Stories for September 2009


Wednesday, September 30

Some vacation ideas

Now that summer is over with most of us having taken our vacations you might want to start thinking about where to travel next — perhaps not right away, but in the not too distant future. Planning is half the fun, right? I am going to suggest in this week’s column some ideas that just might interest you.

Diverticulosis rampant in the Western world

Unless his doctor has told him not to do anything physical — and that would be most unusual advice — your husband’s inactivity harms his heart.

Gem and Mineral Show Oct. 10-11

The Payson Rimstones Rock Club presents its 12th annual Gem and Mineral Show Oct. 10-11 at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino Event Center Bingo Hall located on the Tonto Apache Reservation, just south of Payson off of Highway 87.

‘An Evening of Chamber Music’

An evening of chamber music will be presented by Gila Community College in Payson at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 8 in the Community Room 301. The concert will feature Northern Arizona University School of Music professors Frank Scott (piano), Louise Scott (violin) and Jacquelyn Schwandt (viola) in works by Augusta Read Thomas, Judith Cloud, Bohuslav Martinu and Claude Debussy. There is no admission charge for the concert.

Oral histories capture more than memories

There are a number of tools that historians use to help them piece together the past. Old newspapers, old documents and family records are often used. But oral histories sometimes get lost in the shuffle, even though they can be amongst the most valuable. Good oral histories provide a good basis for historians long after the interviewees are gone. This week we look at two major collections of oral histories that have been done locally.

Potatoes take center stage

There are so many ways to prepare potatoes that it’s no surprise spuds remain a family favorite. People most often think of potatoes as the ultimate side dish; however, it’s time to move potatoes to the center of the plate. Prepared mashed potatoes, such as Idahoan mashed potatoes, can help add a little extra flavor, crunch or creaminess to a variety of recipes.

Tuesday, September 29

Community Almanac

Payson High School and the Gila County Health Department will offer the seasonal flu shot (not the H1N1 flu vaccine) free to all Payson High School and Payson Center for Success students from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Sept. 30 in the school library.

Cracker barrel session goes badly

Man charged for threatening Star Valley town manager

Chuck Heron’s cracker barrel session didn’t exactly go as planned Thursday night. A man was arrested and charged after reportedly threatening Town Manager Tim Grier, and virtually no one showed up.

This town needs a barn raising

Forget the ground-breaking, we’re gonna need a good old-fashioned barn raising when construction starts on the high school’s new agriculture building.

Good for districts, bad for teachers

New laws attached to budget up for debate, but the state is still broke

State legislators weren’t enthused when educators statewide descended on the capitol this year, protesting what they thought were exorbitant cuts to education during budget negotiations.

Estate attorney good for planning

Unfortunately, as we get older we are presented with many challenges and complications that we would rather not face. Perhaps one of those is estate planning.

Payson High Grad News

Aspen received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. He earned his BS in math and economics from ASU and his MS in economics from University of Chicago, where he received the Lee Award for the top score on master’s comprehensive exams. He’ll take his Ph.D. to the University of California, Santa Cruz to become assistant professor of economics.

Supporters: Raising microbrewery production limit good for firms, jobs

Jim Scussel and his partners started Four Peaks Brewing Co. 13 years ago as a brewery and tasting room, rolling out kegs of Scottish Ale, Four Peaks Ale and Arizona Peach to restaurants and bars.

Payson will study Green Valley erosion

Romance lands $37,000 fed stimulus contract to probe problems in chain of town lakes

The father of the Payson trails system now gets to adopt Green Valley Lake.

Ag building bids sought by school

Vocational facility for school will aid animal science class instruction

Soon Payson High School agriculture teacher Wendell Stevens won’t have to sneak dogs into the computer-crowded room where he now teaches animal science.

Wrong fish? Right creek?

Plan to let fishermen catch native fish in Fossil Creek spurs concerns, lawsuit threats

Plans to turn Fossil Creek into a refuge for native fish and a delight for fishermen this week could provoke a fly line snarl of lawsuits.

Tease photo

Horns thump Eloy Santa Cruz at Homecoming

The return of shifty and speedy running back Payson Herring to the Longhorn roster appears to be the catalyst the struggling football team needs to be competitive in the upcoming rough and tumble East Region campaign.

Apply for New Year’s retirement now

If you’re planning on retiring sometime early in the new year, now is the time to apply for retirement benefits. The most convenient way to apply for Social Security benefits is online — from the comfort of your home or office. Just go to

Cowboy Tri-Stampede scheduled

Former town sports and recreation leader Charlene Hunt has a new job with the Payson Police Department, but she’s hanging around Payson Event Center long enough to finish her job as host of the Cowboy Tri-Stampede.

Feature Teacher

I am always in pursuit of knowledge and teaching allows me to explore science while engaging students in the same topic.

Teen is now a three-time state fiddle champion

Andrew Donald from Mesa, was named the champion at the 39th Annual Vertilee Floyd Memorial Old-Time Fiddlers Contest, Arizona State Championship, which was held in Payson during the weekend.

Mayor seeks community help by launching food bank drive

Dear Friends in Rim Country you are important to us and we need your help:

Students explore Galileo’s ramp experiment

An information exchange between the high school in Payson and one outside Chicago is propelling a scientific experiment beyond socio-economic limitations, and even those of human error.

USA being torn down

In regard to the letter, “USA being torn down” in the Sept. 1 mail call, I wish to comment on the last paragraph, which reads as follows: “Maybe it is too late to ask God to bless America. Maybe our only saving grace is for America to bless God.”

Memories flow freely at pioneer dinner

The sea of cowboy hats at Saturday’s fourth annual Gila County Pioneers Dinner and Dance at the Tonto Apache gym brought back memories of an older, simpler time.

Reunion alumni get free pass to Oct. 9 game

Payson High School alumni from around the country will gather Oct. 9 for a multi-year 1975 to 1982 class reunion hosted by the class of 1978-79.

Republicans don’t want to destroy what works

The Senate Finance Committee recently began considering a health care reform bill written by its chairman, Senator Max Baucus.

Statewide around-the-clock prayer vigil planned starting Friday

Approximately 26 churches in the Rim Country will take part in a weeklong, around-the-clock prayer vigil starting Friday.

Bee stings total 400 says Round Valley teenager, not 100

Killer bees stung Round Valley teenager Skylar Dineen-Johnson more than 400 times about two weeks ago, not 100 as originally reported, according to a neighbor.

Writers’ effort will help rescue horses

Local authors publish a book to raise money for Star Valley horse rescue operation

Obviously riders love horses. But writers? Of course they do.

AARP Tax-Aide program seeks volunteers

AARP Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service is looking for volunteers to be local site greeters, tax preparers and/or to take on leadership positions. In 2009, between Feb. 1 and April 15, more than 90 sites in Arizona provided assistance to more than 44,000 taxpayers.

Sale of Brooke to Pine looms

The long-awaited and much-anticipated sale of the Pine and Strawberry water companies from the privately owned Brooke Utilities to the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District could be completed by tomorrow, Sept. 30.

Tough contests await Lady Horns against Blue Ridge, Snowflake

The Lady Longhorns take a 6-0 East record (7-3 overall) and a seventh place state power points ranking into today’s (Sept. 29) crucial region showdown in Lakeside against the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.

Cross country collecting medals

Lady Longhorn cross country runners continued to improve both as individuals and as a team finishing third at the Blue Ridge Invitational and garnering the gold at the Snowflake Lobo Invitational.

Monday, September 28

Prescribed burns for the week of Sept. 28

For the next week, watch out for smoke from two prescribed burns in the Mogollon Rim District, the Forest Service announced Monday.

Saturday, September 26

Tease photo

Payson High School’s 2009 homecoming turned into the “Payson Herring Show”

Payson High School’s 2009 homecoming turned into the “Payson Herring Show” Friday evening as the speedy and talented junior ran for 209 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Longhorns to a 42-7 thumping of visiting Eloy Santa Cruz.

Friday, September 25

Tease photo

Payson Longhorns whip the Santa Cruz Dust Devils

The Longhorns came prepared to roll over any team that came into Longhorn Stadium.

Tease photo

Beeline head-on crash sends three to hospital

Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to remove a driver from a vehicle Wednesday morning after a head-on collision occurred in an unlikely place. It happened north of Rye on a one-way stretch of Highway 87.

Strike a balance between saving for retirement, college

If you have young children, you may want them to attend college someday — and you may want to help them pay for it.

Boys soccer team suffering from injuries

The name of the prep game for the Longhorn soccer team is “injuries” — serious ones.

Slow down in elk country in low light

The growing number of vehicle-wildlife collisions in the Rim Country is a losing situation for all involved. In most cases, there are injuries or even fatalities to the occupants of the vehicles, and the wildlife is either killed on impact or must be put down when officials arrive at the scene of the accident.

Rim Country Challenge ready and set to go

Mary McMullen and Deb Rose of the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department will for the second year serve as race directors and hosts of the Fourth Annual Rim Country Challenge to be held Oct. 3 in Green Valley Park and on Payson streets.

Patterson Training instructors honored

Shari Patterson-Blaylock and Kari Wegenke have attained the pinnacle of success in horseback riding instruction by being named two of the Top-50 teachers in the United States.

