Stories for April 2007


Monday, April 30

Inaugural fishing festival to become annual event

The Optimist Club of Payson, in conjunction with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, sponsored a daylong Kid's Fishing Festival at Green Valley Lake last week.

Safety first

Representatives from Native American Air, Life Star Ambulance, the Payson Police and Fire Departments and the Department of Public Safety visited Payson Elementary School to talk to students about their work and what the children can do to stay safe.

May is 'Older Americans Month'


Ah, spring -- season of youth. But, do you know that May is also Older Americans Month? The event has been observed since 1963 and the theme for this year is "Older Americans: Making Choices for a Healthier Future."

Spring in the desert reminds us of what is important

Driving up to Payson or down to the Valley is always relaxing. The scenery is so beautiful, different areas have smooth, gray rocks, others are sharp in browns and rust colors, along with a variety of cactus, tall and small.

Outdoor Expo to showcase shooting range improvements

Members of the Tonto Rim Sports Club are eager to show off the vast array of improvements that have taken place at the Jim Jones Shooting Range.

Students to host international meal for the public

Student chefs of the Longhorn Culinary Arts Restaurant invite the community to sample food from around the globe and help them raise money for their classroom kitchen conversion from home to commercial.

Calvin G. Peace

Calvin G. Peace, 87, died April 27, 2007, at the Hospice House in Payson.

Dorothy Helen Bartholomew Felker

Born Dorothy Helen Bartholomew Felker March 25, 1926 in upstate New York, Mrs. Felker died April 15, 2007 in Payson.

Spring Fling offers carnival atmosphere for children, parents

The Spring Fling at Julia Randall Elementary School enters its fourth year and Parent Teacher Organization leader, Susi Carr, would like to invite the community to the family-oriented event.

PHS choir presents spring concert Tuesday

When Modern Choir member Jami Flake heard that the Payson High School Choir had been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York, she was ecstatic.

Businessman and businesswoman of the year to be awarded

On May 8 at noon at the Payson Inn, Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation will honor each of the nominees for Outstanding Businesswoman and Man of the Year and for Outstanding Business.

Scottsdale radar system could come to Star Valley

Star Valley officials are considering the implementation of a photo-radar system, much like the one used on the Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale.

Great food, lackluster play

What was predicted to be an afternoon of small town camaraderie, accompanied by standout baseball and softball, turned into only a day of community fellowship.

May 1 smoking ban pushes Buffalo Bar to finish patio

Mike and Cindy McCannon, owners, staff and patrons of The Buffalo Bar & Grill are celebrating Cinco de Mayo in a big way. There is a two-day party planned to christen the restaurant's new outdoor patio from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5.

'Toner pirates' target businesses, churches

Copier owners beware. A fraudulent company may be targeting local charitable organizations and businesses seeking exaggerated payments for office products.

There is a solution to Jim Hill's problem

It was with great interest I read the letter from Mr. Jim Hill and his analysis of the new ordinance regarding undocumented workers.

Title company moves to new location

The staff at First American Title Insurance Agency in Payson announced their office relocation in May. However, they are not moving too far away from their original location at 610 E. Highway 260.

Hospice was a blessing during mother's last days

On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to express our gratitude to the staff of RTA Hospice and Palliative Care for the exceptional care they provided my mother, Laveta Stewart, during her last days.

'Cat-a-palooza' ad found homes for 21 shelter cats

The Payson Humane Society would like to thank the Payson Roundup and area businesses and organizations for the wonderful full-page ad that ran in the March 13 edition of the newspaper. This advertised our "Cat-a-palooza" March cat adoption special at the shelter.

Archaeologist opens tomb of Egyptian vizier

No one who has ever visited Egypt -- seen the sands and pyramids, gotten lost in the chaos of the cities -- would ask what attracts archaeologist Penny Minturn to the country. "The people are kind and friendly and the antiquities are incredible," she said.

Firefighting a better use for pond water

My wife and I are fortunate to live close to one of the only ponds in our area. The dam was constructed several years ago. Its purpose is to provide extra water for firefighting.

Many Americans have lower opinion of media, than of politicians

I am fully aware of the presence/purpose of opinion and editorials in the news business.

Good time to remember sacrifice

On Sunday, the collective growl of 400 motorcycles heading down Main Street was a loud reminder of lives lost.

Most dangerous part of fire season begins

Heading into another potentially volatile wildfire season, it looks as though Northern Gila County is drying into a perfect tinderbox.

PHS teacher takes job as SeaWorld dolphin trainer

As a small child, Austin White was one of hundreds of Rim Country youth who learned to swim in the friendly confines of Taylor Pool, under the watchful eye of former pool manager, Jim Quinlan.

Study paints bleak picture of Payson's work force

Of those in the Rim Country who could be productive members of the local work force, almost half of them are retired and do not plan to return to work.

Pioneer, rancher dies at 87

The Rim Country has lost another of its pioneer sons.

Police chase stolen vehicle, arrest homicide suspect

At approximately 6:53 p.m. Monday, April 30, the Payson Police Department received information that a stolen vehicle was headed toward Payson on Highway 87 from the Flagstaff area.

Haven for victims

Maria-Elena Ochoa, director of the Division for Women for the Governor's Office for Children, Gerry Bailey, executive director of Time Out, Inc. and Payson Town Councilor Su Connell visit about the possibilities, after the ribbon cutting for the Gila County Family Advocacy Center.

Tradition begins with Main Street First Friday

Just 50 years ago, unpaved Main Street was literally Payson's main street and a gathering place for social events.

Colon cancer: Preventable, treatable, beatable

Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in the United States, but it is also preventable, treatable and beatable, said Dr. Luis Coppelli, a general surgeon who has been practicing in Payson for 30 years.

Former Lady Horn makes headlines

The banner headline on the Southeastern Louisiana University Web site,, told the entire story.

Oak and patience secret to great barbecue

Like most good cooks, Albert Hunt prefers to keep his deep-pit barbecue techniques a secret.

Special Olympians prepare for Summer Games

The Payson Special Olympics team is gearing up for the granddaddy of all Arizona State competitions -- the 2007 Summer Games.

Warriors romp

The Tonto Apache Warriors played their way to the championship of the Town of Payson Men's Basketball League Recreation Division title by defeating Windermere Real Estate 56-34.

Thursday, April 26

Crowds invited into the Oxbow after day in the sun

The Oxbow Saloon on Main Street welcomes four artists and the public to a spring wine tasting and fine arts show.

Concert chronicles journey West

As people left the East and moved West, crossing states like Indiana and Texas to the gold country of California, they sang.

Preparing the puppets

The third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students in Kathy Crane's drama class at Payson Elementary School each picked a historic figure and are in the final stages of learning their lines and putting the finishing touches on their papier-mache and cloth puppets.

Results of final softball game will determine state seed

The Lady Longhorns could be advancing to the Class 3A Arizona State Softball tournament as the East region's No. 2 seed.

Longhorns take bugle out of Elks

The Payson Longhorn baseball team remains in the running for an East region berth in the Class 3A state tournament after an 11-7 victory over the winless Round Valley Elks.

Cottonwood golf tournament yields few winners

Terry Lindsey was the Payson Men's Association lone standard holder in a six-club invitational tournament that drew 116 golfers, 15 from Payson.

Summer of equestrian events kick off this weekend

Rim Country equestrians will have plenty of recreational and competitive activities this summer, thanks to the Mogollon Montoneras and Payson Parks and Recreation specialist, Charlene Hunt.

Helen L. Jones

Helen L. Jones, 76, of Payson, died April 14, 2007, in Annapolis Hospital, Wayne, Mich. She was born March 16, 1931.

New educational opportunities

Chris Wolf, CEO of Payson Regional Medical Center, gives a hug to Jaimie Ludtke, chairman of the Gracie Lee Haught Children's Memorial Committee.

Students reel in rainbows during fishing event


Last Thursday afternoon, over 150 elementary students were introduced to sport fishing at Green Valley Lake.

Fire break around Pine/Strawberry looks great


Since I just bought some tomato plants and herbs, I do hope we are through with frost for the year. However, some rain would be most welcome.

Get ready for easier breathing


In fewer than five days, the Smoke-free Arizona Act goes into effect.

Tonto Natural Bridge to close for road work

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) says that a pavement preservation project will require the closure of the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park from May 7 through May 9.

College graduates first class of nurses

History will be made at Gila Community College's Payson campus on May 9.

Alive & Kicking: Woman enjoys life at 82


Arlene Keefer is a woman on the move.

What's in a face?


I once read about an African tribe that recognized people by looking at feet, instead of at faces.

Kennel Kraze can be cured


When dogs are confined to kennels for long periods of time, they develop a behavior that can be called "kennel kraze." This phenomenon is related to other unpleasant behaviors like "fence line frenzy" and "leash lunacy."

