Stories for December 2006


Thursday, December 28

New ministry meets on reservation

A new ministry of gifts of the Holy Spirit will meet at 10 a.m. every Sunday at the Hand of God Fellowship Hall (formerly Full Gospel Family Church), Trail of Tears on the Tonto Apache Reservation.

Family lives in hotel after house fire

When Emily Morton woke up from a nap on Dec. 21, she thought the smoke she was seeing was the result of her blurry eyes from waking up. Morton went back to sleep, not realizing the home she shared with her parents, son and brother was on fire.

Couple charged with second-degree murder of infant

Two Payson residents were arrested Wednesday on charges of killing their infant son. Justin Philip Valencia, 19, and Nichole Ploughe, 18, are being charged with second-degree murder in the alleged killing of their 2-month-old son, Leon Valencia.

Generosity a blessing

We would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all the people who opened their hearts and pockets, to purchase and make gifts for our Compassion Never Goes Out of Fashion gift tags for seniors and the homebound.

Thank you to the angels who were with my son

My husband and I want to thank the three unknown angels who stopped on a recent Sunday morning on Highway 87 South to help my son.

Outpouring of compassion rewarding to witness

As the editor of a small-town newspaper, you see all sides of people. It teaches you a lot about human nature -- a lesson that is, in turns, disparaging and inspiring. This week, it is the latter.

Make the forest a cleaner place because you were there


Having spent my early years in Iowa, I remember seeking permission from farmers before we would hunt pheasants or rabbits, because most land was privately owned.

2006: The Year in Review

It was a year of change for Payson. 2006 opened with a heated election that ended with a new mayor and several new members of the town council. Mayor Bob Edwards immediately set about following his campaign promises to manage growth and examine water issues in the town.

Opening the discussion on Payson's water problem


After reading that Payson has a "water problem," it occurred to me that perhaps this column and the "I'm Listening" blog could offer a service by providing a place where Paysonites could discuss what they think can be, or should be, done about it.

Two seek ruling on legality of task forces

Two local media figures are asking the Arizona Superior Court to look into possible Open Meeting Law violations by the 19 task forces created by Payson Mayor Bob Edwards.

Thank you for showing the spirit of Christmas

'Tis the season. Christmas angels are all around at this time of year.

Jesse Warren Wynn

Jesse Warren Wynn, of Christopher Creek, Ariz., died at Payson Regional Medical Center on Dec. 23, 2006. He was 84.

Donald Fayet "Dutch" Coffman

Donald Fayet "Dutch" Coffman died Dec. 20, 2006. He was 77.

Arline D. Baril

Arline D. Baril, 88, died at home with all of her family near her on Dec. 22, 2006.

Star Valley won't give up fight for zip code

The Town of Star Valley is not giving up its fight to have its own zip code in the near future.

Fiesta Bowl Parade

NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice stopped to visit with Payson Ranger District wildland fire personnel prior to the 35th Annual Fiesta Bowl Parade last year.

Man arrested after threatening nephew with gun

A Star Valley resident was arrested Tuesday on various domestic violence charges after he was seen holding a shotgun on a relative.

Christmas vandals

The week before Christmas, ornamental geese decorated for the holidays were vandalized with shots from a paintball gun in front of the home of DJ Craig Miller on West Country Club Drive.

3 inches of snow mixed with rain, sleet, hail

Rain, hail, snow, sleet and fog passed through Rim Country this week. National Weather Service Observer Anna Mae Deming reported almost 3 inches of snow fell.

Toys for Tots campaign a great success

The Rim Country Marine Corps League Det. 928 congratulate the local community for the success of the Toys for Tots drive in the local area. Approximately 3,124 toys were obtained.

Web site offers personal way to support troops

It has been a very rewarding experience for me to participate in

Foster care children touched by Christmas gifts

We would like to thank everyone who helped the children listed on the foster care angel tree.

New arrival impressed by Payson's generosity

Being a recent transplant to Payson, I would like you to know what a wonderful community this is. I came here from the Valley just this summer to take the position of Branch Manager at Arizona State Credit Union.

Council should limit growth to avoid disaster

On Dec. 7, Lynn Godfrey, chairman of the mayor's water task force, presented the task force report. In part, he said, "The town is essentially at safe yield, continued growth will lead to disaster."

Tatting helps woman pay property taxes


Loretta Ost weaves a fine, white thread through her fingers. Then, with a shuttle, begins to work the thread into an intricate design.

Teaching children good manners around dogs


For most children, being around dogs comes naturally, especially if their parents help them understand how to relate to dogs.

New Year's resolutions for pet owners


Once again, we have the opportunity to start anew, to turn over a new leaf and resolve to be the person we always wanted to be. Now is the time to list those New Year's resolutions.

What is the tone of your inner dialogue?


This will be my final column for now, per editorial constraints. I'd like to express my appreciation to my readers and the feedback I have received.

Visitors fell in love with Strawberry Lodge

Jan and Adrian Marnell, owners of the Strawberry Lodge, came to the Rim Country like many of its residents -- to vacation.

Troubled teen

Boot camp style intervention program turns teen's life around

Brett Tierney, and his mom, Stacy Parkerson, knew he needed help getting his life back on track.

2006 Sports Year in Review

The 2006 Rim Country sports year was highlighted by the hiring of four new Payson High School varsity coaches, the rousing accomplishments of a band of spirited Little League baseball players and the head-turning exploits of two of the Longhorns finest senior athletes.

Services for Mark Steven Cecil

Services for Mark Steven Cecil will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5 at the Payson Christian Fellowship Church, 700 E. Wade Lane.

Glad we moved to Payson

We are hoping that the wonder of the season finds you and yours in good health and spirit.

Letter writer an intolerant liberal thinker

I have read with continued awe at the mindless ramblings of our resident liberal, Jim Kane.

This year will be different


The New Year is upon us. There is not much time to finish up our list of resolutions.

Where has the year gone?


Where has the year gone? It is so hard to believe that this will be the last column for 2006.

Turning 55 on New Year's Day


Can you believe it's almost 2007? I can't, but it may be because on New Year's Day I will be 55.

Consider these year-end financial tips


It's hard to believe that Arizona Rim Country is headed into 2007.

Tuesday, December 26

Turn your New Year's resolution into a lifestyle


"Get in shape," is perhaps the most common New Year's resolution made while looking at the face of the bathroom scale after a good month of holiday eating.

The clash of cultures


When the newly appointed officials for the Territory of Arizona left New York on Aug. 27, 1863 they were unsure of where they would go to establish the seat of territorial government. The logical choice would be Tucson, the more populous center of political influence.

After the holidays casserole


The holidays are winding down. We have been sitting around enjoying meals, talking and sharing with family and friends. Now we are in the process of getting our homes and lives back to normal.

Key to a good photograph is patience, artist says


The salmon were running both times photographer Julie Lodge went to see the grizzly bears at Katmai National Park in Alaska.

Nicest skill: Resolve to listen


It's that infamous time of year when some of us try to remember the resolutions we made when Father Time was not yet out of diapers a bare 12 months ago.

Take a hike

The Houston Loop is so accessible that it's often written off.

Board games the answer to "I'm bored"


Growing up with three younger sisters, there was little reason to ever claim being bored during school vacations. And if you happened to let that chronic childhood complaint slip within earshot of a parent, they would inevitably find something for you to do, and usually it was something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.

Monday, December 25

Take care of your skin during winter months

The thermostat is turned up to keep winter's chill away, but the same heat that keeps you toasty, dries out the air and, with it, your skin. During the winter, the best thing for your skin is to moisturize.

Setting New Year's resolutions for 2007

At this time of year, as one calendar rolls into another, it is a symbolic time to reflect, re-focus and, if need be, start again.

