Stories for May 2009


Saturday, May 30

Still time to register for men’s softball, co-ed volleyball

There is still time to register for the Payson Parks and Recreation Department’s men’s softball and co-ed sand volleyball programs.

Town of Payson lifts fire restrictions

With the recent rains and the reduction in fire danger, effective Wednesday, May 27 the Payson Fire Department has lifted all fire restrictions for the Town of Payson. Permits are required for commercial and residential brush disposal fires while residential campfires in approved and purpose built devices are allowed without a permit.

Friday, May 29

Tax hike would help Christopher Creek residents

A great deal of misinformation has been circulating within the Christopher/Kohl’s Fire District about the proposed fire tax increase

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Creekside school of hard knocks

Writer slip slides up Wet Beaver Creek to explore intersection

When I was young and foolish and huffed up with hubris, I went down into the wilderness of Wet Beaver Creek with a heavy pack and sandals and an amiable ambition to amble.

Roundup advertising awarded

The Roundup’s advertising, design and production staff was rewarded for a year’s worth of effort May 22 when they were awarded four, first place Excellence in Advertising Awards from the Arizona Newspapers Association.

Thanks to rodeo parade workers

Theme: Best exemplifies the Spirit of May Rodeo. Since the Payson Pro-Rodeo Committee judges decided to disregard the theme of the rodeo parade, I would like to recognize and thank the people who put their time and effort into the Payson Rodeo Reunion float.

Data backup the ‘Easy Way’

Remember the movies that depicted a very important government operative carrying a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist? Usually, the agent was carrying an extraordinary amount of money or the codes to launch a nuclear device ... not to mention a nervous disposition.

Fireflies’ holiday breakfast a big success

In spite of the rain this past Saturday, the Memorial Weekend breakfast hosted by the Hellsgate Fireflies Auxiliary was a huge success.

Holiday weekend was a busy one in Christopher Creek

There was a blood drive Sunday at the Christopher/Kohl’s Fire Department conducted by United Blood Services.

Gila College briefs

Are you ready for fun this summer?

Weekend of rain sure helps the garden

Gardeners in the Rim Country are rejoicing after receiving enough rain to fill all the catchments plus plenty to spare.

AIMS should remain grad requirement says task force

The Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) should remain a graduation requirement, but the state should implement new tests to help students become more career and college ready, a task force recently recommended.

Thanks for the loving car

We wish to thank the many people who gave such loving care to Fran Muggli during her extended illness.

Relay for Life will take place June 5

One week from today, next Friday, June 5, Payson’s annual Relay for Life cancer walk, which is very dear to my heart, will step off at 6 p.m. on the Payson High School track.

Screenwriting workshop is June 6

The Rim Country District of Arizona Press Women will present a screenwriting workshop Saturday, June 6.

Humane Society needs respect, money from town

A few weeks ago, the Payson Roundup wrote an editorial prodding the town council to ask tough questions as to why the proposed contract with the Humane Society was being reduced from $88,800 to $35,000 (a reduction of more than 60 percent). We couldn’t agree more. Mind you, no discussions had taken place between the Humane Society or town prior to this announced proposal.

Dialogue with public crucial

Fear-based policies are bad policies. Unwritten, fear-based policies are even worse. And unwritten, fear-based policies that violate existing, written policies? That is incomprehensible.

PREDC announces new, longer name

The Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation announced Tuesday that it has changed its name and location.

Around Rim Country

PRMC plans benefit softball for Relay

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Payson PRMC’s “Batting For a Cure Team” will hold a charity softball event from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday, May 31 at Payson Elementary School.

Boy Scout leader falls while rappelling with troop

A 38-year-old Boy Scout leader rapelling with six troops fell Tuesday afternoon in the Sally Mae Wilderness after losing contact with the rope.

Now more than ever, please Save Our Shelter

This week’s article is going to be a bit different than usual.

Passed out driver crashes truck into county yard

Statewide, officers made 36 percent fewer DUI arrests over the holiday weekend, with extreme DUIs down nearly 40 percent. In Payson, officers made five DUI arrests, but had zero DUI arrests on Memorial Day.

Bears, broken legs keep search and rescue squad on the move

It was a busy holiday weekend for Tonto Rim Search and Rescue volunteers, with a back injury at the Tonto Natural Bridge, a bear scare on Hellsgate Trail and a fall at Fossil Creek.

Rim lakes easy to get to and easy to fish

Basically, summer is here after the celebration of the Memorial Day weekend by thousands of visitors to the Rim Country.

School board muzzle eased

An unwritten policy suggesting Payson Unified School District board members funnel questions from the media or the public to the superintendent or board president evolved Tuesday as some board members pushed for more communication.

‘Band Jam’ caps music year at Payson schools

Band Jamboree XII, held the evening of May 13 on the activity field at Rim Country Middle School, gave music students a chance to shine before a large crowd of friends and family.

ASU working to form a club chapter in the Rim Country

Arizona State University is working with local volunteers and students to form a Club ASU chapter in the Payson area.

Humane Society protests town cuts

Debate about $50,000 cut centers on Town of Payson’s

Humane Society of Central Arizona President John Wakelin Tuesday decried as “woefully inadequate” a proposed $35,000 contract with the Town of Payson for handling stray dogs and cats.

Payson budget soars on paper

Budget puzzler of the year: How can Payson adopt a $56-million budget that’s 56 percent higher than this year and still be darn near broke?

Reverse poker tourney keeps golfers busy

The Payson Men’s Golf Association is keeping local players busy.

Payson High School students receive scholarships

$791,500 in education money awarded to grads

The students in Payson High School’s Class of 2009 collectively received $791,500 in scholarships to further their education.

PHS football coach could be selected this week

Payson High School could have a new football coach in place this week. PHS athletic director Jason Lobik said the search has been narrowed to two candidates: Jason Belshe and Troy Head.

County’s tanks, bladders helped contain recent fires

Gila County’s firefighting system of tanks and bladders ready for helicopters to dip in and then douse forests on fire helped to quickly contain the recent fire in Pine, officials say.

204 homes will be weatherized

County has $1.7 million to help low-income homeowners make houses energy efficient

For apartment complexes like Pineview Manor, which houses low-income seniors, a tight budget did not allow room for things like replacing 23-year-old refrigerators.

Month-long women’s Bible study opens with movie

Mountain Bible Church will have a month-long non-denominational women’s Bible study during June.

Teenagers are not small adults, they’re children

The recent article about the break-ins at PHS touched me in a very personal way, and on a couple of levels.

Record club correspondence enjoyable

Sometime during the late 1950s when I was about 12, I came across an intriguing magazine ad. The RCA Record Club was offering one of those “too good to be true” deals.

Investment ideas for newlyweds

June is a popular month for weddings.

New Sawdust Festival has everything — except crowds

The new, improved and resurrected Sawdust Festival had just about everything — beautiful women with chain saws, hilarious greased pole climbs, strong women with rolling pins, mud-spattered ATV riders, tree-climbers, ax throwers, brat cookers, $12,000 in prize money — and even a whiff of controversy.

Four Walmart employees arrested for shoplifting

At least four Walmart employees have been arrested for shoplifting after reportedly giving their fellow employees a discount by skipping over items when checking them out.

Contestants not only winners at 2009 Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo

The Payson Pro-Rodeo Committee awarded $1,000 in cash, plus prizes during the 50/50 drawings at the two performances of the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo, May 15-16.

Albritton thank you

A big thank you to Shirley and Larry Bertram, of the Classic Cars and Miniatures of Payson. Just to say thanks for providing the “Red Mustang Convertible” in the May Rodeo parade.

Wednesday, May 27

First Friday

Main Street galleries highlight a variety of artists for First Friday

Artists of the Rim Gallery is featuring three longtime members for the month of June. They are Ruth Overton, Jack Greenshield and Dixie Guldner — all well-known local artists. Meet them and other members of the Artists of the Rim cooperative at First Friday festivities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, June 5.

Cruise Ideas

I am always looking for interesting cruises as I ponder through cruise brochures, magazines and mailings. I will outline of few of those that I have come across recently.

Grill once, dine twice

A sizzling steak hot off the grill and a glass of wine make a sensational pairing for steakhouse dining at home. Savor the warm weather with al fresco entertaining and create a restaurant experience in your own backyard for less.

Jazz concert celebrates Flag Day

The Payson Friends of Jazz will host A Celebration of American Composers at its next concert, slated for 2 p.m., Sunday, June 14 — Flag Day.