Mintzes celebrate 66 years

Allen and Leone Mintz were married on April 17, 1941.

Educators can ‘upgrade' their 403(b)


Our teachers work hard to educate our students. Now their retirement programs can work harder, too.

Stampede enters first year on national calendar

Local mountain biking guru Dan Basinski will again spearhead the running of the 2007 Payson Stampede 24-Hour Mountain Bike Challenge.

Books to help your garden grow


It's that time of year again. Spring is upon us. The ground is beginning to warm. Little green sprouts are popping up all over. The urge to plant is compelling.

Administrative assistant 'holds the place together'


The Tonto Village Fire District will be holding another budget meeting this Saturday. The meeting will be at the fire station. The budget will be for the 2007-08 fiscal year. Please be at the fire station at 10 a.m.

The kind of dog you choose says a lot about you


An article in a recent USA Weekend, titled "What Your Pet Says About You" by Steve Dale, includes a quiz to help you find the right pet for your family and your lifestyle. The questions ask about your time at home, your family schedule, your tolerance, travel preferences, sense of humor and sleeping habits.

Young racer taking circuit by storm

A few years ago, George Conley had to wait at the top of the hill on Airport Road for his son Daniel to catch up to him.

Tour the studios of 26 Rim Country artists

Do you need art to decorate your home or office, jewelry to grace your frame or dishes for your table, a silk tree, gourd or pot of clay for a corner or furniture to complete a room?

80 classic cars stop in Payson as part of 9-day ride

Smooth blacktops and sunny days beckon many classic car enthusiasts the Rim Country in spring.

Don Engler should be the next police chief

I was wondering where I can sign the petition recommending Commander Don Engler be hired as/or promoted to/ Payson Chief of Police.

Immigration ordinance could backfire

Having followed various forms of proposed legislation that would penalize employers for hiring illegals, I'd hope that Payson residents would consider the possibility of unintended consequences.

Ready to fly

Alexis Gault (pictured) and Breann Brunson won a helicopter ride from Native Air for posters they made in the Gila County Meth Coalition's recent essay and poster contest.

John Thelesphore Landry, II

John Thelesphore Landry, II, better known as "JT", 82, of Payson, died April 23, 2007.

Star Valley, Payson still discussing police contract

According to Arizona state law, the Town of Star Valley is required to have police services. And, according to a rapidly approaching expiration date in a contract with the Payson Police Department, Star Valley needs to arrange for those police services soon.

Yvonne Lorena (Evans) Jackson

Yvonne Lorena (Evans) Jackson died April 22, 2007.

Michael S. M'Gillycuddy

Michael S. M'Gillycuddy, 85, died April 21, 2007 at the RTA Hospice in Payson. He was born on May 1, 1921 in Chadron, Neb., to Della and George M'Gillycuddy.

Disappointed in businessman's opposition to immigration ordinance

Mr. Jim Hill, owner of The Door Stop, complains that there is no way he can verify the immigration status of a prospective employee.

Henry Benjamin Niemeyer

Henry Benjamin Niemeyer, 82, of Pine, died April 22, 2007, after a long illness and nine months of excellent care by RTA Hospice and Palliative Care of Payson.

Joan Watson

Joan Watson, 76, died April 21, 2007 in Payson.

Weekend of Wheels

400 ride to raise money for memorial

Wheels will be rolling in Payson and the Rim Country this weekend. The Spirit of the Southwest Caravan, a tour of classic cars, will make a stop at Chaparral Pines today, Friday. The three-day Beeline Cruise-In and Charity Auto Show, hosted by the Rim Country Classic Auto Club, opens to the public Saturday on Main Street. Wheels will still be spinning Sunday when more than 400 motorcycles will ride into town for W. Steven Martin's Police Memorial Law Ride.

It's time for cats to be controlled

It is time for this town to come up with an ordinance to control pet cats so they do not use neighbors' flower gardens and yards as their litter boxes.

Police chief search narrowed to 21 from 89

Town Manager Fred Carpenter and the committee charged with the search for a police chief have narrowed the pool of 89 applicants to 21 semifinalists.

Coach resigns; replacement named

The coach who guided the Payson Longhorn boys basketball team to a state runner-up finish in February is stepping down.

New courthouse could model Prescott's 'town square' concept

After four months of research, the Gila County Facilities Planning Committee has determined that the county needs new jail, courthouse and county administration facilities within the next 20 years. The group will recommend to the board of supervisors at its May 1 meeting that the county create a jail district to fund new detention facilities with a half-cent sales tax.

Mistake opens new world to car-green editor


A man standing next to the printing press noticed the mistake before the ink was dry on the Tuesday edition.

'Leakage' goes both ways

I read your plea to the residents of Payson not to take their dollars to the Valley of the Sun.

Thanks to blood drive volunteers

The April blood drive was a success, due largely to those who volunteered their time and especially for all those who donated their blood.

Supervisors declared April 22 to 28 Victims' Rights Week

The Gila County Board of Supervisors adopted a proclamation designating this week, April 22 to 28, as National Victims' Rights Week in Gila County.

Thank you for making Resurrection Celebration a success

The Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship would like to extend a big thank you to the people who donated to our Resurrection Celebration at Rumsey Park on April 7.

Slow down in Tonto Village

This is an open letter to the residents and visitors of Tonto Village.

Bend, Oregon has effective recycling program

Here in Bend, Ore., we pay $29.40 every two months for curbside trash pickup and recycling of paper, metals and glass.

'Cinderella' production was delightful

I would like to express my delight and admiration to the cast, crew and directors of the high school musical, "Cinderella."

Why does the left align itself with the enemy?

One cannot but wonder at the perversity of the left these days. I can think of no better word to describe it.

Commission halts water hookups in Pine

Residents of Pine and Strawberry will get the chance to voice their opinions about the water problem plaguing their towns, just in time for another peak usage season, which may likely see more of the same shortages as last year.

Rim Country libraries

The big, red dog that many children have come to love through books will visit the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library activity center in Pine from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Transportation available for Star Valley seniors

Every Monday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. a handicap-equipped van will pick you up at your Star Valley doorstep, take you to your desired location in Payson or Star Valley, and return you home, at no charge, except for the registration fee of $10.

Star Valley adds to town vehicle fleet

Nearly two decades old and in need of a paint job, one lucky Ford Taurus received a makeover and a promotion in recent weeks, elevating its status to elite ranks that not many used vehicles can hope to reach -- the top of the town government.

Tuesday, April 24

No obstacle can stop artist


The right gait for retired aerospace engineer, horseman, boy firefighter and poet, Jim Hagen, is living life with a paintbrush in his hand.

Art at the Oxbow

The Oxbow Saloon welcomes four artists and the public to a spring wine-tasting and fine arts show.

Strawberries: Make the most of a sweet treat while it's on sale


Checking the grocery ads for inspiration for this week's column, I saw that one of my favorite fruits is on sale.

Journey West with music


As people left the East and moved West across the plains of Indiana and the rolling hills of Texas to the gold country of California, they sang.

Peace for food


As the winter of 1869 progressed, desperate hunger among the Apaches and Yavapai created an outburst of raids and killings throughout the territory.

Go remote: Radio-controlled models big


Working with radio-controlled models is not a new phenomenon. About 40 years ago my father became hooked building and flying radio-controlled model planes.

Manzanita can tell a story


I like the natural world about as much as any person I know. On a scale of one to 100, I would place myself about 85 for knowledge, but near 100 for appreciation.

Monday, April 23

Best seller

Resilite Sports Products, Inc. awarded "Top Performing Dealer" for 2006 to Tom Meck. The award was given at the National Sales Meeting held in March 2007 at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Tournament in Detroit, Mich.

Softball standout wins full-ride scholarship

Payson High School softball star Tamara Crabdree has accepted a full-ride athletic scholarship to attend Georgetown College in Kentucky, a Baptist liberal arts school.

Coach with Payson ties honored for 33 years of service

A high school basketball coach with strong Rim Country ties was honored Sunday at a halftime presentation during the 2007 NBA playoffs, Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers game.

Longhorns improve region record with Blue Ridge defeat

The Longhorn baseball team took a giant step toward nailing down a spot in the state tournament with a 6-5 win over longtime East rival, Blue Ridge.

Ace names Employee of the Year

With the slogan "The Helpful Place" when someone is named Ace Employee of the Year, you know they are the kind of person that really goes the distance for customers and fellow employees.

Russell Vanderpool

Russell Vanderpool, 91, died April 9, 2007.

Payson Police Department looking for volunteers

The Payson Police Department volunteers work in records, do filing and transcribe police reports.

Senior Circle celebrates eighth anniversary

The Payson Regional Medical Center's Senior Circle program will be eight years old on Wednesday.

Identity theft steeped in politics of immigration

It's funny how two issues, seemingly unrelated, can all of a sudden fit together perfectly for an "aha" moment.

