Stories for March 2010


Wednesday, March 31

Canadian woman dies in motorcycle accident

A Canadian woman is dead and her husband seriously injured after the motorcycle they were riding on crashed near Forest Lakes Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, March 30

Football coach resigns

Payson High School athletic director Jason Lobik confirmed yesterday, March 29, that Longhorn football coach Matt Mayo has resigned.

Superintendent explains cuts to school district

The passage of the override averted catastrophic cuts to our district, but it has not fully resolved our budget dilemma.

Celebrating Easter

Youngsters participating in the annual EGGS-travaganza will be on the hunt for 6,000 plastic Easter eggs filled with candy and toys and just waiting to be hidden by the Easter Bunny — and its helpers from the Payson Main Street Guild — during the annual EGGS-travaganza Festival and Egg Hunt in Green Valley Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 3.

Physical education needed at high school

My name is Michael McWilliams. I am in the eighth-grade at Rim Country Middle School. Before spring break I went to the high school to register for my next four years. I was surprised to find out that physical education was not offered to boys.

Vote for true conservatives this November

The benefits in the health care bill will start showing up only a few short weeks before the November midterm elections.

Lower insurance rates for Hellsgate homes

Property owners within the communities of the Hellsgate Fire District should see a reduction in their insurance rates after the Hellsgate Fire District was awarded an Insurance Services Office (ISO) re-grade.

Health care bill will help seniors

In Tuesday’s newspaper Pete Aleshire writes that 118,000 people in the First Congressional District will be helped with the new health care bill.

Thanks to Rep. Kirkpatrick for helping Gila County

Representative Kirkpatrick, thank you for all you have done for the Payson area, for Gila County, and for all Americans. Those of us who worked so very hard for your election have been greatly rewarded. You have not disappointed us.

Red Cross Winter Relief Show was a success

I would like to thank everyone who came to the Red Cross Winter Relief Show. The amount collected after expenses was about $700.

The great transformation

Well our glorious leader and commander Obama and his two commissars Pelosi and Harry Reid have just made their first major great transformation of our great country, most likely into a socialist utopia, similar to the one in Hugo Cheva’s Venezuela.

Kirkpatrick is a quick study

Rep. Kirkpatrick is a quick study! Only last August I sat across from her at a card table set up in the parking lot at Safeway, and heard her tell me and my wife and others standing around, that ... Yes, I agree with the fact that any type of meaningful reform to health care would have to include substantial legal tort reform!

Outraged over attack on program

In response to Ms. Rothenbach’s letter on March 23. Her attack on the Payson Community Kids and Chris and Suzy is an outrage.

Payson’s participation in census above national average

Just as soon as they arrived in the mail several weeks ago, more than half of Payson completed their census forms and mailed them back. According to a new Census Bureau Web site that tracks the participation rate of communities, 56 percent of Payson residents returned their forms as of Monday.

PHS athletics not being cut, fees will be about $200

Payson School Board member Rory Huff and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Bobette Tomerlin want to quell rampant rumors that athletics will be cut at PHS next year, coaches will not be paid and exorbitant “Pay to Play” fees will be charged student athletes.

Legalities hogtie rodeo

Rival groups file lawsuits for rights to World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo, threatening organizing efforts for August Doin’s

The Range War over who owns rights to the longest-running rodeo in the world erupted into a crossfire of lawsuits in Gila County Superior Court.

Level two sex offender now living in Pine

John Corey Boyle, a level two-sex offender notified the Gila County Sheriff’s Office he is living in Pine.

Stargazing astronomy program at Tonto National Monument

Tonto National Monument in cooperation with the Tonto Basin Ranger District is once again sponsoring a professionally presented astronomy program.

Who’s responsible?

After years of observation, it is hard to arrive at a conclusion as to who’s responsible when something goes awry?

Wildlife Fair will take place May 8 at GVP

The spring recreation scene peaks 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 8 at Green Valley Park where the 15th Annual Payson Wildlife Fair will offer a myriad of free activities including fishing and outdoor games.

Horns stave off 2A champions on links at 2010 Metro Invitational tourney

Defending Class 2A state golf champion Scottsdale Christian’s late charge wasn’t enough to overtake the Payson Longhorns in the battle for runner-up honors at the 2010 Metro Invitational Tournament.

Forest Plan revisions shared in open house meetings

Springerville — Next month the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs) will host four open house-style meetings to share information and gather feedback on forest plan revision.

Paving project on Highway 87 south of Payson to begin March 31

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is scheduled to begin a repaving project on state Highway 87 on March 31.

Business Briefs

Finalists for the fourth annual Rim Country Business Awards have been announced.

Candidates for governor call for budget cuts

Standing room only Payson crowd listens to Dean Martin and Buz Mills stump for GOP support by attacking Gov. Brewer

Slash state spending, get much tougher on the Mexican border and get rid of Gov. Jan Brewer, urged two Republican hopefuls in a joint appearance in Payson on Monday.

Community Almanac

Payson Community Action Program (CAP) has free tax help available for area residents.

Yellowjackets vs. Longhorns matchup will be a classic and critical

The opportunity to take a big step toward the East championship is at stake today, March 30, when the Longhorn baseball team (7-7 overall, 4-1 in the region) plays host to the Blue Ridge Yellowjackets (10-2; 2-0).

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Kids hooked at Fishing Festival

Mother Nature didn’t cooperate with sunny, warm spring weather, but the efforts of a bevy of volunteers, several civic organizations and the Arizona Game and Fish Department rendered the Fourth Annual Rim Country Optimist Club’s Fishing Festival an overwhelming success.

SV may lose its town hall

New owners cancel lease agreement, want five-year commitment from council

On Monday, the Star Valley Town Hall was a shell of its former self. With boxes stacked against the walls, and pictures and posters removed, the stale, white interior hardly looked like a town building.

Payson considers 20% increase in water rates

Council on Thursday evening will also consider a 5 percent jump in tax on hotel rooms, rental cars

The Payson Town Council will meet Thursday to consider a 20 percent increase in water rates and new taxes on hotel rooms and rental cars.

Fishing hooks removed, ducks released at Green Valley Park

When a concerned citizen noticed a Green Valley Park duck had one severe kink in its neck, they did the only thing they could think of, they called the ducktor.

Gila County judicial nominees announced

With Gila County’s judge pro tempore retiring in July, a selection committee has selected three candidates to fill the position.

Senior Circle members need to pay gym dues

The Senior Circle Tonto Gym memberships are due. Please drop by the Senior Circle office during the month of April to renew or sign up for your discount at the Tonto Gym. The cost is $52 and will cover the months of May, June and July. If you are not a member of Senior Circle and would like to take advantage of this great discount, just come on in to the Senior Circle and become a member. It’s just one of the advantages of our program. The Senior Circle is at 215 N. Beeline Highway.

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Students escape classroom to learn about fishing

For fifth-graders Fernanda Reyes and Drew Micolites, the elementary school fishing festival held March 26 at Green Valley Park was an opportunity to escape the classroom and enjoy a bit of newfound liberties.

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Payson Elementary gets award from state school chief

In town on a multi-pronged visit, Arizona’s top schools official Tom Horne presented Payson Elementary School with an award Monday for earning the state’s “performing plus” label.

Governor Brewer has harsh words for Arizona’s AG

Official statement from Governor Jan Brewer Today, the Arizona Legislature has undertaken initial efforts to join in my defense of the citizens of the State of Arizona against one of the most intrusive and costly federal mandates in U.S. history.

School district cuts 9 staff

High school, elementary principals face lay off, sports will be pay to play, parents to pay kindergarten tuition

The Payson Unified School District will lay off nine people, including Payson High School Principal Roy Sandoval and Frontier Elementary School Principal Paula Patterson.

Monday, March 29

Stargazing for everyone

Tonto National Monument in cooperation with the Tonto Basin Ranger District is once again sponsoring a professionally presented astronomy program. Tony and Carole La Conte are professional stargazers with more than 50 years of experience viewing the night sky. Tony is also a NASA Solar System Ambassador. The La Contes present more than 300 programs annually to more than 75,000 people.

Judicial nominees announced

With Gila County’s judge pro tempore retiring in July, a selection committee has selected three candidates to fill the position.

Fort Verde State Park stays open another year

Arizona State Parks and the Town of Camp Verde announced Friday that Fort Verde State Historic Park will not close as planned on March 29. Camp Verde Mayor Bob Burnside has agreed to provide funding from the Town of Camp Verde and Yavapai County for State Parks to keep the park open and operating for one year.

Sunday, March 28

Paving project on Highway 87 begins March 31

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is scheduled to begin a repaving project on State Route 87 on March 31. The project will repave a less than half a mile segment of southbound State Route 87, five miles south of the junction of State Route 188, and will include removal of the existing pavement and increasing the degree of embankment around the curve.

Friday, March 26

NCAA play still has connection to Arizona

It’s a sure thing hordes of Arizona basketball fans will be cheering for St. Mary’s (28-5) when the California college takes on Baylor (27-7) this evening, March 26, in a Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament.

GCC’s budget fuddle merits new contract

So what’s it like writing about Gila Community College’s budget? Like basing your diet plan on a funhouse mirror. Like getting drunk and playing darts blindfolded.

Community Almanac

Payson Community Action Program (CAP) has free tax help available for area residents.

Volunteers use shovels, brooms to clean up Latigo Lane

Shovels, brushes, brooms and tractors are being hauled out in Star Valley every month to clean up private roads and culverts badly damaged by a host of winter storms.

Options for SV sewer system outlined in study

The Star Valley Water and Sewer Commission did in four months what the town tried to do over the last four years —establish a comprehensive plan for a town wide sewer system.

Kaitie’s Closet will clothe children

When Jack and Barbara Gooch’s beloved granddaughter Kaitie died unexpectedly in October, they found themselves lost in a sea of grief. Searching for a life raft to pull themselves out, they decided to do the most unexpected thing — give back to a community that had always wrapped its arms around Kaitie.

