Q: Around the first of the year, some Payson High School students had the idea to open the gym for recreational purposes a couple nights a week. What is the status of that project?

A: The last we heard of it, the writing class that was pushing the idea didn't send anybody to the town council meeting where it was scheduled to be discussed. But according to Dave Bradley, assistant principal at PHS, the project is not dead.

"The group wants to raise enough money to cover the cost of the program to pay support personnel and purchase pingpong tables, video game equipment and other items," he said. So far the group has raised about $1,500.

Slowing their progress is the fact that the writing class that started the project last school year has been cancelled this year.

To donate to the project, call Bradley or PHS English teacher Anna Van Zile at 474-2233.

Q: Why was it necessary to have helicopters with spotlights searching the area Tuesday evening? It was a totally unnecessary home invasion and very frightening, considering the things that are going on in the world. I thought they were looking for bin Laden.

A: That was a Department of Public Safety helicopter that was called in to help the Gila County Sheriff's Department locate a female suspect who had fled the scene of a stabbing at the C Bar Diamond trailer park in Star Valley. The suspect was eventually arrested in Cornville.

Q: At the Payson High School football game Sept. 14, many of the people in attendance had to stand around the track while the high school band relaxed in the bleachers. It seems to me the people who pay ought to be able to sit down and the band could bring chairs or something.

A: "I saw this one coming," said Dave Bradley, assistant principal and athletic director at PHS. "Last week we had planned to have the band out on the track and were going to set up sound equipment so we could do a memorial," Bradley said.

Mother Nature had other ideas, and the downpour that hit from about 5:15 to 6:15 thwarted those plans. The band director was worried about somebody getting electrocuted, and the rain prevented the chairs from getting moved out.

Consequently the band ended up in the stands.

"That's why we're pushing to 2,000 to 2,500 new seats on the other side," Bradley said. Right now the stadium only seats about 1,000.

"We hope to use some Credit for Kids funds, and we'd like more private donations," he said.

But he agrees that paying fans deserve seats, and he wants to express his sincere appreciation for the support of Longhorn football fans. "We need their support because football pays for a lot of our other sports and for some of our transportation and for other things," he said. "It all goes right back to the kids."

One thing he suggests as a stopgap measure is for fans to bring chairs of their own. "They can sit behind the end zones," he said.

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