Stories for December 2002


Tuesday, December 31

Back when Payson had a Hopi House


New Year's Day is a fitting time to consider the changes that take place in our lives.

Plan a buffet for the holiday


Planning a New Year's Day get-together? Keep it simple and make it a buffet. Do a main dish with a salad on the side, rolls and a dessert. Or go with a collection of nice cold cuts, a pasta or potato salad, a selection of breads and condiments, plus a dessert.

2002: A most abnormal year


Welcome to 2003, the year of the sheep.

Local artist takes his craft by the horns


Looking at something from a different viewpoint takes time, effort and imagination. The time and effort are worth it when the end result is a unique work of art, says Glen Balmer of Mogollon Antler Art.

Monday, December 30

Bobby J. Hunt

Bobby J. Hunt, 78, of Payson, died Dec. 24, 2002, in Fort Wipple, Ariz.

Klein, Watson to wed

What's up?

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.

Water conservation alone is not the answer

I was astonished to find so little general concern at this time in the Payson news about forest fires, at least as reflected in the Payson Roundup.

Resolutions for your pets


New Year's Eve seems to come around a little quicker each year. The New Year marks a new beginning. A time to start fresh and resolve to do better.

Accident victim home for Christmas

The Dec. 14 accident on the Gisela Road, which claimed three lives, had a happy outcome for one of its victims.

'Celebrities' to serve up charity meal

If you've ever wanted to meet Elvis Presley, Randy Johnson or Wonder Woman, this is your big chance.

James M. Jackson

James M. Jackson, 53, died Dec. 27, 2002, in Payson.

First fatal crash at Payson Airport

Payson Airport had what many believe was its first crash fatality this weekend. An 81-year-old pilot was killed attempting to land his plane.

Is a third trial really necessary?

The Dec. 10 trial of Paul Roosen ended yesterday (Thursday) with another hung jury. First-degree murder has been eliminated of Calista Wright, acquitted.

Pine man leads charge to declare ponderosa endangered

Pine resident Dan Pollick wants the ponderosa pine declared an endangered species, and he's doing something about it.

Local teenagers work to help felines

When the story broke on the front page of the Nov. 22 Payson Roundup that the entire cat and kitten population at the Payson Humane Society had to be destroyed, the Rim Country Middle School Builder's Club decided to get involved.

Take every risk to stop a drunk driver tonight

If there is anything we've learned from numerous local and regional news headlines over the past few years, it's that good people make serious mistakes in judgment when they are intoxicated -- mistakes that can carry lifelong consequences.

Payson pair named 'Culturekeepers'

Marguerite Noble and Vivian Burdette have been selected as two of the state's first 10 Culturekeepers and will be honored in a special hall in the new Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale.

New Year's Eve was a different time


The Rim country does not seem to have a New Year's Eve tradition to pass on from generation to generation. In the pioneer days, there were the usual dances and gatherings of friends.

Flora Jane Hansen

Flora Jane Hansen, 87, of Payson, died Dec. 26, 2002.

Havey took roundabout road to GCSO


Brian Havey had wanted to be a law enforcement officer all his life, but he came to the Gila County Sheriff's Department in a very round about way.

Coach Saben deserves better treatment

I was surprised and very disappointed that Dave Bradley and the staff at Payson High School has elected not to renegotiate football head coach Steve Saben's contract.

Solutions for water problems begin with Brooke

I would like to respond to the article from Ron Christensen dated Dec. 14.

Kansas Cats tamer than their Tucson counterparts

As Wildcat fans go, these Cats weren't so hard for a Sun Devil alum to deal with.

Gila Monster gold eludes Payson players

Only a heartbreaking 55-54 loss to Safford prevented the Longhorns boys basketball team from winning the Eastern Arizona College Invitational Tournament.

Over the river and up the mountain for winter fun


Rim country has been blessed with a blanket of white, a Christmas gift from Mother Nature.

Barr, Pettet selected to All-State team

A pair of Payson High School football standouts have been named to the Class 1A-3A All-State first team.

Lady Horns take bronze at Holiday Hoops

Pitted against 19 top-notch teams in the Payson Holiday Hoops Tournament, the Lady Longhorns played their way to a 4-1 record and a third-place finish.

Thursday, December 26

Gun barrel builder buys town property

Schneider Rifle Barrel is coming to Payson.

Jo Ann (Jody) Everetts

Jo Ann (Jody) Everetts, 69, of Payson, died Dec. 23, 2002.

Richard Irvin Magness

Richard Irvin Magness, 67, died Dec. 24, 2002 in Payson.

Crosswinds gets new owner

For some Payson area connoisseurs, there is nothing like enjoying a warm piece of pie or a freshly cooked breakfast as you watch aircraft fly in over the Mogollon Rim.

Genevieve Emilie Pert Bertram

Genevieve Emilie Pert Bertram, 83, of Payson, died Dec. 24, 2002.

Local couple receives special delivery on Christmas Eve

Sheila Boerst gazed out her hospital window and felt a peace most women don't experience during labor, but this was a magical day.

Marcie Wayne Burcham

Marcie Wayne Burcham, 48, of Payson, died Dec. 21, 2002 in Phoenix.

Supervisor not informed about water

We obviously disagree with Mr. Christensen and many of his views about water.

Cold doesn't stop Quad Squad light parade


Last Thursday was the 2nd Annual Quad Squad Christmas Light Parade. And although it was very cold, it didn't stop those quad lovers from showing up decorated and ready to ride.