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Towers of stone, canyons of history

Cruel and generous, Chiricahua Mountains have seen a rich and violent history — human and otherwise

If the Chiricahua Mountains took human form, they’d be a creative, enigmatic, tobacco-spitting, bare-knuckled, hard-living holy man — brimming with explosive life, bitter insight, raucous laughter, deep silence, fresh joy and old sorrows.

Virtual law office opens

Attorney Jo Ellen Vork says her practice encompasses the virtual office concept.

It is time to make post-recession investment moves yet?

Like a tiresome dinner guest, the recession has long outstayed its welcome. But there are some clear signs that the economy has begun to turn around. If that is indeed the case, how should you, as an individual investor, respond?

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Spring may have sprung in Christopher Creek

Former fuel reduction grant administrators Sam Seay and Caren Christenson remind you that if you participated in a past grant, you signed a pledge to continue to maintain your property after treatment. Sam and Caren thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the projects.

A new bed for my old bones

If you attended last weekend’s Business Showcase, I don’t need to tell you what a great turnout there was for this wonderful local event.

Wind project purchased by SRP

A warm-up period started out the very beginning of the week followed by cold rain with a little sleet marked by the year’s first lightning and thunder Tuesday. That accelerated the disappearance of the snow in the shadows of buildings and trees. The snow marking the upper hills of the Rim continues to recede as well. Many of the forest roads headed south toward the Rim remain closed. The canyons and washes continue their

Science exhibit was ‘really cool’

The warmer days are coaxing us out. It feels like spring is in the air — that is unless you happen to venture outside before mid-morning! Our family and many friends had a great day skiing last week, but we all got a bit too much sun! What a beautiful day on the slopes though. If you enjoy skiing, you probably won’t find better conditions than now. Just be sure to apply sunscreen, then reapply again, and again ...

Tax time headaches shouldn’t include ID theft

You have enough to worry about at tax time.

Many pets waiting for loving homes

Once a month, the Humane Society of Central Arizona will present a photos-only

Time to plan for breakfast event

I looked at the calendar and realized that this coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, already!

U.S. needs to complete the mission in Iraq

In March, Iraq held a national election and reached another milestone in its evolution from dictatorship to democracy. The process was far from perfect, with bombings and deaths as the polls opened and some evidence of fraud, but Iraqis voted in remarkably high numbers.

Thanks to town employees

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the hard-working Town of Payson employees who have continued to serve our community despite the hardships inflicted on themselves and their families due to the budget shortfalls.

Donors rally behind ASU campus plan

Death of major backer cast a shadow over negotiations, but new backers have stepped forward

Down. But not out. Initially, the tragic death on March 12 of real estate magnate Nazy Hirani seemed to have delivered a body blow to plans to bring an ASU campus to Payson.

Optimists’ Fishing Festival is all fun

Spring fever is running rampant. It’s time to get out of the house and out into the fresh air after a long, cold, wet winter. The Fourth Annual Optimist Kids Fishing Festival is just the right tonic for that fever — and it’s for everyone, not just the kids.

GCC budget outlook improves

Projected deficit mysteriously evaporates, although figures suggest big tuition boost actually cost the college money

Gila Community College’s record hike in tuition this year apparently cost the school more than it yielded.

Young track team shines in Round Valley

It’s a given on the Payson High campus that the Longhorn track and field team is struggling through a reloading phase, relying mostly on young, untested athletes for points.

Spring means animals on the move

Spring in the high country is starting to change the scenery, with the snow melting on the face of the Rim and the new grasses sprouting everywhere. The lower elevations have a head start, bringing a myriad of colors with wildflowers and a velvet green landscape. The abundant winter moisture has certainly revitalized all of Arizona.

Athletic directors sort through the season’s postponements

Nonograms, ciphers and semaphores might be the best way to sort through the baseball and softball scheduling mess created by inclement weather and spring break.

Lady Horns third at RV invite

It was quite a show the Lady Longhorn track and field team put on March 19 at the Round Valley Invitational in Eagar.

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Longhorns give Lobos a scare on Chaparral links

For the past two seasons, the Snowflake Lobos golf team, led by Kyle Jones, has been almost untouchable, running away with back-to-back 3A state championships and a slew of dual and multi match titles.

Celebrating Easter

The Payson Womans Club will host its annual Easter Fest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 27. The Womans Club is at 510 W. Main St. The ladies of the club will serve a lunch and have plenty of yummy baked goods on sale. Come for lunch and enjoy a white elephant sale, a silent auction, a cakewalk for the kids and lots of Easter baskets and candy.

Renting a place can be an adventure

I’ve always said that any couple that can afford to own a home right from the beginning of their marriage misses out on one of life’s greatest adventures — renting.

Disappointed with congresswoman

The results of the vote on HB3200 (health care plan) prompted the first letter I have ever written to a political figure. It was not a congratulatory message, but rather an expression of deep disappointment in Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick’s “yes” vote cast on Sunday evening.

Kirkpatrick betrayed constituents

Ann Kirkpatrick betrayed the will of her constituents and the economic future of our children and grandchildren once more by voting for the “Obamacare” bill a second time on Sunday, thus sealing her fate as a one-term congressional representative.

Corporations are now people

So, corporations are now people. While theses inanimate paper constructs have no brain, heart, or soul, the five ideological screwballs on our Supreme Court say that corporations henceforth have a First Amendment right to speak in any election by spending unlimited cash to elect or defeat candidates.

Senate needs to correct health reform bill

Health reform bill passes. Just think, everyone will now be required to buy health insurance, even the people now with free health care.

Level two sex offender now living in Pine

John Corey Boyle, a level two sex offender, notified the Gila County Sheriff’s Office he is living in Pine.

Church buys buildings for teen center

Ponderosa Baptist Church has purchased the property at 102 W. Roundup Road in Payson to use as classroom space for the church teen department and plans to open an after-school, faith-based teen program, “Momentum,” for all Payson area teens.

Community Prevention Council’s ‘Fool’s Day Fun’ event is April 3

The Community Prevention Council is co-sponsoring a community event to bring awareness to the problem of underage drinking 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 3 at the Payson High School gymnasium, 301 S. McLane in Payson. Admission is free.

Public comment period on Lime Creek fish barrier special use permit open

Tonto National Forest officials are seeking public comment on the Creek Ranger District Lime Creek Fish Barrier special use permit draft Environmental Assessment (EA). The public comment period ends April 26.

Thursday, March 25

Gardening on the square: Get more produce with less

Gardening in less space with less water, less work, less digging — sounds almost as easy as going to the grocery store. That is what the Square Foot Gardening method promises. It also promises more yield and easier access.

Have a Heart program encourages visitors

Rim Country Health and Retirement Community’s activity department invites area residents to come in and adopt one of the facility’s residents through the Have a Heart Project. The project was developed to help residents who do not have family nearby or rarely get visitors.

Getting hooked

Annual Kids Fishing Festival is Saturday

Spring fever is running rampant. It’s time to get out of the house and out into the fresh air after a long, cold, wet winter. The 4th Annual Optimist Kids Fishing Festival is just the right tonic for that fever — and it’s for everyone, not just the kids.

Cruises for you

It’s time to begin thinking about where to vacation this summer. I almost always recommend a cruise, if you want relaxing, carefree vacations. And, you’ll know about 90 percent of your costs before you leave home. It’s much easier to budget this way.

Area missionaries visit Virgin Islands

Several Rim Country residents participated in a mission program to the U.S. Virgin Islands last July. They were part of the Arizona Southern Baptist Denomination, which has partnered with the United States Virgin Islands Project for more than two years now.

Easter eats

Start with a brunch or pick a potluck

Easter is less than two weeks away. This year the holiday is April 4, so now is the time to start planning the feast.

Tips for a successful fishing trip

Dennis Pirch, who writes the Outdoors Under the Rim column for the Payson Roundup, has been fishing the Rim Country for more than a couple of decades. His oldest son, Clifford, is a professional bass fisherman. Here are a few fishing tips Pirch has offered in his Roundup columns.

the story of payson, arizona

Chapter 39: The Town Gets A Newspaper

It could be argued that Payson’s first newspaper was published by the students of the high school, for in the autumn of 1926 they began a newsletter printed on their hand set type printer. It was called The Round-Up.

Wednesday, March 24

Governor Brewer asks Arizona Congressional Democrats, “Do you intend to pay for healthcare mandates?”

The U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama have approved massive new federal healthcare mandates with severe consequences to Arizona’s state budget, consequences that Governor Brewer and other state leaders have been warning about since the summer of 2009.

Ponderosa Baptist buys land

Ponderosa Baptist Church buys buildings for teen center

Ponderosa Baptist Church has purchased the property at 102 W. Round-Up Road in Payson to use as classroom space for the church teen department and plans to open an after-school, faith based teen program, “Momentum”, for all Payson area teens.

Tuesday, March 23

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Nature’s classroom

Students explore environmental health at river, Fossil Springs

Recently Payson High School ecology and biology students packed onto a school bus and traveled to different points along the Verde River to measure pH levels of water, velocity and depth, and to look for organisms. The preponderance of delicate organisms can mean water has stayed healthy a long time, according to biology teacher Joe Schmidt.

Volunteering should not be a costly endeavor

It may be harder to get volunteers for Payson Community Kids when volunteers must pay to volunteer.

Women golfers invited to check out fun with the PWGA

Claudia Bullard loves to play golf and wants to share her passion with women around the Rim Country.

Payson height limits to rise

Council approves increase in building heights from 45 to 75 feet in some areas

Get ready for high rises in Payson.

Meals on Wheels coming to Star Valley

A hot meal is something we can all take for granted.

Miscues end Horn hopes in St. Johns

Errors are the bane of every baseball coach, often turning noggin hair gray, thinning and attenuated.

Military News

Matt West always wanted to be in the Army. It wasn’t until he started working as an ER Tech at Payson Regional Medical Center that he knew he wanted to become an Army Medic. On March 30, West leaves for nine weeks of basic training at Fort Sill, Okla. Upon completion he will attend medic school at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas for 16 weeks of training.

