Stories for March 2006

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Thursday, March 30

Dump truck tears down power lines

A dump truck traveling on Airport Road with its bucket raised caught power lines near 700 W. Airport Road, snapping the wires and bringing down the pole.

Jazz singer brings soft, lilting voice to Payson

Recording artist Sherry Petta comes to Payson next weekend as part of the ongoing Payson Friends of Jazz and Jazz in Arizona, Inc. concert series.

Get a new 'leash' on life

ADOPTION OPTIONS

Daily dog walking can help you drop 14 pounds a year, plus improve your flexibility, balance and self esteem.

Fire chief remembers early days of department

PAYSON PEOPLE

Gary Hatch does not admit to a love of dangerous professions, but he has earned a living in one and made a career of another.

Art refines motor skills, teaches self-esteem and cultivates independence in children

LIVING

Funding cuts over the years have whittled art program budgets like water erodes sandstone. Art education has lost billions of dollars to dwindling financial support.

Need a cure for fishing fever

TONTO VILLAGE

I have had fishing fever for a few weeks, and my husband and I checked out the creeks this past weekend. It looks as if there has been enough run-off to accommodate the stocking of trout. Hopefully, the Arizona Game and Fish people think that, too.

How I quit smoking: A cautionary tale

YOUR TURN

I'm not sure exactly when I began smoking. There were no laws restricting underage smoking when I was young and cigarettes were dirt cheap (a dollar a carton).

Bruce Thompson named Take Pride Volunteer of the Year

PINE-STRAWBERRY

Drum roll, please. Bruce Thompson has been named Take Pride Project's Volunteer of the Year. Many letters of recommendation were received for Bruce.

Duck race will raise money for Whispering Hope Ranch

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

The Third Annual Christopher Creek Duck Race is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, at the Landmark. The race begins at 2 p.m. Everyone is invited to this family fun event where they race plastic ducks down the creek to the finish line at the Landmark.

Is there really such a thing as a disposable dog?

FOCUS ON PETS

There was an article in the Payson Roundup on March 24, written by Karyn Reidell, regarding a dog that was hit by a car on Highway 87 in Pine. Karyn had a veterinarian bill of over $6,000 for this dog, which she has now adopted and named Huckleberry Finn. How wonderful that Huck has found a home and a friend.

Picnicking with Wildlife

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park will host the fourth annual "Picnicking with Wildlife" beginning at 7 a.m. and continuing all day Saturday, April 1.

Head to Tempe for Pat's Run

The second annual Pat Tillman run is expected to attract about 10,000 runners when it is held April 15 on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.

Sport chance for hunters to use bows all year

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

Bow fishing for carp was the hot topic last Saturday morning at The Tackle Box in Tonto Basin. The seminar was led by Jimmy Ridge, an avid and well-known bow fisherman who has a real passion in sharing his expertise.

Youth football throws golf tourney fund-raiser

Dale Gonzalez, a father of two athletic sons, knows his children and others in the community wouldn't have the opportunity to play youth football were it not for the Payson Youth Football League.

Remembering the wins, forgetting the losses

When Longhorn baseball players look back on the 2006 campaign, they will undoubtedly remember a 2-1 victory over Holbrook and forget the 24-6 lackluster loss to the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.

Lady Horn softball team warmed up for East

Buoyed by invaluable experience picked up during the Gracie Haught Classic, the Lady Longhorn softball team returns to regular season action April 1 against Alchesay.

Longhorn foursomes post times among best in 3A

A pair of Longhorn relay teams turned in head-turning performances at the prestigious 66th annual Chandler Rotary Invitational.

What's up?

Q: Do forest rangers, firemen or police look for campfires at night, when campers or partyers would be more likely to burn them?

Town doesn't need to create things for teens to do

I am writing this in response to April Mouritsen's Nov. 15 Letter to the Editor, "Teens need more to do."

Proud to be a member of Search and Rescue

On Saturday night, March 18 about 11:30 p.m., my Tonto Rim Search and Rescue beeper went off, indicating a search for overdue hikers at the Barnhardt Trail.

Prayers go out to those who tried to help

After reading the tragic story of the man who was killed when his car caught fire March 20, I felt profoundly saddened.

Vote for Diana Sexton

I have known Diana Sexton for over two years.

Looking forward to a government 'for the people'

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. I was elated to read the comments of Su Connell echoing Diana Sexton, who has repeatedly stated that she would listen to the people of Payson and although they might not agree with her they would hear the truth from her.

We need to stop giving guns to crazy people

Nobody asked me the question. I wish somebody would ask the question in an arena where it might count. The question is simple.

Diana Sexton loves Payson, her hometown

Just a few thoughts on Diana Sexton. We have six very good candidates to choose from for our new council members. Among the choices, Diana has been cast as a light-weight. I hope his letter helps to alleviate that profile.

Horton rezoning a slap in the face to citizens

This is a slap in the face.

Rick Croy understands the struggle to make a living

Rick Croy is needed on our town council. For several years he has worked with the county and several service organizations to improve conditions for a large portion of our citizens who are struggling to maintain a decent living.

Bob Edwards responds to Gartner letter

The Tuesday, March 28 Roundup article reporting on the Payson police chief's implications that I have a bias against members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints is disturbing on a number of levels.

Candidate surprised by how many didn't vote

Thank you, Payson voters, for your support in the primary election. I truly appreciate your confidence in me as a town council candidate

Appearances affect quality of education

As we wrote the headline for our front page story announcing the school board's decision to pursue a bond, we were careful not to use the words "tax" or "taxpayer."

Ernest Paul Wolff

Ernest Paul Wolff, 78, of Payson, died March 26, 2006 in Payson. He was born May 5, 1927 in Chicago, Ill.

Marilyn Jo Wester

Marilyn Jo Wester, 68, longtime Payson resident died March 26, 2006.

Joseph P. Sinatra

Joseph P. Sinatra, died in Payson on March 26, 2006. He was born in Los Angeles, Calif. on March 2, 1929, where he lived until he and his wife moved to Mena, Ark. in 1994.

Wilma Jean Hartman

Wilma Jean Hartman, 77, of Payson, died in Payson on March 25, 2006. She was born Dec. 8, 1928 in Bedford, Ind.

Richard Lee Crawford

Richard Lee Crawford, 71, of Payson, died March 26, 2006, in Payson. He was born May 25, 1934, in Orange, Calif., to Marie and Thomas Crawford.

George James Brady

George James Brady, 86, of Payson, died on March 26, 2006 in Payson. He was born Jan. 31, 1920, and was raised in Redding and Hollywood, Calif. He graduated from Hollywood High School.

Victor Clay Attebury

Victor Clay Attebury, 54, of Pine, died March 26, 2006 in Payson. He was born Sept. 11, 1951 in Abernathy, Texas.

Payson resident leads Elderhostel tours of Lake Powell

When Payson resident Jeff Wiles speaks of the Elderhostel and Edventures programs offered through Yavapai College, one is keenly aware he is a man who loves his work, and that Lake Powell has a very special place in his heart.

National coverage of rescue catches attention of police

Elbert Higginbotham of Heber, and his wife Becky -- who made national news after being marooned in their snowbound motor home with four others for three weeks and rescued March 21 -- were arrested in Washington state for warrant violations, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Partnership key to water issues, county says

A regional partnership may be the best way to solve the Rim Country's water problems.

We'll miss Sheryl's smile

Sheryl McKeen touched the lives of most who met her during her short time with us. Her untimely death has awakened precious memories of the vibrant young woman who loved fishing, horses, softball and good times with her friends.

Payson woman killed in motorcycle accident

Sheryl Lynn McKeen, 31, of Payson, was killed March 26 in a motorcycle accident near the South Park boat ramp at Lake Pleasant.

40 tons of trash found in forest

When Forest Service personnel pulled off Granite Dells Road Thursday morning and walked into the brush, what they saw looked like a bomb had torn a building apart and left its pieces scattered across the forest floor.

Schools crumble, bond heads for ballot

The modernization of old and obsolete Payson School District facilities -- many of which serve as classrooms for 2,800-plus public school students -- received a jump start at the March 27 school board meeting.

Community college adds 20 new courses in 2006

The Gila County Board of Supervisors were glad to discuss education rather than politics at Tuesday's day-long meeting in Payson. Gila Community College Dean Margo Bracamonte presented a report to the board, sharing highlights from the school's recent progress.

Affordable housing for those who wait

For first-time homebuyers on tight incomes in Payson, patience is the name of the game.

McHughs celebrate 55 years together

Larry and Gervaise McHugh celebrate their 55th anniversary on Friday, March 31.

