Stories for December 2004

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Thursday, December 30

St. Paul's gives life to spiritual teachings

Stepping into the chapel at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, one can imagine the organ playing in the loft and the bright room filled with voices raised in song.

Sporting events boost economy

When the Mogollon Sporting Association was founded more than a decade ago, one of its goals was to help improve the Rim country economy by hosting and sponsoring events that would draw visitors to Payson.

Rim golf package valued at $75,000

The Rim Golf Club is offering the opportunity of a lifetime.

State fame continues for Horn matmen

The early season exploits of the Longhorn wrestling team have earned them a reputation as one of the finest 4A squads in Arizona.

Tardy parents foil Little League plans

Payson Little League officials are urging parents not to wait until the last minute to register their children for play.

Horns rally late to nip Estrella

The Longhorn basketball team's quest to become a more competitive team picked up steam in the first round of the Bradshaw Mountain Invitational with a 56-48 win over Estrella Foothills.

Stranded soldier finds comfort in Christopher Creek

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

Dale and Shelly Hansen and family had an unexpected but very charming guest for Christmas Eve.

P-S clubs have plenty to keep you busy

PINE-STRAWBERRY

Wow. This is my last column for 2004. The New Year is a great time to make some resolutions and resolve to begin or complete some lingering projects. My own list is long.

Amon Builders celebrates 15 years in Rim country

Amon Builders, Inc. announced today that 2005 is their 16th year in business.

BofA has new manager

Rick Korth is the new manager at Payson's Bank of America Banking Center.

Protect your property against power surges

The Rim country's most recent winter storm brought some lightning and thunder along for the visit. While the light show was a mild one compared to what we see in the summer monsoons, it serves as a reminder of how vulnerable our property is to the damage of power surges.

Get a free T-shirt when you donate blood

There is an urgent need for blood during the holiday season. Three "code red" blood drives will be held in Rim country to meet the high demand at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Site feedback

Re: House cats disappearing in Mesa del -- I saw the What's Up item on house cats disappearing in Mesa del Caballo ...

What's up?

Q: Will there be extra patrols on the roads during the New Year's holiday to stop drunk drivers?

Think about who was elected president

I hear the evangelical Christian-type people saying, "Whew, that sure was a close one. Praise God that Kerry didn't get it, and our Christian-boy George did. If we had not voted, an un-Christian, pro-abortionist, homosexual-endorsing Kerry would have gotten into office!"

A great loss

Payson Regional Medical Center, the physicians, our patients and the community lost a dedicated, kind, generous and intellectual genius when Dr. Kelvin Danielson, radiologist, passed away.

Look forward to New Year

This is the time of the year to think about what has taken place and to think about how we could have lived it better.

If I Were God: A Christmas Reverie

As a child many years ago, I had the following conversation with myself, trying to make sense of the teachings of my church and all the other religions I saw around me. The recent letters to the editor about religion brought back this little vignette.

Flamingos fled with help

My family was tickled pink to see our home mentioned on the front page of the Roundup for lights and decorations on Dec. 21.

Last chance to make Credit for Kids donation

When it comes to raising a child, we might dare to amend the African proverb to say, "It takes a village to raise a child ... who believes."

Mahaffeys celebrate 50 years

Jerry and Barbara Mahaffey, of Pine, celebrate 50 years of marriage this month.

Charles R. Hyer

Charles "Charlie" R.Hyer, 81, died Dec. 27, in Chandler, following a short illness.

Roy M. Hudson

Roy M. Hudson, 78, of Payson, died Dec. 24, 2004.

Ollie DeWees

Ollie DeWees, a resident of Payson, died Dec. 21, 2004 after a brief illness.

ATV accident takes life of Mesa woman

A 61-year-old Mesa woman was killed during a family vacation when her all-terrain vehicle toppled over a cliff Sunday, police said.

Local doctor dies of heart attack in Colorado

For some, Dr. Kelvin Danielson was simply the man who took x-rays of their sprained ankles and broken arms, but to those who knew him, Danielson was a skilled technician, a good friend and somebody who will be sorely missed.

Red Elephant treats you'll never forget

Step into the Carpenter's Wife store these days and a delicious aroma, one no scented candle could ever compete with, wafts around the corner, bidding you to hunt down the source of the delightful smell of fresh baked goodies.

How you can help tsunami victims

The death toll from the tsunami that crashed through Asia and parts of India three days ago has risen past 120,000, including a dozen confirmed American casualties and thousands of others missing in the 12 countries hit by the massive waves.

Armed man forces evacuations

A man believed to be homicidal barricaded himself and his 4-year-old daughter inside their apartment Wednesday afternoon.

Apartments planned for low-income seniors

Soon, many Rim country seniors will have more money to enjoy retirement with thanks to a proposed housing development for low-income individuals over 65.

Extra police on patrol for New Year's Eve

Local law enforcement agencies will have extra officers on duty Friday night to get drunken drivers off the road.

Sales tax increase effective Jan. 1

The town sales tax is going up Jan. 1, 2005 from 2 percent to 2.12 percent.

Defense moves to overturn murder indictment

The defense attorney for Harold Fish has filed a motion claiming prosecutors tilted testimony heard by a grand jury to gain an indictment against the 57-year-old retired school teacher.

Residents stranded by Rim country floods

A strong Pacific storm system that caused flooding in California inched its way east Wednesday drenching the Rim country with torrential downpours.

Tuesday, December 28

Resolve to have hassle-free post-holiday meals

IN THE KITCHEN

Want to impress your dinner guests without all the stress? A simple trip to the deli counter will help you produce marvelous meals in minutes.

The way it was in 2004

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

As 2004 draws to a close, we have one final chore -- anointing the old year in Payson in the fashion of the Chinese.

Strategies for healthy eating in the new year

REVIEW FEATURE

Looking at the calendar we see a whole new year rising before us -- bright and shining, unblemished by setbacks, failures, losses or disappointments. The new year is full of hope.

Monday, December 27

Town leagues now forming

Registration for play in the town-sponsored fifth- and sixth-grade basketball league began Dec. 27 and will continue until Jan. 19. Parents may register their children at the parks and recreation office at Green Valley Park. The fee is $20.

