Stories for February 2006


Tuesday, February 28

Tuna with a twist


We all have our different tales of tuna. Mine include: • Eating tuna sandwiches my mother made in the backseat of the car, using sandwich spread, on many a long-haul trip between Oregon and Oklahoma when I was very young.

A food for no season


Every holiday has its special dishes and foods.

Living in fear of Cuban beisbol


Since the Cold War has been over for lo these many years, I think it's high time the United States quit picking on the tiny island nation of Cuba.

'Be vewy, vewy quiet' at the moving picture show


Moving pictures are America's contribution to world culture.

Monday, February 27

Senior Circle offering classes, programs

Seniors who want to knit, crochet or create a new craft, exercise with passive movements or learn to deal with life stresses caused by fibromyalgia, can take ongoing classes available at Senior Circle.

Family business receives 2006 Success Award

TLL Electric, Inc. was born when Larry and Traci Bishop decided they did not want to work for anyone else.

Baseball, softball teams taking shape

Payson High School baseball coach Jerry Daniels and softball counterpart, Curtis Johnson, now have a better idea of how their teams will fare this season.

Orchestra concert

Kimberly Garrison is one of the 53 student musicians who performed film, traditional and folk songs at Payson school district's orchestra concert: "Prelude to Spring."

Broken arm no problem for Apache teen

Veteran Tonto Apache track and field coach Billy Joe Winchester will spin an inspiring, feel-good story to just about anyone who'll listen.

Jean DeWees

Jean DeWees, 87, of Payson, died Feb. 22, 2006 in Payson. She was born Aug. 2, 1918 in Roy, Mont.

Edward (Scotty) Edwards

Edward (Scotty) Edwards, 76, died Feb. 24, 2006.

Earnestine "Tina" Olsen

Earnestine "Tina" Olsen of Payson, died Feb. 24, 2006 in Payson. She was born Aug. 8, 1913 in Mineral Wells, Texas.

Black History Month teaches students to dream

In honor of Black History Month the English Language Learning students in Trina Gunzel's classes at Julia Randall Elementary School have been studying famous black Americans.

Pine, Strawberry communities raise big bucks for school

The citizens of Pine and Strawberry donated $51,395 to the Pine Strawberry Elementary School during their fall 2005 Credit For Kids campaign.

Eighth-grade registration

Social studies instructor Kathleen Alexander-Young will be among the many teachers greeting students and parents during the Payson High School eighth-grade parent nights for PHS registration March 6-9.

Scholarship deadline

The Payson Choral Society applications for scholarships must be postmarked no later than Monday, March 6 or the application will not be accepted.

Thanks to those who helped with breakfast

Cub Scout Pack 354 would like to thank the Payson community for supporting our Pack and participating in our annual Pancake Breakfast on Feb. 4.

Driver pleads guilty to 3 counts of manslaughter

The drunk driver who killed three members of a Payson family is facing 16 to 21 years in jail and deportation to his native country of Mexico when he is released.

Highway overpass now under review

Rim Country commuters can sigh a breath of relief if the Arizona Department of Transportation pulls together the $18 million needed to make the Bush-Beeline highway intersection a safer place.

Vote for long term residents

For many months now Bob Edwards has been making false and misleading statements about the current state of our Town. At the candidate forum on Tuesday, I counted at least four untrue or misleading statements.

Possible life sentence for child molester

A Payson man, convicted of molesting his granddaughter, faces a mandatory life sentence, Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said.

CBS affiliate could pull cable plug

NPG Cable subscribers may not be able to watch "Survivor," "CSI," "60 Minutes" or "Letterman" -- not to mention "NCAA Basketball March Madness" -- unless the local cable company can come to an agreement with KPHO, the Valley CBS affiliate.

New Main Street sports bar, restaurant planned

The new owners of the Journigan House, most recently the home of Mad Dawg's and Mel's, plan to open a restaurant and sports bar very soon, according to Sue McIntyre, a member of the current ownership group that is selling the building.

New suicide prevention hotline now in place

A person stuck in the dark void of suicide feels alone, afraid and unable to reach out for help. Loved ones struggle to ease their pain.

Tonto Village man missing since Feb. 7

Tim Tucker Adams, 52, has been missing since Feb. 7. He left his home in Tonto Village on foot, wearing a black coat, jeans and white sneakers.

Add 'ICE' to your cell phone: In Case of Emergency

A man out on a walk collapsed and died of a heart attack two weeks ago.

Petition halted by Diamond Star town clerk

Diamond Star Town Clerk Diane McDaniel rejected the petitions seeking to put the town's tax code on the ballot due to a procedural error.

Democrats of today a worthy party

Recently your Letters to the Editor section published a letter stating that "Democrats disgrace themselves." Yes, I guess that the list of behavior recited could indicate low watermarks for the party of Andrew Jackson. The great American humorist Will Rogers once said that he "didn't belong to an organized political party. He was a Democrat."

Senior grateful for outpouring of love

On Dec. 10, 2005, Modern Woodmen of America sponsored The Bill of Rights Day at the Apache Tribe Gymnasium. All proceeds from the event were to benefit the Payson Multi-Purpose Senior Center.

Wondering why one well, not two

I want to express my personal outrage after being informed after the fact, that in January of 2005, two wells on the Chilson property, producing 400 GPM of "new water" were turned down by Buzz Walker.

Wear red to support troops

We hear so much about the war, pros and cons. We hear about the politics, but nothing for our men and women who are giving the most.

Student reminds Payson to vote

My name is Jared Carpino and I am a student at Rim Country Middle School. I'm in Mr. Tatum's eighth grade civics class, and one of the important things we have discussed is voting and how you vote. By discussing this, I have learned that by voting, you can affect your community.

Pros/cons of PHS return to 3A

Considerable debate has raged since the onset of the school year about the advantages and disadvantages of Payson High School returning to the 3A conference after two years (2003-2005) in the 4A conference.

Correction of letter printed Feb. 21

On Wednesday morning, I received a telephone call from Glenn Smith, Director of Finance for the Town of Payson. Smith told me that he had mistakenly given me incorrect information that I used in a Letter to the Editor, and he requested that I write a correction using the correct information. I agreed to his request and am writing a correction using the accurate spending figures he provided to me.

A changed perspective on Arrazola

Looking back, we remember the anger we felt toward Rigoberto Arrazola last July when we learned he was driving drunk and caused the accident that took the lives of three Payson residents -- a mother, her son and her stepson.

Build a model town, don't clone failures

A while back, there was an article in the Payson Roundup titled "Construction Industry Fuels Payson Economy." It stated that 19 percent of sales tax collected comes from this industry. Pardon me. Where does the other 81 percent come from? A sizable part of the economic engine comes from the retirement sector of the community.

Payson track team gets first chance at live competition

Payson High School track and field team members make their much-anticipated season debut Wednesday in Apache Junction.

Little League teams chosen; great season predicted

More than 60 aspiring Little League players turned out Saturday at Rumsey Park for the unofficial start of the spring campaign.

Not enough attention paid to water issues

I have hesitated to write this letter, mainly because there seems to be little concern for the issue -- the issue of water. Not only for all of Arizona, but specifically for the area of Payson. Too little attention is afforded this subject and those of us that do (give it attention) are generally ostracized as a worrywart.

Two bills worth watching

Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Texas) HR 4282, known as the Health Freedom Protection Act would prohibit the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Drug Administration from censoring truthful information about natural products.

Monument shows one nation under God

What a charming picture of Payson High School sophomore Lisa Bartoli "holding" the Washington Monument in the Feb. 17 issue of the Payson Roundup. And, what an opportunity to learn a couple of facts about the monument, which I'll bet no one mentioned to the 350 high school students attending the national Young Leaders Conference Bartoli attended and wrote about.

Condolences for the Gibson family

We wish to express our deepest feelings and condolences to the family of Mary Gibson, whose recent passing has left us all diminished.

Library fund-raiser a tasteful success

Maria Moceri of Cucina Paradiso serves patrons during the Library Friends of Payson's Taste of Rim Country Chef's Extravaganza at the Tonto Apache Community Center Saturday.

As politicians fight, students just want to learn

Attend school full time and earn decent grades. Hold down a part-time job to help support your family. Pass the high stakes Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test. And yes, do all that while learning a new language.

A-10s could be used as slurry planes

Even with two days advanced warning and years of planning, our government still couldn't prepare a response to Hurricane Katrina. In Arizona, we're facing the driest winter on record and most expert's believe we're looking at the worst fire season in our history and yet we're not prepared to prevent the destruction of our state.

