town should be proud and happy for the eighth-grade girls because beating a rival like the Snowflake Lobos and being the only team at RCMS this season to have won six out of six games are big accomplishments.

Young poets an 'inspiration'

Thank you for printing poems from the school district poetry contest. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. What a great inspiration for all of us!

Perhaps the wrong people are guiding Payson's growth

How does discrimination feel? Ask Fred Lashley. Recently Fred applied for a use permit with the Town of Payson to operate a used car dealership on south Beeline surrounded by businesses such as a feed store, pawn shop, tire store, auto parts, transmission repair, and a gas station. Fred was told by five out of six (Payson Planning and Zoning commissioners) that his notably clean upstanding business would not be aesthetically up to par for the gateway to Payson.

Special edition a handy resource for new resident

I have consistently been impressed with the quality of the journalism in your newspaper and the variety of subjects covered. But I'm writing today to tell you how much I enjoyed the Progress edition.

Go easy on airport expansion

I would like to express my opinion about airport expansion in Payson. I am not against growth here, but I would like to urge you to consider what this growth means for all the citizens of Payson and those of you who live here, too. I can only hope the growth will be kept to a minimum for as long as possible.


Q: I heard Payson Town Manager Rich Underkofler got a $10,000 raise. Is it true, and what will his salary be?

Friends deliver tomes to homes

"It's a lifesaver. For me, being without books is like starving. I just look forward to having something to read."

Dunman's girls need two wins to stay in state race

Lady Longhorn softball players took to the practice diamond Monday afternoon knowing they were facing one of the most crucial weeks of the campaign.

Cronin, Prestwich to wed

Jessica Dawn Cronin, the daughter of Greta and Dean Cronin, will marry Steven Prestwich, the son of Steven and Sue Prestwich of Snowflake, Ariz., Saturday, April 14 in the Arizona Temple in Mesa.

Walker, Suess to wed

Keely Walker and Ryan Suess will wed at 2 p.m. May 19 at the Radisson Woodlands Hotel in Flagstaff.

Officers have suspect in kidnapping

Gila County Sheriff's detectives say they have a suspect in a reported kidnapping of a Payson teenager from her grandparents' Round Valley home.

State to prosecute case of missing money

An investigation into the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money from the Gila County Public Fiduciary's office has been turned over to the Arizona attorney general for prosecution.

Performance tied to salary increases for teachers

In a quick succession of fell swoops, Payson Unified School District board members last night approved salary schedules for the 2001-2002 school year.

Meeting to help Payson hard-wire for the future

Local business owners can find out how to tap into Gov. Jane Hull's Partnership for the New Economy, which was created to help Arizona compete in today's information-based economy, Thursday, April 12 during a breakfast meeting at Famous Sam's.

Lady Horns relay team continues to set standard

With three state championships to its credit, the Lady Longhorn track and field program has produced some of the best talent in Arizona.

Diamond Skills rescheduled

The Diamond Skills competition has been rescheduled from April 11 to April 21 at Rumsey II (North) ballfield. The competition begins at 2 p.m.

Saturday, April 7

Review Feature

Beth's egg-cellent Easter adventure

Don't let Bethany Beck's upbeat manner fool you. Behind that cheerful smile is someone who has had her share of misfortune and hard times.

Around the Rim Country

Thoughts for the Rim country

I picked up this quote book at a friend's house the other day. You know the kind of book I'm talking about. The most famous is probably "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," and they pretty much all contain the wit and wisdom of famous people like Shakespeare and Plato and Winston Churchill and Mark Twain.

Friday, April 6

Starting a new chapter

Overcoming setbacks and funding delays, Payson Library finally branches out

The story of a community push to build a new public library in Payson, which was beleaguered for nearly 15 years by false starts and funding problems, is finally poised for a happy ending.

Progress in the pines

Pine and Strawberry people make the difference

The villages of Pine and Strawberry, which are joined at the hip beneath the Mogollon Rim, are more than convenience stops where tourists can browse through quaint antique shops and grab a bite to eat at a 1950s-style caf

Building on a dream

After 15 years, Earl Stephens Medical Center ready to open

The Earl Stephens Medical-Community Center, which began as one man's dream, is about to become a valuable resource for an entire community.

