Stories for May 2008


Thursday, May 29

Final remarks by outgoing Mayor Bob Edwards

Tonight, I hand over the gavel.

Lady Longhorn finishes fifth in tough heptathlon

Jenna Robertson shows why she is top athlete

The heptathlon -- a test of strength, speed, skill and endurance -- is a daunting challenge only a select handful of the state's most well-rounded and dedicated prep and field athletes are willing to take on.

All-state honors go to Payson catcher

Ridge Halenar hopes to play college ball

In 1998, Ridge Halenar -- then a Frontier Elementary School first-grader -- burst onto the Arizona baseball scene by finishing third in a state baseball competition.

Huffin' and Puffin' time

Break out the running shoes, fire up your favorite tunes in the iPod Nano and jump start your training for an inaugural event that's sure to challenge all who enter.

Major league flyover led by PHS graduate

If you were among those Rim Country baseball fans watching on television, the Memorial Day game between the Arizona Diamond-backs and Atlanta Braves, you probably marveled at the pre-game flyover of four T-38 Air Force jets.

Birthday fishing trip

What do you plan on doing to celebrate your 81st birthday?

‘Throwaways' deserve a chance to grow

I read a story of a woman who had gone to visit her sister.

Losing a brother

One family's loss in Vietnam changes everything -- and echoes in silence

Martin deMasi hurried down the street toward home fresh out of Boy Scout camp, if anyone can really hurry when it hits 115 in Mesa. Even before he got to the house that had been the whole world for his mother and father and seven brothers and sisters, he could tell something was going on.

Military travels teach Payson man there's no better place than home

Technically, Ray Law was only a full-time resident of Payson during his senior year in high school until retiring here two years ago.

How to catch a fly

Inevitably I guess, someone who read the column I did about taking spiders outside and letting them go looked at me and said, "Oh you've probably been like that all your life.

Memorial Day was one wet weekend

I think that was the wettest Memorial Weekend I have ever seen.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Tuesday is ‘Kick Off to Kindergarten'

Public can sound off on roundabout idea

The Arizona Department of Transportation on June 10 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall will hold a hearing to get public input on a proposed $1.2 million roundabout at Highway 87 and Airport Road.

Icebergs everywhere: budget sunk

It was a strange scene.

The Three Rs, Part II: Relevance

I once heard an analogy concerning the difference between participation and commitment at the breakfast table.

Reading readiness kit available from Payson library

Pre-school children can get kit on May 31

Pre-school children ages three, four and five can go home from the Payson Public Library Saturday, May 31 with a free reading readiness kit.

Summer activities abound

The words "There's nothing to do" should not be uttered by a single soul in the Rim Country this summer. There is plenty to do with programs planned by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department and area libraries. In addition the vacation Bible schools and churches are getting ready to present assorted concerts and other programs throughout the summer. There are many special events, as well.

Mayor Bob Edwards' era ends

Outgoing mayor mingles pride in accomplishments with warnings about the future in his final address to the council

One of the most eventful eras of Payson politics ended with applause and a graceful flourish on Tuesday, as Mayor Bob Edwards and councilors Andy Romance and Tim Fruth took a final bow.

Jan Parsons named top business person

Jan Parsons of APS in Payson is the 2008 Business person of the Year in the Rim Country. Parsons, who is area supervisor for the utility, has been in the community of Payson for nearly two dozen years, said Mayor Kenny Evans in announcing the award. She joined APS in 1985. As area supervisor, she oversees all facets of customer service for a vast geographic area.

Payson faces drastic cuts

Council balks at 15-percent budget slash, hiring freeze, projects killed and cut-off for community groups

Town Manager Debra Galbraith Tuesday recommended that the Payson Town Council slash overall spending by 15 percent, in addition to canceling most capital improvement projects, freezing salaries, banning overtime, not filling vacant positions -- and perhaps shutting down popular programs like the swimming pool and help for community groups.

Don't pick up baby birds and other young wildlife

You may be tempted to pick up a baby bird or other young wild animal that appears to be on its own, but Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists warn this is not a good idea.

In investment world, gold doesn't always glitter

Gold has mesmerized human beings for thousands of years

Royce (Rocky) O'Donnell

Royce (Rocky) O'Donnell died May 27, 2008.

Cleo Lucille Taylor

Cleo Lucille Taylor, 97, died Sunday, May 25, 2008.

Engine failure suspected in crash of Payson man's plane

Engine failure is suspected in the plane crash that took the life of Payson pilot and businessman Shane Owens Sunday, May 25.

Cold, then warm weather makes for a crazy time

What crazy weather! Last week the temperatures were pretty hot (about 90), and then over the weekend, it was cold enough that not only did we have a measurable amount of rain, there was also hail and snow up until Saturday morning.

Annual Strawberry, quilt festival will be June 7-8

If among your enjoyments are sweet fruits, desserts and small-town atmosphere, the Rim Country is the place to be next weekend. That's because, the 18th Annual Strawberry Festival will take place at the Pine-Strawberry Community Center on Highway 87 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 7 and 8. The admission is free.

Spa indulgences using natural high country elements

Urban flatlanders pay high dollar for it, Hollywood stars seek it out, we high country residents are surrounded by it. It is the peace, healthful benefits, and refreshing serenity that spa treatments try to provide.

Tuesday, May 27

Roosevelt fills up after wet winter

Lake is bass fishing heaven with spring's runoff

Fish hatchery keeps Rim lakes, streams teeming

Tonto Creek offers wealth of campsites, fishing holes for anglers eagerly awaiting the stocking truck

From combat pilot to school principal

Pine/Strawberry's Mike Clark crashed under fire in Vietnam, then faced jeers back home

Mike Clark's worst day in Vietnam started out benignly enough, as he flew along splitting the attention between the rolling, jungle-cloaked hills and the instrument panel of his Chinook chopper on a routine shuttle to deliver five passengers and assorted supplies to a forward base.

Movie review: Cinematography, special effects, color dazzle audience


The cinematography in "Speed Racer" was intense and mesmerizing. The visual effects of "Speed Racer" were beyond their time.

Movie review: Something for everyone to enjoy


"Nothing ever happens the same way twice," says Aslan, the lion from "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Indeed, fans of the first movie in "The Chronicles of Narnia" will find Prince Caspian very different. It is rougher, but no less magical.

A cemetery called 'The Last Roundup'


In our search for the isolated graves of Rim Country pioneers, we take a drive down Ox Bow Hill on the Beeline Highway, and at the foot of the hill we come to the little community of Rye.

Welcome to the Rim Country -- Relax and enjoy

There is no better place in the Southwest to spend your vacation than Arizona's Rim Country. From the moment folks arrive at the gateway to the Mogollon Rim, they'll notice that Payson is maintaining its small-town charm while enjoying the amenities of urban life.

Tonto Natural Bridge always astounding

The natural travertine bridge that arcs over Pine Creek is one of the wonders of Arizona and the Rim Country. The bridge, surrounding area and historic lodge create Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. "It is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world," said Steve Soroka, assistant park manager.

Tonto National Monument offers clues to mystery

Just 60 miles outside of Payson, the dozing ruins of Tonto National Monument have lately yielded fresh clues to an ancient mystery.

