What's Up?

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Q: Just prior to rodeo weekend, I noticed a dramatic increase in the number of bald police officers roaming around town. Was this some sort of hazing ritual, or is there some other reason for the sudden chrome dome syndrome?

A: Some other reason, Sgt. Rod Mamero said.

"It's a rodeo tradition that started a few years ago, a way to develop 'esprit de corps,'" he said. "It started a few years ago, and we found that it was not only cooler for those working rodeo weekend, but also was good for morale."

Q: How are we doing with precipitation totals this year? It seems like we're having a good monsoon season.

A: It seemed that way to Payson Fire Chief John Ross too, so he decided to take a closer look. To date this year, Payson has received a total of 17.81 inches of precipitation. Depending on what numbers you believe, Payson averages somewhere between 20 and 22 inches of precipitation per year. Considering that the average annual rainfall has been "predominantly below normal" since 1989 including totals of 18.58 and 18.92 in 1999 and 2000 respectively this year's total is encouraging.

Even better, Payson has received 4.52 inches of precipitation so far this month. The August average is just 3.23 inches and we still have a week to go.

But the best news from the chief's standpoint is that the rains have come at a good time to reduce the danger of wildland fires.

Q: What is the status of the free boxcars on the property at Main Street and McLane that you guys did the story on? Any takers?

A: Main Street Manager Karen Greenspoon reports that her phone rang off the wall with calls from people who want to own their very own boxcar.

First in line was Gila County, which is interested in using them to store confiscated items at their impound lot, County Administrator Steve Besich said.

"We have pretty much left it up to Joe Mendoza of planning and zoning to evaluate their condition and see if they can be easily moved," Besich said.

If, for any reason, the county opts out, there are about 10 people on a waiting list, Greenspoon said, including some who are just chomping at the bit. We'll keep you posted on their final disposition.

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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