Flagstaff school tagged tourney favorite

If there is a favorite in the Lady Longhorns' Holiday Hoops Basketball Tournament that tipped off at 10 a.m. today (Friday), it's Flagstaff Sinagua.

Horns primed and ready for state title run

Regional runner-up honors and a state third-place finish would be commendable achievements for most high school sports teams.

Lures for big bass key to trophy catches


Nothing travels faster than news of someone catching a trophy bass. Recently, a couple of bass in the 13-pound range were caught (and released) in Arizona.

Family avoids Christmas blaze

A late night blaze threatened to ruin the Venable family Christmas. But an observant daughter-in-law saved the day.

Gila Monsters beckon Horns to EA

Following an 82-64 loss to Class 2A No. 1-ranked Valley Christian Dec. 20, second-year Longhorn boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser had his players back on the court preparing for the Eastern Arizona College Tournament.

Areas to play in snow fading fast

While the Rim country enjoyed its first white Christmas in several years, opportunities to play in the snow are limited and fading faster than Frosty the Snowman.

Creation and credit for life belong to God

Friday morning, a controversial group called Clonaid announced the birth of a cloned baby girl named Eve. If true, the birth would be the first-ever human clone.

Payson Center for Success students have eyes opened at Thomas J. Pappas School

Payson Center For Success High School students were given the opportunity to visit the Thomas J. Pappas School.

Old airport plan is a fantasy

The town council killed the chance to resurrect the Airport Advisory Board.

After-Christmas Bargains

"My parents tricked me," said Whitney Loy as she exits the Wal-Mart Supercenter the morning after Christmas. "They said it wouldn't be busy, but I got here and it was a zoo."

Looking for the Smiths

Someone in Cottonwood, Ariz. sent the Rim Country Museum some personal documents from a family named Smith that relate to the Payson area.

What's up?

Q: I saw the item in the paper about Payson Community Kids participating in the town's Adopt-A-Street program. I think that's wonderful, but isn't it dangerous to have young children doing that?

Payson's precious water protected

"It's important to reassure people that we do disinfect and that we're very diligent in our testing," said Karen Probert, water quality specialist for the Town of Payson.

Tax Credit For Kids program still available


During this interim week of rest before the New Year rings in, I'd like to remind you of one more chance to give and make the holidays meaningful.

Roosen case ends in second mistrial

A mistrial was declared this week in the second trial of suspected murderer Paul Roosen.

Discipline policy up for review

Details are sketchy, but it appears the long-standing extra-curricular discipline policy at Payson High School has been, or could be soon, scrapped.

Tuesday, December 24

Letters that Santa didn't see


"Ho. Ho. Ho."

Lazy day breakfasts for holiday mornings


On Christmas morning, does your family get up at the crack of dawn? If so, there is probably no time for breakfast before breaking into the gifts.

Ring in the new year in Rim country style


As the last of the wrapping paper is swept aside, folks attention turns toward New Year's Eve. If you are still wondering how to ring in 2003, we have a host of suggestions.

Light breaks the darkness


The darkness that descends over the Rim country on winter nights comes early, especially in the canyons and below the mesas. Cowboys camping out during the roundups were grateful for a bright moon or at least the starlight. Travelers by horse or wagon squinted through the blackness to see the trail or catch a glimpse of light from a ranch-house window.

Monday, December 23

Drivers face icy obstacle course on Houston Mesa

Ice and snow caused more than 10 vehicles to slide off Houston Mesa Road Monday morning and created a moving obstacle course for law enforcement officers responding to the scene.

Longhorns dump Rim Duals field

The homestanding Payson Longhorns weren't about to play the role of gracious hosts in the Rim Country Wrestling Duals Tournament.

Preparing for winter storms

Weather experts are expecting another El Niño year. The prediction is for it to start making a difference in the weather later this month, through January and into February.

Proposal for event center operation lacking, council says

The Payson Town Council turned its back on a recommendation from one of its advisory boards this month.

Don't blame water woes on county, Christensen exclaims

Gila County District 1 Supervisor Ron Christensen takes exception to criticism from the Arizona Corporation Commission and Brooke Utilities regarding the county's role in Pine's worsening water problem.

Reason for season is love


What does one say in a pet column on the night before Christmas, when all through the house, everyone is frantically busy with family and activities?

Thompson, Watson to wed

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Thompson, Jr. announce the engagement of their daughter, Rebecca Thompson of Payson, to Charles Watson, of Prescott Valley.

Santa cops

Payson Police Det. Matt Van Camp and police volunteer Charlene Hunt load bikes and toys into two trucks Friday as part of the annual Law Enforcement Christmas for Kids toy drive.

Schedule of Christmas services

Following is a list of Christmas services being held in Rim country:

Back when ... Payson celebrated together, Part 2


At last the day arrived, usually around Dec. 20.

Engineer turns talent to piñatas


After retiring from the high-tech world of ceramics engineering, Payson resident John T. Jones now spends a good deal of his time making piñatas.

Last minute gift ideas for slow Santas


Last minute gift buying can be a treacherous trip. Swamped by shoppers many Rim country retail outlets will be open on Christmas Eve.

Holiday Hoops heats up hardwood

Rim country hoops fans are in for a big treat Friday and Saturday when the Holiday Hoops tournament is contested in Wilson Dome, the old PHS gymnasium and the Tonto Apache gym.

