Stories for July 2008

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Thursday, July 31

John Armer sees four critical issues facing county

John Armer sees four critical issues to deal with as Gila County's sheriff.

Pine has 143 students on first day of school

Pine Strawberry Elementary School launched what is expected to be an exciting and rewarding new school year Monday, July 28.

Family held annual BBQ at old homestead

Tonto Village was a very busy place this past weekend. The Davis family put on their annual barbecue at the old homestead of Henry Haught on July 26.

Teens tube Christopher Creek

A couple of weeks ago, Christopher Creek was getting one of its afternoon monsoons.

It's not about the ‘Y,' it's about the park land

When Vickie Lucas moved to Payson two years ago from southeast Kansas, she never thought she would be organizing a petition to stop the construction of a YMCA gym and pool complex in Rumsey Park.

First day of school

New teachers find it challenging, exciting

Celina Mickle's first day of school passed in a flash.

$500,000 available for wildlife-focused projects

Arizona Game and Fish offers 2008 Heritage grants

PHOENIX -- Your child's school or a local park could be among those that benefit from next year's Arizona Game and Fish Department Heritage grants.

Trip to Alaska is something everyone should do

A year ago I was persuaded by longtime friend, Ted Pettet, to join a group of guys for a fishing trip to Alaska.

First-ever 3D archery shoot is Aug. 10

Retired law enforcement officer and avid archer Les Conner is hoping for a banner turnout at the Tonto Rim Sports Club's first-ever 3D archery shoot.

Preseason gets started for all PHS fall teams on Monday

Preseason practices for Payson High School volleyball and football players and cheerleaders begin at 3:30 p.m., Aug. 4.

Players help provide $1,350 to Gracie Haught foundation

The big winner in the Mazatzal Casino Home Run Derby was the Gracie Lee Haught Foundation.

Red, white scrimmage is Saturday

The hills will be alive with the excitement of a promising redbird season.

Longhorns elect team captains

Shane Keith,Tyler Savage, Ridge Halenar and David Carlen unanimously voted to lead team in 2008

There were no hanging, dimpled or pregnant chads when Longhorn football coaches counted ballots last week.

Augusta M. Dunlap

Augusta M. (Gussie) Dunlap, 93, died July 27, 2008.

Karen Sneed Fulton

Karen Sneed Fulton died July 30, 2008.

Cheryl Ann Kinney

Cheryl Ann Kinney (née Smith) of Payson, died July 16, 2008.

Willis Allen Deatherage

Willis Allen Deatherage lost his battle with cancer July 29, 2008.

Donald (Earl) Beck

Donald (Earl) Beck, 64, of Payson, died July 23, 2008.

Darrell Stubbs says a priority is to provide better service to residents

For more than 20 years Darrell Stubbs worked every corner of Gila County with the sheriff's department, from the jails, to the streets to the lakes. Now he wants to take that experience and apply it as the next sheriff of Gila County.

Tuesday, July 29

Earthquakes for Payson?

Planet Earth seems to be in revolt against its human occupiers, but we who live in Arizona's central highlands hardly give a thought to tornados, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Country western dancing has its own accent

When learning the two-step at the Rye Bar and Grill, if you happen to be the youngest in the room but seem to be the only one grasping to remember the series of steps patiently being spelled out by the two-step teacher before you, it might cross your mind that something about country western dancing keeps you young.

Children need calcium

An afternoon nap increases productivity

• Here's a factoid for all those wage slaves out there: Researchers conducting a comprehensive 25-year study found that more than 90 percent of workers see productivity increases when they take afternoon naps.

News Alert

Payson Regional Medical Center has had their phone system crash.

At the movies - More records fall to ‘Dark Knight'

Los Angeles -- "The Dark Knight" continues to obliterate box office records, crossing the $300 million mark in just 10 days.

At the movies - The Dark Knight

Fans thrilled by Ledger's performance

New York -- As Chris Finegan watched Heath Ledger's stunning portrayal of the Joker on Friday in "The Dark Knight," he couldn't help but think of another actor who wasn't on the screen: James Dean, who also died prematurely and tragically, nearly 53 years ago.

Are food prices starting to bug you?

Three cheers for chicken

When it comes to eating meat, Americans love chicken! Almost one-third of the nation's meat consumption is chicken. In fact, the estimated U.S. per capita consumption of chicken in 2007 was 90.6 pounds!

Artists share passion for perfectionism in work

August's Artists of the Rim First Friday features painter Donn Morris, scratchboard artist Angie Cockle, and photographer Glenn Smith.

Europe -- a Grade A vacation

It's hard to beat a vacation in the British Isles and Europe for an overall great vacation. You can trust the water, the food and things usually work.

Around town

Experts share options for arthritis victims

Victims of the many forms of arthritis have almost as many options for treatment as there are variations of the disease.

Star Valley council will be asked to delay plan review

The Star Valley General Plan Community Planning Team decided Monday night to recommend the council delay adopting the General Plan until an independent water survey is completed sometime next month.

Purchase of Brooke on Pine, Strawberry board agenda

The volatile issue of the impending purchase of the Pine and Strawberry Water Companies headlines the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board meeting agenda for this evening, July 29.

Town working on Green Valley Park lakes algae problem

If you fished or walked around Green Valley Park lakes recently you have probably noticed bright yellow and green algae clinging to the edges

The buses roll, the season turns -- slow and remember

Say it ain't so. Could it be over already?

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

AARP presents ‘We need to talk'

AARP will present "We Need to Talk," a 90-minute seminar on family conversations with older drivers, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1 at the Payson Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway.

Main Street is the place for Art and Antique Walk

Give boredom the boot, saddle up, grab your filly and mosey down to Main Street this Friday night from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to stirrup some excitement.

Art takes center stage at First Friday event

August's Artists of the Rim First Friday features painter Donn Morris, scratchboard artist Angie Cockle, and photographer Glenn Smith.

A foot sandwich?

Students' vacation time dwindling, school starts Wednesday

At Taylor Pool Monday afternoon, Rim Country students measured summer's dwindling hours in splashes.

YMCA critics to turn in 1,300 signatures

Citizens group upset about use of Payson park land for gym, pool complex hope to force a November election

A group of citizens has reportedly gathered 1,300 signatures on petitions calling for a special election to block the construction of a YMCA gym and pool complex on town-owned land in Rumsey Park.

Payson weighs actual cost of Star Valley deal

How much does a police department cost? And what should you charge to send an officer to someone's house?

Phyllis S. Day

Phyllis S. Day, of Albuquerque, N.M., died June 26, 2008.

Philden (Phil) Isom White

Philden Isom (Phil) White, 69, died July 25, 2008 at home in Star Valley.

