Stories for December 2008


Wednesday, December 31

New Year’s resolutions should include review of assets

Given the current economic situation, many New Year’s resolutions may be focused on improving financial health and less on physical health.

Medicare Part B applications can be made over the next three months

If you are eligible for Medicare Part B medical insurance, but you didn’t sign up for it when you first became eligible for Medicare, you will have another opportunity to apply. Open season for Medicare Part B runs from January 1 until March 31, 2009. Better to act early than late — if you miss the deadline, you will have to wait until 2010 to apply.

Church of God to host guest minister

The Rim Valley Church of God will host guest minister Bishop Hal Thompson Jr. at services at 10:45 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 4.

Low-cost spay/neuter surgeries offered Jan. 7

Low-cost spay/neuter surgeries will again be offered in Payson by the Plateauland Mobile Veterinary Clinic, a division of Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff.

Wishful Drinking

Actress, screenwriter and best-selling novelist Carrie Fisher has lived a life tailor-made for snarky tabloid headlines.

The story of Payson, Arizona

As the newly settled town of Payson grew, so did the services it provided.

Familiar tastes reimagined in original ways

Expect to see flavors that help us reconnect with time-honored favorites in modern, whimsical ways, according to the McCormick® Flavor Forecast™ 2009, an annual prediction of the tastes that will transform and inspire America’s menus. Familiar ingredients will be reinvigorated with inspired new flavor twists to create contemporary dishes.

For the birds

Anyone can help with national count program

Bird lovers can enjoy migration events in their own backyards. In fact, it is something that is encouraged through a number of national programs.

Want to get warm?

All you have to do is step outside and you know we are in winter. It’s a little early, but you might want to begin making plans to escape. With the economy the way it is, you just might try to make a deal with hotels and resorts, and perhaps you can do better than published rates.

Blame sleep apnea for fatigue

He is tired all day long. He works hard, comes home, takes a nap, eats and then says he’s still tired. He sleeps a lot on weekends, too. Does snoring have anything to do with this?

The greatest pitcher of our lifetime

I hate when people say there will “never be a greater player” because I know it can’t be true — on many levels.

Dogs and joggers

My dog, “Sandy,” gets very excited when people pass us while we’re out walking.

Button shoo-in oscar nom for Pitt

Well, here we go. Loping into 2009! Should be interesting with the new regime in Washington, and what goes on in the film industry with all the strikes and unrest.

Tuesday, December 30

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Band gets new life at Julia Randall

After a three-year hiatus, band has re-started this year at Julia Randall and Payson Elementary Schools.

Hooks celebrate 50 years of marriage

Norman and Janet Hook of Gisela celebrated 50 years together with friends and neighbors a week before their Dec. 29 anniversary.

Seven places to bring in the New Year

While Payson may not play host to the world’s greatest New Year’s party, taking place in Times Square, there are still plenty of places to raise a glass with friends and celebrate. Here are seven places to bring in 2009.

Social Security increases benefits

Social Security is bringing a little happiness to its clients in the New Year: they will receive a 5.8 percent increase in benefit payments beginning with the January payments.

Resolutions for a Goldwater Centennial

This New Year’s Day is a particularly special day for Arizonans. It marks the 100th birthday of a public servant who made his mark on Arizona and the country.

This is global warming?

A rare snowfall in Las Vegas, glaciers building up in Alaska, blizzards, snow storms, ice storms coast to coast and border to border and beyond. Sub-zero temperatures and reported sub lows are occurring all over our nation, and this is global warming? You have to be looney.

Church says thank you

Crossroads Four Square Gospel Church held its annual Christmas celebration dinner, “The Reason for the Season the Birth of Jesus Christ,” Sunday evening, Dec. 14 at Tiny’s.

Give money for a real need

Why not donate the $30,000 you want to raise to the Humane Society Building Fund where the need is real?

Winter travel calls for good judgment

The holidays can bring out the best in people, but sometimes they make people forget their common sense, too.

Around Rim Country

New Year’s prayer service planned

All Christians are encouraged to begin 2009 right: with other “pray-ers” as we praise the Lord and seek His will for our world, nation, state, community, church and ourselves.

Gila college gets to join community college council

Gila Community College has officially joined the Arizona Community College Council after a snub — or oversight — originally excluded its presence.

Main Street merchants celebrate on Friday

Payson’s old West Main Street is thriving, and its merchants are open for business and celebrating.

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Pipe break damages senior center

The Payson Senior Center is currently closed due to damage that occurred Sunday night when a pipe in the ceiling broke.

2008 was one busy year

January 2008 was a busy month with arrests, school violence, flooding and a local quilter receiving national honors, as well as kidney dialysis services returning to the Rim Country.

What is your new year’s resolution?

Only 8 percent of Americans are successful in achieving resolution

When millions of Americans pop the corks off champagne bottles in the first seconds of Jan. 1, those who make resolutions will officially be obliged to keep them.

Black ice closes Hwy. 87 for 17 hours after holiday

Highway 87 was closed for more than 17 hours over the holiday weekend due to ice and inclement weather conditions.

Act now and buy with low interest rates

While the mortgage market continues to generate a lot of chatter in both the media and Washington, interest rates are currently near or at an all-time low. Now is the time to act and take advantage of these low rates.

Homebuyer and homeowner tax incentives for 2009

The United States government, in its effort to stimulate the economy, is offering incentives to the housing market.

A Christmas gift worth remembering

I must admit, I’m not a big fan of the “Your Roundup” blog on our newspaper’s Web site.

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Sports in review

Rim Country 2008 was year for the record books

The always-bustling Rim Country sports scene was highlighted in 2008 by two gridiron blockbusters — one great and the other not so great.

Monday, December 29

Pipe break closes Senior Center

The Payson Senior Center is currently closed due to a broken pipe and the resulting flooding.

Saturday, December 27

Winter driving requires caution, planning

According to the National Weather Service, the current winter storm in Arizona could create hazardous road conditions across the state this weekend.

Fishing regulations now available

The newly printed 2009-10 Arizona Fishing Regulations are available for free at all fishing license dealers in the state, including all Arizona Game and Fish Department offices.

Daughters about more than heritage

The American Revolution and the men and women who were pivotal in it have been the subject of popular movies, novels, biographical programs and more.

Shelter needs blankets, bedding

This week’s column is featuring a few of our newcomers. These animals were all brought in to the shelter during the last week or so.

Kohl’s named favorite spot for visitors

Restaurateur of Arizona, a food and beverage trade publication, recently named ILX Resorts Inc. Kohl’s Ranch Lodge as a favorite spot to visit and stay in Arizona.

Ashford selected to Arizona Community College Council

Robert Ashford, President of the Gila Community College Governing Board, has been selected to serve on the newly created Arizona Community College Council.

Bashas’ teams up with Payson firefighters to donate money to local food bank

On Sunday, Jan. 4, Bashas’ will donate 10 percent of sales between 2 and 4 p.m. to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.

Friday, December 26

It is even getting cold in Yuma for the holidays

Merry Christmas to everyone from Yuma, Arizona.

Good crowd turns out for elementary school program

It looks as if winter has finally arrived and with it plenty of moisture in the form of snow.

New job makes sense for Star Valley town manager

For someone who claims to hate change, Tim Grier has never been afraid to make one.

Tribe reclaims Fort Apache history

Ruins of a tragic history transformed into cultural insight

A fascinating bit of complicated, tragic, triumphant history lies at the end of an hour-long drive from Payson, which ambles up scenic Highway 260 to the White Mountain Apache Reservation through some of the most scenic parts of the state.

New Year’s Day is opening day for archery deer season

New Year’s Day for most families revolve around the TV watching parades, football bowl games, and “Law and Order” reruns interspersed with numerous trips to the kitchen table for delicious foods which will be paid for later with some kind of exercise program. The holiday season is almost over!

Young wrestler earning praise from old-timers

In high school sports, individual praise is traditionally reserved for older senior class athletes who have paid their dues to the program.

Power point rankings have undergone many changes

Fans and boosters logging on to the Arizona Interscholastic Association Web site to check out Payson High School basketball power points standings might be confused by both teams’ listed 4-1 records.

Lady Longhorns take an 8-4 record into holiday break

The Lady Longhorns suffered through the ups and downs of small-town high school basketball during the Winslow Winter Classic.

Payson is highest ranked East team

It’s early in the basketball season but it’s time to make a first check on the all-important power point rankings, which will eventually be used to seed prep teams into the state tournament.