Cowboy recalls days of old

When Charlie Henderson arrived in Payson in February 1948, he'd ride at least two hours on horseback from L.D. Anderson's ranch in Little Green Valley where he worked as a cowboy, to take his wife, Ruth, dancing at the Ox Bow Saloon. And he wasn't the only cattleman galloping miles through the Rim country to do the two-step.

Bus schedules to change for RCMS, PHS students

There has been a change is school day start times at both Payson High and Rim Country Middle Schools.

AIMS math test continues to stump students

One of the biggest hurdles to graduation for Payson High School's class of 2006 continues to be passing the math portion of the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards or AIMS test.

Loren Duane Long

Loren Duane Long, 64, of Tonto Village, died Dec. 24, 2004.

Howard Halsey Heltzel

Howard Halsey Heltzel, 84, of Gisela, died Dec. 24, 2004.

Betty Ruth Graves

Betty Ruth Graves, 75, of Payson, died Dec. 21, 2004.

Donald Orlien Cole

Donald Orlien Cole, 86, of Payson, died Dec. 26, 2004 in Payson.

Get moving with your dog

FOCUS ON PETS

The tendency is to be a little tired after the holidays. I hope we will be lively enough to ring in the New Year in style. With 2005 we have another new beginning. The New Year is always a time for a fresh start, a time to work on changes in our lives that we have been wanting for awhile, but just could not quite make them happen.

Working with people draws hygienist to dentistry

PAYSON PEOPLE

Janae Bramble knows lots about teeth, and her solution to oral hygiene is simple, "Only floss the teeth you want to keep."

Local notables weigh in on 2004

LIVING

Don't ever let anyone ever tell you Payson is a plain and simple town of cowboys and retirees.

Nostalgia greets PHS coach at Alhambra

For Lady Longhorn soccer coach Joe Schmidt, the Moon Valley Invitational Tournament afforded the opportunity to pit his charges against his alma mater -- Phoenix Alhambra.

Hoopsters tune up for region play

The Longhorns have one final tune-up before the team begins 2005 Grand Canyon Region play.

Horns get untracked at Mohave

After sinking to a 0-6 start against some of the state's finest teams, the once-listing Longhorn boys basketball ship might have righted itself on the banks of the Colorado River.

Lady Horns square off against Titans in hoops opener

A Lady Longhorn quest for its first Payson Holiday Hoops Basketball Tournament championship tips off at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Wilson Dome against the Scottsdale Arcadia Titans.

What's up?

Q: Why are the dogs at the residence in Rumsey Park continuously barking? If the Payson Humane Society is cited for barking dogs, why isn't the owner (a town employee) cited for his barking dogs? Why isn't something being done about these dogs.

Societal spelunking

I've never been a big fan of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. I'm certainly not qualified to pass judgment on another human being, however I feel that I have a right to an opinion regarding a holiday that was thrust on the American public and then shamed into adopting.

It's the thought, not the semantics, that counts

Winter holidays are a mixture of the religious and the secular, and have been so since long before the birth of Christ or the development of most, if not all, modern religions. Both parts of these holidays serve a significant purpose in the human experience, and both parts have public and private components.

Freedom to speak our minds

I was just reading the latest edition of "letters to the editor." One person was asking for more tolerance and peace (I agree), one was asking where Christ went in our public school Christmas programs, in Christmas, etc.,nd one was complaining about the content of material in a school play.

If all views are equal, then one cannot diminish the other

Mr. Brophy's comments regarding the views of Valerie Marsh present a common yet inconsistent position.

High school play was meant to make people think

I am writing in response to the recent letter, "PHS Play Controversial."

A New Year's Eve challenge for nurturing adults

Over the past several months my wife and I have been teaching our 15-year-old daughter to drive a car in preparation for her drivers license test. I might flatter myself into thinking this is old hat for me after teaching her older brothers to drive.

NFL pre-empts Marcy's kids on Fox

Rim country residents who tuned in to the "Montel Williams Show" Friday hoping to watch the segment on Payson Community Kids might have been disappointed.

Tribe creates court of appeals

The Tonto Apache Tribal court has operated without their own court of appeals until now when the tribe's population growth has dictated the need for a more sophisticated judicial system. "It's like 20 years ago when Payson didn't have stoplights," said tribal council Chairman, Ivan Smith. "We didn't need them then, but we need them now."

Zane Grey Cabin on-target for spring debut at Green Valley Park

It may not be the original location, but the Zane Grey cabin is rising from the ashes of the Dude Fire that consumed it more than 14 years ago.

Jury finds 'tax man' guilty of fraud

A Payson businessman who represented himself as a tax expert and told his clients they didn't need to pay federal income taxes, was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States by a federal jury in Tucson Dec. 13.

New year, new goals for Rim country residents

You may have forgotten all the eggnog, ham and pecan pie you consumed this past month, but your body hasn't. In fact, just about now those calories are settling nicely into your belly, legs and rear end.

Thursday, December 23

Ride like royalty with King Arthur

King Arthur's High Country Transportation and Limousine Services can take clients anywhere in the state they want to go. And owner E. Alan Brimage promises, "Excellence in transportation."

Dedication earns Horns All-region honors

Eight members of the Longhorn football team have earned postseason accolades by the Grand Canyon Region football coaches.

Baseball star heads Down Under

A first-rate effort at a baseball tryout last week in Phoenix has earned 18-year-old Dustin Hacker an invitation to join the Coast-to-Coast Amateur Baseball Stars team.

Fab Four steer Horns in duals meet

A 7-0 meet record fueled by the accomplishments of four individual weight class champions earned the Longhorn wrestling team the Rim Country Duals tournament championship.

Hodgdons celebrate 60 years

Paul and Rosa Hodgdon will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary Dec. 30, 2004.

Alice P. Ashley

Alice P. Ashley, 93, died Dec. 19, 2004 in Mountain Home, AR.

Site feedback

Re: King holiday -- I applaud the Payson Town Council for joining most of America by making Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a city holiday ...

What's up?

Q: There is a crater-like pothole on West Birch, above the Pioneer Cemetery. What's being done to fix it?