Falsehoods must be corrected

I admire and respect men and women who step forward to run for political office. However, I feel I must speak out about the consistent falsehoods still being touted as fact.

John Thurman Porter l (Big John)

John Thurman Porter I (Big John) passed away on February 22, 2006 after several years of declining health. He was born to John Whitney and Ora Lee Porter in San Fernando, California on September 19, 1944.

Thursday, February 23

Purchase of Star Valley water back in court

Petitioners are hoping Resolution 2098 -- the Payson Town Council's decision to pay George Randall and Roy Haught $750,000 for water from their Star Valley well -- will still end up on the ballot.

A few warnings and a recipe for a yummy treat


I would guess that just about everyone in Tonto Village bought at least one lottery ticket for the biggest Powerball jackpot ever. Unfortunately, no one from our area won any money.

Payson growing unaffordable, Swartwood says

While water shortages are at the forefront of political debates these days, some people see the real worry elsewhere. "We have a crisis in the real estate industry in Payson," said Craig Swartwood, longtime real estate agent, former mayor and board member for the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation. He spoke to a full room Wednesday at a program organized to discuss economic factors associated with water and land.

Reading is a journey I nearly missed

I was a sneaky kid. In school, we were given books to read and asked to write a report at the end to share what we'd learned from the experiences of the characters and the places the book had allowed us to travel.

Drainage could be problem on new road

Yes, the city fathers are right. The new airport road is one of the best streets in Payson. Smoother road surface, curb and gutter, sidewalks and bike path. This is a well-built road, and will last for many years.

Chef's Extravaganza benefits library friends

The Rim Country's top chefs and cooks are sharing their talents in a Chef's Extravaganza to raise money for the Library Friends of Payson.

Museum at risk of losing funding


The predictions are dire. We may not get needed moisture this winter. Now might be the time to begin our water rationing.

Packed house hears Blue Ridge update

It probably won't happen for a decade or more, but the Blue Ridge Reservoir should eventually be the renewable source of water the Rim Country desperately needs.

Best of Payson results revealed

It's the little things that make the difference in a winning business -- the clerk who offered a genuine smile, the salesperson who treated you as a human being rather than a commission opportunity, the restaurant server who truly apologized for an error in your order and then surprised you with a free dessert.

On stage: Romance and intrigue at PHS

If you like stirring tales of romance, intrigue and bold action punctuated by plenty of swordplay, the Payson High School Drama Department's production of "Scaramouche" is a must-see.

Governor dedicates $5 million to meth battle

The fight against meth in rural Arizona has received a huge boost from Governor Janet Napolitano.

Sunny Waits

Sunny Waits, 55, of Payson, died Feb. 20, 2006. She was born May 28, 1950 in Phoenix.

Sue A. Reynolds

Sue A. Reynolds of Payson died Feb. 16, 2006 in Mesa. She was born Sept. 13, 1935 in Saginaw, Mich.

Elizabeth Hardin Rietdorf

Elizabeth Hardin Rietdorf died Feb. 21, 2006 in Payson. She was born June 13, 1905 in Kentucky.

Steven Lauffenburger

Steven Lauffenburger, 49, died Feb 19, 2006 at Banner Baywood Hospital. He was born May 18, 1956 in the Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Va.

Jack David Harman

Jack David Harman, 77, died Feb. 20, 2006 in Payson, with his wife, Audrey, and faithful dog, Molly, at his side. He was born Dec. 2, 1928 in Blackfoot, Idaho.

What's up?

Q: Why did Planet Video close?

Contributions for dance appreciated

Rim Country Middle School Chapters of FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) want to extend their appreciation to Kristi Ford for her donations ...

Thanks to all who helped with Pony Express

The dust has settled, but the memories and thoughts of a successful Hashknife pony express ride for 2006 is in the history book to read for generations to come.

Growth allowed native to return to Payson

I am a native of Payson. I graduated from Payson High School in 1979 when the population was about 5,000. I moved to the Valley because of the many limitations regarding jobs and continued education.

Ballots should not be opened before Election Day

I have not yet filled out my ballot for the Payson elections. I am very uncomfortable in any election in which there is no public accountability for the processing of the ballots.

Campaign signs disappearing, being moved

First, I would like to thank the Payson Roundup for printing my letter. I have enjoyed the professional journalism covering this election season. Second, I want to thank everyone who has come up to me at different functions, at our local stores and when we all have found the good yard sale. The words of encouragement that I have received from everyone are very heartfelt, and I promise to all of you that I will continue being the person that I am and I will maintain my beliefs and views.

Konopnicki is wrong

Laura Knaparek's bill to do away with "fringe" courses will not do away with vocational programs. Nursing and other vocational areas are usually associated with degrees and certificates, which are allowed under the Knaparek bill.

Close the forest until it rains

I am all for closing the forest at this time until the rains come. I moved from Show Low to Tonto Village a few months ago and I'm sure most of us have seen the result of the Rodeo-Chediski fire.

Enemies of the Constitution are in Washington, D.C.

We hear a great deal about enemies these days.

Henley brings strong business background

Please join us in voting for Robert Henley for re-election to the Payson Town Council. We have known Robert for over five years. We believe that Robert has done an excellent job as a council member during the previous four years.

Mad Dawg's and Mel's on Main Street closes

Madeline Manchio and Melanie McCarthy won't be serving up any more hot dogs at their restaurant.

It never hurts to ask for what you want

Student who wants to be a pitcher gets response from Diamondbacks

When Frontier Elementary School fourth-grader Miguel Mendoza's teacher asked him to imagine what toy he would want for being the one millionth customer in the local toy store he didn't have to think very long.

Health care creates most jobs

Health care, social services and education employ more people in Gila County than any other industry. According to the 2000 census, 3,538 of the 18,051 people employed in the county at that time, worked in some aspect of those fields.

Genealogy offers window into the past

Sue Owen had no interest in genealogy until receiving a 1968 telephone call from her brother, John Leverett, who had just returned from a trip to Boston. There he found a large ornate tombstone behind Old First Church bearing his name, John Leverett. The man whose name was inscribed on the stone arrived in Boston in 1632.

Antique dealer runs over competitor; could face charges

A local antique purveyor, who backed his sport utility vehicle over his competitor Feb. 5, could face criminal and civil charges, Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said.

Earliest fire restrictions on record

Fire restrictions were imposed along the Mogollon Rim Thursday encompassing three national forests.

February Fire too close for comfort


The residents of Geronimo Estates were very concerned when the February Fire came within a mile of the little community.

Special Olympics dance provides good memories


These two young men got their chance to attend their first prom. It was quite exciting for them, as it is for anyone who gets to go to their very first prom.

Publishing world changes in favor of new writers


The trail for a missing teenage girl grows colder every hour after her car is found partially submerged in a creek.

Football loses great man, coach

The world of high school football lost a legend and a true gentleman Sunday with the death of 74-year-old Earl "Tiny" Putman.

Clean up our streams


Have you ever been hiking along one of our local trout streams and looked into the water and seen soda pop or beer cans staring back at you from the bottom of the streambed? Well, being a stream fisherman, this scenario happens almost every time I walk some of our pristine mountain waters.

New coach takes over softball program

A new coach is on deck to guide the Lady Longhorns into the 2006 spring campaign.

Horns baseball looks to season with solid team

Longhorn baseball coach Jerry Daniels is adamant that Payson High's return to the 3A ranks after spending two years in the 4A conference won't make the team's title dreams any easier to achieve.

Athletes earn scholarships for academic excellence

The list of Payson High School students who earned Dr. Voie Stuart Chase Coy Scholar-Athlete awards is extensive.

Spaying pets is kind and responsible


Spay Day should not be just one day a year but something we preach and practice every single day of the year. The problem of pet overpopulation is so tragic throughout the world.

She's done it all: Single mom, test driver, massage therapist


Su Pearson has been a General Motors test driver, she calls herself a thrift store aficionado and she mixes her own face masks, lotions and potions like a sorceress churning a witch's brew.

Learning CPR important for those you love

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States. Each year, almost half a million Americans die from a heart attack. Half of these will die suddenly, outside of the hospital, because their heart stops beating.

Ignorance can be its own reward


More than half of my twenty years in the Air Force was spent overseas, living in places as far apart as Iceland, Pakistan, England and Japan.

Tuesday, February 21

Wellness is within your reach


Wiley Mullins is a man on a wellness mission.

Deadly sins in the Rim Country


Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Doc.

