Stories for August 2011

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Wednesday, August 31

Man dies in Star Valley RV fire

A man was killed and a woman barely escaped with her life Wednesday in an early morning blaze in a Star Valley RV park.

Tuesday, August 30

ASU campus in Payson means jobs for residents

Jobs, jobs and more jobs. That is what an ASU campus will bring to the local economy, community organizers reiterated at a Business Buzz meeting recently.

Solar, geothermal could fuel college campuses

An area of land between the existing Gila Community College and proposed ASU campus off Highway 260 could accommodate enough solar and geothermal energy to power both campuses for years to come by the end of the year.

Socialsecurity.gov delivers

Would you like to stay informed when there are changes to the Social Security Web site? More than 1 million people currently receive updates when we make changes to the pages they’re most interested in.

After-school scholarships offered free

Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens announces scholarship funds are available to grandparent(s) or older individuals, 55 years of age or older, who are responsible for raising a relative child or children in their home.

Run for the gold of autumn begins

The preseason doldrums and drudgery of scrimmaging only against the familiar faces of teammates have ended and Payson High student-athletes are welcoming the opportunity to finally begin showcasing their talents against rivals from other schools.

Longhorns win ugly

For many high school football coaches, a win, is a win, is a win, and they are happy to add even the narrowest of triumphs to their resumes. But for Payson’s Byron Quinlan, a season opening 19-12 win over Chino Valley certainly wasn’t a victory he’s doing handsprings over. “Ugliest win I’ve ever been a part of,” he lamented.

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Lady Horns open vs. old rivals

It’s shades of the now defunct 3A East Region. That’s what the opening season holds for the Lady Longhorn volleyball team that scrimmaged Aug. 25 against the Show Low Cougars and begins 2011 play today, Aug. 30, vs. the Snowflake Lobos.

Disaster assistance available for small, non-farm businesses

Small, non-farm businesses in nine Arizona counties are eligible to apply for low interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

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Business Briefs

The Payson Police Department and the National Night Out Committee would like to thank the following sponsors for their efforts to combat crime in our community by donating money or products to the event.

Warriors, Gophers and Jackets teams to beat

Lady Longhorn volleyball coach Arnold Stonebrink is calling Tuba City, Florence and Blue Ridge favorites to win the Payson Invitational Tournament that this year has expanded to 21 teams, up from the 18 it hosted for several years.

Hikers rescued from Fossil Creek

Heat and poor planning were the cause of two rescues in Fossil Creek last week. On Aug. 19 and 20, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue and the Gila County Mounted Posse volunteers were called out after hikers found themselves in hot water.

SemStream seeks 26-percent boost in propane rates

Filing with corporation commission says company lost money in 2010, higher surcharges requested

Come January, SemStream wants a rate increase that will boost the average propane bill in Payson by about 26 percent, according to testimony before the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).

Longhorns will honor two former players at home opener

Fans attending the Sept. 2 football game vs. Camp Verde should plan on arriving in Longhorn stadium about 15 minutes prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff so they can take in what promises to be a moving ceremony. During it, Longhorn football players and their coaches will pay tribute to former PHS star Blair River and his family.

Clubs and Organizations

The New Hope Grief Support Group is for those who have lost a spouse. It meets from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.

Forest Service lets fire burn

The Forest Service says they are using the lightning-caused Horton Fire on the Rim to their advantage. Fire personnel are letting it burn through the fire-adapted area “to accomplish forest plan objectives.”

Ending Mesa del shortage will be costly

From pipelines to deepwater wells, several proposals may put an end to years of water shortages in Mesa del Caballo, but all come at a cost. Brooke Utilities President Robert Hardcastle presented a list of options at the third and final community meeting Thursday, stressing residents must come to a consensus on one by Labor Day.

Community Almanac

Due to technical difficulties starting last Thursday, Aug. 25 and continuing through Monday, Aug. 29, e-mails submitted to editor @payson.com or tbrossart@payson.com may have been lost.

Thanks for the help

Just a note to thank Mr. Castaneda and a very special young man employed by you. His name is Anthony Puskaric and he is an exceptional employee.

Mandatory sentence laws serve a purpose

While I agree that the 90-year sentence may seem excessive for the many, many incidents of child pornography committed by Mr. Flibotte, give some thought to how many children were abused to produce that filth for him.

Payson academic scores dropping

I read with interest the Roundup story Aug. 23 “College-bound Payson students excel on crucial ACT test.” Allow me to correct some mistakes.

Operation Fast and Furious flawed from the start

As your member of Congress, I’m proud to serve on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Under the leadership of Chairman Darrell Issa (CA-49), we serve as watchdogs to the federal government, ensuring the executive branch is executing the laws properly and serving the American people as the Founders intended.

SemStream rate hike merits careful study

We hope the Arizona Corporation Commission will rouse itself to carefully scrutinize SemStream’s propane rate increase in Payson.

Officials using low-intensity fires to help thin forest

Smoke drifting through Rim Country from wildfires crews hope will do more good than harm

Low-intensity forest fires that have consumed thousands of acres continue to burn this week on all sides of Rim Country. U.S. Forest Service crews are mostly just watching and containing the fires, taking advantage of the still damp conditions spawned by this season’s monsoons.

Best friends help save man’s life

Logger is Harold Green’s best friend. Logger isn’t a flannel-wearing, tattooed burly woodsman; he is a sweet-tempered chocolate Labrador retriever. And this best friend saved Green’s life.

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Kindergarten acts as a transitional time between babyhood and childhood

A day in the life of a kindergartner

Kindergarten acts as a poignant transition between babyhood and childhood. Parents sense this when they drop off their little ones that first day of school. Questions swirl through their heads: Will they be safe? What will they learn? Will they have fun?

Two new rules impacting Realtors

John McCain visited Payson for a town hall when he was running for Senator. Someone in the audience asked him, “Senator, can you name one thing in our lives that is not regulated by government?”

Friday, August 26

Food bank trying to help families survive

Volunteers provide assistance to 93 people, hand out 780 boxes of food last month

“This is the best view I think I have ever had camping,” said Dave from the banks of the East Verde River Wednesday, a grim smile on his face. However, Dave, 27, isn’t camping off Flowing Springs Road for the scenery. He’s homeless along with his wife Tammy, 26, and three children all under 7.

Debate about minority rights still drives redistricting debate

Supervisor clashes with consultant seeks fine-tuning of Tonto Apache plan

A citizen’s plea to respect the differences in voting patterns between Native American and Hispanic voting blocks set off a debate between consultants and Gila County supervisors at a redistricting work study session on Tuesday.

Complaint claims Brooke defrauded customers

State corporation commission asked to investigate Brooke Utilities charges in Mesa del

Brooke Utilities defrauded nearly 400 Mesa del Caballo customers by charging two to four times as much as it should have to recover the cost of hauling water this summer, according to a complaint by Stephen Gehring filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Bullying is growing school issue

Rim Country Middle School is drawing a hard line on bullying. While everyone can recount getting pushed around a bit in school, school officials say bullying is a growing issue at RCMS and one that needs to stop before it gets out of control.

PES comes through first emergency as a family

With the aid of a first-grade student, Payson Elementary smoothly handled their first medical emergency since the reorganization. Wednesday afternoon, after first-grader Karissa Parker had finished lunch, played on the monkey bars at recess and waited in line to return to her classroom, she told her teacher, Jessica Plain, she felt nauseous. Plain suggested Karissa go to the bathroom to take a drink of water and try to feel better, said school nurse Laurie Lindell.

Community Almanac

Gila County Early Childhood Screening Program will be providing a Screening Clinic from noon to 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 26 at the Payson Public Library community meeting room, 328 N. McLane Road. Hearing, vision and developmental screenings will be conducted for all children, from newborns to 5-year-olds, at no charge. First Things First provides funding for the clinic.

SemStream déjà vu

Many of you are sure to recall when SemStream came to Payson a few years ago and immediately jacked up the rates they charged for propane

Secure your voicemail

Phone hacking — It’s not just for big news organizations. Recent news has shed light on some phone security issues here in our own back yard. A British news organization is being accused of hacking into voicemail accounts to get tips and leads on big stories involving celebrities, politicians, and members of British royalty.

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Supervisors approve Heber Overgaard fire budget

Clear mornings with cloud buildup and continued chance of afternoon thunderstorms dominate the weather picture through our weekend. Highs will be in the mid 80s with lows in the mid 50s. Humidity will hover around 45 percent.

Lonely Hearts Club pets just $25

I think the most exciting adoptions for us, here at the Humane Society of Central Arizona, are those of our longtimers, also known as our “Lonely Hearts Club” members. Don’t get me wrong, EVERY adoption is exciting and wonderful. Every animal we have at our facility is amazing and deserving of a loving, forever home, but the dogs and cats that remain in our care for months really start to grow on us.

Response of Chief Engler

In response to your editorial comments “Behavior of police officer is outrageous” in the July 19 edition of the Roundup, I couldn’t agree more with your opinion regarding the officer’s conduct and subsequent discipline.

