What'sup?

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Q: In the Oct. 5 issue of the Roundup there was a "What's Up" question about building some kind of facility for dirt bikes and ATVs off Paiute Draw. I Iive in Wonder Valley. I've heard that 300 acres are being given to a motocross club here in Payson that they've gotten a grant for it with the help of the Forest Service.

A: "There is basically no truth to any of this," Walt Thole of the Payson Ranger Station said. "We haven't designated any particular area. We're just kind of looking at the possibilities. There really is no project in the works no concept."

So far, Thole said, there haven't been any meetings.

"There will be at some point," he said, "and letters of notification will be sent to residents of the whole area."

District Ranger Ed Armenta wants to emphasize that the Forest Service is looking for areas that might be suitable for ATV use on existing system trails. Because there have been problems in Star Valley and other areas, especially where the forest abuts private land, the Forest Service is looking for opportunities to work with "motorized folks" to find an area where others are not disturbed.

Q: Why are ambulance charges so high in the Rim country?

A: With a base charge of $689 plus $7.50 per mile plus medical supplies, that's a legitimate question and Charlie Smith, new owner of Canyon State Ambulance, has a good answer. The state Emergency Medical Services Council, a body made up of physicians, paramedics, nurses, educators and hospital CEOs, oversees all rules and regulations dealing with such services including what the cost will be.

Rural areas are higher, Smith says, because transports generally take longer and there is less call volume. People in the Safford area pay a base charge of $985, so things could be worse.

"We have to submit a detailed report to the state each year, and they allow us to make a 4 percent profit," Smith says. "Ours is one of the more heavily regulated industries in Arizona."

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