Valley Christian thumps Horns

In an 82-64 victory Friday evening over the Payson Longhorns, Valley Christian had the opportunity to prove why they are the No. 1 ranked team in the 3A conference.

Rim duo named All-Stars

Payson High School football stalwarts Jake Swartwood and Waylon Pettet have earned the greatest state honors that can be bestowed on a prep player.

First-year runner tapped CC All-Star

A teenager who took up cross country because she thought "running with my dog was fun," has been chosen to participate in the Arizona Coaches Association North vs. South All-Star meet.

PHS football coach terminated

The contract of second-year Longhorn football coach Steve Saban will not be renewed, Payson High School Athletic Director Dave Bradley said.

Allan Clifford Hulbert

Allan Clifford Hulbert, 45, of Tacoma, Wash., died Dec. 8, 2002.

Shelby wins tree contest

The Shelby School, a charter school in Tonto Village, took top honors in the second annual Main Street Christmas tree decorating competition.

Winter driving requires preparedness, common sense

The weather outside, while not exactly frightful, can foul up both everyday and holiday travel plans.

FEMA offers a little wisdom for winter

Winter officially started Sunday, Dec. 22. But this week we were blessed with the first rumbles of winter weather. Did you remember all the things you were supposed to do to prepare for the change of seasons? Or has the drought made you wonder if you would ever see winter again?

What's up?

Q: Weren't they going to build a new Motor Vehicle Division facility over on Tyler Parkway? What happened? Did it get caught in the budget crunch along with the state parks and universities?

Lout deserves a lump of coal

I enjoy reading your Good Guy articles. Let me tell you of someone who does not deserve a good guy award.

A reminder of faith and hope

In 1897, an 8-year-old girl posed a question to the New York Sun about believing in something wondrous but ever unseen. And while her question was about the existence of Santa Claus, the answer she received reminds us that the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of hope. A humble carpenter's son taught a similar message of hope and faith 2000 years ago.

Town enters agreement for water study

The town has a water study agreement with the United States Bureau of Water Reclamation.

Thursday, December 19

State leaders talk of budget battles

If you did not go to the Eggs and Issues breakfast Tuesday, you missed a rare opportunity to talk with the leadership of the State House.

Library Friends named best in Arizona

The town has a second official Christmas tree -- in the new Payson Public Library.

Mavs net WML silver in Lakeside

The Rim Country Middle School Maverick volleyball team played its way to a second-place finish at the White Mountain League championship tournament Dec. 14 in Lakeside.

ADOT pulls plug on rural projects

A feasibility study for the bypass around Payson is at the top of the wish list of the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation, but such a roadway is many years away.

College adds new options for seniors

As the newly named Gila Community College gears up for its second semester, the county board of supervisors changed Barbara Ganz's title from provost to president of the Gila County Community College District at a meeting Tuesday at the Payson Campus.

Village dreaming of a white Christmas


The way it looks outside my window today, we will be blessed with a white Christmas.

Horns battle Lady Luck in Laughlin

After spending three days in the bright-light gambling mecca of Laughlin, most visitors are left trying to figure a way to recoup their losses.

Duals heat up Rim country sports scene

Prep wrestling takes center stage today when 12 teams from around the state converge on Wilson Dome to compete in the Rim Country Duals Tournament.

Holiday Hoops to attract 20 teams

The 2002 version of the Girls Holiday Hoops Basketball Tournament will soon bring 20 of the state's best teams to Payson.

Cold weather calls for cold-water fish


One of the tricks to winter bass fishing is targeting the most active fish. This often means going for smallmouth bass instead of largemouth because they are much more comfortable in colder water.

Creekside continues serving its famous home-cooked meals

"We are here, we are open and we want people to come on up," the owner of Creekside Restaurant and Bar Olive Matus said.

Fish fry nets $1,600 for basketball

Payson High School boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser and his players say thanks for the many sponsors and volunteers who helped make a recent fish fry benefit dinner a raging success.

Gratitude shared for help during summer fires

It is now six months since the start of the Chediski Fire, and come Dec. 25, six months since Heber/Overgaard had the monster on our doorsteps.

Lawsuits suck life from true environmental efforts in forest

What a terrible tragedy we see occurring in our beautiful outback. Our tree-covered mountains decimated by drought, fire and an invasion of tree-killing insects.

An animal shelter dream

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the shelter

Time running out to donate to our schools

If you were among the packed house at the Rim Country Middle School Christmas Concert Wednesday night, you probably don't need this reminder.

Plans for airport upgrades approved

Plans to improve Payson's airport are winging their way to the Federal Aviation Administration and Arizona Department of Transportation.

A big job well done

Carrying a bag of dog food almost as big as she is, Savannah Schultz proudly walks into the Payson Humane Society. The food and other pet supply items were collected by the Julia Randall Elementary School K-Kids to help the animals at the shelter.

Cora Elnora Blankenburg

Cora Elnora Blankenburg, 87, of Payson, died Dec. 15, 2002.

Evelyn Dell Manley

Evelyn Dell Manley, 61, of Chandler, died Dec. 8, 2002, in Guam.

Sue Heisler

Sue Heisler, 50, of Payson, died Dec. 18, 2002.

A Christmas poem for those in service


On the eve of war and of Christmas, I'm using this poem as my column this week, to remind all of us not only the meaning of Christmas, but also of freedom. This poem was written by a peace-keeping soldier stationed overseas.