Visit to Payson was great

We were visiting your town of Payson the week of July 19 to July 23 and just wanted to thank each and every one for the kindness and hospitality you gave us

The wall of debt

Our national debt has become an incomprehensible amount of money.

Flibotte should serve some jail time

I read with interest your article about the sentencing of Mr. Flibotte, along with your editorial regarding the seeming discrepancies of the release of a repeat sexual violator compared to Mr. Flibotte’s options.

PHS volleyball’s 2011 season opens on the road vs. Snowflake Lobos

Throughout the volleyball preseason, coach Arnold Stonebrink has fretted over the day he and his staff would finally have to select the varsity players on one of the deepest rosters in his seven years at the helm of the program. The decision became even more difficult late in the summer when the “B” team actually outplayed the “A” squad in two tournaments, including the Payson Invitational.

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This girl can play ... football

Payson High School student Summer Kelley has at least one fan who, oddly enough, believes her sports future lies with football.

Survey finds local Republicans favor Rick Perry for president

An unscientific poll of Republican voters attending the Payson Rodeo last weekend found that 29 percent support the presidential primary bid of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, precisely mirroring the findings of a recent, national Gallup Poll.

A Labor Day secret

How easy it is to blame the other guy when things don’t go your way.

Rodeo weekend was spectacular

This rodeo weekend was spectacular! It was an honor to be a part of bringing business up here to our wonderful town of Payson.

Photography exhibit featured during First Friday at Down the Street Art Gallery

Down the Street Art Gallery, 703 W. Main St., Payson, will feature a photography exhibit for First Friday, Sept. 2 and through the remainder of the month.

District adds computer tech while cutting payroll costs

Such a deal: Anyone interested in one-and-a-half computer techs for less than the cost of one? Count the Payson school board in.

SV council seeks to muzzle elected members

Star Valley councilors and commission members better be careful what they say and to whom. On Tuesday, the council made it known they do not want just anyone meeting with outside groups to discuss town issues.

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All the world lies hidden in the murmur of the river

A flood of woe delivers writer to the unexpected solace of a river bank

I fell in love with her at first sight on that very first day. It was just past a bleak Christmas on my first day on a new job in Payson, after what felt like the collapse of my life.

Afternoon rains are a delight

Don’t ya just love “monsoon season” in the Rim Country? I sure do. Well, maybe I can do without the mid-90s heat and the higher than normal Arizona humidity (which most other folks around the nation would consider pretty downright arid), but I just love the late afternoon rains, complete with shiver-me-timbers thunder, knockin’-yer-boots-off bolts of lightning and blow-the-man-down gales of wind.

Four visiting raccoons were hard to get out of the house

Whew! The whirlwind of this past week is over for the time being. All of our visiting family left on Monday. The week was exciting, hectic, and just plain wonderful to have them here, but where does all the energy come from?

Fuel break can help protect community in middle of the forest

The Christopher Creek fuel break is a circular swath of land on Forest Service property entirely around the Christopher Creek community. The swath is approximately 330 feet wide and totals about 388 acres. In that swath, all undergrowth has been cut down, as well as smaller trees that would enable a fire to “ladder” to the tops of the taller trees, resulting in a very dangerous, fast-moving and difficult to fight crown fire.

The quiet lull before jump-starting the fall activities

This weekend promises to be a quiet one. Likely the “flatlanders” will be gathering their energies for Labor Day weekend, and the weekday quiet may well extend through the weekend.

Financial office collecting knit caps for cancer patients

Kevin Dick Investment Management Group of Payson is participating in Chemo Caps for Kids. The initiative is sponsored by Commonwealth Cares Fund Inc., a charity founded by Kevin Dick Investment Management Group’s broker/dealer, Commonwealth Financial Network.

Exploring alternatives beyond short-term CDs

Many people depend on certificates of deposit (CDs) to provide extra income. Yet CD rates have been fairly low for a while. In recent months, in fact, one-year CDs were paying about 0.5 percent, two-year CDs topped out at around 1 percent, and five-year CDs paid in the 2-percent to 2.3-percent range.

Gila County unemployment falls, bucking state, national trends

Gila County’s unemployment rate fell just slightly in July to 10.6 percent, but remains above May’s briefly heartening 9.8 percent, according to the Arizona Department of Commerce. The July report didn’t provide a more detailed breakout, but northern Gila County’s unemployment rate is typically about 2 percentage points below the statewide average — which is affected by extremely high rates in places like the San Carlos Apache Reservation and distressed mining towns in southern Gila County.

Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Fly Casters Club/TU Chapter 530 will hold its next meeting at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 27 at Tiny’s Restaurant. The meeting will follow breakfast at 8 a.m. All interested fly fishermen and women are welcome, as well as all Trout Unlimited members.

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Ropes course uses zip lines to build confidence, tolerance in schools

Who knew that standing on a tiny, wobbly platform 40 feet in the air could teach teamwork? Well it can, along with patience, trust, tolerance, confidence and other things sorely missing in today’s schools, said organizers of a new ropes course being hoisted up in front of Payson High School.

New entry rules for popular fair photo contest

Photographers are urged to get their prints ready now for amateur and professional competition at the Northern Gila County Fair. This year, because of the overwhelming popularity of the competition, each participant may have only 10 entries. In the past, photographers could submit up to 25 prints into the contest.

Thousands expected for Demo Derby

Hordes of spectators are expected to fill Payson Event Center at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11 to cheer and applaud the craziness and zaniness that only can be enjoyed at a demolition derby. Gates for the Payson Demolition Derby open at 11:30 a.m. and admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 5 to 11 years and free for those 4 years and under.

Typhoon sunglasses a hit at FLW Cup Expo

The fishing and hunting expo at the recent Forrest Wood Cup at Hot Springs, Ark. was attended by thousands of outdoor enthusiasts. Typhoon sunglasses were one of the biggest hits — with new styles of protective eye wear for the fishermen and other water enthusiasts. The display was always crowded with anglers wanting to try on the latest in eye protection.

Cross country will once again face the state’s best runners

In 2010 , the Payson High cross country runners realized in the fall that the Arizona Interscholastic Association-mandated school realignment from the previous region-conference configuration to sections-divisions was spelling the death knoll of their hopes of advancing to the state showdown. The situation might not get any better this year because the teams are aligned, as they were last year, in one of the most competitive sections in the state.

No Democrats affiliated with Tea Party

In response to Tuesday’s Roundup opinion page comments by Don Ascoli, chairman of the Gila County Republican Party, Don indicated that the “Tea Party is comprised of Democrats, Independents and Republicans.”

So how many lawyers can dance on the head of a pin?

Big Brother knows best. So don’t bother your poor little brains. Just leave it all up to the U.S. Justice Department. That’s the gist of the advice the Gila County Board of Supervisors received this week as its consultants explained the strange logic they believe grips the apparently rigid minds of federal civil rights lawyers.

You never know when coincidence will strike

It could not have been a more ordinary day. Just another quiet, sunny afternoon in New London, Connecticut in April of 1948. New London was like that. I was 16 at the time, and had been there since I was 11, but if anyone had asked me to describe the town, I suspect that “not much going on” would have been high up on the list of descriptors.

Sign up now for tweens and teens library programs

The Payson Public Library is planning several programs for young people of the community in their tween and teen years. The programs start in September, so registration is taking now.

Protection of 2,000 miles of river proposed to save Willow Flycatcher

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to keep the Willow Flycatcher from going extinct by protecting 2,000 miles of stream, including portions of Tonto Creek, Roosevelt Lake and the Verde, Gila and Salt rivers. In response to a lawsuit, the Fish and Wildlife Service more than doubled its previously proposed critical habitat for the tiny, insect-eating songbird that winters in the tropics before undertaking an epic journey to build its summer nests in thick, streamside vegetation throughout the Southwest.

Longhorns open in CV against Cougars

The Payson Longhorn football team opens the 2011 season this evening, Aug. 26, in Chino Valley against a Cougar team determined on rebounding from last year’s disappointment of not making the regional tournament and buoyed by the return of five offensive starters.

Wednesday, August 24

Deere held Dear

Vintage tractors stir memories of life on the farm

Putt — putt — cough — putt — putt — cough ... The little John Deere engine, the workhorse of old farms for everything from running threshing machines to pumping water, chugged away at the entrance of the Payson Farmers Market Aug. 13 surrounded by vintage tractors.

Arts & Crafts Festival this weekend in Pine

The 31st annual Labor Day Arts & Crafts Festival, sponsored by the Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild, will take place at the Pine Community Center, just 13 miles north of Payson on Highway 87 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4.

Tales as told to me

I have known many interesting people, some notable, and the other day I was telling some friends about some of the tales I have been told. Today, I will try and recall some of those stories and tales as I remember them.

Charles Collins - crafting history

In my book “Zane Grey’s Forgotten Ranch: Tales from the Boles Homestead,” I talk about Charles Collins, the Globe saddle maker who bought much of the Boles Homestead from Zane Grey around 1930.