Augusta M. Dunlap

Augusta M. (Gussie) Dunlap, 93, died July 27, 2008 in Payson.

Mildred Rosemary Stabnau

Mildred Rosemary Stabnau, 92, formerly of Tonto Basin, died July 9, 2008.

Carl Lee Brown

Carl Lee Brown died July 24, 2008.

Jury finds man guilty of possessing drugs

A Gila County jury found a 33-year-old man guilty of possession of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia July 17.

Former charter school administrator is sentenced

Former Star Valley Charter School administrator Russell Koch was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to a single count of possession of a dangerous drug.

Monday, July 28

Fishing report

Llama Daze

Aubriegh Brunschwig provides information about Bolivar during Llama Daze Saturday at Fossil Creek Llama Ranch in Strawberry.

Medal of Honor

Robert O'Malley, center, stands with two of his platoon members who served with him during the Vietnam War.

Senior Thrift Store Christmas sale

The Senior Thrift Store, 512 W. Main St., will have a Midsummer Christmas Sale July 28 through Aug. 2.

Schools food prices

Payson Unified School District has set the prices for meals in school cafeterias for the 2008-2009 school year.

No charges filed in drowning of puppies

A 57-year-old Star Valley man arrested in early June for drowning seven puppies will not face charges of animal cruelty.

Water release into East Verde good news for anglers

The upper reaches of the East Verde River have been dry for most of the spring and summer because repairs were being made on the water line from Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir to the pump station above the Washington Park subdivision.

Rim Country's 12-year-old all-star team loses to top teams

Verde Valley and Arrowhead, who met in state title game, end Payson's tourney bid

It took the two best teams in the Arizona State Little League tournament to sidetrack the Payson 12-year-old all-star team's aspirations of winning the town's first baseball title.

PHS wrestler learns top techniques at camps

If Ben Sandoval turns in a banner wrestling performance next season, he might point to a pair of nationally recognized training camps as the keys to his mat successes.

Town support for PHS team

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes more than a town to field a championship football team.

Second day charge earns Van Bowman the President's Club Champion title

John Calderwood probably departed Payson Golf Course July 23 believing he was the 2008 President's Cup champion.

Razzle dazzle play ends camp

A spirited razzle dazzle tournament wrapped up the Longhorn football camp held July 21 through July 25 on the Payson High School campus and Rumsey Park.

Enjoy the outdoors, visit Tonto Natural Bridge

From the safety of a fenced viewpoint atop Tonto Natural Bridge, the revelers down below looked tiny.

Lawsuits against SemGroup mounting

The stock market speculation that lost SemGroup L.P. at least $3.2 billion is not common, the Arizona Corporation Commission said Monday.

Friday, July 25

Harts and Horses helps youths and families through equine therapy

Johnna Kyle is excited she's now involved in the Harts and Horses program.

Celebrating 60 years

Jim and Marlene Hagen will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary July 31.

Splish-splash

Pauline Ramsay Marston

Pauline (Polly) Ramsay Marston died July 20, 2008.

SemStream files for bankruptcy

SEC, U.S. Attorney investigating oil speculation transactions, $3.2 billon loss

Oil speculation gone awry forced SemGroup, L.P., parent company of SemStream, to file bankruptcy Tuesday. Semstream provides propane to 9,000 customers in northern Gila County.

Making a difference

Police on patrol in Payson

For Payson Police Sergeant John Heflin being a police officer is more than nabbing the bad guy or making traffic stops, it is about making a difference in the community.

Star Valley general plan nearly ready for review

After almost two years of work by residents, council members and a planning agency a draft of the general plan for Star Valley is up for review.

District 1 supervisor candidates offer ideas

Forest fires are the single biggest threat to Gila County, said Gila County District 1 Supervisor Tommie Martin.

Rush of water washes over Christopher Creek area

Christopher Creek experienced flooding Monday, in what residents are saying is the worst in 40 years.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Go Green with Rotary Saturday

SemStream's filing shocks many people

A shockwave that started in Tulsa, Okla., rippled through the Rim Country and oil markets throughout the United States this week as SemStream, the sole provider of propane to homes here, filed for bankruptcy.

Smoke alarms need to be tested monthly

Good news. Bad news.

What we do, not what we say, shows who we are

All we knew about Herbie was that he lived somewhere near our school, he wasn't like us "regular" kids, and he owned a top.

Middle school student will attend leadership conference

It doesn't take a president to be a leader. Leaders descend on this earth as priests, teachers, veterinarians. But they start as students.

New vaccines available free to students

Before entering school, children 10 and 11 years old need new shots

The new state-required vaccines for 10- and 11-year-olds will be provided by the Gila County Health Department free of charge Tuesday and Wednesday.

Payson grows by 370 residents, Star Valley by 5 last year

In just a year, more than 370 people decided to call Payson home, continuing the trend of population increases since the 2000 census, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau in early July.

Organizations provide needed items for students

Children, by definition, are unable to provide for themselves.

Charmaine Irene Rozboril

Charmaine Irene Rozboril, of Payson, died July 2008.

Tristan James Maxwell

Tristan James Maxwell, born May 18, 2008, died July 20, 2008.

Camp gives players chance to test skills, learn new methods

Five teams take part in preseason football camp

A Longhorn football team expected to challenge for East region and 3A state honors wrapped up a five-day preseason football camp at noon today, July 25, at Payson High School and Rumsey Park.

Carolyn Fruth second in Half Ironman event

Carolyn Fruth's first attempt at the 24th Annual Mountain Man Triathlon turned into a banner showing she'll probably proudly share with her two daughters.

One-day soccer camp is July 28

The former Longhorn soccer coach who led the school to the 2002 1A-3A state championship has returned to help aspiring young players.

Give us your name, we are glad to listen

In my more than two decades of sports reporting at the Payson Roundup I have received hundreds of anonymous complaints, tips and queries.

Thursday, July 24

Think green, books can help

Think green -- organic, these are huge buzz words today. What do they mean? Is it important?

Hospital's Web site can provide answers to health questions

Payson Regional Medical Center expands Web site offerings

Rim Country residents with health questions and concerns can save some time and gas with a quick trip into cyberspace.

Pine library's reading program helping children

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library's innovative summer reading program, "Catch the Reading Bug," wrapped up Friday, July 18 with rewards and lunch at the "Creepy Crawly Bug Café."

Trash left in national forest greater than previous year

This year the trash left by our visitors (campers) to our area is much worse than last year.

Storm causes creek to overflow, knocks down trees

Monday night's storm brought a lot of rain in a short period of time.

Classic car group hand out $22,000 to community groups

One lucky scholarship winner and 21 community organizations received a grand each Wednesday from the Rim Country Classic Auto Club.