Student forum

In the face of graduation, students reflect on their years at Payson High

We asked a group of Payson High School students who are graduating this year to reflect on their education, their years at PHS, and what they have learned about life so far. Here are their responses:


Pumping up performance

Kathe Ketchem is completing her second year as principal of Pine-Strawberry School. The school serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade and is the only school in the Pine-Strawberry district.


Launching lifelong learners

The only principal Frontier Elementary School has ever known, Sue Myers is completing her fifth year as the head of Payson's newest elementary school.


Teaching trends Dynamic teachers make the difference

Principal Roy Sandoval is completing his third year as the head of Payson Elementary School. The 24-classroom school opened its doors in 1987 and currently has 430 students.


In with the new out at the old school

Sue Clark is completing her third year as principal of Payson's oldest operating elementary school. The old stone building, now the school's gym, was once the only schoolhouse in Payson. For the 2000-2001 school year, Julia Randall Elementary School has 389 students.

The middle school method

The district's only middle school has 675 students in grades 6-8. Frank Larby has been the school's principal for three years.

Longhorn lessons

We asked the principals of our public schools to reflect on the past year and on the future to delineate their schools' greatest needs and strengths, to quantify their successes, to identify emerging education trends and explain their goals for tomorrow. Their responses follow on this and the next two pages.

Getting a head start

Specialized schools give students a lift

A federally funded preschool and family referral program, Payson Head Start provides services for lower-income families and children with disabilities in an intimate classroom setting.

Chartering new territory

Alternative schools take different approaches to public education

The Rim country's educational offerings include a small group of charter schools public institutions that provide alternatives to mainstream public education.

A degree of distance

Rim country students going higher with NAU

As Eastern Arizona College-Payson grows, so grows Northern Arizona University-Payson, one of 28 statewide distance learning programs offered by the Flagstaff-based institution.

Halls of higher learning

After a year in operation, classes at EAC-Payson are filling up

Before the new Payson campus of Eastern Arizona College opened in January 2000, a common complaint among students was the high number of classes that were canceled for lack of enrollment.

Taking AIMS

As students continue to miss the mark, educators rethink their approach

The role that the AIMS graduation test will play in Arizona education remains uncertain, with the futures of thousands of students hanging in the balance.

Academic achievements

Local educators strive to clear funding, political hurdles

In an era of educational uncertainty, caused by a state legislature that's never made a strong commitment to children and a new president who wants to create a school voucher system, the Payson School District is pushing forward.

Payson's main event

New coordinator guides Main Street redevelopment

Most of the groundwork on Payson's Main Street redevelopment plan had already been done when Karen Greenspoon was hired in December 2000 as Payson's Main Street Coordinator.

A screening deal

Sawmill Theatres debuts in Payson

For months, Payson movie buffs were on the edge of their seats, waiting to find out who would win the Rim country's "great screen race." At the end of 1999, entrepreneurs Gordon Whiting and George Harrison launched a race against time and one another, in an effort to be the first to build a state-of-the-art movie theater in town. The Rim country had been without a theater since 1998, when Payson's only movie house, the Payson Picture Show, closed its doors.

Captains of industry

Rim country leaders reflect on economic developments

Communities can learn a lesson from nature. Change is a necessary element of life. The business community knows that it must grow or die, even though community members at large don't always understand exactly what that means.

Surviving the times

Payson's economy remains steady

While the national economy began winding down in early 2001, figures from Town Hall suggest that Payson merchants held their own in 2000.

Business profiles


Top 10 draws under the Rim


Merchants of the Millennium

Businesses thrive and dive in the year of Y2K

At the dawn of 2000, many local merchants were apprehensive about their business prospects, not just because they were worried about the Y2K millennium bug, but because it was the first year they had to go head-to-head against a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Visions of Payson

Local leaders share views of past, present and future

We asked seven members of the community to articulate their visions for the Rim country from their particular areas of expertise.

