Wednesday, June 30
Burnouts reduce risk to Rim country communities
Successful burnout operations on the north and east sides of the Willow Fire Wednesday night reduced the risk to Payson, Pine and Strawberry, but the blaze is still growing, fire officials said Thursday.
Tuesday, June 29
AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY
Currently playing at your local public library is a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit called "Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future."
This is the view from the southwest corner of Payson on a hill that overlooks a portion of the fire zone. The edge of the Willow Fire is approximately 4 miles from Payson. Taken around 1 p.m. on June 30, 2004.
I remember June 17, 1955 as the day "Hell Let Out For Recess" in Payson.
This video shows one of three Sikorsky Sky Crane helicopters being used to fight the Willow Fire now four miles (updated number) southwest of Payson. The aircraft are taking water from Payson's Green Valley Park Lakes.
Our Rim country communities are planning plenty of fun for the Fourth of July.
While smoke from the Willow Fire filled the air in thick columns Wednesday residents were concerned that the wildfire was growing, but officials say it remained at 32,000 acres throughout the day.
Firefighters conducted limited burnouts last night in an attempt to thwart the Willow Fire from reaching Payson and other Rim country communities.
The fireworks portion of the town's Independence Day celebration has been postponed due to extreme fire danger.
IN THE KITCHEN
Americans love to celebrate our nation's birthday. It's all about proclaiming our freedom with family, friends, summer fun and fabulous food. Whether the party takes place in the back yard, the park, by a lake or in a campground, traditional American favorites are sure to be on the menu.
Monday, June 28
The question on everybody's mind is whether the Rim country communities of Payson, Pine and Strawberry are in danger from the Willow Fire. Here's an edited version of how Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team Leader Jeff Whitney answered that question at a press briefing Monday evening:
Smoke and ash from the Willow Fire has many residents concerned, especially those who suffer from lung ailments such as asthma.
In the shadow of the Willow Fire burning just seven miles southwest of Payson, town officials are waiting to make a final decision about launching fireworks on July 4.
A shoe left at a crime scene led Gila County Sheriff's deputies to a barefoot burglar Wednesday night.
Stephanie Hilliard, a senior next year at Payson High School, is one of eight students in Arizona that has received the Discover Card Tribute Award.
When the folks up in Christopher Creek get together at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and hoot and holler and laugh until their sides ache and tears are streaming from their eyes, one woman holds a lion's share of the responsibility -- Annette Godfrey.
FOCUS ON PETS
An article in The Arizona Republic recently talks about a dog named Rico who can learn and remember new words as quickly and easily as a young child. Children learn about 10 words a day with just one exposure to each word, according to an article which appeared in Science journal. This ability is referred to as "fast mapping" and is responsible for the speed and breadth of acquiring vocabulary in preschoolers.
Hundreds of firefighters from around the southwest have come to Payson to battle the Willow Fire.
Town staff had a meeting this morning to discuss whether to have a fireworks display on the Fourth of July.
In your June 22 issue, T/Sgt. Kenle Phillips, USAF, wrote that he had visited the grave of a loved one in Payson Pioneer Cemetery and found the flag being flown at full staff, instead of half staff in honor of Past President Ronald Reagan. That flag was lowered to half staff on June 6, when our VFW friends lowered it.
I cannot believe the insensitivity and arrogance being shown by several newscasters at Fox TV regarding the Willow Fire.
Payson Hot Shots girls soccer coach Grant Kepp is adamant about the sacrifices the players on his team are making.
As I read the letters in the Roundup, I keep wondering how people can be so self-serving with little regard for the community they reside in.
Re: Gordon Metcalf's letter of June 22: "Untrue statements will not solve problem" has assumptions, omissions, and seems to attempt to divide our town. We need unity, not divisiveness, in Payson.
In reference to Mr. Hustead's letter of 6/18: My wife and I have wandered all over the area in question, being interested in the perceived problem -- this on a number of different days.
Payson Little League teams in three age groups are primed and ready for postseason play.
It is interesting that Don Castleman, as Chairman of the Gila County Republican Party, has departed from his support of the Republican standard bearer George W. Bush.
RCMS, is it or isn't it? Rim Country Middle School, is it or isn't it a "highly performing school?"
Fire grows to 32,000 acres as of Tuesday evening
(Tuesday evening update: Fire grows to 32,000 acres.) As wary Rim country residents try to go about their daily business, the Willow Fire grows increasingly ominous on the southwestern horizon.
Once and awhile this summer, set aside that power walk or jog and just take a leisurely stroll.
Ed Lassins has made good use of his last year of swimming competition in the 80-84-years-old age bracket.
Q: In the recent rollover accident on Highway 87 south of Payson, the driver was transported to a Valley hospital rather than Payson Regional Medical Center, why was that decision made and what does it say about the level of care available locally?
For Rim writers who have always wanted to publish but never have, there is hope for you.
The Coast to Coast Against Cancer cycling team of Kevin Wallace and Jeff Rushton held an almost three-hour lead over other two-person teams when the pair peddled through the Rim country June 22.
In penning a story about the Inaugural Jack Morris Memorial Tournament in the June 22 issue of the Payson Roundup, I inadvertently left out names of several family members who were at the benefit.
To all, and especially Jinx Pyle: The recent article (June 9, Rim Review) on my grandfather, Herman Deitlaff,as a joy to read.
Like the sturdy trees supporting its walls, the Ox Bow Saloon has grown in beauty over the years. The saloon has seen several owners and an assortment of characters cross its wooden floors, but it has always remained the staple of Main Street.
Sunday, June 27
The Willow Fire, now just eight miles southwest of Payson in the Tonto National Forest's Mazatzal Wilderness Area, was estimated to be 22,000 acres in size Monday afternoon.
