Stories for March 2009


Tuesday, March 31

Tease photo

Photo students enjoy benefit of professional’s gift

The clouds hung swollen and low on a recent Thursday afternoon outside Payson High School

Spring Fling party set for First Friday on old Main

Spring has sprung for a fun and free party and everyone is invited. Bring your sweetheart, friends and family for a stroll on Historic Main Street between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., Friday, April 3.

Weekly informal investment discussion moves venue

Edward Jones financial adviser Scott Flake of Payson is hosting a free 60-minute educational seminar titled, “Family Matters with Long-term Care” at the Good Samaritan- Majestic Rim, Tuesday, March 31, at 310 E. Tyler Parkway. Hal Galsford of Genworth LTC Insurance will co-host.

Payson man honored by Wachovia Securities

Wachovia Securities Financial Network has designated Kevin Dick of Payson as a member of the firm’s “Premier Advisors” Program, a distinction that reflects his achievement of professional success through a consistent commitment to client service.

Can Payson become a Prescott Valley?

A buzz line you sometimes hear in Payson is, “We don’t want Payson to become a Prescott Valley.”

Feature Teacher

Aim of art teacher is to help students succeed

I’d like to meet Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and ask them how it felt to accomplish the impossible.

New skate park needed

You know what really gets on my nerves? When people get mad at me for skating on the sidewalks and tell me I’m a bad person because I’m a skater.

Threats to education worry students

Hello, I am a student at Rim Country Middle School and I’m writing to share my opinion on the recent policy to cut certain programs at our school.

California not so golden

This is in response to Mr. Gene Hind’s letter to the editor.

Somebody help us

The article of March 27 on Tonto Bridge was long.

Support has been overwhelming

Losing our beloved husband and father was emotional for all of us, but the love, support and compassion we felt from the whole community made it all a bit easier

Sad to hear Concert Under the Stars is no more

I was sad to read that the Concert Under the Stars summer concert series in Green Valley Park may be “no more” because of budget cuts

A Furry thank you

Recently, we were voted No. 1 in the Roundup’s “Best of Rim Country.” It is always fun to participate in this lively “unofficial” poll. From all of us at Furry Friends, thank you to everyone who voted.

Get dirt jumps at park

I think there should be room for dirt jumps at Rumsey Park. Maybe Payson Parks and Recreation should cut some trees down and bring in a couple of loads of dirt.

Gagging elected officials makes for bad policy

In essence, the Payson school district board has placed a gag order on board members, just when the citizens are seeking education reform. Elected board members should be at the center of this discussion. Obviously, this board doesn’t think so. And that’s a shame.

Around Rim Country

Hospital gift shop has Spring Sale this week

The La Boutique Gift Shop will be holding a Spring Sale the week of March 30 through April 3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the main lobby of the hospital.

Shortfall could force school layoffs

The Payson Unified School District will hold a meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the high school auditorium to discuss how to deal with a projected $800,000 shortfall next year.

Family of helpers gets a little help

Andrew Hansen comes from a family of givers. His mom is a nurse, his dad served on Canada’s horse artillery and several Rim Country fire departments, one brother is a police officer with the Payson Police Department and another a firefighter with the Hellsgate Fire Department.

District sues for control

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District has filed an application for immediate possession in superior court that could lead to the takeover within two months of the Pine and Strawberry water companies — with the ultimate cost to be determined by a judge.

Elected school board members muzzled

Members of the Payson Unified School District board will no longer accept questions from community members or from the media outside of a public meeting in a new unwritten rule that appears to directly violate the district’s own policy manual.

Tease photo

Loads of lovely fire

Prescribed burn season tally — 6,200 acres

The Payson Ranger District this year burned three times as many acres of brush and debris piles as it planned, buying another precious year of breathing space for some of the most fire-threatened communities in the nation.

Register for April hunter education class

Arizona Game and Fish wildlife manager David Daniels will soon lead a hunter education class.

Korth wins low net PMGA shoot-out

Rick Korth has to now be very familiar with Payson Golf Course’s back nine holes.

Tournament pro hosts youth fishing clinics at Green Valley Park

The opportunity to learn from an angler who once was a storied professional tournament fisherman awaits local elementary school students.

Lineman leads Horns to win over Sedona in golf

It’s not often a 5-foot-10-inch, 295-pound offensive guard shines on the golf course.

Tease photo

Elks clash crucial to Longhorns’ hopes

The aim of the Longhorn baseball team is to jump aboard the 3A East winning express when the opportunity steams through Payson at 3:30 p.m. today, March 31.

Saturday, March 28

Community can help Kiwanis reach more youth

The Kiwanis 14th Annual Auction for Youth on April 4 will feature a prime rib dinner and auction to raise money for scholarships and student service clubs.

Suicide not uncommon for people addicted to meth

Previous Meth Messenger articles have reported that meth is an illegal synthetic drug that varies in looks depending on how it was made.

Forest officials require visible tags on firewood

A new tag system for forest fuelwood permits will be implemented on April 1 to improve accountability and enforcement.

Small businesses get shot at stimulus money

The Arizona District Office of the Small Business Administration will host two evening workshops for northern Arizona area small businesses to discuss both the small business provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the recently enacted federal stimulus legislation — and advice on managing a contracting economy for small businesses.

Tease photo

York’s sharp-shooting earns berth to fire up North stars

The sharpshooter who set the Payson High School record for most three-balls in a single game has attained Arizona prep basketball’s greatest accomplishment.

Friday, March 27

Tease photo

Rodeo beef aired

The wresting of a contract to help run the rodeo from the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee smacks of politics, committee members and many of the roughly 15 people at a Thursday Citizens Awareness Committee meeting speculated.

Sign is defaced

I am sorry to see that the Democratic Headquarters sign along the Beeline was defaced.

American dream founded on ‘In God We Trust’

Thanks, Jinx. for your “horseback opinion.” Good to know that the Roundup celebrates freedom of speech. Here’s my “rocking chair” opinion.

Deputies arrest two for fake identifications

Two illegal aliens were arrested Tuesday night after they swerved over the center line heading southbound from Pine on Highway 87, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Water board bores down on budget

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board will hold a budget study workshop at 2 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, in the Pine Cultural Center.

The business of making life better

Michael Hicks started his Win@Life Seminars in February. But the idea for the motivational program was born more than two dozen years ago.

Time for annual 401(k) review

Once you’ve started contributing to your 401(k) plan and funded it with investments that are appropriate for your needs, you might think you’re in good shape and that your 401(k) is now on “autopilot.”

Fight to reopen Tonto Natural Bridge continues

Rim Country officials hope they can win a commitment to reopen Tonto Natural Bridge State Park as early as June at an April 3 Arizona State Parks Board meeting in the Valley.

Payson plan hits all the political hot buttons

It’s lean. It’s mean. It’s a plan. And no one seems to care.

Going back to ‘prewar’ days would mean giving up a lot

Standing in line in Safeway the other day I couldn’t help overhearing what the woman behind me said to a friend.

Johnny Ringo and Curley Bill chase a bear off the Rim

It was in the spring of 1969 and the winter had been a dry one in the Rim Country.

Column has wrong information

Jinx Pyle’s column on Lincoln and Obama (March 20) contains an obvious mistake. Mr. Lincoln was not a “first-term U.S. senator” when he ran for the presidency in 1860.

Release skunk into the forest

Regarding a letter to the Roundup from a Star Valley resident and a skunk who was living under their house ... the letter stated an employee of Star Valley Town Hall, when called for advice regarding the skunk, stated to catch said skunk and drown it.

Community teamwork needed in child abuse prevention

This letter is on behalf of the Gila Family Advocacy Center, where my staff and I live and breathe the world of child abuse every single day.

Payson needs jobs

Jobs! Payson needs jobs. Perhaps the Payson city council’s goals should be redirected to the creation of jobs. Jobs spur growth and increase much-needed tax revenue.

Thanks for pet care

I would like to express my most sincere and heartfelt thanks to Caroline and the staff at Payson Pet Care.

