Stories for July 2002


Tuesday, July 30

Dancing a fine line


Shirley Billingsley doesn't have to spend a whole lot of time mulling over an answer when she's asked what she likes most about line dancing.

Murder in Tonto Basin


The Rim country has its dark side, as every community does, and it sometimes interrupted the fun of rodeos and dances, or the hard work of cattle roundups. The dark side showed its face in 1892.

Morning fuel for your back-to-school students


Fall is far from in the air, but its time to go back to the books in the Rim country. Conventional wisdom tells us a hearty breakfast is the best way for young, growing bodies to get their day started.

Battle of the sexes revisited


I hate to bring up the battle of the sexes, but a recent harmonic convergence seems to me a sign that it is time to once again visit the subject.

Monday, July 29

Sign up now for slow pitch classic

For the first time in the 21-year history of the Payson ASA Labor Day Classic Slow Pitch Softball Tournament, a seniors' division will be included in the holiday diamond festivities.

Mock-patients survive PRMC evacuation drill

A hospital wildfire-evacuation drill staged Thursday afternoon by Payson Regional Medical Center was an unqualified success, according to Jim Heskett, the hospital's base station coordinator and drill organizer.

Gala fetes hospice supporters

Celebrate harvest time in the Rim country at the Rim Country Hospice Foundation's annual dinner, auction and dance, Saturday, Sept. 28 at 511 South Mud Springs Road.

Two high school juniors attend AnyTown, USA

Two Payson High School juniors, Holly Lane and Melanie McLaws, were among nine Gila County high school students selected to spend last week at AnyTown USA.

Naaman Midyett

Naaman "Paul" Midyett, a 12-year resident of Tonto Basin and former mayor of Sierra Vista, died July 24, 2002.

What's up?

Q: How long is the Payson Community Kids school drive going to run, and what do they need most?

Celebration was an affordable boost

Our congratulations to Mayor Ken Murphy, council, parks and recreation department and all the town employees who had a part in the planning of the barbecue and show at Green Valley Park last Saturday evening.

Humane Society doesn't turn away pets

The Payson Humane Society is above all else a humane society. We do not turn away strays at any time.

$75,000 shouldn't have been spent at all

Re your editorial Friday, June 12, "Mayor, put our money where your mouth is" I agree that "spending $75,000 on Valley advertising to draw folks to Payson seems ludicrous at best." However, I do disagree that the proper place to spend the money is on covering the bleachers at the event center.

Airport sidewalk should be relocated

I read in a recent Roundup that the town of Payson could not afford to put a sidewalk in between the golf course and the lakes along Country Club Drive.

Marie Walls, stoic to the end

Marie Walls wasn't a local celebrity. She wasn't a mover or a shaker. She worked in the drive-up window at Burger King.

Survey shows most animals escaped Rodeo-Chediski

A preliminary assessment of the area scorched by the Rodeo-Chediski Fire indicates that wildlife loss may be minimal.

Advertising money half gone

The Payson Town Council gave the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce $75,000 for an emergency advertising campaign. The goal of the campaign is to bring tourists back to town. Informal surveys show tourists are staying away because of the drought, the forest closures and the Rodeo-Chediski Fires.

Slow down! School is back in session

This week, Payson schools are back in session, and police will be patrolling the streets to make sure students are safe from speedy drivers.

Solution may save 11 state parks

A new solution that would allow Tonto Natural Bridge and 10 other state parks to stay open has emerged from the governor's office.

Scout and friends pitch in at park

Matthew Gartner saw a problem in his neighborhood and figured out a way to fix it.

Cancer claims Marie Walls

Marie Walls was given three to four months to live.

Tiny Turner arrives

Proud parents Chris and Tammy Turner announce the arrival of their son, Travis William Glenn Turner.

New track in final stages of construction

Please don't mess with the track.

Kokopelli was Kilroy of the Rim country


Kokopelli is the Kilroy of the Southwest. Most of us remember the little bald-head and eyes peering over the edge of just about anything. His droop snoot hangs down between two sets of fingers gripping the line. Scribbled with or without the cartoon are the words "Kilroy Was Here."

Critchfield finds love at humane society


It is an unusual name. It sounds as if it should belong to someone with a bubbly, bouncy personality.

Save your child from a School-lunch horror story


Only one school-lunch horror story sticks out in Alan Ammann's memory. But it's a scary one.

The church that love built

It is an old-fashioned tradition: the men of a congregation literally building their church.

ACC is there to ensure reliable utility service

The Arizona Corporation Commission is concerned about the state's current drought and its effect on several state water companies. Some specific information included in a letter from Pam Milhon of Christopher Creek Haven Water Company to the editor of the Roundup requires clarification.

Former Roundup editor, publisher welcome second child

Ethan Parker Price was born to Niki and Dave Price, formerly of Payson, at 6:50 a.m. June 28, 2002 in Corvallis, Ore., and weighed 8 pounds.

Goodman uses Pirch to catch a bass

Fishing for the first time as an angling team, Clifford Pirch and Ty Goodman relied on beginner's luck and a nine-pound lunker to win the Tuesday Night Roosevelt Bass Tournament.

Swim season winds down at Taylor Pool

Because much of the Taylor Pool staff is made up of students, the local swim facility will lose a good portion of its lifeguards when Payson High School classes begin Thursday.

Golf duo defends memorial title

Each summer, the Payson Women's Golf Association sponsors its highly popular Memorial Tournament.