The American Dream: The Automobile

Henry Ford told potential buyers of his Model T they could get the car in any color they wanted -- as long as it was black.

Recall election heats up in Pine

The recall election for Ross Gooder, a member of the Pine/Strawberry Fire Board, has begun.

A few thoughts about Payson's current situation

I have wanted to write several times and now I feel like I must respond.

Sophomore earns Payson's first Rotary record

For the 705 entrants in the Rotary Freshman-Sophomore Invitational, the meet more resembled a marathon, than a prep track showdown.

Dennis Steven Creekmore

Dennis Steven Creekmore, 33, died April 12, 2007 in Payson, Ariz. He was born April 30, 1973 in Utah.

Four local athletes Pitch, Hit and Run for Payson

A foursome of aspiring baseball players won the right to represent the Rim Country in the Pepsi Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run sectional competition.

Discipline Committee ready to go before school board

Payson Unified School District's Discipline Advisory Committee met for the last time April 23 to determine the final recommendations they would bring to the school board at its May 7 work-study meeting.

Mexican consul makes first visit to Payson

Several hundred residents of Mexico, now making their homes in the Rim Country, came to Mountain Bible Church in Payson Saturday to meet with representatives of Arizona's Mexican consulate.

After fire, mother and son try to rebuild

Deborah and her son Jon Coleman are busy trying to put the pieces of their lives back together since their home burned down on March 27.

Learn how to prepare for upcoming wildfire season

An informational workshop about the upcoming fire season will be held Saturday on the Payson campus of Gila Community College from 9 a.m. to noon.

Formation of Authority the right direction for airport

At Thursday's council meeting, an item to lease the Payson Municipal Airport to an Airport Authority was tabled until the May 3 meeting.

Thank you from the Wilcox family

In such sad times, caring people and good friends come forward.

Thoughts on the water situation of Payson, Pine and Strawberry

I would like to remind Robert Henley that it was he, and the former mayor and a majority of past Payson Town Council members who, along with a few special interest groups, were the ones who engineered this fiasco involving the Tower Well into today's present mess.

This year's property valuations seem inflated

I, like many other Northern Gila County property owners, was shocked when I received my 2008 Residential Notice of Values.

Pine-Strawberry fire board recall a matter of liability

On Feb. 13, the Payson Roundup reported the misgivings Forrest McCoy had with the recall of fellow fire board member, Ross Gooder.

Robert Senita the best candidate for fire board

We the Fire Fighter's Association of Pine Strawberry Fire Department support Robert Senita in the recall election.

Don't eat the 'data sample'

Pine math teacher Margaret Bullard handed out familiar small, dark brown packages to her students last week. She forbade her sixth-graders to eat their "data sample" until they had counted the M&Ms, noted the number of each color and double-checked their figures.

Parents invited to walk through Teen Maze of personal choices

Parents of high school students are invited to step into their teenager's shoes May 9 and remember the choices they faced as their hormones raged and the opposite sex suddenly became attractive.

Grand opening set for nurse training facility

There is a nationwide crisis in nursing. There are not nearly enough professionals available to fill all the openings in hospitals, clinics and doctors offices. It is a problem the medical industry has been aware of for a while, and it is a problem the Payson Regional Medical Center is facing head-on.

Investing money with love

The Mogollon Health Alliance and the Gracie Lee Haught Children's Memorial Fund contributed $30,000 in equipment and supplies to help open the education resource center at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Movie crew looking for local talent

Who needs Hollywood when Jake's Corner is only 20 miles from Payson?

Three homes raided for drugs, 20 officers on scene

Officers from the Payson Police Department served three search warrants and arrested four people at multiple mobile homes, in a drug raid Friday night at Star Valley Mobile Home Park at 3728 E. Highway 260.

Week set aside to honor crime victims

This week, April 22 to April 28, was adopted as Gila County Crime Victims' Rights Week by the Gila County Board of Supervisors during its Tuesday meeting.

Thomas O. Castas

Thomas O. Castas, 74, died in Payson, Ariz. April 19, 2007. He was born Sept. 21, 1932 in Danville, Ill.

Sunday, April 22

Video: Kaitlyn Phylow sings, "In My Own Little Corner" from PHS Musical Theatre production of Cinderella

PHS student Kaitlyn Phylow sings, "In My Own Little Corner" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella.

Video: Horton and Westrom sing, "Stepsisters' Lament" from PHS Musical Theatre production of Cinderella

PHS students Shannon Horton and Danielle Westrom sing, "Stepsisters' Lament" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella.

Thursday, April 19

Veterans encouraged after visit by state commissioners

On Saturday, the Arizona Veterans' Service Advisory Commission held a regular business meeting at Payson's American Legion Post.

Eleven apply for high school athletic director

Candidates from within the school district and around the state are lining up to become Payson High School's next athletic director/assistant principal.

Firefighting helicopter ready for action

Why has the bright yellow Sikorsky S61 helicopter been tied down at Payson Municipal Airport for several weeks?

College dean resigns

Dean Harry Swanson of the Gila Community College Payson campus has resigned. "I am staying through the end of my contract," he said. The contract runs through the end of June 2007.

How much would you pay for curbside recycling?

For months, the Mayor's Recycling Task Force has been traveling to rural communities around Arizona to see how other towns have created recycling programs that work.

Payson won't subsidize SV police

Star Valley will not be using the Payson Police Department for its law enforcement next year -- at least not at the discounted rate the small community proposed.

Take the trauma out of traveling with pets


Traveling back and forth from Colorado to Arizona two times a year for 10 years has made inveterate travelers of our pets.

Creek residents preparing for fire season


Here is an update from Gary Anderson, President of Christopher Creek Homeowners Association on the four homeowners associations efforts to raise $50,000 to clear a fuel break.

National Day of Prayer programs planned in Rim Country

The Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship invites you to attend at least one of these events for the National Day of Prayer on May 3.

Tax time is over, time again for fun


Hopefully, you all filed your taxes on time and not too painfully. Now, we can get busy with more fun activities like gardening and yard cleanup.

Put your tax refund to work


A tax refund. The mere sound of these words can make you smile.

Control your speed on the Control Road


Tonto Village is coming into bloom. The pear trees and the apple trees are beginning to show their flowers, along with a few mock cherry trees. It is a most beautiful sight.

Be sure campfires are out to prevent forest fire


As fire season approaches, we are finding abandoned campfires in the forest, even with Red Flag warnings broadcasted throughout the state. Campers need to be sure that all fires are completely out before departing campsites.

Medicine has come a long way in a short time


Some of the biggest chuckles I get these days happen during the evening news.

Hiking club celebrates its first anniversary


When Bits Siller moved to Payson six years ago, she was accustomed to an active lifestyle.

Women hit the Payson links for 2007 golf season

While members of the Payson Men's Golf Association were locking horns in a low net tournament in Heber/Overgaard their female counterparts in the PWGA were teeing off the 2007 season in a "two best ball out of foursome" formatted tournament at Payson Golf Course.

Tonto team welcomes 2 runners to team

Tonto Apache Track and Field coach Billy Joe Winchester is not concerned that his team's roster numbers are dwindling.

Athletes heartbeat short of setting records

If Carlan Pontious and Nate Doyle were searching for a rock 'n' roll classic to sum up their performance in the Queen Creek Invitational, they might choose Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel."

Lauren Alise Tait

Lauren Alise Tait was born at 8:16 a.m. Feb. 26, 2007 to Forrest and Cathalyne Tait at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Walter B. Prychodnik

Walter B. Prychodnik, 86, died April 17, 2007 in Payson. He was born on Jan. 10, 1921 in Revlock, Penn.

Joseph Lloyd McRae

Joseph Lloyd McRae died April 15, 2007 in Mexico. He was born July 22, 1948 in Bisbee, Ariz. to Joseph and Ethel McRae.

Naomi Harris

Naomi Harris died April 16, 2007. She was born Nov. 19, 1934 in Shelley, Idaho to Robert and Theoma Barker. Her parents moved to Arizona when she was just a baby.

Scholarship Gala canceled

The Payson Scholarship Gala has been canceled.

School district hires architects for bond projects

Payson Unified School District board selected two architects at its April 17 special meeting for projects that will be funded by the recently passed school bond.

Design Review Board created

The Payson Town Council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance Thursday night that will create a design review board for the town.

Community college enrollment numbers up

Gila Community College is experiencing growth and Payson campus Dean Harry Swanson attributes it to an increase in programs offered at the college over the past year.

Scooter grand prize for grad night

One lucky 2007 Payson High School graduate who is still at the post-gradation party in the wee hours of the morning will take home a brand-new scooter.

Star Valley launches sales tax audits

The Town of Star Valley has received sales tax reports from the state of Arizona and there is a disparity between the results and the number of physical and licensed businesses in town.

