Stories for February 2009


Saturday, February 28

Longhorn Basketball ends in Chinle

A season that tipped off in November with hopes of the Longhorns winning a state championship after back-to-back 3A runner-up finishes, ended Feb. 27 in Chinle with a 67-57 loss to the Wildcats.

Sportsmen’s Exposition offers variety of events

Would you like to see Arizona’s state mammal — a ringtail — up close and personal? Are you interested in shooting a bow and arrow? Want to catch a 1-pound rainbow trout?

Visitors can watch release of California condors

Come witness a rare and spectacular sight that few places outside Arizona can offer: the release into the wild of endangered California condors.

Realty Executives offices join forces with Northern Arizona

Prescott-based Realty Executives of Northern Arizona announced Monday that Realty Executives Payson and the Pines are merging.

Think twice before taking out that 401(k) loan

Your car could break down. You might need a new furnace. You have to pay for one last term of college for your child.

Friday, February 27

Golden Anniversary

Ken and Ruth D’Arcangelo recently returned from Hawaii where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Shelter pets may develop depression

As the days get warmer, we begin to look forward to spring. But here, at the Humane Society of Central Arizona, we know what spring is going to bring — babies, babies and more babies.

Next year’s school budget still a question

A tattered buoy has temporarily eased the threat of a budget tsunami in Payson schools’ stormy fiscal sea.

Service key for businesses to survive

With businesses big and small crumbling under the weight of the economy, some look to costly layoffs and cutbacks to keep a business afloat, but experts at the Guerrilla Tactics — Business Financial Forum Tuesday said there may be a cheaper and easier way to draw customers in and keep them — customer service.

Public Safety personnel honored

Several of Rim Country’s finest were honored Feb. 18 at the 10th annual Public Safety Awards Banquet.

Legislators agree to Tonto bridge town hall meeting

As rangers on Thursday bolted an orange square blaring “closed” on the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park sign, Rim Country leaders rallied support to force a reversal of the decision.

The icy secret of the M. B. Stewart

As soon as they told us we were shipping overseas, everyone in my outfit, the 103rd AC&W Squadron, began speculating where we were headed. Strangely, I never heard anyone mention Korea even though we were a Connecticut Air National Guard outfit put on active duty a year earlier when things began heating up over there.

Quit throwing money at the problem

A friend just sent me a taped speech of Nancy Pelosi (speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives) stating that we lose 500 million American jobs each month that we don’t pass her $800 billion stimulus package.

Community deserves accurate information before purchase

Since early last November I have been trying to get the PSWID board to correct six major errors in the cash flow and rate impact analysis, or explain to me why they aren’t errors. Mr. Dan Jackson of sent me an unsatisfactory response to my questions about those errors.

Left-wing media doesn’t ask about president’s flagrant expenditures

All the left wing media people made a great deal of adverse comments when the CEOs of GM and Chrysler used their company Gulfstream to fly to Washington, D.C. to seek bailout funds and I think that they were justified in doing so.

Government experts at prescribing treatment before diagnosis

He is a fool who prescribes treatment before diagnosis. He is demonstrating a value of “comfort” over “cure.”

Concerned about Payson code enforcement

I am concerned about the way our zoning enforcement is handled.

Fond memories of Payson

I have fond memories of the two years I lived in Payson in the late ’70s.

California’s problems created by environmental laws

California can easily solve all of its problems that have painted (the state) into a corner of its own doing by letting the enviro/wackos and socialists take over the state.

Rally around natural bridge

The political theater swirling now around the absurd decision to close Tonto Natural Bridge State Park would be funny, if it weren’t so serious.

Around Rim Country

Book fair at FES through March 4

The Frontier Elementary School Scholastic Book Fair is from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through March 4, in the music room. There will be an evening at the book fair from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 3, which will also be the school’s Family Fun Night of the Art Extravaganza and Dinner. Dinner choices are Indian fry bread or hot dogs.

Restaurateur hospitalized after Highway 87 rollover

The owner of Cardo’s Italian Restaurant went spinning off Highway 87 Thursday morning in his silver BMW, authorities said.

Readers: Celebrating good people, great services

Each year the Payson Roundup invites its readers to tell us what and who provide the best in the Rim Country. In the past the poll has been called “The Best of Payson,” but this year it’s “The Best of Rim Country” because there are good people and good services in all the communities of this beautiful piece of Arizona.

Time Out breaks cycle of violence

Minister reveals painful past as shelter recaps 111,000 nights of refuge for 163 women, children

Donovan Christian, 10 years old, sat quietly in the church stairwell praying that one of the grownups stepping past him to climb the stairs would suddenly stop, look down at him huddled in his misery, and ask: “What’s wrong, son?”

Spark sets home on fire

A Tonto Basin man lost his home Tuesday morning in a devastating fire after the ammunition he was loading sparked, catching fire to the 1960s home and leaving him with second- and third-degree burns.

Sheriff, Payson seek to protect Star Valley

Town council has two bids for police protection

Star Valley residents will be paying nearly 50 percent more for police service under bids from the Payson Police Department and the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

Obama unveils homeowner affordability, stability plan

President Barack Obama unveiled his plan to help stabilize the housing market and keep millions of borrowers in their homes.

Web sites offer rental tips

Do bank failures, corporate bailouts and home foreclosures make you nervous? Does it make you wonder if there are any worthy investments out there?

Eagle Mountain Gifts moves to Swiss Village

If you’ve recently strolled the Swiss Village shops on Highway 87, you may have noticed a new shop — Eagle Mountain Gifts. While Eagle Mountain is hardly new to the area, it has a new location.

Warm week will make for nice crappie fishing at Roosevelt Lake

The end of February is upon us and Crappie Time is right around the corner on Roosevelt Lake.

Men’s golf gearing for week-long Turkey Shoot

When we last saw the Payson Men’s Golf Association in action, members were wrapping up the 2008 links season with a three-week long Turkey Shoot and an appearance in the Prescott Country Club Jamboree.

Little League tryouts take place Saturday

Tomorrow, Feb. 28, is sure to be a big day in the life of Little Leaguers.

Fast-breaking Chinle team awaits PHS

The first step most small-town Arizona basketball coaches take when playing reservation teams is to prepare their players to defend fast break offenses, attack swarming full court pressure defenses and contest from three-point land.

Authorities searching for overdue four-wheeler

Authorities are searing for a 29-year-old Scottsdale man that was last seen at the Jakes Corner Store Wednesday morning and may be four wheeling in the Four Peaks area.

Lady Longhorns to host Monument Valley

If there is a certainty in tomorrow’s Feb. 28 state second-round playoff game between Payson and Monument Valley, it is that hordes of reservation-area fans will show up in Wilson Dome to support their beloved Mustangs.

Special Olympian takes gold at winter games

An Olympic-sized smile graced Christine Sexton’s face as she climbed atop the victory stand to accept the gold medal she won at the Special Olympics 2009 World Winter Games.

Harry sees his shadow — winter is over and spring is on its way

Harry, the Christopher Creek ground squirrel, has seen his shadow. You know what that means — winter is over spring is on the way.

Hellsgate firefighters praised for helping accident victim

Hellsgate Fire Department was called out on Sunday afternoon about 4 p.m., Feb. 22, to the Ellison Creek area for a quad accident. Stations #22 and #23 responded to the call.

Melting snow filling up creeks and drainages

All of the creeks and drainages are full as the snow melt continues.

Seems like every week there is a great musical event taking place

We certainly are very privileged in the Rim Country to have so much musical talent available for our entertainment, aren’t we? It seems like nearly every week there is a great concert or some other type of musical performance in the area that’s coming our way.