Thursday, July 25

Wickenburg man offered town manager's job

Fred Carpenter of Wickenburg has accepted the Payson Town Council's offer to become the new town manager.

Efforts were overwhelming

We wanted to express our appreciation to the businesses, organizations and people of Payson and Christopher Creek for all of their efforts to make our "evacuation time" in their communities as pleasant as possible.

Villagers get back to normal life


The good news this week is that my husband and his buddy, Rick Meeker, were drawn for elk for this season.

Business releases power of mind, body

"What lies behind us and what lies before us," said Oliver Wendell Holmes, "are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

Back to school

While Payson Unified School Superintendent Herb Weissenfels is satisfied with the district's accomplishments, he remains focused on the future.

Finding color preference key to fishing success


Color can be very important when you are selecting a lure to use. This point has really caught my attention while fishing at Roosevelt over the last couple of weeks. Bass have been extremely finicky when it comes to color lately.

Cardinals head to Flagstaff for camp

The Arizona Cardinals have released their practice schedule for the team's preseason stay from July 26 to Aug. 14 on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Final candidates give their goals for Congressional District One

The field of congressional hopefuls is packed with 15 men and women who want to represent central and eastern Arizona in Congressional District 1 the newly formed district that is the largest single congressional district in the nation, that is not a separate state.

Lucas Matthew Kelly

Lucas Matthew Kelly was born July 9, 2002 in Mesa.

Veterans celebrate anniversary

The Payson chapter of the American Veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam celebrated the organization's 55th anniversary Tuesday, July 23.

Bear necessities

The brown bear that lumbered up to the rear of Tony and Kathy Salvaggio's home in Chaparral Pines last week

County's budget hit by troubled economy

"Lack of money." With those three words, Gila County Finance Director John Nelson summed up the greatest challenge of hammering together the county's tentative $57,373,234 budget for fiscal year 2002-2003.

Habitat for Humanity's house No. 9 set for groundbreaking

The construction of Payson Area Habitat for Humanity's house No. 9, in partnership with the Cindy Campbell family, will be launched with a groundbreaking ceremony at the building site tomorrow morning.

Taxpayers' money was poorly spent

This weekend, hordes of motorists will be making a beeline from the Valley of the Heatstroke to the cool pines of Payson.

Fire-starter should have to pay

Regarding the decision not to charge the woman who started the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, I believe there are always consequences we should have to pay for making poor decisions.

Ignorance is no excuse for starting fire

In regards to "Chediski fire-starter won't be charged," I believe it is a travesty and miscarriage of justice.

Community's response was greatly appreciated

To the residents of Payson: We would like to thank all of the individuals, organizations, and businesses who helped us to take care of the refugee animals during the Rodeo-Chediski Fire.

Shouldn't humane society always accept animals?

This is in response to the "What's Up" question in the Friday July 19 issue. The question asked was "What do you do with a stray cat when the Payson Humane Society says they won't take it and that you should take it out in the forest?"

What's up?

Q: I am fortunate enough to have a Rodeo-Chediski Fire T-shirt and I'm appalled that Jim Paxon's name is not on it along with the others. I consider him a true American hero. Where can I write to him to see if he'll autograph my shirt?

A Rim country luau in Strawberry


The Strawberry Elite is hosting a luau from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, July 28, in the newly reopened Black Bear Lounge.

Dude Survivor Party a blast


As always, Bob and Sam Conklin held the 13th Annual Dude Fire Survivor Party at their house this year.

Artist, novelist moves to Pine

Gallery artist and writer, Amie Claire Doggett recently joined the community of Pine.

Clara Boggs

Clara Jearlene "Jerri" Boggs, 62, of Payson, died July 20, 2002, in Phoenix.

Caroline J. Markey

Caroline Jane Markey died July 23, 2002, in Payson.

Superintendent's message to parents

If PUSD Superintendent Herb Weissenfels could tell parents just one thing it would be to stay involved in their children's education and in their lives.

Payson Unified School District #10 2002-2003 Calendar

Aug. 1 First Day of School

Locals go to Alaska for the halibut

For a foursome of Rim country anglers, a jaunt to near Juneau, Alaska turned out to be the stuff from which celebrated fishing fables are spun.

Phoenix firm gets bid for track surface

The Payson Unified School District governing board has selected a Phoenix company to complete the long awaited construction of the all-weather track surface at the high school.

'Hot Ice' melts competition at state championships

A Payson women's softball team will advance to the Amateur Softball Association Western National Championships as the Arizona state champions.

Sports vet taps top teams, players

For more than 30 years, Barry Sollenberger has been writing and publishing sports magazines and record books including his annual edition of Phoenix Metro Football.

Tuesday, July 23

Saddle up for a fun-filled ride


There I was, sitting atop my trusty stallion, high above a carpet of ponderosa pine trees, in one of the very few reopened sections of the Tonto National Forest, taking in an eyeball-popping view of the Mogollon Rim that likely hasn't changed in 200 years.

Let the games begin


Leave it to those fun-loving Japanese, the folks who invented the kamikaze attack. Now they're taking that basic concept and putting it to work on Japanese game shows.

Take granola along for your horseback ride


To accompany the feature on trail riding in the Rim country, I was going to share a recipe for trail mix.

Learning about snakes


I half expected to see elk and bear coming into our Payson yard as evacuees from the big forest fire, but had not counted on rattlesnakes. There it was moving about our little subdivision and creating a dither among some neighbors.

