Stories for March 2008

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Monday, March 31

Payson student wins coveted Flinn scholarship

Those who think brains and brawn don't mix have never met 18-year-old Mark McCarty. Only two months after the Payson High School senior showcased his brute strength by winning the 152-pound 3A state wrestling championship, he staged a stunning show of intellect by being named the recipient of the most lucrative and prestigious college scholarship in Arizona.

Good Morning, Payson

Brad Perry of "Good Morning Arizona" helps the children from Julia Randall Elementary School cheer as they say the traditional greeting on the KTVK morning show, "Good Morning Arizona!

Students prepping for AIMS testing

Are you smarter than an eighth-grader? The answer to that query might lie in how well you solve a problem from a sample eighth-grade math AIMS test.

Star Valley seeks new council members

After a council election with barely enough candidates to fill the available seats, two resignations have left Star Valley with two new seats to fill.

Tonto Tribe helps win suit forcing bald eagle relisting

Judge blasts federal agency for ‘arbitrary and capricious' decision on desert birds

A blistering judge's order requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to put the Arizona bald eagle back on the Endangered Species List, also gave the Tonto Apache Tribe an unusual voice in wildlife protection.

Study will probe affordable housing shortage

The study by housing expert Martina Kuehl will provide a wealth of statistics on the workforce, cost of housing, rents, vacant lots and impact of high home prices on employers.

To clarify: K2 well project shut down, funding frozen

By freezing the $300,000 earlier earmarked for the K-2 well, The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District Board effectively shut down the project.

Around Rim Country

Free disposal of metal appliances: Saturday, April 5, Buckhead Mesa Landfill will waive fees for all appliances made of metal, including washers, dryers, refrigerators, hot water heaters and other metal items. No trash of any kind can be mixed with the metal, so please separate your loads.

Mud Springs makes council crazy

It now seems clear: Mud Springs Road represents some bizarre ink blot test for the inner psyche of the municipal mentality.

Gold fever has families panning

Patricia Triggs dips a pan into Lynx Creek and lifts it rapidly, swirling the water around. No gold this time. The only sounds are the creek flowing, the birds chirping and Triggs' 12-year-old son James and 8-year-old grandson Nathaniel Bustamante laughing and leaping from rock to rock.

Amon Builders, Inc. honored

Amon Builders, Inc. of Payson recently was honored with two different awards.

The credit meltdown

Jacquelyn Ladd Ricker

Certified techs tour Fox News studio, stages

To actors and audiences the world may be a stage, but without light and sound there would be little connection between performer and audience without techies.

Find new art, mirth and music at First Friday

J.R. Keller will unveil his new bronze of Tonto Apache Chief Delshay at Artists of the Rim Gallery during First Friday on Main Street.

Senior Center menu for April

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

Games, physical activities and sales offered to seniors

No joking, today is April Fool's Day! Have you been the victim of a prank yet? Beware - there are still a lot of hours left in April 1.

AARP launches new resource for economic stimulus program for seniors

The AARP Foundation and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) have launched a user-friendly online tool to simplify the economic stimulus payment application process for millions of Americans who are not otherwise required to file income tax returns.

Value of AIMS testing still being debated

Although it will be testing business as usual next week at Payson High and other schools around the state, there are educators, parents and school board members who doubt the validity of AIMS and question whether students should be required to pass a single high-stakes test to graduate.

Confusion reigns in Payson bypass question

The fog of confusion that shrouds the issue of a highway bypass around Payson and Star Valley threatens a political pileup, but it could clear substantially this week

Business showcase has limited space, and a few sponsorships still available

The 16th annual Business Showcase, Hidden Treasures of the Rim Country, has a few sponsorships still available, plus a few booth spaces. The deadline to become a sponsor and/or claim an exhibit space is April 11. The event is April 18 and April 19.

Wickenburg takes title, Lady Longhorns finish 1-4

A pair of defending state champions boasting tradition-rich softball programs waged a spirited diamond war for the Gracie Haught Classic tournament crown.

Tourney called one of the best ever

The 2008 edition of the Gracie Haught Classic high school girls softball tournament flourished as a fitting tribute to the young girl it was named after.

Longhorns have important games against East foes

Class 3A East baseball action turns fast and furious as the Longhorns play three crucial games in the course of one week.

Student athletes take advantage of $10 physical exams to be offered May 7

It's tough to understand why student athletes, who will be playing school sports next year, do not take advantage of reduced fee physical exams offered by the district.

Meth use leads treatment admissions

Little League opening day is April 19

The boys of summer will soon be sprinting onto Rim Country diamonds. New to the program this season will be the addition of girls fastpitch softball to the existing baseball offering.

Nominations sought for business awards

The Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce are seeking nominations for the 2008 Rim Country Business Awards.

Thursday, March 27

We salute our community's volunteers

When someone in the Rim Country is in need, the people who live here step up BIG TIME.

Around Rim Country

Are you ‘Tuff 'Nuff to Wear Pink?'

Former business manager's arrest not related to closure of school

The decision to close two of the county school district's alternative schools was not due solely to the arrest of the district's former business manager for illegal use of the district's bank account, but it was a contributing factor, said the county's top school official.

Words about the music of our lives

Music -- it's everywhere, on the radio, in the grocery store, schools and churches.

What can investors learn from gardeners?

For much of my life I have enjoyed the rewards and challenges of growing a garden.

Around the Rim

Saturday was a great day for an egg hunt

There were 13 little ones who showed up for the annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday. The weather was beautiful for hunting eggs.

Around the Rim

Pine tree honors Connie Weldon's memory

The dedication of a fine-looking blue spruce pine tree in memory of Connie Weldon took place Tuesday, March 25 at the Tonto Village Chapel with Pastor Jim Barker officiating.

Beyond Limits brings gospel to the developmentally disabled

Dana Qualls greets her friends at the door to Mountain Bible Church with a big smile and a handshake.

Young singer-songwriter balances college and her art

Stephanie Mae is a young singer-songwriter faced with tantalizing possibilities as a musician versus completing her biomechanical engineering degree at Stanford University.

Students bring Easter joy to residents of Powell House

With the sun shining every day, our days are getting warmer. The grass is getting greener, and the flowers are beginning to bloom. It seems all the signs show that it is the beginning of spring.

Foster parent meeting scheduled

The Payson Area Recruitment and Retention Council and Helping Adoptive and Foster Parents Together are sponsoring a meeting to assist foster parents in effective communication with others who interact with their foster children.

Disheartening detour yields heart-lifting flower display

The long scenic route to the Valley through Globe winds past some of the best wildflower displays in a decade.

Legislature working on bill to help notify those buying homes about available water

A bill that would help those buying homes in rural areas obtain information about available water will become increasingly important as water becomes scarcer in Arizona, the chairman of the House Environment Committee said Tuesday.

Around the Rim

Budding scientists shine at state engineering fair

A host of Pine Elementary School students and their teacher have proven they have the intelligence, stamina and creativity it takes to win a state-level academic challenge.