Protect pets from monsoon terror

Just imagine, you're out in the yard. Everyone else has left for work and you're home alone. It's been terribly hot and muggy all day, and you really just want a cool place to "chill."

Farmers rewards East Verde for being firewise

On July 5 Farmers Insurance Group, represented by agent, Steve Evans, presented Firewise East Verde Park, Inc. a $500 check as recognition of Evans' civic involvement in the firewise organization.

‘Bad times' to invest can yield good results

Is there ever a "bad time" to invest? A lot of people have thought so, for one reason or another ---- but they've usually been proved wrong.

Two-steppin' to Rye beat

When learning the two-step at the Rye Bar and Grill, if you happen to be the youngest in the room but seem to be the only one grasping to remember the series of steps patiently being spelled out by the two-step teacher before you, it might cross your mind that something about country western dancing keeps you young.

Wednesday, July 23

Looking back at Rim Country gardening

Our second "spring" is here, as the monsoon rains have spurred on gardens throughout Rim Country

At the movies - Mamma mia

Take a chance on this movie

I don't know if it is because Meryl Streep has so many fans, or ABBA does, or maybe it's musicals

At the movies

Mamma mia - A ray of sunshine after the dark knight

The scene opens on the chilling hours just before dawn, zeroing in on the deserted streets of the world's most evil city.

To your good health

Asthma can strike at any age

Strange but true

The dirtiest desks

Studies conducted in office environments show that women's desks have, on average, four times more germs than men's desks do

Criminals need to communicate

The following item, verbatim and reprinted in its entirety, comes from the Skagway (Alaska) News police blotter:

around town

Listening to inspiration's whisper

The search for an appropriate medium left artist Angie Cockle with little choice.

Simply superb - Delicious dinners made easy

Students return to most Rim Country schools Wednesday, July 30. Now is the time to start adjusting schedules, meal times and menus

Building boxes for back-to-school

Children, by definition, are unable to provide for themselves

Tuesday, July 22

Mountain rain showers can prompt good trout fishing

Trout fishing in the high country during summer can enter the daytime doldrums, but monsoon-generated rain showers can radically alter the equation.

Payson Wells Fargo has new manager

Wells Fargo today announced that Tania Rush has been named manager for its Payson community banking store at 115 E. Highway 260.

What housing c.....?

Dennis Kneale of CNBC made some brilliant comments regarding the housing (and I regret to use the following word) "crisis."

Trio of East region seniors on top 50 list

Payson's Matt Wilson is ranked at 42

A trio of East region seniors have been named to the prestigious "Top 50 Football Players for 2008" compiled by azcentral.com.

Pioneer golf tourney will benefit kids

The 12th annual Pioneer Title Golf Tournament will, for the second successive year, benefit Payson Community Kids.

Rally gives all-stars 7-5 victory

The thrill of victory that had escaped the Payson Little League 12-year-old all-stars in the first two games of the state tournament was finally celebrated July 19 with a 7-5 win over Bullhead City.

Lady Horns come close to winning tournament

Lady Longhorn volleyball coach Arnold Stonebrink leaves little doubt that a recent appearance in the Florence Summer Invitational Tournament was the stuff great coaching memories are made.

Five Arizona high schools attend football camp

Kingman, Tucson Sahuaro, Glendale Cortez, Ganando, Payson at Wilson Dome for week-long camp

The smell of pigskin permeated the Rim Country air yesterday, July 21, as football teams representing five Arizona High Schools showed up at Wilson Dome to kick off week-long preseason camps.

Consider fostering a pet

Hundreds of lives are saved each year as a result of pet fostering.

Tristan James Maxwell

He died July 22, 2008.

Miles Monty Comstock

Miles Monty Comstock died July 11, 2008.

Robert S. Brewer

Robert S. Brewer died July 10, 2008.

Star Valley double chip seals several streets

Almost two miles of Star Valley roads were double chipped sealed in late June.

County gets $125,000 forest fire suppression grant

A $125,000 match has been lit under Gila County's efforts to fight fires.

Payson offers free classes for community leaders, volunteers

Payson hopes that at least 25 residents will sign up for its free, fifth annual Leadership Academy, where many community leaders have made contacts and learned how town government works.

32 illegals found, 16 released: not enough van room

Police discover two trucks full of immigrants, ICS can't transport all of them

For 16 illegal immigrants found squashed in a truck Wednesday, it was their lucky day when federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials let them go. Two vehicles holding a total of 32 illegal immigrants were stopped in Payson July 16. When immigration officials arrived at the Gila County Jail to pick them up, they could only take 16 in the two vans they brought. The rest were set free.

Help for aging drivers and their loved ones

This month AAA Arizona released a report, "AAA warns of dangers facing aging drivers" -- an issue which will be discussed in a program at the Payson Regional Medical Center's Senior Circle from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

Turnout was great

New leash law protects everyone

We are dog lovers from top to bottom and the new, tougher leash law for dogs is needed.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Poster contest deadline Friday

Dog lover protests tougher town leash law

Animal control law focuses on ‘dangerous' dogs and ties off loophole defining when a pet is ‘under immediate control'

The Payson Town Council overrode pleas from at least one dog owner and adopted a leash law with no loopholes for even the best-trained pooches.

Payson's economy feeling the pinch of reduced spending

The Rim Country's rapid growth rate during the past several years came to an abrupt end in December 2007 and continued to decline the first five months of 2008 as sales tax revenue dipped into the negatives.

Jell-O fight -- a jiggly delight

What is better than a food fight?

Sure, it's an ugly sign: But is it a crime?

Payson Planning Commission debates whether to add the threat of criminal prosecution to building code

The question before the Payson Planning Commission seemed simple enough: Should town staff issue on-the-spot citations when faced with ugly signs, hacked down pine trees and strange paint jobs? And if some hard case homeowner just won't listen -- is that a crime?

County faces tight budget, no raises

Rain clouds let loose on Gila County supervisors as they passed their survival mode tentative budget of $91 million, buffered by $800,000 in rainy day funds, and a possible $5 million loan.

Monday, July 21

Women arrested on drug charges after supicious activity reported

Two women were arrested Wednesday night, July 16, in a Star Valley RV Park on drug-related charges after a watchful manager notified police of suspicious activity.

Friday, July 18

PHS senior earns state rodeo first attendant honor

Not just anyone can win the title of Miss Arizona High School Rodeo First Attendant Queen.

Town accepts rebuff for illegal meeting

Councilors mingle apology with indignation in reacting to Attorney General's finding the council lunch fete violated law

Expressing both apology and indignation, Payson town councilors accepted a public wrist slap by the Arizona Attorney General's Office for violating the state's open meeting law.

