Stories for January 2010

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Saturday, January 30

Ice fishing on high country lakes

Winter in the northern tier of states has a hardy breed of outdoor recreationalist called the ice fisherman.

Friday, January 29

Payson High student earns Naval Academy appointment

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has nominated 11 Arizonans to our nation’s service academies for the Class of 2014, including Payson High School senior Nicholas Walker. He was selected by the congresswoman for nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy.

GCC board’s bizarro world

Did you hear the one about the guy who killed his parents — then threw himself on the mercy of the court on the grounds that he was an orphan?

Storm drops 4 feet of snow in Tonto Village

Was I the one who said I wanted a white Christmas? Well, I got that and a whole lot more!

Schedules for spring sports are firming up

Spring schedules, which include golf, softball, baseball and track and field, are the most tenuous in high school sports.

Hospital hires marketing director

Payson Regional Medical Center has hired Bo Larsen as the hospital’s director of marketing and business development.

Firefighters battle sneaky Pine attic fire for 10 hours

Some fires are big and ferocious and destroy a home in minutes. Other fires are sneaky. They start quietly in an attic, slowly lurk throughout the eaves and eventually consume the home with smoke and smaller pockets of fire in the ceiling and walls.

Doomsday ‘profiteering’

Hollywood producers have capitalized on so-called prophecies given by well known seers of the past, “whole cultures” and devoted followers of various religions. Some people showed their devotion by offering their relatives to the “gods” of nature. I wonder how many have sacrificed the future of their own children to “appease” the anger of these “Hot Under The Collar” unknown gods?

Senator grades president’s first year in office

When President Obama took office, he promised to launch a new era of fiscal responsibility, bipartisanship, and transparency at home, and to improve America’s standing abroad.

Star Valley, Payson poised to end water wars

‘Agreement to agree’ draft would allow towns to work together to solve water issues

Payson and Star Valley this week turned the water war into a support group, with a “monumental” agreement to give Star Valley access to a deep water well and an existing water main that could support commercial development and fire hydrants along the highway.

Community Almanac

After a lengthy break for the holidays, the Tonto Community Concert Association (TCCA) ramps up the 2010 leg of its 31st season with Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band. TCCA ticket holders will join the energetic group to celebrate the music of Neil Diamond at the Payson High School Auditorium at 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 29.

APS ranks Rim Country storm as one of the worst

While the majority of us were huddled safely in our homes during last week’s storms, the linemen of APS bravely weathered the sleeting rain and plummeting temperatures for hours to restore power to communities throughout the Rim.

Country could benefit from living by Scouts’ code

The Boy Scouts of America is an organization that teaches a young man to become a gentleman and to learn the skills he needs, not only to succeed in the wilderness, but also in his family and in the community.

Payson, ASU clear campus hurdles

Payson and Arizona State University negotiators have resolved the biggest questions about building a four-year college campus in Payson, but devilish details remain, according to Payson Mayor Kenny Evan

Lobbying contract would help EAC over Gila college

Gila Community College will pay $36,000 this year to a lobbyist that also represents Eastern Arizona College, and who is contractually required to side with EAC should a conflict of interest arise.

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Storms wash away mobile homes and RVs

Tonto Basin residents try to recover from flooding

Standing amidst a pile of rubble, Mark Kotas, manager of the Sleepy Hollow RV Park in Tonto Basin, points to a string of trailers toppled or sopping wet from last week’s winter storms that flooded the small park on the banks of Tonto Creek

Rim business owners reach out to help Tonto Natural Bridge

The Payson Main Street Guild members are planning a series of fund-raising events in an effort to help keep Tonto Natural Bridge operating.

Tips to make your WiFi experience better

By now you’ve probably had a chance to tap into the vast network of WiFi hotspots scattered throughout the world. You’ll find them in coffee shops, airports (and even airplanes), hotels, libraries, bookstores, and many more locations. WiFi is even available in some campgrounds — you can now check e-mail and weather forecasts from the privacy of your own sleeping bag.

Snow-covered park perfect setting for proposal

Wow! Wasn’t that some kind of storm we had last week? First, it poured cats and dogs for three straight days, then the temperature cooled just enough to let Mother Nature bless the Rim Country with 1 to 3 feet of fluffy winter wonderland.

Creekers: We’re all in this together

Although, I grew up in Rim Country and almost moved to Payson as a kid, I did most of my growing up in Pinetop-Lakeside (more specifically Wagon Wheel).

Grateful for wood stoves, generators and bobcats

The big news of course, was the weather system that hit with a vengeance last week. The Rim Country barely had time to recover from the snow that hit early in the week before we were walloped but good from Thursday through Saturday. This is one time that the weather genies called it pretty accurately which gave us all a chance to get as prepared as possible. Of course it’s almost impossible to prepare for something as intense as what we experienced.

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Furry characters come to life

Teen uses anthropomorphism to give back to community

Sixteen-year-old Deanna Biesemeyer lives a furry lifestyle. From her hobby, to her business, to her friends, most everything is connected in some way to furry fandom.

Shelter takes in 13 evacuated pets

Well, the first big storm of 2010 has come and gone. And to the amazement of us all, our little old shelter held up. We had buckets under many leaks and some things had to be lifted up to get them out of the water running under the door.

Affordable auto, marine, RV service comes to Payson

After providing mobile automotive repair to the Rim Country for the last five years, Craig Chance decided he wanted to settle in one location.

An idea for local teenagers who are bored

Many years ago in a small California town of 3,000, the local teens were bored (justifiably so) out of their minds. They went to the town council and asked for a youth center. A place to gather, dance, laugh.

A look at the best teams in the 3A tournament

With onset the 3A Arizona State Boys Basketball Tournament just over the horizon, it’s time to scour the state to uncover some of the teams the Longhorns could face if they qualify, as expected, for the 16-team postseason shoot-out.

Region basketball tournament dates changed

The season-ending East Region tournament will now be held one week later than originally scheduled.

Register for youth wrestling program now

It’s not too late for parents to register their children for the upcoming Little Longhorn Wrestling program.

Where in the world are good investment opportunities these days?

Back in first-grade, you learned that U.S. territory ended where Mexico’s or Canada’s began. Geographically speaking, that is still true. But when it comes to investing, you don’t have to remain within U.S. borders — because you can find opportunities anywhere in the world.

To a city kid, rain can be a great thing

Country kids take rain for granted. In fact, country kids are not particularly fond of rain. If you live out in the country, and you get up on a sunny morning, the number of things you can do is almost unlimited. But if it’s raining that same morning the list is cut down to a nub, and one worrisome part of that nub is the possibility that Mom will remember the list of inside chores she’s been after you about for the past three weeks.

Basketball schedule for balance of 2010 season

Jan. 29 vs. Snowflake in Payson.

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Payson bettered by St. Johns

Both the boys and girls basketball teams saw a rough night when the Longhorns faced the St. Johns Redskins. The boys lost a close 43-40 game, while the girls fell with a 48 to 23 score.

Native Air donating $15,000 to Gracie Lee Haught fund

In September 2009, Native Air announced its Flight for the Cause fundraising program to benefit the Payson-based Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.

Statewide voter registration dips slightly in 4th quarter

Statewide voter registration declined slightly in the fourth quarter of 2009 while Gila County numbers remained steady.

Thursday, January 28

SV, Payson’s ‘agreement to agree’ draft allows towns to work together on water issues

In less than a year, Star Valley and Payson have gone from enemies to friends. With a new “monumental” agreement on the table, this relationship could be solidified in writing.