Payson can now charge drunk drivers for response teams

The state cracks down with big fines, license revocations, automatic jail time for drunk drivers and now the Payson Town Council wants to charge for fire trucks and paramedics.

Business Briefs

Yavapai Workforce Connection, Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, and Yavapai College are teaming up again to host the 5th annual Verde Valley Job, Career & Education Fair on Wednesday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds.

Coor to discuss the ‘Arizona We Want’ at business awards

Lattie Coor will discuss ‘The Arizona We Want,’ a citizens’ agenda derived from the results of the Gallup Arizona Poll, during his speech at the April 8 Rim Country Business Awards Luncheon.

New short sale program may streamline process

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of not being able to make your mortgage payments on your primary residence, and the value of the loan is greater than today’s value of the home, you may want to consider a short sale after consulting with your attorney and tax advisor.

New EPA rules a critical blow to struggling economy

I read recently that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) thinks that now is the right time to introduce new rules and regulations geared at regulating greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) on America’s industrial facilities, power plants, hospitals, and small businesses (such as bakeries).

New health reform bill includes good things

Since this bill only passed last night, I don’t know what the response will be, but I can guess that there will be much gnashing of teeth and moaning about socialism, etc.

Kirkpatrick voted against the American people

Representative Ann Kirkpatrick had the opportunity to do the right thing and vote against Obamacare as was the overwhelming wishes of her constituency and at least 68 percent of Americans.

Big spenders didn’t top vote in Payson council race

Retirees provided most of the donations, but Carpenter financed his own campaign

The council election in which challenger Fred Carpenter upended Vice Mayor Mike Vogel showed no clear relationship between spending and vote totals — and no sign at all of the real estate, developer and construction money that once played a key role in town politics.

Miracle on S. Sutton Road

A miracle has happened on S. Sutton Road. We can drive safely on it now. We, the residents at 1206 and 1210, wish to thank you, whoever you are.

Cheaper to layoff staff than pay for health insurance

The new health care bill requires an employer with at least 50 employees to provide them insurance.

The future knocks, the room’s ready

The future doesn’t always call ahead for reservations. So sometimes, you have to keep the guest bedroom ready — just in case.

Near Tragedy: Jail release party turns into weird crash

A boozy jail release party went horribly array Friday night when it nearly ended tragically — twice.

Kirkpatrick votes to pass health reform

Changes would cover an estimated 118,000 in District

All Arizona’s Democrats supported the biggest expansion of health coverage since Medicare and all Republicans opposed it, reflecting the bigger partisan divisions revealed by the historic vote.

Hiker rescued

Saturday’s pristine blue skies and warm temperatures quickly grew cloudy for one Payson man and his dog when the duo found themselves stuck on a rock and without a way down.

Community Almanac

Due to the extremely wet winter weather the Tonto National Forest has received this year, a decision has been made to postpone the dead down personal use fuel wood and other forest product permit sales until Monday, April 12.

Business Showcase draws big crowds

1,000 people sample local wares

Local businesses stressed by the downtrodden economy got a boost in morale and possibly their bottom line last weekend, when a record number of visitors attended the annual business showcase.

PMGA opens with rare ‘double dip’ closest-to-pin win

Richard Harding is being good naturedly labeled a “double dipper” by his fellow Payson Men’s Golf Association members.

Golfers swing to 4th at Mt. Graham

Battling some of the finest prep golf teams in Arizona, including defending state champion Snowflake, the Payson Longhorns played to a fourth-place finish in the Thatcher Invitational.

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Winslow wins GLH Classic

The temperatures didn’t rise to the balmy digits players, coaches and fans were hoping for, but softball action was searing hot as 16 prep teams from around Arizona battled for the Gracie Lee Haught Classic Softball Tournament championship.

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Tragedies, rescues increase as snow melts

Warm days lure hikers into canyons brimming with rushing streams

Rising temperatures have drawn out hikers, but also sent snowmelt rushing down streams. In the past month, two people have already been swept away by fast-moving water.

McCain to Host Fundraiser for Dr. Steve Mehta

Mehta Speaks out on Healthcare Vote

Show Low, AZ – Today, Dr. Steve Mehta announced that Laurie McCain, no relationship whatsoever to Senator John McCain, will be hosting a fundraiser at her Show Low home in honor of Dr. Steve Mehta this Tuesday.

Friday, March 19

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Thrift store helps animals in need

While the dogs and cats of the Central Arizona Humane Society don’t buy sweaters or pants from the Humane Society Thrift Store, they are common visitors at the Main Street shop, bringing in visitors and driving up sales with their lovable faces and tricks.

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Most of the Rim closed due to very saturated soil

We are beginning to enjoy a spring-like warm up and much of our snow is all but disappeared. Only in areas where the sun hardly ever hits, snow still makes its presence. Still there is a sigh of relief the major winter storms and deep snows have past.

Depression kids were the very soul of private enterprise, Part II

Last week I left off at the point where some teenagers from my neighborhood were out scouting for valuable scrap metal and found a fat brass railing running uphill beside a set of abandoned concrete steps. With Petey Disarro working as the anchorman at the bottom of the railing, they put everything they had into hauling on it to get the uprights to give way. Which they did, sending several hundred pounds of brass railing, which ended in a three-inch round ball, crashing right into Petey’s — well, you know, the worst possible place.

Program gets wayward kids back on track

ReadOut uses books to get kids in trouble off probation, but program needs adult volunteers

When Carole Shevlin meets with a juvenile on probation for the first time at the Payson Public Library, she has no idea what crime they committed or what led them to this place in life.

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‘At-risk’ kids make gains

Initial results from the highly hailed early intervention program launched in Payson schools this year show promising progress.

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Cuts hit cops hard

With overtime and training pay all but stripped away, and officers forced to take two furlough days a month, the Payson Police Department is feeling the effects.

EAC president faces probe

Eastern Arizona College President Mark Bryce improperly borrowed more than $7,000 from the college for personal travel expenses, including spa treatments, movies and meals for his wife and children, according to a new report from the auditor general.

Cougars nipped in Eastern showdown

Horns battle back from 4-1 deficit to win over Show Low

The scrappy Payson Longhorn baseball team battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the top of the third inning to rally for a 7-6 East region win over the visiting Show Low Cougars.

Library director’s talent goes beyond books

Terry Morris’ talents aren’t limited to her work as director of the Payson Public Library.

Helicopter rescues couple trapped on snow-covered ridge

A Department of Public Safety helicopter on Wednesday rescued a stranded couple trapped on a snowy ridge in the Mazatzal Wilderness Area south of Payson.

Ticket will keep driver out of Star Valley

On or about Feb. 19, I received a “hand” carried photo radar ticket from Star Valley. According to the ticket, I was traveling “approximately” 56 in a 45 mph zone. An area that has poor signage.

Potholes abound in bleak Payson budget

Council reviews five-year plan that patches carpets and streets, defers ambitious projects

The Payson Town Council this week visited the corpse of its five-year capital improvement plan, filing past the embalmed remains like spooked visitors to Lenin’s tomb.

Community Almanac

The Mogollon Health Alliance Arts & Crafts Auxiliary will be holding its annual spring sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, March 19 in the main lobby of the Payson Regional Medical Center. All proceeds benefit the many programs, scholarships, and grants offered in the Rim Country by the Mogollon Health Alliance.

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For the love of Horses

Women help riders gain experience, confidence

Pint-size McKenzie Randall held the reins of a tall horse, her tiny frame inspiring incredulousness.

Investing for college and retirement

You most likely need to save and invest for retirement. But if you have children, you also may want to put money away for their college education.

Business Briefs

A family run furniture store is opening in the former space of Legacy Furniture this weekend.

Time to get down to business

What a great weekend this is going to be — it’s finally that time of the year when we don’t have to mind our own business.

Spring just around the corner

Spring is right around the corner. Hurray!

Federal government has a broadband plan

The government often gets involved in areas that affect the private sector, but the success of these “intrusions” is debatable. One area that seems to have captured our attention is the recent announcement by the FCC that it indeed has a “National Broadband Plan.” This plan seeks to expand the availability of high-speed Internet access and improve existing networks throughout the United States.

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Snow keeps cyclist stranded

Stranded by the snow. I ran into a guy name Mark Hieb last week in the Tall Pines Market who ended up somewhat reluctantly being a customer of ours at the Christopher Creek Lodge.

Spring Fling filled with food, fun, friendship

I was visiting some Kauai friends down in the Valley over the weekend so I wasn’t able to attend the Spring Fling, but from what I’ve heard, it was a great time filled with food, fun and friendships galore. The weather was perfect and judging from the crowd, folks are more than ready for spring. Thanks to the Pine-Strawberry Business Community for hosting another successful event. We are blessed to have such an active group who are constantly thinking of ways to bring friends and family together.

Spay and neuter is only solution

Well, it’s official — spring has sprung. The tulips are in bloom, the trees are budding out, the desert is gorgeous, and everyone but us has “sprung forward.”

Star Valley adds speed cameras

They are every motorist’s worst nightmare and Star Valley’s best friend. Bringing in more than $1 million a year, photo enforcement cameras in this small town have kept the Star Valley budget balanced.

Payson saves Tonto Bridge State Park

The State Parks Board on Wednesday approved a deal with Payson that will keep Tonto Natural Bridge State Park open five days a week all summer.

Show Low heart doctor aims to unseat Rep. Kirkpatrick

Show Low cardiologist Steve Mehta wants to apply a little CPR to politics — starting with the increasingly rancorous debate about health care reform.

Invitational will be a testing ground

Coaches of the Payson High School boys and girls track teams have decided to use the Round Valley Dome Invitational in Eagar as a testing ground meet.

Promise of good weather a relief for players

That sigh of relief Rim Country readers heard this week was from Gracie Haught Classic Tournament Director Charlene Hunt.

Lady Longhorns lose when Show Low rallies in seventh

Like the used car salesman who couldn’t convince the little old lady from Pasadena to lay down her cash, the Lady Longhorns couldn’t close the deal against the Show Low Cougars.