Star Valley must follow the law

Star Valley Councilor Gary Coon faced a tough choice.

Around Rim Country

Lions plan pancake breakfast Saturday

The Payson Lions Charitable Foundation, in conjunction with Payson Community Kids, will host a Pancake Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, March 28 at Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church, 507 W. Wade Lane.

Property taxes may rise despite fall in prices

Despite the declining market value of most Rim Country homes, next year’s property taxes could increase.

SV councilor blew Whistle

‘Unethical’ changes triggered complaint to county attorney on manager’s pay boosts

Budget “irregularities” prompted newly elected Star Valley Councilor Gary Coon to ask for a county attorney’s investigation of the former town manager’s contract and possible open meeting law violations.

Dogs boast ‘coats of many colors’

The photos in this week’s article feature animals with beautiful coats. They represent just one small sample of the many beautiful animals who are looking for homes this spring at Payson Humane Society.

Horns to host multi-meet at Chaparral Pines

The Payson Longhorns will enjoy a rare home course advantage March 30 when the linksters host region teams in a nine-hole match at Chaparral Pines. Tee time is 2:30 p.m.

Adult co-ed softball registration is now

Register now through April 2 for the upcoming Adult Co-Ed Spring Softball season with the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.

Time to get ready for an early crappie season

With the prolonged warm weather and a full lake, the springtime crappie bite may start sooner than usual. When they move to the shallows, lighter equipment and smaller baits seem to be the most effective in catching these tasty panfish.

Community support feeds MSA charity

Understanding the role the Mogollon Sporting Association plays in our town is probably done best by those who have been on the receiving end the group’s benevolence.

Morgan overcomes injury, ready to throw in 2009

PHS senior Kayla Morgan appears to have turned the corner on an injury that hampered her most of the 2008 track and field season.

Tease photo

Lady Horns dominate all-star ballots

Erase any doubts concerning the Lady Longhorn basketball players after they were ignored on The Arizona Republic’s 1A-3A All-State team.

Third time is the charm

By the time you read this today, I will have had a colonoscopy, for the third time in three years.

These babies are quite large and getting bigger

Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!

Spring weather continues to amaze

Isn’t this about the craziest weather you’ve seen?

‘Jukebox’ cast put on amazing display

If you attended the Tonto Community Concert Association’s American Jukebox performance this past Sunday, I’m sure you’ll agree that you experienced two hours of fun, first-rate musical entertainment.

Tease photo

Fossil Finders

Hike draws large group to hunt for 300-million-year-old treasure

The Payson Parks and Recreation Department sure knows how to throw a party — even when the guests of honor are 300 million years old.

Wednesday, March 25

Spur one another on to ...

Women from throughout the Rim Country will gather this weekend at Mountain Bible Church, 302 E. Rancho Road in Payson, for the second Women’s Spring Conference.

Planning a cruise

It’s that time of year to start making plans for your next cruise to begin this spring or summer. There are some great deals out there from various cruise lines and they seem to get better with each week.

Talking out of school

“Talking Out of School: Memoir of an Educated Woman” Reviewed by Katy B. Olson

Biting, witty and occasionally even venomous, professor and author Kass Fleisher’s memoir “Talking Out of School: Memoir of an Educated Woman” chronicles not just the author’s own tumultuous education within and outside of university lecture halls, but also the tenuous state of women’s higher education in America today.

Pimples at 78?

I wonder if I can stop taking the prescriptions?

Fabulous TRIO

Limeliters bring family-friendly folk music to Rim Country

Folk music tells wonderful stories about all kinds of subjects. It is oral history that spans the ages.

The Story of Payson, Arizona

Chapter 16: a school is built in Payson

Grade school classes were held in Payson 11 years before there was a dedicated schoolhouse.

Easy meals for folks on the go

If more gets added to your to-do list than gets crossed off, don’t be overwhelmed — you are not alone.


Speaker blends passion, humor and authenticity to convey message

Margie Williams is a public speaker — leading Bible studies and speaking at church programs for the past 10 years — but she is also a very private person.

Social Security tips for tax time

Shakespeare wrote “Beware the Ides of March,” but that was before tax day found a resting place on April 15 of each year. Let us help you “be aware” of some Social Security tax tips by answering some of the most common questions we receive about taxes and Social Security.

Judge Etpison resigns Tonto Apache Tribe judicial post

The Honorable Tao Etpison, chief judge of the Tonto Apache Tribal Court resigned his position, effective March 19.

APS continues vegetation clearing around power lines

After a worker accidentally sawed into his foot with a chain saw while clearing brush under Arizona Public Service power lines March 11, APS announced work will continue under the lines to meet industry vegetation standards.

Family fun at Fishing Festival

Looking for a fun-filled day for the whole family?

Tuesday, March 24

Old Julia Randall Elementary School torn down

Empty school buses had driven up to the new Julia Randall Elementary School and away during spring break, in a dry run before the big day.

Social Security, SSI recipients to get extra payment

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which the President signed into law in February, provides for a one-time payment of $250 to people receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

Water study says SV would suffer in a drought

In a normal year, Star Valley wells pump out 15 percent less water than rainfall puts in, according to a consultant’s draft of a sustainable yield study.

Revamped showcase gets positive reviews

The aisles at the 17th Annual Business Showcase were often filled with a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. The “Team up for Success” theme added a festive atmosphere, which was enhanced with games, giveaways and prize drawings.

Great home buys abound as values drop

Houses for sale double as home values drop

Area home prices have dropped 20 to 30 percent from their peak and continue to decline at about 1 percent every month, according to a sobering assessment with a silver lining offered Thursday to the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.

School Briefs

Schools have testing period March 31- April 10

Students at all Payson schools will take Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) tests and TerraNova tests March 31 through April 10. Students will test in reading, writing, mathematics and — in grades 4, 8 and high school — science.

Dragons intrigue Frontier Elementary School students

Once upon a time, some people believed dragon slayers lurked in their family line. The myth was a source of pride, even though it was likely a tale of heroism — killing a bear, for instance — turned supernatural, said Joshua Locke, the dragonology volunteer teacher at Frontier Elementary School.

Trip provokes ideas for students

The trip to Nashville, Tenn. that Payson High School’s student government took last week, after its teen driving safety program finished in the top 10 nationally, set off a firestorm of ideas for new campaigns.

County vehicles collide at Hwy. 260, 87 intersection

A Gila County Sheriff’s lieutenant responding to a call plowed into another county vehicle Monday at the intersection of Highways 260 and 87.

Candidate ran for a position, not against the council

Upon reading the Roundup’s March 17 editorial regarding the smooth process of recent appointments, and I understand that was their intention, I’d like to clarify my position.

Town needs an ordinance to control cats

I have lived here for 16 years and (I am) getting really angry that this town does not have an ordinance (licenses) to keep neighbors’ cats out of neighbors’ yards using them as a litter box.

California leads in green technology patents

Marlla and I moved from La Mesa, Calif. November 2000 to Payson and returned to Redlands, Calif. July 2004, to be near our children, siblings and their families.

No tolerance for parents beating children

They say a community raises a child.

A missing package

My husband and I have lived in Payson for over eight years, and we have felt that it is a pretty nice and safe place to live.

The big cap and trade scam

This cap and trade scam was formed in part by goofy Gore and Associates. It all started when Gore was a presidential VP. It consists of any source which can produce greenhouse gas. This includes all energy sources, agricultural, animals, mining, etc.

Rim Country on track for stimulus pot

The tenacious efforts of Rim Country officials paid off this week, with the tentative award of some $13 million in federal stimulus funding for water projects.

Around Rim Country

Public can have say in town plan, goals

The public is invited to attend a special meeting at 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 24 at the Town Hall Council Chambers, 303 N. Beeline Highway.

County’s SV investigation will take a month

The Gila County Attorney’s Office is continuing its investigation into accusations of several open meeting law violations by the Town of Star Valley.

Small water companies score big money

Stimulus money will give 82 homeowners in Pine their own K2 well

Several small water districts in Rim Country hit the federal stimulus jackpot — especially the 173 lot owners at Portal 4 in Pine Creek Canyon.

