Stories for July 2004


Saturday, July 31

Free brush drop-off 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

The Regional Payson Area Project will staff a free brush drop-off point from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1 at the Buckhead Mesa Pit.

Gun and Knife show 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Firing Pin Enterprizes, Inc. presents the fourth annual Payson Gun and Knife Show, July 31 and Aug. 1, at the Tonto-Apache Gymnasium, just south of Payson on Highway 87, two blocks east of the Mazatzal Casino.

World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo comes to the Payson Aug 19 - 22

The 120th Annual World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo comes to the Payson Event Center Thursday, Aug. 19 through Sunday, Aug. 22. Each performance will include a special appearance by the 2003 PRCA Entertainer of the Year, Tommy Lucia, featuring Whiplash, the Cowboy Monkey and In His Glory, the Super Horse.

Payson Photo of the week

Area residents gathered at Rumsey Park last Saturday in honor of Pioneer Day - a celebration marking the arrival of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), led by Brigham Young, to the great Salt Lake Valley in Utah on July 24, 1847.

Thursday, July 29

School bells chime for Rim students

Much to the chagrin of some students and to the delight of others, the 2004-2005 school year began Thursday in the Rim country.

Class of 1974 reunion July 31

The class of 1974 will have its 30th reunion July 31 with other classmates from 1970 to 1980-plus, or whoever wants to show up to visit with old friends. By popular demand, the former classmates will meet at 10 a.m. July 31at the Lone Pine Hotel for horseshoes and games.

The moral decaying of America

A study of the fall of great nations such as Rome, Greece, Egypt and Carthage reveals a number of reasons for the fall. The most common reasons are the increase in lawlessness, loss of economic discipline and rise in bureaucracy, government regulations and taxes, decline in quality and relevance of education, loss of respect for established religion, rise in immorality, and a decline in the value of human life.

Casino's new card game is player-friendly

Mazatzal Casino is the first in the state to bring Spanish 21 to its gaming tables -- and it is the only place to play it as well.

County disagrees with state auditor

The state auditor says some Gila County Road Fund expenditures are questionable, but Supervisor Ron Christensen disagrees. "It's an inaccuracy," he said. "I disagree with that analogy. Our finance director says they're in error."

Hungry goats chomp their way to a healthy forest

Representatives from the George Bush campaign came to Payson last week to tout his forest plan and check out what some locals are doing to help the forests.

Mentors help freshmen navigate high school

About 250 freshmen received a jump start on the school year at a "Making High School Count" orientation July 28 in Longhorn auditorium. It was obvious the first-year students were more than a bit intimidated by their new surroundings.

Our council was elected to represent us

I read with interest your editorial Friday July 23 concerning a council member that you thought should recuse himself because of special interest.

Ronstadt editorial was ‘very fair'

I just wanted to respond to some of the criticism you have been getting about your editorial opinions. I felt that your position on the Linda Ronstadt issue was very fair. I don't believe you insinuated in any way that entertainers do not have First Amendment rights, only that when they sell an event as "entertainment" and take people's money for it, then they have a responsibility to provide "entertainment" -- not political discourse.

Praise God for the rain

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow. As residents of Rim country, we don't deserve God'sreat blessings, but once again He has provided abundantly, as He has not only protected us from the forest fires, He has also provided an abundance of rainuring the last several weeks.

Noisy airplanes were fighting Willow Fire

Did it ever occur to Mr. Ron Barker ("Goose and gander stuff", Friday, July 23, 2004) that those "two" (there were four, two yellow and two with red and white markings -- we took note of the aircraft numbers) low-wing single engine tankers that repeatedly came over their house and the hospital at about five minute intervals for the past few weeks were planes assisting in fighting the Willow Fire?

Making a difference on a stormy night

Last Saturday night during a blinding rainstorm, a car carrying four passengers hydroplaned off the northbound Beeline Highway and rolled down a muddy embankment.

Community building a dream

Before Labor Day, the labor on the new fire department substation in Geronimo Estates will be complete.

Brooke agrees to conservation measures

The Arizona Corporation Commission's latest attempt to get private water companies under its jurisdiction to put more emphasis on conservation appears to be paying off.

Payson mother earns bronze in bodybuilding

A combination of strength training, dedication and nutrition has earned a 32-year-old Payson mother of three a third-place finish at the 2004 National Physique Committee's Bodybuilding North championships.

Young kids today

Is it me or are the majority of kids just basically defiant?

Candidate says people need someone who wants job

Look out John McCain. There's a new cowboy in town.

Bush needs younger running mate

If there is hope for President Bush to be re-elected, he should bring our troops home and let the Iraqis rule their own country.

Babbitt ties bid to Congress echoing Kerry's policies

Paul Babbitt wants to be our Congressman.

Foundation celebrates opening of hospice house

When you first enter Payson's first hospice house, the view is somewhat unexpected.

Horseman's event to benefit Justice


The Pine-Strawberry Horseman's Association is having a benefit horse show and tack sale Saturday, July 31 at the Mary Ellen Randall 4-H arena in Pine. The tack sale begins at 8 a.m. Vendor space is available for $10.

Main Street program garners 10 nominations

Payson's Main Street project garnered 10 nominations for the 2004 Main Street Awards competition.

Shop introduces hobby that will be a legacy

Brenda Martell and Barb Wilembrecht have been friends for years. Both came to Payson in 1987 and became acquainted almost immediately.

Time to get back to catching fish


The summer season is just about halfway behind us. The good part of the middle of the season is the rainy season. Everything is green again, and my husband actually had to mow the weeds down.

Creeks are finally flowing again


It rained, and it came down really hard Tuesday afternoon in Christopher Creek. Both Christopher Creek and Hunter Creek were running fast.

Medical privacy law creating problems

Bruce Davidson said the intention of the new medical privacy law was good, but it is creating problems.

Community welcomes new pizza place

Justin Lasher has a history with fast food. Most of his working life has been spent in the business, with more than a decade devoted to Domino's Pizza.

Love of movies drew manager to theater

Craig Triphahn has always loved movies, so when the opportunity came up to manage Sawmill Theatres he jumped at it.

Ray Tubbs

Ray Tubbs, 79, died in Pine, July 26, 2004.

Marilyn B. Jensen

Marilyn B. Jensen, 81, of Payson, died at home July 22, 2004.

Evelyn B. Gehring

Evelyn Bayne Gehring, 86, of Payson, died July 25, 2004.

Sign up early for McNeeley benefit

The Justice McNeeley Foundation benefit sounds like it's going to be a great time for all.

Parks and rec says goodbye to two staff members

There's plenty of staff changes under way at the Payson Parks and Recreation Department.

Passion fuels Rim country senior on race circuit

At 64 years old, he speeds 100-plus mph around an oval racetrack, competing against drivers two decades younger than he.

Local anglers hook awards

Clifford Pirch and Ty Goodman -- a pair of former PHS sports standouts -- are turning into a darn good fishing team.

What's up?

Q: I heard a rumor that Home Depot has scrapped its plans to open in Payson. Is that true? If it's not true, does anyone know when they'll be breaking ground?

Town should re-examine mini-cycle issue

I live in Spokane, Wash. and these little pocket rockets we call them are everywhere here in Washington state. We were told by the DMV and the local municipalities that these were under the description of mopeds.

Wednesday, July 28

Willow Fire special print edition in the Friday 7-30 Roundup

Pick up the Friday, July 30 print edition of the Payson Roundup newspaper for a copy of this commemorative Willow Fire section. Inside its pages you'll find a day-to-day record of events and lots of photos, many of which were submitted by our readers. Read the section introduction on this link, written by Roundup reporter Jim Keyworth who was assigned as the primary reporter during the Willow Fire.

First day of school: Please drive carefully

With Thursday being the first day of school in Rim country the Roundup would like to remind readers that school zone speed limits need to be observed and drivers should use extra caution around bus stops and crosswalks. The Roundup staff has also put together a number of stories to help Rim country parents get their children off to school on the right foot.

Tuesday, July 27

Water company needs to get a clue


For some time now, just about everybody who has any influence at all in these parts has been trying to get Brooke Utilities to get its customers to exercise a little restraint.

Council rescinds proposed subdivision

The Payson Town Council overturned a rezoning request that it had previously granted, citing water as a determining factor.

Nutritious breakfasts don't have to be time consuming


It's back-to-school time and getting students off to a healthy start every morning may seem like a daunting task. But study after study has shown how important the first meal of the day is to making it through the rest of the day with energy and a sharp mind -- not only for students, but for adults as well.

Educational activities abound outside the classroom


The business of education is serious stuff. There are all kinds of encouraging words and reinforcement techniques emphasizing the importance of doing your best in class.