Kids Fishing Festival a welcome to spring

Spring is finally here in the high country, and the Rim Country Optimist Club is kicking off the warm weather with their 4th Annual Kids Fishing Festival at Green Valley Park.

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Strong teams promise to make tourney a thriller

A pair of Valley-area “big schools,” coupled with a small, rural hotbed of softball could be the teams to beat in the Fifth Annual Gracie Haught Classic tournament.

Please use the recycling services available in our community

People of Payson, please remember we do have some recycling services available. Please remember to dispose of cardboard and other paper items such as newspapers and junk mail at the hoppers that are available in town.

Bring rodeo’s charm and magic back before it’s gone

With sadness, I read about the ills of the Payson Rodeo. As a former chamber manager during the 100th World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo, I wonder what happened.

Neighbors protest housing for seniors

The article, “Neighbors protest housing for seniors” by Pete Aleshire struck righteous anger in me. Why such a title? “Block” more senior senior apartments?

Former Payson student signs at Michigan State

After watching his two older sisters, Whitney and Kari, ink athletic scholarship offers to Arizona State University, Sherod Hardt has opted for Michigan State University.

ACLU wrong — military commissions are not unconstitutional

Only weeks ago, President Obama appeared to have made up his mind to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow 9/11 co-conspirators to New York City for trial in civilian courts. Now, however, news reports suggest that the president may be poised to abandon the civilian court trials altogether and try the 9/11 plotters in military commissions.

Schools confront reading challenge

Every kid confronts the mystery of the printed page. Some hit school thoroughly prepared.

Valley student drowns trying to reach Verde Hot Springs

A 22-year-old ASU student drowned Wednesday while hiking near the Child’s Power Plant with friends.

Obama approves Brewer’s disaster relief request for flood victims

Governor Jan Brewer announced Friday that President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster for eight Arizona counties and six tribal nations, committing the release of federal funds to rebuild state and local government infrastructure damaged by the January storms.

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Bikers on a Quest

Biking across the country, Paul and Clint stopped by our offices (Payson Roundup) on a deadline day, (not the best time) but I talked with them and set up a place along the highway where I could get a good shot of them whizzing past on their way to Phoenix. Once they zipped passed me, I jumped in my car to catch up with them and possibly get another shot or two.

Thursday, March 18

All about Alaska - Part 2

Most cruises sail between either Seattle or Vancouver to Seward or Whittier on a north or south bound journey. And while a cruise is the least expensive way to see most ports in Southeast Alaska, and the only way to experience Glacier Bay National Park and Hubbard Glacier, this is just a small part of a large and fascinating state.

Composting and other messy garden pursuits

I attended a meeting the other night about composting. “They had a saying, “Compost happens.” They lie.

Ventures in Ventura

Ventura, Calif. lies just 62 miles north of Los Angeles and some refer to it as where the real California lifestyle exists. It has maintained its authenticity, history and agricultural ties. It sits on the shores of the Pacific, but Ventura claims to be more than just another beach town. You’ll find artists of all disciplines, surfers, famous chefs and CEOs of leading corporations simply lying back and enjoying the area’s easy lifestyle.

Closing the book on ILX Resorts

Sometime in April, Diamond Resorts will likely take over ILX Resorts, including their Kohl’s Ranch property. The company that has long been cursed by locals for a series of bonehead moves, most notably tearing down the old “Cowboy Bar” which was the original lodge, will be no more.

Making weekday meals with what’s on hand

Dinner is the perfect time for families to reconnect and enjoy a nourishing meal, but when evenings are hectic, firing up the range can seem daunting. While people often turn first to non-perishable pantry staples in a pinch, a well-stocked freezer also can inspire convenient, easy-to-prepare meals.

It’s never too late to start taking care of your bones and joints

Those aches and creaks when you roll over in the morning can often become more common as the years go by. Age-related changes in your bones, muscles and joints are a fact of life, but they’re also preventable — don’t assume that those creaking noises and pain are an inevitable part of aging. There are many things you can do to prevent pain, as well as reduce your risk for diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis.

The many uses of baking soda

Baking soda is one of the most versatile cleaning agents on earth. It is highly absorbent making it an excellent deodorizer. Best of all, it’s non-toxic. As

Showcase highlights businesses

The 18th annual Business Showcase is about Building Rim Country Business by introducing the public to all the goods and services in the community. It’s also about helping Rim Country residents with their building projects.

Tuesday, March 16

Students working during spring break to improve grades

About 100 students at Rim Country Middle School will work mornings during a week of spring break to improve bad grades.

Three seek open P-S water board spot

Barring any last minute water users throwing their hat into the ring, the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District Board will have three candidates from which to select a replacement for Terry Schleizer who resigned Feb. 18.

Thank you TRSAR

Words cannot express my thanks to you for saving my life from Box Canyon on March 3. I thought I saw angels when you arrived; and in a way, you are! My debt and gratitude is something I can never repay.

Sales taxes rise, spending falls

Payson digging out of deficit as revenue rises and furloughs cut costs

Payson’s bleak budget picture brightened in February, according to a financial report released on Monday.

Annual Rim Country Classic Auto show scheduled for April 23

The Rim Country Classic Auto Club, plans for the 17th Annual Beeline Cruise-In and Car Show are in the final stages.

Political pork still sputters and sizzles

Earmarks. Terrible stuff. Unless you happen to really, really need the bridge, or the paved road, or the thinned forest.

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Goodman at home in Payson, behind the dish

A young lady with roots running deeply through the Rim Country has her sights set on helping the eighth-ranked Arizona State University Sun Devils softball team (19-2) win the NCAA championship.

Seniors hear about colon cancer

Members of the Senior Circle hosted Dr. Robert Gilbert, the new gastroenterologist at Payson Regional Medical Center at their March 10 Lunch and Learn program.

Release of good coaches a blow to HS football

I called former Snowflake and Round Valley football coach Tot Workman, one of the most recognized and acclaimed coaches in the state, last week to get his take on what was going on in Arizona high school football coaching ranks.

Neighbors protest housing for seniors

First big project in a year would build 20 homes for low-income seniors and give nearly dead construction business a $6-million infusion

Neighbors appealed to the Payson Town Council recently to block the first major construction project in town in nearly a year — a 20-unit apartment complex for low-income seniors.

Wellness forum encourages, inspires

Encouragement and inspiration were at the heart of the 12th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum — and close to 300 women were the recipients of all the great information provided by the presenters and keynote speaker Ali Vincent.

Fed earmarks for roads, flood work sought

Supervisors want feds to fund $17 million worth of work

Gila County supervisors have requested $17 million worth of projects from the federal government, including a study to solve problems associated with Tonto Creek flooding and a plan to relocate part of Houston Mesa Road.

Showcase highlights building Rim Country business

The 18th annual Business Showcase is about building Rim Country business. Rim Country residents and visitors will have the opportunity to see the products and services of almost 70 area businesses and organizations at the two-day event.

Wet ground conditions signals forest seasonal road closures

Springerville — It’s been a very wet winter in the high country of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs) as the area has received over 8 inches of moisture in the form of rain and snow since last December.

Community Almanac

The next Fiddlers’ Jam will take place at 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 17 in the Cultural Hall at the Pine Community Center. If you have spring fever, this is a perfect opportunity to come out and kick up your heels with some good, old-fashioned fiddle music.

Horns bitten by miscues against Bulldogs

Coach David Nikolaus’ Show Low Cougars come pawing and clawing into town today, March 16, giving the Payson Longhorn baseball team its first crack at East region play.

Figueroa named to All-State team

Hard-nosed, unselfish play has paid off for Payson High senior point guard Ever Figueroa.

NRA gift will fix shooting range

The Tonto Rim Sports Club Jim Jones Shooting Range will soon undergo thousands of dollars in improvements, thanks to the Friends of the NRA.

Mix it up at the chamber mixer

The March Chamber Mixer will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, March 19 at the Business Showcase site — the Foxworth Galbraith property at 202 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.

Help needed to keep Tonto Natural Bridge State Park open

The park is scheduled to close on June 3, unless we take action to assist Arizona State Parks financially to keep it open. At the present time, the Town of Payson and the Friends of Tonto Natural Bridge are struggling to raise $7,000 to help with the effort.

Making it harder in hard times

“I’m from the government and I am here to help you” is a tongue in cheek saying that is older than I am. The truth is the government is putting new rules in place that you may need to be aware of or comply with in the future.

New Coconino Forest Service supervisor named

A new forest supervisor for the Coconino National Forest arrived recently, replacing Nora Rasure, who left the Coconino in July to become the deputy director of recreation, heritage and volunteer resources in Washington D.C.

Prescribed fires will take place near Payson, Pine; work area nearly complete

Prescribed fire operations are planned for Tuesday, March 16 through Friday, March 19. This week’s prescribed fire operations are aimed at eliminating about 40 remaining acres of vegetative debris piles on the west side of Pine, and about 50 acres of remaining debris piles on the southeast corner of Pine, announced Tonto National Forest officials today.

Payson free tax help site is now open

Payson Community Action Program (CAP) announced today free tax help is available for area residents.

Rodeo war breaks out

Groups line up lawyers to vie for right to stage Payson’s rodeo

A new range war has broken out between two groups each hoping to stage the August Rodeo.

Former mayor critiques council, wants more salary cuts

Former Payson mayor Bob Edwards offered a post-election critique of the council as three council members listened grimly, but many of the questions focused on whether the town should allow seven-story buildings.

Lip Sync Concert was a definite success

The Lip Sync Concert, which was held on Feb. 27 at the Payson High School, was a definite success. All the proceeds from this event will be given in the form of scholarships.

Learn about skin cancer March 24

Dr. Peter M. Zonakis will be speaking at the Senior Circle Lunch and Learn event Wednesday, March 24. Dr. Zonakis’ topic will be skin cancer. He will cover what increases the risk; how to protect yourself; and the different types of skin cancer.

EAC changes course, will pay teachers on time

Eastern Arizona College plans to move its paydays to comply with state law following the complaint of an adjunct faculty member, according to a letter sent to the state labor department.