Wednesday, January 27

THE AGE OF AIRPLANES

The Story of Payson, Arizona -Chapter 35

It was in the summer of 1935 that Payson began to be a destination for airplanes. It was Cliff “Tuffie” Edwards who launched the feverish hobby that soon gripped a number of local ranchers and town folk. He was from Texas, as were so many early residents of the Payson area, and in 1910, by the age of 12, Edwards was already a capable cowboy riding with the best of them.

Fun and sun in Florida

We recognize Florida for its sun-filled beaches, warm climate, world famous theme parks and great resorts. It is also the location to board a ship for most of the Caribbean cruises. If you are booking a cruise that departs from either Miami or Fort Lauderdale, why not extend your stay in Florida for a few days? Rent a car and see the state.

TCCA season resumes with tribute to pop icon and his music

TCCA hosts “dead-on” Neil Diamond tribute?

Drip Castle Dreamland

Kartchner Caverns reveal a hidden, fantasy landscape

The earth breathes — its intake and exhalation measured in seasons. Standing in the caverned heart of the earth — red as blood and warm as a womb, people stand and stare, fleeting as cave crickets — sensing both the vitality of stone and the frailty of flesh.

Eating and living ‘WELL’

For years, Chef Wolfgang Puck has been an inspiration to home cooks across the country, teaching them how to create contemporary American dishes by mixing formal French techniques with Asian and California influences.

How to patch holes in wallboard

A do-it-yourselfer can find it necessary to cut a hole in wallboard to facilitate the installation home improvement item — a recessed toilet-paper holder, for instance. Obviously, such holes are necessary to the task and voluntarily created. On the other hand, a frustrated adult or an overzealous youngster — swinging a door open a bit too hard — may create unwanted and unplanned holes. These holes can’t be easily hidden by installing a mere toilet paper holder. Anyway, who wants a toilet paper holder mounted in their dining room entry?

A special Valentine’s Day concert

Jazz and cabaret singer Vismaya (aka, Ingrid Hagelberg) will perform at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St, Payson.

Sleep position and heartburn

Why don’t doctors share such simple methods for relief rather than prescribing medications?

Drug-free calendar contest winners named

Students who won the Gila County Attorney’s Office “I Am Drug-Free, Because I Want to be A ...” calendar coloring contest congregated in the Payson supervisor’s office recently to receive their awards. Chief Deputy Patti Wortman announced the winners.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio coming to Payson

Many know him as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” — a name given to him years ago by the media. It’s a name he certainly has earned as head of the nation’s third largest sheriff’s department, which employs more than 3,000 people. But even before he became Maricopa County Sheriff in 1993, Joe Arpaio was one tough lawman, says a press release.

Tuesday, January 26

Thermometers appreciated

The Payson Unified School District health care providers are diligent in their quest in keeping students healthy and in preventing the spread of disease.

France needs to help Haiti

France now has the opportunity to step to the plate and provide amends to the Haitian people. For more than 80 years they hauled marketable Africans from French West and French Equatorial Africa to Haiti to be sold on the slave market primarily in the United States.

School advocates must make their case for override

Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me.

Snow forces scheduling changes

School district and town parks and recreation officials spent yesterday, Jan. 25, muddling through games and events cancelled last week while trying to figure out when and where to reschedule.

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Horns’ fate rests with trio of seniors

Any hope the Longhorn boys basketball team has of improving its last place position in the East region standings rests on the return to the lineup of injured co-captains Dakota Marshall and Cody Waterman to lead the Horns during the final five-game stretch run.

Lady Longhorns shorthanded for stretch run

The Lady Longhorns could be without the services of a trio of their finest players during the five crucial games remaining on the regular season schedule.

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Storm topples trees, floods creeks

Toppling trees, flooding creeks, sliding hillsides and overcorrecting motorists kept every emergency agency hustling this weekend to keep up with one disaster after another.

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Nearly year of rain falls in 5 days

Storms dump 11 inches on Payson, fill reservoirs to overflowing — but El Niño pattern may not last

El Niño delivered after all. At least, for the moment.

Thank you Rim Country

We very much appreciate your contribution and want you to know that the entire squad looks forward to volunteering their efforts in the coming year, knowing that people like you stand behind them with your generous support.

School board will face tough budget decisions

Faced with a budget deficit of at least $1 million for the next school year, the Payson Unified School District board is treading lightly, leaving it up to the superintendent to formulate proposals for a balanced budget, members agreed Monday night.

Blue Ridge water may end conflict

Salt River Project vows to not only dole out 500 acre-feet to communities along the pipeline, but to resolve tangle of issues

Go on out into the rain. Stand with your face upturned, the sky running like tears across your face. Just remember — that’s not your water.

Community Almanac

The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program will have an open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27 at the CASA office, 714 S. Beeline Highway, Ste. 201.

Ed Blair needed on town council

The citizens of Payson need a council member like Ed Blair.

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Young students given chance to catch up

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” set to a Hawaiian tune lilts out over Mimi Dailey’s pre-first grade classroom, where roughly a dozen students sing the song and simultaneously gesture in sign language.

Business Briefs

Arizona State Credit Union is now offering online account opening service for existing and new credit union members, including those who use the Payson branch.

Game Postponed for second time

A make up boy’s basketball game vs. Alchesay that was scheduled to be played Jan. 27 has been postponed a second time. It will now be played on Feb. 5 in Wilson dome. Game times remain the same, 4:30 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Dog walk in Green Valley Park

It was a very mild January day and I had a new dog.

Helpful folks at Jake’s Corner

In mid December 2009, after meeting with a client, I stopped by Jake’s Corner because of car problems.

America is not pleased

In response to Scott Brown’s decisive victory in the Massachusetts special election White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated that the president was “not pleased.” I hope that President Obama understands that the votes cast in typically left-leaning Massachusetts reflect the feelings of most Americans. We are “not pleased.”

The people are watching now

Congratulations to the independent voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for sending a resounding message to the congressional leadership and President Obama!

Longtime CPA represents Valley firm in Payson

Just in time for the tax season, longtime Payson certified public accountant Stephanie J. Tangeman has teamed up with H&S Accounting, LLC out of the Valley.

Local real estate agents offer expertise not found in the Valley

Recently my wife and I were interested in a property in another part of Arizona.

School advocates start campaign to pass override

Passage of the Payson school override would give the school $1.2M

School advocates are mounting a huge grassroots effort to pass March’s school budget override election. The same measure failed in November 2008 after a quiet campaign, leaving in its wake a set of worried and confused school and community leaders.

Star Valley to consider improving storm water drainage on Valley Road

It looks like the Star Valley Town Council is one step closer to mitigating flooding with improved storm water drainage on Valley Road.

Pine spellers

Just peeking over the lectern, Meghan Bridgers is barely able to see the judges as she correctly spells her first word.

GCC offers classes in Pine

Gila Community College is offering eBay As A Home-Based Business and a Photoshop course in Pine.

DECA students win 34 awards at regional career conference

Payson High School’s DECA Chapter let the rest of the state know it will be a chapter to watch in upcoming competitive events.

Feature Teacher

I teach because I am surrounded daily with wonderful people, my students, my students’ parents, my principal, and my co-workers. I always say if I have a bad day it is my own fault; children are beautiful people.

Miracles do happen

I see that the anointed one flew to Massachusetts for a Sunday revival meeting to sing the same old boring hymn he always sings to his congregations.

Rep. Kirkpatrick nominates Payson High student to U.S. Naval Academy

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has nominated 11 Arizonans to the nation’s service academies for the Class of 2014, including Payson High School senior Nicholas Walker. The Congresswoman selected Walker for nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Monday, January 25

Highway 87 reopened

Following a weekend of closures on nearly every highway in northern Arizona, on Monday the bulk of highways were reopened despite ice and snow still present.