Emergency responders went beyond call of duty

I recently had an accident while moving bags of steer manure from my SUV to my back yard.

Christmas spent at a child's bedside

Two-year-old Mila Phillips has been sick for most of her young life. During her second year of life, she started losing weight, and she stopped eating and walking.

A place to call home

Shelter for veterans last chance for many who find themselves on the street

Christopher had no place to go and had been homeless for about a week when the Rim Country Food Bank mentioned the Veterans Helping Veterans shelter in Payson.

Adult dodgeball tournament planned for February

Almost every elementary school student of the past four decades has played some version of dodgeball, either on the playground or in gym classes.

Boys finally rest after grueling 2 weeks

Longhorn boys basketball coach Chuck Hardt and his players are breathing a huge sigh of relief that they'll finally have a respite after playing 11 games in just over two weeks.

Shallow roster cheats girls from Chinle match

The Lady Longhorns did not have the unique opportunity Dec. 23 to showcase their skills in a newly built $33 million, 6,500-seat basketball arena that is drawing raves as the finest high school facility in the state.

A true student-athlete

Mark McCarty is a junior at Payson High School and is a true example of a student-athlete.

Become the ultimate outdoors woman

The Arizona Wildlife Federation will sponsor its second annual Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) winter workshop Feb. 2 to Feb. 4 at Saguaro Lake Ranch.

Fossil Creek documentary to premiere in Phoenix

In an age of increasing energy needs, what would cause Arizona's largest electric company to voluntarily remove one of its hydroelectric facilities?

Elk Ridge named Firewise Community

The Elk Ridge subdivision is the first community in Payson to receive Firewise Communities/USA recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program.

2007 a year of using what was learned in 2006

The Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation has worked to build a foundation for future growth through most of 2006.

Jump-starting your car battery in a hurry may lead to injury

Winter may lead to car battery trouble for some, as cold weather greatly reduces the operating efficiency of batteries.

Growth management should not be equated to communism

Councilor Tim Fruth, last night at the Payson town council meeting, you were very adamant about how you learned in "school," that managed growth doesn't work -- it failed in the Soviet Union, and it will fail in Payson.

Liquor sales tax could pay for new county facilities

Listen up, taxpayers. From everything I have read, the county needs a new courthouse and jail.

Open letter to the cat killers

Tonight, I felt sorry for you boys and your parents. Sorry that you've never known the compassion and intelligence of an animal.

Zachary Lee Pearson

Zachary Lee Pearson was born at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 5, 2006 to Ryan and Rhiannon at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Save money, energy by properly winterizing your home

The temperature has dropped, the first bills for heat have arrived and it is time to winterize your home.

Physical therapy for women treats more than injuries

Physical or occupational therapy is usually associated with recovery from an accident or illness. But it can also be used to combat conditions that pose special problems for women such as post-mastectomy complications, osteoporosis, incontinence and pelvic pain.

Habitat applications accepted through Dec. 31

Immediately after finishing a 13th home, Payson Area Habitat for Humanity is preparing to build and sell another 13 townhomes for low-income Rim Country residents.

Military family stays close despite distance

At just 20 years old, Anna Noe has seen much of life and death as she trains to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) at the Brooke Army Medical Center.

Carter James Bell

Carter James Bell was born at 12:42 p.m. on Dec. 8, 2006 to Jason and Stacy Bell at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Lester "Les" A. Holtzen

Lester "Les" A. Holtzen died Dec. 21, 2006. He was born at home in Red Cloud, Neb. on March 8, 1920. He grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, and joined the Navy at the age of 17.

Mya Christine Burge

Mya Christine Burge was born at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 2006 to Ashlee Burge at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Thursday, December 21

Donation to Special Olympics

Athletes Jenna Palandri, left, and Tiffany Slayman will benefit from a $400 check given to Payson Special Olympics this week.

Celebration of life event donates 350 pounds of food

RTA Hospice, Messinger Payson Funeral Home and Rim Country Hospice hosted "A Celebration of Life" Thursday, Dec. 7 at the Mountain Bible Sanctuary.

Shepherd of the Pines receives Lilly grant for sabbatical

Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church in Payson has received a grant of $44,270 to enable its pastor, Rev. Todd Arnold, and his family to participate in the 2006 National Clergy Renewal Program, funded by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Sheep fever rare and difficult to cure


There are a fortunate few who, every year in December, head for the arid mountain ranges of Arizona in pursuit of the desert bighorn sheep.

Coach, player chosen for All-Star team

Payson High School senior Zak Miller and coach Josh Anderson have joined the ranks of a long list of former Longhorn players and coaches who were selected to participate in the prestigious Arizona Coaches Association All-Star North vs. South game.

Boys basketball team takes Chinle 78-57

Junior forward Robert Walker's 35-point outburst and all-around, unselfish team play propelled the Longhorns to a 78-57 win over the Chinle Wildcats.

Winners of lighting contest chosen

The lights on 33 homes entered in the second annual Christmas lighting contest glittered brightly on a cold Payson night this past Friday, Dec. 15.

Residents question use of domestic violence laws

In late November, Jeremy Hammer yelled at his brother, John, after a bedroom door his brother opened hit him in the groin.

A Snowman's Gift: A Christmas story to read aloud

A long time ago, on a very special night in northern Alaska, a group of Eskimo children built a snowman. As they built this snowman, they could not help but notice a star brighter than any they had ever seen in the eastern sky. Even the Northern Lights could not diminish its brightness.

Woman, son escape house fire

A woman and her 3-year-old son narrowly avoided death after a fire swept through their home in north Payson Thursday afternoon.

Anonymous Santas buy bikes for 15 children

A new bicycle was the only item on Austin's Christmas wish list.

A few comments on the drug situation


A week ago, having read the sad little piece written by a mother whose son was on drugs, I put some questions up on my I'm Listening blog on

Doing what she can for veterans in need


Veterans helping veterans has been the focus of Misti Isley's life for more than a decade.

Never too old for Christmas surprises

Cherokee Rauch is 86 and mostly housebound, dependent on neighbors to bring her mail and for other assistance. But she's not too old or too ill to enjoy a wonderful Christmas surprise.

What's up?

Q: I heard the Town of Payson's employee Christmas party was canceled. If so, why? And I heard that town employees offered to pay for the party themselves. --AND-- Q: I did not purchase a gas adjuster. Why does my heating bill from Energy West say "Purchased Gas Adjuster"?

Merry Christmas from the Payson town council

Whether praised or criticized, Payson's councilors find their lives spent in the spotlight.

Learn all the facts before buying a puppy


'Tis Christmas time and I always welcome a fitting subject around which to wrap a holiday column. Rocky is a very special boxer puppy who seems to fit the bill.

Ashby, Sanders married in outdoor ceremony

Andrew Ashby and Jamie Sanders were married Oct. 14, 2006 in an outdoor ceremony in Christopher Creek.

Wimpee, Hogue to wed

Marty and Debbie Wimpee are pleased to announce the marriage of their son, Jered, to Deanna Hogue on Dec. 23, 2006 at 1 p.m. at Payson Christian Church in Payson.

Mark Steven Cecil

Mark Steven Cecil, of Payson, died Dec. 9, 2006. He was 51.

Doris "Dodie" Gilmore Mertens

Doris "Dodie" Gilmore Mertens died Dec. 6, 2006 in Castro Valley, Calif.

Mailboxes pried open, contents stolen

Mailboxes along the Control Road from Beaver Valley to Tonto Village were burglarized Dec. 4.

Santa's sleigh this year was a firetruck


Santa arrived Saturday afternoon by fire engine. Lights were flashing and sirens were blaring as they drove up to the fire department in Christopher Creek to some very eager boys and girls.