Cantaloupe truck wrecks on Highway 87

A big rig carrying a load of cantaloupe northbound on Highway 87 wrecked at about 3:15 p.m., Wednesday, May 28.

Creepy, crawly, crazy folklore of weird Arizona


I knew I lived in a state with an enormous, stunningly beautiful, water-carved hole where more than 600 people had died.

Lunker trout lurk in secluded Chevelon Lake

Two dozen Rim Country Lakes and streams offer a wealth of opportunities for anglers

Summer library programs for children

"Catch the Reading Bug" this summer at the Payson Public Library.

Altered art appeals to 'asymmetrical person'


The words "dream" and "life" are focal points of "Green" -- a shadow box Shannon Bielke created in the room where she creates all her altered art projects.

Monday, May 26

Rodeo parade winners named

The 2008 Main Event Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo parade was the biggest to be held yet.

Golden Anniversary

Robert and Penelope Wells will celebrate 50 years of marriage with a family cruise to Bermuda.

School's disciplinary strategy has proven successful

I am writing in response to Tom Loeffler's trivial complaints presented in last week's edition of the Roundup. Firstly, I'd like to say that I, too, have sympathy for the high school students whose senior prank led to several unfortunate consequences; however, unlike Mr. Loeffler, I believe, in accordance with the law, that the students received a just punishment.

Alexia Rene Alexander

Alexia Rene Alexander was born at 4:29 p.m., Monday, May 12, 2008 to parents Tyler and Sandra at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Summer football, basketball programs working together

Because PHS football coach Josh Anderson and basketball coach Kenny Hayes are in the unique situation in which they assist one another in their sports, the two can tag-team the summer off-season program.

Aden Michael James Thompson

Aden Michael James Thompson was born at 12:12 p.m., Tuesday, May 20, 2008 to parents Tony and April at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Armande Enrique Ochoa

Armande Enrique Ochoa was born at 2:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 20, 2008 to parents Armando and Susan Ochoa at Payson Regional Medical Center.

PHS scholarship winners

Lisa Bartoli, Northern Arizona University Dean's Scholarship.

Design Review Board award presented to Roundup

The Town of Payson Design Review Board, commissioned by the Payson Town Council, wants to make sure local business and property owners are appreciated for their continuing efforts to make Payson a desirable place to live, work and play.

Condo conversion opportunities

A condo conversion is generally the conversion of a multi-family dwelling such as an apartment, which is owned by one entity and divided so each dwelling unit is a single-owner property or condominium. Conversions have been a mainstay in most large cities, including Phoenix, for many years. Payson is soon to undergo one of the first conversions in the Rim Country.

Eagles nesting at Woods Canyon Lake

Visitors asked not to disturb eagles through summer nesting time

For the first time in anyone's memory, a pair of bald eagles is nesting at Woods Canyon Lake on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The eagles are using a nest formerly occupied by ospreys on the southwest shore of the lake near the Rocky Point Picnic Area.

Rim Country cyclists win age/experience division titles

A trio of Rim Country cyclists capped the seven-race 2008 Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) season by winning age/experience division championships at the Flagstaff Finale.

Men's golf group gears up for Prescott scramble

Members of the Payson Men's Golf Association geared up for a June 4 trip to Prescott Country Club in a four-man, orange ball formatted scramble.

Full schedule of activities set for Taylor Pool

Taylor Pool has long been the hot spot to cool off during the warm summer months.

Parks and recreation trying to revive youth tennis camp

After spending about $160,000 to upgrade the Rumsey Park tennis courts, the town parks and recreation department is now gearing up for a banner summer youth tennis camp.

Summer sand VB league in 3rd season

When Patrick Walker, a town recreation supervisor, left his job last summer to return to college, he vowed to make the adult sand volleyball league even more successful than it had been.

Community Almanac

"Catch the Reading Bug" this summer at the Payson Public Library. The summer reading program is from June 3 through June 25. Registration takes place now through June 7.

Pearl Pace Eagar

Pearl Pace Eagar, 96, died May 21, 2008 in Logan, Utah. She was born July 12, 1911 in Thatcher, Ariz. She was the daughter of Lemuel Redd Pace, who died in the flu epidemic of 1919, and Mary Isabell Layton Pace, who gave birth to their fourth child, Lemuel, just five days after her husband's death.

Bad weather gets family movie night rescheduled to May 31

Due to poor weather conditions in Payson Saturday, the last free Family Movie Night has been rescheduled to May 31.

Principal dunked in heart association fund-raiser

Will Dunman, the principal at Payson Elementary School, splashed into the waters of the dunk tank 47 times due to the skill of his students.

Cesar Alberto Saenz-Nevarez

Cesar Alberto Saenz-Nevarez was born at 10:53 p.m., Friday, May 16, 2008 to parents Cesar and Diana at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Cottrells celebrate 50 years

Loy and Vicky Cottrell are celebrating their 50-year anniversary on May 31, 2008.

Roundup reporter wins press women honors

Carol La Valley, a Roundup reporter, and Patricia Gail Hearne, a freelance writer, were honored at the Arizona Press Women state conference which took place May 10 at Chaparral Suites Resort, Scottsdale.

Pine-Strawberry Festival

Jim Adams, a volunteer with the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department, pours batter into a bear shaped pancake mold for some lucky youngster at the Memorial Day Weekend pancake breakfast.

A great find

Janet Tappan, a Red Hat Society member and rodeo parade participant, checks out some of the jewelry at the community flea market held May 17 at the Community Presbyterian Church.

New, improved first aid class offered at Gila College

The first aid class you took in high school, in summer camp or even just a few years ago is not the same class being offered at Gila Community College in Payson.

Breast cancer survivor education available

Payson Regional Medical Center is participating in a year-long project to educate the survivors of breast cancer on a number of different topics. The program is also open to family members of survivors and caregivers.

Waterwise seminar set for May 31 at college

The High Country Xeriscape Council (HCXC) is presenting a free waterwise seminar Saturday, May 31.

Relay for Life shaping into big blast

The Relay for Life event is shaping up to be one of the best parties around for 2008.

Felony punishment for students too much

I would like to suggest that our chamber of commerce include in its relocation packets to prospective residents your issue detailing the felony arrests of the students involved in the senior prank incident.

Community flea market was successful

We want to thank the Roundup, and KMOG for their wonderful help in advertising our recent Community Flea Market at Community Presbyterian Church.

Remember the vets this Memorial Day

Just a year ago Decatur, Ind. high school students while visiting the World War II memorial during their Washington, D.C. tour shook hands and gave us thanks for our service with each of our group 30 WWII Merchant Marine veterans. This was a special honor and a heartfelt emotional moment for us.

No more election laws needed

What was the writer thinking with that letter about paper ballots? We don't need any more election laws.

Thanks to the community for support

Hellsgate Fire Department Auxiliary would like to thank the following organizations and businesses for their support of our recent annual Star Valley Spring Fling held May 3, 2008.

The dog and the bone and the Event Center

We were groping for a fable to stand for Payson's effort to take full advantage of the world's oldest continuous rodeo -- by just about wrecking it.

Homeowners face a flood of bureaucracy

Payson agrees to throw a life ring to homeowners trapped in the undertow of a paperwork error

Payson has agreed to tilt the windmill of federal bureaucracy on behalf of about 100 homeowners facing huge flood insurance premiums as a result of a paperwork error.