Carolers spread cheer around creek


Santa arrived Saturday afternoon by fire truck with the sirens blasting and cheers from onlookers. Each child was given a Santa hat or antlers to wear and had their picture taken with Santa.

What's up?

Q: I received the Credit for Kids mailing recently and I noticed that the return address is Payson Unified School District No. 10. What happened to the first nine?

Volunteers revel in joy of giving

I read with delight your editorial of Dec. 13 regarding Christmas charities and the Scrooges who criticize them.

Tuesday, December 17

When people asked questions - Part 3


We continue looking for answers to commonly asked questions in the Payson area.

Homemade holiday treats are a treasure


Homemade gifts make a treasured treat at holiday times. Baking, decorating and sharing such things as gingerbread cookies, divinity, fudge and more with family, friends and neighbors is a delicious tradition guaranteed to spread holiday cheer.

Enterprise blossoms out of chaos


The bark beetle epidemic that threatens to take 80 percent of the ponderosa pines that are the hallmark of the Mogollon Rim has spawned a new industry.

Curses, hexes for sale


Have some evil spirits that need to be driven away? An enemy you’d like to jinx? Or just somebody you want to get even with?

Monday, December 16

Teens tour home of world champion Diamondbacks

Wide-eyed teenagers from the Rim country had the opportunity Friday to enjoy a tour of one of professional baseball’s most celebrated stadiums.

Murphy’s pledge to Payson residents

I know that the recent allegations have disappointed many of you. I can assure you that I have never endured a harder period in my life. Although I believe that my side of these allegations has not been fully heard, or appreciated, the belief that “Perception is reality” cannot be ignored.

Missing money could make for miserable Christmas

Last week, I lost my billfold containing my checkbook, my credit cards, and other personal information, along with a substantial amount of cash. I usually don’t have cash on me, but in this case, I had just sold some personal items to enable me to pay December’s rent and, hopefully, purchase a Christmas present or two for my daughter.

California student needs help with assignment

I am a fifth-grade student, and my class is studying America and American history. We have been asked to write research reports on one of our favorite states in America. I have chosen to report on Arizona.

What's up?

Q: We live in Strawberry and we are appalled at all the old growth ponderosas, some over 24 inches in diameter, that are marked to be cut for the widening of Fossil Creek Road. Since we are losing our forest at such a devastating rate, why cut these trees down?

Drama students face their ‘Fear’

Payson High School drama students earned their first “outstanding” rating ever at the 2002 Arizona State Thespian Conference held recently at North Canyon High School in Paradise Valley.

School menus

The following menus are planned for Dec. 18 through Dec. 20 at area schools:

Lonnie Matlock

Lonnie Matlock, 88, of Payson, died Dec. 14, 2002.

Barbara Lee Murphy

Barbara Lee Murphy, 84, of Twin Falls, Idaho, died Dec. 12, 2002 at Twin Falls Care Center.

Allan Curtis Schott

Allan Curtis Schott, 73, of Payson, died Dec. 10, 2002 in Phoenix.

Telephone Pioneers give students ‘Me’ books

The Zane Grey Club, the Payson chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America, presented free copies of “A Book About Me” to all kindergarten students at Frontier Elementary School last week.

Firefighters stay fired up with training activities


When there are no fires to fight, how do firefighters stay prepared? The personnel of Pine-Strawberry Fire Department train every week. This training is held in lieu of ‘on-the-scene’ training, so the firefighters stay ready for the dangers that lurk in the forested community.

Back when ... Payson celebrated together


Come with me as we tramp through a foot of snow to the old dance hall. It is sometime during the 1930s, and we are about to share one of Payson’s great annual get-togethers, the community Christmas tree and dance.

Straight talk from leaders was refreshing

Local business and community leaders met with our area’s state representatives during a chamber-sponsored Eggs and Issues breakfast Tuesday morning.

Estrella Foothills joins East

Gomer Pyle frequently uttered the words “Surprise, surprise, surprise,” in his long-running television show of decades ago.

Lady Horns set to host Roadrunners

A 10-day break from the hardwood ends today (Tuesday) for coach Krystal Garvin’s Lady Longhorns. At 6 p.m. in Wilson Dome, the Lady Horns play host to the Holbrook Roadrunners who are expected to bring their run-and-gun style of northern Arizona reservation basketball to the Rim country.

Bulldogs prove to be all bark and no bite

An impressive 55-20 pummeling of the home-standing Winslow Bulldogs improved the Longhorn wrestling team’s early season dual meet record to 7-2.

Flying high at 78

Earl Huffmaster and his 1986 Christian Eagle were spotted doing aileron and barrel rolls over the skies of Payson Monday morning.

Gisela rollover claims 3 lives

A single-vehicle accident on the Gisela Road Saturday claimed three lives.

Council rejects airport board

There will not be another airport board.

Murphy’s promise a positive step

I’m Don Crowley, co-chairman of the Citizens for Better Payson Government. Our group was formed a few weeks ago with the initial purpose of urging Mayor Ken Murphy to resign, or finding some other suitable alternative an objective prompted in large measure by the unfortunate publicity that recent events have brought to this town.

School briefs

The 2002 Payson School District Credit for Kids campaign runs for two more weeks until the Dec. 31 deadline.

A puppy for Christmas? What you should know before you shop


Christmas is generally not the best time to bring a new dog into the household, particularly if there are lots of people and commotion.