Freshmen polish off Wildcats 64-55

The Longhorn junior varsity basketball team is suffering from the agonizing heartbreak of defeat, but the freshmen are celebrating a hard-fought win.

Man hopes never to retire again

Bill Armstrong has seen Star Valley increase by leaps and bounds in the 35 years he has lived in the small town.

Star Valley council to revise water agreement

After more than an hour in executive session, the Star Valley Council directed its attorney to make revisions to a water agreement the Payson Town Council approved the week before.

New special education director has vision for program

The woman at the helm of Payson Unified School District's Special Services Department thinks "special education" has an undeserved bad rap.

Active dogs require exercise


Frequently dogs are relinquished to Payson Humane Society because their owners describe them as "too rambunctious, too active, or too hyper" for their lifestyle.

Consider these 'words of wisdom' about investing


Many of us are inspired by great quotations. And you can find plenty of them related to investing. Let's take a look at some of these quotes to determine what they may have to offer us.

What does it mean to have the faith of a child?

Local church leaders share thoughts on believing

Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Schedule of Christmas services

The following Christmas services are scheduled at area churches:

What should I tell a friend who is always late?


I have a good friend who has a problem being on time. I like this person and do not want to lose the friendship, but I get really frustrated having to wait for her arrival.

Sending my very best to Max Foster during his difficult time

As many of you may have noticed, longtime sports writer Max Foster is currently not writing as much as usual for the Payson Roundup.

Head Start thanks community for help

Payson Head Start would like to sincerely thank the following community organizations for their donations to our families and program within recent months:

Our greatest enemy at home is us

This commentary is directed to the many Americans who are in desperate need of a wake-up call regarding their tenuous position in an uncertain world.

Misinformation being spread about Tower Well

There is a letter going around among the real estate people that says the Star Valley Tower Well produces 1,500 GPM.

Looks like we won't be having a white Christmas


The big weather front that was supposed to dump a sizable amount of snow in the Rim Country kind of fizzled out. There was some snow, however, enough that it at least covered the ground, but not enough to satisfy my grandchildren and their snow toys.

Fire department's Toys for Tots program a great success


Merry Christmas to all. Finally, we have had some cold weather and a small amount of snow. A gentle snowfall is so beautiful.

Why we are moved by others' good deeds

On the front page of our newspaper today, we told the story of 15 children who were given bikes for Christmas by strangers who insisted on remaining anonymous.

Chef finds inspiration for cooking from Italian heritage

The Rim Country's top culinary notables will share their talents for a benefit to raise money for the Payson Public Library expansion project.

Residents asked to give input on Town of Payson goals

The Payson Town Council and town staff is asking the public to weigh in on issues that affect their daily lives. As the elected leaders formulate the upcoming Corporate Strategic Plan, they seek input from the populace to help guide the way.

ADOT to pay for study of alternate highway route

The Rim Country's long-considered alternate route inched forward last week when the Payson Town Council adopted a resolution Thursday, Dec. 14, to conduct a planning study of the traffic diversion that could alleviate in-town traffic.

Police expect faster response times with new system

Residents of Payson and Star Valley will see quicker response times thanks to a new communications system put in place by the Payson Police Department.

All-Star game in search of a home

Since being booted from the Northern Arizona University campus in the late 1980s to make way for the Arizona Cardinals, the Arizona Coaches Association All-Star football game has been in search of a permanent home.

Tuesday, December 19

Arizona becomes a territory


After the death of Mangas Coloradas at the hands of soldiers and the Walker party, all possibility of entering Arizona's central mountains from the east was out of the question. The only route open to the gold seekers was to proceed south where they could join the Butterfield Trail.

International Christmas traditions


When Dusty Miller was growing up in Luten, England, 30 miles north of London, the day after Christmas was Boxing Day and the shops were closed.

Bunco Babes: Dice games perfect excuse to socialize


Dice, a bell and a score sheet and up to 11 other people and you have the makings of a game of Bunco.

Night muse: Painter's inspiration comes from dreams


Chris Reynolds' contemporary, surrealist paintings come to him when he dreams.

After Christmas: What to do with leftovers


Turkey is for Thanksgiving and in my book, ham is for Christmas.

A Gift for Christmas


If one thing can be said to mark the outward manifestation of the Christmas season, it would have to be the giving of gifts.

Take a hike

For those of you who moved to Payson because you "had to get out of the Valley," you might groan at this. But for the rest of you, head south to Phoenix and South Mountain Park.

Monday, December 18

Payson Driveline opens shop in Tonto Basin

Automotive Specialists of Payson and Payson Driveline is expanding. Owners Sean and Maggie Meares have opened Tonto Motor Works in Punkin Center.

Senior finds joy in service

Eva Prychodnik was recently given the Lifetime Achievement Award for 18 years as a volunteer at the Payson Senior Center Thrift Store.

Payson wins Rim Country Duals

The wrestling action this past Friday and Saturday in the Rim Country Duals was exciting and intense as most teams were in action for the last time prior to the Christmas break.

Family shares Christmas with 3 adopted siblings

Parents John and Linda Schuerer celebrate Christmas with chocolate-covered cherries. It's a long-standing tradition of John's family, even if their children turn their noses up at the candy-coated treats.

War of words undermines the true spirit of Christmas

A line has been drawn in the sand. On one side are the people who say, "Merry Christmas" and on the other are those who prefer to say, "Happy Holidays."

Faith-based treatment program forms in Phoenix to help problem gamblers

Problem gambling affects tens of thousands of people and, according to experts in the field, it's a growing issue because of the proliferation of televised poker tournaments, online gambling and sports-mania throughout the United States.

Teen to appear on 'Nashville Star'

A little more than a year ago, a young musician from Tempe was getting a break of a lifetime at the Ox Bow Saloon. Rickiejoleen was being showcased for Warner Brothers Records for a chance at a recording contract.

Home court advantage comes from local support

With the Holiday Hoops girls basketball tournament on the calendar for Dec. 29 and 30, it's time to make plans to take in as many of the games as possible.

Students teach CPR to teachers

At a recent Payson High School in-service meeting, students taught approximately 30 Payson High School teachers that head tilts are not signs of daydreaming and chin lifts are not signs of defiance.

Christmas display vandalized

Police looking for information

The Payson Police Department is looking for individuals who vandalized an outdoor Christmas display at a home Friday night.

Star Valley to vote on water agreement

Despite the fact that the Payson council voted to accept a drafted water agreement with Star Valley, there is no agreement officially in place between the two towns.

Petition demands recall of Pine fire board member

The Gila County Board of Supervisors today, Tuesday, will vote on whether to call for a special election to possibly recall a Pine-Strawberry Fire District board member, Ross Gooder.

Payson Choral Society reminds writer of the joy of singing

During the holidays, my wife and I enjoyed one of the best musical productions either of us has heard in a long time. The Payson Choral Society performed a wonderful Christmas concert in the high school auditorium. It was superb.

Hypocrisy of Iraq war nauseating

It's just so nice to hear that America and its politicians care so much about the Iraqi people that, to protect the Iraqis from "worse" chaos, America's military will need to occupy Iraq indefinitely.

Arts and Crafts Guild does a lot for community

On behalf of the volunteers of the Pine/Strawberry Food Bank, I want to thank the Pine/Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild for their generous gift to the Food Bank to be used as necessary.

Snowman prank reminds man of his own caper

The inflatable snowman story brought to mind a caper we pulled off at Northern Arizona University in the late ‘50s.

Parents to blame for cat killer behavior

I've been reading about the teenage boys who kill cats for sport.

If cats are going to wander, give them a collar

I would like to preface this letter by agreeing that whoever viciously killed a family's cat should be punished.

Neighbor is my hero for taking care of me

My name is Diana McNeish and I am writing this letter about my neighbor and my best friend.