Cross country teams can be proud of Four Corners accomplishments

The Four Corners Invitational has long had a reputation as one of the most competitive cross-country meets on the Arizona prep sports scene.

Chilly mornings signal changing seasons

Whew, we sure are heading into fall with some nippy mornings. The temperature this week has been in the cool, lower 40s. I’ve noticed a few leaves starting to turn, too. Thank goodness for the sunny afternoons — they make the transition a little easier, don’t they?

First sign of fall colors already showing

Summer is over! It is so hard to believe that the summer has been here and gone so quickly. Fall officially arrived on Tuesday, Sept. 22. I noticed the silver maple tree across the street from my house has started to lose the green in the leaves. The shade is muted to a very pale yellow, but soon the whole tree will be a beautiful golden color and very soon the frost will be on the lakes on top of the Rim. I have mixed feelings about summer ending, but I also look forward to the beautiful colors that nature displays this time of year.

Edge of tragedy

The Battle of Big Dry Wash near the brink of the Mogollon Rim was one of the most hard-fought and needless of the Apache wars

Lt. Thomas Cruse crouched behind a tree on the brink of the most vivid, deadly day of his life, a few hundred yards from the Apache war party at the very center of a thrilling, tragic history.

Memories are eternal

The wind blew too strong that night outside Las Vegas on Highway 95. Arlene Keefer and her husband, Bob, were driving home to Payson from visiting a friend, and the wind blew their Chrysler into the path of an oncoming semi-truck.

Carwash Boys come to the rescue

In the column last week I mentioned a little about the Flatlander party. Well, I’ve got some pictures to back it up.

Support the kids tonight at Homecoming

Do you remember that time many, many eons ago when you were sitting in high school English class and you just weren’t catching on to what the “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Somebody was all about?

Laptop thieves can steal your sanity (and your data)

Having your car stolen is just plain ridiculous. Insurance claims, police reports, and sudden reliance on the bus system can get old in a hurry. Typically, you will be able to get insurance money to buy a different car. The real hassle is replacing all of the things you had stored inside the car — CDs, golf clubs, school books, and your gym clothes.

First visible sign of meth use is rotten teeth

What continuous or extended use of meth does to your mouth is permanent and cannot be “naturally repaired.”

Business Briefs

Visit any Chili’s Grill & Bar across the country on Monday and 100 percent of all profits will be donated to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Many dollars lost from last census

Local leaders hope this time the count includes everyone

Tonto Basin Elementary has lost out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal aid during the past decade because of what Superintendent Johnny Ketchem says were incomplete census numbers from 2000. He says not everyone was counted.

Bypass proponents make their case

Do the residents of Payson want a bypass? Judging by the 30 people who attended the latest Arizona Department of Transportation meeting Thursday afternoon, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Shelter bracing for another winter

You can feel it in the air, summer is coming to an end. For many reasons, this is a blessing. It brings to an end the swarms of flies and bees, as well as the struggle to keep our animals in a cool and shady spot.

Tease photo

Homecoming victory could turn fortunes of Longhorns

Homecomings represent bizarre days for frenzied high school football coaches scrambling for a bit of normalcy.

New charter school prospects spike Payson district interest

Applications to start $14 million worth of new charter schools statewide could be released in the next two months, and Payson schools are interested, Superintendent Casey O’Brien said Thursday.

Payson school district to show off rock building work Oct. 2

The Payson Unified School District’s office is now located in the historic Julia Randall rock building at 902 W. Main St.

Community Almanac

The Payson Farmers Market closes for the season after this Saturday, Sept. 26. The market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon with fresh-picked, local produce to stock up for winter.

Fiddlers contest, heritage festival on tap

It is going to be a high-energy, action-packed weekend in the Rim Country.

Rim pioneers honored at dance

Duke Wilbanks is adamant about wanting townspeople to understand that tomorrow’s Fourth Annual Gila County Pioneers Dinner and Dance is a community-wide event.

Town’s height limit could hit 7 stories

Payson may double maximum building heights to allow for affordable housing, commercial projects

Does Payson need seven-story apartment complexes and hotels?

Celebrating 65 years of marriage

Virgil and Irene Orth were each born and spent the early years of their lives in eastern Kansas, meeting for the first time as teenagers, at a farm sale.

Wildlife watchers helped to connect with nature thanks to state program

Don’t talk or breathe too loudly. Be careful not to break twigs as you walk. Keep near the bushes so you don’t cast a shadow.

JRE’s Donna Moore is Gila County’s teacher of the year

Donna Moore is the type of gym teacher who leads her kids in yoga to reduce stress during days of standardized testing. She’s the sort who decides she wants to teach kids golf, and starts fund-raising to buy a nine-hole course. She’ll also teach her students Dance Dance Revolution to get their little legs shaking.

Payson High School, county health to hold flu clinic Sept. 30

Payson High School and the Gila County Health Department will offer the seasonal flu shot (not the H1N1 flu vaccine) free to all Payson High School and Payson Center for Success students on Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the school library.

Candlelight vigil to honor domestic violence victims, survivors

On Thursday, Oct. 8, the community is invited to participate in Time Out’s annual candlelight walk/vigil honoring those who have died and those who have survived the social epidemic known as domestic violence.

... but are worth waiting for!

Does that title look odd to you? Let me explain it.

Thanks for the help with new trash and recycling program

Cindi and I would like to say thank you for your help to bring attention to a new trash and recycling program for the Rim Country.

Fight to win or get out

I see where the world’s greatest military minds have told Obama what is needed to succeed in Afghanistan and his response is to say “he wants to study it.” I’m not sure what he wants to study or how he is going to go about studying it since he has less knowledge/experience on fighting a war than the lowest PFC in the Army.

Options abound for elderly in Rim Country

Senior residents of the Rim Country have an array of care options available — including no-care communities.

Only decisive force can prevail in Afghanistan

“Growing numbers of Americans are starting to doubt whether we should have troops in Afghanistan and whether the war there is even winnable. We are confident that not only is it winnable, but that we have no choice. We must prevail in Afghanistan.

Remembering the pioneers

The Gila County Pioneers Committee flies pretty much under the radar and apparently that’s the way they want it. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give them a pat on the back and a huge thank you for their selfless contributions to the Rim Country.

Wednesday, September 23

All about fall

Fall officially arrived yesterday — Sept. 22 — though, with highs in the 80s still, it’s hard to think summer’s over.

Another action-packed weekend coming up

Rest up. There is another high-energy, action-packed weekend waiting right around the corner.

Route 66 revisited — and more!

Every time I drive a portion of Interstate 40 I think of the old days when some of that route was Route 66. There were movies about it, songs, hats, T-shirts and many, many businesses that found homes alongside it. Today, it is but a memory. However, we can visit Route 66 museums and purchase hats and T-shirts with Route 66 stamped on them. I have even seen for sale new and old highway signs with “Route 66” across them.

The Story of Payson, Arizona


The Womans Club plan for a sundial as Payson’s official timepiece seemed primitive for the growing sophistication of the town. The newer method of setting the official town clock by the mailman’s watch was a little better.

Terrific tailgating

The tailgate party is the ultimate rite of the season and the perfect way to show team spirit. But before you kick off a tailgating bash you need to be properly prepared to host your pigskin party.

Tuesday, September 22

Sports club plans two ‘sight-in’ Saturdays

With hunting seasons just around the corner, the Tonto Rim Sports Club is offering a prime opportunity to sight-in those high-powered center-fire rifles.

Horne predicts grim budget for schools

The state’s school report card looks something like this: The new, structured English immersion programs are working by reclassifying students faster, we need more money, longer school days, higher standards and better pay for teachers.

Go for it, Jinx

Just want to say it is about time Jinx “spoke up” on his own behalf.

Kirkpatrick votes with Democrats most of the time

I have to take issue with several remarks reporter Pete Aleshire said about our Representative Ann Kirkpatrick in last Friday’s newspaper.

Serious forest health problem must be addressed

The 2009 fire season is coming to a close in Arizona. Thankfully, Arizona has again been spared from large fires, but we cannot become complacent. There is still a serious forest health problem that we must work to address.

Feature Teachers

Expect the best, prepare for the worst and capitalize on what occurs.

Bee swarm kills dogs; girl rescued

Africanized bees likely culprits, but Rim’s real problem lies in mystery

An angry swarm of bees killed two dogs and chased two people for a quarter mile about a week ago in Round Valley.

Assault under investigation

Officers from the Payson Police Department are investigating an aggravated assault domestic violence case that has led to the arrest of one Payson man and the hospitalization of another.

Grants proved windfall for Rim forests

Tonto gets $4 million, Apache Sitgreaves gets $17 million as federal funding used to thin 8,000 acres in Rim Country

Forests in the Southwest collected some $40 million in federal stimulus funding, including $4 million that went to the Tonto National Forest and $17 million to the Apache Sitgreaves.

Wet September saves monsoon season

Weather Service predicts strengthening El Niño could deliver wetter-than-normal winter

Rim Country’s monsoon season started late, but could finish strong.

Payson council may consider 7-story heights

Should Payson allow seven-story business and apartment buildings?

