Stories for August 2002


Thursday, August 29

Fire crews get jump on Five Mile Fire

Heavy rain Wednesday night helped firefighters get the upper hand on the Five Mile Fire that burned one mile north of Strawberry.

Thomas Agnel

Thomas J. Agnel, 74, of Payson, died Aug. 28, 2002.

Tonto Basin Fire district gets $36,000 federal grant

U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth announced last week Tonto Basin Fire District will receive $36,874 in federal funds.

Murphy in, Yampol out, creditors up in the air at Manzanita Manor

The management of the Manzanita Manor senior care center has been taken over by the property's landlord, and the facility's former administrator, Payson Mayor Ken Murphy, has been hired to oversee the transition and turn the business around financially with no interruption of service.

Holiday events back on in Pine-Strawberry

First they were on. Then they were called off due to fire. Then they were called back on due to rain.

Antique show canceled by fire

Arizona Antique Shows, which was to have taken up residence in the Tonto-Apache tribal gymnasium over Labor Day weekend, has been canceled.

Countdown to Labor Day fun


The countdown is on, only hours left to wait for our Labor Day Bash, Saturday, Aug. 31. It will start off with a pit barbecue dinner at noon, followed by a Kids N Kritter parade, along with a decorated quad parade and the fire chief will be showing off our fire equipment and our EMT director, Darlane Leonard will be demonstrating the equipment used in medical rescue.

Pack Rat Fire now 80-percent contained

Firefighters got a break Wednesday evening when an unexpected monsoon storm dumped significant precipitation on both the Pack Rat and Five Mile fires.

10 vie for governor's seat

With incumbent Governor Jane Hull reaching the end of her term, the field for Arizona's head of state is wide open.

Nighttime fishing heats up


With nighttime temperatures starting to cool off, anglers can start looking forward to some great shallow-water fishing. The temperature in shallow water tends to fluctuate more rapidly than in deep water, so fish are really drawn to the shallows during the cooler part of the day.

PMGA outscores Beaver Creek

After serving as host of several local tournaments that drew participants from around Central Arizona, the Payson Mens Golf Association finally played the role of invited guest.

Ducks Unlimited banquet, auction set for Sept. 21

Ducks Unlimited chairperson Sandi Gunderson is looking forward to her first year at the helm of staging the annual banquet and auction. "I wanted to do this because I've always been a hunter and I'm interested in conservation," she said.

Horns, rest of state look to sting Yellow Jackets

The most intriguing query in Class 3A football this fall might center around whether there's a prep team that has the horses to corral defending state champion Blue Ridge.

Lee Brice

Lee Loyd Brice, 93, of Payson, died Aug. 29, 2002.

Gilbert Long

Gilbert D. Long, 77, of Payson, died Aug. 10, 2002.

Labor Day Party with Belles, Beaus


It's Labor Day weekend and the Christopher Creek Fire Belles and Beaus along with the Fire Cadets will be hosting a Huge Labor Day Fest all day Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Christopher Creek Fire Department.

Virginia Martin

Virginia Youmans Martin, 86, of Payson, died Aug. 26, 2002.

New veterinarian in Star Valley

Dr. Alan Hallman and Dr. Nicole Demetre along with the staff at Star Valley Veterinary Clinic welcome their new veterinary associate, Dr. Danielle Hettler.

Stop tossing your butts

Monday morning, my wife and I were driving north on the Beeline Highway and, like everyone else, we were concerned about the smoke plume rising above the Mogollon Rim.

Town needs new, vigorous approach to water

As in almost all prior examples of the letters you've published from Dan Adams, the fiscal data in his "Letter to Sen. Jon Kyl" (Roundup, Aug. 27) appears thoughtful, accurate and helpful.

Main Street should attract visitors

Shouldn't Main Street be attractive not only in appearance but also in business that will attract visitors as well as locals?

Jazz concert a welcome alternative

Last Sunday afternoon, Gerry and Judith Reynolds, in association with JazzinAZ, presented the third of monthly jazz concerts at the Senior Circle. Singer Delphine from the Valley was the highlight of the program, and played to a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100.

What's up?

Q: Who owns the horse that Payson Mayor Ken Murphy rode in the rodeo parade? It sure was pretty.

Sharper Image takes slow-pitch championship title

Famed thoroughbred Silky Sullivan would have been proud of the come-from-behind charge that Sharper Image put on in local mens softball tournament play.

Tuesday, August 27

Get ready for the Northern Gila County Fair


This is a big year for the Northern Gila County Fair, which will unfold Sept. 20 through Sept. 22 in Pine.

Elliott exudes aloofness as the flip-flopped fem fatale


It's a message that's hard to miss. If it wasn't instilled by our parents, we see it repeatedly on those cheap plaques in souvenir shops: "Don't judge another until you've walked a mile in his moccasins."

Pecos Higgins was a poet


I first met Pecos Higgins under the Prayer Tree. If I had known his background I would have thought that an odd place to find him.

A plentiful harvest of tomatoes and beans


A generous neighbor recently shared fresh green beans and tomatoes with my sister. So, I went in search of ideas on ways to prepare them and came across the following recipes:

Monday, August 26

Barbara Shaw

Barbara Ellen Shaw, 50, of Payson, died Aug. 9, 2002.

Richard Lockwood

Richard A. Lockwood, 81, of Hattiesburg, Miss., died Aug. 24, 2002.

Spanish dancing broadens Payson girls' horizons

When the dust settled from the August Doin's rodeo parade, the float that took top honors was manned by a group of young dancers ranging in age from 5 to 20.