Thank you for toy donations

On behalf of the Pine/Strawberry Fire Department, we want to thank all the people who gave donations to the Toys for Tots program that came through the fire department.

What's up?

Q: I enjoy reading The Rim Review each week. Why isn't it inserted inside the Roundup? Didn't you used to make it part of the home-delivered newspaper?

Senior bumper stickers to make you laugh


Have bumper stickers gone out of style?

Middle school wrestlers grapple to top four

A foursome of Rim Country Middle School Maverick Wrestlers grappled their way to top-four finishes at the White Mountain League championships.

Former PHS wrestlers shine at college level

Payson High School wrestling has a long tradition of sending many quality wrestlers to the next level of athletics.

Ongoing rivalry ends with Payson two points short

On Thursday, the Payson Longhorns made the trip to Holbrook High School to wrestle two 3A East foes, the Alchesay Falcons and the Holbrook Roadrunners.

30 games in two days bring best of basketball to Rim Country

The Holiday Hoops tournament has attracted 16 of the state's finest and most diverse basketball teams to the Rim Country.

Gila Democrats award $2,500 in scholarships

Gila County Democrats rewarded the good grades and financial need of five Gila Community College students at the Payson and Globe campuses.

John Severin Gyring

John Severin Gyring, of Payson, died Dec. 17, 2006, at RTA Hospice House. He was 84.

Vance R. Hutchinson

Vance R. Hutchinson, of Payson, died Dec. 16, 2006. He was 79.

Chet Podvoiskis

Chet Podvoiskis died Dec. 13, 2006 at the age of 55 in Sun City Ariz.

Five-generation Thanksgiving

Logan J. Brent, 3, from Gaylord, Mich., left to right, grandpa James Krzysik of East Mesa. Kelli Brent (mom) from Gaylord, Mich., great-grandma Barbara Pike from Overgaard. Front row, matriarch of the family, Janina Malicki, 94, of Payson is the great-great-grandmother.

Autumn River Pelto

Autumn River Pelto was born at at 9:32 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2006 to Jeff and Nicole at the Payson Regional Medical Center.

Parks and recreation briefs

What's your New Year's resolution? Many people make it their goal to become more physically active in the upcoming year and Payson Parks and Recreation would like to help you make that dream a reality.

Kindermusik begins in January

Kindermusik incorporates the most current research on early childhood development.

Cookies for sale

The annual Payson Lioness Club's Christmas Cookie Sale had customers waiting for the doors to open at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Dec. 16.

65 million travelers expected during holidays

Due to reasonable fuel and vacation costs, more Americans than ever before will be persuaded to travel this Christmas-New Year's holiday. AAA estimates that 64.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday, a healthy 2.2 percent increase from last year's 63.5 million travelers.

Take a moment to read a book during the hectic holidays


As we madly dash around trying in vain to accomplish all there is to do during this holiday season, remember to take a breath, read a good book and enjoy family and friends. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Christmas dinner was far different in 1906

The holiday dinner of a century ago on a typical Pennsylvania farmstead would have taken up to two weeks to prepare.

Modern day buffets make holiday entertaining easy

New Year's Eve food is best served buffet-style.

Thursday, December 14

Age should steer investment decisions

Financial Focus

How you invest may depend on when you were born. To understand the financial implications of belonging to a particular age group, consider the following generational characteristics:

Show Low couple assessed $16,000 for poaching

A Show Low couple convicted of multiple violations relating to the poaching of a trophy-class elk and a mule deer became the first violators to feel the effects of a new law on the books allowing the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to employ tougher penalties, especially for repeat or gross offenders.

New pass program offered by national parks

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett and Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey today announced a new interagency recreation pass that will benefit visitors to national public lands.

Payson passes water agreement

A water development contract between the towns of Payson and Star Valley, intended to protect the water interests of each municipality, passed by a slim margin at the Payson Town Council meeting Thursday evening.

Q: How much did the new Christmas tree cost the town?

Q: How much did the new Christmas tree planted in Green Valley Park cost the town?

New Main Street art gallery now open

Inside the cheerful white house-turned-business at 703 W. Main St., the walls are filled with paintings and slants of sunlight pour through the windows, spotlighting sculpture and pottery, jewelry and handcarved wooden utensils.

Council approves 2 growth ordinances

The Payson Town Council voted to untable and approve two growth-management ordinances at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday. Councilor John Wilson made a motion to separate the three ordinances and consider each item individually rather than as one piece of legislation.

‘Stranger in the Manger' on stage this weekend

This Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16 and 17, the children's department of the First Church of the Nazarene, 200 E. Tyler Parkway, will be presenting their Christmas musical "Stranger in the Manger."

How do I talk to my husband about his drinking?

Ask Dr. Donna

My ex-husband has been having a problem with alcohol for the past seven yrs. He is in and out of jail and was recently found to be using alcohol while still incarcerated during work release.

70 children will have Christmas

The Payson Roundup would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the community. A call for help with the Salvation Army's angel tree was published on Dec. 12.

Safeway hosts new DVD vending machine

Amanda Blaylock stepped up to a vending machine that appeared this week in the grocery store where she works. She scanned her credit card and then pushed a few virtual buttons on the computer screen. Out popped a newly released DVD movie -- a rental that she would place in the machine's return slot the next day.

Tribe considers mining operation

The Tonto Apache Tribe owns a mica mining claim on a picturesque property in south central Colorado, but, for years, they have only used the area as a camping spot for members.

Christmas at the library

The Payson Public Library on hosted a day for mothers and children in celebration of Christmas Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Three Christmas Eve services scheduled

First Baptist Church in Pine will have three services on Christmas Eve. The 11 a.m. service will look toward the coming of the Christ Child.

Creature comforts and this week's adoptable pets

Adoption Options

As the temperatures dip, we need to be sure our pets are well protected from the elements. Shelter from rain, snow and wind are essential to keep them comfortable, and the best way to do that is to keep pets indoors. A pet door allows them to go in and out while owners are away from home.

Program teaches children to take care of each other

When Santa is making out his naughty/nice list this year, the 50 children who hang out after school at Payson Community Kids will be on the nice side. In order for the program to function, it has to be that way.

Precipitation, cooler temps expected this weekend

The National Weather Service in Flagstaff predicts temperatures will drop this weekend, winds will increase and come late Saturday, there could be precipitation in the Rim Country.

Building inspections required

The Town of Star Valley wants residents to know there is a process in place for people building homes or moving homes onto lots that must be followed.

Series wrap-up: Only solution to meth epidemic is to fight it as a community

After spending the past three editions of the Payson Roundup exploring the breadth and depth of the meth problem in this area, we cannot deny that our community is in crisis. And it would be naïve for us to offer an easy solution.

Stolen guns recovered

Six stolen guns were recovered by Payson Police during the execution of a search warrant in a drug case Sunday.

Why is the boat dock at Green Valley Park missing?


Q: Why is the boat dock at Green Valley Park Lake missing?

Scholarship to community college appreciated

Recently, the Gila County Democratic Party gave five scholarships to the Gila Community College. The recipients were Sarah Bontempi, Molly Scott and Amantha Nielson from northern Gila County and two students from southern Gila County.

Will I quit smoking because of the new cigarette tax?

I am a smoker. I have been smoking cigarettes for approximately 39 years and have no intention of quitting smoking just because the government has decided to tax me for buying them.

Humbled by those willing to go to war

Do you ever think about Vietnam, our generation, and not going? I do. Looking back, I wish I had gone. I feel guilty for not doing my part. Never have I been made to feel like I let anyone down nor have any asked why I did not go.

Why does supervisor defend the status quo?

According to an article on Nov. 21, Supervisor Shirley Dawson is upset because she feels that our two community college board representatives are too critical of the way the Payson campus is treated.