Neighborhood anti-crime block party planned

Payson police, other agencies will help organize events to encourage neighbors to look out for one another

How well do you know your neighbor? Can she trust you to keep a wary eye for threats or suspicious acts in your neighborhood?

Man found dead of natural causes at veterans' home

The body of a 57-year-old man was found Saturday at the Ponderosa Manor Veterans Helping Veterans facility.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Meet Medal of Honor recipient

Invading thistle plagues horses, hikers

They're coming. They're everywhere. They're pretty from a distance -- but up close they're very, very pointy.

Vietnam war leaves haunting memories

Three weeks ago, a bell was going off in my head as I wrote about a friend I made during reenlistee basic training.

Ode to a flatlander

PUSD budget: The rest of the story

The recent editorial referencing and challenging the Payson Unified School District's 08-09 budget adoption provided readers with a justifiable perspective based on some selected figures and derivations.

Two good officers should not be called names

Mr. Gnader, a tired 83-year-old man who we all knew was just a little off his rocker, committed one of the most heinous crimes in the history of our nice little town. It seems that Mr. Gnader was a full-blown schizophrenic who suffered from severe bouts of paranoia and depression.

Councilors still making excuses for illegal session

Disciplining teenagers is frustrating.

School lunches will cost students 25 cents extra

School lunches in the Payson Unified School District will increase by 25 cents this school year, reflecting rising costs and an ongoing food service deficit that plagues the district.

Water district report bleak

Consultant: Pine, Strawberry facilities decaying, losing money

The infrastructure of both the Pine and Strawberry Water Companies are in disrepair and while one company barely broke even in 2007 the other lost $150,000, a consultant hired to advise the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District reported at a crowded meeting Thursday, July 17.

Payson man inducted into wall of fame

Frank Andruski still holds several records for the Calgary Stampeders in Canadian Football League

Take one glance at 64-year-old Frank Andruski and its obvious by his size and stature he probably once starred in athletics.

Mary Elizabeth Hedlund

Mary Elizabeth Hedlund, formerly of Payson, died June 6, 2008.

Learn about llamas at free event at Fossil Creek Ranch

Think llamas are insulated from economic fluctuations? Think again.

Big Brothers Big Sisters bowl-a-thon is Aug. 10

Teams needed to go bowling

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) hopes to raise money to mentor kids at a bowling marathon that will mix fund-raising with a good time -- for participants and spectators alike.

Landslide work continues on Hwy. 87, road narrowed to one southbound lane

A landslide that damaged Highway 87 four months ago and caused numerous road closures due to repairs has created another closure this week.

Payson tax rate reduced, town budget approved

Council budget trims spending by 8 percent

The Payson Council Thursday adopted a bare-bones budget for the upcoming fiscal year that cut spending by about 8 percent and reduced the town's property tax rate.

Overheating truck transmissions cause two vehicle fires

Making it up the steep mountain grades in Rim Country is hard on any vehicle.

Students provide defibrillator to Payson Senior Center

Rim Country members of the Health Occupation Students of America made a big contribution to the Payson Senior Center this week.

YMCA vote expected this fall

Petition likely to force referendum

The Payson Town Council Thursday night cleared the way for a November election on whether the town should partner with the YMCA to build a year-round gym and pool complex.

Thursday, July 17

Time to start getting in shape for upcoming hunts

It's mid-July and the fall hunting seasons are still a couple of months away.

Fire danger reduced by cooler temperatures, rains

There is not a lot going on in Christopher Creek, except for all the rain.

Pine-Strawberry Medical Clinic hosts summit

The board of directors of the Pine-Strawberry Medical Clinic will hold their annual meeting at 10 a.m., July 19 in the Pine Fire Department board room.

Rain greens up Village nicely

How about that rain this week?

Weed-eating ‘Little Marines' to storm Green Valley lakes

15 two-pound fish trucked in from Arkansas will help control weeds

Brace yourself: The Marines have come to Payson.

Biker's goal is to build a better culture for riders

Nine months ago Mick Wolf brought to Payson its only bike shop.

Woodcarver's work high in detail, ideas come from his surroundings

Woodcarver Forrest Wellington likes a challenge.

Payson has a rock star

Rock collectors meet monthly at Payson Public Library

But for every pebble, every rock in the lines that comprise his front yard's rock garden, he can tell you its name and where he found it.

Sculptor will take part in Colorado show

Don Harmon of Payson, will be featured in the 17th annual Loveland Sculpture Invitational Show and Sale, the largest outdoor sculpture show in the world, on Aug. 8, 9 and 10 in Loveland, Colo.

When investing, buy what you know

As an investor, you may, at times, feel overwhelmed when considering the vast universe of stocks. With so many companies out there, how can you know which ones to buy?

Soccer camp will emphasize superior ball handling, tactics

Only weeks after visiting British professional players hosted a youth soccer camp in Payson, another international star arrives for a skills camp.

Alastair Morrison had the fast time at Huffin' and Puffin'

Averaging a mile every six minutes, Alastair Morrison ran his way to the championship of the inaugural Huffin' & Puffin' in the Pines race held July 12 on Payson streets.

PHS alumni, Lady Horns to square off

A new tradition linking the town, fans and the Lady Longhorn volleyball team could be just over the horizon.

Former Horns get hitched on 75-foot yacht

The 75-foot yacht churning through the scenic Newport Beach, Calif. harbor on the evening of July 12 was buoyed by a distinctive Rim Country flair.

Tuesday, July 15

Roundabout bound

When, after years of work, an 800-pound, life-size bronze elk graces the roundabout that marks Payson's northern entrance, Jim (J.R.) Keller will be one happy man.

Fine dining by the campfire

Imagine waking to the sound of birds singing just outside the tent.

A stroll among the pioneer graves - Chapter 17

We conclude our look at the stories of pioneers who are buried in Rim Country graves by returning to our place of beginning, the Payson Pioneer Cemetery.

Bringing bridge back

Manager hopes to restore Natural Bridge lodge

From the safety of a fenced viewpoint atop Tonto Natural Bridge, the revelers down below looked tiny. The travertine bridge dwarfed them.

Fasten your seatbelts

Good morning. This is your column captain speaking.

COPD is a leading cause of death

ADOT continues construction on State Route 87

Includes short term closure on southbound 87, good news for the new interchange

As the Arizona Department of Transportation continues repair work on the slope that caused a landslide in March, crews will need to close one lane on State Route (SR) 87 in the construction zone.

Barrel racing canceled tonight

The Payson Parks and Recreation Department's barrel racing event scheduled for tonight, July 16, has been canceled due to muddy conditions at the Payson Event Center.