Colorful life leads to captivating book


I grew up in a culture where oral history was a primary source of entertainment. I learned as a kid that with a little urging, I could get men like Floyd Pyle, Bud Jones, Walter Lovelady, my Uncle Malcolm Pyle, and my dad (Gene) to tell me stories. Most of these yarns sprung from mountain cowboy adventures such as lion and bear hunts, roping wild cattle, local horse races -- local cowboy lore.

Monday, July 26

Rehab, mop-up article interesting

Thank you for a very interesting and informative article about the rehabilitation of a very large burned area (Willow Fire).

MOMS Club offers fun, education, support


Being a stay-at-home mom can be a thankless job at times, even when your children are old enough to talk.

Mudslide closes Beeline

A mudslide triggered by an intense storm cell over the Willow Fire area slammed across Highway 87 Friday evening, forcing the closure of southbound lanes for more than five hours.

Legendary coach visits Rim country

It was a real thrill for PHS coach Mike Loutzenheiser and me to enjoy a short visit with University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams.

Horns face a full fall schedule

Fall sports schedules for Payson High School's second year as a member of the 4A Conference Grand Canyon region have been finalized.

Public assurances go out the window

At the July 13 Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District meeting in Pine, many concerns were expressed about the proposed 2004/2005 PSWID budget.

Gila College awaits return of tuition taxes

Gila County's battle to recoup more than $1 million in out-of-county college tuition taxes is a step closer to a victory. When the money is returned, it will be used to fund Gila Community College and provide for the students on the Payson campus.

Stabber sentenced to 3.5 years in prison

Robert Squillante, who fled after stabbing a man at a Payson bar a year ago, will spend three years in prison as a result of a plea agreement.

No reason -- legal, ethical or otherwise -- to recuse myself

Re: Our View Opinion from July 23, 2004 -- A local lobby group has chosen to attack me over the past few months with misinformation and mischaracterization of my actions regarding the effort to develop a town-wide, comprehensive noise ordinance. The Roundup has chosen to join in with an opinion that I should have recused myself from this issue.

Protocol for trauma patients saves lives

It's called the Golden Hour -- the most critical time for someone who has suffered a traumatic injury. Local emergency medics and hospital staff use their experience and a detailed protocol to make the best of those valuable 60 minutes.

Long Rider vows to visit all U.S. capitals on horseback

If it seems like riding a horse to all of the U.S. capitals is a grand feat, imagine riding from the Arctic Circle to the Equator.

Minis caught in legal cycle

Mini-cycles no longer street-legal

The increasingly popular miniature or pocket motorcycles have now been legally classified as motorcycles -- meaning most of them will stay in the garage.

Drum majors keep band in line

In the kingdom of high school marching bands, drum majors reign supreme.

PHS alumna recognized for outstanding teaching

Julia Putz, formerly Julia Johnson, a 1998 graduate of Payson High School, was recognized by the Arizona Agriculture Teachers Association (AATA) as the 2004 AATA First Year Teacher of the Year.

Payson girl explores ‘mini medical school'

Some of Arizona's most promising high school students spent three days of their summer at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) in Tucson learning about health careers in medicine, nursing, and pharmacy during MEDCAMP July 12-15.

In pet food, you get what you pay for


Thirteen billion dollars was spent on pet food last year. Premium foods with higher price tags are the fastest growing segment of the pet food market. On the one hand, you have an increasing number of people who are willing to spend more to get better nutrition for their pets. But then, there are too many like the one just arrested in the Valley for duct-taping his puppy's legs together, stabbing him repeatedly and then tossing him into a dumpster. For some, nothing is too good for their pet. For others, dogs and cats are disposable items easily replaced.

Iris lady knows her stuff from experience


Ruth Overton claims she is no expert when it comes to iris, but she has more than 55 years of experience with the flower that has taught her a lot.

Tonto Apaches bound for USA championships

Three Tonto Apache team members have qualified for the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships July 28 to Aug. 1 at historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Thunderbird Classic draws Payson five

A crew of five players being counted on to bolster a Longhorn golf team hit hard by graduation tuned up for the prep season in the first round of Junior Golf Association of Arizona Thunderbird Classic.

Rookie guard keeps watch at pool

For 16-year-old Caitlin Fruth, working this summer as a lifeguard at Taylor Pool fulfilled a longtime dream.

What's up?

Q: When will Qwest bring its DSL high-speed Internet service to Payson?

Aladdin does 180 on Ronstadt ordeal

Linda Ronstadt was an icon during my college days. My fraternity brothers were in love with Linda, including me. She can still draw large crowds -- 5,000 fans last Saturday in Las Vegas. Wow.

Anti-American view disappointing

I am writing to express my disappointment with youraper's anti-American views -- yes, anti-American!

FAA says changes needed at airport

A team of inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration found a number of items during a recent tour of Payson Municipal Airport that need to be addressed.

Human element biggest part of technology

When Payson Unified School District teachers return to their classrooms today, they will be faced with the challenge of incorporating even more technology into the education process.

Linda S. Durst

Linda Sharon Durst, 54, died July 22, 2004.

Pickups most popular with Rim car thieves

If you're one of the many people driving a white pickup around Payson, beware. You could be the next victim of auto theft.

Qwest gives literacy program financial boost

The Rim Country Literacy Program received a grant Friday from Qwest that will allow the program to buy much-needed supplies.

Infant dies in Pine

The Pine-Strawberry Fire Department was dispatched Monday morning after the Gila County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call that a 7-month-old infant was not breathing.

Sunday, July 25

Veterans roundtable will feature Congressman Rick Renzi

A unique, veterans roundtable forum will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, July 30 in the meeting room at the Best Western Payson Inn, 801 N. Beeline Highway.

Mudslide closes Beeline Highway

A mudslide triggered by an intense storm cell over the Willow Fire area slammed across Highway 87 Friday evening, forcing the closure of southbound lanes for more than five hours.

Back to School: Links to principals' reports, bus schedules, school supply lists and more

The Payson Roundup has put together a number of stories to help Rim country parents get their children off to school on the right foot. These stories include supply lists and principals' greetings from all area schools. We have also provided an online school bus schedule that we will keep posted in our archives throughout the school year. If you prefer, you can pick up a printed copy of the bus schedule in the July 23 or 27 editions of the Payson Roundup at newsstands everywhere.

Saturday, July 24

Poetry Corner: A collection of reader-submitted poems

CULP'S HILL: (Battle of Gettysburg - July 2 & 3, 1863) An autumn leaf thus now detached From its summer home - its mooring branch Spirals slowly downward to lie silent, cold and still As men who bravely died at the place they call "Culp's Hill"

Friday, July 23

Enjoy jazz in Green Valley Park this weekend

The Peter Storn Project is the feature of the final Concert Under the Stars in Green Valley Park Saturday. The concert, sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 24 in the amphitheater area of the park.

Burned motor home was also a home for young couple expecting a baby

I understand that the fire on Easy Street that happened early Thursday morning will be in Friday's paper. I'm not sure what information you have, but I thought you might like to know that the motor home that was destroyed was the home to Leon and Amanda Howard, who are expecting their first baby in the beginning of December.

Sobriety checkpoint in Star Valley Saturday

The Gila County DUI Task Force will be setting up a roadblock in Star Valley to identify and remove drunken drivers from the roadº this Saturday

Thursday, July 22

Thief takes truck, loses his pants

The driver, 21-year-old Ramon A. Zavala-Garcia of Tucson, eluded officers. They found Garcia's pants, which had come off him while he was trying to crawl over a barbed-wire fence. "His wallet with his ID was in his pants," Engler said. "So, they knew who they were looking for."

Override success brightens coming school year

The 2004-2005 public school year opens riding a wave of optimism created by the budget override passed by voters May 18 and a successful Credit of Kids program that built up the PUSD coffers by more than $190,000.

Court ruling means more tags for out-of-state hunters

A temporary solution has been found to a federal judge's ruling that forced the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to revamp the way it issues elk and deer permits. Monday morning, the commission opted to allocate more hunt permits for bull elk and deer to satisfy U.S. District Judge Robert Broomfield's decision that the state's 10-percent cap on nonresident hunt permits violated the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Kevin J. Kueny (1952-2004)

Kevin John Kueny, 51, died July 15, 2004. He was born Sept. 21, 1952 in Wichita, Kan. and moved to Phoenix, Ariz. with his parents in 1953.

Vacation Bible School a big draw


Last week, more than 50 excited children showed up at Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship Church for the 10th year of Vacation Bible School.

James J. Eskew (1916-2004)

James Joseph Eskew, 88, a former resident of Payson died July 16, 2004. He was born in Feb 11, 1916 in Piqua, Ohio.

Communities share responsibility for fire prevention

The recent danger posed to our area by the Willow fire and earlier in the season, the Webber fire, has driven home to many residents the point that we must be proactive in our efforts to protect our lives and property.

