Stories for January 2006


Tuesday, January 31

Little dog with a big attitude


Unless you're madly in love, you might want to spend Valentine's Day evening glued to your TV.

Favorite Super Bowl dips and more


Quite a few televisions will either be tuned to the Super Bowl Sunday or remotes will channel surf to the site a few times during the afternoon. After all, you have to see how you're doing in the office pool.

Grammy nominee appearing in Payson

Grammy-nominated piano vocalist Judy Roberts returns to Payson at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12.

Leveling the hunting field


The morality of hunting has been a hot topic on the editorial pages of the Payson Roundup of late, thanks to a lively and spirited exchange of letters both pro and con.

A cup of tea and conversation with thee


Americans drink more coffee than tea, a fact that might be linked to a historic party held in Boston on Dec. 16, 1773?

Monday, January 30

Enticing eighth-graders with electives

Eighth-grade students from Rim Country Middle School, Pine-Strawberry Elementary School and Tonto Basin School had a taste of high school electives last week when they toured Payson High School.

Relieve stress with A Simple Touch

In a busy world, Lori Vario is in the business of relaxation and peace of mind. Her clients know her best by the touch of her hands. She is licensed nationally and by the state of Arizona and has been in practice for three years.

Preventive maintenance specialty of repair shop

My truck is making a noise. It can be a fear-inducing thought to the owner who heads to a repair shop.

Rendezvous programs start early

Sponsors Dennis Pirch and Mark Kile have released a schedule of time and topics for the Second Annual Outdoor Rendezvous.

View Russian art in Pine

Barbara Frazin-O'Connor, owner of The Randall House restaurant in Pine, hosted Integrity Arts and Business Alliance for an evening of Contemporary Russian Impressionistic Art last Friday.

Candidate forum Feb. 7

A candidate forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 in the Payson High School auditorium.

Judge hears suit challenging Diamond Star incorporation

Superior Court Judge Colin Campbell heard the lawsuit challenging the town of Diamond Star's right to incorporate Monday morning in Phoenix and will issue a ruling later on its legality.

Mystery plane identified as 1974 crash

When a Civil Air Patrol pilot spotted engines and metal debris on Granny Ridge, he thought it was the wreckage of a Cessna 182 that went missing New Year's Eve 2005.

Suspect meets release conditions

A hearing to reaffirm the release conditions of Rigoberto Arrazola was held Jan. 30 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Payson man receives transplant from FDNY donor

Payson resident Glenn Hale knew the first face-to-face meeting with the New York donor who saved his life would be a power-packed, emotional experience. But even he didn't know just how poignant it would turn out. "There are not words to describe it," he said. "We just looked at each other and hugged.

Questions delay event center agreement

Linda White made a compelling case for further negotiating the tentative deal between the town and Hospitality Support Group (HSG) to develop the Payson Event Center site at the town council meeting Thursday evening.

Thief nabbed; $8k of goods recovered

Payson police officers arrested a robbery suspect at his home Friday, Jan. 27.

Benefit set for young cancer victims

The third Payson Sunshine Kids Fund-raiser Dance and Auction is Feb. 4 at the Mazatzal Casino. Sponsors of the dance and auction are Pioneer Title Agency, Lenders for Life Home Mortgage and Prudential Arrowhead Realty.

Electric company rate increase granted

In a split decision capping nearly two days of debate, the Arizona Corporation Commission granted Arizona Public Service (APS) an increase of just under five percent (5%) on average bills.

Feeding wildlife could be illegal

I would like to respond to the ongoing issue that Ms. Pratt has with the harvesting of game animals, specifically deer.

Lack of respect is the problem

In response to Kent Knudson's letter on the open range law and caged cattle: We ranched west of Pine for about 20 years, and in that time I never once saw one of our cows open a gate and let themselves out into a subdivision or onto a highway to attack people or a car. In fact, I didn't even see them cut a fence to let a 4-wheeler or woodcutter through the fence so they wouldn't have to go to a gate.

Confederate flag not racist

The official flag of the Confederate States of America is not a racist symbol.

Broadcast was a disservice

This morning I was watching the new, "Good Morning Arizona" on Channel 3.

One cannot be both silent and free

Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes wrote the following words in 1949:

School should use old schedule

I think that Payson Unified School District should return to the standard schedule. The summer is too short to do much of anything.

Connell has what it takes

The day that ballots will be mailed to our homes is fast approaching and many people tell me that they have yet to make up their minds as regards casting their votes. I want to tell all readers that Susan Connell is a wonderful choice for council.

Candidate bashing disappointing

I have enjoyed the articles you have printed in recent weeks about the candidates for mayor and council. These have been informative and helpful and all were very positive in tone, giving us a chance to come to know each of the candidates and what they stand for. I was disappointed, therefore, to read a very negative letter that was published on Friday, which contained personal attacks on Mr. Edwards and Mr. Blair, two of the candidates running for election.

Hashknife riders admirable

I have a passion for American heritage, and the Hashknife Pony Express brings a bit of that heritage to life. I think it was very courageous for cowboys in the Old West to carry the mail for hundreds of miles on horseback. I can't even imagine the soreness they must have felt being in a saddle for days on end. Not only did they experience physical discomfort, they had to deal with Indian attacks, thieves and wild animals.

Action by judge sends dangerous message

I read with interest the Jan. 27 article in the Payson Roundup by Max Foster titled "Triple fatality suspect released."

Paul Ernest Pluess

Paul Ernest Pluess died Jan. 27, 2006. He was born Sept. 7, 1914, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Paul Pluess and Ada Seith Pluess.

Clifford A. Ralls

Clifford A. Ralls, 83, of Star Valley, died Jan. 29, 2006. He was born May 23, 1922 in Pittsburg, Kan.

Adele E. Visser

Adele E. Visser, 92, of Vineland, N.J., died Jan. 14, 2006.

Lady Horns fall to Falcons

The Lady Longhorns scratched, battled and clawed, but it wasn't enough to salvage an overtime win against the Alchesay Falcons.

Calendar full of community athletic competitions

At the completion of the inaugural Resolution Run 10K Jan. 28 at Green Valley Park, Park and Recreation Director Bill Schwind was quick to remind runners and onlookers that there are several other upcoming competitions on the calendar.

Inaugural Resolution Run draws 50

A college student with aspirations of becoming a wildland forest fighter and a high school teacher ran their way to the men's and women's championships of the inaugural Resolution Run 10K.

Tough contests harden Horns for finals

Longhorn wrestling coach Rich Ormand is confident his team's demanding schedule has better prepared the wrestlers for a run at East region and 3A state championships.

Downes have double celebration

A surprise double celebration dinner was held recently for Payson residents Jim and Carol Downes, in honor of Jim's 90th birthday and their 50th wedding anniversary.

Horns beat Alchesay

The mighty have fallen. At least in the Class 3A East region basketball chase they have.

What's up?

Q: Why are there no Sunday hours for the Payson Public Library? What would it cost to keep it open from say 1 to 5 in the afternoon?

Look for the best in this election

Have you ever met someone who only sees the world through dark lenses -- not the shade of sunglasses, but the tint of cynicism and skepticism?

Man rescued from abandoned well

'It just felt like all of a sudden I'm in a dark hole'

The floor suddenly gave way underneath 75-year-old Ernie Freeman and he found himself falling into a long forgotten well.

Thursday, January 26

Connell well-qualified

This is a letter of endorsement of Su Connell, a well-qualified candidate for our Town Council.

High-energy, toe-tapping concert in town

Rim Country residents will be treated to a high-energy, toe-tapping extravaganza by the Tonto Community Concert Association this weekend.

Send newcomers a message

It is amazing the names developers are being called by the anti-growth coalition.

Candidate another 'gate closer'

I just finished reading the Roundup article on mayoral candidate Bob Edwards.

Put a good neighbor in office

Who is a good neighbor? Their yards are neat and well kept, which means their house, their desk, their life and their thoughts probably are too.

Candidate will bring balance

I believe Barbara Underwood will be a topnotch town council member.