Bares, Bulls & Broncs will benefit PHS teams

The Longhorn football and wrestling teams will reap the financial rewards of Bares, Bulls & Broncs when it appears April 4 and 5 at the Payson Event Center.

Optimists hold free fishing festival

The Rim Country Optimist Club in conjunction with Payson Parks and Recreation and the Arizona Game and Fish Department are sponsoring the Second Annual Fishing Festival at Green Valley Park all day on April 12.

First team sorting event not what was anticipated

The turnout at Payson's first-ever Team Sorting held March 22 at the Payson Event Center wasn't what sponsor Sandra Walker of Rafter M Performance Horses in Camp Verde was hoping for.

Lady Longhorns open tournament play Friday

The Lady Longhorns open the Gracie Haught Classic tournament today, Friday, armed with an arsenal of some of the top hitters in the 3A conference.

Former Longhorn golfer now superb lacrosse player

Troy Marrs is best known in the Rim Country as the prep golfer who four years ago teamed with Billy Bob Hoyt and Brandan Kelley to give the Longhorns a trio of the finest high school golfers in the state.

Longhorns off to big Chandler track meet

The Chandler Rotary Invitational has long been considered the premier track and field meet of the prep regular season, partly because it draws the finest athletes from all school size classifications 1A to 5A.

Noboru Yamashita

Noboru Yamashita died March 23, 2008.

August Weber

August Weber, of Pine, died March 24, 2008.

Terry Neil Himmerick

Terry Neil Himmerick, 54, of Mesa, was involved in an off-road jeep accident on Sunday, March 23, 2008.

‘Good Morning Arizona' in Payson Tuesday

KTVK's top-rated morning show for 14 years is once again hitting the road for two weeks this spring.

Find hidden treasures at business showcase

Captain Jack might not be making an appearance, but you can bet the Spanish Main a fair number of his relatives will be on hand at the 2008 Business Showcase, Hidden Treasures of the Rim Country.

Good Apple Auction and Cowboy Buffet set for April 19

The Payson Community Christian School will hold its 12th Annual Good Apple Auction and Cowboy Buffet Saturday, April 19 at the Tonto Apache gym.

Supreme Court in Payson for oral arguments at end of April

The Arizona Supreme Court will hold oral arguments from 9 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 29 at Payson High School Auditorium, 409 W. Longhorn Road.

The new Five Cs

Too many cooks?

Mayor's proposals result in combative meeting

Bitter arguments about road extensions continued to roil the Payson council last night with a new vote concerning the Mud Springs Road extension and a combative exchange about fresh appointments to town commissions proposed by outgoing Mayor Bob Edwards.

Win a PT Cruiser at Auction for Youth

One lucky bidder at the 13th annual Zane Grey Kiwanis Auction for Youth will zoom home in a 2005 PT Cruiser.

Beeline Highway Open

ADOT crews move mountains of dirt

Rim Country residents breathed a sigh of relief Thursday morning as word spread through town that the Arizona Department of Transportation had reopened Highway 87.

Wednesday, March 26

ADOT reopens State Route 87 after landslide

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) today has reopened State Route 87. The highway was closed in both directions Friday after a landslide created unsafe conditions in the Slate Creek area (milepost 224). Drivers will travel through a work zone with one lane in each direction and a reduced speed limit as they pass through the area affected by the landslide.

Tuesday, March 25

No projected date for Highway 87 reopening

Highway 87 will remain closed until further notice despite rumors to the contrary and ADOT's Web site announcing that it might reopen by June 1, said Arizona Department of Transportation officials Wednesday morning. ADOT Public Information officer Bill Williams said the affected part of the highway in the Slate Creek area near milepost marker 224 is still unsafe and crews are still working to stabilize the hillside that slipped, causing the landslide on Friday, March 21.

Leftover ham a great base for multiple main dishes

Easter has come and gone and chances are you have leftover ham and hard-boiled eggs. Now you are faced with what to do with them.

The history of universities in Arizona

Recently I read my latest issue of ASU Magazine. As a proud ASU alum and member of the ASU Alumni Association, this is a magazine that I regularly receive. This issue's focus? ASU celebrating 50 years as a university. The whole issue was focused on this celebration. It featured a wonderfully written article by the Payson Roundup's Peter Aleshire. It got me thinking that this would be a great time to look at higher education history in Arizona and the history of Arizona State University.

Recording History

Old stories provide grand entertainment for modern lives

Stanley C. Brown is a man fascinated by history. The edge of the Mogollon Rim, the Mission San Xavier del Bac, any cemetery with its untold stories, the ponderosa forests in central Arizona and the prehistoric ruins around the state are among the sites the retired minister finds most inspirational.

Life's Dimensions

‘Foolish hobby' is artist's passion

The Arabian stallion, captured in high relief by artist Kathy Douglas, is barely adorned, yet the cut of his eyes and the turn of his head is already expressive.

Highway 87 Update

The following information is from Bill Williams, ADOT public information officer. "When and if we open state route 87 it will be two lanes, one north and one southbound, traveling side by side in the current northbound lane at slow speeds while we finish addressing the buckled pavement in the southbound lane," said williams

Charlie Bartlett

Naive, boring depiction of high school

Charlie (Anton Yelchin) is a rich kid who has managed to get himself kicked out of just about every private school around the mansion where he and his mom, Marilyn (Hope Davis) live. Charlie apparently has a knack for coming up with schemes (fake driver's licenses, etc.) that get him to the top of the wrong dean's list on a regular basis.

There is big and there is small

Here's the big: On Wednesday morning at 2:12 a.m. a light was detected by NASA's Swift satellite orbiting the earth. An aging star, in a previously unknown galaxy, exploded in a gamma ray burst 7.5 billion light years away. "The burst -- which occurred when the universe was about half its current age -- was bright enough to be seen without a telescope." This quote is scary. One light year is 5.9 trillion miles. It has taken half the universe's life for that light to reach a tiny planet in The Milky Way -- Us.

Online chat sites popular with child predators

The Arizona Attorney General's Office uncovered two convicted sex offenders, one registered at the most dangerous level, using Internet chat sites to lure teenage girls.

Service projects lead teens to Hawaii

Jay Owens and Breanne Standiford said most of the 617 switchbacks of the three-hour drive on the primitive Road to Hana revealed gorgeous waterfalls.

Cultural diversity presented by PHS culinary students

Culinary students whetted local appetites with a bevy of desserts at the library's February fund raiser. On April 3, they aim to please palettes and raise some funds for their school with a presentation of the Asian, Mexican, European, American and Italian dishes they have perfected in the past few weeks.

Around Rim Country

Payson Pink Ladybugs plan sale

The Payson Pink Ladybugs will host a Brat, Dog and Bake Sale starting at 8 a.m., Saturday, April 5 at Wal-Mart. Have your morning coffee with the women, along with a brownie for only $1. Fresh baked goodies and Breast Cancer items will also be available. Brats and dogs will be available at 9 a.m. Donations will also be accepted.