First step taken on long road to RV park

The developers of a proposed RV park with horse boarding amenities had the first step in a long road approved by the county earlier this month.

Enjoy jazz in Green Valley Park this weekend

The Peter Storn Project is the feature of the final Concert Under the Stars in Green Valley Park Saturday. The concert, sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 24 in the amphitheater area of the park.

Local Realtor honored

Clark Jones of RE/MAX Paradise Pines Realty has been elected to the Cyber Guru Hall of Fame. John M. Peckham III, Executive Director of the Boston-based Real Estate CyberSpace Society announced the honor recently.

Workshop planned to help determine business worth

Thinking about selling your business? Curious how much your business is worth? Thinking about buying a business? If you answered yes to any of these questions you should attend the What Is Your Business Worth? workshop.

Chiropractor looks at whole patient

Discovering how chiropractic treatment helped her own debilitating migraines is what led Dr. Christina Keszler to become a doctor in the field.

Christian school students need to bring supplies

The Payson Community Christian School offers pre-kindergarten through senior-level classes. Located at 500 S. Mud Springs Road, the school is requesting students bring a number of items with them when classes start on July 29.

Community Kids, Time Out need school supplies

With Payson Community Kids and Time Out Shelter combining their back-to-school clothing and school supplies drives, Rim country residents can help both groups with one donation.

Trailside shooter indicted for murder

Kuenzli's killer to be arraigned

A Flagstaff grand jury indicted Harold Fish on a charge of second-degree murder Thursday in the shooting death of a Payson man. The indictment stated that "Harold A. Fish, without premeditation, knowing that his conduct would cause death, caused the death of Grant Edward Kuenzli, a class one felony."

Freshmen, parents get PHS preview

Payson High School administrators have scheduled the Making High School Count program for its freshman class. The one-hour, assembly-style program will be presented to students and parents at the Freshman Orientation at 9:15 a.m., July 28.

2004-2005 School Bus Schedules

School Bus Schedules

Kindergarten, new student registration

Local elementary schools are now holding registration for Kindergarten and new students to the community. Registration will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily until Monday, July 26.

Let's hope Iraqi freedom better than ours

Regarding the editorial, "Wrong venue, bad form for Ronstadt" In your editorial you stated that it was tasteless for Ms. Ronstadt to interject politics into the show.

Sharon L. Bowman (1966-2004)

Sharon Lynn Bowman, 37, of Payson, died July 14, 2004. She was born Sept. 23, 1966 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Rude behavior

Regarding Mr. Haddad's column on the Linda Ronstadt matter: First, just so you know, I'm a conservative, no great fan of Michael Moore, and not planning to see his movie, and I probably wouldn't recognize a Linda Ronstadt song unless you told me "that's her."

‘Fahrenheit 9/11' up in flames

So apparently we're not going to get "Fahrenheit 9/11," one of the most popular films playing and the most successful documentary ever.

Study budget before blasting economic development

I was truly amazed at Mr. Michaelis' lack of knowledge of economic development as demonstrated by his letter of July 20, 2004.

More new homes, less water

On July 19, I attended an open to the public meeting of the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission. Its purpose is to investigate, review and evaluate zoning and re-zoning proposals and make recommendations to the Town Council for approval or denial. You would like to think that any and all conclusions and resulting recommendations to the council would be in the best interests of Payson and all its residents.

Override lets students keep teachers

I want to thank the voters who voted yes for the override. We will be going back to school soon, and because of them, I can have Miss Fischer as my teacher.

PYF has no evidence of missing money

Due to recent events, Karen Schrank is no longer associated with Payson Youth Football. It was mentioned in the Roundup that she took money from Payson Youth Football. We were not aware of any problems until the article that was published in the Roundup on Friday, July 16.

Goose and gander stuff

The subject of "What's good for the goose is good for the gander" came up at the dinner table the other night, and it brought to mind the current problems at the Greater Payson International Airport. For some time now, there have been at least two, possibly more, planes that have taken it upon themselves to buzz our home and the hospital over an extended period of time.

Democrats have no place for pro-life people

I stopped at the Payson Democratic Headquarters the other day to get information on "Democrats for Life" (a newly-formed group of pro-life Democrats trying to have a voice in the Democratic Party -- so far without success).

Site Feedback Re: Linda Ronstadt editorial

Finally! Someone who gets the point - this is not a free speech issue.

Councilors must recognize conflicts

Lost in the euphoria over the recent agreement between The Door Stop and Citizens Against Noise and Industrial Travesties (CANIT) is an even larger issue -- what constitutes a conflict of interest for members of the Payson Town Council?

Men, women face off in Jack-and-Jill match

The Payson Women's Golf Association hosted members of the men's association in its annual Jack-and-Jill Tournament.

Tonto team senior wins four at Piestewa

Tom Cooka won five gold medals at the Lori Piestewa National Native American Games July 15 to 18 in Flagstaff, Tuba City and Page.

Seasoned vet gives New Yorker a hand

During his nearly 60 years of athletic competition, senior running star Tom Cooka has seen and been a part of many intriguing athletic events.

Junior golf proving ground for Payson pair

A pair of fledgling Rim country linksters are heating up the Junior Golf Association of Arizona state tournament trail.

Hunting guides teach glassing for bears

Rim country hunters and guides Brian Marshall and Justen Williams will offer the seminar "Glassing for Spring Bears" at Hunting Camp 2004 Saturday at the Three Palms Resort Oasis in Scottsdale. The Oasis is located at 7707 E. McDowell Road and the seminars are free of charge.

Kile heads back to ‘Super Bowl' of fishing

Payson pro angler Mike Kile is set to return for a second successive year to what he glowingly calls "the Super bowl and the World Series of bass fishing."

Dog saves kitten from burning motor home

As Leon and Amanda Howard left to go on a camping trip at 2 a.m. Thursday, their 1976 motor home caught fire and was fully engulfed in flames in the middle of Easy Street in Payson. Amanda Howard's mother, Carla Brown, told the Roundup that their dog did carry one kitten to safety, but couldn't save the other.

Rim country heads back to school

A welcome and school-start report from all area principals

Revolution posts two Grand Canyon silvers

The Payson Revolution youth soccer club team finished as runner-up in both the Tucson and Phoenix versions of the Grand Canyon State Games.

Prime time for night fishing

First things first: no, Lake Powell is not closed, there are launch ramps and it is a fishing hot spot for stripers, smallmouth and walleye.

Rainy season brings sigh of relief


The rainy season is finally here. For all of us who live within the Tonto National Forest, we can breathe a sigh of relief for now.

Pine/Strawberry's new fire chief gets fly-over


A helicopter landed in a church parking lot in Pine on Wednesday morning. It turned out to be a non-emergency. Pine/Strawberry's new fire chief, Bill Dekker, was being taken up for a bird's eye view of the area. He found it fascinating.

Wednesday, July 21

Thanks to monsoons, campfire restrictions lifted in Payson Ranger District

Campfires will dot the Rim country landscape once again. Campfire and smoking restrictions in place since late May have been lifted throughout the Payson Ranger District, except for the Willow Fire area. The action was prompted by the recent arrival of monsoon rains, which have resulted in a dramatic increase in fuel moisture content and relative humidity, according to Fire Prevention Officer Gary Roberts. All forest closures in the district were lifted earlier in the week.

Tuesday, July 20

Seniors looking for a unique activity will find it

An exercise class based on Mid-Eastern (belly) Dance is one of the more unique activities senior citizens have available to them in the Rim country.

Program checks welfare of homebound

The Police Access to the Homebound Program (PATH) is a service provided by the Payson police department and primarily run by department volunteers.

Rim country offers fun, adventure for senior citizens

In this special edition of The Rim Review, we bring you our Senior Review -- a guide to activities and organizations especially for the Rim country's senior population.

Lutherans offer care for those in need

Rim country residents in need of home health care have a new option. The Lutheran Social Ministry of the Southwest has extended its in-home services to Payson and the surrounding areas.

Rim country's senior citizens well served

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out there are a lot of retirees and senior citizens in Rim country. All one has to do is look around -- at the grocery store, any of our many churches, the library, Green Valley Park, your own neighborhood. It is estimated that approximately 40 percent of the population of Payson is over the age of 55.

State's drug card for seniors one of best

Senior citizens in Arizona don't have to wait for the Medicare changes to start saving money on their prescriptions.

Video: Police squad car stuck in flooded wash

Even police squad cars weren't immune to the flooded washes that followed Friday's intense rain. Payson Police Officer Billy Hoffman was on his way to a call in his Chevy Impala when he got stuck in the wash on West Forest Drive.

Grand jury to decide fate of trailside shooter

A Flagstaff grand jury will decide Thursday whether to indict the man who killed 43-year-old Payson resident Grant Kuenzli on a remote trailhead in May, according to the Coconino County Attorney's Office.