Great Escapes

Sure cures for the 'I'm bored' blues

The Rim Country has always been a great summer escape for our neighbors to the south. It can also be a great escape for us. Not only do we have the treasures of the Tonto National Forest in our backyard, we also have secret riches to be unearthed in our libraries and parks programs.

The Story of Payson, Arizona

Chapter 19: The telephone came in 1908

In gleaning the memories of “old timers,” a seeker of facts soon faces a dilemma: memories are not all the same.

Tuesday, May 26

Gary Campbell takes tourney’s top honors

Payson Men’s Golf Association home tournament chairman Gary Campbell swung his way to top honors in the first flight of an individual low net tournament played May 20 at Payson Golf Course.

Thanks for listening

A decade is a long time, and I have 10 years worth of thanks to give to the many who have listened to my news ... and then the forum. I also want to thank those who have been my guests and who have subjected themselves to impromptu questioning by me and the listening audience.

FFA helpful with rodeo events

During our May Spring Rodeo I am pleased with the help provided by the FFA and their teacher Wendell Stevens with the parking at the Payson Event Center both Friday and Saturday nights.

Children likely to repeat pattern of parents who are addicts

There are more than 28 million children in the United States who are subject to physical, emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of parents who are addicted or dependent on drugs and/or alcohol. Nearly half are under the age of 18. Unfortunately, this trend tends to run in families with the male children being the most vulnerable to repeat the pattern.

Memorial Day: Words fail, but memory endures

The sun shone. The breeze blew. The bright orange poppies trembled. The children laughed. The smell of bacon and flapjacks lured teenagers out of their beds.

Around Rim Country

ADOT projects topic of meeting May 28

The Arizona Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Citizens Awareness Committee, will host a meeting to present multiple transportation projects currently ongoing or in design phase at ADOT.

The great summer escape

Activities abound in the Rim Country

The Rim Country has always been a great summer escape for our neighbors to the south.

Sewer, not water, is Star Valley’s biggest problem

After years of debating and study of whether Payson’s wells would suck Star Valley’s aquifers dry, some say Star Valley may have been ignoring its biggest problem all along — sewer.

China Wok does not disappoint

In only seven weeks, owner Kent Chen has managed to convert the old Country Kitchen in the Bashas’ Shopping Center into a vibrant and tasty Chinese buffet restaurant where you can eat-in or take out.

Plan now for a better future

May is Older Americans Month, and the theme for this year’s observance is “Living Today for a Better Tomorrow.” While much of the theme’s emphasis is on the need for aging Americans to take care of their physical well-being to ensure a healthy future, the theme can also apply to their financial well-being. Not only personal finances, but how older Americans help keep the overall economy alive.

Pine Senior Center offers meals, games

It is that time of the year! The summer people are coming back and it’s time to start playing cards at the Bruce Thompson Memorial Dining Room in Pine, located behind the Community Center Thrift Store on Highway 87.

How will you spend your recovery check?

Do you receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? If so, you’re likely receiving a special, one-time recovery payment this month. The recovery payment is $250. More than 50 million beneficiaries will receive more than $13 billion in recovery payments in May.

Thanks to studio tour sponsors

The Payson Art League ’Neath the Rim Studio Tour artists wish to thank the sponsors and the community for their support during the recent show.

Plan to pave private road divides angry neighbors

Payson council approves first step in setting up $200,000 Cedar Lane improvement district despite pleas that the

We must pave this awful dirt road –— no matter the cost, say some of the people living along Cedar Lane.

Home prices down 30%

Foreclosures few, but still putting pressure on values

Although there are fewer foreclosure listings in Payson than in the Valley, their numbers are having a significant impact on the Rim Country real estate market by pushing home prices down.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda — don’t let the market scare you off

Have you ever said the words, I Could Have, I Would Have, or I Should Have? (Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.)

Jujutsu academy finds new home

Owner of Dragonwood Academy, Chris Bailey, can teach you how to fight with 108 different weapons in his new studio east of the airport. He can also teach you how to get away from an attacker using a simple roll and how to defend yourself in a street fight.

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Ex-coach signs PHS player for NAIA play

Two-way starter for Horns, Shane Keith signs letter of intent to play at Dakota State

The exodus from Payson to the chilly plains of Madison, S.D. continues.

Popular Big Lake area adds new campsite

Popular demand has won out with the addition of the newest Big Lake Recreation Area campsite.

Sports camp helps develop young athletes

Arizona Sports Camp has for decades played a huge role in the development of the Rim Country’s young basketball players. Former Roundup editor Niki Hale (Price) attended the camp in the 1980s and went on to star for the Lady Longhorns.

Rim Country archery shoot turns into a family affair

A 3D archery shoot turned into a family affair for Rim Country sportsmen.

SV may cancel Meals on Wheels before it starts

Grappling with concerns that Star Valley is currently spending more than it is taking in and only 10 people have applied for the Meals on Wheels program, councilors were hesitant at a May 19 council meeting to continue with plans to start the program.

Karen Peterson wins pin honors, ties for tourney win

Payson Women’s Golf Association President Karen Peterson is on a tear.

Saturday, May 23

Weekly fishing report

The following report on fishing conditions at Rim Country lakes and streams is based on information compiled by Rory Aikins and published on the Arizona Game and Fish Department Web site for this week.

Trio wins Payson Men’s Golf Association tourney on May 13

Although the tournament was played in a foursome format, the winning team had only three members.

Campfire safety urged this Memorial Day weekend by Forest officials

Campfire and smoking restrictions went into effect on the Red Rock District of the Coconino National Forest beginning Thursday, May 21.

Take eBay class at GCC

Gila Community College is offering “eBay as a Home-Based Business,” a six-week class designed to teach and practice the skills required to open and operate a successful home-based business using eBay and other Internet sites

AG warns of scams and cartels

Goddard warns of the recession-spurred rise in schemes and child abuse

Wanna make $1,000 a month from home? Wanna get some bailout money to save your house? Good luck and watch out.

Group seeking volunteers to become long-term care ombudsmans

Somewhere in the Rim Country a vulnerable adult needs an advocate to ensure their rights and care are protected.

DPS officers looking for tired, impaired drivers during holiday weekend

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is prepared for an increase in highway traffic as thousands of drivers take to the road for the long Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, May 22

Memories are bitter and sweet for WWII veteran

Come Memorial Day, memories bitter and sweet will flood the mind of World War II veteran Lois N. Brice.

Payson gets its first subdivision in months

Council approves 11-home project on Park Drive, despite pleas of neighbors

Someone finally wants to build some new houses in Payson. And the neighbors are really unhappy.

Volunteers important to staging rodeo

Payson Rodeo Boss Bill Armstrong is known to be a master at spewing superlatives.

Thanks to Payson Area Trails System volunteers

With the 2009 American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all of our community members who are volunteers for the Payson Area Trails System (PATS).

Around Rim Country

Benefit estate sale slated for Saturday

An estate and memorabilia sale will be held at the home of the late Anna Mae Deming, 710 W. Main St., from 6 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 23.

Lightning, slight rainfall seen in Tonto Village

There was rain in the Village on Monday afternoon along with thunder and lightning. Actually, the “rain” was so slight it wasn’t even measurable. There was rain in the Village on Monday afternoon along with thunder and lightning. Actually, the “rain” was so slight it wasn’t even measurable.

‘Walk for Pat’ journey has ended in San Diego

The former Army Ranger who walked through Payson April 9 saying “Pat Tillman’s memory must live on” has reached San Diego, ending his 3,000-mile trek. Rory Fanning, 32, began “Walk for Pat” Sept. 17, 2008 at Virginia Beach, Va. with a goal of reaching the Pacific Ocean while earning pledges for the Pat Tillman Foundation.

Shelter struggling in tough times

The house is full of bouncing babies. Puppy and kitten season is in full swing. Most of the kittens still need to gain some weight and get through their health checks before they reach the main house for adoption. We could use a few volunteers to be kitten Grandmas, or foster families. Small fries like these need extra special care to make it.

Web site promotion 101: Using Facebook and MySpace

We’ve discussed the benefits of creating and maintaining a Web site for your business, hobbies, family, or other passions.

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Hiking the Grand Canyon

Payson couple goes rim to rim

For Morris and Phyllis Brown, age has never been a limiting factor. When they met 18 years ago, neither doubted it was possible to fall in love again while in their 50s, and when they decided to hike the Grand Canyon together, not once but several times, they knew it could be done with a little patience and persistence.

Fishing tips for the improverished novice

Rim Country creeks and lakes get double dose of rainbows for the holiday weekend and writer ponders the complexities of outsmarting a creature with a peanut-sized brain

I sat in the middle of the Tonto Creek, a poorer man, but distinctly wiser. Somewhere overhead in the waving leaves of the willow tree, my delicately handcrafted, $2.75 Caddis pattern fly clung to the willow branch.