Michael Mann ignores historical evidence

It a appears that Michael Mann, a Penn State meteorologist, has a habit of defaming those who oppose him. He’s not only doing the same to me, but he has claimed that the “stolen e-mails” from the University of East Anglias Climate Research Unit still don’t alter the evidence for climate change.

Feature Teacher

Teacher wants to help students achieve goals, do their best

I love the children and truly care about their academic success.

Rim students take part in ASU Mars Research Center project

The seventh-grade gifted pre-algebra and science combined class (STEM) recently participated in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at ASU’s Mars Research Center.

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Boot camp gives students time to refine skills

Two-week sessions help with math and reading skills

The boot camp in Stacey Summers’ classroom began in the late afternoon, but these seven elementary school students weren’t squatting to build leg muscles or performing push-ups.

Spring is coming on all around us

OK, they are only weeds, but I love dandelions. A week or so ago, before our latest snow storm, my day was brightened by the sight of patches of dandelions blooming on the embankment along 260 just east of the 87 intersection. You just have to admire their tenacity to pop out of the cold ground and thrust up their golden heads. Our spring bloom seems later than usual this year, but will probably make its appearance this week with warmer weather forecast. Rim Country is beautiful year-round and especially so in the spring. Aren’t we blessed to live here?

Monday, March 15

Tonto Basin fire district receives funds for station 2 improvements

Gila County gave $3,000 to the Tonto Basin Fire District for improvements to its fire station number 2.

Prescribed fire will take place near Payson

Prescribed fire operations are planned for Tuesday, March 16 through Friday, March 19. This week’s prescribed fire operations are aimed at eliminating about 40 remaining acres of vegetative debris piles on the west side of Pine, and about 50 acres of remaining debris piles on the southeast corner of Pine, announced Tonto National Forest officials today.

Forest Service roads closed

Very wet ground conditions signal seasonal closure for some forest roads

It’s been an very wet winter in the high country of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs) as the area has received over 8 inches of moisture in the form of rain and snow since last December.

Friday, March 12

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Water running rapidly at many area crossings

This last week there was a warming trend with mixed snow and rain. Those conditions were enough to accelerate thawing of much of the snow on the upper levels of the Mogollon Rim. The ravines continued to flow at a more rapid rate than before.

A year of putting Americans to work to improve our national forests

During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt called on the Forest Service for help. Through the Civilian Conservation Corps, we engaged millions of unemployed citizens, helping to rebuild lives and provide a lasting service to the nation through fire control, reforestation, and early construction of roads, trails and facilities.

Irish-born singer successful in U.S.

St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my favorite “holidays.” No gifts to worry about, no political correctness with which to be concerned and no expectations (nor dread) of being visited by the in-laws. It’s my kind of holiday.

Bashas’ Center owner, ASU supporter dies in plane crash

One of the key Rim Country business leaders and backer of the ASU campus plan died Thursday when his vintage P-51 Mustang fighter crashed into a hangar in Chandler.

Don’t let your guard down to cyberspace bad guys

We’ve gone over this in the past, but it is worth repeating: There are bad guys in the world that will go to great lengths to hack into, steal from, or otherwise create havoc with your computer. What is becoming more and more evident is the fact that there are no safe harbors anymore. Two recent stories prove that even the most innocent and seemingly safe applications can invoke harm to your computer ... if you aren’t prepared.

Good day for Rim Country

The voters came through for the Rim Country on Tuesday. Voters showed up and made a series of crucial decisions that demonstrate their commitment to one another and this, the beloved community.

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Sporting group benefit raffle promises big prizes

The opportunity to take home enough firearms to outfit a large hunting party awaits those who enter a Mogollon Sporting Association special raffle.

Voters OK Home Rule question

Payson voters’ overwhelming approval of Home Rule this week averted deep cuts in the town budget and delighted town officials who had been sweating out the vote for a month.


The Daughters of the American Revolution will meet at 1 p.m., Friday, March 12 at the Payson Public Library. The guest speaker will be Peggy Hurd, National Society DAR Treasurer General, who will be speaking on “The Flag: The Rest of the Story.”

Rescue possible because of experience and training

Your article “Man, dog rescued from Box Canyon” on March 5 prompts comments about the exemplary service provided by the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue squad.

Tired of muddy walkways and puddles

What a whirlwind weekend my hubby and I experienced. We traveled to Yuma, to see our grandson, Brian Snyder, our new Marine recruit.

Winter weather wears out welcome

Mother Nature is playing tricks on the Payson High School track and field team.

Horn golfers get silver at Snowflake

It didn’t take the Payson Longhorn golf team long to leap directly into the heat of the 3A conference’s fiercest competition.

Grateful that voters showed kids count in Payson

On behalf of the Payson school district governing board, teachers, staff, leadership, and most importantly, our students, thank you voters for your support. In passing the Maintenance and Operations Override, you have ensured that catastrophic cuts to schools and programs will not take place.

Spring brings puppies, kittens by basket full

With spring right around the corner, there are so many things to look forward to. All the rain and snow we’ve had this winter are going to bring beautiful desert flowers and, hopefully, dramatically reduce the threat of wildfires.

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Open house was cause for celebration

Once again winter weather has visited the Rim Country. We go back and forth between thanking God for the moisture and wondering if the snow will ever end! My husband said he’s glad he didn’t buy the tomato plants he saw on sale the other day. Of course we all know what a difference a day can make and spring will come sooner or later.

Arrests made in bank robberies

Two Linden men arrested in connection with four-state spree of 16 armed bank robberies

Two Linden men believed to be the notorious “High Country Bandits” were arrested by FBI agents at 9 a.m. Thursday in connection with a four-state spree of armed bank and credit union robberies that began with the robbery of the Bank of the West branch in Heber last Sept. 8.

National Geographic Rim Country maps released

New maps expected to help tourism

With two rivers, four lakes, 2,600 miles of roads and more than 900 trails contained in five ecosystems, the Tonto National Forest is a never-ending playground.

Community Almanac

This weekend, the Regional Payson Area Project for a Fire Wise Rim Country (RPAP) will be staffing free brush drop-off points:

Economic recovery starts with creating jobs

The effects of the economic downturn have been severe and affected all Americans in some way. Some people have lost jobs or suffered reductions in pay that now make it difficult to pay their bills. Some bought homes they could afford a few years ago, but now find themselves upside down in their mortgages.

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Deaths shadow condors’ long comeback tale

Lead poisoning claims three Grand Canyon condors out of wild flock of 74

The dreaded signal sounded just after Christmas — the sustained tone that indicated Condor 127 had stopped moving. Word passed quickly through the tight ranks of the small team of biologists that have labored for the past decade to re-establish condors in the wilds of the Grand Canyon, from a release site atop the Vermillion Cliffs.

Depression kids were the very soul of private enterprise

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how well Italian immigrants in New York City integrated themselves into the American society in the first half of the 20th century. While I was writing it, I thought of something else I need to tell you about. Here it is.

Gila college teacher files wage complaint against EAC

Eastern is violating law in withholding pay, says complaint

A wage dispute at Gila Community College concerning adjunct faculty members has led one teacher to file a complaint with the state labor board.

Longhorns host Show Low in critical baseball game this Tuesday

The Longhorn baseball express is steaming toward all-important East region play with a 3-3 record and focused on derailing arch-rival Show Low Cougars.

Crappie fishing still a week or two away

The late winter storms have continued to bring massive amounts of snow to the Rim Country, and rain to the lower elevations. Every canyon seems to have a live water flow, and those east of the Beeline Highway eventually drain into Tonto or Canyon Creek and finally into Roosevelt Lake.

The ‘Taste’ keeps on going

I am finding in life that to merely taste is often times bittersweet.

Unemployment dips 5th month in a row

Rim Country rate is below county average

In a heartening sign that the recession may have bottomed out here, Rim Country’s unemployment rate in January dipped to 8.9 percent, below both the state and national averages.

Board member says artificial turf not best use of bond

efore becoming a board member I was part of the original bond committee. I want to explain the events that led to the decision to not turf the fields. When the committee was considering putting turf on the three fields, we talked with Mr. (Bill) Schwind (previous parks and recreation director).

Override votes bring smiles to school officials’ faces

School advocates and officials in Rim Country rejoiced this week when voters overwhelmingly approved the once-defeated budget override.

Ladies Jammie Party tonight

Well it looks like Mother Nature is still throwing some random snow storms our way. One day it’s almost shirt weather and the next day you need a jacket. I am fully convinced that for whatever reason, Christopher Creek has its very own unique and “fun” weather pattern.

Carpenter, edges out Vogel in close vote

Former Town Manager Fred Carpenter edged out Vice Mayor Mike Vogel in Tuesday’s election, according to final tallies released on Thursday.

Assessing financial goals still important after retirement

Throughout your working years, you save and invest so that you can create a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. After you’re retired, though, you still need to assess your financial goals if you’re going to maintain that lifestyle.

Star Valley keeps its mayor

Henderson, Leis, Newland win council seats

The leadership of the Star Valley Town Council will remain in the hands of incumbent Mayor Bill Rappaport. The sitting mayor received 346 votes to challenger Randy White’s 242.

Traffic Switch - Westbound Kohl's Ranch Bridge Open

Weather permitting, ADOT will change the current traffic configuration of the Highway 260 Little Green Valley project work zone on Thursday, March 18 by reopening the westbound Kohl's Ranch Bridge.

Thursday, March 11

Arrests made in High Country Bandits bank robberies

Two Linden men believed to be the notorious “High Country Bandits” were arrested by FBI agents at 9 o’clock this morning in connection with a four-state spree of armed bank and credit union robberies that began with the robbery of the Bank of the West branch in Heber last Sept. 8.

Southbound I-17 slope repair starts March 15

Expect half-hour delays at night near Sunset Point

Drivers who use southbound Interstate 17 to travel from northern Arizona into the Phoenix area at night should plan on delays of approximately 30 minutes starting next week.