Mayor provides stern warnings of ‘unbridled growth'

Mayor Bob Edwards on Monday spoke to the Citizen's Awareness Committee to address his accomplishments and his re-election defeat.

When it comes to appointments -- first do no harm

Doctors have to make a solemn promise: First -- do no harm. We like that. Very reassuring attitude to take when handling scalpels -- or adopting ordinances and planning the future of the town we love.

Road closure not a concern for PRMC

The closure of Highway 87 south of Payson has not had much of an impact on Payson Regional Medical Center, said Cory Houghton, the marketing director for the hospital.

Line designs

New PSWID board will take oath by Monday

As of next Monday, barring any unforeseen reversal, residents in Pine and Strawberry will have four new members sitting on the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District's governing board.

What a mess

Slide, buckles in road close Beeline until who knows when

Highway 87 will remain closed indefinitely despite a notice on the ADOT Web site indicating it will reopen on March 28, said officials with the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Committee grapples with Event Center

Can expensive rodeo grounds redesign spur economy by welcoming shows and conventions?

It's a rodeo! It's a park! It's a trade show! It's Super Event Center!

Monday, March 24

PHS girls win Safford meet behind sophmore's four medals

Sophomore Maddie Nossek's four medal-winning performances lifted the Lady Longhorn track and field team to its first triumph of the season.

Clinic can help people with HIV

Victims of HIV from throughout Northern Arizona have a place to come in Payson. Since May 2007, Northland Cares of Prescott has had a clinic available to people with HIV. The clinic is offered in Payson with the assistance of the Gila County Division of Health and Community Services.

County budget in good shape

The state's budget shortfall will trickle down and affect Gila County budget, but no county tax increase in expected.

Music and easy exercise offered by senior programs

Earlier this month, Len and I took a trip down to Tucson to visit friends and see the spring wildflowers.

Easter fest fun

Alan A. Schneider

An easter celebration

Rafting trip sponsored by Park and Rec

Town vice mayor Tim Fruth, also a Payson High School assistant principal, took advantage of spring break by taking his daughter, Jordan, on an Upper Salt River rafting trip.

Super Senior Bowling

Standings and scores, as of March 6, week 26 of 33.

Mike Curtis' team wins four-man golf scramble

Mike Curtis, Payson Men's Golf Association representative in last season's Arizona State Championship tournament, has begun the 2008 season with a bang.

Highway 87 not opening on March 28

Highway 87 will remain closed indefinitely despite a notice on the ADOT Web site indicating it will reopen on March 28, said officials with the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Payson splits with Holbrook

Although the Longhorn baseball team has fallen below the break-even mark at 8-9, the squad's East region record (2-0) remains unblemished.

Lady Longhorns rebound with win against Elks, 9-2

After falling to longtime East region rival Show Low, the Lady Horns express engineered its way back on track with a 9-2 victory over the Round Valley Elks.

Shot put a strong event for Longhorns

Matt Wilson gets a gold, Scott Andrus a silver at Safford

After starring on the Longhorn football and basketball teams, Matt Wilson has molded himself into a standout on the school's track and field squad.

Gerry Leon Dixon

Sunday, March 23

This unfinished stallion is already looking for his mares.

This unfinished stallion is already looking for his mares. Art was in Kathy Douglas' back pocket for many years. Now, she enjoys drawing with pastels and sculpting.

Friday, March 21

Land slide requires State Route 87 to be closedor emergency repairs

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has closed State Route 87 after ADOT crews discovered a land slide between the Phoenix and Payson areas.

Thursday, March 20

Aaden Aaron Paul

Burglars hit 8 Pine homes in one night

Crooks had a busy night this week in Pine as they burglarized eight homes and stole spray paint, coins, a gun and ammunition as well as food, but for unknown reasons left other loot they had gathered behind.

Around Rim Country

Easter fun, bake and craft sales set

The sweet smell of smoke

It's not quite the bracing smell of "napalm in the morning," but we get positively giddy with the wafting of smoke drifting into town these days from the Forest Service slash piles just over the hill.

Payson needs a bypass

Charter school gets interim administrator

After more than a month without a principal, as of Monday, March 17, Leonard Bustos assumed the position of interim site administrator at the Star Valley Charter School for grades 7-12 until a permanent replacement for the former principal can be found.

Community Almanac

More events going on in Rim Country

Sheldon H. Hunsinger

Senior to Senior pet adoption

At Payson Humane Society, we're passionate about pets -- ours, yours and those in need of loving homes. We are also passionate about our senior citizens.

Board approves summer school remedial classes

Pine-Strawberry school students struggling with their reading and writing skills will have the opportunity for more academic help during an upcoming summer school program.

Veronica Batch

Engine gets life support status

The Hellsgate Fire District Engine 221 at Tonto Village Station 22 has been upgraded to ALS (Advanced Life Support).

Students learn about black history

It was a great wedding, if not a beautiful day

Kathleen Diane Yarger (Neely) and Gary Ronald Mench were married Monday at 3 p.m. at Kohl's Ranch outdoor chapel with close friends and family attending.

State Supreme Court comes to Payson on April 29

The Arizona Supreme Court will hold oral arguments from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 29 at the Payson High School Auditorium, 409 West Longhorn.

There, but for the grace of God ...

His name was Joey Miller. He lived with his oldest sister and her husband, who rented the downstairs apartment of the two-family apartment house in New London, Conn., where my family rented the upstairs apartment.

Payson resident educates about firearms

Charlie Thompson was sitting in his chair one afternoon when he got a phone call from a California couple asking if there was a range in Payson where they could rent a pistol and learn how to shoot a gun.

Old stories provide entertainment for modern lives

Stanley C. Brown is a man fascinated by history. The edge of the Mogollon Rim, the Mission San Xavier del Bac, any cemetery with its untold stories, the ponderosa forests in central Arizona, the prehistoric ruins around the state are among the sites the retired minister, Stan Brown finds most inspirational.

Here's how you can keep business ‘all in the family'

If you own a small business, you've got a lot to think about: attracting customers, holding down expenses, keeping up with trends and competitors -- the list goes on and on.

Streams near perfect for early season fishing

The local trout streams have been running bank to bank with abundant winter rainfall and high mountain snows.

Longhorns went to state in style

Thanks to the Tonto Apache Tribe, the Payson High School boy's basketball team traveled to the state championship game in style.

ASU struggled to become the ASU we know

Thumbing through a recently arrived copy of the ASU alumni magazine, I discovered a superbly and expertly written article called "It's all about U." The story details Arizona State's fearless battle to become a university.

Track teams host meets in April

Payson High School track and field members will finally have the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of parents, fans, teachers and friends.

Zack Lee's wrestling career has ended

A stirring, successful athletic career that began in a humid, sweaty Payson wrestling room has ended at the NCAA D-II National Championships at Upper Iowa University.