Saturday, January 23

Time to start process to get fall hunt permits

It is that time of year again to start the process to secure next fall’s antelope and elk permits for the state of Arizona. The booklets and application envelopes are at most major sporting goods stores as well as the local Walmart. This drawing is early for Arizonans in order to aid hunters in planning fall hunts in state so that there is no overlap with the more popular deer and turkey seasons.

Bad economy hinders county landfill income

A dumpy economy has illuminated a new victim: landfills.

Friday, January 22

Split vote keeps Ashford GCC board chair

Board appears to violate its own policy in appointing Bob Ashford for the sixth time as chairman, say two members

Gila Community College board member Bob Ashford retained his spot as chairman for the fifth time Wednesday afternoon, despite protests that this violated board term limit policy.

Village gets first taste of week’s winter storms

Tonto Village got the first taste of the bad weather that will be upon us all this week. Snow accumulation amounted to about four inches since Monday morning.

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The Last Dream

A chance encounter within the world’s grandest canyon reveals life’s deepest lessons

He sat on a boulder beside a small stream just off Bright Angel Trail near the bottom of the Grand Canyon, looking frail, oddly content, and out of place. A fly-fishing rod jutted crookedly from his pack, which was brand new and his hiking boots were barely scuffed. A curious combination of weariness and joy struggled for dominance on his finely etched features.

Mayor says if not ASU, some other college will be built on forest land

A university will eventually be built on the 320 acres adjacent to The Rim Club on Highway 260, whether or not it’s Arizona State University, Mayor Kenny Evans told the crowd at Thursday’s Citizens Awareness Committee meeting.

County supervisors declare state of emergency

Gila County declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning while blue skies held no portend of the torrential downpour to come Thursday.

Expected bad weather forces postponements

The series of three storms that swept over Arizona this week is wreaking havoc on Payson High School sports.

Parks & Rec’s Watchable Wildlife program date moved up

The time and date for the Town of Payson-sponsored popular Watchable Wildlife 101 has been changed to 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10. It was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18.

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Co-captains return after being sidelined by injuries

The Longhorn boys basketball team might finally be healthy and armed with the firepower and defense to snap an eight-game losing streak.

Bass pro to offer special seminar

A golden opportunity awaits Rim Country anglers looking to pickup fishing tips from one of the country’s finest professional anglers.

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Little League had rocky start in Rim Country

The roots of the Payson’s highly successful Little League program can be traced to the early 1960s when facilities were almost non-existent, there were enough players for only two teams and a handful of dedicated volunteers spearheaded the sport.

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JRE and PHS students will attempt to raise 200 trout eggs

The trout eggs now floating in two Rim Country classroom aquariums will hopefully have a happy life.

Get smart about investing

If you have children at home, you’re no doubt aware that after the winter break, it is back-to-school time.

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Group having fun while shopping locally

A group of Pine-Strawberry business owners and employees bolstered Payson’s economy Wednesday afternoon when they merrily strolled the Swiss Village Shops in an effort to spread the “Be loyal, Buy local” campaign.

Some changes are definitely for the better

Scratch an old person, or if you insist on being politically correct, scratch a senior citizen, and you’ll find someone who will be only too happen to look you straight in the eye, spit, and tell you that things ain’t what they used to be.

Forum offered good information

Those of you that missed the forum, Jan. 8, at the high school Friday night really missed a very informative and enjoyable evening.

Thanks to those who contributed to Clothe-A-Child Program

We would like to acknowledge the merchants and businesses in the Payson area who contributed to our 10th annual Clothe-A-Child Program and would appreciate your printing the following: Tom Jones, Master of Payson Masonic Lodge

Something to think about

Ruth Greco’s letter called a previous letter writer ignorant and went on to label those of us who are liberal minded as fascists and socialist.

Passing override is important

Passing the Payson Schools’ override is not only important to the future of our children’s education, it is vital to the financial stability of our town. We have already seen the budget cuts our town is making to balance the town budget. Imagine the impact the loss of 30-plus families to our community will have.

Positive home rule vote critical

Voters traditionally approve Payson home rule status

Payson would irrevocably change should voters defeat home rule in March, with demolished hopes of building the Blue Ridge pipeline and crippled services like fire and police, Mayor Kenny Evans said at a Citizens Awareness Committee meeting Thursday.

Vote yes on school override

I would like to commend the leadership of PUSD for asking a rather senior, retired chemistry teacher to teach this school year at Payson High School.

Time for action is now

I just read the article, “Furlough, cuts approved by Payson council” from Jan. 15. This deeply sickens me.

Senate Democrats making special deals for their states

It’s easy to make deals when you’re playing with someone else’s money. Just ask Senate Democrats.

Arrogance by GCC board chairman

The Gila Community College Board has officially run amok — or at least Chairman Bob Ashford doesn’t seem to believe he’s running a public institution.

Community Almanac

The mixer to celebrate the 52nd Hashknife Pony Express Mail Ride is from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 22 at the Buffalo Bar & Grill, 311 S. Beeline Highway. Admission is $3 for members of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and $5 for nonmembers

Most parents satisfied with child’s school, teachers

Parents in the Payson Unified School District are most satisfied with the feeling of welcome when visiting their child’s school and least satisfied with the effectiveness of school principals, according to recently released parent satisfaction survey results.

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Head Start evacuated

More than a dozen children and staff at Payson Head Start, 1008 S. Westerly, were evacuated Thursday after an electrical fan overheated in a bathroom, sending smoke throughout the building

Irises help bring woman to the Rim Country

In a roundabout way, it was the irises’ fault. Before Barbara Gustafson spotted them during an unplanned stop in town many years ago, she was not contemplating moving to Payson. But the irises created the possibility, and without seeing them, she never would have ultimately become Rim Country Literacy Program’s new director, as she did this month.

Bad weather brings challenges

Winter is here again. Fortunately, here in beautiful Rim Country, the cold spells are not too extreme and usually don’t last that long. But they do come. While they’re here, they do make life a bit harder for us here at HSCAZ. Especially for the dogs.

Cyber-criminals target our good nature

When a tragedy strikes, people throughout the world unite to lend a hand. The very best of humanity is brought to the forefront. Corporations send financial support, churches and community groups mobilize volunteers, and individuals give what they can. The recent earthquake in Haiti has proven that most people are truly compassionate and willing to help.

Never too old to be a Big Brother or Sister

If you have ever considered becoming a mentor in our local Big Brother Big Sisters program, I wish you would have been at the organization’s annual winter party last week.

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Heavy rain, snow impedes Rim travel

While Payson residents woke Friday to beautifully snow-topped trees after several inches of snow fell overnight, elsewhere around the Rim Country residents were shoveling themselves out of several feet of snow, emergency personnel were busy closing roads following several landslides and utility crews were scrambling to restore power.

Getting closer to story of See Canyon

Wow! What a lot of snow! Mother nature is really letting us have it and it sure does look amazing!

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Heavy fog descends on mountain communities

It’s almost time for the annual visit from the Hashknife Pony Express Riders to our area. The riders are expected to be in Pine between 1 and 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27. The time, of course, is only an estimate and is totally dependent on the conditions that they encounter on the way.

Thursday, January 21

PUSD cancels school Friday

School has been cancelled Friday in the Payson Unified School District.

Storm update: Landslide closes Highway 87

North and southbound Highway 87 is closed as of Friday morning, after mud broke loose at the repaired landslide area, two miles south of Sunflower, said Sgt. Terry Lincoln with DPS.

Recreationist should prepare for storms

With major winter storms expected to pummel Arizona, the Arizona Game and Fish Department recommends that hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreationists be prepared or maybe even alter their outdoor plans until the storms pass, floodwaters have subsided and back roads become negotiable.