Grant to fund Payson lake, Tribe’s wastewater plant

Tonto Apaches and town team up to snag $1.8 million in federal stimulus money

Payson and the Tonto Apache Tribe scored an unexpected victory in the form of a $1.8-million federal grant that will both finish the tribe’s sewage treatment plant and build another lake and park next to the Payson Event Center.

Lawsuit prompts SV meeting

After his abrupt dismissal in August, Star Valley’s former town manager Vito Tedeschi filed a lawsuit against the town March 16 claiming the town has failed to make severance payments totaling $29,000. The town is planning to discuss that lawsuit and a possible civil claim against Tedeschi in executive session Tuesday night at Town Hall.

College facing state aid cuts

With a $244,000 cut in state aid on a $5-million budget, Gila Community College may have to raise tuition, cut programs or ask the county for money.

Town snags $10.6M grant for Blue Ridge

Payson’s shuttle diplomacy pays off with federal stimulus grant on pipe to deliver long-term water supply

Payson has scored a major coup by winning a federal stimulus grant that will pay for about one-third of the cost of the Blue Ridge Reservoir pipeline.

Lumber company recognizes top three selling employees

Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Company recognized three of its associates with the annual Pinnacle of Excellence award.

Travel company donating portion of new commissions to Humane Society

Cruise Port Travel encourages everyone in Payson to keep his or her money in town.

Top 10 signs the real estate market may be changing

Many people are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the real estate market to hit the bottom before they make a move.

Get fishing tips from local experts at Game and Fish Expo

At age 16, Kyle Pollay of Wickenburg is already a bass tournament veteran with a stack of glittering trophies.

Heartbreak for Horns in All-State choices

In Elvis Presley’s 1956 rock ’n’ roll hit “Heartbreak Hotel,” he sang of “being at the end of Lonely Street.”

Fishing tourney benefits Christian school

More than a quarter century after the Payson Community Christian School Trout Tournament made its debut, the benefit remains one of the highlights of the Rim Country fishing season.

Close scores mark Payson Men’s Golf Association

A junkyard dogfight involving veteran members of the Payson Men’s Golf Association highlighted the group’s first links bout of the 2009 season.

All is well in football, basketball and politics

OK, President Obama, I was on the verge of asking you to return the vote I cast your way last November.

Tease photo

Rim Country children benefit from annual softball tourney

Benson High softball team donates $1,000 to Gracie Haught foundation

Skye McNeeley hits grand slam homer.

Saturday, March 21

Longhorn Village ceremony set

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity will have a ground breaking ceremony for Phase II of Longhorn Village this weekend.

Friday, March 20

Payson vet given U.S. Capitol flag

At 88 years old, Jim York may not be the oldest living veteran in Payson, but he is the oldest veteran in a group that attended the Class of 1968 reunion. York said he is definitely not slowing down a bit. He is still raising a grandson, Payson High School basketball player Cody York, and finishing his autobiography.

Brooke Utilities seeks $2.69M in fed stimulus funds

Brooke Utilities President Bob Hardcastle’s application to the Arizona Corporation Commission to borrow $2.69 million to fund two water company improvement projects caught most Pine and Strawberry water users by surprise.

Time to sell or time to buy?

We’re in a recession, which could be severe. Several financial services companies have either collapsed or been bailed out by the government.

Family opens massage and facial business

Karen Benkert and her two daughters Michelle Paul and Aricka Johnson recently opened Frontier Therapeutics at 215 W. Frontier St. on March 15.

Government and health care losses add to state’s unemployment woes

Arizona’s unemployment rate hit 7 percent in January as government and health care — sectors that had been bright spots in the shaky economy — shed jobs along with retail and construction, the state Department of Commerce announced Thursday.

Limeliters bring family-friendly folk music to Rim

Folk music tells wonderful stories about all kinds of subjects. It is oral history that spans the ages.

County readies move into First American building

Five-year lease will cost county $5,910 per month

The county will move some of its offices into the First American Title building next month after a tough lease negotiation that at one point neared a “deal breaker,” county officials said Tuesday.

Benefit planned for fire victim

Event to help Steve Cline is April 4

Longtime local resident Steve Cline lost his home to a devastating fire the morning of Feb. 24. He is currently in the burn unit at Maricopa County Hospital in Phoenix with severe injuries.

Parent, board member to challenge ed community

The Payson Unified School District board should “scrutinize” its teachers, curriculum and measurement of performance, the mother of three school-age boys told members at a recent meeting.

Payson gears up for National Night Out on Aug. 1

The Payson Police Department, along with the National Association of Town Watch, is gearing up for another National Night Out.

Looking back on some whopper mistakes

I was thinking the other day. I do a lot of that lately. It costs nothing, can be done lying down, may be taken with alcohol, isn’t fattening or bad for your heart, liver, or kidneys, and doesn’t cause a rash.

Comparing the ideologies of Obama and Lincoln

Barack Obama has expressed his admiration for Abraham Lincoln on numerous occasions and particularly in a 2005 speech where he mentioned “Lincoln’s rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat ...”

Consumers should not take advantage of a business

Fireside Espresso is a great place to visit friends, hold meetings, or simply enjoy a cup of really good coffee while using the free high-speed Internet.

Evans, council serving town well

I quite agree with the disgust expressed on the face of Councilwoman Sue Connell as she listened to former mayor Bob Edwards as he admonished the present town government.

Freedom of speech is everyone’s right

Freedom of speech is the right of all United States citizens. Jinx Pyle is entitled to express his political opinions, but so are those of us who oppose his way of thinking.

Edwards spreading his propaganda

So, Bob Edwards, you are out there again spreading your “no-growth” propaganda to our great town of Payson.

People missing the picture

The animosity is so pungent, the entire Rim Country stinks.

The right decisions are not always easy

Back in the days (and they weren’t that long ago) when Payson was booming, and we anticipated modest school enrollment growth and funding for schools was not in question; including artificial turf fields for the high school was an “extra” for our kids that the district and community could easily justify.

Questions raised by pay probe of SV

The chaotic and improvised process that awarded the Star Valley town manager with a roughly 37-percent pay boost in 20 months raises some troubling questions about that town’s management.

Around Rim Country

Business Showcase Saturday at PHS

The annual Business Showcase, “Team Up to Succeed,” takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 21 at the old gym at Payson High School on North McLane Road.

Search and rescue team find disoriented Pine hiker

A Pine woman was rescued Friday night after being disoriented and lost on a trail a mile south of Pine.

Hwy. 87 to Pine will be widened

A portion of a deadly stretch of Highway 87 between Payson and Pine will receive $8.6 million in federal stimulus funds for a shoulder widening and resurfacing project to begin this summer.

SV looks to county for police service

Star Valley residents will soon receive police protection from the Gila County Sheriff’s Office and animal control services from the county as well — two services residents used to receive for free before the town incorporated, but for which they now must pay almost $400,000 a year.

Payson plan still embraces big goals

Council works on plan to present to residents that drops time tables and postpones projects while focusing on

The goal of the study session was to pull together a plan for the future which citizens can have a whack at this Tuesday.

County hopes to close deficit, avoid layoffs

Gila County will likely close its projected $2.3 million deficit next year without layoffs, and possibly without increasing property taxes, Deputy County Manager John Nelson told supervisors Tuesday.

Former SV town manager’s pay spurs probe

County investigates possible Star Valley open meeting law violations as former manager files lawsuit

A rapidly rising compensation package for Star Valley’s former town manager has spurred both an investigation into possible violations of the open meeting law by the Gila County Attorney’s Office and a lawsuit against the town for failure to make severance payments of $29,000.

Foster homes desperately needed

The flood has started. So far, only one litter of kittens has been brought to the animal shelter.

Naturally shed antler hunting subject to state rules

Shed antler hunting is a great way to get in touch with nature and experience hands-on the cycle of life.

Payson track teams to take part in RV multi meet

The Payson High School track teams, still reeling from the absence of players due to spring break, travels today, March 20, to Springerville-Eagar for a Round Valley High School-hosted multi-meet.