Family pizza night done right

Forget about delivery pizza — make your own fresh and flavorful creations for a fantastic family pizza night sure to bring everyone together at the table. These recipes use ingredients that let you put your own tasty and creative spin on classic favorites — fresh herbs; a blend of rich Italian cheeses; and high-quality, flavorful Johnsonville Italian sausage, available in mild, sweet or hot varieties.

The Beautiful West

It’s time to get your car’s oil and filter changed, the tires checked and to get ready for a beautiful drive to and through some famous western regions you have read about, but perhaps never traveled to. We are talking about the Grand Canyon, some flight seeing, Lake Powell, rafting through Glen Canyon and seeing some real-life western settings that perhaps you have seen in movies.

Don’t get suckered by job-hunt scams

Hunting for a job shouldn’t have to include protecting yourself from possible scams, but the reality is that you must if you’re doing your job search online. Fake job listings are everywhere: online job boards, email and phony company websites. Some are very creative and look authentic.

A walk down Memory Lane

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we? We seniors have seen a lot of changes in the world since we were born.

Loud snoring can signal sleep apnea

Are there any long-term problems with taking this sleep aid on a frequent basis?

Getaway around Rim Country

A Big Brothers Big Sisters Yard Sale will be held from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 27 at the parking lot of Compass Bank on the northeast corner of Frontier and Beeline Highway.

Good 2 Go

There will be a blood drive in Pine from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 30 at the First Baptist Church gym, 4039 N. Highway 87. All blood types are needed, however, Type O-negative is always in greatest demand.

Tuesday, August 23

Gila County suffers high child poverty rate, low insurance

Arizona suffers from one of the highest child poverty rates in the country, with Gila County remaining especially high, according to an annual survey released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Arizona ranked 37th among all 50 states for child poverty rates in 2009, according to the KIDS Count report, with 22 percent of all children living in poverty even before the economic crash.

Taxes rise, home values fall

But county rate holds steady despite drop in assessed value

Residents of Gila County won’t see an increase in taxes from the county, but will see sometimes substantial increases from other taxing districts on their property tax bill this year, including the 50 percent jump for the Payson Unified School District.

Lightning strikes twice: Monsoon damages two homes

An afternoon storm Friday prompted a flurry of calls to the fire department, with engines crisscrossing across town on three simultaneous calls. Lightning started a fire in one home’s attic and damaged another’s roof. The first engine went out at 4:20 p.m. as the skies lit up with lightning.

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Rodeo upset: Bulls won this one

Performances, parade drew crowds but no bull riders finished their ride

Former law enforcement officer, ex-Payson justice of the peace and one-time pro rodeo cowboy Ronnie McDaniel could only scratch his noggin in bewilderment as he watched the bull riding unfold over the course of four performances of the 127th World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo.

Flibotte given 90 years for child porn

Judge calls sentence ‘clearly excessive’

Emotion choked the courtroom Monday as Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill imposed the minimum 90-year sentence on Robert Thomas Flibotte for child pornography. Cahill called the consecutive sentence “clearly excessive,” but said he had no choice in the sentence imposed on one of Payson’s most prominent community members and Realtors.

Climber miraculously survives 140-foot fall

A Payson man who miraculously survived a 140-foot fall thanks to a grueling and dramatic rescue this week battled to recover after several operations, including one to reattach his pelvis to his spine on Friday. Mike McEntire, 36, nearly died Aug. 13 in a Sedona canyon after losing control of a climbing rope and plummeting down a rocky ledge.

College-bound Payson students excel on crucial ACT test

College-bound Payson High School seniors last year scored well above the state and national averages on the ACT tests in math, science and English many colleges use to figure out which students to admit. The roughly 60 students who took the ACT test last spring scored 20 percent above the state average and about 10 percent above the national average, according to scores released last week.

Repeat sexual offender in Payson ‘temporarily’

Level three-sex offender Paul Scott Sandefer, 40, notified police that he is living at 303 E. Eidelweiss Circle in Payson. In January 2004, Sandefer pleaded guilty in Snohomish County, Wash. to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old on two occasions.

Kirkpatrick article requires response

Friday’s article reporting on candidate Ann Kirkpatrick’s visit to Payson must be addressed.

Where’s the respect?

My wife and I really enjoyed the Payson Rodeo Friday night.

Confusion from the scientific community

The Redrock Stonefly article of Aug. 19, shows the confusion the scientific community creates on what constitutes evolution.

Could rains be signal?

I take issue that God gave us rights to attend the rodeo as stated in your editorial on Friday.

Unjust system compounds terrible tragedy

The 90-year sentence imposed on Robert Thomas Flibotte for collecting child porn on his computer offers nothing but tragedy and heartache for this agonized community. Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill said he would have sentenced Flibotte to probation, except for the mandatory minimum sentences prescribed by the Arizona Legislature.

Payson struggles with open meeting law

Payson last week dramatically changed its process for setting the agendas for council meetings to avoid the off chance of violating the state’s open meeting law, which the town had been repeatedly reproached by the attorney general for flaunting. The new system will leave it up to Payson Mayor Kenny Evans to decide what will go on the council agenda, although he will put on the agenda any specific topic any other council member requests.

Tradition triumphs at rodeo dance

After 127 years, the Payson Rodeo can certainly claim it’s all about tradition. One of the classic traditions: the after-rodeo dance held on Friday and Saturday nights. For longer than most can remember, dancers have met up at the Ox Bow Saloon on Main Street to kick up their heels and celebrate. However, this year, the dance got split between two locations — the Ox Bow and the Payson Event Center. On Friday night at least, the Ox Bow drew the traditional two-stepping crowd, while the rodeo grounds dance struggled — although that was the one sponsored by the Pro-Rodeo Committee.

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Children thrill to hands-on science lesson

Pine third-graders study streams, connect with the natural world

Diane Ludwig, third-grade teacher at Pine Elementary School, asked her kids what they wanted to learn about in science. Their emphatic answer: FROGS! “It was their interest that led to this choice,” said Ludwig.

Show Low makes better showing than ‘big school’ in Sollenberger Classic match

Among the Payson football fans who traveled Aug. 20 to the University of Phoenix home of the Arizona Cardinals to take in the two games of the Sollenberger Classic was PHS football coach Byron Quinlan. The coach and other Arizona fans, however, left the stadium a bit disappointed after watching both Arizona representatives lose to Nevada prep teams.

Ernst and Neal battle for CtP record

Payson Men’s Golf Association standout Tim Ernst has posted his 11th closest-to-the-pin win giving him a legitimate shot at breaking the record 14 wins set last season Troy Neal. This season, Neal has nine CtP victories and there are those who argue he shouldn’t be counted out of the race to win again this year.

Horns prep for opener at Chino

The traditional Payson vs. Snowflake preseason scrimmage is in the rearview mirror and the Longhorn express is steaming toward the 2011 opener on Aug. 26 at Chino Valley. Last season, the Horns romped over the Cougars 39-6, but PHS second-year coach Byron Quinlan is not expecting a blowout this time around. “They are a much better team than last year and they are very big upfront,” he said. “They run a spread offense and have a quarterback who can scramble.”

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PHS alum wins saddle bronc go-around at August Doin’s

Hometown cowboy Jason Amon has once again wowed friends and family with another standout rodeo performance. This one was turned in during the 127th World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo held Friday, Aug. 19 to Sunday, Aug. 21 at the Payson Event Center.

Orthopedic surgeon joins PRMC bone, joint practice

As of Aug. 1, the Rim Country had a new addition to its medical community. Dr. Patrick Harrison began practicing at the Payson Regional Bone & Joint, 126 E. Main St., Payson.

Payson, SV water wars officially end

Bitter water wars end with a handshake and sale of three wells

The water wars that once roiled local politics and embittered neighbors ended with a firm handshake in an empty council chamber as the Payson Town Council approved a historic agreement to sell Star Valley three wells and provide a backup water supply. The Payson council quickly approved the intergovernmental agreement on Thursday that the Star Valley Town Council had already ratified the week before. Under the terms of the agreement, Star Valley will buy three unused wells from Payson for $82,000, which represented the “book value” of the three wells.

Rodeo Parade yields galumphing surprise - offbeat history

She came for the love of horses and got a camel of a surprise. Heather Artis, 10, and fellow parade-goers were treated to an array of entrants at the town’s oldest Rodeo parade Saturday morning, including two, one-hump camels, courtesy of the El Zaribah Shriners of the Valley. And although camels on Main Street surprised almost everyone, Heather, a Charlotte, N.C. native, flew to Payson for one reason and one reason only — Rodeo!

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Rodeo newbie discovers the reality behind the myths

I’ve never been to a rodeo before but, new to Payson, I had to share the world’s longest running rodeo with my daughter. But when I asked her to come along, her answer threw me for a loop: “No. I don’t want to go because there’s animal cruelty.” What perplexed me is that she’s not the only person I’ve heard this from. But I decided to drag her along to see if she could open her mind to learn about one of the oldest American events.

Clubs and Organizations

The Loyal Order of the Moose meetings are at 6 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month. The lodge has a Thursday Fish Fry from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and weekly dinner specials are available. Anyone interested in community service hours may call the lodge at (928) 474-6212.