Mayoral candidate has experience needed

My name is John Carpenter, a Michigan resident, and I have been following the election campaign for mayor and council members with interest. My interest is two-fold: One, because I am looking to relocate to your fine climate, and, two, I know F. Robert Edwards, and, yes, that is the formal name by which I know him.

Mayor has knowledge to be real leader

It is my privilege to endorse Barbara Brewer for mayor of Payson.

Picture policy sad

I arrived at my workstation and noticed that someone had left a memo on the computer screen. It stated, "All personal items, pictures, sayings, etc. need to be removed ASAP."

Time to revisit bypass

As someone who has lived, visited and owned a business in this area for the last 16 years, I think it is time that the people of Payson reappraise an old issue.

Stop vandalizing signs

Someone is removing political signs that are encouraging people to cast their ballots for Bob Edwards (mayor) and Ed Blair (council).

Double standards in judiciary

Can somebody please explain to me why it is that Reed Hatch, "suspected" (like nobody saw him do it) of running down a DPS officer in August hasn't been given the same "fair" treatment as the man that brutally killed three members of one family in the same manner? Why is it that Reed Hatch hasn't had his bail reduced and allowed to go to a halfway house? Why are we allowing our judicial system to get away with this double standard?

Caution with pets still advised

This letter is in regard to the Payson Humane Society's temporary closure due to Giardia. It was stated in the paper that all the dogs are OK to adopt and that we have cleared the animals of this problem. This was a misstatement, and I would like to clarify the current shelter situation.

Vandalism may cost everyone

Re: Pipeline project sabotaged. As a marketing manager for a major multi-national insurance company, I feel compelled to weigh in on the controversy over Star Valley Water.

Irresponsible hunters an outrage

The citizens of Payson should be outraged by the lack of good judgment on the part of a few irresponsible hunters who were using the Canada geese at Green Valley Park for bow and arrow target practice.

Friendliness gone

What ever happened to the friendly town of Payson?

Publishing shooting story wrong

You have a lot of nerve (writing about the Crim shooting). Susan and her family are the victims and you can't even respect their wishes not to have their information made public.

Budget bill endangers health, long-term care services

On Feb. 1, the 2006 budget reconciliation bill is expected to come up for a final vote in Congress. The bill includes provisions that would endanger the health and long-term care of millions of Americans.

State surplus should go to education

I was reminded while watching the news just how appalling our state legislature really is when it comes to what matters most.

Justice system choices baffle public

The inner workings of the American justice system continue to baffle the public.

Law-related education

As School Resource Officer, David Vaughn of the Payson Police department teaches law-related education to children of all ages.

Students take Fear Factor challenge

Payson High School freshman Lacy Donovan was the first to go into a plywood box and be covered with 30 mice and have a tarantula placed on her head Tuesday in the school's auditorium.

Six spellers advance to county competition

‘Amphibious' and ‘insignia' become winning words

For the second year in a row, Taylor Goss, a seventh-grader at Rim Country Middle School, won the district spelling bee contest in round 10.

For a voice in Payson

This is a recommendation for Susan Connell, a candidate for Payson Town Council.

Goebel Edward (Ed) Pitzer

Goebel Edward (Ed) Pitzer died Jan. 21, 2006 in Payson. He was born April 12, 1924 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Alice Recard

Alice Recard, 73, of Payson, and formerly of Forest Lakes, died Jan. 6, 2006 in Phoenix.

Carol Jean (Pitzer) Olive

Carol Jean (Pitzer) Olive died Jan. 19, 2006 in Phoenix. She was born March 12, 1951 in Chicago, Ill., where she lived with her parents until they moved to Arizona in 1957.

Suspects rob home to raise bail for other thieves, deputies say

Two men, one arrested by sheriff's deputies, are accused of burglarizing a home in Pine to raise money to bail out friends -- also held on theft charges -- in a Phoenix jail.

Triple fatality suspect released

The suspected-drunk driver who killed three members of a Payson family has been released from Maricopa County Jail on a $35,000 bond. Rigoberto C. Arrazola, 31, was released Jan. 13 after posting the bond. Just days earlier the bond had been reduced from $180,000 by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Gordon.

Hashknife riders arrive Feb. 1

The real Pony Express lasted less than two years, but the Hashknife re-enactment that will gallop into town Feb. 1 is approaching the half century mark -- one of the longest running Pony express rides in the nation.

Getting wisdom -- take two


Inevitably I guess, someone asked me about a statement I made a while back, namely that three times while I was in Pakistan a great old guy named Abdul taught me the meaning of wisdom. I only mentioned one of them. "What," the question was, "were the other two times?"

Take a bite of the travel bug with new books at the library


The New Year has come and gone and we're marching through January lickity split. I'm sure some of you made a New Year's resolution to see more of this country and the world. After all, life is so short and you never know what tomorrow might bring. Put on your traveling shoes and let's get started.

At last, we have a little wet weather


Rain! There was thunder early Wednesday morning that woke me up -- followed by a trace of rain. Granted, it did not amount to much, but a little is better than none at all. Any amount of moisture is most welcome.

Cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers


Last Sunday was the Super Bowl Playoffs, and I don't know how quiet it was at your place, but it was extremely loud here in Christopher Creek. Maybe you could hear us all the way in Payson.

Fire fuels reduction project makes big difference


My property has just been transformed from densely wooded to a wonderful park, or at least that is what Mike tells me.

Tuer family grows

Wayne and Stephanie Tuer of Payson are pleased to announce the arrival of their new baby girl, Abby Lynn Susan Tuer.

Alley anniversary

Larry and Sharon Alley, former Payson residents, will celebrate 50 years together Feb. 5.

Rally a fun activity for dog and handler


Rally is a relatively new dog sport, which is fun for the dogs and their handlers. It consists of a series of signs on a course, each sign designating a particular task that must be done in a very specific way. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, (APDT) both have similar versions of this new sport.

Patrons are family for businesswoman


Payson is nearly 8,000 miles away from British-ruled Hong Kong where Judy Oi-Po Chow grew up. "Hong Kong is like New York City -- busy and everything is fast," Chow said. "Everybody is a hard worker. China is a little bit slower, but getting much better now."

Dance class: Shake your booty Middle Eastern style


Valerie Castañeda is a belly dancer. Her body shimmies and undulates to the beat of a Middle Eastern melody. The silver coins hanging from her bra and the eggplant-purple sash around her waist jingle in unison. Castañeda's long, brown waist-length hair whips around her face as she twists and turns.

Little League still taking players

Parents who missed the first Little League registration Jan. 21 have three more opportunities to sign up.

Softball team will have core of experience

The Lady Longhorns will open the 2006 softball season armed with a nucleus of five players who have participated in highly competitive off-season club ball.

Goose pierced with arrow recovering at rehab center

The goose that was found shot through the head with an arrow in Green Valley Park is recovering at Southwest Wildlife with an excellent prognosis for full recovery.

Winter offers desert archery hunting


The month of January brings on a new fishing and hunting year, which means it's time to buy that 2006 Arizona combination fishing and hunting license. January is also the middle of winter, with most big game seasons well over and fishing is on the back burner until springtime.

Boys in position for home court advantage

A 53-44 victory Jan. 24 in Snowflake might have been the win the Longhorns needed for a top-four finish and an advantageous seed into the East tournament.

Video: 360-degree view of roundabout elk model

View a 360-degree video of the roundabout elk model created by Payson artist Jim Keller. The video features music by John Carpino. This clay model is being sent to a foundry in Phoenix to create a full-sized statue that will be placed in the center of the traffic roundabout on the north side of town at East Tyler Parkway and Highway 87.

State road may be minus two starters

The Longhorn wrestling team might be forced to compete Feb. 4 in the 3A East tournament without one of its veteran leaders.

Injured player makes stellar comeback

Junior Tori Wilbanks' return to the lineup after being sidelined for two games with an ankle injury was the mid-season boost the Lady Longhorns were searching for.

Kyla Ellis

Former Payson resident Nathan Ellis and his wife, Jenifer, proudly announce the birth of their first child, a daughter, Kyla Ellis.

Elk statue off to foundry

The bronze elk that will one day grace the roundabout at Highway 87 and Tyler Parkway was taken to a foundry in the Valley Monday for casting.