A decade of caring for kids


With Payson Community Kids coming up on its 10 year anniversary, it seemed an appropriate time to retell a story that can't be told enough.

I'd rather be a Lady Longhorn than an Appleknocker


A man recently called the Payson Roundup's What's Up line.

Monday, February 20

Henley not swayed by special interest

On Feb. 7, I sat amongst a packed house to listen to the mayoral and council candidates. In my opinion, of all of the council candidates, Robert Henley made the most thoughtful and factual presentation of platform and issues. He alone had a full command of the facts, from the water issues down to the fact that impact fees are not charged on resale houses.

More than 200 DVDs stolen from library

If you were hoping to stay home and watch a movie this weekend -- titles like "Fahrenheit 911," "Ice Princess" or "Grumpier Old Men" -- forget it. Those movies and the DVD versions of 204 other titles are no longer available at the Payson Public Library.

Man not cited for fatal crash at Beeline-Bush

Charges will not be filed in a fatal accident involving a Payson man and the driver of a 2006 Ford truck.

Ordinance stops bow hunting in town parks

It will no longer be legal to discharge a bow and arrow in Payson's parks if the Town Council approves a proposed ordinance banning the practice.

Water struggle requires consensus building solutions

A decade ago, a sage observed sadly that what we need most is a "kinder, gentler America."

Too many lives lost at dangerous intersection

Dave Goddard lost his wife and two children there.

Margaret "Mickey" A. Killman

Margaret "Mickey" A. Killman, 84, of Jake's Corner, died Feb. 12, 2006 in Payson. She was born Oct. 16, 1921 in Cold Water.

Longhorns put up admirable fight

Among the finest tributes doled out to the Longhorn basketball team following a 62-55 loss to state No. 1 ranked Chandler Seton Catholic came from Chinle Wildcat fans.

Richard Phil Shumway

Richard Phil Shumway, 62, known as Turk, died Feb. 17, 2006 in Payson. He was born and raised in St. Johns, spending his summers at the family sawmill in New Mexico.

Melba Shicky

Melba Shicky died Feb. 16, 2006 in Payson. She was born July 8, 1922 in Huntington Park, Calif., to John and Alice Dean.

Germaine C. (Guillmot) Lee

Germaine C. (Guillmot) Lee, 82, formerly of Payson, died Feb. 16, 2006 in Pottstown, Pa. She was born March 12, 1923 in Paris, France and lived there until 1946.

Gladys Jewel Elson Lair

Gladys Jewel Elson Lair, 86, died Feb. 16, 2006 in Phoenix. She was born Aug. 24, 1919 in De Witt, Mo., to Jim and Nola Elson.

Bertha Cohan

Bertha Cohan, 86, of Payson, died Feb. 17, 2006 in RTA Hospice of Payson. She was born Feb. 23, 1919 in New Haven, Conn.

Cecil E. Chase

Cecil E. Chase, a longtime resident of Payson, died Feb. 17, 2006. He was born July 24, 1913 in Seward County, Neb.

Dog, owner training classes begin March 4

Beginning Saturday, March 4, Payson Humane Society will offer training classes for dog owners and their canine companions.

Experience, friendly atmosphere draw customers to barbershop

The customer's view from an Outback Barbershop chair is Picture Mountain.

Ranch offers chance to volunteer with animals and children

With the completion of dormitories, animal habitats and a therapeutic riding arena, Whispering Hope Ranch is in need of volunteers.

Plenty to celebrate in February


Just in case you thought that after Valentine's and Presidents days there is nothing left to celebrate this month, here's a reminder that Feb. 22 is Be Humble Day, Feb 23 is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, Feb. 26 is National Pistachio Day and Public Sleeping Day is on Feb. 28 -- whatever that means.

Eleven-year-old in line to be Payson's next best golfer

Tyler Apps is following in the footsteps of some of Payson finest young golfers including Billy Bob Hoyt, Brandon Kelley and Troy Marrs.

Mavericks on hunt for second win today

The Rim Country Middle School eighth-grade boys basketball team returns to White Mountain League action today, Tuesday, against a Canyon Day team the Mavericks edged 49-46, less than a week ago.

Retail vital to Payson economy

Payson has a diverse economy and the sounds of local industry are as muffled as the ringing of a cash register at any one of the town's retail stores.

Boyd Albert Shumway

Boyd Albert Shumway, 88, died Feb. 16, 2006 in Payson. He was born a fourth generation Arizonan on July 12, 1917 in Shumway.

Garden cat gives Supercenter "down-home" feel

At a time when Wal-Mart has been getting some bad press nationwide, along comes a ray of good news right here at the local Supercenter.

Foundation, Arts Commission slates funding workshop

A workshop explaining the funding opportunities available through the Arizona Community Foundation and the Arizona Commission on the Arts will be from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the Payson Regional Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway.

Equestrian interests prevail at event center meeting

The Rim Country's equestrian and rodeo community packed Payson Town Hall Thursday evening to protect its event center privileges, and after over two hours of debate appeared to prevail.

Defibrillators in public places around town

Picture this: A man lies on a gurney.

Scholastic Book Fair begins Thursday at FES

The Scholastic Book Fair will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 23 through March 1 in the Frontier Elementary School music room.

Choral Society scholarships available

Payson Choral Society is now accepting applications for scholarships. Two levels of scholarships will be awarded: $500 for students in grades 6-8, and $1,000 for students in grades 9-12. Winners must sing a solo at the Choral Society's spring or winter concert.

Valley Realtor offers $5,000 scholarship

Carl Chapman is offering $5,000 worth of scholarship money for the 2006 - 2007 fall academic calendar. This scholarship money is available for students currently attending or planning to attend a public Arizona college or university.

Pre-K class learns about grown-up jobs

Visiting a secretary in her office was just the beginning of Robin Johnson's pre-kindergarten class learning what different people in the community do.

What's up?

Q: What do voters need to know about the four-year term for mayor that is on ballot?

Flake defends Kyl's funding search

If the current drought continues as expected, this summer is on track to be one of the worst fire seasons in our state's history. Before the end of the summer, cities and towns will be threatened, homes will be burned and countless acres of beautiful land will be left charred and scarred. The plentiful rains from last year fed grasses and underbrush that will provide plentiful fuel for aggressive wildfires.

A note on Edwards from his days at MESC

I am writing to you today to encourage you to vote for Bob Edwards for mayor. Although I am not a resident of your beautiful area, I worked closely with Bob for six years. He was Director of the Michigan Employment Security Commission [MESC] and I was President of the Union which represented the "front-line" workers.

Thank you from the firefighters

On behalf of the Arizona Central West Zone Incident Management Team, I would like to thank the citizens of the Town of Payson and the surrounding Rim Country communities for their hospitality and support during the recent February Fire.

Shock, awe as reservation basketball fans fill stands

The Class 3A North region, made up of Northern Arizona Reservation schools where basketball reigns supreme, has produced three of the four teams still in the hunt for the Arizona state girls championship.

In defense of mayoral candidate Bob Edwards

The people of Payson are tired of the dirty smear campaign tactics that have gone on in this mayoral and council campaign. Bob Edwards has remained above that fray, and he refuses to respond to the serious, but false, allegations printed in the Payson Roundup letter to the editor section by Don Crowley.

Wrestler ends PHS career as one of the best in Horns' history

Look up "determination" in the dictionary and you might see a picture of Lee Perez.

In defense of Dick Reese

After reading the smear against Councilor Dick Reese in the Feb. 6, 2006 edition of the free local throw away newspaper, I spoke directly to the Town of Payson Director of Finance Glenn Smith.

Thursday, February 16

Woman votes Payson 'Best Town'

Thank you, Payson, for making my 2006 "Homeless By Choice Adventure" so full of fond memories and new friends.

Vote for Richard Croy

We believe that most Payson residents are aware that there are many families in our community that are struggling to make ends meet. Lack of affordable housing, expensive medical help, high food prices, gasoline and child care all make for a great deal of frustration.

Questions about Blue Ridge

I attended the mayoral debate, plus I have read a lot about the Blue Ridge water situation.

Edwards needs to learn the facts

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Candidate for mayor Bob Edwards recently stated on KMOG that the town was paying Mr. Horton $750,000 for the water from a well in Star Valley. He was corrected by Councilwoman Judy Buettner, that the town was paying the money to the owners of the well.

Edwards probe flawed

Your article about a Bob Edwards probe in (the Feb. 3 edition of the Payson Roundup) is as flawed as the probe that it reports. Your heading is "Private eye probe of candidate flawed." A close look at your reporter's story leads me to say "Reporter's story flawed."

