Stories for July 2005

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Thursday, July 28

Workers backbone of America

This letter is to thank you for publishing the articles of Max Foster and Jim Keyworth in your July 12 editorial entitled "Hard working Americans are true heroes."

Poacher's license revoked until 2031

The town of Payson can say it's home to the state's most-ticketed poacher. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is calling 37-year-old Payson resident Wesley Frost the agency's "most-revoked" individual. Frost's hunting, fishing and trapping licenses have been shot down more times than any other sportsman in the state's history.

Property tax increases with new budget

The residents of Gila County will feel the country's real estate boom when they receive their tax bills next year. The county board of supervisors approved a tentative budget of $66.2 million at a special meeting July 18.

Scoop laws seldom enforced

Claudia DiMenna walks her dog Coco, an 11-month-old Maltese/Yorkie mix around the lakes at Green Valley Park. "I take Coco for a walk as often as she wants -- at least twice a day unless it's too hot," DiMenna said. DiMenna carries a portable bag dispenser (Bags on Board, around $10) on Coco's leash at all times. For the dog walker, it's handy, compact, lightweight and easy to use.

Neighbors question proposed subdivision

More than 60 people turned out for an informational meeting last week on the first of three projects proposed by the developers who want to bring water from Star Valley to Payson.

Growing effort sends soldiers comforts of home, family

What started as a simple effort to bring comfort to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan earlier this year has taken off and is now drawing support from around the state.

Council votes to revive statue effort

The Payson Town Council voted Thursday evening to revive the effort that includes a bronze-elk statue as part of the Tyler Parkway roundabout, but opted not to pay for adding decorative boulders to the site.

William H. Pratt

William H. Pratt, 49, of Strawberry, died July 15, 2005 of heart failure. He was born Oct. 29, 1955.

Donna P. Willcutt

Donna P. Willcutt, 92, died July 26, 2005 in Phoenix. She was born Aug. 30, 1912 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Enough lip service from legislators about education funding

Last week I went to Payson High School to shoot photographs of students registering for the 2005-2006 school year.

What's up question crosses the line

In response to the question that appeared in the Payson Roundup, July 22, page 4A, under "What's Up?" "Why does Barbara Brewer have handicapped plates on her car?"

Road closure attitude stinks

I was one of those who got caught up in the closure of Highway 87 on Friday, July 22, 2005. Closing the highway for safety reasons is understandable and responsible. But, there are some issues in how this was done.

MADD about family's tragedy

My heart breaks for the Goddard family which was shattered by the suspected DUI driver. know from living through this type of nightmare what the family is going through.

Flattery is nice, but ...

Thanks for the "Red Cross shows mettle" article of July 26.athy Tisdale, chief executive officer, of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross had made a brief visit as we were closing the shelter Friday afternoon. A few of her remarks, although correctly recorded, were unfortunately misleading.

Cyclists and drivers share road responsibility

I am writing this letter in response to "Your View" found on page 4 of the Payson Roundup regarding the bike versus vehicle accident that took place on Highway 260 in front of Jiffy Lube last Monday.

What's up?

Q: The Payson water department ... mandated changing of the toilets to waterless urinals. I was appalled that the town had threatened the business owners with large fines. But the double standard is alive and well at Chaparral Pines. To my knowledge, it's the only part of town that seems to be exempt. AND Q: Why isn't the Taylor Pool going to have open swimming on weekends after school is back in session?

Mudslide closes 188

Mud, 3 to 4 feet of it, washed across Highway 188 a few miles south of Tonto Basin Monday afternoon closing both lanes of traffic.

Time Out gets Suns funds

Through Phoenix Suns Charities, Time Out, Inc. has been awarded $2,000 for basketball equipment and play structures for the shelter.

New director at Payson Care Center

When Sheila Wiggins decided Boca Raton, Fla. was too hectic and crowded, she knew she wanted to either return to her home state of Tennessee or come West.

Gollipops going strong again

If you've noticed a sweet, fruity smell wafting through the Rim Country lately, it can only mean one thing -- Gollipops is back.

Senior leads cheer to banner camp showing

Payson High School senior Sherah Cline was selected the top cheer line member from among the more than 200 who attended the United Spirit Association Summer Camp held on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Formal preseason football prep starts Monday

Longhorn football kicks off preseason practices Aug. 1 -- about one week earlier than the other fall sports of volleyball, cross country and soccer.

Brother, sister compete in Junior Olympic National Championships

A pair of Tonto Apache Track and Field team members have qualified for the Junior Olympic National Championships. The event is this week (July 26 to 30) in Indianapolis, Ind.

Pioneer Title tourney on horizon

The Pioneer Title Agency Golf Tournament is one of the most anticipated sports events of the summer season.

Cards deal Payson out, draw Prescott

For a day Payson was in the running to host the Arizona Cardinals preseason training camp.

Horse show this weekend

Youngsters from around the Rim Country are gearing up for a 4-H horse show to be held July 29 and 30 at the Payson Event Center.

Bible camp ends another strong year

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

Last week, 40 eager children showed up at the Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship Chapel for the 11th year of Vacation Bible School. The children who attended were between the ages of 2 to 17. It's so exciting to watch these children grow every year.

Longtime Village residents move to Oklahoma

TONTO VILLAGE

Tonto Village got a good soaking of rainfall this past Saturday evening. The amount of this precious moisture was widespread throughout the surrounding area.

Food bank needs volunteers

PINE-STRAWBERRY

After spending three days in the Valley with lots of necessary running around, I am delightfully happy to be back in Strawberry. How fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful place.

Tuesday, July 26

Building kid-pleasing meals and snacks

IN THE KITCHEN

Schools in the Rim country resume next week, but there is still time to make some plans that could help create classroom success.

Storm season brings beauty to skies

RIM REVIEW FEATURE

The storms of the monsoon season in the Rim country are frightening and dangerous. But they also bring a wonderful perfume to the air and spectacular light shows to the night skies.

A pioneering approach to fires

BACKTRACKIN'

A copy of this letter from Walter L. Haught, dated July 14, 1956, was saved by his granddaughter, Tommie Cline Martin. The letter was written to Bert Slater, then editor of the Payson Roundup.

Plaque-happiest place on earth

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

At a recent meeting of the Payson Town Council, the agenda was heavily laden with what the town calls "Ceremonial; Announcements; Presentations; Introductions."

Monday, July 25

Edge Complex Fire backs down, contained

It was monsoon lightning that ignited the Edge Complex Fire 10 days ago, and it was a monsoon rain that finished it off.

Photo Gallery: Edge Complex Fire

The Roundup presents a collection of photos from the 71,635-acre Edge Complex Fire that started Friday, July 15, 2005 from a lightning strike 23 miles south of Payson, Arizona.

Living with a guide dog

FOCUS ON PETS

Larry and Eloise Kontz met me at the dog park to continue our conversation about life with a guide dog. Lou was busy running with his buddies and chasing tennis balls. He is delighted to be able to hold three balls in his mouth at one time or a ball and a Frisbee.