Three Payson businesses robbed after forced entry

Thieves broke into three Payson businesses over the past week, taking an undisclosed amount of money and store merchandise, police said.

Tuesday, January 24

A few of my least favorite things


Hope springs eternal, and I am not averse to occasionally putting a positive spin on life and the things in it.

New traditions for a new year


On Jan. 29, families all over the world will come together to celebrate the start of the Chinese lunar year 4704, the Year of the Dog.

Chinese New Year: the year of the dog


In the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac each year is named after a different animal. This is the year of the dog. Dog people are thought to be loyal and honest. They work well with others.

Pony Express ride re-creates western heritage


Rim Country residents can relive one of the most romantic aspects of the Wild West when the Hashknife Pony Express gallops into town on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Monday, January 23

Su can do the job

Payson, here is your chance to elect a fine woman, Su Connell, to your Payson Town Council. Su is a Paysonite of five years and Executive Director of Rim Country Literacy.

Auto companies should support national health care system

The auto companies' constant refrain is the soaring cost of health care. General Motors honchos wail loudly that covering their auto workers' and retirees' health costs adds $1,500 to the cost of each car. The only answer they say is to slash, or even eliminate, this protection.

Stealing political signs a crime

signs that are being stolen. That's right -- stolen.

Benefit steak dinner planned

For two decades, Pat Heizer had been the force behind hundreds of benefit steak dinners that earned much-needed funds for Payson High School extracurricular programs.

Shooting victim remains in ICU

Payson police continue to investigate the shooting of 17-year-old Payson High School senior Susan Crim. PPD commander Don Engler said officers believe the shooting of Crim, by 18-year-old Fred Ortiz, was probably an accident.

Suspect in DUI hit and run still in jail

Reed Hatch, suspected of running down a Department of Public Safety officer in August, is still in custody at the Gila County Jail in Payson, held on $100,000 bond.

Judge moves murder hearing to Payson court

Convicted of second-degree murder in the 2001 killing of Payson TV Station Manager Susan Birchak, Kevan Kuhlman was in court Friday asking to be sentenced immediately.

Growth not 'explosive,' incumbent says

Besides the mayor, Robert Henley is the only member of the current town council running for re-election, and he doesn't have a problem defending that body's track record.

Burglaries investigation continues

Nearly three months after burglars burrowed through five stores and pocketed thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, the Payson Police Department's investigation continues.

Three Payson wrestlers earn tourney honors

A highly emotional evening climaxed Saturday in Wilson dome with three Payson High School athletes winning Tim Van Horn Memorial Tournament individual weight class championships and outstanding wrestler awards.

Teen fascination with computers creates career

When Lynn Haag was a little girl growing up in Phoenix, she used to take clocks apart and put them back together. Her dad, a mechanic, would let her watch and sometimes even help him work.

Hunting in parks or near schools must be stopped

It is an outrage -- a goose was found at Green Valley Park with an arrow through its beak and neck this weekend. We are grateful that Game and Fish officers were able to rescue the injured bird and believe it will survive its wounds.

MADD outraged with Arizona judiciary

I am writing today on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Arizona to express our outrage at the continued lack of commitment shown by some Arizona courts in regards to DUI cases. Publicly, Arizona safety officials promote the ‘DUI -- Expect the Max' program as a deterrent to drunk driving. However, their message and efforts are often wasted by courts that look the other way at this violent crime.

Payson Packers celebrate a quarter century of exploring trails

Twenty-five years ago this coming March, a young woman named Rae Strunk gathered a few other young ladies together to hike through the woods and valleys around Payson. From that beginning was born a group of men and women who today are called the Payson Packers.

Rim history reaches world

Among your many contributions to excellent journalism and communication in the Rim Country, I want to add appreciation for your excellent Internet archive.

Hunting in town alarms residents

While walking her dog at Green Valley Park last month, a Payson woman looked up to see two men dressed in camouflage, carrying bows and arrows, hunting geese on the grass. "I was just really shocked to see them shoot arrows at the park geese," said the woman, who wrote a letter of concern to the town, but asked to remain anonymous.

Candidates' positions based on input from citizens

In response to James Garner's letter from Jan. 17, I would like to set the record straight. Yes indeed, these two candidates, Ed Blair and Bob Edwards, do have someone pulling the strings. The string pullers are the citizens of Payson.

$24 million covered event center tops agenda

The $24 million Payson Event Center project heads the agenda of the Payson Town Council's regular meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Head soccer coach dismissed

The coach who led the Longhorns to a share of the 2002 state boys soccer championships has been fired.

Horns have 11-11 season record

After splitting East region weekend games, the Longhorns will return to the hardwood today, Tuesday, against the Snowflake Lobos. Game time is 7:30 p.m. in Snowflake, but the exact location was not known at press time.

Horn victory over Show Low puts team in regional lead

The heat of the East region wrestling title chase has been turned up a notch.

County attorney honors local police detective

Four times each year, the Gila County Attorney's Office recognizes a member of the Gila County law enforcement community for his or her superior service in the prosecution of criminal matters. The county attorney reviews numerous recommendations, but selects the officer who, at the time, best illustrates an exemplary attitude and work ethic.

Frederick Theodore Green, Jr.

Frederick Theodore Green, Jr., 90, of Sierra Vista, died Jan. 22, 2006. He was born May 17, 1915 in Bentwood, Pa.

Cycle shop offers decades of experience

Henry Lozano started "wrenching on bikes" at 16, when he started to drive. That was 20 years ago. Now, as the owner of Leadfoot Custom Cycles, Lozano builds and repairs Harley Davidson and after-market Harley motorcycles. He also sells parts and accessories.

Class notes

Frontier Elementary School's K-Kids program, sponsored by Zane Grey Kiwanis, is selling bottled water to other students at school. The money raised will be used to purchase items for soldier care packages.

Site feedback

Re: Local gas stations -- In response to the person who complained about the local gas stations "picking our pockets" -- If you for one bit think that the corporate-owned gas stations in town have any control over their gas prices locally, you are sadly mistaken. ...

Christian school students meet math challenge

At Payson Community Christian School, third- and fourth-graders have many different mathematical concepts to learn, from equations to long division. With a solid foundation of basic math skills -- addition, subtraction, multiplication and division -- they are able to master other math concepts.

What's up?

Q: I heard Safeway was going to be getting an organic produce section? When might this happen? --AND-- Q: When are the ballots for the town election actually counted? March 13 or 14?

A vicious cycle

Recently the paper included a letter exploring the "what ifs" of the "S" water owned by "H" shipping to "P".

College financing workshop Feb. 2

Payson High School veteran counselor Don Heizer is well versed in developing college-funding strategies. His expertise comes from years of helping students plan their post-secondary educations and from developing financial blue prints that allowed his two daughters, Whitney and Lyndsey, to earn university degrees.

Thursday, January 19

New postmaster has a familiar face

For the first time in 15 years, almost-Payson-native Lori Shewey has weekends off. Payson's new postmaster officially takes over operations on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Mothers arrested, children removed

When police served a search warrant at 314 E. Airline Road, they found the methamphetamine they were looking for, but officers also discovered two little girls exposed to the dangers of the drug.

Birth defects prevention in womb and home

It is important that women of childbearing age achieve optimal health prior to conception. The role the mother's health plays in the prevention of birth defects cannot be overemphasized, according to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network.

College board chair re-elected

Ashford also asked to resign

Chairman Robert Ashford both thanked five citizens for their comments and remained mute when they echoed board member Larry Stephenson's request for his resignation at Thursday's meeting of the governing board of Gila Community College.

Mayoral candidate says, 'It's the water'

When Bob Edwards, a former Michigan state legislator, retired to Payson three years ago, running for mayor was the last thing he wanted to do.

Rim Country senior rocks in big race

A 75-year-old veteran runner, with Senior Olympic and Lori Piestewa Native American Games experience, led the Rim Country charge at P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon and 1/2 Marathon. The master runner, Tom Cooka, finished second in the 75- to 79-year-old age division of the 1/2 marathon, touring the course in 2:04.18.

