Stories for April 2008


Wednesday, April 30

I brought the brain master

Dinner theatre plays again at Main Street Grille

Humor Me has had laughing starts and fits over the past three years, but Kathleen Kelly, Humor Me's leader of slapstick, finally has a group of seven dependable players.

Tuesday, April 29

'Neath the Rim 2008 Open Studio Tour

Artists invite public into creative environments

A plethora of artists call the Rim Country home. Twenty-six local artists will show their work in 17 studios during the ‘Neath the Rim 2008 Open Studio Tour.

Pleasant Valley trip an eye-opener

Recently I had the opportunity to go to Pleasant Valley with my friends Jinx and Jayne Pyle to research Pleasant Valley history. As much as anything, it was a fact-finding trip designed to set up future research on that area. We came away happy with what we found. What follows is my take on the trip.

Street kings- Senior Review

Fans of cop action films will like this

It seems that in the last 20 years, most of the police saga movies use Los Angeles as the backdrop, with the story revolving around the LAPD (which I guess makes sense if you want to keep the movie's travel expenses to a minimum). But in "Street Kings," the story is more about corruption at the highest levels in the department than about a murder investigation.

Around Town

The play's the thing

Mark your calendar on May 8 to attend spring play performances at the Pine Cultural Hall. The Pine Library is partnering with the Pine-Strawberry School to present two plays.

A year of Fridays

It's been one year since the formation of the popular First Friday Art & Antique Walk on Main Street, and it continues to grow each month. To help celebrate this one-year milestone, there will be lots of free music, refreshments and more.

Architecture of rustic design

Gino Ater's art surrounds him -- literally -- from the opal ring on his finger to his cabin. The jeweler, home-remodeler and jack-of-all trades, sits easy in his skin. "I haven't had TV for six years. When I first moved up here, I drank my morning coffee and listened to the traffic report on I-17," Ater said.

Leatherheads-Youth Review

A good film to see with family

I don't feel like watching "Leatherheads" was a waste of my money or anything. Although, if I had the chance to pay 8 bucks to see it again or sit at home and play video games, I would be perfectly content playing video games.

Grand Canyon Railroad revisited

It had been a while since I had last traveled on the Grand Canyon Railroad, so a few days ago we drove to Williams, Ariz. for the experience. Getting there is easy, with good roads all the way.

The sound of beach music

I have just returned from the funeral for my brother. He lived in Fernandina Beach, Fla., so it was not an easy journey to make on short notice, but we got there in time to share an evening with some family and a beautiful service the next day.

Easy no-cook dishes for warming spring days

It is the time of year to gather an armload of irises and lilacs, bring them into your home and not only enjoy the beautiful colors, but the wonderful sweet aroma.

These women quilt outside the lines

Coloring outside the lines is part of the creative mission of The Threadplayers.

Monday, April 28

Choral Society brings on the powerful beat of Broadway

The 70 plus guys and dolls of the Payson Choral Society will bring the Mogollon Rim alive with Broadway show tunes at their spring concert.

School honored for collecting the most books

The Phoenix Roadrunners hockey team recognized Frontier Elementary School recently for collecting the most books of any school in Arizona during its first annual Phoenix Roadrunners student recognition and learning program.

Airport roundabout needs council OK

The Payson Council will grapple once again with roundabouts at its Thursday meeting. No. Not the Mud Springs roundabout -- another one.

North Payson resident tired of losing pets to pellet guns, offers reward

$500 offered to catch cat shooter

North Payson resident Skylar Adams lost his 12-year-old mix breed cat named Seamus to a pellet gun wound to the head about four months ago, and now is afraid he will lose another.

Beaming owners, gleaming cars

Thousands flock to Main Street for view of classic, antique cars

Oohs and aahs sighed through the crowd wandering down the line of cars parked along Old Main Street, Saturday, April 26, at the 15th Annual Charity Auto Show -- which doubled as a celebration of the Beeline Highway's 50th anniversary.

Extreme danger: Fire season coming early

Despite a wet winter, the Rim Country forest managers are bracing for a dangerous fire season, with fuels already holding about half as much moisture as normal in many areas.

Editorial board members needed

The Payson Roundup is looking for volunteers to serve a four-month term on the next editorial board, beginning May 7. The board meets at 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays to discuss the content of the newspaper's editorials.

Frontier students seek and replace buried treasure

Knowing which way is magnetic north on a compass is a good skill for burgeoning treasure seekers to have. It is also a necessary skill for an activity called Letterboxing, as students in Rich Ormand's physical education classes at Frontier Elementary School recently learned.

Open house

Yard sale

Rim Country blood drives scheduled for May

United Blood Services will be conducting drives in the Rim Country in May.

Almost finished

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Look-alike moms and daughters wanted

Look-alike moms and daughters are asked to participate in the Payson Roundup's Mother/ Daughter Look-alike feature to be published in our May 9 edition.

Preparing students to be a success

"As outsourcing of work to other countries continues, the U.S. job market will shrink. Education will be the determining factor as to whether a person is successful in the global economy or not.

When the going gets tough ...

We hate to stoop to a cliché -- but there's a reason pithy bits of wisdom get that way. So when the going gets tough....The tough go to the business showcase.

Reverse mortgages -- Who is the winner?

How would you feel about a mortgage where you lose equity in your home every month? This is the basic premise behind a reverse mortgage.

You can save yourself from foreclosure

Foreclosure is happening everywhere. People who have built equity and worked hard to obtain the American dream are on the losing side each and every day.

Lakes are stocked, fishing is good

With a few minor exceptions, high country trout lakes are accessible and this is the time to catch those larger hold-over trout that like to tail dance. Being some of the first to fish these picturesque mountain lakes is an adventure just waiting for you.

Anniversary a red-letter day for Red Hat groups

The ladies of the Payson area's Red Hat Society chapters gathered last Friday for lunch and lots of laughter.

First Friday has first anniversary

A nice, little neighborly project has turned into a much-anticipated monthly event: the First Friday Art & Antiques Walk on Main Street. The merchants presenting the celebration are pulling out the stops for the upcoming First Friday May 2 -- it is the first anniversary of the program.

Key access roads open to Woods Canyon and Big Lake

Key access roads in the mountains are now open allowing anglers and other outdoor recreational users entry to Woods Canyon Lake along the Mogollon Rim and Big Lake in the White Mountains.

Longhorns co-champs

Payson, Show Low share East region title

Break out the CD player and crank up the volume on Queen's rock hit "We Are the Champions."

Rim Country dinner honors state Supreme Court

About 100 leading Rim Country politicians and court officials gathered on Monday night to celebrate the arrival of the state Supreme Court to hear two appeals Tuesday morning in the Payson High School auditorium.

Firewood season opens on Coconino

After a long, snowy winter, people are anxious to get out and enjoy public lands for hunting, firewood gathering and general recreation.

Marjorie B. Riggs

Middle school gets new principal

Rim Country Middle School has a new principal who will take up residence in Payson near June 1. The Payson Unified School District has approved hiring Gary Witherspoon as the new principal at Rim Country Middle School.

Helping out

5,000 view Beeline Cruise-in car show

An estimated 5,000 people attended the 15th Annual Beeline Cruise-In hosted by the Rim Country Classic Auto Club. Plus, more than 300 cars participated.

Outdoor expo will be hosted by sports club

Last spring, Tonto Rim Sports Club members were eager to show off the vast array of improvements that had taken place at the Jim Jones Shooting Range.

Wildlife fair is a spring tradition

A highlight of the spring season for the past 13 years has been the Payson Wildlife Fair. It's a festive event that draws onlookers from around Gila and Coconino counties.

Longhorn hoop star signs college letter of intent

Robert Walker is swapping his Longhorn gear in favor of Central Christian College's Tiger motif.

PHS track teams win home meet

PHS boys gather 178 points, Camp Verde 87; PHS ladies 189 to Camp Verde's 151.5

A bit of home cookin' was all the Longhorn track and field teams need to cure their struggling ways. In one of only two varsity home meets the teams have on their 2008 schedule, the boys team outdistanced the six-team field scoring 178 points. Runner-up Camp Verde was second with 87 points.

Tenth-grader is HOSA state champ

Payson High School tenth grader Nicole Scott is the HOSA state champion in prepared speaking.

Friday, April 25

Cruizin' Main Street

This year the car show will celebrate the "50th Anniversary of the Beeline Highway" with special graphics on all of the show materials including the car show T-shirt.

Game teaches teens responsible choices

Teens at Payson High School will engage in a life-size board game where the game pieces determine their decisions. Realistic scenarios at each juncture of The Maze help teens navigate life decisions concerning sex, substance abuse and vocational and educational issues.

Help put a stop to roadside sale of animals

Spring is here. And with spring comes babies. The puppies and kittens are beginning to show up at Payson Humane Society. It starts as a trickle, and soon will be a torrent.

Creek residents get ready for grazers

At the April 19 Hunter Creek Homeowners Association meeting there was a report from Chris Thiel (USFS) and Woody Cline, who is the cattle grazing permit holder, on cattle being back in the area.

Recycle everything, keep our forest clean

Bring those plastic bags to the grocery stores' recycling bins, recycle your newspapers, magazines and cardboard, donate your aluminum cans to the Humane Society. They have a huge bin to handle the cans, crush them first, please.