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Many town recreation programs continuing

Four-person staff and volunteers seek to keep events on schedule

Although Mark Twain is credited with penning, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” the four-person town recreation department could have easily authored it.

How to get income from investments

There are at least two key reasons to invest: growth and income.

Main Street businesses staying put

We may be down, but we are not out. This is the sentiment shared by many business owners around town, especially on Main Street.

Forest road travel under winter restrictions

Snowy weather has arrived in the Rim Country and White Mountains of Arizona leaving some roads impassable and prompting a temporary winter closure of other roads on the Apache-Sitgreaves and Coconino National Forests. Drivers should call the local ranger district to inquire about road conditions and winter road closures.

Horse-drawn carriage rides a big hit

Local and Valley residents looking for that perfect holiday outing that combines family fun, Christmas lights and maybe a few drawn horses have discovered Audra and Phillip Daugherty’s horse-drawn Christmas lights tours.

At times, a sense of duty can be a worrisome thing

A few weeks ago I talked about my years in the Air Force. I mentioned the fact that military people have a strong sense of duty. Most of the time that’s a great thing, but sometimes ...

Early childhood education is important

Over the past weeks, national media attention has reminded us about the importance of investing in early childhood education, in fact, recent media coverage highlighted President-elect Obama’s strategic focus aimed at early childhood education.

Military personnel grateful for Payson Supply Line packages

Yesterday, we received a call from our son, a U.S. Army Specialist serving in Iraq at a remote forward operating base. He had come in from a day’s work to discover that packages from home were waiting for him, just in time for Christmas. There were some from Mom and Dad, another from a great-aunt and uncle ... and several from the Payson Supply Line.

Seniors are a great resource for the community

Wow! I’m amazed at the article written by Ray Pugel, “Is Payson too gray?” I’m amazed because it is creating yet another prejudice against senior citizens. If it weren’t for L’Oreal, I’d be a gray, too!

Gone to the dogs ... and cats

Both of us were approaching our 60th birthday within days of each other. We didn’t want gifts. Our lives are rich enough with friends and family. We decided to ask these wonderful people for money instead.

Firefighters, cops give kids a Christmas

Once again — emergency first responders saved Christmas.

Around Rim Country

Hanukkah service and celebration set

The Rim Country Minyan, a new organization, will celebrate Hanukkah in Star Valley on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 28.

Church members provide new home for man

After five weeks of renovations and more than 20 years homelessness, Kenny Powell finally has a place to call home this holiday season.

Rising flood waters trap residents, rescue needed

Three feet of water flowing over the bridge at East Verde Estates trapped Skip Boldt, 46, a heart transplant patient who was 21 hours overdue on his medicine, said Gila County Sheriff’s Sgt. Terry Hudgens.

Payson council to set priorities for grant cash

Low-income homeowners can get help with foreclosures, disasters with fed program

So far this Christmas, the town of Payson had found mostly lumps of coal under its budget tree — what with layoffs, four-day schedules and payroll freezes.

County’s wish list has $12M for event center

Supervisors seeking money for $346 million in bailout projects

Gila County’s expanded, $346-million bailout wish list that emerged Tuesday included $12 million for a suggested pavilion at the Payson Event Center with a walkway beneath the highway to the casino. However, the list did not include jail facilities in Payson, although multiple options were listed for Globe’s justice buildings.

Wednesday, December 24

‘A Christmas Story’ is timeless

All of us have our favorite Christmas classics we never tire of watching.

Road conditions

DPS weather and road advisory for public highways in Northern and Eastern Arizona:

Driving in Northern and Eastern Arizona could be hazardous for the next couple of days as another winter storm is expected to bring rain, snow and cold temperatures to the region.

New OHV decal to cost $25

A coalition of state agencies has agreed on a price for the new off-highway vehicle (OHV) decal that will be required in Arizona to operate most ATVs, dirt bikes and other OHVs meeting certain criteria beginning in January.

Crews watch landslide area after recent rain

After several inches of rain last week, Arizona Department of Transportation crews are closely monitoring the landslide area on Highway 87 near Slate Creek. Crews recently noticed movement on the slope.

Tuesday, December 23

Letters to Santa

Dear Santa, How’s Rudolph? How are your elves? Will you get me a Xbox360, and moon sand? You are so nice. Will you get me a Guitar Hero? Do you put toys in stockings? You’re not that fat. How are you doing this year? Thaink you for the toys last year. How are you Santa?

Help in caring for aging, ailing parents

During the holidays many of us are spending more time with our older relatives. With this close proximity we have a chance to see whether their health is at its best or if they may need assistance of some sort.

Feature Teacher

This is my first year of teaching second grade after five years of teaching kindergarten at JRE. Although I have only been teaching for six years, I have been involved in education for more than 20 years

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Parents, students create Christmas memories

The parents of Julia Randall second-graders helped the students glop green icing onto ice cream cones, and then dab the cones in sprinkles Thursday to create Christmas trees. Parents helped their children place the cones in plastic sandwich bags before moving on to create other crafts at the holiday party.

Christmas for Kids helps children have a merry day

Bridgette Fuentes juggled baby Abram in her arms while examining clothes on hangers Tuesday in Walmart until Payson Police Det. Jason Hazelo offered to carry him.

Help provide parks and recreation funds

We are sure everyone is aware of the financial problems facing the Town of Payson this year. This is due in large part to the drop in sales tax revenue.

‘Gray hairs’ have a positive economic effect on community

Last week’s Tuesday Roundup contained an article by Ray Pugel suggesting that the growing percentage of gray hairs — retirees — in Payson has a negative effect on the demographics and future economic growth of Payson.

Water system is not a castle

Wes Suhr’s reference of our deplorable water company’s condition as a “castle” is a good example of the exaggerations being thrown around. The claim that spending $300,000 of taxpayer money would solve our water situation is one of them. If the K2 is such a great deal, why does BUI need our money, while testifying under oath it is too much of a “risk” for BUI to take?

Quilt group thanks all who helped

The organizing committee of the fourth annual Rim Country Quilt Roundup would like to say “thank you” to all the great sponsors, donors, entrants, class participants, vendors and teachers who were part of our fourth annual event in November.

Lots of activity on Main Street

As I drive back and forth to meetings, I notice that the new construction on Main Street is really taking shape. The Payson Physical Therapy building and the Hinshaw & Associates buildings are a real boost to the area. The addition of “Reruns,” across the street, also is a sign that Main Street is still alive and kicking.

In bad times there is still a Santa Claus

We live in a cynical age. We live in dark times. So perhaps the joys of this hopeful season seem naïve — outmoded. But only for grown-ups.

Around Rim Country

Books Are Fun Fair today at hospital

The Mogollon Health Alliance will offer hundreds of new books and gifts at its Books Are Fun Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 23 in the Payson Regional Medical Center main lobby. Quality books and unique gifts, including photo albums, stationery, music and much more will be sold at great discounts. Purchases can be made by VISA, MC, Discover, AMEX, checks, and post-dated checks.

GCC goes green

If Joe Shannon’s vision manifests, Gila County could one day have a solar-power electricity plant in the southern end and a biomass, wood-chip facility in the northern end.

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Santa lives in Payson

Can’t take the twinkle out of his eye

People confuse Roger Freeman with Santa Claus even without the suit. Never mind that a diploma from the International University of Santa Claus hangs on his wall. Forget that his business cards list credentials such as member of the National Beard Registry. And strangers would probably not recognize him from an Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas meeting.

Star Valley finances are in good shape

Town has more than $1 million in the bank; questions how much will be left at year’s end

After taking more than a month to sort through bizarre budget numbers, including a half million contingency fund and inflated expenses, Star Valley’s financial consultant reports the town is doing surprisingly well.

Elks Hoop Shoot winners named

Another round of Elks Hoop Shoot champions have been crowned.

Cashing in on consignment at Re-Runs

After juggling three businesses for several years, Andy and Cindy Kofile decided to tackle one more and opened Re-Runs Resale Boutique in August.

Valley urban trends

We recently spent a week in the Valley and had the opportunity to look at some of the trends that are occurring in real estate.

Last-minute Christmas shopping for the outdoor enthusiasts

It’s Christmas Eve and, according to national surveys, 10 percent of all shopping happens in the last 24-hour period. If you happen to be in this position and are looking for that perfect gift that won’t max out the credit card, here are a few ideas:

Two Horns named players of the year

A statewide sports Web site has selected a 3A All-State football team that features two Payson team members as its “Co-Players of the Year.”