Gaining ground

Tonto Apache Tribe expands business enterprises

By the end of the summer of 2001, the Tonto Apache Tribe plans to have two new businesses up and operating one of them on the reservation, the other off.

Living legends

Certain people make an unforgettable impact; they become legends in their own time

Some people stand out some for their accomplishments, some for their passion, some for their talent and some for possessing sheer, good old-fashioned guts. During their lifetimes, they make a profound impact on the people around them. They help, they lead, they teach, they create. They are our living legends.

Famous last words

Observations, insights and folly from the most notable Rim country quotables

Sometimes, all it takes is a single well-considered or spectacularly ill-considered sentence or two to tell an entire story.

People of influence

For better or worse, Payson's movers and shakers left their marks on 2000

Just as Time magazine once selected Saddam Hussein as its most influential man of the year, the Roundup has chosen self-described entrepreneur Mikiyo Yonemura as one of the Rim country's most influential people of the year 2000. For a brief but memorable period, anyway.

Unsung heroes

Quietly behind the scenes, ordinary people make an extraordinary difference

Every day, a handful of our neighbors work quietly in the background of our lives to make the Rim country a better place.

Great spirit

Bound by tradition, Indian nations celebrate heritage during Payson's first pow wow

Rim country residents and visitors experienced the color and excitement of a grand Native American tradition at the first Tonto Apache Tribal Pow Wow in the fall of 2000 at the Payson Event Center.

Thursday, April 5

William Lee

William Ronald Lee, 78, of San Diego, Calif., died April 1, 2001. He was born May 10, 1922, in Tilghman Island, Md.

Hurray for Payson's medical professionals

How fortunate Payson-area residents are to have such fine medical services available. We hope they don't take them for granted because they aren't the usual case. Whatever Payson, the hospital and the medical community are doing to encourage their professionals to focus on excellent patient care, identify those factors and keep it up.

Wilcats are loved in Arizona and Payson

I would like to respond to Max Foster's (commentary) entitled "Wildcats won't find fans at ASU." That sounds about like the caliber of the ASU fans and alumni self-centered, prejudiced, egotistical and jealous. I won't categorize all A.S.U. fans and alumni in that way, but obviously Mr. Foster is one of them.


Rethinking private property rights

In Kenneth Graham's "The Wind in the Willows," Otter, Rat, and Mole are visiting with Mr. Badger in his home beneath the ground in the Wild Wood. Rat and Otter are busy with river-gossip, so Badger and Mole start sharing ideas about what is home.


Responsibility is key to ending gun violence

Mr. R.L. Green wrote a response to a letter written by Stan Brown. After reading Mr. Green's letter, I decided to again read Mr. Brown's letter. Nowhere in Mr. Brown's letter did he use the word "ban" with regard to guns. He did ask, "Can we not end the availability of guns?"


Tougher DUI legislation brings higher accountability

Anna Peace

Anna Mae Peace, 80, of Gisela, died April 4, 2001, in Gisela. She was born Oct. 21, 1920, in Gisela.

Bonnie Cowan

Bonnie Rose Cowan, 49, of Payson, died April 2, 2001, in Payson. She was born May 28, 1951, in Milwaukee, Wis.


Tax help cometh to Pine one more time

For one last Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Church on Randall Place, free tax-preparation services are available to anyone with a low or moderate income.

Safari Club hunting for local members

Dinner, auction set for April 7

Payson's most exotic sounding service organization is looking for new members.

Beetles' bite bad for ponderosa bark

When Rim country resident Cathy Stevens looks out her kitchen window, she worries because the dark green forest behind her Alpine Heights home is dotted with dead and dying ponderosa pines.

Shuttle service makes last stop

The Payson Express shuttle service which served as a quick connection to the Valley for local businesses, airline travelers and Phoenix-area visitors has closed down and is up for sale.

Payson's population tops 13,600

Traffic has increased, stores are busier and the morning mail is now delivered in the afternoon.

Collector lives in house of cards

The floor of Ed Rakosnik's Rim country home is a maze of cardboard boxes filled to the flaps with baseball cards about 350,000 of them, by his count. They're on the couch, in the chairs, all over the top of his stove, on his kitchen table, under his kitchen table and piled in a nearby storage shed.