Church Briefs

National Day of Prayer

Payson is celebrating the National Day of Prayer Thursday, May 1. The theme is "Prayer! America's Strength and Shield" Psalm 28:7.

Charlie, Tsosie to wed

Community concessioners wanted for Green Valley Park

The Payson Parks and Recreation Department is looking for community service organizations to provide concessions.

Power points rating may determine state seeding

Longhorns would probably get East region second seed, 3A fifth-place ranking

A dead-knot for the region championship in the final East baseball standings appears to be a certainty. With one game remaining in the regular season, Show Low and Payson are tied atop the East standings with identical 8-1 slates.

Smart portfolio moves for your retirement years

For most of your working years, your investment strategy, by and large, has probably revolved around achieving sufficient growth to help you meet your long-term goals, such as college for your kids and a comfortable retirement.

PHS has track, field regional contenders

An 11-team meet in Snowflake turned out to be the proving ground Payson High School track and field teams needed to prepare for the regional championships to be held May 2 in Pinetop-Lakeside.

Good training helps athletes reach goals

Good athletes are always searching for ways to improve their performances. A Valley-based training program that claims it can help athletes attain those goals will be explained at 6:30 p.m. April 28 in Wilson Dome.

Emotions are more important than you think

Have you ever experienced deja vu? The eerie feeling that you've been somewhere before? You enter a room you've never been in, or step out of a car in a new town, or walk around a corner onto a street you've never seen, and suddenly -- out of nowhere -- it hits you.

Fiddlers Jam a high country hoot

Toe tappin', beaming smiles and impromptu dancing highlighted the April 16 Fiddlers Jam held at the Pine Cultural Center.

Art tours: inspiration for the soul

'Neath the Rim 2008 Open Studio Tour

The first weekend in May is all about eye-candy. A plethora of artists call the Rim Country home. Twenty-six of those artists will show their work in 17 studios during the 'Neath the Rim 2008 Open Studio Tour. Jim Bayles is one of the newest artists on the tour. Traditional, one-dimensional stained glass pieces did not intrigue him, nor did working with ready-made patterns.

Lady Longhorn softball playoff berth still undetermined

The race for the East region's state softball playoff berths is going down to the wire. The seeds won't be determined until the results of today's (April 25) final regular season games are in.

McMullen earns wildlife officer of the year award

Craig McMullen is recognized around the Rim Country as a dedicated Little League coach who two years ago led the Payson all-stars to a state fifth-place finish.

PHS frosh pedaling for Olympic spot

Daniel Conley is quietly pedaling his way to what someday could lead to a career in professional cycling and possibly Olympic glory.

Key to calling turkeys is practice

I have been asked many times which turkey call works the best in the spring to lure that gobbler within camera or shotgun range? My response is the one that you are most confident with when you are in the woods.

Chris Smith: celebrating 16 years of business

When Chris Smith greets people today, it is with the same warm smile and firm handshake he did in 1992. That was the first year Smith, now a financial adviser with Wachovia Securities Financial Network, began knocking on doors in Payson to build his business.

Business award applications sought

Applications are still being accepted for the 2008 Rim Country Business Awards.

Payson Professional Plaza welcomes Banner Health Center of Payson

Banner Health Center is relocating to a new facility at the Payson Professional Plaza, 117 E. Main St

Community college offers short-term computer classes

Want to be more efficient and productive with your computer? Take a short-term computer class this summer at Gila Community College. Short-term classes are held for one to two days.

Pilots help firefighters learn about airplanes

Firefighters are the experts in how to fight fires and how to evacuate people in cars and trucks. They are familiar with those vehicles. If an airplane goes down, that's a little more challenging.

Two hearts for children

The lives of Tom and Susie Belcher bear similarities to fairytales. They overcame childhood obstacles to become gracious adults. Tom rode up to Susie on a white horse. Though not all at once, their house has held 19 children -- five of their own, plus 14 they have fostered.

Thursday, April 24

RCMS sweeps academic bowl for the third year

Whispers, concentration and excitement ruled the day

Katie Schouten, John Buskirk, Cody Schuler and Quinn Owen can tell you what type of dance is spelled using the scientific abbreviations for: aluminum, uranium and hydrogen.

Five volunteer organizations saluted by town council

A proclamation giving kudos to community volunteers for "lighting the way" and declaring April 27 to May 3 National Volunteer Week was signed by Mayor Bob Edwards at the April 17 Payson Town Council meeting.

Smashing success

Meeting someone new

Permits to collect plant and trees from forest lands available

Wildings permits, which authorize collecting live plants and trees from National Forest lands for personal use, are available now on the Peaks and Mormon Lake Ranger Districts of the Coconino National Forest.

No trial date set for former charter school site administrator

No trial date has yet been set for Russell Koch, indicted by the Gila County grand jury on seven drug counts.

Fire department, car club partner for cruise-in show

Proud owners of classic, vintage and antique cars and their fans will again gather on West Main in Payson for the 15th annual Beeline Cruise-In Auto Show.

Business Showcase deemed a success

The 2008 Business Showcase attracted about 1,000 people, twice the number that attended in 2007.

Traffic committee mulls road priorities

‘A' list and ‘B' list of improvement projects approved

Payson's traffic advisory committee has come up with a tentative list of $7.7 million in top-priority street improvements all over town, with a second-tier list totaling another $4.4 million.

Drug case turns on legal definitions

Supreme Court must decide whether you must legally possess a drug to sell it

Can you sell meth without possessing it? That's the question facing the Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday in Payson in the case of Enis John Cheramie.

Death penalty case asks: Was killer a psychopath or avenger?

Perhaps Cody James Martinez is a brutal psychopath, who murdered a supposed friend for a CD, two bucks and a gold chain.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Antique auction to help humane society

A community auction to benefit the Payson Humane Society building fund will be held Saturday, April 26 at "Miss Kitty's," 406 E. Bonita.

Here come the judges

On Tuesday, you can watch history in the making. Get a glimpse of what makes this country great. And maybe the antidote to lawyer jokes. Grab it.

Vietnam vets: send us your photos and stories about your experience

The wall is coming and we need your help.

Supreme Court to hear death case in Payson

First-ever hearings in Gila County

The fate of a condemned murderer and a Tucson man who hid meth in a spray can will occupy the attention of the Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday when it holds a historic hearing in the Payson High School Auditorium.

Wild horse, burro adoption set for Event Center

Round 'em up, head 'em out -- Payson is about to host its first wild horse and burro adoption.

Board reassigns 26 students to new school to reduce travel time

Rye, Deer Creek, Gisela students will now attend Payson Elementary

The Payson Unified School District is planning to switch students around to lessen travel times.

Wednesday, April 23

Hwy. 87 update -ADOT lifts nighttime closure on State Route 87

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) completed nighttime work on State Route (SR) 87 sooner than expected and will not close the highway tonight, April 24.

Tuesday, April 22



This is our 1955 Pontiac Safari (Pontiac's equivalent to the Chevy Nomad) purchased in Ventura, Calif. nearly four years ago.



1940 FORD


1932 FORD


1975 DODGE


1939 FORD


This car belongs to Jim Winters of Payson. I have owned myblu39 since 1987. It took me four years to restore as I wanted it. I have put over 126,000 miles on it.



This is one of the original Mustangs! It was introduced April 17, 1964 and this car was manufactured in Detroit in June of that year.



Our 1929 Ford Tudor started as a body with no frame, no top, no bottom, no steering, no engine, no nothing. Over the next 9 years it has blossomed into a great ride, thanks to many friends and professional help



Pat and Elaine Carr have been members of the Rim Country Classic Auto Club since 2005. Pat's hobby is buying classic cars and driving them for a while after fixing them up. He then sells them and moves on to his next project.



The very first car Ron had as a teenager was a Star Chief and he had been searching for many, many years to find another one.


My Grand dad thinks he's really hot stuff. You see, he entered his Mustang in last year's Rim Country Classic Auto Club "Beeline Cruise-in." And he won a trophy.





I found my 1940 Ford pickup at a small air field in Imperial, Calif. It was what we call a "basket case."

1972 Ford LTD - 1956 Fairlane




My mother and father's first car was a 1932 Ford. In late 1941, my father won enough money in a poker game to buy the '32 Ford for $35, my mother made him sell it as she was pregnant with me.



I told my husband I would like a car of my own. Five years ago on my birthday, we went to California and bought my 23T Bucket.


At first it was easy. Old cars were cheap and my first attempts at restoration didn't do much damage to any real icons. Usually with some good hunting I could find something interesting, run it for a while, upgrade it, and sell it for a few bucks more than I had paid...But along the way I began to enjoy the mechanical side.





He has a need for speed -- 1964 Corvette Sting Ray. It is a red convertible and a dream come true for him. He spent many hours to revive this classic, but every minute was a labor of love. It is now ready to go.



We bought our convertible in Tucson in November 1998. The car was in primer paint and would barely run. But it had a 454 big block engine; custom-made radiator; bucket seats (from a '64 Impala); keyless remote entry; louvered hood; battery in the trunk; and a new radio. The top mechanism worked and the top frame had been powder-coated.