Event Center plan extends 10-20 years

At first glance, the consultant's latest plan to transform the Event Center grounds looked suspiciously like the last five master plans -- including the $12-million layout for an enclosed arena shelved eight years ago for lack of money.

Tributes draw crowds

Tears were shed Memorial Day at the Veterans Memorial at Green Valley Park, but it was mostly a day of remembering and paying tribute for the 500 plus people who came to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Payson men die in separate plane crashes

Payson lost two pilots this past week. Bradley Onion died in a plane crash in Montana May 23 and Shane Owens was killed in a crash north of Winslow Sunday.

Skylar Marie Taft

Skylar Marie Taft was born at 6:37 a.m., Monday, May 19, 2008 to parents Daniel and Tiffany Taft at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Michael Steven Vazquez Lidster

Michael Steven Vazquez Lidster was born at 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 14, 2008 to parents Luis and Lynda at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Gage Joe Hardman

Gage Joe Hardman was born at 12:44 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2008 to parents Kelly and Heather Hardman at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Thursday, May 22

Brothers reunite at graduation

Wounded Iraq veteran gives his little brother one big surprise

For Steven Vandermeer, the graduation stage was set and he would walk onto it, not as a behind the scenes Payson High School drama tech, but as a graduate.

Star Valley revenue, spending may triple

$5.5 million budget scenario stands in stark contrast to Payson

The down payment on a water company and a police department plus a million-dollar gush of speeding tickets will triple Star Valley's spending in the upcoming fiscal year -- boosting it from about $1.5 million this year to a possible $5.5 million in fiscal 2008-09.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Business awards luncheon is May 29

Honoring vets, arts and crafts fair, among weekend activities

Payson remembers American veterans -- past, present, future

Rain, gas dampen weekend crowds

Rain, gas prices and fire restrictions in the national forests could thin the Rim Country crowds this Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start to the booming summer travel season.

Best Rim Country fishing spots highlighted

So here are the Rim Country's 10 best fishing holes, according to Dennis Pirch who has made a study of standing around doing not much of anything in beautiful place

Busy summer season kicks off this weekend in Pine

Saddle up, buckle up and hold on. The upcoming weekend has all the makings of becoming one of the busiest of all Memorial Day holidays.

Hellsgate Fireflies serve up breakfast

Whew! Someone turned up the heat when I wasn't looking!

Volunteers needed for Kids Klean Up the Creek Day

If you have not signed the petition to make Mr. Jim Oliver administrator to Christopher/Kohl's Fire District please do so immediately.

Couple celebrates 60 years of adventure

This Memorial Day Ed and Pat Welge will be remembering a lot -- the couple is looking forward to celebrating 60 years of marriage and a relationship that began during World War I

May flower maintenance

Spring's bounty is in full bloom, but some of her best show-stoppers last only a moment, and then it is up to those of us that love her to clean up after the parade of colors in preparation for next year's exhibition.

Secrets revealed!!

Buttering up the fish guy reveals key to perfect day of East Verde fishing

Psst. Psst. You there. Rim Country resident.

Main Street Grille has new menu, hours and outdoor dance floor

The Main Street Grille will roll into summer with a new menu, a new patio dance floor, longer hours, a full entertainment schedule and only premium-brand liquors from the well.

Aero Fair attracts 100 planes, crowd

Each child's hand waved a small flag and held on tight to their balsa wood airplane at the Payson 2008 Aero Fair on Saturday in honor of our military.

Dance to bring sunshine to children with cancer

Trips to a water resort, catching the big trout in a tournament, playing laser tag or heading to a baseball game are dreams that have become reality for cancer-afflicted children the Sunshine Kids assists across the United States.

Section 529 plan can make graduation day a reality

It's the time of year when students across the country are graduating from college. It took a lot of effort to earn those degrees, but it took something else, too: money.

‘Kitten season' upon us... babies need TLC

Well, we made it to the middle of May but, as of this week, kitten season is in full swing.

Filling turkey tag late in the season is a challenge

The month-long spring gobbler hunt has come to a close in the units under the Rim.

Hit, run champions crowned in various age groups

Champions of the Payson Pepsi Pitch, Hit and Run competition have been crowned.

Record-setting former player inducted

Payson's Mary McMullen joins California school hall of fame

A Rim Country mother of two entrusted with supervising the construction of the Payson Area Trails System (PATS) has been inducted into her high school's athletic hall of fame.

163 PHS athletes take sports physicals

From the Payson healthcare system, Kristi Ford, Peggy Malling, Erica Overton, Sharon Plumb, Brian Ruder, Susan Settle and Linda Swartwood volunteered.

What we believe, we believe

You may not be aware of it it, but I run an online BLOG, or web log, for the Roundup. It's called "I'm Listening." It's fun, it lets me meet a lot of Rim Country folks online, and it keeps me current on what's happening

Fast-pitch softball is popular

New Little League program features twice weekly games

Payson's first-ever Little League fastpitch girls softball program is up, running and purring like a fine-tuned power block V-8.

Edward Henry Luther

Edward Henry Luther died May 15, 2008 in Payson.

Accidents send victims to Valley

An accident on Monday morning north of Payson was not as serious as it appeared, according to Sgt. John Whetten of the Payson office of the Department of Public Safety.

Toddler Ball hosted by PHS class

The Payson High School's Child Development I class threw their very first Toddler Ball on Tuesday, May 13.

Lots of pomp, scholarships for Payson class of 2008

$830,300 in scholarships awarded to PHS seniors

The Wilson Dome was filled to the rafters by the time caps sailed high Thursday night as the class of 2008 celebrated their success.

Tuesday, May 20

Blueberries, walnuts great additions in summer

Summer dining calls for light meals that are easy to put together yet don't skimp on flavor or good nutrition.

Public Service Announcement

Graduation moved to the Dome

Graduation ceremonies for Payson High School have been moved into the Dome.

Payson remembers

Honoring our veterans -- past, present and future

This weekend there will be numerous events paying tribute to veterans in Memorial Day services.

Plane crash on Myrtle Point

This week I've decided to examine an old story about a plane crash on Myrtle Point, near the Boles Homestead.

Wildfires and Hot Shots

The summer we moved to Payson, we were introduced to wildfires.

Bump on head leads artist to inspiration

Bob Temple's dream is to open his own art gallery in Payson.

Movie Review: Iron Man-A great escape movie for everyone

I don't go to movies very often, but some advertising is so good I can't resist giving the product a try.

Visit Arizona national parks and monuments this summer

With gas prices soaring, you might be thinking of revising your summer vacation to stay closer to home. Consider Arizona's national parks and monuments.

Movie Review: Iron Man

Action, fun for all ages

Forget the calendar -- in the world of moviegoers summer is officially here with the first blockbuster of the season

Fence rule divides Payson Town Council

Good fences make good neighbors -- but ugly fences make for lively discussions

A proposed fence ordinance complete with scale drawings and color palette provoked a council revolt against "turning Payson into a giant homeowner's association."

Geologist: Lots of water down deep in Pine

Pine Strawberry Water District mulls legal dispute, report on output of well

A report on whether deep wells can supply all the water Pine and Strawberry need and a debate about whether the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District can legally buy a water company dominated the Saturday board meeting.