Jo Johnson has left the building

If you were to look at Jo Johnson, smile at her effervescent cheer or admire her long, brown locks, you would not picture her flying headlong into the wind on a motorcycle while wearing a leather jacket — especially since if you saw Jo Johnson, you would likely be sitting through a long, county supervisors meeting.

Tease photo

Chasing wildflowers: Rare enough to treasure

I confess. I’m hooked, addicted, helpless in the grip of my need. Blame the poppies. Not the French Connection heroin poppies — but the tiny seeds that can wait for decades with indestructible patience in stoney desert soils for a year such as this — a mild spring following along behind a decently wet winter after a decade of drought.

Wednesday, February 25

Pearls of wisdom presented at wellness forum

Pearls are highly prized commodities — created by lowly mollusks. A pearl begins as an irritant, which is then coated over by the materials the mollusk uses to build its shell.

Great fun in Orlando

If you are looking for a one-stop location for fun, excitement and pleasure, Orlando is it! More than 48 million visitors come to Orlando each year. Of those, 46 million are domestic guests and 2.8 million are international.

Do cholesterol drugs really work?

I read a cover story in a national magazine that claimed there is much question about the need to lower cholesterol and to prescribe statin medicines.

Black Box Studio fun

Original production will help start scholarship for drama students;

It may not exactly be the “Prairie Home Companion” but you might find shades of that National Public Radio cornerstone. Mark your calendar for 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Black Box Studio at the Payson High School for the one-hour premiere of the “Home Country Radio Show” featuring great comedy, music and fun.

The Story of Payson, Arizona

Chapter 14: Supplies came by burro train

As the settlement of Payson grew, more mercantile stores were established and there was an increasing demand for supplies. The very thing that had protected the Tonto Apache people for so long, the isolation of the Rim Country from the rest of the world, now made supplying the settlers extremely difficult.

The sunnier side of breakfast

Simple substitutions make a healthier morning meal

It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In addition to providing the necessary energy to get-up-and-go, studies have shown that those who eat a healthy breakfast have better overall diets, improved concentration and performance during the day, and more strength and endurance for physical activity.

Family Act

The Duttons perform in Payson

The Tonto Community Concert Association is bringing the audience-pleasing Dutton family to Payson, live, the evening of Monday, March 2. The concert is one of eight in the organization’s 30th season and begins at 7 p.m. at the Payson High School auditorium.

Scholastic Book Fair

The Frontier Elementary School Scholastic Book Fair is from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Feb. 26 through March 4, in the music room. There will be an evening at the book fair from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 3, which will also be the school’s Family Fun Night of the Art Extravaganza and Dinner.

Tuesday, February 24

Two teams headed to 200-mile Ragnar Relay

The vans are decorated, the power bars and Gatorade stockpiled and the runners are stretched, limber and ready to run. Two local teams of 12 runners will compete in the 200-mile Ragnar Relay this weekend against more than 200 national teams. Up for grabs are the bragging rights to the Rim Country for the local teams.

New caterer to share wares at chef competition

Chris Kaminski is a new caterer on the Rim Country dining scene. He came to the area in April and has shared his 20 years of culinary skills with about 20 different clients so far.

Man airlifted to Valley hospital after ATC accident

With clear skies and temperatures reaching the high 60s, the beautiful weather in the Rim Country over the weekend caused a few headaches for authorities.

PRMC Senior Circle health fair Thursday

The Payson Regional Medical Senior Circle will have a health fair this week.

Screenings set at Senior Center for stroke risks and osteoporosis

Residents living in and around Payson can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fractures. The Payson Senior Center will host Life Line Screening March 26. The center is at 514 W. Main St. in Payson. Appointments for screening tests start at 9 a.m.

‘The Bard’ offered by Longhorn Theatre

The Payson High School Longhorn Theatre Company will present “The Bard” by Squire Fridell beginning Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Feature Teacher

Specialist helps students learn

Education is at the root of all success. Every child deserves the best we can give him.

ACE lab helps students progress at own pace

Program helps excelling and struggling students

For some Rim Country Middle School students, the ACE lab is an oasis. Students excelling and struggling arrive in the computer-laden room to move at their own pace.

Mazatzal employees complete leadership program

Four participants honored for completing six-month program

Tonto Apache tribal employees who participated in the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino’s Tribal Professional Development Program (TriPoD) were honored at a banquet Thursday night.

Daisies sell thousands of Girl Scout cookies

Payson Police Records Clerk Jill Van Camp had only had her box of Thin Mints for a few minutes and mysteriously, half the box was already gone. Similar strange occurrences of cookie disappearances were reported all over the police department Friday shortly after a group of Daisies delivered boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

PSWID needs to consider the questions being asked

Mr. Haney (Chair, PSWID) and Mr. Jackson (CEO, refer to the “inflammatory language, name-calling, blatantly false and baseless allegations” which they claim Mr. Schwalm directed at the recent Economists. com analysis and report for purchasing the two water companies of Pine and Strawberry (Payson Roundup, Feb. 17). As a full-time resident tax/rate payer of this district who reads all of the news reports related to this subject, and was involved as a member of the former board, I must say that Haney and Jackson have it turned around. They are the ones directing inflamed name-calling and accusations against Mr. Schwalm.

Interest only is a fudge

I read Bill Haney’s letter to the editor with a great deal of interest.

A once in a lifetime pet

Have you ever had that once in a lifetime dog or pet? My daughter Jessica has.

Thanks to the Rim Country Middle School coaches

I am an eighth-grade student at Rim Country Middle School. I have participated in school sports for the last three years, in cross-country and in track and field.

Natural bridge park closure is really foolish

Every time you think you’ve adjusted to the bizzarro wrong-headedness that passes for lawmaking, the brain trust thinks up something else to make you choke on your morning coffee.

Around Rim Country

Celebrate Fat Tuesday at PUMC

If “really good” teachers could receive six-figure salaries, and ineffective teachers were weeded out, then perhaps Arizona’s students would stop falling behind, says Matthew Ladner, a vice president of research for the Goldwater Institute.

Rock Building will be reworked as school district office

Renovations to turn the Rock Building into the Payson Unified School District’s administrative office could begin this spring.

Rim chamber rallies support for state park

Seeking to avert an “economic disaster” stemming from the closure of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Manager John Stanton asked the region’s state representatives and Gov. Jan Brewer to attend a town hall meeting in Payson.

Star Valley budget still rosy

Seven months into the fiscal year and financially Star Valley is keeping its head above water. While its neighboring town continues to drown in financial shortfalls, Star Valley’s financial consultant reports the town is doing well thanks to solid reserves and a gain in sales tax and photo enforcement revenue.

Schools share $2.1 million in federal money

It turns out school superintendents around the county agreed on the formula to distribute $2.1 million in federal money for rural schools that Gila County supervisors approved last Tuesday — but they didn’t really agree.

Tonto bridge faces indefinite state closure

Travertine arch will close gates Thursday for lodge repairs, but re-opening depends on state park budget turnaround

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park will shut down indefinitely on Friday to shift staff to other struggling parks, say park officials.

Tourneys bring many visitors to Payson

If our town seemed to be overrun with visitors last weekend, there’s a reason for it.

Lady Longhorns outduel Tuba City, 35-33; Monument Valley next

The Lady Longhorn express continues to steam toward what could be the school’s first girls state basketball championship.

Cody York sets Longhorn three-point record in win

Cody York’s school record eight three-pointers was the shot in the arm the Longhorns needed to take a first-round state tournament 75-46 victory over the Sedona Red Rock Scorpions.

Tease photo

Forfeits doom PHS wrestlers

Head-to-head Horns tie Holbrook, 23-23

When is a tie not a tie?

Friday, February 20

Tonto Natural Bridge closing for repairs

Gloom turned to joy for Rim Country advocates for Tonto Natural Bridge State Park on Tuesday, as the State Parks Board voted to close the park only temporarily to fix the roof of an historic lodge near collapse as a result of recent heavy snowfall.