Monday, July 22

Bradley joins the Roughriders

As one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of the Payson High School baseball program, 18-year-old Ky Bradley will soon take his diamond act to the campus of Yavapai College in Prescott. His rookie stint with the Roughriders begins Aug. 26 when fall practices and classes begin.

Jensen one of first teen volunteers for shelter


Watch 13-year-old Payson Humane Society volunteer Kyle Jensen playing with a group of puppies inside their cage and it's hard to tell who's getting the most out of it.

Rim country fire-starter remains in custody

The 21-year-old Camp Geronimo employee accused of lighting two small forest fires near the Control Road remains in custody pending trial, Mike Johns of the United States Attorney's Office said.

Town manager picked tonight

The Payson Town Council will have a special meeting tonight, Tuesday, July 23, for the selection of a new town manager.

Camp for soccer coaches begins Wednesday

Local soccer coaches will soon have a great opportunity to pick up some new skills from highly acclaimed Yavapai College coach Hugh Bell.

Cardinals report to NAU Friday

Bruce Haught and Mike Loutzenheiser could be leading the Rim country charge to Flagstaff, where the Arizona Cardinals will soon begin preseason practices.

Payson's new traffic program successful

The new traffic enforcement program by the Payson Police Department is more successful than officials hoped.

David Buckwalter

David Jesse Buckwalter, 88, of Peoria, died July 22, 2002 in Payson.

Cowboys let 'em burn before the Feds stepped in


Anybody talking about forest fires these days?

Korth shoots a 60 at low-net-by-flight tournament

Payson Men's Golf Association member Rick Korth swung his way to top honors in the dual match July 17 on the Payson Golf Course.

Meager turnout for football camp

Just 10 fledging players turned out for the town of Payson sponsored-Longhorn football camp when it opened Monday on Rumsey Park's south multipurpose field.

Past alive at archaeology museum


The Rim country's prehistoric past comes alive Saturday with the public grand opening of the Museum of Rim Country Archaeology.

College 'will have a fall semester,' Ganz says

It's been a waiting game as a committee headed by new Gila County Provost Barbara Ganz meets with several community college districts in hopes of finding a new partner in time to offer a fall semester.

Counties, Forest Service reach forest agreement

When U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton put ink to paper last week, Gila County District One Supervisor Ron Christensen said, a "major step forward" was taken in defining the roles that local, state and federal governments have in the management and protection of the nation's public lands.

Highway litter is out of control

What do we have to do to keep people from trashing our highways?

Harmon found competent for trial

Lisa Harmon, the woman in Mesa del Caballo who was charged with animal abuse, has undergone a psychiatric evaluation and has been found competent to stand trial.

Sexual harassment lawsuit ends with $75,000 settlement

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against C.K. Family Restaurants of Globe, Inc., owned by Payson businessman Jeff Seivert, for $75,000 and other terms.

Town to conduct mock disaster drill

Nobody minds that Payson's various disaster-preparedness teams didn't get to test their respective hometown strategies during the Rodeo-Chediski Fire.

Don Waterson

Don Earl Waterson, 76, of Payson, died July 18, 2002 in Payson.

Pearl Schatzer

Pearl M. Schatzer of Payson, died July 17, 2002, in Payson.

Barbara Norsen

Barbara Norsen, 79, died July 17, 2002 in Payson.

William Hopper

William Neal Hopper, 81, of Round Valley, died July 21, 2002 in Payson.

What's up?

Q: Why can't some of the water from Fossil Springs be harnessed to be used in Strawberry and Pine?

Off-track betting on council's agenda

Thursday, the Payson Town Council will consider approval of a request to have off-track betting at Famous Sam's.

Elliott must not profit from fire

I was extremely disappointed by Paul Charlton's decision not to prosecute Valinda Jo Elliott for starting the Chediski Fire. I agree that there was no criminal intent in her actions, but adults must be responsible for their actions nevertheless.

Ad campaign is desperately needed

The recent unanimous decision by our town council to fund a special advertising campaign with $75,000 from their contingency fund needs public applause and a thank-you.

It takes a village ... and money

Children in Arizona are being lost at an alarming rate. Not to abductors or kidnappers, but to an educational system that is being forced to take the place of parents.

Wanted: Outside management of event center

Town officials want the event center managed by either a private or non-profit entity.

Volunteers upset with Red Cross approach

The wounds on the land from the Rodeo-Chediski Fire are still open and raw.

Three arrested in two meth labs

The discovery of two "full-blown" methamphetamine laboratories on the Tonto-Apache Reservation Friday led to the arrest of three non-Native American suspects.

Deep subject

Nine-year-old Stephanie Namuth (left) and 8-year-old Hanna Keller discuss deep subjects with their scuba instructor, Mike Wicks, during the Payson Parks and Recreation Department's wettest summer program, "Bubble Makers."

Prop. 202 contains a 'poison pill'

The report of the gaming initiative, which will become Proposition 202, was most interesting as reported in Friday's Roundup.

Thursday, July 18

Payson needs solid defensible space

It seems to be the popular thing to blame "environmentalists" for supposedly preventing the forest thinning that could have prevented the Rodeo-Chediski disaster.

Arllie Ezell

Arllie Elma Ezell, 90, of Star Valley, died July 16, 2002, in Globe.

John Cahalan

John Michael Cahalan, 46, of Phoenix, died July 14, 2002.

Officials deem blasting in Pine legal

About a dozen residents in Pine mounted a protest Wednesday against the fourth explosion of the year near their homes.