For Payson family, archery a way of life

When the Scott Darnell family gathers for a few hours of pleasure and adventure, it's most often on the archery range.

Too close for comfort

Pack Rat blaze consumes 1,210 acres beneath Rim

The Pack Rat Fire burst through containment lines Saturday night, prompting a precautionary evacuation alert for the communities of Washington Park, Rim Trail, Verde Glen and Cowan Ranch.

Residents prepare to evacuate forest homes

As gray-black smoke plumes of the Pack Rat Fire loom over Washington Park, residents are hoping for the best, while preparing for the worst.

Hospital leader accepts job in Pennsylvania

Russell Judd, CEO of Payson Regional Medical Center for four years, has been transferred by PRMC's owner, Community Health Systems, to manage a larger facility in Berwick, Pa.

Suspected forger caught in California

An ex-employee of a Young ranch, suspected of numerous thefts, burglary and forgery was apprehended in Barstow, Calif. last week.

Pray for our neighbors

Here we go again. But this time, it's a whole lot closer to home.

What's town doing to prevent fire?

With yet another fire burning so close to home, I can't help but wonder if the town is taking any steps to clean up some of the land here in town of brush, dead trees, etc.

Time for school board to do the right thing

It would be a great disservice to the community if the children in elementary school are denied instrumental music.

What's up?

Q: How are things going at the new archaeology museum? I haven't heard much about it since it opened a few weeks ago.

Blunk, Jones to wed

Ms. Gayle Blunk is pleased to announce the engagement of her son James Blunk to Christina Jones.

Jess Courter

Jess G. Courter, 86, of Payson, died Aug. 21, 2002.

Joyce Denham

Joyce D. Denham, 69, of Payson, died Aug. 22, 2002.

Payson should be allowed to find water sources in forest

Dear Jon, I am sorry that we didn't have more time to discuss the Payson water situation when I saw you in Washington in May.

Crews put finishing touches on new track

The long-awaited completion of the new track at Payson High School appears to have finally come to fruition.

PWGA runs circles around competition

For members of the Payson Women's Golf Association, drawing circles on their scorecards turned into the highlight of last week's tournament.

Conditioning over, season finally begins

The toughest part of a fall sports season for players and coaches is August practices.

New coach set to lead PHS soccer

Randy Wilcox has known his share of sporting challenges. In Payson, he's served a two-year stint at the helm Longhorn boys basketball program, was a junior varsity assistant and has coached numerous Rim Country Middle School teams.

When floods devastated the Rim country


Newcomers to Arizona are often naive about the power of water to bring disaster to our normally dry land. For example, this Saturday marks the 32nd anniversary of the great Labor Day Flood, when the lives of some were lost because they could not believe what was happening.

Principal new head of fiddlers' contest


Roy Sandoval says Payson chose him instead of him making any actual choice to make it his home.

Red Hat Society brims with fun, not formality


When the women of the East Verde Park chapter of the Red Hat Society hold their meetings, according to founder Claire Wall, the only item on the agenda is to have a rip-roaring good time.

Voters in District Five can choose from variety of House candidates

The Republican incumbents representing District Five in the Arizona House, Debra Brimhall and Jake Flake, have both served for eight years. They are being challenged by Bill Jeffers and Claudia Maestas, Democrats, along with Republican Bill Konopnicki. The incumbent State Senator, Jack Brown, a Democrat, has no challengers.

Bowlers raise $7,400 for Big Brothers Big Sisters

The first annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake was a rousing success Saturday at Rim Country Lanes, as 18 teams raised $7,400 to support the local agency.

James Pongratz

James Edward Pongratz, 66, of Payson, died Aug. 20, 2002 in Payson.

Thursday, August 22

Coach readies team for run at title

Coach Roger Wholly, in his second year at the helm of the Payson High boys soccer team, knows what it will take for the Longhorns to play much deeper into the state tournament than the first round it reached last season.

Learning to gauge fish behavior


Throughout any given day, a number of conditions can exist that play a role in fish behavior. As angles of the sun change or cloud cover moves through, conditions change. If wind directions shift or water discharge is turned on or off, conditions change.

Labor Day bash just around the corner


Two weekends until Labor Day weekend, where masses of people drive up to the Rim country to escape the heat from the Valley, and we have to wait 45 minutes to cross Highway 260.

Bull riders fall short at August Doin's

Rodeo contractor Roy Honeycutt's corral of roughstock provided plenty of spills and thrills for cowboys hoping to pocket Payson Rodeo prize money.

What's up?

Q: I heard there were several cases of food poisoning and all the people ate at the same restaurant. How come there was nothing about it in the paper?

What we leave behind

The death of Elvis Presley 25 years ago just passed. I have an album of Christian songs by him.

China's system of justice works

Turn on the TV open the paper yet another child abducted, raped, beaten, murdered, vanished forever.

Greenspoon is doing a great job

I own the building at 407 W. Main (referred to as the Kaiser Garage) which was the target of a recent negative letter to the editor. Please let me set the record straight.

Next step: provisional college district

The exciting new partnership that Gila County recently has negotiated with Pima Community College District is just the first step in improving our post-secondary educational opportunities in Gila County.

Players, owners need to remember baseball's magic

Do you ever look at your parents and wonder who they are?

Myrtle Van Meter Stephens

Myrtle Van Meter Stephens, 80, of Tonto Basin, died Aug. 9, 2002.

Rhea N. Getling

Rhea N. Getling, 84, of Phoenix, died Aug. 20, 2002.