County vote leaves Main Street out

Gila County’s new offices will move into the First American Title building on Highway 260, two supervisors decided Tuesday in a vote that overruled northern county Supervisor Tommie Martin and the three Paysonites who spoke in favor of the Womans Club on Main Street.

Payson jostles for stimulus funding

Blue Ridge pipeline, third fire station, streets contend for a sliver of the $4.2 billion in stimulus money coming to Arizona

Although Arizona wound up in line for a relative pittance of the federal stimulus projects, Payson hopes last-minute bids for help on the Blue Ridge pipeline and a new fire station might sneak into contention.

Tom Loeffler named to fill open spot on GCC board

Tom Loeffler, a retired educator, will fill the vacancy on the Gila Community College board, county Superintendent of Schools Linda O’Dell said Thursday.

Around Rim Country

Community Almanac

Bike trails needed

We hope Rim Country community leaders hop on the recent plea for dedicated trails for mountain bikers and ride it whooping, hollering like a thrill rider on a downhill run on a spring day.

Tonto bridge is a stimulus for Rim Country

They’re eating the seed corn down in Phoenix.

County supervisors hit one over the fence

Our own Tommie Martin and Supervisors Dawson and Pastor, stepped up to the plate and hit a home run for local school districts this past Tuesday. By voting to allocate Federal Forest Fees to the school districts, based on a formula submitted by the district superintendents of Gila County, they have brought some sunshine into a pretty gloomy financial forecast. PUSD is grateful for their courageous support of our students and schools.

Humane society moving forward with plans

The Payson Humane Society greatly appreciates the media support the Payson Roundup has given us to build a new facility for the animals that come under our care.

What is the difference between hunting and cock fighting?

When I was a kid I loved to hunt. I preferred shooting something alive to targets. As an old man I seem to feel sorry for the animals. I still love to see a father take his son or daughter hunting, so you see I am confused.

Tonto Natural Bridge should not be on the ‘chopping block’

I do not understand the Arizona State Parks Board decision to consider closing the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.

Thanks for community support

Thank you for your overwhelming support and comfort during a time of need with the loss of my son, Joshua William Lee Stubbs. Your thoughts, prayers and kind words were greatly appreciated.

Mountain cowboy just ‘says stuff’

Anyone reading My Horseback Opinion might wonder, where the heck does Jinx come up with this kind of stuff? When Jayne and I got married, one of my girl cousins told her, “Jinx just says things; no one knows why.” With that in mind, let me give you a little personal background. My lineage runs back through six generations of Mogollon Rim and Tonto Basin ranchers, lion and bear hunters, lawmen, packers, prospectors, bootleggers, bank robbers, cowboys and other men of common sense. They all said stuff — they all had opinions.

Silent stroll revealed land’s meaning

I opened my eyes, realizing vaguely that some change in the sound of the four big recip engines driving the aircraft had jarred me awake. Still half asleep, I took a casual glance out the window, expecting to see the Pacific 20,000 feet below, deep blue water glinting in the final rays of the setting sun.

Pearls of wisdom presented at wellness forum

Pearls are highly prized commodities — created by lowly mollusks. A pearl begins as an irritant, which is then coated over by the materials the mollusk uses to build its shell.

Mountain bike advocate urges Payson to change gears

Trail-loving mountain bikers could drop $5-10 million a year if Payson will just build a network of looping, single-track, non-motorized trails, said Payson Mayor Kenny Evans.

Barrier keeps mud from slide off Hwy. 87

If you’ve driven south on Highway 87 after the recent thrash of rainstorms, you may have noticed mud accumulating at the site of the March landslide and wondered if another landslide took place.

Piano concert to benefit college students

Victoria Harris will perform a piano concert at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28, to benefit Gila Community College students who will be traveling to London in May.

Students shadow newspaper staff

Victoria Pierce wanted to job shadow someone who created manga — a Japanese-type of comic book. She ended up at the Payson Roundup.

Firefighters hold burns near Payson

Wildland firefighters held more prescribed fire operations near Payson through Friday. Prescribed fire is always dependent on optimum weather conditions prior to ignition.

Legislature hoping to help owners find shelters for horses

PHOENIX — Some people are finding it impossible to keep their horses as the economy worsens, leaving owners scrambling to sell or find shelters for their animals. They occasionally wind up setting horses free to fend for themselves.

SV council would like to do away with tax

Although the Star Valley council did not make any decisions at Tuesday night’s council meeting, they came to a consensus that the rental tax should be eliminated if possible.

Lenders for Life

When Tara Keeney says she is a lender for life, she means it. After three years and many bumps in the mortgage business later, Lenders For Life Home Mortgage Corporation is still helping Rim Country residents make good financial decisions that last.

Ex-PHS student now an Air Force captain in Iraq

Most in the Rim Country picture Bryan Zumbro hurling a fastball or snapping a pigskin to an awaiting quarterback.

Jeffrey Carlton Holland

Jeffrey Carlton Holland, formerly of Strawberry, died Feb. 14, 2009 in Ft. Collins, Colo. He was born June 11, 1974 in Waukegan, Ill. to Jerry Carlton Holland of Payson and Cheryl Lee Marie Hendrickson Holland of Strawberry.

Brian A. Ponczak

Brian A. Ponczak died Feb. 15, 2009 in Phoenix. He was born Jan. 21, 1937 in Hamtramak, Mich. to Thaddeus and Genevieve O. Ponczak.

Betty J. Klundt

Betty J. Klundt died Feb. 16, 2009 at her home in Payson. She was born Aug. 22, 1926 in Chicago, Ill. to Fay and Bessie (Hand) Dollar.

Simple turns complicated in Payson

Oops. That more or less summarizes Thursday night’s Payson Town Council discussion of a change in the planning process that was supposed to make things simple.

Face of DPS will now devote his energy to family and classic cars

After 33 years with the Department of Public Safety, including 14 years in the Rim Country, Sgt. John Whetten has seen and experienced it all.

A taste of Rim Country

Culinary students share talents at upcoming event

For the second year, students in the culinary arts program at Payson High School will share their talents and skills at A Taste of Rim Country.

School dances were great fun

I had the absolute pleasure this past Friday to provide entertainment for two elementary school dances — Tonto Basin School’s annual Valentine’s Dance and Julia Randall Elementary School’s Country Hoedown.

Broken tree limbs all over Pine

Everywhere I go around town I see broken tree limbs dangling here and there. We counted at least 13 branches torn from good-sized juniper and oak trees on our property.

Warmer weather will be appreciated

Tonto Village still has mounds of snow on the ground and it snowed again during the night of Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

Javelina, other animals out looking for food

Because of all the snow we have been getting, the animals are out looking for food.

Sporting group helps school program

My sincere apologies to Payson High School senior Ben Sandoval for an error in my story about the state wrestling tournament held Feb. 13 and 14 in Prescott.

Tease photo

Holbrook will be tough for Longhorns

Holbrook’s 11 state placers in 14 prep wrestling weight divisions will be a formidable state tournament first round foe for the Payson Longhorns.

Longhorns seek state title double, host Sedona

Pursuit of the state championship that has narrowly escaped the Longhorns the past two seasons begins tomorrow, Feb. 21, in Wilson Dome against Sedona Red Rock.

Lady Longhorns take on Tuba City tonight

Any doubts the 3A North is the most competitive basketball region in the state should have been erased early this week when the Arizona Interscholastic Association announced the 16 teams that earned berths in the state tournament.

Tournament bass fishing is a spectator sport

Competitive tournament bass fishing has quickly become a spectator sport.

It took 30 years, but bowler rolls a 300 game

It took Frank LaSpisa more than 30 years, but he finally can stake claim to having bowled a 300 game.

