Stories for December 2007


Monday, December 31

2007 Rim Country highlights

What a year. Ghosts in the Grille, a body in the trunk, a dog in the woods -- 2007 delivered a slew of stories that ranged from the clearly significant to the merely strange.

2008 New Year's wishes

We all have wishes for the future, some broad, others specific. The year 2007 has not seen an end to violence in the world, but hope exists.

Employer sanctions loom in New Year

Gila County vows enforcement, businesses worry

The Gila County Attorney's office on Jan. 1 will start enforcing a controversial law that could revoke the license of any business that employs undocumented workers, Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said this week.

around Rim Country

Free Christmas tree disposal until Jan. 12

The Gila County Solid Waste Department will accept Christmas trees at the landfill for no charge through Jan. 12.

‘2008 -- we'll make it great'

This column is the first time I have officially used the year 2008. What will the next 365 days bring? Hopefully it will be a year of peace and harmony, both in our personal lives and worldwide, a time of good health, helpfulness and compassion

January Senior Center menu

The Payson Senior Center serves a hot meal at noon weekdays in the dining room at 514 W. Main St.

Star Valley Town Council Candidates

Get to know your council candidates

This edition of the Roundup continues a series of features on all of the candidates running for Payson and Star Valley Council.

Elk hunter didn't need much help after all

A Payson elk hunter who fell ill and sent his nephew to get help, rallied and walked out through the snow when his rescue was delayed.

Historical society needs information about paving the Beeline

If you or someone you know worked on the paving of the Beeline Highway during the 1950s, call Lita at 472-7952.

Celebrate 2008 at First Friday bash

Step into the warmth of Main Street shops during January's First Friday Art and Antiques Walk Jan. 4.

Max P. Quitter

Max P. Quitter died Dec. 23, 2007.

Longhorns win three of four

The Longhorns had won three out of four games going into the final rounds of the Alvarez Tire Holiday Hoops Tournament in Prescott Saturday. They were scheduled to face Bradshaw Mountain for fifth place at press time.

Recent storms bring needed moisture

The fishing season for most weekend warriors is still about three months away. We have focused our attention to the fall and early winter hunting seasons of various big game, waterfowl and upland game birds.

Hashknife Pony Express marks its 50th anniversary

For 50 years, the Navajo County Hashknife Sheriff's Posse has been riding from Holbrook to Scottsdale.

Seminar on home energy conservation offered

Terry Ford, chief building official for the Town of Dewey-Humboldt, will be in Payson to conduct a free, informative seminar regarding energy conservation techniques in the construction industry.

New Year's Eve events in Rim Country abound

While watching a ball drop in Times Square on television satisfies a lot of people, just as many prefer going out and "painting the town red" to herald in the New Year.

Disc golf tourney is Saturday

"Folf," officially known as disc golf, sometimes called Frisbee golf is coming to Payson.

Defibrillator installed at Town Hall

An automated external defibrillator has been installed in Payson's Town Hall.

Pine-Strawberry ‘Riff Raff' have big hearts

This is a Christmas tale about a group of elves who refer to themselves as "Riff Raff."

A New Year's project

Betty Louise Beck

Betty Louise Beck, 88, of Payson, died Dec. 24, 2007.

Aleshire joins Roundup staff

Peter Aleshire, an award-winning reporter and editor, has joined the newsroom of the Payson Roundup as a news editor and reporter.

Early call onto court does not play well for Lady Horns

Broken down bus forces PHS girls to rise early, play 10:30 game Friday

The Lady Longhorns were anticipating a late start in their Holiday Hoops Tournament Friday. Because one of the 16 teams had dropped out, the girls, as hosts, would get a bye, putting their first game into the afternoon.

Payson street projects speed up

Plan to smooth, extend road hits potholes

Thursday, December 27

Malinda (Lin) Ann Sackett

Malinda (Lin) Ann Sackett died Dec. 18, 2007.

Fishing with dad

Golden celebration

Homes for small birds come from a child's hands

The pines, junipers and oaks of the Rim Country are home to a variety of birds, from mighty eagles to the tiny finches.

Hashknife Pony Express art unveiled

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Arizona's Hashknife Pony Express, the oldest, officially sanctioned pony express, Scottsdale Public Art Program presents Passing the Legacy.

Make some financial resolutions -- and stick to them

If you make a New Year's resolution, and you don't follow through on it, what are the consequences? It all depends.

Small town big hearts

The Pine Senior Cultural Center was as busy as Santa's workshop last Thursday with volunteers from the Pine-Strawberry Pantry filling holiday food boxes for more than 50 recipients, including families and seniors living in the Pine-Strawberry area.

Church Briefs

Forest Service seeking comments

The Tonto Basin Ranger District is initiating an environmental analysis (EA) on the Bar T Bar grazing allotment located in the Mazatzal Mountains south of Rye.

Artists invited to Paint-Out at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Arizona State Parks' first official Plein Air "Paint-Out" of the year will be next Saturday.

Humane Society a great tax shelter

With the year 2007 coming to a rapid close, there is still time to shelter your dollars from the tax collectors by making a donation to Payson Humane Society. This is a way of keeping your dollars in the local economy and helping out the Rim Country's abandoned pets.

Plaques of inspiration

Payson man's inscribed wood plaques are dedicated to military personnel

On the walls of U.S. military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the Military Veterans Hospitality Room at Sky Harbor Airport, terminal two, hang plaques which are the work of Payson resident, David Slater.

Lady Longhorns host a holiday tourney, boys travel to Prescott

Both the boys and girls basketball teams will be on the court this weekend for the annual Holiday Hoops Tournaments.

Soccer season marked by big victories by young team

Kirscha Wholly named to all-state tourney team, five named to 3A teams

A season record of 8 wins and 18 losses may not sound like a great year in the soccer wars for the Payson Longhorn girls; but in those eight victories some significant battles were won.

Myrna "Lee" Carlisle

Richard J. Krause Jr.

Richard Frank Besey

Richard Frank Besey, 76 of Tonto Basin, Ariz., died Dec. 23, 2007

Levi Daniel Mercer

Lexa Marie Stanger

Leighton Thomas Storey

Serenity Addam Jordan

Jacob Wade Park

Send us your favorite photo

Got a great photo? Then share it with our readers.

