Stories for December 2010

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Friday, December 31

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Lady Horns win one, drop two games in tourney

The Lady Longhorns took a roller coaster ride through the 2010 Holiday Hoops tournament enjoying the thrills of victory, but also suffering through the agony of defeat.

Thursday, December 30

Endangered creatures still linger in limbo

Fish and Wildlife Service issues latest list of species local and national that would qualify as endangered — if it only had the money to do the studies

Still no room at the inn. That’s the bottom line in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s recently released tally of the status of some 251 species waiting for space on the Endangered Species List.

January chamber mixer and Business Buzz tackle local consumerism

January is another busy month with a chamber mixer and business buzz luncheon scheduled.

Stylist joins Studio B salon

Feeling blue? You could head to the counselor’s office or turn to shopping, but nothing makes a woman feel better than a good haircut.

How will new tax laws affect you?

Now that the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 is law, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how this new legislation affects you — both as a wage earner and an investor.

Annual Women’s Wellness Forum will be March 12

Like the first flower blossom or the melting of snow on the Mazatzal Mountains and Mogollon Rim, the Women’s Wellness Forum has become a tradition to look forward to in the Rim Country. The 13th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum is Saturday, March 12 at the Payson High School campus.

Identity of dead woman off Young road still unknown

Questions about the identity and circumstances surrounding the decomposed body of a woman found east of Payson six months ago remain unanswered.

Television has come a long, long way — Part II

Last week I said that many people who are alive today have no idea how blessed lucky we are to be able to buy a television set, take it home, plug it in, hook up cable or dish, turn it on, and watch just about anything we want.

Senate Republicans unite to score a victory for taxpayers

Taxpayers received a welcome surprise when Majority Leader Harry Reid shelved a massive spending bill in the waning days of Congress.

Uncertain dawn of a new year

is right on top of us. For the most part, 2010 seemed like a long, fitful sleet storm, with the odd break in the clouds.

Community Almanac

First Baptist Church of Pine, 4039 N. Highway 87, Pine — Friends and neighbors are also invited to join the congregation of the First Baptist Church of Pine for a Watch Night program. The festivities are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 31.

GCC independence bill takes shape

Advocacy group forming to push bill through the Legislature

Gila Community College can pursue independence without dipping into state equalization funding and without a jump in local property taxes, say local advocates.

P-S water district changes meeting times

board no longer plans to meet once a month.

Vets reach out for help, some violently

It took 42 years for an event to trigger Vietnam veteran Samuel’s post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Storm brings heavy snow, accidents

It’s a white New Year for Rim Country with more than six inches of snowfall in Payson, 18 inches in Pine, 16 inches in Christopher Creek and a foot in Kohl’s Ranch reported on Thursday morning.

Special Olympics seeks unified team partners

Payson Special Olympics has kicked off the winter sports season prompting coach Ruby Lane to scour the town in search of unified partners for the snowshoeing team.

Cold weather survival is Shoot for the Heart topic

Now that one of the most successful Shoot for the Heart seminars is in the rearview mirror, organizers are steering toward one of the most unusual round tables in the two-year history of the outdoors program.

New bass tourney expected to attract 150 anglers

It appears the success of the first two FLW bass tournaments at Roosevelt Lake has attracted yet another professional fishing organization to the popular Arizona waterway.

Round Valley hopes to find money for sports after district board suspends all extracurricular activities

The Round Valley School District governing board’s decision early this week to suspend funding for all extracurricular activities for the spring semester and the 2011-2012 school year was a shock to Eagar-Springerville residents and others in small-town Arizona.

Longhorns striving to turn beatings into moral victory

Tournament losses test character — and offense

There’s a scene in “The Last Samurai” where Tom Cruise wins a painful moral victory because he just won’t stay down as some black belt tough guy beats him bloody.

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It’s all in the blank

Jim Goughnour handcrafts fishing poles that obey the commands of the handler

When I was a kid, fishing seemed like the cool thing to do. Like other kids, I dreamed of catching “the big one.”

Many contributed to bless others this past year

Well, we may not have had a white Christmas, but it appears we will usher in the new year with lots of moisture in the form of snow. I’m sure all the kids are glad that they get to do some sledding before heading back to school on Monday.

Another great year in music comes to an end

Wow! 2010 was another great year in the amazing world of American music.

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Legion hosts New Year’s Eve party

As our community is moving into the new year, we can see many improvements that our local schools, fire department and senior center have had over the past year.

Fireflies still collecting items for food drive

Happy New Year from Yuma, Ariz. My hubby and I came to Yuma to spend Christmas with our children.

Sure to see amazing things in 2011

Well another year has come and gone. Can you believe it? And next year will be the year 2011! Doesn’t that sound like some sort of futuristic Star Trek kind of date?

Police getting funds for equipment

The Town of Payson Police Department will get $10,361 from the Department of Justice, filtered through the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

Rim Country wildfires can affect the planet

Studies reveal Rodeo-Chediski Fire’s smoke plume reached stratosphere, as such ‘blowups’ push global warming

The 600,000-acre Rodeo-Chediski Fire frightened forest managers back in 2002.

Adoption Options

To learn more about these and other wonderful pets available for adoption, visit the animal shelter at 812 S. McLane Road, give us a call at (928) 474-5590 or see our website, www.humanesocietycentralaz.org.

Roads closed as storm moves into Rim Country

The Payson Police Department has closed northbound Highway 87 at the Tyler Parkway roundabout due to snow and dangerous driving conditions north of town. Highway 260 east of Payson also remains closed as of Thursday morning. Chains and four wheel drive are recommended for anyone venturing out onto the roadways.

Tuesday, December 28

Honor Graduate

Darryl DeWeese, a member of the Payson High School class of 2006, has graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California.

Edward Jones makes a difference with clients

While the past two years brought upheaval to the financial services industry as firms shifted their focus, their products and even their ownership, Edward Jones did not.

Native Air introduces new membership program

To offset the rising cost of emergency medical care, Native Air has introduced a membership program for residents of Arizona.

Making memories at a new location

Western Village is brimming over with memories. From antique saddles to unique furniture, everything at the eclectic shop has a story and represents a small slice of history.

Driving, drinking, speeding gets man convicted of aggravated DUI

Speeding? Check. Drinking? Check. Suspended license? Check.

Pleas for food jump as poverty increases

Arizona’s sharply rising poverty rate has spurred a run on food banks statewide, including Rim Country where food banks continue to push a food drive through the holiday season.

DPS urges caution with winter travel in high country

Motorists should not stop along highway to play in snow

With snow in the Rim Country’s weather forecast and time off for the holidays, many people will be traveling to see and experience the new winter wonderland.

SV to spend $180,000 to improve drainage

While the town of Star Valley won’t be helping the residents off Starlight Drive with their flooding problems, the council has agreed to spend a chunk of grant money on the Quail Valley subdivision.

Too much alcohol, disorderly conduct lands man in jail

A Payson man with a string of underage consumption and fighting convictions was arrested Christmas Eve after police say he screamed at several people and head-butted an officer.

It’s not too late for a flu shot says county health manager

Residents of the Rim Country and the rest of Arizona have been very fortunate that due to the relatively warm weather, influenza remains at the “local” level — meaning there have been only a low number of influenza-like symptoms reported and a small number of actual cases of the flu.

Arizona tax credit deadline on top of us

There are only four days to make a contribution to area schools and state-certified charities to qualify for a tax credit on your 2010 returns.