A vote for positive campaigns

Two wrongs don't make a right. Let me get this straight. If I wish to use parts of information (Town Budget) in a political ad, or position paper, to try and get elected, or use parts of information from a newspaper in another state to put a candidate in a negative position, that is OK.

Running for mayor in 2008

Please listen. Not for me, alone, I made the decision to "throw my hat into the political arena and announce my intention that I intend to run for mayor of Payson, in the next mayoral race approximately two years from now."

Apathy reaps what it sows

The overriding issue in the approaching election seems to be whether we are to have a much larger town, with our available water parceled out amongst a great many more homeowners.

Proposed Bush budget hurts Arizona

President George Bush's proposed budget for FY 2007 is a disgrace, plain and simple.

Kids have something to teach adults

I am a 14-year-old who has lived in the Payson and Pine area for about eight years. I love to hunt, fish, hike, camp and ride motorcycles in the forest area around Payson and Pine.

Hunting geese in town legal, not ethical

I am writing this letter in response to your Jan. 24, 2006 editorial "Hunting in the parks or near schools must be stopped."

The forest is a crop to be harvested

In Minnesota and Wisconsin, where there is an over-abundance of forest growth, forest management is done by clear cutting, select cutting and fire break roads. Control burning is very seldom used, and besides the control burning kills more trees than helps the situation.

Payson wrestling brings home second-place trophy

It wasn't the state crown the Longhorns had their sights set on, but by winning eight individual weight class medals the Payson High School wrestling team added a Class 3A runner-up trophy to their extensive Wilson dome hardware collection.

Close the forest

In Janet Snyder's recent column she made a very wise suggestion to the National Forest Service: Close the forest before Payson and the Rim Country are nothing but a black heap of ashes.

Spring training begins March 1

Cheap tickets, king-sized hot dogs, lawn seating, warm days and the opportunity for up-close glimpses of some of professional baseball's finest players are among the highlights of spring training.

Doodle wins best of breed

Champion J Luvs Schoolhouse Doodlebug won his third straight best of breed this week at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Visit Northeast Arizona's amazing natural wonders

It had been a long time since I last visited the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. So, a couple of weeks ago, we headed the car up Highway 87 to Winslow.

Radio host interviews forgotten legends of rock 'n' roll

Each Friday afternoon in Payson there is a class reunion. The reunion takes place on the Legendary Artist Series hosted by KRIM Disco Jockey Kelly Watts. The show features reunion music and interviews, and dancing is allowed.

Rim Country's generosity reaches soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan

Two retired Marines know from personal experience that the men and women serving overseas don't have all their needs met by the military. To meet those needs, Butch Klein and Lud Kaftan organized the Payson Supply Line in January 2005.

Magazine article published on Payson's brush with MGM lion

The story of the 1927 crash of the plane carrying the MGM lion is one of the more exciting chapters in the Rim Country's history, and a new article on the subject is now on the newsstands.

Learning about leadership from the inside out

Three hundred and fifty high school students debated topics from religion in schools to whether to send troops into Sudan following a bombing in 2009 as part of the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.

Chef's Extravaganza benefits library friends

The Rim Country's top chefs and cooks are sharing their talents in a Chef's Extravaganza to raise money for the Library Friends of Payson.

Dogs should be watched while enjoying bones, rawhides


February is a busy month in support of our pets. It is Pet Dental Health Month, Have a Heart for a Chained Dog Month and then there is Spay Day USA. But before talking about those important issues, there is another scare circulating in the pet industry.

Was the parole board right or wrong?


Her name was Kathy and she looked just a bit like Jamie Lee Curtis, back when Miss Curtis played a frightened teenager in the old horror movie, "Halloween." She had that same long face, thin lips and dark, troubled eyes. Except in Kathy's case the troubled eyes were a part of reality, not part of a Hollywood movie.

Chili Cook Off raises money for art show


The February Fire is about contained but we live with the constant worry. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

February Fire should be a wake-up call for everyone


At Monday night's Fire Board meeting Karen Thorton of the Firebelles awarded Ryan Sundra with a check for $1,200. The Firebelles had money to be used to fund Fire Science courses taken by local young people.

Baby girl born in Tonto Village


Thank goodness for the containment of the February Fire. The firefighters have done a fantastic job in controlling a fire that could very well be more of a disaster than it has turned out to be.

Hearing problems affect one in three people over 60


"I hear fine. My spouse just mumbles," is a common refrain.

Local business steps up to the plate as tournament sponsor

Payson Jack in the Box co-owners Bruce and Susie Haught have agreed to pick up part of the tab for the Second Annual Gracie Haught Classic high school softball tournament.

Lady Horns out of state tournament

Lady Longhorn hopes and dreams of a state championship came to a screeching halt with a 48-17 loss to powerful Chandler Seton.

Second quarter fatal to Horn hopes

Longhorn basketball players can be excused for asking "what if?" As in, "What if" we could throw out a miserable second quarter effort in which Chandler Seton outscored Payson 23-4?

Book offers picture of city and town successes

I read this morning the summary of the candidate's debate in the Roundup. Wanting a change is not enough. Even working for a change is not beneficial if the effort produces no results. Those groups who want changes would do well to look for successful changes elsewhere and enlighten the public of them.

Tax money leaving county

Citizens of Gila County, your taxes are being hijacked and taken out of county.

State lawmakers should pass HB 2815

The Arizona Legislature is facing a responsibility and a duty to soon take action to stop methamphetamine abuse in the state.

Group takes community's temperature

Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that provides support for new and existing businesses in the Rim Country, is hosting a two-part conference Feb. 22 and 28.

Veryl Lionel Gale Kaufmann

Veryl Lionel Gale Kaufmann, 70, of Payson and formerly of the Cochrane, Wis. area, died Feb. 15, 2006 of cancer, surrounded by his immediate family. He was born June 26, 1935 to Wilfred and Martha (Wibel) Kaufmann, the second of six children.

Payson's first pharmacist leaves legacy

Don Manthe lost his battle with cancer Feb. 4, but through his pioneering efforts he continues to touch the lives of citizens who never had the chance to meet him.

Proposed bills will impact college if passed

Three proposed bills currently under discussion in the Arizona Legislature potentially impact the Gila Community College provisional district and its provider Eastern Arizona College.

Meth leaves children without parents, AG says

Some of Arizona's most hardened drug agents were left nervously shifting in their seats after watching a film clip that explored the horrific impact methamphetamine has on children raised in illegal labs.

Gila County forms meth coalition

Gila County has joined Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Terry Goddard's fight against the manufacture and use of methamphetamines.

Victims identified in highway shooting

A 28-year-old man fatally shot his 14-year-old girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself on Highway 87 south of Payson, Sunday, Feb. 12.

Long-awaited water study unveiled

Blue Ridge still town's top priority

Preliminary results of the long-awaited U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) water study are in and will be presented at a public meeting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Payson Public Library.

Bass fishing at Roosevelt heats up winter months


Do you remember the rains of last year and the high elevation snowstorms that were a weekly event above 7,000 feet? That moisture did a remarkable job filling up the Salt River chain of lakes and especially Roosevelt. The new high water mark created a perfect spawn situation, and an abundance of new cover, which aided in fish survival.

Anonymity removed from Web site forum

The Payson Roundup operates the most widely used Web site bulletin board in Rim Country at

So-called fair critic

I have always been a great admirer of that other newspaper in town, which states, "The truth will set you free." After reading the other paper's critique of the various candidates for mayor and council, I wonder where the truth begins and ends.

Democrats have tarnished history

Democrats disgrace themselves. Jan. 17 was Martin Luther King Day, honoring Dr. King. It is also a day to remember Jan. 17, 1874 when armed Democrats seized the Texas state house, ending Republican efforts to racially integrate government.

Water should be town's priority

The candidate forum (at Payson High School) was encouraging, in that all candidates, and a majority of the public, finally seem to be convinced that future availability of water is Payson's number one problem, and the number two problem, whatever that may be, is way behind water availability.

Laurie Lawrence Biscotti

Laurie Lawrence Biscotti died Feb. 13, 2006, after a long fight with lung cancer. He lived in the Payson area off and on since 1980.

Tackett graduates from basic training

U.S. Air Force Airman Benjamin E. Tackett has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Former Payson man named National Guard 'NCO of the Year'

Sergeant First Class John Paul Salazar, a 1994 graduate of Payson High School and 2002 graduate of Northern Arizona University, was named NCO of the year at an awards ceremony held at the Phoenix Sheraton Airport Hotel on Oct. 29, 2005.

