Friends Raise Funds For Funeral Expenses

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Coaches, teachers and friends of Payson High School senior James Gibson are united in their effort to help raise burial funds for his mother, Darlene Gibson Morales.

Morales died suddenly Tuesday morning at Payson Regional Medical Center.

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Efforts are under way to raise funds to help with the burial costs for Darlene Gibson Morales. Morales, the mother of Longhorn football player James Gibson (pictured), died suddenly Tuesday morning.

The effort to raise funds is being headed up by Lori Purtill and Kristi Ford. Purtill is the mother of PHS senior football player Tyler Williams and Ford is a school district board member.

Those wishing to help will be able to make a contribution when an account is set up Friday at a local bank.

Warm welcome not likely

Not everyone is happy the Arizona Interscholastic Association approved Payson High School's petition to move down from the 4A conference to 3A.

In the White Mountain communities where most of the 3A East region schools are located, there's plenty of grumbling that Payson High is too big a school to be competing with the likes of Round Valley and other small-town schools.

On a White Mountain football website, a post says "Payson needs to be a 4A school ... there are just too many kids at that school for competition to be fair. Compare Payson, at 950 kids, with Round Valley's 510."

Another post: "I was happy to see Payson go up to 4A ... the school was too big for the 3A class."

And another:"Just because being in the 3A makes life a little easier for Payson athletes doesn't mean that it's the right move to make."

Ouch. I guess the White Mountain schools won't be having any "welcome home" parties for the Longhorns.

Volleyball to begin

Registration for men's and women's volleyball began Monday, Nov. 1 and will continue through Wednesday, Nov. 24. Games begin the week of Dec. 6. The registration fee is $175 per team. Competitive and recreational divisions will be offered with a minimum of four teams in each division.

For more information, call recreation specialist Charlene Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

Fossil Creek warning

Arizona Game and Fish officer Rory Aikens has issued a notice of closures planned for segments of Fossil Creek.

Aikens says anglers and outdoor recreationalists should avoid contact with the water in certain stretches of the creek during some periods of October and November. During those months, stream renovations will be occurring.

From Nov. 7 to Nov. 15, no contact with creek water will be allowed downstream from the Irving Power Plant to the Verde River.

From Nov. 28 to Dec. 6, no contact with creek water will be allowed downstream from Sally Me Wash.

According to Aikens, the closures are necessary because of work to renovate segments of Fossil Creek in anticipation of the stream being restored to its historic streambed during the decommissioning process for the Irving and Childs power plants. A short-lived chemical, Antimycin, will be added to stretches of the stream to remove any exotic fish remaining after efforts to capture and remove them are completed. Efforts are under way to restore native fish populations in the creek, Aikens said.

Run, turkey!

The Payson Parks and Recreation Department will host the Turkey Trot 5K run Nov. 20 at Green Valley Park. The start time is 10 a.m.

The entry fee is $15 if pre-registered by Nov. 11. On race day, the registration is $20. Entrants will compete in one of 16 age/sex divisions for a variety of prizes and awards. T-shirts will be given to all who pre-register.

Call Charlene Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7, for more information.

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