Thoughts on an ant hill

I frequently walk my dog in a wooded area near my home.

Home sales off by a third

May sales bring seasonal bump, Payson better than rest of region

Home sales in Rim Country declined by one-third from last year's figures during the first five months of 2008, according to information compiled by the Central Arizona Board of Realtors.

Tease photo

Rain soothes firefighters' worries

Despite weekend storms bearing lighting, forest firefighters reported not a single blaze in the Payson Ranger District over the weekend -- thanks to the onset of one of the best, early monsoon seasons in years.

Commission approves downtown animal shelter

Despite concerns about barking dogs, crushing cans, Humane Society's 61-kennel facility on McLane wins use permit

A jubilant band of Humane Society dog lovers won planning commission approval for a new 17,487-square-foot, 61-kennel facility on McLane Road, just off the Main Street commercial and tourist district.

School board adopts $19 million budget

The $19 million school budget the Payson Unified School District Board passed Monday night featured cutbacks and some expansions, many of which, canceled each other out.

Lots of puffin'

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Wine tastings to help raise funds

Another cat killing

Police get new tools to deal with problem dogs

Town rework ordinance with options for ‘vicious dogs'

Payson police now have a lot more options when it comes to dealing with scary dogs.

Accidents back up Beeline Highway for three hours

Four accidents within miles of each other caused multiple backups and headaches for weekend travelers along Highway 87 Sunday afternoon.

Weekend storm causes Star Valley creek to flood, roads closed

A Star Valley creek flooded Sunday night causing multiple roads to be closed.

A mother's worst nightmare ...

... is realizing your child is hooked on drugs, or in this case, meth.

Remembering when porches were platforms for forging friendship and a community

What ever happened to front - or for that matter, back porches?

Gallery has six artists paint chairs to benefit Pine library

Six artists from Myra's Art Gallery in Pine have painted chairs for the Chair-ish Auction, which Take Pride is hosting to benefit the Pine library.

County superintendent proud of record

This year's race for county school superintendent pits incumbent Linda O'Dell against Debra Tapia-Blair, once-principal of Globe Education Center and once an employee of O'Dell's.

Design review board updates guidelines for Payson

"I'm frustrated. It's been a year, and we've got 10 pages" worth of guidelines on how Payson ought to look, said Jeanie Langham, member of Design Review Board (DRB), at the July 8 meeting.

School starts July 30

School starts on July 30. New students will need their birth certificate, immunization record, and proof of residence to register. A utility bill or rental agreement will suffice for proof of residence.

Improved court procedures earns Superior Court honors

Going to trial is never a fun process for anyone, let alone a child.

Rare Rim Country snake spurs lawsuits

Threatened lawsuits, bad publicity and new policies have prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider whether it should list as endangered a rare Rim Country snake that hunts fish in Tonto Creek and the Verde River

Marriage professor offers information for living

For Bob Mayer, PhD., marriage includes "the joy, the dance and the silence."

Learning to clean the water of the world can lead to a good job

The quality of water concerns everyone around the globe.

No residents come forward as planners ponder fence limits

Proposal limits fence heights to four feet when facing streets and restricts colors

If a fence ordinance falls over in a public hearing and no one hears it -- did it make a sound?

Parks officials struggle with budget cuts

Recreation board and town council meet on a sunny afternoon to

Four members of the town council met with Payson's Parks and Recreation Board on a perfect summer Wednesday in a Rumsey Park ramada to talk about bad communication and worse budgets.

Is it football season yet?

Cardinals open camp July 25

Hoping to score a much-needed fix following a summer of withdrawal, football junkies annually make the pilgrimage to Flagstaff where their gridiron addictions can be soothed on the sidelines of an Arizona Cardinals' practice.

Huffin' and Puffin'

Softball all-stars finish 2-2

The Payson Softball All-Stars looked like they were going to tear up the field against Blue Ridge when they closed the first inning with a 7-0 score.

Medallion tourney plan starts at Payson course

Action in one of the Payson Women's Golf Association's most prestigious tournaments teed off July 8 at Payson Golf Course.

Team of Greenshield, Shedd, Kelley, Bowman win PMGA Tourney

Those unversed in the finer points of links play might not know what a "six-six-six" formatted tournament is.

Payson motocross on Fox July 16

For those who missed the first two television broadcasts of the Summer Gold Motocross races held June 28 and July 5 at Payson Event Center, they will air again on Fox Sports Net on July 16 (12:30 p.m.) and July 19 (noon).

Gila County Sheriff Armer promotes two detention lieutenants

Two detention sergeants have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the Gila County Detention Centers.

Sophia Grace Gilbert

Pre- and post-possession concerns

The closing date of a property does not always fall on the most convenient date for the buyer or seller.

Opening celebration

Monday, July 14

Payson Weather Report

Weather courtesy of Bruce Rasch, Astro Computer Services

Sunday, July 13

Burning of debris to put up large volume of smoke

Payson Ranger District fire personnel in conjunction with the Regional Payson Area Project (RPAP) will begin burning about 500 tons of vegetative debris in the Blatner brush disposal pit as early as 7 a.m. on Monday, July 14, if weather conditions permit.

Friday, July 11

When you're cutting the school budget, try talking to the kids

This is beyond a doubt a tough budget year for the city, the county, and the state. A very tough one. Which means it's going to be a tough budget year for our schools.

Rim Country businesses struggle to find workers

Employers fault training, attitude and experience while most workers say they need more money, health benefits

Rim Country businesses say they can't find enough skilled workers, while the region's struggling workforce says they are mostly looking for work that pays a living wage and provides health benefits.

Pine stays open late to Shop Hop

On a normal Saturday night in Pine, there is not much going on. With stores and businesses closing around 6 p.m., the streets are left desolate.

Critics of YMCA plan push for a public vote

The Payson Town Council hasn't yet signed on the YMCA's dotted line, but a hastily formed citizen's group is already gathering signatures to force a town-wide vote on the plan to build a $5.6 million pool, health center and gym complex on town-owned land.

Jazz duo entertains at church hall on Sunday

The Payson Friends of Jazz and the Community Presbyterian Church present Mike Crotty and Deater O'Neill in concert at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 13.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Hear jazz music this weekend

Wine tastings will raise funds for new animal shelter

The Payson Humane Society (PHS) thinks so, and has scheduled a series of wine tasting fund-raisers called "Wines of the World" to address another great need in the Rim Country -- a new animal shelter to replace the current facility, an old house with critical plumbing and electrical issues.

Family searches for dog after tragic crash

After the tragic death of wife and mother, Lisa Goff, the family is asking for the public's help in finding their dog, Layla.