State fish and game offers free outdoor expo March 28-29

The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Outdoor Expo is Arizona’s largest “outdoors” public event, intended on exposing people of all ages to our state’s magnificent outdoor recreational opportunities. The entire family can explore numerous activities and demonstrations that include live wildlife displays, camping, archery, hunting, fishing, shooting sports, wildlife conservation, off-highway vehicle riding and boating.

Don’t forget about inflation when you retire

During your working years, you put money away, hoping that it will grow enough to help provide you with a comfortable retirement. But once you retire, haven’t you reached your goal? You don’t still need to invest for growth, do you?

Arizona is No. 1 for identity theft

The statistics on identity theft in Arizona are startling. Almost 300,000 Arizonans had their identities stolen in 2007, the equivalent of everyone in Payson having their identities stolen 20 times over in one year.

Shelter lowers pet adoption fees

It’s another busy work day at Payson Humane Society. The day starts at 7:30 a.m. for the staff and the dog yard volunteers.

Wednesday, February 18

Escape to Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are made up of several tropical escapes: the Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, Kaho’olawe, Lanai and Ni’ihau. The islands are home to virtually every geographic formation, terrain and climate to be found on earth and the possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts are boundless. You can find deserts of lava and the Big Island and rainforests on Kauai; on Molokai you’ll find the world’s tallest sea cliffs and miles of pristine beaches.

Check for colon cancer before symptoms appear

What are the symptoms of colon cancer? Are there any?

Early mining in Payson had a big impact

One of the biggest “forgotten” stories in Rim Country is the impact that mining had early in Payson’s history. The area is known for its ranching, and certainly it became a big part of the economy. Mining though was a key thing early on. The early settlers found lots of promise on the surface, though as time went on it never materialized as much as hoped. Here’s a look at some of the early happenings.

Dine Italian style

Valentine’s Day is gone, but the occasional date night at home is always a nice break from the routine. Try bringing the romance of Italy home with an elegant, Italian-themed dinner-and-a-movie night. Whether you’re with a small group of friends or just with your significant other, great food, fine wines and a stirring film can make a truly memorable evening.

Get Ready

To garden in Rim Country

It may seem that winter has just settled in for a nice, long visit in the Rim Country this past week or so, but in truth, it is time to get ready to garden.

Learn to blog

Learn how blogging can help writers, artists and small business owners boost their business in a cost-effective way at a seminar featuring Dave Barnhart, a Blog Strategy Consultant from Phoenix. Sponsored by Arizona Press Women (APW), the event is set for Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the community room of the Payson Public Library, 438 N. McLane Road.

Lip Sync contest is Saturday at the high school

Want to laugh off the winter blues?

PHS student government finishes in top 10 nationally for driving project

Payson High School’s student government has finished in the top 10 nationally for Project Ignition, a teen driving safety project.

Monthly fund-raiser to benefit Habitat for Humanity

Re-Runs Resale Boutique and 98.5 FM KCMA are joining forces for a monthly fund-raiser to benefit the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity.

SRP offers teachers lesson grants

Need money for teaching? Salt River Project is offering up to $175,000 in grants for math, science, technology and social studies lessons.

Payson Relay for Life kickoff party on Friday

It’s that time of year again — time to get organized for the annual Relay for Life.

Scholarships available for older women

The AARP Foundation is seeking entries for its third annual Women’s Scholarship Program. The scholarships will provide funds to women 40 and older who are seeking new job skills, training and educational opportunities to support themselves and their families.

Cowboys show off their six-shooters

The Old West will come alive once again when more than 600 men, women and juniors gather for the 18th annual Winter Range hosted at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Ben Avery Shooting Facility from Feb. 25 through March 1.

Support wildlife in Arizona — become a volunteer

Do you have a passion for the outdoors and want to help leave a wildlife legacy for future generations of Arizonans?

Tuesday, February 17

AIA ousts Globe on rule infraction

The Arizona Interscholastic Association has booted the Globe Tigers from the 3A state boys basketball tournament for an alleged violation of the domicile rule.

Vandals target Main Street business twice in one week

The first time it happens you think maybe it is a fluke, the second time someone throws a rock through your window in the same week, you know it’s no accident.

Payson woman shares TOPS success story

Winning the weight-loss war often feels like a personal victory in a challenging war of attrition.

Star Valley work-study session to talk about rental taxes

Star Valley’s Mayor Chuck Heron is promising one of the shortest council meetings Tuesday with nothing major scheduled on the agenda.

Buy and sell at the business showcase

For the 17th anniversary of the Business Showcase and Market Place, organizers decided to shake things up a bit and for the first time let businesses not only showcase their products, but sell them.

Health Fair slated for Feb. 26

If awards were given out for the best contemporary inventions, my vote would go to the person who developed the mute button on the TV remote control.

RCMS seventh-grader finishes third at bee

Ernesto Tobias, a seventh-grader from Rim Country Middle School, finished third in the Gila County spelling bee Feb. 6.

Anglers vow to protect Rim streams

A hardy band of about 25 local flycasters has started a Rim Country chapter of Trout Unlimited, the pre-eminent national organization dedicated to protecting the streams.

School Briefs

Payson Elementary School is holding its 10th Annual Spaghetti Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 26 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the school, located at 500 E. Rancho Road. The cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children and $20 for families of five.

Going Green gets a start at Payson High School

Faced with limited recycling in town, Payson High School’s new Go Green Club will personally transport the plastic and aluminum that accumulates in the school’s new recycling bins on campus to recycling centers down the hill.

Self-taught chef loves supporting library

Leonie Dobbins, owner of The Red Elephant Bakery Café, has taken part in A Taste of Rim Country for the past two years.

Attacks against consulting firm baseless

On behalf of I urge the residents of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District to disregard the baseless, unsubstantiated and false allegations made by Sam Schwalm against our firm and the district’s board.

Thanks for the help

The Greater Payson Moose Lodge and Women of the Moose would like to thank the following sponsors for your donations to our annual Children’s Christmas Party.

Above and beyond the call of duty

On Monday, Feb. 9 and again on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, our beautiful log building on Main Street was vandalized by someone throwing a large rock through the front windows.

Unfounded accusations wastes the time and resources of water district

Over the last few months, you have published several letters to the editor and written many stories quoting Sam Schwalm, a resident of the Pine Strawberry community. Most recently, a letter was published which raised issues concerning the integrity of the board of Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District and the competence of our consultants, especially Dan Jackson of

Don’t let this be the one that got away

We caught a glimpse of fish futures in Rim Country. And it was THIS BIG! No. Really. Maybe not Moby Dick. But, you know, big.

Boat launched on Highway 87

Bullet the Kevlar boat lived up to its name this weekend when it took an out of water voyage. Bullet prematurely launched from its trailer, skidded over a concrete barrier, landed in two lanes of traffic and was subsequently dragged 7/10 of a mile uphill but, miraculously, had little damage to its hull.

Reservoirs full to the brim, more rain due

Second wet winter soaks Rim Country, fills Roosevelt and replaces drought worries with flooding potential

A second sopping wet winter has swapped fears of drought for potential flooding, as the Salt River Project opens the sluice gates and sends water rushing down to the Valley.

Humane Society gambles on funds

Group building $3.5- million animal shelter will break ground still $2 million short of fund-raising goal

Cortez burned his boats to give his soldiers no choice but to conquer the New World.

School could get $1.4 million in federal funds

Supervisors asked to disburse fed funds based on enrollment

Payson Unified School District could receive a $1.4-million windfall this year in combined federal aid from both the stimulus bill and money for rural schools. The district lost $292,000 in the current fiscal year after state budget cuts, according to county officials.