More on religious tolerance

While I respect Ms. Marsh's right to her belief in her response to my letter to the editor, her letter provides living proof of the intolerance of dogma. It's precisely this attitude of "my belief is the only true way" that is at the root of much of the world's problems.

If you really want to know, ask

The difference between Christianity and other religions is, simply, Jesus.

Christmas is a holy day, not a holiday

Thank you, publisher Richard Haddad, for your excellent editorial regarding Jesus.

Freedom of religion is not restricted

I find it necessary to respond to four points made by publisher Richard Haddad in his Dec. 17 editorial.

Never been so happy with an editorial

I have been reading newspapers for many years, and last Friday I read your editorial on Christmas.

Christmas charities not too cheerful

The Rim country's two big community Christmas charities had a rough time of it this season.

Kuhlman to stand trial for Birchak murder

Convicted killer, Kevan Kuhlman, has won an appeal to overturn a plea agreement that led to his 20-year sentence for the murder of TV 7 Station Manager Susan Birchak.

Unattended stove ruled cause of Colcord house fire

Susan Durnin's house burned down three weeks ago. She didn't lose any of her belongings though, just her future.

High school thespians best in state

The Payson High School Thespians were named top troupe in the state at the Arizona Thespian Conference recently at Phoenix Civic Plaza.

Angels, Santa visit local seniors

Thanks to a group of Heber-Overgaard volunteers who call themselves Angels for Seniors, Santa Claus visited residents at Manzanita Manor Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Wednesday.

Dialysis patients stranded by clinic closure

While most people scramble to wrap last-minute gifts, Don Holcombe and a dozen other dialysis patients hasten to untangle a life-threatening dilemma caused by the impending closure of the Rim country's sole kidney dialysis facility.

Christmas services at area churches

Many area churches have special services planned for the Christmas weekend.

Presbyterians comfort divorced parishioners

The Community Presbyterian Church has deep roots in the community. In addition to worship services, the church hosts many outreach programs plus a child learning center.

Let's Give Our Kids the Credit They Deserve

Strengthen Rim country education through the "Credit For Kids" tax credit program

In 1997 the Arizona State Legislature passed a law allowing residents to deduct, as a tax credit, money given to schools for extracurricular activities. This means any household that pays Arizona taxes may donate up to $250 for married taxpayers, or $200 for individual taxpayers filing jointly.

Christmas party offered a night of fellowship

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

The Christmas party at the Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship Church was a night of good food, fellowship and a lot of fun. About 80 residents showed up and listened to the young generation as they recited verses from the Bible, sang Christmas carols and played instruments.

Don't let road work be a barrier to a good time

Plan on making Kohl's Ranch a destination for a winter outing soon. In spite of the on-going road work in the area, the lodge and restaurant are still open.

Llama Lights on display in Strawberry

Take a drive up to Strawberry to view the Llama Lights -- lighted Christmas displays -- at the Fossil Creek Llama Ranch.

The gifts I'd like to give

It's Christmas, and most of my holiday budget has been spent on seven grandchildren.

Curl up with a holiday movie

PINE-STRAWBERRY

This column will appear in the Payson Roundup on Christmas Eve so I do not imagine that too many will be reading it looking for things to do over the weekend. That is a good thing because there is not much going on.

Tuesday, December 21

Governor urges parents to read to their children

Payson Elementary School principal Roy Sandoval is convinced Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has committed herself and her office to supporting public education.

Christmas traditions from the kitchen

IN THE KITCHEN

This Christmas, more than most, I find myself thinking about the holidays of my childhood. No matter where we were living, we always would go "home" to Oklahoma for Christmas.

Holiday survival tips for single guys

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

The holidays are the ultimate family time, and nobody got into the whole family scene more than I did.

Brands -- An important part of Western history

BACKTRACKIN'

Cattle brands play an important role in identifying an animal's owner. The practice of branding is ancient. Some Egyptian tomb paintings, at least 4,000 years old, depict scenes of roundups and cattle branding, and biblical evidence suggests that Jacob, the herdsman, branded his stock.

A different kind of Christmas

REVIEW FEATURE

If you are looking for a different kind of Christmas this year, a visit to Strawberry and the Fossil Creek Llama Ranch should be on your "to do" list.

Monday, December 20

New county supervisor focusing on forests, economy

Trees, tangible wealth and education are top priorities for incoming Gila County Supervisor Tommie Cline Martin when she's sworn into office this January.

'Reach, renew and release' taught at Nazarene church

You have to give people the freedom to do good works, said Pastor David Runion. This ministry goes far beyond the paid staff of The First Church of the Nazarene, where members are encouraged to make a difference in the world.

County spelling bee Feb. 11

The Annual Gila County Spelling Bee begins at 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 11, 2005, at the High Desert Middle School North of Highway 70 and Montecito Drive in Globe.

Governor urges parents to read to their children

Payson Elementary School principal Roy Sandoval is convinced Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has committed herself and her office to supporting public education.

Mikel Philden White

Mikel Philden White, 23, of Chandler, died Dec. 16, 2004.

William B. Palmer

William B. Palmer, 78, of Payson, died Dec. 18, 2004.

Earl E. Sanders

Earl E. Sanders, 92, of Flagstaff, died Dec. 18, 2004.

Beverly F. Martinez

Beverly F. Martinez, 49, died Dec. 1, 2004 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Marion "Cindy" Keiper

Marion "Cindy" Keiper, 95, of Strawberry, died Dec. 19, 2004 in Payson.

Olive Pearl Bouch

Olive Pearl Bouch, 95, of Payson, died Dec. 6, 2004.

Postseason honors elude GC region players

When Payson High School moved from the 3A "small school" conference two years ago to 4A "big school" ranks, coaches predicted the shift would mean less individual recognition for Longhorn athletes.

Horns push Pioneers to the brink

The highly regarded Pinnacle Pioneers narrowly survived an upset bid from the underdog Payson Longhorn boys soccer team.

Lady Horns shoot for Holiday Hoops gold

The Lady Longhorns will be hard-pressed to win their first-ever Holiday Hoops Basketball Tournament championship Dec. 28 and 29.

AJ feels wrath of scorned Lady Horns

After losing 57-51 last season to the Apache Junction Prospectors, Lady Horns team members vowed to avenge the disheartening defeat.