Volunteers needed for AJ track meet

Since construction began on the new football bleachers on the south side of the PHS track, coaches, athletes and school administrators have been wondering if the project would be completed by the scheduled April 21 track meet.

Parks and Recreation

Easter Egg Scramble

An Easter egg scramble for children up to 8 years old will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 14 at the Green Valley Park amphitheater.

Hard-hitting Horns couldn't tame Cougars

Conventional baseball wisdom dictates if you out-hit an opponent by a substantial margin, you'll probably walk away with a victory. That wasn't the scenario Tuesday in Show Low, however, when the Longhorns dropped a 16-6 game to the homestanding Cougars.

Tonto Apaches grab gold at Glendale

Battling 90-degree desert heat at Glendale College, Tonto Track and Field team members weren't able to post their usual glowing times and distances.

Golfers on right course for state title

If early season tournament results are a valid indicator, the high-flying Longhorn golf team just stamped itself a state championship contender.

Sprinkle showered with All-Star praise

Payson High boys cross country team wasn't a state championship threat last fall, but that didn't stop coaches from recognizing the efforts of its best runner.

2001 Business Showcase to specialize in surprises

This year's edition of the Business Showcase will be better and more informative than ever, vows Janet Crane, manager of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Medical marvel

PRMC spends $5.1 million and spreads its wings

At a projected budget of $5.1 million, Payson Regional Medical Center is getting an overhaul two new wings, some remodeling and the relocation of the facility's administrative offices.

Medicare Meltdown

Gila County seniors stranded by HMO bailout

In early July 2000, the area's senior HMO members were dealt two blows in less than a week.

Downtown by design

Redevelopment district adds new life to old Main

Main Street saw more action in 2000 than it had in a long time.

Geneiva Bernhagen

Geneiva Ellen Bernhagen, 77, of Tonto Basin, died March 31, 2001, in Payson. She was born Feb. 5, 1924, in Mather, Wis.

Charting change

Plotting the course of our community's progress

Reflecting on the slippery meaning of progress, George Bernard Shaw once noted that "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself."


Q: I heard that a student at Pine-Strawberry Elementary School compiled a "hit list" naming six classmates, and when school officials discovered the list, the student was suspended without any notification to the children's parents. Can you find out what happened?

Welcome to Payson, land of restrictions

The town keeps complaining that building permits are down. I just paid impact fees, building permit fees and sewer fees totalling just over $13,000 in a 20-year-old subdivision.

Students break border barrier

Eight Pine-Strawberry sixth-graders and two seventh-grade ambassadors load up into two school vans.

Water works

Town whittles away at water projects and other top priorities

Rich Underkofler, who has been Payson town manager for five years, thinks the town has come a long way in the past 12 months. And, he said, he's looking forward to another year of steady progress.

Monday, April 2

Modified calendar a positive change

I am writing about the (Payson School District's modified school calendar, which shortens the summer break by two weeks). I think that it will academically help a lot of students. During the summer break, students lose a lot of knowledge that they have acquired from the past year.

The world 'can't be that unfair'

I think there should be some kind of help for the Mexican nationals who come here to get jobs and live here who want good things for their children. They want just as much for their children as U.S. citizens do.

Sharing coupons makes good sense

Do you like to clip out coupons to save cents when buying food at the grocery store?

Progress 'a magnificent contribution to our town'

Today's edition of the Progress is absolutely the finest piece of work imaginable.

'Should not we encourage faith?'

I have just read "Progress" and am impressed by the journalism and photographs.

Privilege comes at a price

All of us moved to Payson for one reason or another, but most of us would agree that it was the serenity or beauty of nature that attracted us.

Important lessons can come in small packages

Roundup reporter Mike Burkett was on vacation in Queenstown, New Zealand, when he heard that 5-year-old Ashley Allen had lost her 18-month battle with brain cancer March 17. Burkett had covered Ashley's medical ups and downs since her original diagnosis in October 1999.