Cameron Sue Huffman

Cameron Sue Huffman was born at 9:32 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2006 to Victor and Raygena at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Warren Kenneth Gay Jr.

Warren Kenneth Gay Jr. was born at 10:46 p.m. on Nov. 27, 2006 to Warren and Margarita Gay at Payson Regional Medical Center. He weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19 inches long.

Pennies belong on your eyes after you're dead, not before

We tend to ignore pennies. They won't buy much and they're so small they easily get lost. A penny down in the corner of a man's pocket may go unnoticed until it shows up in the washer or dryer. And what woman hasn't emptied a purse and found a couple lurking in there somewhere?

Zenobia McLargin (2006)

Zenobia Pearl McLargin, 88, of Pine, died Nov. 26, 2006, at the RTA Hospice House in Payson.

Jimmie J. Williams (1915-2006)

Jimmie J. Williams, of Payson, died Dec. 10, 2006. She was 91. Mrs. Williams was born July 28, 1915 in Hodgens, Okla.

Jo Ann Gunsaulas (1931-2006)

Jo Ann Lorraine Green Gunsaulas, of Payson, died Dec. 10, 2006. She was born Nov. 8, 1931 in Altoona, Pa.

Wow, what a concert


I couldn't let this edition of the Roundup publish without a word of praise for the Payson High School music students who performed in the Winter Concert Monday evening.

Pine/Strawberry given Firewise recognition

Because of its efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire, Portal IV subdivision, in Pine, has earned Firewise Communities/USA recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program.

Hunter falls from tree stand, airlifted

The Gila County Sheriff's Office reported in a Dec. 13 press release that a hunter had to be airlifted to Phoenix following a fall from a blind in the trees.

Decorate bowling pins to support Bowl for Kids' Sake

Bowling and art go hand in hand during Holiday Pin Art Decorating Contest sponsored by Rim Country Lanes. "It benefits Bowl for Kids' Sake," Kevin Erickson, bowling alley manager said. "They will auction the pins off which helps create more funds for the program."

Serving teatime in a Rim Country hideaway

Leonie Dobbins, owner of the Red Elephant Bakery Cafe, operates the hideaway of teatime lovers throughout Rim Country. The eatery -- located in the backroom solarium of the Carpenter's Wife -- serves up much more, including homemade sandwiches, soups, salads and quiches. Dobbins said she'll serve up her special caramel-topped cookies and miniature quiches for the event.

A truly unique perspective


Lu Carpino can predict the weather by the condition of her hair. She calls it "the frizz factor." She even saved a man's life once.

Beating the holiday blues

Stressed? Depressed?

The rush of holiday preparations can make even the most organized person feel overwhelmed. Expectations of what Christmas "should be" can trigger feelings of sadness. But the holidays don't have to be that way.

Make your pets look beautiful for the holidays


While we are decorating our homes and wrapping gifts, we must also take time to make our pets beautiful for the holidays. Some need a bath, but all dogs and many cats benefit from a good session of grooming.

Pine-Strawberry community caring, generous


Once again, Pine-Strawberry people have shown that they are wonderfully generous. The two benefits sponsored by the Justice McNeeley Foundation to help little Mila Phillips were resounding successes.

Residents come out for Christmas party, celebration of life


Around 100 people showed up for this year's Christmas Party at the Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship Church

Outlook good for freshmen

It's early in the season but Payson High School freshman boys basketball coach Joe LaSalandra is already comparing his team to last year's highly successful 16-2 squad.

Player honored as athlete, leader

Zak Miller now clutches one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a prep football player.

Payson youth kicks football before Cardinals vs. Seahawks game

Justin Carlen, 11, overcame illness and a slight case of the jitters to finish third in the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick region championships held Dec. 10 in the Arizona Cardinals stadium in Glendale.

Father/son hunt comes after years of waiting


Sometimes good things are worth the wait, and Brad Meyocks, owner of Four Corners Concrete, has been waiting nine years to draw a mule deer tag in Unit 13-B.

Coaches, players bond during long ride to Chinle

The last time the Longhorn basketball teams made the long grueling trip to Chinle, it was Jan. 7, 2005, and I was along as the boys' junior varsity coach. It turned out to be a challenge and adventure I won't soon forget.

Recreation Roundup

The youth basketball league is a great opportunity for both boys and girls to learn the game of basketball in a low-stress, fun instructional atmosphere. Registration is from Dec. 26 to Jan. 19.

End of year 4-H party

The Northern Gila County 4-H program held a year-end party and cookie exchange on Dec. 4 in the Payson High School cafeteria.

Trash pick-up schedule announced for Christmas, New Year's: Residents encouraged to plan ahead

As the Christmas and New Year's holidays approach, Waste Management encourages Payson residents and businesses to plan ahead for changes relating to trash pick-up schedules in their neighborhoods.

Weather report predicting white Christmas


Christmas is almost here and where is the snow? My children and grandchildren in Yuma keep asking me, "Has it snowed yet?" They can't wait to come to Tonto Village and play in that white stuff. Hopefully, I can tell them that it snowed after this coming weekend. According to the weather reports, we are expected to get some snow.

Tuesday, December 12

Fast and festive holidays


I begin with a heartfelt thank you for all the support and positive comments on my arts and crafts -- it is a validation to work harder at creating more wonderful pieces for your enjoyment.

Prelude to Apache Wars


In the autumn of 1857, the United States began in earnest to develop a good road across northern Arizona.

Play time: Students present series of plays for holidays


A broken-down haunted house, a woman in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge and a story of homelessness. These are the subjects of three one-act plays the advanced acting students of Payson High School will perform for Rim Country audiences this week.

The Polar Express is real -- sort of


For several years, the Grand Canyon Railway has been operating its version of the Polar Express. We had heard so much from parents and grandparents about the wonderful experience that a few days ago we decided to take the grandchildren to the "North Pole" of Arizona.

Altered Art: Exploring the freedom to play


"The Presence of Absence" a portrait of a mermaid with shoes hangs in the hall leading into Beth Rimmer's studio.

Reindeer Games


Rudolph's popular song had Santa's other reindeer excluding him from Monopoly.

Creative coiling: Used ropes get second life as art


Worn out by years of working cattle and being dragged through the muck of rodeo arenas, cowboy ropes get a new life in the hands of Nancy Coughlin.

Monday, December 11

Read good writing to become a good writer

The critical reading and writing students at Gila Community College departed from the norm in a recent English 101 class.

At the Payson Senior Center

Senior Center Activities for December:

Proposal offers 'Golden Girls' concept to older residents

College roommate days could be returning for the older residents of the Rim Country.

10 years since black-footed ferret reintroduced to Arizona

Missing from Arizona's landscape for more than 65 years, black-footed ferrets are now celebrating two major milestones: Record population numbers and the 10th anniversary since reintroduction efforts began in the state.

Christian James Weaver

Christian James Weaver was born at 5:37 p.m. on Nov. 18, 2006 to Matt and Tanya at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Young Woman award

Barry and Lori Standifird announce their daughter Breanne has earned and received her Young Women Recognition Award.

50th in Antarctica

With thousands of penguins in attendance, Carolee and Donn Morris celebrated their 50th anniversary in Antarctica.


On Sunday afternoon, the front yard of 407 S. Tonto St. was full of people observing a traditional English housewarming ceremony for the latest Payson Habitat for Humanity house.

Elementary school launches effort to recycle plastic grocery bags

The mountain of plastic in one corridor of Frontier Elementary School is not waste headed for the landfill, it is plastic grocery bags that, when recycled will earn the school money.

Six Payson students named Advanced Placement Scholars

After completing challenging college level courses, and testing on the material, six students at Payson High School have earned the designation: Advanced Placement Scholar.