Site feedback

Re: English-only proposition -- Lisa Graham-Keegan supported Prop 203 because studies showed "English-only" works best for schools trying to get students acclimated to the language quickly.

What's up?

Q: Will "Finding Neverland" and "De-Lovely" be showing at Payson's Sawmill Theatres?

Irresponsible people create stray problem

Response to James Garner, "Noise and Strays."

Support needed for Project Lifesaver

I'd like to introduce Project Lifesaver. It electronically tracks those at risk of wandering, specifically Alzheimer's, Downs Syndrome, autistic patients and others with diminished mental capacities.

There are vital differences in religions

Although I sincerely appreciate Mr. Brophy's call for tolerance, two points need to be mentioned in response to his attempt to reconcile all religions based on their commonality.

The holiday is big enough for everyone

The real spoilers of Christmas are those caught up this paranoia the media have stirred up. Please calm down, you who imagine that there is some secular conspiracy trying to deprive you of celebrating Christmas. There isn't.

Season both magical and mystical

In response to your editorial of Dec. 17, 2004 decrying "taking Christ out of Christmas.":

Journalist's duty is to challenge those in power

In his farewell address, George Washington warned a young nation to avoid entangling alliances.

My Christmas gift

FOCUS ON PETS

'Tis the week that is Christmas and all round the town, folks are rushing and tired during the final countdown.

New heart for transplant patient offers hope

LIVING

Skip Boldt recalls the day he died.

Literacy director raised on politics

PAYSON PEOPLE

Politics run deep in Su Connell's family.

Local woman marks 75th year with Masons

Anna Burghardt looks wistfully out the glass door near her room at Payson Care Center, thinking of nine grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Man arrested for stealing, wrecking car

A Payson man was arrested Saturday night after stealing and crashing a vehicle, police said. The man, Adam Overstreet, 26, of Payson was questioned when Department of Public Safety Officer Henry Thomason saw Overstreet hitchhiking south of Payson on Highway 87 near Corvair Curve.

Stolen goods recovered from dumpster

Three Valley men were arrested last week after police were tipped off by a Payson resident who witnessed two of the men throwing items in a dumpster behind a restaurant, police said.

'Community Kids' show to air Christmas Eve day

Waiting offstage, Marcy Rogers didn't hear how Montel Williams introduced the segment on Payson Community Kids or what footage accompanied it, but it must have been good.

Bogus bucks surface in Payson

Counterfeit money has turned up in some local businesses over the past few months.

Lights, decorations get better each year

One of the merrier trips of the holidays is the one you can take through your own town after the sun has snuggled under the dark blanket of night and the distant stars welcome earthly competition.

Friday, December 17

Town gets MLK holiday

With the council's recent decision to replace employee birthdays with a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the Town of Payson joins the vast majority of Arizona communities that celebrate the birth and life of the slain civil rights leader.

Thursday, December 16

Glendale Arena new home of prep championships

An aggressive Glendale plan has earned the city the right to host three state high school championships, and possibly more.

America should not be afraid to express faith and trust in God

The editorial cartoon on this page illustrates a disappointing movement in this country to take Christ out of Christmas. But the pressure to dilute Christianity or acknowledge God in America doesn't stop there.

Bells ring later in new semester

Students at Payson High School and Rim Country Middle School can enjoy another 30 minutes of sleep or study time when classes reconvene Jan. 3.

Governor champions rural education

Gov. Janet Napolitano is making good on her promise to include funding for Gila Community College in next year's budget, according to Steve Besich, deputy county manager.

Payson Fire Department gets new truck

Payson Fire Station 12 has a brand new truck to battle blazes. Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi said the new truck replaced one that was more than 20 years old.

County names new justice of peace

Dorothy Little is Payson's new justice of the peace.

Pilot project encourages academic challenges

Rim country students could be among the most well-prepared lot to enter college and the job market in Arizona thanks to a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Hackers ring up fraud, costly international tolls

Hackers ran up thousands of dollars in charges on the Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty phone lines, and now, broker Ray Pugel is alerting Rim country businesses of the intrusion.

Lady Horns struggle against year-round team

The Lady Longhorns were able to contain the scoring antics of Pinnacle star Kristin Donati, but couldn't slow her teammates in a 5-1 loss to the state fourth-ranked Pioneers.

Ducks Unlimited gears up for conservation

Volunteer members of the Payson Chapter of Ducks Unlimited have rolled up their sleeves and gone to work to ensure this year's banquet is a blockbuster.

Duals heat up Rim country sports

Wrestling fans will be treated to a festival of mat action over the course this weekend.

Glendale becoming center of the sports universe

Wow, Tempe will soon lose both the Cardinals and the Fiesta Bowl to Glendale. America West Arena can only watch as the high school state basketball championships move to Glendale. High school state wrestling has abandoned Veterans Memorial Coliseum in favor of Glendale Arena.

Christ is missing in Christmas

My husband and I went to the Julia Randall Christmas program at the high school, as our granddaughter was one of the many children participating in it.

A Christmas of tolerance

Have you ever asked yourself, "Which religion is right?"

Make bleachers a priority

I recently learned that the high school has been making plans to make this year's high school graduation in May a more "pleasant" program for everyone.

This is a great place

I am writing to share two incidents that recently occurred here in town which make me proud to say I'm a resident of Payson, Ariz.

Response to raffle tremendous

The Payson Optimist Club would like to thank the people of Payson for their tremendous response to our raffle sales and the subsequent drawings for shopping sprees at Bashas', Safeway, Sav-Mor and Wal-Mart.

PHS play controversial

The four one-act "issue plays" performed by the Payson High School drama department in my opinion was very controversial.

What's up?

Q: There are numerous high school students who know they have no chance of ever graduating due to the new state requirement to pass the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test. "Remedial" math and reading classes aren't remedial if you haven't been taught the material the first time. My question is: is there a General Education Degree (GED) preparatory class in Payson available to young adults and high school students? Q: Pet cats are disappearing in Mesa del Caballo. Is it legal to set traps for pet cats, then take them to the humane society for immediate euthanization?

Home Depot hiring spree after new year

The Home Depot store in Payson is scheduled to open at the end of March said store manager, Shane Monahan.