Hundreds attend ramada dedication

The communities of Pine and Strawberry have several reasons to celebrate this week.

Big crowds expected on Highway 260 this weekend

The big Memorial Weekend is upon us, so be careful if you are out driving.

Sawdust Festival back to life in the Rim Country

The Payson Arizona Loggers Sawdust Festival is back in town, this Saturday and Sunday at the event center. Professional loggers and amateurs alike will descend upon Payson and compete for cash and prizes. The grand prize, the coveted “Logger of the Year,” will go to the logger with the most points at the end of the two-day event.

School Briefs

The Daughters of Gila County Pioneers will offer a scholarship to a female student who graduates from a high school in Gila County this spring.

New town homes offer high-end, custom living near GCC

For Cheryl Schlotman, the completion of phase one at Rim Ridge Estates, 201 N. Durango Court, has been a long time coming.

Five reasons to be more bullish about today’s financial markets

During a long downturn in the financial markets, it’s hard for some people to be cheerful about their prospects for investment success.

Sawdust Festival is time for family fun

Memorial Day Weekend is a time of remembrance and family fun. As part of your family fun this weekend, plan to spend some time at the Payson Loggers Sawdust Festival.

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Morris golf tourney raises senior scholarship money

2009 scholarship goes to PHS senior Jeff Day

The Jack Morris Memorial Golf Tournament is more than an opportunity for those who knew the former Payson High School football coach to remember their fallen friend.

Expectations high for great fishing this holiday weekend

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and all the major lakes and streams in the area have plenty of catchable-size rainbow trout for the anglers who want to escape to the cool pines of Rim Country. Expectations are high for the thousands of campers who brought their fishing gear with the hopes of having trout for supper.

Community swim meet will take place May 30

Event is open to anyone who can swim at least 25 yards, ages 6 to 70 and up

Wendy Ward has two reasons for hosting the inaugural Payson Community Swim Meet.

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Seniors score a touchdown

The night was steamy, but hopes were high Thursday night as Payson High School’s Class of 2009 sweltered in purple and black caps and gowns.

Water company take over by PSWID stopped

A bank’s change of heart means the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District will not assume control of Pine and Strawberry water companies by today, May 22, as originally agreed upon.

Bull rider was older, but hadn’t lost any style

I thought I had put aside politics last Saturday when I took a little time out for some fun. Harry Shill, longtime resident of the Payson area and one of the last rodeo cowboys around, asked me to judge a bull riding contest. This was something I hadn’t done before, but I decided, what the heck? I’d give it a shot. Judging a bull ride would be like watching some old cowboy top off a couple of broncs so I told Harry, “Sure, count me in.”

Teen crossing highway struck by pickup truck

A 15-year-old from Payson High School was seriously injured Tuesday afternoon after being struck by a vehicle in the intersection of Highways 260 and 87.

Fence possible as district looks to close campus

Polo shirts? Fences? Color-coded identification cards?

Funny numbers

Let us get this straight. Lots of people have spent years working on a plan to make Main Street more pedestrian friendly — so it can serve as a busy street front for tourists and residents.

Thankfully, humans are noble

I’m approaching 72 years old and just finished my morning exercise by activating the lever on my recliner.

Arizona in disarray

Our Arizona state government is in disarray and is ineffective.

Ruling does not make sense

What is wrong with our civil judicial system in Payson?

Obama’s plan does not create lasting jobs

Obama’s goal to create good paying jobs may be genuine, but he is off target on several fronts.

The wildest thing at wilderness camp was me

A couple of weeks back I mentioned that I got an unusual gift one Christmas, three weeks at a wilderness camp. I also said it was a gift that didn’t pan out — the understatement of the century.

Main Street may yet see results of federal grant

Divided Payson council votes to include $300,000 grant in the budget in hopes of

Main Street may get a little face lift after all. It all depends on whether the state legislature blows any more gaping holes in Payson’s budget.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters name top ‘Bigs’ for the year

A recent awards ceremony and appreciation dinner for Big Brothers Big Sisters attracted community leaders, advocates and the children impacted by the mentorship program that positively influences Rim Country’s youth.

Gardening the waterwise way

Drought conditions may have a grip on the Rim Country again this spring, but that doesn’t mean residents have to put their gardening goals on the back shelf.

Concert group brings music to the Rim Country that makes a difference

When the curtain rises on the first performance of the 2009-2010 Tonto Community Concert Association season in September, it will be a different curtain than the one that closed at the end of the most recent show.

Ex-Roundup reporter wins Arizona Press Women’s top honor

Carol La Valley won the 2009 Outstanding Writing Award given by Arizona Newspaper Association through Arizona Press Women (APW).

Wednesday, May 20

Schedule of Events

Gates open at 9 a.m. - Events start at 10 a.m.

Men’s Events - $20/event Women’s Events - $20/event

Sawdust Festival rules and regulations

These rules are subject to change. The field judge and chairman will make any and all changes. All rules will be reviewed with contestants prior to each event. The event judges’ decision is final.


Sawdust Festival returns to Rim Country

The heritage of the logging industry was celebrated every summer for 18 years in Payson. Now, after a 16-year absence, the sawdust will fly again.

Sawdust Festival created for family fun

Family fun is the goal of the revived Payson Loggers Sawdust Festival. It was also the goal when it was first held in the Rim Country 33 years ago.

The Pain in Nain

I personally may not know the specifics of your individual pain. But I do know that whatever pain you are going through, whatever grief paralyzes you, numbs you to a place of immobility ... that very spot of pain is the one that Jesus would like to bring comfort to

Tuesday, May 19

Senior’s gold-medal effort comes up short

PHS senior Matt Wilson needed a personal record throw in the shot put to win the event at the Class 3A Arizona State Track and Field Championships, held May 15 and 16 at Mesa High School.

Single Lady Horn makes first team

Skye McNeeley was the lone Lady Longhorn player to be selected to an All-East first team dominated by region and 3A state champion Blue Ridge.

Holistic veterinarian offering a slew of Eastern treatments

When Leslie Christianson’s 13-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback mastiff was diagnosed with bone cancer last August she was told by a veterinarian the most they could do was prescribe debilitating pain medicine that would leave her dog virtually lifeless.

The three- to seven-year itch may strike those in a small town

In 1955, a movie titled “The Seven Year Itch” debuted with starlet Marilyn Monroe.

Memorial Day services, events planned

Memorial Day is proclaimed a national holiday, set aside to remember military personnel who have paid the supreme sacrifice, and to honor veterans and members of the armed forces for their service to the country.

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Cowboys ride hard, win big

Spring Rodeo draws top riders with local roots, but small crowds

A 22-year-old cowboy with Payson ties and storied accomplishments on the collegiate scene took all-around honors at the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo.

Thieves plague school

For the fourth time in the last four months, Payson High School reported a burglary on campus. This time computer equipment was stolen in the dead of night.

Tourist season starts strong

Rim Country businesses are “holding their own” in the face of the ongoing recession, with one good weekend behind them and a hoped-for blockbuster just ahead.

Around Rim Country

Library registering summer programs

The Payson Public Library’s summer program is built around the theme “Be Creative and Express Yourself.” The program will feature puppet shows, crafts, video games and more. Registration begins May 19 and continues through June 6.

Quiet revolution finished in Pine

Bucking broncs. Whooping cowboys. Roaring spitfires. Whirling helicopters.

The forgotten many

Some of us who attend church regularly were disappointed that on May 7 the National Day of Prayer was not actively supported by President Obama. I think it was worthy of more than a proclamation from the Oval Office

Fight against breast cancer is good project

As a local Ford dealer, I couldn’t be more proud of Ford Motor Company’s partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the fight against breast cancer. For the last 15 years, Ford and its dealers have partnered with the foundation to help generate more than $100 million.

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Everyone’s a winner on Field Day

There are no winners or losers during Field Day at Frontier Elementary School. There is also no dodgeball, which has traditionally allowed athletic students to pummel the not-so-athletic students with round objects.

Don’t punish Strawberry for mistakes in Pine

Pine, Arizona has had a water problem dating back as far as 1958. That was one reason we never bought there and the greed of the real estate groups and land owners now have Pine with twice as many hookups as they can support on their water system.

Thanks to those who got the park reopened

I would like to give a big thank you to all the individuals who made it possible to reopen the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park — even if only for a few weeks.