College football camp one of country's best

Camp Tontozona, Arizona State University's scenic mountain retreat nestled in the ponderosa pines 17 miles east of Payson, has been toted by sports officials as one of the most unique university football training camps in the country.

Fall sports get started around Payson

The Longhorn Skills and Drills Soccer Camp for high-school aged boys and girls will be held 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 1 to 5 on the Rumsey Park north field.

Juice bar and cafe whisks patrons to Italy

LIVING

Rim Country residents have a new option for fending off the summer doldrums -- sipping a cool Italian soda while enjoying the scenic waterways and colorful houses of Burano, Italy.

Mechanical problems, fire delay rescue

Traffic accidents and the Edge Complex Fire tested the resources of Rim Country emergency personnel over the weekend, said Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi.

Second roundabout proposed

Payson could get another roundabout if the town staff has its way at the regular town council meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Duo chalks up back-to-school drive

School supplies needed

Children love backpacks. "... All kinds of backpacks, because we have boys, girls; little ones and big ones," said Jean Oliver, education coordinator for Time Out.

Mother, two children killed by suspected DUI driver

Three members of a Payson family returning from a shopping trip to the Valley were killed, while two others were injured, in a collision at the intersection of the Bush and Beeline highways at 7:30 p.m. July 24 Department of Public Safety Officer Frank Valenzuela said.

Bike accident reminder for caution on road

Monday afternoon a vehicle and bicycle collided on East Highway 260 in front of Jiffy Lube.

New fees face unfriendly skies

Fees for use of the Payson Municipal Airport could be increased to comply with the Payson town council's directive to reduce use of town general fund money by 20 percent.

Local golfers dominate guest greens

A visit to the Pine Meadows Country Club in Heber-Overgaard for an individual low-net tournament highlighted the Payson Men's Golf Association schedule.

Golf tourney features play with Sun Devils

Rim Country football fans will soon have the opportunity to golf with the Sun Devils in their back yard on one of the most pristine and highly rated golf courses in the state.

Week-long football camp wraps

The players called it Hell Week, but coaches use it as an opportunity to prepare their team mentally and physically for the rigors of tough, grid-iron battles against teams like Blue Ridge, Show Low and Snowflake.

Local Red Cross shows mettle

The emergency shelter set up by local Red Cross volunteers, their first real test under fire, went much smoother than they expected.

Community Notification - Level 2 sex offender alert

The Gila County Sheriff's Office is releasing the following information pursuant to A.R.S. Section 13-3825, the Community Notification on Sex Offenders Law.

Lois L. Lewis

Services for Lois L. Lewis, formerly Lois Lee York, were held in Woodland, Calif. Tuesday, July 26, 2005.

Paul M. Batty

Paul M. Batty, 89, died Thursday, July 21, 2005 in Payson. Mr. Batty was born July 23, 1915 in Vernal, Utah, the son of Miles Marquis Batty and Permelia Emily Bigelow.

Janet Evelyn (Ogden) Martin

Janet Martin was born Aug. 17, 1937 in Mesa, the daughter of Douglas and Elwina B. Martin. She died July 21, 2005 at the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.

Pauls celebrate anniversary

Michelle Linn and Joseph William Paul of Payson are celebrating their first wedding anniversary. They were married July 31, 2004.

The calm voice in crises

PAYSON PEOPLE

Friday morning, July 22, from the traffic on the scanner, the world sounded like it was coming apart at the seams.

Woloszyn, Mikl to wed

Lena Woloszyn and Scott Mikl will wed Saturday, July 30, 2005 at the Moose Lodge in Star Valley.

Marching band works to stay in step

During a march around the hot parking lot at Payson High School, Larry Potvin corrected the postures of students as they tried to step in synch with one another.

Home-grown talent kicks off new year for teachers, staff

Newly appointed Payson Schools Superintendent Sue Myers called upon rank-and-file employees to provide inspiration at the new school year's orientation assembly Friday.

New food to stick a fork in

From the menu, you'd think it's a gourmet cafe, but it's just the Payson High School cafeteria.

What's up?

Q: Why isn't there a runaway truck escape ramp on the Beeline from the Valley to Payson or vice versa? and Q: I'd like to use the Qwest drop box, located near the town hall, to pay my bill but I've heard people have had trouble with it in the past. Is there anything I should know before I use it?

Fish case should not be tried on opinion page

I must have read at least three letters by Mr. Dave Engleman which you have published regarding the shooting of Grant Kuenzli by Harold Fish. In his last letter, which you published on July 22, it was said to let the court system do its job, but then you virtually let Mr. Engleman try this case in your otherwise fine newspaper once again. The clincher was where Mr. Engleman says that Mr. Kuenzli did what any dog lover would have done, to rush Mr. Fish to disarm him.

Expand water restrictions

Now that Payson and surrounding environs are being restricted more and more in their water usage, perhaps it is time for the residents and electors to react and demand that their town and county leaderships consider a no growth policy, or at least strictly limit development to conserve our water supplies.

Gap grows between populace and politicians

In the past year, the Federal Reserve Board has used its authority to raise those interest rates it is authorized to change. Under the current chairman of the board, this has been done in order to avoid inflation.

Save soda pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House

A few weeks ago under the caption of "Food For Tabs," you printed a letter from Pat Cline saying how much she, and Nansi Conrad, appreciated receiving the tabs from cans donated to the Payson Humane Society.

Getting hung up on stem cells

May I suggest that Ms. Suhr (and everyone else) read the National Geographic for July of this year for a more thorough discussion on stem cells: embryonic versus adult.

Friday, July 22

Edge Fire Update: Highway 87 tentatively open

Erratic winds and extremely dry fuels continue to hamper containment efforts on the Edge Complex Fire. As of late Friday, the fire had consumed more than 65,000 acres between Tonto Basin and Sunflower.

Edge Complex backs down; Beeline reopens

"The news is all good today," Fire Information Officer Sandi Ault said Saturday morning. The Edge Complex Fire, which threatened Tonto Basin, Punkin Center, Sunflower and the communications center on Mt. Ord, is no longer considered a serious threat.

Thursday, July 21

What's up?

Q: Why does Barbara Brewer have handicapped plates on her car?

So little time left for summer book reading

SHELF LIFE

A few more days and school will be starting. It is 103 degrees outside and the clothing stores are clearing out their summer stock. Next week there will be winter coats on the racks. Time seems to be flying by. And we have so many books and you have so little time. What shall we do?

School bus routes - Part 2

The following schedules include Gisela-Round Valley-Oxbow Routes 6 and 7, Town Route 8, Town Route 9, Christopher Creek 10, Town Route 13, Town Route 15, Tonto Basin, Christopher Creek and Route 22.

School bus routes - Part 1

The following schedules include Town Route 1, Town Route 2, Mesa del and Star Valley.

Star Valley graduates 14

The Star Valley School Class of 2005 had graduation ceremonies June 16 at Green Valley Park.