Our 15th Annual Charity Auto Show for 2008 will, once again, be held on Old Main Street between Meadow and South McLane. This year the car show will celebrate the "50th Anniversary of the Beeline Highway" with special graphics on all of the show materials including the car show T-shirt.


Before the Beeline existed, travelers made their way from Phoenix to Payson via the Apache Trail and Route 188.

Highway 87 to close at night next week for repairs

The Arizona Department of Transportation will close Highway 87 for three days next week for repairs to the area near Sunflower hit by a landslide earlier this year.

Monday, April 21

Students, parents learn about underaged drinking

A passionate crowd of about 300 children, teens, volunteers and parents turned out April 5 to participate in "Start Talking Before They Start Drinking" Fool's Day Fun Event

This senior will keep your toes tapping

Richard Shaw carries the melodies of his life strapped to his torso. Expanding and closing the bellows on his accordion, he shares his songs with others.

Little League celebrates start of 2008 season

If the upcoming Little League season is as successful as opening day, the campaign will flourish under the guidance of president Slade Gibson.

Festive atmosphere helps Lady Longhorns win

Assistant coach Kadi Tenney is sure the festive but competitive atmosphere that permeated the air at the Blue Ridge vs. Payson showdown contributed to the Lady Horns' 4-3 victory.

Payson hosts first 2008 sanctioned 4-H horse show

The Equine Unlimited 4-H Horse project club in Payson hosted the first sanctioned 4-H Horse Show for Gila County in 2008.

Top 10 list for speeders

So, the Department of Public Safety figured they'd set up on Highway 87 over the weekend and get people to slow down -- given the demonstrably dangerous nature of the curvy little bit of highway...They pulled in some real brain surgeons.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Payson Elementary School will have a Spring Book Fair from Wednesday, April 23 to Friday, May 2 in the school library.

Prom queen and king

The promise of education

The girl who loves to watch sports wants to be a part of a professional sports team, behind the scenes, as a trainer.

Feature Teacher

Walking the line is a sobering experience

Seniors at Payson High School had trouble walking forward two days before prom. The cause was not alcohol or drugs, but goggles that simulate a blood alcohol content of .1 during the day and at night.

Officers had no choice

Vietnam vets: send us your photos and stories about your experience

The wall is coming and we need your help.

The replica of the Vietnam War Memorial will be set up in Green Valley Park on June 6, 7 and 8, to celebrate the heartbreaking sacrifice and heart mending devotion of those who served in Vietnam a generation ago. We want to hear the stories of Rim Country veterans.

Officials look to USDA to help with water, waste issues

Rim Country water district officials are hoping that federal grants can address problems of water hauling, water shortages and moratoriums on new hookups.

Money speaks, softly

Campaign statements show spending by winners ranged from $10.47 to 2 cents per vote received

Money talks -- but sometimes it mumbles. That's one conclusion that emerges from the final campaign spending reports from Payson's most expensive council election ever.

Speeder cannot outrun aircraft

Police clock teenage motorcycle driver at speeds up to 121 mph

A southbound motorcycle driven by an 18-year-old Payson resident was clocked at 121.29 mph as he attempted to elude a DPS officer Sunday.

Little League program helps youth live out their dreams

Since its founding in 1939 in Williamsport, Penn., Little League has provided a venue for millions of boys and girls to live out their dreams of some day pitching a no-hitter, lifting a grand slam home run over the outfield fence or sliding safely across home plate with the winning run.

New small block engine part of car show raffle

Chapman Auto Center has donated a "crate" Small Block Chevy Engine to be raffled off as part of the fund-raising activities for this year's Rim Country Classic Auto Club Beeline Cruise-in on April 26.

County's fire program gets national honor

The National Association of Counties awarded Gila County a 2008 Acts of Caring Award for its Collaborative Community Fire Program.

Lois Dean Julius

Lois Dean Julius, 87, of Payson, died in Payson on April 14, 2008 from the complications of a stroke.

Longhorns shut out Round Valley, Blue Ridge

Show Low Cougars' baseball coach David Nikolaus knows the Payson Longhorns are a resilient, strong-willed team.

Payson makes water saving a way of life

Council approves move to keep water-saving measures in effect no matter how much it rains

The Payson Town Council decided last week to leave the town's unique water conservation plan in effect all the time, not just when below-normal rainfall triggers a water alert.

Longhorns win gold, silver medals at Rotary Invite

For one of the few times this season, defending state long jumper Maddie Nossek had to settle for second place in the event.

Mother, daughters participate in Pat's Run

Although Carolyn Fruth claims she's not in tiptop long-distance running shape, the 43-year-old mother of two sizzled over the Pat's Run course.

Thursday, April 17

Freedom is not free

Support Senate bill

Stay alive: Pay attention to stroke warning signs

When I heard the news that I was selected to be the new hire for the Payson Fire Department a few years back, I was, to say the least, excited and unknowing. I had envisioned the flashing lights, red flames and as we have all seen on television, a chance to pull the lost child from that burning building.

Contracts spur painful budget debate

Budget woes haunt $94,000 bid for parks master plan

Expensive contracts with consultants to come up with a master plan for parks and a sign and landscaping ordinance on Thursday spurred council disagreements in the shadow of a $5 million budget shortfall.

Planning group gets glimpse of airport plan

Payson could realign Airport Road to allow a long strip of commercial and industrial development fronting the airport and new subdivisions south of the road

Resplendently attired teens impact economy with prom

Saturday evening, the wooden floor of the Pine Cultural Center will bear the soles of many shoes as couples take to the floor to dance at the Payson High School Junior-Senior Prom.

Kenneth Francis Hahn

Helen Louise Krom

Power points could land Lady Longhorns in playoffs

With the East region regular season winding to a close, it's becoming more evident the Lady Longhorns might have to rely on power points for a state playoff berth.

Pat's Run is a special time

After participating in the first two Pat's Runs, I was looking forward last spring to yet another adventure in what is one of our state's most inspirational and passionate athletic events.

Rotary Invitational track meet attracts 4A, 5A teams

The Payson Rotary Invitational annually provides a level playing field for younger track and field athletes.

Rivals could tie for East region title

An intriguing scenario is unfolding in the chase for the 3A East region baseball crown. It involves longtime rivals Show Low and Payson.

Seniors invited to participate in walking program

AARP and the Payson Parks and Recreation Department will host a 10-week walking program beginning Tuesday, April 29.

Volleyball tourney proceeds will help class go to Disneyland

An upcoming volleyball tournament could be the key that unlocks the wonderful world of Disneyland to members of the Payson High School Class of 2008. "We are asking for all kinds of participants from the high school, middle school and community.

Fishing tourney opens season on the lakes

Manning a booth at the Optimist Fishing Festival on April 12 at Green Valley Park, longtime local angler Tracy Purtee admitted he was a bit down in the dumps.

Popular Hoyer Campground will not open this year

Springerville -- The Forest Service will have to close Hoyer Campground at Greer this summer due to problems with the wastewater treatment facility. About $10,000 of campsite reservations will have to be refunded, and those campers directed elsewhere.

Snow conditions, road closures may hinder some turkey hunters

Arizona Game and Fish Department officials advise spring turkey hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts that the snowpack is still significant in some higher elevations, and many state highways and forest roads in prime turkey country are closed or impassable due to snow or muddy conditions.

Monument celebrates park week

Each year, the President proclaims a week to celebrate and recognize the country's national parks. This year, National Park week will be April 19-27.

Golden anniversary

FHA loan limits temporarily increased to help borrowers

With all of the challenges consumers are facing in today's housing market, there is some good news. The loan limits for FHA products have been temporarily increased nationwide, which will allow more borrowers to experience the benefits and protections afforded by FHA loans.

First American Title will close its Payson branch office May 2

First American Title Insurance Company is announcing their Payson branch closure on Friday, May 2.

California gold rush legacy

Ranching heritage important to team roper

Local rancher and roper Julie Taylor says she was born to rope and ride. Taylor is a nationally acclaimed roping champion who specializes in heading. Team roping is a two-person equestrian event where one rider throws a rope under a steer's hind legs, and the other rider throws a rope over the head, thus her title as header.

Woman goes from the darkness of meth to helping others

Ten years ago, crystal methamphetamine was the newest and most popular drug to hit the streets. It took hold of the youth culture in no time, despite the unknown consequences that would soon become all too apparent.

Trout take the bait in Tonto Creek

One of the things I like about springtime and April is the stocking of fish, started by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Watch for slithering, scaly snakes

It is getting very warm outside and with the rising temperatures come snakes. A timberland rattler was sitting next to Ralph and Dottie Christofferson's home in Hunter Creek.

Motorcycle ministry to hold a blessing of the bikes

The second annual Blessing of the Bikes (motorcycles) for the greater Payson area will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 3.

Vendors needed for Community Flea Market

The Community Flea Market, sponsored by Community Presbyterian Church, is coming again Saturday, May 17, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Community college offers short-term computer classes

Want to be more efficient and productive with your computer? Take a short-term computer class this summer at Gila Community College. Short-term classes are held for one to two days.

Star Valley to force sale of water company

Town council approves condemnation of facilities after water company rejects $475,000 offer

The Star Valley Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to ask a judge to force Brooke Utilities to sell the town the facilities serving about 304 customers, a key step in putting the water-conscious town in the water delivery business.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Patriot's Day commemoration

The American Revolutionary War began April 19, 1775. A commemoration will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 19 at the Veterans' Memorial in Green Valley Park.