Four candidates vie for Secretary of State

The successful candidate for the office of Arizona Secretary of State will be acting governor when the elected governor is out of state. And, as recent history has shown, takes over the office in the event of the governor's resignation or ouster.

Car/bike accident sends 8-year-old to hospital

A collision between a van and a bike sent an 8-year-old boy to the hospital Thursday.

Sheriff presents badge of honor

Gila County Sheriff John Armer was in an especially generous mood on a visit to Payson Tuesday.

New signs to mark gateway to Main Street

At a cost of $5,000 each, two new signs will soon mark the entrance to "Historic Main Street" at its intersection with Highway 87.

Pine water customers return to Stage 5

Just as Pine residents began to breathe easier, water conservation signs took a turn for the worse.

Second wildfire erupts on firefighters

As the Pack Rat Fire continues to grow, yet another lightning-caused blaze the National Fire has tripled in size.

Sara De Witt struggling, but considered miracle child

Talking with 12-year-old Sara De Witt, you can't believe that only eight months and 18 days ago, no one thought she would live.

You have to admire their dedication

It's almost impossible for common wage earners to understand why men who make millions of dollars playing a boys game would want to strike.

Payson graduate becomes ensign


Chuck and Linda Stailey certainly have every reason to be proud of their son, Charles Eric Stailey. He recently completed Naval Reserve Officer Training in San Diego at San Diego State University. He now holds the rank of ensign.

Cards are local man's hallmark

Remember the last time you sifted through a Hallmark display and finally came upon the absolutely perfect, laughter-inducing greeting card?

Jenny Lynn Harris

Jenny Lynn Harris was born at 4:20 p.m. July 19, 2002.

St. Johns family gives Payson a shot

Jason Pollack and his family didn't require a whole lot of savvy business acumen to make the decision to move their five-year-old gun and gunsmith shop, Pollack Custom Works, from the tiny Arizona town of St. Johns to a brand-new log cabin storefront on Payson's Main Street.

Longhorns scrimmage in Eagar Aug. 31

Doubleheaders and tripleheaders are not uncommon in sports. But a football quadruple-header is nearly unheard of.

Tuesday, August 20

College courses tailor-made for Rim country students


By the time you read this, the Payson Campus of Whozit College should be gearing up to reopen its doors.

Harvest favorites: the many flavors of zucchini


Zucchini is a prolific plant to hear people talk. With my personal experience as a failed gardener, I cannot attest to that fact. But I take people's word for it.

We searched for El Dorado


How many times do we Arizonans exclaim, "So much to see, and so little time?"

Flying Payson's friendly skies


If you think the Rim country is gorgeous on the ground, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Monday, August 19

Abandoned horse gets new home


The community of Mesa del Caballo, whose name is Spanish for "Mesa of the Horse," was developed in the 1950s as a horse community and a sizable portion of the people who live there still have an affinity for horses.

Raphael McCoy

Raphael "Ray" A. McCoy, 90, of Payson, died Aug. 17, 2002.

Waiting list only for PAHH tournament

If you had plans to participate in the 6th Annual Payson Habitat for Humanity Golf Tournament, the best you can hope for is a slot on the waiting list.

Elks club opens bowling league to non-members

During past seasons, only members of the local Elks lodge were permitted to participate in the weekly Elks' bowling league.

Monsoon cuts short Coyotes' visit

The monsoon that sent folks running for cover Thursday didn't dampen the enthusiasm of those who visited the APS Power Play Tour.

Pauley stakes claim to club crown

Winning the Payson Men's Golf Association's prestigious club championship is becoming old hat for Jon Pauley.

Hatch returns from Australia

"It was the experience of a lifetime, something I'll never forget," Payson High School junior Shea Hatch, said upon her return from Australia.

Marysville was almost a Rim country town


Before there was Payson there was Marysville, the mining camp that would have become a town if there had been more gold in them thar hills.

Exotic jobs, locales lead Arbaugh to Payson


If you've always thought that the job title "secretary" sounded pretty dull, then you've never chatted with Peggy Arbaugh about her life.

Man arrested for felony flight

A Payson man's flight from a pursuing law enforcement officer netted him a Class 5 felony.

Attempted murder suspect arrested

A suspect in the June 30 attempted murder of a Payson teen has been arrested.

Five men want top lawyer's spot

Five men are vying for the job as Arizona's top lawyer. One Democrat, Terry Goddard; one Libertarian, Ed Kahn; and three Republicans, John Greene, Foster Robberson and Andrew Thomas.

CAAG an important partner to Payson

The Payson Town Council has an important partner in the Central Arizona Association of Governments.

What's up?

Q: I wanted to report a telephone scam, but when I finally contacted the FBI office in Phoenix that handles telephone fraud, I was told I had to submit my suspicions in writing. I think that's ridiculous. Telephone rip-off artists will be long gone by the time someone writes a letter and mails it to the FBI. This discourages people from even reporting possible fraud. Isn't there some faster, easier way to alert the authorities about telephone scam artists?

Amendment is necessary

I have recently signed a petition being promoted by in support of a constitutional amendment to protect the Pledge of Allegiance and our national motto.

Whistle is a symbol of our town

I must respond to your What's Up? column and the Sawmill Crossing whistle. When the Kaibab Mill was up and working in Payson, that whistle was a symbol of our town.

How has Sept. 11 affected you?

Even in retrospect, it sounds like fodder for one of those "Nostradamus Predicts!" stories that regularly appear in the supermarket tabloids.

Elementary school band programs struggle to survive

Thanks to a pair of retirees, the sounds of music will still emanate from two of Payson's three elementary schools.