Quads parade creekside

Last week was the First Annual Quad and Cart ride through Christopher Creek. Twelve vehicles showed up to ride around in there decorated getups.

UA honors Payson High School for preparing best freshmen

The University of Arizona's 2007 President's Cup Award will be awarded to the staff of Payson High School at a ceremony in the Spring of 2008.

Not all the smart folks are in the city

There aren't very many places I've ever been where a New Year's Eve party could be held out of doors, but in 1960 I found myself in one. That year, the staff of the American Embassy in Karachi, Pakistan, held their New Year's Eve celebration out of doors under a large, low-roofed tent call a shamiana.

New laws aimed at reducing domestic violence incidents

The ways the Arizona legal system looks at domestic violence changed Dec. 13.

Discs will fly at first-ever disc golf tournament

"Flof," officially known as Disc Golf, sometimes called Frisbee golf is coming to Payson.

Be Thankful

Be thankful. Cultivate an "attitude of gratitude."

Payson town council candidates

Get to know your council candidates

In this edition of the Roundup continues its series of features on all of the candidates running for Payson and Star Valley councils.

Forensic nurses help victims at advocacy center

The Gila Family Advocacy Center is adding two Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE).

Thanks to all

Voter registration deadline nears for primary

Rim Country residents who want a say in the upcoming elections, but are not yet registered to vote need to get going.

Outages leave many without power

The Grinch visited some Payson residents this holiday season, with four major outages in the past week.

Vote will decide if fire districts merge

Tonto Village, Diamond Star seek comments

Merging the Tonto Village and Diamond Star Fire Districts has been tested for the last eight months. The results appear promising enough to take the next step, formally joining the two districts into a new, larger entity called the Hellsgate Fire District.

Land exchange grows town by 220 acres

An arduous decade of negotiations and on-again, off-again legislation ended this month with a federal land swap that will double the size of Montezuma's Castle National Monument, in return for 220 acres next to the Payson airport that could be used for housing and an industrial park.

Landfill recycling trees

The Gila County Solid Waste Department will accept Christmas trees at the landfill for no charge through Jan. 12.

Suzanne Michelle Frost

Suzanne Michelle Frost, 54, of Payson, died Dec. 21, 2007.

Tuesday, December 25

Embrace New Year with Chinese food

It has been an eventful year. In a few days it will end, and new adventures will begin.

Remembering Rim Country's ‘storm of the century'

Have you ever wondered when Payson's biggest snow occurred? Well, if you have, good news, we're going for a white-out with this column as we look back to 40 years ago this month.

Rounding up past papers

The newspaper Payson residents purchased in June 1947 was called The Payson Longhorn Home Newspaper of the Tonto Basin Community.

Payson Jazz Trio

At the Movies

I AM LEGEND Powerful from beginning to end

"I Am Legend" is one of the best, according to my perspective.

At the Movies

I AM LEGEND An intense movie

In the year 2009 a cure for cancer is found, but later it is learned that a nasty side-effect of this vaccine is an airborne and contact virus that ends up killing off almost all human life.

Not another resolution

"If not now, when?" was the motto of cartoonist and wry humorist Mike Rokoff who passed away this past summer.

Artist is drawn to nature

In the quiet of the forest a man sits, his back against a tree, the breeze ruffling his hair, blowing his human scent away from the elk herd he has fixed in his sights.

Monday, December 24

Donors bring holiday joy to kids

Eight youngsters, ranging in age from 6 to 12, had a visit from Santa's Helpers late last week.

Keeping the Christmas spirit year-round

We can all keep the spirit of Christmas alive and well throughout the year.

Christmas comes early for couple

Town of Star Valley comes to the rescue of couple left homeless by a house fire; more help needed

Santa, in the form of the Town of Star Valley, is helping a couple restore their fire-damaged house. The couple, living on Social Security, and forced from their home by a fire, is being helped by staff members of the Town of Star Valley. A Community Development Block Grant will provide the necessary money to perform repairs to Dan and Cheryl Wilms' Star Valley home and get them back in as soon as possible.

Michael Hughes

A Christmas wish

An animal shelter dream

A Christmas remembrance

Schools offer healthy food choices

No junk foods in Payson schools

Every day, kids are lured by advertisements enticing them with sugary, cream-filled junk foods promising to either amaze their taste buds, or entertain them with zany cartoon characters.

Winter driving conditions create hazards in forests

Officials with Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest are warning motorists to be cautious driving on forest roads.

Rim Country senior facilities closed for holidays

The Senior Center will be closed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25 for Christmas, open New Year's Eve, Dec. 31 and closed Jan. 1, 2008 for New Year's Day.

Rick Croy

Marketing's basket scores Mazatzal's Spirit Cup

The most coveted award among departments at the Mazatzal Casino is the "Spirit Cup."

Jean Murphy Koppang

Jean Murphy Koppang, 71, died Dec. 20, 2007 in Payson. She was born Aug. 8, 1936 in Oroville, Calif.

Senior Center Songs

Longhorns dash Holbrook in overtime

The Payson Longhorns had some holiday magic on the Wilson Dome court Friday.

Lady Horns continue winning ways

The Lady Longhorns defeated Holbrook 51-40 in their Dec. 21 match-up.

Skyline Ribbon Cutting

Gingerbread House Builders

Fire District Grants

Fireman's Fund Insurance and The Mahoney Group awarded grants to four separate Rim Country fire districts last week.

Police plan DUI patrols

Governor's office warns against underage drinking during the holidays

The governor's office wants to put an end to underage drinking.

Payson charity wins honors

Humanitarian Emergency Logistics Preparedness, Inc. (HELP), based in Payson and operated by Randy Roberson, is a recipient of a 2007 Award of Excellence from the Society for New Communications Research Awards program.

PHS student-athlete earns West Point appointment

The community and Payson High School can be proud that senior Isaac Cluff has received an appointment to West Point for the 2008 fall semester.