Historic home burns to ashes

The main house on a ranch dating back to the 1870s burned to ashes Sunday morning, but members of the family who have owned it for 30 years and Tonto Basin fire crews prevented the fierce flames from spreading to other buildings

Spring rodeo honors the memory of Gary Hardt

Among those who remember him fondly is his son, Shawn, now a teacher and coach in Queen Creek. Shawn recalls his father was a star athlete, excelled in bull riding, was a seasoned outdoorsman and owned a John Wayne-like reputation, mostly due to his physical and mental toughness.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Garden tour tickets now available

Monday, May 19

Appointments made to Senior Center board

Roses are blooming in Payson

Football, basketball summer schedules finalized

Payson High School football coach Josh Anderson and basketball coach Kenny Hayes have finalized the schedules for summer programs in the two sports.

Special Olympians take part in state meet

The Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Parade and state track and field competition in Tempe stirred the emotions of the Northern Gila County team members, their coaches and fans.

Sprint triathlon tests strength, speed, endurance of athletes

The Payson Sprint Triathlon debuted in 2006 as an opportunity for local athletes to put their endurance, speed and strength to the test.

Diane Furry

Diane Furry died April 26, 2008.

Joel Brian Myers

Joel Brian Myers, 68, died May 14, 2008.

Fred R. Eaton Jr.

Fred R. Eaton Jr., 90, died May 15, 2008.

Ethel Louisa Thornton Clasen

Ethel Louisa Thornton Clasen of Payson, died April 24, 2008.

Resource guide available for seniors, caregivers

Olivia Guerrero, president and chief executive officer of the Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens, has announced the release of the first-ever comprehensive senior and caregiver resource guide for Gila and Pinal counties.

The pros and cons of bidding on foreclosed properties

Can you make a profit by investing in foreclosed properties? Absolutely! Can you lose money by investing in foreclosed properties? Absolutely!

Silent auction will benefit Humane Society June 6

Down the Street Art Gallery will hold a silent auction from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, June 6 to benefit the Payson Humane Society.

Little League Player of the week

The Payson Roundup Little League Player of the Week is Zac Wolf.

Quad run will benefit McNeeley Foundation

The Justice McNeeley quad run benefit has its origins in the summer of 2004 when friends of the boy, then a 5-year-old Pine Elementary School kindergartner, banded together to purchase him a specialized wheelchair called a Go-Bot.

STOP! Please STOP!

Whitehouse Drive resident discovers sometimes all you have to do is ask

After the latest in series of close calls with cars on Whitehouse Drive near the Nicklaus Drive intersection, Leach and several other homeowners took their case to the town council.

Program helps teens explore health care

"Volunteering is about taking part in the world -- no matter what the age -- and giving back to the community that is there for us each day," said Payson Regional Medical Center's Volunteen Director Lynn Sommars

2008 PRMC award winner says 'Nursing is best job in world'

Sharleen Jones has spent most of her career as a nurse at Payson Regional Medical Center. Now the Maui, Hawaii native is the 2008 Patient's Choice Award Winner.

Special jazz performance will take place this Sunday

A special Payson Jazz performance by guitarist Jack Wilkins will take place at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 25 at the Community Presbyterian Church.

Firefighters to perform hydrant maintenance

It's not just dogs that like fire hydrants, firefighters like them too.

Rodeo queens ride high in the sky

If you were listening to the airport frequency on Friday you would have heard. "This is Sky Queen One over the Tonto Natural Bridge." "This is Sky Queen two."

Teenage cowboy takes top prize money at rodeo

A Navajo Nation cowboy, who first began riding at 3 years of age in mutton bustin' events, emerged as the top money winner at the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo.

2008 business award nominees announced

The selection of finalists has been completed for the 2008 Rim Country Business Awards.

Candidate to visit Payson

Ann Kirkpatrick, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Congressional District One, will visit Payson on Wednesday, May 21.

Friday, May 16

County Elections

State, county filings due June 4

Checking with election officials at the state and county, the field of contenders is sparse ... for now.

School Activities

Mercedeze Campbell doesn't appear to have any difficulty stretching those leg muscles.

Last roundup for an historic council

Final meeting in the Edwards era ends with businesslike calm

The final full meeting of a council that has bulldogged controversy and herded history ended quietly Thursday, with the denial of outgoing Councilor Tim Fruth's plea to double council salaries starting in 2010.

Granny flats affordable housing solution?

Payson Planning Commission wrestles with restrictions on "guest quarters" which

An effort to allow rented "granny suites" in existing homes to cushion Payson's affordable housing crunch has proven unexpectedly complicated.

Joseph F. Calderone

Joseph F. Calderone was born in Toronto Canada on Jan. 27, 1925.

Jazz becomes Friday feature at Community Presbyterian Church

The Payson Jazz Trio, featuring local players Bob Smolenski on piano, Jason Larson on bass, and Gerry Reynolds on drums, with other guests will perform from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday nights starting May 16 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St.

Payson man honored by state Red Cross

Roxy Bowers of Payson has received the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter's Bill Bombeck Award, which is named after the chapter's most distinguished disaster volunteer who served in many capacities for more than 25 years.

20 students face charges for PHS prank

Payson Police will seek criminal charges against 20 Payson High School students in connection with a weekend incident in which students superglued pennies to sidewalks and doors, deflated tires on school buses and painted "Class of 08" on the synthetic surface of the track.

Beeline to reopen May 20

As work crews finalize repairs following a March landslide, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) expects to reopen all four lanes of traffic on Highway 87 north of the Saguaro Lake turnoff on Ma

Annual spring rodeo on tap this weekend

The 2008 Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo is this weekend at the Payson Event Center. For complete details, see the free Rodeo Guide inside this issue.

Second flyball tournament is two-day event this weekend

Payson's second annual flyball tournament will be held on Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18 at Rumsey Park, with racing ongoing both days from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Saturday home tour features green home

The United Methodist Women are holding their eighth annual tour of homes from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, May 17.

Pranks went beyond being funny

A good joke, like a good prank, can be fun and bring smiles to everyone involved.

Eduardo "Ed" Torres

Eduardo "Ed" Torres died May 1, 2008

Aero fair will be full of high-flying fun Saturday

The Payson Regional Airport Authority will present the 2008 Aero Fair from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 17.

Lisa Angelini is center for awareness guest speaker

The Payson Center for Spiritual Awareness will host guest speaker Lisa Angelini

Say no to drugs, yes to bowling

In an ongoing effort to provide students with wholesome recreational activities, Rim Country Lanes will run a program "Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Bowling

Kaleb Ryan Shaffer

Kaleb Ryan Shaffer was born at 4:24 p.m

Dasia Haylee Rowe

Dasia Haylee Rowe was born at 5:10 p.m

Cameron John Wagstaff

Cameron John Wagstaff was born at 2:53 p.m

David Adam Zehnder

David Zehnder, 41, died May 6, 2008

Helaina Josephine Althoff

Helaina Josephine Althoff was born at 11:50 a.m

Event Center wish list sought from Payson residents

Wednesday meeting will present rodeo grounds master plan to include everything from a covered arena to space for monster trucks and busy vendors

The promised land glimmers -- way off down the road ahead.