Kenmore is proud of his service


Hoyt Kenmore recently introduced himself as a retired bureaucrat and added he was proud to have been a bureaucrat. He sees his years in public service as true service to his fellow man.

Hiker rediscovers site of 1966 plane crash

When a Rim country hiker stumbled across some bits and pieces of a plane a few weeks ago, he notified the Federal Aviation Association. From there, it was discovered that the location matched an Air Force fighter jet crash site from December 1966.

Police injured in separate Friday the 13th incidents

Payson police officers were assaulted in two different domestic violence calls last week. Both incidents occurred Friday, Dec. 13.

Thursday, December 12

Tree auction a tremendous success


Thanks to all the residents and businesses who overwhelmed the school by a huge show of support. Total sales for the 13 trees was $2,106 translating into $162 per classroom.

Hardt still dominates hardwood

Former Lady Longhorn basketball star Whitney Hardt is now weaving her hardwood magic for the Round Valley Elks.

Meth: Recognize the enemy

For most parents, this photograph may be the first time they have ever seen methamphetamine, a drug experts say is 10 times more addictive than crack cocaine.

Rookie hunt turns dream outing

On her first hunt, small or big game, 13-year-old Sami Novak bagged a bull elk that would be a storied prize for the most seasoned of hunters.

Rim country couple hook bronze at bass tournament

Rim country anglers, Bob and Mary Hayn, finished third in the AllStar Bass Team Tournament Dec. 7 at Apache Lake.

Cold water fishing


I recently received a question about cold water fishing from Nate Acord. He writes, “Fall and winter bass fishing seems to be less productive for me. What tactics can I use to still get them to bite?”

No shortage of lights in Christopher Creek


Saturday night was the Annual Christmas Party at the Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship Church. It was a special night with lots of singing from the little ones and the adults.

Lady Horns win three at Pepsi clash

Although the Lady Longhorns couldn’t repeat as Pepsi Cola River Valley Tournament champions, the hoopsters did play well enough to return to the Rim country with a 3-2 record.

Big schools don’t bother these Horns

Battling 4A and 5A wrestling powers in what is known at “Arizona’s Premier Dual Meet Tournament,” Longhorn wrestlers produced three undefeated weight class champions, compiled a 7-2 record and finished fourth in the 16-team field.

Busy month? Take time to take a breath


Is your events calendar filled yet and are parties starting to overlap each other?

Local Scrooges should walk a mile in their shoes

One of the local noisemakers was heard on the radio the other day, commenting on how unusually “vocal” the local charities are this year. And, she mused, just what do these organizations do to help these families the rest of the year.

Puntenney, Jensen wed

James W. Puntenney and Jo Jensen were married Dec. 5 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Shelter gift certificates a dog-gone good idea

No matter what the hottest new toy is, the gift children ask for most at Christmas is a dog or cat.

Murphy’s promise puts stop to recall efforts

A promise by Ken Murphy has stopped the campaign to get him to resign as Payson’s mayor. It has also ended efforts by members of the Committee to Recall Mayor Murphy.

Local girl in Ballet Arizona’s ‘The Nutcracker’ in Phoenix

Ashlan Kamp, 11, of Payson, is part of Ballet Arizona’s company of 150 guest dancers in this year’s production of ‘The Nutcracker.’

Christmas food drive faces bare cupboards

The Community Christmas Food Drive is under way and organizers desperately need the community’s help.

George Frederick Cornwell

George Frederick Cornwell, 83, of Payson, died Dec. 5, 2002, following a brief illness.

Luella M. Frasure Tharp

Luella M. Frasure Tharp, a resident of Payson, died Dec. 9, 2002.

Time, action will tell for mayor

As Mayor Ken Murphy read his prepared statement to the community during Thursday night’s council meeting, his words were reminiscent of a statement he made to the media during his election campaign" that he would never do anything to embarrass the town or the office of mayor.

Friends make the hard times bearable

A huge thank you to Tonto Basin, Gila County folks north and south, and all my friends who gave me a much-needed boost, both financially and emotionally. More than $7,500 was raised through raffles, barbecue, auction, 50-50 drawing and donations. This benefit enabled me to get through 2002 with my head held high.

Christmas cards for Chinese children

Our daughter, Ali, is teaching English to 41 students in a little town outside of Nagano, Japan. Although she denies being homesick, we anticipate that the holidays may be a little rough so far from family. She takes absolute delight in her students.

What's up?

Q: How many people attended the Electric Light Parade last Saturday? Are there any estimates?

Ranch House ‘smokes’ the competition in Pine

Tired of working for other people, the Boccardo brothers have moved to Pine and have opened their own joint, the Ranch House.

Horns prep for Colorado opponents

Longhorn basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser spent most of the past week preparing his players to challenge much taller opponents.

Surviving fire season a cooperative effort

With the worst fire season in Arizona history still smoldering in the minds of Rim country residents, the U.S. Forest Service paused to recognize and honor those entities that came together to prevent a catastrophe.

Identity theft thwarted

It could have turned the holiday season into a blizzard of red tape and heartache. Instead, a sharp employee at the QVC home shopping network thought a name on an order sounded suspicious and called Amy Von Somogyi of Payson.

Boomtown goes bust

Boomtown - the proposed Old West town-themed shopping and entertainment complex on Main Street - has gone bust.