Councilor Barriger's replacement discussed

Though names were discussed and the process was clarified, Payson Town Council did not move forward to fill the seat of resigning council member George Barriger at Thursday night's special meeting.

Scientists watching Fossil Creek closely

Non-native crayfish pose the biggest threat to native fish swimming in the 14 miles of the Fossil Creek restoration project.

Tuesday, March 28

Horton Creek: The Rim Country's best-kept secret

REVIEW FEATURE

Ask almost anyone in the Rim Country about Horton Creek and the most likely answer will be, "Where's that?"

The great, angry Dude Fire of 1990, Part 2

BACK WHEN

When we arrived in Payson, smoke clutched the low-lying town and white ash accumulated everywhere. ...

Nostalgia for a past that never occurred

CAROLING WITH CAROL

When your eyes were first dazzled by a circus did you go home that night and dream of taming lions, hula-hooping on a tightrope or flying as only a trapeze artist can?

Reasons men are more susceptible to death by fire

AROUND THE RIM

Fire is a dirty word in these wooded parts, a four-letter word in the truest sense.

Monday, March 27

Stanley E. Goebel

Stanley E. Goebel, 91, of Deer Creek, died March 22, 2006. He was born in Secor, Ill. on June 19, 1914, and was raised in Secor and Eureka, Ill.

Water systems save money in long term

Alan Roeder got into the water business eight years ago after answering an ad in a New Mexico newspaper.

Store offers town's best stocked shelves

Wine and spirits lovers, lift up your glasses and toast the Beverage House, Payson's newest and most expansive liquor store.

Are you who you thought you would be?

Former Payson High School teacher and coach, Cain Jagodzinski, now at Fountain Hills High School, asked his senior government/economics class five years ago to write a letter to themselves.

Longhorns take stage at Chandler Invitational

The prestigious Chandler Rotary Invitational served as a stage for Longhorn track team members to earn outside qualifying berths to the Arizona State Class 3A tournament.

Payson martial arts competitors fight their way to top

Ryan Sundra's debut on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament trail was a smashing success.

Man returns to the game after near death on third hole

Frank Szakal returned to the golf course where he once cheated death, and he returned with a new-found passion for the game.

Lady Horns match rivals on dry home field

Mother Nature cooperated, and the Gracie Haught Classic went on without a hitch. The Lady Longhorns played their way out of the doldrums after missing several practices due to wet fields.

Rev. Jerome Rabinkoff

Rev. Jerome Rabinkoff was born in Sheepshead Bay, N.Y. on Oct. 18, 1926, and died March 20, 2006.

Dudley R. Qualls, Jr.

Dudley R. Qualls, Jr., 61, died in Payson on March 23, 2006. He was born in Jourdanton, Texas on Aug. 2, 1944. He moved to Phoenix as a child.

William Linus Bloehs

William Linus Bloehs, 71, of Star Valley, died March 23, 2006 at Payson Care Center. He was born Dec. 4, 1934 in Hammond, Ind.

Rotary Interact Club takes on New York

Everyone knows the Payson Rotary Club, and some of the good things they do around the community. Lesser known is the Interact Club. Interact is Rotary for high school kids. It is a service organization that works to improve the community its members live in.

Every student a success story

Decorum, courtesy and respect are pieces of the expected code of conduct for students at the recently opened Payson Education Center.

Site feedback

I read your opinion piece of March 17 regarding the publishing of a political cartoon. I cannot honestly argue with most of what you stated.

Sexton puts in bid for general election votes

I want to thank those who chose to vote for me, Diana Sexton, for council. I will always be an honest voice for you. As a council member, I want to represent you as an individual and Payson as a whole.

Barber thanks supporters; endorses council candidates

Well, the party's over, at least my part of it. It has been an experience from which I learned a great deal.

Freshmen should be allowed to leave campus

I am an eighth-grade student at Rim Country Middle School. I was really looking forward to becoming a freshman next year, and then I heard the freshmen would not be allowed to go off campus next year for lunch.

Repeal the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR3824 ("TESA"), which claims to make the Endangered Species Act more palatable by tacking on token reimbursement to private property owners ravaged by ESA activities, and condescending to more involvement of local governments.

Considering the question of cartoons and patriotism

One sees frequently these days the argument put forth that any and all criticism, no matter how inane, is itself shielded from criticism because the author must not be seen as unpatriotic, much less treasonous.

Setting the straightened record straight again

Does groundwater connect differently in Payson?

Student questions quality of school cafeteria

A couple of weeks ago you got a letter from a student saying that the cafeteria wasn't doing very well at Rim Country Middle School. Well, I would have to agree with her.

Thank you for returning my purse

I would like to thank the lady who found my purse at Safeway and turned it right in at the desk.

Thank you from Library Friends of Payson

The Library Friends of Payson would like to express their thanks to all the participants in our very successful Chefs' Extravaganza held on Feb. 25. The event raised $5,637, which will go to purchase books and other materials for the library.

Vote for Diana Sexton

Thank you to everyone who voted in the Primary Election.

Residents' water wasting must come to an end

You can almost feel your throat tighten and your tongue begins to feel parched as you talk about water shortage. It makes you thirsty to think about cutting back.

Young author book signing Saturday

Book sales to benefit Community Kids program

Last year Morgan DiFelice thought she might be an actress when she grew up. This year, she has decided there are too many career choices for a girl of 10 to choose right now. She will wait until she grows up. Until then, she will write stories.

Police chief asks mayoral candidate to watch his words

In a letter dated March 21, Police Chief Gordon Gartner wrote Payson mayoral candidate Bob Edwards expressing his concern over comments the candidate reportedly made during his campaign. Edwards allegedly accused the town and police department of showing hiring preference to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

New college board member sought

Dick Wolfe's resignation from the Gila Community College Board of Governors has left a vacancy that needs to be filled.

Domestic violence victims get back on their feet one creation at a time

The women of the Time Out Shelter have a new outlet for their creativity by making and selling primitive or saltbox folk art. The pieces the women create are sold and the money used goes to the woman who made the art.

Fit to fragile: Routine doctor visit changes everything, reveals cancer

Alice Ottero will never forget the routine doctor visit that changed everything.

Historic building saved from fire

The Rim Country came within a whisper of losing a historic treasure Monday morning.

Council seat opens with Barriger resignation

Payson Town Councilor George Barriger announced he is stepping down from his position on the council. His resignation is effective May 1.

Town water conservation can be measured one dirty plate at a time

While some may look at a sink full of dirty dishes and see a chore, members of the Payson Town Council see gallons of wasted water.

Thursday, March 23

Going to Washington

County supervisor blames federal forest mismanagement for ‘the mess we're in' and now she wants them to clean it up

Washington, D.C. is about to get a visit from Gila County District 1 Supervisor Tommie Martin, and she's not going to see the sights.

Retired teacher has a school named for her

PAYSON PEOPLE

Lomi Gray Heard graduated from high school in Lovington, N.M. in 1923. There were just three career options open for the girl who was the salutatorian of her class: nurse, secretary or teacher.

Hang up and drive

These days, cell phones do just about everything. Though they record videos, take pictures and play music, the one thing they don't do is keep drivers safe.

Dog's sad story has happy ending

On Jan. 28, I was having breakfast at a Pine restaurant. The waiter looked out the window, saw a dog running along the highway and said, "That poor pooch is going to get hit."

Pretty faces need new places

ADOPTION OPTIONS

Payson Humane Society is pleased to present you with this week's pretty faces needing new places. These pets are fine, loving animals who would be forever grateful to find a comfortable, caring home.

Walking dogs good for heart and soul

FOCUS ON PETS

As I told you in last week's column, the best way to tell if your pet is obese is to feel for the animal's rib cage.

Seeing signs of springtime

TONTO VILLAGE

Can Spring be far behind? While I was in the Safeway parking lot yesterday, I noticed that the trees have bloomed in their pretty pink blossoms. There is still snow in Tonto Village, and I have not noticed any of our fruit trees in bloom yet, but I suspect that it should happen very soon.

Writing about Pine/Strawberry from my place in California

PINE-STRAWBERRY

My dogs and I are in California this week for a major RV event. Hopefully, I will learn a lot. And, hopefully, all local significant events are included in this column.

Artist lives in swirling world of color

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

There are several talented residents living in the Christopher Creek area, but none that can surpass Marilyn Salomon.

A lot can be accomplished with a good library

YOUR TURN

I had the good fortune to live on Okinawa for just under three years. I say "good fortune" because it's an interesting place to see and a place with a lot of history, particularly World War II history.