Longhorns are East title threat

All-important East baseball action returns April 1 when the Longhorns travel to Lakeside to take on a Blue Ridge Yellow Jacket team battling PHS for the region title.

Peter Steven

Joseph A. Mustaca

Hallie Mae March

Ronald C. Adams

Cameron Gayle Matthews

Carl Randall Gabel

Chelsea Belen Vasquez

Easton Wilder White

Austin McKinley Wolf

Cynthia Valeria Sias

Golden Celebration

Wilson recognized for grades

Sophomore Erin Wilson of Payson has been named to the John Brown University's Dean's List.

Teen teaches others fine art of rodeo

Lani Hall wanted her 8-year-old daughter Bryndee to attend last Friday's rodeo clinic at the Payson Event Center to improve her riding skills and learn to ride more safely.

Car collides with home

Early Monday morning a driver on northbound Highway 87 fell asleep at the wheel and went off the road into a mobile home in the Gateway Mobile Home Park.

Record gas prices going even higher

AAA Arizona said that motorists across the state should brace themselves for continued record gasoline prices.

Payson schools to have early beginning

First day is July 30, one week early than last year's start

Parents and students attending Payson schools next year can breathe a sigh of relief; school does not start on July 1 for the 2008-2009 school year as recent rumors have suggested.

Taking a hike

Payson education center is closing

Two of the county's alternative schools for at-risk students, including the Payson Education Center, will close their doors forever at the end of the school year.

There is still time to join the Payson library's Spy Club for youth

Spy Club's newest assignment is to continue reading the Chronicles of Narnia series for the big field trip Mission in May to see the movie Prince Caspian.

Vets helping vets

Main Street plan could cost $1.2 million

A plan to redesign West Main Street into a pedestrian-friendly destination could cost $1.2 million in today's dollars.

YMCA plan takes a lurch

Site for proposed pool, gym shift and town may go it alone

After months of closed door talks and a tight-lipped council executive session, the negotiations have lurched down a new path -- and a whole new option has thunked down on the table.

Lots of heat -- no end in sight

Town forum on high heating bills yields many complaints, but little relief

Only about 50 of the 6,000 residents battered by the doubling or tripling of their propane bills this winter showed up to protest Tuesday, March 18, at a special Town Hall hosted by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Traveling signs

Without much space for placing bumper stickers on his Harley, this enterprising individual has found another way to display his point of view.

Wednesday, March 19

Block and tackle - a lineman's everyday activity

Gerry Wills, an Arizona Power Service worker, feeds a line through a tackle wheel.

Tuesday, March 18

Tiny Trotters big on entertainment at Tonto Gym

Lil' Ricky of the Tiny Trotters - World's Smallest Basketball Team, goes in for a lay-up.

An unusual cruise in the South Pacific

Many years ago, when I was between jobs, I booked a 64-day cruise around South America from Los Angeles on a passenger freighter. It held 125 passengers in cruise ship luxury. The ship belonged to the Delta Steamship Lines and was of American registry.

Pioneers seldom died of old age, Chapter 10

It is a breathtaking view, its beauty in stark contrast to the ugly murder that took place just back across the highway. Nearby is the grave of Al Fulton, and recounting his death gathers up one of the little known sagas of Rim Country history.

The joy of Easter

Celebrate in fine fashion -- bonnets optional

The faithful in the Rim Country will host many celebrations of Jesus Christ's resurrection. A non-denominational day of musical evangelism happens at Rumsey Park this Saturday.

10,000 BC - Youth Review

Camera work is amazing

A young warrior with a mysterious past, a beautiful woman who loves him with all her heart, and a people in need of a hero and the "Legend of the Blue-Eyed Child" is born. The movie, 10,000 B.C. might remind you of Tristan and Isolde. It is the love story of D'Leh, the mammoth hunter, and Evolet.

10,000 BC - Senior Review

Computer images main attraction

Everyone should realize before entering the theater that 10,000 B. C. is not meant to recount some historical event. The time frame takes place long before any type of archeologist's findings. But as a fictitious story about prehistoric times it is quite entertaining.

The Celtic Tenors

Matthew Gilsenan, James Nelson and Daryl Simpson are the Celtic Tenors, arguably the most successful crossover artists ever to come out of Ireland. The group is performing as part of the 2007-2008 Tonto Community Concert season on March 31.

Popa watch me fly

The night before my first flying lesson, courtesy of Project Pilot, my co-workers joked that I might be eating my last meal. I did not tell my grandmother that I was taking to wing as my Popa had done because she would have fretted.

Tradition meets innovation this Easter

Springtime heralds "new" -- the weather, style of clothing, what's on the menu. True culinary innovation doesn't happen often. But when it does it's cause for celebration. Delight family and friends with a springtime holiday menu full of traditional favorites prepared with a distinctly modern flavor.

Monday, March 17

Easter services

The 2008 Resurrection Celebration Saturday, March 22 at Rumsey Park features the following music schedule

Hawaiian applique work inspired artist's first quilt

Six days a week Grisabella the Glamour Cat watches as Debbie Stanton leads all 14-feet of Honey Bee through swirling, intricate designs.

Easter Bunny treat

The Easter Bunny had a busy day at Wal-Mart, Saturday, March 15.

Laughing for the health of it

Laugh out loud -- a lot. It's good for you. Elaine Lundberg, a humor therapist and author, brought that message to the nearly 300 women (and about three men) at the 10th Annual Women's Wellness Forum.

Study on new rules for guest houses launched

Can Granny Flats provide affordable housing?

At first blush, it seemed a simple enough question. Should Payson have special zoning rules when it comes to guest quarters into which some homeowner might want to tuck the stray renter, ailing mother or boomeranging twenty-something?

All on account of lambs

Filing documents, entering figures into ledgers, talking with clients and apparently holding diaper-clad newborn lambs as they are being bottle-fed are duties at Hale Accounting in Payson.

Illegal immigration problems not as acute in the Rim Country

Northern Gila County and Payson do not have as many problems with illegal immigration as other parts of the state because Payson is further from the Mexican border than more densely populated communities like Phoenix and Tucson, said Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores.

Outrageous Mac and Cheese with a side of ‘zombie brains'

Bailey Travers looked at Ali Tenney as she dipped raw chicken tenders, first in buttermilk, then in cornflakes. "Ewwws" echoed around the kitchen.

School district to work with police on attendance problem

Truancy is an issue in the Payson Unified School District, so district officials and police are going after the parents to try and curtail the problem.

Owner of pet sought

The Payson Humane Society would like to find the owner of this little dog. As you can see from his picture, he is a Chihuahua mix, about 2 years old.

Wilderness first aid course offered by parks and recreation

A wilderness first aid course will be offered Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

AARP Driver Safety Program very beneficial

The AARP Driver Safety Program is the nation's first and largest refresher course for drivers age 50 and older that has helped millions of drivers remain safe on today's roads. AARP has offered the course in the classroom for 25 years and now offers the same course online.

New equestrian sport coming to the Payson Event Center

An equestrian sport somewhat new to the Rim Country will soon be heating up the Payson Event Center.