Hot weather brings out the barbecues

TONTO VILLAGE

Barbecue season is now in full swing since the weather has really heated up around Tonto Village. Temperatures have hovered around the 100-degree mark and above for about three weeks and, naturally, who wants to cook inside to heat up the house any more than it already is?

Weather Channel airs Dude fire retrospective

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

The Christopher/Kohl's Fire Department will be making a special community presentation at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 23 at the Latter-day Saints Christopher Creek Chapel on Apple Lane. Learn what you can do in the area of fire prevention and fire safety. Mackenzie Helmandollars from the University of Arizona Agricultural Department will speak.

Sit shotgun at artsy chair fund-raiser

PINE-STRAWBERRY

This heat just cannot continue. I need to be ordering wood for the winter, but the thought of having to stack it is just too much for now. There are times when central heat sounds awfully nice. But I love my wood stove.

Fall sports registrations coming to close

Following a highly successful season in which two teams won area championships and advanced to district finals, the Little League Board of Directors is beginning preparations for next season.

Weather moves derby to August

The Second Annual Mazatzal Casino Payson Parks and Recreation Charity Home Run Derby has been rescheduled and expanded.

Golfers rack up points in two contests

A Jack and Jill shoot-out and a Two-Man Best Ball Championship provided plenty of links action for members of the Payson Men's and Women's Golf Associations.

Young stars shine at tournament

After winning two consecutive Arizona State Tournament Little League clashes, the Payson All Stars suffered the heartbreak of defeat in a 19-6 loss to Ahwatukee.

Runner fills golden years with gold medals

A man who grew up rounding up the family horses on foot, ran and threw his way to six gold medals at the Lori Piestewa Native American Games.

Grapplers size up competition at camp

Payson High School wrestling coach Rich Ormand says a busy off season program, which has just wrapped up, bodes well for the Longhorns, once the team returns to the mat in early winter.

Gennette Ellen Stewart

Gennette Ellen Stewart, 80, died June 3, 2005 in Payson. She was born Nov. 4, 1924.

Charles Herman Shoemaker

Charles Herman Shoemaker died July 11, 2005.

Jobie Shelvin Murphy

Jobie Shelvin Murphy, 81, died July 17, 2005. He was born Sept. 14, 1923 in Chester, Miss.

John J. Baker Jr.

John J. Baker Jr., 57, of Payson, formerly of Vincennes, Ind., died July 19, 2005 at the Veterans Administration hospital in North Chicago, Ill. He was born in Indianapolis, Ind. July 23, 1947, and grew up in Vincennes, Ind.

Patricia M. Arnold

Patricia M. Arnold, 76, died Tuesday, July 19, 2005. She was born July 19, 1929 in Arkansas, and she moved to the Phoenix area in her teens.

Pine Creek Collection has new home

Pine Creek Collection is now at the Bondurant House in Pine.

Award speaks to financial success for broker's clients

Kevin Dick, with Edward Jones financial services, recently won the firm's Century Award for outstanding performance as a broker.

Salon owner destined for work with animals

René Waggoner isn't new to the Rim country, but she is a new business owner. She has lived in the area about 20 years and has worked in the pet grooming business around town for 15 years. In mid-June she opened her own shop, Payson Pet Salon on Main Street.

Arborist creates bond between plants and soil

A certified arborist is now available to help Rim residents improve the health of their trees and shrubs. Lee Brown, who holds an arborist's certification for the Western region of the U.S. (Arizona, Nevada, California and Hawaii), has opened New Leaf Tree & Shrub Care.

Sexy, violent theater ads inappropriate

I recently took my grandchildren to the movie "Fantastic 4," a PG13 rating. It was a pretty good movie, with a lot of fantasy and action.

Family is heroic

I mourn for the parents who recently lost their beautiful daughter, Kayla. I rejoice in the news that she is still living in the bodies of children and people, who might not be alive today but for her.

Buckle up!

We cannot express enough praise and gratitude to Chris and Jerry Floyd for their valiant and generous donation of their daughter Kayla's organs in the midst of their grief.

Officer praised

Of course hindsight is 20/20 vision, but it seems to me if an officer is investigating a burglary/burglary in progress any person he comes in contact with is a potential burglar and needs to stand down until the officer does his job.

Let the courts do their job

Otis M. Trimble's Roundup letter of July 15, rambling on about the killing of an unarmed man and dog lover named Grant Kuenzli in 2004 by a gunman named Harold Fish is outrageous.

Good people do stupid things

To Otis Trimble's letter of July 15, I, John McCauley, have acted as an individual in my efforts to defend Grant Kuenzli's character, reputation and his right to life. If there are supporters of this position, they act on their own. I can only assume they subscribe to the same beliefs as I.

Many pluses, a few minuses

I lived in Payson 10 years before leaving in 2000. Now I am moving back.

Sex education needs to start at home

Parents, if you believe your teenager is 100 percent exempt from engaging in sex because of the way you raised them, you are wrong.

Clean Energy Now Campaign comes to Payson

Representatives of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) are coming to Payson the week of July 25, 2005, as part of their Clean Energy Now Campaign.

Block parties warm cool neighbors

It seems that many people keep to themselves. Neighbors drive into their garages, slip inside their homes and make little contact with the people next door.

New post created to support teachers

Kathy Kay is being hailed as the perfect fit for her job as the Payson Unified School District's new curriculum coordinator.

Upperclassmen say, early to rise, early to register

It has taken sophomore Jamie Flake just one school year to learn the secret of a no-hassle Payson High School registration.

ADOT kills roundabout elk statue

The brass elk that a group of volunteers wants to put in the roundabout at The Home Depot is dead, at least for now, brought down by the Arizona Department of Transportation which sees it as a distraction.

Warning shot turns deadly

A Tonto Basin man was pronounced dead at his employer's home early Monday morning after what detectives are calling a justifiable shooting.

Fire closes Beeline, Highway 188; Tonto Basin, Sunflower evacuated

Highway 87 was closed at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning after the Edge Complex Fire jumped the road and turned west toward Sunflower.

Highway 87 closed due to Edge Complex Fire

Fire threatens emergency communications tower

The area of Sunflower is being evacuated and Highway 87 is closed in both directions this morning as the Edge Fire moves west toward the community and has jumped the highway in several places.

Wednesday, July 20

Edge Complex Fire forces Tonto Basin evacuations

About 100 Tonto Basin residents were evacuated Thursday as the northeast corner of the Edge Complex Fire approached.

Tuesday, July 19

Stinking up the joint

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

This just in from PRNewswire, the service that provides journalists with press releases from those in search of free publicity for really weird things:

Summer concert series ends on swinging note

RIM REVIEW

Payson's annual summer Concert Under the Stars series ends this week on a swinging note with a performance by a 19-piece orchestra and two vocalists known as Sonoran Swing.

Mexican meals the whole family can enjoy

IN THE KITCHEN

South-of-the-border flavors are a vibrant addition to our American culinary melting pot.