Reservoirs cushion freakish swings in weather

The wild swings in rainfall in central Arizona this year have once more underscored the importance of reservoirs in a freakishly uncertain world — including Roosevelt Lake and the Blue Ridge Reservoir. So far this year, the unusually dry 224,000 acre-feet of runoff in the Salt and Verde rivers has reached just 16 percent of last year’s happily wet 1.4 million acre-feet. Normally, the two rivers carry about 683,000 acre-feet. Last year, the Salt and Verde River watersheds had their 20th wettest year in recorded history. So far this year, the same watersheds have recorded the 22nd driest year in history.

SV town manager gets big raise

Star Valley’s town manager, who also doubles as the town attorney, has received a pay raise after all — a 20-percent jump to $115,000 annually. Back in April, the council agreed to bring Grier on full-time, but did not decide on a salary. The town clerk, business manager and building official make substantially less than Grier.

Community Almanac

The Village Wools Yarn Shop in Payson, behind Time Out Thrift Shop, will have a wine and cheese event from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 25. The event is an opportunity to learn more about and support the Girls on the Run/Girls on Track program for female students in the third- through eighth-grades. This organization works with young girls to build self-esteem and confidence through running and group participation.

Monday, August 22

Flibotte given 90 years

One of Payson’s most prominent community members and realtors was senteced Monday for possessing child pornography.

Friday, August 19

Lady Horns rounding into shape for beginning of soccer season

Conditioning and reaching tiptop playing shape have been the focus of the Lady Longhorn soccer team’s preseason training. “We want to get the girls in playing shape,” said second-year coach Amy Wilcox. During the sessions, which began two weeks ago, the team members attended a British team camp and worked out under the watchful eye of fitness guru Linda Gibson, also a former Lady Horn coach and a one-time Boston Marathon entrant.

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Rodeo whoops it up

What started with a simple calf roping contest more than 120 years ago is now the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo. Payson’s rodeo began in 1884 and is now known as the August Doin’s and the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo. The celebration will be held Friday, Aug. 19 through Sunday, Aug. 21.

School tax rate soars

PUSD property tax rate up 50 percent despite big drop in budget

Unified School District will jump a whopping 49 percent and the rate for bond issues and overrides will jump by 60 percent. That means that a Payson resident living in the average $136,000 house will pay $446.75 in property taxes to fund the 2,400-student school district. That includes about $341 on the primary rate and $105 on the secondary rate.

Rodeo’s in her blood

Penny Conway has rodeo in her blood. “My dad competed in the first rodeo in 1959 in Dallas. The cowboy life is in my blood,” said Conway. Since turning 8, she’s competed in rodeos.

SV faces tempest in a storage shed

Put the bolt cutters away: Star Valley has gotten its stuff back from a storage facility after a bizarre check-cashing fiasco. The town had threatened to file an injunction Friday against Star Valley Storage owner Beverly Ward after she padlocked two rented storage units and cancelled the town’s access code. But thanks to a last-minute payment, the town got its stuff back Wednesday.

Congressional candidate concludes: ‘It’s all about jobs’

Kirkpatrick seeks rematch with Gosar; differs on Medicare, taxes, deficits

“Last year wasn’t the first time I’ve been bucked off a horse,” former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick told a small group of Democrats in Payson on Wednesday night in reference to her defeat after one term by District 1 incumbent Paul Gosar.

Community Almanac

The Women’s Ministries of Payson First Assembly of God will hold a Bake and Craft Sale in front of Safeway from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19 and 20. The sale will feature baked goods, hand-made quilts, throws, baby blankets and crafts. All proceeds go to missionaries and charities.

It is the owners, not the pitbulls, who are to blame

In response to Kathleen Kelly’s statements that “pitbulls are dangerous,” her comments are misdirected.

Where are the jobs?

That was close, wasn’t it? The Democrats in the Senate almost got revenue help from the billionaires and legal tax-dodging corporations to pay our Congress-approved bills for raising the debt ceiling.

Payson’s St. Vincent de Paul Society’s ‘Friends of the Poor’ Walk coming in September

As our government struggles to resolve our country’s financial crisis and looming debt, let us not lose sight of the very personal impact our economy has had on individual families and children living within our own community.

Requested propane rate increase outrageous

I noticed in the Aug. 16 Payson Roundup, SemStream has requested a 26.82 percent increase for propane services here in Payson

One big thank you

As you know, the Payson Patriotic Events Committee puts up the flags on our historic Main Street.

Name your favorite Republican candidate

The federal government is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that it spends.

The rodeo is our birthright

These days, most folks in Payson pretty much ignore the rodeo. That’s a shame — and a great loss to the folks who don’t show up. After all, what’s the sense of living in Payson, if you can’t savor the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo, which every year connects us to the taproot of this town?

Don’t you just love a great response to a smart-aleck remark?

I’ll tell you honestly I am not into insults. Anybody can be nasty. Takes nothing except a big mouth and a bad attitude. Maybe that’s why I love it when somebody takes a mouth full of smart-aleck comments, chews on them for a minute, and spits them back in the face of someone who genuinely deserves it. Which brings me to one of my favorites.

Redistricting maps go to supervisors

Aug. 23 work study session planned to discuss options

Gila County’s Redistricting Advisory Committee officially accomplished its mission when it handed over maps of voting districts to the board of supervisors at its meeting on Aug. 15. Now the job of narrowing the field and submitting redistricting maps to the Department of Justice for the Gila County Board of Supervisors and Gila Community College lies with the supervisors and the public. “Our goal was to submit at least two maps of each district, but we ended up with three,” said Robert Sanchez, chairman of the advisory committee.

Star Valley plans to fix Moonlight, Pinon

Star Valley will spend $240,000 in federal grant funds to make flood and safety improvements on a portion of Moonlight Drive and in upgrading Pinon Drive. The council on Tuesday shuffled its priorities for spending of the federal money and dropped flood control improvements on Quail Hollow Drive to the bottom of its priority list.

Faltering schools may get reprieve

U.S. Secretary of Education promises to waive standards that threatened federal takeover of schools, including Rim Country Middle School

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan this week promised to waive requirements that could result in the federal takeover of schools in which every single student doesn’t pass basic tests on math, reading and writing.

State requires brain tests for student athletes

Early this week, the Arizona Interscholastic Association, the Arizona Cardinals and Barrow Neurological Institute introduced Brainbook, an online video intended to educate prep athletes about the danger of concussions.

McNeeley Foundation’s goal is to help children

What began seven years ago as a small-town, grass roots effort to earn $8,000-plus to buy a motorized wheelchair, called a Go-Bot, for a 5-year-old Pine boy who suffered from spinal muscular atrophy, has blossomed into a charity that has earned and donated more than $40,000 to pay medical expenses for needy Rim Country children.

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Smash bash to be best

Imagine this — in a modern society overprotected with strict nanny laws and rules, adrenaline-crazed drivers gather in a bullpen-like arena with a goal of ramming their cars and trucks into one another until only one is left running. Sounds far fetched, doesn’t it?

Who knew she was a superhero?

I met a superhero a couple of months ago, and boy did she change my life. She was magnificent in every way, and made other canines jealous with her special powers. The dog I’m writing about was named Socks.

Women business owners need retirement plans too

If you’re a woman who owns a business, you’ve got plenty of company. In fact, women own more than 10 million U.S. companies, and women-owned businesses account for about 40 percent of all privately held firms in the U.S., according to the Center for Women’s Business Research.

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Print shop gets new owners, new location

Brandon and Felicia Moore believe it was more than luck when they discovered each other on an online dating site five years ago. Now the pair is teaming up on Kismet Print Shop with the hope fate is still on their side. The couple purchased Kismet in May from John Roberts and relocated it from the lower level of PostNet to their home in OxBow Estates, 141 S. Oldham Road.

Strawberry Elite’s steak fry this Sunday

Hungry? The Strawberry Elite’s annual steak fry is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., this Sunday, Aug. 21 at Rimside Grill. Enjoy a mesquite-grilled steak dinner with cowboy beans, cole slaw, potato salad, rolls and Texas sheet cake, all for $15 per person. Musical entertainment will be provided by Trouble in Paradise.

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School gets new playground equipment

Summer storm influence has waned in the last week with some days of overcast. Forecast continues for mid to late afternoon storms through this weekend with highs in and around 80 degrees and lows in the mid 50s.

Tablets: Are they out to take over the world?

Are tablets (including iPad and other models) out to take over the world? Well, it seems that they are, whether they want to or not. Recent popularity of the tablets has really opened the door for a ubiquitous showing of these “smartphones on steroids.” Soon, there will probably be some form of tablet in every household. Let’s take a look at why.

Fund-raising event planned for fire department

Ya’ll tell your friends and join us at the Landmark at Christopher Creek on Aug. 28 from noon to 2 p.m., where you can expect some great food and an entertaining time with music provided by Linda St. John. It will be held as a Christopher-Kohl’s Fire District fund-raising event. The CKFD fund-raising event is for some new equipment and to donate to our local MDA. Look for the firefighter boots to drop your donation in. Thanks on behalf of the fire department.