Splish, splash, it was all about water

Payson fourth-graders got an up close appreciation of the fragile resource water, during Thursday’s Make a Splash Water Festival.

No Dog Days in the Park this year

Sad news from the “Paws In The Park” members, the group that brought the Town of Payson “The Payson Dog Park.”

Motorist, bicyclists need to be good neighbors

After reading “Bike riders cross the line” in the Sept. 15 paper, I’m compelled to respond.

Pack it out or stay out or stay out of the forest

I disagree with Carol Stanton concerning anyone having to place Dumpsters in the forest for negligent, ignorant, disrespectful users.

Sharing the road is the law

In response to David Carson’s letter regarding not sharing the road with bicyclists. He mentions he will not cross the double yellow line on roads, however, by not giving bicyclist a minimum of 3 feet he is violating the law. Also, there is no Arizona law that says bicyclist have to use the bicycle path/lanes.

Chefs help students prep for state competition

Ever pick up a menu and wonder what gnocchi is? How about chippelini or broccolini?

Response to letters

Response after reading Tuesday’s edition of letters to the editor:

Cyclists have right to ride in the roadway

ARS §28-735 describes the law for motor vehicle passing of bicycles, ARS §28-812 which describes the cyclists legal responsibilities on the roadway and ARS §28-815 describes where bicycles can operate on roadways.

A pancake breakfast that satisfied everyone

With pancakes the size of a dinner plate, no one left hungry! JRE PTO held their second annual pancake breakfast and the votes are in! It was a huge success!

No one asked

I live on South Mud Springs Road, near Frontier Elementary School. I was never polled about PCC.


The Arizona Department of Real Estate provides valuable information to buyers and sellers of real estate.

Two everyday heroes renew tattered faith

Murder. Mayhem. Cranky citizens. Rude representatives. Fanatical terrorists. Corrupt bankers.

Lady Longhorns in critical contest

Coach says win over Round Valley is a must for upcoming bouts for East Region standings

A pair of East victories and a narrow loss to an old rival from Payson High’s two years in the 4A Grand Canyon Region set the stage for a Lady Longhorn crucial showdown today, Sept. 22, against Round Valley and for two other upcoming regional clashes.

Respect for opponents is a lesson some leaders have yet to learn

Having walked many a mile in coaches’ shoes, I’m always reluctant to criticize high school coaches.

Elk express derails Horn hopes with 34-6 pounding in Round Valley

The Round Valley aerial circus lived up to its hype in the Elks’ 34-6 East Region victory over the Payson Longhorns.

Business struggling to recover

No sign the recession has eased in latest sales tax figures

Some economists have already declared the recession over, but you can’t prove that by Payson’s latest sales tax figures.

Habitat’s Rim Country Challenge promises fun

Last fall, Payson Area Habitat for Humanity Fund-Raising Chairman Ross Hage praised Mary McMullen and Deb Rose of the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department for spearheading the most successful Rim Country Challenge in the three-year history of the half-marathon, 5K, team relay and young athletes’ fun run.

Free admission to Tonto National Monument, other park sites, on public lands day, Sept. 26

All National Park Service sites, including Tonto National Monument, will offer free visitor admission on Sept. 26 for National Public Lands Day.

Community Almanac

In an effort to ensure that voices from across the district can be heard in Washington, staff members for the office of Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will be in Payson from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Water company purchase delayed

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District will not take control of Brooke Utilities’ two water companies by today, Sept. 22, as originally scheduled.

Tease photo

Hatchery truck makes final runs, but lunkers remain year-round

Tonto Creek Hatchery has put out 160,000 “catchables,” along with a million fingerlings and several thousand monsters

As the Tonto Creek Hatchery winds up another year of dumping wriggling rainbows into Rim Country streams and lakes, local anglers are celebrating the dwindling crowds and tracking the last few big stocking runs — including the plan to dump some end-of-season lunkers into Tonto and Haigler creeks and the ever-reliable Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes.

Friday, September 18

Elks rip Longhorns

The defending state champion Longhorns self destructed Friday evening in Eagar Springerville losing 34-6 to the Round Valley Elks

Company offering free seminar after national promotions tour

After a 48-state tour to promote the American dream, Mike Fish is back in the Rim Country where he started Sound Life Education six months ago.

Lady Horns best Redskins

A sweep of the always-potent St. Johns Redskins has stamped the Lady Longhorns as an East Region title contender.

Pine, Strawberry well-represented at fair

The Northern Gila County Fair hasn’t been held under the Pine ramada for some time now, but thanks to a group of dedicated 4H and FFA kids Pine and Strawberry were well represented at this year’s event.

Welcome fall with festivals and fun

Big weekend of events starts with Homecoming, followed by Heritage

Rest up. There is another high-energy, action-packed weekend waiting right around the corner.

Government health care will be a monopoly

The federal government ignores the fact that the competition problem with health insurance companies could be solved by trashing the federal law that allows states to ban health insurance sales across state lines. If we truly wanted to protect consumers of health insurance it would be done the same way we protect consumers of screwdrivers, bread and motel rooms. Give them the power to tell their insurance companies, “I’m taking my business down the road to the next state.”

Cutting your losses on an investment can be more painful than you think

Why do stock prices fall? Various factors are involved, but in a nutshell, prices drop when more people want to sell stocks than buy them.

Park offers ‘Splendor in the Grass’

As I write this week’s music trivia article, I’m looking out at Green Valley Park. I’m in awe of just how beautiful this park really is, complete with picnic and playground areas, shade trees, a nine-acre, man-made lake and two historical museums. What a wonderful asset this beautiful park is to Payson.

Investigation continues into school threats

After someone scrawled a threatening message in two Payson High School girls’ restrooms last week, police say they continue to interview persons of interest but have made no arrests.

Horns must be wary of Elks

If comparative scores mean anything in prep football, which they sometimes don’t, the Round Valley Elks (1-1) are favorites over the Payson Longhorns (1-2) in tonight’s East Region opener in Eagar-Springerville.

Friends of the Poor Walk will help neighbors in need

What happens when you need a friend and there’s no one there? Having no one to turn to in a moment of need is a trying experience for anyone, but especially for the poor.

SV hires auditor, lets council members speak

It was a lengthy, two-hour meeting for the Star Valley council Tuesday night that handled a dozen decisions ranging from an audit to councilors speaking with the press.

Round Valley players give deceased coach special tribute

Football fans traveling to Springerville-Eagar this evening to take in the Payson vs. Round Valley game will notice Elk players will not wear award stickers on their helmets as they have in past seasons.

Fair will move to event center next year

Friends uncovered secrets about other friends this weekend at the Northern Gila County Fair.

Cross country teams improve as season progresses

Payson High School coaches Johnathan Ball and Chuck Yale are singing the praises of their young runners on both the boys and girls teams.

Older pets still have love to give

Featured in today’s article are few of our older dogs. These are dogs that qualify for our senior to senior adoption program. This program is designed to encourage senior people to adopt senior pets.

Payson rebuffs fee waiver for school district project

Council rejects request to waive $6,257 in town fees for school work

Enough’s enough, concluded the Payson Town Council when faced with a plea for building fee mercy from the Payson Unified School District.

An Alaskan adventure of a lifetime

How would you like the opportunity to combine an archery caribou hunt with fishing for silver salmon in Alaska? That is exactly what local resident and owner of Payson Apothecary Pharmacy, Craig Mathews, had a chance to do in August. This was his second trip to the “land of the midnight sun” for the two-week combined fishing and hunting expedition.

Candy helps students boost grades

Turns out Snickers bars are useful for more than their luscious caramel.

County readies $8M bond

The $8 million bond Gila County will float to pay for new buildings makes good business sense, county officials say, despite minor protests from some county employees who consider it a shopping spree.

Time to get ready for colder weather

Brrrr! Did you feel the chill in the air this morning? (I’m writing this column on Tuesday.)

Health care debate is deeply personal

Referring to health care reform in a Labor Day address to union members in Cincinnati, President Obama said, “The time to decide is now.” I could not disagree more.

Bureaucrats make life miserable — for no good reason

We are all happy that the Water Wheel Fire is under control, and hope that the perpetrators get caught. But what is this three-week closure of the road to Whispering Pines, Verde Glen, Rim Trail and Washington Park? The official reason is that some of the guard rail supports got weakened by the fire on a tenth-of-a-mile stretch of the road between Beaver Valley and Whispering Pines.

It was self-defense

A viscous chow mix terrorized the neighborhood for years. After many situations, animal control removed the dog “permanently.” The dog’s owner sent a friend and adopted the dog back, and it continued to terrorize the neighborhood.

SV sets dates for water study sessions

A week after former mayor Chuck Heron announced he is reforming his cracker barrel discussions, the Town of Star Valley announced it is launching its own water work-study sessions on the last Tuesday of each month — the same night Heron planned to use.

Christopher Creek Car Show Classic coming in October

Hello. For those of you reading this column you will have noticed a little bit of a change, since Mikey Marazza is not writing the column. Mikey moved to Payson and thought it was important that Christopher Creek was still represented in the paper. So, first of all, I would like to thank Mikey for all of the terrific past work and also for always thinking of the community.