Payson grads serve as area Game and Fish officers


If you have been out in the field enjoying a good hunting or fishing trip, an Arizona Game and Fish officer has probably visited you. Part of their responsibility is to check fishing and hunting licenses of outdoorsmen in the field.

Who is responsible for making town safe from wildfire?

As full-time residents of Payson, we are very concerned about the increasing fire hazards in town. Large areas of wild growth, dead and down trees, underbrush, residential lots that are overgrown and uncared for present a real fire danger to our community.

Honor community service of your neighbors

Almost every edition of the Payson Roundup includes a "Good Guy" award to honor the thoughtfulness and kind deeds of Rim Country residents. Neighbors, friends, family and the beneficiaries of these random acts of generosity make the nominations for the award.

Pony Express to stop in Christopher Creek Feb. 1


A grant steering committee meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at Christopher Creek Fire Hall. The topic will be fuel reduction, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Tax time is upon us; time to get organized


Tonto Village finally received a bit of snow this past Sunday evening. According to Dara Sutton of Bear Flats, the moisture measured .20 of an inch, or one-quarter inch of snow.

Countrywide strengthens team with new loan expert

Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., a member of the Countrywide family: America's No. 1 home loan lender, continues its mission to build the industry's top sales force with the recent appointment of Tiffany McDaniel as home loan consultant for the Payson area.

A new year brings new garden projects


Shortly before last Christmas, a fresh crop of newly qualified Master Gardeners emerged from the Gila County Community College in Payson. Master Gardeners are usually experienced gardeners with many years of gardening behind them who go through a formal, but fun, training in things specific to the area in which the course is held.

More on 'barbarians'

Mr. O'Brien, it takes more than just a misspelled name to lose one's credibility. And, I am not a "naive little woman."

Darin Robert Torrens

Darin Robert Torrens, 33, of Payson, died Jan. 17, 2006. He was born April 10, 1972 in Longmont, Colo., to Doug Torrens and La Rita M. Torrens.

Lawrence C. Stone

Lawrence C. Stone, 81, died Jan. 15, 2006. He was born in Ashland, Okla. and had resided in Arizona for 77 years.

Rev. Perry Raecker Epley

Rev. Perry Raecker Epley died Jan. 18, 2006. He was born July 30, 1915 near Waverly, Iowa.

Don Dahl

Don Dahl, 74, of Strawberry, died Jan.13, 2006. He was born April 17, 1931 in Fargo, N.D.

Boy extinguishes house fire

Heather Watson's water heater caught fire Wednesday afternoon. Her oldest child, Craig Farmer, 13, noticed the smoke. He called his stepfather, then his mother. He told his two brothers, James, 8, and Tony, 7, to get out.

Payson teen hospitalized with gunshot wound

A 17-year-old senior at Payson High School is in intensive care at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn where she is being treated for a gunshot wound.

Lady Horns need to get on track

Back-to-back losses to Alchesay, 46-38, and Blue Ridge, 60-49, dealt a blow to Lady Longhorn hopes for a top-four East finish and the resulting advantageous home seed into the regional tournament.

Hugo Richard Carlson

Hugo Richard Carlson died Jan. 16, 2006 in Payson. He was born Aug. 19, 1931 in Melvern, N.Y. to Hugo and Margit Carlson, Swedish immigrants.

Charlie Lee Blake

Charlie Lee Blake, 81, of Tonto Basin, died Jan. 12, 2006. He was born in Hayden and raised in Tonto Basin.

New District Scout Officers

New officers were sworn in for the Zane Grey District of the Boy Scouts of America during their annual banquet in Payson Wednesday.

GCSO among those honored for drug efforts

John Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy, has awarded the Director's Distinguished Service award to the Arizona Marijuana Initiative for the work done in 2005 to eradicate illegal marijuana growing operations. The operations included the destruction of large growing operations in the Tonto National Forest near Payson.

Petition would place tax code on ballot

Diamond Star registered voters are being asked to sign yet another referendum petition, but this time the Diamond Star Water Coalition is asking them not to.

What's up?

Q: I am wondering why the girl athletes at Payson High School are referred to as "Lady Longhorns" and boys are not referred to as the "gentlemen Longhorns." Shouldn't the expectations for both sexes be the same?

Willcox already has Cowboy Hall of Fame

I read the article titled "Hall of Fame back in the saddle again" in the Friday, Jan. 13 issue of the Payson Roundup.

Balanced growth best

My compliments to the Roundup and former reporter Nancy Wright for a well-written and well-balanced front page article "Construction industry fuels Payson economy."

Mayor 'doesn't get it'

She's all heart. In the Payson Roundup dated Jan. 13, the mayor states that this election is about growth, and growth is the nucleus. She just doesn't get it. It's about growth vs. water.

BB gun incident merits more than a lecture

After reading the article concerning the BB gun scare at Tonto Bridge (Jan. 10 Roundup), I had to ask, ‘Is a lecture a strong enough consequence for shooting someone?'

Newspaper should look at all sides of a story

Seems to me as though the Roundup is performing their own form of sabotage by asking such a clearly biased question as the one addressed in the Jan. 17 example of Street Talk.

New Zealand a land of incredible beauty

It has been my good fortune to visit 118 countries to date. Friends sometimes ask: "What is your favorite foreign country?" I respond with: "I don't have a favorite foreign country, but there are several that I would put at the top of my list for sheer beauty." One of these is New Zealand.

Human rights should begin at conception

The inalienable right to life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception to natural death. From the first moment of existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person by civil society and political authority. The "right to life" is inherent in a person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took their origin.

Horns need wins in coming games

That's opportunity knocking on the Longhorn door. Old mother chance arrived at the entryway in the form of a pair of East region games that would vault Payson -- if victorious -- back into contention for East region honors.

Van Horn invitational has 16 teams competing

The 2006 edition of the Tim Van Horn Memorial Wrestling Invitational marks the return of a Mesa Red Mountain team that won tournament titles in 2002 and 2003.

Artist has passion for the Byzantine


Christina Kreutzer was 19 years old when the Americans bombed her hometown, Nuremberg, Germany Jan. 2, 1945.

Fire department to promote smoke detector awareness


That tiny bit of snow has helped to keep the dust down just a little. We need lots more now to take care of our thirsty trees. My woodpile is shrinking. Hope I have enough to last through the winter.

Reinvention of the microwave in Iceland


According to the World Almanac and Book of Facts, a fellow named Spencer invented the microwave oven in 1947. The World Almanac doesn't say whether Spencer was his first name or his last, however. Maybe it was Spencer Spencer. Who knows?

Little League launches 2006 registration

The Arizona Interscholastic Association is teaching a harsh lesson to a high school basketball player in Tempe.

Hydrate winter's dry, chapped skin naturally

With precipitation next to nonexistent compared to last winter's double-digit rainfall, dry, chapped skin can be a problem for Rim Country residents.

Airport roadwork

The last stages of preparation for paving the new portion of Airport Road are currently under way.

Woman says turning '100 years old is nothing'

We are all living longer these days, but most of us think turning 100 is something still quite remarkable.

Bits and pieces from around the animal world


During the colder weather, more feral cats seem to appear out in the open, undoubtedly searching for food. There are many sides to the feral cat story and it has been the center of controversy in our area where these cats are abundant.

Snowshoeing on the Mogollon Rim

I'm standing at a trailhead on the Mogollon Rim, which I've done several times before; only it was during the summer months. This time is different, it's winter and the Rim is covered with snow. I'm head-to-toe in winter clothes. Finally, I'm about to do something I've wanted to do since moving to Arizona; I'm going snowshoeing on the Mogollon Rim.

Seven students left to pass AIMS test

More than 200 Payson High School seniors have passed the required AIMS tests. But seven seniors must successfully complete the "make or break" competency exams or they will not be allowed to graduate with the class of 2006, school officials revealed this week.

Young teachers bring enthusiasm, new ideas

I am writing in response to Richard Meyer's letter concerning teachers. I am a veteran teacher, and I am greatly offended by his comments that schools should not hire young people fresh out of college to be teachers, or that schools are wasting their money if they do invest in these young teachers.