Workers confident, but bosses dubious

Survey shows workers rate themselves more highly than do their bosses on everything

The average Payson worker is 47, makes about $29,000, is thinking about changing jobs, attended at least some college, has no health or retirement benefits -- and thinks they have strong job skills.

Taking a bite out of crime

What is the reward for a K-9 dog that works tirelessly, seven days a week, with no pay or complaints?

Towns lose road dollars

State takes back $171,000 from Payson, $24,000 from Star Valley

The deficit-plagued state government will cut money promised to Payson for street maintenance by at least $171,000 in the upcoming fiscal year, prompting the town to eliminate much of its routine street maintenance in the next 12 months, said Town Engineer LaRon Garrett.

Thursday, July 10

New director brings extensive experience to medical center

Kerry Cassens brings extensive experience to Payson Regional Medical Center as its director of infection control and employee health.

Fun outdoor projects for young at heart

The Fourth of July inspired me to create a fun, patriotic garden centerpiece for my patio table. This project was so simple, my 2-year-old even helped with the painting and assembly.

Quest for the perfect fishing hole

Crafty reporter braves bruised shins, gathering thunder and the rude laughter of the trout

I stand stalwart with my fly rod in the mighty East Verde, entertaining the hatchery trout to the best of my haphazard abilities.

Caught between two anglers

Sometimes I feel like the cream in an Oreo cookie

Investors need know what to expect from bonds

When the stock market is going through rough times, many investors "rediscover" bonds.

Dog training as simple as 1-2-3!

Teaching your dogs simple commands is as easy as putting on your shoes each day.

Store will keep you gazing in all directions

This past week I had the opportunity to stop at the Bass Pro Shop in Mesa having no real purpose or agenda other than browsing the big-game mounts and to look at the fish in the aquarium.

Olympic development center helps PHS student cyclist

For one full week, Daniel Conley lived the life he's always dreamed of.

9-10-year-old all-stars state dreams wiped out in loss

The Payson 9-10-year-old all-star team's dream of advancing to the Little League state tournament was wiped away with an 11-1 loss to Flagstaff Continental.

Donations help pay for domestic violence shelter

Tough economic times have inflicted a 16 percent decline in donated items this year to Time Out, the thrift shop that supports the area's only full-service shelter for domestic violence victims and their children.

Pine firefighters not seeking donations

Pine-Strawberry Fire Department officials are warning residents that anyone seeking donations via phone calls is not doing so on behalf of the department.

Mailey Joan Anderson

Braylon John Keith

Nevaeh Reign Miller

Emrey Elaine Walker

Max Leroy Dragt

Max Leroy Dragt, 76, died July 7, 2008.

Charles Vincent Giacinto

Charles Vincent Giacinto, 88, of Payson, died July 7, 2008

Boyd Leighton "Gil" Gillilan

Boyd Leighton "Gil" Gillilan died June 29, 2008 in Payson

Mabel E. Hart

Mabel E. Hart died July 3, 2008 in Payson.

Donald Lee Otteson

Donald Lee Otteson, 60, died July 2, 2008.

Maniya Lynn Schrank

Coy A. "Wes" Western

Coy A. "Wes" Western, 84, of Pine, died July 7, 2008.

End of an era

ASU ends 48 years of training at Camp Tontozona

College football is highlighted by great traditions that give it a unique identity different from all other sports.

Learning from the best

A week-long, intensive baseball camp wraps up today, July 11, for the 14 fledgling players participating in the Arizona Diamondbacks Training Center.

12-year-old all-star team advances to state tournament

The Payson 12-year-old all-stars are advancing to the Arizona State Little League tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

Couple celebrates 39th anniversary

Dewey and Bianca Malmin celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary Sunday, July 6 at the Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship Chur

Fire restrictions lifted

Good news for the campers among us! The fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest have been lifted as of Wednesday, July 9.

Chair-ish Auction benefits Pine library

A huge turnout for the Chair-ish Auction would be a strapping show of support for the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library and its mission to supply our residents with access to intellectual, cultural and recreational resources.

At-risk students get new chance

County will operate schools

A bamboozling could lead to an educational revolution at two Gila County alternative schools

Tuesday, July 8

Movie review: WALL-E

One of best animated films in awhile

According to this animated film, the last man on Earth is not a man at all, but a pint-size, tin can of a robot named WALL-E. The name, by the way is an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class. WALL-E is a beat up, rusty workhorse left behind by humans who have abandoned the planet to its mountains of garbage and environmental ruin.

Fun in the sun includes cooking and hiking

COVER STORY

For outdoor enthusiasts starving for exploration, the Payson Parks and Recreation Department has cooked quite the feast.

Best rail journeys

TRAVEL TALK

One of my favorite methods of travel today is by rail. No airport hassles and a great way to see the country in a relaxed and comfortable style. Amtrak has not done the best job of maintaining the fine standards that once were in the United States for several reasons, mainly budget, but there are still fine rail trips available.

Artist tells tales with multiple tools

PAYSON ARTS

Woodcarver Forrest Wellington likes a challenge. Perhaps an extension of his love of action -- he named movement a "responsible pose" -- action is required to mount a challenge.

New book gives deeper view of Zane Grey

RIM COUNTRY HISTORY

Believe it or not, my book related to Zane Grey is not the only new one on the market. Candace Kant, who did a brilliant job with "Zane Grey's Arizona" in the early 1980s, has just released another book about him. It's entitled "Dolly & Zane Grey, Letters from a Marriage." I got the book recently and made a very quick read of it. For anyone looking to get a more in-depth feel of Zane Grey's life, this is a great book.

Friends of Jazz host noted duo

The Payson Friends of Jazz and the Community Presbyterian Church present Mike Crotty and Deater O'Neill in concert at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 13.

Monday, July 7

Kelly O'Neill, Anita Derowski earn state tourney berths

While the Lady Niners were waging links war to determined State Medallion Tournament qualifiers, the Payson Men's Golf Association was shooting it out in a two-round, two-man, best ball tournament.

Pine water district offers $2.17 million for water system

Critic declares ‘Water Independence Day' at start of potentially long legal process

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District on July 3 offered Brooke Utilities $2.17 million for the companies serving the two communities and the Magnolia pipeline connecting them.

Town's July 4th activities could not be dampened

A little monsoon rain did not keep families, tourists or business owners from enjoying the Fourth of July holiday festivities. "We're a tough town," said longtime Payson resident Katherine "KK" Bennett. "We can handle a little rain."

Rash of thunderstorms spark 50 wildfires

A thunderstorm crackling with lightning hurled itself at thin-stretched fire crews over the holiday weekend, but despite nearly 50 small fires sparked by lighting strikes, Forest Service crews and the storms itself snuffed them all out quickly.