Council needs compass heading to outrun fiscal zombies

At just the wrong moment, the slow motion decay of the state's economy has caught up to Payson -- like a fetid zombie lurching out of the darkness just as our hero steps in a gopher hole.

Star Valley names two new councilors

New council members appointed after secret ballot that may violate open meeting law

The Star Valley Council needed just 10 minutes and a secret ballot to fill two open council seats by appointing two longtime residents who have each played a role in town affairs already.

Roundabout contract killed

Councilors bury bundle of hatchets

The Payson Town Council on Thursday cancelled a controversial highway roundabout contract, sidestepped a fight about board and commission appointments and debated major budget issues in an evening marked by quiet discussions and unanimous votes on issues that have previously caused bitter divisions.

Elodie Marie Baldwin

Raising Awareness

PHS's spring musical is ‘Little Shop of Horrors'

A man-eating plant has invaded the stage at Payson High School. It arrived at the auditorium as freight-on-board April 15 where it immediately made the ominous demand: "Feed me!"

Humane Society loses beloved family member

At PHS, we believe in all animals -- young and old alike. We believe they all deserve a chance to live out their lives in a comfortable and loving environment -- hopefully a good home. But all of them don't get adopted. For some, this means a journey cut short. But some of them finish their journey at PHS. Silky was one of those guys.

Isabell Boehme

Time for some financial spring cleaning

You may or may not engage in many of the typical activities of "spring cleaning" -- uncluttering the attic, reorganizing your closets, touching up the paint, etc. -- but you can almost certainly benefit from "sprucing up" your financial situation.

As you age you don't get any smarter, but you do get kinder

Well, I did it again today. And not just once. Twice! I'm beginning to wonder about myself.

Players can convert winning drives into help for food bank

The velocity of a golf ball in the moment the driver strikes it can be as much as 148 miles per hour.

Springtime means turkey hunts

Springtime in the Rim Country is especially significant to a unique fraternity of outdoorsmen who enjoy calling in the male wild turkey called the gobbler.

Just breathe and enjoy springtime

Rim Country residents of all ages are breathing sighs of relief. The exhales of respite are because the dreaded April 15 tax deadline has passed and two weeks of AIMS testing at Pine Strawberry Elementary wrapped up yesterday (Thursday).

Candidate meeting set in Young

Y and Y Farms in Young is hosting a meet the candidates program for Senator Jake Flake (R-District 5) and David Cook, a candidate for Gila County Supervisor for District 3.

PSWID wants to buy out Brooke Utilities

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District governing board is going forward with negotiations to acquire the Brooke Utilities-owned Pine-Strawberry water systems.

Tuesday, April 15

Coffee cakes and savory muffins

Here are some fast-to-fix recipes for sweet coffee cakes and savory muffins you can enjoy without spending hours in the kitchen.

Ashton Shepherd shares venison recipe

You'd think that by now the country-music universe would have no room left for rising stars. Fortunately, there's some clear space available for the extraordinarily talented Ashton Shepherd, whose first MCA Nashville CD, "Sounds So Good," was just released.

A whimsical clam in Fiber Art Seascape

Don and Debbie saved their pennies and got permission to go to the store. They came back supposedly empty-handed, but on Christmas morning, their mother, Arleen Logan, opened their gift to her - a watch.

The cemetery on Colcord Road


Throughout the Rim Country and Tonto Basin lie the remains of brave pioneers who settled this fruitful but isolated section of Arizona during its territorial and early statehood years. These solitary and sometimes family plots conjure up memories of the drama, hardship, glory and excitement that surround the settlement of Arizona's central mountains.

Massage is a gift

I was lucky. I grew up in a family where hugs were commonplace and mom was right more often than not -- she told me I should be a chiropractor or a massage therapist when I was about 14.

Around Town

PHS auditorium becomes ‘Little Shop of Horrors'

Free concert

Operatic vocalist Wayne Nelson, and pianist Victoria Harris will be giving a concert of Art Song at the Gila Community College, 201 N. Mud Springs Road in Payson, at 2:30 p.m., Sunday April 20. Admission is free.

Know your server

Events around Arizona

Winter is over. Before the high heat of summer hits, make plans to get out and about around the state to enjoy some of the special spring events.

NIM'S ISLAND- Teen Review

Characters, setting make a great story

It is the tragic story of Emily, who is lost at sea during an expedition to investigate the contents of the blue whale's stomach. Her husband, Jack, continues her story as best he can as a scientist, "living in the shadow of a volcano." Mostly, however, the story is about Nim, the daughter of Emily and Jack.

Leatherheads-Senior Review

A fun movie worth seeing

Leatherheads is such an appropriate title for a movie that deals with the beginning days of professional football.

Tee Off for Hunger

The velocity of a ball in the moment the driver strikes it can be as much as 148 miles per hour.

Monday, April 14

Allstate agency honored for community work

Exclusive Allstate agent Dee Wesley received the Agency Hands in the Community award for her commitment to helping others.

Time to wash away the discord

Now that Payson's patience and foresight is about to pay off in the form of a deal with the Salt River Project (SRP) to acquire water from the C.C. Craigen (Blue Ridge) Reservoir, it's time for a fresh start when it comes to Rim Country water politics

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

General aviation emergency training

The Payson Regional Airport Authority (PRAA) urges all First Emergency Responders from the Rim Country, including firefighters, police, EMTs and paramedics, to participate in the Payson Airport General Aviation Emergency Training Day.

Former Payson archer seeks Olympics spot

Brady Ellison attributes his position as America's best archer in part to the years he spent growing up in the Rim Country.

Controversial items crowd Payson agenda

Roundabouts, appointments, water rules all lurk on town council's Thursday lineup

The Payson Town Council managed to hoard a week's worth of controversy and shoehorn it all into one of the last meetings for the existing council lineup.

Committee suggests three sites for county courts, jail in Payson

A citizens committee will try to convince Gila County to move quickly to build a jail and court facility in Payson on one of three proposed sites -- and to act quickly before the land gets bought by someone else.

Payson represented on early childhood council

Sue Yale, educator Diane Bricker and businessman Roger Kortman are among the seven Gila County appointees to a council that advocates for children from birth through age five.

Opportunities bloom at senior facilities throughout April

If April's charms are not enough to get you in planting mode, a visit to any garden shop or department certainly will. What a treat to stroll amongst the greenery promising a season of beauty.

Eight apply for two Star Valley council seats

Council can review, select new members tonight or refine the process

Turns out, plenty of people want to be on the Star Valley Town Council -- so long as they don't have to run for election.

New baby interrupts woman's martial arts winning streak

Angela Shepherd's martial arts winning streak will soon be put on hold for the birth of her child.

Diamondbacks declare Payson LL day May 18

The Arizona Diamondbacks have declared May 18 to be "Payson Little League Day" at Chase Field in Phoenix.

The Smith brothers race to adventure

Chris Smith and Pete Smith could smell smoke from the disc brakes on their mountain bikes as they tried to hold their speed at 25 mph down the steep trail.

Going up

Wet winter fills reservoirs, turns lake into bass heaven

Roosevelt hits record

Lake Roosevelt has hit record high levels to the delight of Rim boaters and fishermen and to the relief of Valley water users, although inflows are already declining steadily.

Real estate tax is costly

Slow on the draw

Host of towns and communities that could get Blue Ridge water have not yet come to the table

None of the welter of towns and subdivisions that could get a taste of water from the Blue Ridge Reservoir have so far opened negotiations with either the Salt River Project (SRP), which controls the water, or Payson, which will build the pipeline.

Rentals could convert to condos

A reluctant Payson Planning Commission on Monday approved a plan to covert 60 of the town's handful of apartments into condominiums.

Baiting the hook

Kristin Potts watches as volunteer Dick Brubacker baits her hook. About five minutes later Potts landed a fairly large trout during an outing Friday for Payson students at Green Valley Park.

Star Valley may force sale of water company

Star Valley tonight will take the first step towards the forced sale of a water company owned by Brooke Utilities, after the company rejected the town's latest, $475,000 offer.

False alarms use valuable resources

Every one of last year's 548 false alarms answered by Payson Police tied up two police officers (and sometimes a couple members of the fire department) for between 30 minutes and an hour.

Students devour 466 chunky tales

There are five millionaires and six multimillionaires who regularly browse the shelves of the Payson Elementary School library in search of adventure.

A high school student has two million minutes of activities

Three hundred sixty five days, times 24 hours, times 60 minutes, times four years totals two million one hundred-two thousand four hundred minutes.

‘The biggest blessing God ever gave me' was moving to Payson

Esther Linkey is an Arizona native. Activities with school friends and sports comrades in Phoenix and Payson have made her sympathetic to "the human side" of the issue.

Shelby students take a field trip

Put 15 students and a handful of teachers and alumni in four vans and send them to San Diego for four days? Sound like a good idea? Definitely.

Kindergarten registration for next year starting

Julia Randall, Payson and Frontier Elementary Schools are holding kindergarten registration for the 2008-2009 school year.

Douglas R. Julian

Celebrating 50 years of camp

This summer, Camp Tatiyee (Tah tee yea) will celebrate its 50th year session of camping for challenged kids and adults in the pines of Pinetop-Lakeside.