Foreclosure laws you need to know

The news media is reporting that we may face a second round of foreclosures in the next few months.

Four Seasons Realty expands offices into outlying areas

The media is bombarded with stories of a crippled housing market, but one local real estate office reports business is doing well — good enough to warrant a new office in Christopher Creek.

Questioning an athlete's eligibility is very familiar

If the student-athlete eligibility incident going on at Globe High School sounds all too familiar, there’s a reason for it.

Fishing tourney expected to have positive impact on Rim Country

With the Rim Country economy struggling, the boost local business owners are hoping for could be an upcoming FLW Outdoors bass tournament.

Lady Horns win East, on to state

A 57-51 East Region tournament victory over Alchesay sends the Lady Longhorns into the 3A state tournament with an advantageous No. 3 seed.

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Horns celebrate regional title

First round opponent will not be determined until late Tuesday

The Longhorn boys basketball team is celebrating its hard-earned state tournament berth but won’t know its seed or first round opponent until later today, Feb. 17.

Sunday, February 15

Hoopers win East tourney crowns; grapplers on to state

Longhorn wrestlers earned the right to participate in the 3A state team dual championships and both the boys and girls basketball squads emerged as East region tournament champions.

Saturday, February 14

Pot plants found on routine call

A routine disturbance call Sunday led Payson police unexpectedly to multiple marijuana plants being grown inside a southeast home.

Keep contributing to your 401(k)

If you have a 401(k) plan, you’ve got a very good retirement-savings vehicle that’s probably had a rough year.

Payson Art League seeks support for tour, fine art show

This is the time of year the Payson Art League begins actively seeking sponsors or donated funds to help perpetuate the two annual fine art shows — the open studio tour in May and the fall art show in November.

Friday, February 13

Scam victims taken for $5,000

A Payson woman is warning Rim Country residents — especially seniors — of a scam that terrifies its victims into giving thousands of dollars for an injured relative.

Payson council converts committees into commissions

Members needed for various town appointments

What’s in a name?

New participant might shake up Taste of Rim

Milka Vergara is a new face in the community’s culinary industry and she might just shake up the chefs competition in A Taste of the Rim Country.

Webcams bring GED classes countywide

Web cameras for adult education soon to appear in rural libraries countywide are perhaps remarkable because the program is the first of its kind in Arizona.

Teaching grants available

Need money for teaching? Salt River Project is offering up to $175,000 in grants for math, science, technology and social studies lessons.

School board revisits, changes start dates

School next year will start a week later than anticipated after a flurry of parent complaints inspired the Payson Unified School District board to revisit the calendar it approved last month.

Sometimes learning can be slow and painless, but at other times ...

The trip from Japan to Pakistan when I was transferred to the American Embassy in Karachi was like a trip through a storybook.

Residents want to own, operate water company

In the Jan. 9, edition of the Roundup, you have quoted Bob Hardcastle asking “Do local residents want to assume the substantial risk of owning and operating a water company?” In response to his question, our answer is, “Yes, the sooner the better because it is a far greater risk to continue under the management of Brooke Utilities and Bob Hardcastle.”

Community is awesome

What an awesome community we have!

Non-motorized trails needed

Recently a story ran on our advocacy toward non-motorized trails in the Payson region. That story created some negative feedback and controversy, so I am writing this letter in hopes of clearing that miscommunication.

‘Meth Messenger’ looks at abuse through the eyes of an addict

Meth Messenger: How old are you? Mike: 25 MM: How old were you when you started using drugs?

Heartening tale of kids and creeks

Ever-sensitive stoneflies. Fish with puffy cheeks.

Around Rim Country

Wilderness First Aid certification course

The Payson Parks and Recreation Department will present the American Red Cross Wilderness First Aid certification course from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 28 and March 1. This course teaches the skills needed to survive in an emergency medical situation until help is available, such as mountaineering, first aid administration in the wilderness, help signals, and dealing with weather conditions.

Main Street road work will start next week

Ironically, water seems to be the Payson Water Department’s worst enemy. Water in all forms has kept the department busy for the last month with a water pipe burst in December weakening Main Street and now rainfall holding up repairs.

Oldest continuous rodeo better than ever

After 125 straight years of rodeoing, Payson’s August Rodeo has seen its fair share of cowboys, cowgirls, clowns and bulls. But with 2009 marking the quasquicentennial of the event, organizers are pulling out a few new tricks.

Four workers claim subcontractor failed to pay for school work

Four local construction workers have filed six mechanics’ liens totaling $12,994 for allegedly unpaid wages against a subcontractor working on Payson Unified School District’s construction projects. Two of the men also filed complaints earlier this month with the Arizona Registrar of Contract-ors.

County: Lots of opinions, but no harmony

It’s not that Gila County supervisors are indecisive. In fact, each has definite opinions. They just don’t agree with one another.

‘Friends’ ramps up effort to help parks programs

Major donors have already provided $10,000 of the $47,000 needed to save recreation programs this year

Realtors and an anonymous major donor have so far provided about one-fifth of the money it will take to help Payson’s hard-pressed recreation programs make it through until next January.

Safeway supervisor named hero

Supervisor Tammy Miotto of Payson Safeway has been named a community hero by Safeway.

Accounting firm has years of experience

With more than 80 years experience between accounts and staff, Seely, Mullins & Associates, P.C. is more than qualified to be the only certified public accounting and auditing firm in Payson.

Christopher Creek became a winter wonderland

Christopher Creek got more than 2 feet of snow from Monday through Tuesday afternoon.

Tonto Village snowfall measured at 36 inches

All the usual sounds in the village were muffled this past weekend. The snow started to fall early Sunday morning and when the snow stopped falling, there was about 4 inches of the white stuff on the ground. Naturally, the power went out for a few hours, but the APS crews were right on the trouble and power was back on sometime during the night.

Snow just kept coming and coming

As I sit down to type this, the snow in Pine continues to fall. It’s hardly stopped since it began sometime Saturday night. Right now the conditions are a total whiteout (again). To think my kids were complaining last week that “we aren’t going to get any snow at all this year!” Well, they certainly have plenty now. We got the sleds out on Sunday and since there was no traffic and the plows hadn’t come through yet, we got to go down Alva — and that is one big hill!

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Humble beginnings

First call turned out to be the current fire chief’s home

During the last year, Hellsgate Fire Department experienced a host of changes including the combination of two fire departments, a new name and a chief to oversee it all. Several firefighters quit along the way because of the changes, but what remained was a dedicated group of trained firefighters protecting more than 4,000 people in the Rim Country.

Hospital, community history part of her story

When Betty Sue Conway leaves Payson Regional Medical Center in May to retire to Greenback Valley Ranch she will be taking a lot of history with her.

World’s oldest continuous rodeo to be better than ever

After 125 straight years of rodeoin’, Payson’s August Rodeo has seen its fair share of cowboys, cowgirls, clowns and bulls. But with 2009 marking the quasquicentennial of the event, organizers are pulling out a few new tricks.

Thursday, February 12

Fantasy Fishing contest offers top prizes

After last year’s inaugural season of Fantasy Fishing, which had the biggest payouts in the history of Internet sports games, year two has just begun.

A-11 offense may be banned by high school sports group

Remember that A-11 offense that was the talk of high school football last fall?

Lady Longhorns could face tough Alchesay in East regional finale

After tying Alchesay for the East Region regular season championship, the Lady Longhorns appear destined to once again play the Falcons for the regional tournament crown.

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PHS qualifies nine for state championship matches

With nine qualifiers in 14 weight divisions, winning a state championship is probably too much to ask of the Payson Longhorn wrestling team.

Longhorns waiting to play in title game

If “don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes” was a command at Bunker Hill as American history suggests, PHS basketball coach Kenny Hayes might be telling his troops, “Don’t shoot until we know who the enemy is.”