Longhorns enjoying holiday respite

The Longhorns boys basketball team (5-3) is enjoying a holiday respite from play and practice before returning to action Dec. 29 in the three-day Bradshaw Mountain Tournament.

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Longhorns earn third- place spot at duals

Senior Ben Sandoval led Payson to 5-2 mark

Payson’s 135-pound senior Ben Sandoval led the Longhorns to a 5-2 record and a third-place finish in the Payson Pro Rodeo Association Rim Country Duals Wrestling Tournament.

Saturday, December 20

Pronghorn antelope and elk regulations now available

The 2009 Arizona Pronghorn Antelope and Elk Hunt Draw Information regulations booklet is available online at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Web site at www.azgfd. gov/draw.

Payson council opposes new liquor store

Store owners argue Payson has plenty of outlets, but town attorney says state board won’t care

The Payson council last week voted against letting another liquor store set up shop in town — for all the good that will do.

Nominations for volunteer awards sought

The Arizona Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism are currently accepting nominations for the eighth annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards. These awards are considered to be the highest volunteer honors in the state.

Coconino National Forest looks to merge Mormon Lake and Peak offices into one location

The Coconino National Forest is currently considering co-locating the Peaks and Mormon Lake Ranger District offices to a single administrative site.

Community information board made for east side of Tonto Creek

Residents on the east side of Tonto Creek now have a central location to get updated information when the creek is impassable.

Payson rodeo competitor wins national roping title

The cowboy who honed his skills on a Snowflake ranch and often competed in Payson rodeos won the team roping world championship at the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Friday, December 19

Fancy lights, music, dancing Santa’s part of holiday lighting contest winners display

It was a tough night of Christmas light judging Monday. Many ohhs and ahhs were heard from the judges as their SUV tediously combed the snow-swept streets of Rim Country hunting out the best of the best light shows.

Attorney named Star Valley town manager

Tim Grier adds town manager title to his town attorney and chief financial officer duries

In a little more than three years since its inception, Star Valley has had a handful of town managers. Tim Grier was added to the list when he was appointed town manager Tuesday night at a council meeting.

Overdue hikers located near Bear Canyon Lake

Two overdue hikers in the Bear Canyon Lake area were found in their car after waist-deep snow prevented them from driving or hiking out of the area Wednesday.

Here’s a question I wish someone could answer

There’s something I’ve been thinking about for more than 40 years.

Historic Main Street is still full of businesses

“Economy hits retailers hard, some close” read the headline on the front page of the Payson Roundup (Tuesday, Dec. 9). News reporter Alexis Bechman quoted local businesswoman, Jayne Peace Pyle as saying that she saw Main Street businesses growing in 2007, but most have since closed down. As a Main Street business owner (Bootleg Alley Antiques & Art), I beg to differ.

Corporation Commission not considering public’s concerns

To my understanding the meeting held on Dec. 16 with Pine Water Co. and the Arizona Corporation Commission was to make a decision on PWCo’s application on the K2 well project.

Well done, cadets

As chairman of the Payson Patriotic Events Committee, I wish to commend all CAP Cadets for their performance during this past year of 2008. And that commendation goes to every parent and adult who devotes time and talent to keep the CAP Cadet program alive and well in our community and the Rim Country.

Thanks for a wonderful 50th wedding anniversary

We appreciate and want to thank all our children and grandchildren for giving us such a wonderful and successful 50th wedding anniversary celebration party in November. It was all we had hoped for and filled with so many cherished memories, we could not have asked for anything more.

All working together

About a year ago, the Payson Town Council gave the town Surface Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC) the task of developing a plan to ensure the Mud Springs/Phoenix corridor would not become a bypass when the Mud Springs extension was constructed.

Wake up, America

Anyone who believes federal money will be used to bailout companies needs to readjust their think cap. Bailout funds will merely rescue the United Autoworkers Union (UAW), in the short run and do nothing in the long run. That’s not a bailout, it’s a heist.

Local government mismanagement

After reading the newspaper on Tuesday, Dec. 9, I do not understand why our present mayor and city council has chosen to slash the parks and recreation department so drastically. This is the one department that is important to the families in Payson. Everyone (with the exception of the mayor and council) is aware that there is limited activity for the youth in Payson.

Life lessons from Bedford Falls, Arizona

About this time every year, we end up, almost against our wills, watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” ... again.

Around Rim Country

See Forest Park luminarias Dec. 20

The Forest Park Homeowners Association will have its annual luminarias display beginning at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20.

Rim Country gets first taste of winter weather

Two winter storms moved across northern Arizona this week, bringing cold and rainy weather and causing brief road closures near Pine-Strawberry and Tonto Basin.

County debates wish list

Gila County supervisors are at odds over how to present a continually evolving, $301-million list of local projects they hope will end up in a massive federal stimulus package focused on modernizing infrastructure.

Commission dodges Pine water dispute

The Arizona Corporation Commission this week sidestepped one of the hottest issues in the Rim Country by refusing to decide if Pine Water Company can spend money on the controversial K-2 well.

Few Rim Country homes facing foreclosure

Although Rim Country real estate is suffering, recent data indicates home foreclosures are nowhere near the level of the Valley, which has seen foreclosure numbers jump higher nearly every month.

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Blast blows house a foot off foundation

A home was blown off its foundation Tuesday afternoon, leaving it as unstable as a house of cards, authorities said.

Christmas parties fill the air with holiday cheer

Christmas parties galore! My husband and I have been invited to join in the holiday cheer at six different celebrations this month.

Santa reads stories, brings gifts during fire station visit

Santa arrived at the fire station with his sirens blaring and a “Ho! Ho! Ho!” to all the little ones.

It looks like Pine will have a white Christmas

Well it looks like we just may have a white Christmas after all!

Pettets mark 50 years in Payson

If you have lived in the Rim Country for any length of time — say five years or so, you probably have at least heard about Ted and Lillian Pettet.

Moving day

Families get new homes just in time for the holidays

Four families finally have a home to call their own this holiday season. After more than two years of waiting and 10 months of construction, Kelly Atkin, Michael and Jacque Pasamonte, Joanna Carroll and Joyce Nuckles are moving into their newly constructed homes built by the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity in Longhorn Village.

No more excuses — have your pet spayed or neutered

This week’s article is again focusing on animals that were adopted, then returned to us after a period of time. The mortgage crisis has been a major cause for returns this past year. This situation, along with irresponsible ownership, is causing shelters all over the country, as well as purebred rescues, to fill up.

Business owners say they’re staying put

Although several businesses have closed in Payson recently, plenty of businesses are staying put and several new businesses have opened. At a recent Business Buzz luncheon, local business owners and town officials acknowledged times are hard, but remained optimistic things will turn around.

Quality fishing rod makes a good holiday gift

It is hard to believe there are only a few shopping days left until Christmas, so time is of the essence.

Race lives up to its epic name

After riding for more than four hours and getting lost for two miles on a 34-mile course, Mick Wolf said the Kentucky Camp Trail lived up to its epic title this past weekend.

Longhorns get invited to Cards’ activities

Even the Arizona Cardinals are recognizing the accomplishments of the Longhorn football team.

Eight teams wrestle in two-day Rim Country Duals tournament

Plenty of opportunities await boosters and athletes at the Payson Pro Rodeo Rim Country Duals tournament, which tips off at 3 p.m. today, Dec. 19, in Wilson Dome.

Coaches vote 8 Longhorns to 3A All-State first team

Victors traditionally reap the rewards of a battle well fought.

Anderson gets coach of year in 3A division

Josh Anderson’s winding road to coach of the year honors was pitted with enough bumps, hurdles and Catch 22s to rattle even the Good Humor Man.

Thursday, December 18

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Home explosion leaves one woman with nothing

A home was blown off its foundation Tuesday afternoon, leaving it as unstable as a house of cards, authorities said.

Wednesday, December 17

Overdue hikers located near Bear Canyon Lake

Two overdue hikers in the Bear Canyon Lake area were found in their car after waist-deep snow prevented them from driving or hiking out of the area Wednesday.

Hiatal hernia turns traumatic

Our experience with my husband’s hiatal hernia was traumatic.

The Dawn of the Color Photograph

“the dawn of the color photograph:Albert Kahn’s archives of the planet” By David Okuefuna

The spring of 1907 was a pivotal time for the development of the color photograph. That June in Paris, Auguste and Louis Lumiere gave the first public demonstration of what they called the autochrome. The technology presented was based on a granular compound that consisted of potato starch, making it possible to produce true-color photographs with a standard glass-plate camera.