State housing funds will help town program

The town program to rehabilitate the homes of low-income residents is being put in position to get extra funds.

Pack Rat forest fire scorches 170 acres

The fire burning on the Mogollon Rim near Kehl Springs Campground now dubbed the Pack Rat Fire has grown to 170 acres in size.

Town takes water search to Doll Baby Ranch

The town is taking its continuing search for water resources to the Doll Baby Ranch.

Ellis records Rodeo/Chediski song

Dozens of singing stars have recorded songs about Sept. 11. Now Arizona's Official State Balladeer has recorded one about a disaster that's a bit closer to home: the Rodeo-Chediski Fire.

A celebration to remember

The fun and excitement of the parade was felt by an estimated 5,000 parade-goers who lined the Beeline Highway Saturday to watch the annual rodeo parade.

JRE playground gets a pick-me-up

With the purchase of $10,000 worth of new playground equipment, the facelift of the Julia Randall Elementary School grounds has begun.

Phyllis Robey

Phyllis Mary Robey, 64, of Payson, died Aug. 15, 2002.

Climith Rogers

Climith (Bill) Wilson Rogers, 83, of Payson, died Aug. 14, 2002.

Michael Rusnak

Michael Ray Rusnak, 64, of Winslow, died July 27, 2002.

Thursday, August 15

Can you still launch a boat at Roosevelt, that is the question


Everywhere I've been this week I've been met with the big question, "Can you still launch at Roosevelt?" Yes you can launch a boat, but the key is knowing the right spot because it changes often.

College chooses Pima

Rim country residents who want to attend the new Gila County Community College can begin registering for classes Monday.

Rodeo to feature 13 world champions

To paraphrase the old Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer tag line, there will be more stars than there are in heaven headlining this weekend's 118th Annual World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo.

Folks gettin' ready for Labor Day bash


The Labor Day Weekend barbecue and parade is just around the corner on Saturday, Aug. 31. This event is the most important happening for the auxiliary to the Tonto Village Fire District, and is the biggest fund-raiser for the year.

Wildlife at home in forest communities


The mountain lion has not left the area. He has been heard in Hunter Creek and seen on Apple Lane.

Dryer gets probation, spared jail time

As 19 supporters and three detractors looked on, John Dryer walked out of the Payson courthouse a happy man Tuesday morning, his legal woes behind him at last.

Nellie L. Williams DeLockroy

Nellie L. Williams DeLockroy, 91, of Payson, died Aug. 13, 2002.

Saturday bingo your chance to win


The Rim Country Kiwanis hosts a weekly game of bingo at 6:30 p.m. each and every Saturday in the meeting room at the community center.

Swiss Village Cafe to close, may become Mexican eatery

History will repeat itself Saturday when the Swiss Village Cafe closes yet again.

ACC expands, draws several candidates

The membership of the Arizona Corporation Commission is expanding from three to five this year.

Pine water floating above the rim again

Pine water users are beginning to see the light at the end of the drought. As of July 30, Pine Water Company moved out of the mandatory water conservation measures of Stage 5, moving incrementally to Stage 4.

Meteor makes brief Rim country appearance

As Suzane Bishop was laying in a hammock in the yard of her north Payson home Wednesday night, the last thing she expected was to get the show of a lifetime.

Late-breaking news: 25-acre forest fire

A forest fire believed to be started by lightning northeast of Payson Thursday night had reached 25 acres by 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Do the Sun Devils have what it takes?

The Arizona State University Sun Devil football team's two practice sessions on the new multipurpose field at Rumsey Park created quite a stir in our community.

Manzanita Manor auction now Aug. 28

The sale of Manzanita Manor's assets has been pushed back two weeks, but the assets of four other Mark Yampol-owned businesses including Peppertree Apartments in Payson were picked up from the Tucson auction block as scheduled Tuesday.

Verde meet draws Pike faithful

A contingent of seven Payson Pikes swim team members swam to a fifth-place finish at the 22nd Annual Verde Valley Invitational.

What's up?

Q: Did Arizona State University pay the town for the use of the synthetic field at Rumsey park for the two football practices they had there? Isn't that a lot of wear and tear on our new field?

Are nice-looking storefronts all we're looking for?

The saga continues. I see Kaiser Garage (one of the great downtown redevelopment projects that's supposed to be a huge destination point drawing visitors to Payson) has used their redevelopment money to redo their building.

Signing bill was the correct thing

By letting the juries decisions stand and allowing them to decide if the death penalty is warranted is the way the system should be.

Tip your hat to rodeo committee

A rodeo doesn't just happen. It takes a whole year to bring all the elements together to put on the pageantry, production and dust-boiling, heart-stopping, high speed events.

Tyler James Shreeve

Bill and Carla Shreeve of Payson announce the birth of Tyler James.

Grubbs mark 50 years

Michael and Mary Grubbs were married Aug. 16, 1952 in South Bend, Ind.

Hole in one worth $25,000

If any of the players are lucky enough to shoot a hole in one on No. 2 during the 6th Annual Payson Area Habitat for Humanity golf tournament, he or she would walk away $25,000 richer.

Hot Shots blister competition in Flagstaff league

For Payson Hot Shots girls soccer team coach Grant Kepp, last summer's eight Saturday trips to Flagstaff and twice-a-week practice sessions were well worth the effort.

Goals set as Horns begin fall practice

Monday's onset of Payson High School preseason fall sports practices had most coaches and athletes setting their sights on improving last year's performances.

Tuesday, August 13

Down-home cookin' for the cowboys in your life


Start any morning during rodeo week with a down-home breakfast of biscuits and gravy.