Tuesday, December 10

When people asked questions, Part 2


Last week we were looking at the answers to some of the questions people ask about the Payson area. Like this one:

History comes alive during P-S Walking Tour


A normal stroll through Pine or Strawberry brings the past alive when you tour the communities with the Walking History Booklet offered by the Pine-Strawberry Historical Society at the Pine Museum.

Special breads make great gifts


Part of my holiday baking plan includes making a few loaves of quick breads. I am opting for the packaged mixes, two of which are for pumpkin bread, my favorite. It’s hereditary I think - my 90-year-old grandfather loves the stuff.

How to tax everything


On several occasions in this space, I have advocated placing some kind of control on one of our nation’s and indeed the world’s largest nemeses.

Monday, December 9

What's up?

Q: There used to be a small man-made lake visible on the east side of Tyler Parkway, about opposite 600 N. Tyler Parkway. That little lake is now drained. I wonder what is it for? Will it be refilled?

Local quilters to compete in California show


Creativity and attention to detail will send three talented Rim country ladies on the road to California in August, after having their quilts accepted to the very prestigious “Road to California” quilt show.

Stylist finds Payson hip and hairy


Kristy Sauder, owner of Backstreet Salon, knew from a young age that she wanted to be a hairdresser when she grew up.

How the Swiss Village was created


The lights of Christmas burn brightly again in Payson’s Swiss Village, calling our attention to what journalist Carroll Cox called in 1984, “the development that has drawn thousands of intrigued travelers to the Rim country area.” It was the event that caused Payson to turn the corner from “sleepy cow town” to modern city. But this really is the story of a man.

Lady Horns reap all-region tributes

A foursome of Lady Longhorn players have been named to the All-Rim Region soccer first team.

PHS soccer struggles to stay 1A-3A

Readers are asking why the Payson High School soccer teams have competed the last few seasons in the Class 1A-3A Rim region when all the other sports teams participated in the Class 3A East region.

Recall update

Petitions to conduct a recall campaign against Mayor Ken Murphy were taken out Monday.

Beyond the classroom

Following Veterans Day, Payson Elementary School teacher Sally Rohrbach felt a need to help her students understand why they had a day off from school.

Suspect accepts plea in 2001 knife attack

An attempted murder charge was reduced to aggravated assault and misconduct with a weapon in a plea agreement for Frankie Marie Stiner last week.

Commission chides county for Pine growth

Chiding both Gila County officials and area real estate developers for their role in the Pine water crisis, the Arizona Corporation Commission reluctantly denied a meter moratorium recommended by its staff Monday.

Town council tackles tough water issues Thursday

Having only one regular meeting this month, the Payson Town Council has a full agenda Thursday night. Two different water issues will be the most important matters discussed, according to Town Manager Fred Carpenter.

Campbell family learns there’s no place like home

A bright blue sky and crisp autumn air lent a festive atmosphere to Sunday’s dedication ceremonies for the latest Payson Area Habitat for Humanity home.

Christmas angels need your help

Whether it’s the economy, the job market, or the high cost of living, Payson’s local charities are feeling the pinch this Christmas.

Gifts for abandoned animals appreciated

Please remember the homeless animals this season.

Leaders must be willing to be under magnifying glass

I believe that any leader of town, state, country, should be willing to be under the magnifying glass of the public, and that person should be able to lead in wisdom and morality.

Sidney S. McCrary

Sidney S. McCrary, 86, of Payson, died Dec. 9, 2002.

PES students learn Safety First

The first in a series of Safety First presentations was held on the Payson Elementary School playground last week.

Tax dollars should not be used for a lynching

Don’t use taxpayer funds for a lynching.

Power of prayer can solve mayor’s problems

A few weeks ago when my husband came and told me that Mayor Murphy was on the Phoenix evening news with a domestic violence/alcohol related incident, my heart sank to my toes.

Tips to save trees from thieves

It’s hard to come up with words to explain the kind of person who would cut down a beautiful tree in someone’s yard as occurred recently. The thief saved just a small fraction of what it would cost to replace the tree if it could be replaced at all.

PHS presents ‘Sunrise Boulevard’

If you liked the Payson High School Drama Department’s production of “Phantom of the Soap Opera,” you’ll love the play that opens tomorrow in the PHS Studio Theater.

Area smoke is fire control effort

The Payson Fire Department, in conjunction with the Regional Payson Area Project, will be conducting brush pile burning operations in the area during the next several weeks.

Gartner is chief of chiefs

Chief Gordon Gartner is the new president of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police.

Changes in works for road maintenance

The way the town maintains private roads could be changing.

Rough Roaders riding again

The residents along the roads threatened with discontinued town maintenance are gearing up for a protest.

Preparing pets for the holidays


As the season for guests, feasts and festivities approaches, it is important that your pets are prepared with proper party manners.

Gerard Joseph Fortin

Gerard Joseph Fortin, 72, died Dec. 5, 2002.

Charles “Red” H. Saunders

Charles “Red” H. Saunders, 74, died Nov. 6, 2002 at his home in Taylor, Ariz.

Kaufman reception

Duane and Patty Kaufman invite all family and friends to join them in the celebration of their marriage.

Horns crush Camp Verde in late rally

After a sluggish first half Friday evening in Wilson Dome, the Longhorn boys basketball team came alive to beat Camp Verde 59-16.