Star Valley mayor to give thoughts on safe-yield study

Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron will give a presentation about the safe-yield water study at the Citizens Awareness Committee meeting at 2 p.m. Monday at the Payson Public Library.

Rodeo dance raises money for scholarships

If spring fever has hit, you might be ready to kick up your heels. The Payson Pro Rodeo Committee is riding to your rescue with a dance tonight, Friday, at the Mazatzal Casino.

New owners of Rim Country Mall plan remodel

The Rim Country Mall, home to Sears, Stage and the Payson Athletic Club, has been purchased by Larsen Baker, LLC, on behalf of Payson Development Associates, LLC.

Thanks to all who made Fool's Day Fun event a success

The Northern Gila County Alliance Against Substance Abuse Coalition would like to thank all the participants, presenters, and donors for our "Start Talking Before They Start Drinking: Fool's Day Fun" event on March 31.

Veterans' meeting productive, professional

On Saturday, we hosted an Arizona Veterans' Service Commission meeting here in Payson. It was a good meeting.

Child molestation laws not harsh enough

The satire cartoon in Friday's Payson Roundup is so sad but true.

New casino should include nonsmoking section

My husband and I really enjoy going to Mazatzal Casino and are looking forward to the new casino opening.

An open reply to Mr. Tom Garrett

A one-sentence question can require a one-page answer. I'm not sure how the editor will handle her word limit, but she did invite this, so let's see what we can do.

'Still work to be done,' Star Valley mayor says of water study

In its regular meeting Tuesday, the Star Valley Town Council unanimously approved the recognition of the safe-yield water study performed on Star Valley wells for the Town of Payson.

Vintage car rally parades through Payson

Dennis Fortino's first attempt at the Copperstate 1000 Road Rally was a journey he won't soon forget.

Still volunteering 10 years later


Marvin and Clarys Boyle started their volunteer work at the Payson Care Center more than 10 years ago by agreeing to help a friend from their church.

Reptiles are pets, too


This is a pet column, but not all pets are furry. A whole new world of pets was introduced to me recently with the visit of my 6-year-old grandson, Remy, who is a confirmed herpetologist.

Task force member clears the air about trail system

I would like to share a few facts concerning the PATS involvement with Gila Community College (GCC), the County and the existing trails on the GCC campus.

Why do we write editorials?


When we published last Friday's editorial, "Should Payson subsidize police for Star Valley ... again?" we expected to hear protests about the opinion. What we didn't expect to receive were protests that we expressed an opinion at all.

Stream fishing available for those willing to explore


In the arid desert, Southwest stream fishing is limited to a handful of waterways along the Mogollon Rim and in the White Mountains.

NBA shouldn't overthink nomination for MVP; Nash beyond worthy ... again

As unorthodox as it would be, the NBA has to give Steve Nash the MVP award this year.

Team gears up for anticipated Rotary Invitational

A field of more than 20 teams, featuring 500-plus young athletes and 1,300 entries, are scheduled to participate in the Rotary Club of Payson Freshman and Sophomore Track and Field Invitational.

Donor challenges others to give to Humane Society

The Payson Humane Society has received an offer from an anonymous donor, challenging others to donate to its upcoming building project.

Tuesday, April 17

Surprise your mother with a handcrafted treasure box


Mother's Day is May 13 this year -- a little less than a month away. So, now is probably the time to get busy with handcrafted gifts or serious shopping.

Hardwood artisan


Artisan Dan Basinski is a man who will do just about anything not to work what he considers a "real job."

Fishing fun for kids of all ages Saturday


Fishermen (and, of course, women and certainly children) must be optimistic.

April is ...


With one of the best known and least understood lines in English literature, T.S. Eliot opens his famous poem "The Waste Land" with, "April is the cruelest month." The full depth of this statement continues to elude us.

Attacks on Camp Reno


When the Army commanders decided an outpost in Green Valley would stretch their supply line too far, they established the post on Reno Wash as a more permanent location.

Down the Street Art Gallery to launch celebration

Art lovers are invited to the official launching of a dream at Down the Street Gallery.

Take a hike

Any snow that fell on the Rim over the winter is gone. Any mud that clogged the trails has dried.

Salsa solutions: Tasty toppings perfect accent for colorful, light meal


As a child growing up in South America, one of my favorite meals was a very simple dish consisting of cubed steak, fried regular bananas and a fried egg on top of white rice and, as a side dish, cubed fresh tomatoes mixed with a little mayo.

Monday, April 16

Teachers turn lives around

The students at the Gila County Juvenile Detention Center attend a school called Inspiration Academy.

‘Why would a fellow want a girl like her?'

The high school auditorium will be filled with magic, enchantment and delight as the Payson High School Musical Theater Club presents the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "Cinderella."

Grand opening of lifelong dream

Art lovers are invited to the official launching of a dream at Down the Street Gallery.

Julia Randall sets record for Jump Rope for Heart

In late February, students at Julia Randall Elementary School made history by raising $10,398.69 during their annual Jump Rope For Heart event for the American Heart Association. Last year, the students raised $4,700.

Minerals, mining museum subject of Friday lecture

Dick Zimmerman of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum will be a guest lecturer at Gila Community College at noon on Friday. His lecture is open to the public in the Community Room at the college.

William Stephens Geen

William "Bill" Stephens Geen died April 12, 2007 at Rim Hospice, Payson, Arizona. He was 68.

Joyce Nottingham

Joyce Nottingham died April 14, 2007, one month shy of her 74th birthday.

Joan Blaney Rogers

Joan Blaney Rogers, 81, died April 11, 2007 at the Terraces Care Center in Phoenix, after an extended illness.

Dorothy Harlan Smith

Dorothy Harlan Smith, 85, died on Friday, April 13, 2007 in the City of Grand Terrace, Calif. She was born in Tucson in 1922.

Waldon, Cronin to wed

Clarke and Karen Waldon and the late Sheila Waldon are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their daughter, Valerie, to John L. Cronin, son of Dean and Greta Cronin.

Mitchell, Johnson to marry

Eileen Teresa Mitchell of Payson, daughter of Richard and Frances Mitchell of Payson, will marry Joseph Robert Johnson of Payson, son of Donald and Mary Johnson of Goodyear, on Sunday, April 29, 2007 at the Punkin Center Baptist Church, following the 10:45 a.m. service.

PHS senior named to state's most prestigious postseason game

A teenage basketball junkie who models his game after two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash has been chosen to participate in the state's most prestigious postseason game.

Diamondbacks: Who are these guys?

Can you correctly name the batting lineup on any given day for the Arizona Diamondbacks?

Horns have shot to make playoff cut

After a successful campaign last weekend that featured back-to-back wins, including an important region victory against Round Valley on Friday, and leveled their region record to 4-4, the Longhorns have a legitimate shot at making the playoff cut.

Team leader earns scholarship

Some older adults view teenagers as mouthy, disrespectful and self-absorbed.

A links game of hopscotch

Members of the Payson Women's Golf Association added a new twist to the children's game of hopscotch.

Recreation Roundup

The MLB Pitch, Hit and Run program provides boys and girls, ages 7 to 14 (child's age as of July 17, 2007) the opportunity to showcase their pitching, hitting and running abilities.

'Shellcracker' brought in to fight Quagga mussels

A fish nicknamed "shellcracker" is being used to guard canals in Arizona against the quagga mussel, a destructive invader that has been found in lakes along the Colorado River.

Payson good model for water conservation

Payson's intelligent conservation of water resources would be a good model for many other communities in the Valley, where per capita water use is at least double.

How did early Payson build its police department?

As the Town of Payson discusses the cost of providing police coverage to Star Valley, a few veteran police department employees remember what it was like when Payson became a new town, more than 30 years ago.

Gila County needs a 21st century learning community

One of the most crucial recommendations that emerged from the Northern Gila County Higher Education Needs Assessment (HENA for short) is its call for establishment of "A 21st Century Learning Community."

Volunteer Week time to thank those who give

Trying to give something back to the community and finding something worthwhile to do are some of the reasons countless people in the Rim Country volunteer their services.

Offering a five-part solution to immigration problem

I have read numerous articles concerning our illegal immigrant problem and decided that I would state my solution.

Good time to recognize Hospice volunteers

April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week, a time to recognize and celebrate the thousands of men, women and young people who volunteer in communities across the country.

Girls can fly, too

Girl Scouts spend day learning about careers in aviation

If young girls from the Rim Country had never dreamed of becoming pilots, all that changed Saturday, during Aviation Day at the Payson Airport.

Japanese exchange student marvels at life, miles from home

The taste experience of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is one that 16-year-old Japanese exchange student Misaki Kadowaki is happy not to repeat.

Keely Ashlyn Howard

Keely Ashlyn Howard was born at 4:28 a.m. March 1, 2007 to John and Shaleen Howard at the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Coach Jimmy will be missed

I'll never forget the smile on his face, so happy, so lively, so full of grace.