Wednesday, January 20

Order of the Eastern Star plans Chili and Pie Dinner

Members of Ponderosa Chapter 64, Order of the Eastern Star, will once again be cooking up their famous Chili and Pie Dinner from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Masonic Lodge, 200 E. Rancho Road, Payson.

Score big: game-day entertaining

The Arizona Cardinals’ quest for a return engagement at the Super Bowl may be done for another season, but there is still plenty of good football in the near future.

Fibromyalgia, a baffling illness

My 50-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She is in a great deal of pain, and medications have provided no relief. She has been told there is no cure. Exactly what is fibromyalgia? What causes it?

the first church in town

The Story of Payson, Arizona -Chapter 34, The First Church In Town

Settlers in Payson and the Rim Country had a faith in God that was born of adventure and survival in the wilderness. However, it was not until 1935 that the town organized its first local church. After all, these families had little time to develop churches and rituals. They spent their lives in virtual isolation on far-flung ranches, having defied comfort and the malicious terrain to make their way into these valleys. The first record of a Christian mission outreach to Payson is in 1898.

Get in balance at Women’s Wellness Forum

Meeting the challenges of every-day life coupled with the stresses resulting from the new economic climate, it is hard to stay in balance. So, the 12th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum is featuring the theme of getting in balance.

Catalina — A special retreat

When I was a young boy growing up in Los Angeles the big trip was for my parents to take me to Catalina Island.

Converting to a home office

With the flurry of activity that accompanies tax preparation season, some may have decided it is time to create a home office.

Diamond tribute

Tonto Community Concert Association season resumes with tribute to pop icon and his music

TCCA hosts “dead-on” Neil Diamond tribute?

County declares state of emergency

Gila County declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning, as two more storms threatened to dump up to six inches of rain, potentially isolating communities by flooding roads. This latest round of storms comes after a first storm dropped eight to 12 inches of snow on the Rim, and buckets of rain in town.

Jan. 21 Chamber Mixer postponed

The Chamber mixer, scheduled for tomorrow, Jan. 21 at the Payson Library, has been re scheduled for Jan. 28, due to potential adverse weather conditions.

Payson council forms youth advisory board

Town seeks advice from teens on services, planning and future

Town councils often make decisions that affect residents for generations.

16 from Rim Country in P.F. Chang runs

Tom Cooka was the only Rim Country runner to compete in P.F. Chang’s Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, but the half-marathon drew 15 from Payson.

Tuesday, January 19

High school thespians present one-act plays

The Longhorn Theatre Department of Payson High School proudly presents its annual “Senior-Directed One Acts,” which will debut Thursday, Jan. 21.

Forecasters issue storm warnings for Rim Country

Forecasters are warning Rim Country residents to brace for a series of storms this week that will drop several feet of snow on the Rim and at least a half-dozen inches of rain in town that could swell already saturated riverbeds, causing flooding from Kohl’s Ranch to the Verde River.

Food drive more than halfway to goal

With less than a month left in the Payson Area Food Drive, organizers are stepping up collections and asking for renewed support from the community.

Cost impedes broadcast of Payson school district meetings

Those wishing they could view the Payson Unified School District’s board meetings on television might want to start a collection can because it’s going to take some coin to get going.

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Move gives center more individualized learning space

Center for Success takes over former district office

The Payson Center for Success’ move to the old district office has tripled its size, and the school’s leadership team is busy plotting how they’re going to make the new school their own.

Get in balance at annual Women’s Wellness Forum

Meeting the challenges of everyday life coupled with the stresses resulting from the new economic climate, it is hard to stay in balance. So, the 12th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum is featuring the theme of getting in balance.

PHS course guide receives boost from DECA club

When leaders at Payson High School realized that spending roughly $1,300 for a course description guide was impossible during this cash-strapped year, they dusted off their creative caps.

Business group decries levels of impact fees

If you ever researched opening a business, you probably quickly realized it will cost you. From impact fees with the water department to capacity fees with the sanitary district, when all is said and done, the average business owner shells out a pretty penny long before they can collect on their first sale.

Payson woman has hunt of her life

Jodi Ross glowingly calls the hunt a “once in a lifetime adventure” rendered even more amazing by the presence of 11-year-old son Chandler. “It was very special because it’s not often a mom has a chance to go on a big game hunt with her son,” she said. “But it was a huge challenge for both of us.”

PHS alumni help Grand Canyon University to big win

A pair of former Payson High School star wrestlers have led Grand Canyon University to the finest win in the four-year history of its wrestling program.

Wrestling benefit dinner postponed

The annual benefit spaghetti dinner, hosted by the Payson High School wrestling program, has been postponed. Originally scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21, the dinner will now be held Thursday, Jan. 28 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria.

Moose grateful for those who helped with Christmas party

Greater Payson Moose Lodge #852 and WOYM #2012 would like to thank the following merchants and sponsors for their contributions to our annual Children’s Christmas Party.

TCCA hosts ‘dead-on’ Neil Diamond tribute

After a lengthy break for the holidays, the Tonto Community Concert Association (TCCA) ramps up the 2010 leg of its 31st season with Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band.

Store offers ‘back to basic’ healthy living products, services

After opening nearly 18 years ago, Back to Basics is one of the few longstanding businesses left in town. Recently, the health food market, at 908 N. Beeline, added a few new services to its already large list of alternative products and medicines.

When is less more?

There is an endless search for an investment that produces high returns and involves minimal risk and effort.

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Revamped land exchange plans offered

Residents say connector road would make neighborhood unsafe

Residents upset about the proposed connection of Sherwood Drive to Airport Road were not assuaged after the first of three public input meetings on the Montezuma Castle Land Exchange Friday.

Tonto Bridge among parks board closings

In what is being called a sad day in state history, the Arizona State Parks Board voted Friday to shut down 13 parks in a series of phased closures starting Feb. 22.

Most state parks get closing notice, 9 stay open

Parks that will remain open: Buckskin Mountain State Park in Parker, Catalina State Park near Tucson, Cattail Cove State Park in Lake Havasu City, Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area in Show Low, Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson, Lake Havasu State Park, Patagonia Lake State Park, Slide Rock State Park in Sedona, Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park in Superior, Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, Verde River Greenway State Natural Area and Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.

Teens need more to do

My name is Nikkie Ray and I am 13 years old. I believe teenagers in Payson need more to do.

Rim Chamber pushing ‘Be Loyal, Buy Local’ campaign

With longtime businesses closing up seemingly every week and new businesses struggling to establish themselves, it is more important than ever to buy local, one car dealership says.

Savor Rim Country

Are you still keeping your New Year’s resolutions? Studies show that the majority of resolutions made are broken within two weeks. Unofficially, Jan. 9 is designated as Break Your New Year’s Resolutions Day.

Feature Teacher

Administrative assistant wears many hats at Center for Success

Payson provides great people, beautiful scenery and the calm lifestyle that my husband and I love.

Thanks to all who saved tabs from beverage cans

Thanks to all of you people who save the tabs from drink cans and thank you (Humane Society of Central Arizona) for providing a drop-off place for the tabs.

Writer offered sound suggestions for education

I read with interest Matthew Ladner, Ph.D.’s article on the state of Arizona’s schools. As a recent citizen of Arizona with a seventh- and fourth-grader, I am very concerned about the education my girls will receive.

How much will Pine water cost?

I read the article concerning an abundant Pine/Strawberry water supply. As a result of that article, I assume that many people in Pine are looking forward to having a garden next summer. I rejoice with my neighbors who have been issued water meters and no longer have to haul water this winter. I hope that they, too, will be able to enjoy the abundant water supply during the summer to come.

Learning actions and words have consequences is a valuable lesson

Whoever wrote this article just does not understand cause and effect.