Welcome to August Doin's

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo fans flock to the Rim country each August for the annual edition of the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo.

A man and his horse

There are five living components to a rodeo: flies, queens, cowboys/cowgirls, cows and horses.

Rodeo Royalty ready to ride

Royalty will be riding in to town for the 2002 Payson Pro Rodeo.


118th Annual World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo - August 15-18, 2002 - Payson Event Center

Rodeo kicks off with a parade

"Everybody loves a parade," but it wasn't always that way in the Rim country.

Honeycutts have turned love of animals into a family business

The Honeycutt Rodeo company is once again primed and ready to help Payson host another outstanding edition of the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo.

Guardians of the rodeo

When the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo tips off Aug. 15, the competition will feature top notch bullfighters and clowns whose goals are to both protect the cowboys and entertain the fans.

Rodeos were paid for by gamblers


Fund-raisers to support the August Doin's, that traditional name for Payson's summer rodeo, are more peaceful today than they were early on.

Just how old is the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo?

It's a mystery as old as the 118th World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo itself.

Monday, August 12

Plante, Brownlee arrive

Hunter Jakobe Plante (right) was born July 1, 2002.

PHS offers something for everyone

At a time when Arizona's high dropout rate is making headlines, the staff at Payson High School believes it has a formula that will keep the school's rate well below the state and county averages.

RMEF fights to preserve Arizona's wildlife

The local, state and national chapters of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are making a huge commitment of time and money to Arizona's wildlife.

One tough college entrance test

With the start of the collegiate football season on the horizon, it's time to crank up the old competitive juices that makes cheering for your alma mater so much fun.


Schedule of Events for the 118th Annual World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo, August 15, 16, 17 & 18 at the Payson Multi-Event Center.

Countdown to August Doin's

Horses are always a big part of the annual August Doin's rodeo parade.

Leaders renew effort to find water

A study proposed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will mark the first time the town of Payson and Gila County have worked together to find an answer to the Rim country's water woes.

County OKs 3.2 percent tax increase

Citing rising costs and a sluggish shared state sales tax, the Gila County Board of Supervisors approved a 3.2 percent primary property tax increase of $452,513 at its Aug. 6 meeting giving the county the third highest tax rate in the state and raising the total to $28,840,251.

Town plans memorial for Sept. 11

Exactly one year following the attack on America, residents of the Rim country will join the country by coming together in a commemoration ceremony to honor the victims of Sept. 11.

School district considers paid parking

A request to start charging Payson High School students to park on campus next semester will go before the Payson Unified School District board in September.

Get out and support our August Doin's

There is a common link between Payson's greatest political adversaries: those who want growth at any cost, and those who do not want growth at any cost.

Private sector should be offered some parks

Letter to Rep. Jake Flake Re: Your recent confrontation with the Arizona State Parks Administration, I urge that you seriously and aggressively pursue the sale of certain state parks to the private sector. This is particularly the case with the Tonto Natural Bridge north of Payson.

We are still learning about the forest

Recent letters to the editor suggest that "radical environmentalists" are to blame for the Rodeo-Chediski forest fire, and that if the professionals had been allowed to "do their job," the catastrophe somehow could have been prevented.

'Family Life' act a waste of taxpayer's money

Some Arizona voters might be interested to know that Congressman Ed Pastor is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3469 the "Family Life Education Act" which would appropriate $500 million for states to implement comprehensive sex education over the next five years. (Pity the poor teachers.)

Yes, Payson is No. 1

I find it necessary to write this letter as a second to Mr. Crowell's letter of Aug. 9.

What's up?

Q: The Sawmill Crossing whistle was reinstated recently by private citizens. It was never put to a vote of the town. Now surrounding neighborhoods have to put up with it and it's extremely loud. It disturbs sleep and businesses. Why was it not put to a vote?

Kemps' 50 years of wedded bliss

Artists Jay and Carol Kemp

Sergeant's funeral ties community together

The word religion comes from the Latin re, which means "to do again," and ligare, "to bind or tie." In its literal meaning, religion is that which continually binds together. We see this in rites of passage, weddings, baptisms, at times of crisis, in natural disasters, and at funerals.

Darlene H. Jackson

Darlene H. Jackson, 77, of Payson, died Aug. 11, 2002.

Irvin Swenson

Irvin Swenson, 79, of Payson, died Aug. 11, 2002.

Town council talks about property taxes Thursday

Money matters dominate this week's council meeting.

Gila County attorney wields more than a sword of justice

This month, for the first time ever, an Arizonan will lead the Women's fencing team at the World Championships in Lisbon, Portugal. But that's not the only history being made.

Optimists seek support for youth fair

The Rim Country Optimist Club is coming before the town council this week to ask for support.

Incumbents run unopposed

Because incumbents Robert Duber, Daisy Flores and Ronnie McDaniel are running unopposed for their offices Superior Court Judge Division II, Gila County Attorney and Payson Regional Justice of the Peace, respectively their names will appear on both the Sept. 10 primary and Nov. 5 general election ballots.

PRMC invests $1.6M in MR imaging system


The new, $1.6 million magnetic resonance imaging system that Payson Regional Medical Center has added to its radiology department a piece of equipment so complex it comes with its own 10-by-50-foot building has instantly increased the array of diagnostic capabilities available in the Rim country.

Straw has the answer for almost any query


More often than not, Brenda Straw is the voice on the end of the line when people call the Payson Ranger Station of the Tonto National Forest.

When rodeos first began


One year, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Yearbook said it best, "Rodeo's beginning is hidden in a haze from countless cattle drives and campfire smoke on the open ranges of the West for over 100 years."