Semi stopped on weapon scare, was false alarm

A semi-truck was pulled over Tuesday afternoon after a report the driver had brandished a weapon.

Airport to hold aviation emergency training

The Payson Regional Airport Authority (PRAA) calls all first emergency responders from the Rim Country -- firefighters, police, EMTs and paramedics -- to the Payson Airport General Aviation Emergency Training Day

Latest in laser dermatology comes to Payson

Dr. Sasha Jazayeri of Payson Dermatology, along with Physician Laser Centers, is introducing the newest technology in skin rejuvenation to Payson in a grand opening next week.

Joan Eckel

Linda Summers

Vera Dale Rice

Show Low beats up on Longhorns

The best Payson High School baseball and softball teams could muster in four weekend games against Show Low and Chino Valley was one victory.

Town's after-school archery program continues on April 22

The inaugural Town Parks and Recreation-sponsored after-school archery program is turning into an overwhelming success.

Lady Longhorns win one gold at Blue Ridge

For one of the few times this season, Payson High School's talented sophomore Maddie Nossek didn't win the gold medal in the long jump.

Thursday, April 10

Ronald M. Riley Jr.

Haught only Rim Country cowboy to earn prize money

Payson High School junior Trevor Haught was the lone Rim Country cowboy to pocket prize money at the Bares, Bulls and Broncs United American Tour Rodeo.

Club Rim Pink team is among top state teams

The superlatives coach Trevor Creighton is spewing about his Club Rim Pink volleyball team would render celebrity sportscaster Howard Cosell proud.

Golfers play poker with hole scores

A poker tournament was the name of the game April 2 for members of the Payson Men's Golf Association.

Students get to enjoy a day of fishing at Green Valley Park

This morning more than 200 fifth-grade students from northern Gila County went on a field trip and had the opportunity to try their luck fishing at Green Valley Park.

Forest health threatened by native insect

Pine needle scale identified in Payson, Beaver Valley Estates

State forestry officials have issued a forest health alert because of the effect Pinyon needle scale, a native insect, has on pinyons

Toxic weed can affect health of horses and cattle

The Arizona Veterinary Medical Association is alerting equine veterinarians, horse and cattle owners about a toxic weed that is highly prevalent this spring. It is commonly called Fiddleneck or tarweed.

Take advantage of higher IRA contribution limits

If one of your goals is to boost your retirement savings this year, you can count on some extra help from your Uncle Sam. That's because you'll be able to contribute more to your IRA in 2008.

Star Valley RV owner inducted in trade industry's hall of fame

Paul Skogebo, president of Robert Crist and Company RV in Mesa, and Star Valley RV, was recently inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame, the trade industry group for the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries.

Cruise Port Travel counselor earns cruise accreditation

Kelly Watts, of Cruise Port Travel, has been certified as an accredited cruise counselor by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Program promotes ideas for businesses

An online health store, a Web site for virtual tours of Rim Country, an arts and crafts Web site, a traveling computer repair service and a place to order a 10,000-gallon water tank are all ideas for businesses that might soon come to Payson.

Second fishing fest could net youth some great gifts

Annual Optimist Kids Fishing Festival is Saturday at Green Valley Park

You don't even have to fish to come away with a great catch at the second annual Optimist Kids Fishing Festival this weekend. The community has been especially generous in donating prizes for the many raffles planned during the day, plus some exceptional contributions are up for bid in a silent auction.

Tonto National Forest seeks comment on Pine Mountain Mine site

The Mesa Ranger District, Tonto National Forest, is requesting public comment on the Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) report for the Pine Mountain Mine site. All public comments are welcome and will be accepted until the close of business June 5.

Enjoy the Rim Country, but extinguish your campfires

It is really warming up outside and starting to feel like spring...but I remember how it never fails that we get a frost or maybe even some snow right before May.

P-S school goes high tech with Edline

Pine-Strawberry Elementary School has joined the ranks of thousand of schools and millions of families who benefit from Edline.

Tonto Monument ruins yield fresh clues to ancient mystery

Spring flowers lure visitors to mysterious, abandoned cliff dwellings and 8,000-year-old spear points draw researchers

Like the poppies proliferating beneath the brooding 800-year-old ruin, research into some absorbing archeological mysteries has bloomed at Tonto National Monument.

County law agencies share vision, effort

Working in partnership with Gila Community College, the Gila County attorney, along with the sheriff's office, and the Payson and Globe police departments are combining resources to offer a local law enforcement academy to the residents by the fall semester of 2008.

Military news: Douglas E. Kreie

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Douglas E. Kreie, son of Cindy L. and Douglas E. Kreie of Payson, and his fellow shipmates recently participated in two community service projects while assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins homeported at Naval Station San Diego.

Church Briefs

Shelter well represented at Walk-a-Hound event

I had never entered a 5K race before, and I'm pretty sure Sasha hadn't either. But, by the time we crossed the finish line, my shelter dog buddy and I had managed to come in third in my age category at Payson Park and Recreation's Walk-A-Hound, Lose-A-Pound event held last Saturday at Green Valley Park.

Everybody wins at the Beeline Cruise-In

Trophies, raffle prizes and more make everyone a winner at the annual Beeline Cruise-In hosted by the Rim Country Classic Auto Club. This year is no exception, in fact it may be even be better than in the past. That's because this year, the car show is paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of the roadway for which it is named, the Beeline Highway.

What do wood piles and silence of the birds have in common?

The silence of the birds and the free firewood both grow from the same root: The disastrous unhinging of the forest ecosystem as a result of more than a century of fire suppression and misguided management.

Bright lights

Editorial board

The Payson Roundup is looking for volunteers to serve a four-month term on the next editorial board, beginning May 7.

Firefighters appreciated in Tonto Village

Tonto Village and the Hellsgate Fire Department were busy this past weekend.

Great fun

A child's safety is an adult's job, foster parents needed

Approximately once a week an abused child or youth sits in a room at Gila Family Advocacy Center with forensic interviewer Christy Walton.

No relief in sight for gas prices

Rim Country businesses face increased costs

Record crude oil prices are keeping gasoline above the $3 per-gallon mark and experts say to expect the trend to continue.

Closing one of life's doors can be painful

I'm willing to bet that you have stepped out of a room and closed the door behind you several thousand times. Who hasn't? It's something we do without a second thought. But there was a moment in my life when swinging a door closed behind me was so painful I have never forgotten how it felt.

Septic, grease removal cost could double

Expanding sanitary district facilities would cost $2.5 million, officials say

The price to remove septic and grease trap waste in Payson will likely double from about $270 to more than $500 after July 1, the latest increase to hit Payson businesses.







Horns baseball team got the last laugh on Lady Horns

Former Longhorn football and baseball star Cade Bradley graduated from Payson High School in 2000 and from Northern Arizona University four years later.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Low-cost rabies clinic Saturday. A low-cost rabies vaccination clinic is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 12 at the Main Street Animal Clinic, 411 W. Main St. Vaccinations will be given for $10 per animal.

Langeliers engaged

Norman and Robin Langeliers are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Katie Robin Langeliers to Anthony Mark Stevenson, son of Mark and Karen Stevenson and Debbie Biochin.

Snowflake ends winning streak for Payson ladies

Even though the Lady Longhorns (10-12 overall, 2-3 in the East) have fallen to fourth in the East standings, assistant coach Kadi Tenney remains convinced the team is as good as any of its region foes.

Longhorns overwhelm Snowflake

Show Low, Payson face off in important East region game on Friday

A 13-2 victory over the Snowflake Lobos keeps the Longhorn baseball team undefeated (5-0) in East region action and sets up a crucial showdown today, Friday, against the potent Show Low Cougars.

Stewart "Stu" Allen

Leonard Long

Payson revenue plunges $5 million

Sales tax drops 15 percent, building permit income down 49 percent

Bracing itself for the start of budget deliberations, the Payson Town Council got some long-anticipated bad news last night -- a $5 million drop in revenue.

Highway 87 expected to open two lanes both ways May 22

If all goes well, Highway 87 could be open for two lanes of travel in each direction in a little over a month.

Number of donation boxes expanded by Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters in Payson has expanded the number of clothing donation bins in the area.

PATS group-led mountain bike ride takes place on Sunday

This Sunday, April 13, the Payson Parks and Recreation Department is offering a free, group-led mountain bike ride on the Cypress and Boulders trails, which are part of the Payson Area Trails System (PATS).

Forest Service offers free wood

On one hand, we have 16,000 shivering Payson residents stunned by $400 propane heating bills.On the other hand, we have endless piles of wood cut to create a firebreak around that same town.

NAU and GCC to offer bachelor's degrees at a reduced cost

Payson residents can now get a bachelor's degree for about a fourth of the normal cost -- all without leaving Payson.

Payson man pens sci-fi novel, has book signing Saturday

Coming from a background as a civil engineer and world travels, Ernie Schmidt sat down about three-and-a-half years ago and started making notes.

County's fire safety efforts win state award

The Arizona Public Works Association has awarded Gila County its top honor for the work it did for fire safety.

Gila County's efforts on behalf of fire safety started in 2006 with the purchase of water dip tanks, "pumpkin" tanks and military water bladders. The tanks and bladders were placed at strategic sites in the Tonto National Forest for helicopter and emergency fire truck usage.