Star Valley Town Council does a good job

After reading the Roundup article “Star Valley cracker barrel meetings start again,” I was amused and disgusted at the same time. Amused that after all that has happened, Chuck Heron would try to revive his involvement in Star Valley government activities and disgusted at his reasons.

Community will miss Pat Willis

Pat Willis lost his battle to cancer this week. It was a battle he waged for many years — fighting quietly and courageously, never letting the disease come between him and making a difference in his community.

Church school riles neighbors

Payson council on a split vote upholds plan for Christian school on Mud Springs, softens requirement for block wall

The Payson Town Council on a 6-1 vote not only rejected pleas to prevent Payson Community Christian Church from building a private school for 250 students on Mud Springs Road, it eased some restrictions imposed earlier by the planning commission.

Commission delays Mesa del hearing

Brooke Utilities bought a little more time before officials have to face an irritated Arizona Corporation Commission to reply to complaints of water shortages by residents of Mesa del Caballo.

GLH Children’s Fund thank you

Thank you to our sponsors and all the people who made the 2009 Gracie Lee Haught Jackpot Barrel Race and roping event a great success.

Propane bills could drop 10 percent

SemStream may return overcharge through cut in monthly bills

SemStream has over-collected about $652,000 from its Payson customers, which should result in an additional drop in charges of 5 to 10 percent in the next 12 to 18 months, according to company President Douglas Mann.

Tease photo

Tourney’s 2 wins, 2 losses a lesson

The Lady Longhorn soccer team finished with a sister kisser in the Show Low Cougar Invitational.

Farmers market fills tasty void

Vendors offer produce, herbs, muffins, bread, cheese and honey

The tomatoes are endearingly ugly with their blemishes. They grow either in Payson or close by, were delivered to the farmers market by car and not semi-truck, and they taste delicious.

Student wants class credit

Hello, my name is Porsha Campbell and I am 13 years old. I am writing a letter to you because it is an assignment that we can choose to do in social studies.

Community Almanac

A benefit garage sale for the Returning Combat Veterans Retreat Program at the Merritt Center will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1303 W. Aviator Circle.

Payson High to celebrate homecoming next week

Students and teachers will be stepping back and forward through time all next week as part of the homecoming festivities.

Some things are a long time coming

I’ve mentioned before that I first got interested in the Rim Country when I was given three Zane Grey books for Christmas. Two of the books took place during the French and Indian war, and had nothing to do with Arizona, but the third one was The Riders of the Purple Sage, which happens right here along the Rim.

Parks board slashes staff, Tonto bridge stays open

The Arizona State Parks Board has approved another round of layoffs and cuts that will take the operating budget for the 29-park system down to $19 million, a 27 percent decrease from the already severely reduced total for 2009.

Video cards not just for gaming fanatics

You’ve probably heard of video cards — the internal hardware devices that enable your computer to produce higher quality images and graphics. What you don’t know, however, is that your computer may not even have a video card. Many computers, especially those that are a bit older, merely have an “onboard chipset” for displaying graphics.

Frontier to hold festival Saturday

This year’s Fall Festival at Frontier Elementary School promises family fun with music, a petting zoo, face painting and more.

Wednesday, September 16

The Northwest

Recently we were in the Seattle area and decided to spend a few days getting reacquainted with the area.

History near the water wheel site

The recent Water Wheel Fire was near three old homesteads, two of which have since been developed into subdivisions. This provides a perfect chance to take a glimpse at the past of this general area.

Library Friends host speaker from ‘Roads Scholars’ program

The Payson’s Friends of the Library Lecture Series will host Greg Scott, another speaker sponsored by the Arizona Humanities Council, next week.

Potato perfect

Simple, hearty, satisfying

Come evening, families across the U.S. all have one burning question... What’s for dinner?

History and fiddling fold into fun

Enjoy finest fiddling and Rim Country heritage Sept. 25-26

September is going to go out with a blast. Two big events will close the month and welcome autumn. Both will take place at Green Valley Park.

Tuesday, September 15

Diamondbacks show heart for cancer victim

Whitney Heizer, a 2004 Payson High School graduate, is determined the cancer she is battling is not about to deter her love for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

PMGA does town proud at interclub play

Members of the Payson Men’s Golf Association represented their hometown well in an interclub competition that drew players from Prescott Country Club, Prescott Antelope and Verde Santa Fe.

Cops destroy marijuana plants worth $5.43 million

4,900 plants located near Horton Creek

More than 4,900 mature marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $5.43 million were destroyed by drug agents Sept. 9 following a raid on a cultivation site located near Horton Creek in the Tonto National Forest.

Lazy D residents celebrate spruced up park with picnic

Since taking over management a year ago of Lazy D Ranch, Kay and John Lyon have taken huge strides to clean up the park and remove not only trash but riffraff.

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Gilbert man survives crash with elk

Highway 260 looked like a war zone after a Gilbert man plowed through a herd of 15 elk Monday morning.

SemStream over collected for propane

Corporation Commission wants to know why company collected $582,000 too much from Payson customers

SemStream collected $582,000 too much from its Payson customers in recent months, leaving in place a surcharge despite a dramatic decline in propane prices, the Arizona Corporation Commission concluded.

Star Valley to hold water study sessions

In an effort to get more citizen input on the town’s water issues, Star Valley plans to begin monthly water work-study sessions.

Community Almanac

Julia Randall, Payson and Frontier Elementary Schools dismiss at 11:45 a.m.

Food bank needs help

It’s a scary situation that no one wants to find themselves in.

Let us get it right!

In reference to the Roundup’s editorial of Sept. 11 titled “Let us get a grip” a few points must be noted:

We need more Dumpsters

I regularly read or hear about trash left behind in the forest by visitors. I don’t understand the mindset of somebody who loves the forest enough to visit but not enough to keep it clean. Perhaps part of the problem is that after hours in the sun on Highway 87 the trash really smells bad and the smell gets into other items packed on their trailers or in their vehicles. So how do we get them to not just leave it in place?

Bike riders cross line

In response to the article of Aug. 7, 2009 re: Sharing: Motorists and bike riders.

Medical care is not equivalent to a lube and oil change

From his lofty perch in Washington where he enjoys the best medical care the taxpayers can provide for him and his family, Sen. Kyl seems to have lost sight of the real cost of medical care.

Business picks up … where?

In an Aug. 14 Roundup article written Pete Aleshire states Payson got rare good economic news this month, with a rebound in sales taxes and a surprise, year-end surplus of more than $1.1 million.

Help was beyond call of duty

I was a vendor at the craft show held at the Masonic Lodge located on Rancho Road (last) weekend (Sept 12 and 13). As the craft show was winding down on Sunday afternoon we were hit by a heavy downpour of rain which also included hail.

Overwhelmed and grateful for love and support

I just wanted to give a big shout out and huge thank you and lots of love back to all who loved, supported and donated time and items for my well-being, as well as Ken (Bohdi) Shelton and his family.

It’s time to stand up for America

It seems tea parties, Lou Dobbs, town hall meetings and Fox News are about the only things keeping us from being led to slaughter like a bunch of sheep.

‘CHIN’ our legislators

Arrogant, bellicose, clandestine, dysfunctional, inept, and uncompromising are just some of the words that could be used to describe our current crop of combative Arizona State legislators.

A chance to flourish

re: How could you by Jim Willis.

Help us help you

Hello my name is Toby Waugh and I’m a captain for the Town of Payson Fire Department. I’ve been with the department for 21 years.

Glad to see president clear up misinformation

While referring to the health care debate in his address to the joint session of Congress, President Obama again warned Americans about the “misinformation that’s been spread over the past few months.”

Trim grass and shrubs for safety

I am a student at Rim Country Middle School.

Feature Teacher

Apart from photography, I love to make things — scarves, bracelets, cards ... whatever. I like to have things around that I can say I’ve put some effort into.

Council gives a break to Rim Ridge Estates

Developer will build trail, pay for streetlight and install landscaping when project completed

The Payson Town Council cut the builders of Rim Ridge Estates some slack last week, hoping to spray a little fiscal Miracle Grow on one of the few, surviving housing projects in Rim Country.

Payson extends $7,400 monthly stray contract with humane society

Temporary agreement gets backdated to July 1 — negotiations continue

The shaggy dog story of the Humane Society of Central Arizona’s contract to handle stray animals in Payson took another interesting turn last week, with council approval of a temporary agreement.

Fire districts join forces to hire full-time paramedic

In an effort to provide full-time emergency medical service to residents, Beaver Valley and Whispering Pines fire districts have joined in an intergovernmental agreement to hire a full-time paramedic and split the costs.

Ponderosa church members volunteer to help those in need

Someone has said, “When you need a helping hand, look at the end of your arm.” Good advice for those who are still able to help themselves, but what about those who cannot?

Christmas tree cutting tags go on sale Oct. 10 at store, forest office

Forest officials announced today that last year’s highly successful partnership with Arizona Big 5 Sporting Goods stores to sell Arizona national forest Christmas tree-cutting tags will be repeated again this year, with over-the-counter tag sales beginning on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Screening offered for people who may have been exposed to nuclear radiation

A screening for northern Arizona residents who may have been exposed to radiation will take place Oct. 1 at the Payson Public Library.