Attendance can promote good local government

It is a small story that probably won’t catch too many people’s attention, but in its own way it tells a tale that has taken us down a rocky path. The story reports that the Payson school board cannot afford to broadcast its meetings on the town’s public access cable channel. We have no problem with that decision.

Community Almanac

Penny Navis-Schmidt is presenting a free introductory session of Qigong at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19 at Club USA.

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Horns fall to Round Valley

Longhorn playoff hopes took a hit Jan. 14 in Wilson Dome with a 58-44 loss to the Round Valley Elks. With the defeat, Payson falls to 9-11 overall and 1-5 in the East Region.

The Magic Bullet

If you’ve ever watched late night television, you probably saw the infomercial for this amazing little “gizmo.” This sleek, slender and powerful product is guaranteed to revolutionize your whole life in 10 seconds or less.

Monday, January 18

Approaching storms dropping rain, snow

A series of approaching storms will affect Northern Arizona through Friday.

Sunday, January 17

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SR 260 LITTLE GREEN VALLEY WIDENING

Kohl's Ranch Bridge Repairs Underway

Crews will begin pouring concrete approach slabs to the Kohl's Ranch Bridge the week of January 18.

Payson will host East basketball tournaments

With a bit of arm-twisting, Payson High School Athletic Director Jason Lobik convinced fellow East ADs to hold the 2010 regional boys and girls basketball tournaments in Payson.

Saturday, January 16

More trout added to Green Valley Lake

There is good news for local anglers — Green Valley Lake has been stocked again with catchable rainbow trout. Every two weeks throughout the winter and spring months, our local fishing waters receive hundreds of trout to add to those already living in the lake.

Friday, January 15

SV candidates almost agree

Star Valley’s mayoral candidates agree on quite a few things.

Business Briefs

Help create the road map for vehicle travel in Payson at the next Business Buzz meeting, a “Zero Sum Game?” (I Win — You Lose).

Furlough, cuts approved by Payson council

Police on patrol and firefighters on trucks included in reductions

The Payson Town Council Wednesday affirmed $1 million in spending cuts plus an across-the-board furlough that amounts to a 12.5 percent pay cut for the balance of the fiscal year.

Many groups help our communities

I hope that by the time this column is in print we will have received some much-needed moisture in our region. The weather genies promised an exceptionally wet year due to the La Niña phenomenon, but so far it hasn’t materialized.

Exceptional athlete has roots in Tonto Village

When I typed the date for my column, it brought to mind the controversy of whether to say two thousand ten or twenty-ten. What is your choice? I would guess that most people will go for the shortest version. I know that there are more important issues out there, like a big shortfall in Arizona’s budget, but this issue is a bit interesting.

Are socially responsible funds the right investment choice for you?

Over the past several years, you might have heard about socially responsible investing, sometimes known as sustainable investing or ethical investing.

Horns have tough time getting games started on the right foot

The Longhorn boys basketball team took to SR 260 on Jan. 11 to visit Show Low for a make-up game originally scheduled for Dec. 8, but postponed because of inclement weather.

Folk art comes in all shapes

For many years, while Mario Belvedere lived in New York City, he would return home from his job on Wall Street, take off his gray flannel three-piece suit, crisp white shirt and black shoes and then put on his overalls to pain

Big names topped a decade in music

Doesn’t it seem like it was just the other day that we were terrified the business world was going to come to an end because our computer systems weren’t equipped to handle Y2K?

Clutter-free living applies to computers, too

The holidays have come and gone, and now it’s time to get back to “normal” life. Part of the process of moving forward into 2010 is to clean up the clutter left behind from the holidays. The traditional festivities may have left your home looking like a battle zone or a crowded antique shop. We must find places for the decorations, gifts, place settings, temporary guest beds, and many other holiday-specific items that were used in the past months.

Creeker wins Valley poker tourney

Does anyone know exactly how See Canyon got its name? Do you have any other interesting Christopher Creek fun facts you’d like to share?

Think Adoption First day Jan. 16

Saturday, Jan. 16, the Humane Society of Central Arizona will partner with PETCO Fountain Hills (16835 E. Shea Boulevard) during the pet store’s national Think Adoption First day. With every cat or dog that goes to a new home this Saturday, PETCO will give adopters a coupon book worth 50 percent off on cat or dog food, and 10 percent off an entire purchase at any of their locations.

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Company picks Rim for plant

Payson lands its first new manufacturer in a decade

The relieved owners of the first new manufacturing business in a decade to pick Payson as a place to set up shop took out their permits this week.

Sheep on the loose more elusive than Houdini

Despite a gallant effort by police, animal control and even residents, a mysterious creature described as part goat, sheep and llama has evaded capture for the last three weeks.

Electrical spark likely cause of fire

Fire investigators believe a Tuesday morning fire that destroyed the beloved Antlers Cafe in Young, was likely electrically sparked.

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Lady Longhorns get two hard-earned victories

A pair of hard-earned East victories have propelled the once-floundering Lady Longhorns back into the region title chase.

Little League registers Jan. 25-28

Little League officer Felicia Moore is urging aspiring young athletes to “get in the game” by registering for softball and baseball play when sign-ups are held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Jan. 25-28 in the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria.

Still time for a good quail hunt

Although most of Arizona’s quail hunters prefer to hunt early in the season, there are a few diehards who will continue to stalk the elusive birds until the season closes Feb. 7.

Celebrating a century +1

Adelaide “Addie” Zezima Alleva celebrated her 101st birthday this week at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino with friends and family from Payson, Mesa and Tucson.

Miliary news

Air Force Airman Ben Kaur has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Scramble on to save business luring zone

Officials rush to save tax incentives for luring new businesses

In the wake of an historic recession, Rim County leaders are scrambling to keep from dropping one of the best tools available for luring new businesses to the region.

State Parks board closing Tonto Natural Bridge

After an emotional six hour State Parks meeting at the Phoenix Zoo Friday, officials decided to go ahead with staff recommendations to close most of the state’s 28 parks.

Put on the glitz

Annual dialysis fund-raiser: Black & White Ball is Saturday

Dust off the tails and evening gowns, put on the glitz — the annual Black & White Ball is Saturday, Jan. 16.

CRAZY FOR COOKING

Rim woman shares years of kitchen expertise

Back in the late ’70s, I entered the local Seattle, Wash. Heart Association “Cooking Heart Smart” contest and was chosen as a finalist. Unfortunately, the day before the contest found me recuperating in a hospital in Tacoma, Wash.

Getting the hang of wallpapering

Wallpaper hanging is not nearly as difficult as some home improvers tend to make it. As a matter of fact, with proper surface preparation, the proper tools and a little patience, even the least enthusiastic paperhanger should end up pleasantly surprised with the result.

Performance to help local food bank, veterans

Local favorites John Carpino and the Hot Cappuccinos will present a benefit performance from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 16 at the Buffalo Bar and Grill in Payson.

Catch a chill, catch a cold?

The only way to catch a cold is to meet up with a cold virus. But let’s kick this around a little while it lies there quivering. Rhinoviruses are responsible for many colds.

Skiing this winter

Another year has rolled around, and winter snows have come to the leading ski areas. Skiers have again voted Canada’s Whistler/Blackcomb area as the favorite ski destination in North America. It claims the largest ski area on the continent.

haunting new year tragedy

The year 1965 was less than a week old when tragedy struck Payson: four youths were killed in Payson’s jail. Even 45 years later, it’s an incident that still ranks amongst one of the most tragic in Rim Country.

Thursday, January 14

What to know if you plan to play in the snow this weekend

With the local Cinch Hook snow area closed indefinitely to sleeders, the snow play areas located along the Highway 180 corridor have become increasingly popular.