Robert Kuwitzky

Robert Paul Kuwitzky, 74, of Payson, died March 30, 2001, in Payson. He was born Dec. 8, 1926, in Nebraska City, Neb. and had lived in Arizona for the past 31 years.

Campground reopens with new owners, new vision

The Payson Campground has been closed and all but abandoned for four years. Its last two owners failed to keep the business afloat.

Courts crack down on fines

People who owe outstanding fines to the Payson Justice or Magistrate courts shouldn't expect tax refunds from the Arizona Department of Revenue this year.

Forest fire scorches acre near Rim Trail

Fire officials think a forest fire that threatened two homes in the Rim Trail subdivision northeast of Payson Sunday was sparked by smoldering fireplace ashes dumped in the forest.

Solar flares light up the night sky

Rim country residents had prime seats Friday night for a rare southern appearance by the northern lights.


Yesterday I flew across the country. Doing that still fills me with awe, even though air travel has been as ubiquitous as walking throughout my life.

Norman Dudley

Sawmill vet recalls era's golden age

To area newcomers, Payson's days as a sawmill town may seem so long ago and far away that there couldn't possibly be a living, breathing veteran of the era who's not yet of retirement age.

Rumsey Park traffic temporarily rerouted

The main entrance into Rumsey Park near the Rumsey No. 1 ballfield will be closed during the construction of the Payson Public Library and it will remain closed "through most of the summer, probably until September when construction is expected to be finished," Town Engineer LaRon Garrett said.

Academy gives residents inside look at law enforcement

For selected Rim country residents, a 12-week seminar beginning in June will let them in on the tricks of the law enforcement trade.

Doris Henry

Doris G. Henry, 69, of Payson, died March 30, 2001. She was born Dec. 19, 1931, in Phoenix.

Riding the miniature rails

First off, don't ask Payson's Bill Felton why he likes to play with toy trains. Them's fightin' words to a serious model railroader, and Felton is as serious as the breed comes.

Students find rhyme in reason

The French philosopher Voltaire once said, "Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls."

Give teens a chance

My letter is concerning (businesses) discriminating against teens.

Gordon Collins

Gordon Rocky Collins, 50, of Payson, died March 29, 2001. He was born Dec. 6, 1950.

Modified calendar a plus for students

I am writing this letter in regard to the modified school calendar idea, (which shortens the summer recess by about two weeks and provides short breaks for students throughout the school year).

Payson needs a recreation center

I'm writing about the activities in Payson. I think that the Town of Payson should open up a recreational center for the kids.

Sophomore sensation scores on the mound

Unlike baseball coach Teddy Pettet, Lady Horn softball coach Will Dunman never has to fret over finding a pitching ace. Whenever the Lady Horn coach needs a complete game gem, he simply turns to sophomore pitching sensation Rachel Ray.

Hardt steps up track practice for Chino Valley Invitational

Since the prep track and field season got off to a hard-chargin' start in February, it's been a rare week the Longhorns haven't participated in a Wednesday meet.

Beall relies on experience to fill Higley's new coaching staff

Former head coaches serving as assistants is one of the greatest assets of any high school athletic program. Because head coaches have waded through the trials and tribulations of leading an entire program including freshmen through seniors most bring a wealth of knowledge to the playing field.

Pettet's son leads Longhorns hurlers

If the Longhorn baseball team (10-6 overall, 3-2-1 in the East) is to regain the state championship won in 1999, coach Teddy Pettet must soon uncover a first-line pitcher who can hurl effectively through regional and state tournaments.

Jumps needed in Payson

Superman seat-grab, 360 nac-nacs, 180 can-cans, X-ups, and bar spins.

Changing school calendar a bad idea

I disagree with changing the (school) schedule for the middle school (to shorten the summer recess and add short breaks throughout the school year). I like having long summers.

'Thank you Mrs. Ward'

My name is Amanda Palandri. I am in eighth grade, but I still look back to my sixth-grade year when I had a teacher named Mrs. Nicole Ward (Dudley). She has become one of the most helpful, inspiring people I have ever had the chance or privilege to know.