Monday, July 19

What's up?

Q: I see that you refer to the large firefighting helicopters that have been in Payson as Sikorsky Sky Cranes, but aren't they actually Erickson Air-Cranes?

Students and staff deserve gratitude

In my capacity as a substitute teacher at Payson High School, I was gratified to see Cpt. Scott Moore'setter of thanks to those at the high school who organized and facilitated the contributions to our soldiers in Iraq.

Development at root of water problem

We need to see the other side of the coin as far as jobs are concerned. There are people in town who are spreading ideas like "Payson needs good jobs," and "Payson's tax base needs more business," and "It is important that we bring in industry." New industry is being presented as a cure-all for Payson's woes and wishes. But, just like any cure-all, it has some possible side effects for our small town.

An apology

This is an apology letter to anyone, including Mr. Tim Fruth, that has been hurt in any way by the theft of Mr. Fruth's campaign signs.

The government should give up the land

After the holocaust of the fires in Arizona, it is even more apparent that the land must be given back to the people.

'Lesson on Islam' a hoax

I find it sad, that still another misleading hoax found on the Internet found its way to an individual in Payson who sent in the article as a "Lesson on Islam" in the July 13. 2004 edition in the "Mailcall" section.

'Islam' letter very biased

I read with interest a recent letter appearing in your "Mail Call" titled: "A Lesson on Islam."

A problem we can fix

In your July 9 edition, I read a letter by Alyce Hicks. I believe that she is dead-on with the information she relayed to us about our borders and the unwillingness for our government to do anything to stop the invasion.

Wrong venue, bad form for Ronstadt

During a concert at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas Saturday night, pop star Linda Ronstadt tried to sing after placing her foot in her mouth.

Matthew J. Pecharich

Matthew J. Pecharich, 60, died July 16, 2004 in Glendale.

Raymond I. Cooper

Raymond I. Cooper, 74, died July 18, 2004.

Sharon L. Bowman

Sharon Lynn Bowman, 37, of Payson, died July 14, 2004 in Payson.

The magic of monsoon season


Ah, that first, long-awaited rainstorm of the season -- what a treat. The smell of dry earth welcoming precious moisture, the clean look of streets washed of dirt and ash. Even the rumble of thunder and flash of lightning is exciting -- as long as the rain comes with it.

Court ruling will affect fall drawing for big game

Just as Arizona Game and Fish officials were about to dole out big game hunt permits, a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Broomfield put the crimps on their distribution.

A good grooming can help keep dogs cool


It is mid summer and a great time for a thorough grooming and going-over session with our dogs. They all certainly could use a good brushing. But that is not all.

Friend of murdered man presses cause


John McCauley's wife, Carol, is the town's Main Street Manager, but it was John who fell in love with Payson first.

School's start means a shopping trip


School starts next week, but before the younger set in Payson and the Rim country returns to books, bells and backpacks, families need to do some shopping.

County, state face off over college funds

A legal opinion issued by Attorney General Terry Goddard could increase Gila County Community College coffers by more than $1 million.

New federal money available to Rim country

Three special initiatives could bring federal funds into the Rim country.

Grants give attorney's programs a boost

Several of the Gila County Attorney's programs have received a boost with assorted grant funds totaling $106,464, with $21,338 in local match money required.

Rainfall doubles July average

Two different storms that stalled over Payson July 14 and 16 dropped more than four inches of rain -- double the average rainfall total for the month, according to the National Weather Service in Flagstaff. Meteorologist Bob Fogarty said that since July 14, Payson has received 4.45 inches.

Soldier, family proud of assignment in Afghanistan

Scott Noe was a "different" child, his dad said. In junior high school, Scott wrapped up a tin of horse manure and gave it to a classmate in a gift exchange.

Door Stop, CANIT cut noise deal

Agreement silences noise debate

After months of contentiousness, The Door Stop and Citizens Against Noise and Industrial Travesties (CANIT) agreed on a solution to the noise issue at a special town council meeting Monday night.

Forest reopens, Willow Fire contained

With the Willow Fire now 100-percent contained and the monsoon season finally under way, the Payson Ranger District announced that all forest closures have been lifted except for the fire area itself.

Fund-raiser to buy wheelchair for 5-year-old

Spend a few minutes with 5-year-old Justice McNeeley and its easy to see why so many volunteers are lined up to help him.

Former PHS coach appointed Mesa AD

Former Payson High School football coach Dan Dunn didn't have much time to celebrate his appointment as the new athletic director at Mesa Community College. He spent most of the week after the announcement watching the Willow Fire edge toward his wilderness home southwest of Payson.

Players prep at week-long gridiron camp

The 2004 prep football campaign kicked off at 5:30 a.m. Monday for prospective members of the Phoenix Greenway and Payson High teams.

High schools in need of sports officials

Payson High School athletic director Dave Bradley is pleading for more prep sports officials.

PMGA plays for gold, ladies meet in blind-nine

While the Payson Men's Golf Association was battling in its first major tournament of the year, the members of the women's golf group were locked in a blind-nine shootout.

Photo Gallery: Willow Fire 2

The Roundup presents a collection of new photos submitted by community photographers. Selected photos will be posted as they arrive.

Helen C. Smith

Helen Catherine Smith, 90, was born Sept. 11, 1914 in Johnstown, Pa. to Charles Clark and Catherine Luther.

New bleachers for Longhorn stadium

Thanks to the Credit for Kids tax program, there is a chance Longhorn fans could be sitting in new stands by the end of the football season.

Site feedback

Re: Sandoval letter -- As a former Payson resident with an ongoing interest in that wonderful place, I commend Roy Sandoval for his refreshingly candid letter about his criminal career ...

Thursday, July 15

Preparing for a wildfire

Red Cross tips help residents in wildfire-prone areas prepare accordingly

Wildfire season is in full swing in Arizona. The American Red Cross, a leader in disaster preparedness and response, wants to help Arizonans prepare their homes and families so they can respond accordingly should a wildfire occur in their community. The following preparedness information will help keep Arizonans safe during this wildfire season

Search continues for clues in death of Payson man

Payson police detectives searched the muddy bottom of the East Verde River Monday hoping to find more clues in the March kidnap and murder of 54-year-old Ira Eastman of Payson.

The high cost of battling a blaze

In just three weeks, the cost of the Willow Fire grew from about $350,000 to $10 million.

Phoenix man safe after driving off Corvair Curve

The success of the cooperative firefighting agreement between the Forest Service and the Payson Fire Department became evident Wednesday afternoon when fire crews from both agencies raced to prevent another Willow-like disaster.

District approves $13.3 million school budget

The Payson Unified School District Board unanimously approved a 2004-05 budget of $13,382,876 at its July 12 meeting.

Ruger rifle raffle to benefit area genealogical society

The Northern Gila County Genealogical Society is raffling off a limited edition rifle as a tribute to Payson.

Foundation, fireplace salvaged from original Zane Grey Cabin

When the Dude Fire roared through the Rim country in 1990, one of its victims was the cabin where Zane Grey wrote many of his famous Western novels.

Play it safe with monsoon travel

The monsoon season has arrived, and while most of us know what to expect, it still doesn't hurt to take time to be prepared for storm conditions.

Thank you, Rim country communities

On behalf of the Southwest Area Incident Management Team, firefighting forces and support personnel, I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to the communities below the Mogollon Rim.

Dedicated crews saved our cabin

We wish to thank all the men and women who fought the Bear Flat fire on July 4th.

Former Longhorn turned soldier says thank you

I would first like to thank you for all of your patriotism and support for the men and women of this country.

Thanks for keeping Deer Creek safe

We would like to express our deepest gratitude and heartfelt thanks to all the men and women responsible for keeping Deer Creek Village safe from the recent dangers presented by the Willow Fire.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse

I have had many inquiries into the recent publication of my name in the arrest report for violating forest restrictions. As a public servant, an explanation is in order.

Grateful for the calming voice

I'm looking up at a clear blue sky with white puffy clouds and thinking about what an amazing two weeks it has been. I wanted to express my gratitude for all the fire fighters who saved our community.

Curse of the environmentalists

With reference to Mr. Conley's paean to environmentalists, I will offer another side to the debate.

What's up?

Q: My wife had to leave Payson during the Willow Fire because she has a history of respiratory health challenges. As the fire became more fully contained, I wanted to know what the official air quality status was for Payson. I called everywhere and couldn't find anyone to give me an answer. Who do you call to find the current air quality rating?

Attendance dips at rec program

A summer youth recreation program that experienced mixed success wraps up July 16 in the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium.

All-stars one game shy of state berth

The Payson Little League 9-10-year-old all-star baseball team won six consecutive postseason tournament games before a 14-4 loss to Pinetop/Lakeside in the District championship finale eliminated the crew from advancing to state.