Prize-winning drama troupe plans trip to a California dream factory

Payson’s program has won statewide acclaim and now has set its sights on Hollywood

After a holiday season spent raising money for others, the acclaimed Payson High School Drama Troupe will start raising money for a dream trip to a dream factory.

Glad school is getting tough on cell phone usage

I was glad to read that our schools will soon have a new “get-tough” cell phone policy in place.

Lions foundation now a qualifying charitable organization

In December, the Payson Lions Charitable Foundation became a qualifying charitable organization under Arizona Department of Revenue rules.

Soroptimists grateful for support

money and then giving it away!

Don’t’ forget the real meaning of Christmas

Every time I watch the news or read the paper it is really depressing how so many people are trying to take the word Christmas out of this wonderful holiday.

State needs stronger seat belt law

Another needless death on Highway 87, the apparent result of no seat belt use.

Thanks to entrants of ‘Light the Rim’ house lighting contest

I want to thank all those holiday enthusiasts who drug out the lights, sawed the figures, blew up the Santas, penguins, reindeer, etc., and braved electrocution for the Sixth Annual “Light the Rim” House Lighting Contest.

Community proves people really do matter up here

It took a community to keep me from becoming homeless! It all started when APS decided I could no longer have service in my mom’s name after she was deceased, even though bills were being paid.

Moose Lodge thanks organizations for their help

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

School board faces tough decisions

So who’s got the toughest job in town? This coming year, it could be the Payson Unified School Board, which faces choices ranging from bad to worse as it wrestles with a million-dollar deficit and a recommendation to close Frontier Elementary School.

Community Almanac

The Pine Strawberry Thrift Store will have New Year’s party wear and cruise clothing on sale at half off the marked prices Dec. 29 through Dec. 31.

Payson class size jump could hinder students

School board considers increasing elementary school class sizes by more than one-third

The Payson Unified School District’s plan to increase the size of elementary school classes by more than one-third could reduce student test scores, graduation rates and intellectual skills, according to a body of still hotly debated research.

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More Gila County schools moving off the grid

Northern Gila County schools are quickly becoming a hotbed of solar integration.

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Bell ringers report near normal year

Well that old familiar tinkling sound has ceased. Salvation Army bell ringers have boxed up their kettles, wrapped up their bells and put away their Santa hats and friendly ho ho ho’s.

Winter storm bearing down on Rim Country

Storm may bring Payson a white New Year’s — big drop in temperature

With one last winter storm on the way for 2010, Payson looks poised to finish the year with just a splash above normal rainfall.

Fishing Report

Water level is at 1,678 feet (74-percent full) and dropping. Like most lakes recently Pleasant seems to be hit-or-miss.

Applications for elk, antelope season being accepted

The Arizona Game and Fish Department today posted the 2011 Pronghorn Antelope and Elk Hunt Draw Information booklet at www.azgfd.gov/draw.

WON fishing contest comes to Roosevelt

Roosevelt Lake is rapidly turning into one of the hottest bass fishing tournament spots in the Western United States.

Vacation over, Longhorns on the road to tourney in Heber

Only home meet for wrestlers is Jan. 21-22

Following a brief holiday respite from competition, Longhorn wrestlers return to mat action Jan. 5 at a Mogollon High School-hosted multi-meet to be held in Heber.

No secret, some upset about all- state selections

It’s no secret in prep football circles that there are those upset with All-East and All-State team selections.

Payson senior named to Valley newspaper’s all-state teams

Payson Herring, Gunner Bauer, Westin Gibson and Jake Gonzales named to all-state teams

PHS senior Payson Herring was the lone Longhorn player named on Dec. 26 to the Arizona Republic’s 1A-3A All-State team.

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Lady Longhorns seek holiday title

The Lady Longhorns began pursuit of the Holiday Hoops basketball championship at 10 a.m. today, Dec. 28, in Wilson Dome against Flagstaff Coconino.

Thursday, December 23

Apaches renew plea to protect bald eagle

The San Carlos Apache Tribe wants to join a lawsuit that seeks to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to put desert bald eagles back on the endangered species list.

A special message for the holidays

It seems like it was just last week that I walked into the Senior Circle for the first time. I just don’t know where this last year has gone.

16 teams will take part in holiday tourney

What better way to wash down all that Christmas dinner and prep for the new year than with a girls high school basketball tournament?

Registration set for town’s youth, adult basketball programs

The Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department is taking registration for the third- and fourth-grade Jr. NBA Youth Basketball program.

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Tough tournament will test Longhorns’ resolve

Basketball team hopes intense practices and tight-packed Prescott competition will help them restart a losing season

The Longhorn hoopsters will have to deliver on their New Year’s resolutions early this year — facing a tough string of games at a tournament in Prescott starting on Dec. 30.

Knights of Columbus bring early Christmas to Payson family

This Christmas will be happier and less stressful for the Gunzel family.

Television has come a long, long way

Most people living today have no idea how blessed lucky we are to be able to buy a television set, take it home, plug it in, hook it up to cable or dish, turn it on, and watch — what is it now? — 40 million channels?

PUSD striving to thrive — not simply survive

They say that the animals start to look at each other differently as the water hole dries up.

Appreciative of love and care Payson Community Kids provides

On Saturday, Dec. 18 we were invited to attend the Payson Community Kids Christmas Party at the Senior Center.

Fossil Creek needs to be protected from public assault

Earlier this decade Arizona Public Service decommissioned their Irvin hydro-electric power plant and returned water to Fossil Creek. Last month the U.S. Forest Service held the latest of several public hearings on the future of Fossil Creek in Payson as part of their effort to develop a master plan that will balance the protection of the creek’s unique ecosystem with public access to the creek’s wilderness beauty.

Thanks to those who helped with accident

We had an accident Friday, Nov. 19 and we would like to thank the fire department, the paramedics, the nurses and Dr. Gilbert at the emergency room, the ambulance drivers and a special thanks to you, police officer Joni Varga #186, who we think went above and beyond her job in caring and helping.

Americans are extraordinarily generous

This is the season of giving, when many Americans donate their time and money to help the less fortunate.

Gifts, great and small bless us all through the year

’Tis the day before Christmas and most households in and around Payson and Pine, Star Valley and Strawberry are in a flurry — if the occupants are home for the holidays.

Community Almanac

Christmas Eve Solemn High Mass, 6:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 24.

Unemployment still high in Gila County

The ranks of the unemployed grew slightly in Gila County in November, unlike the trend in the rest of the state.

No flood relief for Star Valley homeowners

While the rain fell outside, the hopes of five Star Valley residents fell as well as they watched the council and its attorney drown a year’s worth of work in a few hours.

New system offers early HS graduation

GCC urged to partner with PHS to allow students a chance to get a college degree while still in school

Gila Community College should partner with Payson Unified School District to take advantage of a new state law that would make it possible for top students to earn a college degree by the time they graduate high school, lobbyist Mike Gardner recently urged the GCC board.

Mystery of the lost chalice marks Christmas story of war and hope

Payson woman’s discovery of a golden cup in thrift store uncovers story of heroic priest, awful violence and final blessing

Priscilla Taylor gasped when she saw the worn golden chalice on the thrift store shelf.

Looking back on 2010 at the humane society

As 2010 comes to an end, I can’t help but look back on the year’s events. This has been a great year and we have high hopes that next year will be successful, too.

Christmas is great time to count blessings

Merry Christmas everyone — I hope that you have a truly blessed time with your friends and family over the holiday season.