Medical center spent $2.3M to care for uninsured

Payson Regional staff treated 81,000 patients, performed 5,000 surgeries, delivered 200 babies in 2008

In the past year, Payson Regional Medical Center has spent $2.3 million on charity and uncompensated care, Chief Executive Officer Chris Wolf said at Thursday’s Citizens Awareness Committee meeting.

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Bright light in dark hole

Longhorn 42-14 loss to Mingus will not count in all-important state power point standings

Just four years ago, Payson High was aligned in the 4A conference and, for the most part, played on even terms with the so-called “big school” powerhouses.

Purchasing an existing business more intense than buying a home

Many business publications are reporting that due to the downsizing of companies and the lack of a hiring surge, some people are looking to start or purchase their own business.

Grassroots generosity

Many editorials are critical of other people. We also need to highlight events when people do something right.

Family appreciates sympathy

We would like to thank everyone very much for the love and kindness shown during the time of Paquita Dimbat’s death. The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers.

Students display artwork at local gallery

From the amateur to the professional, from the young to the old and from landscapes to portraits, photography skills of Rim Country have been showcased throughout September.

Mayor’s $100 bill cuts through snarl of paperwork for event

Gee whiz. Running a bureaucracy can get expensive.

Fishing Report

Rory’s Tips: The possibility of high pressure moving into the state will make good conditions to go fishing, but fish activity levels may slacken a little.

Lady Horns can hone skills at Show Low game tonight

The Lady Horn volleyball team could be in for another “ho-hum” outing this evening in Show Low.

Runners face tough road at upcoming invitational in Flagstaff

The Four Corners Invitational, to be held Sept. 19 in Flagstaff, will offer the Lady Longhorns some of the toughest competition they will meet this year.

Tease photo

Houston Mesa Road Reopens after fire

Crews reopened Houston Mesa Road on Sunday all the way from Beaver Valley to Whispering Pines, offering residents their first, sobering, close-up view of the devastation wrought by the Water Wheel Fire.

Saturday, September 12

Tease photo

Payson Longhorns come up short

Mingus High School came to Payson with a powerful attack strategy.

Friday, September 11

Waste, fraud will ruin us

After watching Obama’s speech to Congress Wednesday night, I still find myself amazed at the man’s hubris and arrogance. He really has disdain for the intelligence of the American people.

Demolition Derby promises big fun to close Northern Gila County Fair

Looking for loud nonsense? Make plans to attend the 4th annual Demolition Derby at the Payson Event Center this Sunday.

First State Bank bought by California-based bank, Sunwest

Over the last year, headlines have detailed the number of failing banks, from the large ones like Washington Mutual (WaMu), which was bought by Chase in September 2008, to smaller ones like Community Bank of Arizona sold in August.

Where are your (social media) manners?

Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. With new technology, however, we are held to a new set of rules ... and manners.

Police investigating threat at high school

Payson police are keeping a watchful eye on Payson High School after a student discovered a message scrawled on a girls’ bathroom wall Thursday afternoon that threatened to kill several students.

Tease photo

Lady Horns keep consolation crown

The Lady Longhorns won the consolation championship in the Payson Invitational Volleyball Tournament this past weekend.

Kids help food bank

1,924 families lined up in August

Nearly every day that the food bank opens its doors, at least 100 families anxiously wait outside for a box of necessities, tuna, bread, noodles and milk. Some 128 volunteers at different times gingerly load up 40-pound boxes and hand them out. As they do, they also give a little something extra — comfort.

Payson finishes in middle at Padre run

Early invitational a test of talent

The Marco de Niza Padre Invitational in Tempe Sept. 5 is one of the biggest early season meets in the cross country season.

PWGA returns to Northeastern Team Play

The Payson Women’s Golf Association competed for several years in the Northeastern Team Play, but due to lack of interest, stopped attending.

Longhorns make major halftime turnaround at Chino Valley

At halftime the Payson Longhorns were looking at a dismal 20-6 score against Chino Valley. By the end of the game the score was 22-20, with the W in the Horns’ column.

Listen for the bugle call this fall

Have you noticed that the daylight hours are significantly getting shorter? Our shorter days mean that fall is right around the corner. The early morning hours now have the familiar sound of the bugle of the bull elk in the Rim Country.

Walmart donates $500

Several weeks ago, manager Quinn Cremer of Walmart presented a $500 donation check to Bill Sahno of the Marine Corps League.

Focus on long-term goals and less on day-to-day investments

During difficult times in the financial markets, it can be hard to stay committed to investing.

Senior volunteers are invaluable

A lot of folks who live here in Rim Country don’t realize that we are sitting on a gold mine. We are among the wealthiest of communities.

Out for some air

Agility comes naturally to dogs, not so much for owners

Ellie, a 3-year-old Golden Retriever, barked joyously as she raced around an agility course one recent evening. Through tunnels, over jumps, and around weave poles, dogs and owners were both challenged to know the course and complete it without running each other over.

Building a backyard paradise for Rim birds

For a woman who loves birds, Grace Knowles’ Star Valley back yard is paradise. Gambel’s quail, black-headed grosbeaks and warblers flutter among bird feeders as squirrels scurry up trees.

Lots on tap this weekend

Golly, wasn’t the traffic in town (and the backup just trying to get here) something this past Labor Day weekend? But, who can blame our flatlander friends from wanting to escape the oppressive heat of the Valley?

2nd Saturday Shop Hop tomorrow in Pine

We may not have gotten a lot of rain so far this summer, but it sure came through when we needed it most. The folks fighting the Water Wheel Fire got the break they desperately needed —when they needed it the most. Although Pine didn’t get any that night we got a good dousing just in time for Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day barbecue was a resounding success

Whew!!!! What a busy and wonderful weekend for Tonto Village. The Labor Day barbecue held by the Fireflies Auxiliary to support the Hellsgate Fire Department was a resounding success. That success was accomplished by not only the Fireflies, but all the volunteer firefighters who helped set up and tear down tables and chairs.

Tease photo

Crusader talking trash

Waste Matters provides Dumpsters to keep a ton of trash out of forest

It’s a familiar and depressing sight in Rim Country — trash lining the roadway and bags of rubbish strewn about a campsite — just another holiday weekend.

Health system ‘unsustainable’

Rim Country representative Ann Kirkpatrick, a proudly dissident Democrat on many issues pushed by the House leadership, edged closer to supporting President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan after listening to his speech to Congress on Wednesday.

Main Street’s flags recall shock of 9/11

In memory of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, Payson’s Patriotic Events Committee has once again erected 41 flags along Main Street. For the next few days, the flags will wave gracefully along the street, a small gesture by one man to show his patriotism.

Fair entrants set to show their stuff

Photographs, quilts and kids’ projects represented the majority of entries at the Northern Gila County Fair in the Tonto Apache Exhibit Hall late Wednesday afternoon.

Community Almanac

The 55th Annual Northern Gila County Fair is Friday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Payson Event Center and the Tonto Apache Exhibit Hall (gym).

Don’t talk trash, do take action

Knuckleheads. Neanderthals. What the heck’s wrong with these people?

Red Cross appreciates all the help

The residents of our small town community will not forget the Water Wheel Fire.

Veterans Helping Veterans needs community’s help

Misty Isley, director of Veterans Helping Veterans, is a retired lieutenant colonel in her 80s. She is a three-time survivor of cancer. Misty does more in a 24-hour day than most people do in an entire lifetime.

Government out to destroy American farmer

This government seems desperate to destroy the small American farmer and organic farmers. This is clearly a bill written with the help of Big Agra, ie, Monsanto. HR 2749 came out of the worst of the “food safety” legislative bills.

Money, money, who’s got the money?

I mentioned a while back that the guys I was stationed with in the American Embassy in Karachi were just a tad different than most GIs.

Stop labeling people just because they disagree with opinion

I find it simply amazing that our Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will attack any real or imagined opposition to their agendas. These two elected officials label and smear citizens who simply disagree or need to know more of pending congressional bills as “unpatriotic” “evil-mongers” and “Nazis.”

Longest night of this cowboy’s life

Nine years ago, 09-09-2000, I suffered the worst wreck of my life. I was living with my mom, Dorothy Pyle, on our Canyon Creek Ranch in New Mexico. I threw a saddle on Jetson, a Quarter Horse Paso Fino cross, and as my dad would have said, “a hell of a wagon” meaning he was a good traveling horse. I waved goodbye to Mom intent on making a little circle, taking the Flying V Trail into the Middle Fork of the Gila River, riding down the river for about six miles then turning up Canyon Creek to home. I wanted to check on the salt in the Bull Pasture and roll up some downed barbed wire at the old Flying V Headquarters in the bottom of the Middle Fork.

State parks face more cuts, but Tonto bridge has friends

Park board Friday may approve more layoffs, but world’s largest travertine bridge not on cutback list now

The Arizona State Parks Board on Friday will have to choke down yet another round of budget cuts, but Rim Country officials hope that when the budget blood stops gushing Tonto Natural Bridge State Park will remain open at least five days a week through the fall and winter.

Dancing goes to the dogs

Humane Society plans weekend bash to help build shelter

Dance the night away on Saturday and bid on special items to help the Humane Society of Central Arizona raise funds for operating expenses.