Tribe, PTO, Woodsmen team up for courts

Julia Randall Elementary School students will soon have new basketball courts thanks in part to a $10,000 grant from the Tonto Apache Tribe, a matching grant from the Woodsmen of America, and a lot of work by parents and children.

ASU's QB one of top 4 in college ball

Football fans might have the opportunity to preview a future NFL great when the Arizona State University Sun Devils conduct their annual preseason training Aug. 11 to 20 at Camp Tontozona.

Bill Lasys

Bill Lasys, 89, died July 14, 2004.

Eugene H. Woods

Eugene (Gene) H. Woods, 78, died July 13, 2004.

New man at Edward Jones in Payson

Edward Jones Investments in Payson is growing and changing right along with the Rim country.

Residents breathe sigh of relief after forest fire


The communities of Christopher Creek, Kohl's Ranch, Tonto Village and especially Thompson Draw got a taste last Wednesday of what a forest fire can really do. Residents were once again standing by to see if we were going to be evacuated.

Rim communities celebrate beginning of monsoon


It rained. How wonderful. We could use more, naturally, but this is a great beginning to the monsoon season. Let's hope we get enough to dampen any possibility of fire. Let's also hope there was enough rain to build up our water supply.

Employee sentenced for embezzlement

Karen Schrank, 36, Payson, pleaded guilty to a theft charge for embezzling more than $35,000 from a local dentist's office and between $250 and $1,000 from the Payson Youth Football League.

Rehab begins on Willow burn area

The Willow Fire not only threatened our communities, it had a major ecological impact on the area.

The real villain

We own property at the Airpark and have followed the noise issue closely. Jim is a hydrologist and NASA Astronaut Interviewee. Carolyn is a Family Practice physician.

Learn like the pros in flag football

The National Football League is coming to Payson.

Firefighters did outstanding job extinguishing Ponderosa blaze


Tonto Village and Thompson Draw had enough excitement last Wednesday to last the residents a long time.

Wednesday, July 14

Firefighters mop up Willow hot spots

Containment of the Willow Fire remains at 95 percent as firefighters continue to mop up the final hot spots. "For all intents and purposes, it's contained," Public Affairs Officer Jim Payne said. "(Incident Commander John Philbin) just wanted to be more conservative and not call it 100 percent contained."

Tuesday, July 13

Rim country's small museums touch the past


A visit to the small museums in the Rim country can connect residents and the area's guests to the past.

Try a Creole cookout


Breathe new life into the traditional American cookout with flavors from New Orleans -- the "Big Easy."

A lighter look at the Willow Fire


Fires are decidedly not funny. Especially fires too-close-to-home-for-comfort. But people are funny, and when you get people and fires together, strange things can happen.

The 'murder' of a cowboy


Many of the stories I have written have been handed down through my family, especially through my granddad, Floyd Monroe Pyle, lion hunter, cattle rancher, and guide for Zane Grey.

Monsoon rain creates mixed blessings after Willow Fire

The monsoon season is a mixed blessing for residents in the communities surrounding the Willow Fire. Although the monsoons bring rain, it's not enough to alleviate the drought, and lightning activity and the potential for flooding increases.

Monday, July 12

Academic alternative receives board approval

Rim Country Middle School students who find themselves struggling in math and language arts classes next school year might find the help they need in the new Varied Instructional Delivery program.

Rim country man wins SUV in Coke contest

"Mentiroso." Liar. When Payson resident Javier Ramirez, 35, called his family in Mexico to tell them he had won a car, they didn't believe him. They called him a liar.

Water draw for Willow had little impact on Green Valley lakes

Green Valley Park gave up an estimated 20,000 gallons of water per day to the recent fire-fighting efforts, but the withdrawal had virtually no effect on the lakes.

What's up?

Q: Why doesn't the Walgreens store have electric shopping carts for the disabled? If they did, I think more of the Rim country's disabled population would shop there, I know I would.

Camp signals beginning of 2004 football campaign

The smell of pigskin will soon fill the air. It's slated to permeate the Rim country atmosphere beginning at 5:15 a.m. July 19 when the Longhorn preseason football camp begins.

More Rim country businesses ride out fire

Forest closures and the recent shut-down of Highway 87 for the firefighting efforts have caused many of the area's merchants to suffer. The following are offering specials to welcome you to their stores and services:

Children spot fire, save businesses

When 12-year-old Tricia Ricke and her friends saw the fire, they knew they had to get help fast.

Willow Fire now fully contained

Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team Commander Jeff Whitney has fought a lot of fires in his time. And while there's no such thing as a routine wildfire, the Willow Fire did some things that he had never seen before -- especially on its southeast flank.

Watsons celebrate 38th wedding anniversary

Lee Roy and Elinor Watson celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary on July 8, 2004.

High school registration begins Monday

Students attending Payson High School's 2004-2005 classes will register by the following schedule:

Lundholm, Harpst to wed

The families of Richard David Lundholm and Heather Nicole Harpst, both of Columbia, Mo., would like to announce the marriage of their children.

Snowflake backs out of Payson scrimmage

The Payson High School football program suffered a damaging blow when Snowflake backed out of a preseason scrimmage with the Longhorns.

Animal sanctuary had a big boost

As part of a two-day promotion with Saturn of Tempe June 19 and 20, 2004, The Rim Country Animal Sanctuary gave out spay or neuter certificates (for the Main Street Animal Clinic) for 14 cats and 6 dogs.

At a glance: New Willow Fire incident management team information

John Philbin's Type 2 Incident Management Team has now taken over the final stages of the Willow Fire. The goal of this team is to continue control operations, mop-up, and rehabilitation. See new website information.

Neighbors prayed for us

I am a resident of The Heber/Overgaard area. Two years ago, when the Rodeo/Chediski Fire burned through our neighborhood, and we were evacuated for two weeks -- the most stressful two weeks of my life, I might add -- it was you folks, the good people of Payson who prayed for us, cared for us, fed us, and encouraged us. We thank you all for the kindness you showed tos.

Workshop teaches coping skills for divorcees


Statistics say 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.

Canine cops protect and serve

Police canine handlers and their four-legged partners often work in dangerous situations which makes training critical.

Noise ordinance sent back for more work

If such records were kept, last Thursday's town council meeting -- which lasted for more than five hours -- may have ranked among the longest ever.

'Toughest Sheriff' visits Rim country

Whatever people choose to think about Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, one thing they can't deny -- he puts on a good show as a guest speaker.

Kindergarten/new student registration

Local elementary schools are now holding registration for kindergarten and new students to our area. Registration will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily until Monday, July 26.

There's DNA on your butt

Residents and law enforcement officers are cracking down on smokers who discard lit cigarettes onto our dry landscape.

Inmates helped fight the fire

Sgt. Augustine Ballesteros knows the rehabilitative value of allowing inmates to work as firefighters as a crew did for 10 days of the Willow Fire.

Products to help your plants survive


As if a prolonged hot, dry spell isn't enough, now trees and shrubs are combating toxins in the air from forest fire smoke and ash. While waiting for the monsoon rains to come, exploring the use of some plant protecting treatments that are on the market may help valuable plants survive.

Barking problem can be solved


Barking dogs continue to be a problem in Payson. I was invited to the Woodhill Homeowner's Association meeting as they are looking for solutions. It seems that people who have barking dogs either don't hear them or do not see it as a problem. It is a problem.

Retiring priest advises 'Get to know the people'


As a young boy, Joseph Krause thought he would be a Navy man.

Dylan Nathan Russell Perry

Samantha Schulz and Jeff Perry proudly announce the arrival of their son, Dylan Nathan Russell Perry.

Guild cares for its neighbors

As current president, serving for my third term, of the Pine/Strawberry Arts and Craft Guild, I would like to respond to the letter written by Paul Paul and published in the July 2 issue of the Roundup.

A lesson on Islam

A fellow minister told me this powerful story:

Adicyn Jo Martin

Kelly and Bobbie Jo Martin, and Onastazia and Ritner Cutter, formerly of Payson, are proud to announce the birth of their new baby daughter and sister, Adicyn Jo.

Samuel Ray

Samuel Ray, 74, of Payson, died July 8, 2004.

Jay Oakason

Jay Oakason, 77, of Payson, died June 23, 2004.

Twila I. Beck

Twila Inez (Johnson) Beck, 75, died July 11, 2004.

Former Horn in state title chase

Rim country golfer Billy Bob Hoyt, a 2004 Payson High School graduate, swung his way to a tie for fifth place in the first round of the Junior Golf Arizona of Arizona State Tournament.

Men, women go head-to-head in various matches

The foursome of John Pauley, Warren Mulcahy, Pat King and Sid Egler hooked up to take first place in a Payson Men's Golf Association four-man scramble.