Wednesday, January 13

Hydrogeologist to present recommendations to water board

Hydrogeologist Mike Ploughe expects to present to the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District Board his recommendations concerning which of the dried up wells near the two tiny communities can be resurrected to again produce water in the near future.

How Arizona can replicate Florida’s success

1. Expand parental options through robust school choice programs

Tuesday, January 12

College would be good for Payson

My husband and I moved up to this beautiful town two years ago. I don’t wish to see Payson turn into a ghost town when most of the seniors here die in a couple of years.

Community Almanac

The Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department is offering a unique seminar provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Migratory Game Bird Supervisor, Mike Rabe, on waterfowl natural history and identification. The class will include a slideshow and presentation, followed by identification of waterfowl in Green Valley Park.

County to hold flu vaccination clinic Thursday

To mark National Influenza Immunization Week in Gila County, a vaccination clinic will take place Thursday, Jan. 14 at the Payson county health clinic.

Students to get after-school help

Rim Country Middle School students who fail to complete their homework will get MASH-ed after Jan. 25.

Budget crisis may close Tonto Bridge

State parks board may shut down money-losing parks and Payson may not have money to stage a last-minute rescue

The Arizona State Parks Board on Friday faces a bleak recommendation to begin shutting down most state parks — including Tonto Natural Bridge — between now and June.

Cookie Cutters Salon celebrates 20 years

Two decades ago, Payson looked a lot different. The town had 7,100 fewer residents; the roads were less congested and Walmart didn’t exist.

By all measures, 2009 was a great investment year

Looking back at 2009, history will show that it was a good year for market participants, helping them gain back some of the painful losses of 2008.

If you want to keep control in Payson, vote yes on Home Rule

Property values are affected by a variety of factors. One of the primary factors of valuation is location.

Mussel shells found in boat at Roosevelt Lake

Invasive Mussel shells found on Roosevelt Lake boat; authorities find no evidence these invaders are in the lake

Zebra mussel shells were found in the filter of an air conditioning unit of a 35-foot cabin cruiser boat that was purchased new and moored at Roosevelt Lake since 2005. However, state authorities found no live mussels or any other compelling evidence that invasive mussels have made their way into this popular recreation and fishing lake in central Arizona.

Future of adult hoops awaits budget hearing

If town recreation programs remain in tact following a budget meeting today, Jan. 12, it’s now time for the Rim Country’s Steve Nash hopefuls to begin gearing up for the upcoming adult basketball league.

Horns fall to Falcons, BR next

A whopping 31 turnovers coupled with Alchesay’s red-hot start spelled the demise of Longhorn boys basketball fortunes in a 74-57 loss to the Falcons.

First football game a great experience

Parting the sea of red and white, frothed with flying towels, sat a circle of Green Bay Packers fans. Other green shirts speckled the masses, but the circle inside which I sat seemed one of the more concentrated locations of “Wisconsinans.”

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Wrestling roster depletion continues as Horns go to Heber Duals

Longhorn wrestlers enter tomorrow’s (Jan. 13) East vs. West Duals without the services of two athletes once counted on to provide plenty of team points.

Five candidates share views at forum

This early in the 2010 election year, it’s not unusual for the field of candidates to reach almost as far as the eye can see. Five of those hopefuls were in Payson Friday night for a forum.

Birders take part in annual bird count

The count is in — the Payson Christmas Bird Count, that is.

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Grant provides tools for teacher to help class

Fifth-grader Brittany Goldman holds up a ruler to the branches of a young pinyon pine no bigger than herself. After moving back several needles, Goldman determines where the new growth starts and takes a measurement.

ACT results show Arizona schools need improvement

There’s an ongoing debate about education in our state: Does Arizona rank near the bottom, in the middle, or toward the top in terms of academic achievement? A new source of testing data sheds light on the discussion.

Construction bond dollars being utilized

The District is in the final phases of allocating the construction bond dollars approved by the voters in 2006. This month, we will be selecting a contractor to build a new Vocational Agriculture Building. Mr. Wendell Stevens, who has built a thriving program and FFA support organization over the last 30 years, will at long last have a facility deserving of the caliber of his program and most importantly one befitting our students. With this facility, we will see this important vocational program thrive.

Writer makes false, defamatory statements

In a letter to the editor dated Jan. 8, an individual named Ed Welge does a grave disservice to your readers by making false and defamatory statements about me and my colleagues. There are too many flat-out lies in his piece to go through all of them, but I will address two of the most outrageous examples:

Angels come in all sizes

As I sit here at 6 a.m. with my coffee and Friday’s Roundup in hand I began to realize just what a small amount of cheerful or happy news we seem to read.

Impressed with Ed Blair

I recently met with incumbent Councilman Ed Blair and asked what he was doing in his re-election campaign. I was impressed when Ed advised he has visited close to 1,000 voters’ homes since November asking for their support in an election that isn’t held until February and, more importantly, soliciting their concerns.

Family says thanks for support

The family of Marcy Rogers would like to say thanks for all the love and support the people of Payson have shown us after my mom’s passing.

Thinking too much

Everyone at one time or another has asked themselves this question — What was I thinking? Now, if you have been asking yourself this question, or are thinking about asking, consider this: If you are thinking about what you were thinking about when you were thinking, what was I thinking, maybe you just weren’t thinking.

Budget override must be passed

I believe for the future of our state to have any chance at competitiveness in the academic area we must pass the budget override coming up on Feb. 17. The ballot is a mail-in vote and for the continuation of advanced courses and sports and arts in our town we must pass the override.

Blue Ridge pipeline vital for fire protection

Unincorporated communities need water for both drinking and fire protection

When it comes to winning a right to Blue Ridge water, even communities that have done everything right can find themselves lost in limbo.

Graffiti is a growing problem in Payson

Take a look around town and the problem may not immediately jump out at you. But look closer and you begin to notice it scrawled everywhere: on city signs, walls, concrete waterways, mailboxes and businesses. It is the most common type of property damage and costs Phoenix $6 million a year to clean up.

Closing Tonto Natural Bridge a blow to Rim

The state budget is shaping up like one of those monster movies — as our heroes vanish into the darkness one by one.

BR to test Lady Horns in East skirmish

Lady Longhorn hopes of taking an advantageous top-four seed into the season-ending East Region tournament could hinge on the outcome of today’s (Jan. 12) game against the visiting Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.

2010 Business Showcase moves to new venue

For the first time in several years, the annual Business Showcase will not take place in the Payson High School gym.

Budget crisis could close Tonto Bridge

State Parks Board may shut down money-losing parks and Payson may not have money to stage a last-minute rescue

The Arizona State Parks Board on Friday faces a bleak recommendation to begin shutting down most state parks – including Tonto Natural Bridge — between now and June.

Monday, January 11

Arizona Department of Transportation Rim Country Update

Crews will begin installation of guardrail along SR 87 in Segment 1 the week of Jan. 11.

Local man served with Elvis Presley

If you are an Elvis Presley fan, you don’t need me to remind you that today, Jan. 8, would be the King of Rock ’n’ Roll’s 75th birthday — if he had not left the building.

Sunday, January 10

Put on the glitz: Black & White Ball is Jan. 16

Dust off the tails and evening gowns, put on the glitz — the annual Black & White Ball is Saturday, Jan. 16.

Town forming an adult hoop league

The adult men’s basketball league has been one of the town’s most popular recreational offerings since the early 1980s when Dennis Hansen and Tim Fruth helped resurrect a league that had fallen on hard times.

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Lodge celebrates 60 years in business

Well the big holidays are behind us now and we can all breathe a big sigh of relief — we made it! I don’t know about you, but with the snow still on the ground it still feels like the holiday season to me.