Longhorn athletes blanked on paper's all-state selections

Once again the Payson Longhorns have been shut out in The Arizona Republic's selection of all-state players.

PHS track practices moved to Rumsey

With no track facility to practice on and school in spring recess, it would have been easy for the Longhorn track and field teams to fold up their tents for the week.

Lady Longhorns hope to end three-game losing streak

The Lady Longhorn softball team travels to Eagar-Springerville today, Tuesday, with a two-fold purpose. First, the Lady Horns will be out to put a screeching halt to a three-game losing streak and, second, the team needs to jump on the winning track in the East region title chase.

Alvin Eugene Dale

Brotherly love

ReStore opens

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity has opened its ReStore.

Passion for travel becomes business

Rod and Sharla Reed are opening a new business this week. The couple are running Best Travel by Reeds out of their home and are inviting the public to an open house this Wednesday, March 19 and next, March 26.

Landfill will accept free ‘greenwaste' to honor Earth April 19

Trees, brush, clippings and leaves accepted free at Buckhead landfill

In honor of Earth Day, the Buckhead Mesa Landfill will accept greenwaste at no charge on Saturday, April 19 to encourage residents to clear their property of weeds and brush in preparation for wildfire season, said a press release from the Gila County Board of Supervisors.

Coaches need to learn to work with media

Newspaper and other media coverage provides an excellent opportunity for coaches to promote their players and sport.

Around Rim Country

See ‘Tiny Trotters' basketball tonight

Revenge makes poor public policy

Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. But it's a lousy basis for public policy.

Payson meth forum successful

The Gila County Meth Coalition staged a public forum in Payson on the evening of Feb. 7. Earlier that day, morning and afternoon sessions were conducted at Payson High School for students. Members of law enforcement, various community services and the Meth Coalition were present to answer questions.

Sporting group helps with school programs

Will Dunman is among the many who have reaped the generosity of the Mogollon Sporting Association. "The MSA is a tremendous asset to our town and schools," he said.

Sunday, March 16

Prescribed Burns March 17th

The Coconino National Forest will be conducting prescribed burns this week from Monday, March 17 to Friday, March 21 including one in Rim Country.

Thursday, March 13

Women's golf about to tee off for the season

The Rim Country women's' golf campaign is about to tee off. Both the nine- and 18-hole groups have scheduled preseason organizational luncheons, which will mark the onset of spring, summer and fall play.

Church Briefs

Annual St. Patrick's Day dinner to be served tonight. Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church will have its 13th annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, March 14 at the church, 507 W. Wade Lane.

How I learned about that little light bulb in your head

I think it was in some science course or other that I first heard the saying that "chance favors the prepared mind." It's one of my favorites; it makes a lot of sense.

Nominations sought for Rim Country business awards

Nominations are being accepted for the 2008 Rim Country Business Awards.

Morning TV show to broadcast from Payson April 1

KTVK's "Good Morning Arizona," the number one-rated morning show for 14 years, is once again hitting the road for two weeks this spring and, as part of its yearly road trip, the station will broadcast from Payson on April 1.

Brain health explored

Strokes and the curative nature of music were discussed by specialists at Payson Care Center as part of Brain Health Week.

Led Zeppelin tribute band plays at casino

No Quarter is bringing a moment out of time, "The Ultimate Tribute to Led Zeppelin," to the entertainment hall of the Mazatzal Casino.

Easter comes early this year

Easter is just a few weeks away on March 23 this year. I received some interesting statistics from one of my friends, and I found it so interesting, I would like to pass some of the information on to you.

Library is a Rim Country treasure

Although the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library is easily accessible and almost always available for use, we should not take its services for granted.

Barbara Anne Fraher

P&Z wonders what to do about backyard bees

Commission opts to study question about bees in town

David Jones loves bees. The Payson Planning Commission isn't so sure.

Smooth sailing and messy paperwork for projects

Planning commission approves one subdivision, objects to staff notes on another

The 83-home, recently renamed Mogollon Ridge subdivision picked up momentum last week with quick action by the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission, but another luxury lot split hit a paperwork snag.

Thank you, Bob Edwards

Around Rim Country

St. Patrick's Day dinner tonight

The dinner will include corned beef, cabbage, glazed carrots, parsley potatoes, Jell-O salad, rolls, dessert and beverages.

Dream to own home comes true

A young mother helps build her own dream home with help from Habitat for Humanity

In the spring of 2007, tears were shed, voices were raised, and hugs were shared. That was the moment Kelly Atkin discovered she was selected as a new homeowner through Payson Area Habitat for Humanity (PAHH).

Christopher Creek to hold Easter Egg hunt

It is finally nice outside and getting warmer. Maybe Easter will be nice and the Easter bunny won't have to hide eggs in the snow.

4Hers will learn about barrel racing, pole bending at workshop

4-H Youth Development Agent Lani Hall is convinced peer tutoring is one of the best ways to help young barrel racers, goat tiers and pole benders improve their skills.

Payson Education Center closes its doors

Two of the counties alternative schools for at-risk students, including the Payson Education Center, will close its doors forever at the end of the school year.

Kenny Evans upsets Mayor Edwards

Edwards slate defeated: Questions surround when new councilors, Evans will take office

The winners in Payson's spirited council and mayoral elections this week agreed that the town's voters had signaled a desire for a less divided, more business friendly community in rejecting Mayor Bob Edwards and the two candidates he endorsed.

Pine, Strawberry voters recall 4 district members

Official results won't be available for about 10 days, but victorious candidates in the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District recall election are expected to assume their seats on the governing board immediately after that, said Gila County Director of Elections Dixie Mundy.

Tonto Apache Tribe recovers 273 acres

After 17 years of negotiating, the Tonto Apache Tribe is getting back a small portion of its traditional lands in the hopes of providing additional affordable housing for tribal members.

Heron wins re-election as Star Valley mayor

Star Valley voters endorsed the status quo, said Mayor Chuck Heron of his 57 percent (341 votes) margin over challenger Randy White, an incumbent councilman.

Spring break fun

Kate Schneider Sarah Minturn have a little commerce going at the General Store in the playground area at Rumsey Park during their Spring Break Recreation Program outdoor play time.

Springtime is perfect for outdoor activities

The spring is the perfect time to be outdoors in the desert of Arizona with temperatures during maximum heating in the mid 70's to lower 80's.

Prevent electrical fire hazards in your home

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Electrical Safety Foundation, every year incidents involving electrical items, such as extension cords, receptacles and light bulbs, result in more than 41,000 residential fires that claim about 350 lives and cause more than 1,400 injuries. These fires also cause more than $620 million in property damage annually.

County wins national award for fire prevention effort

The Gila County Collaborative Community Fire Program has been selected as a winner in the National 2008 Acts of Caring Awards.

Relay for Life 2008 campaign kicks off tonight

Most of us know of someone who has experienced the devastation of cancer. Last year, in Arizona alone, more than 25,000 people heard the words, "you have cancer." Fortunately, the American Cancer Society is saving lives through research, education, advocacy and service to patients and their families.