Fear is the evil

Mr. Castleman's recent letter imploring the Roundup's readers to "remember these politicians when we go to vote in November" should be taken for what it really means. The Republicans have exposed Americans to a greater threat of terrorism.

Leadership lacking in water issue

We arrived in Strawberry in April and over the last few months have become somewhat acquainted with the water issues.

Will a lesson be learned from the Willow?

When I heard the initial news report that the local Forest Service officials had made the decision to let the Willow Fire burn, as "there was no immediate threat to any structures," that decision threw me for a loop.

Giving time to Little League worthwhile

I spent part of my afternoon July 2 searching the web for news on the Willow Fire. In my search I found a link for the Payson Roundup.

Surf's up for Payson teen

For 17-year-old Britney Owens, a trip to the beaches of Hawaii was a dream come true.

Site feedback

Re: Roundup web edition -- You've got a small website for a small newspaper in a small town and I have to say you do a really excellent job ...

Sunday, July 11

Full containment expected on Willow Fire Monday

After menacing the Rim country for 18 days, the Willow Fire is expected to be 100 percent contained at 6 p.m. Monday.

Saturday, July 10

Whitney Team leaving Payson Monday; Willow 70 percent contained

With the majority of the fire line around the Willow Fire contained, Jeff Whitney's Type 1 Incident Management Team began the process of transitioning out on Sunday.

Friday, July 9

Willow Fire officials say danger has passed

At a media briefing held 8 p.m. July 9 at Payson High School, Southwest Area Type I Incident Management Team officials announced the fire is 65 percent contained and the team will probably be dispersed by Monday.

Thursday, July 8

Quilt sales benefit local fire district


Christopher/Kohl's Firebelles have quilts to raffle off. Some of these ladies have been very busy. Margie Larsen made and donated the quilt named "There are bears in Christopher Creek." The machine quilting was done and donated by Sandy Strunk of Tempe. It is a twin size quilt.

Bear Flat fire controlled fast, thanks to quick response


A fire that destroyed a house and carport tore through Bear Flat at the third meadow July 3. With the help of Diamond Star Fire Department, the Tonto Village Fire Department and the Hot Shots from the Forest Service, the flames were kept under control and damage was limited to one house and carport with a small amount of brush.

Polio Plus golf tourney Saturday

Walk-ups and late registrations will be welcome when the Rotary International Second Annual Polio Plus Golf Tournament tees off at 8 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) on the Payson Golf Course.

Cooka set for Piestewa; Tontos bound for Provo

Although Tom Cooka has entered the Lori Piestewa National Native American Games, some of his fellow Tonto Apache Track and Field team members will not compete due to a conflict with Junior Olympics.

Women golfers short of clubs

In a "three clubs and a putter" formatted tournament June 29 at Payson Golf Course, members of Payson Women's Golf Association often found themselves a tad short of links hardware.

Rim teens challenge Tucson course

A foursome of Rim country teenagers has taken their act south to Tucson where the Junior Golf Association of Arizona City Junior Championships were held.

Idaho opportunity beckons recreation coordinator

Payson's Sports Coordinator Teddy Pettet has resigned his position to accept a teaching/coaching offer from Weiser High School in Idaho.

D-back camps go on as planned

After suffering a lull in registrations for the traditionally popular Arizona Diamondback Training Centers, the Payson camps were conducted as originally scheduled.

Donnie J. Waite

Donnie James Waite, 39, of Young, died July 4, 2004.

Ronald D. Robertson

Ronald D. Robertson, 81, of Pine, died July 1, 2004 in Phoenix.

Gordon J. Nicholson

Gordon J. Nicholson, 96, died July 5, 2004.

Shirley A. Morrison

Shirley Anna Morrison, 78, of Payson, died July 3, 2004.

Richard A. Dietz

Richard A. Dietz, 71, of Whispering Pines, died July 3, 2004.

Thomas R. Burson

Thomas R. Burson, 83, died July 5, 2004 in Payson.

Teen dreams of military career

A Tonto Apache teenager might soon be carrying on the tradition of Lori Piestewa.

Registration begins for RCMS

Rim Country Middle School will be holding student registration from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. July 13, 14 and 15 at the school located at 304 S. Meadow.

Forest Service suspends Diamond Rim drilling project

Consideration of the town's proposal to drill exploratory wells under the Diamond Rim in the Tonto National Forest has been suspended by Ed Armenta, head ranger for the Payson Ranger District.

Site feedback

Re: Firefighters and tree-cutting crews -- I want to say thank you to all of the firefighters and tree-cutting crews working very hard and risking their lives to fight the fire ...

Grateful for wonderful young people

As the town of Payson expresses its thanks to all the firefighters who risk their lives to protect us, I'd like to add a special thanks to a group called the Navajo Scouts #12 from Mountainair, N.M.

Making money off our tragedy?

I live in Pine and was down in Payson Thursday.I stopped in Wal-Mart, and saw many of the courageous men and women firefighters in thereurchasing staples that they probably forgot, rushing to pack to come to Payson to help save us from this terrible Willow Fire.

Remember these politicians at election time

I recently came across an important quotation that has a direct application to the world in which we live today. The venerable Albert Einstein said, "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people in it who are evil, but because of the people that don't do anything about it."

Smokers, watch your butts

I just want to say a great big thank-you to the fire guys and gals for working so hard and helping our community. I also have to make a comment on where some people keep their heads and brains if they have any.

Coconino County has been cooperative

I would like to correct some misinformation in the July 2 article concerning the investigation into the shooting of Grant Kuenzli. It is not true that no one from the Coconino County Attorney's Office has contacted the Payson Humane Society.

Forest Service performance outstanding

P.L. Phillips's letter in the July 2, 2004 Roundup expresses a very isolated opinion and does not represent the feelings of the community toward the Forest Service and the management of the Willow Fire.

Bypasses not likely to disappear in the foreseeable future

Rev. Elliott's June 15 letter to the Roundup editor makes the point that a need for the Payson bypass has not been shown. The dilemma that Payson faces is that when the need is shown, traffic congestion will be severe.

U.S. has become 'Third Worlder's paradise'

While we are sleeping, the Third World is planning our demise; and they're doing it from under our own spacious skies and above our fruited plains. We've already lost democracy as we Americans have known it.

Take your best shot, then send it in

"I have some award-winning photos of the Willow Fire," the caller proclaimed. "Of course, they won't win any awards if nobody sees them."

Motorists urged to be cautious driving through Willow Fire area on SR87

"You're going to see some things that may shock you," said Law Enforcement Liaison Jim Clawson. "Make sure that the driver keeps his eyes on the road so you don't run into anybody there."

Brothers stop neighborhood fire

Quick thinking by two brothers stopped a fire from spreading to homes and a school in Payson Wednesday morning.

Merino, Pelto wed

Charles H. Pelto Jr. --nown as "Cash" to his friends -- son of Charles H. Pelto Sr., and Martha Saarela Pelto of Fitchburg, Mass., and Felisa Merino, daughter of Fortunato and Ernestina Merino, all of Lima, Peru, were married May 29, 2004 at the Church of Christ of Payson.

How about a tax for sidewalks?

Senior citizens and others should support a special tax to be used for sidewalks and other street improvements. We are not a one-horse town anymore.

What's in a name?

As we left Payson for a retirement in Prescott, many, including the Roundup staff, made me promise to stand up to Payson's bidor "the oldest rodeo."Prescott, of course, contends it had the "world's oldest rodeo" and Payson knows it has the "world's oldest continuous rodeo."

Red ribbons show support of firefighters

Tie a red ribbon 'round the ole oak tree. In an effort to show support for the Willow Fire team, Payson and Pine residents and businesses are encouraged to display red ribbons, signs and banners.

Businesses get creative to survive fire season

Smoke is billowing into the sky and settling in all around us. Our first instincts might be to hunker down and ride out the fire. With roads closures and forests restricted, many of the area's merchants are suffering. The following businesses are offering specials to welcome you to their stores and services:

Ponderosa Fire stopped at 140 acres

With the help of nearby fire crews, a fire that destroyed 140 acres Wednesday near the Ponderosa Campground was reported and contained within 32 hours.

Willow Fire: At a glance phone numbers and websites

The Type 1 Southwest Fire Management Team has set up a website, e-mail and phone numbers for residents to get information about the Willow Fire.

Photo Gallery: Willow Fire 1

The Roundup presents a collection of photos from staff and community photographers. New photos posted as they arrive.

Highway 87 reopens; Crews get upper hand on Willow

Firefighters say they believe they finally have the upper hand on the Willow Fire.

Norman Munroe

Norman Munroe, 73, of Payson, died June 29, 2004.

Maps: Willow Fire perimeter and progression maps

See the progress of the Willow Fire since Thursday, June 24, 2004. Maps will be updated as they are made available. Watch for regular updates.