Allen legislation protects rural property owners from line extension fees

PHOENIX – Determined to protect her constituents from new state policies that punish rural property owners, State Senator Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake) is sponsoring legislation to roll back a 2007 Corporation Commission decision allowing public utilities to charge rural residents the full cost of electricity line extensions. If enacted, the legislation would require APS to reinstate its former policy, granting rural residents free line extensions under 500 feet.


Tom Horne, State Superintendent of Schools announced today that the Council of Chief School State Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) released the first public draft of the K-12 Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The public is invited to review and provide feedback.

Wednesday, March 10


Spread your creative wings and soar

Do you have a little leprechaun sitting on your shoulder? Is it whispering in your ear; urging you to give into your urge to get creative – and maybe discover your own, personal pot of golden satisfaction?

Fossil fuels vs. Natural gas

Home heating systems (including central systems, wall/window mounted systems, roof mounted units, radiant systems or steam heated radiators) are fired by gas, electricity, coal or oil. In most parts of the country gas is far less expensive than any of the others making gas (natural or propane) our fuel of choice. Not only is gas inexpensive, 98 percent of all natural gas is pumped right here in the good old U.S. of A. The other two percent comes from Canada. Additionally, natural gas produces only one-half the CO2 produced by coal (no matter how clean it supposedly is) and 30 percent less CO2 than oil – and you know where we get most of our oil.

You are what you eat

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” If this is true, you should eat healthy, right? In reality, most people struggle with their taste buds and their conscience on doing what’s right.

Fly-fishing classes

Join the Payson Flycasters at the Parks & Recreation office to learn the art of fly-fishing in this two-class series on Saturday, March 13 and Saturday, March 20. The registration deadline is 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 10.

NPH, an unfamiliar cause of dementia

My wife, 78, has had headaches, some memory problems and confusion. A brain scan showed hydrocephalus. We were referred to a neurosurgeon, and he ordered an infusion study. We have waited six weeks for that appointment.

Trains moved America

In the earlier part of the 20th century, the railroads moved the public between the major cities and towns in America. During the Depression the railroads suffered financial problems as did almost every sector of the American economy but they stayed on track and slowly modernized their fleets so that in the later part of the 1930s they began introducing new streamliners across the nation.

The Story of Payson, Arizona

Chapter 38: The W.P.A. Comes To Town

As Payson’s population increased, the two aging frame structures on Main Street that had served as schoolhouses since 1901 and 1916 respectively were simply inadequate. The Great Depression was under way in the 1930s, and local families were in no position to finance a larger school. However, the Federal Government had established the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which provided the needed funds. It was up to the local school district to develop the plans and hire the work done, which gave some much needed relief for Rim Country families who joined the construction crews. Not only were local men employed for the work, but also many family members pitched in and invested their time and energy in the task. It was truly a community project, and the community joyfully took ownership, affectionately dubbing it “The Rock School.”

If the gardening bug is getting you ...

Things are starting to green up around this part of the Rim Country, so more than a few folks are itching that gardening bug bite.

The Mystery Picture

It's that time again

Connell, Blair and Carpenter win seats on Payson council

Voters OK home rule and school override

Final vote tallies Thursday morning show Payson Town Council incumbent Su Connell, who got 64 percent of the votes cast, and Ed Blair, who received 59 percent of the votes, along with challenger Fred Carpenter were elected in Tuesday’s voting.

Tuesday, March 9

No vote urged on health care bill

Representative Kirkpatrick, I have been a registered Democrat since 1968, and I realize that we do need health care reform; however, the Obama plan is not the right plan for America or its citizens. It will increase the premium cost by 10 to 13 percent (per CBO calculations); cost between $2.5 and $6.0 trillion (or more), which will bankrupt America; and put the government between us and our doctors, reducing our freedom of choice.

Lots of activities planned for seniors

vThe remainder of the Branson trip payment is due this week. Please come by the Senior Circle office and make the remainder of your payment. There will be 44 Senior Circle members headed out to Branson for a week of fun and activity on May 15. This active group of seniors ranges in age from 50-75 and are excited about meeting new friends and finally making that trip they have all talked about for so long. We are taking names for a substitute list in the event of a cancellation, so come and in and sign up. The Senior Circle is located at 215 N. Beeline Highway.

Article contained some incorrect information

In the recent article, “Touching the Past” in the Feb. 17 edition of The Rim Review, there were a couple of errors.

McCain should be removed from the Senate

John McCain’s re-election campaign is broadcasting fuzzy-feel-good radio and TV ads blasting his opponents, promoting himself as the savior of Arizona; and, sadly, even recruiting Sarah Palin’s endorsement statements.

Idealism vs. realism

Debate on health care continues with many opinions and arguments; all of which have some merit. Ideally every U.S. citizen or legal resident is entitled to receive the health care they need to “pursue happiness.”

County assessor sends out home assessments

No doubt, you recently received your 2011 property valuations from the Gila County assessor’s office and probably saw little change in your valuation from 2010.

Proposed bills provide health care insurance, but not health care

The currently proposed health care legislation will have a severe impact on rural Arizona. While the goal to provide equal health care insurance coverage to every American seems worthy, health insurance does not equal health care. The delivery of health care in the United States has evolved in a very complex way. Any legislation with a goal of “fixing” American medicine needs to take into account not only the payments for services, but also the allocation of services.

Not too late to vote on region’s future

One last plea. If you haven’t voted, it’s not too late. The stakes remain high. The budget override will determine whether the Payson Unified School District weathers the impending budget hailstorm or withers for lack of community support.

California murder suspect arrested

When a Gila County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped to help a man whose vehicle had slid off Highway 87 due to severe weather Sunday, he had no idea the man was wanted on a homicide warrant.

Rep: GCC independence a fantasy

One of Rim Country’s representatives says independence for Gila Community College is an impossible fantasy despite good prospects for two potentially helpful bills.

Payson sales tax collections on the way up

January figures nearly equal last year, after swooning in November and December

Payson retail sales bounced back in January, offering beleaguered town officials hope that the economic downturn may have finally bottomed out in the Rim Country.

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El Niño storms drench Rim Country

Reservoirs brim as Verde River, Tonto Creek rise to 13-15 times normal flow for this time of year

El Niño delivered for Rim Country this year.

Baseball team sees mixed results at tournament

Results from the Payson Longhorn baseball team’s appearance March 5 and 6 in the Thunderbird Classic near Laughlin, Nev. are sketchy at best; mostly because coach Jerry Daniels was not available at press time, and the school is in spring break.

Teens lend talent to wrestling clinic

The Payson High School wrestling team, though light on numbers, has always been a self-motivated, hard-working group.

PWGA gets set to hit the links

Make no mistake, the Payson Women’s Golf Association 18-hole group is a festive, fun-loving group of linksters. But they are also very competitive.

Bowlers bring home honors from Reno, Nev. tournament

While a Gila monster is a heavy, slow moving, venomous lizard native to Arizona, Payson’s version of the species turned into an agile, mobile bundle of vigor at the Special Olympics Unified Bowling Team Tournament.

Childhood lessons

Like most children, I was relegated to the back seat of our family car with my siblings when traveling. I remember the squabbles: “he/she touched me,” “did not, did too,” “not my fault,” “he/she did it,” etc

Seminar’s topics are mountain lions, camp cooking

With two highly successful “Shoot for the Heart” seminars now in the record books, event organizers, including Mountain Bible Church, are aiming for a three-peat.

PHS students help educate fifth-graders about dental hygiene

Payson High School students in Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) recently educated fifth-graders at Frontier Elementary School about dental hygiene, and the causes and implications of tooth decay.

Community Almanac

Payson Community Action Program (CAP) has free tax help available for area residents.

Tease photo

Students learn ins and outs of courtroom

Domestic abuse victim Martha Monroe was found guilty of manslaughter last week after 90-minutes of arduous jury deliberation.

School Briefs

Payson High School English teacher Lindsay Smith is having students in her American Literature and World Literature classes write letters to their favorite celebrities. And they are getting answers back.

Business Briefs

Payson will soon be home to a new independent bookstore, coffee shop and yoga studio.

Home values plunge, taxes may not

Rim Country home values fell in some neighborhoods as much as 44 percent in the past year, according to information released this week from the county assessor’s office, but that doesn’t necessarily mean taxes will fall.

Vote for a voucher system

I would like to take this opportunity to express my concerns with the responses to my concerns about the proposed school override. Comments have been expressed that I am “vindictive, full of hatred, selfish, and just plain wrong.” Interesting that 80 percent of the respondents to my letter were ex-school teachers

Fortune cookie fiasco

You finish your last bite of Kung Pao Chicken, crack open your fortune cookie hoping that yours will say the words that you want to hear. The conversation turns from fortune cookies to spending fortunes.

Vocational building for PHS will break ground in May

Money comes from voter approved bond fund and vocational institute

The Payson Unified School District’s brand new vocational building could be completed by October.

Tease photo

Freshman sends three over the fence

Move over Hank Aaron, make room for Taylor Petersen.

Burn pile work in Pine nearly complete, fires continue this week

For the past few weeks, Forest Service workers have lit hundreds of debris piles to thin heavily overgrown forests and create defensible spaces around Rim Country communities.

Something different needs to be done

I firmly believe that the importance of education cannot be overstated.

Scouts serve their community

A Scout is helpful means that he will volunteer his time to the service of his community and neighborhood without expecting pay.

Assistance center for flood victims moves to Tonto Basin

Gila County residents who still have flooding issues or need assistance after a thrash of winter storms hit Northern Arizona in January can get help in Tonto Basin Wednesday through Saturday.

New forest supervisor for Coconino

A new forest supervisor for the Coconino National Forest arrived last week, replacing Nora Rasure, who left the Coconino in July to become the deputy director of recreation, heritage, and volunteer resources in Washington D.C.

Monday, March 8

When the snow falls, cars slide

It started out as beautiful weekend Saturday with sun and warming temperatures making it the perfect day for cruise up to the Rim. However, the mood quickly changed to dank and rainy by Saturday evening when a slow moving storm from the pacific moved in. By Sunday afternoon, it was snowing in Payson and by Monday morning, at least 3 inches of snow had fallen in town and at least 4.5 inches in Pine.