Make Main Street a community effort

After reading the story in the newspaper regarding Main Street Median Improvement and the possibility of returning the funding (are you kidding?). As a 20-plus year Payson resident, I feel strongly about seeing such a lovely and lucrative improvement all the way down Main Street and I would like to offer a suggestion.

Fool’s Day Fun succeeds with help from many

The Fool’s Day Fun — Stop Underage Drinking event was again a huge success for the Community Prevention Council in Payson. This event encourages parents to “Start talking before they start drinking.” The primary purpose of this event is to combat underage drinking and to educate parents, youth and others on the issue of alcohol abuse.

Thank you for your support

With the school year’s end drawing near, when field trips and pizza parties are at an all-time high, I want to stop and thank the people who helped me through this year.

Crosswalk guard needed

Crossing the intersection at McLane and Longhorn is very difficult for the students walking to and from school, “very difficult” being the understatement of the year.

How the right helped the left gain totalitarian power

When Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano reported that millions of patriotic Constitution-loving Americans were on her suspect and surveillance list talk radio treated it like a spying storm.

Kudos for getting state park open

Kudos to the mayor and town council and John Stanton of the chamber and Ken Volz of Green Valley, for their success in reopening the Tonto Natural Bridge. This looks like a win-win for the Rim Country and the state parks.

Make events affordable

I find it incongruous that our special events always are touted as “something for the community” or these are “family events” or other such verbiage.

Feature Teacher

If we all do our part each and every day, we can make our world an even better place. We are too accustomed to getting and not doing enough giving.

Treasurer expects recovery starting next year

During the last recession, Arizona’s treasurer, or Chicken Little as former Gov. Janet Napolitano once called him, suggested that the state save more.

Insects infest Rim Country pinyon pines

Pinyon needle scale eggs have already hatched in southeast Payson and Trailwood, Beaver Valley Estates and Round Valley. The immature scales “crawlers” have emerged from the egg state and have attached themselves to the needles on the ends of the branches.

Students rewarded with Diamondbacks tickets

It was a fun-filled night for a group of Payson High School students who went to the Valley Tuesday to watch a Diamondbacks game.

Pests come out with the great weather

Ah, these wonderful warm May days and cool nights.

Star Valley seniors to have free transportation starting in June

The Town of Star Valley has contracted with the Payson Senior Citizens Center to provide ridership services for Star Valley seniors.

SV may annex another 12 square miles

Nurturing dreams of long-term growth and expansion, the Star Valley town council will discuss annexing 12 square miles of Forest Service land east of town. The annexation would increase the town size by 50 percent and possibly secure additional water sources.

Professional responders

Recently, I had the experience of observing the Payson Police Department, Gila County Search and Rescue, and the Department of Public Safety “Ranger” search helicopter, all work as a team to locate an endangered lost person. I was impressed.

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All-East teams feature 7 Horns

Halenar, Haynes, Gibson named to elite first team

Although Payson senior catcher Ridge Halenar was edged out for East region Player of the Year honors, the Longhorns did have three players chosen first team, two second team and another pair honorable mention.

Payson tightens budget

Idle street crews will keep the parks tidy, firefighters will mostly answer medical calls, town planners will try to keep busy despite empty “in” boxes, recreation programs will rehire seasonal workers — and Payson workers generally will eke out another year.

Nossek leads Lady Longhorns’ state shot

Maddie Nossek’s four medals lifted the Lady Longhorns to a fourth-place finish among the 22 teams that qualified for the Class 3A Arizona State Track and Field Championships.

Prep baseball loses player in auto accident

The Chinle High School baseball team is mourning the loss of one of its star players. Junior centerfield Garvin Hardy, 17, was one of three who were killed about 9 a.m., May 9 in a fiery head-on accident on SR 79.

Friday, May 15

Brass going to China cheaply

This is in response to the letter written by Don Evans in the May 1 Roundup.

Longhorn golfers second at state

Payson upsets Safford for second place at tourney

With all four Longhorn players scoring at least one round in the 70s, the PHS golf team pulled off an upset in the 3A Arizona State Golf Championships.

Payson High named East tourney host

Jason Lobik is calling it “a feather in our cap.”

Archers to test skills at Jim Jones Shooting Range May 17

Retired law enforcement officer and avid archer Les Conner hosted two 3D archery shoots last year that proved to be popular, especially among hunters.

Bass tourney showcases Roosevelt Lake

Payson and Northern Gila County took a major step in showcasing Roosevelt Lake as one of the best bass fisheries in the West, by hosting the FLW Stren bass fishing tournament, a couple of weeks ago.

Nossek, Wilson going for 3A state tourney gold

Strong performances from Maddie Nossek and Matt Wilson could earn the two Payson High track stars 3A state gold medals.

Take a hike for National Trails Day

Explore and enjoy your local Payson Area Trails System (PATS) on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 6 by participating in the “Circle the Peak” Trail Race on the Monument Peak Loop Trail, a 4-mile route, which begins and ends at the Boulders Loop Trailhead at the east end of Granite Dells Road.

Tony Mularski wins pin prize, team wins tourney

Only two weeks after scoring the seventh hole-in-one of his career, 83-year-old Tony Mularski flirted with yet another ace during a Payson Men’s Golf Association three-man scramble tournament.

Rally for Cure tourney raises $3,000 for breast cancer

A hectic opening agenda grasped the collective attentions of Payson Women’s Golf Association members.

Committee helps keep Rim Country pioneer spirit alive

Keeping the frontier spirit alive in the Rim Country has been the mission of the Gila County Pioneers Committee since it was formed in 2006.

Bonita Creek Community earns firewise recognition

As the 19th anniversary of the 1990 Dude Fire looms less than two months away, the community of Bonita Creek worked toward and achieved national Firewise Communities USA recognition.

Eagle Scout honors

Payson Troop 454 has two Eagle Scouts who will be receiving their Eagle Scout Awards.

Tease photo

Sawdust Festival was a family affair

Loggers festival traces its roots back to 1975

The Payson Loggers Sawdust Festival, which will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24, can trace some of its strongest roots to a very civic-minded family — the Floyds.

Antique tractors on display Saturday in Pine

Tomorrow morning the people of Pine and Strawberry invite our neighboring towns and communities to come join us for several fun activities.

Almost too many area events to keep up with

This past week has been extremely busy. There were meetings Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, besides dominoes on Wednesday afternoon. Activity again picked up on Saturday.

Pastor Elaine Watskey will be missed at Mount Cross

It was just about three weeks ago, while I was sitting in the 8:30 sermon at Mount Cross Lutheran Church (paying close attention and never once drifting off), that it happened.

Rollover under investigation

A 29-year-old Payson man reportedly weaving in and out of traffic near Star Valley Saturday, slammed into another vehicle after he lost control and rolled, authorities said.

Plans being made for community potluck

The Christopher Creek Homeowners Association meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, May 23.

Annual Fool’s Day Fun event well attended

Approximately 200 children and families attended the April 11 Fool’s Day Fun-Stop Underage Drinking event.

Gila College briefs

Gila Community College will be offering health care prerequisite classes this summer for individuals interested in the health care and nursing fields.

Center Ridge Apartments open house

The NRP Group announced the grand opening of 48 affordable apartment homes located at 105 E. Main St. earlier this month.

Pony rides at Kohl’s Ranch Lodge this summer

Remember the first time you saddled up a horse or rode bareback on a pony? Well, if not, don’t despair because Kohl’s Ranch Lodge, located just outside of Payson, is offering pony rides throughout the summer.

Threat, assault on police gets teacher arrested

A middle school teacher on administrative leave was arrested Tuesday evening after reportedly threatening the school’s principal and then assaulting officers at his home.

Blue Ridge advances, legislature threatens

Meetings with SRP intended to start money flowing, so long as state does not drain town’s bank account

Payson officials recently completed another round of key meetings to crank open the financial spigots on the Blue Ridge pipeline, with a few fearful looks over their shoulders at the budget berserkers at the legislature.

County extends lobbying contract

The county will continue its $6,500 monthly federal lobbying contract, supervisors decided Tuesday in a divided vote during which one supervisor banked his entire career on building a bridge across Tonto Creek.

Investigation into alleged meeting violations ongoing

After two months, the Gila County Attorney’s Office says it is continuing its investigation into accusations the Town of Star Valley violated the open meeting law.

Around Rim Country

Payson Aero Fair is Saturday at airport

The Payson Regional Airport Authority will have the 2009 Payson Aero Fair from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 16 at the Payson Airport.

County politics still shortchange Rim Country

Gila County politics are absurd. In what other world does an area (like Payson) that supplies the majority of property taxes and has the majority of the population receive less representation than the rest of the county?