Fireflies gearing up for Bashas’ Festival

The next week or so will be extremely busy for the Snyder family. Three of our five children will be here to visit and will be enjoying the cooler weather here since they live in Yuma. We will also be celebrating a birthday, with all the trimmings, cake, ice cream, etc. Naturally seeing the sights of Payson will be on the agenda.

Rodeo weekend is upon us

Yup, it’s that time of the year again. That damned old August Doin’s Rodeo will be clippity-cloppin’ its way into Payson for the 127th straight year! Payson’s rodeo has certainly grown in stature over the years and is now acclaimed as the world’s best “Small Rodeo.” It really has turned into a win-win-win weekend for all of Rim Country — although I’m guessing the rodeo animals might take some exception to that.

Clubs and Organizations

Unity of Payson is now an official church affiliated with Unity Worldwide Ministries. Sunday Unity Services are planned to commence this fall, those interested are invited to attend these continuing events: • Unity Book Study Group, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays, except First Fridays. For location information, call (928) 478-6906.

Walk for the poor

Payson’s St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Friends of the Poor Walk is in September. Payson’s St. Vincent De Paul Society offers person-to-person support and provides food through the local food banks, financial assistance for medical, dental, rent, utilities, emergency shelter and transportation costs. In 2010, food boxes were provided to 7,423 families, feeding over 23,000 people in the community.

Redrock Stonefly: Itty, bitty bug survives in a ferocious world

Report concludes nymph found in Rim Country stream not endangered despite lurking dangers

A ferocious stream-dwelling insect no bigger than a paper staple faces all manner of threats — but little danger of extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded after pondering the matter for four years.

Recreation Roundup

Class: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 14 at Parks & Recreation and Green Valley Park. Fee: $5 Information: Class is for students in first- through fifth-grades. Equipment and bait will be provided; bring your own water to drink.

Museum updates Apache exhibit

Long, difficult history of Tonto Apache Tribe illuminated

The renovation of the Apache exhibit at the Rim Country Museum completed in mid-June offers a fascinating glimpse of the tragic challenges and the eventual triumph of persistence that had marked the long history of the Tonto Apache Tribe. New information and items were added to the exhibit, with emphasis upon the history of the Tonto Apaches of Payson.

Committee scrambling for ideas to keep airport independent

A citizens group weighing whether the Payson Regional Airport Authority (PRAA) should turn the operations of the airport back over to the town of Payson will make a recommendation by Oct. 11. The committee is meeting weekly to discuss new revenue-generating ideas, other airport authority agreements around the state and possibly solutions with the town, reported Robert Henley, a member of the group.

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Tractors spur a chug of nostalgia

Rim Country Tractor Club plows a furrow down memory lane at Payson Farmers Market

Putt — putt — cough — putt — putt — cough ... The little John Deere engine, the workhorse of old farms for everything from running threshing machines to pumping water, chugged away at the entrance of the Payson Farmers Market on Saturday surrounded by vintage tractors. Beautifully restored Kelly green and yellow John Deeres, bright red Farmall and IH (International Harvester), red-orange Allis-Chalmers and Massey-Harris antique brands of tractors stood in a line, polished to perfection.

Archery season begins today

The months of waiting have come and gone since the closing of archery deer season on the last day of January. But, now we have an additional three weeks with high hopes of outwitting a whitetail or mule deer in most of the hunting units along the Mogollon Rim. If you hunted in the January archery deer season and did not connect, you can try again with the same tag.

Wednesday, August 17

Toe-tapping farewell to seniors

Big Band Music Machine puts on a 90-minute, toe-tapping show

For Rachel Weatherly, a beautiful blonde and talented saxophone player, Saturday’s concert in Pine for the Big Band Music Machine played bitter sweet. The concert wrapped up her Payson musical career. In a week she’ll head off to ASU to pursue a degree in dentistry.

Visiting Washington, D.C.

One place you should visit before leaving this earth is our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Why? It is a city that showcases our heritage like no other in the United States. President Washington commissioned a leading French architect to design the Capitol. When you visit, you will feel, as I, that the city more resembles one in France than in the U.S. This is but one feature that makes our country’s capital city so outstanding and different.

Digital mammograms aren’t more accurate

For many years, I have put up with floaters. I am quite nearsighted, and my eye doctor says they’re common in nearsighted people. Last week, I saw flashes of light. I called the doctor, and he saw me that day. He told me I had a vitreous detachment. Is this serious?

How to feed football fans and fight hunger

When it’s your turn to call the plays on game day food, you need recipes that are easy to make, easy to eat, and will feed a crowd of hungry fans. These four recipes from celebrity chefs Pat and Gina Neely are a must for your tailgating playbook — full of satisfying flavor that will score big with football fanatics.

Getaway around Rim Country

The 31st annual Labor Day Arts & Crafts Festival, sponsored by the Pine-Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild, will take place at the Pine Community Center, just 13 miles north of Payson on Hwy. 87 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4.

Good 2 Go

Kirkpatrick will be discussing needs for change and her goals for the 2012 election. She will be discussing her past successes and strategies to win back Democratic control of the seat.

Farm dinner benefit Sept. 4

Fossil Creek Creamery is hosting a farm dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4.

Museum renovates Apache exhibit

A renovation of the Apache Exhibit at the Rim Country Museum was completed in mid-June. New information and items were added to the exhibit, with emphasis upon the history of the Tonto Apaches of Payson.

Tuesday, August 16

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Smoking motor prompts evacuation of Safeway

A smoking air conditioner motor on the roof of Safeway Monday morning led firefighters to evacuate some 50 customers and employees.

Payson students flock to diverse digital classes

District teachers will supervise new online classes

The Payson school district last week took the next big step in developing a whole new system of online courses by selecting teachers to make sure the 79 students enrolled in the new Payson Virtual Academy don’t get lost in a digital daze.

SV plans town hall expansion

First, Star Valley’s original town hall was too hot because the cost of rented space was too high. Then, the new town hall was too cold in a new building priced right but lacking room. After a remodel, it should be just right.

Solar panels topic of GCC board meeting

The Gila Community College board will meet at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, to further discuss covering the parking lots at the Globe and Payson campuses with solar panels.

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Marching band helps with confidence building

In the parking lot behind the Longhorn football field, the sun sinks below the horizon, setting billowing clouds on fire with spectacular oranges, pinks, yellows and reds while Daria Mason puts the Payson High School marching band through its paces on a Tuesday night.

AIA power points formula daunting; coaches hopeful

Fire up the scientific calculator and dust off the slide rule, abacus, Chisanbop and Napier’s bones — the Arizona Interscholastic Association has released its power points ranking system for all four divisions, I through IV. Upon first look, it’s obviously a doozey.

Christmas for Kids golf event is this month

Almost every benefit golf tournament played during the spring and summer months contribute to worthy causes.

Crews let wildfires burn to thin forest

Rim Country forest managers this week will continue to let half a dozen low-intensity fires burn across thousands of acres, taking advantage of the weather to thin out overgrown thickets. Monsoon conditions that have soaked the ground have produced sharply different fire behavior than in the hot, windy, tinder-dry months of May and June that spawned the largest wildfire in state history.

Clubs and Organizations

Payson Art League’s Aug. 16 meeting features a demonstration by Dennis Weber, who does sculptures out of “paper clay.” The Aug. 16 meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. with socializing and show and share session, with the program at 7 p.m. The meeting is at the Rim Country Health & Retirement Community, 807 W. Longhorn Road. The public is welcome.

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It’s racing seats, not a rocking chair for retiree

Ken Tozi’s affinity for everything fast, especially muscle cars and drag racing, has its roots in the 1960s when he was a young man working in gas stations, car repair shops and as a shade tree mechanic. “In my teenage years, I worked on restoring olds cars like Model-Ts,” he said. “I’ve also had a ’34 Ford, a ’65 Dodge Charger and a Ford Mustang 427.”

Payson teen set for world finals

A Payson teen who grew up riding bikes on town streets and mountain trails with his father is on the receiving end of one of the highest honors a cyclist can attain.

County funds libraries for another year

With budget cuts affecting libraries around the country, the Gila County Board of Supervisors voted to fund the eight county libraries at last year’s levels during its Aug. 2 meeting.

Rim Country women can compete Thursday

The Aug. 18 Cactus Women’s Professional Rodeo Barrel Racing event — which includes more than barrel racing — is the only event in which local female riders can compete. A WPR card is not needed. All you need is a horse and the entry fee.

Overview of USDA programs

Leonard Gradillas, community programs director for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently made a presentation to the Industrial Development Authority of Gila County. The job of the USDA, Gradillas explained, is to promote and help with rural development, which includes housing, business development and public projects. Below is a brief summary on these three areas.

Payson to consider deal to end SV water wars

The long-awaited end to the water wars that have divided neighbors will land on the Payson Town Council’s agenda at 5:30 p.m., Thursday at town hall.