Thursday, June 24
The turnout wasn't the numbers town sports recreation coordinator Teddy Pettet and Gila County School officials had hoped for, but the youngsters who showed up enjoyed a special afternoon with the Phoenix Suns Gorilla.
Agnes Jehlicka, 88, died June 6, 2004 at Sweet Brook Care Center in Williamstown, Mass.
Joleen and Kelly Enerson have been making the Rim country more beautiful for 10 years.
Pine and Strawberry need a quiet weekend now and again so that all the locals can rest and all the visitors have a chance to visit the wonderful shops, restaurants and lodging facilities available in our communities.
Payson residents need to know what is behind The Door Stop issue:
The Payson Youth Football Association is hosting its annual benefit golf tournament June 26 at Payson Golf Course. Individual or team walk-ons are welcome. The format is a four-man scramble. Registration begins at 7 a.m. The fee is $75 per player which includes lunch after the tournament and a raffle.
Abby Baldwin and Ryan Whelan are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Emma Kay Whelan.
Brandie Nicole Morris was born at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, May 30, 2004 at Payson Regional Medical Center.
Tylinn was born June 15, 2004 at Payson Regional Medical Center.
Donald Chester Poole, 78, of Payson, died June 20, 2004 in Mesa.
Cynthia Jane Nolan-Vela, 49, of Payson, died June 21, 2004 in Phoenix.
Dorothy Ruth Blakely, 92, died at the Payson home of her daughter after a lifetime of service to her family and fellowman.
Frustrated, would-be home buyers will find a friend in Pacific Coast Mortgage.
Q: Why is the Gila County Sheriff's Office allowed to use a hose to wash its vehicles? Just about every Saturday, inmates are in the sheriff's office parking lot washing the vehicles with a regular hose. Why can the sheriff's department still use a hose to wash cars while everyone else in Payson is restricted to using commercial car washes or power washing equipment?
The new restrictions proposed by Buzz Walker concerning "private wells" and the use of water taken from these wells is, in my opinion, one more blatant example of Big Brother at work, and one more attempt to regulate another aspect of our lives.
A coyote acting very strangely, and chasing a large-sized dog, has been sighted by Charlie Terry and another friend who observed this critter's erratic behavior walking close to the Village, specifically near the end of Johnson Boulevard and the intersection of the Control Road.
The membership of the Democrats of Northern Gila County and of the Democratic Women of Rim Country would like to express their gratitude to Gene and Marlla Hinds, treasurer and chairperson of the two groups, respectively.
Have you ever said, "If I was President, I would..."? I'm sure we all have.
At the risk of over-simplifying a complex issue, it's painfully obvious why Rim Country Middle School will once again be a junior high.
A 16-year-old motocross racer from Pine has qualified to participate in the Ponca Grand Nationals slated to begin July 25 in Ponca City, Okla.
A former Rim Country Middle School student has joined Payson's Margaret Hargett on the USA Junior Outdoor Target Archery World Championship team that will travel next month to Great Britain.
Andy Sargent dribbled, passed, shot and rebounded his way to most valuable player honors at the Arizona Sports Camp June 14 to 17 at Yavapai College in Prescott.
Payson High School 2004 graduate Jason Amon has won the Wrangler Saddle Bronc championship at the Arizona State High School Finals Rodeo June 11 to 13 at Apache Gold Casino near Globe.
In the Civil Air Patrol training exercise Saturday, 32 senior members and cadets from Payson, Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona, and Show Low, along with nine guests from the Gila County Sheriff's Department and members of the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Team, participated in a SAREX (Search and Rescue Exercise) for the Arizona Group II Squadrons.
The Citizens Awareness Group, also known as the Property Owners Awareness Group, disbanded several years ago, but some funds remained in its account.
The Payson Womans Club is living up to its mission statement of dedication to community service.
A mobile spay and neuter unit from the Arizona Humane Society will be stopping in Payson from Tuesday to Thursday next week.
The Federal Aviation Administration will be making a visit to Payson Monday, which may translate into more than $5 million in grant money for the airport.
Another car was found at the bottom of a ravine off Fossil Creek Road outside of Strawberry Wednesday. No one was inside, leading Gila County Sheriff's deputies to speculate that the vehicle was pushed over the edge of the area known as "insurance curve."
The county's water conservation efforts are starting as a recommendation to use prudence with liquid resources, but it is only a matter of time before water conservation becomes the law of the land.
Eric and Debbie Santana are proud to announce the upcoming marriage of their daughter, Alicia Santana, to Michael Hansen, the son of Frank and Lorna Hansen.
Plans for the marriage of Anna Malotte Townsend, daughter of Margaret Malotte Townsend of Phoenix, and Benjamin Wilson Johnson, Sr., son of Rita Caddo Dazen and the late Wilson Johnson of Cibecue, were announced today.
That wagon train passing through Payson Thursday morning wasn't the version Hollywood actor Ward Bond made famous in the 1960s hit television series.
The incident at Payson's community swimming pool in which a man allegedly attempted to molest a boy in the rest room, has parents on alert to potential predators.
Have you ever wondered what famous authors do when they're not writing? Are they real people like us?
Re: Maggie and her friends at the shelter -- I was in Payson not too long ago to visit my son and granddaughter and was just reading this article about the dogs.
The monsoons are upon us and it's really nice to have all that cloud build up in the afternoon. Let's hope for lots of rain and no lightning.
Tuesday, June 22
AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY
Just when you think this quirky little community of ours can't get any quirkier, it up and out-quirks itself.
IN THE KITCHEN
When you fire up your backyard grill this summer, head for the sunny Mediterranean -- at least in flavor.
Some places are said to rock -- this weekend, Green Valley Park will swing.
