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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?

A: The large store at the southeast corner of Highways 87 and 260 behind McDonald's has actually remained empty for months. The owner of the complex, George Harrison, said that should soon change.

"We finally signed a contract with them last week," Harrison said, "so they're going to start paying rent July 1, whether they're in there or not."

Laurie Thomas, director of marketing for Goodwill, said one of the delays has been obtaining the necessary permits from the town and sanitary district.

"We've been through the sanitary district and have that permit," she said. "Now, we're waiting on the fire sprinkler plan permit."

The Goodwill philosophy, she said, was not just to run a thrift-donation store, but to operate a workforce development program, offering opportunities to people who have barriers to employment.

Thomas said she expects the store to open by mid-July, and Goodwill is now searching for a store manager and sales associates. The store will be open seven days a week, she said, carrying more than 70,000 items, with about 4,000 new items each day.

To learn about job opportunities with Goodwill, contact Betty Moreno at (602) 254-2222, ext. 151.

Q: I've heard that a new telephone company has acquired the exchange here in the Tonto Village-Christopher Creek area, and that as soon as they take over sometime this summer, our now-local calls to Payson will become long-distance calls.

A: Citizens Communications is indeed in the process of trying the purchase the Tonto Creek exchange along with 38 others in Arizona, for a total of 165,000 access lines from Qwest in a deal that will be completed in late June, if all goes well.

In that event, Citizens Communications specialist Jack Morrow said, "Everything will be status quo. Everything will remain the same. The only things that will change is the company logo on your bill and the color of the utility trucks."

Q: Why isn't the coverage of PHS girls softball spread around a little more? It seems like Brenna Zumbro is always featured in all the stories. And why doesn't the junior varsity receive more coverage?

A: According to Max Foster, Roundup sports reporter, "There is no conscious effort made to feature any single player. We simply report the results of the game. However, Brenna Zumbro does have an 8-0 pitching record right now, which leads the team, so she has been mentioned prominently in several stories."

Another factor in coverage at both varsity and junior varsity levels, Foster said, is the cooperation the media receives from the coaches.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association advises coaches to develop trusting relationships with members of the media and to respect deadlines by sending results and statistics in a timely fashion.

"It often comes down to cooperation from the coaches," Foster said. "If they send us results, we do everything we can to get it in the paper."

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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