Dog lost in car accident comes home

When Shannon Crandall struggled awake at Scottsdale Osborne Trauma Hospital after a car accident, doctors asked her how she felt. "Where's Sammy? Where's my dog?" was the first thing she said.

Bar owners bristle over May 1 smoking ban

Kelly Sterling, owner of Kelly's bar in Star Valley, believes that on May 1 her business will take a hit, since customers will no longer be allowed to smoke inside her establishment.

We'll adjust to smoking ban

Remember November 2006? Remember how long you stood in the voting booth, ticking off ‘yes' or ‘no' to each of 19 propositions?

Immigration ordinance needs additional thought

I am a member of the Payson business community and I am a member of a group requesting a petition for a referendum on the town's recent immigration ordinance.

Pharmacy should take lead on recycling effort

Global warming. What can we do?

In everyone's best interest for two towns to reach agreement

Arguments about the amount of water Payson can take from the Tower Well without jeopardizing the Star Valley water supply raise interesting questions.

Business Showcase award winners

Senior Circle Healthy Woman Advisor Kathy Coombes and Payson Regional Medical Center Director of Marketing Corey Houghton visited with passersby at the 14th annual Business Showcase Saturday. The Healthy Woman booth won the Media Choice award, sponsored by the Payson Roundup.

Looking for answers about the new urban trail system

In the April 6, edition of the Payson Roundup, there were two letters focusing on the nature trail and some problems being encountered.

A chance to meet Roundup readers


The Business Showcase on Saturday was a great introduction to the community.

Photo Gallery: Children of summer

Little League kicks off with day of festivities

On Friday, temperatures were frigid, the winds howling and the cloudy skies threatened rain. But the following day, as if Mother Nature was declaring, "It's time for the boys of summer to take to the field," skies cleared, temperatures warmed and clouds moved on.

Petition drive begins to put ordinance on ballot

Payson voters may have the last word on whether a local business license ordinance, tied to illegal immigration, actually becomes law.

What you collect says a lot about you


Last week, Len and I attended the monthly meeting of the Library Friends of Payson and enjoyed a very informative and entertaining presentation on "Americans and Their Things" by Dr. Chris Smith from the Arizona Humanities Council.

Thursday, April 12

Awards dinner honors three hoopsters

The Arizona Republic may have slighted some of the best basketball players in the state when it failed to include any Longhorns on its All-State list, but the Arizona Coaches Association comprised of coaches who have seen the Longhorns in action didn't make the same mistake.

4 options on table for Star Valley police

The Town of Star Valley is still hoping that an agreement can be reached with Payson for law enforcement services. After the Payson Town Council rejected a proposal April 5 that would have provided police services to Star Valley for $210,000, the two towns met and came up with four options.

Roundup welcomes new publisher

He lacks an air of pretension, which is refreshing for someone of his accomplishments -- a man who has worked in journalism for more than 25 years. A silent confidence is hidden there, and, on closer examination, a sense of understanding and a knack for adaptation.

It doesn't seem fair

Mr. Ortiz gets 30 days. She gets life.

Why is the highway lined with trash?

I am so troubled with the trash along the highway from Payson town limits to Rye.

Trail system will have many benefits

In the late 1990s, the Town of Payson mapped out a community trails system, but the steps to complete it were never taken.

Setting boundaries for your dog


Last summer I wrote about two puppies my daughter found on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere. A third pup was dead.

Annabell Frances Young-Waterman

Annabell Frances Young-Waterman was born at 8:43 p.m. March 24, 2007 to Alison Young and Harvey Waterman at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Make sure you know what your 457 plan offers


If you work for the State of Arizona, the county, a municipality or other governmental entity you may be able to contribute to a retirement account known as a 457(b) plan.

Volunteers needed at Payson Humane Society


As the days grow longer and warmer, this snowbird writer feels the pull to go back north to a cabin high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Thank you to everyone at memorial service

A special thank you to everyone who attended the memorial service for Bob Broome in Gisela on April 4, 2007.

Day of fishing planned for young anglers

People from the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Rim Country's own avid fishermen, Dennis Pirch and Tracy Purtee, will be on-hand at the Optimist Club Kids Fishing Festival April 21 at Green Valley Park. "You can be 102-years-old and be a kid that Saturday," said Joan Young, a member of the Optimist Club who helped organize the event in conjunction with Payson Parks and Recreation Department.

Star Valley's newest town employee too happy to retire

Stephen Hackett was built for his job.

Class in works for personal trainers

Personal trainers are not just for the rich and famous. Rim Country residents have access to several at local gyms available at inexpensive rates.

Morgan Olivia Ward

Morgan Olivia Ward was born at 7:11 p.m. on March 20, 2007 to Eric and Marissa Ward at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Church briefs

Local members of the United Church of Christ wish to invite anyone interested in starting a UCC church in Payson to come to a meeting on either April 15 or April 22, at 3 p.m.

Rev. Father Paul Larocque

The Rev. Father Paul Larocque, former pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church and well-known to many in the Payson area, died Holy Thursday, April 5, 2007.

In search of C.S. Lewis

Family leaves Payson for 3 months of study in England

The ancient halls of Cambridge University in England will welcome a new student next week. Pastor Todd Arnold of Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church begins his three-month sabbatical in England to study the life of Christian apologist author C.S. Lewis.

Editorial about Tower Well hypocritical

I find it somewhat disingenuous for the Payson Roundup to speak of a "good neighbor" approach to the use of the Tower Well in Star Valley.

60 apply for police chief position

The Town of Payson has received 60 resumes for the police chief position being vacated by Gordon Gartner, who is retiring at the end of June. The closing date for applications is today. Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter said current Payson Police Commander Don Engler will be one of the candidates.

Showcase chance to network, meet new customers

The 15th Annual Business Showcase, hosted by the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 14 in the Tonto Apache Recreation and Fitness Center.

Should Payson subsidize police for Star Valley ... again?

On July 11, 2006, we wrote these words in an editorial, "We believe helping Star Valley was the right thing to do, but over the next year, we would like to see the Star Valley Council change its thinking about police services."

Prior council member responds to mayor on water issue

In Mayor Bob Edwards' review of some history in his guest comment in the April 10 Payson Roundup, he made three statements that public records do not support.

With illegal immigrants, what are we afraid of?

Concerning the illegal immigration debate, the question begs to be asked -- What is it that we fear?

New ordinance could encourage discrimination

I am concerned that the immigration ordinance will increase racial prejudice and bring a loss of freedom to citizens of Payson.

We need to get back to Payson's old values

They used to say that you have no rights unless you have lived in Payson for 20 years or more. In May of this year, I will have lived in Payson for 22 years.

Thank you for making raffle a success

We would like to thank the following businesses for their generous contributions that made our Pine Strawberry Riff Raff Raffle a great success:

Engler should be given a chance

As a resident and a businesswoman in Payson, I do not understand why the town is spending money to advertise all over the country for a police chief, when we have Don Engler ready to step into that position.

Don't fix what isn't broken

When was the last time a government-run program truly worked?

50 new jobs created by new Mazatzal Hotel

With the opening of the new Mazatzal Hotel and Casino later this year, an estimated 50 new positions will be created.

Denying bail to illegal immigrants could strain jails

In November, 78 percent of Arizona voters approved Proposition 100 to deny bail to illegal aliens who commit serious felonies.

Track team burning up the competition

The Payson High School track team is teaching the competition, the hard way, that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Horn baseball splits; lopsided win, ugly loss

The Longhorns baseball team made some progress on the gap, dividing them and the fourth place Blue Ridge in region standings in a blow-out win against Alchesay on Monday.

Athletes behaving badly

In a world where superstar athletes are as much pop stars and cultural icons as they are physical elites, everyone is guilty of under-reacting to the misactions of athletes.

Appreciating pastors

Clergy and their wives attended an first annual Pastors/Ministers Appreciation Dinner March 30.

Senior Center, library have active April


Although I am writing this column early this week and things can change, presently the weather is so beautiful. The forsythia and grape hyacinths are really colorful and the fruit trees are in bloom. This is a wonderful place to live.

Swimbaits catch big bass at Roosevelt


Springtime is the chance to catch big bass at Roosevelt Lake with a variety of techniques.

An invitation to readers and writers

Sue Yale, a Rim Country resident and chairman of the Arizona Humanities Council Festival Committee, invites her friends and neighbors in the area to attend the AHC 10th Annual Arizona Book Festival.

Firefighters to train in Rumsey Park Saturday

If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Rumsey Park on Saturday, April 14 and notice lots of fire equipment and people running around in yellow hard hats with backpacks and digging tools, fear not -- the park is not on fire.

Critical habitat designated for two rare Southwest fish

On March 21, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services re-designated critical habitat in New Mexico and Arizona for the spikedace and the loach minnow under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Both fishes have been protected as threatened species under the ESA since 1986.