Tuesday, January 17

Savory pot pies: One of America's original ‘comfort foods'


Today, the word pie most often evokes thoughts of a sweet dessert, with a fruit, cream or custard filling. But the first pies were very simple and generally of the savory (meat and cheese) kind. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the first use of the word "pie" as it relates to food to 1303, noting the word was commonly used by 1362.

Stuck on the 13th floor


I made it through Friday the 13th (the 24 hours, not the Jason movies) unscathed.

Star Valley landmark celebrates 17th birthday


If you've lived in the Rim Country any length of time, you've probably driven past Rim Furniture & Appliance on Highway 260 in Star Valley dozens of times.

Poetry brings out our higher instincts


One of my best Christmas gifts this year was Garrison Keillor's new poetry anthology "Good Poems for Hard Times" (Viking, $24.95)

Monday, January 16

Pickpockets in Payson

Having just returned from a trip to Southern California, I am amazed at the price of gasoline I find at our local Payson gasoline stations.

Little League registration starts Saturday

Payson Little League officials are making it easier than ever for parents to register their children for the upcoming season of play.

Editorial too general

Re: Fast tracking new teachers not the solution. After reading this article several times, I am compelled to write this letter.

Barbarian title offensive

I come from a long line of hunters and we do enjoy eating what we get. We also enjoy hunting. Yes, we enjoy it.

Who's pulling the strings?

(It is) my observation that the two candidates running together, and mainly supported by two PAC's (Committee for Responsible Government & Committee for Community Based Growth), are puppets with someone else pulling the strings.

Pine creates reading legacy

Last year Pine-Strawberry Elementary School District sent letters out to parents indicating they were facing a tight budget and declining student enrollment and would not be able to staff the school library.

Pipeline project sabotaged

Sabotaged earth-moving equipment greeted David Syme and his crew of heavy-machine operators when they arrived at work Jan. 16. "It's a freakin' mess," Syme said. "I started this machine and oil poured out."

Bonnie Edna Morey McClanahan

Bonnie Edna Morey McClanahan died Jan. 11, 2006. She was born in Potter County, Pa. April 2, 1931. Her parents moved to Arizona in 1943. She and her husband and son moved to Pine in 1960.

Snow powder

The official 0.04 inches of snow Payson woke up to on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was not enough to close school, but the students were off for the holiday.

Castanets to coordination -- Music fun promotes life skills

Music and movement help develop a child's imagination, explains Sarah Jane Hubbard, a licensed Kindermusik educator, who holds classes for Rim Country children and their parents or caregivers.

'Give town back to the people,' candidate says

It's not easy to get a retired preacher riled up, but the powers that be in Payson have done just that.

We need recycling

I am a student at Rim Country Middle School. My family and I just moved to Payson this summer, and we love it.

About yellow lights

I am puzzled that there is any puzzlement over the traffic lights at Wal-Mart.

Games are popular with all ages


Do you enjoy playing games? What kind do you prefer -- board, card, word, quiz? Payson offers a number of choices for aficionados of all ages. The Rim Country Chess Club meets Wednesday evenings and a Scrabble Club gets together Thursday evenings at Fireside Espresso, 614 N. Beeline Highway; card games and dominoes are played weekday afternoons at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St.

Experts share wisdom at Outdoor Rendezvous

The presenters at the Second Annual Outdoor Rendezvous, to be held Feb. 4 at The Tackle Box near Punkin Center, include some of the finest outdoorsmen in Arizona.

P&Z board appointment attracts opposition

Appointments to the town's various boards and commissions usually go unchallenged as consent agenda items at town council meetings, but not these days.

Arizona, Gila County rank high for suicides

A 33-year-old Payson man was discovered shot to death in his truck Tuesday morning. The cause appears to be suicide, police said. Preliminary reports indicate that the man was suffering from depression and took his own life, with a gunshot wound to the head.

Horns win 2 of 3 at Moon Valley meet

The Longhorn wrestling team tuned up for the Tim Van Horn Memorial Tournament -- an annual season highlight -- by battling a trio of the state's finest squads at a Moon Valley multi-meet.

Second-graders master matter

Matter is in "Everything!" Judy Hunter's second grade students exclaim, responding to a question on the subject of matter. Hunter teaches at Pine-Strawberry Elementary School.

Trample stigma of suicide and mental illness: Talk about it

When someone commits suicide, a part of everyone around that person dies too -- nothing is ever the same. Time eventually heals the shock and guilt, but the pain still festers. Loved ones ever wonder, "If I just hadn't said that ...." or "If I had noticed this or that." or "If I'd only been a better mother, father, friend ...." Suicide isn't anybody's fault.

Memories homespun by crafters

Like the photos and page embellishments on a scrapbook page, everything has fallen into place for Payson businesswoman Connie Smith. Her dream business, Homespun Memories, has two new partners, expanded inventory and a new location to encompass it all.

At long last, the Rim sees snow


Yeah! We had some snow! I was beginning to believe that we had skipped winter.

Frosh team's winning streak ends in 71-49 loss

The Payson High School freshmen boys have tasted the bitter heartbreak of defeat for the first time in two years.

Lady Horns earning title of 'comeback queens'

The Lady Longhorns have proven to be to prep basketball what Silky Sullivan was to horse racing.

Diamondbacks representatives in Rim Country

The turnout wasn't the 50 youngsters expected, but those who did turn out were treated to some expert coaching from the Arizona Diamondbacks staff.

What's up?

Q: Why do some candidates have their signs up already?

Get behind the Arizonan seeking to lead House

Arizonans have a rare opportunity to do something that benefits the whole country. We can unite behind the opportunity to propel Rep. John Shadegg to the post of majority leader of the House of Representatives.

Thursday, January 12

Homeowners, fire board meetings set


The Hunter Creek Ranch Homeowners Association will have its annual homeowners meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at the fire hall. There are several openings on the board. Everyone in the association is asked to attend and cast a ballot. There is also an opening on the architectural committee.

Record donations bring Credit for Kids total to $243,000

A second tabulation of 2005 Credit for Kids donations produced rounds of good news in the Payson School District. The latest count, completed midday Jan. 12, shows proceeds from the tax program have reached about $243,000 -- $5,000 more than originally thought.

Mayor says 'growth is the nucleus'

Mayor Barbara Brewer says this election is about growth, and she's in favor of it -- as long as it's done according to the guidelines the town has in place.

Some visually impaired legally able to drive

Arizona has become the 39th state to make it possible for many who are seriously visually impaired to operate motor vehicles.

Dry weather a hardship on wildlife


Last week this column stressed the extreme dryness of our forest. One of the consequences of the dryness is the effect on the wildlife that live in the forest.

Shelter reopens Saturday

The giardia outbreak that closed the Payson Humane Society has been contained and the shelter will reopen at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14.

Racing the yellow light

Many drivers challenge traffic signals

On average, Payson motorists facing a yellow traffic signal are given 3.79 seconds to make a crucial decision. But in many cases, the yellow warning light creates a gray area of responsibility for drivers and police.

Hall of Fame back in the saddle again

The Arizona Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum has had a problem getting a foothold in the Rim Country, but the project is back on track after five years of relative inactivity.

Surveillance, warrants lead to multiple drug arrests

Gila County Narcotics Task Force agents have arrested George Hicks, 48, for one count of possession of marijuana and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Register until Feb. 13 for primary election

Citizens can register through 5 p.m. Feb. 13 to vote in the primary election.

Stamp shortage caught everyone by surprise

Some customers at Rim Country post offices are more than a little hot under the collar over restrictions placed on stamp purchases this week, and are wondering why the U.S. Postal Service is not providing the stamps to cover the rate increase.

'Alcohol Awareness Day' introduced teens to support

As a prevention specialist for Southwest Behavioral Health Rim Guidance and one of the current sponsors for Payson High School Students Against Destructive Decisions, I want to make clarifications concerning the Dec. 30 article, "Underage consumption second-highest offense."

Town needs leaders with sense, honesty, integrity

I have lived in Payson almost 30 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, I spent eight years serving the community as a councilman and vice mayor.