We've gone from February fire to March snow

DISTRICT CHATTER

What a difference a month makes. Our District received up to three feet of snow during the big snowstorm last week. We are told that it takes ten inches of snow to equal one inch of rain, so our forests have received over three inches of rain to bring an end to the longest dry spell on record.

Vote for Clifford Pirch

By logging on to the FLW Outdoors Web site, anglers can play a video of Payson pro Clifford Pirch fishing in a recent East Coast tournament. Clifford is one of three nominees for the Eagle Claw Hook Set Award.

When the crappie aren't biting, fish for bass

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

I am a diehard crappie fisherman who really enjoys trying to figure these fish out, whether it is in the early spring, mid-summer, or the short sunny days of late fall.

Rotary donation boosts Rim Club volleyball coffers

The newly formed Club Rim volleyball team coffers have been enriched by a $500 donation from the two Payson Rotary clubs.

Relay team up against best foursomes in state

Payson High's 4x800 relay team is set to test its speed and skill against the best foursomes from a four-state area.

Tough as nails, heart of gold

Athlete's courage during tough times inspires all around her

The courage Kendra Francis has shown in the face of adversity is an inspiration to all who know the 17-year-old Payson High School senior.

Horns golf team wins easily over Eagles

Payson High School golf coach Bret Morse has a better grasp on how good the 2006 edition of his team might be.

Renee Jeanette Rocheleau

Renee Jeanette Rocheleau died March 20, 2006 in Payson.

Barbara Mae Longfellow

Barbara Mae Longfellow, 88, died March 17, 2006. She was born in Outlook, Wash., and graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle, Wash.

Glen Reed LeSueur Jr.

Glen Reed LeSueur Jr. of Payson died March 21, 2006 in Mesa.

What's up?

Q: I am a motorcyclist who rides every day on Highway 260 going past Payson Concrete at the intersection of 260 and Tyler Parkway. I have been concerned for some time now about the safety of myself and other riders because of the high level of gravel, dirt, etc. on the roads around Payson Concrete. ...

The voters have spoken

The primary ballots have been cast and they have been counted. The results firmly show that the people have been unhappy. The results show that Bob Edwards received 2,456 votes compared to the incumbent, Barbara Brewer's, total of 1,390 votes. Jon Barber followed closely with 1,256 votes.

Kindness of Rim Country never ceases to amaze

This is an actual testimony about the people of Rim Country. My husband and I met their kind friendliness when we moved to Arizona and drove here to explore the area in 1968. We bought a home in Pine when my husband retired in 1977.

Thanks to all who helped with Red Cross emergency shelter

The Rim Country Service Delivery Unit of the American Red Cross would like to thank the following organizations for their superior support in teaming with us in our operation of the emergency shelter set up on March 11 due to the heavy snows.

Sending all illegal immigrants home today not the answer

I share Don Castleman's frustrations (in his letter "Illegal immigration is costing taxpayers" published Friday, March 10, 2006) over the illegal immigrant problem. However, while the overt cost to our country is indeed enormous, Mr. Castleman's proposals would, in my opinion, be of no help and would, in addition, inflate the cost of living and make our country vulnerable to criticism of many of our friends in this world.

Thank you for the kind end-of-life care

Thea Pickett and family want to thank Dr. Munoz, Dr. Ivey, Dr. Galholtra, the Payson Regional Medical Center, Rim Country Health and Retirement Community Center, RTA Hospice and Palliative Care, and their respective staffs for the loving care George received during his last days.

Mr. Henley focused on details not big picture

I want to respond to Councilor Robert Henley's letter to you dated Feb. 10. Mr. Henley chastises Mr. Poskanzer for what he characterizes as a "blatant misstatement of fact."

Four-year term for mayor was bad idea

Congratulations, Payson voters.

ELL politics abandons kids

While Superintendent of Instruction Tom Horne and the Arizona Legislature play politics with ELL, students in Payson and around the state continue to struggle to master the English language.

Visiting company to offer work-from-home option

WillowCSN, a company that provides call center services without call centers, is making a presentation for potential Rim Country employees this weekend.

Wrong lane

A three-vehicle accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 22 on a curvy section of Highway 87 between Payson and Pine.

Town of Star Valley can now pay the bills

After operating on promises and IOUs since its incorporation several months ago, the Town of Star Valley can now pay its bills.

Amon Builders win award for riding arena

The arena Amon Builders constructed for Whispering Hope Ranch won Star Building System's 2005 Master Builder Award, Best of the Intermountain District, competing against 122 nationwide entries.

84-year-old could face manslaughter charges in death of motorcyclist

Charges have not been pressed against Rosalind Jeannette, the 84-year-old driver who failed to yield while exiting the Payson Day Spa parking lot onto Highway 260, causing the March 2 collision that killed Payson resident Larry Peterson, 55, and sent Teri Peterson to the hospital.

Kids kept occupied through Spring Break

The United Methodist Church filled the week of Spring Break with a program called Kingdom Kids to keep youth occupied.

Day-long meeting to examine water, college

Water and Gila Community College will dominate the agenda when the Gila County Board of Supervisors meets in Payson at 9 a.m. Tuesday on the campus of the Gila Community College.

Horne puts ELL funding on hold

Payson School District's intent to use upcoming state funding to help students struggling to learn English has been put on hold.

Even experienced hikers get lost

Even experienced hikers can do everything right and still get lost.

Before it was national news, Payson family quietly prayed

Mary Higginbotham heard about her son Elbert's disappearance three days after he and five others vanished in the frigid, remote expanse of the Siskiyou National Forest in southern Oregon.

Town council votes to let Star Valley water flow

The debate started over a Star Valley well and a proposed Payson housing development back in August 2005. Developer Michael Horton, by Arizona state law, needed an unencumbered water supply to build 35 single-family homes.

Tuesday, March 21

The great, angry Dude Fire

BACK WHEN

No one on Tonto Creek will ever forget the fateful summer of 1990 when what was dubbed "the great, angry Dude Fire" swept over the historic Zane Grey Lodge and several cabins built by pioneer settler Anderson Lee Haught. It also grazed the Tonto fish Hatchery.

Warm up early spring nights with Mexican flavors

IN THE KITCHEN

Spring may have arrived, but the weather will be on the unpredictable side for awhile yet.

Letting it all hang out

AROUND THE RIM

With the precipitationless winter of 06 winding down and the juniper pollen cascading around us like the snowfall we finally had, we might as well turn our focus to that earliest rite of spring -- the bare midriff.

A labor of loves

REVIEW FEATURE

It's all about love for town historians Jinx Pyle and Jaynie Peace -- a love for the Rim Country where they were raised, a love for the heritage and cultures of the West, and the very special love they have found in each other.

Monday, March 20

Bad weather brought 300 calls an hour to dispatchers

The Gila County Sheriff's Office in Payson fielded nearly 300 calls an hour during the March 11 and 12 storm that dropped more than 30 inches of snow on the town.

What's up?

Questions concerning casino shuttle license plates; Ross, TJ Maxx and Payless stores; hazardous materials disposal; and dumping cars at Ponderosa Manor.

Site feedback

Your (editorial) in today's opinion page, "Cartoon choice raises question of patriotism" is right on the mark. ...

Town should have paved all of Airport Road

Recently, a section of Airport Road was repaved. The old road had not been very well kept up and was pretty old. I am questioning why the town didn't just repave the whole road.

Big thank-you to 'kids these days

Kids these days. How many times have we heard ourselves say these three words, usually for a negative reason? We are writing this to tell a little bit about what we have observed of the "kids these days."

Bush lies on a regular basis

George Bush should be removed from the presidency. Even followers who fell for his "born again" persona should be ashamed, embarrassed and angry at this man's actions.

Mail-in ballots open election up to fraud

Whatever happened to the secret ballot?

Optimist Club offers chance to give back

This letter is directed to those who work with youth currently or have an interest in being involved with youth. Why am I writing? The Rim Country Optimist Club invites one and all to find out more about our organization and hopefully consider joining.

Some adults need to grow up

Some adults in the Rim Country need to grow up. There are two areas where the adults of our community need to learn the qualities that make good mature citizens.

Contribution story headline discouraging

The headline on your campaign contribution story "Whose money are you electing?" was unfortunately derogatory.

Shift in housing prices steers Payson in wrong direction

The change happens as quietly as one school teacher packing her belongings into a moving van. She drives away in search of the place she thought she had found when she moved to Payson -- a small town where she could be a member of the community and raise a family.

Culinary writers invited to compete for award

If you have written and published a cookbook, or contributed to one, between 2004 and 2005, you may be eligible to compete for three cash awards to be presented in October. The deadline to enter is April 1.