Illegal to sell or possess synthetic marijuana after today

Our unusual warm weather we have had earlier in the week has turned into a much colder environment as the leading edge of the weather front, so called the “Pineapple Express” due to its tropical origins, passes.

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Something special about Christopher Creek

There is something special about Christopher Creek. During the last month I have been doing a fair amount of driving around the state and have visited Sedona, Flagstaff and Pinetop-Lakeside. While those places are all beautiful in their own right, they’re still not quite Christopher Creek.

Village getting gentle, but steady rainfall

The Rim Country has been very fortunate in the weather department this past week. California is getting hammered by rain, snow and landslides.

Get out the cookies — Here comes Santa Claus

“Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane),” first sung by everyone’s favorite singing cowboy of yesteryear, Gene Autry, will surely be on the minds of children tonight as they nestle all snug in their beds.

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Confessions of a curmudgeon

Back in the day, way back before cell phones, CDs and DVDs, my boys appeared in just about every school play and holiday pageant our small-town elementary school could muster.

Tuesday, December 21

Megan Miles a finalist in national contest

Megan Miles, a recent graduate of Payson High School, is one of 23 finalists in the “Matrix/Spread The Love Competition,” sponsored by L’Oreal.

Military news

Major Ryan J. Ellis has graduated from the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. after completing a year of study.

AARP urges seniors to review, compare plans by year’s end

AARP is reminding and encouraging seniors to carefully consider their options and choose the coverage that best fits their needs during Medicare open enrollment which closes Dec. 31. 

Rim weather another reason to be merry

The radio and television news is full of stories about the wicked winter weather in other parts of the world.

Payson native earns Eagle Scout status

Mason Standifird was presented with Eagle Scout status in a Court of Honor Friday, Dec. 17.

Give yourself a holiday gift at Gila Community College

This holiday season, if you can, give yourself a gift at Gila Community College. Enroll in an enrichment course or one that might contribute to your professional advancement.

School music program end year on high note

Band, choir stage a concert, go caroling for shoppers to celebrate big honors, and community support

Student musicians heralded a triumphant year of living on the edge with a clashing of cymbals and a flourish of French horns during the recent Christmas musical pageant.

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JRE fifth-graders surprised by German pen pals

The hardest part of doing anything is getting started. Writing stories is no exception. I say, just write.

Fireworks prohibited on all public lands

Although the sale of ground and hand-held fireworks and their use in some locations is now legal in Arizona, please remember, fireworks are not permitted on public lands at any time.

Payson Community Christian School needs help

The administration of the Payson Community Christian School would like to make the community aware of a special board meeting that was held Dec. 17 about the current financial needs of Payson Community Christian School.

Right to self-defense not limited

While I support the conclusion of Robert Kraniak’s letter (“Right to keep and bear arms is most important amendment”), I would like to gently correct Mr. Kraniak’s assertion that my letter regarding Bill of Rights Day contained an “oversight in not mentioning the most important amendment” — the Second Amendment.

A Christmas miracle

On Monday, Dec. 6, Sue and I put up our Christmas decorations outside.

Politicians making budget crisis tougher than necessary

First, politicians should lock in some givens … 1) this is a government-created crisis, 2) governments at all levels are bloated, 3) most of the politicians’ constituents have less income and less net worth than they did prior to this crisis, 4) government employees have pay levels above the private sector, better benefits and almost total job security and 5) legislative bodies have a dismal record on financial matters.

’Tiz the season to be ‘fired up’ about holiday safety

The tree is up, the candles are lit, and the extension cords are plugged in. With all of the traditional touches comes the most dangerous month of the year.

Cell phone policy sounds vital warning

Did you read the story about kids and cell phones? Surveys suggest that the average teenager sends and receives about 1,500 text messages a month.

Sen. Allen concerned about escalating border violence

Sen. Sylvia Allen, the incoming chair of a new Senate committee on border security, is expressing concern over the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Community Almanac

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree is up and decorated with tags listing the names and Christmas wishes for area children in need at National Bank of Arizona, 804 S. Beeline Highway, south of the chamber office.

Winter conditions on the Coconino National Forest

As snow brings winter conditions to the high country of the Coconino National Forest, the Forest Service takes several measures to provide for the safety of winter visitors and protect forest resources.

Tonto Creek bridge a little closer to reality

A bridge across Tonto Creek in Punkin Center is one step closer.

Man takes his own life in parking lot

A 47-year-old Glendale man killed himself Sunday morning minutes before police could stop him.

Teen dies in Hwy. 87 accident

A Pine teenager was killed and another seriously injured after the Jeep they were in rolled several times on Highway 87 this weekend, authorities say.

Star Valley council to consider repairs to creek crossing

After a year of persistent nagging, five Star Valley homeowners will finally learn Tuesday if the town plans to make repairs to a crossing and creek that during severe weather has threatened to wash away their homes.

Coal in Payson’s stocking

November sales tax figures reveal more evidence of a slow economic recovery

The pre-Christmas sales figures weren’t quite a lump of coal in Payson’s stocking — but pretty close.

Schools get tough on cell phone use

Payson district tries to prevent cheating, harassment and ‘sexting’ as students send off average of 50 texts every day

No naked pictures. No lurid texts. No texting in class. No cheating on tests And teachers — we’re watching you.

Christmas Services

Celebrate the Christmas season with friends and neighbors at one of the special services planned by area churches. Below is a listing of some of the services.

Needy youth focus of benefit

The women residing at Chaparral Pines and The Rim Club sponsored a joint luncheon Dec. 7.

Lady Longhorns attend school of hard knocks

1-3 record in hard-fought tournament provides seasoning for a fledgling basketball team

The three losses and one win at the Wickenburg Tournament this past weekend wasn’t the brightly wrapped Christmas gift the Lady Longhorns basketball team hoped for, but it did provide the young team with crucial playing time.

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Fountain Hills thrashes battered Longhorns in discouraging 62-36 loss

Blowout loss administers painful lesson in height, fundamentals — and the value of practice

The Longhorn varsity basketball team took a good, old-fashioned beating Friday in a discouraging 62-36 loss to a big, athletic, tight-knit Fountain Hills team.

Friday, December 17

Arrest of third teen ends multi-county reckless crime spree

The arrest of Justin Schultze, 18, at his parents’ home in Winslow this week brought to a close a bizarre crime spree that careened from the Valley to Show Low and points in between.

Bank account opened to help out EMT hurt in collision

An account has been opened at National Bank of Arizona for the Payson Lifestar EMT who was seriously injured in a head-on collision in late November.

When investing, learn all aspects of risk

In life, you can’t avoid all risks — and you shouldn’t try, because endeavors that carry risk also bring the prospect of reward. And it’s certainly the same in the investment world.

With fewer resources, rural communities strain to deal with mounting foreclosures

For Roxanne Knoche, losing the ranch home that she had custom-built for her retirement would be devastating.

Probe reveals Peyton Place tangles for Payson Police

The weeks leading up to the demotion of Payson’s second-ranking cop came down to an anguished interview between Lt. Donald Garvin and his longtime friend and colleague, Police Chief Don Engler.

Action on implementing redistricting process postponed

Gila County Board of Supervisors will wait another month before they start moving toward redistricting. At the Dec. 14 meeting the supervisors were to adopt a resolution to establish guidelines for the selection of a citizens redistricting committee.