The origins of the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo

BACKTRACKIN'

Editor's note -- Last year, 2004, Jayne Peace Pyle and Jinx Pyle published a book that was 20 years late, "Rodeo 101 - History of the Payson, Arizona Rodeo 1884-1984." The two are now working on a book about Zane Grey to be published as a complement to the opening of the replica of the famous author's cabin at Green Valley Park. Because of this obligation we are visiting their book on the Payson Rodeo in this edition of the "Back Trackin'" column.

Monday, July 18

Little League coach applauds community support

Payson Little League all-star coach Eddie Duran is thankful to the many fans and supporters who helped make the recent Area 1 tournament an overwhelming success.

Benefit tournament set for Aug. 26 at Payson Golf Course

The Payson Public Safety Christmas for Kids benefit golf tournament will get off to a tasty start at 6 p.m. Aug. 26 at Payson Golf Course with a no-host cocktail hour and barbecue steak dinner cooked up by Albert and Charlene Hunt.

Longhorn gridders pump up for 2005 season

The Longhorn football camp, which kicked off Monday, July 18 on Payson High School football field, will provide aspiring players the opportunity for a jump-start on the 2005 season.

Prescott horseman reins equestrian championship

The National Reining Horse World Championship, held Sunday, July 17 at the Payson Event Center, featured the best equestrians in the Open Ranch Horse Competition.

Payson youth golfers are tournament heavy hitters

The one-two links punch of Tyler Apps and Jeffrey Kelley is heating up the Junior Golf Association of Arizona tournament trail.

Record-breaking turnout for DBacks camp

Nearly 40 aspiring baseball and softball players turned out for the Sixth Annual Arizona Diamondbacks Training Center held July 11-15 at Rumsey Park.

Marion Smith

Marion Smith, 80, of Payson died June 14, 2005 in Salinas, Calif.

John Richard Kundla

John Richard Kundla, 61, of Payson, died July 17, 2005. He was born Sept. 11, 1943 in Aliquippa, Penn.

Irene B. Gildemeister

Irene B. Gildemeister, of Payson, died July 14, 2005. She was born Sept. 17, 1914 in Germany.

Kayla Diane Floyd

Kayla Diane Floyd, 17, of Payson, died July 13, 2005. She was born May 6, 1988.

Motorcycle accident kills one, injures another

One person died and another was injured Saturday, July 16 when their motorcycle collided with a guardrail near milepost 230.9 on Highway 87.

Homicide suspect sought in northern Arizona

On June 29, 2005, Gary Hyde was discovered murdered at his residence west of Snowflake. The Navajo County Sheriff's Office is looking for Marco A. Perea-Gayosso in connection with the crime.

Cookbooks rule summer reading

SENIOR MOMENTS

Books! Don't you just love ‘em? As a volunteer, I have the pleasant task of taking care of donated books at the Senior Thrift Store. It's fun to find books that I have not yet read by my favorite authors, or to make the acquaintance of new ones.

Denise Rose Hill

Denise Rose Hill was born to Rose and Dan Hill June 24, 2005.

Carr, Skelton wed

Shannon Carr and Douglas Skelton were married on June 4, 2005, at the Red Mountain Ranch Country Club in Mesa.

What's up?

Q: (Recently) at Rumsey Park on ball diamonds 2 and 3, play has ended at approximately 9 p.m., yet the lights have remained on until 10 .p.m. This is one hour of lights on two diamonds each night with no activity going on. How much is this costing us and who is responsible for this extravagant waste of energy?

Adult stem cells cure and don't kill

I say three cheers for morally licit stem cell research (SCR). And I hope and pray that cures will continue to be found for Denise Barker and the thousands like her (Roundup, 7/15/05).

Explosives claim lacks credibility

Russ Krueger of Goodyear writes, among other things, that some experts agree that the World Trade Towers were not felled from the collisions of two passenger airplanes, but rather were deliberately destroyed by explosives placed within the buildings prior to the attack.

Reflect on how best to spend lives

In Friday's Roundup (July 15) appeared a heart-felt compassionate editorial by publisher Richard Haddad regarding the sudden, tragic death of young Kayla Floyd, a promising teenager filled with dreams and aspirations for the future.

Kayla was a beautiful soul

I am writing to express my sadness at hearing about Kayla Floyd. She was in the very first class in which I was privileged to be a teacher's aide.

More donors could save 6,000 U.S. citizens

If more people were as generous as Kayla Floyd and her parents, we wouldn't have more than 6,000 Americans dying every year waiting for organ transplants. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

Thief took more than 'stuff'

This letter is to the person, or persons, who entered my van while parked in my driveway early in the morning of Wednesday, June 29 and stole my backpack.

Fries, waistlines, cars: America too supersized

It sometimes seems as though we Americans have lost our way as a society, caught up in a glut of consumerism and over-consumption. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the oversized automobiles we continue to insist on driving.

Pine water search changes direction

To quench the thirst of the communities to the north, the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District had hoped to investigate whether one of the Pine Water Company's existing test sites could produce more water.

Discovery Channel telescope will help solve mysteries of universe

Lowell Observatory and Discovery Communications broke ground on the Discovery Channel's Telescope (DCT), July 12, after nearly a decade of work on the design and the search for an appropriate site.

Council approves upscale wine shop

Payson will soon have another place to buy liquor, but with a difference -- when it opens, the Beverage House will feature fine wines and offer wine tastings.

Town pays $75k to settle lawsuit

A four-year-old lawsuit charging Payson Police officers with six complaints, including trespassing, federal civil rights violations, and assault and battery has been settled by the Payson Town Council for $75,000.

Lightning strikes home, causes fire

The Houston Mesa Fire Department was on the scene of a lightning-caused house fire in Mesa del Caballo four minutes after it was reported Friday evening, according to Houston Mesa Fire Chief Chuck Jacobs.

Lightning sets off multiple fires

The onset of the monsoon season over the weekend triggered a new round of forest fires and a house fire, all ignited by lightning strikes. The Payson Ranger District experienced a total of 19 fires Friday and Saturday, according to Gary Roberts, district fire prevention officer.

Incorporation drive under way

The petition drive to incorporate Diamond Star kicked off Monday evening, and organizers said they hope to wrap it up quickly -- maybe as soon as the end of the week.

Guiding teens to make good choices

LIVING

Two years ago, 187 women in Payson experienced a life-altering event: giving birth.

Guide dog changes Pine resident's life

FOCUS ON PETS

I first met Larry and Eloise Kontz at the Strawberry Festival next to the ice cream truck. Their Labrador, Lou, was wearing a guide-dog harness -- so I asked if I could do a story. At that moment, Lou stuck his head into the nearby garbage container and came out with a face full of fudge sauce, which he immediately wiped all over Eloise.

Arts bug bit the boy and gave man his life's work

PAYSON PEOPLE

Allen Fisher was bitten by the bug as a boy -- thanks to his mother.

Little Leaguers scrap with tough competition

A 12-0 loss to Blue Ridge in the Little League Major Division District 1 championship didn't dampen Payson coach Eddie Duran's enthusiasm for his players.

Thursday, July 14

County program can help victims of bad checks

The passing of bad checks continues to be a serious problem in Gila County, according to the Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores.