You say tomato, but which kind: sliced, diced or stewed

SENIOR MOMENTS

Grocery shopping sure is a lot of work these days, isn't it? Remember when you went to the store for a can of tomatoes and that's what you came out with?

Local briefs

The Christopher Kohl's Fire Department has received a grant from the Governor's Highway Safety Program.

Man brings out the inner beauty of stones

Gerry Galarneau cut his first stones -- a turquoise and agate cabochon -- in 1972.

Kindergarten registration begins March 27

Frontier, Payson and Julia Randall elementary schools will be accepting kindergarten registration for the 2006-2007 school year beginning March 27.

Learn to market your child for college

For most parents, college tuition looms large on the financial horizon from the moment a child is born.

Payson loses one more coach

Yet another head coach has resigned at Payson High School.

No sting from loss to AAA team

Payson Cougars senior softball team player-manager Abe Yamada is not disappointed with his squad's 14-13 tournament championship loss to Robson Ranch.

Former PHS wrestlers standout in Ohio

A pair of former Longhorn standouts showcased their mat skills in the 2006 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships March 10-11 in Findlay, Ohio.

Storms jumble Lady Horn schedule

Payson High School athletic director Dave Bradley spent most of the district's spring break rescheduling games that had to be postponed due to the snow and rain that drenched prep playing fields around the state.

Play ball -- The rain and snow will follow

Former Payson High School baseball coach, athletic director and principal Tom Meck was convinced there was a surefire way to end a Rim Country drought.

Jasmine Monica Signeski

Jasmine Monica Signeski was born Feb. 22, 2006 to Richard and Darina Signeski.

Alexis Rose Jacobs

Alexis Rose Jacobs was born Feb. 16, 2006 to Amber and Derek Jacobs.

Rachel Isbell

Rachel Isbell, 74, of Payson, died March 4, 2006. She was born in Monkton, Vt. on Dec. 25, 1931, where she lived until she ventured west.

John R. Duke Haley

John R. Duke Haley, 60, of Tempe died March 15, 2006 in Tempe. He was born June 7, 1945 in Phoenix.

As winter ends, plant herb garden indoors

It may still feel like winter, but herbs picked fresh from your windowsill garden and added to a pot of soup can warm the cockles of your heart.

Truck driver jumps from 18-wheeler

Patrick Joseph Murphy, 56, jumped from the cab of his 18-wheeler as it began to jackknife.

Carnival puts cork in underage drinking

Though underage drinking's no joke, a consortium of substance abuse and mental health organizations will host a family afternoon of fun April 1.

Jackson makes Penn State Dean's List

Lisa Jackson, a 2003 graduate of Payson High School, was named to the Dean's List for academic excellence for the fall 2005 semester at Pennsylvania State University in State College, Penn.

Real life social studies

It is one thing to learn about a new culture from the pages of a book. It is another thing to look into the faces of a people, to taste their food and feel the texture of their day to day.

Exercise is the fountain of youth

Beginners in the MHAX III exercise program are not your typical gym members. Many of them are walking into the gym for the first time in decades, if ever, and the progress is slow.

Council to discuss fate of Resolution 2098

Just days ago, the Arizona Supreme Court turned down a referendum that would have granted residents the opportunity to vote on Payson Town Council Resolution 2089.

Planning saves home from fire

A Star Valley home was saved on Friday because owners had the foresight to install a fire extinguisher near a stove in the kitchen.

County frees money for fuel breaks in Payson, Pine and Star Valley

The Gila County Board of Supervisors pledged $150,000 in matching funds for local fuel break efforts at its regular meeting last week.

Man's heart strong one year after transplant

Less than a year after heart transplant surgery, Skip Boldt walks up to 10 miles a day on a treadmill.

Water strategy will give firefighters advantage

Gila County has come up with a novel way to improve the Rim Country's chances of keeping small forest fires from becoming major conflagrations as an extremely dangerous fire season approaches.

Strawberry man dies in car fire Monday morning

A Strawberry man died midmorning March 20 when his late model SUV swerved off the Beeline Highway, collided with two cedar trees and caught fire, trapping him inside.

Thursday, March 16

Town manager, public works director answer letter writer's questions

I found Fred Carpenter's letter of March 7 factual and informative. I wish he would clarify a couple of points:

Brewer and Edwards in sprint to finish

It's been a war of the elements. There were two towns chucking legal water balloons over a pipeline, community groups and developers hurling verbal dirt clods at each other while the forest between them burned with political fire.

Winners rethink strategy

The race started with eight town council candidates. The final results, announced March 16, culled two choices: Incumbent Robert Henley and the general manager of Lifestar Ambulance, Charlie Smith. Now, over the next 60 days, six competitors will campaign for a trio of seats on Payson's Town Council.

Star Valley name wins in landslide

Outsiders often assume that Star Valley was named after its beautiful nighttime skies, but the residents who voted overwhelmingly last week to rename their fledgling town know better.

Star Valley voters elect new town council

While the name change to Star Valley created the most "buzz" during the campaign, Star Valley voters also overwhelmingly approved the other question on the ballot -- authorizing the town to acquire a public utility.

Classic organizers pray for blue skies

Gracie Haught Classic softball tournament director Charlene Hunt has her fingers crossed, hoping the second annual fast pitch showdown doesn't suffer the same fate it did last spring. Hunt said, like everyone else, she's cheering for more snow and rain in the Rim Country, but she'd also like a weather respite March 24 and 25 so the Classic can be played without a hitch.

Ormand says goodbye to wrestling program

Although Rich Ormand has stepped down as Payson High School's wrestling coach, he will remain long enough to tie up loose ends in the program.

Snow no problem for track teams

The snowy blizzard that stormed through Northern Arizona, closing roads and schools, didn't slow the Payson High School track team express.

Even with missing athletes, Tonto track does well

Tonto Apache Track and Field team coach Billy Joe Winchester is hoping a full contingent of athletes shows up when the squad travels March 18 to Mesa College for a USA meet.

Workshop offers chance to try new sport -- bowfishing

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

Springtime brings the fish to the shallows at Roosevelt Lake for the annual spawning. If you have been fishing in the back of coves you have probably witnessed the carp splashing the shoreline in their spawning ritual.

Anonymous letters speak to cowardice of authors

I read only the first sentence of a letter I received March 13 before noticing it was not signed.

Cartoon choice raises question of patriotism

On Tuesday, March 14, we ran a cartoon on our Opinion page that made light of the public apology Harry Whittington gave to Dick Cheney for the embarrassment the vice president had gone through after a hunting accident in which Whittington was injured.

Curiously watching Payson soap opera from afar

Payson Place. My wife and I are looking forward to the next episode of this soap opera.

Bush bashers offer complaints but no solutions

Those that appease the crocodile will only succeed in being eaten last.

Think before you start to complain

Hey, that was a fantastic winter storm that just blanketed Northern Arizona with several feet of snow.

PHS secretary unflappable after 22 years on job

Among the challenges Grace Popelier has taken on in her 22 years as a principal's secretary is fielding a Thanksgiving call about how to cook a turkey.

Twistin' the night away for a good cause

Nineteen-fifties prom night is the theme for the 11th Annual Kiwanis Auction for Payson Youth April 8 at the Mazatzal Casino.

Cat condo peddler gets one-year extension

Retiree trying to make ends meet gains community sympathy

The trial period is over and the cat condo peddler has been given a one-year extension.

Referendum 2098 legal battle ended for good

Resolution 2098 was on its way up the judicial ranks when Arizona's Supreme Court refused to hear the case this week.

Children, pets act fast ... so does poison

Poison prevention week starts March 20

Exploration and investigation of the world around them is a natural part of learning for children under five. Sometimes their curious minds and increasingly coordinated fingers lead youngsters into danger.

Smith, Klimuck wed

Tim and Jacque Klimuck of Payson would like to announce the marriage of their son, Brian Klimuck, to Kari Smith, daughter of Karen Smith of Mesa and Larry Smith of Prescott.

Greens celebrate 50 years

Jerry and Nancy Green will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary March 18.

Keith Palmer Boxberger

Keith Palmer Boxberger, 69, a resident of Cottonwood, passed away Tuesday, March 7, 2006, after a long, difficult battle with cancer.

Gerald Otto Cavallari

Gerald Otto Cavallari, 71, died at his home in Prescott Valley on Feb. 22, 2006.

Felix Wilbur Cowan

Felix Wilbur Cowan, 80, of Payson, died March 11, 2006. He was born July 9, 1925 in Muleshoe, Texas.

B. Joe Mirick

B. Joe Mirick, 74, of Sun City, passed away on March 12, 2006. He was born April 25, 1931 in Yukon, Okla. and lived most of his life in the Buckeye area.