Sale of ties to benefit community food drive

A local woman has found a novel way to get rid of more than a hundred new neckties all while giving back to the community.

Time running out to make charitable tax donation

OK, procrastinators of Payson, Pine and the surrounding communities, it is Dec. 17 and that means you have just a week to finish buying those gifts, wrapping them and sneaking them under the tree.

Two coincidences I promised to tell you about, Part II

Last week I said it sometimes appears that coincidences rule the universe. Maybe that’s not true, but they certainly aren’t shy about changing the life of an important human being — and thereby changing history.

Right to keep and bear arms is most important amendment

I (agree that we should) celebrate the Bill of Rights on Dec. 15 as pointed out by Tina Terry in the Dec. 10, Payson Roundup mail call.

Enforcing immigration laws is hardly a ‘sideshow’

Your editorial on Tuesday, Dec. 14, expresses your concerns about Arizona’s budget crisis.

Keep tax dollars in Rim Country

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity is one of the very fortunate charities that qualifies for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit.

Address complaints and ideas to those elected to represent us

Many times I hear friends and neighbors complaining about this and that problem which our elected governing body should or should not address.

Balancing the budget

Reference Payson Roundup, Dec. 14 edition front page: “Lobbyist ... State Budget.” I quote, “The state faces an $800 million deficit in the balance of the current fiscal year and a projected $1.4 billion deficit in the budget year that starts in June.”

Mixer a success

The December chamber mixer, held at the Good Samaritan Majestic Rim, was host to over 60 chamber members and guests.

Thanks to all took part in Celebration of Life

On behalf of Hospice Compassus I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the individuals and business who participated in the 15th annual Celebration of Life and to all those community members in attendance.

ObamaCare waivers pick winners and losers

It’s that time of year, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is in the giving spirit.

Driving along the cliff’s edge

This week, Payson Mayor Kenny Evans compared the two-year struggle to convince Arizona State University to build a low-cost college campus here to a white-knuckle, cliff-sided drive around the world’s biggest volcano. That sounds about right.

SV council meetings moving to town hall

The Town of Star Valley council meetings are once again on the move.

Community Almanac

Local residents and businesses may help the less fortunate seniors in the community by stopping by any Edward Jones branch office during regular business hours to select a “Senior Angel” through Dec. 17.

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It was all smiles as public safety officials play Santa

Six-year-old Kurt Slover’s eyes grow wider as he traces his hand along the back toy wall at Walmart Wednesday night.

Community colleges face scary budgets

GCC poised to push for independence, work force funding

The good news: The Gila Community College Board finally seems agreed on the need to push for equal funding and independence and its chief legislative champion has secured more power.

GCC legislation not likely be-all-do-all for independence

State Senator Sylvia Allen’s legislative fix for Gila Community College is not likely to be the be-all-do-all for independence from provisional status.

ASU boosts Payson plan

Top official vows to make decision on four-year program here ‘quickly’ in first talk before a local audience

Prospects for a college campus in Payson got a major psychological boost Wednesday when Arizona State University Vice President Richard Stanley told an overflow crowd, “I can’t give you exact timing as to when all this is going to happen, but all of us want this to happen as quickly as it can.”

Re-enactors offer candlelit tour of a Fort Verde Christmas

Fort Verde State Historic Park will stage an old-fashioned Victorian Christmas all through the month of December, with decorations mimicking those the soldiers and their families put up in the late 1800s, when the fort served as the staging ground for General George Crook’s campaign against the Tonto Apache and Yavapai.

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Tragedy, courage hang over grounds of Fort Verde

The tale of two Medal of Honor recipients and the complex history of Apache scouts threaded through exhibits at historic state park

I stood in the drizzle on the porch of the headquarters of Fort Verde, peering at the bronze plaque honoring the Medal of Honor recipients once based here, thinking of a cheerfully loyal warrior and a fearlessly selfless sergeant.

Lady Longhorns drop first league game to Show Low, 38-29

In the first league game of the season, the Lady Longhorns basketball team’s disappointing offensive effort meant a loss against Show Low Tuesday night.

Five Longhorns earn state honors

Only five Longhorn football players earned honors in the coaches’ All-Star selection.

Hoopsters swoon in fourth quarter

The Longhorns dominated rival Show Low for three quarters on Tuesday, but then went flat and let a game they should have won get away.

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Rim youth among the best

Payson’s Cypress Gorry finished fourth at the USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championships in Bend, Ore. Saturday, Dec. 11.

Will iPad or some other tablet device replace the laptop?

You’re probably right in the thick of holiday busy-ness: shopping, attending parties, and trying to get last-minute work projects wrapped up so you can enjoy the big day.

Original story of Rudolph was a little different than today’s version

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all?

Heber Overgaard schools hold open house

The Heber Overgaard School District held an open house Thursday, Dec. 9 on all school campuses for residents to see the projects that were completed.

Sundras get wonderful, early Christmas gift

Well the annual home decorating and cart parade was a huge success

Hellsgate Christmas party was great fun

Last Thursday, Hellsgate Fire Department Chief Gary Hatch hosted a Christmas party for all of the firefighters and their spouses. Teddy Tomerlin generously deep-pitted the turkey and the pork shoulder which was absolutely falling off the bone.

Last weekend to visit Christmas Boutique

Christmas Day is rapidly approaching; it seems that the month passes by more quickly each and every year.

Christmas Services

Celebrate the Christmas season with friends and neighbors at one of the special services planned by area churches.

Shelter staff offers picks of week

The Humane Society of Central Arizona has a mission statement that we proudly stand behind: “To provide shelter and compassionate care for animals who are lost, abandoned or homeless; to ensure that animals who come into our care are nurtured in a loving space while healing from fear, physical or emotional trauma, mistreatment or loss of a caregiver; to place animals into appropriate and loving homes through adoptions; to improve the lives of animals through education and example; to promote spay and neuter of companion animals.

Thursday, December 16

A Rim Country Christmas

Holiday help still needed

It’s Dec. 15 — Christmas is only 10 days away. Already the Rim Country has had a wonderful array of celebrations and in this edition of the Review, we are sharing a collage of photographs from recent events.

Simplify the Season

Food Network celebrity chef, Claire Robinson, knows what it takes to make a great holiday meal, with just five ingredients or less.

Dance movements boost balance

Remember dance class when we were kids? Not the social dances or square dance, but the free movement to music? Swiss researchers used those same types of movements with seniors.

A Palm Springs Break

Only a few hours from our area is the classic town of Palm Springs, Calif. It has been the winter hideout of the movie colony and a festival town for others. There is really a lot to do most of the time and rarely crowded.

Unique Alaska cruise itinerary - Part II

Last month I wrote about a Holland America 14- night Alaskan cruise that is round trip from Seattle and has ports of call in several cities that are not on the usual seven-night Inside Passage cruise itineraries.

Frontier teacher in Tonto Basin

Chapter 10: Escape FROM the Apaches

Tonto Basin teacher Angie Mitchell described the torture she and her companions were experiencing at the hands of a renegade band of Apaches. The day was Monday, Oct. 18, 1880, as her diary continues.

Clogged heart arteries cause pain of angina

My grandson recently had scarlet fever. In my day, this was a very frightful disease. My daughter has taken a ho-hum attitude toward it. What are its complications?

Rim Country Notes & Notices

Flu shots are still available at the Gila County Office of Health in Payson and Globe. Children’s flu vaccine (for children 6 months through 18 years of age) is free. The standard flu vaccine for adults is $20.