Chaparral Pines earns national firewise honor

The Chaparral Pines community was presented with a plaque on on May 10 recognizing it as the 21st community in Arizona and the sixth community in Gila County to become a part of the Firewise Communities/USA, a program started in 2002.

Thursday, May 15

Golfers hit the road while others play host

Divide and conquer was the links strategy of the Payson Men's Golf Association.

Special adoption rates through May

Put your tax rebate to work

You may not be familiar with it formal name -- the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 -- but you're almost certainly aware of its key outcome: a tax rebate.

Memories of a time spent in Vietnam

As part of President Johnson's effort to boost the American fighting force I was drafted into the Army in June, 1966, and within three hours after joining my unit somewhere west of the central highland city of Pleiku, Vietnam on January 3, 1967, I saw my first dead American soldier

‘Home' means a lot more to us than we sometimes realize

I happened to notice that two or three recent columns shared a common theme--home.

Pine Strawberry Arts and Craft Festival next weekend

For heat weary desert dwellers, a summer trip to the Rim Country is not complete without a stop in Pine.

Bass fishing tips from the experts

With the Big Bass Challenge now heating up the overflow waters of Roosevelt Lake, it's time for some solid bass fishing tips from some of the state's finest anglers.

Welcome back part-timers breakfast May 24

Rain! Wet, wonderful rain.

One district cancels fire restrictions, another puts them in place

The Red Rock Ranger District has cancelled plans to implement the first level of campfire and smoking restrictions on Wednesday, May 14.

It was a perfect day for wildlife fair

Last Saturday, with perfect springtime weather, record crowds visited Green Valley Park for the 14th annual Wildlife Fair.

Power point system changes could alter scheduling

There could be some big changes just over the horizon for 3A conference high schools.

The British are coming to teach a Rim Country soccer camp

The British are coming, the British are coming.

Can it be time for spring football?

54 players turn out for first day of practice

Payson High School might next year field its finest football team since the 1998 state championship team that finished the season undefeated.

Monday, May 12

Merriam George Kohlbacher

Merriam George Kohlbacher, 90, died April 30, 2008 in Roseville, Calif. He was born Sept. 22, 1917 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Students seek support for pranksters

This week, high school as they knew it was over for seven Payson High girls. As members of the community, you may or may not have heard of the most recent uproar centered around the seven seniors.

Updated information on Pine-Strawberry Water

In a letter to the editor that was published in the April 18, 2008 issue of the Payson Roundup, I addressed the reasons why it is important for the future Pine-Strawberry water district to own its own source of water and why completing the K2 well prior to purchasing the water companies makes more sense than relying on private wells as the major source of water.

School prank goes wrong

About 15 seniors suspended, may miss graduation, face charges

UPDATE: Late Tuesday, Payson High School Principal Ray Sandoval decided to allow some of the students who had participated in the "senior prank" involving vandalism on campus to participate in the graduation ceremonies.

Traffic committee prioritizes projects

In an effort to rationalize street planning, the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC) last week adopted a priority list of needed street improvements -- that as one side effect knocked the extension of Mud Springs out of its top spot on the old priority list.

Rollicking rodeo comes out of the chutes Friday

The 2008 Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo is this week, starting with Women's Barrel Racing Thursday night. There will be two evening rodeo shows and the annual Main Event Parade.

Coach, player suspended after soccer game fight

Although Payson Police Department and the town parks and recreation department are continuing their investigations of a youth soccer league altercation, a team coach and a player have been suspended for their part in the incident.

Students offer apologies for results of high school prank

To Superintendent Mr. O'Brien, Principal Mr. Sandoval, Assistant Principal Mr. Fruth, Athletic Director Mr. Lobik, Governing Board: Vicki Holmes, Donald Engler, Charles Brown, Mike Horton, Rory Huff, Brittney McDaniel, Lauren Bartoli, and to all bus drivers and students who may have been affected:

Many made dinner a success

Payson Elementary School would like to thank all of those people who supported our recent spaghetti dinner. All proceeds from the dinner go toward funding or subsidizing the transportation costs of field trips for students at Payson Elementary School.

Grateful for coverage of field day

Thank you for your coverage of the Tonto Basin Elementary School Field Day. The pictures published were priceless and truly captured the fun atmosphere present at the school that day.

Heavy traffic frustrating for travelers

Now that we are back to heavy traffic weekends, I wonder if we've considered a short term solution. We need the business that our valley friends bring to the Rim Country, but the heavy traffic and slow movement through Payson makes it very frustrating for travelers.

Arizona pork barrel among lowest in country

I recently received the Citizens Against Government Waste "2008 Congressional Pig Book Summary." This annual report, by CAGW, is a recap of the 11,610 "earmarked" pork projects, amounting to $17.2 billion stuffed into the 12 federal appropriations bills.

Juveniles read out of their problems and probation

A teenage boy stands before the judge. He can feel the eyes of his parents and other courtroom observers hot on the back of his neck.

Urge to fly helicopters sends PHS student to West Point

West Point confirmed Isaac Cluff's nomination, so he won't be using the $9,000 Presidential Scholarship from Arizona Sate University.

Moving from rigor to relevance to relationships

"Only nine percent of Americans think most high schools students are being challenged by their schoolwork. Seventy-five percent feel that America's ability to compete in the world will weaken if 25 years from now, high schools have not changed, according to "Americans Speak on High School Reform, Educational Testing Service," June, 2005.

Celebrate Armed Forces Day at the Aero Fair

The aviation community celebrates Armed Forces Day with the theme of the Payson Aero Fair -- Honoring Our Military at the Aero Fair, Saturday, May 17.

Band Jamboree: A concert on the green

When fifth grade students start to play in an elementary school band, some of them get hooked on the beautiful noise.

The advantages of returning to school

There are many people who wish time travel were possible. Simply go back to a period of life that you want to redo and have the opportunity to make a change or do it completely differently.

Adapt a fixed income to enjoy retirement

Thanks to advancements in medicine and an increased emphasis on physical activity and fitness, people are living longer than ever before.

Valerie D. Bridges

Valerie D. Bridges died May 6, 2008 in Payson. She was born June 20, 1951 in Princeton, N.J.

Theresa A. Beasley

Theresa A. Beasley died May 6, 2008 at the Springdale West Rehab and Nursing Home in Mesa, after a long illness.

PHS junior brings home pole vault title

Maddie Nossek finishes second in long jump, Jenna Robertson earns silver, girls 4x100 relay team finishes fourth, four others finish third at state

Junior Nick Goodman led the PHS charge at the Class 3A State Track and Field championship, winning the pole vault title with a mark of 13 feet.

Two Longhorns to play in all-star game

A pair of Payson High School standouts will soon be showcasing their diamond skills in the prestigious Arizona Baseball Coaches Association North vs. South All-Star game.

Bass tourney, bull bustin', RV show set for May 16

Trawling, two-steppin' and bigtime bull bustin' is expected to draw thousands to the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino Big Bass Challenge when it debuts May 16 to 19 at Roosevelt Lake and in Payson.

It's going to be hectic summer at Event Center

Payson Event Center Recreation Specialist Charlene Hunt is gearing up for a hectic summer.

Longhorn golfers finish 13th at state tournament

A 13th-place state showing and a fourth-place East region effort weren't the lofty finishes the Longhorn golf team enjoyed only a few seasons ago.