Wednesday, February 11

Try new train experience

Among my many interests is riding the rails. I often have people tell me they wish they could get on a train and roll down the tracks.

Blogging seminar Feb. 21

Learn how blogging can help writers, artists and small business owners boost their business in a cost-effective way at a seminar featuring Dave Barnhart, a Blog Strategy Consultant from Phoenix. Sponsored by Arizona Press Women, the event is set for Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the community room of the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road.

Picture this

Spring flower, petroglyph photo classes offered at arboretum

You’ll find a camera in most every household — there’s usually also at least one photographer who wishes those pictures came out better.

The story of Payson, Arizona

Chapter 13:Payson’s first developers

The first persons to earn a living from real estate in Payson were August and Wilhelmina Pieper. Their story begins with Mrs. Pieper’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Boske, who fled Germany’s tyrannical government in 1880 and came to America.

puppy love

Valentine’s gala Feb. 14 to raise funds for Payson Humane Society building fund

People who love people and people who love animals will have a special way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Rim Country this year — the Payson Humane Society is holding a gala “Evening in Paris” dinner and dance at Mazatzal Casino at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14.

Folk concert Feb. 12

The Woods Tea Company, an acoustic group that performs fiery Celtic tunes, bluegrass, sea shanties and American folk songs with ease and skill, brings its unique sound to the Rim Country with a performance Feb. 12.

Tuesday, February 10

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Science students study stream health

Students in Beverly Adams’ ecology class at Payson High School know that a fish’s cheeks will balloon with too much dissolved oxygen in the water.

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Road conditions

A list of current road closures and restrictions as of 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.

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‘Worst’ storm buries Rim

The “worst” northern Arizona storm in years pounded the Flagstaff area and dropped 6 inches of snow on Payson, closing schools, canceling public meetings, trapping people in their homes, toppling trees and forcing Payson to turn a dozen garbage trucks into an all-night fleet of snowplows.

Water district funded to buyout Brooke

Taking a line from the 1996 comedy-drama hit film “Jerry Maguire,” Bill Haney barked “Show me the money” while waving a check to the about 20 persons who attended the Feb. 8 meeting of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board.

Woman dies in Beeline rollover

Snowy conditions along the Beeline Highway over the weekend created a 10-car pileup, a fatal rollover and diverted southbound travelers through Globe for more than three hours.

Payson probation offices bursting

With probation officers in Payson sharing offices and employees bumping into each other in narrow hallways, Judge Peter Cahill told the county supervisors Tuesday his patience has evaporated.

Around Rim Country


Public deserves honest information from PSWID board

The Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District board commissioned a report from on the rate impacts of the water company purchases. The report concluded that purchasing the water companies would be “free” for the rate payers for the first two years. To make that statement, the report uses a favorable purchase price and also uses creative financing by having the first two years be interest-only payments.

Stretch of highway adopted in memory of son

We have adopted a section of Highway 260 in memory of my son, Billy. As you may know, the highway must be cleaned twice a year to retain the sign.

Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation seek financial donations to keep programs

As we all know, the Town of Payson is experiencing serious financial constraints because of the downturn in our economy, most of us have experienced much the same thing in one way or another. Some of us have lost money or our job or have concerns about some member of our family who is going through hard times.

Fish will not survive drive for bass tournament weigh-in

I’ve heard that the weigh-in for the April FLW bass tournament at Roosevelt Lake is to be held at the Walmart parking lot in Payson.

Manzanita has deteriorated into a life-threatening thoroughfare

For over 25 years Manzanita has been on a waiting list for major repairs. Longer than any other well-used corridor in town. Now that we are in an economic downturn it will get even worse!

Contest set for scholarship funds

Recently we urged our readers to take a look at their financial bottom lines and see if they could find the means to support the upcoming Valentine’s Gala for the Payson Humane Society’s building fund and A Taste of Rim Country benefit for the library in March.

Snow and plows work all night

Ah, winter. Finally.

Payson traffic committee sets priority list

Payson’s traffic advisory committee wrestled with the frustration of a budget crisis that has driven its efforts to upgrade and rationalize the town’s circulation system into the ditch during its recent meeting.

Rim towns gain from winning state lawsuit

Payson and Star Valley came into small windfalls recently thanks to a Arizona Supreme Court ruling — but don’t expect any spending sprees.

Teacher loves science and photography

Name: Beverly Adams

Traffic study to tackle extensions, gridlock, transit plans

A sweeping, just-awarded, $175,000 study of Payson traffic will affect everything from the odds of an eventual highway bypass to the controversial extensions of local streets.

Education rally will be held Saturday at state Capitol

Show some love for education on Valentine’s Day at the Rally For Education from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 14 at the state Capitol.

Students earn 20 trophies at business competition

Twenty-two Payson High School students won 20 trophies last week at a regional Future Business Leaders of America competition in Thatcher.

Girls State, college scholarships offered by Democratic Women

The Democratic Women of Rim Country (DWRC) have opportunities available for high school juniors and seniors.

Scholarships available for older women from the AARP Foundation

The AARP Foundation is seeking entries for its third annual Women’s Scholarship Program. The scholarships will provide funds to women 40 and older who are seeking new job skills, training and educational opportunities to support themselves and their families.

Susan “Sue” Bea Cline-Forgey

Susan “Sue” Bea Cline-Forgey, a resident of Payson since August 2001, died Feb. 4, 2009 at Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert. She was born Jan. 23, 1952 in Pomona, Calif.

Maxine T. Fetters

Maxine T. Fetters died Feb. 2, 2009. She was born July 23, 1913 in Middleburry, Ind.

Daniel E. Drake

Daniel E. Drake, 86, died Feb. 5, 2009 in Phoenix, after an extended battle with emphysema.

Lomie Gray Heard

Lomie Gray Heard, a 33-year resident of Payson, was born Jan. 22, 1906, in Carlsbad, N.M. After celebrating her 103rd birthday Jan. 22, she died of natural causes Feb. 5, 2009 in Payson. Her life story is inspiring to those she left behind.

E. F. “Mickey” Prindle

E. F. “Mickey” Prindle, 72, of Jamestown, N.D., died Jan. 28, 2009 in Bismarck, N.D.

Ruth Darlene Strouse

Ruth Darlene Strouse, 65, died Feb. 5, 2009 in Payson.

Joshua William Lee Stubbs

Joshua William Lee Stubbs died Feb. 6, 2009 after a vehicle accident in Montana.

Two for one sale at LFOP bookstore

During the month of February the Library Friends of Payson Bookstore is featuring Customer Appreciation Days. In order to thank customers for their patronage, all bookstore items will be on sale at two for the price of one. This sale includes videos, DVDs, hardback books, puzzles, records and paperback books. The only exclusions are collectible books and magazines. Customers are welcome to mix and match items.

Dance program will get heart pumping

Get your heart pumping to a Latin beat in the opening session of the 2009 Women’s Wellness Forum.

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Longhorns gain upper hand in East play

Win over Lobos earns PHS boys East title

Longhorn boys basketball team members might have been out for a bit of revenge Feb. 7 against the Snowflake Lobos.

LL challenge is money for the program

Payson Little League president Slade Gibson says player registration is going well, but the challenge officers are facing is earning even more much-needed funds.

PHS wrestlers disappointed with fifth-place East finish

Ben Sandoval and Nick Goodman win regional weight titles

A fifth-place showing in the East Region tournament wasn’t what first-year PHS wrestling coach Travis Kopenhafer was hoping for.

East Region title earns Lady Longhorns a bye

Power points stirred a statewide controversy when the Arizona Interscholastic Association introduced them two years ago to the 3A conference.

Former PHS wrestler earns 100th career college victory

Duke Wilbanks is one proud papa.