Teens arrested in Rim Club break-in

After reviewing surveillance tapes, two teen employees of the Rim Club were arrested for allegedly breaking into the club’s golf pro shop to steal $2,000 worth of golf balls and clubs.

Library teaches teens key skills for ‘Stayin’ Alive’

Payson Public Library will sponsor its free teen program, Stayin’ Alive — Teen Survival 101: Your Lifeline at the Library for area teens aged 15 to 18 years.

Posse stands ready to help Payson

Whenever the police department is stretched thin and needs a helping hand, they have two groups of loyal volunteers to call on, the Gila County Sheriff’s Posse and police volunteers.

Let the concerts begin!

Concert association calls on Chapter 6 to launch season, with lighthearted songs including Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

The Tonto Community Concert Association launches its concert season Friday, Sept. 11. The award-winning vocal group Chapter 6 performs in the first of eight concerts planned at TCCA at the Payson High School auditorium. The performance starts at 7 p.m.

Symposium on senior care options

Seniors in the Rim Country have a wide array of options when it comes to varying levels of care. Representatives from several Rim area facilities will be presenting an overview of the services they offer in a special Senior Care Symposium this month.

Coconino now certified as ‘StormReady’

On Sept. 2, Coconino County officials and meteorologists from the National Weather Service (NWS) gathered to officially proclaim Coconino County as a StormReady county.

Wednesday, September 9

Payson Art League presents Mountain Saddle Band Sept. 15

Payson Art League has invited The Mountain Saddle Band, a trio of talented artists as well as musicians, to play for the public, the Art League and residents of Rim Country Health & Retirement Community at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Fair this weekend

The 55th Annual Northern Gila County Fair is this week, Friday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Payson Event Center and the Tonto Apache Exhibit Hall (gym).

Sensational ‘snacktivities’ at home

Getting creative with snack time is an activity the whole family can enjoy. And when it comes to making delicious, fun and contemporary treats, the Jellymongers have turned fun into an art form.

Meds usually can control gout

The definitive proof of gout is finding uric acid crystals in joint fluid. A rise in blood uric acid level is another tip.

Jazz pianist will be featured at Sept. 13 concert

Jazz pianist Lew Turano will be featured at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Payson Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St.

Chapter 6 kicks off TCCA season

The Tonto Community Concert Association launches its concert season Friday, Sept. 11. The award-winning vocal group Chapter 6 performs in the first of eight concerts planned by TCCA at the Payson High School auditorium. The performance starts at 7 p.m.

Family Cruise

Three generations travel together

It seems today that getting together as a family unit is rare. Everyone is going in their own particular direction and living the lifestyle they have become accustomed to. To get grandma, grandpa, son and his wife and their two children, ages 7 and 9, to vacation together is a special time for all.

The Story of Payson, Arizona

Chapter 26: A sun dial and a women’s club

In the year 1920 Payson’s first civic organization was created and it was all about a sundial.

Do the bow-wow boogie Saturday

Dance the night away and bid on special items to help the Humane Society of Central Arizona raise funds for operating expenses.

Tuesday, September 8

Rattlesnake, dog training is necessary

I recently learned that there is a group of people protesting the Payson Humane Society because of their endorsement of a clinic where dogs would be trained to recognize and avoid rattlesnakes. Apparently, this contingent of protesters is claiming that this training is inhumane to the snake and therefore should be stopped.

Make health costs 100 percent deductible and the patient owns the insurance

In reply to Mr. Chuck Burns’ letter, I do, “... honestly say this health care system doesn’t need to be torn down and completely rebuilt.”

Water Wheel Fire was frightening experience

Thank you for the excellent coverage in your paper regarding the Water Wheel Fire.

Corporation Commission Build me up, Buttercup

Not to be cynical or anything — but we’ve had our hearts broke before.

Beaver Valley celebrates

The relieved residents of Beaver Valley celebrated their survival on Saturday, with a joyful community bash to thank firefighters even as the U.S. Forest Service declared the rain-doused Water Wheel Fire 100-percent contained.

Finest fiddlers frolic at festival

September is going to go out with a blast. Two big events will close the month and welcome autumn. Both will take place at Green Valley Park.

Fun-filled fair foreshadows fall

Summer is on the run, which means the 55th Annual Northern Gila County Fair will herald fall this week.

Feature Teacher

It is easy enough to be pleasant when life flows along like a song, but the man worthwhile is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.

Bad legislation affects everyone

The Republican-controlled congress of 2004 passed a draconian piece of legislation called “Intelligent Reform Bill,” otherwise known as the Real ID Act. Department of Homeland Security in 2005 begin issuing so called “uniformity regulations” to the sovereign states requiring that all driver’s licenses and birth certificates meet some federal standards along with biometric “security” provisions. The Real ID passed the House and Senate, but was unfunded and about a dozen states had told the feds to forget it, and since this act would not take place until 2009, little more was said, however, Arizona did pass some legislation.

Obama, left wing want to silence Americans

Throughout his presidential campaign and the first months of his administration, President Obama dominated most channels of communication to the American people. He masterfully leveraged the left wing’s well-organized Internet presence and the liberal media to further his agenda while the opposition’s response was nearly inaudible.

Tired of backhanded compliments

I never cease to be impressed with the capacity of this newspaper and some of its reporters to exemplify the concept of damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t.

Mayor Evans: Do what you love

‘Farmer of America’ reveals how passion, hard work can pay off

From the humble roots of a migrant farm worker to the head of one of the largest family farming and agriculture enterprises in the country, Mayor Kenny Evans succeeded in life through hard work, dedication and innovation.

Calling for cell service

East Verde tower will help emergency radios, may lead to phones

In the lovely but technologically disconnected development of East Verde Estates, landline telephones and spotty Internet service have served as the sole methods of communicating with the outside world.

Tease photo

Traffic jammed

Holiday traffic backed up all the way through Payson Monday as lines of travelers hauling boats, trailers and ATVs ran the stoplight gauntlet.

Tease photo

Crashes and crushes create fun at annual Demolition Derby Sunday

Credit Nelson Beck and Scott Honeycutt for bringing to the Payson Event Center one of the wackiest entertainment events ever seen in the Rim Country.

Niners invite lady golfers to join PWGA fun

The “Lady Niners” or Payson Women’s Golf Association Nine-Hole League is primed and ready to accept new members.

Mogollon Rendezvous rounding up contestants

Dual sport adventure riders from around Arizona will gather Oct 24-25 in Payson to participate in the Mogollon Rendezvous.

Dynamite Sports dance, gymnastics facility moves to McDonald’s center

The trainers at Dynamite Sports dance and gymnastics facility have years of real world experience under their belt.

Commission decries ‘paltry’ Brooke report

Commissioners plan probe of complaints at Mesa del Caballo

Brooke Utilities head Robert Hardcastle may have hopped from the frying pan into the fire with a three-page report to the Arizona Corporation Commission explaining why Mesa del Caballo kept running out of water this summer.

Community Almanac

f you are able, plan to make a donation of blood at one of two blood drives planned in the Rim Country next week.

Rep. Heinz’s response to “Real estate legislative updates” article

Ross Andrews, assistant to Representative Matt Heinz, sent me the following e-mail in response to my article on “Real estate legislative updates.”

Campfires left burning

Regarding the Water Wheel Fire — We have left our cabin in Rim Trail a few times to find abandoned campfires still smoldering at camping areas along East Verde River, and have put them out. We’ve contacted the Whispering Pines Fire Department to notify them, only to be told it was not their jurisdiction.

Proud to be part of Main Street

In time for second act (Payson Roundup, Aug. 28) the editorial states “Alas, we failed” referring to Historic Main Street. While several establishments have moved from Main Street during the past year, many more have moved in. The merchants see the success of Main Street and believe in its future. Has this editor walked Main Street lately? Has he talked to the merchants?

Majestic Rim teams with Caring Presence

Over the past year Good Samaritan Society-Majestic Rim Retirement Community recognized that more of their residents were in need of more than their chef-prepared noon meal per day, a half-hour of light housekeeping per week and scheduled transportation.

Saturday, September 5

Obama education pitch spurs debate

Payson’s teachers and principals will decide whether to air a 20-minute speech by President Barack Obama Tuesday to the nation’s schools that some people have lambasted as indoctrination.

Grants available to improve forest health watersheds

Grant applications are being accepted now by the Eastern Arizona Counties Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) for projects that can be funded under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act of 2000, as re-authorized in 2008. Grantees could receive funding on a reimbursement basis starting as early as the spring of 2010.

Star Valley cracker barrel meetings start again

Last time it was held, it was around a cracker barrel with the mayor.

Meth houses need to be decontaminated

Health and law enforcement officials across the country are becoming increasingly alarmed at the number of homes being sold that were once used as meth houses or laboratories. The problem developing is that former homes where meth was either used or manufactured are in fact health hazards to anyone currently residing in them due to the residual poisons that were soaked into the walls, window treatments and flooring.

Payson Birders club reduces meetings

Annual Christmas bird count is still on

The Payson Birders found it hard to move on.