George Pickett

George Pickett, son of Alva and Hazel (Floyd) Pickett, died March 13, 2006. He was born in Twin Falls, Idaho on April 5, 1926.

George Pye

George Pye, 84, of Payson, died March 10, 2006. He was born July 18, 1921 in Phoenix.

Childhood fascination with Japan leads to fluency in a difficult language

When Lindsay Nelson was a child, she liked anything that had to do with different cultures. If she saw a statue, she wanted to know who created it and how it fit into the daily life of that culture.

Facing up to pet obesity

FOCUS ON PETS

It has been almost two years since I last addressed the problem of obesity in this column. However, the problem certainly has not gone away.

Add a new member to your pack

ADOPTION OPTIONS

This week's offering of adoptable pets features five wonderful animals, all so very deserving of caring homes. Of course, we have more at the shelter. Do you have the time and patience to add a new member to your pack? We hope so!

One man's theories shot down by closed minds

YOUR TURN

In the winter of 1930, while leading his third expedition to the frozen top of the world to investigate the thermodynamics of Greenland's atmosphere and the thickness of the polar ice cap, a man named Alfred Lothar Wegener died.

Community generosity raises money for area fuel break

PINE-STRAWBERRY

Happy St. Patrick's Day. The beautiful snowfall from last weekend was most welcome and is so very beautiful.

Not a good weekend for shorts and flip-flops

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

Christopher Creek hadn't seen any moisture since October and then we get dumped on all at once to the tune of almost four feet.

A corned beef and cabbage recipe good enough for an Irish husband

TONTO VILLAGE

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, or Erin Go Braugh.

Wednesday, March 15

Final results released in Payson Council primary election

At 2 p.m. Thursday, final results for the primary round of the Payson Council elections were announced. In order to avoid a runoff election, candidates needed to received more than 50 percent of the vote. Since no candidate met that requirement, the runoff election will take place on May 16. Ballots will be mailed to voters in April.

Tuesday, March 14

Town chooses name: Star Valley

Diamond Star voters overwhelmingly approved two ballot questions -- to change the name of the town to Star Valley and to authorize the town to acquire a public utility. Over 80 percent of the 553 citizens who cast votes approved the two questions.

Preliminary Payson election results

As of Wednesday morning 4,632 ballots were counted in the Payson election, accounting for 53.4 percent of registered voters. There are still 517 ballots to be counted. Final results will be announced 2 p.m. Thursday.

Early settlers on the Upper Tonto

BACK WHEN

One cannot spend much time on the upper waters of Tonto Creek without encountering the names of early settlers, such as Roberts, Boles, and Zane Grey.

A message they'll never forget

AROUND THE RIM

It's always fun to discover something that strikes a discordant note with people, and RSVPing is apparently such a thing.

Packing up your troubles

REVIEW FEATURE

If you, like me, thought the Payson Packers were so named after backpacks or otherwise packing things along on their hikes, you'd be wrong.

Monday, March 13

Trivia Bee to benefit Rim Country Literacy Program

If you're one of those people who think you know it all, then here's your chance to prove it.

Watching their garden grow

Once a week when they water it, the attention of Rim Country third-graders is entirely focused on the phalaenopsis orchid they brought home from school the first week of March.

Court rules in favor of Town of Payson on Resolution 2098 appeal

The Arizona Court of Appeals in Tucson ruled in favor of the Town of Payson last week, agreeing that the voters should not be allowed to decide the fate of Resolution 2098 -- the Payson Town Council's decision to pay George Randall and Roy Haught $750,000 for water from their Star Valley well.

Diamond Star appoints Rappaport to Blue Ridge Water Committee

The Diamond Star Town Council appointed Bill Rappaport to chair a Blue Ridge Water Committee at its regular meeting last week.

Town will spend $50,000 on fuel break

The Payson town council approved $50,000 for a fuel break on the town's southern and western boundaries at its regular meeting Thursday evening.

Bow and arrows now illegal in town parks

It is now illegal to discharge bows and arrows, crossbows, pellet guns, BB guns, paint ball guns and similar weapons in municipal parks.

Betty Kathren Taylor

Betty Kathren Taylor died March 5, 2006 in Payson. She was born Betty K. Richardson in Walkerville, Mich. on June 28, 1923.

Larry Peterson

Larry Peterson, 55, of Payson, died Thursday, March 2, 2006. He was born in Lansing Mich. where he resided until he graduated from high school in 1968.

Lilla Webb Hepworth

Lilla Webb Hepworth died March 8, 2006. She resided at Ordinary Lifestyles Group Home in Payson. She was born March 11, 1910 in Christiana, Jamaica, to Joseph and Sarah Webb.

Police briefs

Tribal police arrested Christine Marr, 38, of Payson after Mazatzal Casino surveillance cameras caught her taking methamphetamine at a machine March 9.

Science Fair

Second-grader Tyler Button demonstrated the surface tension of water.

Supporting the troops

The community responded when fifth-grade students from Payson Elementary School asked their neighbors for things for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Grim Reaper visits PHS

Hannah Palandri, left, and Marleann Nielsen participate in a day-long program March 10, led by the Payson High School chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).

Water improvement district needs board member

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District is seeking applicants interested in filling a vacancy on the board.

Kaden James Perez

Kaden James Perez was born March 1, 2006 to Christie Parker and David Perez.

Habitat half-marathon set for fall

Runners have a new reason to come to the Rim Country -- the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity Rim Country Challenge sponsored by the Mazatzal Casino and Hotel.

Verde Canyon Railroad offers train for all seasons

There are few pleasures greater than clickity-clack through the countryside on a train. I call it a "land cruise."

Doing business in the branches

Dale Lee loves everything about his "office in the woods."

A fudge shop where everyone knows your name

The storefront in Bishop Park in Pine is a fudge shop again after 20 years.

Learning to eat my words

I've eaten crow and it doesn't taste too bad.

Longhorn trio rewarded with place on All-East team

Region basketball coaches have tapped five Payson High School boys to the All-East team.

Team takes detour to Wickenburg

Longhorn track and field team members can be excused for believing the town of Buckeye looks a lot like Wickenburg.

Classic indoor battles draw Lady Horns

The Lady Longhorns tuned up for their appearance in one of the season's most prestigious indoor track and field meets -- the Skydome Classic -- at a March 8 eight-team showdown in Wickenburg.

Horns finally back on course

The Longhorn golf team has returned to the links following a lengthy absence of almost a year and a half.

What's up?

Q: What's up with the restaurants in Gila County, especially Payson. Are there no laws on waitresses' hair? So often when they are taking orders they must push their hair back with their hands or their hair is in the food if they carry trays on their shoulders. What about sorting silverware from baskets placed on the floor? --AND-- Q: Why can't the Payson Water Department include an envelope with their monthly bill. If it is for financial reasons, then why don't they just bill every two months?

Many people made hoedown a success

This year JRE PTO sponsored a Hoedown for the staff, students and their families, as our way of saying thank you for their support.

Voting brings us back to foundation of this country

I just voted. I cast my first ballot for my new town.

First Amendment does not protect libelous statements

Mr. Al Poskanzer has written a Letter to the Editor in support of Bob Edwards for mayor. He also writes frequently on the Roundup's Internet message board on this same subject.

Thank you for column on PHS coaches

As a resident of Show Low, I thank you for the boldness of publishing your article regarding the resignations, and lack of contract extensions, of many coaches at Payson High School. It is time, particularly in smaller communities, that "the public" become aware of the pressure that School Boards "succumb" to from a few "powerful and influential," dissatisfied parents.

With ballots cast, time to stop fighting

As the last ballots are counted tonight and the numbers reveal the winners and losers in this election, we will breathe a sigh of relief and shift our focus beyond the campaign to the future of Payson.

Goddard won't interfere with Diamond Star

The Arizona attorney general's office will not intervene to invalidate the incorporation of the Town of Diamond Star.

Door Stop protecting reputation

The Door Stop noise issue has flared up again, but this time owner Jim Hill says he's had enough.

Bill could affect teacher pay

The future of HB 2830 is cloudy, but if passed it could ease the burden on local taxpayers and help improve teachers' overall salary schedule by doing away with the Career Ladder Program. Completely understanding the bill, however, is a daunting task.

76 Muslims take refuge in Payson shelter

As a result of road closures brought on by the weekend snowstorm, the American Red Cross opened an emergency shelter for 165 stranded travelers in Payson.

Snow doesn't impact Payson's groundwater supply, but helps forest

The first snow of 2006 is one for the record books. According to National Weather Observer Anna Mae Deming, approximately 3 feet of snow accumulated in Payson over the weekend. The National Weather Service in Flagstaff, as of late Sunday afternoon, reported 31 inches had fallen.