Cucumbers good for a surprising many things

If you have a home garden, right about now you are probably awash in cucumbers. These fruits of summer (botanically they are a fruit although most of us consider them a vegetable) are prolific and easily grown. They are one of the oldest cultivated plants, having been cultivated in India more than 3,000 years ago. Christopher Columbus is credited with bringing the cucumber to the new world where the natives eagerly added it to their corn, squash and other food crops.

Free trip possibility turns into life-changing week at Girls State

Kathleen Kelly and Natalie Black, 17, were sitting through the doldrums of another high school class when the phrase “free trip to Washington” caught their attention. Their interest piqued, they learned if they attended the American Legion Girls State at the University of Arizona they could later visit Washington, D.C. — a win-win, both girls thought.

Find something to celebrate every day

I believe in the transformative nature of education and especially of music and arts education. When students learn to put their heart and effort into the arts, they don’t look at the world the same ever again.

New fire truck completes new station

A new, $1.5 million station has sat empty for months, but soon a shiny, nearly new fire truck and a few new firefighters will fill it. On Wednesday, Aug. 17, the Payson Fire Department will officially unlock the doors on the newest fire station in Rim Country — a long awaited moment after years of planning and pining.

Teens learn once again lessons of citizenship

Kathleen Kelly and Natalie Black paid no attention to politics. And most of the other kids at Payson High School would have agreed: Politics and government events are a bore. Why bother?

Everything should have been solved by now

I’m torn. I couldn’t wait to express my admiration for Wendy Trainor’s intelligent, carefully thought-out letter to the editor when along came a brochure from Representative Gosar explaining that my medical insurance premiums could increase by $208 per year under the Obama Health Care Plan.

Pitbulls can be gentle, loving pets

Now I have read two different letters concerning pitbull dogs and they were both negative. That is why I am writing this letter.

Lone Star state pride

I usually don’t root for anything or anyone associated with the state of Texas. Why? Texas has always seemed too boastful, too big, their teams too brash, and their economy too bountiful.

ASU campus would benefit Payson

In regards to Doyle Ross’ letter about the ASU campus, I would like to ask Mr. Ross to reconsider his position.

A grateful family

Since my husband’s traumatic injury just over four months ago, we have had an amazing amount of support.

Water unfairness in Mesa del

I’ve read the articles regarding Brooke Utilities, Mr. Hardcastle and the meetings in Mesa del. Here is my take on it — money, money, money.

Women of the Moose thanks donors

From the Women of the Moose I would like to thank all of you who donated so generously and bought rifle tickets.

Saddened at the death of Jack Jasper

I was stunned and saddened by the belated news of the death of Jack Jasper.

Man rescued from canyon after 36 hours

Payson man alive after falling 140 feet in Sedona

In one of the most dramatic rescues of the year, a Payson man was found alive after falling 140 feet in a popular Sedona canyon. It took rescuers more than 36 hours, 2,400 feet of rappelling rope and several helicopter attempts to get Mike McEntire to safety after he fell in a Sedona canyon.

Community Almanac

Young people, ages 9 to 16, are invited by the Payson Public Library to bring all their sports cards and other types of cards to trade or sell from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10. The library will provide the space, pizza, soda and great sports prize giveaways during the event.

Payson Good Ol’ Boys and Girls Club

So let me get this straight. There have been three police officers that have not been able to keep their hormones in check. They’ve been harassing, texting and stalking women. While on duty and in uniform?

Friday, August 12

Revised school policy focuses on bullying

Bullies who harass, intimidate or assault other students on or off school grounds, or even on the Internet, will face strict discipline, and any teachers or administrators who fail to report a case of bullying could lose their jobs, under an anti-bullying policy adopted by the Payson Unified School District this week.

Power outage Wednesday for unlucky 47 homes

For an unlucky 47 homes, the power cut out for several hours Wednesday night as crews worked to fix an equipment failure.

SV dips into water business

Council agrees to buy 3 Payson wells

The Star Valley Town Council Tuesday officially dove into the water business. The council agreed to buy three groundwater wells from Payson and renew efforts to negotiate a deal to buy a local water company.

Teen injured on Fossil Creek helped off trail by mounted posse

A 19-year-old hiker from Mesa, enjoying a summer outing with friends before college started, was injured Wednesday after slamming headfirst into rocks in Fossil Creek northwest of Payson. The teen was reportedly playing in the water with six other friends, most in their upper teens, in the area of an old dam when he decided to go through a water slot of sorts, said Bill Pitterle, commander with the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue.

Rep. Gosar: Acknowledge, then solve the problem

Congressman Paul Gosar delivered a sharp attack on the federal government and Democrats before a special joint meeting of the Payson and Star Valley town councils on Thursday, but mostly found himself “preaching to the choir.”

School board explores options for Frontier

The Payson School Board on Monday took the first, surprisingly complicated step toward determining whether it can eventually sell the just-closed Frontier Elementary School. The board unanimously approved Superintendent Casey O’Brien’s suggestions that the district find out whether the Arizona School Facilities Board will refuse to fund future school projects if the district sells the mothballed elementary school.

Community Almanac

The Mogollon Health Alliance will be having an Arts & Crafts Sale until 4:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 12 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Mogollon Health Alliance Activity Center (next to the Almost New Thrift Shop).

Service makes us feel good

My name is Irene McMann; Paul Shields and I have been residents of Payson since 1988.

Roadway landing brings back memories

Wow! Reading the front page story about a pilot landing on the Beeline after an engine failure sure brought back memories to me.

Somalia vs. Libya

Over the last several months the United States has committed men and resources in support of rebel fighters in Libya. This effort is directed at replacing the Gadhafi government with an unknown one.

Pitbulls are not to be trusted

The Humane Society article “A beautiful breed doesn’t deserve a bad reputation” urging families to adopt their overflow of these known dangerous animals was written to “educate” about pitbull “myths.”

Literacy program thanks all who helped with Zumbathon

On behalf of the Rim Country Literacy Program, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in making the Zumbathon for Literacy Aug. 5 such a success.

The long road ahead to achieving fiscal responsibility

Congress recently reached a bipartisan agreement with the president that will significantly reduce government spending, establish a streamlined process for Congress to identify additional savings, and avoid a default on our national debt.

New marketing director at Payson hospital

Patricia (Patti) Patterson-King came to Payson Regional Medical Center right out of a whirlwind in June. The new director of marketing and business development for the hospital started her job on June 17 — right after getting married June 4, returning from her honeymoon June 13 and having the movers arrive June 17. “Who knew how much change you could fit into one month,” she said.

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Successful first year selling restful product

A year after opening Mattress Experts, owners Kristine McCormack and Cindy Gregory say the biggest shock has been how well things have worked out. Even in a down economy, the store, at 221 E. Highway 260, suite 221, has exceeded both of their expectations. “It has been a good year and we certainly would like to thank Payson,” Gregory said.

Payson Farmers Market one of 7,000 in the United States

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has proclaimed Aug. 7-13, as National Farmers Market Week. Since 2000, when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) first proclaimed National Farmers Market Week, the number of farmers markets has grown 150 percent, from 2,863 in 2000 to 7,175 in 2011. According to the USDA, the Payson Farmers Market is one of more than 7,000 in the country and more than 100 in Arizona.

Payson Dew was a popular prohibition drink

What is Payson Dew? Prohibition in the United States was started in January 1920. On that date alcohol production, distribution and use was prohibited by law. In Green Valley near Christopher Creek a little something else was brewing though.

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Early morning is a great time for a stroll

A respite in showers in the earlier part of the week will give way to the return of afternoon showers with lows in the mid 50s and highs reaching the lower 80s.

Second Saturday Shop Hop is Aug. 13

ne day about a week ago, I was riding through Pine on my motorcycle on my way to a meeting. Around Payson Concrete, I met a fellow driving an old, faded John Deere tractor.

Dog days of summer will be gone in a few weeks

Praise the Lord that the hotter than a match head, “dog days of summer” will melt away in just three or four weeks. The hottest, most sultry days of the year, those half dead, lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer will soon yield to the more pleasant, peppy, crisp, dry days of autumn. Have you ever stopped to wonder — Why do we call the hot, sultry days of summer “dog days?” Just where does that term come from?

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Village walloped by wind, hail, rain

Somebody must have gone overboard with a rain dance last Wednesday afternoon. Tonto Village got walloped by wind, hail and heavy rain that lasted for at least an hour and a half. Some of the hail was the size of a big marble, (an aggie?)

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Toe-tapping farewell to seniors at band concert

Big Band Music Machine puts on a 90-minute, toe-tapping show

For Rachel Weatherly, a beautiful blonde and talented saxophone player, Saturday’s concert in Pine for the Big Band Music Machine played bitter sweet. The concert wrapped up her Payson musical career. In a week she’ll head off to ASU to pursue a degree in dentistry.

Don’t sell Frontier without new plan

Let’s say you’re a bit short on cash to pay the electric bill. Would it make sense to chop up the front porch to have a nice fire? After all — where you gonna hang out when it warms up?