Saturday, December 22

Jean Murphy Koppang

Jean Murphy Koppang, 71, died Dec. 20, 2007 in Payson. She was born Aug. 8, 1936 in Oroville, Calif.

Friday, December 21

Christmas Village built by 40 years of collecting

Mary Vaughn Rogers has a tremendous affection for Christmas.

County makes holiday video calls to Iraq possible

Families of servicemen and women are invited to participate in Gila County-Freedom Calls-sponsored video conferencing to/from Iraq.

A remembrance of Christmas lights past

Valda Taylor, Vera LaForge and Elaine Drorbaugh won a pen and pencil set from Don Manthe's Payson Drug Store in a holiday light contest in the 1960s.

Star Valley

Celebration brings 300 pounds to food bank

RTA Hospice, Messinger Funeral Home and Rim Country Hospice Foundation have held "A Celebration of Life" for the past 12 years.

An open thank you

Be careful this holiday season

Tis the season to travel.

Sledders of all ages enjoy Cinch Hook

The Cinch Hook snow recreation area 10 miles north of Pine on Highway 260 will remain open this winter. "We aren't going to manage Cinch Hook on the weekends like we did in the past," Jean Gilbertson, fire information officer for Mogollon Ridge Ranger District said. What this also means is the Forest Service will not plow the 65- to 80-vehicle capacity parking area.

Treatment plant buy infeasible

The Star Valley Council pulled the plug on any possibility of negotiations for the Houston Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility at its final meeting of the year, Tuesday.

Heavy traffic coming to Rim Country

Rim Country highways could get crowded at times over the Christmas-New Year holiday.

A thank you to all

Thursday, December 20

Breathtaking: Hike to Betatikin Anasazi Ruins

Smoke rising from one of the stone and mud mortar rooms drifts upward toward the top of the 200-plus-foot high alcove that shelters the village from the elements.

celebrating 50 years

Daniel James Illig

Longhorns look to yank Roadrunners' plumage

Ten days since their last game, the Payson High School boys basketball team is ready for its next challenge.

Gila offers business, medical, criminal justice, tax classes

A number of additional offering are on tap for Rim Country residents when Gila County Community College starts its new semester.

Native Air earns medical transport accreditation

Omniflight, which does business as Native Air in Payson, has earned accreditation for medical transports at all 15 of its Arizona bases.

Charley Brunson -- outdoorsman of the Rim Country

Having lived in the Rim Country for more than 35 years, there are not many places I haven't heard about or maybe visited for an outdoor getaway.

Landon Ray Belcher

Send us your photographs

Got a a great photo? Then share it with us and our readers.

Forest Service wants comments on allotment analysis

The Tonto Basin Ranger District is initiating an environmental analysis (EA) on the Bar T Bar grazing allotment located in the Mazatzal Mountains south of Rye

Teach your children to be savers and investors

As the father of five children, I know the importance of teaching by example.

Three words I will never forget

Bill was quite tall, but being rather reserved he walked with a slight stoop that made him look shorter. That, added to the fact that he was thin, small-boned, and quiet-spoken lent him an air of weakness.

Kittens will be cats

Kittens are so cute, it is no wonder that they have a better chance of being adopted than an adult cat. However, it's a fact: within a year, a kitten will be a full-grown cat.

Emiliano D. Garcia

onto Village celebrates fire ops graduates

The Gila County Community College Fire Ops 1 & 2 training classes were held at the Diamond Star Fire Dept in Star Valley. Training began Aug. 22 and continued through Dec. 8, every Wednesday from 6 to 10 p.m., and every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Yes, Joi, there really is a Santa Claus

During the holidays, I am almost always asked by one or more of my grandchildren, "Grandma, do you believe in Santa?"

Columnist nestles in for the holiday

Lights were flashing and the sirens were blaring as Santa arrived at the fire station Saturday afternoon. The children were all thrilled to see Santa.

Health Alliance needs volunteers

The Mogollon Health Alliance is looking for good men and women to join the fun of sharing time within our community. Even four hours a week could benefit the Rim Country.

Elk, antelope regulations now available online

The elk and antelope regulations for 2008 have been posted online at and hunters can start applying anytime.

Legion brings holiday and year-round cheer

Santa arrived at the American Legion hall aboard a red Payson fire engine and amidst much applause and laughter from the children present on Dec. 15.

A time for action, not words

It's time that something is done.

Payson boy racks up race honors

Daniel Conley, 14, has won several different state championships in both mountain biking and road racing this year.

Fly fishing fundamentals program planned

Rim Country residents can learn the fundamentals of fly fishing from the experts in the Payson Flycasters in a free program next month.

PHS Lady Longhorn given 3A all-state honor

Jenna Robertson named to all-state volleyball team

Payson High School junior Jenna Robertson was named to the 3A Conference All-State Volleyball Team.

Glenn D. Troyer

Carol E. Greenshield

Tuesday, December 18

The Golden Compass

Intense, thought-provoking

Telling the truth is one of the first things children are taught. In "The Golden Compass," a child is given a tool that does it for her.

Pioneers seldom died of old age

Leaving the cemetery in Strawberry we return to the highway and head up the Mogollon Rim on State Routes 87/260.

The Golden Compass

Fantastic computer graphics

This is yet another Hollywood fantasy action movie based on a book (the first of three "His Dark Materials" novels from Philip Pullman) geared toward young adults. Can anyone say "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings"?

Rim Country cooks earn spot in new cookbook

Barbara Hall of Pine and her co-worker at the Payson Wal-Mart, Colleen Pointer of Payson, have recipes in the newest edition of the "Wal-Mart Family Cookbook."

At the end of the trail

As a metaphor for life, I have always felt that horseback riding fit pretty well.

Interesting Prescott

Prescott is but a two-hour drive from Payson and a fascinating destination.

Slinking around the Christmas tree

The round, looped coils of metal that Richard James created in 1943 were the hit of Christmas 1992 around the Jennings' extended-family holiday table -- there was a baker's dozen of us plus five.

Monday, December 17

Long live the tradition of Christmas cards

One of the things I like most about this time of year is receiving (and sending) Christmas cards. I love getting cards from nephew Tom, cousin Lois, childhood friend Elsie, and friends we seldom hear from any more.