Business makes your cell phone ring with some 'bling'

Tracy Carmean, owner of the Rim Country Pet Salon, is branching out. She and her sister, Terri Kingrey of Phoenix, have started a business together. They now "bling" out cell phones or any other item a customer wants to sparkle.

Body shop owner was 'born to paint'

Lance Stacklie was born to paint. As a boy he was always painting his wagons, bikes and go-carts.

Fountain Hills player keeps ties to Payson

Alex Bunk and the senior members of the Longhorn basketball squad were good friends and teammates through middle school and their freshman year at PHS.

Senior takes long awaited moment to shine

Miles Huff has waited in the wings for three seasons hoping to become a huge contributor to the varsity basketball effort. The wait is over.

Tournament brings more than 200 players to Payson

If only the Holiday Hoops tournament could talk. The Grand Lady of Christmas hardwood play could tell a rich sports story that tipped off in 1997 as a series of non-region showdowns geared to help coaches evaluate players before all-important league play kicked off.

Longhorns unprepared: Falcons win 74-61

The Payson Longhorns were not ready to play Wednesday night when they took the court against the Fountain Hills Falcons -- 3A champions two years running.

Testing mettle on the mat

On Saturday, Payson High School hosted a junior varsity and freshman multi-meet at the Wilson Dome that was attended by 12 other teams from the northland and the Valley area.

What's up?

Q: In a recent edition of the Roundup I noticed that you published an ad for holiday shopping in Phoenix. Right next to it was an ad to shop in Payson. I was surprised to see that the paper was pushing to shop in Phoenix when we should support our local businesses. Why do you run these ads?

Lyme disease article showed danger of new guidelines

I first want to thank the Payson Roundup for publishing the article concerning the plight of those of us with Lyme disease.

Toys for Tots

The local detachment of the Marine Corps League, along with the Payson Police Department, experienced a banner year in their collection efforts for the needy.

Thank you for article about Lyme disease

Thank you for the article regarding the political battle that is going on and has been going on for some time with Lyme disease.

Left out of lighting contest, come see us anyway

'Twas three weeks before Christmas and at the Phillips' place Their hearts were all broken It's such a disgrace.

Previously published letter still holds true

As you recall, I sent the letter below to you more than two years ago and you published it. My assessment as to the success of this conflict seems to be on target.

Inflatable snowman victim of senior prank

Sunday night, someone took the towering, inflatable snowman from the corner of highways 87 and 260 in front of Chapman Auto Center.

People overstating their case in cat killings

I believe people who use excessively strong and inflammatory language to convey their thoughts on an issue lose credibility and confuse the issue.

Investigation of animal killings needed

This letter is regarding the recent beating and killings of animals by local youth.

Wildlife crosswalk unveiled

Designed to keep animals out of the road, system first of its kind in U.S.

When Arizona Game and Fish research biologist Norris Dodd unveiled the nation's first technologically advanced wildlife crosswalk Monday, he said the system should accomplish one goal: Behavior modification.

Girls join tradition of service through Juniorette Club

This week, a small group of young women took the first steps on a lifetime of community service. The group -- five girls from the ages of 10 through 13 -- became founders of the Juniorette Club, a youth offshoot of the Payson Womans Club.

Layla Freedome Urban

Layla Freedome Urban was born at 3 a.m. Nov. 11, 2006 to Sherry at the Payson Regional Medical Center.

70 children still need presents

An angel tree is waiting at the National Bank of Arizona. Its boughs are still bent with angels waiting for shopping trips from the public.

Towns draft agreement over Tower Well

A water agreement between the towns of Payson and Star Valley will come before the Payson Town Council Thursday night. The document is the result of negotiations that began earlier this year to address the implementation of the Tower Well.

Seniors learn the balance of directing a play

Payson High School drama students are bringing Rim Country audiences three senior-directed one-act plays: A serious drama about homelessness, a new take on Scrooge, and the mystery of the "Ha Ha House."

After years of citizen complaints, county taking action

On Sept. 19, 2006, we ran an editorial about the need for new jail and court facilities in Gila County. The title of the editorial was "Another verse on courts, same as the first," which referred to the fact that we had run a very similar editorial on Sept. 5, 2003.

Thank you for another successful Community Thanksgiving Dinner

The Third Annual Payson Community Thanksgiving Dinner, hosted by Payson Elks Lodge #2154, was a great success again this year.

Leave Steel Armstrong alone

Has your newspaper lost sight of the fact that each time it publishes yet another article with reference to Steel Armstrong, that it throws another stone at this 16-year-old?

Thank you for help with spaghetti lunch

I thank all of you who went to the spaghetti lunch on Sunday, and all of the businesses that donated items to the raffle.

Overcoming addiction

Recovery from meth addiction a difficult journey, support available

Patty Sneed knew she had a problem, but did not have the physical or mental will power to stop using methamphetamine. But, in 1997, the courts gave her two weeks to clean herself up or she would face prison time.

Thank you for saving my husband's life

My husband was taken to the Payson Regional Medical Center on Monday, Nov. 27.

Mother only wants the best for her son

I have been reading stories in the Payson Roundup about meth users, and the effect it has on the family members of a substance abuse user.

Two ways to celebrate Christmas at the library

Payson Public Library has two ways for people to say Merry Christmas to the community.

PAWS donates $1,000 to Humane Society

Paws in the Park president Bill Witte, member Ann Young and treasurer Mandy Young presented a check for $1,000 to Payson Humane Society officer Barbara Brenke, far right, to support the society's spay and neuter program.

Thursday, December 7

New regulations could cost Lyme disease patients

Ann Prow contracted Lyme disease more than 20 years ago after walking through the forests of Door County, Wis.

Practice makes perfect, but sometimes you want to play

According to the saying, "Practice makes perfect." If that's the case, by the time the Payson High School freshman girls basketball team has its first game, they should be pictures of perfection on the court.

Freshmen boys open season with back-to-back wins

The Payson Longhorn freshman basketball teams are headed in two different directions.

One-act plays

Payson Drama presents senior-directed "One Act Plays" in the Studio Theater behind the high school auditorium.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

During World War II, sister waited for daily mail

Irene Orth was 15 when her oldest brother, Ahman "Bud" Karr, was sent to Hawaii with the Army in August 1941. Her second oldest brother, Bill, was stationed with the Army in Europe. With two family members at war, Orth said, "My clearest memory of that time is waiting for the mail.

Charlotte Raegyn Johnson

Charlotte Raegyn Johnson was born at 12:13 a.m. on Nov. 21, 2006 to Kyle and Ali at the Payson Regional Medical Center.

Two young golfers shine at Phoenix tournament

A pair of the Rim Country Middle School students shined at a U.S. Kids golf tournament held Dec. 2 at Aguila Golf Course near Phoenix.

Martell, Anderson to wed

Amy Jewell Martell, daughter of Tom and Brenda Martell of Payson, will marry Jeff Anderson, son of Richard and Mary Anderson of Phoenix.

Christmas gift ideas for the fishermen in your life


The Christmas season should be a festive celebration where families come together, put busy lives on hold and enjoy sharing time, as well as the exchanging of gifts.

Holidays bring increased risk of fire


The Payson Fire Department reminds us as the holiday season approaches, "Watch out this winter."

Jerry Oneal Covington

Jerry Oneal Covington died Dec. 1, 2006 at the age of 65. He was born Sept. 15, 1941 in Memphis, Tenn.

PHS wrestling offers hometown crowd night of winning mat action

Wednesday night the Payson Longhorn wrestling team had an early season clash with 3-A East powers Blue Ridge, Show Low and Snowflake and the hometown crowd enjoyed excellent high school wrestling.

Horns turn up defense to overpower Globe

The Payson Longhorns basketball team took control of its game against Globe Tuesday night in the second quarter by turning up their defense, running their record to 6-1 on the year with a 73-49 win.