Fischer Levi Pelto

Fischer Levi Pelto was born Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006.

Jones' 54th anniversary

Ed and Betty Jones celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary on Jan. 19 with friends in Austin, Texas.

Square dancing program offered

Rim country residents looking for a gateway to getting in shape, meeting new people and having new kinds of fun are invited to participate in the Zane Grey Twirlers' introduction to square dance program.

Forest restrictions imminent; Horseshoe Fire contained

With the Horseshoe Fire now burning three miles north of Christopher Creek, Tonto National Forest officials plan to announce forest restrictions, most likely effective next Thursday.

Site feedback

Re: ELL standoff in the state Legislature; Web site fire coverage; and flatlanders ...

Wednesday, February 15

Helicopters attacking new fire

The Horseshoe Fire, which was reported Wednesday morning has grown to 7 acres, but firefighters hope to have it contained sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 14

Inventing the self through names


My eighth grade friend Shannon, whose name meant "old wise river," read a thick dime-store romance novel and thereafter required us to call her Tara, which meant "elevated place."

Golden Oldies from a 1950s cookbook


While I was born in 1955, I don't have any specific memories about the food we ate, but I suspect it was not all that different than the food we ate in the 1960s.

Camping at the Supercenter


It used to be the railroad tracks that separated the haves from the have-nots in a town. Nowadays, with the steady decline of trains, it's not so simple.

Local DJ still spinning the oldies


Disc jockey Kelly Watts is semi-retired, but one would never know it.

Monday, February 13

Town clerk says election ballots safe, secure

Several candidates have questioned the town's election process, but Town Clerk Silvia Smith is confident the ballots will be safe and secure until they are counted March 14.

Photo Gallery II: February Fire

More photos of the February Fire. Many of these photos were taken by Roundup photographer Dennis Fendler. Also includes other staff and reader-submitted photos.

Popular radio voice falls silent

Don Holcombe dies from diabetes complications

Despite kidney failure, ongoing dialysis and blindness, Don Holcombe hosted his own radio show, sang bass in a barbershop quartet and survived the death of his son six months ago.

Attorney general brings war on meth to Payson

Attorney General Terry Goddard called on the Payson Town Council to lobby District 5 Sen. Jake Flake and other members of the Legislature to support a bill that would control the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine.

People who want to stop growth hypocrites

As an individual who has lived, worked, raised children, contributed to the economy and held positions on various community boards since August of 1994, I believe I am well qualified to discuss the current political climate of Payson.

Kuenzli's past immaterial in court

At this time I would like to play a little role reversal to illustrate the fallacy of Fish's actions and the reason Kuenzli's past has nothing to do with Fish's action on that fateful day.

Where do they get their information?

Have you ever noticed the political writers in this section of the paper, who give you information that you have never heard of?

Frank Donald Manthe

Frank Donald Manthe, Payson business and community pioneer, died Feb. 4, 2006 at his home in Payson. He was born Aug. 28, 1921 in Madison, Wis.

New Airport Road changed views

I read the recent article in the Roundup encouraging drivers to check out the newly designed Airport Road, which stated that the views had remained the same. As a resident of NW Payson for nearly 11 years, I travel Airport Road regularly -- it being one of two main arteries in and out of town.

February Fire 90 percent contained

With the aid of a fizzling weather front, firefighters were able to contain the February Fire burning east of Pine and north of Payson.

Four Payson businesses hit in weekend crime spree

Thieves broke into three Payson businesses and attempted to burglarize a fourth this weekend, police said.

Stop the mudslinging

First of all, I would like to express my thanks and admiration to Jim Keyworth and Felicia Megdal for their professionalism and ethical investigation concerning their article in the Feb. 3 edition titled "Private eye probe of candidate flawed."

Man shoots passenger, then self, on Highway 87

The driver of a pickup truck shot himself while a female passenger, bleeding from her head, staggered out of the vehicle Sunday.

Diamond Star seeks town manager, clerk

The Diamond Star Town Council tentatively agreed to utilize the services of a financial consulting firm to select a town bank at its regular meeting last week.

New editor joins Payson Roundup staff

Moving to a new town is always an adjustment, but you don't know exactly how it's going to change you until your belongings are unpacked and wherever you came from slips quietly into the past.

Be grateful to those who faced the fire

As we look to the north, a wall of smoke from the February Fire casts an eerie shadow on the Mogollon Rim. At night, it projects a distant glow on the horizon. The smell of smoke fills the air in the morning, but still the fire seems far away, easily forgotten when our backs are turned to the north.

Candidate's resume has questionable gap

Anyone involved in hiring people learns to scrutinize resumes for unexplained gaps. In the case of mayoral candidate Bob Edwards, the gap between when he left the Michigan legislature and when he landed in Payson approximates 27 years, with perhaps a five-year interval in the 1990s when he was director of the Michigan Employment Security Commission (MESC).

What's up?

Q: In the Tuesday. Jan. 31 Roundup, on page 2B a couple of photos by Max Foster show a buck in velvet. It says Pine Canyon area. We realize that it is a drought right now. Were these pictures taken recently or were these archive photos? --AND-- Q: How long do Good Guy nominations take to appear in the paper?

Money, greed driving growth

Some people have gone mad. Why is there suddenly a movement to smear Bob Edwards?

In-town fire danger real

Payson has dodged the bullet for many years. However, our luck and charm may run out. We are in a very dry period, with the forest extremely vulnerable for a devastating fire.

Endorsement for Croy

This is a letter of support for Rick Croy, a superior candidate for our town council.

Reality of the low-wage worker

At the town political debate on Feb. 6, I was impressed with the candidates' knowledge of many issues, but I was disappointed by their lack of touch with reality.

Thank you for all the support

Many thanks for the help and support in the passing of my wife on Jan. 30, 2006.

Vote for Henley

Oh, it's that time of year again -- lots of political signs and slogans. Who to vote for?

Fish trial postponed for at least 30 days

Coconino County Superior Court Judge Mark Moran has ruled that shooting victim Grant Kuenzli's reputation for aggression may be admitted into evidence but a so-called "psychiatric autopsy" and his mental health records cannot be.

Mary Alyson Gibson

Mary Alyson Gibson died Feb. 7, 2006 in Flagstaff, AZ. She was born March 12, 1923, in London, England, to Margaret and Sidney Moir.

Donald Curtis Holcombe

Donald Curtis Holcombe, born Feb. 11, 1946 in Englewood, N.J., died Feb. 10, 2006 in Payson following complications due to diabetes.

Longhorns wipe home court with Snowflake

The Payson Longhorns took care of home court business by whipping the Snowflake Lobos 64-51 in the first round of the East region tournament.

Preseason practices begin for spring sports

Preseason practices for Payson High School track and field, baseball, softball and golf teams tipped off Feb. 6 without players who are members of the basketball and wrestling squads.

Wrestlers take second at state

The Safford Bulldogs' depth proved too much for the Payson Longhorns to overcome in the battle for the Class 3A state championship.

Tryouts, tragedy and a chance to be great

Parents who missed the four player-registration opportunities held the past month, have one final chance to sign their children up for 2006 play.

Lady Longhorns to state Wednesday

The Lady Longhorns will open pursuit of the school's first girls state basketball championship against a highly regarded Chandler Seton Catholic team that enters the fray clutching a No. 4 state ranking and the title of South Region champions.

Equestrian group hosts April trail riding clinic

The Payson Horseman's Association, Inc. will sponsor a Steve Edwards clinic, "Trail Riding with Confidence," April 8 and 9 at Woolsey's Goat Camp.

Pardon the dust: Auto parts store comes into 21st century

The outside of NAPA Auto Parts store has a fresh coat of paint, but according to new owner, Terry Roth, it is the expansion and remodel going on inside the store that counts.

A stress-free, precision cut at Payson Barber Shop

Dennis Satterfield quit a 30-year career in radiology not to retire, but to become a barber.

Students discuss careers in biodesign

Louis Pasteur said, "Invention favors the prepared mind."

Parents meet Thursday to plan all-night grad party

Parents of Payson High School seniors will meet at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 to organize an All-Night Senior Graduation Party. The meeting will be held in the Payson High School cafeteria.

Saturday, February 11

Unexpected diminished winds aid firefighters

Firefighters took advantage of unexpectedly varied and diminished winds Saturday to continue burnout operations and reinforce the fire line around the February Fire.