Valiant effort by Longhorns falls short

Payson and Silver City both undefeated going into tournament championship

The Payson Longhorn wrestling squad put forth a valiant effort in the Rim Country Duals championship finals, but it was not enough to bring home the big medal.


Wild born wolves swept under rug

The Mexican wolf program may be in for a population increase despite removals attributed to livestock depredation.

No trash pick-up Christmas or New Year's Day, says Waste Management

As the Christmas and New Year's holidays approach, Waste Management is encouraging Payson residents and businesses to plan ahead for changes relating to trash pick-up schedules in their neighborhoods.

Robert Beckman

Candidate profiles - Payson Mayor's Race

The Roundup will be running a series on all Payson and Star Valley mayoral and council candidates.

Candidate profiles start today

This edition of the Roundup begins a series of features on all of the candidates running for Payson and Star Valley Council.

Good behavior earns school honors

Payson Elementary, Rim Country Middle School earn exemplary ratings from state

Panther and Maverick teachers, staff and students can be proud.

Feature teacher

Sophomores take-on culinary challenge

Justin Richardson, Brett Goodwin, Curtis Olson and Maddie Nossek formed a team of chefs and showed they could prepare a fine dining meal with only two burners and one hour's time.

Four Rim fire departments get grants

New radios, turnout gear, other equipment included in grants

Beaver Valley, Diamond Star, Pine-Strawberry and Whispering Pines fire districts each received $6,500 grants from the Mahoney Group and Fireman's Fund Insurance Company.

Elks lend a helping hand

Super Bowl XLII: Lots of options...

It's only mid-December and I'm already getting excited for the Super Bowl.

Girls away, boys home against Holbrook Friday

The Payson Longhorns basketball teams will face Holbrook Friday, Dec. 21.

Basketball, dodgeball competition will start in the new year

An adult basketball bonanza will take place Feb. 16.

-- Recreation Roundup --

Support sought for health care choice amendment

Group wants to change state constitution to give residents more government health program choices

Medical Choice for Arizona wants an amendment to the Arizona constitution.

Free kidney health screening will be offered in Payson

The Arizona Kidney Foundation will offer its free Kidney Early Evaluation Program (K.E.E.P.) from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1000 N. Easy St.

Trim those trees for healthier landscape

Royce and Tammy Brubacher have opened a new tree service for the Rim Country, Skyline Tree Service.

County superintendent given state adult ed grant

The Gila County school superintendent's office has been awarded a state adult education grant.

Basic immigrant statement

Put on your Santa hat or reindeer antlers and pitch in for a happy holiday

Christmas is less than 200 hours away, but there is still time to help make the holiday happy for those in need in the Rim Country.

Parents happy with teachers

Educators to get some performance pay

Parents of Payson school district students are pleased with the performance of teachers and this will earn teachers extra money.

Holiday lights brighten dark skies

Lighting contest winners named, tour map on page 9A

Stars were not the only things twinkling in Payson's night sky last week as judges chose winners of the Holiday Lighting Contest. Last Thursday and Friday nights, judges from the Town of Payson, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Public Service and the Town of Star Valley appraised 28 entries to the contest.

Grant goes for Web redesign

The Payson Regional Economic Development Corpora-tion received a $2,800 grant for a Web site redesign.

Thursday, December 13

Thanks for the help and donations

Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country thanks everyone who helped make our fourth annual "Up, Up and Away with Domestic Violence Radiothon" a great success.

Basketball from the couch

I love to watch the Suns "run and gun" scoring within four or five seconds following a basket by the opposition.

Council debates fire code changes

Any notion of wrapping up the 2007 council season with brevity was quickly dashed in another marathon meeting of the Payson Council.

Busy Santa

Matthew Martinez takes his place on Santa's lap with mother Kristin's help.

Food bank: 4,896 boxes and still counting

Gigi Grubbs spent her first afternoon as a volunteer at the Rim Country Food Bank filling boxes with canned goods, meat, peanut butter and bread. "I always wanted to work here, but I'm a procrastinator and put it off. Here I am now and I love it," Grubbs said.

Road safety meeting productive, says mayor

Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron has been trying to improve the safety of the roads in his town for years.

Peter J. Dygert

Peter J. Dygert, 67, of Payson, died Dec. 8, 2007.

It's all about Girl Scout power

You get to help people as a Girl Scouts, just ask Bethany Blanchard. In fact, ask almost any Girl Scout from one of the Payson troops and you will hear similar stories of friendship and caring.

Holidays bring out the best in Payson residents

Some Payson residents don't just think about helping the less fortunate during the Christmas holiday season, they pound the pavement and take action.

The Bears had a blast

The Bear den of Cub Scouts, Pack 354 wants to say Thank You to Gerry and Marty of the Galarneau's Gems Rock Gallery.

Brody Dale Simon

Brody Dale Simon was born at Payson Regional Medical Center to parents Jesse and Jennifer at 10:51 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007.

Autumn Jeanne Schulz

Autumn Jeanne Schulz was born Nov. 24, 2007 in Durango, Colo. to Jeremy and Gina Schulz of Durango, Colo.

Darringer Sky Rotsteen

Darringer Sky Rotsteen was born at Payson Regional Medical Center to parents Derek and Nikkisha at 4:25 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007.

Five generations

Recently five generations of the Frederick family visited in Payson.

Lucille Marcum

Lucille Marcum, 91, died Dec. 5, 2007. She had moved to Payson two years ago, to be closer to her Rim Country family.

First bull elk

Jodi Ross, who works at Anderson Dental, got her first bull elk -- a 6x6 -- on a late hunt in Unit 22.

Give Pine-Strawberry kids the credit they deserve


Since Arizona Credit for Kids tax contributions must be made before Dec. 31, 2007, time is growing short to participate in the highly worthwhile program that has proven in past years to be a much needed financial boost for our small, rural school district.

Donations to schools increasing

So far, taxpayers have given $138,000 to Credit for Kids campaign

The Payson Unified School District's Credit for Kids Campaign is bringing in more money, at this point in the campaign, than it did last year. Taxpayers have donated more than $138,000 so far this year, which is $24,000 more than at the same time last year, district superintendent, Casey O'Brien said.