Grandchildren will pay for debt

In response to Don Wickstrom’s letter to the editor in the May 5 Roundup, I want to say that he represents the present administration and the regime that sits in office dolling out zillions of taxpayer dollars to interests of the UAW and other unions that backed the Obama-led party last year.

Thanks to parents and businesses

I am a volunteer coach for the high school track team. Last Friday and Saturday we hosted the regional meet.

‘Stolen’ goose was a pet on a stroll in the park with owners

The case of the missing goose has been successfully solved

Do the homework and bring on the tea parties

Some observations on the letter “Do your own Homework” in the May 5 Roundup.

Values are the backbone of America

This country was formed by a group of men who carefully constructed, word for word, line by line, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights using Bible-based principles (values).

Arizona treasurer to talk about state finances

Arizona State Treasurer Dean Martin will be speaking in Payson at noon, Monday, May 18 at the Gila Community College Payson campus.

Carrying on an old family tradition

I come from a long line of rebels and I mean that in every sense of the word.

Spring Rodeo adds steer riding event

The Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo will have an added attraction at the Friday and Saturday night performances.

Aero Fair events

This year, the Aero Fair, on May 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., has an international flavor, and not just from the food vendors

Part-time art, PE teachers needed by Pine Strawberry

The two part-time teachers that Pine Strawberry School District hopes to hire for physical education and art next year would absorb its financial cushion, however, Superintendent Mike Clark says the classes are vital to a student’s education.

Citizens law enforcement academy coming

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with Payson Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Gila County Attorney’s Office will be holding a Northern Gila County Public Safety Law Enforcement Citizens Academy.

Public spending habits flawed

County administrator hits government spending patterns in good times and bad

The prevailing government philosophy of spending high and taxing low during flush times is completely wrong, county Deputy Manager John Nelson told residents at the Citizens Awareness Committee meeting Thursday.

Aero Fair offers close-up views of old and new planes

Restored B-25 Mitchell Bomber will be on display

Aircraft from around the world will fly into the Payson Airport May 16 at this year’s Aero Fair and, for the first time, one of the great World War II aircraft, the B-25 Mitchell Bomber, with a wingspan of 76 feet, will thunder down the runway.

Sometimes we don’t get the picture until it’s too late

Forty-three years after I first watched “Star Trek,” my son David pointed out something to me I had never thought of. This is fun to think about, so let’s back into it slowly.

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Get ’em ladies!

Spring rodeo lures world champions, some from Payson

Penny Conway’s been roping calves on the run for 40 years now — and she allows some things have changed and other things haven’t.

Investors can learn from gardeners

Spring is here. If you’re a gardener, you know it will soon be time to put in your flowers or vegetables.

Internet, Web sites have become indispensible

[You] Dot Com Like it or not, the Internet revolution is in full swing, and it’s bringing us along for the ride. Most of us are discovering the necessity of working online, both for business and personal reasons. There are certainly some resistant curmudgeons who feel that they don’t need a Web site. Rest assured, they will hop on the virtual roller coaster soon enough.

No instruction book came with county job

Pam Fisher’s daughter was barely 13 months old when Fisher gave birth to twin boys.

Military news

Air Force Airman David J. Gillaland has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Silky Rose and the Rose Buds: Part 2

The Rose Buds turned six weeks old recently. They didn’t find too much to celebrate that day, though, as that was the day their weaning process became official. It was also the day they received their first shots.

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Rim school tracksters win several track titles

The Rim Country Middle School Maverick track and field team flexed its muscle in the boys high jump competition of the White Mountain League finals held May 8 on Longhorn track.

Thursday, May 14

Women’s Rodeo events at 6 p.m.

The events at the May 14, 2009 Cactus Series Women’s Rodeo will start at 6 p.m., not 7 p.m. as previously reported.

Wednesday, May 13

Bull ride is 8 seconds of fury and excitement

Unlike the other roughstock contestants, bull riders are not required to spur.

Rodeo honors memory of Gary Hardt

The Payson Pro Rodeo Committee honors the memory of Gary Hardt when the action hits the arena at the Payson Event Center this weekend.

Steer wrestling historic event

Steer wrestling can trace its roots back to ranch work in the Old West.

Rim Country’s western heritage celebrated at spring rodeo

The rustic days of the Old West are long gone, as are most of the unique characteristics that made up the American cowboy’s way of life.

Team roping has five contestants

In rodeo’s only true team event, two ropers — a “header” and a “heeler” — work together to rope a steer in the quickest time possible.

Cactus Series events help earn points

When the Cactus Series program comes to the Payson Event Center at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 14, expect to see some world-class athletes.

Saddle bronc riding is classic event

Rodeo’s “classic” event — saddle bronc riding — has roots that run deep in the history of the Old West.

Rodeo athletes live and work on edge

Rodeo cowboys are widely considered to be among the most talented and versatile athletes in professional sports.

11th annual Main Event Rodeo Parade

The Payson Pro Rodeo Committee will present its 11th rodeo parade starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 16.

Bareback ride based on control

Bareback riding, developed in the rodeo arena many years ago, consistently produces some of the wildest action in the sport.

Welcome to our rodeo celebration

Payson and the Rim Country are kicking off summer with a celebration of the region’s Old West heritage.

Rodeo again lends its support to fight breast cancer and assist its victims

Cowboys, crews and rodeo fans are partnering to help in the fight against a foe fiercer than any bull or bronc to hit an arena.

Tie-down roping rooted in ranching

Tie-down roping was born on the ranches of the Old West. Sick calves had to be roped and tied down for medical treatment.

Sponsors make spring rodeo a great success

Presenting any rodeo takes a great deal of work by innumerable volunteers. It also takes money from many sources.

APS envisions interconnected solar rooftops

Arizona Public Service (APS) is launching a innovative pilot project in Flagstaff that could ultimately provide a substantial increase in the number of solar rooftops nationwide.

Tuesday, May 12

Thanks for great coverage and to those who helped

First of all, thank you so much for the great coverage and the extra copies of The Rim Review. You all did a wonderful job.

Merchants extend invite to car show to return to Main Street

The Payson Main Street Merchants Guild would like to clarify points in the story on the car show that ran in the paper on April 18 and I quote, “Last year, organizers lined the cars up along Main Street, where the merchants hoped the shiny icons of Detroit would generate sales and street traffic.

Texting police officer

(Recently) at about 3 p.m., I witnessed a most amazing thing.

Council rejects cut in event center manager’s contract

After six hours of budget hearings, the Payson Town Council finally found a staff recommendation it didn’t like — the proposal to convert the part-time manager of the Payson Event Center into a contract employee without benefits.

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‘Grandma Lynn’ helps Julia Randall kindergarten students make a quilt

The quilt Grandma Lynn and her adoring kindergarten fans at Julia Randall Elementary School made features a fabric tree with little red handprints that are supposed to be apples

Volunteer loves giving back to community

Seventh grade because we had one semester with sewing and other semester with shop. I enjoyed learning shop. We did bookends.

Student seeks to raise money for summer program

For Payson High School junior Nicole Scott, who wants to attend Stanford for college, the chance to study there for three weeks this summer arrived in her mailbox, to her gleeful surprise.

Mount Cross pastor leaving

Pastor Elaine Watskey of Mount Cross Lutheran Church, 601 E. Highway 260 has accepted a new call to serve in the Grand Canyon Synod office in Phoenix with Bishop Stephen Talmage as Assistant to the Bishop for Candidacy.

Megabox of diapers awarded in county immunization drawing

Beginning April 1, the Gila County Health Department is selecting one name a month from those children who completed their baby shots at the health department by 20 months of age.

Family of graduates

Rick and Patti Korth of Payson are please to announce the graduations of two of their children.

60-year loss made right

After his medals were stolen more than 60 years ago while he was in a coma, World War II veteran Edward Doran was presented with 10 replacements Friday with the help of Senator Jon Kyl’s office.

Payson physicist breaks new ground — draws controversy

William A. Tiller spent 34 years teaching science at Stanford University and published more than 250 scientific papers. Yet he found himself ostracized and dismissed when his research led him to the startling conclusion that the mind can affect the physical world in ways that flustered and sometimes outraged his conventional-minded colleagues.

Drought again stalks the Rim Country

Wet winter filled the reservoirs, but dry spring has drained the streams

Despite a wet winter and brimming reservoirs, the drought has crept back into the Rim Country on dusty paws.

Around Rim Country

Blood drives planned in Rim Country this week

There will be two Payson area blood drives in May.

Sheriff’s Posse keeps busy, looking for members

After more than 40 years of volunteer services, the Gila County Sheriff’s Posse hasn’t slowed down a bit, and recently swore in a new captain and completed training.

