Strawberry Hailstorm Still Making Headlines

Pine-Strawberry Focus

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A note in Sept. 22 edition of the New Bedford, Mass. newspaper, The Standard-Times, reads: "On this day in 1890, an extremely severe hailstorm struck Strawberry, Arizona. Even five days after the storm, hail was reported in 12- to 18-inch drifts."

My sister sent this interesting bit of trivia. Incredible.

Fuels reduction committee

The PS Fuels Reduction Advisory Committee met this week. Don Nunley, Fuels Specialist for the Payson Fire District, reported that with wonderful new funding, massive thinning projects will be taking place around Pine, Strawberry and Payson. You will be seeing lots of activity in the coming months including some burning. This is all in an effort to make us safer. It was reported that our fuel break has lots of fresh shoots, but these contain a lot of moisture and are not a problem. Also, because of the moisture and sunshine, there is grass growing on the fuel break. This was the goal. Grass is good.

Nunley also reported that our huge community effort in raising money for our fuel break definitely caught the attention of the federal government and the county. The fact that our community was able to raise the money needed, instigated the government to come up with maintenance money. Nunley praised Mike Brandt for his massive work, determination and progress in the fuels reduction program. The urgent responsibility of each of us now is to reduce the fuels on our own property. If a fire starts within our communities, there is no stopping it unless we are surrounded by defensible space. The brush pick-up route ensures that the brush you cut out will be hauled away at no charge. Call the fire department with questions at (928) 476-4272.

The PSFRAC is still looking for that perfect slogan to remind us all to reduce the fuels around us. Send your ideas to me at the address below.

The Quad Motorcycle Poker Run is Saturday, Sept. 30. The Motorcycle players will meet at Nifty ‘50s at 9 a.m. The Quad Poker group will meet at Sidewinders at 10 a.m. Both runs are $10 per hand. The winners will be announced and prizes given out at 3 p.m. at Sidewinders. Prizes for the Motorcycle Poker Run are: First place -- $100, second -- $50, and third -- $25. This event is a fund-raiser for the Justice McNeeley Foundation, which provides funds for special medical needs for children in our communities.

Fall Festival

The Family Fun Fall Festival is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8 at the Pine Community Center. There will be lots of games, contests and fun for all. Last week, I reported that there would be a scarecrow costume contest. It is not a costume contest. The judges are looking for the best scarecrow. Stop at local businesses displaying the festival poster and ask for the guidelines for the Prince and Princess contest, which is open to children ages 5 through 8, and for the scarecrow contest.

There is still time to reserve your space for The Good, The Bad, The Ugly flea market. Call Sandy Human at (928) 476-2406 for details. Enter your best apple or pumpkin creation in the bake-off. Call Karen Blake at (928) 476-3658 for information. Call Karen also if you can volunteer to help for a few hours at the festival.

A pancake breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 10 a.m. both mornings of the festival by Strawberry's Elite with proceeds going to children and families in the community.

Rimside Grill is having their annual Oktoberfest in the Pines from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. There will be fun, games, music, German food and beer throughout the day.

Stop by the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library for all the goings-on there. Children's Movie Madness is Wednesdays, Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, at 11 a.m. Pre-school story hour begins on Wednesday, Oct. 18, for children 2 through 5.

The first-ever Sicilian Cultural Festival will be from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Rimside Grill. Food will be catered by Chef Gerardo Moceri from Cucina Paradiso of Payson. Tickets are $20 for adults, $7.50 for children 5 through 11 and those under 5 are free.

All proceeds benefit the Pine Library.

For tickets or more information, stop by the library or call Mario Belvedere at (928) 476-3932.

-- Provide information for this column by calling (928) 476-2239 or e-mail cpwrather@earthlink.net.

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