Sisters picked employees of the year

When Kathy Ben-Shalom found out she was chosen as director of the year at Payson Regional Medical Center, she was excited, when she found out two days later her sister, Kim Nees, was employee of the year at Rim Country Health and Retirement Community she was over the moon.

Home purchase equals tax savings

The United States government has quite a few proposals on the table to stimulate the housing market.

Team heading for Special Olympics bowling tourney

Pin bustin’ will be the challenge for a four-person Payson team bound for the Special Olympics Unified National Bowling Tournament in the city with no clocks.

Join Game and Fish on a ferret-finding mission

The elusive, nocturnal black-footed ferret has established a foothold in Aubrey Valley, but the Arizona Game and Fish Department needs volunteers to help monitor the endangered animal’s uphill climb.

Monday, February 9

New, old festivals coming to Payson

Thanks to volunteer and staff efforts, all park programs and events escaped the chopping block, and the town plans to bring even more events to the Rim Country this year.

Woman dies in Highway 87 rollover

Wet weather causes a series of rollovers Sunday

Snowy conditions along the Beeline Highway over the weekend created a 10-car pileup, a fatal rollover and diverted southbound travelers through Globe for more than three hours.

Saturday, February 7

More burns take place on forest lands

Wildland firefighters plan more prescribed fire operations this week near Pine. Prescribed fire is always dependent on optimum weather conditions prior to ignition.

Photo workshops will focus on wildflowers

Arizona wildflowers and Sedona landscapes will be the subject of two special photography workshops this spring.

Friday, February 6

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Invigorating the body’s energy

Eastern-inspired exercises yoga and qigong allow practitioners to learn proper breathing and posture

Penny Navis-Schmidt talks fast. A psychotherapist by training, Navis-Schmidt admits she lives fast, too. Qigong (pronounced chi kung) helps her slow down. “I’m a pretty type-A person,” Navis-Schmidt said. “I’m someone who really needs to do this.”

Impasse dogs county stimulus talks

More than a month of debate over the politically neutral, alphabetical list of projects for which Gila County hopes to find federal stimulus dollars has reached an impasse.

D-back players thrill middle school students

All hail the Diamondbacks.

Flood engineer hired by Star Valley council

Although engineer Andy Romance said he doesn’t have all the answers available for Star Valley now, he plans to get to work right away on possible solutions to the town’s persistent flooding problems.

Hearing set for man who shot at police

A Payson man that shot at police more than 20 times during a nine-hour standoff Sunday morning is being held on $500,000 bond in a Gila County jail, authorities said.

Old radioactive mine tailings pose slow-motion threat

Forest Service seeks comment on still unfunded plan to clean up uranium tailings and seal off mine shafts near Young

After decades of delay, the U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comments about a slow-motion contamination risk — the radioactive dirt piles left over from now-abandoned uranium mines in the Young Ranger District along popular Workman Creek in the Sierra Anchas.

State parks face ‘devastating’ cuts

Tonto Natural Bridge won’t close, may lose half its staff, defer desperately needed repair work

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park has put out an urgent plea for volunteer workers after learning it must lay off half its staff to cope with “devastating” legislative budget cuts.

Retirees must make (at least) five key financial decisions

When you’re working, you have a financial strategy that is largely based on one goal: saving money for a comfortable retirement. You’ll likely have to make many adjustments over several decades to ensure that you stay on track saving and investing. But once you retire, a new goal arises — investing so you can remain retired. To help yourself achieve this goal, you will need to make a number of investment decisions.

When the trolley doesn’t go ‘Clang! Clang! Clang!’

I was just barely tall enough to see over the back of the couch, which stood against the front windows of our first floor apartment. And so I spent a lot of time leaning against the soft mohair back of the couch, watching workmen tearing up the street and removing the trolley tracks in front of our house on Brook Street on Staten Island.

Former resident enjoys feel-good stories that uplift the spirit

As a former Paysonite, I enjoy keeping track of my friends and old haunts in Rim Country. Your recent article about Mount Humphrey and its environs brought back fond memories of hiking, exploring, winter picnics and beautiful scenery.

California’s problems created by environmental laws

It seems to me that a couple of years ago or less, I sent a letter to the editor concerning a reply to a request from the state of (enviro/wackos) of California.

Congressional delegation should get money for forest

I wish that Arizona’s Congressional delegation had acted to get a component in the economic stimulus package that would at least begin the elimination of the massively overgrown situation that characterizes Arizona’s national forests and creates such a great potential for very large and extremely destructive forest fires.

Volunteering for Payson Parks and Recreation? Give it a try!

In today’s grim economy, many parks and recreation services and programs that communities nationwide have enjoyed in the past are disappearing. Adult softball leagues are being discontinued, facility master plans are being shelved, staffing is being reduced.

Payson’s budget news brightens

We were leafing through Payson’s brand-new, 23-page, monthly budget update report, when we thought again — and fondly — of our favorite cliché: That which does not kill you, makes you stronger.

Around Rim Country

Boy Scout food drive in Pine area

The Boy Scouts of Troop 652 in Pine will be participating in the Scouting for Food campaign.

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Mead Ranch cabin burns

The quick response of a Hellsgate Fire Department Lieutenant and Hellsgate firefighters stopped a small cabin fire from spreading to the Tonto National Forest and neighboring homes Monday night.

Quail season ends Feb. 8

It’s been a long and fruitful season, but the end is near. When the sun sets on Sunday, Feb. 8, there will be eight long months before upland hunters can chase Arizona’s fabulous quail species again. The good news is, there is still a little time left to head out after them one more time.

Archery deer tag is a deal

The mid-winter archery deer and javelina seasons have come to a close with many new hunting stories created by real-life experiences in the field. No doubt, the $34 over-the-counter deer tag proves again to be a real bargain for an excuse to outwit a deer in a month-long hunt.

Scholarship offer is humbling for PHS athlete

PHS senior Matt Wilson, about as fine a teenager as there is, admits he was humbled by the full-ride scholarship offer he received from Northern Arizona University.

Longhorn wrestlers need to overcome short numbers

Winning a regional tournament while forfeiting four weight classes and 24 team points is a Herculean challenge for any high school wrestling team.

NAU signs Matt Wilson

Excellence on the field and in the classroom has earned PHS senior Matt Wilson one of the most lucrative university scholarships ever received by a PHS student.

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It’s win and you’re in for PHS teams

Lady Longhorns on 12-game win streak; Longhorns need Snowflake win to control East Region first-place spo

With two games remaining in the regular season, players on both PHS basketball teams are in control of their own destiny.

Christopher Creek loses longtime resident to illness

Last week the community of Christopher Creek lost a sweetheart of a lady, longtime resident Candy Hart.

Firefighters called to battle Mead Ranch cabin blaze

Fire sirens were heard throughout the village on Monday evening, Feb 2, heading for a one-alarm fire in Mead Ranch. My emergency radio was on and one of the firefighters who was on the scene first said that it was a structure fire and all water tenders were needed.

Community turns out to welcome Hashknife riders

What an exhilarating treat to see the towns of Pine and Strawberry come out in full force to welcome the Hashknife Pony Express riders.

Jan Parsons kept our lights on

One morning Jan Parsons woke up and knew it was time. Time to retire from only the second job she ever had and held for more than 25 years.

Wednesday, February 4

Plain brown sign

How plain is plain? More importantly, are you plain? I do not mean plainness in regards to being “cute,” as in the simple innocence of a child. Nor do I mean the kind of plain as in a garment, style of clothing, or some type of decor for your home that sort of stands out because of its simplicity. Nope, I’m talking about a different kind of plainness … This was the question of the day as I drove up north to Cottonwood this past December.