A warm summer night, graced by a sliver of a silvery moon, soft, green grass and cool Rim air, topped off with great blues music and you have a recipe for entertainment that's hard to beat.
Monday, June 21
Rim residents looking to add some spice to their lives need look no further than the Tonto Community Concert Association's 2004-2005 season.
A Mr. Welge recently wrote a letter condemning the Endangered Species Act.
Steven Michael Jackson, 31, died June 17, 2004.
Pastor Todd Arnold officiated in a simple ceremony Saturday, June 12 at Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church in Payson, when Walter Russell and Lois Fall were united in marriage.
Mike Ernst and Barbara Olson were married June 5 in Laughlin, Nev., under beautiful trees next to the river.
Gearldeene Tallant Ritchie, 75, died June 17, 2004.
Q: Is there any kind of leash law in national forest lands? If so, it might have helped avert the recent shooting tragedy.
Don Castleman commenting on America's war against terrorism (Roundup, June 11, 2004) observes that "we are engaged in the biggest war the world has ever known -- a war of religious and racial hatred -- WW III."
Your editorial ("High court takes easy out on ‘under God'") asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court used a "legal loophole" showing "an alarming lack of backbone" when it refused to decide the recent Pledge of Allegiance case.As an attorney who once argued before the Court, I feel obligated toell you such conclusions are incorrect.
In a flier from Congressman Rick Renzi's office recently, it appeared to some that Gila County was severely overlooked when it came to federal funds.
Publications distributed by the Gila County Sheriff's Office may have been in violation of campaigning rules, according to the Gila County Merit System Rules and Policies Manual.
The list of candidates seeking election in September is a lengthy one.
The campus of Payson High will be a bit more freshman-friendly when first-year students report for school July 28.
Russ Hustead's letter dated June 18th "When will the noise pollution stop?" either ignores facts or reflects no knowledge of them.
Lupe Zertuche, 66, of Payson, died June 20, 2004.
Impossibly possible. ... Did we miss something recently?
I traveled to Payson this past weekend to take my daughters to the Payson Pioneer Cemetery to pay respects to my niece, Rebekah Hodges, who was laid to rest a few weeks ago.
In this (time) of remembering President Reagan, I would like to add one tiny action that showed what a caring man he was, in addition to the way he was conducting his presidency.
I was quite overwhelmed at being so honored at the Flag Day Celebration today at Green Valley Park.
In three weeks, a Flagstaff grand jury will decide whether the man who shot and killed a local humane society volunteer should be indicted for murder or manslaughter.
A fire that broke out Thursday afternoon along Highway 87 between Oxbow Estates and Round Valley was contained at one acre.
The Rim Country Middle School Maverick baseball team posted an 8-6 record in its second year of existence.
Re: PSWID Petition ... The politicians and the developers are again urging the good people of Pine-Strawberry to sign their water petition, and put us into a $12.1 million indebtedness before finding water first.
The town of Payson Summer Youth Recreation Program, which started 16 years ago by Bruce Haught and Wendy Joe, continues to be a popular summertime attraction.
Almost 100 friends and former teammates of Jack Morris turned out for the inaugural Jack Morris Memorial Golf Tournament June 19 at Payson Golf Course.
FOCUS ON PETS
Vacation time is here. What does one do with the dog or cat or guinea pig when the family goes away for a week or more? The first choice, for the dog at least, is to go with the family. If a car trip is in the plans, taking the dog might be possible and add a whole new dimension to the trip including more fun family activities.
When she was recently named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year for the Rim country, Lani Hall was carrying on a proud family tradition.
Payson must stop all new development and construction immediately, and continue the shutdown until new sources of water can be found and developed. It is futile to drill more wells in the 16 square mile area because this only results in drawdown of the 37 active production wells.
Rumsey Park is about to be the site of an outdoor basketball court and a sand volleyball facility that are among the finest in the state.
A 91-percent turnout in the June 12 Tonto Apache Tribal Council election was a true vote of the people, said Ivan Smith, the new chairman at his swearing-in ceremony on Saturday.
It's mosquito season again, and with a greater risk of the West Nile Virus in Arizona, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging residents to "fight the bite."
The Star Valley Southern Baptist Church was hit twice last week by vandals, who caused $1,500 worth of damage to a glass door and several large windows.
After a series of meetings behind closed doors between the Coconino County Attorney's office and the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, the detective in charge of the investigation into the shooting death of a Payson man voluntarily resigned from the case.
A first reading and public hearing on a proposed ordinance that would amend four water codes is on the June 24 Payson Town Council agenda.
It was exciting to see several former teammates of the late Jack Morris turn out for the Memorial Golf Tournament June 19 at Payson Golf Course.
Let the sparks begin.
Thursday, June 17
Youth who have completed fourth through 10th grades are invited to attend the recreation center at Rim Country Middle School. The center offers basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, billiards, and a variety of other activities. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday-Friday, June 14-July 16. Program is free. This link includes:July 4th events, concerts, crafts, scrapbooking, scuba, tennis, barrel and pole bending.
Jim Quinlan, a Rim country teacher and coach for almost two decades, has retired and will be working next year at a high school where the tuition is $7,000-plus, the students wear uniforms and the biggest discipline problem is students not tucking in their shirts.
The Strawberry Festival is over and has been declared a success. Lots of Strawberry residents are happy that it is over as they do not like all the congestion. But the visitors love coming to this event and it is nice to be able to share our little village one weekend a year.
CHRISTOPHER CREEK NEWS
June 19 is the 2nd Annual Community Garage Sale at the Landmark parking lot. It is $5 a table and portions of that money will go to the Christopher/Kohl's Fire Department. It will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you need to call Kevin or Liana at the Landmark to reserve a space, (928) 478-4472.