Appliance rebate program launching April 12

The Arizona Department of Commerce Energy Office has secured a rebate company to operate the State's $6.2 million appliance rebate program, and will launch the program on Monday, April 12.

Prescribed fires for the week

Burn pile work in Pine nearly complete

For the past few weeks, Foreset Service workers have lit hundreds of debris piles to thin heavily overgrown forests and create defensible spaces around Rim Country communities.

Assistance center for flood victims moves to Tonto Basin

Gila County residents who still have flooding issues or need assistance after a thrash of winter storms hit Northern Arizona in January can get help in Tonto Basin Wednesday through Saturday.

Friday, March 5

Church plans letter-writing campaign

The Mount Cross congregation plans to add an extra element to the recently completed Payson Area Food Drive.

Meet George Jetson with today’s technology

Remember George Jetson? He was the cartoon guy who had everything. He had things we had never thought possible — flying cars, robots, videoconferencing, and more. Shortly after we met the Jetsons, we reached what we thought was the pinnacle of technological advances — the ’80s.

Snowflake alum takes over its football program

The Snowflake Lobos have called upon one of their alumni to take over the reins of the football program.

A distinctive new performer in the ’70s

Did you happen to see the KPNX, Channel 12 news team visiting Payson’s Vita-Mart this past week? It’s always great, isn’t it, to see our local businesses featured in “big time” media?

Paving of Control Road approved

There is wonderful news for Tonto Village this week. If you were listening to KMOG radio on Monday morning, you heard Gila County District 1 Supervisor Tommie Martin talking about the Control Road.

Payson team competes in Ragnar Relay

The Del Sol Ragnar Relay was to be a fun run through red rock cliffs, Ponderosa pines and saguaro cactus for the 12 members of the Payson Mile High Running Club.

Great fishing at Roosevelt just waiting

March is here! Roosevelt Lake is at 100 percent of capacity, and the warmer temperatures are starting to return to Arizona. To the warm-water angler, this means bass will be heading to the spawning grounds of shallow water, and great fishing is right around the corner. The migration of bass boat owners from northern communities, which have been digging out of numerous winter storms, is on the increase daily, because the word is out.

Girls may be first Payson athletes to swim for college scholarships

Julie Gibson and Emily Giarrizzo could be the first-ever Payson athletes to earn collegiate swimming scholarships.

Taste best of Rim Country

Chefs offer up specialties to benefit Payson library

Payson will be a foodie’s Mecca this weekend. Fans of good food and culinary adventurers descend on the Payson Public Library Saturday night to sample the showcase wares of professional and aspiring chefs of the Rim Country.

Figueroa makes All-Region

Ever Figueroa cracked the hardwood big time with his selection to the 3A East All-Region Basketball Team.

Tease photo

Benefit softball tourney has its biggest field ever

Gracie Haught Classic Tournament Director Charlene Hunt has released brackets and game schedules for what she is predicting will be the finest prep softball tournament in the five-year history of the shoot-out.

Payson pioneer, Dorothy Pyle dies

Dorothy Eunice Lovelady Pyle, 89, born July 28, 1920 on the Hammond Ranch in Payson, died March 2, 2010 in Surprise, Ariz. Funeral services will be held for her at 11 a.m., Saturday March 6 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Payson. Interment will follow immediately at the Payson Pioneer Cemetery.

Routine traffic stop leads to discover of marijuana stash

A Payson man is under arrest, accused of possessing four pounds of marijuana for sale.

School officials nervously await override vote

As remaining time dwindles until ballots are due back for the Payson schools override election, school officials are nervously awaiting their fate.

Bankruptcy may force SV council to buy town hall or seek new home

With the revelation that Star Valley’s town hall lease is up in three months, no definite plans have been laid and the property is in bankruptcy court, the town could soon be without a home.

Payson Red Cross holds care benefit March 11 to raise money

When a disaster strikes, like the recent flooding in Tonto Basin and Gisela, Red Cross volunteers are some of the first responders, offering devastated families a warm place to stay, a hot meal and, most importantly, support.

Rodeo committee hopes development group will take over parade

With a spring and fall rodeo to plan as well as several fund-raising dances at the Oxbow Saloon, the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee’s 120 members are spread a little thin this year.

GCC board members want public to speak first

Gila Community College board member Tom Loeffler cracked the Iron Curtain at a recent board meeting when he approached the podium during the public comment period.

Payson approves Tonto Bridge plan

Council gives nod to ‘handshake’ agreement for town to keep Tonto Natural Bridge State Park open through the summer

The Payson Town Council Thursday unanimously approved a “handshake” agreement to take over operations of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to avert its scheduled shutdown in May.

Ross McDowell was the military man’s version of a genius

One thing I discovered in the military was that every once in a while you come across a guy who knows exactly how to handle any situation — sort of a military man’s genius.

Think twice about voting no on the school override

I am a student in the Payson area. I have been reading all the letters to the editor about the school override. To all of you who are thinking about voting no, I would just like to put this out there and hope you will think twice about your “no” vote.

Soccer is good for youth

Soccer can be good for your health, especially for kids and young people, because sometimes when they start playing, they realize that smoking is not good for them, and can stop them from being good at soccer because their lungs are hurt by the smoke, and they can get dizzy and not run so well.

Thank you for your service to your country

While I do not personally know the young soldier in Friday’s news article, Dugan Eckstein, I would like to thank him for his service to our country. And while sending letters and packages are kind and uplifting to the spirits of our boys overseas, our prayers for them do more.

Health means life and freedom

Life and freedom are moral issues. It’s time for us to talk about health in those terms, beyond the wonkish phrases bantered about by those who oppose change in our present health care system.

Don’t waste money on the eagles

I’m too lazy to research how much money is wasted each year for a bunch of government employees to keep Arizonans away from eagles.

Passing the override is important

Several persons have written about the forthcoming school budget override stating that they have long since paid for their children’s education through property taxes and, therefore, it should not pass.

New kind of college

Sun City came to Arizona some years ago with an idea of “active retirement” I liked the idea that maybe growing old could still be fun.

Health care reform can only possible with bipartisanship

President Obama has argued recently that the failure of Congress to pass the Democrats’ health care bill is a sign that our legislative process no longer works. Alluding to the legislation during a campaign event in Denver, the president complained about a “broken” system, accused those who disagree with him of trying to “gum up the works,” and claimed that the Senate “doesn’t get anything done” because Republicans “say no to everything.”

College suffers more double talk

Big tuition increase. Big enrollment drop. Gee: Who would’a figured? Anyway you look at it, the latest enrollment figures from Gila Community College (GCC) are depressing.

Community Almanac

For the convenience of the voter, since Town Hall is closed on Fridays, on March 5 there will be a ballot box for the Town of Payson Election ballots to be dropped off at the Gila County Recorder’s office at 201 W. Frontier.

Considering bonds? Be aware of “call risk”

When you buy a bond, it’s yours until you sell it or it matures, right? Not always.

Nominees for 2010 Business Awards announced

Excellence in business is a combination of passion, long hours, hard work, excellent customer service, great hiring techniques, loyalty and a whole bunch of other attributes that all businesses strive to achieve.

Mesa del may get water help from Payson

Proposed temporary pipeline could avert summer shortages

Payson is negotiating a deal with Brooke Utilities to supply Mesa del Caballo with up to 85,000 gallons of water a day this summer to help that unincorporated community avoid the shortages and expensive water that plagued homeowners last summer.

Red Cross offers tips on disaster planning

The America Red Cross Grand Canyon chapter will be offering a free presentation on the three actions everyone can take to help make a difference when disaster strikes.

Payson Regional Home Health celebrates 20 years

Payson Regional Home Health agency is proud to celebrate its 20th anniversary of providing excellent service and quality care.

Community action group says free tax help site now open

Payson Community Action Program (CAP) will offer free tax help to area residents.

Challenge: Can you spell better than a fifth-grader?

The Rim Country Literacy Program (RCLP) is inviting businesses, clubs, organizations, church groups and others to participate in its annual Community Spelling Bee in March.

Women’s Wellness Forum is March 13

Since its inception 12 years ago, the goal of the annual Women’s Wellness Forum has been to get women — the primary caregivers — to take time to give themselves some special care.

Cat adoption special offered this month

Well, the house is full at the Humane Society of Central Arizona shelter. We have so many beautiful animals just waiting for a chance to start a new life. We have a dog for every lifestyle — from someone to just sit quietly with you, to someone who’ll happily run 20 miles per day with you.

Report says county ranks as least healthy

Gila County residents are more likely to get pregnant as teenagers and die young than other Arizonans, but less likely to binge drink, a recently released report found.

Kudos to P/S firefighter

Congratulations to Captain Mike Brandt of the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department. Mike was recently voted the Best Firefighter in the Payson Roundup’s reader’s poll and I can’t think of a more deserving individual.

Chili cookoff in the works

The Christopher Creek Visitors Association has decided on the three main community events it plans to sponsor. On Saturday, May 1, a chili cookoff and wine tasting event is planned.

Construction at Capps Middle School has resumed

The snows we received a week and a half ago have receded to patches where the plows have concentrated it.

Local athletes race to a bittersweet finish

At 3 a.m., as we wearily headed for the next relay point in our 36-hour, 200-mile relay race, everything changed.

Tease photo

Man, dog rescued from Box Canyon

Swift water sweeps duo down creek

A rushing, frigid creek, sheer cliffs, a stranded dog and a near-hypothermic man all added up to one challenging rescue for the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue squad. On Wednesday, TRSAR had its hands full with its first mission of the new year.

Flores takes over Maricopa County case against supervisors

Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores ha agreed to take over prosecution of two Maricopa county supervisors after a judge ruled the Maricopa County Attorney could not prosecute because of a conflict of interest.

Thursday, March 4

SV considering buying town hall

With the startling revelation that Star Valley’s town hall lease is up three months, no definite plans have been laid and the property is in bankruptcy court, the town could soon be without a home.