Snowflake tops in 3A golf, Longhorns finish second

When asked if there was a high school golf team in Arizona that could beat Snowflake — including those in the 4A and 5A “big school” ranks — PHS coach Bret Morse only shrugged his shoulders, lauding the powerful Lobos as a prep juggernaut.

Lady Longhorns capture plenty of gold, silver

Senior three-sport star Jenna Robertson’s gold and twin silver medal efforts helped propel the Lady Longhorns to a second-place finish in the East region track and field championships.

Masseuse irked after Asian Spa arrest

After a local spa had its license revoked on allegations that a masseuse was offering more than a back rub, local massage therapist Lori Vario said she is outraged and wants people to know that massage has legitimate health benefits.

The tax man cometh; sales tax on services proposed

In January we wrote an article about State Treasurer Dean Martin’s presentation to the Central Arizona Board of Realtors.

Ridge Halenar gets our vote for East player of the year

East region baseball coaches probably had their sliding pads full trying to figure who to vote for in the Player of the Year balloting — Payson’s Ridge Halenar or Show Low’s Clay Hathaway.

China through a photographer’s eye

Guests at the Payson Institute of Learning’s Discussion & Lecture League will learn about and see China through the eyes of a photographer.

New Visions accepting pre-registration applications

New Visions Academy, Star Valley is now accepting pre-registration applications for the 2009/10 school year. Appointments may be made by calling (928) 468-1401. The 2009/10 school year begins Aug. 10.

PATS group-led hike on Houston Loop Saturday

Hike starts at 8 a.m. from American Gulch Trailhead Like to hike, but not sure where to go?

Phony fire hydrants gone; more real ones still needed

In many older areas of town, hydrants remain beyond the reach of a fire truck

First, the good news: All of the decorative fire hydrants that fooled firefighters into hooking up to dry lines are gone.

Spring Rodeo promises excitement, fun times

Payson and the Rim Country are kicking off summer with a celebration of the region’s Old West heritage.

Too hot, too cold Payson needs just-right plan

Payson seems to be having a Goldilocks moment. Alas, it’s not one of those “just right” outcomes — more like making a scary face at a taste of a “too-cold” bowl of porridge.

Enough from the liberal left

I’m tired of all the hatred of the liberal left. They call Republicans NGO-Cons. We are racist if we don’t believe everything Obama says.

Thanks for help, friendship

Dear friends of the Tonto Apache Tribe, friends, family.

Writer has right to express views

Letter writer Ric Hinkie is viewed with respect and affection by all who know him, which makes it the more puzzling and disturbing that he does not grasp the function of a free press.

Budget keeps Mazatzal Rest Area closed

Due to budget concerns, it looks like the Mazatzal Rest Area at the intersection of Highway 87 and 188 will not be opened until July at the earliest.

Sheep clobbers hiker, rescue needed

It was a busy weekend for Tonto Rim Search and Rescue volunteers. On Saturday morning, a Tucson man backpacking near Fossil Creek was knocked unconscious after several big horn sheep in the area loosened rock above him, which tumbled down and hit him in the head.

Fish consumption advisory issued for specific fish species at Roosevelt Lake

A fish consumption advisory has been instituted for largemouth bass and channel catfish at Roosevelt Lake because recent samples of those specific species of fish collected at the lake showed elevated levels of mercury.

Matt Wilson claims regional title

A Payson High School senior, bound next fall for Northern Arizona University on a combination football-academic scholarship, has won the Longhorn track and field team’s only East region championship gold medal.

Freshman is American Award contest winner

Young freshman Trent Turner has won the sixth annual Young American Awards Program essay contest. The locally organized and funded non-profit says it promotes the spirit of Americanism, education and information technology by rewarding students who wish to excel.

Tease photo

Longhorns’ run at state title ends early

Chino Valley rallies for 7 runs to defeat Payson 11-6 in second round

Turn out the lights, the party’s over.

Tonto National Forest begins fire restrictions May 14

Drought conditions, hot temperatures and increased fire danger have resulted in fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest beginning Thursday, May 14 at 8 a.m.

Saturday, May 9

Recreation Roundup

Enjoy golf Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m. during the weeks of June 8, 15, 22 and 29.

Hwy. 87 will be closed Tuesday from 9 p.m. to Wednesday at 5 a.m.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will close the southbound lanes of Highway 87 at the junction of Highway 188 from 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12 to 5 a.m. on Wednesday, May 13.

Friday, May 8

Town to continue chamber funding

Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Manager John Stanton made a low-key plea for town funding, despite bleak budget projections for 2009-10. The chamber had asked for $48,000 to underwrite the operation of a visitors center, but at last week’s budget study session, Stanton quickly accepted the same payment from the town as this year — $36,000.

Arson plea averts trial for murder

Victim’s family frustrated

A Payson man on Thursday sidestepped a murder trial by pleading guilty to arson charges for setting fire to a car that had a dead man inside the trunk.

Around Rim Country

PHS drama presents ‘The Educated Princess’

This classic tale about a princess who wants to learn, is based on the story of Princess Ida

Two teens win annual Mother’s Day essay contest

“It was the most entries we have probably even had,” said Melissa Higginbotham

Volunteers honored for hospital service

Several dozen volunteers were recognized by the Payson Regional Medical Center April 23 for donating more than 10,000 hours to the hospital and improving the lives of patients.

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Mother’s love knows no measure

Adoption will add five children to blended family of 11 others

A little less than a week from today, Penni Stonebrink is getting one of the all-time top Mother’s Day gifts — her family is growing with the addition of five children.

Anglers have $600,000 impact

Study finds 300 fishermen lured to bass tournament spent freely during their time in Rim Country

The professional bass fishermen, fans, family and hangers-on lured to Rim Country for the recent FLW Bass Tournament dropped nearly $600,000 into the Rim Country economy, according to the results of a spending survey filled out by 80 percent of the fishermen.

Longhorns open state quest in Surprise

First round game is against Chinle

The last time Payson High School won a state baseball championship the team flourished under the leadership of Bryan Zumbro, Cade Bradley and Hunter Walden.

Investments can make great Mother’s Day gifts

Mother’s Day arrives this Sunday.

Wildlife Fair at Green Valley Park Saturday

Tomorrow morning Green Valley Lake and the surrounding area will be bustling with activity where outdoor recreation will be the focus.

Lady Longhorns fail to qualify for state tourney

Surprise, surprise. After believing all week that the Lady Longhorn softball team would make it into the 3A state tournament, probably as a No. 15 seed, players coaches and fans learned late Wednesday afternoon the team is not in the postseason.

Tease photo

White Mountain League qualifiers battle for honors

More than 300 track and field qualifiers representing 10 small town, middle and junior high schools battled May 6 on the Payson High School track for White Mountain League individual and team honors.

Third Payson Sprint Triathlon could attract 80 athletes

Sprint triathlons are exacting tests of an athlete’s strength, speed and endurance. Throw heat into the mix and you have an exigent trial that is sure to test the grit of the finest of competitors.

AIA says all student athletes need to have their physicals

Among the most obtuse decision student athletes make each spring is not taking advantage of physical exams offered by high schools.

PMGA golfer Larry Smith teams with Terry Lindsey for tourney win

Payson Men’s Golf Association member Larry Smith is on a roll.

Business openings

Payson Physical Therapy staff and owner Scott Nossek (center) held a ribbon cutting for their new, larger facility at at 405 W. Main St., Suite D, May 1 during the First Friday on Main Street event.

Dogs need protection from heat, too

It’s official. It’s getting hot. Just today we got a call from a woman who had seen a dog locked in the car at Walmart, who was obviously struggling because of the heat.

Police hunt is on for Mother Goose kidnappers

Someone made off with Mother Goose just before Mother’s Day Wednesday and Payson police are still looking for the thieves.

Main Street facelift close to getting cut

Debate on returning $315,000 grant for lack of match divides Payson Town Council

The once-ambitious, now-minimalist plans for a pedestrian-friendly Main Street narrowly avoided a sorrowful burial at Thursday night’s Payson Town Council meeting.

Baffling tourney ruling outrages Longhorn fans

The Lady Longhorns softball team’s omission from the 3A state tournament has coach Will Dunman seething, players angry and parents and fans questioning the fairness of the playoff system.

Hard times forge the tie that binds

What’s the cliché? Ah, yes: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

PSWID has trouble representing the community

When we elect people to represent our interests, there are certain basic things that we expect from them. Our elected representatives should serve with integrity, should be honest with us, and should treat our tax money with care. The PSWID board is falling well short of those basic expectations.