Pair continue as winning bass team

Longtime friends Clifford Pirch and Reese Randall, both former Payson High School wrestling standouts, have teamed up to win bass tournaments since the two first returned to the Rim Country from their years as students at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Still disturbed by cat killing story

My family and I are fairly new to the Payson community. I'm not normally the type to write Letters to the Editor, but after reading one of the front page stories titled, "Pet Owners outraged after brutal cat killing spree," I felt compelled to write this letter.

Girls wear down Tigers

The Lady Longhorns game plan against the Globe Tigers Tuesday night was to run, run and, when all else failed, run again.

The road to here


Gladys Moreno is a woman at peace with her family, her business, her boundaries and her life.

Property rights the basis of all rights

I, Marie Petroff, made the attached presentation to the Gila Country Board of Supervisors. Joe Sanchez and Shirley Dawson were present in Globe. Tommie Cline Martin was teleconferenced in from Payson.

Boys should understand how much pain they caused

I would like to thank the Payson Roundup and the Gila County Sheriff's Office for their help in exposing the horrible story of the killing of my beloved Moggie.

Studies link animal abuse with domestic violence

Thank you for the very insightful editorial, "Cat killings not childhood antics; must be taken seriously," in your Nov. 28 edition.

'Look Back' about British military position in U.S. incorrect

In your Look Back section on Nov. 21, you state that Britain's last military position in the United States was ended on Nov. 25, 1783 by the Paris Peace Treaty (and ratified by Congress on Jan. 14, 1784.)

Married in Hawaii

The families of Dennis "Denny" Miller, a 1996 graduate of Saguaro High School and Northern Arizona University, announce the marriage of Denny and Alli on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006, at Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii.

Bush, Cheney should be held accountable

There's a slight glimmer of hope. Voters rejected the terrible path that America has been on since Bush chose his bogus war.

Not all Muslims are terrorists

This letter is written in response to retired Lt. Col. Ed Corson's letter of Nov. 21, regarding his thoughts on an inevitable world war.

Dezmond Edwards

Dezmond Edwards was born at 3:11 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2006 to Gerald and Talisa at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Thank you for supporting Longhorn volleyball

The varsity Longhorn volleyball team had a tremendous season.

Why we published a photo of a man smoking meth


Unless you didn't pick up the Payson Roundup on Tuesday, it was hard to miss the picture of a man smoking methamphetamine on the front page.

Thank you for the moment of illumination

Despite the bitter cold, the Electric Light Parade filled many of us with a warm glow.

Ferris, Hart to marry

Marty Ferris of Payson and Patsy Hart of Prescott Valley will be married on Dec. 16, 2006 in Oak Creek Canyon.

Employee morale, town image priorities for 2007

The process to update town's Corporate Strategic Plan -- a document that navigates Payson's short- and long-term municipal goals -- was streamlined and tailored to incorporate more public input Tuesday.

Urban problems, small town

Crime increases, employers struggle as meth usage spreads

Two months ago, the Payson Police Department responded to an incident where a man was firing a gun at numerous objects thinking people were after him. In reality, there was no one chasing him, but the methamphetamines he was using convinced him otherwise.

Mother, daughter move into Habitat home

The leaky, cold trailer that shelters Sherrie and Sage Mathus will soon become a memory when mother and daughter move into their brand-new home provided by Payson Area Habitat for Humanity.

Man could face death penalty

A former Payson man, charged with a July 11 murder in Tempe, is facing the death penalty. Jody Cline, 20, who has shaved his beard, made a brief appearance in Mesa City Court Tuesday morning.

Payson has a water problem, task force says

Payson does have a water problem -- end of discussion, said water task force chairman, Lynn Godfrey, at a special Payson Town Council meeting Thursday.

Latitudes in Cattitudes


The relationship between man and domestic animals has always been tenuous at best. Some of our attitudes towards animals are influenced by family and by societal history that goes back thousands of years.

What's up?

Q: Why isn't The Rim Review inside Wal-Mart anymore?

Byron Wesley Branstetter

Byron Wesley Branstetter died Dec. 5, 2006 at his home in Tonto Basin. He was born March 23, 1921 in Vandalia, Mo.

Howard Huddlestun

Howard Huddlestun of Medford, Ore., formerly of Payson, died Nov. 23, 2006. He was born May 30, 1914 to Frank and Rosa Cummins Huddlestun of Yale, Ill.

Ardella Lou Keith

Ardella Lou Keith died Dec. 3, 2006, at the age of 67 in her home, with her husband of 51 years, Donald D. Keith, at her side. She lost a long battle to cancer and heart disease.

Board members continue fight for college funding

"Show me the money" may be a line in the 1996 "Jerry Maguire" movie, but it is also a line repeated by two Gila County Community College Board of Governors in Payson.

Star Valley drainage, grading ordinance mirrors county policy

The Star Valley Town Council Tuesday night decided to move forward with a grading ordinance that mirrors the one already in use by Gila County.

Children as young as 3 learn to take the stage

Katie Meredith grew up in Heber. Around the age of 4, her parents enrolled her in the Sunshine Generation performing arts program.

Holidays good time to teach dog to 'stay'


Christmas is coming and so are the decorations around the house, guests, good food and busy times. Some planning is necessary to make sure that you and your pets survive the busy season harmoniously.

Words are like bullets; they always land somewhere


I watched with interest as a string unfolded on the blog I write for the Payson Roundup, which is called "I'm Listening."

Brandon Joe Hanes

Brandon Joe Hanes was born at 9 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2006 to Ross and Kristi at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Rylee Lenae Holmes

Rylee Lenae Holmes was born Oct. 16, 2006 to Brandy Lee Brewer and Cury Ryan Holmes at Chandler Regional Hospital.

Down payment assistance for first-time buyers

Homes for Arizonans Initiative (Arizona Department of Housing) offers a two-day home buying class for first-time home buyers from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec 13 and 14.

Get familiar with required minimum distributions


If you're a Rim Country retiree and you have a traditional, SEP or SIMPLE IRA or a 401(k), eventually you'll need to start taking money out of these plans in the form of required minimum distributions (RMD).

How do I help my son communicate better?


I have a 24-year-old son who is having problems getting along with his girlfriend. It seems to be affecting his mood.

The hardest column I ever wrote


This is probably the hardest column I have ever had to write. A very dear friend, Shelly Hansen, passed away Sunday at Hospice in Payson.

Tonto Village decorated for Christmas


Tonto Village is gearing up for the Christmas holidays by going all out, decorating their homes with various colored lights and the ever-popular inflatable decorations on the ground and some even on the roofs.

There's no place like home


During my week's absence, I hear I missed some cold weather. It is gorgeous today, and there is no place like home.

Two scholarships

Carrie Johnson of Strawberry, a 2001 graduate of Payson High School, was recently honored with two college scholarships.

Indra E. Lanners

Indra E. Lanners was born at 11:29 p.m. on Oct. 30 to Greg and Tania Lanners at the Payson Regional Medical Center.

Jordan Luis Leon

Jordan Luis Leon was born at 4:12 p.m. on Nov. 14, 2006 to Francisco and Melissa at the Payson Regional Medical Center.

Christian Aiden Stauffer

Christian Aiden Stauffer was born at 5:27 a.m. on Nov. 5 to Joshua and Danielle at the Payson Regional Medical Center.

Kyleah Jordan Blaich

Kyleah Jordan Blaich was born at 1:37 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2006 to Alvina Bahe and Josh Blaich at Chandler Regional Hospital.

'Tis the season for holiday concerts

The Payson Choral Society performs at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, in the Payson High School auditorium.

Holiday concert 'will have it all'

The Modern and Mixed Choirs and the Longhorn Concert Band will perform their winter concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11 in the Payson High School auditorium.