Duarte, Alvarez honored for outstanding service by sheriff

Sheriff John R. Armer is proud to announce that Sgt. Christine Duarte has been selected as detention supervisor of the quarter, and Yvonne Alvarez has been selected as detention officer of the quarter for their outstanding performance and work ethic in the Gila County Detention Centers.

County attorney warns residents to be aware of tax refund scams

Daisy Flores, Gila County Attorney, has issued a consumer warning on the fraudulent use of the Internal Revenue Service name and logo by scamsters in a phishing, (as in "fishing for information" and "hooking" victims) scheme.

Fair will help residents prepare for a disaster

High voltage demos and more at disaster preparedness fair

APS workers will give hot dogs and fruit 27,000 volts of electricity to demonstrate what a live wire can do to the human body.

Joyce Kathleen Graves

Wednesday, April 9

Semi stopped on weapon scare

A semi-truck was pulled over Tuesday afternoon after a report the driver had brandished a weapon.

Monday, April 7

Federal agency offers funding for a variety of community programs

USDA has funding available for myriad of projects in area

USDA Rural Development in Payson April 15 to promote local applications for federal loans and grants

Take tension out of taxes

Free tax preparation and free electronic filing is provided by AARP Volunteers in Payson to low- and moderate-income taxpayers, with special attention to those age 60 and older.

Staged stunt was in fun, so lighten up

Those who were offended by the teenage pranks some Lady Longhorn softball team members staged last week need to lighten up.

Annual dinner, games benefit softball program

Good food, cheer and plenty of small town camaraderie traditionally highlight Payson's annual deep pit beef dinner and softball games.

School prank helped Lady Longhorns break out of long losing streak

The pranks were a few days late for April Fools Day, but the stunts might have been the elixir the Lady Longhorns needed to cure the maladies of a five-game slump.

Stewart "Stu" Allen

Police, district gain insight on handling school situations

Several incidents, which required police response to school campuses this year, have taught school and law enforcement officials valuable lessons.

Imogene R. Schupbach

Good eats

Highway 87 could reopen to almost normal travel in a month

May 22 possible date for two lanes of travel north and south

New clues to ancient mystery

Tonto ruins yield 8,000-year-old spear points

Many Payson residents looking for spring flowers, fishing on the revitalized Roosevelt Lake or diverted by the closed Beeline Highway have rediscovered the 1,100-acre, 100-year-old national monument about 50 miles from their doorstep.

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who-Senior review

Very well done animation of a classic

I guess it is time for me to come clean. Not only have I not read this 1950s Dr. Seuss classic, I can't seem to recall having read any of the Dr. Seuss' series of children's books when my own kids were of "being read to" age (seems Disney ruled in the ole Baxter household).

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who-Youth review

A fun movie; lots of appealing elements

"Boil that dust speck! Boil that dust speck!" It is not something you will hear in this movie, but it's one of my favorite lines from the animated short of Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who."

Around Town

Enjoy mountain views along with fine art and fine crafts as you tour 17 artists' personal studios.

Optimist Fishing Fest

There will be free fishing for all children, ages 14 years and younger, as well as adults who sign up at the Game and Fish booth.

A snapshot of a harrowing hunting trip

In 1905, Arizona was still just a territory, though on the path to statehood. At the time, there was discussion of it entering as part of New Mexico, something which most Arizonans strongly opposed. Work on Roosevelt Dam -- or at least things related to dam construction -- was well under way.

Feasting with friends

Recently, a couple of friends and I were treated to a five-course feast by Mario and Stephanie Belvedere of Pine.

Summer cruising

With the U.S. dollar buying less in the world travel market, cruising becomes an even greater value today. If you are considering Europe this year, closely look at the offering from the cruise lines.

Fiber artist wears her quilts

Encounter Leslie Peacock around town and she might look as though she is headed to the movies or lunch with a friend. In fact, she might also be beta-testing her latest piece of wearable art for her pattern line.

Revival of Ox Bow will anchor a renaissance

The Ox Bow Saloon & Inn has long held the potential for becoming a premier tourist attraction and a venue for local entertainment of all types. Plans to renovate the old place have been announced before, but like Charlie Brown's attempts to kick the football, plans have been yanked away.

Trouble with kids? Outsource them

As long noted, the problem with kids is that they don't come with instructions (which is a pretty embarrassing lapse in the manufacturing process).

Who's walking who?

Traffic committee loves the bypass, hates the name

Dumping controversial label key to enlisting public support say alternative route supporters

ayson's Surface Transportation Advisory Board last week found itself struggling to banish the word "bypass" from its vocabulary -- now that they're hoping to convince residents to undertake the grueling job of convincing the state to build a highway cutoff.

Beeline Cruise-in buzzing back

The big car show, the 15th Annual Beeline Cruise-in, is coming back to town this month. This year it is a special celebration, marking the 50th anniversary of the highway for which it was named, the Beeline.

Police cite a dozen at booze party

A dozen arrests were made at an Ash Street home in the early morning hours of March 30. All but one of those arrested was cited for underage drinking.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Bid on NASCAR tickets at Safeway

Conserving water is good, shortage or no shortage

Three wet months, with 27 inches of rain, has resulted in a significant rise in Payson water well levels, to the point that some are thinking the town should modify the Stage II restrictions now in place.

Worth Noting

Walter Clasen

Get those youngsters ready to fish

There will be free fishing in the lakes at the park, with no license required for those who register at the registration booth. There will also be classes, food and festivities. Prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories.

Chamber, PREDC to present new Business Buzz program

On Wednesday, April 30, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation will present the new "Business Buzz" program for April.

English idioms and the power of Rim Literacy volunteers

Seed money, neck of the woods, and get on your soapbox, are all English idioms -- phrases that have a different meaning than the dictionary definitions of the individual words.

Arizona Connections to host information session

The Arizona Connections Academy (ACA) is hosting a special information session for families seeking a personalized, high-quality education alternative.

Late bloomer sky dives into gardening

Gertrude "Gertie" Cusimand says she is a late bloomer. The winking yellow daffodils in her garden are mum on the subject.

Bobby Ski Lopatesky

Snowflake will test Longhorn pitchers

Payson tops East with 5-0 record, Lobos are 2-2

The opportunity to jump out to a 5-0 East region start awaits the Longhorns today, Tuesday, on Payson High School diamond.

One big fish

Vintage cars make brief appearance in Payson

A parade of about 80 high-dollar, vintage cars motored through Payson Sunday afternoon on a round trip that began in Tempe and will wrap up April 9 back in the Valley of the Sun.

Turnout sparse for rodeo tour in Payson

The Rim Country's inaugural Bares, Bulls and Broncs Rodeo drew cowboys from around the southwest eager to pocket prize money and prove they were among the finest in the sport.

Final tryout set for junior little teams

Payson Little League will host a final tryout for junior league teams at 9 a.m. April 19 at Kiwanis West field at Rumsey Park.

Organizational changes and new chief reshapes police department

The Payson Police Department had many familiar faces say goodbye in 2007. Reorganization and new assignments followed.

Houston Mesa, Hellsgate finalize IGA agreement

Houston Mesa Fire District and the newly formed Hellsgate Fire District have completed negotiations and have entered into a six month Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for operational assistance.

Rim Guidance has new equestrian therapy facility

Southwest Behavioral Health's Rim Guidance Center held an inaugural ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, March 31 for its new 42-foot covered round pen, which will be the central facility for the Elk Meadow Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) program.

Company helps realize dream of a log home in mountains

Charles Collins, owner of the Rim Country's Whispering Pines Log Homes Distributor, can help anyone realize their dream of having a cabin in the mountains.

Hunt for treasure at 2008 Business Showcase April 19

Residents and visitors can find "Hidden Treasures of the Rim Country" at the 2008 Business Showcase April 18 and April 19 at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino's Event Hall.

Congressional candidate to visit Payson

Jeff Riley, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Congressional District One will be in Payson April 16.

Kiwanis auction

Thursday, April 3

Town clerk rejects campaign law allegation

Voter questions mayor-elect's lumping together of small contributions

Payson Mayor-elect Kenny Evans did not violate election laws by lumping together all the contributions from people who gave less than $25, Town Clerk Silvia Smith has concluded in response to a question from a voter.

Buckhead Mesa Landfill will go green to honor Earth

A Gila County landfill will honor Earth with free "green" day and appliance disposal event.

Most Coconino forest roads still too wet to open

Spring is here and forest visitors are eager to get outdoors and enjoy their forest, but even though heavy precipitation is behind us, most of the roads on the Coconino National Forest -- those above the Mogollon Rim -- are still too wet and will remain closed.

Head to Tonto Village for The Old Cookie Shop tryouts

Spring is a wonderful time of year, except for the snakes. There was a snake sunning himself in my back yard that scared me silly.

New owners have plans for Landmark

The Landmark Restaurant and Bar has been around for a long time. This is how it stands today. It has a fence surrounding in preparation for demolition.