Unbreakable clouds

One day on my way from Phoenix back up to Payson, I noticed enormous clouds in the sky, threatening rain by the dark grey backdrop that surrounded them. These gigantic clouds were countless and it was as if the whole sky had meshed together in one large form.

Mineral oil will not keep you regular

My father is 88 and quite headstrong. He has taken a daily dose of mineral oil for years and years. He says it keeps him regular. Should he continue to do this? Could it harm him?

Art blooms

Artists of the Rim Gallery blossoms with new work

Things are blooming down at the Artists of the Rim Gallery as March’s arrival is heralded with the First Friday celebration, March 5.

around south america

Some time ago I decided to take some time off work and take a long cruise.

Women’s Wellness Forum to focus on balance in life

Since its inception 12 years ago, the goal of the annual Women’s Wellness Forum has been to get women – the primary care givers – to take time to give themselves some special care. Care that includes taking steps to get healthy and fit, to relaxation, to relieving stress through different pursuits or just by having a little extra knowledge about something like home repairs.

Winter, Spring and other Rim stories

This winter reminds me of what the old-timers have consistently told me about winters here: It hasn’t been like it used to be. Yet to many, it’s obvious that this winter has been different. The totals from our earlier storm were on par with that of the 1967 snow and 1970 flood. The moisture, unlike many recent years, hasn’t stopped coming. In many ways, it’s an old-time winter. How was it back then? Here’s a clip from a conversation I had with longtime Mead Ranch local Royce O’Donnell a couple years ago.

Summer in the Canadian Rockies

Want to beat the summer heat? Why not head to the north country. Fly in and out of Calgary, and enjoy a 7-day escorted tour from $1195 per person. This leisurely tour starts in Calgary at the foothills of the Canadian Rockies and winds through Waterton Lakes Park in Alberta and Glacier National Park in Montana. Together they make up the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

March has two jazz concerts

Jazz vocalist Nicole Pasternak will perform at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 7 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St.

Luck of the irish

This St. Patrick’s Day, entertain your little leprechauns with delicious treats and fun activities that will lead them to their pot of gold

Payson couple accused of swindling little league umps

A Payson husband and wife are under arrest for reportedly failing to pay 35 Valley umpires for little league baseball games they umpped.

Wednesday, March 3

Reward offered for information on bandits

The Coconino Silent Witness program is offering its maximum reward for anyone with information regarding the recent rash of bank robberies believed to be committed by the High Country Bandits.

Grand Canyon National Park to host Archeology Day

On Saturday, March 27, 2010, Grand Canyon National Park will host Archeology Day in honor of “Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month.”

School override ballots due March 9

Don’t forget to mail back your ballots for the Payson schools override.

Tuesday, March 2

Rim Country’s future on line in voting

Vote early. Whoops. Too late. Soon, it’ll be too late to vote at all. So please rummage about, find your ballot and cast a vote for the future of your community.

Community Almanac

In March the Library Friends of Payson Bookstore is featuring a very special offering. Library director and master chef, Terry Morris, has donated her large collection of vintage cookbooks to the bookstore.

Get ready for community spelling bee

The Rim Country Literacy Program (RCLP) is inviting businesses, clubs, organizations, church groups and others to participate in its annual Community Spelling Bee in March.

Good food at annual Taste of Rim helps library

The support of Rim Country residents and visitors for the Payson Public Library has never been more important. So, get your tickets now for this weekend’s Taste of Rim Country at the Payson Public Library.

Senior Circle news

Jeri Byrne, executive director for the Eastern Arizona Health Education Center will be speaking at the March 3 Lunch and Learn. She is certified in teaching stress and time management, leadership, generational differences and communication. On March 3 she will be speaking on stress management. To de-stress yourself, join this informative Lunch and Learn by calling (928) 472-9290.

Not a Republican activist

What did staff reporter Pete Aleshire call me? Should I be flattered, insulted, or what? Actually Mr. Aleshire left me confused. He called J.D. Hayworth’s appearance at Tiny’s on Wednesday a gathering of Republican activists.

Do away with automated phone systems and put people back to work as operators

I have the perfect solution to the unemployment problem! Let’s scrap every automated telephone system in the country and hire real humans to conduct business as was done back in the good old days. After spending hours on the phone recently, handling everything from ordering medications to credit card companies to yes, even a church schedule, I am thoroughly sick and tired of trying to communicate with a disembodied voice. Imagine how many people we could put back to work, and how many callers would be less stressed.

College board may still seek tax vote

The weird saga of whether Gila Community College will ask voters for an extra $1.2 million in taxes continued Thursday when members agreed to continue looking into it.

Payson FBLA students excel at state competition

Payson High School students brought home 13 trophies from a recent Arizona Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) regional conference.

GCC offers new classes

Gila Community College will be offering a new class later this semester.

Teacher enjoys working with young students

Hiking with my wife and our two German Shepherds, Diesel and Sampson.

Tease photo

DECA helps students learn business skills

Payson High School students Sean Ford and James Potvin dressed in suits for the big day — the polish providing a bonus in the eyes of the cruel, cruel judges.

Police end one-day shoplifting spree with arrests

Police say a one-day shopping spree for four Payson residents ended in handcuffs when officers apprehended the group reportedly lifting items at Stage.

SV council may try to purchase town hall site

Since its 2005 incorporation, there has been much talk about where the town of Star Valley should put out its welcome mat permanently.

GCC student numbers decline

Fewer senior citizens enrolled in Gila Community College this spring, and board members attribute the 26 percent decline in full-time enrollment to increased tuition. The decrease reflects numbers from last spring to this spring.

Payson, ASU near signing agreement

Plan to bring four-year campus to Rim Country ready to clear next hurdle, but state budget meltdown could still crush hopes

Payson is poised to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Arizona State University next week, taking the next step toward building a four-year college campus in the Rim Country, Payson Mayor Kenny Evans said this week.

Enhance your real estate portfolio with self-directed IRA options

In every crisis there is chance for those who do their homework to take advantage of the opportunities caused by the market turmoil.

Breakthrough reached in Tonto Bridge talks

Payson, State Parks near deal to keep park open this summer

Payson and Arizona State Parks officials have made a “breakthrough” in efforts to keep Tonto Natural Bridge open all summer.

Looking for love? A good margarita? Roundup read

Best of Rim Country awards offer beleaguered businesses rare opportunity to celebrate triumphs

They guessed. They cheered. They beamed.

Time for First Friday fun on Old Main

It is hard to believe, but it is already time for some First Friday fun and a welcome to spring and St. Patrick’s Day. Once again, many of the merchants and others on Historic Main Street in Payson invite residents and visitors to come out and celebrate from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, March 5.

Payson woman’s son helps in Haiti

When the magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti, it was the son of a Payson woman who stepped in to help rush medical supplies, food and water to the region.

PMGA sets St. Patrick’s kick-off

The Payson Men’s Golf Association is looking for a few good men.

Youthful Longhorn track and field athletes loaded with potential

While the PHS boys track team isn’t loaded with the seasoned letter winners the Lady Horn roster boasts, there are a number of young athletes brimming with untapped potential.

Tease photo

Payson wrestler on All-Arizona roster

Payson High School’s Ben Sandoval has been named All-Arizona third team following a senior season in which he wrestled his way to the 140-pound Class 3A state championship.

In favor of passing the override

To avoid any confusion, please put me on the record as voting yes on the school budget override.

New camping regulations for Fossil Creek

After putting out more than 200 abandoned campfires and picking up trash and human waste from visitors last summer, the U.S. Forest Service is implementing stronger regulations at Fossil Creek just in time for spring break.

Thanks for making evening of music possible

We want to thank everyone who helped to make the evening of music on Feb. 19 so successful. These folks include the talented performers, Community Presbyterian Church, PostNet, numerous ticket sellers, cookie bakers, help at the door, the attendees, and all who gave their money, encouragement and support in any way.

Regional coach of the year mix-up

When is a coach of the year not really the coach of the year?

Hayworth not qualified to challenge McCain

First, I should disclose that I am an enthusiastic Democrat and would usually find great joy in watching Republican opponents tear into each other. However, after reading the article about J.D. Hayworth’s recent visit to Payson and finding it so disturbing on so many levels, I find myself in the unlikely position of defending John McCain.

Passing school override important

Failure to pass the override continuation for the Payson School District will be devastating for the school curriculum. Class sizes are now far too large with the existing override and the current teacher student load is not acceptable for quality education.

Council made right decision on roundabout

I must take exception to your editorial on Friday, Feb. 10 regarding the town council vote on the roundabout. I know you are well aware of the fact that ADOT/Fed funds have strings attached and can only be used for certain things.

Meth is not a newcomer to the drug scene

Though it seems that meth is a relatively newcomer to our culture, it was actually developed by a Japanese chemist in 1919. The Japanese and German governments decided its properties might be useful so during World War II it was distributed among soldiers and workers to increase productivity. Then the drug virtually disappeared until the 1960s and ’70s when athletes, college students and truck drivers used it to enhance performance and stay alert.

Parks & Rec seeks soccer players

Town of Payson Sports Coordinator Joseph Harris is pitching a plea for an upcoming youth soccer league.

Passage of the override benefits the whole community

A response to the writer who is against the override issue (Feb. 23) “as I think it is unfair to us who have no children in Payson schools, we have already paid for our children’s education, plus.”

Good people helped with home purchase, renovation

I recently purchased a home here and would like to describe this experience. I moved here from the Valley about two and a half years ago. After renting a home, I started looking to purchase. I found a home that fit into my budget, but that came with several structural problems. So I embarked on the adventure called a 203K Renovation Loan. We started in September and finally closed in December on the loan, after many engineering, HUD and FHA inspections. Then the renovation work began.

Bailout money

What is happening with your bailout monies?

Teens need a recreation hall

I think that there is nothing for teens to do in Payson. This is what is causing the crimes, they have nothing to do and nowhere to go so they vandalize, steal, etc., just for something to do.

Vote yes on school override

I would like to ask individuals what it is worth to them to have the best medical care in their community?

JRE luau was a big success

Aloha! Julia Randall Elementary PTO’s luau was a huge success!