Be aware of campfire, smoking restrictions

Winter rains and snow resulted in abundant plant growth across much of Arizona, causing an increase in fuels in many areas including around the Phoenix metro area.

Class on tax and financial strategies set

The two Payson Edward Jones financial advisers will host a broadcast for CPAs, tax professionals and attorneys titled "Tax and Financial Strategies for Today's Families," from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 14 at their offices.

The basics of foreclosures

Three years ago the buzz words of real estate were "buy and flip." Today, we are down to one buzz word, "foreclosures."

Community events

The Payson High School music department will present a concert at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 13 in the auditorium. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for students; those 10 and younger will be admitted for free.

Miotto, Wilbanks to marry

Donielle Miotto, daughter of Roger and Tammy Miotto, is to wed Austin Wilbanks, son of Mary Wilbanks, Duke Wilbanks and stepson of Peggy Wilbanks on May 17, 2008.

Friday, May 9

Teen Maze

Russell Huntze looks into a casket to see himself as his obituary is read to him.

Hiring of attorney questioned by resigning board member

Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board member Barbara Hall's resignation on May 1 revolves around the new board's hiring of John Gliege as legal counsel.

Thanks to the community for support

I want to thank the Rim Country for support of the "Second Annual Blessing of the Bikes," which occurred Saturday, May 3rd at Payson United Methodist Church.

Blue Ridge deal secures Payson water

Historic day as town council and SRP enter into contract

With a long-delayed flourish and a last few hard questions, Payson has officially contracted with the Salt River Project to secure water rights to the Blue Ridge Reservoir, after a 30-year quest for an adequate, long-term water supply.

Tickets galore

Star Valley photo tickets running

The surprising number of traffic tickets generated by Star Valley's photo enforcement program on Highway 260 prompted the town council on Tuesday to approve a budget increase to hire someone to help process the tickets.

Center for Success gets A+ state rating

Nontraditional school "saves lives"

Payson's only nontraditional public high school offering alternative education has received one of the state's top education awards.

Attorney outlines open meeting law to committee

"It isn't practical or efficient," Payson Deputy Town Attorney Tim Wright explained to the anxiously listening committee members. "It doesn't always make sense. It isn't easy. It is frustrating and restrictive. but it is the law."

Troy Neal now a sharpshooter in men's golf play

As a basketball player at Arizona State University, Troy Neal developed a reputation as a sharpshooter who could sink the long ball.

Zane Grey run is one of the toughest

As a former ultra-runner, or athlete who competes in runs longer than the traditional 26.2-mile marathons, Martin Szekeresh knows the Zane Grey 50-mile race is one of the most demanding in the sport.

Swimbaits are popular bass bait

The past couple of years in bass fishing has certainly brought swimbaits into focus with anglers throughout the country.

Committee: changes to slow Phoenix Street traffic

Long furor over Mud Springs extension subsides into a quiet meeting focused on stop signs and speed humps

The Mud Springs Bypass battle shrank Wednesday to a handful of people listening quietly to the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee discuss a dozen "traffic calming" measures like stop signs, raised crosswalks, traffic circles, bike lanes and speed humps.

Seniors will hold car wash to raise funds

The Payson High School senior class' quest to fund a graduation trip to Disneyland began with last month's volleyball tournament and will continue with a car wash from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 17 in front of Auto Zone.

Longhorns garner East all-region honors

Coach Jerry Daniels named East coach of the year

High school teams that post winning records and win championships usually reap the rewards of the success during postseason voting for all-region, all-state and all-star team members.

Best trout fishing conditions in more than a decade

The deep snow drifts across back-country mountain roads have melted and now Arizona's picturesque trout lakes are not only accessible, most have filled and spilled as well, creating premium fishing conditions not seen in more than a decade.

Top effort needed by track, field team

State track meet is May 9 at Mesa High

If PHS track and field athletes are going to pin prestigious state medals to their letter jackets, most will have to come up with personal best efforts.

John G. Markel

John G. Markel died April 29, 2008

August V. Hardt

August V. Hardt, 67, died May 5, 2008.

Doris "Jeanne" Cullimore

Doris "Jeanne" Cullimore died May 6, 2008.

PHS students bring home gold, silver, medals

Payson High teens came home with gold, silver and bronze from the recent Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) State Spring Conference.

GCC graduates 47 students

Elation spilled out of the room as the seconds counted down to Gila Community College graduation ceremonies for 47 students Wednesday afternoon.

Star Valley turns too-high bid into just-right bargain

Some negotiating and creative juggling turned a cost over run into a road repair bargain in Star Valley.

Four Payson police officers seek promotion to lieutenant

The Payson Police Department has four of its sergeants seeking promotion to lieutenant.

No slowing this upcoming high school grad down

This Payson High School senior's resume reads like a wish list of experiences.

Payson woman dies in head-on collision

Susan Morton, 51, died of injuries she sustained in a head-on collision last week.

Fannie Corrine White

Fannie Corrine White, 72, died May 7, 2008.

Thursday, May 8

The best laid plans of mice and men ...

Ready for a big confession from someone who lives up here in the Rim Country?

Plein-air Paint Out at Natural Bridge May 10

A plein-air Paint Out will take place tomorrow at the Tonto Natural Bridge.

Church briefs

Payson Jewelers essay winners

Winners of the annual Payson Jewelers Mother's Day Essay Contest are Bailey Newman, 8, first place and Cassie Zimmer 12, runner-up. The students were invited to write essays about their mothers and what makes them special.

Tonto Forest campfire restrictions in place

Thursday, May 8, was the start of fire restrictions in the Tonto National Forest.

Sunday is the day to honor your mother

Sunday is Mother's Day, and this is in honor of my mother and all the mothers.

Story stirs memories about Vietnam years

Like most Vietnam veterans, Mike Clark, now the principal-superintendent of Pine-Strawberry School, has been tight-lipped about his military service during the war era.

Air Force Academy grad flies big pickup truck in the sky

When Capt. Joey Sullivan flew support to Indonesia he participated in a more personal American military operation than he usually does from the cockpit of his C-130 Hercules.

Birthday present takes band to Orient

Junction 87 took the ‘devil' from Georgia to Japan

Junction 87 rode the Orange Blossom Special to Kobe, Japan April 14.

Store donates snacks, fruit, water for AIMS testing days

If Rim Country Middle School students did well on recent AIMS testing, they might owe a debt of gratitude to the Payson Safeway store.

Wildlife Fair will transform park Saturday

Green Valley Park in Payson will undergo an amazing transformation on Saturday, May 10, when its sprawling grassy expanses turn into a carnival full of wildlife and fun outdoor activities.

Take flight at Payson Aero Fair

Now is the time to see the beautiful Mogollon Rim Country from the air on Saturday, May 17 at the Payson Aero Fair.

Cost of mailing goes up May 12

On May 12 the U.S. Postal Service will raise rates.

View 200-year-old cognac at The Beverage Place

The Beverage Place (House) has on display a crystal decanter containing cognac made during the reign of Napoleon I. It is actually a blend of ancient cognacs, none younger than 70 years old and some as old as 200 years.

When can you start tapping into retirement income?

When you retire, it would be convenient if all your expenses were to "retire" as well. But they won't.