Optimists to hold fishing festival at Green Valley Lake

The third annual Optimist Club Fishing Festival will be held March 28 at Green Valley Lake.

ASU coach brings skills to Rim Country

Clint Myers is revered in Arizona State University athletic circles as one of the finest Sun Devils ever.

Attending D-backs game will fund rec programs

Watching Eric Byrnes flag down fly balls in the outfield or perhaps seeing Brandon Webb baffle an opposing hitter with the nastiest sinker in baseball are some of the opportunities Payson baseball fans will soon have.

Lady Longhorns peaking for hometown tourney

The Lady Longhorn softball team appears to be peaking just in time for the highlight of the home season — the Gracie Haught Classic.

Tease photo

Show Low upends Payson

A 12-2 loss to East rival Show Low wasn’t the region jump-start Payson baseball faithful were hoping for.

College softball camp comes to Payson

Sun Devils, coaches to hold clinic at Rumsey Park

The NCAA National Champions are coming to Payson and bringing their Coach of the Year with them.

Spring Fling Teen Dance is Saturday

Know a teen who is looking for something to do this Saturday, March 21? Well, if’n you do, hog-tie the little bugger and bring ’em on over to the American Legion Hall on Route 260 between the hours of 7 and 10 p.m.

Blooming trees, lavender flowers a sure sign that spring has arrived in Rim Country

Today is the first day of spring! A long time ago, back when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I remember my mom telling my brothers and me that that day was the first day of spring.

Annual Christopher Creek pajama party attracted 20 women

Friday was the annual Ladies Pajama Party in Christopher Creek. This year 20 women showed up in their favorite pajamas with their funny slippers and brought along their favorite potluck to share.

Weekend rain was a big surprise

Who would have guessed that Pine would get rain over the weekend? On Friday with a scant 20 percent chance predicted, we got enough to thoroughly wet the ground.

Speaker blends passion, humor and authenticity to convey message

Margie Williams is a public speaker — leading Bible studies and speaking at church programs for the past 10 years — but she is also a very private person.

Tease photo

Guns blazing!

They may not shoot straight, but they sure do look good

Down a muddy, winding road, you stumble upon a group of fashionably dressed cowboys.

Wednesday, March 18

Well Women

Getting women to stop and take time for themselves in pursuit of health and wellness has been the goal of the annual Women’s Wellness Forum for 11 years.

Touring the World

If you are going to see foreign areas of our world, I have always believed the best way is by an organized tour. Why?

Michelle: A Biography by Liza Mundy

There is simply no middle ground when it comes to the diverse opinions that Americans have about Michelle Obama.

Cholesterol tests keep multiplying

None of my 21 grandchildren has had their tonsils out. All of my seven children did. Is this no longer done? I wish doctors would make up their minds about these things.

Business Showcase & Market Place

Vendors will team up to succeed this year at the business showcase

Expect to find a new style at the 17th anniversary Business Showcase and Market Place.

Five-star meals from your kitchen

In the restaurant world, professional chefs can afford to spend hours on their culinary creations.

Davey Gowan and the Gowan Mine

Tonto Natural Bridge has been in the news quite a bit lately. Davey Gowan is closely associated with the bridge, but the bridge and surrounding area was not the only thing that Gowan worked on in Rim Country. He also discovered a mine that he named for himself.

American Jukebox

TCCA invites you to enjoy a vigorous trip down America’s favorite musical lanes

The Tonto Community Concert Association invites its subscribers and the public to celebrate the very best of America’s top pop music with Matt Davenport Productions’ acclaimed show, American Jukebox. The program is at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 22 at the Payson High School auditorium.

Parks plans special classes

The Payson Flycasters will present a program on the art of fly-fishing in a two-class series on April 4 and April 11.

Choice of police, mayor top SV meeting

On Friday, Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron announced he was resigning to spend more time with his family, but the news did little to stop the number of issues the town is currently dealing with.

Fishing is great at Roosevelt, Alamo

Roosevelt, Alamo and San Carlos are hot spots with some anglers catching impressive numbers. If you are a bass or crappie angler, you don’t need to read any more. Just go.

Social Security answers

I’m 72 and get Social Security. Is it true that I no longer need to take mandatory IRA withdrawals?

Tonto Monument hosts open house, walks to Upper Cliff Dwelling

Tonto National Monument will join the statewide celebration of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month by hosting an open house Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22.

Bulk of OHV money goes to grants

New laws went into effect Jan. 1, requiring all off-highway vehicles (OHVs) meeting certain criteria to display an OHV decal, which costs $25 annually. At the recent International Sportsmen’s Expo, the number-one question asked about that program was: “What does this money go for, exactly?”

Largest hands-on outdoor expo is March 28-29 at Ben Avery range

Want to catch a fish, hike a nature trail, shoot all types of firearms, see live wildlife, watch exciting rock crawler and ATV demonstrations, refine your archery skills or witness exciting mounted cowboy action shooters?

Tuesday, March 17

Travel trailer burns in Gisela

A travel trailer burned to a complete loss Sunday at about 6:30 p.m. in Gisela.

Pennsylvania man dies in Hwy. 87 motorcycle accident

A Pennsylvania man died Sunday afternoon about 20 miles south of Payson on Highway 87 after he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a guardrail, Arizona Department of Public Safety officials said Monday.

Annual Women’s Wellness Forum gets high marks

The energy was so high at the 11th annual Women’s Wellness Forum it had a building bouncing — or it could have been the enthusiastic participants in the day’s opening exercises.

Choice of police, mayor top SV meeting

On Friday, Star Valley Mayor Chuck Heron announced he was resigning to spend more time with his family, but the news did little to stop the number of issues the town is currently dealing with.

Seniors can apply for evaporative cooler repairs

The Low Income Evaporative Cooler Tune-up and Repair Program is available once again through the Gila County Housing Service. Funding for the program has been provided by Pinal/Gila Council for Senior Citizens, the Older Americans Act.

Interest sought for new Senior Circle classes

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Are you wearing a bit of the green?

Hardt graduates

Hillari Hardt, daughter or Chuck and Shirley Hardt, graduated cum laude from Arizona State University

Celebrating 70 years of marriage

Olin (Olé) and Donna Adams celebrated 70 years of marriage Sunday, March 15 at the Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship church, which they founded in the late 1970s.

Pine eateries helping school

For a limited time, food purchases at select area restaurants will help raise money for the Pine Strawberry School. During the next month, simply tell the restaurant you are ordering for the school fund, and they will know what to do.

Feature Teacher

Working with kids is ‘what it’s all about’

Never say can’t.

Students get chance to expand imagination

The tempera flowers that splayed across desktop-calendar-sized pieces of paper looked easy enough to create.

Shepherd of the Pines opens Tonto Basin Mission Church

Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church is opening a mission church in Tonto Basin.

Unhappy with Star Valley town government

Just want to send a quick note to thank Star Valley for nothing.

Thanks for the caring help

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped with the care and passing of Mrs. John Brown, as we all fondly remember as Betty.

Hooray for Jinx

Jinx Pyle wrote a great column commenting on the circus in Washington, D.C.

Enjoying Jinx’s column

This letter is in response to one, by Ted Paulk, that you published in the March 10 Roundup Mail Call.

Jinx articles are enjoyed

I just wanted you to know how much my husband and I enjoy Jinx’s articles.

Letters encouraged

The Roundup encourages all readers to send us their opinions on any subject.

Heron did a good job for Star Valley

Star Valley mayor Chuck Heron has laid down his trust, after a long, arduous and honorable service to the residents of Rim Country and the voters of Star Valley.

Obama’s budget spends, taxes and borrows too much

Any idea what comes after “trillion?”

Around Rim Country

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner tonight

Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church will host its 14th annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 17.

Tree trimmer accidentally cuts foot with chain saw

A tree trimmer trimmed off a little more than he planned to Wednesday afternoon when he accidentally sawed into his foot with a chain saw.