Payson High School senior accepted to West Point

Isaac Cluff, an 18-year-old senior at Payson High School, was nominated to West Point by Congressman Rick Renzi, said Melissa Middlesworth, a spokesperson for Renzi's office. Cluff was accepted to West Point on Dec. 4 for the 2008 academic year.

Several candidates drop out

The March primary election ballots have been whittled of several council candidates, after Wednesday's petition deadline.

Pine water hearing concludes

The state hearing on the Pine Water Company's request to encumber a portion of its property concluded Dec. 12.

Recapture spirit of Christmas

The prelude to this big holiday season seems to be getting longer and longer. Around the middle of the summer you can hear promotions for "Christmas in July" -- July! -- With six months of hype, it is understandable why some of us might be sick of the whole thing by now. Shame on us.

Foundation helps Julia Randall school

The Julia Randall Elementary PTO would like to say thank you to The Wings Like Eagles Foundation.

Safe Driving tips offered

Here is some good info for people that are not sure what is a safe and proven speed and method for driving in adverse weather.

Good police work catches cat burglar

In November, the neighbors on my little dead-end street found themselves living in terror. One of our widow ladies had her house broken into in the middle of the night.

Children celebrate the Lamb of God

An orphan girl learns the true meaning of Christmas and who the true Christmas lamb is when she meets an angel, in "Lamb of God."

Payson gets state development grant

The Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation received $2,800 for a Web site redesign to include relevant community and business information, economic data and to promote the region to new business prospects.

Jude Connor Moore

Jude Connor Moore was born at Payson Regional Medical Center to parents Michael and Melissa Moore at 11:27 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007.

Janie Lynn McClure

Janie Lynn McClure was born at Payson Regional Medical Center to parents Timothy and Abbey McClure at 9:37 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007.

Daughters of Pioneers release third book

Since 2002, the Daughters of the Gila County Pioneers have been publishing books about the women who built this part of the west.

Bill of Rights Day celebration is Dec. 15

The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution, spells out individual rights.

Annual Spirit of Christmas show involved 80 people

More than 80 members of local churches are involved in bringing the annual "Spirit of Christmas" concert to the Payson stage, Sunday, Dec. 16.

Don Logue will be honored for service to Rim Guidance Center

Don Logue, a longstanding board member of Southwest Behavioral Health Services Rim Guidance Center, will be honored at the company's annual holiday celebration this Sunday at Gerardo's Italian Bistro in Payson.

Robert Beckman

Robert Beckman of Payson died Dec. 10, 2007 in Payson.

Charles Bishop

Charles Bishop, 83, of Payson, died Dec. 11, 2007. He was born Oct. 1, 1924 to Charles and Katherine Bishop of Detroit, Mich.

Richard Edward Glissendorf

Richard Edward Glissendorf, of Payson, 65, died Dec. 12, 2007. He was born Jan. 21, 1942 to Wilmar and Marie in Madison, Wisc.

Glenn Morris Shaw

Glenn Morris Shaw, 72, died Dec. 11, 2007 after a short illness. He was born to Glenn R. and Marguerite Shaw on July 31, 1935 in Huron, S.D.

4 Longhorns given first team all-state honors

Three more Longhorns earn all-state honorable mention

The Longhorn football team narrowly missed a chance at a state championship but it continues to rack up awards after a stellar season.

PHS girls net tough win against Red Rock High

Holiday Hoops tourney in Holbrook Dec. 28 is next

The Lady Longhorns started Wednesday's contest with the Scorpions of Sedona Red Rock High School with a high scoring quarter, posting 12 points to the competition's 4.

Longhorns scrunch Sedona Scorpions

Wintry weather postponed a match up between the Sedona Red Rock and Payson boys basketball teams earlier this week. When the teams finally met up Wednesday, the results probably had the Scorpions wishing a blizzard had rolled through Northern Arizona.

Payson matmen seek to capture Rim Country Duals

Payson High School will host the Rim Country duals this Friday and Saturday in the Wilson Dome.

Check out fishing equipment for outdoor person


There are only 10 shopping days left until Christmas and choosing the right gift can be a real challenge.

Recreation Roundup

Adult Men's Volleyball has three competitive teams: Ludke Builders, Payson Eye Care, and Chapman Auto Center.

When you hear something you wish you had said


A few weeks back I spoke of words which are never forgotten.

Church briefs

The Rim Valley Church of God, 208 S. McLane, will sponsor a combined fund-raiser from 8:30 a.m. to about 5 p.m. on Dec. 14 and 15.

Snowmen roll into the Creek


Christopher Creek got its share of snow.

Forest Park luminarias, holiday lighting tours near

Everyone is invited to the annual Forest Park Homeowners Luminarias on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Village, Diamond Star Fire plan to discuss merger


Snow has finally arrived in the village. According to one of the residents, Chuck Stailey, the accumulation has peaked at about seven inches, as of Tuesday afternoon. The ordinance for not parking in the street has been in effect since November and will continue until April. Please cooperate and keep your vehicles out of the way of the snowplows.

Black and white ball fund-raiser is Jan. 26

There will be a Black and White Ball fund-raiser on Saturday evening, Jan. 26, at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino event room.

Home for the Holidays ... or not


December is a hectic time of the year with so many preparations for the holidays. Our pets sense the excitement and change in the air, too. For the lucky dogs and cats whose families stay at home to cook a turkey and the fixings and include them in the festivities, it is a time of great joy and family togetherness.

Investments can make great holiday gifts


Now that the holidays are here, you're probably looking around for the right gifts for your loved ones.

PHS Christmas musical is this Sunday, Dec. 16

Spirit of Christmas musical program at Payson High School Auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 and 6 p.m.

Shiny Jags

To unveil the new Jaguar XF, automotive, lifestyle and mass media journalists were treated to an exclusive brand-immersion experience.

Wednesday, December 12

Candidates in primary election named

The March primary election ballots have been whittled of several council candidates, after Wednesday's petition deadline.