Officials push to thin forests

The Cave Creek Complex fire's threat to the Rim country was the last straw for Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin.

Payson girl's death brings life to others

No timepiece ever made can tell a parent when a child's journey through life will end. In the blink of an eye, the trip may be over.

Students score above average on AIMS test

AIMS and Terra Nova spring test results revealed most Payson students scored above county and state averages, however, some serious concerns remain about academic performance.

Gearing up for school: Support staff races to beat the bell

Scott Reger likes his work during the summer -- whether it's trimming hedges or moving desks, he's always doing something different.

Water saving mandated by state

If customers don't comply with state-ordered water conservation measures, residents could have their water disconnected and be charged a substantial fee for reconnection.

Payson police commander involved in fatal accident

A runaway trailer towed by a truck driven by Payson Police Commander Don Engler struck a Phoenix man riding a motorcycle in Scottsdale Saturday.

Training draws officers, dogs from all over state

Dozens of law enforcement officers and their canine partners from all over Arizona made the pilgrimage to Payson for the 13th annual Canine Survival Seminar.

Adoptions up but shelter still crowded

Rim country residents have responded to pleas by the Payson Humane Society to adopt dogs to reduce overcrowding, but the problem hasn't gone away.

Child's death should remind us what really matters

A few years ago, I received a phone call from a reader who wanted to publish a letter complaining about his neighbor's yard.

Give photographer credit too

Just as APS enjoys taking credit for every little thing that has to do with allowing Fossil Creek to go back to its natural state, I would imagine the photographer that took the exceptional photographs for the historical display at APS would like some credit, too.

Journalist is no hero

The view of the Roundup intern published in the July 8, 2005 edition demands a response. Defending New York Times reporter Judith Miller as a journalistic hero, as the Roundup intern did, is laughable.

Stem cell research broadens treatment options

Re: Carol Suhr's July 8 editorial on stem cell research -- I read your letter to the editor regarding stem cell research and although everyone has a right to their own opinion, I would just ask you to be open minded enough to consider doing some research as I have.

Numbers speak louder than words

Here are some numbers for our local U.S.-national-debt aficionados:

In American politics, there are no coincidences

Two thousand Americans were killed at Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, we entered World War II.

Memories of the a Payson landmark

My recollection of the Ox Bow Inn is a little different. A Jimmy Cox bought the hotel and property from the Wades.

When fireworks aren't enough

What kind of celebration was that on Independence Day anyway? There was no prayer to God, no thanks for our freedom, our veterans, those who have given their lives for our country, no prayer for or honor given to our servicemen who are currently fighting a war for our freedom, no thoughts for our police or firemen.

Something seems Fishy

It is likely that the hapless Harold Fish faces another year or so in the tunnel of terror, primarily engineered for him by John McCauley. I assume McCauley and his supporters continue to be merciless, relentless and implacable in their desire to have Fish as totally annihilated as if he were stomped into bloody mush by a rampaging rogue bull elephant.

Local leader recognized

After more than a year of "reading, studying and praying," Tina Terry, an insurance and financial services representative with the Modern Woodmen of America, has achieved the Fraternal Insurance Counselors (FIC) designation.

Girl Scout's top honor awarded to Payson troop

Junior Girl Scout Troop #655 earned the Bronze award, the highest honor a troop at this level can receive, for a play the girls produced recently called "The Rainbow People."

Gordon R. Larson

Gordon R. Larson, 86, died July 5, 2005 in Tucson. He was born May 17, 1919 in Portage, Wisc.

Charles Sheridan Lockwood, III

Charles Sheridan Lockwood, III, 80, of Payson died July 2, 2005. He was born Aug. 24, 1924 in Boston, Mass.

James Emery Partridge

James Emery Partridge, 78, of Payson, died July 11, 2005. He was born Nov. 14, 1926 in Parkland, Wash.

Walter J. "Sonny" Sarnel

Walter J. "Sonny" Sarnel, 65, of Payson, died July 13, 2005. He was born Sept. 7, 1939 in Jersey City, N.J.

Martin A. "Marty" Ward

Martin A. "Marty" Ward died peacefully at his home Monday, July 11, 2005.

Payson teams suffer at River Classic

Bad calls and a lack of sleep made for a couple of rough games against Mohave High School last weekend when Payson High School basketball took part in the Runnin' on the River Classic in Bullhead City, Ariz.

McKenna, Gyde eke out PMGA tourney title

Don Gyde and Bill McKenna shot a 113 to take the Payson Men's Golf Association two-man best ball championship Wednesday morning at Payson Golf Course.

RMEF banquet Saturday night

Don't forget the Payson Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation this Saturday, July 16 at the Mazatzal Casino. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for a no-host happy hour. The dinner -- filet mignon, chicken or vegetarian, will be served at 6 p.m. Auctions and raffles will be held later in the evening.

'Tour de Payson' is great way to exercise

As six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong slept somewhere in Courchavel, France, resting for stage 11 of cycling's most popular and grueling event, seven cyclists halfway around the world in Payson mounted their bikes Tuesday evening for a ride of their own.

Registration under way at Rim country schools

Registration times for the 2005-06 school year are as follows:

Beat the heat at Village happenings

TONTO VILLAGE

I hope that all of my readers are handling the overly excessive heat that we are having this week. When we moved from Yuma, I thought that we would not have to have air conditioning. We thought that fans would work out just fine.

Back in the beautiful pines of Strawberry

PINE-STRAWBERRY

I am back in town and it is wonderful to be here. There is no place like home, particularly when that home is in Strawberry. It is a little warm however. Hopefully the rains will come soon.

Pastor makes retirement a hobby

Members of Central Christian Church recently changed the name of their house of worship.

Looks deceiving, new store doing well

Despite a seemingly empty parking lot, and construction delays that postponed the opening of the maligned roundabout intersection, The Home Depot is doing better than expected, said store manager, Shane Monahan.

Ailing pet led woman to pursue veterinary career

When Sarah Derksen was 11, her pet basset hound came down with Valley Fever. She would go to the vet with him every chance she had.

Local man gets 'private banker' status

Donald Brooks Curtis has been named a private banker for Wells Fargo's Payson branch. The appointment was announced by Michael Kinnison, manager of Wells Fargo Community Banking in Central Arizona.

Tuesday, July 12

Photo brings back band memories

BACKTRACKIN'

When I first looked at this photo of the Payson School Band of the late 1950s, I thought of Miss Julia Randall. Although Irving Whitehouse was the band leader (as pictured), most of the kids in this photo got their start in music from Miss Randall.

Competition will test ranch skills

REVIEW FEATURE

An equestrian competition unique to the Rim country provides an opportunity for cowboys and cowgirls to showcase their in-the-saddle skills.

Tonight have breakfast

IN THE KITCHEN

You're having one of those days. In the morning, it was breakfast on the run. It's been busy at work, you've rushed from activity to activity and the thought of having to plan dinner for the family is another job that you just don't need right now. You want real food and you want it now.