School district bracing for possible budget cuts

Despite still nebulous finances for the next school year, the Payson Unified School District could begin prioritizing this month to prepare for possible cuts.

Ex-mayor decries divisiveness

Bob Edwards laments policies to benefit ‘special interests,’ the ‘moral code’ of opponents

Former Payson mayor Bob Edwards blasted the current council for catering to special interests and ignoring citizen input in what sounded like the opening salvo of a re-election campaign.

Death of friend prompted SV mayor Chuck Heron’s sudden resignation

In a move that surprised many Star Valley and Payson residents, including his own wife, Chuck Heron announced in an e-mail to fellow council members and town staff that he was resigning as Star Valley’s mayor for health and family reasons.

Hunters find missing Forest Lakes man’s ATV

No sign of Mark Irby discovered at Chevelon Canyon Lake

After leaving his home more than two months ago for a quick ride around the neighborhood, authorities finally got a break in the case of a missing 51-year-old Forest Lakes architect Saturday.

Rim Country market has more to offer than foreclosures

It is no secret that in the period from 2005 to 2009 we have moved from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.

Vendors team up to succeed this year at business showcase

Visitors and businesses alike will find something new this year at the 17th Annual Business Showcase and Market Place.

Longhorn golfers have tough weather start to new season

It wasn’t a rip roaring start that the 2009 prep golf season swung off to March 5 in Snowflake.

Rummage sale to help Little League teams

Payson Little League officials, including president Slade Gibson, are busy ironing out details for the 2009 season, which begins April 18.

Barrel racing, pole bending competition starts on May 6

“Western Fun for Everyone” is the theme of this summer’s edition of the highly popular, town-sponsored barrel racing and pole bending series.

Longhorn trio shining

Spring break has reduced the numbers of the Payson High School track team, but not the enthusiasm of the team members who continue to practice.

Tease photo

Horns win 3 of 4 on the road

Hunter Haynes strikes out 7 in five innings

The Longhorn baseball team improved its record to 6-3, winning three of four games against Miami and San Carlos.

Saturday, March 14

Volunteer work to add three trucks to Payson Police fleet

Thanks to volunteer efforts, the Payson Police Department has added three trucks to its fleet for volunteer policing.

Historic district designation sought for Main Street

Federal recognition could give area welcomed tax reductions, grants

The Green Valley Redevelop-ment Area Committee is working in conjunction with the Historic Preservation Commission to establish sections of Main Street as historic, which could give the street a boost in grants and tax write-offs for property owners, but could also take years of work to establish.

Recreation Roundup

Last call for Youth Soccer! Come have a blast with soccer!

Financial adviser hosting free investment seminar

Edward Jones financial adviser Scott Flake is hosting a free seminar, “Outlook and Opportunities — Smart Decisions for Tough Markets” Tuesday, March 17 at Fireside Espresso on the Beeline Highway in the Swiss Village Shops.

Gila Community College offering real estate classes

If you are a property owner you may be interested in three classes offered this spring for real estate license renewal, including basic exchange, advanced exchange and beneficiary deeds. There is a small fee for each class, but you don’t have to be a Realtor to attend.

Council to examine long range priority plan for Payson

Even the best laid plans go astray, says the cliche.

Driver of pickup that crashed into home was intoxicated, police say

Police have released new details about the Feb. 27 trailer fire that left one man injured, another arrested on four charges and the fire department with a busted gas line shooting gas and flames under a trailer.

Friday, March 13

Payson residents love parks, police

Payson residents love the outdoors and parks, feel perfectly safe, get most their local news from newspapers, but aren’t too happy about the condition of the streets, according to a just-released, random resident survey.

Program choices narrow for Women’s Wellness Forum

There are only a few programs with room for more participants at the 2009 Women’s Wellness Forum, which is this Saturday, March 14 at Payson High School.

Payson library has loads of March events for young people

Anime-Manga, a Young Authors program and a video game tournament are all on the schedule for March at the Payson Public Library.

Payson library has loads of March events for young people

Anime-Manga, a Young Authors program and a video game tournament are all on the schedule for March at the Payson Public Library.

Exchange students find everything in America ‘big’

Foreign exchange students Kirsti Walstad, 18 and from Norway, and Philipp Leibundgut, 17 and from Switzerland, arrived in America for the school year expecting everything to be big — and it was.

Dental care for children, pregnant women available

A new state agency that aims to help children under 5 years of age receive quality health care will begin in July to spend this year’s allotment of $438,000 for Gila County.

Government is feeding wrong end of the elephant

I remember back in 1998 the stock market was booming. Some all-knowing Wall Street buccaneer by the name of Wade B. Cook had written a book called “Bear Market Baloney,” the gist of it being the current bull market was locked in and could never end.

The way I figure it, minimum medicine is the best medicine

I pulled over, parked in front of the building from which we had started, and shut off the engine, waiting to see what the tall man sitting next to me would say about the driving test I had just finished.

Established zoning should not be compromised

Recently I attended a Star Valley Planning and Zoning meeting.

Congratulations to Jinx Pyle and the Roundup

First I want to congratulate both you and Jinx Pyle for getting together and providing us with his outstanding writings of Western and local lore laced with a down home sense of humor. As most of us know, Jinx and his wife Jayne are successful writers and have both published a number of books.

Omnibus spending bill adds up to ‘real money’

“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”

Tonto forest wins jackpot

The Tonto National Forest filled its inside straight and we get to cash in our chips in the form of another reduction in the grave fire danger facing residents of Rim Country.

Around Rim Country

Hike Cypress and Boulders Trail

Parks and Recreation hiking instructors will lead a free Payson Area Trails System (PATS) group hike on the Cypress and Boulders Loop Trail starting at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, March 14 at the Cypress Trail Access at the east end of Phoenix Street

TCCA presents ‘American Jukebox’ concert March 22

The Tonto Community Concert Association invites its subscribers and the public to celebrate the very best of America’s top pop music with Matt Davenport Productions’ acclaimed show, American Jukebox. The program is at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 22 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

Town appointments now peaceful topic

Payson council names slew of citizens to committees, without

How things change.

Tease photo

Woman shoots herself in leg

An investigation is continuing into why a woman shot herself in the leg outside her home Thursday afternoon.

State budget cuts could hit hospital

The ripple effect of state budget cuts could cause a big wave to come crashing down on Payson Regional Medical Center.

Tonto: $3M for thinning forest

Federal stimulus will create more than 100 Rim Country jobs

The effort to keep wildfires from swallowing up Rim Country communities got a big boost this week, with word that the Forest Service will get $3.1 million in federal stimulus money to thin some 8,000 acres of forest.

Speed, lack of attention top accident cause

Payson to Rye most dangerous section of Hwy. 87

What is the most dangerous section of Highway 87? The stretch of roadway from Payson to Pine with its numerous dips and winding curves or from Payson to Rye with the deadly Corvair Curve?

SV mayor resigns

The mayor of Star Valley announced Friday morning he was resigning due to health and family reasons.

Storms have knocked down many trees, collapsed a carport

Last week I mentioned how warm the weather had been. I was a bit premature.

In three days, 300 quilts were completed

The DPS Angels Quilt-A-Thon last week was a huge success.

Creekside, Kohl’s food well received at chefs competition

The Taste of the Rim Country at the Payson Public Library was a success.

Concert series is no more

As I typically do to start my three-hour, Thursday morning volunteer shift at the Rim Country Chamber and Visitor Center, this past week I browsed through the postings on the walls of the office to see what new was happening in the Rim Country.

CEO builds healthy programs for Rim

Surrounded by her prized antiques and collectibles in a tiny office in the back of a building, Judy Baker answers phones, signs invoices and takes walk-ins, all with a vibrant smile on her face.

Tease photo

Draft horses pull a way of living

It’s becoming more difficult for Bill and Lori Brown to find horse-drawn farming equipment. In a world where horsepower measures the strength of engines, the Browns’ hobby seems anachronistic. They travel to auctions in Colorado and Arizona, buy horses from Amish friends, and restore early 1900s-era farming equipment, some of which used to be Lori’s yard art.