Christopher Creek water company in a Catch 22

Christopher Creek Haven Water Company last week downgraded the water system to a Level 3 (water production less than 50% - No outside watering regulation).

Hardwood Horns finish 3-3 at California

Challenging California's big school powers proved to be a break-even task for the Payson boys summer basketball team.

Will fans return to Tontozona?

Looking to improve on last year's dismal 4-7 record, Arizona State University second-year coach Dirk Koetter will soon bring his Sun Devil football team to Camp Tontozona.

Geoffrey turns one 'like a normal baby'

When Becca Jones says, "I've never been happier in my life," it really means something especially when you consider the challenges she and her infant son, Geoffrey, have faced over the past 11 months.

Congressional hopefuls talk of budgets, environmental policy

A total of 16 men and women are vying for election to Congressional District One the newly formed district that is the largest single congressional district in the nation, that is not a separate state.

Marjorie Hoover

Marjorie Jean Hoover, 66, died July 16, 2002, at Payson Care Center.

Month-long investigation wraps up with 2 arrests

Two people were arrested on drug charges July 12 following a month-long investigation.

Republican candidates debate tonight

All six Republican candidates for the new Congressional district will be at the Gila County Republican Committee's debate Friday. The debate is at 7 p.m., July 19 in the Payson High School auditorium. Former Payson Mayor Ray Schum will serve as moderator.

KRIM will return to airwaves

KRIM FM will be back on the air in about a week, broadcasting from a new location.

Forest reopens

At 8 a.m. this morning, the U.S. Forest Service reopened the majority of the Tonto National Forest areas that had been closed some for almost two months due to extreme fire hazards.

Chediski fire-starter won't be charged

Valinda Jo Elliott will face no criminal charges for setting the signal fire that raged into the Chediski half of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire.

Vocal locals fight to save bridge

The Rim country made a forceful, reasoned and at times eloquent case for keeping the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park open at a meeting of the Arizona State Parks Board held Thursday at the bridge.

What's up?

Q: What do you do with a stray cat when the Payson Humane Society says they won't take it and that you should take it out in the forest?

Andrew Paul Rossborough

Andrew Paul Rossborough, 81, of Payson, died July 14, 2002.

Royal treatment by a gracious host

The community of Forest Lakes wishes to express our wholehearted gratitude to the citizens and businesses of the Payson area for your welcoming of our evacuees with open arms.

Argument for stupidity law

Valinda Jo Elliott may be the most despised woman in the White Mountains.

Randall recovering well


Donnie Wayne Randall, 25, got his bell rung, but good, by a horse during a roping session in Pine Saturday.

Be careful of wandering critters


It was almost as if the Village was holding its breath this past week, waiting for the monsoon to bring us the rain. We were not disappointed.

All-Star team faces defeat with honor

The Payson Little League 13- to 14-year-old all-star team came up a tad short in its bid to reach the district tournament.

Residents need to be bear aware


The bears are showing up everywhere. There is a very large black one that has taken over the transfer station for his territory.

Payson swim team to host Cottonwood

Rim country splash action will be fast and furious tomorrow (Saturday) at Taylor Pool, when the town of Payson youth swim team hosts Cottonwood in a dual meet, at 8 a.m.

Tuesday, July 16

Believing in the rainmakers


The Tonto-Apache tribe is so young, says member Jeri Johnson-DeCola, that they do not have any traditional rain dances or rain-inducing ceremonies.

Small-town post office gets job done


Just when it seems like I'm getting my life in order, along comes a postal rate increase. Effective July 1, in case you didn't notice, first class postage jumped from 34 cents to 37 cents.

Payson was under attack


As soon as white settlers entered the Rim country, Apache attacks on them began. In the ten years from 1867 through 1876 sixty skirmishes were fought in and about Payson and the Tonto Basin.

The ultimate in comfort food


For this edition I was going in search of a recipe for Mississippi Mud Pie ... In honor of the return of the monsoon.

Monday, July 15

Dentist rushes to spot on U.S. world team roster

Not many dentist offices feature both indoor and outdoor archery ranges.

Last chance for Tonto bridge

When the Arizona State Parks Board convenes at the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park this week, Bob Ware wants them to get an earful from Rim country residents regarding their decision to close the bridge indefinitely Nov. 1.

Monsoon lightning starts two forest fires

Two new fires are burning in the Tonto National Forest, but officials are fairly confident they don't pose a serious threat.

Engineer pulls plug on KRIM

A local engineer who put Payson's newest radio station KRIM FM on the air, pulled the plug on the fledgling station at 12:45 a.m. Monday morning.

Town council adopts tentative $34 mil budget

The Payson Town Council adopted a $34 million tentative budget at its Thursday meeting.

Let's cross this bridge together

The fire is out. The evacuees have gone home. It even rained hard Monday night, and officials are talking about reopening the forest in a week or so.

This should be criminal!

My family and I were evacuated during the fire here in White Mountains. Upon returning we immediately witnessed; the local dregs on society (many people twice!) and groups of illegal aliens from Mexico and just about all of the people up here that exist on government assistance and welfare at the Red Cross facility in our old Safeway in the heart of town.

Alpine ridge, another missed opportunity?

ere is a lot of discussion going on around Payson about the town giving the chamber $75,000 for advertising in the Phoenix newspapers and on their radio stations promoting Payson.