Tonto Basin resident says go over creek instead of across

Proposal made to build ‘Sky Walk' across Tonto Creek, cheaper than bridge

After years of frustrating efforts trying to get federal, state or county officials to build a safe, reliable way to cross Tonto Creek during floods, one Tonto Basin resident proposes instead of waiting any longer, to just go over the creek.

Payson Habitat for Humanity opens ReStore

After six months of efforts to get it ready, the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity's ReStore is having its grand opening Saturday, March 15, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Anne "Patty" Curtis

Douglas Michael Kruse

Lady Longhorns edged by Camp Verde 9-8

Prep softball games in which 17 runs are scored usually can be tabbed as sloppy, error filled clashes.

Longhorns rally for East region win

The Longhorn baseball team rallied from a slow season start to edge highly regarded Show Low in both teams' East region opener.

8 teams expected for Haught tourney

Good food, good softball and good times. Those will be the themes of the Gracie Haught Payson 2008 Classic prep softball tournament as it unfolds March 28-29 at Rumsey Park.

PHS grad running fast at college

Former Longhorn three-sport standout Carlos Lopez has taken his skills to the next level.

Tuesday, March 11

Determining their place in history

I was talking to someone the other day and they stated the importance of founders and implied that if someone founds a place, they should forever have carte blanche over others at such a place. So it got me thinking, what does founding really mean?

The story of Noah's Wife

With all the rain and snow we have been having, it reminded me of a little story. Noah's Wife - Sure, he gets all the credit, don't he? I mean, does anyone even know my name?

A music man's stories from the road

Arthur Fiedler was a guest conductor for a time. "Mr. Fiedler was a character," Rutledge said.

Around Town

Events coming up around town

Juno, A first-rate movie

It just may be that what folks will remember most about the 80th presentation of the Academy Awards is that Diablo Cody, a former professional stripper turned writer, won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the movie Juno.

One of my top five favorites of the year

Juno is definitely one of my top five favorite movies of the year. I loved absolutely everything about it!

A prescription for Women's Wellness:

Use humor to fight stress

A recent survey showed that 70 to 90 percent of us feel stressed at work and outside, according to an article on the Web site Holisticonline.com.

What a mayonnaise jar and golf balls teach us

My dear friend Carol shared the story of "The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee" with me as a tool to help make it a great 2008, and now I share it -- along with recipes for an "anytime breakfast" -- with you.

Canadian Rockies and Alaska all in one

A very fine company called Uncommon Journeys has put together two of my favorite itineraries in the Northwest and combined them to offer one of the finest, most scenic travel experiences you will find anywhere.

Best of Payson 2008

Readers reveal their favorite people and places

It's not a scientific survey, just a fun way to recognize some of the many good things our readers say are the very best.

Monday, March 10

Former PHS wrestler is 174-pound Pac-10 champ

Winning four state and regional weight class championships at Payson High School were only building blocks to a collegiate career for Nate Lee.

PHS girls finish 4-3 in tourney

Candice Johnson voted to all-tourney team

Senior hurler Candice Johnson pitched herself to a spot on the all-tournament team and the Lady Longhorns into the consolation semifinals of the Fifth Annual Wickenburg Wrangler Classic.

Longhorn track schedules changing

Last-minute changes in spring sports schedules is one of the challenges to which Longhorn coaches and athletes must adjust.

Mom was a big help to injured Longhorn

Payson High School senior basketball player Robert Walker made a faux pas he continues to anguish over when he forgot to tell his mom, Pat, about parents night activities at the end of last season.

17-year-old tracks down mountain lion near Jake's Corner

Most know Amber Marshall as a hard-riding 17-year-old who has been barrel racing, pole bending and competing in gymkhanas since she was old enough to climb aboard a quarterhorse.

Middle school students love to sing

In a surprisingly intimate setting, a choir of soft, angelic voices sang their friends and relatives a song about decomposed composers.

Frontier school families take to the ice

The Phoenix Roadrunners ice hockey team made free tickets available for each Frontier Elementary School student for their game against the Alaska Aces on March 1.

No solution for English Language Learner expenses

I wish I could report that the English Language Learner instruction funding dilemma has been satisfactorily resolved. Unfortunately, this is far from the case.

Bands jazz up a musical evening

Tenor saxophonist Johnathan Brand and clarinetist Chance Parker were busy lads the final day of February as they prepared to participate in what teacher Mike Buskirk called "an American tradition of blues."

Unhappy about gas bill

Time to end the water wars for good

We can't say we haven't at some level almost enjoyed the water wars. What marvelous headlines; the drama; the thickening plots; the thinning skins.

Around Rim Country

St. Patrick's Day Dinner is Friday

Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church will have its 13th annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, March 14 at the church, 507 W. Wade Lane.

Marshall Trimble to appear April 3

The Discussion and Lecture League of Payson will present storyteller, novelist and balladeer Marshall Trimble at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 3 at Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St.

Horns edge Cowboys

New town Web site aimed at visitors

Payson's official new Web site could be just what the doctor ordered for dispelling the town's reputation as a "hole-in-the-wall" and pass-thru community.

PSWID recall election results

As of about 8:30 Tuesday night, early results of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District recall election indicate that the district may be getting four new members.

Heron retains Star Valley mayor's seat

Star Valley residents have retained Chuck Heron as mayor, according to unofficial results provided by Town Clerk Sarah Luckie. He received 306 votes, with 229 going to challenger Randy White.

Voters choose Evans as new mayor

In the March 11 mayoral race, challenger Kenny Evans has received 2,661 votes, a total of 54 percent. Mayor Bob Edwards has received 2,250 votes, for a total of 46 percent. These are preliminary results, with 185 ballots uncounted. Watch payson.com for final results when they are available.

Forest Service will conduct prescribed burn near Tonto Basin

Beginning in late March, if weather conditions permit, the U.S. Forest Service is planning to conduct a large prescribed burn in the Tonto Basin area.

National Bank of Arizona opens in Punkin Center

Tonto Basin residents and visitors no longer need to drive to Payson or beyond to visit a bank. That's because National Bank of Arizona has opened a new full-service branch inside Tonto Basin Marketplace in Punkin Center.

‘Popa watch me fly my first plane'

The night before my first flying lesson, courtesy of Project Pilot, my co-workers joked that I might be eating my last meal.

Star Valley eyes water deal

Uneasy truce in water wars awaits details of Blue Ridge agreement

The declared end to the water wars between Payson and neighboring Star Valley rests uneasily on the details of a long-delayed agreement with the Salt River project to provide enough water to lubricate future growth in Payson.

Nail services come to Kutting Edge

Rose Wilcox is the latest addition to the staff at Kutting Edge Salon. Her arrival brought nail services to the shop.