Many ways to help homeless pets

The days are getting warmer and longer. Kitten season is right around the corner, as is puppy season. There is already a litter of each of these tiny babies at the shelter.

Fossil Creek Creamery wins award for goat cheese

Fossil Creek Creamery in Strawberry was honored by Edible Phoenix magazine for its artisan goat cheese.

Wells Fargo offering $50,000 in grants

Wells Fargo Community Partners (WFCP) is accepting grant requests from Arizona nonprofit agencies that provide job-related resources such as job skills training for individuals who are entering the work force, and materials and education for unemployed individuals.

Get ready to give your investment portfolio a spring cleaning

Spring is almost here — time to spruce up your house and get rid of your clutter.

Suns fans enduring frustrating season

Phoenix fans have endured some tough times, but none as frustrating as what is occurring this season.

Popular team roping clinics at event center will fill up fast

A pair of team roping clinics is expected to be among the most popular of the town’s myriad of spring and summer recreational offerings scheduled at the Payson Event Center.

Tease photo

Spring break for Longhorns means traveling to Miami

While most Payson High School students are kicking back and enjoying the district’s spring holiday break, maybe sunning on a Rocky Point beach, the Longhorn baseball team is in Miami today, March 13, battling in nonregion games against San Carlos and host Miami.

Big field expected for Haught classic

Lady Longhorns to showcase skills against 11 other 2A-5A teams

The largest field in the four-year history of the Gracie Haught Classic will show up March 20-21 to showcase their skills in a hometown softball tournament that is drawing rave reviews around the state.

Wednesday, March 11

Medicines Almost Always Control Gout

Are there any pills for gout? What food causes the pain?

Some travel ideas

Recently, I attended the Arizona Travel Show presented by AAA in Phoenix. There were many travel and cruise companies present with the latest in brochures and information. I thought that this week we could discuss some of the destinations that might interest you.

The story of Payson, Arizona

Chapter 15: A new century dawned on Payson

The turning of the new century caused the hearts of settlers in the Payson area to swell with hope and enthusiasm for the years just ahead.

A winning combination of taste and value

These days, people are looking for simple ways to stretch their dollar in all facets of life, and mealtime is no exception.

Wellness Forum

‘Psych-K’ presenter plans to help participants reshape personal paths

Vivian Seville has been part of the annual Women’s Wellness Forum since it started.

St. Patrick’s Day events

The Payson Care Center will have a free pancake breakfast for St. Patrick’s Day.

Free tax help offered through AARP

Free tax assistance and electronic filing, provided by AARP volunteers in Payson and Pine through April 15.

Tuesday, March 10

Taste of Rim is best yet

Kohl’s Zane Grey Steakhouse wins People’s Choice Award

The bottom line isn’t official yet, but the 2009 A Taste of Rim Country chefs competition easily raised more than $5,000 for the Library Friends of Payson.

Make sure your doctor’s office is safe

Is your doctor’s office safe enough? One in five Americans report that they or one of their family members have been on the receiving end of mistakes in a doctor’s office or hospital, according to recent research.

More Americans filing taxes early to share refunds

With many families feeling the impact of the current economic crunch, more people are filing their taxes early to receive tax refunds sooner.

Military news

After graduating from Payson High School in 2005, Benjamin S. Leininger joined the United States Air Force security forces.

School Briefs

Restaurants raising money for Pine schools

For a limited time, food purchases at select area restaurants will help raise money for the Pine Strawberry School. During the next month, simply tell the restaurant you are ordering for the school’s fund, and they will know what to do.

Feature Teacher

Goal is to turn students into lifelong learners

I want to make learning fun so that children will want to be lifelong learners.

Dr. Seuss rhymes help students learn to read

On March 2, Dr. Seuss would have turned 105 had he still been alive. Every year around this time, students across the nation celebrate the pioneering author with elation.

Karen’s Kare Bears receives business success award

After being established for only a few months, Karen’s Kare Bears is one of 14 small businesses that received a Success Award for 2009, said Ron Nielsen of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Gila Community College.

Time to start focusing on positive side of real estate

It is time to focus on the brighter side in real estate, the economy and where we may be going.

Pine quilt shop offers fabrics in historic log cabin

Stepping into the Quilt Shop in Pine, you feel transported back to a time long ago, and you literally have been.

Disappointed with column

I was so disappointed to see that Jinx Pyle has embraced a new venue: bashing Obama instead of the folksy tales that he is famous for relating.

Off-highway drivers not always the bad guys

Regarding the article in the Tuesday March 3 edition, titled “Forests to ban off-road driving” — Let me be one of the first of hopefully many, to say that I found the article to be very irritating, and in my opinion, somewhat misleading.

People need to be informed

I agree with Richard K. Meszar, that we shouldn’t have one party controlling everything, I’m talking about the national, not state level, we have one party as president and controlling house and senate.

Congressional representation clearly for states only

Congress has long recognized that it can only grant residents of the nation’s capital the ability to participate in federal elections through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Rescue of pets is heartening tale of hope

Here’s why there’s hope for us.

Meals program may roll into Star Valley

The Meals on Wheels program may finally roll into Star Valley, but the town needs to know how many seniors would actually sign up for the service.

Parks board considers extra budget meeting

Rim Country officials keep up pressure to reopen Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

The state parks board may call a special meeting in March to sort through the smoking smolders of its budget, including the recently imposed closure of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.

No turf for school playing fields

School board changes mind, will spend bond money on buildings, not on fields

With a new high school 14 years out instead of the more immediate timeline earlier anticipated, the Payson Unified School District voted Monday night to stretch its remaining $3.3 million in bond dollars for building repairs and not install turf on three high school sports fields.

Cats still missing after fire

Once-rescued pets missing again

Ruth Ptak loves her pets. So much so, she refused to leave her home without them Saturday, even when it was on fire.

Payson deficit still shrinking

Sales tax figures suggest Rim Country doing better than rest of the state

Spending cuts and smaller drops in tax collections have gotten budget-battered Payson one month closer to breaking even for the year, according to February budget figures released this week.

Research may change deer management on the Kaibab

Research findings may result in a change to deer management guidelines on the North Kaibab.

Former PHS standout wrestler to compete in championship festival

Former Payson High School mat standout Larry Wilbanks will be one of seven Western State College wrestlers competing in the NCAA Division II Winter National Championship Festival.

Ex-Longhorn is two time Pac-10 wrestling champion

A former Payson High School wrestling star who went un-recruited by Arizona State University has won his second successive Pac-10 wrestling championship. On Nate Lee’s way to the 174-pound weight division crown, he also helped Boise State win its second Pac-10 Wrestling Championship.

State’s 3A had some great basketball play

The recently competed Class 3A state basketball tournaments were a tribute to the high quality of play among the northern Arizona reservation schools.

Payson baseball, softball teams have mixed results

The Payson High School baseball and softball teams played with mixed reviews in their 2009 tournament debuts.

Lady Longhorn coach tops East voting, three players named to first team

The East Region’s champion girls basketball team was shut out in its bid for Player of the Year accolades, but did receive Coach of the Year honors.

Tease photo

Hayes gets coaching honors, six on All-East

Cody York is East Player of the Year, four on region's first team

Get out the brooms, All-East boys basketball voting was almost a clean sweep for the Longhorns.

Monday, March 9

Firefighters plan prescribed burns near Payson and Pine

Wildland firefighters plan more prescribed fire operations southwest of Payson and in and around Pine Monday through Friday. Prescribed fires are always dependent on weather conditions.

Saturday, March 7

Majestic Rim holds summit

The Good Samaritan Society-Majestic Rim of Payson held a two-day Southwest Regional Housing Summit last week.

Condors from Oregon, Idaho to join Arizona’s flock

Come witness a rare and spectacular sight that few places outside Arizona can offer: the release into the wild of endangered California condors. The public is invited to attend the 14th annual release at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 7, when four condors will be released at the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.

Bison Cove condo project facing threat of foreclosure

Due to a “horrible market,” the Bison Cove condominium project near the Payson Police Department is up for foreclosure.