A day at the lake

Lanny Johnson, 63, brought in a small-mouth bass weighing 3 pounds. and measuring 17 inches and a large-mouth bass weighing 4 pounds, measuring 19 inches, during a fishing trip on April 10.

Communities unite to raise fuel break funds


The adults outnumbered the children at the Christopher Creek Homeowners' Annual Easter Egg Hunt -- there were 30 adults and 19 children at the Saturday event.

Piero Joseph Achilli

Piero "Pete" Joseph Achilli, 95, died April 10, 2007 at his home in Payson, Ariz. He was born in Riolo, Italy on Sept. 27, 1911 to Amos and Agnes Achilli.

Wally Staples Jr.

Wally Staples Jr. died at home on April 5, 2007. He was born Sept. 11, 1945 in North Platte, Neb.

Close enough, far enough

1,000 residents relax into pleasures of life in Christopher Creek

A small market, a small restaurant and bar and a service station is all Christopher Creek has to offer by way of amenities, but that is the main reason why people love the small community.

Another side to the other side of the mountain


Although Staten Island, where I was born, was one of the five boroughs of New York City, it was more like country than city.

Malachi William Hassler

Malachi William Hassler was born at 12:59 p.m. March 14, 2007 to Adam and Tanya Hassler at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Keenan Henry Lozano

Keenan Henry Lozano was born at 7:44 p.m. on March 28, 2007 to Henry and Jacqueline Lozano at the Payson Regional Medical Center.

Austin Kenneth Thiele

Austin Kenneth Thiele was born at 11:33 p.m. to Richard and Erin at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Kyndal Danielle Martinez

Kyndal Danielle Martinez was born at 4 p.m. March 12, 2007 to Brandon and Ashley at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Katlynn Dawn McNeil

Katlynn Dawn McNeil was born at 3:19 a.m. March 30, 2007 to Justin and Crystal McNeil at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Kylia Marie Rhodes

Kylia Marie Rhodes born at 11:46 a.m. on March 12, 2007 to Matthew and Crystal at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Sahara Nicole Romo

Sahara Nicole Romo born at 4:13 p.m. March 19 at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Tonto Village residents come out to ‘Meet the Chief'

This past Monday evening, a "Meet the Chief" meeting was held for all volunteer and prospective volunteer firemen at the Tonto Village Fire Station.

Forest slow to recover since Rodeo-Chediski

Winding through the forest just south of here, National Forest Road 51 tells a tale of devastation and recovery.

Tuesday, April 10

Salad suppers: Lighten up meals as temperatures rise


It's time for porch suppers (possibly porch breakfasts and lunches, too) and salad suppers are the best for dining al fresco -- in my opinion.

Invasion from the north


In the spring of 1868, construction on the military road resumed, with a plan to develop it all the way to Green Valley.

Cinderella, The Musical

An old-fashioned fairy tale for spring

All a Fairy Godmother can do is grant a young woman's wish.

Old masters inspire muralist's canvases


Almost the first thing one notices about Pam Palmer's home are the large oil paintings.

The appeal of a Sunday drive


When I was young, "Going for a ride" was an event. These events usually took place on Sunday afternoons, after church and after dinner. It was a time before television. The earth was still cooling.

Take a hike

A lot of hikes in the Rim Country are not on official trails. They follow old jeep roads and cattle routes. They don't appear in any guidebook and they are nearly impossible to describe unless you are familiar with the area.

Monday, April 9

Lady Horns reeling from tough losses

After a promising 5-0 East region conference start, the Lady Longhorns softball team was knocked right back into the playoff race with two conference losses last week.

Invest in community by shopping locally

They call it "leakage." That's the term economists give to the slow drip of money from Payson to Phoenix. Money that could be spent here, too often flows downhill to the Valley.

Jeyten Lee Johnson

Jeyten Lee Johnson was born at 1:15 a.m. March 7, 2007 to Joshua and Kerrey Johnson at Payson Regional Medical Center.

When class lets out, school isn't over

The laughter and noise of children rings down the halls of Payson Elementary School after the bell rings at 2:30 p.m.

Payson Senior Center menu

The Payson Senior Center serves a hot meal at noon weekdays in the dining room at 514 W. Main St. No membership is required.

See American history in common things

Dr. Chris Smith of Arizona State University contends that historians don't use all the sources they should.

Dedrick Francis Wilson Jr.

Dedrick Francis Wilson Jr. died April 6, 2007, following a protracted illness. Born in Morristown, Tenn. Sept. 16, 1913, he lived in Douglas, Ariz. from age 3 months through high school.

William B. Wilcox Jr.

William B. Wilcox Jr., 61, of Payson, died April 7, 2007. He was born July 22, 1945 in Purden, Texas, to William B. and Ardeale Wilcox.

Howard Kurtz Snider

Howard Kurtz Snider, 94, died April 1, 2007 at his care home in Glendale. He was born May 10, 1912 in Franklin County, Ind. and moved to Phoenix, June 1, 1956.

Al Ayers

Al Ayers, 79, of Payson, died April 2, 2007. He was born Jan. 23, 1928 in Hamilton, Ohio.

Towns stalled over price of police

Two days after the Star Valley Town Council approved a $210,000 contract for law enforcement services through the Payson Police Department, the Payson Town Council rejected it.

Technology key to college future

One of the most crucial recommendations that emerged from the Northern Gila County Higher Education Needs Assessment (HENA for short) is its call for establishment of "A 21st Century Learning Community."

School district lobbies for change from 'urban' to 'rural'

The Arizona School Facilities Board awarded $1,275,178 to Rim Country Middle School for remodeling, superintendent Sue Myers told the Payson Unified School District board at its April 9 meeting.

Get children immunized at county's health fair

Children who are not immunized increase the chances that others will become ill.

Police department needs volunteers

Doris Engler wanted to do something worthwhile and knew about the police volunteer program at the Payson Police Department because her son, Don Engler, is the police commander.

A possible reason Kachina was vandalized

I would like to cast some light on the Kachina (Katsina) removal and destruction reported in February in the Payson Roundup.

A Bible message for illegal immigrants

I recently read an article in the Payson Roundup about a hispanic pastor in Payson. His direct quote was, "If they are here illegally, we will take care of them ... and I want them to see the church as a shelter and refuge."

Lynn Godfrey needs to clarify a few things about Tower Well

I am writing in response to Lynn Godfrey's letter to the editor about the Tower Well.

No sympathy for those who break laws

I lived in Payson for 30 years and have known many people who worked three or four jobs just to get by.

Letter contained false accusations

I was surprised and dismayed to read a letter to the editor in the April 3 Payson Roundup that alleged, "In Gila County's recent history, a judge sitting on the bench was found to be in possession of cocaine. He was required to go to rehabilitation and the charges were expunged. The judge was given another chance."

Selah Nefertari Rose Lee

Selah Nefertari Rose Lee was born on Dec. 23, 2006 to Giana Lawrence and Marvin Lee in Redding, Calif.

Payson seems to have more conflict than school districts twice the size

Why does there appear to be so much conflict and consternation in our Payson Unified School District (PUSD)?

Rev up for the Beeline Cruise-In

When the gleaming classic, vintage and antique automobiles come to town for the annual Beeline Cruise-In, just about everyone turns a little car crazy.

Lola Malena Mokihana Burns

Lola Malena Mokihana Burns was born at 2:06 a.m. March 7, 2007 to Michelle at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Jails committee will make recommendation to supervisors

The Facilities Planning Committee, formed to look into the problems faced by cramped and deteriorating jails in Gila County, will meet Thursday.

More Highway 260 to be widened

Motorists traveling on Highway 260 in a few years could find driving a lot easier. The Arizona Department of Transportation is preparing to begin a $27 million project to widen a seven-mile stretch of roadway around and past Star Valley.

New board would shape look of town

An ordinance that would create a design review board for Payson had its first reading at Thursday night's Payson Town Council meeting.

Center opens for victims of violent crimes

First there is the crime and then there are the hours of repeating what happened to authorities. Knowing how difficult it can be to report a crime such as domestic violence, sexual, child or elder abuse, a group of Gila County residents have created a safe environment where victims will only have to tell their story once.

Payson mayor speaks out on water issue

I will admit up front that I am frustrated about the inability of Payson and Star Valley to reach an agreement about water. I have tried to approach this issue in a professional way, but feel stymied at every turn.

Sports Club members plan for cowboy shootout during 125th

Since the 125th Anniversary of Payson Committee put out the call for Western storytellers and people who would be willing to dramatically portray the Old West, several people have stepped up.

Health screenings important at any age

Regular health screenings are an important part of maintaining your health. They can either confirm your good health or detect conditions early when they can be treated most effectively.

A Payson Easter tradition

Every year for 13 years, Rim Country children have gathered at Rumsey Park for the annual Easter Egg Scramble.