The nationally renowned Phoenix Suns Gorilla is coming to Payson, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., June 22 in the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium.
TONTO VILLAGE NEWS
The water situation in Tonto Village continues to be a serious concern to all the residents of our little community.
One of the finest wrestling technicians in the country has teamed with a legendary high school coach to host the Sunkist camp June 13 to 17 in Wilson Dome.
Waste Management has opened a transfer station to help Payson residents and businesses get rid of their rubbish.
Target and Costco were invited to come to Payson by a developer who is planning a new shopping center, but both companies declined.
In the autumn of their lives, Verna Howard and Dwayne Roberts will exchange vows and unite their families.
Juli Davies of Payson and Jeff Davies of Denver, Colo. announce the marriage of their daughter, Jamilyn Davies.
Frieda Beeny-Jones, 86, of Payson, died June 10, 2004. She was born Dec. 2, 1918 in Madisonville, Ky.
GOOD GUY AWARD
Georgia Callahan nominates Leo Richards for the Good Guy award.
Rover and Fluffy may not like it, but for Payson pet owners, this weekend will be an opportunity to help the local pet population. Volunteers from the Rim Country Animal Sanctuary will be offering discounts up to $25 off the spaying or neutering of cats and dogs.
A seven-year plan to chip or slurry seal town roads is part of a lean 2004-05 fiscal year budget currently under review by the Payson Town Council.
Dennis Pirch is among the many teachers who have witnessed, and are greatly appreciative, of what Cari and Greg Day -- owners of Macky's Grill -- have done for Payson Schools.
Destynee and Dakotta invite all friends and family to join them at the union of Cami Jonell Haught and Jason Lee Stockon at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Mountain Bible Church on Rancho Road. Come join in the celebration.
Jeff and Deb Rippy celebrated their 32nd year of marriage on June 10.
In Memory of a Dad: The years have been many Since we have been apart. You have never left me, For I've kept you in my heart.
Valley criminals find easy targets in Payson
A number of burglaries around town have police scrambling and neighbors on alert.
Cora E. Garcia, 93, of Pine, died June 10, 2004 in Payson. She was born Sept. 14, 1910 in Alamosa, Colo.
Allen William Kramer, 71, of Payson, died June 16, 2004. He was born May 3, 1933 in Platteville, Wis.
George W. Duff, 77, of Payson, died June 14, 2004. He was born Sept. 18, 1926 in Dundee, Ill.
Amy von Somogyi is finally back home, but not yet well enough to attend the benefit concert her friends are holding to help pay for her mounting medical expenses. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 19, in the Mazatzal Casino bingo hall.
Concert: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, June 19
If the summer heat is already getting you down, Payson Parks and Recreation has just the cure -- a cool concert with Common Ground Blues.
June is the American Humane Association's national Adopt-A-Cat Month, and the Payson Humane Society and American Humane are urging Rim country residents to consider adopting a feline friend.
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano praised Payson's conservation measures, but called the water problems faced by rural communities "a tough nut to crack."
Payson Longhorn Ashton Shewey's baseball future turned much brighter last week with his selection in the major league draft and invitation to play in the prestigious Super 50 All-Star game.
FATHER'S DAY TRIBUTE
Publishers note: As William Bennett put it, it's not the big, famous deeds we admire the most. Sometimes, when we pause to appreciate a whole life -- all the work, and love, and patient sacrifices for others -- we suddenly discover a hero. We live in a world where good fathers are needed more than ever. On this Father's Day, we dedicate this photo and poem to all those men who honor the call to be "Only a Dad."
Payson police are investigating what may be an attempted child molestation at Taylor Pool in Rumsey Park.
Q: Why isn't the big electronic sign over Highway 260 going into Star Valley advising of the high fire danger 24/7?
I wish to thank the people of Payson, and the vendors & visitors to the Rim Country, for their great response in attending the 6th Mountain High Days Art & Craft Bazaar, held in the Gila County Courthouse complex Memorial Day weekend. It was the biggest and best spring fair to date with more than 65 vendors, with 9,000 attending over three days and enjoying the shopping bazaar.
Editor: We would like to thank all the Zane Grey Twirlers who helped make our 24th Annual Square & Round Dance Festival a great success. Julie Shipp & Elisabeth Burke Co-Chairpersons
I am responding to Clara Stumfoll's recent letter to the editor in the Roundup.he complaints about Door Stop noise pollution will stop when Mr. Hill fixes the problem he has created.t is clear that he has a noise emission problem; yet he has not even taken the interest to hire a professional acoustic engineer to reduce the problem.
In response to my opponent's letter to the editor on June 11, 2004:
The recent reports of abuse of Iraqi prisoners has become a matter of concern and controversy. A value of a democratic society is that problems like this are properly publicized. The resulting criticism is likely to lead to appropriate corrections.
I am 100 percent for clean water and clean air; however, under the guise of clean air and clean water, environmentalists have wormed into the regulations and laws such irrelevant creatures as the flycatcher, darter snail, kangaroo rat, blunt nose lizard, and now the Rio Grande silver minnow and thousands more.
It continues to be hot, dry and windy in the Rim country. In fact, the last half of June is considered the most dangerous time of the fire season.
Tuesday, June 15
If spending time hiking or bicycling while taking in scenic vistas and unique locations sounds like fun, Manzanita Cyclery (aka Manzanita Adventure Sports), at 307 S. Beeline Highway, may be able to get you going in the right direction.
John Markesbury left Payson by way of Camp Verde. He headed for West Texas with a fellow named Nip Blackford and a small freckle-faced, red-headed boy. John drove a team of mules hitched to a wagon which hauled their camp outfit. Nip and the red-headed boy rode horses, and a sorrel horse was tied behind the wagon.
AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY
You could have guessed it. Somebody was bound to form an organization called Payson Concrete Hat Wearers of America. And that somebody would probably be Robin Holt, whose just-like-an-uncle happens to be one George Randall, owner of Payson Concrete & Materials.
The simple pleasures of summer
Unless you live in the Valley of the Relentless Sun, summer is everybody's favorite season. For me, summer conjures up images of lazy, languorous days, of picnics, swimming holes, baseball and fireworks -- associations mostly from my childhood growing up in Michigan.
Visitors and residents alike will find it worth their time to stop by both the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce and the Payson Ranger District Office of the Tonto National Forest, two places packed with information.
The scenic areas and rustic communities to the east and south of Payson offer a panoramic variety of recreational opportunities and activities.
1. Have a picnic at Green Valley Park.
The Rim country is graced with striking natural wonders, impressive ancient ruins and important historic locations.
Visits to the tiny mountain hamlets of Pine and Strawberry wouldn't be complete without stops at the state's oldest standing schoolhouse and the town museum.
The secret is out. Rim country has become a popular location for bird watching.
Rim country visitors are in for a surprise when they visit Main Street this summer.
Main Street offers a variety of services to meet a wide range of your shopping needs. Businesses located on Main Street include:
A visit to Rim country offers more than cool pines and breathtaking scenery. Plenty of old treasures can be found in the many antique shops in Payson and Pine.
Exploring the highlands atop a rough and ready ATV is a trendy recreational option among Rim country adventurers and Valley visitors.
What better way to escape the summer heat than relaxing under the shade of pine trees or beneath a clear, starry night's sky in one of Rim country's campgrounds.
Visitors looking for a breathtaking excursion can visit the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park -- a hidden jewel just below the Mogollon Rim.
Rim country is home to some of the best fishing in Arizona, says local fishing guide and Roundup columnist Clifford Pirch and his wife, Alicia.
Calendars in the Rim country are packed with all kinds of exciting, entertaining summer events this year. There will be festivals, craft shows, concerts and more.
This August, residents of the Rim country will celebrate the 120th Annual World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo.
Kids College, in its third year, will be held July 12 to 16 and 19 to 23 at Gila Community College.
Mayor Barbara Brewer's father died in 1995. She was a grown woman then, with a family of her own, so she had him with her through childhood and the teen years. He had seen her marry and have a child of her own.
Monday, June 14
Sunday, June 20, is Father's Day. The origins of the holiday are unclear, but the generally accepted explanation is that the idea was conceived by a Seattle woman named Sonora Smart Dodd in 1909 while listening to a Mother's Day sermon.
In the 13 years I have lived in East Verde Park, the full-time population has doubled. Yet, in that same amount of time, Brooks Utilities (or whoever they are now) has done nothing to upgrade the infrastructure of their system and to this day refuses to acknowledge the inadequacies of their antiquated production and delivery apparatus.
Water conservation for private wells.
It's the 21st century. By now, as predicted by our ancestors, we should all have personal jetpacks and household robots. We should have relatives living on Mars, or at least the moon. And, we should have met aliens by now.
The recent newspaper article referred to extending the pool season when in fact a staffingpportunityresented itself so that weouldpen the facility in the mornings earlier than our usual opening day.
I read the article on the Taylor Pool program with disbelief and yes, anger. Bill Schwind states he opened the pool a month early to accommodate 15 early morning lap swimmers "at the request of those who use Taylor."
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday to allow the phrase "under God" to remain in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Payson High School boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser and a contingent of aspiring young players traveled to Prescott June 14 where they will participate in the week-long Arizona Sports Camp.
The Payson Men's Golf Association hosted Beaver Creek and Williams Elephant Rock in a low-gross and low-net by flights tournament June 9 at Payson Golf Course. In the competition, the homestanding PMGA dominated the visitors winning four of five closest-to-the-pin competitions and all but two flight titles.
Bob Moffett has deep roots in Payson. He started a mortuary in the Granny's Attic building back in the late 1970s. From there, he turned his skills to serving the community as executive director of the chamber of commerce, when it expanded from a little A-frame into a more professional place to greet visitors and drive economic development.
FOCUS ON PETS
The time to be prepared is here. The Humane Society of the United States and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have declared June as National Disaster Preparedness Month. Facing a disaster is never pleasant, but the trauma can be greatly worsened, for us and our pets, if we are not prepared. We are filling our own duffel bags with special papers, good jewelry and photographs.
About the best thing Payson High School boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser can say about his team's showing in the Payson Summer Invitational is that his crew battled some of the state's best squads.
Margaret Hargett, a 15-year-old Payson High School honor student, has shot her way onto the United States Junior Olympic archery team.
Jerry Leon Cubbison, 61, of Strawberry, died June 13, 2004 in Strawberry.
Michael David Butler, 51, of Payson, died June 13, 2004 in Payson.
Sharon Brown, 58, died June 10, 2004.
For nearly eight years, I have been coming to Payson from the Valley, to get cooler weather during the summer.
Our government can track a cow born in Canada over three years ago right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington. And, even their calves could be located even though they were with different owners and on different farms.
A familiar face returned to the Payson Pike swim team June 12 at Taylor Pool to serve as guest starter at an intersquad meet.
Thelma Marie Aerts, 82, of Payson, died June 2, 2004 in Payson.
For some, Flag Day is honoring an American symbol. For others, it is remembering those who fought for our country.
When Myrtle Rakowski observes her 101st birthday today, don't be surprised if she has a few sips of beer with her birthday cake.
Brooke Utilities' response to a request to take water conservation more seriously provoked sharp reactions from Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kristin Mayes and Gila County Supervisor Ron Christensen.