Take steps to protect yourself from identity theft

Identity theft is big business. In fact, each year billions of dollars -- that's billions, with a "b" -- are lost to identity theft, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Art song performance at Gila Community College April 20

Operatic vocalist Wayne Nelson, and organist Victoria Harris will be giving a concert of art song at the Gila Community College, 201 N. Mud Springs Road in Payson, Sunday April 20 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Kids feeding kids

Cat litter cake

Parks board wants $95,000 master plan

Consultant would list needs, grants and study increase in impact fees

Payson needs a $95,000 study on future park facilities and how to raise the needed money, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board concluded at its April 1 meeting.

Rio Salado celebrates International Migratory Bird Day on April 12

It's that time of year again: flowers blooming, temperatures warming and migratory birds returning from their winter retreats.

Team sorting clinic, practice session scheduled

Riders, hard-core team penners and ranch hands will have the opportunity to improve their skills in the new sport of team sorting at an upcoming clinic and practice session.

Kicker's Tournament opens 2008 season for PWGA

While the members of the Payson Women's Golf Association were kicking off the 2008 season April 1 with a "Kicker's Tournament," their male counterparts in the PMGA were locking horns in the group's second fray of the young campaign.

Catch the Pine library reading bug

My mom didn't have to search much of rural Barry, Ill. to find me during the sweltering hot and humid summer months.

Lake is settling down, triggering good spring fishing

Crappie fishing on Roosevelt Lake is usually in high gear by April 1, with numerous stories of catching big numbers of these tasty panfish.

Lady Longhorns hope trip to Whiteriver ends losing streak

The Lady Longhorns have the opportunity today, Friday, in Whiteriver to put an end to the miseries of a five-game losing streak.

PHS long jump, shot put teams finish first in home opener

Longhorn long jump and shot put teams took first-place honors in the Payson Coed Relays track and field meet.

Robert E. Couture

There are days and then there are days

Today I discovered that maybe, just maybe, "pretty much the same" isn't so bad after all.

Benefits of dog walking

'Tis the season to venture outside and get a whiff of the Rim Country. So, put a little Spring in your step and help our furry friends while you're at it!

Valley TV station visits Payson

A crane reaching 100 feet in the air provides a different perspective of what is happening at Green Valley Park when "Good Morning Arizona" filmed its Road Trip segment for spring Tuesday morning

New student drop-off at middle school might be ready by end of summer

The new student drop-off at Rim Country Middle School will probably be ready before the next school year starts.

Gambling on higher education

Game players have the opportunity to spin the roulette wheel and help the Gila Foundation for Higher Education raise scholarship funds for local students.

Start talking with teens before they start drinking

Southwest Behavioral Health's Rim Guidance Center is sponsoring a community event to bring awareness to the problem of underage drinking from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 5 at the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium, 304 S. Meadow St. in Payson. Admission is free.

County gives state award for fire safe efforts

The Arizona Public Works Association has awarded Gila County its top honor for the work it did for fire safety.

Star Valley seeks applications for two council seats

Star Valley plans quick action to fill by April 15 two seats left vacant by the resignations of councilors Randy White and Mary Ann Kotelnicki.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Schools registering kindergarten pupils

Julia Randall, Payson and Frontier Elementary Schools are conducting kindergarten registration for the 2008-2009 school year.

Star Valley continues its frugal spending

Most cities in Arizona are bracing for bad budget news. In Star Valley, the money's coming in faster than projected and going out much more slowly, Town Manager Vito Tedeschi reported at the Tuesday, April 1, council meeting.

Easing of water rules examined

Years of conservation effort and 27 inches of rain have finally balanced out Payson's water accounts -- should we tell voters?

Pine water board hires attorney

The Pine-Strawberry Water Improve-ment District has approved the hiring of controversial Flagstaff attorney John Gliege.

School district has bond surplus

Board approves $15 million Julia Randall Elementary School project

The Payson Unified School District has a $761,000 surplus for its bond construction projects, down from the roughly $1 million Tim Brand with Pinnacle One Consulting quoted in November.

No town bypass in the plan

The state's leading traffic engineer for the Rim Country district offered the Payson and Star Valley councils a bleak assessment of the process for getting an alternative route to divert the traffic that now gridlocks the highway during some busy summer weekends.


Don't become a victim of Internet scams

The IRS wants to help you. The bank is worried someone has accessed your account. The lonely African Princess saw your profile and wants to meet you. All you have to do to collect the $10,000, protect your savings and ride off into the sunset with the princess -- is send the nice people at the other end of that e-mail your Social Security number. DON'T DO IT.

Changes at Landmark will mean new mark on landscape

Look for some changes in the landscape in Christopher Creek. Word is going around that the new owners of the Landmark are remodeling the once-popular watering hole. The remodel could even include some demolition on a fairly substantial scale.

A fateful fishing trip

Half a century ago, an adventurous trip to Tonto Creek shaped hatchery manager's life

Funny how life works out. Back in 1957 on the fishing trip that changed his life, John Diehl was just a tadpole -- 5 years old at the rushing headwaters of his life.

Longhorns remain unbeaten in East region

Junior Hunter Haynes overcame the rigors of playing on the road by hurling and hitting the Longhorns to a convincing 7-1 East region victory over the home standing Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.

Site for fun walk, run has been changed

Parks and Recreation coordinator Deb Rose wants runners, joggers and walkers to know that the site for tomorrow's (Saturday) Walk-A-Hound Lose-A-Pound 5K Fun Run/Walk has changed.

Finalist for New York opera will perform May 4

A tenor and a coloratura, a dramatic and a mezzo-soprano, will bring an afternoon of arias and Broadway songs to Payson May 4.

Vocal students sing show tunes, spiritual songs, jazz standards

It is easy to sing in the car or shower. However, possessing the confidence to perform comfortably in front of an audience is a learned skill.

Sanitary district discontinuing septic waste and grease disposal

The Northern Gila County Sanitary District has plans to discontinue the receiving of septic and grease trap wastes at its facilities on July 1. This change will result in homeowners with septic tanks and businesses with grease interceptors spending more money for their disposal needs.

Tuesday, April 1

Chamber volunteers field any question

Rim Country helpers donate more than 5,000 hours valued at more than $92,000

Irene McCann stood serenely at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce visitor's center, ready for anything.

FAN club helps to booster Payson school sports

Decades ago the Payson High School booster club, led by Pat Velasco, fueled the volunteer drive to fund extracurricular activities.

Red Cross provides comfort to those in need

In times of crisis and need, the Red Cross is usually among the first on the scene to provide aid and comfort. Such was the case early last summer when the Promontory Fire evacuation was underway.

CASAs volunteer emotional strength, provide help for children in foster care

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) become a ray of hope for children placed in foster care. While cared for outside the parental home, the child will meet many new people, including counselors, judges, attorneys, visitation supervisors and teachers.

Masons, Eastern Star provide help to children

The project closest to Mason Richard Skoglund's heart is Clothe-a-Child. "To see those little kids' smiling faces when they get new clothes and jackets is so neat. Those kids are great and they appreciate the things," Skoglund said.

Can you read this?

Remember the thrill you felt when you first opened a book and read it all by yourself? That thrill is just one of the things volunteers at Rim Country Literacy help bestow on children and adults.

Park friends help provide recreation opportunities for children, adults

Parks give and give and give. But here's a little-known fact: Parks need friends too. Fortunately, the Friends of Parks and Recreation are on the job.

Arts, crafts fairs a Pine, Strawberry tradition

Pine and Strawberry have seen many changes over the years. For decades the little communities north of Payson hosted the Northern Gila County Fair, but now that is held here.

Thrifty Pine store funds senior meals and fun

If you think you have never heard of the Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation, you would probably be mistaken. "Our love name is the Pine Strawberry Senior Center," manager Bill Thompson said.

Kiwanis have 25 years of service in Rim Country

Local Kiwanis members have raised and distributed more than $700,000 to youth in the last two and half decades -- $300,000 of that has been in scholarships.

Salvation Army demonstrates rule that charity starts at home

Volunteers and bellringers raised $20,000 last year to help the needy throughout Rim Country

A lot of public service organizations volunteer time and work to improve their community in various ways. The Payson branch of the Salvation Army probably won't be seen building town homes or cleaning streets in Rim Country, but they do bring in money that stays right here in the community.

Elks have been serving Rim Country since 1960

Mission of the Elks is to support community's youth and its veterans

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has been serving the Rim Country since 1960. The group, simply known as the Payson Elks, was chartered on July 6, 1960. It had a whopping 183 charter members -- which in those days represented a substantial percentage of the male population in the small mountain community.

Optimists keep neighbors connected

The Rim Country Optimist Club's "subtitle" is Friends of Youth. And it is because of the youth, members of the club work so tirelessly.

Low profile volunteers work for children

‘Amy' was not quite 2 years old when Child Protective Services removed her from her parents. Settling into her foster home, she wanted a tricycle.

Veterans Helping Veterans gives a ‘hand up' to vets

Recent conflicts involving the U.S., including the war in Iraq, have left some veterans of U.S. military services with disabilities and the need for help. Veterans Helping Veterans is a Payson-based organization dedicated to serving in-need veterans regardless of age or where and when they served.

Payson Art League supports school program, promotes art

Twenty-two creative-minded people formed the Payson Art League in 1978. Currently there are more 100 members, proficient in a variety of media, according to the group's Web site.