Tuesday, December 11

Former Payson CFO now part of gallery


When photographer Glenn Smith aimed his camera skyward the evening of Independence Day 2007, he knew he would get fireworks.

The Mist: Depressing ending crosses film from list


Another name for this story taken from a Steven King novel could be "The Fog meets Aliens" although this movie is not as good as either of those classic horror/suspense flicks.

Skiing this winter


There were some 55 million visits to U.S. slopes last winter and this season promises to be even busier.

A winter wonderland at last


It is finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Rim Country.

Holiday concerts

Holiday concerts presented by the community's schools and after school programs can get you in the spirit.

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium: Magic movie with a message


"Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" is truly magical, along with a hint of reality.

Have a holiday baking party


It has been a very busy few days, with the holidays, traveling, decorating and craft shows.

The history around us


Since we're in the holiday season now I thought it might be fitting to take a slightly different spin on history, since most everyone spends some time with family this time of year.

Imaginary friends and perplexed lovers take center stage


Senior-Directed One-Act plays are live at the Studio Theatre this week.

Monday, December 10

Payson Senior Center news

The Payson Senior Center serves a hot meal at noon weekdays in the dining room at 514 W. Main St. No membership is required. Cost of the meal is $3 for persons 60 and older, $5 for those younger than 60.

AARP says about half of older adults risking health by skipping flu shot

A new AARP survey finds that many older adults are risking their health and the health of those around them by skipping their annual flu shot.

Christmas cheer

Girl Scout troops met Saturday for their annual Christmas party with Santa.

Payson High grad returns from Iraq

Cpl. Martin M. Dorris, 20, a 2005 graduate from Payson High School, recently spent a two-week leave with family and friends after returning home from Iraq.

Lots of sad faces

While visiting the Payson Humane Society the other day, I saw lots of sad faces that had no homes.

Many people helped with Thanksgiving dinner

The Fourth Annual Payson Community Thanksgiving Dinner, hosted by Payson Elks Lodge #2154, was a great success again this year.

Boys Choir was great entertainment

On a recent Sunday afternoon, the Phoenix Boys Choir entertained me and a full house of enthusiastic Payson residents at our Payson High School auditorium.

Candidate filing deadline nears

If Payson and Star Valley council candidates don't have their petitions fully signed by now, they better make haste.

Safety team reviews Star Valley roads

Mayor Chuck Heron wants highway speed limit lowered to 45 mph on edge of community

Spurred on by a desire to make his roads safer, Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron's longtime quest is finally getting some action.

Dads and their children moldclay memories

Dads, grandpas and volunteers folded their adult bodies into the tiny chairs arranged at short-legged tables in order to share a morning of bonding with their children.

Father and son rescued from rising waters

Two people from Bellmont, west of Flagstaff, had to be rescued after they became stranded by the rising floodwaters of the East Verde River Saturday night near Crackerjack Mine Road.

Storm closes Highway 260, lost hunter found

A hunter lost near the Mogollon Rim was found and returned to his camp uninjured Sunday, Sgt. Terry Hudgens with the Gila County Sheriff's Office said.

Man rescued from floodwaters

Bystanders, deputies pull man from SUV in East Verde River

A 68-year-old Payson resident was almost swept away in his SUV by the East Verde River Friday afternoon before being rescued by bystanders and sheriff's deputies. Merritt Pittman was trying to ford the second crossing on Houston-Mesa Road near Whispering Pines Friday at about 2:30 p.m. when he found himself being swept downriver by raging floodwaters.

Need for YMCA questioned

Taxpaying citizens and legal voting citizens, as well as our precious Town Council have to look beyond the "smoke and mirror" images.

Michael Hughes named Realtor of Year

Michael Hughes was named Realtor of the Year by the Central Arizona Board of Realtors at its annual Christmas celebration Dec. 6.

Lennie Marie Griffin

Lennie Marie Griffin, age 76 of Glendale, Ariz. and formerly of Payson, Ariz. died Dec. 6, 2007.

Help create a Holiday Food Tree

Artists of the Rim Gallery is sponsoring a holiday food drive through Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Critical absences hurt Longhorns

Several absences in the weekend's Pepsi Invitational Tournament held in Flagstaff proved to be a bigger opponent for the Longhorns than the opposition.

Super Seniors -- Rim Country Bowling results

Standings and scores, as of Nov. 29, week 12 of 33.

Museum is taking letters to Santa

There is still time to write those letters to Santa!

Angels at Work

Once again an Angel Tree is at Wal-Mart, located in front of the Desert School Credit Union.

Educating the public about healthy alternatives

Payson has a new source for vitamins, supplements and organic foods -- Vita-Mart is in the Twin Pines Shopping Center.

Oxbow closed for remodeling

The bar is closed and there is dust on the dance floor of the Oxbow Saloon on Main Street.

Longhorns size up competition

If the Longhorn wrestling team is to continue to claim to its familiar spot as the kingpin of the 3A East region, it must find a way to upset longtime rival Show Low.

Young wrestlers get real mat time in multi-meet

Last Saturday, 10 teams braved the weather to spend the day wrestling in the Wilson Dome.

Rim Country Duals proving ground for coming divisional contests

The week before the Christmas break for Payson High School is traditionally the time of some of the state's finest high school wrestling right here in Payson.

Lady Horns earn championship

Payson High School's girls basketball team blew the wind out of favorite Round Valley at this weekend's Round Ball Shoot-out in Eagar.

Beautiful music

Payson Choral Society conductor Daria Mason encourages her five-dozen singers during the group's Christmas concert Saturday at the high school auditorium.


Kain England is consistent in his shooting as he attempts to beat out his competition at the Elks Hoop Shoot Saturday, Dec.8.

John E. Kovacs

John E. Kovacs, 83, of Payson Ariz., died Dec. 9, 2007.

Be safe when driving during winter storms

Rim Country residents and visitors escaped with their lives this past weekend after another wonderful but potentially dangerous storm. Hopefully their actions will inspire others not to take any chances when a winter storm is approaching or very much present.

Watershed stewards program offered at community college

Gila County Community College and Gila County Cooperative Extension is offering a special course based on the Arizona Master Watershed Stewards Program.