February Fire Update: Stable weather assists firefighters

Stable weather conditions throughout the day on Sunday assisted firefighters in continued burnout operations on the February Fire. Several firefighter crews and engine crews are camped out at Camp Geronimo Boy Scout Camp and Bray Creek Ranch maintaining a protective vigil.

Friday, February 10

February firefighters maintain wind watch

Firefighters reinforced the line around the February Fire and conducted several burn-outs Friday, but "red-flag" weather changes could work against them today (Saturday).

Photo Gallery I: February Fire

Reader-submitted and staff photos of the February Fire. This human-caused blaze started Feb. 6, 2006 and kicked off one of the earliest fire seasons on record.

Links to fire-related Web sites

The Roundup staff will try to post updated fire information as it is made available. These links may provide additional information about the February Fire burning 10 miles north of Payson.

Thursday, February 9

James Martin

James Martin, 62, of Payson, died Feb. 8, 2006. He was born March 17, 1943 in Flint, Mich.

Frank J. Igielski

Frank J. Igielski, 71, of Payson, died Jan. 22, 2006. He was born in Shenandoah, Pa.

Elizabeth Mary Estabrook

Elizabeth Mary Estabrook, of Payson, died Feb. 4, 2006. She was born April 29, 1935 in New York, N.Y.

Lawrence W. Danhoff

Lawrence W. Danhoff, 84, of Mesa, died Feb. 4, 2006. He was born Sept. 1, 1921.

Ross Courtemash

Ross Courtemash, 86, of Phoenix, died Jan. 13, 2006.

Lee BeDillon

Lee BeDillon of Phoenix died Feb. 3, 2006. He was born to C.D. and Myrtle (Smith) BeDillon July 16, 1915 in Dodge City, Kan.

Basketball Bonanza gives area's youth chance to shine

The Second Annual Basketball Bonanza will provide aspiring players a stage to brandish what they have learned in pickup games and at the back yard hoop.

A new use for today's bows and arrows


If you have been on Roosevelt Lake in the spring or summer, you have probably seen boats with an elevated platform and men and women with archery equipment standing on it.

Mavericks have two wins, one loss

The Rim Country Maverick eighth-grade boys basketball team rebounded from a tough 48-42 loss at Holbrook to whip the Joseph City Wildcats 45-28.

Tonto Apache track team brings home hardware

A fresh, new chapter is being written in the rich and storied history of the Tonto Apache Track and Field team.

Interesting Paysonites get national recognition


Appropriately, February is Creative Romance Month. What is the most romantic thing that ever happened to you? I bet you can't remember it without smiling.

You can fill a book with useless information


We human beings seem to have a love affair with useless information. More than once, books have been published containing nothing but basically unusable information.

$4.7 million devoted to town street work


During the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, the Town of Payson has an ambitious street improvement program. The following projects were included in the budget at the beginning of the fiscal year that started July 1, 2005:

Create evacuation duffel for pets


The fire season is here, way too early. We pet owners need to be gathering the needed items in case of evacuation. A soft duffel bag works well for this. Have one for you and one for your pets.

Edwards needs to pay his dues

Late last week my husband and I each received a letter in the mail from "We The People of Payson." I was curious at first as it was addressed to me, using my first, middle and last name. I never give my middle name to anyone except an employer or the government for security and identity theft reasons.

Vote for change

Based on home builder Kevin Sokol's letter (Jan. 27) he doesn't like that two relative "newcomers" to Payson (Bob Edwards and myself) are running together, but he suggests supporting a team of three: Mayor (Barbara) Brewer, Councilmember (Robert) Henley and developer (Barbara) Underwood who, as a member of the planning and zoning commission, voted to approve G. Michael Horton's request for re-zoning west of Home Depot. As Dr. Phil would say about the past, "So how's it workin' for you?"

Excited about Barber

I don't usually get excited about politics, but for the first time in my life I have found a candidate who excites me. I think this is due to the fact that this candidate is, first of all, a very honest, caring, trustworthy person with lots of integrity.

Horn wrestlers must fight for championship

The Payson Longhorns could be facing an uphill battle in their pursuit of the 3A state wrestling championship.

Thank you, Mayor Brewer

I would like to make a comment about our current mayor, Barbara Brewer.

Bare midriffs alarming

I am writing to note with some concern the photography used in the past two editions of the Payson Roundup.

The great smear

It's very obvious who the perpetrators are that generated this disgusting smear against a good man of integrity and honesty, such as Mr. Bob Edwards. It's also obvious why this was done.

Writers have facts wrong

Al Poskanzer stated in his letter of Feb. 3 that the town council is giving Mr. Horton $750,000 for the building of the pipeline. This is a blatant misstatement of fact.

Violence is acceptable?

I've heard that our theater is not going to bring "Brokeback Mountain" to Payson, indicating that it is too controversial.

Responding to the State of the Union

Compassionate conservatism -- so Bush described his policies to be when first running for president. Bush's policies while in office have been neither compassionate nor conservative.

Forum crowd told another story

Attendance at Tuesday's candidate forum was exceptional.

Debate attracts record crowd; growth, water, streets dominate debate

The importance of this year's Payson Town Council election to the future of our community was underscored by a record turnout to see the mayoral and council candidates debate the issues Tuesday night.

Marine visits childhood school as hero

Amidst calls of "We love you" and "You're our hero," U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Brian Langeliers -- standing tall and rigid in his crisp Leatherneck uniform -- nervously stared down at throngs of admiring Payson Elementary School students.

Firefighters worry about weekend winds

Fire caused by abandoned campfire

Firefighters made good progress on the February Fire Thursday, but a return of low humidity today and a "red flag" weather front moving into the area Saturday have them concerned.

Video: Sikorsky CH53D Fire Stallion helicopter assigned to February Fire

Watch video of the first civilian Sikorsky CH53D Fire Stallion helicopter taking off from the Payson Airport to battle the February Fire burning 12 miles from town limits.

Governor should suppress her ego and left-wing cronies

It is important that Arizonans understand what is really going on with the English language learner (ELL) issue, and what is at stake.

Local Dachshund returns to Westminster

At the ripe old age of seven the Rim Country's most famous resident is retiring, but you can see him strut his stuff one more time Tuesday night.

Guide helps Payson man bag buck of a lifetime

It's being called the "Buck of a Lifetime" and the "Christmas Buck."

Fire a strong wake-up call


The dark smoke cloud rising beneath the Rim is a good wake-up call.

Noreen Evelyn Scott

Noreen Evelyn Scott, 84, of Payson, died Feb. 4, 2006. She was born July 28, 1921 in San Francisco, Calif.

Closing forest now might save Rim Country


The fire season has now started with the onset of the February Fire north of Payson. I have not heard any reports of how the fire started yet, but it is very scary to all the residents of Tonto Village and the surrounding area.

Remember Valentine's and the PJ party


Sunday's Super Bowl game was great. You could not have asked for a more exciting game, and the fact that Pittsburgh won made it even better.

Gale Edward Monet

Gale Edward Monet, 59, died Jan. 30, 2006 in Phoenix. He was born Jan. 21, 1947 in Gary, Ind.

Eugenia (Jean) Viola Compton

Eugenia (Jean) Viola Compton died Feb. 4, 2006 at St. Joseph's Hospital Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. She was born in Clarksburg, W.Va.

Sentence set in murder trial

In a small Payson courtroom, convicted killer Kevan Kuhlman's hopes for a lighter sentence vanished Feb. 7. A Gila County jury rendered a guilty verdict following a three-week trial in the 2001 killing of 52-year-old Payson TV station manager Susan Birchak. The defendant chose sentencing by Judge Peter Cahill over the jury.

Historic helicopter battles blaze

For many Vietnam-era Marines, the bureau number 156674 holds special meaning. It's the official number identifying one of the last helicopters to lift off from the U.S. Embassy during the 1975 fall and evacuation of Saigon.

Poet-turned-scientist comes to Payson


When Jean met Bill in the 1950s he was a poet. Now he is a physicist.

Chef's Extravaganza: Get a taste of the Rim Country and tip scales for library


The Rim Country's top chefs and cooks are sharing their talents in a Chef's Extravaganza to raise money for the Library Friends of Payson.

What's up?

Questions concerning Blue Ridge water; the film "Brokeback Mountain"; liability in the event of a hunting accident at a town park; and letters to the editor.