There’s a lot more to being a DI than I mentioned

A few weeks back I told you what an uplifting experience it was to be a drill instructor. And it was. But I left something out. I told you about all the serious stuff, but being a DI wasn’t all serious. In truth, it was one of the happiest and most relaxed periods of my life. In fact, there were a couple of times when I laughed so hard I almost split a gut. There were some downright crazy things that happened.

Payson police win grant to unlock phone secrets

If you’re planning on getting arrested: Consider ditching your cell phone. That’s because the Payson Police Department just landed a $12,000 federal grant to buy equipment that can unlock all your secrets once they have their hands on your cell phone.

School board debates adding part-time job

The Payson School Board agonized this week before accepting a recommendation to hire a part-time manager for the high school auditorium. Board members expressed doubts about the latest plan to add to the district’s payroll, just months after they approved the layoff of two dozen employees — half of them teachers.

Oversized load to creep along on Hwy. 87, 188 next week

What weighs 285 tons, moves uphill at 15 mph and takes eight days to travel from Hoover Dam to the mining town of Miami, east of Phoenix? It’s a huge anode used in the electrical process for refining copper.

More than four dozen gather at dedication

Marilyn Wolfe remembered for big heart, energy and generosity during memorial dedication

Marilyn Wolfe was a small woman with a big heart and boundless energy and generosity — all of which she shared with everyone whose life she touched in the Rim Country.

Ernst takes lead in PMGA closest to pin wins

Payson Men’s Golf Association member Tim Ernst has passed Troy Neal in the battle for greatest number of closest-to-the-pin victories. Ernst scored his ninth and 10th wins of the 2011 season on Aug. 3 during a three-man scramble tournament at Payson Golf Course.

Rim angler among 58 vying for $500,000

Payson professional fisherman Clifford Pirch is one of 58 of the nation’s top pros vying for a $500,000 payday and a place in angling history. It all began yesterday, Aug. 11, and will continue to Aug. 14 on Lake Quachita in Hot Springs, Ark. The occasion is the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, which is widely considered the most prestigious and exciting bass-fishing championship in the nation.

Horns AWOL in preseason rankings

Snub could give team advantage of surprise over opponents

The Longhorn football team and its players are being overlooked in almost every preseason poll and prognostication. Those slights, however, could turn into a blessing down the road allowing the Horns to ambush unwary teams that might take Payson High School lightly.

Kool Kids edge varsity in annual alumni volleyball tourney

Some of the finest players to ever don Lady Longhorn volleyball uniforms turned out for the 2011 alumni tournament where the former team members had the opportunity to test their skills against the current varsity. By the time the clamor of the event wrapped up on Aug. 6 in Wilson Dome, it was the Kool Kids who emerged victorious with a 2-1 victory over the Payson High School varsity.

Recreation Roundup

Meet: 8 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Payson Event Center. Shuttle service will be provided to transport hikers back to the event center at the end of the hike. Trail: Moderate level of difficulty; 4 miles in length.

Burns wins the PWGA President’s Cup

As the summer temperatures started to heat up, so did the competition in the Payson Women’s Golf Association weekly play. The fun started on June 7, with a low net competition. Winning the A Flight was Lois Judd, with Shari Cody coming in second. B Flight honors went to Kelly O’Neill, followed by Jan Burns. Top honors in the C Flight went to Joyce Goff, with Mary Jones coming in second. In the D Flight, Kay Davis and Jeanne Griffin tied for 1.

Payson Art League hosts sculptor Dennis Weber

Payson Art League’s Aug. 16 meeting features a demonstration by Dennis Weber, who does sculptures out of “paper clay.” This relatively new medium is a blend of ceramic clay and paper, which dries extremely hard and can be fired or not, and enhanced with paint or other innovative finishes.

Hansom had a rough start

Hi. My name is Hansom. I know this sounds crazy, but the luckiest day of my life was the day a person put me and my siblings in a black, plastic bag and threw us over a fence. We were left there to die, and almost did.

Clubs and Organizations

Tai Chi and Qigong classes are offered at 9 a.m. Saturdays at the Rim Country Health and Retirement Community, 807 W. Longhorn Road. The program is especially designed for seniors 50 or older, but is beneficial for all ages. There is no charge, but donations are accepted.

Don’t let downgrade deter you from future investing

Just when you thought you could take a break from financial drama, following the resolution of the debt ceiling issue, here comes Act 2: the downgrade of the U.S. long-term credit rating. As a citizen, you may be feeling frustrated. And as an investor, you might be getting worried. But is this concern justified?

Wednesday, August 10

Getaway around Rim Country

The 2011 August Doin’s Parade, “Western Leather and Lace” will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 20 on Historic Main Street in Payson. The parade is sponsored by the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Steve Coury Automotive Family, KMOG, Gila County Mounted Posse, and Kiwanis of Zane Grey Country.

Good 2 Go

The Strawberry Patchers will hold their third annual Quilt Auction Aug. 13 in the Pine Community Center Cultural Hall, at milepost 267.8 on Highway 87.

Historical Society helps launch Rodeo Season

It’s August and in the Rim Country that means it’s Rodeo Season. Payson’s World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo is Aug. 19 to Aug. 21 at the Payson Event Center for performances and on Historic Main Street with the Rodeo Parade.

The Wild West in the Rim Country

Chapter 1: A culture of violence

A recent article in The Arizona Republic opened with these words, “When the Colt Single Action Army revolver officially became Arizona’s state gun … it was more than just a symbolic nod to the past.”[1] The article continued, affirming that firearms are part of Arizona’s politics and economy as well as its legend and lore.

Flavor up with down home cookin’

What do you get when the tastes of Africa, France, Spain and the Caribbean meet up with Southern hospitality? You get the big flavors of Lowcountry cooking — and they are something to be savored. The coastal plain that runs from South Carolina into Georgia is known as the Lowcountry, and it’s home to great Southern charm and great Southern cooking.

Time to plan those state park vacations

Summer vacation may be over for Rim Country students, but there is a long weekend coming up soon. And with the central location, there is more often than not, plenty of time to pack up and take off Friday afternoon to make it to one of the 1,156 campsites at Arizona State Parks.

Acupuncture relief from back pain

It’s that time of year again — the no-see-um season. I can feel a sharp sting when bitten. It goes away and then returns as a large swelling with incessant itching. What can I do to prevent this reaction?

Exploring Nevada

There was a time back in the earlier 1800s that trappers and traders, including Jedediah Smith and Peter Skene Ogden, entered the Nevada lands and explored the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada. The U.S. obtained the region in 1848 following the Mexican War. The first settlers were Mormons who ran a trading post near present-day Genoa.

Community Concerts

Make concert connection now

School starts this week, so now is the time to get connected for some great entertainment during the coming fall and winter months. Make an investment in music through the Tonto Community Concert Association and purchase a subscription for its 2011-2012 season.

Tuesday, August 9

Angry Mesa del residents face off with Brooke

An angry group of Mesa del Caballo residents frustrated with a new water hauling fee nearly drove Brooke Utilities officials home before a planned informational meeting about the Blue Ridge pipeline could even start Thursday.

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Former state treasurer added to SLE board

Former State Treasurer Dean Martin is the latest, most surprising member of the independent board that will oversee construction and operations of a college campus in Payson and its assorted spinoff businesses.

Gosar plans Payson forum on Thursday

Arizona’s District 1 Congressman Paul Gosar plans a town hall meeting in Payson on Thursday Aug. 11, the day after a “Forum for our Forest” in Eagar.

Man survives jump off Roosevelt Lake Bridge Sunday afternoon

Although it was the most direct route back to the boat, leaping off Roosevelt Lake Bridge proved not to be the best option for a Thatcher man Sunday.

Lions Club volunteers launch new patriotic flag display program

On national patriotic holidays, many Americans take the time to go outside and fly the American flag. While businesses have the same right, many don’t have the time or understand the proper etiquette for handling and displaying.

Community Almanac

The Pine Library Preschool Story Time, for ages 3 to 5, is from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Wednesdays. The program includes music, stories, games, crafts, as well as physical exercises and cognitive development.

Redistricting: Bloody battle, but a fair fight

It’s gonna get bloody. But then, it’s redistricting. What can you expect? Hopefully, this year in return for the inevitable furor and trauma, Arizona voters will get a representative and reasonable system.

Mesa del gets a glimpse of a secure water future

The residents of Mesa del Caballo must feel like they’re drowning in a sea of expensive troubles. Fortunately, they now have a floating scrap of hope to hang onto — the Blue Ridge pipeline.

Rodeo celebrates 127 years of tradition

The World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo is 127 years old this year.

Library plans programs for tweens and teens

The Payson Public Library is planning several programs for young people of the community in their tween and teen years. The programs start in September, so registration is taking place soon.

Pine health fair offered health care at a discount

Shhh ... don’t spread this around, but there’s a little-known secret in Pine.

Feature teacher

Marlene Armstrong

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College level class for high school students

There’s something strange about Marlene Armstrong’s engineering classroom at the high school.