Edward Jones earns top ranking

For the 12th consecutive year, Edward Jones & Co. ranked No. 1 in "Registered Representative" magazine's annual survey of the nation's seven largest financial services firms.

Energy West wins Electric Light Parade

Energy West won top honors among the entries in the 2004 Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade Dec. 4.

In the midst of a dizzying December

TONTO VILLAGE

The holiday season is now in full swing, if my calendar is any indication. The Snyder family is double-booked almost every day from Dec. 1 until after New Year's Day.

Another Santa sighting

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

The children of Christopher Creek decorated and filled food boxes for those in need as they anxiously awaited Santa's arrival Saturday afternoon.

Unbeaten Horns lead Payson mat charge

A trio of Longhorn wrestlers will battle to keep their season records unblemished at the Rim Country Duals Friday and Saturday in Wilson Dome. The undefeated Horns include Porter Wilbanks, 125 pounds; Brandon Chovanec, 135; and Nate Lee, 171. All three have 10-0 records.

Pine church displays Nativity scenes

PINE-STRAWBERRY

A week from today will be Christmas Eve. Any chance of snow? It would be fun to have some snow for the visiting children and grandchildren, but either way, it is beautiful and travel is safer when it is dry.

Deli delights await Pine residents

Pine Deli is both sleek and sentimental. Meats, cheeses and salads are displayed behind gleaming glass and chrome. Along with the music of Dean Martin, the smell of home-roasted meats and homemade soups fills the air.

Tuesday, December 14

It's Yuletide, y'all!

BACKTRACKIN'

Jinx and I are having a great holiday season so far this year and we are wishing the merriest for all of you.

Christmas concert is final for longtime director

REVIEW FEATURE

Mary Ann Irvine, the Payson Choral Society's director, conducts her final Christmas concert next weekend.

Ho! Ho! Ho-liday fun!

IN THE KITCHEN

This year, creating holiday family fun is simple with these easy-to-follow recipes and some ready-made mixes that provide shortcuts in the kitchen. One of the important elements of the holiday season is to spend more time together as a family and less time trying to make everything perfect.

Our love/hate relationship with tips

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

In the newspaper world, a lot of our best stories originate as tips from our readers.

Monday, December 13

Christmas is coming for pets too

FOCUS ON PETS

Each year, the amazing variety of Christmas gifts available for our pets becomes more outlandish and luxurious.

People keep town job interesting

PAYSON PEOPLE

Jeannie Collier is the friendly voice on the phone and the woman with a smile behind the counter at the Payson Community Development office.

Christmas concert is director's swan song

Mary Ann Irvine, the Payson Choral Society's director for more than seven years, takes her final bow at the group's Dec. 18 Christmas concert.

'Flat Stanley' shipped off to Afghanistan

Thanks to students at Frontier Elementary School, the holidays should be a little brighter for an elite U.S. Army Special Forces unit stationed in Afghanistan.

Two injured in highway rollover

Two Valley residents were injured in a rollover accident on the Beeline Highway south of Oxbow Hill Monday morning.

Leafty, Jordan to wed

Cheryl O'Donnal Leafty of Payson and Delbert Leafty of Mesa announce the engagement of their daughter Lauri Leafty to Brian Jordan, son of Bret and Ann Jordan of Gaithersburg, Md.

Scenic designation changes Beeline to parkway

It will probably be forever known as the Beeline Highway, but Highway 87 is about to officially become the Beeline Scenic Parkway. The "scenic parkway" designation, expected to be conferred this month by the Arizona Department of Transportation Board for Highway Designation, was chosen "scenic highway" because it makes the 45-mile stretch of Highway 87 from mile marker 201 to mile marker 246 eligible for federal money to create scenic turnouts and other improvements.

Council advised to spend more on streets

The Payson Town Council needs to commit $450,000 a year for street capital improvements, according to a report presented by the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee Thursday evening.

Ring in holiday spirit as a volunteer

The coins you toss into Salvation Army kettles aren't used to feed a wholesale charity maw to benefit Timbuktu. Instead, your donations are put to work here, in Payson, to help people throughout the community.

Berl Albert Trafton

Berl Albert Trafton, 79, of Payson, died Dec. 11, 2004.

Beverly F. Martinez

Beverly F. Martinez, 49, died Dec. 1, 2004 in Scottsdale.

Dee M. Kesterson

Dee M. Kesterson, 85, of Payson, died Dec. 9, 2004.

Mae Ellen Handy

Mae Ellen Handy, 91, of Payson, died Dec. 11, 2004.

Edwin Clayton

Edwin Clayton, 76, of Englewood, Fla., died Dec. 10, 2004.

Margery Ann Arnold

Margery Ann Arnold, 68, of Young, died Dec. 7, 2004 in Payson.

Site feedback

Re: Handicapped spaces -- How about the stores having PAID parking for handicappers with big fancy SUVs, Cadillacs, etc. ...

Express the spirit

Wouldn't it be nice if all the businesses on the Beeline and 260 highways lit up with at least one string of lights, or decorated a tree?

Merge area's school districts

Question: Why did the Payson and Pine/Strawberry Chambers of Commerce merge some years ago?

Bring our troops home

This letter is addressed to Senators John McCain, Jon Kyl, and Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

Buyer beware

Conventional medicine is the leading cause of death not heart disease or cancer, in the U.S.

Conservative Democrats should switch parties

My family moved to Phoenix in 1958. I have always been a student of American politics, especially Arizona politics.

Deal with noise, strays

Fix the problems, don't place the blame.

Get involved, make a difference

I heard the other day on a program a man took fleas and put them in a jar with a lid on it.

Litigation could enforce English-only proposition

Public educators in Payson and around the state are often the subjects of a dissatisfied minority who question the efforts and tax money that create language acquisition programs for students with limited English fluency.

Flag football players take on Sun Devil Stadium

Fledgling players on two Payson youth flag football teams, as well as their coaches, enjoyed the thrills of a lifetime Dec. 12 in Sun Devil Stadium.

Matador pits Horns vs. state's best

One of the Arizona's finest Class 5A teams is waiting in the wings for the Longhorns at the Matador Shootout in Laughlin.