Volunteers discover libraries need friends, too

Did you know that two shelves in a cupboard is called a library? Thanks to the ladies of the Payson Womans Club, the first library in Payson was established with just that, two shelves in a cupboard in one of the town's school buildings.

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity helps deserving people acquire a home

It was love at first sight for Ivon English when he met his future wife Lois, on campus in Georgia. Through 41 years and two children, the union proved a wonderful match.

Lionesses savor the fashionably sweet smell of public service

As the sweet aroma of candy and cookies fills the air, the Lioness ladies prepare for another fund-raiser. The excitement builds as the women head off to their designated spot for the bake sale, the profits of which will "benefit the community," said Pam Padilla, president of the Lioness Club of Payson (LCOP).

Rockin' on the Rim with the Rimstones Rock Club

Members of this group don't have rocks in their heads, but they certainly have them on their minds more often than not. Visiting their homes, you will find many have them as part of their décor, both inside and out.

Moose Lodge: ‘here to help in any way we can'

Where do kids of drug-dependent parents, or adults unable to care for them go in Rim Country? One organization in Star Valley has an answer -- the Moose Heart Home for Children in Chicago, founded in 1913.

Put your trust in PRMC

Payson Regional Medical Center (PRMC) had a great 2007, and it was only possible because you place your trust and confidence in our staff and providers. This trust is something each and every employee takes seriously.

Volunteers provide kindness, food, help to pets in need of homes

The 50 dogs locked up on an average day at the Payson Humane Society's shelter in Payson can count on the kindness of strangers

Tonto Rim Search and Rescue is dedicated to saving lives

The price of rescue is seldom cheap, but one organization in Rim Country provides that service at virtually no cost to the community.

Police community meeting tonight

The Payson Police Department is having its bi-monthly community meeting tonight, Wednesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. in council chambers at town hall at 303 N. Highway 87.

Beauty in bloom

A wet winter has resulted in flames of color in the Tonto Basin this spring.

Movie makes you feel good through and through

"Drillbit Taylor" has to be one of the funniest movies I have seen this year. It is like "Superbad" with morals.

Volunteers help get 25 miles of trails ready

The cheerful, open-air-loving volunteers who have dedicated thousands of hours to giving Payson one of the best trail systems in the region, have so far put signs, trimmed brush and set out markers on 23 miles of pathways in and around town.

Drillbit Taylor

Something missing in Wilson's performance

Several of Owen Wilson's movies during his dozen-or-so-year career have been top-notch comedy productions; movies like "You, Me and Dupree," "The Wedding Crashers" and "Meet the Fockers" quickly come to mind. However, "Drillbit Taylor" will not be making such a list.

Voice recital April 5

The fourth voice recital for students of tenor Ken Goodenberger is at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 5 at Gila Community College in the community room.

Around Town


With the weather warming up, you won't want to miss April's First Friday on Main Street Art & Antiques Walk. This month's event promises to be a special evening with live music, free refreshments, classic and custom cars on display, carriage rides, on-street parking, Kiwanis hot dogs and brats as well as great store specials.

The delicious culture of coffee

Welcome, coffee lovers everywhere. Today, I have some special coffee recipes, including some for flaming drinks like Café Brulot and Mexican Flaming Coffee.

Gifts of sight and sound

David Larkins is 90 years old and he has been a Lion for more than half his life, both in Chandler and Payson.

Helping Hands

When someone in the Rim Country is in need, the people who live here step up in a big way. The Payson Roundup's 2008 Progress Edition is dedicated to the men and women who give their time and talents to causes they care about.

Rodeo Committee saddled up and ready to lead the charge

The Pro Rodeo Committee has built a solid reputation as a generous volunteer group that is almost always ready and able to support worthwhile causes.

Payson Rotary Club celebrates 50 years of service

Club puts "service above self" motto into action for welfare of charitie

The Payson Rotary Club has been serving the Rim Country for 50 years. Throughout those five decades the men and women have lived the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self".

Take Pride helps keep Pine-Strawberry looking good

Group has received governor's award for pride in 2003, 2006

Often visitors can be heard commenting how beautiful it is in Rim Country, and a lot of that can be credited to an organization in Pine and Strawberry that donates its time, labor and, in many cases, its members donate money from their own pockets to keep Pine and Strawberry looking as good as it does.

Car clubs turn heads

When the gleaming classic, vintage and antique automobiles glide majestically through town, just about everyone turns to enjoy the show.

Bonus recipes

Purses are just modern bags-of-infinite-holding

A bag-of-infinite-holding was a must-have when I pretended to be Oexanna, a Dungeons and Dragons character that romped through torch-lit, water-stained brick mazes and green forest paths, where there were creatures that might jump out and getcha.

Pioneers seldom died of old age, Chapter 11

Tracking down the lonely graves of pioneers in Arizona's Rim Country can take us to some really isolated places. Three graves, side by side along a trace of the old Crook Trail tell an ugly story of local history. They are the graves of Jamie Stott, Jimmy Scott and Jeff Wilson, who were hanged during what historian James McClintock called "one of bloodiest features of Arizona's history," the Pleasant Valley War.


13th Annual Kiwanis Auction for Youth

One lucky bidder at the 13th Annual Zane Grey Kiwanis Auction for Youth will zoom home in a 2005 PT Cruiser. "We're going to start the bidding for the PT Cruiser off at wholesale prices," said Kiwanis president Bobby Davis.

Rim quilters cover the land with love

Groups create art with thread, needle

The quilters of the Rim Country spread love with the many quilts they donate and the funds raised through their events.

Cushman documents the art of life

Jennifer Cushman is a woman comfortable with her world, in the process of getting comfortable as an artist. Cushman has merged her 23 years of experience as Greg's wife, nine years as their son Ty's mother and 18 years as a journalist, into pages of art in family albums and then some.

Rim Country business profiles

This section of the Helping Hands/Progress 2008 is where businesses supporting the publication get special recognition. Businesses and services who support this special section are given an opportunity to tell their story.

St. Vincent de Paul, Pine-Strawberry food banks provide helping hands

An uncertain economy sometimes makes it difficult for working people to meet all their needs. It is not uncommon for people to have to rob Peter to pay Paul as they try to make ends meet.

Legion supports civic training, scholarships

Service to the country, community and state didn't end for American Legion veterans when they wrapped up their military services.

Take me out to the opera house

Baseball club owners have discovered that the way to a fan's heart -- and more important, to his wallet -- is through his ever-growing stomach.

Three decades of air patrols over Rim Country

The Civil Air Patrol has a 67-year history of search and rescue missions in America. Under the auspices of the United States Air Force, Squadron 209 formed in Payson in 1976 with the charter being granted on August 23, 1977.

Battered victims find succor

Sleeping without fear in a clean bed is a gift the Time Out Shelter bequeaths to battered women and their children. The non-profit, largely volunteer operation has offered women a listening ear, a place to lay a weary head and hope for a future without violence for nearly 15 years in Payson.

Bigs make the world a better place for Littles

Once a year, bowling balls rumble down the alleys of Rim Country Lanes to strike the pins. Whether the ball takes out all 10 or, a just a couple of pins, team members scream and shout their enthusiasm at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake.

Police volunteers provide 12,499 hours of care

‘Volunteers in Action' is not a misnomer for the men and women who help the Payson Police Department. The 12,499 hours of service they tallied in 2007 equal more than six full-time positions.

Garden club members a great resource

Once the members of the High Country Garden Club are done beautifying their own gardens, they use their skills to help others. In the past, members of the club have assisted elderly residents with yard work and the children at the Payson Community Kids program with their facility's garden.

Senior Center provides help to those 60 and over

Payson Womans Club serving community for 87 years

The Payson Womans Club boasts 87 years of continuous dedication to the community. The club started in 1921 and incorporated in 1922. At the first meeting, the 34 charter members began planning for a building fund and the creation of a library.

Scouting provides youth a place to learn about being a good person -- and it's fun

Volunteering as a scout leader pays well. "Just look into the faces of a scout," said Girl Scout volunteer Shannon Romberger, who has been active for four years in the organization.

Serious projects and fun for professional women

Suzanne Bohlman was a girl of 15 when she first encountered a Soroptimist. For a year, she lived at the Girls Ranch in Northern Arizona. Soroptimist founded the ranch to provide a safe haven for girls who, through no fault of their own, were wards of the court.

Horsemen's group dedicated to enjoying all equines

The Payson Horseman's Association is dedicated to bringing equine enthusiasts together to socialize with each other, to protect trails, preserve human and animal rights and to benefit us individually with knowledge, love and enjoyment of our equine friends.

Book sales feed Pine Library programs

Pine library patrons get to peruse some of their favorite magazines thanks to the generosity of Pine Library Friends.

Sheriff's posse volunteers help keep community safe

Long hours spent guarding goodness knows what on cold nights, freezing flood waters, desolate locations, little recognition, no pay and sometimes even dealing with unruly individuals bent on pushing a situation to its limit -- these are often the challenges faced by sheriff's posse volunteers in Rim Country.

Senior Circle

In April 1999, Senior Circle Association was established in the Payson community as a non-profit, tax-paying membership organization for adults age 50 and older.

Caring for health

Mogollon Health Alliance stems from the 1953 Junior Woman's Club

Rim Country residents, a great many of them women, have volunteered countless hours to bring in and support local medical services for nearly 55 years.