One Angel Tree awaits

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree at National Bank of Arizona at the corner of the Beeline and West Main in Payson still has tags waiting to be claimed by the Rim Country’s secret Santas. Gifts need to be returned to National Bank by Monday, Dec. 22. The program has assisted about 106 children so far.

Stress less during holiday travel

December is one of the busiest travel months of the year. When you add the normal stresses of travel to the holiday rush, you can feel a lot more manic than merry.

Stress less during holiday travel

December is one of the busiest travel months of the year. When you add the normal stresses of travel to the holiday rush, you can feel a lot more manic than merry.

Where to go for Christmas

Christmas for many of us is considered to be a time to be with family and friends. However, there are a growing number of people who prefer to get away from the holiday traditions and relax away from home.


Help win the cost-cutting lottery

Everyone is busy these days and everyone wants to save money when and where they can.

The Story of Payson, Arizona


In the spring of 1886, a settler named Frank Alkire came through Payson on his way to lay claim to Indian Gardens along Tonto Creek. Years later he recalled how the town appeared.

History Lives

Tribe reclaims story at fort apache

A fascinating bit of complicated, tragic, triumphant history, lies at the end of an hour-long drive from Payson, which ambles up scenic Highway 260 to the White Mountain Apache Reservation through some of the most scenic parts of the state.

Inclement weather creating multiple road hazards

Wet weather and winter conditions in most of Gila County are causing multiple collisions along Highways 87 and 260. The Department of Public Safety is reporting seven collisions and five motorists assistance calls for slides off the road in Northern Arizona.

Preserving memories

How do people preserve the memories of events in their life? One method is through putting together a scrapbook. Brenda Martell is teaching a new scrapbooking class this spring at Gila County Community College.

Understanding the local environment

When talking about the environment what does it mean to buy wisely, act wisely, and vote wisely?

Payson High DECA students attend leadership conference

Twenty-two students from the Payson High School DECA Chapter attended the 2008 Western Region Leadership Conference in Phoenix from Nov. 20 through 23.

Winter conditions may restrict forest road travel

With winter weather on the way, managers of the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests said it may become necessary to temporarily restrict motor vehicle travel. This is a seasonal restriction, which includes all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Controlled burns slated to resume, weather permitting

Rain and snow stalled major controlled burns planned Monday and Tuesday, but forest crews will likely set some of the last and biggest fires of the fall toward the end of the week — depending on the weather.

Tuesday, December 16

A nightmare they can walk away from

Mock accident gives glimpse of tragedy

Held back by caution tape, Payson High School students recently eyed a fellow student, bloodied and bruised, lying on the ground after a car accident.

Center has lots of fun to come

’Tis the season to deck the halls, and all around town streets and stores and yards and lawns are blooming with holiday decorations, making the winter darkness bright.

If we could but see the threaded tapestry we weave in our lives

Each Christmas season I watch Jimmy Stewart’s 1946 movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” If you’re not familiar with this enduring film, Jimmy Stewart plays young, small-town Savings & Loan operator George Bailey, who chooses generosity and integrity over money.

College class will produce magazine

Gila Community College this semester will get its first-ever literary magazine, thanks to a new class taught by Payson Roundup News Editor Peter Aleshire

Feature Teacher

“Music is a gift, an inspiration and a source of hope in a crazy world.”

Pine students prepare for annual Christmas show

Winter concert theme is Twelve Days of Christmas

Rowdy Pine Strawberry School students crowded into the school’s band room recently to practice for their upcoming winter concert with raucous, but melodic abandon.

Community needs the whole story

In a letter to the editor in the Dec. 2, issue Ray Pugel made several claims about the water issues in Pine/Strawberry and about my views on those issues. I have addressed these issues in the past, but have responded to each again in detail and those responses can be found here: As usual his claims cannot stand up to the light of day, but read and judge for yourself.

Notions about police department are wrong

I have been a resident of Payson for 4-1/2 years and have silently listened to a lot of people complain about, put down and flatout disparage the police department. I can no longer stay silent.

Layoffs were Draconian

I wish to express my angst regarding the decision of the mayor and town manager to lay off a number of top employees after “many town employees had offered to work shorter hours or take a pay cut to save the jobs of coworkers.”

Santa needs to send us some Rain-deer

I don’t get it. For two years in a row the Christmas Boat Show at Green Valley Park has been shut down because of rain.

Good teachers make for good programs

When money is short, what’s a school district to do?

Around Rim Country

Gingerbread house party Wednesday

The Crossroads Foursquare Church is holding a special event for all ages — a gingerbread house construction party.

Star Valley manager hire on agenda

After 90-day search, interim manager may get the job

After a three-month search, Star Valley could have a new manager Tuesday night, if the town council approves acting Town Manager Tim Grier as the permanent choice.

Design review board survives

The Payson Design Review Board saw the light gleaming dangerously down there at the end of the tunnel.

Vocational enrollment strong after decline

Enrollment has bounded back strongly in Payson High School’s vocational programs after declines for the past two years, with new programs and trend-setting teachers.

Town sales tax revenue drops to 2004 levels

Payson’s sales taxes for the first four months of this fiscal year took a record 42-percent drop compared to the same four months last year, according to just-released figures.

Beeline Highway accident takes California woman’s life

The passenger in a Thursday afternoon accident on Highway 87 near the landslide area has died.

Is Payson too gray?

Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran an article concerning the sales slowdown of so-called retirement or active adult communities.

Buying books will help Mogollon Health Alliance

The Mogollon Health Alliance will offer hundreds of new books and gifts at its Books Are Fun Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Dec. 22 and Tuesday, Dec. 23 in the Payson Regional Medical Center main lobby. Quality books and unique gifts, including photo albums, stationery, music and much more, will be sold at great discounts.

PHS student seeking funds to attend leadership forum

Payson junior, honor student and Longhorn champion Josh Porter is raising money to attend a youth leadership forum on National Security in Washington, D.C. in February.

New state wildlife Web site provides adventures for wildlife enthusiast

Watching wildlife is one of the most economical recreational activities families can do together. Visitors come to Arizona from around the world to see the diversity of animal species living in the Sonoran Desert, the tops of the mountainous sky islands or in the vast northern regions of the Colorado Plateau.

Cinch Hook Pit currently closed to snowplay visitors

Cinch Hook gravel pit, located on State Highway 87 and Highway 260 junction, is a popular site for snow sledding and snowplay during the winter season.

Outdoor recreationists: Respect private and public land, or risk losing access

Recent incidents involving thoughtless and even destructive acts by some outdoor recreationists have Arizona Game and Fish Department officials and responsible outdoor users concerned about retaining continued public access to vast tracts of public and private land.

Horns host Rim Country Duals this weekend

Payson hosts the Payson Pro Rodeo Rim Country Duals this week.

Longhorns win one, lose two in Shootout

Payson lost a close game to Boulder Creek of Anthem and won an even closer game with Tuba City at the weekend’s Pepsi Shootout Tournament in Flagstaff. A second tourney loss to Precision of Phoenix was by a wider margin.

Tease photo

Lady Horns take bronze honors in Hoops tourney

The Lady Longhorns took third place in Payson’s annual Holiday Hoops Tournament this weekend.

Flooding info for Tonto Creek area residents

Tonto Creek flooding information is now available at the Tonto Basin Fire Station. Residents on the east side of Tonto Creek can get information on operation hours for the emergency center, delivery times for necessities, and updated creek information in fire station number two’s parking lot, located on Elm Street and Mimosa Street.

DPS expecting more wet conditions on Arizona highways

Southern and Eastern Arizona are experiencing cold temperatures along with incoming storm fronts, which are expected to bring snow, sleet, freezing rain and produce wet and icy roadways for elevations beginning at 3,000 feet, including most of Gila County.

Friday, December 12

Murder suspect hid in Payson for 14 years

Man wanted in death of Ohio man arrested after 29 years on the run

A Payson man, who allegedly stabbed a man to death in Ohio nearly 30 years ago and then started a new life with a new name in Arizona, was arrested Monday morning by U.S. Marshals with the help of Gila County Narcotics Task Force officers.

Candle lighting ceremony for deceased children is Sunday

The drenched-in-cheer holiday season can stoke the misery of a grieving parent. Although bereaved parents say the anticipation of a holiday is often worse than the actual day, the thought of an empty seat at the table can fill an otherwise gleeful heart with dread. A poignant memory never fades.