Allianna Yvonne Cobos

Allianna Yvonne Cobos was born at 10:28 p.m. on March 21, 2007 to Jerry and Meryt Cobos at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Anacortes Rose Moore

Anacortes Rose Moore was born at 12:48 a.m. on Jan.24, 2007, to Jason and Holly Moore at Banner Estrella Hospital in Phoenix.

Michael Keith Angus

Michael Keith Angus was born at 9:19 p.m. on March 29, 2007 to Matthew and Branda at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Scratches make dent in appliance budget

Appliances for your new kitchen, or that remodeling job you have been itching to do, don't have to make a big dent in your budget.

Snowshoe success

The Payson Special Olympics snowshoeing team competed in the Arizona Winter Games in Flagstaff on Feb. 23, 24 and 25.

Golfers roll with orange-ball scramble

The Payson Men's Golf Association's latest round at the Payson Golf Course was a four-man team, orange-ball and scramble tournament.

Suns prove they can handle competition

An important thing happened over the weekend.

Longhorns dash Roadrunner hopes

The Longhorns are slowly chipping away at the gap between them and the fourth-place standing in the 3A East region. Only the top four teams qualify for the postseason.

Thursday, April 5

Basketball Bonanza: Players make Payson proud on Phoenix court

The Phoenix Suns may have been playing Golden State in the Bay Area on March 29, but U.S. Airways Arena was still filled with some talented players and some great basketball.

Pets require lifetime commitment


People recycle lots of things. In Payson we can recycle aluminum cans thanks to Payson Humane Society, paper thanks to the recycling bins at Wal-Mart and Green Valley Park, and scrap metal at the Gila County landfill north of Payson. Sadly, in Payson we cannot recycle plastics and glass. Recycling is good for our community.

When should you pull your money out of the parking lot?


The stock market dropped every year from 2000 through 2002. And today, with increased global tensions, a struggling economy and mixed reports on corporate earnings, the market outlook remains uncertain.

Logic is relative to where you are standing


Here's something that may boggle your mind just a wee bit: Logic, as we usually use the term, is defined as "correct reasoning," and correct, as we usually use the term, is defined as "conforming to logic."

Giving blood

Margaret Holmes is as close to a professional blood donor as one could be.

Fire district to contract with Diamond Star


According to Rick Washburn, the new chairman of the Tonto Village Fire District, "The Tonto Village Fire District is in the process of entering into a six-month Inter-Governmental-Agreement with the Diamond Star Fire District to provide for chief services, administration and training.

Tickets left for food and wine pairing


Happy Easter. I wish for you a wonderful time with family and friends. The weather is certainly beautiful. The trees are in bloom. But I wonder, will we have another snowfall?

Christopher Creek busy with Easter activities

Don't forget, Sunday is Easter, and if you don't feel like cooking, there are a few places you can go and let them do all the work.

55 dogs walk their owners to the finish line


The "Walk A Hound, Lose A Pound" event, sponsored by Payson Parks and Recreation, was great fun.

Descent to paradise

The popular Fossil Creek trail begins at a trailhead atop Deadman Mesa, a few miles west of the town of Strawberry. From the trailhead, the trail itself follows a road for a short distance, before becoming a single-track and beginning a definite descent into the Fossil Creek Canyon.

Enjoy the spring challenge of a turkey hunt


Spring in Arizona is a special time for a small fraternity of hunters who enjoy the challenge of calling in a bearded turkey.

Out with one sport, in with another

First things first. How great is it to be a Florida Gator? They have three major national championships within the last year -- 2006 NCAA Men's basketball and football national champs and a win on Monday against Ohio State to repeat as basketball champs. One of the better 12-month stretches for a university, I'd say.

Dodgeball tournament

Character counts. So does a high pain threshold when a dodgeball slams into you.

Weekend run celebrates Pat Tillman

For a few hours Saturday, set aside the newspaper headlines clamoring about the military cover-up of Pat Tillman's death by friendly fire in April 2004 in Afghanistan.

Opportunity to improve, with six games remaining

If the postseason playoffs were held today, the Payson Longhorns would not be advancing.

Shirley May Blalock

Shirley May Blalock, 74, of Payson, died April 2, 2007. She was born in Manchester, Mich., on May 15, 1932, to John and Ina Dunny.

Claire Charna Kern

Claire Charna Kern of Brooklyn, N.Y. and formerly of Payson, died April 2, 2007 in Franklin, Tenn.

Refresh, relax, restore at Christian conference

The Tonto Rim Christian Camp is hosting a Ladies Retreat April 13, 14 and 15.

5-course dinner to benefit learning institute

A five-course dinner with wine pairings is being organized to raise scholarship funds for the children and adults of the community who will benefit from the programs offered by the new Payson Institute of Learning.

Job well done

Cpl. Michelle Daly, left, was awarded the Detention Supervisor of the Quarter Award from the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

New group prepares for worst

The 55,000 residents of Gila County are ill-prepared for a natural disaster or emergency event, said Mariano Gonzalez Jr., Director of Emergency Operations for Gila County.

Incorporate home safety into spring-cleaning


During spring-cleaning, home safety should be at the top of your "to-do" list.

Town program helps with home repairs


If you own a home in the Town of Payson and your annual income meets certain guidelines, you may be eligible for assistance from the Town's housing rehabilitation program.

Fast response

A part-time resident of Beaver Valley, Bill Pernack, fell at his home.

Meet the minds and hands behind local art

This Saturday, visitors to the reception at the Artist of the Rim Gallery will have their fill of almost any form or medium in which they might be interested -- abstract paintings, fused glass pieces, contemporary silver jewelry, realistic landscapes and florals and still life oil paintings.

New orchestra to play first concert

Ron Sadlier's dream of conducting a full symphony orchestra in the Rim Country is on its way to coming true.

Payson should not take on federal problem

I feel very sorry for the Town of Payson because the local government is going down a dangerous road that will lead to economic peril.

What is going on with our school sports?

Every time I pick up a copy of your paper, there is an article about another coach quitting or getting fired.

Haddad graduates basic training

Air Force Airman Brian P. Haddad has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Destructive ‘fun' damaging Payson college campus

As has been previously reported in this newspaper, Gila Community College environmental biology students of the Payson Campus spent the past two months preparing an educational walking trail on campus that will connect with the Payson Area Trail System (PATS).

Grateful for students of Payson Community Christian School

My husband and I would like to express our gratitude to the junior and senior high school boys, as well as the faculty and staff of Payson Community Christian School.

Don Engler best candidate for police chief

Rarely does a community have the opportunity to advance its own highly qualified police commander to the position of police chief.

Something not quite right with task force resignation

I read the headline on the Payson Roundup, March 27 edition, "Entire Public Safety Force resigns," with some interest.

Ellis, Lepak marry

Ryan Joseph Ellis and DeAnna Lynn Lepak were married Saturday, March 3, 2007 in a ceremony at Sunset Gardens in Las Vegas, Nev.

Looking for lost friends

My name is Terry Banbury. My family owned the Oxbow Inn from 1971 to 1976.

Time for study is over, now is time for agreement

On Jan. 23, we published an editorial titled, "After safe yield study released, towns should return to the table."

Two towns at odds over safe yield study

The towns of Payson and Star Valley have different views about the results of a safe yield study released last week.

Council passes ordinance amendments, 7-0

The Payson Town Council Thursday night amended the business license ordinance that will punish employers who hire undocumented workers, beginning July 1.

Easter weekend events

The Town of Payson's 13th annual Easter egg scramble for children ages 12 and under will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 7 at Rumsey Park. Children can collect eggs filled with candy and coupons for special prizes. Scramble times and age groups are as follows: ages 0-3, 9:30 a.m.; ages 4 and 5, 9:45 a.m.; ages 6 and 7, 10 a.m.; ages 8 and 9, 10:15 a.m.; ages 10-12, 10:30 a.m.; special needs, 10:45 a.m. There is no charge for this event.

Star Valley unhappy with water study

The Star Valley Town Council has a few issues with the results of a safe yield study released last week.

Payson pinyons infested by insects

Pinyon needle scale, an insect that feeds on the sap in the tree's needles, have infested the pines in southwest Payson. As they literally suck the life out of their host trees, the pinyons slowly die by defoliation.

April going to be a musical month

Music lovers in the Rim Country will be busy this month. April is filled with musical performances -- six so far. Two Payson churches are presenting concerts; both the community orchestra and the choral society will have programs; Jazz in AZ and the Tonto Community Concert Association are also planning events.

Payson Lions lead state

The March 31 Lions Walk For Sight had 61 adult walkers and 12 children participate.

Neighbors not consulted about trail network

When a developer wants to put in a new subdivision in Payson, there are many phases the proposal must go through to be sure the impact on surrounding neighborhoods is considered from every possible perspective, and citizens affected have ample notification and opportunity to express their concerns.