Rim Country Alano Club offers clean, safe, sober environment

Rim Country Alano Club offers safe, drug and alcohol-free environment to support those in recovery and their family members.

Payson area trail work moves forward

Signing of trails should be finished by Spring 2008

The Payson Area Trails System (PATS) volunteers, Payson Town Staff and USFS Personnel had another productive trails workday continuing to sign the Houston Loop Trail on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

Businesses help museum renovations

Judy Buettner, president of the Northern Gila County Historical Society recently signed a contract for the restoration of the Rim Country Museum and the small building behind it.

Impossibility of being a Cards fan

The greatest thing about being a sports fan is that every once in a while your team accomplishes something amazing -- as a fan, you feel like a small part of it.

Sunday, December 9

National Weather Service issues flash flood watch for northern Gila County

Heavy rains mixed with forecasted snow has Payson and surrounding communities under a flash flood watch until Tuesday morning.

Thursday, December 6

Velma Wilson

Velma Wilson, 90, died at her home Dec. 3, 2007

‘Simply Jesus' Christmas celebration in the Village

Wasn't the rain this past weekend an awesome sight?

Chamber manager develops back-to-basics game plan

Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Manager John Stanton seems to have garnered the support of many local chamber members with his "back to basics" game plan.

Library will sponsor writing contest for youth authors

The Payson Public Library is sponsoring young authors (age 12 and under) to enter the Baker and Taylor Young Authors Writing Contest.

Santa's coming to Green Valley Saturday

Magic on the Mountain events did not end with the spectacular Main Street Electric Light Parade.

Toy and food drives make holiday better for all

Now it begins, the decorating, the shopping, and the cooking, the shopping, the cleaning, the shopping, the wrapping, the shopping and then more shopping.

Neighbors light up Christopher Creek holiday

Tuesday evening I decided to head out and see just how many residents in Christopher Creek were getting into the holiday spirit.

Time running out for transfers to charities

Last year, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 drew a lot of attention for its efforts to strengthen the private pension system.

Payson council member elected to state board

Payson town council member Mike Vogel has been elected to the executive committee of League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The day I broke into the school

It was cold that January morning, much colder than it had been the week before when Mom walked me to school for the starting three days of first grade.

Outdoorsmen will find December is one busy month

December is a busy month for outdoorsmen with numerous big-game hunts going on, as well as a lengthy quail season in full swing.

Win a TV, computer by attending one or more Lady Longhorn games

Susie Johnson is adamant about improving attendance at Lady Longhorn basketball games in Wilson Dome

Witty quotes, reflections

Early this week, perhaps in a wisp of nostalgia, I thumbed through a folder of a collection of witty quotes and reflections I acquired during a more than 37-year career as a public school teacher and coach.

Coaches making prep all-star decisions Friday

High school football coaches from around the state will huddle today (Friday) and Sunday to dole out some of the greatest honors prep football players may receive.

Gophers no match for Lady Longhorns

The Florence Gophers can be excused for mistakenly believing they were actually ground hogs during a 74-27 loss to the PHS Lady Longhorns.

Who's best at shooting hoops?

Annual Elks Lodge Hoop Shoot Saturday

If tomorrow's Payson Elks Lodge Hoop Shoot contest is highlighted by the drama of some past events, it will be a barnburner.

Payson woman qualifies for Boston Marathon run

It's on to the historic Boston Marathon for Rim Country runner Linda Gibson.

Eugene W. Hanes

Eugene W. Hanes, 87, of Topton, Pa., formerly of Phoenix and Strawberry, Ariz., died Dec. 3, 2007.

Library fun

Who says kids get all the fun?

Water woes nearing end, says mayor

Payson Mayor Bob Edwards said the Town of Payson is not in a water crisis.

Be safe this holiday season

What's a holiday party or even the traditional Christmas morning scene itself without a beautifully decorated tree?

Really ... Macky's moves to new home

Greg and Cari Day, owners of Macky's Grill, returned exhausted Tuesday evening from a trip to the Valley.

Rudolph gets jazzed on Sunday

Pete Pancrazi will give the little red-nosed reindeer jazz stylings when he performs at what has become the annual "Jazzy Holiday" Jazz in Az concert, Dec. 9

Tutored student takes charge of her dreams

Maria Cohen is a woman who has always taken education to heart.

A cat's pride and joy

If cats could talk, they would probably tell you their most prized possessions are their paws and claws.

‘I was not a hero'

Soldier ‘just did what came naturally'

Tobe Cogswell was at a football game when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Ringing in the holiday for those less fortunate

For at least the past nine years, volunteers have been ringing bells in front of Rim Country stores for the Salvation Army.

Continuing generosity

Ralph Eugene Leslie

Ralph Eugene Leslie died in his home, Sunday, Dec. 2, 200

Remember the heroism of World War II

Most Americans today were not born when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, but it is a day we should not forget, much like Sept. 11, 2001.

Star Valley mayor named to CAAG committee

Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron was named to the Central Arizona Association of Governments executive committee as its vice-chair.

Art, antique walk, music, food part of First Friday events

December's First Friday Art and Antique Walk on Dec. 7 will have a number of special events taking place, according to Payson Main Street Merchants Guild officials.

Contractor pinned against truck when fork lift lunges

Man airlifted to Valley hospital

A local contractor was airlifted to a Valley hospital with serious chest injuries after being crushed.

Star Valley establishes police unit

The Star Valley Town Council voted in favor of establishing a police agency at Tuesday night's meeting.

Pine residents propose domestic water district

A large number of Pine and Strawberry residents apparently want the state to put the Pine and Strawberry Water Companies out of business. Both companies are owned and operated by Brooke Utilities. Commissioners Kristin Mayes and Gary Pierce of the Arizona Corpora-tion Commission heard public comment from Pine and Strawberry residents this week on a request by Pine Water Company to encumber property and equipment.

Eight now seek Payson council positions

The Payson council has three seats up for election in May and no shortage of candidates willing to fill them.

Church Briefs

Choral Society brings sweet music to the holiday

The five-dozen-plus members of the Payson Choral Society love to sing.