Saturday, January 9

Snow made for a memorable holiday season with family

Whew! The holiday season is behind us for another year. The Christmas season was a very special one for the Snyder family. We were blessed with a houseful of family for the very first time. My hubby and I are usually in Yuma to see our kids and grandkids at Christmas time.

Grant money will help fund humane society programs

The Humane Society of Central Arizona (formerly Payson Humane Society) has received a $5,000 grant from the Arizona Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Committee, to be used to spay and neuter our community’s feral cats.

A great publication for hunters

Some of my earliest memories of the outdoors were actually encouraged by reading numerous magazines that had fascinating stories about fishing and hunting. An Outdoor Life or a Field and Stream was usually read from cover to cover in one evening, which would usually give me plenty of ammunition for day-dreaming material.

Everyone needs a Miss Briggs in his life

In a shady graveyard in Connecticut lies a spinster lady named Edith Briggs. Edith Briggs never had any children of her own. She spent her life helping other women’s children grow into fine upright adults. I met Miss Briggs at a time when bad luck had yanked the rug out from under me.

Staying the course can pay off for investors in the long term

While stock prices were going through their dizzying descent, some people gave up on investing and decided that, from now on, they would put all their money in savings accounts, piggy banks, under their pillows — anywhere but in the market

Friday, January 8

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Cruise into Beeline Insurance for new quote

No one wants to shop around for insurance, but most of us want to save money. The chore of drudging up history on your car, home or personal finances and the added task of comparing quotes can be confusing and enough to make you stay with your current and possibly more expensive carrier.

My angel is gone

My angel has gone on to another assignment. My Dutchess, (whose name should have been Queen) because she was quite regal, powerful and pampered.

Global warming, fact or fraud

Global warming promoters like to use three different situations to prove the existence of global warming. One is the hockey-stick graph which was produced in 1999 by Professor Mann of Penn State University by using manipulated treeing data. The graph supposedly proved air temperatures that had been stable for some 900 years then soared off the charts in the 20th century. Mann along with others had to make the historical Medieval Warm Period (A.D. 800-1400 and the Little Ice Age (A.D. 1400-1850) statistically disappear which they did.

We don’t need more taxes

The gentleman that wrote that we need to tax more is just what is wrong with the Democrats and their way of thinking.

Urbanization of Payson problems

In a recent business column there was made a comparison between Flagstaff and Payson.

Driving while talking on cell phone becoming dangerous habit

I am angry and I am concerned.

Disappointed with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick

This is an open letter to Ann Kirkpatrick. I was disappointed that you voted for the House version of health care reform.It should be clear that Americans do not want health care reform that does little to address the flaws of our current system and only increases government bureaucracy.

Idiots spoil it for everyone

How frustrating. How strange. How typical. We’re referring to the dispiriting saga of the Cinch Hook snowplay area and what it reveals about both the average yahoo and the average bureaucrat.

PHS wrestling coach back to work after pleading no contest

Payson High School’s wrestling coach is back to work this week following an investigation into a scuffle with a student in his office that left student and teacher facing disorderly conduct charges.

Crackdown on Cinch Hook users promised

Trash, vandalism, traffic, forced shutdown; sledders ignoring closure

The Coconino National Forest says lawless merrymakers sledding at Cinch Hook will now start getting citations — not to mention tickets for parking on the highway.

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Tonto Basin turns out for bridge talk

$10-$20 million bridge could cost $20,000 per resident on the far side, but spur development and save lives

Nearly 200 people showed up Tuesday, with their hopes up to have their say about a long-discussed bridge over Tonto Creek.

SV council defers decision on floodwater mitigation money

Councilors wait to see if they will get $120,000 grant for project

Every year, several Star Valley residents watch a little bit more of their yard wash away with the floodwaters.

Opinions on Web browsers can spur heated debate

There used to be a rule about polite conversation ... something about never discussing religion or politics. It might be time, however, to add a third taboo subject to the list: Internet browsers. Stick to the weather and avoid asking someone what Internet browser they are using. If your friends are tech savvy, they will most likely have strong opinions about which browser is the best. If they are less computer-centric, they will feel ostracized and belittled. You just can’t win.

Scholarships to boost college attendance

Income limits to rise to $60,000 to cover most costs for an additional 1,100 freshmen

An expanded Arizona State University financial aid program aims to more than triple the number of incoming freshmen receiving money for college. Raising the income eligibility from $25,000 to $60,000 will enable more students to apply for the mix of funds to pay for school. All the student must pay for is the contribution as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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Longhorns throttled by Round Valley Elks

The Longhorn boys basketball team fell to 1-1 in the East title chase after being completely throttled 61-27 by the Round Valley Elks.

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Library expansion under way in Pine

While it’s true that construction has ceased almost entirely in our community, the many users of the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library are excited to see that the 444-square-foot expansion to the building has begun! This is an absolutely amazing feat considering the lack of state funding which was anticipated from a matching building grant.

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Drip Castle Dreamland

The earth breathes — its intake and exhalation measured in seasons. Standing in the caverned heart of the earth — red as blood and warm as a womb, people stand and stare, fleeting as cave crickets — sensing both the vitality of stone and the frailty of flesh.

Community Almanac

With the first Friday of 2010 falling on the Jan. 1 holiday, the Main Street First Friday festivities will take place the second Friday of the New Year, Jan. 8 — for January only.

Coach praises girls’ performance in spite of 44-34 loss to Round Valley

The road to the East Region girls basketball championship might wind through Eagar-Springerville.

Home wrestling on the horizon

The East vs. West Duals Jan. 13 in Wilson Dome will provide fans and boosters their first opportunity to see Longhorn wrestlers showcase their grappling skills on the home front.

Whisenhunt wise or foolish? Time will tell

If there is a certainty surrounding Sunday’s Packers vs. Cardinals NFC wild card first round football clash, it’s that Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt will emerge from the fray either a sheer genius or a gridiron dunce.

Supervisors could rotate as chairperson

County governing board may take up nomination process this spring

Flashback January 2009: Supervisor Shirley Dawson grasps her new gavel as the first female chairperson of Gila County’s governing board.

Pets react differently to shelter closing time

It’s closing time here at HSCAZ, and as you watch the animals, you can see the many different reactions to this time of day.

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Ernesto Tobias wins district spelling bee

Rim Country Middle School eighth-grader Ernesto Tobias killed the competition at Payson Unified School District’s spelling bee Thursday, beating 47 other spellers when he correctly spelled “disobey.”

Pine Strawberry: Awash in water?

PSWID board seeks to acquire Strawberry Hollow, Milk Ranch wells, study non-producing wells, drill new deep well

If the plans of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) board unfold as anticipated, the two tiny mountain towns will enjoy new water sources by spring.

Payson has $2.6M shortfall

Council furloughs employees two days a month; more cuts coming next week

Slumping tax revenues have created a projected $2.6-million shortfall in the Payson general fund budget, prompting the council on Thursday to approve two-day-a-month furloughs for all town workers.

Wednesday, January 6

Flavorful ideas for pantry favorites

Families across the country are dusting off their stoves and rediscovering the art of home cooking. In fact, the Food Channel recently released its Food Trends list and home cooking ranked No. 1, which is not surprising in today’s tough economic climate.

Jazz CDs help church

The Payson Community Presbyterian Church hosts a monthly jazz performance that has been going on for almost 10 years. Pastor Chuck Proudfoot opened the church doors when he provided musicians a place to play. Many folks now enjoy good, live music performed by professionals who often are recruited from out of the area.

The Mexican Incident

In the mid 1960s I was living and working in New York City. I needed a break from the “big town” and decided to go to the Mexican island of Cozumel. I had read about it in travel magazines and it seemed to be the perfect get-away for an overworked guy from the city. Tropical beaches, palm trees and an easy going lifestyle.