Council did the right thing to salvage the summer

Monday night, July 8, our town council met in a special open session to consider the need for one-on-one interviews with the applicants who would like to become our new, full-time town manager. They agreed the need existed and they voted to do just that. I thoroughly agree. This is a major step and the right decision requires all information that can be made available to our councilmembers.

A few clarifications regarding open meeting story

I would like to clarify a few points regarding the article printed in the July 9 issue entitled, "Town council accused of open meeting law violation." I did not allege that the council members (whether it was three or four) met and held an illegal meeting.

Solar-powered chain saws for everyone

Arizona State Rep. Jeff Flake was asked in the July 1 issue of Human Events (a national conservative weekly newspaper) whether he thought Congress should overturn the 2001 Clinton approval of the "Roadless Area Conservation Rule" which restricted the building of roads on 58.5 million acres of national forest land.

Why don't restaurants use paper cups?

A local restaurant displays a card explaining why a glass of water is served only on request. It emphasizes that it takes the equivalent of three glasses of water to wash one used glass.

What's up?

Q: What's up with the 25 mph speed limit on Tyler Parkway? I've driven it in both directions and you practically have to ride your brakes to keep it at 25. If you go down an incline, you're already going 30 or 35. It's an open, clear road with no passing, so what's the possibility of raising the speed limit?

D'Addabbo, Klemstine to wed

Ben D'Addabbo and Falicia Klemstine will be married 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

PCE public meeting set

Updates on the Payson PCE (perchloroethylene a dry cleaning solvent) contamination are planned for next week.

Emergency cash to help save tourism industry

Payson is facing an economic crisis. Tourism has ground to a halt. That is the contention of Councilor Dick Wolfe, following a chamber-led summit on Payson's economy.

Former 'meth mom' determined to make a new life for baby

The story of young Kristina Hendley and her seven-month-old baby, Rayne Marie, looks like it is headed toward something few could have anticipated: a happy ending.

Dryer court date reset for Aug. 13

The sentencing and restitution hearing for former Tonto Basin Cemetery Fund administrator John Dryer, which was expected to take place last week in Globe, has been moved again this time to 9:30 a.m., Aug. 13, at the Payson courthouse.

Bomb threat most likely wrong number

It was generally a quiet Fourth of July weekend in the Rim Country. Except at the Mazatzal Casino. Business was brisk as ever, plus there was a little added excitement.

Early detection key to beating colorectal cancer


For a while there, it looked like Marie Walls was going to make it to her son's wedding in North Carolina, after all.

Beach life no picnic for new rec coordinator


Getting ready to move and starting a new job is hard enough. Getting evacuated because of the largest fire in Arizona history is hard too. Dealing with all three at the same time would have been enough for most people to consider R&R in a padded room.

Shirley Temple's tie to the Rim country


My wife answered the phone, and the voice on the other end said, "Hello, is Stan Brown there? This is Shirley Temple Black." Now my wife is seldom at a loss for words, but she stammered on that one.

Season screeches to a halt for Payson Little Leaguers

There will be no Rim country representatives in the Little League District playoffs. All three of the Payson All-Star teams 9-10-years, 11-12-years and 13-14-years were eliminated in Area One Little League tournaments in Flagstaff and Payson last week.

Coaches' clinic added to soccer camp agenda

The Payson Youth Soccer camp has added a new feature.

Maish, Buckley pair up for winning combination

When Lucy Maish of the Payson Women's Golf Association invited Dean Buckley to be her tournament partner, she was picking a winner.

Benefit dinner for Longhorn spirit line

The 22-member Payson High School spirit line needs more than $5,000 to attend a four-day cheer camp on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

So many thanks from so many people

Throughout the crisis of the Rodeo/Chediski Fire and the evacuation of Forest Lakes the citizens of Payson were wonderful.

High-tech robot defuses possible pipe bomb

A suspected pipe bomb found in a Payson neighborhood was destroyed Monday afternoon with the help of a high-tech robot imported from the Valley.

Thursday, July 11

Kindness of strangers helped us get through

Laura and I wish to thank so many people for their great kindness and compassion at the loss of my mother, Laura's grandmother and Sagean's great-grandmother, Digger Joyce.

New station is refreshing

I wanted to write a quick letter thanking Steve Bingham and John Carpino for their great work in putting together the new area radio station KRIM-96.3FM.

Don't look now

Mom can't look, but knows it's important that all four of her children stay current on their immunizations.

Coyotes return for APS Power Play Tour

Wiley coyotes will soon be prowling the grounds of Green Valley Park.

Council ordered back to school

When the Payson Town Council ratified an action from early 2002 last night, it was following instructions from the Attorney General's office. Still, some residents said they could not ratify something so long after the fact.

ACC gets first-hand look at Pine's water woes

The three members of the Arizona Corporation Commission were among the more than 1,000 people who packed the Pine-Strawberry Elementary School Gym Tuesday morning to discuss the water crisis in Pine.

Petitions filed for 17-Tribe gaming initiative

Petitions with more than 200,000 signatures supporting the Arizonans for Fair Gaming and Indian Self-Reliance initiative were filed last week. The initiative is expected to be titled Proposition 202.

New owners breathe life into historic Ox Bow Saloon

The new owner of the Ox Bow Inn complex is hardly your typical old-west saloon operator.

Kuhlman death-penalty case clouded by rulings

The death penalty case against Kevan Deon Kuhlman, the Payson resident arrested Oct. 9 for the murder Susan Birchak, has been clouded by a pair of recent Supreme Court and Arizona Appellate Court rulings, according to Gila County Attorney Daisy Gilker Flores.