Free advertising for local business

The FLW Stren Western Division bass fishing tournament is coming to Payson and Roosevelt Lake from April 15 through April 18.

Pro bass event is inaugural college tourney

A professional FLW bass tournament won’t be the only angling action heating up Roosevelt Lake on April 18.

Nestwatchers help bald eagle population grow in Arizona

While you are lying in your bed at night, 20 people are sleeping in tents so they can wake up at the crack of dawn to help protect our state’s bald eagles.

Friday, March 6

Firefighters continue prescribed burns near Payson, Pine this week

Wildland firefighters conducted more prescribed fire operations near Payson and Pine this week. Payson Ranger District conducted prescribed fire operations northwest of Payson in the Brushy Basin area early in the week.

Utility response time impacted by available crew

If a car happened to plow into the side of your house in the middle of the night, taking out the electrical and gas lines, sending gas and flames into the air, how long would it take utilities crews to arrive? A few minutes, you hope.

Forest Service seeks comments on allotment analysis

The Tonto Basin Ranger District is initiating two environmental analyses on the Tonto Basin, 7/K, Walnut and Boneyback grazing allotments, located in the Mazatzal and Sierra Ancha mountains near Punkin Center.

Forest burning to get stimulus funds

Ranger District pushes for windfall to help thin 50,000 acres that pose critical fire danger

Smoke from a controlled burn this week smudged the sky north of town, a sight the Payson Ranger District hopes to make much more common if it can tap into roughly $2 billion in federal stimulus funding.

Magazine gives Judy Baker health care leadership award

Arizona Business gives Mogollon Health Alliance leader top honor

Judy Baker, of the Mogollon Health Alliance, won the second annual Health Care Leadership Award sponsored by Arizona Business magazine.

Gila College takes building ownership steps

Legislative bill introduced to allow college to issue taxpayer-backed bonds for new construction

Gila Community College’s fight to gain independence stands on the precipice of legitimacy, with toes of two developments hanging over the edge.

Women’s Wellness programs filling fast

Time is running out to register for the 2009 Women’s Wellness Forum, “Pearls on the Path” on March 14 at Payson High School.

Book fair develops reading habits, helps library

Outside the book fair room at Frontier Elementary School Tuesday night, an art extravaganza raged, with projects on display like dragonology masks and portraits of George Washington.

The most important thing I ever learned about fishing

I thought all I was going to do that warm Friday afternoon was try out a few things I’d learned about freshwater fishing by reading a half-inch-thick book I took out of the base library.

In politics, truth is stranger than satire

“My Horseback Opinion” was originally intended to contain a considerable amount of political satire, but I have encountered a slight problem. Truth is stranger than fiction, and in today’s political climate, truth is stranger than satire. I fear that when I write satire, folks will think it is the truth and vice versa.

Fee for off-road vehicles was just another government scam

I see the government has managed to pull another scam on the public.

Full disclosure will better serve Pine-Strawberry taxpayers

As a resident of Pine, I have several comments about the issues concerning the report supported by PSWID, and the areas of concern highlighted by Mr. Sam Schwalm.

Donations for students help

We would like to thank the supportive businesses and community members of Payson for donating toward our recent benefit event on Feb. 28.

Reopen the Tonto Natural Bridge

“Blackmail!!!” Just one of the comments at the March 3 meeting at the Best Western in Payson regarding the unbelievable closing of the Tonto Natural Bridge.

‘Per pupil’ spending statistic meaningless, misleading

On a recent visit to Show Low where I met with city and county officials and students at Show Low High School, a number of attendees brought up the question of Arizona ranking 49th in the nation in education funding.

Rim rallies support for natural bridge

Ronald Reagan liked to tell the one about the optimist confronted with a room filled to the ceiling with horse dung.

Around Rim Country

Spring break youth rec program slated

Register your child today for the second Payson Parks and Recreation Spring Break Recreation Program, which will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday, March 9-12 for children in kindergarten through the fifth grade.

Rim residents rail against park shutdown

Rim Country residents made an impassioned plea for help from lawmakers to reopen Tonto Natural Bridge State Park on Tuesday when 150 volunteers, hikers, town officials and business owners jammed an impromptu town hall meeting.

Hellsgate queries SV about town hall site

Star Valley council members and staff could one day be rubbing elbows with Payson and Hellsgate firefighters if a 3,700-square-foot mega center that combines the fire departments with town hall becomes a reality.

Town, animal shelter seek fed grant

Payson, humane society find loophole and apply for $3.27 million in

Payson and the Humane Society of Central Arizona have teamed up in a long-shot bid to snag a $3.27 million federal stimulus grant to build a new animal shelter, the town council revealed at its Thursday night meeting.

Water records to get review

State corporation commission staff ordered to examine Pine water records; rate hearing deferred

The Pine Water Company’s application to defer a hearing on a water rate increase has been approved by Arizona Corporation Commission, which also ordered the company to provide complete financial data in 60 days.

Legislators vow to reopen park

Political theater and arm twisting rallies support for reopening arch that draws 90,000 visitors annually

The closure of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park this week provoked a flurry of public outrage, angry volunteers, muddled explanations, contentious meetings, collapsing budgets and blame-shifting lawmakers.

Don’t wait for market to hit bottom before investing

Whether you’ve been investing for four decades or four weeks, you’ve no doubt heard this classic piece of investment advice: buy low and sell high.

First-time homebuyer tax credit available

You have probably heard a lot of talk about the first-time homebuyer tax credit that the government is offering.

Great weather in Rim Country appreciated

The weather has been remarkably warm this past week, and now I have tulips peeking out of the ground along with weeds. The temperature has been hovering around the 70-degree mark, give or take a few degrees. I even got to turn my furnace way down, which is a good thing, considering the price of propane. It will soon be time to plant the veggies. It will be great to eat fresh tomatoes again.

Closing of Tonto Natural Bridge is shocking

Holy Cow! What a shocker to read that the Tonto Natural Bridge has closed its doors to the public!

Tickets going fast for Taste of Rim Country 2009

Tickets are going quick for A Taste of the Rim Country 2009.

Closing of natural bridge big disappointment

As I was driving home last week, I saw a worker posting a large “closed” plaque over one of the Tonto Natural Bridge signs.

Chuck Proudfoot: Not your typical minister

Despite his long hair, Chuck Proudfoot denies his reputation as Payson’s hippie pastor.

Tease photo

225 million years of history

Petrified Forest National Park

It is hard to imagine viewing something 225 million years old, but that is what you can do at the Petrified Forest National Park in northern Arizona, just east of Holbrook. Only two hours away from Payson, you can see one of the largest concentrations of colorful petrified wood and the multi-hued Painted Desert, along with some historic buildings and archaeological sites.

High country chefs promise great things

Christopher Creek and Kohl’s Ranch will make a good showing at the March 7 A Taste of Rim Country. Both Kohl’s Ranch Zane Grey Steakhouse and Creekside Steakhouse & Tavern will have representatives at the 5 p.m. event at the Payson Public Library.

Crappie time at Roosevelt Lake just around the corner

The beginning of March is upon us and crappie time is right around the corner on Roosevelt Lake. With a week of warm weather and the water temperature inching up to that magical 60 degrees Fahrenheit, these fish will be heading to the bank for that springtime spawn.

Thursday, March 5

Young wrestlers to showcase skills

Little Longhorn tourney takes place Saturday in Wilson Dome

Aspiring wrestlers who recently attended Payson High School’s Little Longhorn camp will have the opportunity to showcase their new skills in a tournament to be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow, March 7, in Wilson Dome.

300-plus show up for Little League tryouts

Payson Little League officer Jeri Stockman says individual player tryouts held Feb. 28 at Rumsey Park were a huge success with 300-plus baseball and softball players showing up.

Bass tourney should help Rim economy

Some bemoan the Rim Country’s flagging economy while others do something about it.

Anderson to lead North all-star team

Coach to return from Dakota State University for June football clash

Josh Anderson has resigned as head coach of the Payson Longhorns, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be coaching in the Arizona Football Coaches Association 1A-3A North vs. South All-Star game.