What is wrong with judicial system?

I question the mentality of the judge who not only reduced the bond of Rigoberto Arrazola, but allowed him to be released to a "step-one halfway house."

Town funds have restrictions

In a Jan. 6 letter to the editor, Bob Edwards states, "Regarding the lack of money, the council has set streets as the No. 2 issue, but has only appropriated $450,000 to street maintenance, while spending a million on parks, half a million on Main Street and $125,000 on facelifts and council laptops."

Candidate equipped for outstanding job

One candidate for town council that I know has qualities that equip him to do an outstanding job of serving Payson's people on the town council is Ed Blair, who is now retired, and was a Lutheran pastor for 35 years. He is now a member of Mt. Cross Lutheran Church in Payson.

Leaders are servants, not masters

There are three major concerns in the town of Payson: The mayor, the council and the department heads. They are out of touch with the priorities of the citizens of Payson who voted them into office, and they have betrayed the trust and confidence the people of Payson gave them.

What's up?

Q: Why does the town's attorney refuse to challenge the legitimate residency question of town council candidate Diana Sexton? Why won't the town attorney pursue the fact that she lives in lot 24 lower Round Valley full time and de-certify her as a candidate?

Record big fish pulled from Green Valley Park Lake

A 10-minute battle with a lunker-sized rainbow trout might soon land Payson angler Eric Smith in the Arizona Game and Fish record books.

Lady Horns facing 10-game run to state

With the Lady Longhorns 50-38 victory Jan. 10 at Estrella Foothills in the record books, Payson -- sporting an 11-7 overall record and 1-1 East credentials -- are primed for a run at a top-four region finish and an advantageous berth in the East tournament.

Horns head into crucial games with a win

Robert Neumann's drive to the basket and assist to Brian Schwind proved to be the winning play in the Longhorns' tense 71-67 win over Estrella Foothills.

Winter fishing better than expected


Winter fishing is better than expected all over Arizona, with the above normal temperatures and sunny skies. Good reports are coming in from our local waters on the Rim, Green Valley Lake and, of course, Roosevelt.

Diamondbacks tour comes to Payson

The Arizona Diamondbacks Home Tour, presented by APS, will be in Payson Jan. 14.

Exactly how close is close enough in nature?


I spent 21 years in the United States Air Force. When you are part of a military organization for that length of time, you pick up a few expressions. One of them I picked up was a comment that was almost certain to be made when some first-termer who had done less than his best at something claimed that it was "close". "Close," he would immediately be told by the nearest NCO, "only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades."

Payson nabs four medals in Peoria tourney

Steel Armstrong and Porter Wilbanks, two of Payson's most accomplished grapplers, led the Longhorn charge at the prestigious Peoria Tournament of Champions, wrestling their way to team-leading bronze medal showings.

Perusing food labels for healthful eating

Feeling confident that you are putting healthful items in your shopping cart can come from reading the label and knowing what you personally need to reach your weight goals.

Believing 'Love bears all'


Going to an occasional jazz concert with your partner when you would much rather be listening to classical music is one key to marital success, according to Priscille Wylie.

4-H starts a new year ‘building bridges'


The theme for the Gila County 4-H program is "Building Bridges for a Brighter Future." 4-H is for children and teens, ages 5 though 19. Groups are forming now.

Library, other groups, need volunteers


Other than the worry about fire, not much is happening around Pine and Strawberry, so far as I am hearing. Everyone appears to be resting up after the holidays and apparently, many people were sick with that awful flu-like sickness that was going around. Hopefully, our colder weather has chased all the "sick-bugs" away.

Helen E. Miller

Helen E. Miller, 89, died Jan. 10, 2006 at Citadel Care Center in Mesa. She was born July 29, 1916 in Kokomo, Ind. to Hazel and Ernest Harrell.

Ivan B. Weatherup

Ivan B. Weatherup, 88, died Dec. 28, 2005 in Chandler. He was born Nov. 12, 1917 in Brasie Corners, N.Y.

Noma Blanche Wilhite

Noma Blanche Wilhite, 94, of Payson, died Jan. 9, 2006. She was born July 3, 1911 in Kansas.

Art show sheds light on dyslexia's dark world


When Myra Kraemer looks at a page of printed text she sees chaos, and though her blue-tinted spectacles assuage the visual distortion caused by dyslexia, her reality is limited to a fragmented perception of the world.

Shelby students win statewide MLK contest

Payson has three of the 24 children from around the state who have won awards in ASU's annual Martin Luther King Jr. poster-essay contest.

Payson voters designed most town policies


Lately it's become quite obvious the town's general plan is one of the least understood of the many policy documents that have been adopted by the town council. We would like to correct that situation, and there's no better means than providing information.

The time to fight wildfires is now

The sunny blue skies we've all enjoyed here for the past few months have become very ominous to those of us in the fire service. We could certainly use some dark gray storm clouds now. Cracks in the ground are widening and the oaks are turning brown. We are now into one of the driest winters in recorded history.

Tuesday, January 10

New crusher aids dumpster diving endeavors


The Payson Humane Society's aluminum can recycling operation -- a major source of revenue for the shelter -- has kicked it up a notch with the donation of a high speed can crusher.

Making time for storytime


Listening to someone with a talent for it read a short story or a poem is one of my pleasures in life. The inflection of voice trying to characterize someone else's words is interesting and can be mesmerizing.

Soup up your diet with the ‘secret weapon' to weight-loss success


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) MyPyramid symbolizes a personalized approach to healthy eating, allowing you to choose from a variety of options in each food group to meet your needs based upon your age, gender and level of physical activity.

Non-cooking with the anti-chef


I have taken a solemn vow to never cook conventionally again.

Monday, January 9

Lady Horns racing to state

A 1-1 East record has the Lady Longhorns in the thick of the race for a top four region finish and the resulting berth into the state tournament.

Tourney treats Horns to torpedo and triumph

After being torpedoed 66-0 by the Tucson Sunnyside Blue Devils juggernaut, Longhorn wrestlers righted their sinking ship by scuttling Marana Mountain View 38-28 and Yuma Kofa 49-23.

Woman prunes from lofty heights

Robyn Byers has seen her share of bark beetles and bagworms in her 14 years of climbing trees for a living.

Patricia Katherine Sinanovic

Patricia Katherine Sinanovic, 73, died Jan. 3. She was born Feb. 29, 1932 in Sioux City, Iowa.

William B. Moore

William B. Moore, 82 of Strawberry, Ariz., died Friday, Jan. 6 in Mesa, Ariz. following a brief battle with cancer.

Nancy Jean Barker

Nancy Jean Barker, 50, of Vail, Ariz., died Jan. 6, 2006 in Vail. She was born in 1955 in Waterloo, Iowa.

Griffith, Ernst marry

Carol Bearden of Fresno, Calif. and George and Florence Ernst are pleased to announce the marriage of Stacey Renee Griffith of Visalia, Calif. and Timothy Bryan Ernst of Payson.

Registration continues at college

Even though classes started at Gila Community College the week of Jan. 9, the last day to enroll for courses is Friday, Jan 20.

College offering real estate classes

All real estate sales professionals must complete 24 hours of continuing education in their field each year.

Church may serve as interim town hall for Diamond Star

As part of its most extensive agenda to date, the new Diamond Star Town Council approved negotiating a formal agreement with the Star Valley Southern Baptist Church to use its building as an interim town hall.

To the ends of the earth in East Verde Estates

There is no way to count the books on the shelves of the community library at East Verde Estates.

Parents, preschoolers sought for literacy class

There are a few openings left in the next early literacy class offered by Rim Country Family Literacy. The class begins Jan. 20 and continues for six weeks.

What's up?

Questions regarding the Payson Parks and Recreation Department's Winter and Spring Activity Guide; Gila County School Superintendent Linda O'Dell's school, the Payson Education Center; and McDonald's gift cards.

The barbarian within

For starters, Ms. Pratt, my name is O'Brien, not O'Brian. You immediately damage your credibility when you cannot even correctly transpose the spelling of a name. This lends credibility to my statement about your capability for ignorance.