Enjoying Jinx’s column

In the 22 years that I have lived in Payson, I have not subscribed to any of the various papers that have come and gone, until now.

Everyone has a right to an opinion

Regarding the Democratic Headquarters sign on Highway 87, I believe there is a freedom of speech issue that should be addressed. I understand the Town of Payson considered it a campaign sign and ordered it removed.

Be wary, Payson

I feel that I can no longer maintain my silence after the ridiculous story in regards to the $1.1 million “mystery money.” Does our town manager think that because Payson is no longer in dire straits that she emerges the hero?

There’s a reason dog is man’s best friend

I was 8 the year Jack was born to Queen, a mostly black-and-tan female with just enough Airedale to give her an attitude

When kids are involved, great ideas aren’t always so great

These days it’s impossible to overlook the fact that a holiday is coming.

Still time to join Relay for Life

Annual event is June 5, 6

Even though the annual Relay for Life event in Payson is only a few weeks away, there is still time for teams and individuals to join the festivities.

Prank brings not so simple consequences

Just before graduation last year, 18 Payson High School seniors performed what they thought were simple pranks at the Payson High School.

Star Valley council examines meeting location options

With a limited number of affordable commercial properties in town, the Star Valley Town Council discussed the option of renovating its current space to hold town meetings Tuesday night.

Children do grow up fast — remember your mothers

Sunday is Mother’s Day and in honor of my mother and all mothers —

Tease photo

Flying offers one of a kind views

Payson Aero Fair is May 16 at the airport

For longtime pilot and Aero Fair organizer Marie Fasano, a day spent in the sky is a little heaven on earth. The sights and colors of the Rim never grow old, the natural bridge never loses its luster, and the squeal of first-time passengers never fails to amuse.

Ex-champion hopes to recapture Sawdust title

Irene Neal competed in every Payson Loggers Sawdust Festival from 1980 until the event was discontinued after the 1993 event. Every one of those 13 years, she won the rolling pin throwing contest and still holds the record for the distance toss of 113 feet.

Social media requires a clean computer

You’ve seen the coup attempts. Facebook … MySpace … Twitter …. Blogspot.

Fire department’s back parking lot looking good

The back parking lot of the Hellsgate Fire Department, station #22 in Tonto Village on Thompson Road, looks great.

Choral Society to perform two concerts on Saturday

This Saturday, we Rim Country residents are in for another musical treat. On Saturday, the Payson Choral Society, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium, will present its spring concert, “It’s All About Love.”

Aggressive action by fire crews saved the day

I couldn’t resist bushwhacking up to Dripping Springs with some family members to check out ground zero for the recent fire. What a sight.

Wednesday, May 6

Tonto Natural Bridge and its long road to becoming a state park

The fight for Tonto Natural Bridge to be open to the public is not a new one. As recently as the late 1980s this wonder of nature was private land. Here’s a look at the bridge and how it became an Arizona State Park.

Chamber Blues concert Sunday

The Tonto Community Concert Association will wrap up its performance season with Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, May 10 at the Payson High School auditorium.

The pain in Nain

The e-mail stunned all who read it. My dear friend and mentor had received the horrible news that her son was in a dangerous situation.

Low-cost summer vacations

With the economic outlook still uncertain, many people feel that they cannot afford a summer vacation. We’re here to help you find the best value for your vacation dollar. If we eliminate air flights, that’s a big chunk of money saved right off the bat. So let’s look at destinations to which you can drive.

Boost your health and taste quota

Salads are a great way to add satisfying flavor and versatility to a healthy eating plan. In fact, research has shown that salad eaters take in greater amounts of essential nutrients such as vitamins C and E and folic acid. The key to a nutritious salad is to build it wisely by choosing healthy ingredients from the bottom up.

The early years

I grew up in Los Angeles at a time when it was a great place to live.

Tease photo

Aero Fair

Pilots treat Rim Country residents to highflying fun

With an early morning pancake breakfast, afternoon airplane flights, a kids hangar and a slew of top-notch and historical planes on display all day, Payson’s 2009 Aero Fair promises highflying fun for all.

Tuesday, May 5

Tease photo

Tonto Natural Bridge is back!

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park will reopen on weekends starting Memorial Day, thanks to an innovative partnership between Payson and the state park system.

Payson police squeeze budget

Payson Police will cut about $300,000 from this year’s budget and remain three officers under its full authorized strength — which largely reflects the impact of losing its contract to provide police protection for neighboring Star Valley.

Pot grower reports wife, gets himself arrested

An intoxicated man who tried to turn his wife in for growing marijuana plants, ended up being arrested after admitting the plants were his.

Animal shelter breaks ground, but still needs help

If you build it, they will come.

Still-tight budgets squeezed

Already tight budgets will shrink or barely hold their own in the fiscal year that starts in June, according to preliminary budget figures presented to the Payson Town Council last week.

Around Rim Country

National Day of Prayer observed Thursday

Customers should not abuse offerings of businesses

This letter is on behalf of the abuse of the wireless Internet connections and games provided at the Fireside Espresso.

Many made Optimist Fishing Festival a success

The Rim Country Optimist Club would like to thank the Arizona Game and Fish Department for all its help and all the merchants, donors and participants of the second annual Fishing Festival. The event was well attended with Game and Fish registering 536 participants, of these 270 were 19 or younger. Three registered from California, with representatives from White River, Pine, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Apache Junction, Tempe, Glendale, Gilbert, Mesa, Coolidge, Chandler and Star Valley.

Do your own homework

It appears the letters to the editor no longer carry any message that does not agree with the editor/publisher. The same negative message about our current president and Congress. Words make it into the paper by tax protesters and from the cowboy logic of Jinx Pyle and the monthly editorials by Jon Kyl. But that does not leave room the other side of the story.

Opposed to subdivision

This letter is in reference to the property at 509 E. Park Dr. We own the property at 601 E. Park Dr. and we did not receive a letter of notice about the meeting on 04/24/09 as several other nearby neighbors did not, but we did attend.

Scouts helped with car show trash

With reference to Boy Scout Troop 7354. This weekend the boys of Troop 7354 volunteered to help keep the grounds of the car show in Green Valley Park clean. These boys did an excellent job. Their parents and scoutmaster can be proud of them. During the day they picked up and dumped 72 bags of trash.

Heartbreak red …

Pete Aleshire knows how to bring tears to a couple who found love a second time around. Larry gave Shirley the red Mustang when she said “yes” in September of 2007. She moved to Payson, joined the car club and has been learning about classics ever since.

Children plant tree of Earth Day

On Wednesday, April 22, the Community Presbyterian Child Learning Center children planted an apple tree outside one of their classrooms as part of their ongoing educational program that teaches the importance of caring for and improving our planet.

Police budget raises questions

Does Payson have enough police officers?

Park reopening triumph for Rim

Troubled waters. Big bridge.

Traffic study will shape Payson’s future

Would a highway bypass solve Payson’s weekend traffic problems — but kill off vulnerable businesses?

Insider’s view of deadly feud

Git A Rope Publishing will release Jinx Pyle’s latest book, “Pleasant Valley War,” on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 at the Payson Womans Club.

Feature teacher- Donna Moore

Name: Donna Moore

Teaching children healthy habits to last a lifetime

Teaching elementary physical education classes all day fails to wear out Donna Moore. She still steps two miles every day on the Stairmaster and weight trains at night.

Neighborhood watch honored

Block Watch party turns protection into recreation and gets new sign to recognize ‘outstanding’ turnout

So often today, people say they do not know their neighbors. But a block of homeowners was recognized Wednesday for their participation in a block party last year that got people out of their homes, talking, eating, learning and possibly stopping crime in the future.

School librarians on cutting block

Board members question elimination of library jobs

No more elementary school librarians?

PRMC bringing in latest, greatest imaging technology

Payson Regional Medical Center is bringing some of the latest equipment to enhance its imaging services.

Women’s Health Week events planned

National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (OWH) and sponsored in Payson by Payson Regional Medical Center. With the theme “It’s Your Time,” the nationwide initiative encourages women to take simple steps for a longer, healthier and happier life.

May is amazing month

Here we are in the aMAYzing month. Sunny, warm days without the oppressive heat of midsummer. Nights cool, but no longer the danger of frost nipping those tender plants. Beautiful clouds beginning to build in the afternoon foretelling the coming monsoon season. I had a moment of nostalgia last week when making May baskets for the Senior Thrift Store’s First Friday celebration. My mind went back to childhood days — every May Day I would make a basket of woven colored construction paper, paste it together (no scotch tape or Elmer’s glue in those days) and fill it with wildflowers from the woods around our house. Yes, even as a young child I was allowed to roam the woods unaccompanied and somehow I never got lost or hurt in any way. I searched for what we called May flowers (hepatica) and arbutus, and when the basket was filled, I presented it to my Aunt Lou who lived down the shore from us. Of course she made a big deal of it and I felt quite special. Precious memories ...