Wednesday, February 8

Fire Update: Humidity, winds favor February Firefighters

Although the February Fire grew to 1,500 acres, firefighters got their first break Wednesday night when an unusual burst of humidity gave them a breather.

Fire Update: February firefighters get first break

Although the February Fire grew to 1,500 acres, firefighters got their first break Wednesday night when an unusual burst of humidity gave them a breather.

Tuesday, February 7


Each candidate was asked to provide approximately 125 words on the issue of streets:


Each candidate was asked to provide approximately 125 words on the issue of the economy:


Each candidate was asked to provide approximately 125 words on the issue of public services:


The final category we call "Open." It is an opportunity for each candidate to address any other issue or subject.


Each candidate was asked to provide approximately 125 words on the issue of growth:


The seven candidates for the Diamond Star Town Council are running unopposed to replace the council appointed by the Gila County Board of Supervisors. They were, however, invited to introduce themselves in this section. The following chose to do so.

Fire Update: February Fire rages on

Fire crews continue to battle the February Fire, which has consumed more than 250 acres on the Tonto and Coconino national forests six miles east of Pine and Strawberry.

Fire Update: February Fire jumps Highline Trail

The February Fire, raging on the Tonto and Coconino forests six miles east of Pine, has grown to 1200 acres and has jumped the Highline Trail.

Fire Update: February Fire continues southwest advance

The February Fire, raging on the Tonto and Coconino forests six miles east of Pine, has grown to 1200 acres and has jumped the Highline Trail.

Election will determine town's course

The 2006 Payson Town Council election promises to be one of the most important in the town's history.


Each candidate was asked to provide approximately 125 words on the issue of water:

Monday, February 6

Ann H. Staveness

Ann H. Staveness, 70, of Payson, died Feb. 1, 2006 in Payson. She was born Oct. 5, 1935 in Menomonie, Wis.

Travel hazardous on Mogollon Rim Road

Travel on the Mogollon Rim Road (Forest Road 300) is strongly discouraged. The Pack Rat Fire burned several hundred acres along the Mogollon Rim in 2002, and many unstable trees are beginning to fall across the road.

Searles celebrate 65 years of love

Elmer Searle was a first sergeant at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, Colo. and Martha Kennedy was a student nurse at Colorado Training School for Nurses at Denver General Hospital when they met July 1, 1939. The couple was married Feb. 15, 1941.

Bioscience expert visits Rim Country Feb. 9

The Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation is hosting Dr. Guy Cardineau of Arizona State University for a two-day visit to the Rim Country.

What's up?

Q: Why are Payson High School freshmen going to have to remain on campus for lunch next school year? --AND-- Q: What are the exact dates, month, day and year, of Payson's founding and incorporation?

Sponsored deception

I would like to relate an incident that occurred Thursday, Feb. 2 at my home in Star Valley.

John B. Sparkman

John B. Sparkman, 95, of Glendale, formerly of Payson, died Feb. 2, 2006.

Personal attacks cowardly

This is directed to the cowardly and anonymous people who are using personal attacks against Bob Edwards.

Nontown residents pay plenty of taxes in town

Re: Taxes. I live at Oxbow Estates, and there was a person that talked about the Event Center at the council meeting, saying that the people who do not live in town should have to pay to use the event center (the arena), because we do not pay taxes in town.

Councilor valuable to community

Just after the new year, there was an item in the Roundup by Ann Henley regarding the help and comfort that she received following two serious surgical procedures. As friends of Ann and her husband Robert, we are thankful to be able to report that Ann is on her way to a full recovery.

Vote for candidates who will make Payson better

Let's face it, folks, we are in the middle of a serious drought that refuses to quit. Last year we had some relief, but scientists say that this (was) not unexpected.

Council attendees backbone of democracy

In his letter Jan. 27, Pat Willis implied that the people who attend town council meetings are those who "have nothing better to do" and "... never do anything positive for the community."

Wildfire safety an individual responsibility

Not more than four days after Arizona state Sen. Jake Flake called the Rim Country a, "New Orleans disaster waiting to happen," a plume of gray smoke swirls above the forest and into the firmament.

Judge dismisses suit challenging Diamond Star incorporation

It's now official and final -- Diamond Star is a town. A lawsuit challenging the town's right to incorporate was tossed out by Superior Court Judge Colin Campbell last week. No other challenges can be filed because the deadline is past.

New Payson road adds 40 acres to airport possibilities

Originally scheduled for completion in late April, a new segment of Airport Road was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning.

Town plan to reveal priorities

Town Manager Fred Carpenter recommends packing your dinner if you plan to attend the regular council meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday. Three presentations during the "ceremonial" portion of the meeting -- including an appearance by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard -- are scheduled before the council even begins to tackle a nine-page agenda.

Compare candidates side by side

Included in the print edition of the Payson Roundup is a special 16- page "Meet the Candidates" election guide featuring side-by-side comparisons of the views of the Payson mayoral and town council candidates on five fundamental issues: growth, water, streets, the local economy and public services.

Community college asked to return $428,183

The state treasurer's office is requesting the return of $428,183.87 in sales tax revenues it "erroneously" sent to Gila Community College, claiming that as a provisional district, GCC is not eligible for these revenues.

Rim Country 'a New Orleans waiting to happen,' senator says

An entourage of federal and state politicians, along with Rim Country notables, gathered for a round table discussion of the Healthy Forest Initiative Feb. 4 at Gila Community College.

February Fire burning 6 miles east of Pine

The February Fire, burning six miles east of Pine and 12 miles north of Payson, was more than 100 acres and growing at press time. "We are aggressively attacking this fire to limit its spread in the area," Tonto Fire Management Officer Jeff Borucki said. "This is the first serious fire on the Tonto this year, and we want to make sure it doesn't grow into a larger problem."

Keep election positive

Publisher Richard Haddad's editorial in the Tuesday, Jan. 31 Roundup, "Look for the best in this election" was very well done, and everything said needed to be said. Hopefully, his words will make a difference.

Release in drunk driving fatalities disturbing

I have lived in Payson for 14 years. I married a childhood sweetheart, have a beautiful daughter and just love Payson. And I was disturbed to read about the article two weeks back, on the front page, how the man that was responsible for killing three members of a family was released from jail on a reduced jail bond and is a free man.

Broker's dream office building now open

Ray Pugel, broker and owner of Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty in Payson, welcomed guests to celebrate the realization of his five-year dream: the grand opening of his new residential real estate office in Payson Thursday Feb. 2.

Karaoke and dancing at Kelly's

Kelly Sterling's sign is going up and the Straight Country sign is coming down.

Non-native fish targeted at Fossil Creek

An old friend, Rory Aikens, of the Arizona Game and Fish Department and a former editor of the Pinetop-Lakeside News, called to say the more than yearlong effort to remove non-native fish from the Fossil Creek area would resume Feb. 6 through Feb. 20.

Outdoor Rendezvous draws an estimated 2,000

The Second Annual Outdoor Rendezvous, Feb. 4 at The Tackle Box near Punkin Center, was an overwhelming success.

Next contest a make-or-break for Lady Horns' state hopes

The Lady Longhorns open pursuit of a regional championship and a berth into the state tournament against a familiar foe -- the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.

Longhorns in prime position for state honors

A sweep of two regular season finales -- Show Low and Round Valley -- has earned the Payson Longhorns (7-5) a fourth place East finish and an advantageous home seed into the regional tournament.

Wrestlers win East region crown

The Payson Longhorn wrestling team overcame the loss of two starters to win the Class 3A East regional championship.

Three Horns to take flight at Mesa College

A coach and three players with Payson High School ties will add a distinctive Longhorn flare to the 2006 edition of the Mesa College Thunderbird football team.

County's top spellers to compete

The annual Gila County Spelling Bee will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 at the Miami High School auditorium, 4635 E. Ragus Road, Claypool.

Enchilada dinner Friday to benefit Hands Across the Border

There will be an enchilada dinner to benefit the Hands Across the Border student exchange program this week.

Good behavior goal of two PUSD programs

Rim Country elementary students were dancing in their seats when they were treated to an assembly filled with character, music and color last week.

Motorcycle fatality

A two-vehicle fatal collision occurred Feb. 5 north of Strawberry, according to Sgt. John Whetten of the Payson office of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

College board action should outrage everyone

I recently attended the meeting of the Board of Governors (the "Board") of the Gila County Provisional Community College District. At this meeting, the attorney for the board described several of the violations of the open meeting law and a violation of the confidentiality of the executive session that were found by the attorney general's Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team. Most of the violations were committed by one board member, Robert Ashford.