Candidates for District One

The field of congressional hopefuls is packed with 16 men and women who want to represent central and eastern Arizona.

Water donated to keep Pine alive


The Payson Fire Department, Wal-Mart, Bashas' and others have donated case loads of water for the residents of Pine who are without. Stop in at the Pine Fire Station on Hardscrabble Road and pick up what is needed.

Wildlife roam free in forest communities


Since the Chediski Fire there have been a lot of animals coming down off the Rim.

Village residents still praying for rain


The biggest topic of conversation all around the village this week was the weather.

New, improved Mario's to reopen

The new owners of Mario's Restaurant are the old owners of Mario's Restaurant.

Carroll Gulliver

Carroll Calvin Gulliver, 74, of Sun City, died July 9, 2002.

David Jones

David Lee Jones, 59, died July 8, 2002, in Queen Creek.

Digger Joan Joyce

Digger Joan Joyce, 85, of Payson, died July 7, 2002.

Sylvia Weaver

Sylvia Mae "Teresa" Weaver, 48, of Payson, died July 9, 2002.

Nation's best no match for Lee

Payson teenager Nathan Lee wrestled his way to a United States weight-class championship at the National High School Open Wrestling Championships Tournament July 1 through 3 in Norfolk, Va.

D-backs bring champ camp to Rim country baseball players

For the past week, Arizona Diamondback Training Center coaches have been putting 35 aspiring Rim country baseball players through their world championship paces.

PHS weight room gets a facelift

The Payson High School weight room is undergoing a much-needed facelift.

Mayor, put our money where your mouth is

In a June roundtable discussion between Mayor Ken Murphy, Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce director Bob Ware and June Bug Blues Festival organizer "Shakey" Joe Harless, it was conceded that Payson's former reputation as the "Festival Capital of Arizona" would not likely be reclaimed.

Why was suspects' heritage important?

I read with interest "Attempted murder charges possible in assault," by Teresa McQuerrey.

Two water-saving tips

Every drop counts and we certainly can put it into perspective just by doing something very simple.

Payson needs a defensive fire perimeter

I hope that the residents of Payson have paid attention to what has happened in the Heber to Show Low area. I feel that it is not "if" but "when" we in Payson will be exposed to the same type of a disaster fire.

What would happen if we behaved ourselves?

Rumor has it the Ox Bow may reopen what an absolutely great thing to happen to Main Street.

What's up?

Q: Ask Payson Public Works Director Buzz Walker if the residents and businesses of Payson are allowed to wash down driveways, sidewalks and parking lots with the water restrictions that are in place?

Tuesday, July 9

Living in a water-less world


Anybody can be negative about the water situation here in the Rim country this summer and, for the most part, we are.

Summertime is salad time


Summer is a great time for breaking out all your favorite salad recipes and giving refreshing, new taste combinations a try.

Hunting for UFOs in the Rim country

If you look hard enough, you can always find something brand new to do in Payson that doesn't involve the forest and that takes your mind off wildfires.

Monday, July 8

Burned forest should be opened to loggers, woodcutters

It has been a long few weeks as we watched the fires burning thousands of acres just a little east of us destroying not only much timber, but causing misery and uprooting of thousands of persons living in the area.

Actions speak louder than words

Well, it didn't take long for the enviro-loonies to step out of the (blackened) woodwork and blame President Bush for everything from the condition of the forests to their junk-science kingpin, global warming.

You saved our belief in humanity

As evacuated homeowners of Forest Lakes, we are amazed with people of your community.

Payson is truly heart of Arizona

It's pleasant, isn't it, to no longer be part of the No. 1 news story in the nation.

State releases report on contamination

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has released a report on perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination in Payson.

Rodeo-Chediski Fire contained, rehab begins

With the Rodeo-Chediski Fire declared 100 percent contained as of 6 p.m. Sunday, residents returning to their homes from the Payson evacuation center began the difficult task of putting their lives together.

Town council accused of open meeting law violation

Pat Randall has filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General against the town council.

Quack attack

The Rim Country Rotary Club's 5th Annual Firequacker 2002 Mountain Duck Race was held Thursday at Green Valley Park.

Pine water customers thirsting for answers

When Jim Dancho goes to get a glass of water, it's hit or miss.

Players favor new fields at Rumsey Park

Having two all-weather playing surfaces for the Men's 35-years-and-over Independence Day Soccer Invitational was a big boost for the tournament.

Learning to live with our fickle weather


The story of the Rim country is a story of alternating flood and drought.

Volunteer finds hope in human spirit


Even before they responded to the challenge of providing for 800 evacuees streaming into town from the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, Jane Bonn knew Payson people were special.

Turning 'Arizona Rim Country' into a household name


The forest is closed. The Rodeo-Chediski fire has left a scar the size of Los Angeles on northern Arizona's most valued resource. The Tonto Natural Bridge will be closing.

Payson learns from Show Low's fire response

When the need to evacuate Show Low was declared three weeks ago, a local cellular telephone company had a very generous idea. They distributed hundreds of free cell phones, complete with free usage minutes, to evacuees.

Myrtle Fish

Myrtle Fish, 94, of Payson, died July 6, 2002.

PAHH golf tournament set for Aug. 24

One of the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity's most successful benefits, the Pioneer Title Golf Tournament, will tee off at 8 a.m. Aug. 24 at Payson Golf Course.