Airport land use plan skirts storm

220-acre change takes off, but road decision deferred

An intermittently controversial general plan change for 220 acres around the Payson Airport took off without a bump Thursday, gliding past thunderheads of controversy billowing up from proposed road extensions.

Multi-million dollar pot has educators beaming

With millions of dollars at stake, local education officials are eyeing a gleaming pot of gold in a potato-famine era.

Tease photo

Water main break closes Main Street

A 12-inch water pipe on Main Street burst Thursday morning, closing part of the road and shutting off water to a handful of businesses for several hours.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Community Almanac

Politics and apologies

Just when we had a heartening bit of good news in the form of a $2.1-million bailout windfall for local schools, county officials have raised a disquieting possibility.

Trailhead fund-raiser helps Payson Community Kids

The Trailhead staff would like to send out an enormous thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s fund-raiser over the Thanksgiving weekend for the Payson Community Kids/ Marcy’s Kids.

The K2 dance

Dale Oestmann is a local Realtor, and I wonder where he got his information for his Dec. 9 (letter to the editor)? I suppose most Realtors would benefit with a water company controlled by PSWID and unregulated by ACC, which tries to balance demand with the water resources available. But there was no profit for any of the recalled board members in passing the K2 Deep Well agreement. If you claim that we knowingly withheld the truth or lied, make a formal legal charge against us.

Call to 911 was helpful

Recently we had to call 911 for my wife and myself. I also had a nice visit with the Fire Chief Marti deMasi. At our age, it is very possible that we may call them again. If the occasion happens again for a 911 call, we will do it with 100 percent confidence in the training and ability of the personnel of the Payson Fire Department.

School bailout money should be based on need

As reported, Gila County is to receive $2.1 million in January 2009 for Gila County School Districts from the Federal Bailout Bill recently passed in Congress. Similar federal funding is expected to be received through 2011.

PSWID is not a domestic water system

Is Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) a “domestic” water district with the power to purchase and run a water system? In my opinion, the answer to this question is “no” for the following reasons:

Thanks to Friends of Parks and Recreation

I want to publicly thank the Friends of Parks and Recreation as well as all those people who have donated funds through them for helping the parks and recreation department keep the athletic programs. These programs are vital to our community.

Thanks to the generous people who helped

On behalf of the staff and board of directors of Time Out, Inc., I would like to thank all of the generous and caring people who supported our work with those impacted by domestic violence. You helped in a number of ways including: cash and in-kind donations; discounted prices; countless volunteer hours; attendance at our fund-raising activities; and materials donated to and purchased at our thrift shop.

Treatment for drug- or alcohol-dependency available

The No. 1 question of parents is: Why does my child use drugs? Is there some environmental influence involved in home life, work, school or friends? Is there another cause? The question still remains. Why?

Shakespeare was right. Kill all the lawyers!

What happened? I graduated from high school, went into the Air Force, came back out and went to college, taught for 22 years, and at long last, retired up here in the Rim Country.

Volunteers pack holiday boxes for deployed soldiers

Volunteers spent several hours last Saturday packing Christmas boxes for deployed U.S. soldiers.

Making a list — checking it twice for federal bailout money projects

Local governments scramble to come up with a Christmas wish list of ‘shovel ready’ projects to include in $1.2-trillion federal stimulus package

State, county, local and school officials are scurrying to compile a Christmas wish list for a possible $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure revitalization package under consideration by President-elect Barack Obama.

Accident closes Beeline for hours

A Dodge pickup truck collided with the back end of tractor-trailer Thursday afternoon on Highway 87, pinning the passenger inside and blocking the road for several hours.

Tribe nixes police contract talks with Payson

The Tonto Apache Tribe abruptly dropped its request for a $200,000 annual contract with Payson to provide police services, on the eve of the council’s planned approval.

New school board members take office

There was no tropical vacation in appreciation, but the three outgoing Payson Unified School District board members did collect some kind words as they formally served at their last meeting Monday.

Magic on the Mountain makes season merry

Payson, although a small town, has always guaranteed numerous celebrations of Christmas and 2008 is no exception.

Local firewise groups represented at national meeting

Several local firewise organizations were represented at the Backyards and Beyond 2008 Conference of the Firewise Communities/USA organization recently held in Tampa, Fla.

Many holiday accidents are preventable

Two Rim Country residents died from carbon monoxide leaking into their homes last year

’Tis the season for the holidays, but it’s also a time local emergency workers see a host of different preventable accidents.

Lip sync contestants are needed

Contestants are needed for the Feb. 21 Lip Sync Contest in the Payson High School auditorium.

Delbert H. Winter

Delbert H. Winter, 79, died Dec. 3, 2008, surrounded by his children. He was born Feb. 19, 1929 in Sibley, Iowa.

Robert L. Emery

Robert L. Emery, 74, of Payson, companion of Bee Baxter, also of Payson, died Nov. 28, 2008 in Payson. He was born in West Reading, Pa. to Edna Mae (Fick) and Edward H. Emery, Sr.

Lucille T. Hayward

Lucille T. Hayward, 85, of Mesa, formerly of Strawberry and Payson, died Dec. 1, 2008.

Mary J. Bossert

Mary J. Bossert, 64, died Dec. 9, 2008 at her home in Payson, surrounded by family. She was born Jan. 14, 1944 in Chanute, Kan.

Celebration of Life planned to remember Gloria Joe

Celebration of Life memorial services for former Rim Country Middle School teacher Gloria Joe will be held at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 14 in the RCMS gymnasium.

Four families will have new homes for the holidays

300 Habitat for Humanity volunteers and the families help complete residences

After years of waiting, four families will soon move into their very own homes, built by Payson Area Habitat for Humanity volunteers. A ceremony is scheduled this Sunday afternoon to dedicate the homes in Longhorn Village.

Driver makes a splash in a Green Valley lake

A 27-year-old man drove his pickup truck into a Green Valley lake Wednesday afternoon allegedly while intoxicated.

Tease photo

Horns start out duckling ugly, but finish swan beautiful

The Longhorn hoopsters tackled their season home opener Tuesday at Wilson Dome in an ugly duckling game that started with a flat-footed quack but turned into a thing of beauty.

Lady Horns back in the win column

The Lady Horns are back in the win column with a 51-35 victory over Florence Dec. 9.

Era of trophy bulls in Unit 22 comes to an end

Being an avid outdoorsman, I have been fortunate to live most of my adult life in the Payson area. One of the greatest success stories for big game has been the expansion of the Unit 22 elk herd from a relatively small number in the mid-1970s to a healthy herd which has expanded into the lower elevations.

Recreation Roundup

Saturday, Dec. 13 there will be a group hike from the Payson Event Center to the Peach Orchard Trailhead.

Payson High basketball teams from 1958 to 1962 will have a reunion Dec. 16

Members of the Payson High School basketball teams coached by Ted Pettet from 1958 through 1962 are invited to attend a special reunion ceremony at Payson High during halftime of the Tuesday, Dec. 16 game between Payson and Sedona.

Win, lose and draw for PHS wrestlers

The Longhorn wrestling squad tested its skills in a multi-meet Wednesday at Payson High School.

PHS players in all-star VB match

Jenna Robertson earns all-state team honors

Payson High School varsity volleyball coach Arnold Stonebrink says Jenna Robertson, Cydney Figueroa and Laughlin Potvin were named to participate in the 3A All-Star match for the North team.

Recovery plan can keep you moving toward financial goals

Over the past couple of years, we’ve had a long bear market and a period of low interest rates.

New apartment complex to open first of year

Just when one apartment complex announced it was converting to condominiums, a new apartment complex just off the Beeline Highway is slated to open after the first of the year.

Rim Country generous, even in bad times

You’ve just got to love Rim Country. Every day we are all experiencing the difficulties brought on by the current economic situation. It has been the worst year in many for owners of animals who have lost their homes and have been forced to surrender their pets.

Healing comes slow after child’s death

The twinkling white lights on the Knauss family’s Christmas tree weren’t exactly sad, but they weren’t exactly happy either. Christmas was Dalton Knauss’ holiday. He once made a star out of toy construction sticks, fixed lights to it and hung it on the roof.

Couple’s sense of giving as everlasting as the diamonds they sell

For more than 25 years, Robert and Melissa Higginbotham have given back to the community, tenfold what they have taken. Not because they have to, but because they hope to create a community as beautiful and everlasting as the diamonds they sell.

Roni Kerns to head college nursing program

Rhonda (Roni) DeLao Kerns, Ph.D., RN, has been named to the position of lead nursing instructor at the Payson campus of Gila Community College.