Former Horns' star flyin' high

Zumbro sets sights on Air Force flight school

Former Payson High School football and baseball star Bryan Zumbro has traded in his bats and shoulder pads for rides in United States Air Force F-16 jets.

Without partner, Pirch finishes third

Fishing alone in a two-person team tournament, local angling guide, professional fisherman and Roundup columnist Clifford Pirch finished without a partner in third place overall.

Meyocks swats gold medal round during women's golf tournament

By a single stroke, Laura Meyocks edged past Marge Landra for the gold medal in a Payson Women's Golf Association tournament held Aug. 6 at Payson Golf Course.

Thursday, August 8

Court overturns primary ruling

A federal judge's ruling that would have banned 20 percent of Arizona's voters from participating in the state's primary election was put on hold Wednesday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Copper State team finishes 6-3 at Adidas tournament

Rim country lawyer Steve Rensch, founder of the Copper State Jam boys basketball tournament and the Shelby School hoop team, coached the Copper State All-Stars to a 6-3 record in the Adidas Big Time tournament.

Parks and Recreation News

The pool will be open until Aug. 18 with the following schedule: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. (water aerobics), 10 a.m. to noon (open swim), and 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (water aerobics); Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (open swim).

Quinlan to coach Maverick runners

Just when it looked as if there would be no Rim Country Middle School cross country program due to the lack of a qualified coach, a former Longhorn three-sport star stepped up to assume the coaching duties.

PMGA wraps up three-way tournament

When members of three small-town men's golf associations gathered July 10 at Payson course, rain and lightening sent the frustrated players scurrying into the club house.

Currie speeds to second place at Grand Prix

For 13-year-old Drew Currie, his stay in the beginner's 80 cc motorcycle racing class is about to end.

Sun Devils scrimmage Sunday at Tontozona

The highlight of Arizona State University's 10-day football stay at Camp Tontozona will be the annual fan scrimmage at 10:15 a.m. Sunday. The controlled scrimmage, which is to the public, will last about two hours.

Nelson Turner

Nelson Turner, 89, of Young died Aug. 5, 2002.

Raymond E. Norton

Raymond Eugene Norton, Jr., 39, of Payson, Arizona, died Aug. 4, 2002 in Payson.

John William (Jack) Baker

John William Baker, 64, died July 23, 2002 in Helman, Mich.

Volunteers needed to help Rim country economic engine

All around Arizona Rim Country are hundreds of local heroes. They are short and tall, old and young, and longtime and new residents. These men and women and youth, too made a collective statement that was heard by Gov. Jane Hull, our statewide representatives in the Senate and the House, and in the offices of the Arizona State Parks.

Safeway gets into gas business

Chances are, even the most frugal shoppers among us would not travel too far out of our way for a savings of three cents.

What's up?

Q: How do I get a banner for my business to hang across the Beeline? The Ox Bow Saloon is flying a banner at the south end of town.

Child safety seats save lives in an accident

An incident that occurred recently has motivated me to encourage and re-enforce the absolute need to have infants and small children properly secured in "car seats" whenever they are traveling in a motor vehicle.

Get your education while you're young

An article in the July 18 Arizona Republic by Jon Kamman showed that the residents of the most prestigious communities in the Valley not only had a higher yearly income, but a larger percentage of them had additional schooling beyond high school.

You helped save Tonto Natural Bridge

Supporters of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park:

Hull's bill a death blow to juries

Last week, Gov. Jane Hull signed a bill into law that will require juries to determine not only a suspect's guilt or innocence, but also if the death penalty is warranted.

Parks people, locals share ideas

In the wake of the successful campaign to keep the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park open, local leaders will sit down with parks officials early next week to exchange ideas and develop plans to attract more visitors and better utilize volunteers.

Armer, Toot run unopposed

Because incumbents Eddie Armer and Margaret Toot are running unopposed for their offices Payson Precinct Constable and Clerk of the Superior Court, respectively their names will appear on both the Sept. 10 primary and Nov. 5 general election ballots.

Bubble gum champ blows away competition

Lacy Donovan is the bubble-blowing champion of the Rim country. The Rim Country Middle School student recently blew the competition away with a 12.5-inch bubble at the preliminaries of the third annual Dubble Bubble National Bubble Blowing Contest at the Payson Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Author shares tales of 'Alaska, As It Used To Was'

John B. Thompson retired in Payson more than 22 years ago.

Planners hear proposal for new gated community

A 14-lot gated community is proposed for the property at the south end of Green Valley Parkway.

Bears, elk, and now mountain lions


We all know there are a few bears in the area, and many of us have elk eating in our back yards, but when we hear about a mountain lion that's a little scary.

Manzanita Manor assets scheduled for auction

The assets of the Manzanita Manor senior care center and the Peppertree Apartments complex, all the way down to the fixtures, are slated to be put on the public-auction block Tuesday as a creditor of the properties' owner, Mark Yampol of Tucson, seeks to raise the $940,000 he owes.

Payson's No. 1 in high gas prices

Congratulations, Payson you're No. 1.

Car lot 'no excuse for any zoning change'

I was deeply saddened to read the current (about 25) employees of Ponderosa Steakhouse will lose their jobs only so Mr.(Jeff) Sievert can sell used cars from that property. The "already committed water" from the restaurant is no excuse for any zoning change.

Big bass abound at GVP lakes


This week I received an e-mail from a new Payson resident, Brian, with a question concerning the Green Valley Lakes.

Volunteers helped make it happen

As a participant on the town of Payson and Northern Gila County evacuation planning committee, I would like to especially thank all those who worked so hard the first three days at the evacuation center to get the job done.