Lundholm, Harpst to wed

The families of Richard David Lundholm and Heather Nicole Harpst, both of Columbia, Mo., would like to announce the marriage of their children.

Porter, Connolly to marry

Jimmy and Lauree Lee Connolly of Payson are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their son, Camron James, to Lonna Porter, daughter of Lorin and Toni Porter of Heber.

Limousines part of flower shop's full service

To ride in style is a very rare treat, but it is not out of reach for Rim residents thanks to Touch of Class.

Communities celebrate festive Fourth, despite smoke


Well -- we made it through the 4th of July weekend without running out of water or facing an evacuation. Everyone seemed to be very careful. In spite of a little smoke, it was a good weekend. Now we are back to the quiet life for a little while.

Wednesday, July 7

Firefighters enter critical phase in battle against Willow Fire

Firefighters face a critical period today (Thursday) as they continue to battle the Willow Fire on its southeast flank.

Willow Fire status and highway closure update

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a busy but successful day. The Type 1 team provided support to the Tonto National Forest crews during the Ponderosa Fire, which occurred east of Payson. The quick response of 3 Hotshot crews, 4 dozers and several aircraft enabled crews to keep the fire contained.

Willow Fire jumps Highway 87 in spots; both 87 and 188 closed

With the Willow Fire jumping Highway 87 and the diversion of resources to fight the Ponderosa Fire at Highway 260 and the Control Road, the Southwest Incident Management Team had a busy but successful day on Wednesday.

Willow Fire 40 percent contained; Highway 87 remains closed

The burnout along the southern edge of the Willow Fire did "extremely well" Thursday as firefighters reached 40 percent containment of the blaze, according to Operations Section Chief Buck Wickham.

Ponderosa Fire update: Crews mopping up

The Ponderosa Fire, which started at 11 a.m. Wednesday near the Ponderosa campground, has destroyed 140 acres and is nearly contained.

Fire information phone lines repaired

The Type 1 Southwest Fire Management Team Information Center phone lines have been repaired and operators are standing by to assist residents with questions about the Willow Fire or other fire incidents in the area.

Fire management team information phone lines down due to fire

The Type 1 Southwest Fire Management Team Information Center phone lines are down due to the Ponderosa Fire burning through fiber optic cables.

Tuesday, July 6

Willow Fire outburst prompts Beeline closures: Wednesday 1 p.m.

A portion of the Willow Fire jumped containment lines near the Bar-T-Bar Ranch 12 miles south of Payson late Tuesday afternoon, prompting fire officials to close Highway 87 from about 9:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Forward spread stopped on Ponderosa Fire

The forward spread of the Ponderosa Fire has been stopped and firefighters are now working to extinguish spot fires.

Local authors publish book on rodeo history


Rodeo 101, History of the Payson, Arizona Rodeo," by Jinx Pyle and Jayne Peace, will be for sale this coming August. It will be available in both hardcover and soft cover. The soft-cover book will sell for $25. The hardcover book, which will be a numbered, collector's edition, will sell for $100. It will be wrapped in a full-color dust jacket.

Why we're a little different


Ever wonder why people who live in the Rim country have a slightly different view of life than the rest of the world?

Smoky air shouldn't deter picnic plans


The smoky air should not be a deterrent to plans for a picnic. Just wait until after dark, or do an early morning picnic when the smoke is down.

Highway 87 closed (posted Tuesday p.m.)

Heavy smoke covering State Route 87 prompted fire officials to close the highway south of Payson Tuesday night.

Highway 87 reopened Wednesday a.m.

Heavy smoke covering State Route 87 prompted fire officials to close the highway south of Payson Tuesday night. It is now reopened, but fire officials warn it could close at any time.

Ponderosa Fire prompts evacuations in Thompson Draw area

Fire closes Highway 260

A fire that broke out at about 11:10 a.m. today near Ponderosa Campground is burning toward the Thompson Draw area, about 12 miles east of Payson off east Highway 260.

Monday, July 5

Therapist tunes in to clients' needs for better health


Building muscle by banging a drum. Battling Alzheimer's with a song. Lifting weights with your mouth.

Highway Update: Officials caution road could close at any time on short notice

Fire officials now believe they have a 50-50 chance of keeping the southeast flank of the Willow Fire in check and Highway 87 open. But officials caution that Highway 87 could be closed at any time on short notice.

Willow starting to cooperate

As operations on the north and east side of the Willow Fire begin to wind down, firefighters are focusing on the fire's growing southeast side.

Payson is paradise for new director


Gerry Bailey, the new executive director of Time Out, must be living right.

Monitor your pets' health in smoke


With this fire settling in and sending smoke and ash our way, there are some precautions we should take for our pets as well as our people. Hopefully we all have our pet emergency evacuation bags packed with food, dishes, leashes, tie outs and all of the necessities we need to care for our pets for several days.

Despite smoke, guests enjoy Pine Craft Show

With the smell of fresh kettle corn and juicy hot dogs to draw them in, hundreds of Valley and Rim country shoppers descended upon Pine for its arts and crafts festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Howell, Roberson marry

Debora Howell of Ahwatukee, and Steven and Anne Howell of Ogden, Utah are proud to announce the marriage of their daughter Stefanie Howell to Matthew Roberson, son of Randy and Diane Robertson of Payson.

Fire information officer caught tossing lit cigarette

A public information officer for the Tonto National Forest was cited and released by a Payson police officer Saturday morning for allegedly tossing two lit cigarette butts out of her vehicle.

Noise ordinance before town council Thursday

Decibels are back on the Payson Town Council agenda at 6 p.m. Thursday when Community Development Director Bob Gould presents his long-awaited noise ordinance recommendations.

Red Cross shelter for those with breathing problems

Heavy smoke prompted the local chapter of the Red Cross to set up a shelter for people with breathing difficulties.

Boy charged with starting Bear Flat house fire

A 13-year-old boy was charged with starting a fire that broke out Sunday afternoon and destroyed one residence in Bear Flat, about 13 miles east of Payson.

Visiting fire crews help patrol neighborhoods

Municipal firefighters from around the state are helping keep Rim country communities safe during the ongoing battle with the Willow Fire.

Seventy canine officers spend week in Payson

Besides the many forest service vehicles in town, residents will see an additional 70 patrol cars from law enforcement agencies throughout the southwest. They are canine officers attending the Payson Police Department's 12th annual canine training seminar.

Teen aligns with NBA's best

The list is impressive --ichael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse, Jordan Hinton. Jordan Hinton?

Payson, Pine fishing teams hook bass crown

Rim country anglers are dominating the bass tournament fishing circuit.

San Diego effort yields one hardwood win

Longhorn boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser says his team's 1-4 record in the Steve Fisher San Diego State basketball camp is misleading.

Pine teacher takes over volleyball program

Payson High School athletic director Dave Bradley has chosen Pine teacher Arnold Stonebrink to succeed Chris Schwind as the Lady Longhorn head volleyball coach.

Clifton Crews

Clifton Crews, 83, of Strawberry, died July 4, 2004.

Site feedback

Re: Online fire coverage -- I have found that (the Payson Roundup) website has been a great assistance to keep up to date regarding the Willow Fire ...

What's up?

Q: Is the landscaping project on Main Street at Julia Randall Elementary School being paid for by money from school budget override approved by voters in May? If not, who is paying for it?

Don't be misled by leaders, media

Don't be misled by the propaganda of our leaders and media that we are fighting a few bad extremists.

'We are here for you should the need arise'

I am a resident of the Heber/ Overgaard area. Two years ago, when the Rodeo/Chediski Fire burned through our neighborhood and we were evacuated for two weeks (the most stressful two weeks of my life, I might add), it was you folks, the good people of Payson who prayed for us, cared for us, fed us and encouraged us. We thank you all for the kindness you showed to us.

Gould answered the question

"True statements are not divisive." Bill Michaelis' letter of June 29 appears to be from someone who did not read my letter of June 22, or chose to use his own interpretation.

Council shouldn't legislate industry out of existence

As you deliberate the issue of an ordinance to regulate noise within our community, I hope you will give consideration to the effect, not only now but in the future, that an overly oppressive ordinance could have on our town's economy.

Carve-outs not the answer for Social Security

When AARP's National Legislative Council first began looking at various proposals to change Social Security by diverting money into individual accounts or "carve-outs," the idea was still fairly new and the stock market seemed unstoppable.

Environmentalists give stock answers to things they know little about

Let's put petroleum on the endangered list.

Beeline closure averted

Highway 87 remains open on an hour-to-hour basis after firefighters were able to hold the line on the Willow Fire Monday.

School board to consider $13 million budget

The Payson Unified School District Board, at its July 12 meeting, will be asked to approve a 2004-05 budget that Business Manager Bobette Sylvester says is "budgeted to the penny. There are no excesses."