Horns head to Bullhead showdown

When basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser opted out of the Winslow Bulldog Tournament the Horns had long competed in, he said it was because he’d like to see his team challenged by schools they might not play against during the course of the regular season.

Softball players, check your bats

Before you purchase that $400 bat as a Christmas gift for your softball-playing spouse or friend, you might want to check its certification.

Thursday, December 5

Corrine Paige Creasy

Stephanie and Tony Creasy announce the birth of their daughter, Corrine Paige, at 6:13 p.m. Oct. 2, 2002.

Get your pooch ready for a cold winter


As we prepare our homes for the cold weather, we must prepare appropriate accommodations for our pets as well. Cats are very clever about finding cozy little places to curl up and keep warm. Unless your dog is totally pampered and only ventures outside when absolutely necessary, he needs our help in providing the essentials for both cold and hot weather.

To plant or not to plant, that is the question


Gardening is the No. 1 hobby in the United States, a tradition we have inherited from our ancestors in many parts of the world. Water shortages and water scarcity also are being faced on every continent and in growing numbers of communities globally. But in our society, we expect well-maintained homes to be well landscaped which helps to protect property values and shows the pride the homeowner takes in caring for his home.

What's up?

Q: I understand Roosevelt Lake is being drained to two percent of its capacity and is not being refilled. Why?

Family of missing son thanks community

Thank you so much for your help in (searching for) our son, Robert Pico. We have not found him yet, but will keep looking.

Let’s remember the good Murphy can do

How soon we forget.

Casting the first stone

Regarding our Mayor Ken Murphy, what is that saying about casting the first stone? I note there are a few right here in Payson who fall into that category.

Learning from lessons of the past

Lest we forget!

Light parade shines down Main Street Saturday

Spectators lining Main Street Saturday evening will see a bigger and better Electric Light Parade than last year’s inaugural event.

'Remember this date, it could be important'

Pearl Harbor survivor remembers ‘day that will live in infamy’

Bo Bochansky, a Payson resident for the last 20 years, is one of Pearl Harbor’s survivors. As America remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bochansky shares his recollections of the event.

Time for a regional water solution

The water situation in Pine is, in the words of the staff of the Arizona Corporation Commission, “dire.”

Recall committee filing papers Monday

The Committee to Recall Mayor Murphy will file for its petitions Monday.

Police ask for a safe holiday

The Payson Police Department has given its officers extra training in spotting impaired drivers. But they’d rather see prevention prevail, according to Chief Gordon Gartner.

Tribe signs new compact

Tonto Apache Chairperson Vivian Burdette met with Governor Jane Hull Wednesday to sign the tribe’s gaming compact.

Kittens return in time for Christmas adoptions

There’s good news for Rim country children who hope to find a kitten under the tree this Christmas.

Maxwells' golden anniversary

The children of Jerry and Marilyn Maxwell are hosting an open house in honor of their parents’ 50th wedding anniversary from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at the Maxwells’ home at 702 W. Summit in Payson.

Horn running back named East’s best

By the narrowest of margins, Payson High School senior Waylon Pettet was named the East region’s Offensive Player of the Year.

Short-handed Horns stumble in stretch

A 7-0 Fountain Hills’ run in the final two minutes of play Tuesday night in Wilson Dome ended the Longhorn boys basketball team’s hopes of springing an upset over the highly-favored Falcons.

MVP Realty sells to ERA Young Realty

Rose Harper has been the broker/owner of MVP Realty for the past 12-1/2 years. That all changed Nov. 18 when Harper announced the sale of her company, becoming ERA Young Realty’s eighth franchise in Rim country.

Where the bull elk roam


The magnificent bull elk have been seen many evenings at Bob and Sam Conklin’s home in C-Canyon. Aren’t we very fortunate to be able to look outside and see such a sight? I guess that’s just one of the reasons most of us live here in Christopher Creek.

Christmas (shopping) season has begun


By now, there probably is no turkey left, thank goodness.

Cough up bucks for Christmas tree auction


Fish fry to benefit boys basketball

Benefit steak dinners and spaghetti meals are commonplace in the Payson school district. For more than a decade, they’ve been held to earn money for financially-strapped extracurricular activities.

When is the best time to fish?


What’s the best time of day to fish for bass? That’s this week’s question from Derek Wimpee.

A day in the life of a young cadet

Former Longhorn baseball, football star and honors graduate Bryan Zumbro returned to his roots this Thanksgiving.

Girls hoops celebrate their first win

Lady Longhorn head coach Krystal Garvin celebrated her first varsity victory Tuesday night.

Alma Fern Corbett

Alma Fern Corbett, 90, of Payson, died Nov. 30, 2002.

Gracey Ruth Henderson

Michael and Stacey Henderson announce the birth of their daughter, Gracey Ruth, on Oct. 3, 2002.

Tuesday, December 3

’Tis the season for Main Street’s light parade


Every year, when they light the official White House Christmas tree, the newspaper wire services are flooded with stories which reveal every imaginable detail about the event: How many light bulbs are on the tree, how much electricity the thing consumes per second, how many pine needles it sheds every 15 minutes.

When people asked questions


Every week several questions are asked of me by Rim country residents or visitors, and off I go on a search for the answers. It might be well to use such questions and answers for a few of these articles.

Time to make plans for Christmas baking


The garbage trucks have carted away the turkey carcasses and there is a sizable dent in the Thanksgiving leftovers, that means it’s time to start thinking about Christmas baking.