This and that on travel

When I sit down to write this column (which will now appear in The Rim Review’s first edition of the month), there are usually several different topics running through my mind, this month is no exception. Let’s start off with upcoming events.

The tooth caper

One of my past positions was that of being vice president of operations for a major tour company based in Los Angeles. I had a reservations staff of several hundred and had under charter, nine aircraft for our worldwide operations. We also used many regularly scheduled airlines to move our guests from one part of the world to another. I also employed two cruise ships on charter, which were based in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

Photo Op

PR provided platform to photography

Photographer Matalyn Gardner cut her creative teeth in the world of public relations.

Answering the McLane Road question

A 1978 Payson Roundup carried the following headline: “Old Main merchants question naming of McLane Road.” At the time the merchants were asking the Payson Town Council to rename the road “Old Payson Trail.”

Exercise can bring on asthma

I have never been diagnosed with asthma, but when I drink cold beverages or eat ice cream and when I work out in cold weather, I start wheezing and get extreme chest pain. Is this asthma? What can I do?


Tradition continues to draw top artists

As traditions go, jazz concerts in the Rim Country are relatively youthful.

First Friday indulges in all things sweet

Healthy hearts require walks, good times with friends, neighbors and family and loads of ambiance and humor. All of these are offered at First Friday on Main Street from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6.

Area Burns

Wildland firefighters plan more prescribed fire operations this week near Pine. Prescribed fire is always dependent on optimum weather conditions prior to ignition.

Possible delays on Highway 87 near Rye Thursday

Payson area motorists may encounter delays of up to fifteen minutes Thursday on State Route 87 south of town. These delays are only expected in the southbound lanes.

Grandchildren’s gift becomes book for all children

Shirley Brill was having a bad spell with her knees and decided to make a negative a positive.

Organization aims to help others succeed

Sound Life Education, a Pine-based financial planning and life education organization is offering a free seminar on planning for your life, creating goals and achieving them.

Tuesday, February 3

Aircraft blown off runway into windsock

Wind was the apparent culprit for a Tempe pilot who lost control of a rented airplane, struck a pole and cartwheeled off the west end of the Payson runway Sunday afternoon.

Majestic Rim chef plans to keep ‘Taste’ trophy

Take notice — the challenge has been made. Chef Steven LeMonier of Majestic Rim Good Samaritan Senior Apartments has no intention of letting the trophy from the chef competition, A Taste of Rim Country, leave his building.

School district thinking green to save some money

Thinking green can help save some green.

Get ‘Real Relief’ during tough economic times

With the cost of food and health care skyrocketing, families losing their homes, retirement accounts shrinking and millions of Americans without a job, AARP recently launched Real Relief, an online resource to help people weather these tough economic times.

Events back at Center

Goodness! As I am writing this, our cable service has just come back on after being off for more than 12 hours. There we were last night, in the midst of watching PBS’ Nature, one of our favorite programs, when the snowstorm hit — on the screen, that is.

Registration opens for annual Women’s Wellness Forum

Women of the Rim Country are invited to gather “Pearls on the Path” at the 11th annual Women’s Wellness Forum Saturday, March 14 at the Payson High School campus.

News Briefs

Cinch Hook gravel pit, located on State Highway 87 and Highway 260 junction, is closed to all visitors indefinitely for the entire winter season, even if substantial snow is received in the area.

School Briefs

A beginning psychology course remains a prerequisite for almost any college program. Gila Community College, Payson Campus, knows that some folks can only attend classes in the evenings and on the weekend.

Feature Teacher

I enjoy watching it come together for the students. There are actually times when you can see the “light bulb turn on.” I have a passion for nursing and I want to share that with others.

College finds high need for and student interest in nursing program

Gila Community College class provides personal touch for nurses-in-training

The two-year wait to enter a Maricopa County nursing program frustrated Tom Ammerman. The 55-year-old weighed his options and decided the 98-mile drive each way from his Valley home to Gila County was preferable to an exasperating wait.

Donated piano causing contributor confusion

Donated vintage piano needs some repair work

Sometimes the best of intentions result in unexpected concerns.

Around Rim Country

Business Showcase registration open

The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 17th Annual Business Showcase and Market Place will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 21 at the Payson High School gymnasium.

Remember the Republicans

“Remember the Maine” and “Remember the Alamo” were rallying cries for our country in years past. A new mantra for Arizona should be “Remember the Republican Legislature!”

Grateful for reasonably priced automotive repair

My sister-in-law came up from Mesa for a visit. While here, she took her car to Fletcher’s for an oil change. She also had a leak from the transmission and thought her brakes might need to be replaced, so she asked that these be checked.

Residents should be thankful for efforts of Forest Service

I am writing this in response to some who are criticizing the Forest Service for the current clearing and prescribed burns that are being conducted around Payson.

Coffey owed an apology

In regard to the article about Doyle Coffey, and his objection to the fee he was charged. I think that 90 percent of the people in Payson would be amazed at how much time and effort this man put in to bring this college to our little town.

A win-win water settlement for Arizona

Water is and always will be our most precious resource in the Southwest. Control of water rights has fueled seemingly endless and intractable disputes among competing interests.

Police use talk, trust to end standoff

Payson police officers more than earned their pay Sunday, as they were able to talk a man out of his house who was firing bullets at them, all without any serious injuries

Car rolls at Highway 87 and 260 intersection in front of officer

A Payson Police sergeant happened to be at the right place at the right time Friday morning when he witnessed a suspected drunken driver lose control of a vehicle and roll it over.

Police called to help deer, but find an eagle

The deer was the dinner. And the eagle was the diner. Until the tables got turned.

Four apply for open GCC board spot

Four men have filed to replace Don Crowley on Gila Community College’s governing board. Gila County Superintendent of Schools Linda O’Dell will appoint someone by mid-February.

County officials talk stimulus to congresswoman

Gila County Supervisor Shirley Dawson and Sheriff John Armer pushed for stimulus money to build a new jail in Globe during a meeting Friday with a congressional representative.

Flood planning on Star Valley agenda

With plans to purchase a water company off the table for now, the Star Valley council has turned its attention to flooding.

State ed cuts could cost fed dollars

If the state cuts education funding too deeply, it risks rendering itself ineligible for federal education dollars, county Superintendent of Schools Linda O’Dell said.

Man arrested after nine-hour police standoff

Believing there were Iraqis in his front yard, Gulf War veteran Michael Gene Robinson, 52, began what would become a nine-hour standoff around 2 a.m. Sunday when he grabbed four guns, barricaded himself inside his home and began shooting at Payson police officers.

Steps to take when buying your own business

The unemployment factor in today’s economy has sparked an interest in many of owning their own business. A business brokerage associate of mine in Phoenix conveyed that he is enjoying a robust business climate.

Solar company hopes to light way in energy conservation

Rick and Karyn Nelsen, like so many others, have been inspired to go green. The pair started the Green Scene Solar Company five months ago to do their part for energy conservation.

Fast pitch only option this year

Girls planning on playing spring and summer softball now have only one option — fast pitch.

Remembering Jim McBurney

I wish every boy in America had a PE teacher like Jim McBurney.

Rim athlete qualifies for winter games

A veteran Rim Country athlete is one of 20 from Arizona to qualify for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

Adult BB league in danger of folding

Only three teams have signed up to play

Where have all the hoopers gone? That’s what Town of Payson Recreation Coordinator Joe Harris is asking himself now that the long-running adult basketball league might fold for lack of participation.

Tease photo

PHS teams rolling to East titles

Both Payson High School basketball teams are steamrolling along toward what could be East Region regular-season championships.

Monday, February 2

Multiple shots fired in nine-hour standoff

After more than a nine-hour standoff and almost two-dozen shots fired at officers, a 52-year-old Payson man was arrested Sunday afternoon after officers subdued him with a Taser, authorities said.