So much more could be done

"Iraq war will cost between 1 to 2 Trillion Dollars."

College board to act on resignation

An organizational meeting of the governing board of Gila County Provisional Community College District will take place at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. Upon adjournment, the regular meeting of the board will convene.

Dual defeats don't do justice to super play

An up close and personal look at who Holbrook coach Raul Mendoza is calling the best player in the White Mountains in the past two decades spelled defeat for the PHS hoop team.

Mine coverage unprofessional

As a retired newsman, I'm just beside myself about the West Virginia mine disaster story.

Dog park rules are for everyone

There are signs posted, bag canisters in place and trash carts for disposal. Rules for the park are easily visible. Still, some are not minding their dog's business. This is plain to see, and, I imagine some have gone home with someone's dog's business on their shoes.

Vandalism or hate crime?

For the second time in as many weeks, a church has had property destroyed. First, the Nativity scene was attacked, and second, the lights on the cross destroyed.

Mayor addresses 'misstatements'

This letter is to clarify misstatements in Bob Edwards' letter to the editor published Friday, Jan. 6.

Drop in bond indecent

What ever happened to common sense and decency and trust in our judicial system?

Javelina need to fear humans

Living in Rim Country, you are more likely to smell a javelina before you see it. That's because javelina, also known as peccaries, have a powerful musk gland on the top of the rump. Their odor is always apparent, especially when they are excited. But for some area homeowners, the wild pig-like animal smells like trouble.

Subdivision will require supermajority council vote

The proposed Mogollon Ridge subdivision awaits the Payson Town Council when it convenes for its first meeting of 2006 Thursday evening. The subdivision, which developer G. Michael Horton pulled from a recent agenda, is up for rezoning, but nearby homeowners hope the petition they submitted to the town will invoke the state's supermajority requirement.

JRE pen pals make German news as 'letter friends'

Fifth-graders in Janice Hoyt's and Alan Ammann's classes at Julia Randall Elementary School have been making new friends across the Atlantic in Germany.

Credit for Kids a big success

The 2005 Credit for Kids campaign raised over $238,000, far exceeding our goal of $225,000 and last year's total of $205,000. All of us at Payson Unified School District thank our donors for believing in and supporting the programs, activities and enrichments this money provides. Most of these extracurricular activities simply would not exist without Credit for Kids funding.

Mountain lion attack: inevitable or avoidable?

As civilization marches on, there is a growing number of wildlife officials who believe Rim Country is headed for a serious mountain lion attack.

Candidate has seen his own well decline

Don't even try to tell Payson Town Council candidate Rick Croy that a town well has never impacted a neighboring well. He's experienced it personally.

BB gun causes scare at Tonto Bridge

Pellet strikes retired park ranger

Marcel Rodriguez felt a sharp sting on his forearm as he raised his camera to snap a few shots of Tonto National Bridge early Friday morning.

Caught on video: Thieves steal construction equipment

Three men and an underage female were videotaped unloading $4,500 worth of construction equipment in Phoenix after absconding with the property from a site in Pine Jan. 5, sheriff's deputies said.

Outdoor enthusiasts asked to watch for forest drug operations

Gila County Narcotics Task Force agents continue to search for illegal marijuana gardens with the same fervor that drove them during last summer's peak growing season.

New medical paperwork service based in Payson

Medical forms submission has changed over the years from the hand-written forms that are on the way out, to the computer-generated forms of today, to electronic data processing, which is on the way in.

Rim teams host benefits this week

For local coaches, athletes and boosters, conducting benefits is one of the ways to fund sports programs that often come up short in strapped-tight school or club athletic budgets.

Freshmen continue season undefeated

If the Longhorn freshmen someday lose, the bitter taste of defeat might be tough to swallow.

Thursday, January 5

Remember: One spark can start a disaster


The first topic that comes to mind for this column is the extremely dry conditions we are experiencing in the high country.

First on scene to help

Concerned motorists stop to help after a 41-year-old Mesa man blacked out and rolled his truck on southbound Highway 87 Wednesday.

Payson Birders help national count

The count is in -- the Payson Christmas Bird Count, that is.

When is a mistake really a mistake?


Have you ever thought back over your life? Thought back over the mistakes you have made? Considered what might have happened had you done this, or done that, or not done the other thing? What you might have been? What you might have accomplished?

Postmistress retires

Employees of the Payson post office held a going-away gathering Tuesday morning for Postmistress Kathy Almendarez, who is retiring.

Healthy habits slow macular degeneration


Blindness is the disability Americans dread more than any other, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation.

Senior on track to break 3-point record

An athlete who honed her long-range shooting skills on the outdoor courts at Frontier Elementary School might soon own all of the Lady Longhorns' three-point records.

Dry winter weather worrisome


Where is all the snow? I cannot believe this is January. As much as we enjoy living in the Rim Country and the nice temperatures, it makes it very scary when we don't get any moisture.

Bonanza a chance to show skills

The Second Annual Basketball Bonanza will provide youngsters aspiring to someday be the next Steve Nash a stage to brandish what they have learned in pickup games and the back yard hoop.

Do your part for fire protection


The new year is under way. It is hard work trying to keep my resolutions, but so far, I am doing pretty well. It is a challenge.

A terrific book and some tips


A man called the other day; he had just adopted a dog from the Payson Humane Society. The family loves the dog, but he was having a few accidents and they had some questions about house training.

Finishing touches are key to dreams

Her background in accounting and supplies matched his skills as a builder. But Rick and Karyn Nelsen didn't know that when they first met in 1994. And the dream of entrepreneurship in the form of Canyon Country Log Homes didn't come until later.

Second Rendezvous in the works

The inaugural Outdoor Rendezvous was such an overwhelming success -- drawing close to 1,000 participants -- that organizers Dennis Pirch and Mark Kile have decided to host a second event.

Freshmen remain undefeated

The Payson High School freshman basketball team might be one of the Longhorns' most talented first-year squads in recent memory.

Charles R. Zittle

Charles R. Zittle died Jan. 1, 2006. He was born Oct. 12, 1934 in Springfield, Ill.

Deedie "Claudette" Gaddis

Deedie "Claudette" Gaddis died Jan. 3, 2006. She was born Dec. 12, 1934 in Tulia, Texas to Marvin and Ruby Cavin.

Billie June Cline

Billie June (Dooley) Cline died Jan. 3, 2006. She was born May 4, 1931 in Hillsboro, Ala. to William and Naomi Dooley.

Ted Bollier

Ted "Papa" Bollier, 84, died Dec. 29, 2005. He was born March 29, 1921 in Terrell, Texas.

Robert Harry Barnes

Robert Harry Barnes, 72, of Payson, died Jan. 3, 2006. He was born Aug. 8, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wis. to Dr. Harry A. Barnes and Inis I. Barnes.

David Ankeney

David Ankeney, 85, died Jan. 1, 2006 in Phoenix. He was born Sept. 20, 1920 in Xenia, Ohio.

Professionals help you get ready for the IRS

On Jan. 13 the Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting electronic returns for the 2005 tax year, but tax professionals in the Rim Country are already working on customer returns.

Longtime resident cuts first CD

Eddie Armer's first CD is for fans of old-time country music. "I really feel today's country music is not country," he said. "It's a mixture of rock and roll and the blues and a few other things."

Securities license awarded new Jones man

Scott Flake, of the financial-services firm Edward Jones in Payson, recently earned his Series 7 license, which enables him to sell securities.

Rabid fox dies on Payson driveway

A dead fox found on the driveway of a home in Payson Dec. 28 tested positive for the rabies virus.

Leaders are out of touch

The mayor's comments in the "(Payson) Insight" (town newsletter) emphasize the fact they are so out of touch with the citizens I just could not resist responding.

Our leaders should live by the law

Happy New Year! What will 2006 bring us? To begin with, we have unfinished business. ...

Court water ruling

We all need a little refresher course on water "stealing."

So many 'know it alls'

Golly, Gee Whiz, Yuk-a-doodle. The Jan. 3, 2006 (edition of the Roundup) is just so full of opinions and those objecting to other people's opinions.