Rim Country snow storms few and far between

The Rim Country's big snows may be few and far between, but if you've made it through one, you know to be prepared.

Photo Gallery: Snow storm March 2006

A major winter storm hit Rim Country Friday, March 10 and continued through the weekend dropping more than 30 inches of snow on a drought-ridden community. This gallery includes staff and reader-submitted photos.

Saturday, March 11

Snow blankets Payson, many roads closed

Unofficially, Payson received as much as 20 inches of snow this weekend. Many roads are closed or impassable. The Red Cross has established an emergency shelter for stranded travelers at the old Payson High School gym on Longhorn Road, just east of the Highway 87/260 intersection in Payson. As of this post, both major highways in and out of town are closed. Find links and phone numbers for road closure information.

Highways reopen after heavy snow covers Rim Country

With unofficial reports of more than 20 inches of snow on the ground, law enforcement officials are urging Rim Country resident to stay off the roads unless travel is absolutely necessary. As of this news post, both major highways in and out of Payson have been reopened.

Thursday, March 9

Art show and music: So many things happening in P/S

PINE-STRAWBERRY

The amount of information there is to report is certainly increasing. Often, I wonder what I will write about and then, there is so much and I am afraid I am forgetting something, which I did last week, or making mistakes, which I do on a regular basis.

Body of missing Tonto Village man found

TONTO VILLAGE

Did you hear the raindrops Tuesday night? I woke up hearing those few drops hit the metal roof, and then just as soon as I recognized what the sound was, the raindrops stopped. Right now the clouds are back and dark looking and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the clouds decide to dump the moisture right on top of us.

Novelist feels born in wrong century

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

There are some very talented people living in Christopher Creek. Over the next couple of months I am going to introduce you to some of them.

So much can happen in a single day

YOUR TURN

Ever come across one of those days when there seems to be absolutely nothing to do? A day when all you really want is for the clock to click off another twenty-four so you can get on with your life? I did, one day in a small town in Northern Italy, a place called Aviano.

Waiting in line for the dog bed

FOCUS ON PETS

When I think of all the dogs in my past that went through their entire lives without their very own dog bed, a feeling of guilt creeps over me.

Being healthy involves more than nutrition, exercise

The women of the Rim Country are invited to learn how to improve their health and create their futures at the Eighth Annual Women's Wellness Forum.

Moving forward with Parkinson's disease

LIVING

Debilitating tremors are quite often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Parkinson's disease. But the disease can affect balance, speech, energy level, short-term memory and nutrition as well.

Payson's oldest cowboy still has swagger at 90

PAYSON PEOPLE

Charlie Henderson is the oldest cowboy in Payson -- although he'd probably never admit it.

Player sacrifices in hopes of playing college volleyball

The days are long, the travel is extensive and the practice hours are demanding.

Payson becoming a graveyard for coaches

The merry-go-round of varsity head coaches at Payson High School appears to be spinning out of control.

Family time on a javelina hunt

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

The outdoor camping experience is an opportunity for the entire family to have fun and create memories that will make great stories for years to come. I can't emphasize enough the value of doing things together as a family that will help in the nurturing process of children growing up.

Horns in hunt for Copper Classic title

The Longhorn baseball team travels to the Copper Classic Tournament in Miami looking to improve upon the 2-3 record it compiled in the Mohave Invitational.

Lady Horns to be tested by Lobos

The 15-team Wickenburg Wrangler Invitational softball tournament might have been the challenge the Lady Longhorns needed to better prepare themselves for the upcoming rugged region season.

CBS 5 and NPG Cable agree on three-year deal

KPHO CBS 5 announced March 9 they have reached an agreement to renew their cable retransmission agreement with NPG Cable, Inc.

3 to 6 inches of snow expected

The dry days are behind the Rim Country -- at least for the near future.

Veteran police officer promoted to sergeant

Payson Police Officer David Blalock has been promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Reserve police academy offered in Payson

Qualified residents of Rim Country don't have to leave town to be certified as a Peace Officer in the state of Arizona.

Kathryn Belle Streater

Kathryn Belle Streater, 80, of Payson, a longtime resident of Arizona, died March 4, 2006. She was born in Hatch, N.M. on Oct. 4, 1925, where she spent her early childhood.

Reynold Eugene Bjorck

Reynold Eugene Bjorck, 90, of Scottsdale, died March 6, 2006 in Payson. He was born Aug. 15, 1915 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Woman recognized for service to Senior Circle

Ruth Hardister stands tall and straight, her voice is quiet, but commanding. Everything about her belies the fact she turned 89 in January. Everything about her leaves no doubt that she can do anything others might ask of her.

Many motivational speakers keep students captivated on Power Day

It wasn't the challenge of karate chopping a plank in two for the first time in her life that had 12-year-old Kali Johnson trembling. Rather, it was being closely surrounded by about 30 of her classmates who were chanting, with arms raised, "Kali, Kali, Kali."

Golf tournament to raise money for food bank's new building

On Saturday, April 29 golfers will be teeing off for prizes at the fifth annual Tee Off for Hunger tournament to benefit the Rim Country's St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.

Group spends week in India struggling to meet medical needs

Equipped with digital stethoscopes and the desire to make a difference where they could, four Payson residents traveled to India for a week.

What's up?

Q: I noticed that some clubs get photos published on the Organizations page and some don't. What is the procedure to get a photo published for our club events?

Falsehood corrections were false and must be corrected

The Letter to the Editor written by Judy Buettner titled, "Falsehoods must be corrected" contains many falsehoods that do need correcting.

Thanks for the generosity during Tootsie Roll Drive

On March 6, the Knights of Columbus Council 9995 of St. Philip The Apostle Catholic Church presented a check for $1,325 to Becky Derwort of the Arizona Special Olympics here in Payson.

Thanks for the memories from Mad Dawg's

This letter is written to the people of Payson and the surrounding areas to express our deep and sincere appreciation for all of the support and love we received from you for the past several years.

Illegal immigration is costing taxpayers

We have a serious problem in Arizona and it is time for citizens of all parties to recognize the problem and take action to correct it. We are being invaded by criminals, terrorists, gangs, freeloaders and destroyers of our economy and our way of life. Illegal immigration is killing us.

A lesson learned from the kindness of strangers

On the evening of March 2, I was involved in a single-car rollover accident around milepost 272 outside of Strawberry. I was driving a charcoal Jeep Grand Cherokee. From what I am told, my vehicle ended up on the rocky mountain with the back end six feet up on the rocks, and the front end on the pavement, landing on it's top. It is a miracle I survived.

Middle school students aren't fans of roundabouts

The circle curb in the middle of Highway 87 by Home Depot should be a stoplight (instead of a roundabout).

Show compassion and let God and the court do the judging

I am a Christian with a serious eating disorder. You wouldn't know by looking at me, because I am a "normal" size, but since childhood I have been addicted to sugar and given to frequent junk food binges, which result in debilitating blood sugar levels akin to drunkenness. With a background in science and nutrition, I ought to know better. As a Christian, I really ought to know better.

Laud for man taking responsibility for his actions

Rigoberto Arrazola made a mistake when he chose to drink and drive and because of his actions three people were killed and a family was forever changed.

Conditions don't yet warrant forest closures

The deep concerns of the residents of the Rim Country about the risk of fire are also my concern. Around Payson, the slightest wisp of smoke on the horizon can give land managers and citizens the jitters. About 80 Tonto National Forest employees, along with their families and friends, call the Payson area home, and we share their concerns about what this fire season may bring.

Campaign dollars don't always reflect special interests

Money talks, but what is it saying?

Community helps library rebuild DVD collection

When Susan "Stormy" Storms learned that several hundred DVDs were stolen from the Payson Public Library she was outraged.

New water restrictions likely

Thanks to a lingering drought and a record dry winter, Payson residents can expect tighter water restrictions in April. While Mike Ploughe, town hydrologist, is just beginning to put the numbers together, he left little doubt that the current Level 2 water conservation measures will be changed.

Campaign contributions: Whose money are you electing?

The latest campaign finance reports are in for the Payson Town Council election, and the Roundup has compiled the contributions to each candidate's campaign through Feb. 22.

When you're too old to drive

Jean Jennings knew the street she drove on like the back of her hand.

Fritz and Freckles make perfect pair

This week's featured dogs need to find homes with people who are committed to training and working with them. The prospective owners will need to understand how to be the alpha leader -- showing calm, assertive dominance while being kind and gentle with these dogs.