Pinnacle ambushes Lady Longhorns

A Pinnacle team the Lady Horns handily whipped by 30-plus points last season surprisingly turned the tables on Payson.

Little League makes push for sign-ups

Don't wait until the last minute to sign your child up for Little League.

Mav matmen grapple to WML crowns

A duo of Rim Country Middle School's hard-nosed wrestlers capped undefeated seasons with White Mountain League weight class championships.

Bring Buster home for the holidays

The "Grinch Who Stole Christmas" has taken on new meaning for Chloe and Carsyn Oestmann. The sisters lost their beloved dog, Buster -- Shitzu-Yorkshire mix the family has owned since he was a puppy.

Senior Circle hosts health screenings

SENIOR MOMENTS

This morning as I was eating my artificial breakfast -- orange juice from concentrate, turkey bacon, Egg Beaters, low carb toast with no-cholesterol butter substitute and decaf coffee -- I thought of my grandmother.

Being Santa Claus is all in the beard

LIVING

Payson may have a water shortage and a few other problems, but one area we've got covered is Santa Claus.

Norwegian woman resurrects traditional art form

Good Norwegian housewives were always supposed to have at least seven varieties of cookies to offer their guests.

Sunday, December 12

Hear the 'Sounds of Christmas' Dec. 18

Mark your calendars for the Payson Choral Society's Christmas concert -- "Sounds of Christmas" -- in performances at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 18 at the Payson High School auditorium.

Thursday, December 9

‘Montel' to feature ‘Marcy's Kids'

Children's advocate on national talk show

Marcy Rogers and Stephanie, the original Payson Community Kid, are headed for New York City next Wednesday for an appearance on the "Montel Williams Show."

Local Salvation Army unit needs holiday volunteers

The Salvation Army Unit of Payson is seeking volunteers to participate in the Holiday Kettle Bell Ringing.

What's up?

Q: I heard there was a stabbing on Frontier Street early Wednesday morning. Do you know anything about it? Q: The flashing yellow lights at the three elementary schools and Rim Country Middle School are installed but not flashing during school hours. Why?

Christmas card project a complete success

Our thanks to the community, as Support Our Troop: 2004 "Operation: Christmas Card" has had a tremendous response.

Superintendent looks forward to active retirement

My family has lived in Gila County for more than 80 years, coming from Mexico and the state of New Mexico before settling in the Globe area.

Boycott was a good idea

I have read the Ramadan postage stamp debate on your editorial page. Ms. Chilcoat was accurate in citing the terrorists attacks. In our free society, she is entitled to her opinion and expressing it. I appreciate her sharing her view and your publication.

Performance outstanding

We would like to thank the Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship and all the very talented musicians for the outstanding, fun Christmas musical performance last Sunday at the auditorium.

Spirit of Christmas was a brilliant show

Citizens of Payson, if you missed the "Spirit of Christmas" performance on Sunday, Dec. 5 at Payson High School auditorium, you lost an opportunity to be involved in an awesome experience.

Remember others this holiday season

When I was a child, the holidays were easy. We lived by a divorce agreement; the law decided our holiday plans. Every winter break from school, my brother and I went with our dad. He's Jewish, so we celebrated Hanukkah and left town at Christmas.

New home damaged by fire

An early morning fire in the Hunter Creek subdivision caused an estimated $100,000 worth of damage to a new home being built by Mick and Lynn Davis.

Join Mount Cross for 'fun and fellowship'

Members of Mount Cross Lutheran Church believe that all ages should work together to support each other in an intergenerational ministry.

Local vendors sell Christmas trees to fit any budget

The Germans call them Tannenbaums, but to Americans, they're known as Christmas Trees, and in Payson, vendors sell every kind you can imagine.

YMCA is a community center alternative

A collaboration with the YMCA could provide a new community center a lot faster and cheaper than going it alone, the Payson Town Council was told at its regular meeting Thursday night.

Board finds leadership lacking in school district

Payson school's Superintendent Herb Weissenfels needs to improve his leadership and personnel skills, according to the local school board.

Keep those holiday greens moist

GOOD GARDENING

Nothing reminds us more of the coming winter holidays than fragrant bundles of evergreen branches festooned with red ribbons, or Christmas trees laden with bright lights and shiny baubles. Nothing is more frightening, however, than the thought of a devastating fire destroying our home.

Eggs and Issues meet Dec. 17

Rim country business leaders are invited to the December Eggs and Issues breakfast, sponsored by the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Business Retention and Expansion Committee.

Valhalla Modifications expands location

Valhalla Modifications, the only full-service, professional tattoo and piercing studio in town, has expanded and moved their to 612 S. Beeline Highway, Ste. A.

It's never too late to invest in your future

You see the doctor when you're sick. You seek religious guidance for spiritual growth. And yet, according to a 2004 Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards survey, nearly half of all consumers -- mostly lower-income young adults -- brave the quagmire of financial figures and jargon on their own, only to lose money on uninformed financial decisions.

Party time under the Rim

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

There were 41 residents at the annual Fire Department Christmas Potluck at the fire hall. It was a nice evening of fun, friends, good food, and a lot of laughs. Everyone brought a gift, then numbers were drawn and the one with "No. 1" selected a gift first.

Weather is on everyone's mind

TONTO VILLAGE

Any way you look at it, the weather has been in the forefront of everyone's mind. The Village has looked like a winter wonderland most of the week and the children have had a grand time playing in all that white stuff.

Holiday events enjoying success

PINE-STRAWBERRY

The snow is beautiful. The Valley folks will be coming up in droves. I hope they will stop for a little shopping and eating while they are here. They might even stay the night. That would be great for our local businesses. If we welcome them with hot apple cider or hot chocolate, they might decide to come back again soon.

Roderick J. Monte

Roderick Joseph Monte, 61, of Payson, died Dec. 7, 2004.

Olive Mae Dick

Olive Mae Dick, 88, a former Payson resident, died Dec. 5, 2004 in Chandler.

Milton C. Davis, Sr.

Milton Cecil "Pete" Davis, Sr., 62, of Payson, died Dec. 6, 2004.

Roy S. Barnes

Roy S. Barnes, 57, of Payson., died Dec. 8, 2004. He was born Sept. 27, 1947 in Milwaukee, Wis.