Town staff have plan in place for snow removal


This winter, the Town of Payson Street Department will again be following the Town's "Snow Removal Policy" when removing snow from the roadways.

Academy grooms future leaders, educates citizenry


The Town of Payson is proud to announce we have just completed our third annual Payson Citizens Leadership Academy.

Tuesday, December 5

The noose tightens


By August of 1846, Col. Stephen Watts Kearny and his army had conquered Santa Fe, N.M., and marched westward. On Oct. 6, 1846, Kit Carson arrived at Kearny's camp, 150 miles from Santa Fe, with the news that California had fallen to the Americans without a fight.

Christmas concert is choral society's gift to the community

Parents and grandparents are encouraged to bring their children and grandchildren to "It's Christmas" the Payson Choral Society's holiday concert on Dec. 9.

Trimming the tree


There is an old European tradition you may know about. It's called "Trimming the Tree," and it refers to the process of decorating a perfectly good, formally live evergreen tree of some type after it has been amputated and brought indoors to suffer the same overheated environment as humans during the Christmas holidays.

Creating art with gourds relaxing, meditative


Gourd artist Dixie Guldner credits her first career, as a concert organist, with her artistic expression.

Card calling: Payson artist finds calling in handmade cards


Friends and family will probably never get a commercial greeting card from Shannon Bielke. She can't remember the last time she bought one.

Christmas treats: Old favorites for old-fashioned fun


The holidays are a time for treats we don't see through the rest of the year. They are old favorites for family, friends who drop by or the occasional band of merry carolers who might find your door.

Take a hike

It's only a week into what feels like winter, and you're probably already tired of wearing a jacket.

Monday, December 4

Childcare offered to relieve stress of holidays

Parents, are you stressed out from the holiday season?

Mayor's intentions are clear

With Mayor Edwards in office for several months now, his intentions are clear.

Donate organs to other organ donors

I am writing in regard to the article, "Heart transplant bonds two families," published in the Nov. 24 Payson Roundup.

Habitat half marathon a success because of the people involved

Payson is a great place to live.

In-town trail system will take vision, faith

Build it and they will come. It's a line from a movie that quickly turned into a meaningless cliché from overuse. But it remains true.

Christmas comes early for Payson man

David Frohme is well-known to many longtime residents of the Rim Country. He has been active in the Special Olympics program for years and is one of its global messengers. He also does work for many residents and helps at the Rim Country Middle School.

Shelly L. Hansen

Shelly L. Hansen, 46, died Dec. 3, 2006 in Payson, Ariz. She was born May 19, 1960 in Miami, Ariz.

Water task force study released

The mayor's water task force will release the results of the much-anticipated water study conducted over the past several months, during a special town council meeting Thursday evening.

House burns to ground days after drug raid

A Payson home raided by law enforcement this past week burned to the ground Monday, and officials are calling the blaze suspicious.

Students to give patriotic holiday concert

Beautiful noise escapes into the hall from teacher Julie Davies' classroom at Payson Elementary School.

Rim Country Health residents busy during the holidays

The residents of the Rim Country Health and Retirement Community have a new set of wheels.

Soldiers honored for time in combat

Sixty-one uniformed Army National Guard soldiers stood at attention as a two-star general stepped up to address them. The Adjutant General, Major General David P. Rataczak, first apologized to the 44 area soldiers who had seen combat in Iraq, but had not yet received the deserved Combat Action Badge. Some had waited more than three years.

Photo Gallery: Army Combat Action Badge ceremony 2006

Because of its central location, a military ceremony was held at the American Legion building in Payson, Arizona on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006 to honor 44 area Army National Guard soldiers who had seen combat in Iraq, but had not yet received the Combat Action Badge.

Prize money increases for lighting contest

Leona Bowman, who took top honors in last year's APS Christmas lighting contest, said holiday decorating has become a family tradition.

'Meth was my best friend'

Peer pressure, desire to lose weight, need for energy lead people into meth addiction

Rita Regalado was so tired and needed something to pick herself up. After friends told her that methamphetamines could give her the energy she wanted, she tried it and it seemed to work.

Cleta Joy Wood

Cleta Joy Wood died Nov. 17, 2006 while staying with her daughter and son-in-law in Portland, Ore.

Robin P. Carlson

Robin P. Carlson, age 53, of Brunswick, Ga., and formerly of Payson, died Sunday, Dec. 3, 2006 at Hospice of the Golden Isles.

Campaign seeks 400,000 new organ donors

Banner Health, in partnership with the Donor Network of Arizona and the Arizona Coalition for Transplantation, is asking Arizonans to participate in a new campaign to increase the number of organ donors in the state.

Bootleg grand opening planned

Bootleg Alley Antiques and Art is celebrating with a grand opening from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 7.

Doctor opens private internal medicine practice

Dr. Jaber Abawi is originally from Jordan and has traveled all over the world.

Red will rule Fiesta Bowl

The Sooners and Broncos are matched to play in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1. There was a mention of the Broncos last week on something I was listening to that predicted that as an undefeated team, they should be invited to participate in one of the bowl games.

Former PHS coach barely misses making history

Jim Beall came within a whisper of being the first Arizona High School coach to win state championships at three separate schools.

Coach remembers season fondly

In 1994, the head coach of the Payson Raiders Youth Football Team, Billy Hardt, sat back to reflect on something that he and his team had accomplished -- back to back CAYFA championships.

Battle wages between Payson, Willow Creek

The Lady Longhorns basketball team used the Phoenix Christian Tournament this past week as a way to gain more experience for play in the 3A East Region.

Braves wilt under Longhorn heat; Sinagua shatters tournament hopes

At the Winslow Tournament this past week, the Payson Longhorns basketball team started to prepare for region play with three wins in four games.

Wrestlers gain valuable experience

To be the best, you have to wrestle the best, and that is why the Payson wrestling team made the six-hour trip to Henderson, Nev.

'Celebration of Life' Dec. 7

The holidays are a difficult time for families who are experiencing grief. With that in mind, the "Celebration of Life" event was created eight years ago to celebrate the life of each person who has passed away.

Photo Gallery: The Beauty of Rim Country by Alicia Keller

Payson resident Alicia Keller is drawn to the outdoors. Whether it's snowshoeing on the top of the Mogollon Rim, hiking the trail systems around Payson, or fishing on a calm Rim lake, she respects and admires nature's wonders.

What's up?

Q: How much do the lights and decorations on Main Street and the two main highways cost the Town of Payson?

Thankful to call Payson home

I would like to thank my friends and the community of Payson for the surprise retirement party that was held on Nov. 18 at the Tonto Apache Reservation gymnasium.

Foster care series needs fourth week

The Arizona foster care series by the Payson Roundup team demonstrates journalists' commitment to "put a face" on foster care.

A few words on fruitcake


Fruitcake, whether you love or hate it, there's no denying it is a Christmas tradition.

Nature keeps artist at easel

The paintings of Ruth Overton, the jewelry of Jim Garrity and the gourds of Dixie Guldner will be featured at the December art opening at Artists of the Rim Gallery on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Letting you know that someone was with your dog when she died

It's cold out tonight in the mountains between Pine and Payson, and there's someone worrying about his or her dog not being home in her warm place, where she belongs.

Photo Gallery: Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade 2006

The Roundup presents a collection of photos from the 2006 Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade. Parade winners are also listed here.

December is National Drunk Driving Prevention month

The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve is one of the busiest on the nation's roadways and also one of the most dangerous, due to a high incidence of drug and alcohol-related traffic crashes.

Thank you to the Payson Fire Department

I would like to express my thanks and sincere gratitude to the Payson Fire Department.

Discussion of effluent should not be left out of water debate

The article last week, "Water task force will present findings at December council meeting" was interesting.