Payson takes 4th in men's soccer

The Payson Men's 35-years-and-older soccer team turned in its best effort ever on the holiday tournament circuit finishing third in the six-team Rim Country Independence Day Invitational.

Women compete in unusual 'Ts and Fs' match

While the Payson Women's Golf Association was competing in an unusually formatted tournament on the Payson course, its PMGA links counterparts were in Williams for a four-way interclub meet.

Area title game next up for stars of the Little League Majors

The Payson Major League (11-12-years) Little League All-Stars are on the verge of advancing to the District One championships.

Rodeo-Chediski not a record-breaker

We are not alone. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 24,421 fires burned 442,575 acres of wildlands this year, from January to early May before Rodeo-Chediski and the Colorado blazes.

Council OKs $75,000 for emergency advertising

The Payson Town Council and its staff took swift action to help the evacuees of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire. Now it has moved in to help another victim of the fire: the local economy.

Council takes a look at wildfires, economy

Information about regional economic development and the Rodeo-Chediski Fire will lead the Thursday night agenda of the Payson Town Council.

Herschel Smith, Jr.

Herschel Theron Smith, Jr., 71, of Payson, died July 4, 2002.

Wilma Taylor

Wilma Frances Taylor, 71, of Payson, died July 8, 2002.

What's up?

Q: I was at the first concert under the stars. It was a beautiful night with great music. It was a wonderful evening except for one thing the grass was absolutely sopping wet. Why?

Red Cross attitude an affront

I am writing regarding the volunteer services Payson citizens have performed for the evacuees and the removal of the volunteers by the Red Cross when the Red Cross assumed command of the operation at the Rim Country Middle School.

Thursday, July 4

'Got Milk?' 2002 campaign now under way

Over in Sedona, a Red Rock High School senior has received a $7,500 scholarship for sporting a milk mustache.

P-S events canceled or postponed

The Board of Directors of the Pine-Strawberry Archeological & Historical Society regrets to announce that they have made a decision to cancel or postpone all of the events that they have scheduled for July and August.

Board must protect county's assets

The intergovernmental agreement with Eastern Arizona College (EAC) for post-secondary educational services in Gila County for the 2002/2003 school year has become not only a very emotional issue, but a very complex issue as well.

Responsibility for fire rests on environmentalists

The responsibility for the overwhelming tragedy of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire is squarely on the shoulders of the Southwest Forest Alliance, the Forest Guardians, the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Sierra Club.

The system is not working

An open letter to Sen. Jon Kyl: Dear Jon, I assume, that by now, except for the most far out followers of Earth First, the majority of your peers realize that something must be done about the state of stasis governing our national forests.

Your kindness was overwhelming

To the residents of Payson and surrounding communities: A community that was prepared for an emergency and performed like an efficient well-oiled machine with a huge heart thank you.

Justice must be served

The Rodeo-Chediski Fire is nearly 100 percent contained, and the residents of those affected communities on the east side of Rim country are attempting to put their lives back in order.

Payson hosts Little League showdown

Eight community all-star teams from around northern Arizona are set to compete in the Little League Area One Tournament that begins today (Friday) in Payson.

District hunting for 2 new coaches

Gibson, Hardt resignations approved by school board

The Payson Unified School District has accepted the resignations of two veteran varsity coaches.

Rim country is 'open for business'

While every job in Arizona Rim Country is exceedingly important, the backbone of our economy is tourism.

Lorraine Ward

Lorraine Alice Ward, RN, 78, died June 17, 2002, in Cottonwood.

Georgiana Louise Kogan

Georgiana Louise Kogan, 88, of Payson, died July 3, 2002, in Payson.

Richard Camou

Richard Augustine Camou, 63, of Tonto Creek, died July 1, 2002.

Heber help center opens

State and federal officials announce the opening of a new help center in Heber. The help center opened Wednesday at Capps Middle School, 3375 Buckskin Canyon Road. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Rescued pets must be claimed by Saturday

Attention Heber-Overgaard evacuees: If your dog is being cared for at the Payson Off-Leash Dog Park, it must be picked up by 8 p.m. Saturday, July 6.

Hearing officers may replace dismissed judges

Judge Robert Duber, who recently dismissed Gila County's three temporary judges in the wake of a ruling by Arizona's chief justice, is now working on a plan to replace the trio with hearing officers, Gila County District One Supervisor Ron Christensen said.

Homeward bound

Fire 90 percent contained; evacuees return home

When the long anticipated announcement finally came Wednesday morning for evacuees to return home, forest officials tapped volunteer information specialist Tim Grier to do the honors.

'Stuff' offers glimpse of generosity

Pastor Steve Cook just calls it "stuff."

16 candidates file for Dist. One

The field of congressional hopefuls is packed with 16 men and women who want to represent central and eastern Arizona.

Firefighter used website to give evacuees up-to-date information

Over the past two weeks, Ray Webb has been one of Heber's luckiest residents.

What's up?

Q: Now that the Rodeo-Chediski Fire appears to be under control, was there ever a time when it looked like it could move into the Payson area?

Big mouth really a black buffalo

A monster fish that local archery guru Scott Darnell and angling friends thought could be a state record big mouth buffalo has been identified as a black buffalo that eclipses the previous Arizona mark by more than nine pounds.

Tuesday, July 2

The can man plan


Oprah Winfrey can shut down her book club if she wants, but Jim's Book Club isn't going anywhere.