Noting historical milestones in the real estate industry

A particular radio announcer has an opening theme that asks, “Where am I and how did I get here?”

Mae Morrison

Mae Morrison, 88, of Payson, died April 29, 2009 at Hospice Compassus.

Bette Jean Tussing

Betty Jean Tussing, of Mesa, died May 2, 2009. She was born Oct. 16, 1931 in Cotton Center, Ariz. She was the oldest of five children born to Hadley and Opal Mills.

Lady Horns earn 16th and final state seed

The 3A state tournament bracket has not yet been etched in stone, but the Lady Longhorns will probably play East Region rival Blue Ridge in the opening round.

Swimmers can compete in first community meet

A first-ever communitywide swim meet will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 30 at Taylor Pool.

Horns head to state as 7th seed

“Play ’em one game at a time,” is a tried and true coaching adage that most obey as if it was carved in stone, housed in an ark and passed on from down high.

Tease photo

PHS to host prep, middle school championships

Track and field action will be fast and furious at Payson High School this week.

Ex-Devil runs to Zane Grey win

A 24-year-old former Arizona State University economics and accounting major ran his way to the championship of the Zane Grey Highland Trail 50-mile race.

Inaugural Circle the Peak June 6

Glowing enthusiasm might the most accurate description of Mary McMullen’s fervor for the inaugural Circle the Peak walk/run event.

Dozens of voices unite in beauty

The men, women and young people in the Payson Choral Society are a dedicated lot. Even before they present their big holiday concert at Christmas, they are planning for auditions and rehearsals for the annual spring concert.

Saturday, May 2

Chili’s customers can help out Rim Country food bank

Chili’s restaurant in Payson is holding a benefit for the St. Vincent de Paul Rim Country Food Bank.

Help keep the forest clean

It’s that time of year when the Tonto National Forest has increased use by hikers, campers and fishermen.

Wildlife Fair will take place May 9 at Green Valley Park

Green Valley Park in Payson will undergo an amazing transformation on Saturday, May 9, when its sprawling, grassy expanses turn into a carnival full of wildlife and fun outdoor activities.

Friday, May 1

Enjoy holiday from minimum distributions

Although it sounds strange, you may encounter situations in which you have to accept money even if you’d rather not.

Fast response from firefighters saves Pine

As I prepare to send this in, it appears that Pine has dodged a bullet as the fire crews appear to have the Dripping Springs Fire under control.

Downgrading your operating system could be an upgrade

Imagine you buy a new car — it’s shiny, it’s fast, and it smells really good.

Why are there no reloading components available?

OK all you closet survivalist out there. I reload my own ammunition for target shooting only. I don’t hunt.

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Rim trail offers a view to forever

Easy Rim Vista Trail offers stunning views

It is not the hardest trail you will ever take, but it could be the most scenic.

Power of the written word

It’s wrong to ignore wrong.

$1.1 million … a mere bagatelle

Recently, $1.1 million in mysterious reserved funds and/or mislabeled reserve funds were discovered by the town manager, Debra Galbraith.

Tea Party is wrong reference

Just a note to the “Tea Party” protesters. It makes me sick when people use a historical references for modern causes when they have no idea what they are talking about! The original “Tea Party” was about taxation without representation! We have that now! Here is a history lesson.

No failing grades in Texas

Recently I have learned that Texas has several policies stating that “students are not allowed to receive a failing grade.

Dogs should not have to grow up here

This week’s article is about some of the young animals who are growing up at the shelter. These are animals who were brought to us as babies and, for one reason or another, have just not caught the eye of a potential adopter. They are all sweet, social, lovable kids. They have just day after day been passed over.

Lack of moisture has left the forest dry — be careful

Although this is springtime and Mother Nature is getting ready to show off her colors with all the flowers and the lilacs sprouting their great smelling blooms, a worrisome time is growing near.

Book on Pleasant Valley War now available

At long last we have the Pleasant Valley War book back from the printer. It will be released in Payson at a book signing from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday, May 8 at the Payson Womans Club.

When politicians go astray, the people must speak out

In July 1940, with the boot of Nazi Germany pressing upon the neck of Europe, there occurred in Toulon, France, an event in which the voice of the French people rose above that of a morally bankrupt politician and the defeatist government he had formed.

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Crews snuff Pine fire

The fire season got off to a quick and scary start this week, with a 43-acre blaze above Pine that filled the sky with billows of smoke, burning in the already dangerously dry brush and dead wood covering the slopes above town.

Grants drive big Payson budget jump

Payson’s total spending could jump as much at 86 percent to a whopping $52 million in the coming fiscal year, thanks largely to a potential inrush of federal stimulus grants.

Spa employee arrested on prostitution charge

An employee at the Asian Spa was arrested Tuesday on charges of solicitation of prostitution for reportedly offering “happy ending” services.

Hwy. 87 work will slow traffic

Expect delays on Highway 87 at the March 2008 landslide area after crews close the southbound lanes of traffic for 16 days starting May 4.

Around Rim Country

’Neath the Rim art studio tour May 1-3

The Payson Art League’s annual ’Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, May 1 through Sunday, May 3.

No sign of swine flu in Gila County

Gila County has no suspected cases of the swine flu, county epidemiologist Matt Bolinger said Thursday afternoon.

Postmaster sentenced for DUI

Payson’s postmaster was sentenced April 14 for DUI after pleading guilty in Payson’s Magistrate Court.

First Friday celebrates

So why do you live in Rim Country?

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Tonto Basin students learn about good health

Who knew one must run 14 to 16 miles to burn off one bag of Cheetos?

Special Olympic athletes off to summer games

A band of Special Olympic athletes, their coaches and supporters teamed up yesterday, April 30, with local law enforcement officers for the annual Torch Parade.

Children’s theater group to perform play

The Payson Children’s Theater Group will present “The Heavenly Fruit Stand” at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 2 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 700 E. Wade Lane and at 6 p.m., Sunday, May 3 at Ponderosa Baptist Church, 1800 N. Beeline Highway.

Bike and run race on tap for Saturday

Arizona mountain bike event will be on Carr Lake Trail system

Mountain biking, a favorite sport and recreational activity in the Rim Country, returns tomorrow, May 2, at the Hike Bike & Run Mogollon Masher race.

Turning sunshine into savings

With more than 300 days of sunshine pounding the roof of Arizona homes every year and tax incentives increasing, converting to a solar water heater or installing solar panels has never made more sense or been easier.

Christopher Creek will be getting a replacement for the old Landmark

Now you see it, now you don’t. Monday the big trucks rolled into Christopher Creek, along with the big demolition machines.

Celebrate Main Street award

Main Street will be hopping tonight as merchants and residents celebrate the coming of May and the second anniversary of the monthly First Friday event.

ADOT has big road plans for the Rim Country

Although the Arizona Department of Transportation is suffering through a tough economic crisis, a slew of projects have been approved in the Payson area, including widening Highway 260 to Heber, installing a roundabout at Airport Road and repaving multiple roads — totaling more than $75 million in projects.

Tease photo

Maddie Nossek earns top track athlete honor

Maddie Nossek’s performance at the Safford Invitational could have reminded old-timers of the feats of some of Payson High’s finest track and field athletes including Nicole Engstrom, Stephanie Robertson, Lura Goldman and Rheanna Martinez.

Down-home BBQ benefits Lady Horns

The Payson High School softball team and the palates of hungry Rim Country sports fans will reap the benefits of a deep-pit barbecue dinner to be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. this evening, May 1, at the concession stand near the Lady Longhorn diamond.

Mason Dacanay takes longest drive honors

Mason Dacanay lit up the Mt. Graham Golf Course winning both longest drive and closest-to-the-pin honors during the playing of the Safford Invitational.

‘What a big surprise’

Do you remember the song, “Baby, What A Big Surprise,” which was a 1977 hit for the rock group, Chicago? That song came to mind as I was reading last Friday’s front page that our town government had just unearthed $1.1 million in a “mystery fund” — a fund that for the past several years no one (or almost no one) knew existed. Holy cow — $1,100,000!

Longhorns in state tourney, ladies on the outside edge

The Payson High School baseball and softball teams face vastly different fates when the regular season wraps up today, May 1, on PHS diamonds against the Snowflake Lobos.