Star Valley race equally contested

The Star Valley council race has ample citizens looking for a spot on the dais. Six council candidates have come forward, tentatively seeking a spot on the May ballot.

Simulated disaster brings home reality

A mock disaster at Green Valley Park Thursday morning had onlookers wondering what was going on. The Payson Fire Department, along with other area first-response agencies, staged an accident scene in Green Valley Park at 9 a.m. Thursday, across from the Zane Grey cabin.

Tuesday, December 4

Pioneers seldom died of old age

We continue our investigation of a number of mysterious and isolated graves found around the Rim Country.

Christmas is alive and well

Winter arrived right on cue, just as many scheduled outdoor ceremonies began.

Enchanted: A different happy ending

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a lovely princess with a good ear for a cappella

Wood of character

Artist lets medium direct efforts

Roger Buchanan is as much a character as the furniture he creates out of recycled wood.

Young teens sing sweet music at choral society concert

Music resounds through the young lives of Kaitie Jones, Katie Schouten and Sierra Royer.

Arizona getaways for the holidays

The holidays are a great time to enjoy various events within our state.

Make holiday baking more fun with a cookie party

Invite some friends to bring one dozen of their favorite holiday cookie for each invitee, plus more to nibble on at the party. Have containers ready so your guests can take an assortment of bar, drop, sandwich and cutout cookies home.

Beowulf: Computer graphics dazzle

The storyline for this movie is drawn from the 700 A.D. myth about the legendary warrior Beowulf (pronounced bay-wolf) who comes to the aid of King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) to battle the monster (actually more of a giant, very ugly troll) Grendel, who has been terrorizing his kingdom.

Monday, December 3

Tailored distance learning available for GED

Zach Horsley is a young man active in Scouting, where he leads the younger Boy Scouts as they earn merit badges and rank advancement.

Fuel prices and food costs

Have all the chickens in the whole country gone on strike?

Humane Society to hold open house Dec. 14

The Payson Humane Society is holding a Christmas Open House on Dec. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Artists create on bold canvas and with recycled barn wood

Minette Richardson thinks big.

Our sincere gratitude

Lessons to learn from season's first winter storm

The first winter storm of 2007-2008 arrived much as forecasters predicted.

Santa's Workshop comes to Green Valley Park Friday

Magic on the Mountain events did not end with the spectacular Main Street Electric Light Parade.

Star Valley council to honor soldier

The Star Valley council will recognize one of the town's finest at its regular meeting tonight, Tuesday.

Retirement communities prime targets for criminals

Retirement communities like Payson are prime targets for identity theft and fraud schemes.

Payson: Plenty of potential

New town tourism, economic director sees many opportunities

The sky is the limit, as far as Cameron Davis is concerned. The town's new Tourism and Economic Vitality director said his first month on the job has revealed to him how much potential there is in Payson for tourism and economic growth.

Storm dumps 5 inches of rain

More than five inches of rain was produced by the first storm of winter in the Rim Country. National weather observer Anna Mae Deming measured 5.10 inches of precipitation on Saturday, Dec. 1. According to weather statistics, the Payson area gets an average of 22 inches of rain per year, so the storm was responsible for almost a quarter of the community's annual total precipitation.

Great parade

Mazatzal Casino's float displayed the winter wonderland everyone has come to associate with this time of year. Several employees were snowmen and winter revelers having a good time.

Around Rim Country

Payson schools half-day Dec. 5

Payson Unified School District will observe a half-day in-service day Wednesday, Dec. 5.

Early high school grads can get scholarship help

The Arizona State Legislature has provided an opportunity through the Early Graduation Scholarship Grant program for Arizona high school early graduates to secure up to $2,000 towards their postsecondary education.

Arizona State Credit Union available to everyone

There was a time when membership in a credit union was limited to certain groups: federal workers; the employees in a specific union and its related industries; state employees.

Free notary public workshop set

The Secretary of State's Office will be giving a free Notary Public Workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Dec. 10 at the Payson Town Hall council chambers.

County hearings set for community needs

Gila County has access to more than $400,000 in federal and state funds for projects to help low- and moderate-income persons.

Artists of the Rim features 2-D and 3-D

The mountain will still be there tomorrow but a burst of orange color against what was a night-black sky is a one-time only shot.

Holiday house lights contest

The Third Annual Holiday Lighting Contest is open to residents of Payson and Star Valley.

Rim Country smoke coming from two prescribed burns

Two prescribed burn operations should result in smoke in the Payson Ranger District early this week.

Super seniors -- Rim Country Bowling results

Standings and scores, as of Nov. 15, week 11 of 33.

Volunteers for Little League board needed

Payson has long been fortunate in that many volunteers have stepped up over the years to spearhead the local Little League baseball program.

Florence, then Round Ball Shoot Out next for Lady Longhorns

The Lady Longhorns take to the Wilson Dome court this evening, Tuesday, looking to rebound from the team's first defeat of the season.

Longhorns may face Estrella Foothills in Pepsi Invite tourney

Arizona's two top ranked 3A boys basketball teams were not expected to lock horns until the state tournament in February 2008.

First Friday has art, cars, music, refreshments

The Payson Main Street Merchants Guild are excited about December's First Friday Art and Antique Walk on Dec. 7.

Gina Perkes, Sharon Schamber seek $100,000 prize

Quilters Sharon Schamber and Gina Perkes are in the running for the $100,000 grand prize in the Quilting Challenge contest by a quarterly magazine of the same name.

Feature teacher

Move over Robin Hood, P&R set to shoot

Archery expertise will be at youth's beck and call when the town-sponsored After School Archery Pilot Program debuts next spring.

County sheriff's office has winning safety mascot costume

Sgt. Michael Fane of the Gila County Sheriff's Office in Globe submitted the winning application for the 2007 Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program mascot costume, at no cost, to aid them in their gun accident prevention efforts among young children.

Cub Scouts to help keep seniors warm

The Webelos Den of Cub Scout Pack 7354, sponsored by Mt. Cross Lutheran Church, has begun their Holiday Season Community Service Project.

Sunday, December 2

Rim Country smoke coming from two prescribed burns

Two prescribed burn operations should result in smoke in the Payson Ranger District early this week.