Conservation commission looking for new members

What’s a conservation commission to do when it can barely preserve itself?

Celebration of Life attracts 200 people for readings, music

For the 14th consecutive year, a Celebration of Life was co-hosted by RTA Hospice & Palliative Care, Messinger Payson Funeral Home and the Rim Country Hospice Foundation.

Christmas Tree Auction successful and fun

The Christmas Tree Auction to benefit the students at Pine-Strawberry Elementary School turned out to be a big hit while bringing the kids some extra funds for field trips and school supplies.

Recent snow an unexpected and pleasant surprise

It was a pleasant surprise this morning when I went outside to retrieve the morning newspaper — the ground was white! According to all the weather reports we heard over the past few days, Tonto Village and Payson were not going to get any snow. The snow was not even an inch deep, but with the wind blowing around it was downright chilly! The temperature read about 29 degrees on my front porch, but it sure felt colder than that. My beagle did not want to even peek her head out the door.

Spirit of Christmas is more than a concert

Sunday afternoon I took my daughter to “The Spirit of Christmas,” sponsored by the Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship. This was the first time I have been to one of their Christmas programs. I have to tell you that if you missed this one, you missed a wonderful and exciting program.

Thursday, December 11

Paul Higginbotham and Hillery Compton engagement

Robert and Melissa Higginbotham, of Payson, are pleased to announce the engagement of their son, Paul Robert to Hillery M. Compton, daughter of James and Laureen Compton of Illinois.

Wednesday, December 10

Payson district seeks share of bailout money

Rural areas found a kind and wealthy benefactor in October’s bailout bill, and Payson Unified School District is angling for its share.

Tuesday, December 9

Parks getting a little help from friends

Booster group donates money to keep town’s leagues dribbling through February

Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation this week agreed to donate $3,700 to the cash-strapped town to keep two youth basketball leagues and one adult league operating for the first two months of the year, said Bill Ensign, the group’s chairman.

Economy hits retailers hard, some closing

Corral West Ranchwear, going... Quilter’s Outpost, going... Git a Rope! Trading Company, soon to be gone.

Tease photo

Parade is a heart-warmer

It was a chilly night for the eighth annual Electric Light Parade, but all along Main Street you felt warmed by the glow of faces, wood-burning chimineas and thousands of strands of Christmas lights burning bright.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Community Almanac

Saga of propane prices

And while we’re on the subject of flimflam artists and your money — we thought we might pause to listen to the pitch of the propane man.

Pine, Strawberry water company purchase is necessary

If you listen to the propaganda from Robert Hardcastle’s mouthpieces (Brooke Utilities) and do not attend the PSWID and community meetings, you are not receiving all the truth of one of the most critical issues that our respective communities has ever been challenged with.

Acts of kindness make a difference

One Sunday during Sunday school, my youth leader gave us an assignment. He told us to try to do a random act of kindness.

Christmas parade was fun

Although I am just a fair-weather resident in Star Valley, I come up from the Valley every year to see the Christmas/holiday parade.

Detroit bailout loans

We cannot allow the Detroit automakers to fail. The ripple effect down the line would be disastrous.

Parade was a huge success

The Eighth Annual Main Street APS Electric Light Parade was a huge success. We had the biggest attendance ever and I want to thank the 40 entrants for the tremendous work and time they put in to making their entries.

Payson is a good place to live

With all of the crisis going on in the world and nation, it is sometimes refreshing to look at all the really positive things that we have at the local level. I find this easy to do because I live in Payson.

Fire marshal is needed

As president of SemStream Arizona Propane, and a resident of the Payson area, I was greatly disappointed to see that the city is considering eliminating the fire marshal position. In an environment like Rim Country, the town of Payson is fortunate to have someone of Bob Lockhart’s expertise.

Thanks for putting item in the paper

Thank you again for helping our arts and crafts fair at the Mazatzal Casino by placing our notice in the Community Almanac. We really appreciate you and your staff for your help. I would also like to thank Kay Blankenbuehler for putting our notice on, it really helps to let people know, outside of Payson, what is going on in our great town.

More honesty, less hearsay

As a recalled member of the past Pine/Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) board, I was surprised at Ray Pugel’s accusations in his “false information” letter in the Payson Roundup, Dec. 2. He accused Sam Schwalm of spreading “fear and false information to citizens in the PSWID.” Sorry, Ray, but I know that Sam checks his publications for accuracy. And when a mistake is made, he reports that also. All water users in the district should visit his excellent Web site for honest reporting of PSWID issues (

Decision makers are living in Strawberry

I don’t know what rock some letter writers have been living under lately, but according to their letters in a recent Roundup, they have no clue! Maybe they could show up at a PSWID meeting and find out the truth, rather than spreading the information apparently being fed to them by Bob Hardcastle’s Brooke Utilities, in another desperate attempt to divide the Pine/Strawberry communities.

Newly unemployed has few options

The company I worked for, recently changed hands. Everyone was eliminated from their job. I went from $3,300 take home per month to $960. This is what Arizona Unemployment’s Maximum Weekly Benefit represents. With this ridiculous benefit amount, after paying one’s normal bills, truck payment and insurance and gas, the amount remaining is about $400.

Arizona leaders should champion our children

Some residents of Payson may wonder why the big deal (all the extended media coverage) over a high school football game, even if it was for the state championship.

Feature Teacher

Feature Teacher

FES students lobby Santa for presents

Electronic-seeking second-graders in Brianne DeWitte’s class at Frontier Elementary School crafted letters to Santa Thursday in preparation for the big fellow’s descent into local chimneys.

Disability is most pressing challenge for Social Security

I know from personal experience how difficult Social Security’s disability process can be. When my father was 52, he suffered a severe cerebral hemorrhage caused by a rare form of brain cancer. As I took care of the application for him, it opened my eyes to the complicated rules associated with our disability programs.

Know whom to ask important Medicare questions

Sometimes the hardest part about getting a question answered is knowing whom to ask. And that can certainly be true if you, a relative or friend has a question about a large government program such as Medicare.

Grants could boost college attendance

Federal money would pay for counselors to boost dismal rates of college completion

The Payson Unified School District, starting in January, will receive an influx of cash aimed at increasing the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges after graduating high school.

Payson ponders gift-wrapped controversies

Police contract with tribe, design review top agenda

The Payson Town Council will open its presents early on Thursday — some neatly wrapped controversies and a potential new source of revenue.

Brooke seeks ruling to revive well

Water company wants arbitrators to order PSWID to honor K2 agreement

Brooke Utilities has asked that a panel of arbitrators reverse the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board’s decision to cancel a $300,000 contract to drill the K-2 well.

Airport plan lands on council docket

Amendment cuts parks, apartments, defers road extensions decision

A general plan change for land near the airport vital to the town’s economic future that has spurred fierce neighborhood opposition goes before the town council Thursday.

Riders heading south for epic trail

A Payson posse of six local mountain bike riders is heading down to southern Arizona this weekend for a 34-mile ride in the Arizona Endurance Series.

Trojans best Horns

The Payson Longhorns were bested by the Valley Christian Trojans when the two teams met on Trojan turf Dec. 5.

Tease photo

Turnovers costly for Lady Horns

The Lady Horns’ winning ways hit a roadblock hosting Valley Christian Friday.

Longhorns ready for multi-meet

The Payson Longhorns’ wrestling team is starting the season at a slight disadvantage.

Some archery-only areas not open during December

Archery-only deer hunters: Some hunting areas are not open during December nonpermit-tag hunts.

Plenty of leftover spring tags for javelina, turkey, bear hunting

There are plenty of leftover hunt permit-tags for spring javelina, turkey and bear available now by mail application on a first-come, first-served basis from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

New OHV laws will take effect on New Year’s Day

In less than a month, new laws governing the use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in Arizona will officially go into effect.

Winter conditions put restrictions on forest travel

With winter weather on the way, managers of the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests say it may become necessary to temporarily restrict motor vehicle travel. This is a seasonal restriction, which includes all-terrain vehicles.

Volunteers needed for Meals on Wheels

The Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main St., needs volunteers to deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors.

Your own crystal ball

Best advice may be to trust your gut

Real estate is one of the hot topics of the moment and needless to say, is getting extensive coverage in all of the media venues.

Three tips to make sales in rough economy

New York Times best-selling author Robert Cialdini offers money-saving techniques

With holiday shopping season in full swing, retailers are hoping to make up some of the sales ground they’ve lost because of the recession.