It shur ain't Kansas

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

The American Film Institute just celebrated its 100th birthday by releasing its "Top 100 Movie Quotes -- America's Greatest Quips, Comebacks and Catchphrases."

Monday, July 11

Meadows, Smith wed

Doug and Marti Meadows of Payson and Dave Smith of New River, Ariz., and Melonie Latimer of Phoenix are pleased to announce the marriage of Alicia Anne Meadows of Scottsdale and Thor Smith of New River, Ariz., March 19, 2005 in New River.

The wonderful world of mutts

FOCUS ON PETS

"Before there were purebred dogs specifically fashioned to chase after game birds or herd sheep, there were mutts," said Steve Dale, contributing writer for USA Weekend.

Rough start ensured this is no china doll

PAYSON PEOPLE

The records of Doncaster Prison in England give her Christian name as Brenda Eileen Sims and brand her the illegitimate child of Kathleen Mary Sims. She was born March 10, 1938, and her skin was yellow with jaundice.

Trip Down Under deeply spiritual

LIVING

Disney is right, "It's a small world after all." Ask Teri Nanty, she has firsthand experience.

New tribal councilman

Farrell Hoosava was sworn into office of the Tonto Apache Tribal Council on June 6 by Chief Judge Tao Etpison.

Payson all-stars advance to state

The Payson 9-10-year-old all-star team advanced to the state tournament Saturday with a 10-4 win over Show Low in Flagstaff.

Home run derby this weekend

Softball players planning on participating in the Second Annual Payson Parks and Recreation and Mazatzal Casino Home Run Derby must register and pay their entry fee of $45 per team by July 15.

Soccer coach stresses weight training, along with ‘skills and drills'

The Longhorn boys soccer team has begun gearing up for the schools' return to 3A East after spending two years in the 4A Grand Canyon region.

Four teams battle it out for PMGA championship

Four teams are in a neck-and-neck battle for the Payson Men's Golf Association two-man best ball championship to be decided July 13 at a second and final round of play.

Lady Horns learn Lumberjack way

Aspiring members of the next edition of the Lady Longhorn volleyball team spent the week learning to do it the Lumberjack way.

Ronald Craig Tuttle

Ronald Craig Tuttle, of Arizona City, Ariz., died July 8, 2005. He was born Dec. 20, 1954 in Webster City, Iowa.

Sonicio G. Perez

Sonicio G. "Manuel" Perez, 81, of Payson died July 6, 2005. He was born Oct. 9, 1923 in Ajo, Ariz.

Royce and Peggy Cox

In loving memory of our parents Royce R. Cox and Peggy J. Cox.

Gardening heats up during summer

GOOD GARDENING

It took the stag nearly three years to find our haystack. Recently we started buying alfalfa hay for the goats on days when the vegetation is too wet for them to eat the native brush.

Curiouser and curiouser town council

As I follow the newspaper descriptions of deliberations and decisions by the town council, I am becoming more and more disenchanted with its performance. As an editorial in the Roundup noted, it gets curiouser and curiouser.

Development shouldn't impede area's beauty, tax water supply

Manzanita Hills Phase Six? Friday of the Independence Day weekend at 3 p.m., a meeting initiated by private developers was held with about 13 property owners to discuss a proposed new development, Manzanita Hills Phase Six.

Thin out or move out

In regard to the forest treatment plans: You have my 100 percent support. We have been living in Pine at the end of Pine Canyon Road and have witnessed the Pack Fire to the north, the Rodeo-Chediski fire to the northeast, the Webber fire to the east, the Willow Fire to the south, and now the Cave Creek Complex fire to the southwest.

Abortion linked to Social Security woes

Social Security and the new court judge: One of the great American values is we take our laws seriously. We debate, we question, we listen ... and then, after they are passed, we support them.

Put streets before salaries

I was reading in the Roundup about part of our council wanting to bring salaries up to market. I think a few years ago we voted on that and the people voted it down. I am pretty sure that our cost of living is not up to market, but it is of my opinion we need to put our town's infrastructure on top priority.

Population not only factor in wage study

In response to the July 7, 2005 Guest Comment written by Robert Henley, it is important to note that the Council decision last year to bring about 60 percent of our employees to market at that time, with the remaining employees to receive their market increases this fiscal year, was based on Robert Henley's suggestion and it was a good one.

Hard-working Americans are true heroes

In light of some disparaging remarks we've heard around town lately, we'd like to remind everyone who the real heroes are in today's society. They're neither the overpaid, pampered sports stars, nor are they the pop culture musicians and movie stars whose antics and lifestyles teenagers and young adults strive to emulate.

Judge delays ruling on retrial hearing

Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill made no decision at Monday's hearing on whether the case against Kevan Kuhlman would be sent directly to trial or reexamined by a grand jury.

Dog days unkind to Rim country's shelter dogs

The dog days of summer haven't been especially kind to the Rim country's canine population.

Conference addresses rural health

The public has an opportunity to help improve Payson's health care services, said Rural Health Office Director Alison Hughes.

Irving, Childs photo exhibit at APS

A photographic history of the Childs and Irving hydroelectric power plants is on display at the Payson office of Arizona Public Service.

Compromise on raises saves $100,000

When the vote came, Councilor Dick Reese's lone voice was raised against Town Manager Fred Carpenter's proposed compromise on town staff raises.

Seniors face working retirement

Lost pensions, economy altering golden years

George Nusshart, the congenial man who greets customers at Safeway, got his start at 14 working in the local Polish meat market in his neighborhood in Indiana.

Town official favors annexation of Diamond Star area

Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter is expected to recommend that the town annex Diamond Star at a special council meeting on July 21.

School registration begins this week

Registration schedules for Payson High School and Julia Randall Elementary School are as follows:

Hughes, Carter engaged

Lindsay Rochelle Hughes and Matthew Bliss Carter, both 21, will wed 4:30 p.m., Nov. 25, 2005, at the Wright House in Mesa.

Walbergs celebrate 65th anniversary

Bob and Margaret (Wright) Walberg are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary July 13.

Thursday, July 7

Incinerators burn holiday field

Excitement reigned as Payson's Independence Day Men's Soccer Tournament had to be decided July 4 in a dramatic do-or-die shoot-out.

Photo Gallery: Independence Day 2005

The Roundup presents a collection of photos from community Independence Day celebrations in Payson, Ariz., July 2005.

Keep pets safe from Arizona Black Rattlesnake

The Independence Day holiday is now behind us. I hope that many of you from the Village attended the fireworks display at Green Valley Park in Payson. They were absolutely amazing. Just the display alone lasted a good half hour.

Community primes for historical honor

The Independence Day weekend is behind us once again. I am writing this from Massachusetts, but from what I hear, we did not burn down or even seriously face evacuation. We are most grateful for that.

Talented players make melodrama a huge hit

If you missed the melodrama at the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church this last weekend, you missed a night of great entertainment and lots of laughs. This year's title was "Cheerio, Y'All or Miss Keyes, in the Conservatory, with the Feather Boa."