Fish lucky he didn't receive maximum sentence

I was hoping someone would reply to the Dateline news story on Harold Fish besides me.

Tuesday, April 3

Body Confections become busy woman's retreat


A little more than three years ago Barbara Brewer was probably one of the busiest women in the Rim Country. She was mayor of Payson, had her own business, the Swiss Beauty Connection, was active in her church and had a variety of other commitments. For rest and relaxation she took up a hobby -- making soaps, lotions, bath salts and body scrubs.

Join the celebration

Ministerial fellowship extends Easter invitation to community

Rim Country residents and visitors to the area are invited to celebrate Easter at the fifth annual Resurrection Celebration.

Jailhouse dogs and other musings


Where is a good spot for a jail in a town?

Take a hike

One of the best hikes in Arizona is reopen after a major flood.

A balance of color in artists' marriage


Tradition met abstraction when Bob and Glenda Roark married five years ago.

Choose chicken for versatility, flavor and health


Good afternoon, everyone. The gentle rains and warm weather are doing miracles for our yards. The crocuses, irises, roses, lavender, chives, cilantro, parsley and fruit trees are all getting new leaves.

Mixed signals from the Tontos


In early April 1868 Chief Del-che-ae shouted a declaration of war as the Army invaded his stronghold in the Sierra Ancha.

Monday, April 2

Bob Broome

Bob Broome of Gisela died March 28, 2007. He was born April 4, 1931 to B.B. and Vivle Broome of Rosebud, Texas.

Local student places in state spelling bee

Jacquelyn Oesterblad, a student at Rim Country Middle School, placed 25th in the Arizona State Spelling Bee March 31.

Toddler dies after being hit by truck

A 3-year-old Phoenix girl died Sunday, after being hit by a truck at the Christopher Creek Campground.

Kiwanis auction

Auctioneer Kelly Watts of KMOG Radio and his assistant, Kiwanis Club of Zane Grey Country president-elect Bobby Davis work the crowd Saturday night taking bids on one of the many items sold to raise funds to support Rim Country students.

Still time to join newly-formed 4-H rabbit club

The Northern Gila County 4-H Rabbit and Cavy Club made two field trips in February -- the first one to Heidi Kueny's bunny barn in Strawberry.

Fool's Day fun

Rim Country Middle School's gym was converted into a fun zone Saturday to teach children about the dangers of alcohol abuse and underage drinking.

125th anniversary celebration coming together

Payson's 125th Anniversary Celebration has its own, easy-to-navigate, informative Web site at

Parents ask school district for consistent discipline policy

At a Monday night meeting, members of the Payson Education Advocacy Group called the Payson High School discipline policy "vague" and asked the Payson Unified School District's Discipline Committee for a more structured system.

Bill would end sunset clause

An Arizona State Legislative bill that would eliminate the "sunset clause" for the Gila County provisional community college district will experience a third reading by the Arizona State Senate this week and has already been passed by the Arizona House.

Is justice only for those in authority?

Does "justice" really mean "just us?"

Town should advertise outside for police chief

I am writing in regard to the article on the Public Safety Task Force in the March 27 edition of the Payson Roundup.

Immigration ordinance attack on private property rights

Words can hardly express my disappointment with the Town of Payson leaders who created the new anti-immigration ordinance. This is another attack on private property rights.

Why is Payson council backpedaling?

The Payson Town Council had the illegal aliens on the run with the passage of their Immigration Ordinance. Now, they want to backtrack and revisit the portion pertaining to landlords renting to illegals. My obvious question is, why?

Immigrants who came here legally are what makes this country great

Calling an illegal alien and "undocumented immigrant" is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist."

Wal-Mart employees courteous, professional during evacuation

I was at Wal-Mart recently when the store was being evacuated. The Wal-Mart employees clearing out the store were very courteous in this crisis situation and emptied the store in a matter of minutes.

Early Easter

J.W. Randall colors an Easter egg while his mom, Melissa Randall, watches at the Easter egg hunt and parade held at the Roosevelt Grapevine Campground on Saturday.

Star Valley asks Payson to continue police services

Star Valley could be using the Payson Police Department for its law enforcement services the next several years.

Star Valley to dispute water study

The Payson Town Council will discuss accepting the estimation of the safe yield study that was released last week.

Ex-boyfriend gets one-year probation

A former Payson man who shot Susan Crim in the neck, leaving her paralyzed for life, was sentenced Monday afternoon to one year of standard probation and 30 days in Gila County Jail. Frederick Parra Ortiz, 19, was convicted by a Gila County jury on possession of stolen property last month.

Rim Country lucky to have Friends of Ferals

I just want to take time to publicly thank the Payson Friends of Ferals for your continued effort. I also want to take the time to welcome the newest member to our organization -- Sam. Like so many, Sam isn't new to the plight of the feral cats of Rim Country.

Amended ordinance before council

Councilors to discuss 4 changes to immigration ordinance Thursday

The Payson Town Council will discuss amendments to a recently passed immigration ordinance, set to go into effect July 1. At Thursday's meeting, the council will re-examine an ordinance passed on March 15.

Holy Week/Easter Services

Below is a list of Holy Week/Easter Services planned at area churches:

12-year-olds earn first place finish

All the hard work and dedication culminated for the 12-year-olds of the Club Rim volleyball team at the Arizona Region Championships March 10 in Phoenix.

Silent night

Students experience an evening out speaking only sign language

The group of Gila Community College students at Pizza Hut Thursday night could hear the metal clang of pizza pans being set on the counter and the conversation of other diners.

Services for James William Barrett Jr.

James William Barrett Jr. died on March 29, 2007.

Prepare private property for fire season

Anyone who has lived in the Rim Country very long knows what sunlight looks like when it is filtered through smoke. The light takes on a reddish, muted hue that is unmistakable. You see it, and you know, the forest is burning.

Progress applauded, future planned

"I am in awe of the successes you have made," said Peggy Fiandaca, president of Partners for Strategic Action. She has been helping Payson with its Focused Future work for at least 20 years.

$1 million pledged to Whispering Hope

Denny Sanford of Payson has pledged $1 million to the Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation, a nonprofit group that provides year-round retreat experiences to thousands of special needs children, their families and caregivers each year.

Immigration ordinance touches many emotions

I am aware that the ordinance the Payson Town Council passed, requiring all businesses operating in the Town of Payson to hire only legal employees, is an issue that touches many human emotions. The ordinance does not deal with illegal immigration. It simply requires all businesses to have, in their files, proof that all their employees are legal and will require them to sign an affidavit to that effect when applying for a new license.

Etiquette needed in cell phone age


Where are Miss Manners and Emily Post when you need them? Someone should write a new book on etiquette in the electronic age -- specifically, in the cell phone era.

Learning to live again

The Payson Care Center Rehabilitation Services is celebrating National Occupational Therapy during the month of April.

Ministerial fellowship extends Easter invitation to community

Rim Country residents and visitors to the area are invited to celebrate Easter at the fifth annual Resurrection Celebration.

Younger players step up

The Lady Longhorns gouged the Cowboys of Camp Verde in a 6-5 win Friday. With several varsity players away visiting colleges, the younger players stepped up, including solid performances from Beth Hoyt, who went 1-for-3, and Sky McNeeley, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, coach Will Dunman said. He added that he was proud of the team's effort and the leadership displayed by the upperclassmen players.

Taking pride in Gracie Haught tournament

Gracie Haught represented something special to the Rim Country. The softball tournament played the past three years, which was organized in her honor, is evidence of that.

Accomplished girls not chosen for All-State

Reasons will never be revealed about why no Lady Longhorn players were chosen to the Class 1A-3A All-State basketball team when it was announced last week. But there are whispers the slight was due to the team's disqualification from the post season for having an ineligible player on the roster.

Payson track team steamrolls Globe

The Payson High School track teams rolled over Globe on Wednesday, easily taking first in both the boys' and girls' divisions.

Golfers perform well despite cold

The Payson Men's Golf Association took to the course for its second week of golf for the season.

Shop celebrates 20 years of making you new

René Morris and the staff at The New Ewe salon have been providing beauty services for residents of the Rim Country for 20 years.

All-State team overlooks two of Payson's deserving players

Posting a 23-9 record, winning the co-championship of the East region and finishing second in the state tournament wasn't enough to earn a Longhorn boys basketball player a slot on either the Class 1A-3A All-State first or second team. PHS players were also absent from the honorable mention list, which included about 30 representatives from around small-school Arizona.

Longhorns hope to extend winning streak

The Payson High School baseball team hopes the momentum it picked up from two wins last week will carry over to two important region games this week -- today, Tuesday, against Show Low and Thursday against Holbrook.

Harley Raymond Carter

Harley Raymond Carter, 64, of Payson, died in Phoenix March 30, 2007.

Lowell B. Horton

Lowell B. Horton, of Tonto Basin, died March 31, 2007.