Next year’s Capitol Christmas Tree to come from Apache-Sitgreaves

As the nation celebrates the annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree, also known as the “people’s tree,” in Washington, D.C. Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest officials together with Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano are announcing that next year’s Capitol Christmas Tree will be a 70-foot tree harvested from the White Mountains.

Saturday, December 6

Gallery welcomes new artist

Payson’s first co-op gallery welcomed its newest partner Sunday, Nov. 23. Sandy Pendleton’s art is now on display and for sale at the Artists of the Rim Gallery, 408 W. Main St.

New heating and cooling repair company a breath of fresh air

Repair company starts over in Rim Country

Owner of Fresh Breeze Heating and Cooling, Tate Wanless, didn’t move to Payson to get rich quick and scam people with costly repairs.

Man found guilty of having $2 million in cocaine

In one of the largest cocaine busts in Gila County, a 57-year-old Colorado man was found guilty of possessing more than $2 million worth of cocaine in his minivan, Nov. 21 in a Gila County courtroom.

Drug unit helps to keep Payson streets clean

After months of work, police officers catch wanted fugitive

After more than four months of searching, good detective work and a little bit of luck, Payson’s special enforcement unit cracked the case on a wanted fugitive and alleged drug dealer.

Rim communities face serious debris flow risk

The steep canyons above Pine and Strawberry can generate devastating debris flows, especially after wildfires have denuded the slopes above, a study by the Arizona Geological Survey has concluded.

Gizzard shad explosion at Roosevelt

Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists conducting an autumn fish survey at Roosevelt Lake discovered that a relatively new invader, the American gizzard shad, has experienced a population explosion here at Arizona’s largest inland lake.

Help protect Arizona bald eagles, respect closed areas

PHOENIX -- It’s time again for Arizona’s bald eagles to begin their breeding activities, and outdoor recreationists are asked to help protect important breeding areas by honoring the closure of 21 areas across the state.

Winter propane charges should decline

Despite plummeting oil prices, Payson propane bills will drop just 17 percent this winter, officials say.

Star Valley sees dramatic drop in photo radar tickets

Star Valley town officials still don’t know how much money, if any, the town is making off the speed cameras installed less than a year ago, but they have seen a dramatic drop in drivers flashed over the past months.

Friday, December 5

Huge increase in Christmas for Kids registration

The doors had only been open for six hours and nearly 80 applications were already submitted for the Christmas for Kids program.

There is plenty of need this holiday season

If the wool in your sweater has you itching to give this holiday season, you’re in luck, with more than five ways to get involved, donating a gift or money to make the holidays brighter for the community has never been easier.

Beware of fraudulent charitable appeals this holiday season

The holiday season is the time of year when many Arizonans give back to their communities, it is also a time when crooks take advantage of people and their generosity.

Payson, Tonto Apache Tribe in negotiation for police contract

Payson council gives go-ahead to negotiate $202,000 contract

Good news for Payson. Good news for the Tonto Apache Tribe.

For some, the moment of truth comes a few seconds too late

I once heard a story about a farmer who paid good money for a Missouri mule that he couldn’t get to do a lick of work.

Ethics and the law

It is very disturbing to read about the extortion techniques that have been promoted by town government on developers and those attempting to develop their property before issuing permits.

Raising money to open pool

The Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation (FPP&R) was organized to help the parks and recreation department with recreational costs the town budget could not cover. The effort to secure a community recreation center was a part of this goal.

Barking dogs are not the problem

I’ve never done this before, but I just can’t let this one go. To the lady in the gold minivan, who obviously had more money than sense, because she can afford the fuel to drive around the entire Payson Ranchos neighborhood, and can take pictures of all the barking dogs!

Thanks for community support

Question: What do you get when you combine 10 kids, 250 scones and 2.5 gallons of Devonshire cream?

Oil Changes for Charity

Time Out, Inc. wishes to express our gratitude to Steve and Sandie Miller of Miller Auto Works for their idea, “Oil Changes for Charity.” Steve Miller attributes this successful fund-raiser to the dedication of many in the Payson community.

Keeping our highways safe

Rather than think of the extra patrolling on the Beeline as a “new revenue-raising technique” why not think of them as doing their job and keeping our highway safe for us?

A letter to Strawberry residents

In the more than 20 years that our family has lived on the hillside property in Strawberry, water always flowed through the tap.

K2 well not dead

Brooke Utilities is now suing the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (District) for breach of contract on the K2 well project called the Joint Water Development Agreement (JWDA).

Murky waters become clearer by the day

The recall election of three Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) board members paved the way for the board to go ahead with its predetermined plan to use water that is conveniently available in Strawberry for the planned needs of commercial developers in Pine. This is my opinion.

Don’t set fire to town groups

So, let’s say the heater doesn’t work so well. Your feet got cold in bed last night.

Around Rim Country

Last chance to sign up for holiday help

The Rim Country Optimist Club and Public Safety Christmas for Kids will be accepting applications from families needing assistance for the Christmas holiday season. The Optimist Club will provide a complete holiday meal for qualifying families, including senior citizens. Public Safety Christmas for Kids will provide gifts for the children of qualifying applicants (17 years and younger; children must be living with applicant).

Bad economic climate postpones college expansion plans

Gila Community College does not necessarily need to purchase the county-owned buildings on its campus in order to expand, county officials said this week.

Star Valley now has an official outgoing mail box

It’s official. You can now send outgoing mail from Star Valley through a U.S. post office box.

Stop signs, curbs in Mud Springs plan

After a year of turmoil, STAC adopts $100,000 plan to slow traffic before an empty room

After a year of struggle and stress, Payson’s traffic committee on Wednesday will recommend to the town council a $100,000 list of curbs, stop signs, raised crosswalks and center islands to ensure an extended Mud Springs Road doesn’t become an informal highway bypass.

Firefighters rally to save fire marshal

Parks boosters meet to come up with fund-raising plan to restore seasonal workers in parks

Fund-raising and budget squeezing could save the job of the Payson fire marshal and perhaps avert the dismissal of at least some of the part-time workers in the parks department, the Roundup has learned.

Christmas parties planned

The holiday season is here, whether we are all ready or not. I guess I am a slow starter, but a few of my neighbors are decorating their homes and the lights look so festive.

Watch out for elk and hunters in the high country

It is starting to look like Christmas around the community. Lights are going up, as are different displays.

Generosity of businesses, residents astounding

We sure had a lot to give thanks for in Pine as the holiday brought a wonderful dousing of rain. And boy did we need it! Let’s hope that was the beginning of a very wet winter.

Costa Rica called to Payson teen

For two summers, Payson High School senior Christina Breen worked 30 hours each week, and walked her paychecks straight to the bank, as she watched with envy as her friends spent their money on entertainment.


Forest Service plans ambitious repair of Tonto Creek to make it once more a trout’s paradise

Where oh where do the lunkers lurk? Where oh where have they gone?

Won’t you give them a home for the holidays?

Following are some of the many wonderful animals available for adoption at the Payson Humane Society. The animal shelter is located at 812 S. McLane Road. Call (928) 474-5590 for more information, or visit us online at

Arizona Eastern Railway unveils historic route heading from Globe to casino in ’50s dome car

All aboard The Copper Spike Train Excursion, Arizona Eastern Railway’s (AZER) newest passenger train, running from Globe’s historic Main Street to the Apache Gold Casino Resort, starting Dec. 13.

Fixed annuity may help fill retirement gaps

Can you ever save too much for retirement? Probably not.

Towns may be forced to send money to state

Payson and Star Valley may be forced to dole out nearly $85,000 to help alleviate the state’s budget shortfall if a lawsuit filed by the Arizona League of Cities and Towns fails.

Payson nearly triples dog license fee

Dog license fees may double or triple, despite town council qualms about the impact on dog owners during hard times.

Wrestling team opens short of men

Payson High School’s 2008-2009 wrestling team was short-manned when it opened on the road at Fountain Hills Nov. 26.

Where’s the respect?

You can have a perfect season. You can have an unbelievable win in the state championship game. But you can’t get the respect you deserve.

Big bucks found on the Strip

There are a few places in the West that consistently produce big muley bucks, and two of those spots just happen to be in Arizona.

ASU puts famed Camp Tontozona up for sale

It’s official. The famed and much-loved Arizona State University Camp Tontozona is up for sale. Just three months after the last group of football players walked off the field in front of a crowd of 3,200 fans, ASU has pulled the plug on a tradition going back nearly 50 years.