Crashes claim three lives over the weekend

Excessive speed and big trees produced twin tragedies during the holiday weekend, resulting in the deaths of two drivers.

Car fire backs up Beeline for 18 miles Sunday

While everyone else was enjoying the holiday weekend, emergency personnel were busy putting out a car fire, repairing a downed power line and investigating reports of a stolen boat and car.

Community Almanac

The Gypsy Juke Rockers will perform rock, blues and R&B music at the next Concert Under the Stars to be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 12 at the Green Valley Park Amphitheater.

Pine, Strawberry water buyout -- part declaration, part family feud

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District has made it official: The district will offer water magnate Robert Hardcastle $2.17 million for the water facilities that two struggling communities so desperately need.

Thanks for everything

A heartfelt thank you to my friends, neighbors and co-workers for the flowers, cards, meals and prayers.

Government should not be in the goods and service market

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District has been collecting a so-called "water utility tax" through our property taxes for years now.

Prior letter needs to be clarified

A letter to the editor on June 20 from Robert (Bob) Edwards was erroneous and needs to be corrected. The letter from former mayor Bob Edwards starts out by identifying me as a "frustrated teacher/mentor whose pupil did not meet the criteria for CFO as judged by a panel of experts ... years." His comments were very offensive to me. I was not and am not a "frustrated" teacher/mentor."

Committee chair selection is council's choice

Council debates whether to select, elect, reject or ratify committee chairs

A word change in a town ordinance regulating how committee chairmen are selected or elected or nominated or rejected or ratified spurred some spirited debate among town council members last Wednesday.

Free urban mountain bike ride offered by recreation department

The Payson Parks and Recreation department is offering a free urban mountain bike ride through areas of Payson which encompass sections of the Payson Area Trails System (PATS), including paved areas for a less-challenging ride.

Arthritis can make simple things painful

SENIOR MOMENTS

The Senior Circle is teaming up with the Arthritis Foundation to present the Arthritis Foundation Live and Learn program this summer.

Star Valley moves forward with condemnation suit

With any luck, Star Valley will get a court date within the next month to advance its bid to buy the local water company.

Homeowners' protests prompt trail shift

Payson planners shift bike, hiking route from Sherwood to Airport after residents complain about loss of parking

Who says you can't fight city hall? Especially when the bureaucrats in question listen politely, thank you for your input -- and change their minds?

Payson will likely get funding for school resource officers

School resource officers in Payson will live to see another day.

New partnership will allow nurses to get training in county

A new partnership between the Gila County Health Department and Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Healthcare will allow nurses to train in Gila County.

Hailstorm rattles Pine

The rest of Rim Country may be waiting for the onset of the monsoons, but an onslaught of hail and a rain deluge, which in some places briefly came down at a rate of 13 inches an hour, convinced some Pine and Strawberry residents the monsoons had arrived over the weekend.

Richard Wayne Monty

Richard Wayne Monty died June 10, 2008. He was born Oct. 2, 1915.

Keith Bernard La Forge

Keith Bernard La Forge, 74, died July 2, 2008 in Payson. He was born April 5, 1934 in San Benito, Texas.

Robert "Bobby" Lee John La Forge

Robert "Bobby" Lee John La Forge, 76, died June 24, 2008 in Payson. He was born May 13, 1932 in Cameron County, Texas.

All-stars need big win to earn state berth

A fourth consecutive trip to the Little League Arizona State Championships could be just over the horizon for the Payson 12-year-old all-star team.

Few aspiring players signing up for D'backs

It wasn't the turnout Arizona Diamondbacks brass were hoping for, but 14 aspiring players showed up yesterday, July 7, at Rumsey Park for the annual Training Center summer camp.

Support needed for all-star team in Flagstaff

If the Payson Little League 12-year-old all-stars qualify for the upcoming state tournament, manager Brent Cannon is hoping for a strong turnout of fan support for games in Flagstaff.

130 motocross racers turn out

The highlight of the 2008 Summer Gold motocross races might have been the July 4 practice rounds that led up to the finals held the following day.

Sheriff's office donates boat to Coast Guard auxiliary

For the past several years the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary has used Roosevelt Lake as a base of training and operations for several Flotillas stationed around Arizona.

Middle school teacher attends financial literacy training

The University of Arizona Family Economics and Financial Education project (FEFE) conducted its 7th annual summer educators training June 16-19, in Tucson. The training was sponsored through a grant from Take Charge America, Inc., a debt counseling and consolidation nonprofit organization.

New complex will house various medical services

Payson residents looking for medical services will no longer have to make the grueling drive to the Valley after the Payson Professional Building opens up later this year.

Good news about real estate

REAL ESTATE

The other day, while taking notice of The Arizona Republic, it was apparent that good news hardly exists anymore. There were countless articles on the negative aspects of oil, Iraq, government, and of course, real estate. In fact, there was an article on how Winslow lost their local paper because the paper only featured bad news. So ... this is a real estate column. Is there good news about real estate?

Holiday fun

Ken Hogan tosses a horseshoe across the playing field hoping to score another point during the horseshoe tournament at the East Verde Fest, Saturday, July 5.

Thursday, July 3

Water Board Meeting

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board voted unanimously at a hastily called July 3 special meeting to offer to purchase the two town's private water systems, now owned Brooke Utilities, for $2.17 million.

Enjoy the Fourth of July; Remember to fly the flag

Happy Fourth of July. No matter what your plans, I hope everyone has a safe and fun day on our country's birthday. Remember to fly your country's flag and show your patriotism.

Spiders and centipedes and bugs, oh my

The Northern Arizona University Traveling Arthropod show, hosted by entomologist, Robert Delph, also known as the "bug man," entertained and educated a room full of wide-eyed youngsters and oldsters June 27 at the Pine library activity room.

Christopher Creek melodrama a big success

The seventh annual Christopher Creek melodrama was a total success as always.

Discovering Rim Country history

Historical society will show off restored ranger station July 5

Lines of time keep creasing, but the Rim Country Museum cares not to apply age-defying lotion.

Declare your financial Independence Day

On this Fourth of July, you may be thinking of where you'll be attending a picnic, watching fireworks or engaging in other activities that accompany the holiday.

Deadline nearing to take part in youth football league play

Aspiring football players have just two opportunities remaining to register for play in the Central Arizona Youth Football Association.

With freedom comes responsibility to make country better

This is the 4th of July weekend, when Americans remember our independence and the birth of our great country.

Popular Hoyer campground near Greer is opened

Collaborative efforts among Greer residents, the concession company Recreation Resource Management of America (RRMA) and the Forest Service resulted in Hoyer Campground opening this summer, in spite of problems with the wastewater treatment infrastructure.