Is your dog a good K9 citizen?

I walk a lot of dogs -- big dogs, little dogs and everyone in between. It's something I have always enjoyed.

Mogollon Health Alliance awards scholarships

Members of Mogollon Health Alliance Auxiliary were treated to a beautiful outdoor luncheon at Main Street Grille hosted by Payson Regional Medical Center in celebration of their annual spring luncheon.

Tips for coping with vicarious trauma

Caring for the dignity of abused children on a daily basis is emotionally strenuous.

Special Mother's Day jazz, blues concert

The Payson Friends of Jazz and the Community Presbyterian Church present a special Mother's Day performance of jazz and blues vocalist Renee Patrick with special guest "Chicago's favorite Jazz Woman" Judy Roberts.

Cruise-in generates more than $23,000 for local charities

More than 350 cars participated in the 2008 Beeline Cruise-In Auto Show presented by the Rim Country Classic Auto Club. More than $23,000 was raised to benefit Rim Country charities.

Fish for Bikes event takes place at park on May 10

A Fish for Bikes event at the Payson Wildlife Fair will take place at the Green Valley Park May 10.

Wednesday, May 7

'Historic day' for Payson: Council OKs Blue Ridge deal

Payson on Wednesday approved a contract with the Salt River Project to secure water rights to the Blue Ridge Reservoir, after a decades-long search for an adequate, long-term water supply.

Tuesday, May 6

Movie Review: 21

Suspense is riveting

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the movie "21" is that it is based on a true story.

Portrait artist enjoys new opportunity


A cowboy stands in a reflective moment. His thoughts are in the mind of the beholder.

Movie Review: Baby Mama

No moral or theme, just enjoyable

After watching "Baby Mama," I thought of this quote. "Better late than -- pregnant."

The Starr of Starr Valley


The stories of early settlers buried in isolated graves are often difficult to get straight, because so many conflicting folk stories can surround them. Never was this more true than in our attempt to decipher the story of Mr. Starr, for whom Starr Valley is named.

Band Jamboree

A concert on the green

When fifth-grade students start to play in an elementary school band, some of them get hooked on the beautiful sound.

The religious tradition of barbecue


May is National Barbecue Month. This would be reason enough to celebrate the entire month, but, of course, May also contains Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Cinco de Mayo, and a wide variety of lesser-known special days such as "No Socks Day" and "Clean up your Room Day." It's true -- check it out.

Monday, May 5

We need to take forest conditions seriously

Congratulations on the editorial "What do wood piles and silence of the birds have in common?" in the April 11, 2008 Roundup. I hope that this is the beginning of a sincere interest in the National Forests of the west, and their deplorable condition.

Thanks, teachers

My name is Kyle Kaecke. I am writing about Rim Country Middle School. I am in the eighth grade and I am leaving to go to high school, and I wanted to write something good about my school years here.

Critical for Congress to approve trade agreements with ally nations

History has taught us that other than raising taxes, nothing can be more damaging to the United States than assuming a protectionist posture during a time of economic downturn. But that's exactly the situation after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to bar a vote on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

Rim Country rolls the dice

Step up to the table folks. Drop the dice in the cup. Put your life savings on the line -- tidy little pile of chips. Let the tension build. Rattle the dice. Rattle the dice. Now roll those bones.

Blessing of the Bikes

Pastor David Rennick (left) blesses "Pappa Jim" Vance and his Honda Valkerie before the motorcycle brigade's police escort to the edge of Star Valley. The participants took a scenic ride on Highway 260 to a look out across the Mogollon Rim.

Event Center hotel faces money crunch

Developers of a long-awaited convention hotel next door to the rodeo grounds last week asked Payson for another year to seek financing, after a major investor backed out.

Fires banned by Tonto

Restrictions imposed early after wet winter spurs thick growth of 'fine fuels'

The Tonto National Forest has banned all fires in the Payson Ranger District starting on May 8, the price of a long drought, a short, wet winter and a bone dry spring.

Ex-Maverick captains Olympic archery team

Former Rim Country Middle School student Brady Ellison is going to Beijing.

PSWID board accused of unethical acts

Barbara Hall resigns

Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board member Barbara Hall stunned an audience of about 30 people last Thursday night, May 1, when she resigned her seat accusing the new board of "illegal and unethical" activity.

Celebrating water

Payson fourth-graders learn about conservation, watersheds, groundwater and water cycle

All of Payson's fourth grade students were treated to a water fest on Friday -- not a play day in the water, but a multi-faceted, hands-on education about water. Presented by the conservation staff of the Payson Water Department, Viki Holmes and Brenda Huff, the students participated in four water-related programs. They learned about conservation, the water cycle, the watershed and groundwater.

Caught between selling and buying

Selling a home and buying a new one can be a difficult balancing act. We have seen several buyers and sellers "caught in between" -- they want to move, but have a home to sell.

Claudia H. Downs

Claudia H. Downs, 78, of Eagar, died April 15, 2008 in Payson, after a long period of health problems. She was born July 17, 1929 in Midland, Mich.

Edward Wayne Bench

Edward Wayne Bench, 57, of Strawberry, died May 4, 2008 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix after a three-year battle with cancer.

Earl "Red" Baker

Earl "Red" Baker, 73, died April 30, 2008 in Payson.

Traffic group studies speed limit increases

Everyone has their secret routes.

Payson graduate gets $8,000 cooking scholarship

While many graduating high school students are grappling with career choices, a cooking competition earlier this year gave one Payson High School student a career direction he didn't have before.

School improvement efforts appreciated

I am writing to thank the citizens of Payson for approving the bond election to improve our schools.

Support Humane Society plans

To anyone who has owned a pet, has a pet, or is considering having a pet, I would like to make a plea from my heart.

Payson schools awarded $200,000 in energy grants

We received some terrific news from the Arizona School Facilities Board late last week. Our district has been awarded $200,000 in the form of state grants to implement projects that will significantly improve our energy efficiency.


Karina Zabe puts on her helmet before joining the rest of the children from Payson Kidcare in a trike-a-thon May 2 in the parking lot at Payson Assembly of God Church.

Foundations at RCMS coming soon

Parents, students and residents will soon see foundation pads poured for two of the new buildings at Rim Country Middle School, said Tim Brand with PinnacleOne Consulting at a special school board meeting.

Budget crisis derails fire station revamp

Payson's spreading, slow motion budget crisis hit home last week, when the Town Council rejected a plan to spend $90,000 upgrading the crew quarters on the Main Street fire station.

State probes possible illegal town meeting

The Arizona Attorney General's office has launched an investigation into whether the Payson Town Council broke the state's open meeting law during a lunch meeting last year where the councilors discussed how to get rid of the town manager.

Calendars should include moon phases


Why is it that calendar makers no longer put the dates of the moon phases on the months? Used to be, first and last quarter, new and full moon were noted. We have four calendars in our house, and not one of them shows those important dates.

GCC Small Business Development Center hosts tax workshops

Gila Community College's Small Business Development Center will be hosting Arizona Department of Revenue Business Tax Workshops for small business owners and managers May 12, 13 and 14. The workshops offered are:

Police briefs

Rim Sight and Sound was burglarized sometime during the night of April 25 or in the early morning hours of April 26. The Payson Police Department responded to the business at 214 W. Main St. at approximately 6:30 a.m., Saturday, April 26.