Barbara Joan Matthews

More than 5 million in U.S. living with Alzheimer's

More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease.While symptoms can vary greatly, a telltale sign of Alzheimer's is memory loss that begins to adversely affect work, social life, and other lifelong activities and hobbies.

State wants older residents screened for colorectal cancer

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) encourages adults 50 and older to get screened for colorectal cancer during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March.

Expert doubts Mud Springs Road

Committee considers Phoenix Street suggestions, engineer's surprising conclusions

The long-suffering debate on the proposed extension of Mud Springs Road took an unexpected turn when an expert drafted by critics said the extended road will probably generate so little traffic there's no need for a signal or roundabout where it would hit Highway 260.

New Pine fire chief selected

Residents in Pine can sleep a little easier knowing they now have an official, permanent new fire chief. Bob Lashua accepted the position two-and-a-half weeks ago, having served since September as the interim Pine fire chief.

Annual egg scramble is March 22

The 14th annual egg scramble for children ages 12 and under will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 22 at North Rumsey Park.

Groundbreaking-Rim Country Middle School

Parents of students at Rim Country Middle School, as well as teachers and staff, are going to have to make some adjustments when dropping off and picking up their kids now that construction has started at the school.

Mark John Ferraro

Relay for Life will hold its kick-off on Friday

The Payson Relay for Life Walk for a Cure kicks off this week with a meeting at 6 p.m., Friday, March 14 at the Nazarene Church at the corner of Tyler Parkway and N. Beeline Highway.

Thursday, March 6

Three-year sign saga reveals flaws

So did you hear the one about the sign? Guy goes into Town Hall and says, "Hey, I need a sign."

Around Rim Country

Register now for free CPR class

The Mogollon Health Alliance, in conjunction with the Payson Fire Department, will be holding a free family and friends CPR class on Wednesday, March 26. Please call Mogollon Health Alliance at (928) 472-2588 for more information and to register.

Granite Dells Road quad accident injuries two

The Payson Police Department recently responded to an accident with injuries involving a quad and two people.

Georgatos guilty on drug, sex charges

A Payson man has been found guilty of sexual conduct with two 14-year-old minors and on drugs charges.

Just the right touch

Giving the chimes just the right touch takes much practice. Kelsie Owen displays a light, but practiced hand, as she strikes her instrument with precision timing.

Banquet for Longhorns is March 19

The Payson High School basketball awards ceremony set for 6:30 p.m., March 19 in the events room at the Mazatzal Casino will fete both the girls and boys teams on all three levels, freshman through varsity.

Lady Longhorn Maddie Nossek gets the gold

Lady Longhorn Maddie Nossek continued her domination of the girls' long jump by winning the event at the 3A North Skydome Classic.

Blue Ridge signing date slips

Payson, Salt River Project will likely conclude historic agreement in April

The predicted date for tying up the loose ends on a deal to bring 3,000 acre-feet of new water to Payson from the Blue Ridge Reservoir has slipped into next month some time, said Payson Public Works Director Buzz Walker.

Council OKs sign, project

83-unit Mogollon Ridge subdivision given rezoning

Two long-running dramas cited by some to illustrate Payson's sometimes problematic relationship with private businesses came to quiet conclusions last night -- one involving a sign, the other a subdivision.

Town hall on heating bills will be March 18

Corporation commission to hear propane complaints

The Arizona Corporation Commission will hold a town hall meeting at the Payson High School Auditorium on March 18 at 6 p.m. in an effort to determine whether SemStream has done enough to help residents cope with staggering propane price increases that have doubled or tripled some homeowners' bills since last winter.

Church Briefs

What do the Jewish Passover and Jesus' Last Supper have in common? Tracy Rapp, speaking on behalf of Jews for Jesus, will answer that question in a presentation called "Christ in the Passover" at 6 p.m., Monday, March 10 at Payson Christian Church

Visit the ‘Little Shelter That Could'

It's always an adventure and a challenge at Payson Humane Society. We never know what the day will bring -- several stray dogs, occasionally some with injuries.

Christopher Creek businesses are still alive and well

It seems every time I go somewhere people are asking me what is happening in Christopher Creek?

Tribute to longtime Tonto Village resident, Connie Weldon

I am dedicating this week's column to Connie Weldon. Connie died Friday, Feb. 29 after a life-long battle against cancer.

P-S Fire Department has cutting edge wildfire management tool

Pine and Strawberry reserve firefighter and EMT Jay Wailes is the "guy to go to" if you want the low down on RedZone.

Design plans for new animal shelter show a 14,500-square-foot building

The Payson Humane Society has hired Shelter Planners of America to help design a new animal shelter.

Free tax help and free e-file provided by volunteers

Free tax preparation and free electronic filing is provided by AARP Volunteers in Payson. AARP Tax-Aide is administered through the AARP Foundation, in cooperation with the IRS.

Spring recreation program for children starts

Register your child today for the first Payson Parks and Recreation Department's Spring Break Recreation Program, being held Monday through Friday, March 10-14 for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Egg scramble for children will take place March 22

The 14th annual egg scramble for children ages 12 and under will begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, March 22 at North Rumsey Park.

Rotary Club celebrates 50 years of service

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

One nation: One people

It saddened me to see people waving the flag of another nation during a demonstration the other day. And it did something else, it took me back to a quiet Easter Sunday in 1942.

County superintendent will be at chamber's Eggs & Issues

Gila County Superintendent of Schools, Linda O'Dell, will talk with Rim Country Regional Chamber members March 12 at the Payson Library at 7 a.m.

Hike reveals hard rock mining history

In 1911, prospector E.H. Bowman discovered the Sunflower Mine while attempting to locate a source of gold ore. Instead of gold, Bowman found large quantities of both Cinnabar and Malachite.

Fantasy fishing tourney has offered millions in prizes

The age of computers and the abundance of instant information has encouraged a new sports arena called fantasy sports.

Tonto Apache team claims medals at track events

Tonto Apache track team star Val Doka, a state fourth-place finisher last year, stamped himself a possible USA Track and Field national qualifier by winning the shot put at the Flagstaff Indoor Classic.

Good Fishing

Ladies travel to Wickenburg

Armed with a senior hurler boasting four years varsity experience, the Lady Longhorns travel today, Friday, to Wickenburg where the softball team will compete in the 18-team Wrangler Classic.

Walk benefits visually impaired

When a sighted person gets up in the middle of the night to get a drink or maybe to find out what the family dog is barking at, chances are pretty good that person will turn on a light so they can see.

Sue Rombold

Ann Patricia Parker

Payson athletes earning honors

The honors continue to roll in for members of the Payson High School boys and girls basketball teams.

Kenneth E. Hawk Sr.

Elsie Lois Freeman

Teresa Ann Crane

E. Christine Kumpe

First Friday on Main Street art walk is today

There will be a lot of things to see and do tonight during the First Friday on Main Street Art and Antiques Walk from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 7.

Manzanita Drive decay brings road to top of repair list

A cartoon depicts two vultures sitting on a tree branch. One vulture turns to the other and says: To heck with waiting, let's kill something.