Volunteers helped make MRCA a reality

Truly it is amazing what individuals and organizations can accomplish when there is a common goal. July 27, the Museum of Rim Country Archaeology formally opened its doors to the public. This new facility at 510 W. Main Street is unique to the state of Arizona and in large part, to the southwest.

Sympathy to a greiving family

Condolences to the Doug Johnson family.

Button up for rodeo action

Dressed as Western dance hall girls, these members of the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee display the commemorative 2002 rodeo button on sale for $2 as part of the group's annual scholarship fund-raiser and raffle.

Villagers gear up for Labor Day bash


Everyone in Tonto Village is gearing up for our big Labor Day Weekend fund-raiser Aug. 31.

Try Senior Kitchen for a hot meal


The Senior Center Thrift Store and Marsha Hampshire would like to pass along a huge thank-you to the community members who baked goodies and for those who bought goodies at the bake sale held Saturday.

Tuesday, August 6

Water, water everywhere


All of us who live in Arizona Rim Country benefit from our state's international reputation as nothing more than a sweltering, dusty, cacti-ridden sandbox.

Current events share lunacy


Funny how seemingly unrelated events provide unusual insights when juxtaposed. Take these dissimilar incidents that happened in close proximity to one another:

Boring tuna? Try these tasty sandwiches


I have this great little cookbook in my collection called "The Little Book of Big Sandwiches," by Michael McLaughlin.

Billy Vanero brought a warning


It was 120 years ago this summer when a horse rider came racing to Payson with a warning that the Apache were coming this way on a bloody raid. It was only a few decades later that a lengthy poem was set to music and sung throughout the Rim country about that rider, Billy Vanero, and how he tried to save the love of his life, Bessie Lee, before the raiders could get to her.

Monday, August 5

Team Baker wins first flight in golf tourney

The teams of Larry Baker/Harvey Baker and John Calderwood/Armand Werle played their way to first-place laurels in the Payson Men's Golf Association's two-man scramble tournament July 31 at Payson Golf Course.

Monsoon run a Savage race

When former Payson Junior High School physical education teacher Ruth Ann Scott urged eighth-grader Monica Beeler (now Savage) to run a marathon, little did the instructor know she was igniting a passion that would last a lifetime.

Tonto Apaches scouted for U.S. Army in Southwest


Henry Irving remains a figurehead in the history of the Payson Tonto Apache tribe, and his story tells us much about the people who bridged the generations between the pre-reservation and post-reservation Apaches.

Poetry is a tool to solve problems for author


Local poet Susan Chamberlain doesn't write for fame or fortune. In fact, even though she's been versifying since she was nine, her first book of poetry "Emergence Poems" was just published two months ago by Linear Arts.

Woman injured in police search

A Payson woman was injured by a percussion grenade as Payson Police Department officers served a search warrant on a Frontier Street apartment Friday evening.

Keeping lakes clean an ongoing job

The recent efforts of Boy Scouts to clean the algae from the small lakes at Green Valley Park helped what is an ongoing effort.

Restaurant to become car dealership

The Ponderosa Steakhouse is heading toward its last roundup.

Officer died from blocked coronary artery

Preliminary results from the medical examiner suggest that Payson Police Sgt. Doug Johnson, 37, died of substantial blockage in one of his coronary arteries.

Town OKs $34 million budget

The town's $34 million budget won council approval last week.

Dueling hoses

Volunteers from the Whispering Pines Fire Department take advantage of the water at Green Valley Lake Saturday to practice using both the hand line hose and the water cannon.

Rescued fawn safe in rehab hospital

As Bud Basham sipped a cup of coffee on the porch of his new Strawberry home Sunday morning, he noticed a neighbor's dog walking down the road carrying what appeared to be a rabbit in its mouth.

Elliott's apology was 'surly and hollow'

Valinda Jo Elliott shows her true colors in her Sunday Aug. 4, 2002, letter to the Arizona Republic. She's the perfect poster-child of the "victim-mentality" society. Her "apology" is both surly and hollow.

The legacy of Sgt. Doug Johnson

Payson has more than its share of everyday heroes.

Gibson's replacement found at RCMS

Pending approval by the Payson Unified School District Governing Board, PHS Athletic Director Dave Bradley has found a coach to head the Lady Longhorn soccer program.

Senior Olympian stars at Native American games

A man who spent his childhood rounding up the family's herd of horses while on foot has won six gold medals at the inaugural Grand Canyon State Native American Games.

Porter Ruddell Flake

Porter Ruddell Flake was born at 9:08 a.m. July 1, 2002.

Helen Standish Pittman

Helen Standish Pittman, died June 27, 2002.

Tough foe for Longhorns' homecoming

No one can ever claim that those in charge of the Longhorn football program went looking for a homecoming patsy this season.

James Fenical, Jr.

James Edward Fenical, Jr., 19, of Payson, died July 27, 2002, in Gallup, N.M.

West Nile virus is heading this way

The Arizona Department of Health Services predicts that the deadly, mosquito-transmitted West Nile Virus will make its way to Arizona and Gila County within the next 12 to 24 months.

Janet Gallegos

Janet Jean Gallegos, 57, of Payson, died July 31, 2002.

Payson women name their poison: Botox


The Payson woman was shocked and not a little afraid when she looked in the mirror.

Rim country elk tagged, released

"It's rodeo time," Norris Dodd said, as he moved down a gentle slope in the forest near Little Green Valley to where an elk had been trapped the night before.