Rysans celebrate 50 years of love

A luncheon was held July 2 in the fellowship hall at Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church to celebrate Frank and Susan Rysan's 50th wedding anniversary.

Bloses mark golden anniversary

Ed and Irene Blose became high school sweethearts after they met at a school dance. They were married July 9, 1955, in Ford Cliff, Penn.

Sherwood, Turner wedding july 9

John and Susan Sherwood of Tooele, Utah and Robert and Tracy Turner of Payson are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of Keri Christine Sherwood and Jared Anthony Turner, both of Tooele, Utah.

Tabs for food

Nansi Conrad, The Ronald McDonald House and the Payson Womans Club wish to say a big thank you to the Payson Humane Society and the folks who drop off their drink can tabs at the humane society.

Councilors fail to protect taxpayers' dollars

The Citizens Awareness Committee (CAC) would like to go on record strongly supporting the three town councilors who have asked to reconsider the astronomical raises to the department heads.

Line blurs between death and ethics

I don't suppose one can expect a lot of honesty in a politically driven cartoon, but since the Roundup recently ran one denigrating President Bush's stance on protecting human embryos (Roundup July 1, 2005) here are a few facts to set the record straight:

It's time to say, ‘Enough is enough'

By William S. Rappaport, President, Diamond Star Water Coalition, Inc. For weeks, the Payson Town Council has attacked the Diamond Star Water Coalition for not having accurate facts. They have failed to identify what facts the coalition has incorrect.

Jailed reporter a model of news integrity

Reporter Judith Miller deserves to go to jail not because she has refused to divulge a confidential source to a grand jury, but because it will demonstrate to the American people that there is still some principle left in journalism today.

Convicted killer could face retrial

Convicted killer, Kevan Kuhlman, will learn at a July 11 hearing whether the case against him will be remanded to a grand jury or go directly to trial.

Monsoon gives Rim country an electrifying reputation

Continual sunny, sweltering days have Rim country residents wondering when the windy, rainy relief of the monsoon will make an appearance. Meteorologist Mike Staudenmaier of the National Weather Service in Flagstaff said the summer monsoon is late this year.

Historic schoolhouse brings past into present

The Strawberry School and Pine Community Center were among the first buildings erected by settlers in the Rim country. As they join the National Register of Historic Places these structures will forever preserve a time and place steeped in Arizona's pioneer history.

Pioneer past tops historic register

Schoolhouse makes history

Two Rim country landmarks will take their place on the National Register of Historic Places in separate dedication ceremonies Saturday afternoon. The Strawberry School and the Pine Community Center have been named to the nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. T

Event center seed planted

The $21 million Payson Event Center project took a major step forward when the developer paid the town $30,000 required under a memo of understanding. Key elements of the project included a 150-room hotel with an indoor pool, 1,000-seat amphitheater, and a 7,000-square-foot conference center.

Council settles on lower raises

The heated issue of staff "market" raises was resolved Thursday night when the town council voted unanimously to accept a compromise proposed by Town Manager Fred Carpenter.

Investment specialist honored

Edward Jones investment representative Ross Hage of Payson recently received the firm's exclusive Field Trainer Award for his efforts in voluntarily training new brokers.

Home inspection gives buyers a close look beyond the surface

Your home may look perfect, but when it comes to perfection home buyers need to look beyond the surface. That is where Current Conditions Real Estate Inspection comes in.

Robert E. McNeil (1929-2005)

Robert Edward McNeil, 75, of Payson, died July 2, 2005 in Sun City, Ariz. He was born Aug. 22, 1929 in Midland, Texas.

Norma D. LaForge (1940-2005)

Norma Dean "Nordie" LaForge, 64, of Tonto Basin, Ariz., died Friday, July 1, 2005 in Globe. She was born Nov. 22, 1940 in McLean, Texas, the daughter of William and Maiedna Rhodes.

Woodrow Hanaford (1915-2005)

Woodrow Hanaford, 89, of Payson, died July 2, 2005. He was born Aug. 31, 1915 in Detroit, Mich.

Carol Ann Duber (1953-2005)

Carol Ann Duber, 52, of Globe, Ariz., died July 5, 2005. She was born in Yuma, Feb. 4, 1953, the daughter of Barbara Ann (Fuller) and Lyle Jerome Erstad.

Church bases preaching style on Greek culture

Pastor Bill Cain of Rim Country Bible Church of Payson preaches from the Bible in an expository style made famous by the apostle Paul's teachings in an ancient Mediterranean culture in a small Greek town called Berea.

Premed student takes cardiology to heart

A former Payson High School student is getting a firsthand look at cardiology and the medical field this summer.

Parks and Recreation offers summer activities

From free concerts to flag football, Payson Parks and Recreation Department has something for everyone this summer.

Stocked lakes, nice weather offer good fishing in Rim country

Chevelon Canyon: This is a hike-in fishery open to artificial lure and fly only. The bag limit is six fish with a slot limit. Trout between 10-14 inches may not be possessed. Trout taken from Chevelon Canyon Lake shall be immediately killed and retained as part of the bag limit or immediately released.

Minors on the road to Flagstaff showdown

Blake Cannon shouldered the pitching load July 7 for the Payson Minor Division (9-10 year olds) All-Stars in a district tournament showdown against Blue Ridge. (Results not available at press time).

Payson All-Stars set to battle in White Mountains

With one loss against them in a double elimination tournament, the Payson Little League All-Stars had to be at their best when district play opened July 7 in Eagar-Springerville (results not available at press time).

Coaches deserve our thanks

Coaches Jimmy Oestmann, Jon Gunzel, Mike Loutzenheiser, Kenny Hayes and Pat Stone deserve a pat on the back for volunteering their time to conduct the Maverick Football Camp last week at Rim Country Middle Schoo

Spouses battle in Jack-n-Jill tournament

There will be no husband-and-wife teams entered in the Payson Women's Golf Association annual Jack ‘n' Jill tournament July 12 at Payson Golf Course. "It makes (the tournament) kind of interesting when one spouse is playing against another," PWGA member Joyce Karnes said.

Pikes wage water war against Camp Verde

Weeks of early morning practice should pay dividends for Payson Pikes swim team members July 9 when they host Camp Verde at Taylor Pool. Start time is 8 a.m.

Tuesday, July 5

Recipes: There's no place like home

IN THE KITCHEN

As lazy summer afternoons drift into starry evenings, the casual summer entertaining bug bites.

What's really up?

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

Everybody reads the Payson Roundup's popular "What's Up" column, on the editorial page of each issue.

Part 2: Nock-ay-det-klinne

BACKTRACKIN'

In the column preceding this one, I told of the Cibeque Apache medicine man and Chief Nock-ay-det-klinne. His attempts to raise two Apache chiefs from the dead, along with the related dances and ceremonies on the Fort Apache Reservation, whipped his followers into a state of turmoil and ultimate rebellion against the soldiers at Fort Apache.