Longhorns open season with heart-stopping victory in OT

The heart-stopping high jinks from Payson High’s Longhorns continue.

Lady Longhorns roll to another win

Stacy Anderson’s Lady Horns are making the winning territory familiar ground in these early days of the 2008-2009 basketball season.

Wednesday, December 3

Community Christmas concerts scheduled

The annual Christmas pageant presented by the Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship, “Spirit of Christmas,” is Sunday, Dec. 7 at the high school auditorium. Guests attending are asked to bring a can of food or nonperishable food item for a donation to the local food bank. Performances of contemporary and traditional music will be at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Parade of Lights

Electric Light Parade on Main Street this Weekend

Main Street Home Town Holiday is the title of the town’s annual Electric Light Parade on Main Street, which will be held beginning at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6. This is the eighth running of the parade since it was started in 2000 by former Main Street coordinator, Karen Greenspoon.

Wood turner bowls over viewers with beauty

Master wood turner Curt Harp, 79, has been busy at his art since the Harps moved to Pine in 1998. Prior to that and living in Tempe, Harp was a wood worker most of his adult life and, in fact, made most of the furniture in his beautiful home. He also dabbled in wood carving and just about anything else constructed of wood.

The Story of Payson, Arizona

founded by miners, built by ranchers: the story of payson, arizona - Chapter 8: PAYSON BEGAN AN AUGUST TRADITION

The excitement and terror of Apache raids in the Rim Country had culminated on July 17, 1882 at the Battle of Big Dry Wash. Daily life was becoming less anxious, and settlers could get down to the real business of cattle raising and prospecting.

Bountiful buffets — festive, appetizing and safe

Thanksgiving is behind us and the Christmas festivities are at hand. If putting on a holiday soirée is on your “to do” list this year, how about trying a buffet?

Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World

For the past two centuries, the treasures of the ancient world have been shamelessly plundered. One of the most graphic examples involves the tomb of Amenophis III in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Looters in the 19th century hacked the head out of the pharaoh in three murals. Those fragments are now on display in the Louvre, leaving behind the original mural, which is permanently defaced.

Mom’s pie jump starts culinary career

Sometimes, when I’m on the small, hectic production set of “The Kitchen Diva!” television cooking show, I think about how far I’ve come in the multimedia field. I got my start as a culinary historian, cookbook author and television chef thanks to my mother, Angeline’s, fabulous recipe for Raisin-Pecan Pie.

Sleeping pills vs. insomnia

All sleeping pills should be taken for as short a time as possible.

Native Air begins ‘flight for the cure’

Native Air, an air medical services provider of Omniflight Helicopters, Inc., announced Dec. 1 that it has aligned with the Phoenix Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to introduce a new fund-raising program, Flight for the Cure.

College launches registration for spring classes

There is always an interesting and new class at Gila Community College.

Does my child use drugs?

The only way to answer that is to watch for the warning signs. The most significant signs are changes in attitude, personality, behavior and appearance. While some of these key symptoms may be attributed to “other” causes, they are still enough of a concern to warrant having your child checked out by a health care professional.

Chamber concert set for Gila Community College

Chamber music is alive and well in Payson. There has been an orchestra and several chamber groups in Payson over the years.

Tuesday, December 2

Retail holiday sales stay steady for most

It was a busy holiday weekend for Rim Country stores with early bird sales and bargain-hunting shoppers.

More potential slides menace Hwy. 87

Experts still don’t know what caused an ancient landslide site to collapse and close Highway 87 March 21, but they have discovered three similar sites nearby that could endanger Payson’s connection to the Valley.

Controlled burns return

The Tonto National Forest Service on Monday started a week-long series of prescribed fires on the outskirts of Payson and Pine, with plans to burn several hundred acres every day throughout the week as weather allows.

Main Street lights up for holiday

The state champion Longhorns will parade down Main Street in style beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 as the headliners for the annual Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade.

Airport cuts costs, plans for the future

The Payson Airport needs a new restaurant, meeting space and other facilities included in a master plan in order to boost the region’s economy — without cost to taxpayers, says Dick Mumma, president of the Payson Regional Airport Authority.

It was all about pilgrims, turkeys

Pilgrims, Native Americans and turkeys converged last Tuesday afternoon at Payson Elementary School as three first-grade classes performed a series of Thanksgiving skits.

Help available for special dietary needs

Holiday cooking can be stressful, especially when the cook has to cope with special dietary needs. That was the case this Thanksgiving when one of our guests was gluten intolerant. As our company was arriving the day before Thanksgiving, the meal I had planned for that night included a rice dish made with beef broth. After checking labels in the major stores, I purchased a package of beef broth that did not include wheat gluten in its listed ingredients. Being on the careful side, I called the company when I got home to double check and sure enough, though not listed, the broth did contain gluten.

SV could limit age of manufactured homes

If you plan to move to Star Valley in a manufactured home or park model older than 20 years, you may find yourself shutout if the Star Valley council passes a proposed ordinance.

Lessons for the field of life — never give in

Congratulations, Longhorns.

It’s all about science

Feature Teacher

Dr. Minturn introduced me to the fascinating field of anthropology, and Tom Loges had the knack to make college algebra seem easy!

CSI Club perks students’ interest in science

The crime lab was littered with test tubes, and pieces of ransom notes lay on various tables. Investigators wore goggles as they slid the paper pieces into test tubes.

Generous contributions appreciated

This is the time of year when we all give thanks and count our blessings. Therefore, this letter is to thank all of those folks who have involved themselves in saving the tabs from aluminum drink cans for the Payson Womans Club.

What has happened to town’s concern for youth

For months, our town leaders have pushed hard to get support of their proposal to lease town property to the YMCA. Their main concern, they claimed, was the town’s youth. “It’s all about the children. They need a place to go and something to do to stay out of trouble. We owe it to them.”

False information being spread about water problem

In a recent letter to the editor, Sam Schwalm continues to make accusations and spread fear and false information to citizens in the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District. Contrary to Mr. Schwalm’s statement that I have been aggressively trying to silence any discussions, I wish to open the discussion further and to its broadest context so the citizens of our community may be well-informed with complete and factual information of all the events that have transpired.

Observation about the economy

The $700 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is all told, a drop in the liability bucket which comes close to $2.7 trillion.

Two local businesses pay it forward to Senior Thrift Store

Gene and Betty Neumann of Neumann Paint, 1006 N. Beeline Highway, provided a much-needed facelift to the Payson Senior Thrift Store by organizing an exterior paint project and furnishing all the paint.

What really happened to the Rainy Day Fund

Recently there has been much said about the town’s current financial problems.

Longhorns’ triumph leaves us breathless

Excuse us. We really are gonna write this. Just gotta catch our breaths.

Around Rim Country

Annual PHS Winter Concert is tonight

Payson High School’s Music Department will present its annual Winter Concert at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 2 in the high school auditorium on West Longhorn Road.

First Friday events add to holiday fun

The merchants and others along old Main in Payson are giving the holiday a boost with special events planned for the Dec. 5 First Friday Arts & Antiques Walk, which is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tease photo


Longhorns ‘all heart’ in thrilling come-from-behind victory over archrivals

The Payson Longhorns’ storybook season ended Saturday with a cliffhanger game, an impromptu parade and enough lessons in character and persistence to carry a community hungry for good news through the bleakest of times.

County attorney warns of mail and fax lottery scams

The Gila County Attorney’s office has issued a consumer warning for fraudulent lottery scams, the latest phishing scheme in the district.

The cavalry is coming

As of this writing, it appears that the federal government’s plan to buy mortgage-backed securities is beginning to have an effect on the mortgage markets and may result in a stimulation of home sales and refinancing.

Parents, fans, boosters did Payson proud

Rim Country parents, family members, fans and boosters did Payson proud at the 3A state championship football game in Flagstaff.

Lady Longhorns put 2-0 record on the line

The Lady Horns will put their unblemished 2-0 record on the line when they play host to the Fountain Hills Falcons at 7 p.m. tonight, Dec. 2, in Wilson Dome.

Horns now move to basketball court

Payson High School’s most accomplished basketball players will take to the court today, Dec. 2, without as much as a day’s practice.

Tease photo

Longhorns 3A State Champions

Longhorns rally from 20-point deficit to defeat Yellow Jackets

Like a heavyweight fighter who courageously picks himself off the mat and rallies to win the boxing title, the Longhorns erased a 20-0 first-half deficit to edge Blue Ridge 34-33 in double overtime for the 3A state championship