Credit for Kids fills funding sinkholes

The Payson High School Stadium Improvement Project is off to a strong start thanks to the Credit for Kids tax program.

Fish are biting

Grab your pole and head to Green Valley Lake this weekend, where local anglers report good fishing.

Little League registering players

Little League officials, including equipment manager and coach Eddie Duran, are hoping the fiascoes created by late player registrations are things of the past.

Lady Horns joust Higley foes for silver

First year Lady Longhorn coach Joe Schmidt was openly concerned about his team's placement and schedule in the Knight's Joust Soccer Tournament held Dec. 3 and 4 at Higley High School.

School foursome runs for fun, unity

Julia Randall Elementary School principal Peggy Miles is a veteran long-distance runner. She's competed in 5K, 10K and marathon events.

Lee, teammates to battle at Warrior Classic

Sporting one of the finest wrestlers in Arizona, senior Nathan Lee, and the Longhorns travel Friday to Mesa where they will participate in the Mesa Westwood Warrior Classic Tournament.

Tuesday, December 7

End shopping madness with alternative gift ideas

REVIEW FEATURE

Get on Highway 87. The landfill's about 10 miles north of Payson. You can't see the mountains of trash from the turnoff. A dirt road takes you about a half mile to the dump. Get out of the car. The swampy smells of rotting food and baby diapers rise up from the multicolored plastic bags of trash glistening in the sun. There's a battered old mattress torn in half while old tires stick out of the mess like a shark fin cuts through water.

Holiday gifts from the kitchen

IN THE KITCHEN

If the kitchen is your comfort zone, use it as your own holiday workshop and create gifts of the edible kind.

On the banks of Blue Ridge

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

All of a sudden the world has turned upside down.

Monday, December 6

Alpine Heights restrictions questioned

I do not know how to reach the residents of Alpine Heights to make them aware to be cautious in reading the (Homeowners Association's) Declaration of Restrictions (CC & Rs) document and in their vote.

A public apology

Because what happened was in one of our most public shopping marts, Iskhe Payson Roundup to publish my apology to the unknown ladyo whom I said:"Shut up or I'll run you down."

Leadership academy was excellent

Recently the Town of Payson concluded its first Citizens Leadership Academy, graduating a class of 28.

Don't let this happen again

I'm writing in response of the horrible (letter) about the elk by Cherry Marron.

Goodbye, my old friend

For years, I've preached to my reporters, "If you can't reach the little old lady on Easy Street, you don't have a story."

All must share bounty of Blue Ridge

It will be years before water flows from Blue Ridge Reservoir to northern Gila County -- as much as 10 years by some estimates.

Bill of Rights trivia answers

Find out the answers to the Bill of Rights trivia test that appeared in the Dec. 3 issue of the Payson Roundup.

Payson has new crop of leaders

VIEWS FROM THE TOP

On Dec. 2, the Town of Payson graduated 26 students from its first annual Citizens Leadership Academy. This festive occasion was also attended by council members, staff and representatives from Arizona Public Service Company, which co-sponsored the program.

Braving the cold to avoid the flu

Hundreds of residents stood in line for flu vaccines at the Payson office of the Gila County Department of Health Tuesday morning.

An admission of guilt

FOCUS ON PETS

It is interesting to write this column and see how people respond to it and to me. Some assume that I know a whole lot about dogs, while others know that my dogs are not perfect so they give me a lot of ribbing. Reality lies somewhere in between.

Harleys, horses and the good life

PAYSON PEOPLE

It's not hard to figure out what matters most to Vic Agnes -- in alphabetical order, his family and his Harley.

Firefighter delivers the heat

In the the words of Steve Sundra, an ex-professional baseball player who pitched for the Yankees, success is all about the execution.

Video store tussle ends in two arrests

Two men were arrested in front of Blockbuster Video after police were called to break up a fight between the duo last Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Extreme dental makeover changes local woman

Laura Marceline is a stunning woman. Her dark blond hair flows around almond-shaped hazel eyes set in a chiseled, yet soft face. And her smile, it's gorgeous. Her teeth are perfect: white and straight.

Lockdown at school after 911 call

Julia Randall Elementary School was on lockdown for about an hour Wednesday around noon following a third-hand report of a 911 call from a male stating there was a man with a gun at the school. After a classroom-to-classroom search of the school, police found no sign of trouble.

Pine water drowned by community growth

Pine's overused water supply may soon get much needed relief. A hearing will be held Feb. 14 to determine whether to accept an Arizona Corporation Commission staff recommendation to impose a moratorium on new hookups in the areas serviced by Pine Water Company.

Streets and YMCA top agenda

Presentations on funding street improvements and discussing the demand for a YMCA top the agenda of the Payson Town Council's final regular meeting of the year at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Payson family loses all in fire

A family of eight lost their home, their pet dog and all their belongings in a house fire at 710 N. Colcord Road Saturday afternoon, police said.

Sally Gail Smith

Sally Gail Smith, 77, of Payson, died Dec. 3, 2004.

James A. Myers

James A. Myers, 92, died Dec. 1, 2004.

Book fair lures readers

Rim Country Middle School's Scholastic Book Fair offers pupils an opportunity to mold themselves into successful, well-rounded students.

Thespians act out life situations

The Payson High School Drama Department will present four one-act "issue plays" this week.

Early rankings listed for basketball

The first Class 4A boys basketball poll of the season is out and Longhorn players are scouring it with great interest.

Lady Horns fall to Aussies

It took a traveling Australian All-Star team to derail Lady Longhorn hopes of winning the River Valley Invitational tournament.

Boys soccer splits opening pair

The 2004-2005 Payson High School boys soccer team debuted with a 3-2 victory over Scottsdale Coronado and a 3-0 loss to Chandler Basha.

Horns vs. Cougars skirmish a return to yesteryear

Rekindling an old rivalry that will heat up again next school year when Payson High School returns to the 3A East region, the Longhorn boys basketball team dropped a 54-39 decision to the home standing Show Low Cougars.

Snow marks onset of winter season

The snow that fell over the Rim country last weekend beckoned hoards of Valley revelers eager to enjoy the winter delights of the holiday season.