The 'blues' are back this weekend

RIM REVIEW

Don't pass up a chance to catch the blues this weekend. The blues are returning to the Rim country with another Concert Under the Stars with Common Ground Blues band at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 9 in the Green Valley Park amphitheater.

Monday, July 4

Carter, Hughes to wed

Lindsay Rochelle Hughes and Matthew Bliss Carter, both 21 will wed 4:30 p.m. Nov. 25, 2005 at the Wright House in Mesa. A garden reception will follow.

Thanks from blood drive workers

Thank you to the many committed and loyal donors in Payson, and the surrounding areas, who braved the new roundabout to support the June 27 Payson Community Blood Drive.

Wildfire quelled by help of local residents

On behalf of the Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team, I am taking this opportunity to thank the generous populace of Payson for the most welcome and vital cooperation we received during the suppression of the Three Fire Complex west of Roosevelt Lake this past week.

Thanks for the making flea market a success

We would like to thank the entire community for their participation in shopping and renting stalls to sell their goods at the Community-Wide Flea market on May 21, 2005 at Community Presbyterian Church

Your help aided our benefit

To all our friends and family who gave their time and effort into our benefit, also to all that donated money or auction items -- they truly showed how much love is in this town.

Police department needs your support

On Wednesday, June 22, very early in the morning, I had the opportunity to watch our police department at work.

Library employee closes chapter

As a resident of the Payson area for the last nine and a half years, I wanted to send a thank you to Pat at the library, who is retiring this week.

Hospice is about living

There is nothing so wonderful as a dream come true. But behind the dream there have to be dream makers. Wednesday June 29 at Rumsey Park a ceremony was held to honor some of these dream makers.

Let freedom ring

It is true that the majority rules in our great country, but it is not the American way to use power to squash discussion. The mayor and council members were elected to represent us. Listen to all sides of an issue, and make informed decisions

Rim country residents ripped off

Seniors, heads up! Because I enjoyed taking several substantive classes at the Gila Community College over the last couple of years, and had paid for them, I became interested in all the hullabaloo that has been going on at the college lately and decided to go to some of the board meetings.

Trip to Hawaii blown out of proportion

Friday's paper carried an article "County Employees traveling to Hawaii on ‘taxpayer's dime." Having dealt with each of these employees, I can say I am truly impressed with both their knowledge and professionalism.

Water woes compounded by wasting

The West is all about water. Always has been. Probably always will be -- until there isn't any more. If you think that notion is far-fetched and alarmist, get a copy of the July issue of "National Geographic."

Local taxpayers ultimately foot bill for salary increases

At Thursday night's special council meeting Tim Fruth, George Barriger and I tried to reconsider the decision to use the current market survey to raise salaries for 63 town staff positions.

Task force wants to snuff out meth labs

Drug agents are seeking the public's help in stemming what they call alarming increases in local and statewide illegal manufacturing of methamphetamines.

Partnering paying off

Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an internationally renowned biomedical research facility, has chosen the Rim country for its annual retreat next May.

High country aims for high-tech business

Evolving from cow chips to computer chips, from snakebites to gigabytes, from blue jeans to human genes, the rural community of Payson is working to position itself to support businesses that deal with tomorrow's technologies.

Police injured in morning scuffle

Two Payson police officers, and a 16-year-old male were injured early Tuesday morning after the teenage suspect attempted to flee an arrest, Police Commander Don Engler said.

Deputies keep striking miners peaceful

Law enforcement services in northern Gila County were stretched thin over the Independence Day holiday.

Operation: Wedded Bliss

A soldier's love

Sgt. David Stidham, of Payson, was stationed in Iraq when he met his sweetheart, Louise Rene, online. Her profile in the personals section of yahoo.com piqued his interest because she was from Brazil, so he e-mailed her.

Fire crews holding Cave Creek fire at bay

Firefighters have delivered on the promise made to Pine and Strawberry residents by the area's fire commander -- that their homes would be saved from the Cave Creek Complex fire.

Town to consider $39.8 million budget

The Payson Town Council will vote on a tentative budget of nearly $40 million -- 14.8 percent larger than last year's budget -- during its regular meeting 6 p.m. Thursday at town hall, 303 N. Beeline Highway

Artist absorbs inspiration from stone

Robert Barela, unlike most artists who buy commercially produced supplies, takes his medium and inspiration from the geologic formations of the Rim country.

Proper pet boarding takes advanced preparation

Here I am in Massachusetts while all three of my dogs are spending the time in a boarding facility. It is a new experience for all of them.

Gisela girl gets in on cutting edge science

When Beryl Jones pulls on her white lab coat, she transforms almost instantly. No longer a high school student from the pioneer village of Gisela, Jones becomes a scientist, talking quickly and effortlessly about the breast cancer and diabetes research being done in her lab.

Big hits at home run derby

Time is quickly winding down for teams to register for the Second Annual Payson Parks and Recreation and Mazatzal Casino Home Run Derby. Entry fees of $45 per team must be paid by by Friday, July 15th.

D-backs offer price break for Rim camp

Attending an Arizona Diamondbacks Training Center just got a little easier on the wallet. Last week, the Diamondbacks announced that a 20-percent All-Star Special would be good on all five-day camp registrations made before July 12.

Payson All-Stars earn berth in Dist. 1 tournament

Fireballing right-hander Westin Gibson hurled the Payson Major Division All-Stars to a 5-1 victory over Winslow and a berth in the District 1 Tournament.

Maverick football campers work to be the best

More than 30 aspiring gridders sweated their way through four days of the Maverick Football Camp in hopes of earning a roster spot on the Rim Country Middle School teams later this summer.

PMGA action heats up

Members of the Payson Men's Golf Association are scrambling to prepare themselves for a pair of much-anticipated summer tournaments.

Lady Horns brush up on strategies at UofA team camp

Lady Longhorn basketball players should now have the moxie and expertise it takes to salvage victories in the wanning moments of close, hard-fought games.

Celebrating American Beer Month

July --idsummer, the sizzling month that kicks off withhe bang and dazzle of Independence Day celebrations, andften ends up with the bang of thunder and flash of lightning as our monsoon season gets into full swing.

Vernon R. Kefferl (1933-2005)

Vernon Ray Keffer, 72, of Payson died June 28, 2005. He was born April 3, 1933 in Hartford, Ark.

John D. Connell (1937-2005)

John Daniel (Jack) Connell, 67, of Payson died June 30, 2005. He was born in Chippewa Falls, Wis. on July 8, 1937.

Sunday, July 3

Cave Creek Complex Fire 'at-a-glance' update

An "at-a-glance" look at statistics for the Cave Creek Complex Fire as of Monday, July 4, 2005. Includes links to other fire information sites and Forest Service update notes.

Saturday, July 2

Independence Day fireworks and activities to be held in Payson

This year's Independence Day celebration in Payson will feature a large fireworks show and entertainment. This is a free event the family is sure to enjoy.

Friday, July 1

Tonto campgrounds open for the holiday

The Forest Service would like to clarify that the Tonto campgrounds are open for the holiday weekend. See a complete list of open Tonto campgrounds here.