Motocross events get TV airing

The motocross action that heats up the Payson Event Center tomorrow, July 5, and the races that took place June 28, will soon be aired on the Fox Sports Network.

OK, big sluggers, get ready for home run derby

Mother Nature seemingly always unleashes a curve at those sluggers hoping to punch a bundle of round-trip tickets in the annual home run derby.

Payson martial arts students finish in top three at state

The thrill of the right technique at the right moment and the rush of a good contest drew 13 Payson martial arts students to the Arizona Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu state championships.

Two teams advance to district

9-10, 12-year-old teams earn Area 1 titles, will play in district games

A pair of Payson Little League all-star teams is advancing to district tournaments with hopes of eventually reaching the prestigious state showdown.

Council OKs key provisions of YMCA deal

A cash-strapped Payson Town Council brought years of talks to a climax Wednesday when it agreed in principle to lease five acres and Taylor Pool to the YMCA, which has agreed to raise $5.6-million to build a gym, fitness center and year-round pool.

Accident claims one life, four others hurt

A 38-year-old Prescott Valley woman died Wednesday afternoon in a collision involving two sport utility vehicles on Highway 87, just north of Payson.

AIMS test could be eliminated next year

The controversial test Arizona students must pass to graduate high school could drop out in the next year.

$4,950 check was too good to be true

If it sounds to good to be true ... it probably is.

Fireworks, block party will draw thousands

Thousands of visitors should flood into Rim Country communities in the course of the July 4 weekend, drawn by mountain air, a Main Street block party and a Green Valley Park fireworks display, as Payson takes a more aggressive approach to marketing the region.

Star Valley camera catches state rep

When State Representative Ray Barnes drove through Star Valley on May 3, he never thought two weeks later he would receive a ticket in the mail citing him for speeding.

There is a new marshal in Star Valley

There is a new marshal in Star Valley, but he won't be riding into town wearing a 10-gallon hat or cowboy boots.

My friend Hoppy and ‘the rest of the story'

Still half asleep after an afternoon doze, and intent on getting a cup of coffee in the mess hall across a dirt road from my barracks, I hardly noticed the shouting.

AG puts Payson on open meeting law probation

Investigator's report details illegal meeting and problems with agendas and minutes

Payson Town Council members must attend a one-hour training session and regularly certify they're adhering to the open meeting law for the next two years, according to a ruling by the Arizona Attorney General's office.

Canine officers converge on Payson

More than 100 teams of law enforcement officers and their canine partners converge on Payson next week.

Swiss Village event for Supply Line a success

The Swiss Village program to benefit the Payson Supply Line was a great success.

Three artists featured at gallery during First Friday

Artist of Rim feature eclectic array of pottery, glass, paintings and decorative crafts

Artists of the Rim Gallery presents First Friday featured artists Glenda and Bob Roark and Jack Greenshield on July 4.

Dems open party office July 4, GOP opens in August

Having turned the corner past electing presidential nominees, the race is on to see which political party can mobilize more voters.

Phyllis Best

Phyllis Fee Best of Payson, died June 16, 2008.

Thelma Hazel Vratisovsky

Thelma Hazel Vratisovsky, 80, of Casa Grande, formerly of Payson, died July 1, 2008.

The power of an idea -- and the need to show up

Thomas Jefferson laid the hand-scrawled document before Benjamin Franklin and watched for a reaction.

Refrain from using fireworks of any kind, says fire chief

The Payson Fire Department is asking local residents to refrain from using fireworks of any kind during the Fourth of July holiday, or any other time of year.

Tuesday, July 1

Hooray for the red, white and blue

I stood on the corner of Highway 87 and Main Street and watched hundreds of tough-looking guys gliding by on motorcycles.

Three artists to be featured for ‘First Friday'

Artists of the Rim Gallery presents First Friday featured artists Glenda and Bob Roark and Jack Greenshield on July 4.

Movie Review: Get Smart

Fun and action packed in one

Secrets don't make friends, but occasionally secret agents do.

Holiday weekend

Fourth fun and then some

Fourth of July festivities fill the day and spill into the evening around the Rim Country next Friday. Some of the fun continues through the weekend.

The bones of Payson

In our search for the isolated graves of Rim Country pioneers, we should not overlook "the ancient ones" -- those people who populated Payson and its surroundings from at least 1000 B.C. until they disappeared around A.D. 1250.

Beeline Hwy re-opened after two-car collision debris cleared from highway

The Beeline Highway, north of Payson, has been reopened following the two-car accident.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

July 4th holiday events in Payson

Varoom...

East Verde Independence Day festival is Saturday

Firewise East Verde Park is reaching out to the Rim Country, as well as those who visit the area, to raise funds and provide a place for families to have fun, win lots of prizes and create new memories on July 5.

Looking beyond stardardized testing

Robert R. Barela

Robert R. Barela, well known Rim Country artist died at the age of 69, June 20, 2008.

Stanley Ray Fuller

Stanley Ray Fuller Sr., 89, born Aug. 23, 1918 at Cove Ranch, in Strawberry, died June 12, 2008 in Mesa.

Ruth E. Ginter

Ruth E. Ginter was born in Painesville, Ohio April 1, 1926 and died in Payson, Ariz. June 25, 2008.

Thelma Verdell Lindo

Thelma Verdell "Dale" Lindo died June 19, 2008.

Ruby Loraine Longberry

Ruby Loraine Longberry died June 21, 2008.

William DeWees

Longtime Payson resident, William "Bill" DeWees died June 14, 2008.

Town's taxes remain steady

Good news is that sales tax reflects health of businesses in community

Payson is betting the budget for next year on the assumption that current economic problems won't get any worse -- but that's probably not a sucker bet considering the 10-year history of town revenues.

Survey: town is not business friendly

Payson remains unfriendly to businesses, according to a survey of 27 business owners who cited persistent problems with zoning, signs, bureaucracy, housing for workers, finding educated workers and providing employee healthcare.

AG: previous council broke meeting law

The Payson Town Council violated the state's open meeting law when it met over lunch during a Scottsdale conference and discussed personnel changes, the attorney general's office concluded this week.

Lightning strikes way more than twice

Dry thunderheads cause rash of fires, but mostly spare Rim Country

Fires to the left of us. Fires to the right.

Former Olympic swimmer helps students enjoy benefits of water

For someone afraid of water, an ideal Wednesday afternoon would perhaps not consist of swimming in it -- especially if the reward was watching oneself on videotape.

Fire preparedness program set

July, that sassy, rambunctious month is here. July marches in to a (John Phillip) Sousa beat, accompanied by the whiz of rockets and bang of fireworks.