Tease photo

Lady Horns win opener

Mary Hagen’s solid pitching and Chrissy Heron’s speed on the base paths lifted the Lady Longhorns to a 1-0 season-opening win over the Holbrook Roadrunners.

Wednesday, March 4

Rim legislators and citizens rally around Tonto Bridge

The three state lawmakers representing Rim Country have all vowed to reopen Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, after an overflow public meeting and a lobbying session in Phoenix.

You Adorian You!

If you were to see me in public running errands, say perhaps at Walgreens or Back to Basics, and instead of calling you by your name, Bob, Sue, Joe or Donna, I called you Adorian (A-dor-e-n) — “Hey Adorian how are you? How is the fam? What’s new in your life” What would your response be?

A major boo-boo

Now that I have reached seniorism, it’s fun to sometimes look back on a few of the crazy things that have happened in my lifetime. Throughout my years I have principally been involved with television directing, radio broadcasting and tour and cruise ship operations and marketing.

Groups: a win-win proposition

What constitutes a group in terms of group travel? What are the benefits of group travel? These are all questions that come to mind when talking about group space, whether it’s on a cruise or a land tour.

Featured Artists

Work of Homer Neuen and CM Okerwall take center stage during First Friday

Historic Main Street’s First Friday event was originally dubbed an Arts & Antiques Walk. The antique dealers have thinned out some, but artists remain a keystone to the monthly festivities.

Who was Lewis Edwin Payson?

On March 3, 1884, Green Valley opened its first post office. Soon thereafter, Green Valley became known as Payson, in honor of the man who helped them get the post office, Lewis Edwin Payson.

low-cost meals at home

Home cooking is enjoying a homecoming as budget-conscious shoppers feel the economic crunch hit their wallets. In fact, a survey by the National Pork Board found that 70 percent of Americans are eating out less to save money (1).

A taste of Rim Country

Fund-raiser’s success shows community spirit

A decade ago a unique fund-raising idea was proposed to then-president of the Library Friends of Payson, Judy Buettner.

Special photo workshops

Arizona wildflowers and Sedona landscapes will be the subject of two special photography workshops this spring. Gila Community College, with award-winning photographer/editor Tom Brossart, will be hosting these two workshops.

School Briefs

Payson Unified School District will hold open enrollment from March 1 through 31. Open enrollment allows families to request that their students attend a school out of their regular attendance area.

August rodeo will have new people at the helm

For the first time in many years, the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee will not run the August Doin’s Rodeo due to conflicts over compensation.

Public forums on hunt regulations set

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is bringing a new format to the fall hunt recommendation process by offering six public forums across the state to allow constituents an opportunity to provide input to regional biologists before the hunt recommendations are presented to the commission for the 2009-10 hunting seasons.

Budget cuts take enormous toll on Arizona’s senior services

Advocates for senior citizens rallied last week against cuts to a state program that provides in-home help such as bathing, dressing and grooming.

Tuesday, March 3

Senior Center repairs should be finished by middle to late March

March — that temperamental month. March can be winsome enough to coax blossoms from bare branches, and March can turn willful in a matter of hours and cover those same branches with ice and snow. A word of advice if this warm weather tempts you to get out the shorts and T-shirts: don’t pack away the sweats just yet. You may need them tomorrow!

Scottsdale man found dead near Roosevelt Lake

A 29-year-old Scottsdale man who went missing after stopping at the Jake’s Corner Store in Tonto Basin Wednesday morning was found dead Friday evening on a road near Roosevelt Lake.

First Friday is mad fun for March on Main Street

Join the fun at the award-winning First Friday celebration on Historic Main Street in Payson. The participating merchants are presenting Madness in March for First Friday, March 5 with refreshments, music and, as always, loads of laughs.

Game of Life helps students decide priorities

GEAR UP program will follow students for years

The game of Life introduced Kristi Ford to her new seventh-grade charges at Rim Country Middle School.

History is one big story to teacher

I like to read. History is really just one big story.

Students work on 'the life cycle of a shoe'

The blue cloth hanging up inside Kristi Kisler’s classroom is a low-tech starting-off point for high-tech ventures.

Javelina cookies and very good bread

A Taste of Rim Country is just a few days away. The Library Friends of Payson event is at 5 p.m., Saturday, March 7 at the Payson Public Library. Tickets are $30 each, and a limited number will be sold. To find out more, contact Bessie Tucker, event coordinator at (928) 474-9260.

Love is in the air

L-O-V-E fluttered through the air for all the town to see Wednesday afternoon when Chris Higgins chartered a plane to propose to his girlfriend, Maria Dedmon.

Star Valley looking at lot for new town hall

Six months after deciding not to buy a three-acre lot at the north end of town to house a permanent town hall, Star Valley at a Tuesday night work-study session will again consider building a town hall on the same site. This time, however, it would be owned by the Hellsgate Fire Department.

Quality programs at local schools

It is time that readers heard some good news for a change, especially when it comes to the teens in this community! It is a privilege to be the bearer of this good news, since I am a witness to the magic these young mentors work each week. There are more than 40 elementary students at Julia Randall and Frontier elementary schools who can also vouch for these wonderful high school students.

A tribute to Katie

Katie, my golden retriever, was my constant companion for 15 years. Every person she met she greeted with her big brown eyes and a gentle wag of her tail.

Young school district needs to avail itself of state, federal money

In the issue of Feb. 24, Suzanne Jacobson reported: “Last year, forest-rich districts with small enrollment received the most money. Young, with 57 students and the highest number of forest acreage in the county — 30 percent — was awarded the largest allotment under the old, forest acreage-based formula.”

End the monopoly

When a monopoly is acquired by either a person or by a group of people, the general public seldom benefits. Debate, discussion and dissent are lacking because the majority person/group shuns input from the minority. Such is the case in our Arizona state government at this point in time.

Thank you, motorcycle club

I would like to thank the American motorcycle club for its donations and support for Christine Sexton in her quest to attend the Special Olympics World Games.

Schools should work right, not just hard

Arizona’s educational system has serious problems. It has nothing to do with money, nor intentions.

Around Rim Country

Annual Dr. Seuss celebration tonight

The Payson Public Library will have its annual Dr. Seuss Family Reading Night Tuesday, March 3.

Forests to ban off-road driving

The long-delayed effort to limit the environmental damage done by off-road vehicles in Rim Country will trigger a report on closing a portion of the 1,000 miles of dirt roads in the Payson Ranger District of the Tonto National Forest.

Tease photo

Firefighter shocked pinching off gas line

A Hellsgate firefighter used the Jaws of Life to stop a gushing gas line spewing gas and flames 20 feet under a trailer all while being repeatedly jolted by electrical shocks Friday morning.

‘Gold standard’ of education needed in state

Controversial report contested at citizen meeting

The emotional debate that emerged after a well-intentioned researcher from the Goldwater Institute presented his analysis of Florida’s education revolution was perhaps inevitable.

Longhorn baseball coach pleased with scrimmage

Inclement weather that forced the cancellation of several Longhorn baseball practices and sent other sessions indoors has not dampened the team’s potential.

Anderson speaks out to PHS fans

This edition of Extra Points has been turned over to PHS football coach Josh Anderson who asked to address readers.

Chinle ends Longhorns’ hopes, dreams of state championship

Back-to-back trips to the 3A state tournament boys finals had the Longhorns — at the onset of the prep basketball season — yearning for another shot at the title.

Tease photo

Lady Horns lose heartbreaker

The challenge of being the first team in Lady Longhorn basketball history to reach the state tournament’s final four will now be passed on to another team.

Trio of PHS coaches heading to S. Dakota

Josh and Stacy Anderson, Kenny Hayes resign — Josh takes college head coach offer

A trio of Payson High School’s most accomplished and recognized coaches and teachers are stepping down.

Monday, March 2

Down and out at the count of three

No resignations have been turned it but Payson High will lose three of the school’s most high profile coaches and teachers.

Lady Longhorns streak remains intact.

The streak is a dubious one, but it remains in tact.