We need to be better stewards of the land

On Sept. 17, 1804, Meriwether Lewis noted in his journal, "This scenery already rich, pleasing and beautiful was still farther heightened by immense herds of buffalo, deer, elk and antelopes which we saw in every direction feeding on the hills and plains. I do not think I exaggerate when I estimate the number of buffalo which could be compre(hend)ed at one view to amount to 3,000."

Payson Red Cross reception and care center closed

The Red Cross reception and care center established in Payson for residents affected by smoke has now been closed due to poor air quality.

Sun Devils, Cards bury the hatchet

No one is saying it, but it's obvious that the tragic death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan had something to do with Arizona State University and the Arizona Cardinals burying the hatchet.

It's Anti-Boredom Month


Now that the long Fourth of July weekend is over, we settle in to enjoy this midsummer month. Days of long sunlight and shimmering heatwaves -- lingering twilight facing into dark, and the sky filled with stars.

Free passes are useless if pool is never open

Summertime is finally here. It's time to whip out the sun tan lotion, grab the lawn chair and take the kids to the public pool for some much-needed play time. I had been looking forward to this day. With car loaded, my daughters and I set off for a fun-filled day ... just the three of us.

Rim residents need to support local businesses

Smoke is billowing over the horizon.

Barrel racing postponed

The summer barrel racing series, sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, is canceled this week, due to road closures and heavy smoke from the Willow Fire.

Relocation center set up for Deer Creek area residents

Due to an unexpected change in the weather a relocation center has been set up to give Deer Creek residents a place to get out of the smoke.

Sunday, July 4

Hotshot crews help Beeline to remain open on day-to-day basis

Thanks to diligent firefighters and a plan to strategically place hotshot crews on the fire line, State Route 87 - the Beeline Highway - will not close as scheduled at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Payson dodges Willow Fire bullet, fire official says

Firefighters attack Willow's southern flank

The Willow Fire was not very active today (Sunday), allowing fire crews time to widen the containment line protecting Payson and prompting Operations Sections Chief Buck Wickham to all but declare the community of Payson safe during the 8 p.m. briefing Sunday.

Officials hope to avoid Highway 87 closure

Fire officials are hoping to minimize or possibly even eliminate closing Highway 87, depending on how successful suppression operations are on the southeast portion of the Willow Fire today.

Saturday, July 3

Payson containment lines holding

Firefighters continue to gain ground on the Willow Fire, and fire officials believe Payson should be pronounced safe in the next few days. But some concerns remain.

Payson told 'not to worry'; firefighters confident

Despite another smoky day Saturday, there is good news for Payson residents. According to fire officials, the burnout on the east side of the Willow Fire has been completed and Payson will be safe "in a couple days."

Video: Gov. Napolitano in Payson

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano flew over the Willow Fire for a firsthand look Saturday morning, July 3. This 2-minute video was taken during a press conference at the fire information center in front of Payson High School.

Friday, July 2

Governor tours 69,500-acre Willow Fire

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano flew over the Willow Fire for a firsthand look Saturday morning.

Smoky day just a "big show"; Willow Fire grows to 65,000 acres

Payson was inundated with smoke and ash Friday afternoon, but firefighters were generally pleased with their progress battling the Willow Fire southwest of town.

Thursday, July 1

Payson fired up for firecracker skirmish

The Payson 35-years-and-over men's soccer team is looking to improve upon last year's Independence Day Invitational Tournament runner-up finish.

Kelly W. Conser

Kelly Wadene Conser, 38, died June 22, 2004 in Ruidoso, N.M.

David L. Bowman

David Lyle Bowman, 44, of Payson, died June 26, 2004.

Lessons for life earned not granted

A coaching friend once said half jokingly and half truthful, "the best coaching job in the world would be at an orphanage."

Meyocks, Calderwood swing to crown

Laura Meyocks and Alesha Calderwood played their way to first place honors in the Payson Women's Golf Association Arizona State Medallion and Eclectic tournament.

Buckle series a Thursday night hit

Record numbers of participants and spectators are turning out for the Town of Payson Buckle Series of barrel racing and pole bending events.

NHL drafts Payson-born collegian

Payson is not exactly a hot bed of professional hockey, but it can stake claim to being the birthplace of a 19-year-old selected in Sunday's National Hockey League draft.

Haught returns to coaching box

Former Longhorn baseball coach Bruce Haught is back in the saddle again.

Lonnie L. McCall

Lonnie Lee McCall, 59, died June 26, 2004.

What's up?

Q: How do we maintain water levels at Green Valley Park lakes, especially now that helicopters are taking water from them?

Bill Mexico for services rendered

A county commissioner in Idaho, Robert Vasquez, was recently singled out for special attention after suggesting that the Mexican government should reimburse local taxpayers for their expenses.

Supervisor tries to silence citizens

On Tuesday, June 8 the Gila County Board of Supervisors met as the Board of Directors of the Pine/Strawberry Water Improvement District.his was an open meeting held in the Pine Cultural Hall. Of the approximately 200 people in attendance, about 175 were citizens of Pine and Strawberry.r. Ron Christensen chaired the meeting.

Forest Service practices questionable

Each year since I moved back to Arizona I am becoming more and more mad about some of the practices that the Forest Service practice with fires.

Conservation needed to keep taps flowing


The months seem to be whizzing by so fast that it is hard to believe that July is here already, with the big holiday weekend creeping up on us. Many of the village residents will be expecting family and friends to visit them over the long weekend, so Jerry Bauler, Tonto Village Water Company's representative, urges all villagers to be mindful of our water shortage.

Let firefighters know they're appreciated

Yesterday, the 30th of June, we noticed fire trucks from out of town patrolling our streets. This created a little anxiety, and also curiosity for me, so I stopped them with an inquiry of: "What's going on?"

Guild holds ‘little regard for the safety of our communities'

I am a past president and former member of the Pine/ Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild. Two years ago, the guild canceled its 4th of July Festival due to fire danger. Their vendors and crafters were notified in a timely manner and fees were promptly returned. The guild was unable to reach only one vendor to notify of cancellation.

Show troops we are grateful for sacrifice

As Americans the 4th of July marks our "Day Of Independence" celebrating the freedom of our great land.

Investigator wants input from those who knew Kuenzli, dogs

An investigator from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office will be coming to Payson to talk to those who had personal knowledge of the humane society volunteer shot and killed by a hiker on May 11.

Water predominant issue at June 24 council meeting

With the Rim country in the ninth year of a prolonged drought, water issues dominated the Payson Town Council's regular meeting on June 24.

Disney teacher shelves beakers, tubes, Bunsen burner

One of Payson's most celebrated teachers and the only local educator to win the prestigious Walt Disney American Teacher award has retired.

Help firefighters by clearing property and being prepared

Payson and Pine residents don't have to be out fighting the flames to support the Willow Fire effort. There are plenty of options for those wanting to help.

Facing the fire

Honoring the men and women who hold the line

A grateful community hopes for the safety of more than 900 men and women fighting the Willow Fire to save homes, property and lives.

Willow Fire grows to 43,000 acres, but lines hold

Despite two spectacular columns of smoke and an unfounded evacuation rumor, firefighters had a productive day battling the Willow Fire Thursday.

Food, fun and music for the Fourth


The big 4th of July weekend is here. Along with all the activities planned by communities and families, we are living under the big cloud of smoke from the Willow Fire.

Melodrama was terrific treat


If you missed the Christopher Creek Musical Melodrama "The Pleasant Sally War" last weekend, you really missed out on a lot of fun, a lot of talent, and some great musical numbers.

Firefighters race to secure line

Tedious but successful burnout operations on the north and east sides of the Willow Fire are reducing the risk to Payson, Pine and Strawberry, but the three communities are a long way from safe.

Willow Fire postpones fireworks display; celebration still on

The fireworks display scheduled for the town's Independence Day celebration has been postponed due to extreme fire danger, but the other scheduled activities are still in place.

Gisela man will face prison for DUI

Michael Chip McCollum, 33, of Gisela, faces a prison term of up to 3.75 years for driving under the influence of drugs while his license was suspended, and use of marijuana.

Under duress, we become a stronger community

About the only good thing to occur when a forest fire threatens our homes, our town and our way of life, is camaraderie.

Dooh Nibor economics

Recently, the Washington Post got hold of an Office of Management and Budget memo that directed federal agencies to prepare for post-election cuts in programs that George Bush has been touting on the campaign trail.

Paul F. Noble

Paul F. Noble died June 26, 2004 in Phoenix.

New bed and breakfast welcomes guests as friends and family

A new bed and breakfast in Strawberry is welcoming guests to become part of an extended family and enjoy the Rim country.

Video: Willow Fire near Rye

The Willow Fire continues to threaten communities as firefighters conduct burnout activities near Rye, Arizona. Video taken July 2, 2004.