The debate continues on whether the three dogs caught in the middle of the controversial trailside shooting case should be held as evidence at the Flagstaff dog pound or released to guardians while the case creeps its way through the justice system.
There's a new Maverick stirring up dust in the Rim Country Middle School corral.
A zoning change will make a new 14-lot subdivision possible.
Thanks to a fast response by several agencies, a forest fire four miles north of Payson along Highway 87 was snuffed out last night after reaching about two acres in size.
Q: Why does the post office close at 4 p.m. when most people are still working?
It is with amazement that this notion of a "by-pass" south of town won't die. The fact that it is constantly being brought forth, when it is not needed, or wanted, by the people who get the most benefit from Highway 87, the town's businesses and merchants, points to others, who wish to see their 401(k) land speculation pay off, as the movers behind this ill conceived plan.
The tone and rhetoric of Mr. Pound's letter troubles me. I was so astonished by the over-reactive and defensive nature of his letter I went back and reread the May 11 article by Ms. Crowley on Mr. Pound's credentials and notions on being our sheriff in Gila County. I then reread Sheriff Armer's May 28 response to Mr. Pound's notions.
Thursday, June 10
With the mega-merger involving Bank One and Chase banks, Bank One Ballpark -- the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks -- is about to get a new name.
Aspiring tennis players of all ages are tuning up their playing skills under the tutelage of local teaching pro Diane Jackson.
Only a day after wrapping up the town-sponsored youth boys basketball camp, the prep summer hoop team leaps into tournament action.
Re: Kuenzli shooting -- It seems this man is being carefully coached by local law enforcement. This is standard language that we are taught to say in firearms safety in the event we have to shoot someone ...
I'd like to thank the town of Payson for sponsoring the open house meeting concerning noise issues in town. It was very informative.
I believe I have the solution for the so-called noise from The Door Stop. Please bear with me on this ...
I am writing this in regard to the noise of the cabinet shop, the Door Stop.
As an employee of The Door Stop, I want to say that I appreciate the opportunity to work full-time and earn a good salary in Payson. But I just have to ask: Are these ridiculous complaints from our neighbors ever going to stop?
I, like many others of our local citizens, have been following the controversy over the decibel levels in the vicinity of the airport.
Nice try, John (Armer, Gila County sheriff).
There are so many cats in my neighborhood -- all roaming free to use my gardens and yard as their own litter box. I am fed up with cleaning up after them. It is time something is done about this problem.
This is in response to the letter to you from Mr. Reza June 4th entitled "Moral compass has been tossed to the curb."
I would like to clarify my "appearance" in the June 1st police blotter. We live in a town full of people who are usually kind and intelligent enough to seek the truth about a situation, rather than indulge in ignorant and mean-spirited conjecture. I have recently been subject to some of the latter, and want to set the record straight.
I have a confession to make: At 11 p.m. last night I watered my poplar tree with my garden hose. It was the first time in three years that I have used anything other than gray water or captured rainwater on my outdoor plants.
Heinz Gunther Meissner, 75, of Payson, died June 6, 2004.
Cecil Garner Keiser, 80, died May 18, 2004, at Greeley County Hospital in Tribune, Kan.
Ronald Newland Hamby, 52, of Forest Lakes, died June 7, 2004 in Payson.
Rosendo R. Casillas, Jr., 58, died at his Payson residence on Thursday, June 3, 2004.
Saturn of Tempe will relocate to the Mazatzal Casino from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. June 19 and June 20.
Payson Area Habitat for Humanity's (PAHH's) mission is to provide decent, affordable and healthy housing to those living in inadequate or substandard conditions whose incomes are too low to enable them to secure conventional financing.
Monday's Flag Day celebration kicks off with a parade that begins at Wal-Mart and ends at Green Valley Park where a ceremony will pay tribute to the country's favorite symbol of freedom.
Payson police were called to a local motel Monday night to rouse a man who was passed out in his car. What officers discovered was a driver, allegedly high on marijuana, in a stolen vehicle loaded with what police believe are stolen items or ones bought with stolen credit cards.
It wasn't exactly friendly, but the 120 people who attended the meeting of the Diamond Star Citizens Action Coalition Monday evening seemed more willing than before to accept the process being used to evaluate the town's request to drill exploratory wells under the Diamond Rim.
More of the Rim country's forests were closed yesterday, but campground exemptions were maintained.
A controversial request from Public Works Director Buzz Walker to apply the town conservation ordinance to private wells had new mayor Barbara Brewer wondering when was the best time for the town council to hear it.
It's hot and the winds are supposed to be up to 40 mph this weekend. We all need to be very careful when outside and pay attention to others. This is something we cannot say enough of. No smoking outside and no burning of any kind.
An 18-wheel truck rollover south of Payson closed Beeline Highway for almost three hours Thursday and had Payson firefighters scrambling to free the driver, 38-year-old, Francisco Javier Hernandez, who was pinned in the wreckage.
Chuck Hardt is inviting teenagers interested in running to join his program.
Payson Dental Care wants someone in the Rim country to stop traffic with their smile.
There is always something new at Payson Antiques. And for about a year now, one of the newer things in the shop has been owner Don Labbe.
When the University of Cincinnati kicks off the football campaign Sept. 4 against Ohio State, the punter for the Bearcats will probably be a former Payson Police Department volunteer.
First, our faucets drizzled. Then, there was nothing.
This is it, the big weekend in Pine and Strawberry with the Strawberry Festival and the Strawberry Patchers' quilt show. There will be enough going on to keep us all running both days.
Aspiring wrestlers are gearing up for what is expected to be a busy summer mat campaign.
Tuesday, June 8
AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY
It's not easy being the Payson Humane Society these days. The shelter for homeless animals is fast becoming homeless itself after a group of Mazatzal Mountain Air Park subdivision residents hired a lawyer to keep the town from selling them property in the Sky Park industrial complex. You have to wonder what kinds of businesses would be acceptable to these people -- maybe a mattress testing operation or a funeral home.
