Community Comes To Aid Of Stranded Loggers

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Following the Roundup's story on the timber cutters stranded at the Payson campground by Dobson Logging's false promises of work, citizens and businesses around Rim country came to their aid.

A widely-circulated employment ad requested more than 50 timber cutters to assist in clearing the Rodeo/Chediski burn area. Cutters from all over the West called Dobson Logging and were told by owner Roger Dobson to come to Arizona as soon as possible.

When the cutters arrived in Payson, they found out that there was only work for four people and those who had worked had not been paid by Dobson. Many did not have the money to get back home and were stranded at the Payson Campground.

According to Cathy Hall, manager of the campground, she continues to get calls from people offering the loggers money, work and food. Since none of the cutters will accept free money, they've been doing many odd jobs for local residents.

"The guys are really busy now," Hall said."The people here have just been wonderful,"

The campground has received many calls from people in Pine and Strawberry who need to have bark beetle-infested trees removed. Tracy Byington and Crystal Schroeder, who were featured in the original story, have found work assisting residents remove their ravaged trees.

Timber cutter Dan March was hired by local business Quality Movers.

Food donations have also been coming in. According to Hall, both Safeway and Bashas' have donated groceries to the group.

Roger Dobson, the man who promised the timber fallers work, has not been seen or heard from since he was ejected from the campground after allegedly assaulting two loggers. However, according to Hall, he did stop payment on his check to the Payson Campground for the month he stayed there.

The cutters who worked for Dobson still have not received any money, but hope to confront him Feb. 10, the day he receives his last paycheck from Keller Logging.

Dobson's initial court appearance for assault charges is Feb. 19 at 1:30 p.m., according to officials at the courthouse.

Although they are still disappointed about coming so far for no reason, the stranded loggers have experienced an outpouring of generosity from area residents that they say makes Payson not such a bad place to be stranded.

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