What to do in case of fire, evacuation

Even if the Rodeo-Chediski fire does not roar through this neck of the Arizona forest, the Rim country will not be out of the woods. Every person, every monsoon lightning bolt, every metallic spark from every automobile will be capable of bringing disaster to our front door.

Start the holiday with a special meal


This Fourth of July holiday, start the celebrating first thing with a special dish for breakfast or brunch.

Monday, July 1

Men's soccer tournament this weekend

A foursome of Phoenix-area 35-years-and-over men's soccer teams will soon lock horns with the Payson Football Club in the Rim Country Independence Day tournament.

Payson's celebrations ... before the fireworks


The Fourth of July was celebrated by Payson's early settlers without the help of pyrotechnics. Perhaps that was because so many of them or their fathers had fought in the Civil War. They had enough "bombs bursting in air."

Ortlund's job has him putting out fires


He is one of the guys in green charged with keeping the residents of the Rim country safe this summer.

Linksters take slice of bustling tourney docket

The Payson Men's and Women's Golf Associations are heating up the fairways and the greens of the Payson Golf Course.

Arthritis sufferers find relief in Qigong


"What arthritis sufferers tend to do is get on their pain medication and sit still" observed Senior Circle Advisor Cory Houghton.

A few facts omitted from Pine blasting story

Re: "Blasting shakes up quiet neighborhood in Pine." Payson Roundup, June 25.

Wildfires reaffirm goodness of northeastern Arizonans

Three trips in as many days to the fire-ravaged northeastern area of the Sixth Congressional District last week left me with an indelible memory of more than just the horrific wildfires burning there.

Town manager field narrowed

A field of 137 applications for the job of Payson Town Manager has been narrowed to six candidates.

Cardinals visit Payson, fire evacuees

The spirits of more than 800 displaced residents of Heber, Overgaard and Forest Lakes were lifted Thursday by a visit from a pair of professional football players and the Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders.

Three county judges ruled out of a job

Gila County's entire slate of part-time, temporary judges along with 10 others across the state have lost their jobs as the result of a reorganization effort by Arizona's chief justice.


The address for sending donations to the Tonto National Bridge State Park was printed incorrectly in the June 25 issue of the Roundup.

What's up?

Q: What is that structure that was just built on the northeast corner of Highway 87 and Tyler Parkway? It looks like a bus stop.

Love our neighbors as ourselves

I have enclosed this passage from the "Our Daily Bread." I thought it would affect all of us in one way or another.

Many thanks, Payson

We arrived in Payson Thursday, June 19 along with many others who were evacuated from the Heber Overgaard area.

End of EAC era is a new beginning

Eastern Arizona College is reading, writing, arithmetic ... and history.

Nancy Wandel

Nancy Louise Wandel, 66, of Payson, died June 27, 2002.

Marshall Sandhurst

Marshall William Sandhurst, 55, of Payson, died June 24, 2002.

We need to prevent the closing of the Tonto Natural Bridge

Today I am asking everyone in the state of Arizona and especially in Gila County for your strong input toward preventing the closure of the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, Nov. 1, 2002.

Louann C. Hannaford

Louann C. Hannaford, 71, of Payson, died June 26, 2002.

Francis J. Blatterspiel

Francis J. "Frank" Blatterspiel, 83, of Union Township, died June 22, 2002.

Town looks at redoing existing noise ordinance

The town's current rules about noise are imperfect.

Council gets Main Street education

Last week, the town council heard about gathering public information and planning how to best use it to enhance Payson's economy.

Mazatzal Circle once again rattled by police

For the second time in little more than a month, the neighborhood of North Mazatzal Circle was rattled by explosions.

Brush pit reopens at Buckhead Mesa landfill

Through a cooperative arrangement between the Regional Payson Area Project (RPAP) and Gila County, the temporary residential brush dropoff location will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays at Buckhead Mesa Landfill.

Randall, Ozemok to wed

Jeni Ozemok and Dallas Randall, joined by close friends and family, will be married Aug. 3, 2002.

Businesses, folks come together for evacuees, firefighters

John Patricia, the owner of Ace Hardware, had a generous idea: Call the local Pizza Hut and order as many pies as the place could bake for the Rodeo-Chediski evacuees who are holed up all over the Payson countryside.

County drops EAC

Eastern Arizona College's 34-year relationship with Gila County was severed by a unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors meeting in special session Monday afternoon.

Attempted murder charges possible in assault

A Payson boy is in Scottsdale Osborne Hospital with skull fractures following an attack with a ball-peen hammer.

Firefighter charged with igniting Rodeo Fire

Part-time firefighter Leonard Gregg, 29, was hauled into a federal court in Flagstaff Sunday and charged with starting the first of the two wildfires that merged into the massive Rodeo-Chediski fire and scorched a chunk of northern Arizona twice the size of New York City.

Rodeo-Chediski 70 percent contained

Heber-Overgaard evacuees could be home soon

Many of them have endured 10 days of mostly bad news about the Rodeo-Chediski Fire that ravaged their communities, but the 800-plus evacuees at the Rim Country Middle School got some good news Monday morning they'll be going home soon, perhaps in the next few days.

Summer prep action wraps up Wednesday

Diamond action for the Payson entry into Arizona Prep Summer Baseball League wraps up at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) on the Payson High School baseball field.

Little League stars primed to shine

Since their selection to the Payson Little League All-Star teams two weeks ago, local baseball players have been preparing for postseason tournaments that will begin July 5 in Flagstaff and Payson.