IN THE KITCHEN
When cool and creamy meets tangy and fruity, what do you get? Sweet endings to a porch supper, a backyard barbecue or a meal under the stars.
My dad, Gene Pyle, ran the R Bar C Scout Ranch for the Boy Scouts from 1952 through 1960. The R Bar C was a working cow ranch in those days. When Dad took the job, George "Chief" Miller, who was the executive director of the Boy Scouts in Arizona, gave Dad his first and only order during his tenure there. He said, "Gene, you know more about running a ranch than I do. Run it."
Tales from the Rim country's past always include a story or two about how much residents enjoyed their community dances. People would come from miles around, often traveling a whole day, to dance the night away at a schoolhouse.
Monday, June 7
H.R. 3722, the Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments of 2004, would have amended the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 to require emergency room doctors and nurses to obtain biometric identification - laser fingerprints or retinal scans - of any patient whom they think might be an illegal immigrant and report their investigations directly to the Department of Homeland Security.
Wanda Garcia may describe herself as crazy, but she's not foolish.
The joy of summer camp bubbles through letters from campers and their parents, praising the Arizona Lions' Camp Tatiyee. There are a few tears in the words as well -- tears of gratitude.
It's not too late to sign up for the inaugural Jack Morris Memorial Payson High School Football Booster Club Golf Tournament to be played June 19 at Payson Golf Course.
A girls summer basketball team that has on its roster all five starters from the 2003-04 Lady Longhorn squad, opened the summer campaign at the Firebirds' Women's Classic tournament June 4 and 5 in Scottsdale.
The Payson Men's Golf Association is losing one of its finest players.
For Christopher Pirch -- former Payson High School sports star and honor student -- marriage, teaching and coaching is about to become a way of life.
About 50 aspiring barrel racers 7 to 60 years old turned out Saturday at the Payson Event Center for a National Barrel Horse Association-sponsored clinic.
Re: Article about Bill Sahno -- I consider Colonel Sahno a close friend and mentor ...
When is it that the entire town of Payson is going to pull their heads out of the sand and take a look at what is happening in our schools? This includes the entire population of Payson.
It was sad to read the comments made in this article.I was at the May 18 meeting at RCMS and can confirm that there were not"300 boisterous opponents" present.here were a few boisterous people there as you will find in any large group of concerned people.
Regarding an article on the Opinion page (June 4) concerning an article about Congressman Rick Renzi and written by Mr. Mark Reza.
Readers may be a bit surprised to see any letter ("Citizens for Better Payson Government," by co-chairs Crowley and Metcalf, May 28) referring to the educational-but-stormy meeting of May 18 about the town's application to "explore and test" up to 28 deep-water wells six to 10 miles east of your office.
The word that always comes to mind is "unbelievable."
Have you heard of HR-3722 "Hospital Benefits for Illegal Aliens?"
Patricia Haggard Van Valkenburg, 58, of Payson, died June 3, 2004.
Claudia Elizabeth Sawisch, 58, of Payson, died June 2, 2004.
Rosanne Lee Reynolds, 48, died May 27, 2004 in Tucson, surrounded by her family.
John Richard Reyes, 64, of Payson, died June 1, 2004.
Mont McKean, born in Dandridge, Tenn. June 15, 1897 would have been 107 years old in 10 days.he claimed to not like birthdays, so she departed a little early, but she did love life, and that is what she would wish for all of us to remember.
George and Suzanne Morris will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary June 10.
The Rim country has its very own Red Cross unit, a development that means a more seamless response to emergencies like major forest fires.
Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said forensic tests have yielded no clues as to who kidnapped and murdered 56-year-old Ira Eastman in March.
Gila County Sheriff John Armer is considering implementing a new program that will help caregivers of people suffering from autism or Alzheimer's who wander off and become lost.
Newly-elected Payson Mayor Barbara Brewer and three councilors will be officially sworn in at 4 p.m. today in the offices of town attorney Sam Streichman. The councilors include George Barriger, Tim Fruth and John Wilson.
Water from private wells will be subject to the same conservation restrictions as water obtained from the public water system if the Payson Town Council approves revisions proposed by Public Works Director Buzz Walker.
The Coconino County Attorney's office recommended Friday that a Flagstaff grand jury indict 57-year-old Harold Fish for second-degree murder in the May 11 shooting of 43-year-old humane society volunteer Grant Kuenzli on a remote trailhead.
June is usually the driest month in the Rim country, bringing hot, bright sunny days and cool nights. Dry, hot weather and windy conditions also bring an even more heightened awareness of the danger of wildfire. Soils are dry and powdery, and water restrictions are in place in Payson.
FOCUS ON PETS
Watch Flyball in action at North Rumsey Park on Saturday, June 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. The practice will be in one of the back ball fields, but just follow the sound of the barking dogs. They make a lot of racket as they impatiently wait their turn.
While the Republican Party usually prevails in northern Gila County, Sunday belonged to the Democrats.
It is here, this weekend, the fabulous Strawberry Festival right in the middle of "downtown" Strawberry on Highway 87 north of Payson.
There's nothing like a few 100-degree days in the middle of an extended drought to bring the Rim country's water shortage to the fore.
Thursday, June 3
I know that the federal government is into corporate welfare in a big way, but I didn't realize that Arizona was so flush with extra funds that we could afford to pay $209,000 to one of the "10 largest automotive parts and system suppliers to train 990 existing employees in safety and technical issues" (Arizona Republic, May 24, 2004).