Tax credit donations help local schools, charities

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take time to remember to give a gift that will give back to you come April 15.

Rim Photographer Earns Honors

Gerri Levine, who has made her home in Payson since 2004, recently has seen the efforts of her life- long love of photography rewarded with publication in both Arizona Highways and National Wildlife, the official periodical of the National Wildlife Federation.

Getaway around rim country

Gila County Community College and Gila County Cooperative Extension are offering AGR 230 “Gardening and Landscape” class in Young this spring.

Tuesday, December 14

Nursing home fight about curtain prompts assault on two nurses

A dispute between two nursing home residents led to an assault on two nurses and an arrest of a Payson woman.

Eagle Scout honor awarded to Bryce Davis

Bryce C. Davis, the son of Cameron and Cathe Davis of Payson and a member of Boy Scout Troop 7254, received the rank of Eagle Scout during an Eagle Court of Honor, Sunday, Dec. 12.

Git A Rope releases two new books

Payson’s own book publisher, Git A Rope Publishing, has just released two new books by Jinx Pyle.

Senior Circle members visit Verde Valley, Sedona

Two buses of Senior Circle members headed out to the Cliff Castle Casino and Sedona Las Abrigados Resort Wednesday, Dec. 8 and they all came back saying they had a blast.

Students sharing their talents, joy of life

As I entered the building, kids were moving chairs, running up and down aisles, singing, doing short dance routines and raising a small ruckus in a cacophony of sound.

Traffic switch scheduled on Hwy. 260 east of Payson

The Arizona Department of Transportation is upgrading a two-lane segment of State Route 260 to a four-lane divided highway 15 miles east of Payson.

Gardening and landscape course offered in Young

Gila County Community College and Gila County Cooperative Extension are offering AGR 230 “Gardening and Landscape” class in Young this Spring 2011.

Police officers need integrity, high moral standards

I would like to make a comment regarding a quote in the Dec. 10 issue front page article “Council upholds demotion of Lt. Garvin” where attorney Martin Bihn says “Good luck hiring police officers if this is the standard.”

Thank you, Pine and Strawberry voters

I want to extend my thanks to all the residents of Pine and Strawberry who voted, for me, in the recent November elections, for the Pine-Strawberry Fire Board. I will do my best to represent the best interest of the community.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters qualifies for tax credit

Recognition of the local nonprofit organizations that qualify for the Arizona Charity Tax Credit in Friday’s (Dec. 10, 2010) paper is very beneficial to the qualifying local organizations.

Ah, the roundabouts

Both roundabouts contain a forest of signs (no less than 30 at the Airport Road roundabout; no less than 26 at the Tyler Parkway roundabout) and a sea of pavement markings.

Christmas concert was beautiful

The Payson Choral Society Christmas Concert was indeed a beautiful message about the true meaning of this wonderful season.

If legislators fail, we’ll all hang now

“Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging,” remarked writer Samuel Johnson. Let us hope that the Arizona Legislature takes the remark to heart.

Community Almanac

The Senior Circle Holiday Bake Sale will be held until 4 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 14 at the Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway.

Fight, hit-run crash mark otherwise quiet weekend

On Dec. 12 the Gila County Sheriff’s Office made 12 traffic stops and received 44 calls, nine of them 911 calls. Deputies made six arrests of suspects booked into the Payson jail.

Rangers warn winter visitors of dangers

A lack of preparation or common sense can easily turn a White Christmas dream into a weekend nightmare.

Payson sales tax collections falter

Rim’s economy bumps and rattles through budget potholes

Increasingly, Payson’s struggle to recover from the downturn looks like a long ride in an old Jeep on a bad road.

Lobbyist highlights bleak state budget

Election gave Republicans overwhelming control, but only worsened the gnawing state budget crisis

Republican state legislative triumphs have made Democratic lawmakers largely irrelevant, but left the party with sole responsibility for a daunting budget problem, said lobbyist and former lawmaker Mike Gardner at a recent Gila Community College board meeting.

Shots fired: suicidal veteran triggers standoff

An allegedly distraught, suicidal Iraq War veteran fired several shots, threatened his girlfriend and then holed up in his house, as the Payson Special Response Team surrounded the Easy Street residence and tried to coax him to come out.

School board sets hearing on closure

Jan. 19 hearing will focus on closing Frontier Elementary

The Payson School Board Monday set a public hearing on whether to close an elementary school for Jan. 19.

Fishing Report

Lake elevation 1,670 feet (66 percent full). The bald eagle nesting closure in the Agua Fria arm of the lake starts on Dec. 15.

Top Payson area bowlers spotlighted

Bowler Spotlight is a new addition to the Roundup’s bowling coverage. Watch for one male and female in the Bowler Spotlight.

Game and Fish pleased by decision to release male wolf in eastern Arizona

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is pleased by a decision to authorize the release of an adult male Mexican wolf into eastern Arizona later this month or in January to help restore the stability of the Hawks Nest Pack and promote future breeding to further the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction project.

Lady Horn hoopsters lose hard-fought heartbreaker

PHS girls basketball team falls by one point to team that trounced them last year

The Lady Longhorns basketball team lost a heartbreaker this weekend, falling to Fountain Hills’ come from behind effort — with a little help from a controversial call.

Tease photo

Multi-meets test young wrestling team

Payson Longhorn wrestlers traveled to the White Mountains over the weekend for a 3A East multi-meet and were in Fountain Hills last Wednesday for another multi-meet.

Payson senior housing project receives loan from foundation

Pineview Manor, a 49-unit rental development for low-income senior citizens in Payson, is one of 11 affordable housing projects under way across Arizona, thanks to a zero-interest loan from the Arizona Community Foundation’s Affordable Housing Fund.

Rim Golf Club emerges from cloud of bankruptcy

The Rim Golf Club announced that the transfer of the golf club property to the member-owned club has been completed, following the bankruptcy of the club’s developer, Crescent Resources.

Adversity creates other opportunities

Where do you go after a short sale or foreclosure? This foreclosure crisis has gone on longer than a sane man would have guessed. It has probably affected people you know. It has also affected many pets.

Friday, December 10

GCC art show features hundreds of pieces

Paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photos and folk art crowd rooms and hallways at the college to showcase work of faculty, students

A two-sided, life-size sculpture of a one-breasted woman in the throes of the exhilarating, terrifying confrontation with breast cancer.

Payson Helping Payson now qualifies for state tax credit

Local charity has struggled to keep up with record number of pleas for assistance, many from young, desperate families

The state has designated a Payson group that helps pay bills for people facing eviction, loss of their electricity, loss of their cars and medical emergencies as a “qualifying charitable organization,” which means people can get a tax credit of up to $200 per person for a donation.

Crime spree in Blue Ridge area ends with a collision following a police pursuit on Hwy. 87

Law enforcement officers are still searching for one of three men who were in a vehicle that rammed a Coconino County Sheriff deputy’s vehicle less than 30 miles north of Strawberry Wednesday and who apparently fired shots at the vehicle.

GCC board draws together — then fractures

The Gila Community College board closed ranks on Thursday to extend a contract with a lobbyist who vowed to work toward the district’s independence — but then immediately fractured on the contentious issue of changing key board rules.

Supervisors begin long, rough journey to redistrict county

The Gila County Board of Supervisors has started down a long, winding and rough road to redistrict the county. The supervisors took the first steps on that long road at a work session Dec. 7.