Principal works for free this year

In a state where teachers don't make much money in the first place, Teresa Purtee just may be the lowest paid of all.

What's up?

Q: It's pretty obvious that forest fires are named according to the area the fire is in, but who decides what the name will be?

10 times the visitors?

Just think, maybe we could have gotten TEN times the results ...

Environmental groups should stay out of Arizona

Re: Random comments about "The Fire."

Thursday, August 1

Public was not adequately informed about water restrictions

I read a very troubling answer to the question, "Has any written notice been sent out to Payson residents about the water situation and the restrictions that are in place?" (What's Up? Roundup, July 30)

Council deserves our applause

I have been taken aback by your recent editorials in opposition of the town of Payson's decision to attempt to stimulate the town's sluggish economy by advertising Payson's attributes in the primary market that can provide new revenue to the town's businesses.

Locals saved Tonto bridge

It never did make sense to close the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. In a state dependent on tourism, you just don't balance the budget by taking away reasons for tourists to want to come here. But as the saga unfolded, all involved parties seemed to become less and less willing to find a solution.

Water exploration continues in P-S area

A little more than $200,000 of taxpayer money will be spent on water exploration in the Pine-Strawberry area in the coming fiscal year. The Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District passed the fiscal 2002-2003 budget of $230,417 at its July 13 meeting.

Local man killed in rollover

Victor Sarytchoff, 44, Payson, was killed this week in a one-vehicle rollover.

Partner close for college

The new Gila County Community College is inching closer to an agreement with another community college district. Such an agreement will re-open the doors of the Payson and Globe campuses and the Hayden/Winkelman and San Carlos education centers.

Bridge will stay open

The state legislature, meeting in special session, approved a bill late Thursday afternoon that will apparently allow the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to remain open.

'Highly regarded' police officer dies

Family and friends of Payson Police Sgt. Doug Johnson are struggling this week to understand the sudden, unexplained death of the 37-year-old father of four.

Cahill, Hazel race for superior court judge

When Gila County Superior Court Judge Edd Dawson announced last year that his retirement would be effective in January, 2002, he had three years remaining in his term.

Carpenter to start as town manager by end of August

The contract for the new town manager was approved at a special meeting of the council Thursday night.

Columnist makes splash at local creek


Last week, my husband and I were so excited about getting back to fishing ... that I fell in.

P-S students head back to class


Shining young faces wearing spiffy new school clothes and toting brand new backpacks filled with colored pencils, clean new notebooks and binders have once again turned up at the elementary school to scout the territory.

Have brats, will travel

There are two things you can do with those heirloom recipes your family has been enjoying for generation upon generation.

Creative gardener hosts mini-tour

Monsoon rains and higher humidity levels have at last allowed the leafing out of most native oaks and shrubs. Roadsides are greening up, and weeds abound in our gardens. One man's weed can be another man's wildflower, and it takes keen observation of nature and knowledge of seedlings to distinguish plants as they emerge from underground.

Athletic director's advice: take care of the paperwork

If the wisdom of Payson High School coaches and athletic director Dave Bradley is accurate, the next two weeks could prove crucial to the success of local athletes.

Summer wraps with Vacation Bible School


Last week was the 8th Annual Vacation Bible School at Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship Church in Christopher Creek.

A little preseason inspiration

With the start of the fall sports season just over the horizon, it's time to gear up mentally for demands of life on the playing field.

Willow Springs is fishing hot spot


If you're looking to get out of the heat and get some great fishing in at the same time, then Willow Springs is the spot. Anglers have been reporting good action for both trout and bass since the forest has been reopened. Extra trout stockings and light fishing pressure has turned the lake into one of the best fishing holes around.

Tonto Apaches shine at nationals

Fierce and frequent competition has highlighted the July agenda of the Tonto Apache Track and Field team.

Horns' scrimmage schedule changes

There has been a change in the Longhorn football schedules now available in Payson High School offices.

Mavs search for new cross country coach

The fate of the Rim Country Middle School cross country team hinges on first-year Maverick Athletic Director Tim Fruth finding a qualified coach. At press time, Fruth was scouring the school and community to find a coach, but the position remained unfilled.

Keeping Green Valley Park lakes clean an on-going job

The recent efforts of Boy Scouts to clean the algae from the small lakes at Green Valley Park helped what is an on-going effort.

OTB moves over to Famous Sam's

Residents with a fondness for the sport of kings have a new place to put down their money.

Golliglees mark 40 years

Steve and Lynne Golliglee are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary

Two Democrats race for District Two

The Gila County District Two Supervisor's seat became vacant in April of last year upon the sudden death of Supervisor Edward G. "Bunch" Guerrero.

What's up?

Q: I got a tax extension back in April and my return is due Aug. 15. Can I still donate $5 to Clean Elections?

Dirt roads without dust clouds

For many, many years I have been trying to persuade the town to find a way to eliminate the "dust bowl" conditions that people have had to live with for so long. Some of those roads are in the most attractive and desirable areas in town.

Time to get back to 'truism'

Warren E. Buffett wrote an article in the New York Times about the crisis of confidence in the stock market today.

Do we need to spend so much on law enforcement?

I'm no financial expert, but a quick glimpse of the budget pie shows 46 percent of Gila County's budget goes for law enforcement and judicial services. Do we really need so much law enforcement for a county of 45,000 people?

Money is not the answer to everything

May I submit a rebuttal to the comments (made in the editorial, Roundup, July 23) "It takes a village(*) ... and money ..."

Melvin Stratmeyer

Melvin M. Stratmeyer, 56, of Payson, died July 27, 2002 in Sun City.