Museum receives Connecting to Collections Bookshelf

Treasured objects and artifacts held by the Rim Country Museum will be preserved for future generations with help from the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of conservation books and online resources donated by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Friday, September 4

Szakal doing well in golf

A 68-year old man who survived a near-death experience four years ago at Payson Golf Course has used the local course as a stage to win the Payson Men’s Golf Association prestigious Club Championship.

Rim Museum celebrates strong growth

Donations set stage for Heritage Festival, with Zane Grey treasures, fiddlers, cowboys and Indians

The Rim Country Museum and its sister site, the replica of the famous Zane Grey Cabin, are enjoying a season of growth and an expansion of services.

Main Street artists helping young actors

The creative spirits at Artists of the Rim have often engaged in community-supporting endeavors in their three years as a collective — from racing cars to prancing in parades.

Weary rescuers save hikers

A day before the Water Wheel Fire started, it was a normal Saturday afternoon with people hiking throughout the Rim Country.

Shakespeare Festival will bring the Bard to Payson

This month the Arizona Shakespeare Festival (ASF) hits the road with a statewide tour of the romantic comedy, “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Rodeo raises funds to cover mammograms for Payson women

The Payson Rodeo Committees and Payson Regional Healthy Woman Program have sponsored the Tough Enough to Wear Pink (TETWP) projects for the last four years, raising funds for breast cancer research and education and free mammograms for women in the Payson area.

Star Valley councilor not happy with county attorney’s decision

I was disappointed and quite frankly embarrassed with the course of events leading up to the decision made by the Star Valley Town Council. The matter I am referring to is the mysterious salary increases paid to a prior town manager in Star Valley. My disappointment is primarily with the Gila County attorney’s office. After waiting eight months, I thought we would get a thorough report on alleged violations.

Mazatzal Rest Area should be sold or leased

As reported in the Payson Roundup, May 12, Arizona Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Bill Williams reported that the Mazatzal Rest Area was closed due to two primary reasons; the rest area was closed in December due to the sewage system becoming overwhelmed with waste and rain from the wet winter and that there are rest room services within 20 miles of the rest area and it is not used as frequently as other state rest stops.

Made my day

I recently moved to beautiful Payson to live with my sister (in-law). I am actively seeking employment and today, Aug. 26, I stopped at Post Net on Highway 87 to fax a resumé for a job advertised in the Roundup.

Time for America to wake up

As far as health care reform, there are some fixes without having to change all of the health care system. It would start with tort reform, waiver for pre-existing conditions, shopping for health insurance across state lines, a catastrophic insurance plan for major illness, free clinics where doctors will volunteer their time in lieu of tax breaks for their expertise, and all of this can be done without a radical “takeover” from big government.

Don’t be fooled

People in America are so easily fooled. Obama said recently that his health plan would be similar to the one Congress has.

Main Street has great potential

Main Street has huge potential as a mini “Breckenridge-type mountain town” area, which local leadership should be tasked to make happen.

Health bill needs to be scrapped

As a lifelong Democrat I oppose the current health care bill. It is the “straw that broke the camel’s financial back.”

Health care reform needed

I am a 64-year-old retiree and my monthly insurance premium is more than $1,700 a month. This at a time when health insurance CEOs receive seven-digit salaries and insurance company stockholders receive record dividends.

A big thank you for your support

On behalf of The Blue Thong Society, Payson Chapter, “High Country Hotties,” I would like to extend our sincere appreciation of support we received for our local charity, The Time Out Shelter.

Thanks for listening

As most of you know, my last day at KRIM Radio (was) Aug. 31. The decision to leave was solely mine because of a new job opportunity. I have loved every minute at KRIM and urge you to continue to support this jewel of Rim Country. Community involvement and quality programming have always been priorities at KRIM and that will not change.

Going to the right high school shaped my entire life

I’ve often thought about what great luck it was that five years after Dad died Mom happened to meet Pop Johnson. Just having had Pop Johnson for a stepfather would have been enough to make me feel that way, but Pop, in addition to being a wonderful guy and a great role model, came with a couple of side benefits.

Anti Jinx Alliance wants to silence cowboy

Taped minutes of the Anti Jinx Alliance (AJA) meeting, Aug 30, 2009.

We’ve been warned

Sometimes, even billowing clouds of soot can have a silver lining — at least for cock-eyed optimists.

Community Almanac

Pine Library Friends will host a Book Sale and Raffle over Labor Day Weekend. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6.

WP residents: Campers leave fires, trash behind

The night before the Water Wheel Fire erupted, nearly taking out two communities, resident Michelle Ellenburg said she saw a large group of people with a bonfire near the Water Wheel on her way home.

Swine flu may hit 30 percent

Do like your mom said: Wash hands, cover mouth, stay home if you’re sick

The scenarios and predictions about the 2009-2010 flu season sound pretty scary, but Mom’s rules still provide the best defense: wash hands frequently — for at least 30 seconds — using hot water and soap; cough into your sleeve, not into your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes; and if you have a fever or sore throat, stay home.

Benefit dance, auction set for Humane Society

The Humane Society of Central Arizona, along with the Junction 87 band, is holding a night of dancing from 7 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Mazatzal Casino. There will also be a silent and live auction. The live auctions will include claiming the honor of having your pet’s picture on the cover of the society’s 2010 calendar.

Free smoke alarms for hearing impaired

Good news. Bad news.

Honoring hard-working men and women

This week’s music trivia question is dedicated to the lady who punches a clock before she puts in her eight-hour shift at Bashas’, to the street department worker who earns his living in the sweltering-hot Arizona sun and to the kindergarten teacher who lovingly coaxes her students to bloom into mature, vibrant flowers.

Kick off Labor Day weekend with Main Street block party

Labor Day is one of the great holiday weekends of the summer. Kick off Labor Day weekend 2009 with the biggest block party in Payson. With more than 75 merchants on Main Street, it is no wonder the community comes together to celebrate the prosperity of our great town with this monthly party put on by the Main Street Merchants Guild.

Should be a fun Labor Day weekend

Labor Day is almost upon us and the people will be coming up the mountain in droves. Be careful when you are on the highway and take your time driving.

Family pet asks, ‘How could you?’

When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was “bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?” — but then you’d relent and roll me over for a belly rub.

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New economy means new interest

Buying antiques is a way of recycling — Plus the work is of better quality

Distinguishable by quality craftsmanship and material, antiques offer a superior alternative to their modern plastic brethren, lovers say.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff golf tournament

Practice your golf swing and join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff at the Mountain High Golf Tournament sponsored by Savers.

Swine flu may have impact on computers

OK, I know what you’re thinking: there’s no way a virus that infects humans and (presumably) pigs is going to affect my computer. Technically, you are right — no need to strap a facemask on your home PC. But in the grand social scheme of things, a swine flu outbreak may open up a new set of challenges for your home PC.

Avoid putting too much company stock in your 401(k) account

Here’s a scary statistic: Nearly 58 percent of Enron employees’ 401(k) assets were invested in Enron stock as it fell 98.8 percent in value during 2001, according to the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).

Restoring the beauty of log cabin homes with corn

The Rim Country is filled with beautiful, expensive log homes. Look up at any hillside around town and you are bound to see one sitting royally overlooking the area.

Powder Puff game loads student coffers

Maybe it was the knee high socks, pigtails or glitter eye strips, because this year’s Powder Puff flag football game raked in more money and fans than in years past.

Lady Horns welcome community support

A great gesture would be for students, parents, fans and boosters to show up today, Friday, and tomorrow in Wilson Dome and old PHS gymnasium to support the Lady Longhorn volleyball team as it plays in the Payson Invitational. There’s no admission charge, thus no excuse for not backing our hometown team.

2009 football schedule toughest in Longhorn history

Tonight’s game at Chino Valley could be only respite

There’s not much argument that the Longhorn football schedule could turn out to be the toughest in the history of the program. But if there is a breather, it’s today, Sept. 4, in Chino Valle

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Payson Invitational volleyball tourney today, Saturday

After fine-tuning the offense and defense in three preseason non-region games, the Lady Longhorn volleyball team is anxiously awaiting the start of the Payson Invitational Tournament — traditionally one of the highlights of the early season.

Monster stalks Rim communities

Overgrown forests pose deadly danger

Beaver Valley and Whispering Pines this week nearly lost the high-stakes gamble every community in Rim Country has made — often without knowing it.

Labor Day weekend full of activities

As of this writing (Sept. 1) the folks from Whispering Pines have still not been allowed to return to their homes due to the Water Wheel Fire. Having dodged our own bullet earlier this summer, I think I speak for the majority of folks in Pine and Strawberry when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with you. There is nothing quite like having your sense of security ripped right out from under you — especially due to utter carelessness. I hope that by the time this makes print, our neighbors will be safely home again.

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Home at last

Evacuees find pets, livestock

When Maurita Strait and her family arrived home Tuesday evening, everything looked normal.

Disappointed with lack of accurate reporting in Payson, Tribe agreement story

This letter is written in response to Mr. Pete Aleshire’s article in the Payson Roundup, dated Aug. 25 entitled, “No reservation now about police backup.”

Bow hunting for deer a real challenge

Believe it or not, it’s archery deer season again in the northern section of Arizona, which includes the Payson area units 22 and 23.