Committee urges closing Frontier

Payson school board starts process aimed at saving $1 million and closing one of three elementary schools

The Payson Unified School District will close Frontier Elementary School next year if the school board accepts the recommendations of its School Configuration Committee presented at a special meeting on Thursday night.

Council upholds demotion of Lt. Garvin

Affair with the wife of a fellow officer and a relationship with a woman applying for a job led to the demotion of Payson’s second in command

After eight months of rumors and allegations, the Payson Town Council Thursday unanimously upheld the demotion of Lt. Donald Garvin down to sergeant.

Remember tax credits for schools, charities this Christmas

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take time to remember to give a gift that will give back to you come April 15.

Payson Community Kids in new spot for now

Payson Community Kids, also affectionately known as Marcy’s Kids for its late founder, Marcy Rogers, is now at a new location — for the time being.

Freezing temperatures stall roundabout finish

Payson must come up with money for street lights, but crews won’t lay final layer of asphalt until the spring

Cold weather has forced construction crews to wait until spring to put the finishing touches on the highway roundabout at Airport Road.

Payson grad earns NAU honors

Patrick Walker of Payson will don his cap and gown this month having earned more than just his diploma. He received a distinguished award from Northern Arizona University honoring his academic performance, leadership and service to the community during his undergraduate studies.

Military news

Air Force Airman Christopher D. Becher has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Thanks to all those who helped

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the wonderful people who have helped our son Paul Rife and his better half, Leah, in this trying time in their lives.

Rim Country Compassionate Friends joins worldwide candle lighting

Joining hundreds of organized memorial services around the world, the Rim Country Chapter of The Compassionate Friends (TCF), a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child, will light candles Sunday, Dec. 12 in an act of symbolic remembrance.

Payson Christian Clinic celebrates expansion

The Payson Christian Clinic is celebrating not only the holiday season, but more importantly its expansion from a mere 400 square feet to 2,000 square feet at its 701 S. Ponderosa St. site.

Payson’s first dentist looks back on his 40 years

Payson’s first full-time dentist and the man who greatly influenced the town’s future through his contributions to schools, athletics, family, patients and church is celebrating almost 40 years in the Rim Country.

Smart financial opportunities for ‘empty nesters’

It’s graduation time at colleges for the winter semester across the country.

Payson low-income project receives loan

Pineview Manor, a 49-unit rental development for low-income senior citizens in Payson, is one of 11 affordable housing projects in Arizona to receive a zero-interest loan from the Arizona Community Foundation’s Affordable Housing Fund.

State should drive global competition

The state government will have to play a critical role if Arizona businesses are to become global competitors, business leaders said at recent conference.

Two coincidences I promised to tell you about

Every once in a while it seems that coincidences rule the universe, for the good or for the bad. I’ve already mentioned one that saved the life of Paul Revere, and another that allowed Adolf Hitler to survive an incident where he surely should have died.

Deacon’s closet open for decades

In the article, “Food bank volunteer lends shelving skills,” on page 6A of the Dec. 3 edition of the Payson Roundup, I was surprised to read that the “Presbyterian Church food bank opened its doors only two years ago.” Perhaps as an official “food bank” that is true.

Volunteers provide help to Payson Helping Payson

Thank you, Payson. All of the volunteers at Payson Helping Payson want to thank every church, service organization and individual, in Payson, that financially helped us get through this very difficult and demanding year.

Celebrating the Bill of Rights

219 years ago, on Dec. 15, 1791, our precious Bill of Rights was ratified.

Rules for roundabouts

Now that the new roundabout is in place, would you please remind folks that there are laws on how to proceed through said roundabou

You can’t satisfy liberals

President Obama appears to have had an epiphany, as he cringes from the public health option debate early this year and more recently his “compromise” on the Bush tax plan. It’s what most Americans have already known, which is — you cannot satisfy liberals.

1099 form is expensive headache for small businesses

After all the wrapping paper is put away this Christmas, job creators will have to start stocking up on a different kind of paper: tax forms.

Schools, charities can use use a gift this time of year

Amidst the flurry of the season, we hope you will take a moment to make a gift to your community — by taking advantage of the state tax credit you can get with a donation to local schools and charities.

Community Almanac

Soroptimist International of Zane Grey will be sponsoring a Holiday Wine & Cheese Party from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday Dec. 10 at the Best Western, 801 N. Beeline Highway. There will be wine and appetizers to sample, plus some great raffle and silent auction items to bid on. The cost is $15.

‘Losing Lennon’ a gut-wrenching documentary

It was 30 years ago this past Wednesday, Dec. 8, that marked the anniversary of former Beatle, John Lennon’s, tragic death.

Mercury rising in Heber-Overgaard

Our recent warm-up with overnight temperatures above the freezing mark has departed with a return of colder nights reaching into the mid 20s.

Flood of holiday events in Christopher Creek

Well the holidays are upon us and I am getting a flood of events that are happening right here in Christopher Creek. So, here is the most up-to-date list of holiday goings-on that I have.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The Village is getting to look very festive. Many of the homes are sporting colorful Christmas lights and blow up Santas. Some of the homeowners are decorating their whole yard for the enjoyment of the Villagers.

Last Shop Hop of the year is tomorrow

The holiday season is in full swing with cookie exchanges, Christmas parties, Nativity displays, light parades, and Christmas concerts. Fortunately, while the calendar may be full, each opportunity gives us a chance to be with family and friends in a meaningful way, so try to enjoy each moment as we hasten to Christmas Day.

Holbrook teams showcase talent against Longhorns

Holbrook might have the best all-around basketball program in the 3A conference.

Wrestlers place fifth in New Mexico high school meet

Giving up 24 points at the onset of each wrestling dual is not an ideal situation for any high school team to find itself.

Youth compete with honors in Punt, Pass, Kick

A pair of Payson teenagers showcased their gridiron skills Dec. 5 in the Punt, Pass and Kick state championships held at University of Phoenix Stadium just prior to the Cardinals game against the St. Louis Rams.

Youth-oriented fishing club organized for the Rim Country

If Payson High School counselor and former wrestling and football coach Don Heizer has his druthers, a youth-oriented bass fishing club will soon be up and operating in the Rim Country.

PHS moved from 3A East to new division

Parker, Mingus, Wickenburg, Estrella to face Longhorns

Say goodbye to the Beasts of the East.

Tease photo

Payson teams complete 3-day, 60-mile walk

Kim Lower’s voice crackles with raw emotion as she tells others why she participated in the Susan G. Komen Phoenix 3-Day for the Cure.

Rim Country photographer earns honors

Gerri Levine, who has made her home in Payson since 2004, recently has seen the efforts of her lifelong love of photography rewarded with publication in both Arizona Highways and National Wildlife, the official periodical of the National Wildlife Federation.

Tease photo

Spirit of Christmas

Community’s musicians, singers, actors celebrate the season

Complete with duets, touching skits, singing angels, and even a shower of balloons, Sunday’s Spirit of Christmas concert offered an impressive demonstration of our community’s talent.

Wednesday, December 8

Getaway around rim country

The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce mixer will be held at Good Samaritan Majestic Rim on Tyler Parkway, just east of The Home Depot at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Holiday Happenings

New Hope Equine Rescue has a limited number of the popular 25-inch Victorian wreaths — decorated, including lights — available for sale for at the New Hope facility in Star Valley in December.