Payson area community churches

Community Churches

Photo Gallery: Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade 2004

Snow fell on Payson as the community gathered for the 2004 Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade Dec. 4. See this community photo gallery.

Comedy showdown hot ticket at casino, livens nightlife

Take away celebrity judges and the censors and you've got Star Search, Payson-style.

Site feedback

Re: Supervisor's retirement -- Supervisor Christensen's article in Friday's Roundup would have been more appropriately titled "End Of An Error." ...

Miles a great choice for JRE principal

I am thrilled to have Peggy Miles head up Julia Randall Elementary School. Mrs. Miles has proven to be trustworthy, hard-working and worthy of the important post.

Thursday, December 2

Payson celebrates Bill of Rights

Eleven years after America's forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, delegates from 12 sovereign states gathered in the nation's capital -- Philadelphia, Penn. -- to discuss a national constitution to consolidate their separate governments into one.

What's up?

Q: What water conservation stage is the town at now?

Remember Bill of Rights in December

Let the stars and bars fly high next to your Christmas decorations this December. A local committee of patriotic people from businesses, non-profit organizations and private citizens is driving a grassroots movement to celebrate one of the pillars of our protected freedoms, the Bill of Rights.

United Methodists make room for all to worship

Mel K. Munchinsky's favorite images and inspiration, not surprisingly, originate from the Bible. The portrait, "The Risen Christ by the Sea," hangs behind his desk. It depicts Jesus, smiling, on a boat holding a fishing net.

Taser saves life of armed suspect

Payson police officers avoided the use of deadly force Tuesday morning when they detained a homicidal and suicidal man with a Taser at his home on Eidelweiss Circle.

Columnist gets a taste of pioneer life

PINE-STRAWBERRY

I do not remember it being this cold up here. Wow. And both of my heat sources are inoperative.

Light parade tonight

The annual holiday celebration and Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade will be held beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4.

Korth earns double gold

Few teenagers would dare to take on the challenge that Payson High School senior Amanda Korth did.

Lady Horns rout Scottsdale Dons

A trio of Lady Longhorn coaches tried to hold scores in check, but Payson teams outscored visiting Coronado by a 167-76 margin Nov. 30.

Higley skirmish beckons Lady Horns, new coach

The Lady Longhorn soccer team travels to the Higley Invitational tournament Friday with two early season clashes under their belts. The tournament continues Saturday at Higley High School.

Fumusa spaghetti serves all

What began 15 years ago as a benefit to fund the Payson High School wrestling team's annual holiday trip to California has evolved into a much-anticipated community event.

Teens team up for Apache Gold prize money

A love of barrel racing has built a bond between teenagers Amber Marshall and Sami Novak.

Supervisor's departure end of era

The outlines of frames are still visible on the walls of the second-floor office at the Payson county complex. There are boxes stacked beside the desk; surfaces are generally free of the usual clutter of stacks of papers, folders and binders.

Tribe opts out of event center project

The Tonto Apache Tribe has declined to participate in the Payson Event Center project "at this time." Although the tribe's decision is a disappointment to Bruce Berres, president of Hospitality Support Group, he said his company remains committed to the project.

Miracle baby could be home for Christmas

If all goes well, a miracle baby may come home by Christmas, but her single mother needs help paying the staggering medical bills the two of them amassed.

Convicted drug dealer sentenced to 14 years

Convicted drug dealer Anthony Deck, 39, was sentenced to 14 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections Tuesday.

Robert Dowell

Robert Dowell, 54, of Payson, died Nov. 16, 2004.

All-star games return to summer play

The Arizona Football Coaches Associating will not challenge an Arizona Interscholastic Association ruling that prohibits all-star games during the school year.

Save time primping with painless permanent makeup

Just about every woman has 101 things to do at any given time. A new business in town can eliminate at least one of those things -- applying makeup.

Detailing protects car against winter elements

Ready for the holidays and winter driving conditions, All About Detailing is prepared to help Rim country residents get their vehicles in shape for rough weather driving conditions.

Hunters aren't to blame

On Friday of last week, the Payson Roundup ran this picture and a letter from a citizen regarding a dead elk that was found. That letter indicated hunters were responsible for this action, casting hunters in a bad light.

The dog days of winter

TONTO VILLAGE

The days have been downright chilly for the past week. I welcomed the rain, but I wish that it had been snow.

Injured elk was road kill

In regards to the picture of a dead elk off of Colcord Road that someone thought was shot and left to rot.

Don't complain about gas prices ... it could be worse

In the past couple of years, gas prices have risen in some cases two-fold.any people find this quite offensive and complain at every opportunity.

Chamber name used to sell advertising

It has come to the chamber's attention that National Ad Co., Inc. of Kelso, Wash., has contacted numerous businesses in the Payson area in hopes they would purchase advertising space on a map that the ad company was referring to as the "Chamber's 2005 Map."

Even furry friends feel the cold

Today as I sit here in my warm house, it's early in the morning and about 20 degrees outside. I know all of my dogs are resting, comfy on their blankets in their heated doggie dorm.

No need to worry about Muslim stamps

I was incredibly pleased to see that two other local citizens wrote letters concerning Joanne Chilcoat's "boycott Muslim stamps" letter.

Muslim religion is based on faith

I would like to gently disagree with Ms. Chilcoat about boycotting the Muslim Holiday stamp.

Chancie Lynn Deaton

Justin Deaton and Katelyn Evans of Payson welcomed their daughter Chancie Lynn Deaton on Oct. 5, 2004.

Emmalee Rose Hibbitts

Austin and Julie Jones and Bobby and Roxanne Hibbitts of Payson announce the birth of their first granddaughter, Emmalee Rose Hibbitts, born Nov. 12, 2004 to Jeremy and Rebecca Hibbitts.

Creek celebrates life of the late Lois Wilson

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

Lois Wilson, a longtime resident of Christopher Creek, died Nov. 24 after a six-week stay in the hospital. It was unexpected and residents couldn't believe this sweet lady was gone. Her husband, Floyd, just recently passed away. Lois left behind a daughter, Mary Byrne, and two sons, John and Steve Lawrence. She will be sadly missed but never forgotten.