Tuesday, March 7

Tonto Creek adventures

BACK WHEN

One of Arizona's most fabled streams of water is near the center of the state, and is called Tonto Creek. It begins with springs hidden under the Mogollon Rim and flows through forests, canyons, and basins as it cuts across the land made famous by novelist Zane Grey.

Renaissance festival worth the trip

CAROLING WITH CAROL

Rimaroos brave the traffic of the Valley for supply runs to Trader Joe's, doctor appointments, entertainment and shopping.

The catch of the creek

IN THE KITCHEN

Visit Tonto Creek in April (once the forest is open again and the creek is more than a trickle) and you might be able to catch both Brown and Rainbow trout.

New events for the Winter Olympics

AROUND THE RIM

I don't know about you, but I'm wondering where they got all the screwy events in the Winter Olympics.

Monday, March 6

Three track stars step to the front

The big three of Robert Walker, Brian Schwind and Issac Cluff stamped themselves as Class 3A state track and field medal contenders on March 1 when they took first place finishes at a season opening three-way meet held at Apache Junction High School.

Great show

Jamie Dieveney and Doug Wisness of The Coats vocal group provide an energetic moment on stage.

People want answers, not entertainment, organizer says

The Book of Revelations in the Bible has recently been the subject of a TV fictional miniseries and a best selling series of books that started with "Left Behind."

Taking a closer look at the 'reserves'

VIEWS FROM THE TOP

The Town of Payson's budget for fiscal year 2005/2006, which ends June 30, 2006, shows potential expenditure of $39,825,431 against projected revenues of only $31,775,330, making it appear that the Town was planning to spend $8,050,101 in "reserves" during the fiscal year.

Senior Circle honors Volunteer of the Year for 2005

SENIOR MOMENTS

February was a flirtatious month and April will be downright delightful, but March is like a willful child, capricious and unpredictable. March is perfectly capable of charming us with spring sunshine one day then throwing a tantrum, complete with a full-scale blizzard, the next.

Payson welcomes 2 new pastors

Mountain Bible Church and the Church of Christ welcome two new pastors to the community.

Teamwork big part of construction competition

Woodshop students competed at the Arizona Construction Championships in February.

Drama students compete against themselves

Payson High School hosted the Arizona One-act Play Tournament.

Confidence strengthened with FBLA wins

Rim Country Middle School and Payson High School are growing the country's future business leaders.

Nominations requested for business award

Business nominations are being accepted for the Arizona Small Business Association's Arizona Companies to Watch awards.

Getting to know his customers on a first-name basis

Rim Country's newest plumber, Anthony Anderson, and his wife, Diane, opened Affordable Hometown Plumbing to get back to the residential business he grew up in.

Edward L. Shoemaker

Edward L. Shoemaker, 61, of Mesa and part-time resident of Pine, died Feb. 17, 2006.

Kenneth Lyle Carpenter

Kenneth Lyle Carpenter, 84, died March 4, 2006, surrounded by his family.

Etter, Peters engaged

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Etter of Payson and Mr. and Mrs. Mike Peters of Pine are pleased to announce the engagement of Hannah Etter and Ryan Peters.

Zumbro graduates pilot training

Air Force 2nd Lt. Bryan S. Zumbro has graduated from Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base, Enid, Okla.

15 booths left for April's Business Showcase

Residents of the Rim Country will have a one-stop shop to learn about more than 50 businesses and services in the area at the 14th Annual Business Showcase in April.

Action calls Diamond Star incorporation illegal

G. Michael Horton's Terra Star Valley 40, George Randall, Roy Haught and others have filed another legal action aimed at the incorporation of the town of Diamond Star.

Teen Web site looks at elections

Though none of them are old enough to vote, Erin Wilson, Dustin Ammann and Trent Hubbard know more about the candidates in Payson's local election than most of the people making pen marks on ballots this year.

Firefighter honored for 17 years

In Robb Beery's home, firefighting is a family affair.

Wilbanks making Payson proud

The headline in a Gunnison, Colo. newspaper read, "Wilbanks leads Western at West Regional Championships."

RCMS basketball keep on fighting to the end

The Rim Country Middle School eighth-grade boys basketball team has probably never heard a single lyric of Queen's mega-hit "We Are the Champions."

Positive predictions on target for girls track

There are usually no misfires when veteran coach Chuck Hardt evaluates his track and field athlete talent.

Brandon Buckner: Great basketball player, good student, role model

Team player. Fundamentally sound. Gym rat. Coachable. Those often-overused sports vernaculars can be used to accurately describe a score of the state's high school basketball players.

Arizona Press Women offer journalism scholarship

Arizona high school students who wish to study journalism at an Arizona college or university may be eligible for assistance from the Betty Latty-Hurlburt Memorial Journalism Scholarship, sponsored by Arizona Press Women and the Arizona Newspapers Foundation.

Nursing test March 9

Prospective nursing students will have an opportunity to take a nursing test from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 9 at the Payson Campus of Gila Community College, on Mud Springs Road.

Cultural exchange goal: understanding

Payson High School Spanish students were paired up with students from Instituto Regional de Guaymas in Guaymas, Mexico last week for the first half of the Hands Across the Border exchange program.

Town in need of change in government

Town Councilor Judy Buettner's Roundup letter of Feb. 28, regarding the Town of Payson accomplishments is certainly a nice pat on the back, but there are many little hidden facts that did not come out in her letter that require questions.

Good Samaritan helps couples in need

I thought this letter would be interesting to print in your local paper regarding the type of great individuals you have in your Town of Payson.

Brewer handles the pressure with grace

Mayor Barbara Brewer has shown her dedication to the Payson community and its citizens during her almost 10 years on the Payson town council. She continually searches for more and better ways of helping all our citizens and is never too busy to return phone calls. Mayor Brewer has a proven record of accomplishments.

Longtime residents do not always make best candidates

A transfusion is needed. At present, we have the "Good Ole Boy" attitude which is alive and well in our town council.

Vote for one of two kinds of towns

As we approach the final days of the town council and mayoral election campaigns, we should all ask ourselves what we really need and want in our council.

Town manager offers a few corrections

A letter to the editor in the Feb. 28 edition of the Payson Roundup indicated that the Town had sold its Central Arizona Project allocation for about $1 million and was planning to use the proceeds for street improvements. In 1992, the Town did in fact sell its CAP allocation, but the price was $4,218,797.

Sexton understands the meaning of democracy

In a group of outstanding candidates for Payson Town Council, I have no hesitancy in supporting Diane Sexton. She understands, in the same sense as America's earliest and greatest leaders always have, the meaning of democracy.

Thank you from Frontier Elementary

On behalf of the staff, students and parents at Frontier Elementary School, I would like to thank the following businesses for making our Art Extravaganza and Family Fun Night on Feb. 28 a rousing success:

Political double talk not impressive

I had an opportunity to listen to Mr. Bob Edwards speak at a meeting recently. If I did not have an opinion of him as a candidate running for mayor for the Town of Payson prior to this, I certainly do now.

Separation of church and state touches nerve

In response to Ann Barrett's Letter to the Editor which appeared in the Payson Roundup on March 1, 2006: Ms. Barrett's comments touch a controversial nerve as she again makes a reference to the age-old debate surrounding the phrase, "separation of church and state."

Sharing a quote that sounded familiar to Payson

The following is a quote from a book that I am reading, but it so resembles the things that are happening in Payson that I would like to share these words.

Homebound thankful for mail-in ballots

This is written to other homebound, frustrated, embarrassed, handicapped, honorable people who don't want to see the good reputation of Payson ruined. We are a good town. We are good neighbors. We don't steal from one another.

Let parents do their own censoring

I'm a 14-year-old girl who goes to the movies with family and friends a lot, and I read an article on the opinion page. When I was through reading the article, I was really mad, because it was all about how our theater wasn't going to show a certain movie because it has too much violence, and that parents didn't want to expose their kids to all the violence.

Time to look to the November elections

Although we are still in the midst of our mid-March Town elections, Mike Caccioppoli, "Proposed Bush budget hurts Arizona," Payson Roundup, Feb. 17, 2006, wants us to start looking toward the November elections.

Let's not make excuses for teenagers

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when it happens, but it happens to all of us. We age and we forget what it was like to be a teenager.

Historic 'mail trail' ride to be re-enacted

Payson could partner with Camp Verde in annual event

One of the great sagas of the Wild West -- the 52-mile ride along the "mail trail" that ran from Camp Verde to Payson -- will come to life again this fall.

Grandparents raising grandchildren search for ways to fit in

Most grandparents maintain limited contact with their grandchildren -- a Christmas here, a weekend there -- especially when they live afar. Not Cathy Boone.