Good 2 Go

Candlelight Memorial Walk at Green Valley Park

Joining hundreds of organized memorial services around the world, The Rim Country Chapter of The Compassionate Friends (TCF), a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child, will light candles Sunday, Dec. 12 in an act of symbolic remembrance.

Sounds of the season ring in holidays

The collage of Christmas celebrations in the Rim Country continues to grow this weekend.

A little highway history

The highways in Rim Country have gone through constant realignment; realignment that continues as Highway 260 is expanded just outside of Little Green Valley.

Asthma usually controllable

Allergies can be another trigger for attacks. Allergy shots are not guaranteed to stop them, but they can lessen their intensity and frequency. You might want to reconsider your position.

Pumpkin treats to bake and share

It’s time once again to start baking some holiday cheer to share with friends and neighbors. These recipes make plenty of sweet treats to go around — and they’re so good you just may want to keep some for yourself.

Going Around-The-World

It has been my good fortune to have traveled to 128 countries to date. I was bitten by the travel bug as a teenager and have never gotten over it.

Tuesday, December 7

What does the new small business jobs act mean to you?

On Sept. 27, President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act into law. Aimed at small-business owners, the act is designed to provide improved access to financing, as well as tax incentives

Do you trust your lender?

There was recently an article in another publication describing how a person was working with their lender on a loan modification for their condo.

Science teacher is runner-up for Golden Bell award

The Arizona School Board Association has named Payson High School science teacher Beverly Adams as runner-up for a Golden Bell Award for an East Verde River water quality project.

High school drama students win statewide honors

Payson High School drama students got what amounts to a standing ovation at a recent statewide drama competition.

Payson High culinary program earns national Hot 100 status

Payson High School has been named one of the Hot 100 secondary school culinary programs in the United States for the 2010-2011 school year.

PHS students, Mazatzal pastry chef earn honors for work

You won’t find these inventive gingerbread houses in any Hansel and Gretel fairy tale.

Santa at Senior Circle Christmas party

The Majestic Rim Retirement Community on Tyler Parkway was the setting for this year’s Senior Circle Christmas party.

Time to enjoy our sunrises

What beautiful sunrises we have had the last few mornings!

Prescribed burn planned near Roosevelt Lake

A prescribed fire operation is planned by Tonto National Forest fire specialists for Dec. 13-17 approximately seven miles northeast of the community of Punkin Center.

Sounds of the season ring in holidays

The collage of Christmas celebrations in the Rim Country continues to grow this weekend.

Problems at Home Depot roundabout

How many accidents will it take for the state to change roundabout at Home Depot back to two lanes when entering it from the south.

Happy with new roundabout

I am very pleased with the new roundabout at Airport and Highway 87.

Payson community thanked for helping with food bank needs

St. Vincent de Paul said “… I must act in such a way that people love their Creator and each other in mutual charity ….” This very feeling was overwhelmingly shown by Payson’s outpouring of time, money and food since this past summer, but most especially this Thanksgiving season.

If it’s not Bush’s fault, it must be global warming

Whew, I don’t know where to start. Print media is so much fun. If one listens to those who constantly decry the accuracy of Internet stories, that anyone can post; or the content of TV shows purporting to be unbiased (fair and balanced?) evaluators and disseminators of the news one would think the last refuge of truth, justice and the American way is the daily newspaper and maybe that’s true.

The Pied Piper lives

To those of you dedicated persons who have consistently met with the Payson Tea Party every Thursday at 6 p.m. at various locations and have enjoyed some extremely interesting and educational sessions, but fail to understand, as do I, why we would leave a perfectly good restaurant, one will eating, or meeting, with anyone who wishes, at Tiny’s on Thursdays at 6 p.m.

Time for a rewrite of the Pledge of Allegiance?

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Pearl Harbor still holds a vital lesson

Sixty-nine years ago today, one of this nation’s greatest disasters laid the foundation for its greatest triumph.

New school board member named

Retired Whiteriver police chief Kim Jeffrey Pound will fill the last vacancy on the Payson Unified School District board, county schools chief Linda O’Dell announced Wednesday.

Gila County working to help Tonto Creek homeowners

After a solid year of asking the county to do something to protect their homes from floodwaters, east side residents of Tonto Basin could finally see some relief.

Recession compounds county health problems

The recession has compounded Gila County’s already serious health problems, says a recent report presented to health care leaders in Payson last week.

Tests stalled murder case for two years

Lab results focused on whether Deer Creek woman shot herself in the chest

Gila County sheriff’s investigators decided the evidence and the interviews didn’t match up with the reported suicide of Enessa Hamilton within hours of her May 11, 2007 death, but had to wait three, long, frustrating years to get enough results back from state and private crime labs to arrest her former boyfriend for murder last week.

State pursues elk poachers

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating a cow elk poaching case and needs the public’s assistance in finding the individual or individuals involved.

Town hosts officiating clinics

If Trevor LaHaye has his way, local men and women will soon have an opportunity to pocket a bit more spending money. They can earn the cash by officiating and referring in upcoming basketball, softball, volleyball and soccer tournaments and leagues to be sponsored by the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.

Community Almanac

Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church is hosting a Community Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., Friday, Dec 10. The church is at 507 W. Wade Lane. The menu includes scrabbled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, hash browns, coffee and juice.

Realignment makes for a tough road

High Schools with smaller enrollments — like Sanders (338), St. Johns, (342) Morenci (360) and Thatcher (400) — are going to find it extremely rough to win a state basketball championship under the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s new Division-Section alignment that next year will replace the region-conference format that has been used for decades.

Horns’ home region opener is Dec. 14

A boys basketball clash today, Dec. 7, in Holbrook will be a huge challenge for the Payson Longhorns, mostly because the Roadrunners appear to be equal to, or possibly better than last season’s 23-8 team that advanced to the state tournament and reached the second round before being eliminated by eventual 3A champion Estrella Foothills.

Shoot for the Heart is this Thursday night at Mtn. Bible

The date for the next Shoot for the Heart seminar was mistakenly omitted from the Dec. 3 edition of this column.

Tease photo

Lady Horns return to action tonight

Game in Holbrook is first in a six-game series on the road

The Lady Longhorns return to action this evening, Dec. 7, at Holbrook in an inter-regional game that is one of six consecutive road games the Horns play during an 18-day period.

Monday, December 6

Prescribed fires planned near Roosevelt Lake

Burns also planned for Bray Creek Ranch and Christopher Creek areas

A prescribed fire operation is planned by Tonto National Forest fire specialists for Dec. 13-17 approximately seven miles northeast of the community of Punkin Center.

Saturday, December 4

A Shooter's win in the first Round

The Longhorn boys’ basketball team got off to rip roaring start in the 2010 Cake’s Car Company Shoot Out upending Hopi 57-54 in a first round game played Dec. 2 in Winslow.

Friday, December 3

Students take part in Walk-A-Thon to help charities

Through a few simple steps, two local charities are getting much-needed supplies.

10th annual Electric Light Parade is Saturday

It’s time to kick off Christmas with a wonderful community tradition.

Payson board slots go begging

Town has trouble recruiting volunteers to serve on an array of advisory commissions

Payson is scrounging for citizen volunteers to serve on an array of boards and commissions.

Dentists, young Kiwanis reach out to help youth with dental problems

Kiwanis Young Professionals has organized a team of local dentists willing to treat low-income Rim Country youth suffering from dental pain but who lack dental insurance.

Food bank volunteer lends shelving skills

About a year ago, the Community Presbyterian Church food bank got a gift when Robert Tarallo started attending mass. They got a set of some of the most organizing hands in Rim Country.