Tuesday, March 4

Kai'von Omari Oates

Max Garrett Ludtke

Hunter James Johnson

Hunter Wyatt Hoff

Micah James Clark

Keeping it clean

Walker Alan Jones

Korbin Thomas Clark

It's a mad mad mad mad mad life at the movies

The Mesa Theatre eventually became a hardware store, then an appliance store. Phoenix's grand theater, the Cine Capri, was torn down a decade or so ago. I remember standing in line for hours waiting to see "The Empire Strikes Back."

Rim Country Middle School musicians take center stage

The Payson High School auditorium will fill with music twice this week, thanks to the budding Rim Country Middle School musicians. These young people have put in many hours practicing with band teacher Mike Buskirk and Karen Phylow, the singing teacher.

Flashbacks tedious; Whitaker is tops

Let me start like this, if you put all logic and laws of physics aside, then "Vantage Point" wasn't half bad. The reason I would even compliment it that much is mostly due to the, as always, spectacular acting by Forest Whitaker. In fact, I would even recommend that you all go see "Vantage Point," if only for Forest Whitaker's performance.

Vantage point

A political thriller to enjoy

It was quite refreshing to finally see a post 9/11 movie from Hollywood, portraying a story that could very well be a real-life terrorism-related headline and where the U.S. Government (in this case, the Secret Service) are the good guys.

Bonus Recipes

Black Stallion

Visits from horses "Little Black" and "Big Red" enchanted 173 children from Frontier, Julia Randall and Pine-Strawberry Elementary Schools on Feb. 25.

A certified mad scientist conjures beauty

Several oversized lizards crawl up the walls of Myra's Gallery in Pine. Down the hill and around the bend to Star Valley, elk bugle between the intricate branches of pine trees at the entrance to a private home.

A Music of America holiday

Only 35 years ago Branson, Mo. was much like Payson -- a small town in the beautiful Ozarks. Today, it is known as the live Entertainment Capital of the World. It offers more than 100 different shows in 52 state-of-the-art theaters from intimate 50-seat venues to 4,000-seat theaters.

A lesson from Lewis Carroll

We have no way of obtaining knowledge of the workings of the mind of the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Jan. 27, 1832-Jan. 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll. What we do know astounds us.

Candlelight dinner and dancing

Hello readers. I am titling this column, "Candlelight Dinner and Dancing" because I love life so much, I am always finding new ways to enhance how to live it. Among my many interests, dancing is at the top, so, when the opportunity presented itself to take ballroom dancing classes (first lesson free), I went for it.

Shevlin plays jazz on 88 KEYS

John Shevlin's distinctive jazz style includes all 88 ivories, from the bottom A note, to the top C note. "I would break my fingers on a smaller keyboard," Shevlin said. The classically trained pianist moved to Payson a dozen years ago and was part of the first Payson jazz concert Oct. 27, 2001, when a group of musicians decided to get together and jam.

Monday, March 3

Reading across america

Payson school resource officer Dave Vaughn reads Dr. Seuss' "Sneetches" to Brianne DeWitt's second-graders at Frontier Elementary School. Vaughn caused laughter when he asked a student, "Is Monkey McBean your new beau?"

Virgil Patterson

Traffic options open at Wednesday's meeting

Payson's Surface Transportation Advisory Commission will meet Wednesday, March 5, at 4 p.m. in Town Hall to ponder citizen advice on slowing traffic on Mud Springs Road, as well as traffic control measures on the highway, including roundabouts and traffic signals.

Trio of Longhorns earn tourney honors

Standout performances in the Arizona State Class 3A tournament earned a trio of Longhorn basketball plays berths on the all-tournament team.

Payson to host field of dreams

Jake Yeck, an 18-year-old senior at Goodyear Millennium High School, was among the first group of aspiring baseball players to attend an Arizona Diamondbacks Training Center in Payson.

PHS track will be re-surfaced

Those using the Payson High School all-weather track for jogging or exercise will need to find a new location March 6 to 16.

Memorial: Ann Patricia Powers-Parker

Ann Patricia Powers-Parker went home to be with the Lord on February 17, 2008, after a short courageous battle with cancer.

Feature Teacher

Pine Strawberry recall election candidates-FOR the recall

Candidates provide answers FOR the recall of four Pine Strawberry water district board members

Residents in the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District will be voting until March 11 on a recall election to replace four of the district's board members. The Roundup asked the following same six questions of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board members. Their answers are reproduced here unaltered as received by the Roundup.

Pine Strawberry recall election candidates AGAINST the recall

Candidates provide answers AGAINST the recall of four Pine Strawberry water district board members

Residents in the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District will be voting until March 11 on a recall election to replace four of the district's board members. The Roundup asked the following same six questions of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board members. Their answers are reproduced here unaltered as received by the Roundup.

School Briefs

Senior Circle seeks Bunco players

March -- wild child of the calendar, no longer winter, but not yet spring. March has mood swings. Its bright sunshine and warm temperatures coax trees into cautious budding and then it throws a tantrum, complete with dismal clouds, snow showers and March's legendary winds. If you are going to be out and about this month, be sure to carry both sunglasses and an umbrella!

Phyllis Marie Emery

Slash pile on 4,300 acres to be burned

Smoke will drift into Payson from massive Forest Service burns for next three weeks

As weather permits, the U.S. Forest Service will burn debris piles on some 4,300 acres around Payson, Pine and Strawberry between today and March 22, part of an ambitious effort to protect the three communities from wildfires.

Longhorn track teams in rebuilding stage

Track and field assistant coach Kenny Hayes is among those trying to rebuild the boys and girls teams to the region and state forces they were only a few seasons ago.

Payson athletes left off all-state teams

Longhorn athletes received little notice when the 2008 boys and girls all-state soccer teams were announced Sunday.

PHS baseball team on the short-end of four games

A 1-4 record in the season opening Thunderbird Classic Baseball Tournament wasn't the jump-start Payson High School coach Jerry Daniels and his charges were hoping for.

The elementary frontiers of art, music, books and food

The dome at Frontier Elementary School filled with people enjoying music and art, books and food the evening of, Thursday Feb. 28.

Give your choice a voice, mail your ballot before Tuesday

With all the advertisements and broadcast news coverage of the presidential election, it is hard to think someone might let the opportunity to vote go by.

Around Rim Country

Flycasters to show how to build fly rods

The Payson Flycasters will be demonstrating in a series of three classes on how to build your own custom fly rod. Classes will be March 8, 15 and 22 at Green Valley Park.

Public meetings

Town commission wrestles with affordable housing dilemma

The challenge Payson faces in attracting projects that will provide housing even for "low-income" residents making $60,000 annually dominated a recent housing commission discussion of a proposed 83-unit subdivision.

Spending reports reveal support

Mayoral candidate Kenny Evans has raised the most money in the current Payson council race, relying on a combination of grassroots contributions plus substantial developer, Realtor and construction money, according to an analysis of fund-raising and spending reports submitted last week.