Elk head not protective

I admire the Humane Society of Central Arizona, trying to help by donating to their thrift store, giving money and attending their fund-raising dinners held at the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks

Fire smolders, budget burns

More than 300 firefighters spent Thursday working the edges of the 770 acres burned by the Water Wheel Fire, their dogged and vital efforts underscoring the plight of the U.S. Forest Service — which now devotes about half its total budget to fighting forest fires.

Signs that fall is just around the corner

Can you feel it? The wind is whispering in the pines, “Fall is coming. Fall is coming.” The mornings are brisk now and the day warms up really fast but then cools down again as soon as the sun lowers in the western sky.

Son edges father out of Speed Week record

Bonneville Salt Flats, often called The Birthplace of Speed, holds a magnetic-like attraction for a Payson man, his son and a host of close friends.

Wednesday, September 2

What I’ve learned about the cruise business

I’ve learned a lot since we bought the local travel agency just over two years ago. I’d like to share that knowledge with you.

A flight to forget

Some years ago when I was living in Los Angeles a friend in Vancouver, Canada suggested I join him for a trip to Madrid, Spain. The trip was to occur just two weeks before Christmas. I was doing a lot of travel at the time, but thought why not. I had never been to Spain and it sounded like a good idea.

The Story of Payson, Arizona

Chapter 24: the 1918 flu epidemic

The year World War I ended was also the year of the world pandemic of influenza. In the closing weeks of the war, the deadly flu spread rapidly across America and the world, carried by the thousands of soldiers who were in transit.

Water trickles, the earth heaves

Vivid geology of Sedona bears witness to the death of stars, the drift of continents, the power of water and the thoughts of rocks

Oak Creek swishes and sighs at my feet as the day dies, the rising moon reflected in its pensive waters. Lifting my eyes to the darkening form of Cathedral Rock, I try to imagine upheaval, catastrophe, flood and violence.

Old-fashioned fun found all around the Rim for Labor Day

Celebrate Beaver Valley Day Saturday, Sept. 5 in Beaver Valley, 6 miles northeast of Payson on Houston Mesa Road. Open to the public, enjoy a day of family fun including food, games for kids and adults, prizes, exhibits, duck race, silent auction, dinner and dancing to music by Hashknife Band.

Go bananas for these recipes

Enjoy a slice of New Banana Tea Bread for dessert or to start your day off right — it also makes a great snack. For a whole-grain variation, substitute 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour for 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour.

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Evacuees grab pets, Bibles and flee

What would you take if a fast-moving fire were lunging toward your home?

Who is this King of Glory?

Recently, a series of questions came to my forefront

Leg pain when walking

Peripheral artery disease, PAD, also called peripheral vascular disease, means that arteries in the legs — the periphery — are clogged and leg muscles aren’t getting enough blood.

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Dodged the bullet

Rain, winds firefighters trap 773-acre blaze as evacuees return home

Residents of Beaver Valley cheered at a Forest Service briefing in the high school gym last night when they learned that not only did their homes survive a fierce, wind-whipped fire on Sunday, but they could all go home as of 9 p.m. Monday night.

Tuesday, September 1

Camp was a great success

When Joe Harris of the parks and rec department approached me about joining forces to host a junior volleyball camp, I responded, “Sounds great.” When he stated that he felt he could get 30 kids to sign up, I responded, “Really?” but was actually thinking, “Yeah, right.” I had run junior camps before, and had anywhere from nine to 15 kids sign up.

USA being torn down

Since this new administration took office, we have lost 3 million jobs, gone trillions of dollars more in debt and have turned our enemies into our “friends.”

Where do you stand?

Are you swamped with information? Confused by the news? Wound up by the commentary swirling around? Do you feel like a pawn in a game?

Blessings gleaned from the flames

Aweary night was gathering, seeping through the smoke that shrouded Rim Country. Up on the slope above the suddenly forlorn and frail community of Beaver Valley, half a dozen grimy, soot-black firefighters gathered for a conference.

Council biased says Edwards

Former mayor won’t say he’s running, but offers stump-speech style indictment

The Payson council has “locked out” citizens, failed to tighten its financial belt and paid more attention to special interests than the public interest, former mayor Bob Edwards told 50 members of the Citizens Awareness Committee in a speech that sounded like a stump speech, but sidestepped questions about whether he’ll run again.

GCC tuition among highest for students

Gila Community College will remain a stellar deal for students wanting to take three to six credits after January’s 30 percent tuition increase. But full-time students will face the most expensive community college tuition in the state.

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County declares state of emergency

Gila County supervisors declared a state of emergency Monday, reflecting the severe environmental damage and evacuation of 338 homes caused by the Water Wheel Fire.

Monsoons fail to deliver

Salt, Verde rivers dwindle to one-third of their normal flows as summer rains bypass the Rim

Unless the skies open up soon, Rim Country will endure the second driest monsoon season in 110 years.

Payson men win Jack AZ tourney at Roosevelt

Veteran angler Emery McKeen, who’s been fishing local waters for about as long as anyone can remember, hooked up with 27-year-old Jimmy Cross to win the first Jack AZ Bass Amateurs Only tournament of the season.

Woods Canyon trout almost jump in the boat

This is the first quarter of a waxing moon, so fishing at night should be viable under lights. But there is also a transition time from summer to fall activity patterns for the fish. Daytime fishing should become more viable as the days get shorter, the nights get longer, and the lakes start to cool down.

New volleyball lingo will take time to ‘set’

Being a longtime slave to traditional sports and athletic vernacular, slang, jargon and nomenclature, I’m now officially confused.

Payson sports toughened man for Army, Afghanistan

As Bryce River prepares for his upcoming tour of duty in Afghanistan he has come to realize that his Payson roots are a constant source of strength.

Nearly 100 bears donated to help children

It all began with a short story about a Gilbert couple’s request for donations to the Arizona Highway Patrol Association’s “Comfort Bear” program that appeared on page 2A of the Aug. 14 edition of the Payson Roundup.

2A champs’ show bests 3A champ Longhorns

Ambush. That’s what occurred Aug. 28 in St. Johns where the defending 2A state champion Redskins trapped and waylaid 3A defending champions Payson 19-7.

Community Almanac

The Time Out Thrift Shop, on the corner of Beeline Highway and West Wade Lane, will have a bag sale Wednesday, Sept. 2 and Thursday, Sept. 3. Stop in and see the great bargains available and help fund the area’s only shelter for victims of abuse and its many special programs.

Disaster training session set for Payson

What should you do in a disaster? How would you react to a terrorist attack?

Promotion at Rim Country Health

Rim Country Health and Retirement Community recently promoted Angela Lyons to director of admissions and marketing.

Social Security’s 800 number: a history of service

Today, most adults in America carry a cell phone. If they don’t, they probably have a land line phone at home. Although millions of people go online each year and take advantage of our convenient services at, we still offer a full range of services over the telephone, too.

Talking of efficiency: Going green can save you green

The talk of energy efficiency has been focused on the automobile and the tax credits that expired last week. However, there are many tax credits available to make your home more energy efficient that will save you money now and in the future.

The oddest things can make us nostalgic

Flu shots available at Senior Citizen Centers

I admit it — I’m envious. A few weeks ago, our neighbor put up a clothesline. It’s not visible from the street and we can see just the very top of it over the back yard fence. But knowing it is there brings on a wave of nostalgia for the days before clothes dryers, when every yard had a clothesline.

Thank you

The Skolsky and Dann families would like to give thanks and praise to the wonderful people of Hospice Compassus and to the many friends and neighbors who showed their compassion and caring for my wife and myself during these trying times.

Deadline for humane society annual pet calendar coming

It is time to start thinking about and planning the Humane Society of Central Arizona 2010 pet calendar.

Students help build Tonto Basin school

When construction trades teacher Richard Alvarez got a call from Tonto Basin principal Johnny Ketchem asking for help with the reconstruction of the Little Red Schoolhouse in Tonto Basin, he gathered up his classroom of students, jumped in a bus and headed down with hammers and nails in tow.

Future direction of Gila Community College

In reading the front page article in the Aug. 21 edition of the Payson Roundup, it becomes rather obvious that the Gila Community College (GCC) Governing Board currently has a multifaceted budget challenge. The article also indicates the appearance of a geographic conflict between the northern and southern parts of this county.

Feature Teacher

Shop class because we made so many different things which my mother still has and uses today.

H1N1 in schools: Preparation — not panic

The H1N1 virus is in the news of late and may likely be much more so as we get into the winter months. Now is a good time to look at what we can do together to minimize the impact to students and our schools. We also thought it might be a good idea to invite parents and community members to an information session at our auditorium next week.

Support was overwhelming

Last May 19, the Payson Roundup carried a remarkable full-page “ad” that began with a letter to me that said: “Dear Don, Your friends, neighbors, and the many people you have touched pray for your speedy recovery ...” and included the names of almost 300 friends, family and acquaintances, who were “Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.”

Shriners appreciate friends and neighbors for golf tournament help

The Shriners of North America spends $1.75 million every day for crippled and burned children from the communities of North America. We are very proud to support this philanthropy, and we wish to thank the following merchants for their generous assistance in being a tee sponsor again this year for our recent golf tournament at the Payson Golf Course.