How little we sometimes know about an elderly person

More than once I’ve mentioned how I enjoyed my high school a lot more than I might have if it hadn’t been for the great shop classes it offered.

Author ponders threat of Iranian nukes

Book signing session Friday unveils Payson man’s long effort to unravel secrets of Iran’s military

After decades of shifting through every scrap of information he could find on Iran’s military, Paul Andy McKinney just couldn’t take it anymore.

Thanks to all who supported Pine-Strawberry community dinner

We would like to thank everyone who donated food and/or their time to the Pine/Strawberry community Thanksgiving dinner.

Unhappy with Star Valley speed camera

Speed cameras send money outside the United States and local towns only keep 18 percent according to the Town of Star Valley’s mayor (when) recently interviewed on KMOG.

Rodeo Committee thanked for supporting RCMS wrestling

Bill Armstrong and the Payson Rodeo Committee: As the head wrestling coach of Rim Country purchase wrestling T-shirts for over 50 wrestlers this year. The wrestlers, parents and RCMS staff sincerely thank you as well as the rodeo committee for the generous donation of $432.30.

Speed limits benefit entire community when followed

On Feb. 14, my 1-year-old black house cat was run over and killed. On Nov. 30, my dog, Sarah, a 9-month-old Shar pei American Bull Dog jumped the fence, ran into the street and was struck by a speeding car.

Schools failing to provide proper civics education

Noah Webster, one of America’s most renowned educators and author of our nation’s first textbooks, wrote in 1788 that, “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country.”

County has vital stake in GCC success

The Gila County Supervisors this week deserted the voters who elected them. It was a disgusting spectacle.

Community Almanac

The Women’s Ministries of Payson First Assembly of God, 1100 W. Lake Drive (the church at Green Valley Park), will hold its annual Holiday Craft and Bake Sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4. Entry is from the upper level parking area. All proceeds go to missionaries and charities of the church.

Payson schools hold in-service day Dec. 8

Payson Unified School District will observe a half-day in-service day on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Injured paramedics helped by friends

When two Payson paramedics were injured in a head-on collision on Highway 87 last week that nearly paralyzed one of them, local firefighters and friends immediately rushed to their side.

Construction planned for animal shelter

Humane society lands large donation to build 8,000-square-foot, $1-million, facility at its Main Street location

Thanks to a nick-of-time major Christmas gift, the Humane Society of Central Arizona will next year build an 8,000-square-foot, $1-million animal shelter in Payson.

Supervisor Dawson says it is a ‘drastic error’ for GCC to seek its independence

Gila Community College’s plan to break away from Eastern Arizona College and gain independence would be “one of the most drastic errors we can make,” Supervisor Shirley Dawson said at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Gila deputies arrest man in 2007 killing

Former boyfriend arrested in death

Three years after the death of a Deer Creek woman from a gunshot wound, Gila County Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested her former boyfriend and charged him with second-degree murder, domestic violence and endangerment.

Prison escapee’s ex-wife enters guilty plea to felony charge

The ex-wife of prison escapee John McCluskey pleaded guilty in Yavapai Superior Court Tuesday to attempt to hinder prosecution, a class 6 felony, said Attorney General Terry Goddard.

Entering into the ‘Spirit of Christmas’

After months of effort, more than a hundred volunteers, actors, musicians, dancing toys, cherub-cute angels and faux shepherd boys on Sunday will face the spotlights and a brimming crowd — in hopes of feeding the hungry.

Keep pets safe from holiday hazards

Beautiful lights and decorations are up now and you can hear some of your favorite carols on the radio. It’s getting colder in Payson, and Christmas is just around the corner.

Low-income senior housing project receives grant

Thanks to a zero-interest loan from the Arizona Community Foundation’s (ACF) Affordable Housing Fund, Pineview Manor is one of 11 affordable housing projects under way across Arizona.

Financial moves to help stay-at-home spouses

Not all households have two wage earners. By choice or circumstance, either you or your spouse may be out of the work force for an extended period of time.

Young Longhorn wrestling team members on the road to Albuquerque

Younger members of the Longhorn varsity wrestling team travel today, Dec. 3, to the Southwest Duals tournament near Albuquerque, N.M. buoyed by the experience gained at a junior varsity clash held Nov. 27 at Perry High School in Gilbert.

Get those rods and reels repaired now

Winter is upon us and that fishing equipment is stored in the corner of the garage waiting for the spring bite. If you are looking for something to do on one of those cold winter days, how about examining your favorite rods and reels in preparation for the first spring fishing trip?

Tease photo

Horns rebound from loss to Winslow to roll over Globe and Chino Valley

After falling 60-48 to the state third-ranked Winslow Bulldogs, the Longhorn boys basketball team roared back to whip Globe, 69-47 and Chino Valley 71-40.

Lady Horns recover from opening game loss to defeat Globe 51-30

After falling 83-29 to defending state champion Winslow in the 2010-2011 season opener, the Lady Longhorns basketball team rebounded to whip the Globe Tigers 51-30.

Shoot for the Heart getting bigger, better

The upcoming Shoot for the Heart seminar keeps getting bigger and better.

Swimmers can now train in Payson

Club swimming in Payson has taken a giant leap forward thanks to a commitment from one of the Valley’s finest youth coaches and the dedication of a local fledgling coach.

Blogging 101 — don’t miss out on the fun

Have you started testing the social media waters yet? Maybe you’ve posted a few updates on Twitter, “stalked” a few old classmates on Facebook, or broadcast your daughter’s dance recital on YouTube. But even with all that activity, you might be missing out on the bread and butter of all social media: the blog.

Assessor explains property tax values

The weather front we experienced in the early part of the week brought with it light snow with accumulations totaling 1 to 2 inches and winds around 30 to 40 miles per hour.

Christmas Tree Auction tonight

The Second Annual Festival of Lights event in Pine was a huge success. Several hundreds of people milled around the ramada, inside the local business craft display in the Cultural Hall, and at the Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild Christmas Boutique.

Christmas party plans still ongoing

Tonto Village was covered with snow on Sunday. According to some of my neighbors, the snowfall amount was about 2 inches.

The world could use a few more ‘ugly’ people

Every once in awhile I get someone that will mail me an old article or something neat from the past. I got a letter not long ago from Bob Cowell and his letter seemed very timely considering it is the holiday season.

Screaming is part of Beatles’ memory

Last weekend, Ann and I had the opportunity to provide musical entertainment at the Festival of Lights celebration in Pine.

‘Angel’ volunteers a special breed with Hospice

The work of Hospice Compassus is both emotionally draining and tremendously rewarding for both its staff and volunteers.

‘You get a lot more than what you give’

“You get a lot more than what you give,” said Hospice Compassus volunteer Brenda Allison. Allison, a resident of Pine for the last four years, joined the special group of people who volunteer with Hospice a little more than a year ago. Most become volunteers to provide comfort to those in the last stage of life.

Wednesday, December 1

Prescribed burns this week

Payson Ranger District fire personnel plan to eliminate piles of vegetative debris using prescribed fire throughout the Gordon Canyon and Christopher Creek areas Nov. 30 through Dec. 3.

Prison escapee's ex-wife enters guilty plea

The ex-wife of prison escapee John McCluskey pleaded guilty in Yavapai Superior Court Tuesday to attempt to hinder prosecution, a class 6 felony, said Attorney General Terry Goddard.