Man injured

There were no life-threatening injuries sustained in a Thursday morning accident, May 1.

Beauty Mart celebrates 14 years

Traveling between Laughlin, Nev. and Mesa in 1990, Joleen and Kelly Enerson discovered Payson. They spent the night here, woke up and, seeing how beautiful it was, the North Dakota couple decided this was the place they wanted to live.

NAVIT and GCC students aim to put out flames

They can put a self-contained breathing apparatus on in 45 seconds or less.

Softball hopes fall to region rival at 3A state tournament

The Lady Longhorns' quest for postseason honors came to a screeching halt in the first round of the Class 3A state softball tournament.

Lady Longhorns bring home regional track and field medals

Kayla Morgan is well known for her exploits on the basketball court, but it was her track and field expertise that earned the PHS junior some of her greatest accolades.

Tournament fisherman seen on ESPN will sign autographs at Payson Wildlife Fair May 10

If that angler signing autographs 10 a.m. until noon May 10 in the Fish for Bikes booth at the Payson Wildlife Fair looks familiar, it could be because you've seen him on ESPN national television.

Stellar 'D' highlight of state bid

Although the result of the 3A state tournament opener wasn't what Longhorn fans were hoping for, the clash was one of the most hotly contested and well played games in prep baseball history.

Susan "Sue-Sue/Tex" Morton

Susan "Sue-Sue/Tex" Morton died May 1, 2008. She was born Dec. 25, 1956.

Thursday, May 1

Library has books for those who love gardening

Just what exactly is spring fever? Encarta Dictionary's definition is "A feeling of restlessness, yearning, lust or sometimes laziness believed to be brought on by the coming of spring."

Down the Street gallery and First Friday Art and Antiques Walk celebrate one year

Down the Street Art Galley at 703 W. Main, will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a free wine tasting sponsored by the Beverage Place. In addition, the KRIM Radio remote will be there along with a silent auction for the Payson Humane Society.

EDITORIAL BOARD members needed

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

Around Rim Country/Community Almanac

Choral Society's spring concert May 3

Help Pink Ladybugs raise funds for the cure

The Payson Pink Ladybugs will again join the 3-day, 60-mile "Walk For the Cure" to benefit the Susan G. Koman Foundation in the fight against breast cancer. Each walker must raise $2,200 in order to participate.

Artists open studios to the public

Patrons who take the time to visit with local artists can discover why the tactile experience of clay drives the art of Gary Houston and Alan and Carole Snyder and what glazes Carolee Jackson uses to add colors to her ceramics.

Run, jump, throw faster, farther

Tonto Basin School 2008 Field Day big success

The thundering sound of athletic shoes on gravel filled the air last Friday, as about 66 students competed in annual track and field events.

Tonto Basin woman drowns after car goes into Roosevelt Lake

Mary Lou Morton, 56, of Tonto Basin, died after her car went into Roosevelt Lake late Monday night. The Taylors received a call from Morton's husband who told them he received a call from his wife at about 9:39 p.m. She told him she was in deep water and could not get out.

Court struggles with death sentence

The Arizona Supreme Court wrestled with life and death -- and the limits of its own power on Tuesday, before an intent audience of about 400 in the Payson High School auditorium.

ADOT on schedule with Highway 87 repairs

The Arizona Department of Transportation could start repaving the two landslide-damaged southbound lanes of Highway 87 in as little as two weeks and fully reopen the road by the projected May 22 date.

Fiber art show this weekend

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

Justices grill lawyers in intricate drug case

"Suppose I had someone in my car and they had methamphetamine," asked Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Hurwitz, cocking his head and fixing the anxious prosecutor with a quizzical look, "and a few, unusable crystals fell on my sleeve. If the police stopped me and found those crystals, could I be charged on that?"

Another roundabout gets OK

Studies show safety, traffic flow advantages

The Payson Council on Thursday approved the idea of a two-lane roundabout at the intersection of Airport Road and Highway 87, after four years of waffling and 40 minutes of debate.

Fish for Bikes event is part of Wildlife Fair

A Fish for Bikes event at the Payson Wildlife Fair will take place May 10 at Green Valley Park.

Creek residents say farewell

Say goodbye to a well-known landmark that has been in Christopher Creek for almost 60 years. Tuesday at 10 a.m. the crews began the demolition of the Landmark. There was a lot of reminiscing by onlookers as we waited for the first blow. Owner Gary Weirlinger got to climb in the Bobcat and take down the first part of the building.

Payson Friends of Jazz present special Mother's Day concert

Payson Friends of Jazz and Community Presbyterian Church will present a special Mother's Day performance at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 11 at 800 W. Main St.

Nathan Dean Paul

You can wait too long to go home

Because I spent more than 20 years in the Air Force, I traveled around quite a bit. I can sit back and picture places all over the world, some of them wonderful places like the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, or our own magnificent Grand Canyon.

Cowboys, horses help

Special children get help from Charlie Motley, Marie Leonard

A big part of the cowboy lifestyle and Western heritage is a genuine desire to give back to the community. In the case of two of the staff at Whispering Hope Ranch, that ethic not only involves volunteering their time, but taking money out of their own pockets.

‘Walk a mile in our shoes'

On any given day at the Payson Humane Society, we receive at least one and sometimes several cats in traps. A few arrive in carriers. Most of these are brought to us by someone who has seen a cat in their yard and doesn't want it there.

Dinner theater plays again at Main Street Grille

The stage is set for dinner theater at the Main Street Grille where Humor Me, the Rim Country's improvisational comedy troupe gave their first public performance May 1.

Main Street celebrating year of firsts

The merchants of Main have a good reason to celebrate and so does Down the Street Art Gallery.

Library volunteers accept thanks

A dedicated group of Pine library volunteers were honored at the annual Appreciation Breakfast held April 25 at Randall House in Pine.

From combat pilot to school principal

Pine/Strawberry's Mike Clark crashed under fire in Vietnam then faced jeers back home

Mike Clark's worst day in Vietnam started out benignly enough, as he flew along splitting the attention between the rolling, jungle-cloaked hills and the instrument panel of his Chinnok chopper on a routine shuttle to deliver five passengers and assorted supplies to a forward base.

Students learn about the Safety First Program

There was great excitement on Tuesday morning at Frontier Elementary School when the helicopter from Native Air landed on the Chance Amon playground, kicking off the Safety First Program.

Heart transplant recipient urges donor registration

Two years ago this month, Brendalyn Rose was told she had cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a serious disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and doesn't work as well as it should.

Ice cream social set by supervisor

To say thanks to everyone who has helped make the Gila County Collaborative Fire Program an award-winning success, District 1 Supervisor Tommie Martin is hosting an ice cream social.

Parks and rec gearing up for busy season

May days mean summer is not far away, and the Payson Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up for a busy season. A bunch of programs are already slated for this mid-spring month.

It is a great time for Rim Country hikes

Cool mornings and warm afternoons are perfect in the springtime for extended hikes along the numerous trails of the Rim Country.

Mary Lou Morton

Summer planners are a-foot in Tonto Village

Tonto Village has not only put its best foot forward with all the spring flowers and trees, but the residents are gearing up for a really busy summer season.

Roxanna Loaiza