Gifts for everyone -- and a desk

Eagle Mountain on Main Street is a store with personality, plus a cat.

Event center plans wrong

This town never quits amazing me. It's morally wrong to take the water from Star Valley, but it is all right to let a 150-room hotel go in, which, in turn, will hurt the motel businesses in town, and the Tonto Apache Tribe, which is building its own with a conference center.

Thursday, February 2

Mayoral candidate has done the homework

I've only written a Letter to the Editor once, years ago. It's a lot like homework. I don't like homework. But I was able to make my decision for mayor on Sunday. I wanted to share my decision.

Curtis James Kennedy

Curtis James Kennedy, 93, of Payson, died Jan. 30, 2006. He was born Dec. 19, 1912 in Los Angeles, Calif.

Support the families of the military

I believe that we all can make a difference by the simplest things we do and, even more so, by what we don't do. This week we celebrated part of the proud heritage of the West, welcoming the Hashknife's Pony Express ride to town -- the longest, on-going such event in our nation.

Growth vs. no growth

In the late '90s, Mayor Vern Stiffler's council passed an ordinance requiring developers to bring to the town a new source of water for any development over 20 homes. The issue had much more to do with stopping growth than it did with water.

One-issue candidate not right for Payson

I've read the Bob Edwards' White Paper on Water and Growth. I am shocked at the misinformation and twisting of facts to suit his political purposes. Let me point out a few of these items:

Candidates should share personal positions

Polls, not personal convictions. In response to Mr. Keddington's letter of Jan. 24, his response proves my point.

Parent 'help' can hurt student athletes

Parents have every right -- even a responsibility -- to take a very intense interest in their children's extracurricular activities.

Book signing by pioneer daughters set

The Daughters of the Gila County Pioneers have released the second volume of stories about the pioneer women of Gila County.

Student teachers prep for school career

Student teaching is the final step in the education to become a career teacher.

Hashknife Pony Express exchange exciting as ever


Wednesday afternoon the 48th annual ride of the Hashknife Pony Express came through Christopher Creek.

Water issue a political football

On Jan. 20, the Roundup featured Bob Edwards. Let's recap what Edwards told us.

Thank you, geniuses, whoever you were


It has been said more than once, and with considerable credibility, that Isaac Newton, who first explained gravity, may very well have been the greatest scientific genius of all times. That's quite a statement.

Softball team doing great in tourney play

The Payson Cougars senior slow-pitch softball team is off and running with a 4-1-1 record in Fountain Hills Winter League play. About 20 local seniors are playing on the team that travels each Wednesday to Golden Eagle Park in Fountain Hills for double headers.

Let's hope for late winter moisture


February is already upon us and those winter storms seem to be tracking far to the north. With the lack of snow pack, our Salt River lake system will certainly be drained down as the spring and summer months arrive.

PHS senior awarded for accomplishments

Payson High School senior Rand Hallman's outdoor accomplishments, community service and academic achievements have earned him Safari Club International's "Young Hunter Award."

Horns facing final opponents for season

The Longhorn boys postseason fate will be sealed at regular season-ending games today, Friday, at Round Valley High School in Eagar and tomorrow in Wilson dome against Show Low.

Junior high wrestler takes top honors

Christopher Pirch, Kyle Hilton, Beau Robertson, Ray Sharp, Dan Rackley, Scott Clifford, R.C. LaHaye, Ben Sandoval.

Dangerous windshield glare

Motorist William DeWees, 78, collided with a cyclist at approximately 4:45 p.m. Thursday.

Job shadowing: Teens check out careers

Sandy Somsen, a counselor at Payson High School, received applications from 75 students who wished to spend a morning on a "job shadow" in their professions of choice.

Officials suspend all burn permits

Due to dangerously dry conditions and the threat of an early fire season, the Payson Fire Department suspended the issuance of open burning permits effective Feb. 1.

Lucky No. 13 for Habitat for Humanity recipients

Sherrie Mathus and her 10-year-old daughter, Sage, live in a poorly insulated trailer near Green Valley Park.

U.S. Senator in Payson to discuss forest health

U.S. Senator Jon Kyl will participate in a special forest health discussion Saturday.

New Payson Education Center taking applications

Gila County School Superintendent Linda O'Dell's Payson Education Center will open for classes Wednesday Feb. 15, 2006. Initially 20 students can be accepted into the school.

Big boys, fast toys

Leaving tall wakes of spraying water in their path, the fastest vehicles ever to touch the waters of Green Valley Lake created a buzz Thursday morning.

Private eye probe of candidate flawed

Payson mayoral candidate Bob Edwards says a packet of materials about him that is anonymously circulating in Payson has a major flaw -- it fails to include the fact that allegations made against him when he was nominated to lead a government agency in Michigan were proved unfounded.

Virginia E. Woolwine

Virginia E. Woolwine, 82, of Payson, died Jan. 29, 2006. She was born July 25, 1923 in Indianapolis, Ind.

Clicker a positive, effective training method


Imagine attending a three-day conference with 300-plus people and 100 or so dogs. Clicker Expo was an exceptional opportunity. I have attended many dog training seminars with top trainers, but this was far above and beyond those experiences.

Water tanks give community an edge over fires


It was amazing to me to type "February" for this column. The days are flying by too quickly.

The best choice

Su Connell for Town Council. With the elections coming up in Payson, I hope all of us evaluate all the candidates.

Cyclists find gold at McDowell Mountain

Longtime Rim Country mountain biking guru Wayne Gorry predicts a banner year for a contingent of nine Payson racers.

Faye E. Sanders

Faye E. Sanders, 56, died Jan. 15, 2006 in Tucson. She was born April 23, 1949 in Oakland, Calif.

Another look at growth vs. water

This letter is in response to letters of Messrs. Sokol and Willis in the Jan. 27 Roundup Mail Call regarding growth in the Payson community.

Fire danger situation is grave


It sure is different sitting here at the computer looking out at my property which now has trees scattered here and there, rather than the thick forest I had before the Fuel Reduction crew came through. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I know I am safer.

Senior earns All-American honors

A Payson High football standout has been selected the school's third National High School Athletic Coaches Association All-American.

Self-motivated women making money as product consultants


Home party businesses offer flexibility to consultants who want time with their families, a first or second income, and the ability to have a fun while making a profit -- 25 percent or more of sales.

Payson needs change

Payson is in sore need of profound change.

Beverly Jean Mitchell

Beverly Jean Mitchell, 67, of Pine, died Feb. 1, 2006 in Phoenix. She was born May 2, 1938 in Bishop, Calif. to Cecil and Johnnie Killian.

Mary Idola Niell

Mary Idola Niell, 100, of Payson, died Jan. 31, 2006. She was born Oct. 31, 1905 at her parents' homestead in Texas Ridge, near what is now Deary, Idaho.

Web designer brings skills to Rim Country


Cara Summerfield is among the new generation of Payson residents, infusing the community with fresh faces and innovative ideas.

Candidate is breath of fresh air

The council meetings that I have attended in the past 10 years each have consistently demonstrated weak and loose structuring. There never seems to be a cap on members' commentaries, while at the same time audience input is severely limited.

Where's the water?

Re: $24M covered Event Center and Growth Not Explosive.

What's up?

Q: While in Laughlin over the weekend, I noticed persons using a Government Vehicle at the Flamingo Hotel. Do your hard working, tax-paying citizens know where their tax dollars are going? Just wondering.

Flood at senior apartments accidental

In December, there was a flood at Canal Apartments. Rumors of a lawsuit against the town because of flooding at the new senior apartments on Main Street are unfounded, though the center section of first-floor apartments was indeed flooded.

Tonto National Forest proposes fee changes

Recreation use fees at some of the most popular recreation sites on the Tonto National Forest would change March 1 under a current Forest Service proposal.

Clair Marion Judson

Clair Marion Judson, 67, of Payson, died Jan. 30, 2006. She was born March 30, 1938 in Makinak, Manitoba, Canada.

Story jumbled

An article written by me and published in the Roundup on page 6C, Jan. 24, contained an error of my own making.

Paysonites beware

Well, Payson, here we go again. Election day is nearing and promises are flying. If we, the local voters, are smart enough to vote for the right man, or woman, the rest of our lives will be spent in a blissful utopia, or so we're promised.

Come out swinging

Richard Haddad asks that the candidates in the upcoming election accentuate the positive and not dwell on negatives. In essence, he is espousing the values of wearing rose-colored glasses as we trek toward Election Day.