A yearly cycle that counts in eternity

Happy New Year! 2010 is here. So many of my family and friends have expressed how fast 2009 has come and gone. Reminiscing about specific events in 2009, we can all relate to those annual celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries and various holidays. As these events repeat year after year, they also bring deeper meaning to those who participate.

THE LEGEND OF THE SUPERSTITIONS

Cottonwoods along the East Verde stand naked and forlorn.The fish hatchery is shuttered and silent. Winter is closing in on the high country. So it must be time to look for legends and gold, down south in the jagged wilderness of the Superstitions.

Dramatically update your kitchen in six hours or less with six projects

With the amount of time you spend in your kitchen, why settle for out-of-date features and decor — especially since it is easy to give your kitchen a 180-degree makeover? Try these six simple projects, and in no time at all you’ll have a kitchen where you will want to spend more time.

The unbelievable Oasis of the Seas

The weekend before Thanksgiving, my husband Kelly and I had the opportunity to see Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Oasis of the Seas. It was a 1-and-a-half day travel agent “cruise to nowhere.” We could have spent a week on the ship and not seen all there is to see. One of Royal Caribbean’s slogans is “deliver the WOW!” and they sure did that on the Oasis. We were wowed when we set foot on the Mariner last February, but this was so beyond anything seen on a ship before, that words often fail to describe the “Oasis experience.”

Tuesday, January 5

Teacher, coach failed students

After reading the article on page 2A in the Dec. 25 edition, I was appalled.

Where is the justice?

Did you read the recent article about the confrontation between the wrestling coach and student at the local high school?

Backroom health care fraud

It’s time for the people of the United States to wake up and see what Obama and the Democratic senators are trying to do to this country. They are not listening to the vast majority of Americans that do not want government-controlled health care.

Get help with New Year’s resolutions

How do you say it — two thousand ten or 20-10? Which is correct, or are both acceptable? There’s an upbeat feeling about the sound of either. It doesn’t seem very long ago that we were awaiting the turn of century with hope and apprehension and here we are already in the second decade of the millennium. What does it hold in store? Let’s pray it brings peace to our world.

Revenue enhancements — how about taxes on cell phones, soda pop and chips

I believe most Arizonans would agree that food, clothing, shelter, electricity, water, gasoline, land line telephones, and insurance for our homes, health and vehicles are necessities for living in Arizona in 2009 and beyond. I also believe that most Arizonans agree that beer, liquor, tobacco, lottery tickets, cell phones, text messaging, sports tickets (ASU, U of A, Suns, Cardinals, etc.) movie tickets, soda pop, DVDs, and many snack foods like chips, pretzels and candies, are not necessities for survival in Arizona in 2009 and beyond.

Finnish student feels at home in Payson

For one globe-trotting Finnish foreign exchange student, there isn’t one thing she doesn’t love about the states. From the warm climate to the nice people, Laura Aaltonen is convinced America is where her home base should be.

Senior Center, Thrift Store lights get overhaul

The Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store shine a little brighter these days thanks to an APS rebate program and a generous donation from the Association of Energy Engineers.

Phony prize letter

I received a letter in the mail yesterday from the “Prize Information Bureau.” It had an official-looking seal at the top of the letter from the State of Arizona.

Eliminate advantages for the rich

Jon Kyl’s article (Jan. 1), in which he uses the inflammatory term “death tax” to refer to the estate tax, is an astounding example of how very rich people attempt to convince ordinary folks to allow them and their descendants to become richer.

GCC meeting request being stonewalled

With Arizona State University potentially building a campus in Payson, at least one Gila Community College board member worries that contractual limits could hamstring the board’s powers to negotiate a relationship with the school.

Fire-menaced communities may get back-road escapes

Forest Service asks county to propose second access route for settlements

Scattered across northern Gila County, many of roughly 88 small, fire-menaced communities surrounded by overgrown forests have no back door to flee a deadly wildfire.

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Drivers keep holiday safe

The New Year’s Eve holiday brought out a fair number of drunk drivers in the Rim Country Thursday night, but even more designated drivers.

Payson to award key water contract

After 30 years of dreaming, scheming and hoping, the water hits the road on Thursday when the Payson Town Council will likely approve a $283,000, one-year contract to do the preliminary engineering on the long-awaited Blue Ridge pipeline.

Real estate statistics show now may be the time to buy and hold

The Rim Country real estate market in 2009 was statistically a mixed bag that most of us are glad to see end.

Save money, energy with new appliance rebate

The next time you need a washer, dishwasher or water heater, a new rebate program could shave as much $425 off the cost.

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Submit an application for the business awards

Organizers of the 2010 Rim Country Business Awards are thrilled to announce that applications to honor the businesses and persons for outstanding business practices and community involvement in the Rim Country are now available.

An adventure in searching history

Do you remember stories your grandparents told about the war heroes among your ancestors? Do you think one or more of those ancestors participated in the American Revolution?

Payson boy ranks high at U.S. Kids Golf Desert Shootout

Rim Country Middle School seventh-grader Dean Harpe swung his way to a 12th-place age group finish at the prestigious U.S. Kids Golf Desert Shootout.

Forest Service waits as tragedy beckons

Ah, hindsight. So much easier than foresight. And so much less useful.

Holiday Hoops brings crowds, cash to town

Anyone who has helped stage a high school tournament in any sport understands it is a huge undertaking.

Limited squad hampers wrestlers at Mingus

Although several Payson wrestlers shined at the Dave Work Memorial Tournament at Mingus in Cottonwood, at least three wrestlers who quit the team, Derek Williams’ illness that had him sidelined and a fractured hand that has ended heavyweight J.B. Thornhill’s season, hampered the Longhorn cause.

Longhorns travel to Bradshaw Mountain for Alvarez Tire Hoops

The challenge facing the Payson High boys basketball team was daunting — five games in three days against “big school” teams, and without one of the Longhorns’ best players.

SV council to review several engineering floodwater studies

Hoping to keep their budget woes at bay, the Star Valley council will once again carefully consider several engineering studies that could ebb the flow of floodwaters but put a hole in their financial rowboat.

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200 young women in town for Holiday Hoops tourney

Following two days of almost constant hardwood wars in Wilson Dome and old Payson High School gymnasium, Dec. 28 and 29, the 16-team Holiday Hoops tournament wrapped up with a championship showdown in which Glendale Apollo High School overwhelmed Williams Field, 59-43.

Community Almanac

The Arizona Department of Transportation will close the eastbound lane of a 1,000-foot segment of State Route 260 between Kohl’s Ranch and Christopher Creek this week. The closure will be in effect through Jan. 8 and will run 24 hours a day.

Payson’s New Year’s first baby is a boy

Mom gives birth at 6:10 a.m. Friday

It’s a boy! Kody Kepp and Matthew Shannon, both of Payson, are the proud parents of Jeremy Shannon who was born at 6:10 a.m., Jan. 1, at Payson Regional Medical Center Family Birthing Center.

Traffic board seeks study of speed, bypass, dangerous intersection

Council will face list that echoes emphasis of ousted chairman

It’s either a left-handed compliment or maybe a kick in the teeth — all depending on how you look at it.

Arizona school chief puts out new K-12 online course offering catalog

Arizona Schools Chief Tom Horne announces the new Arizona Department of Education (ADE) K-12 online course offering catalog.

Communities drowning in water delay

Those who would gain most from Blue Ridge water have tried every approach — but made little progress

The four small communities with the most to gain from Payson’s Blue Ridge pipeline at the moment have tried almost every possible approach.

Self control needed by coach

I was a little surprised at the Christmas Day story in the Payson Roundup written by Alexis Bechman. It appears as though Ryan Abraham the “provoker” was at fault in this scuffle.