Today, so far removed from June 6, 1944, it is hard for many of us to grasp the true significance of D-Day.
he busy Memorial Day weekend is behind us now. Since I was out of town, I missed all the activities, but hopefully everyone had a great time and the vendors at the craft show were happy with the turnout. Most people are being respectful of the fire restrictions which is greatly appreciated by all of us who live up here.
Christopher Creek News
We are in extreme fire danger and everyone needs to do their part in keeping us safe. If you see or smell smoke, do not hesitate to call 911.
The following students were awarded scholarships at the graduation ceremony for Payson Center for Success, May 21 at St. Philips Church:
In a nation where more than one million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year, survivors of the disease, their families, friends and other supporters in the Rim country are invited to celebrate life.
Town parks and recreation officials huddled with summer employees Tuesday morning to lay plans for the 2004 edition of the youth recreation program.
A memorial tree and a plaque honoring Gracie Lee Haught now stands at Lady Longhorn softball field.
Is it not amazing that Mr. Christensen and Mr. Walker suddenly wake up one morning and discover that Pine, Payson and Gila County have a water problem and something must be done about it? Like adopt water conservation guidelines for these areas.
Penning the June 1 story of the 7-year-old Scottsdale boy who was accidentally shot to death in Strawberry by his older brother stirred some disturbing memories in this old coach.
Longhorn boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser has put together an ambitious summer hoop program for aspiring players of all ages.
Youth who have completed fourth-10th grades are invited to attend the Recreation Center at the Rim Country Middle School gym. The center offers basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, billiards, and a variety of other activities. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday-Friday, June 14-July 16. Program is free.
Payson Mayor Ken Murphy recently accepted a $21,455.56 check from the Tonto Apaches.
Tonto Village News
Tonto Village hummed with activity this past weekend. There were residents who have not been here since Labor Day checking out their cabins and catching up on the news of the Village.
his cartoon is reprinted with permission of Steve Benson and the Arizona Republic.
There are some questions that have not been addressed in the manslaughter of Grant Kuenzli.
Thank you for the editorial on the killing of Grant Kuenzli.
Tonto team features three Payson men
Dangling by a rope, they drop 250 feet from the sky into the abyss of hell -- the unrelenting flames of a raging forest fire.
The Payson Fire Department has joined forces with the U.S. Forest Service to ensure a catastrophic fire never threatens Payson.
Improve your smile
Payson Dental Care wants someone in the Rim country to stop traffic with their smile
Gila County will not be raising taxes this year, but some property owners are seeing an increase in their assessed values, so are still paying more.
Despite the best efforts of a professional facilitator, The Door Stop cabinet factory and its Mazatzal Mountain Air Park neighbors remain at loggerheads over noise.
Shelf Life by Terry Morris
"Plant a Seed -- Read" is the theme for this year's summer reading program. Sign-up begins May 25. Singing, puppets, games and much more.
Fletcher's Tire and Auto Service came to Payson more than five years ago. Fletcher's opened a second shop at a new site at 104 W. Airport Road, in addition to the original shop at 802 E. Highway 260.
Maggie Etta Hunt Powers, 98, died May 25, 2004. She was born Jan. 11, 1906 in Dallas, Texas. She came to the Rim country in 1914 at the age of 9.
A first-year manager will help oversee this summer's full schedule of Taylor Pool activities.
Matthew William Hughey, 24, of Pine, died May 27, 2004 in Strawberry. He was born Dec. 27, 1979 in Scottsdale.
Rebekah Lynn Hodges, 17, of Payson, died May 27, 2004 in Strawberry.
Claudia Elizabeth Sawisch, 58, of Payson, died June 2, 2004. She was born May 14, 1946 in Inglewood, Calif.
Lillian Anna Mayer, 81, of Payson, died May 28, 2004. She was born Aug. 4, 1922 in Napoleon, Ohio.
Hope Adeline Fye, 72, a native Arizonan, died May 28, 2004. She was born Jan. 11, 1932 to Joe Chapman and Icyphine Chapman Winningham in Coolidge.
The children and grandchildren of Woody and Naomi Harris are pleased to announce a Golden Anniversary Open House being held in their honor, Saturday, June 5, 2004, 6 p.m. -- 9 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 913 S. Ponderosa St. Payson, AZ. Program at 7:00 p.m. Light hors d'oeuvers and refreshments will be served.
Rep. Jackson Lee's bill in Congress, to free non-violent older inmates from prison, is a step in the right direction.
Interested in $1,000? Like to spend a week on a beach in Puerto Vallarta, with $500 extra cash? Spend some down time in Newport Beach, Calif., 20 minutes from Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, best shopping west of Rodeo Drive, beautiful beaches?
Members of the Payson Town Council have been advised to stay away from the Diamond Rim exploratory wells meeting at the Lamplighter RV Park community center Monday evening in Star Valley.
"I doesn't matter if you bring anything home for the frying pan," saidGuy J. Sagi, author of Fishing Arizona.The memories with family and friendsrehe realeepers."
Training wraps up this Friday for the 15 girls who participated in the town-sponsored softball camp held on Lady Longhorn field.
There is a movement with interested parties in the Heber/Overgaard community to look into the possible incorporation in the near future
Last week Congressman Rick Renzi was on KMOG-AM. He chuckled when he said that the torture and humiliation of prisoners in Iraq was no worse than the "hazing" he experienced at NAU. He doesn't get it.
Tuesday, June 1
Find a calendar with large blocks in which to write appointments. If you want some fun this summer, the Rim country is full of events and activities with which to fill your days and quite a few of your nights.
AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY
It's summer in the Rim country, and you know what that means -- drought.
In the history of the Tonto Basin, cows and horses have played a major role, as they were the main means of livelihood and transportation. They have been given credit for their roles in the settlement of the West, but it seems that chickens have been left out.