State's weaknesses should be priority for surplus

Among the benefits of the state's recent housing boom is an estimated revenue surplus of $850 million.

LaDonna Fae Bessman

LaDonna Fae Bessman died Dec. 15, 2005 in Phoenix. She was born May 10, 1930 in Burdette, Iowa.

Candidate advocates steady growth

Payson Town Council candidate Barbara Underwood moved to Payson 28 years ago, when the town had just 4,000 residents.

Residents outraged by penalty

A $500 slap on the wrist. That's all a grassroots political group believes the attorney general gave the Gila County Community College Board of Governors for violating the state's open meeting laws. The group, Citizens for Better Payson Government, spent thousands of dollars in financial contributions and hundreds of hours in research to pursue action on the violations.

Listen to song "Mighty Mogollon" by Eddie Armer and the Rowdy Bunch (Mp3 file)

Listen to song "Mighty Mogollon" by Eddie Armer and the Rowdy Bunch

What's up?

Questions concerning: The million-dollar homes article; the 1994 death of a woman at the old German Cowboy; and, gang-type tagging around town.

Rim Country welcomes first newborn baby of 2006

Payson's first baby of 2006 made her debut at 4:04 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2. Cheyenne was the name parents Kristie Ewing and Chris Heflin chose just because they liked it. Nevaeh (pronounced neh-vay) is baby Cheyenne's middle name. "It's heaven spelled backward," said Ewing.

The barbarians swagger

Thank you, barbarians, for your prompt response to my letter. I'm glad that Ms. Iles works as an office manager, lays her napkin in her lap and eats with her mouth closed. She tells us she wears black at funerals, but I don't get the impression she grieves for the deaths of the animals she kills.

Judge reduces bond in fatal drunk driving accident

A judge's decision to reduce the bond of a drunk driver charged with killing three members of Dave Goddard's family has stirred the Payson man's ire.

Downed planes discovered northeast of Payson

Second, uncharted aircraft discovered near fatal crash site

An Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter has discovered the wreckage of a plane that vanished from radar New Year's Eve.

Innovations in scent control amazing


Since I began writing for the newspaper, quite a number of former student-athletes from Payson High School have been the focus of many of my outdoor articles. This one goes back to 1986 when Curt Rambo Jr. was playing baseball for coach Tom Meck and football for Terry Nodlinski.

High school athletes banned from adult league

High school students, once the staple of the parks and recreation-sponsored adult basketball league, will no longer be allowed to participate.

Great neighbor, great mayor

There is an old Russian proverb that states: "A man is judged by his deeds, not by his words." Our neighbors, Bob and Ginger Edwards, certainly prove this to be true.

Smoke complaints amazing

I am always amazed at people complaining about smoke in our neighborhood. We live in a beautiful area that is noted for outdoor activities. We have a campground right across the street, and many fireplaces and wood-burning stoves.

Tuesday, January 3

Eddie Armer and the Rowdy Bunch burn first CD


Forget the Haughts and the Randalls. The oldest family in the Rim Country is the Armers, and its most notorious roustabout has just cut his first CD.

A side trip to the south


Gila County Recorder Linda Haught-Ortega was right after all when she said that the rift between the northern and southern ends of Gila County could be healed if we only made an attempt to understand one another.

Hoop dancing a rare treat


A ring may be a circle without end, but what on earth are those Native American dancers going to do with all those hula hoops, I thought, as three men walked out onto the stage at the Mesa Amphitheater some years ago.

Slow cooking making a comeback


This winter, there's no better time to rediscover the joys of slow cooking. From comfort food to curries, the slow cooker is short on prep, but long on flavor.

Monday, January 2

2005: A year of turmoil and triumph

The year 2005 was filled with turmoil and triumphs.

Parasite closes humane society

An outbreak of giardia, a highly contagious protozoan parasite, has caused the Payson Humane Society to close its doors for two weeks effective immediately. The PHS board made the decision Friday afternoon after consulting with Dr. Danielle Hettler, a veterinarian at Star Valley Veterinary Clinic.

Barbara Jean Beard

Barbara Jean Beard, 72, of Payson, died Dec. 27, 2005. She was born May 24, 1931 in Phoenix.

Pet article needed

Christy Powers' article was very clever, timely and needed.

What's up?

Q: I heard from a local business owner in the food and drink industry that a TGI Friday's restaurant is going in on Beeline Highway across from The Home Depot in the near future. Can anyone confirm?

Helping consumers become computer savvy

The old adage TINSTAAFL (There is no such thing as a free lunch) absolutely applies to buying computers and software and surfing the Internet.

Dogs get VIP treatment at home

"I love mobile dog grooming better than having a shop," said Diane Pribbenow, owner of Clippers Professional Mobile Dog Grooming.

A difficult decision

Withdrawing from Payson's mayoral race was a very difficult decision. I believe the town of Payson deserves strong, courageous leadership at town hall to effect the needed changes that I believe are essential. The citizens must have a real voice in town direction, priorities and policy.

Blessings of 2005 ring in the new year

As I contemplate the new year, I have many blessings for which to be thankful. First and foremost, I am glad to be alive and recovering from a life threatening medical condition that has been repaired with major surgery. But physical recovery is only part of the equation; emotional and spiritual recoveries are also key components.

The new year brings new programs for seniors


How did you celebrate the final moments of 2005? If you were awake, you were probably counting the seconds until the New Year began.

Regional contests start later

Start time for boys and girls basketball games have changed from what appears on original basketball schedules.

A look back at Rim Country sports in 2005

The 2005 sports year was filled with plenty of excitement, disappointment, thrills, chills and new challenges for local athletes, coaches and fans.

Stella M. Moore

Stella M. Moore, 84, died Jan. 1, 2006 in Payson. She was born June 9, 1921 in a log cabin on her grandfather's homestead in Happy Hollow, Mo.

Mary Alice (Batey) Haithcock

Mary Alice (Batey) Haithcock died Dec. 28, 2005 in Payson. She was born March 23, 1928 in Silver Creek, Neb.

Troop departure will create terrorist haven

Was war with Iraq justified? Did Iraq possess weapons of mass destruction?

Bush a war criminal

The term "great leader." The name "George W. Bush."

You can't legislate decency

Re: Gila Community College Board violations of Open Meeting Laws. As a citizen who has followed the issues surrounding the GCC Governing Board for a year or so, I find the report of the AG's office on the open meeting violations extremely troubling. It raises some serious questions.

Buying water -- right or wrong

Recently there was a letter to the editor from Richard A. Meyer Jr., which I can liken only to a fairytale with a confused ending. It probably left your readers asking yet more questions. This is an attempt to once again answer some of those questions.

Spelling out success starts with reading

Anyone who has ever watched a national spelling bee competition knows it can be as challenging and suspenseful as any physical sport played on a field of grass or a wooden court.

Alarming smoke

Payson firefighter Chad Richey extinguishes a small backyard blaze in a fire ring after a West Sherwood Drive homeowner decided to burn a discarded beanbag chair that would not fit in a residential trash container Monday.

Police make single DUI arrest over New Year's

Payson police officers fired taser shots at a father and son New Year's Eve in an effort to quell a domestic disturbance at a mobile home on West Glade.

Diamond Star imposes sales tax

The Diamond Star Town Council passed a 2-percent sales tax and fielded questions from developer G. Michael Horton at its last meeting of the year.

Police still pursuing 2004 murder mystery

An almost two-year-old case in which 54-year-old Ira Eastman was kidnapped and later murdered continues to frustrate Payson police detectives.

Aircraft missing over Rim

A man left Colorado in his Cessna 182 Saturday, Dec. 31, for Scottsdale to visit an ailing family member. "He went off the radar New Year's Eve (Saturday) between Holbrook and Payson," said Civil Air Patrol Mission Information Officer James Nova.

Lady Horns relinquish Hoops crown

It took a well-tuned Class 5A team and a red-hot northern Arizona reservation crew to wrestle the Holiday Hoops tournament title from the 2004 defending champion Lady Longhorns.

Increased postage rates go into effect Jan. 8

Sticking the right stamp on your outgoing bills will become even more important next week.