Don’t ‘rock’ the Canadians


I’ve never been a big Rock-Paper-Scissors guy.

Monday, December 2

Lawrence Edward Ryan

Lawrence “Larry” Edward Ryan, 81, of Payson, died Nov. 29, 2002.

Thief steals 12-foot tree from man’s yard during the night

In a true display of bah-humbug Christmas spirit, some Grinch chopped down and made off with the 12-foot Colorado blue spruce from a local man’s yard early Monday morning. The spruce is now likely standing in someone’s home stolen property serving as a symbol of the season of giving.

ASU proves to be a classy football team

Those Arizona State University football players that many of us gathered to watch in preseason training at Rumsey Park and Camp Tontozona turned out to be a classy bunch of athletes.

Football awards on tap tomorrow

Payson High School football coach Steve Saben has been tight-lipped about which Longhorn players have been selected to receive All-East honors.

Warriors host Rim matmen

A hectic off-season, in which the Longhorns participated in a full slate of USA Wrestling competition followed by a month of grueling preseason training, has the team geared up for the start of the season.

Lady Horns search for first win

When Krystal Garvin’s Lady Longhorns take to the Wilson Dome floor at 7 p.m. this evening (Tuesday) against Fountain Hills, the rookie head coach will be looking for her first varsity win.

Teachers beat students at high-noon grudge match

In Wilson Dome Nov. 27, two Rim Country Middle School teams took to the floor in a faculty versus student benefit basketball game.

All our history went south


Newcomers to Payson sometimes ask how old the town is, and gasp to learn it was not incorporated until 1973. In fact it was December 6 of that year when Payson was able to have its own government and was not simply “in the county.”

New Payson businessman plans changes


If you haven’t noticed, the Stampede on Highway 260 reopened Thanksgiving weekend under new management.

The big crash: Self-help in times of computer crises


There are, it is safe to say, four basic types of computer users:

Project Blue Light shows support for officers

September 11.

Love of motorcycles a lifetime affair

In many respects, Ruth Sorrell is your typical biker chick.

Child fingerprint program continues

The Gila County Sheriff’s Department continued its child fingerprinting program recently.

Finding neighbors thousands of miles down the road

It really is a small world, and there’s evidence of that right here in the Rim country.

Regional master plan completed

A master plan for the Regional Payson Area Project (RPAP) has just been completed and will be presented to the Payson Town Council in an upcoming work-study session.

25 bikes assembled in 8 hours

Twenty-five unsuspecting Rim country children will receive 25 shiny, brand-new bicycles this Christmas, thanks to the combined effort of several local business owners, community volunteers, the Payson Police Department and the employees of Chapman Auto Center, who assembled each and every bike during a single eight-hour shift Friday.

Move continues for mayor’s resignation

The group, Citizens for Better Payson Government, is now circulating an open letter to Mayor Ken Murphy and his supporters, asking for the mayor’s resignation.

Two teens arrested for sexual abuse of minors

Two Payson teen-age boys have been arrested for sexual abuse of two minor girls.

Florin Fraedrich Young

Florin Fraedrich Young, 88, of Payson, died Nov. 29, 2002 in Phoenix.

John H. Donnahoe

John H. Donnahoe, “The Little Colonel,” of Payson, died Nov. 28, 2002.

Kockas celebrate 60 years

Celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2002, were Jim and Mary Kocka of Strawberry. They were married in Chicago.

Payson Community Christian School menu

Payson Community Christian School will be serving the following lunches for the month of December:

4,000 ways that prove Character Counts

Four thousand cans of food.

What's up?

Q: My property backs up to the Tonto National Forest. A neighbor is shooting a gun off his deck into the forest. Isn’t there a law that you can’t shoot within one mile of a home?

Holiday etiquette

It’s that wonderful but busy time of year again. It’s also the time to feel guilty about taking shortcuts in preparing for the big event. Let me put you at ease regarding holiday cards.

Mayor’s problems are not unique

I would like to add my comments to the many you have received about the personal difficulties of Mayor Murphy. People seem to be ready to either “forgive” him or to condemn him soundly. I would like to suggest that neither reaction is ideal.

Kathleen Mae Hurlburt

Kathleen Mae (Campbell) Hurlburt, 83, died Dec. 1, 2002.

Too many steps in the wrong direction

Re: Letters to the Editor, Nov. 19, 2002. “Murphy, a man of good character.”

Murphy best mayor in a long time

Our mayor was elected for one reason: to lead the town. He was not elected to set an example for anyone’s morals or beliefs. Mayor Murphy has not been convicted of anything; why don’t you just let it go?

Thief stole more than just a tree

Somewhere, most likely in Payson, someone will be celebrating Christmas around a gorgeous, 12-foot, blue spruce Christmas tree, brightly lit and decorated in honor of the season.

Affordable housing project gets land

Three acres of the Garcia property along South McLane will be the site for the Green Valley Apartments.

Highway wreck delays Santa’s arrival

A two-car collision on Highway 87 at Roundup Road caused a delay in Santa’s arrival for the annual Christmas lighting program at the Swiss Village.

Reader wants Cardinals to fly the coop

The time has come for the big bird to fly the coop!

Lost six days, ailing dog reunites with owner

When Sheriff’s Deputy Karen Baltz spotted a black-and-tan dog limping along Highway 87, she had no idea that she was about to rescue not just any lost or stray dog, but a miraculous testament to a dog’s love and dedication to her owner.