Fire chief wants $50,000 for Payson fuel break

The town council will consider dipping into its contingency fund to begin work on a fuel break on the town's southern and western boundaries.

Merit Scholar finalist has political aspirations

A teen aspiring to someday walk the hallowed halls of the U.S. Congress has been named a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

Vote count starts Monday

Preliminary election results out Tuesday night

A total of 3,585 Payson residents had voted in the Town Council election as of Monday, and Town Clerk Silvia Smith is encouraging the remaining 5,000 registered voters to get their ballots in as soon as possible.

Thursday, March 2

Missing Mad Dawg's and Mel's

I live in Phoenix and enjoy traveling around my state and visiting towns in Arizona.

Rim Country shoppers seek healthier options

Genetically modified organisms are as American as apple pie.

Payson woman most at home on stage

PAYSON PEOPLE

Fay Lumley has been singing her heart out all her life. She has acted professionally on stage, in film and television for 20 years.

Tonto Village resident missing since Feb. 7

TONTO VILLAGE

I just received word that a relatively new resident of Tonto Village has been missing since Feb. 7. The gentleman's name is Tim Tucker Adams and he lives on Johnson Boulevard in Tonto Village II.

Strawberry Patchers have been making quilts for DPS

PINE-STRAWBERRY

Suddenly, there are lots of things to write about in Pine and Strawberry. I try so very hard to make proper notes and file information so that I will not miss events that are coming up. But often I do not hear about things until it is too late. When I have the information and I do not get it in this column, I feel horrible. And that just happened.

Pajama Party provides lot of laughs

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

Last Friday night was the Annual Ladies Pajama Party. Sixteen women showed up at Karen Thorton's home wearing their favorite PJs and donning some of the funniest slippers I have ever seen.

Best-behaved buddies waiting

ADOPTION OPTIONS

The Payson Roundup is pleased to bring you this new, weekly column featuring adoptable pets from the Payson Humane Society.

Three strikes, but fortunately not out

YOUR TURN

In earlier columns I mentioned that a great old guy named Abdul taught me the meaning of wisdom three separate times while I was working in the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan.

Owners take charge of their own future

As members of the brand new Main Street Merchants' Committee mingled with a mix of town staff, council members and candidates Monday evening, you'd never guess that Main Street's lone full-service restaurant had just been shuttered.

Hydrologists give bleak report

It's just a matter of time before the Town of Payson has a damaging effect on the wells of Diamond Star residents by using that community's water to fuel its growth, according to a team of hydrologists who spoke at a Diamond Star Town Hall meeting Tuesday evening.

Local man killed in motorcycle accident

Payson resident Larry Peterson, 55, died in a motorcycle accident Thursday afternoon. Peterson was the retired manager of the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery.

CBS affiliate grants NPG 10-day extension

NPG Cable subscribers are still receiving CBS affiliate KPHO after the station granted a 10-day contract extension.

Quilts help children through trauma

Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Whetten knows well the value of "trauma quilts" supplied to officers by the Strawberry Patchers.

Payson needs a place to rest the eye

Close your eyes for a moment and visualize a mental picture of Payson. What do you see?

School is about more than AIMS test

The obvious is worth repeating: Education is about more than passing the AIMS test. I said this bold in my April, 2005 e-newsletter to Arizona's educators, and I stand by it. Education is for three major purposes:

Connell has common sense

Have you ever watched a Payson Town Council meeting or read related accounts in a newspaper and thought: "Just use some ‘common sense' in these decisions"? Susan Connell has proven integrity, honesty and impressive financial skills. She weighs both sides of an issue and uses common sense.

Why do the same thing and expect a different result?

Whoa. Has anyone noticed that the level of information management associated with this "local" campaign far exceeds what one might expect for a town this size?

Water your favorite trees, even now

GOOD GARDENING

The possibility of fire is on everyone's mind. Give your plants as much help to survive as you can a fire should it reach your yard.

You can teach an old dog new tricks

FOCUS ON PETS

Training makes such a difference in our relationship with our dog and in our dog's ability to fit in to our household. We can all imagine how it would be to live with a child who has never been taught any basic manners. How awful.

Republican's post-9/11 world is greed and avarice

During the election of 2004, the Republicans and the Bushites would appear at Senator John Kerry rallies and proclaim in sing-song fashion "Flip flop, flip flop." This served the GOP well as they convinced many that Senator Kerry did not stay the course and would change his message as it suited him.

Doing unbelievable things with their voices

Harmony is on the near horizon. The Tonto Community Concert Association is hosting the vocal group The Coats in a performance at 7 p.m. Monday.

PHS cooking class opens restaurant

The enchiladas have been rolled. The apple pie has been baked. In the Payson High School's Longhorn Culinary Arts program, the students are ready for community groups to meet and enjoy a meal in their restaurant.

Officer of the year began at bottom

When John Heflin entered the police reserve in 1994, he was an unemployed sawmill worker who read at a fifth-grade level, his son Jason said.

New plane brings new possibilities for Civil Air Patrol

Out of only 30 new planes that were given to Civil Air Patrol chapters around the United States, the relatively small Payson Airport received one because it has the only CAP-owned hangar in Arizona with a classroom.

First Responder training offered

Ever since the Rodeo-Chediski Fire of 2002, a core group of volunteers has worked to provide the Rim Country with a local Red Cross team.

Harvey Alvin Ramlow

Harvey Alvin Ramlow passed away at the age of 86 on Feb. 21, 2006. He was born Nov. 21, 1919 in Vernon, Wis.

Mary Catherine Mitchell

Mary Catherine Mitchell, of Payson, died at the age of 100 on Feb. 28, 2006, in Mesa. She was born April 27, 1905 in Hibbing, Minn.

Fab four recognized for their accomplishments on the court

Four Lady Longhorn basketball players have been named to the All-East region team.

Senior Division returns to Little League

A Little League Senior Division (13 to 15 years of age) program, suspended last year partly because of conflicts with the Rim Country Middle School baseball team, will return this season.

Don't miss out on crappie time at Roosevelt Lake

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

March is the beginning of the traditional Crappie Time on Roosevelt Lake.

Turning vacant lots into social centers

A new project by Amon Builders is being touted as the kind of development Main Street needs to become the tourist attraction and town gathering place its proponents envision. Called Main Street Depot, the new project would be constructed on a 1.5 acre site at 417 W. Main St. It features a two-story building that would house shops and galleries, and a single story building for a new restaurant.

Middle school basketball teams wrap up season

Rim Country Middle School Maverick basketball teams are heating up the White Mountain League hardwoods with their spirited play.

New club volleyball team in place and doing well

The long awaited and much anticipated Payson volleyball club team is up, running and doing well.

Payson riders on track in MBAA race series

The Rim Country was well represented at the Mountain Bike Association of Arizona Estrella Especial race held Feb. 25 at Estrella Mountain Region Park.

What's up?

Questions about the lunch hour at Rim Country Middle School; an election measure in the Town of Diamond Star; the Star Valley water pipeline being tapped into The Rim Club storage tank; and Bashas' carrying organic meat.

Lunch hour short, lines long

There is a big problem with lunch at Rim Country Middle School. We have to wait in line for a very long time, and then when we finally get our lunches we only have a few minutes to eat before they kick us out.

Good Samaritans offer roadside assistance

On Sunday Feb. 19, I drove down from Diamond Star to Slade Creek Hill south of Payson to wait with my parents for a tow truck to come pick them up, as their car had broken down on the way home to Fountain Hills.

Growing graffiti problem encourages gang behavior

I thought we had some department in town that was eliminating graffiti as it appeared. This doesn't appear to be the rule any longer and I for one don't wish to live in Phoenix, but that is what our town is starting to look like.

Goodbye, Payson, thanks for everything

Well, the time has come for my wife and I to leave this fair town, as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28. We are longer going to live in Payson.

A vote for Su Connell

As a volunteer for the Rim Country Literacy Program, I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with its director, Su Connell, for nearly two years.

Flawed logic in concern over time of residence

Developer Kevin Sokol, in a Letter to the Editor printed on Feb. 28, suggested that Payson voters should not vote for Bob Edwards and myself since there are others who have been in town longer.

Thank you for helping K-Kids

This is just a short note to let the Payson community know about some supportive and helpful businesses.

Even newcomers have valid opinions

A couple weeks ago I wrote a letter, which you published, in which I stated my hope that this election would be a clean one. I appealed to the Payson voters to pay attention to issues, listen to the candidates, find out what they intend to do for our town and then vote for their choices. I also expressed the hope that personal attacks on candidates would be avoided. Sadly, this has not been the case.