Crews mostly monitor Rim Country fires

Plumes of smoke on the horizon have alarmed Rim Country residents more than they have firefighters, who continue to monitor several fires in the region crawling through monsoon damp forests.

Competitions spice up Fire on the Rim race

Scott Davidson would ride until he passed out, or broke a rib, or simply to the ends of the earth, just to beat Craig Gregory.

Senior Circle sets August deadlines, events

During the month of August, members and other seniors may want to make a stop at the Payson Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway to take advantage of a few things.

Upcoming events

The following are some of the area’s upcoming events that may be of interest to Rim Country senior citizens.

Payson council supports legislative District 5 plan

The Payson Town Council voted to strongly support a state legislative redistricting plan that would add Camp Verde to District 5, which currently includes all of Gila County.

Cardo’s Pizza sees turnaround; planning expansion

A year after a retired cop took over Cardo’s Pizza, the Italian restaurant has seen a 30-percent boost in sales with 13,000 additional customers.

Oh, how homes have changed since the 1950s

Back in 1978, my wife and I bought a split-level home with a basement in the suburbs of Cleveland.

Pediatric physical therapy now offered at Payson Care Center

Payson Care Center now offers pediatric outpatient physical therapy as part of its full line of care.

Record request reveals third Payson police officer disciplined

A public records request reveals Payson’s police chief disciplined a third officer for inappropriate on duty behavior with a female.

Town manager’s loan to councilor provokes probe

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is conducting an investigation into whether Payson Town Manager Debra Galbraith’s short-term $8,000 loan to Vice Mayor Michael Hughes constituted a conflict of interest.

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Competitive riders burn Fire on the Rim course

The inaugural Fire on the Rim mountain bike race will be etched into the record books as a rousing success that attracted some of the finest riders from around Arizona and showcased the Rim Country as a challenging cycling site.

RCMS Mavs get new helmets for football season

The Rim Country Middle School Maverick football teams should be well-outfitted this season with 60 state-of-the-art, high-tech Riddell helmets, the official helmet of the NFL.

PHS track team pair star in 4 Miler

A pair of Payson High School track and field team members ran their way to gold-medal finishes in the inaugural Monsoon 4 Miler road race.

Show Low to play in Cardinals’ home

The Show Low Cougar football team — a longtime Payson High arch rival that the Longhorns play on Sept. 23 — will open the season Aug. 20 in the 6th Annual Sollenberger Classic to be played in the University of Phoenix Stadium, the home of the Arizona Cardinals.

Friday, August 5

Reinvesting dividends pays off in the long run

When you invest in stocks, you want their price to go up, but you can’t control the rise and fall of stock prices. However, there is a key element of investing that you can control — the number of shares you own. And in the long run, share ownership may be more important than rising stock prices in determining your long-term investment success.

Fireflies fund-raiser a big success

Monday afternoon, Tonto Village was blessed with a torrent of rain complete with sound effects. The thunder was not quite as loud as last week. Still, our doggie barked every time she heard the clap of thunder. All in all, the rainfall amount, according to unofficial sources, was 1.5 inches.

Facebook a great source of free stuff, but be careful

Facebook is a great tool to share vacation photos that make your coworkers jealous, keep track of your teenage kids, or stay up to date with recent news. But did you know that Facebook is also a great place to get free stuff?

Who do you belong to?

One cloudy Maryland afternoon, a Labrador retriever mix was brought into a shelter as a stray. This poor, old canine was graying at the muzzle and exhausted beyond belief. He was worn out and destined to find his family. The shelter was full and the sky was getting closer to nightfall, but this elderly canine was ready to be reunited with his loved ones. Unfortunately, this mature hound was not wearing a collar, leaving identification tags unable to be worn. His coat was dirty and his eyes screamed “Help me get back home.”

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Finding her voice

Singer’s passion reveals secret to music’s allure

For many, music has always set the rhythms of life — a touchstone of memory — the wedding, the breakup, the first rush into love. Early in my introduction to this drink of life in rhyme, I wanted to become a musician. So I found a guy who lived near us who had a homemade guitar for sale. I bought it with visions of becoming famous, writing fantastic songs and having girls fall all over me. Sure.

‘Motown Sound’ is music to baby boomers’ ears

Dr. Raul Romera, popular Phoenix physician and part-time Star Valley resident, celebrated his 60th birthday this past weekend. As I was preparing his “must play” list for his birthday celebration at his Star Valley home on Saturday, it quickly became evident that the good doctor was a big “Motown” music fan.

School starts Aug. 10 in Heber-Overgaard

The continued cycle of morning warm-up and noon through evening thunderstorms has dominated our weather picture. However, earlier this week, we received tropical moisture where it seemed light to moderate steady rains occurred as a result of a Gulf of Mexico storm feeding a jet stream into Arizona. The forecast is for mid-80s during the daytime and mid- to upper-50s at night.

Fireflies fund-raiser a big success

Monday afternoon, Tonto Village was blessed with a torrent of rain complete with sound effects. The thunder was not quite as loud as last week. Still, our doggie barked every time she heard the clap of thunder. All in all, the rainfall amount, according to unofficial sources, was 1.5 inches.

Timber rattler pays a visit to Creek residents

On Sunday, July 25, Bianca Malmin was visiting Art and Pat Guevara. When she walked to her golf cart, there was a timber rattler curled up under the porch about 3 feet from her cart.

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Mountain bike race this weekend

In one of my first columns, I introduced you dear readers to Walt “Stud” Hatfield, a regular at the Senior Dining Room in Pine. This past Monday, I attended his farewell party as a lady in Kansas has snagged his heart and he is leaving all the Pine ladies in the lurch, though rumors abound that some may follow him! Barbara Brandt, his self-proclaimed main squeeze, jumped into a picture I took. Stud remained the gentleman he is and declined to identify his favorite ladies.

Clubs and Organizations

The Rim Country Corvettes is not a formal club with meetings, dues etc. It is a group of Corvette owners from the Rim Country that enjoy driving their special cars and meeting new Corvette owners with the same interests. There is a monthly run and we advise each of the members via the Internet and meet at a specified location within the town of Payson to start the run.

How about a Zumbathon for Rim Literacy?

It’s a rare opportunity when an event gives you the chance to both learn something and help others. Such an event is taking place Friday, Aug. 5 at the Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. It’s a Zumbathon for the Rim Country Literacy Program. Earlier this year, a Zumbathon for the American Heart Association raised more than $900 from Rim Country residents who participated and made donations.

Middle school flunks vital federal ratings

Rim County Middle School and the district’s alternative high school have both fallen short of rising federal standards established by No Child Left Behind, according to figures recently released by the state.

Pilot lands single-engine plane on Highway 87

Southbound Highway 87 motorists Tuesday witnessed quite a sight in Rye.

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Possible change in Star Valley water plans

Star Valley may get into the water business after all.

Fossil Creek crowds prompt car limits

The Forest Service will limit weekend cars allowed down to Fossil Creek for the next two months in response to a flood of visitors and gridlock on the narrow, dirt road.

Community Almanac

Community almanac

Think we’ll miss the water wars?

We’re torn. Should we lament the loss of juicy news stories — or rejoice in the benefit to our beloved community?

School reforms doing more harm than good?

Ronald Reagan loved to quip: The most terrifying phrase in the English language is: “I’m from the government: I’m here to help.”

Tapping into Strategic Petroleum Reserve was a mistake

In June, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the Obama administration would release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) “in response to the ongoing loss of crude oil due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery.”

A special evening

What a special evening last Saturday in the high school auditorium! The Christian group from Ireland, led by Robin Mark, conducted us all in praise and worship. It was an awesome evening!

Why our country’s finances are a mess

It does not take a scientist to figure out that this country’s finances are a mess. Paul Krugman, a prominent New York Times columnist and economic professor, has the following to say: “It was not public demand, but rather the unwisdom of elites that did us in. 1) Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that added $2 trillion to the national debt, was a reward to those who supported him on the campaign trail. 2) The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not called for by the American people, these expensive and largely unfunded wars padded the wallets of billionaires by adding $1.1 trillion to the National Deficit. 3) Recklessness by Wall Street big bankers who demanded unprecedented deregulation gave them free reign over our nation’s finances. It is necessary to remember who in Washington tried to save us from the unwisdom, and who sold us out.”

A town is judged by how it treats its animals

We are concerned about the recent decision of your town council to not provide additional funds to your local Humane Society. Their excuse was that homeless teenagers and senior citizens come first.

What are my benefits?

I am retired military, and have lived in many cities and towns in my lifetime. My wife and I moved to Payson three years ago, and we both feel it is the greatest place we have ever resided. This town has everything we need, a wonderful hospital, doctors, restaurants, shopping, friendly people.

Levees failed for many reasons

Your thesis is correct. Community leaders and citizens must make it a top priority to monitor federal projects that are intended to safeguard our resources and our communities.

About New Orleans levees

In your article “Do Not Wait for Disaster,” you have a question about how New Orleans “could gamble so mindlessly on the levees as the fill on which it was built subsided?”

It wasn’t all drowning and scurvy on those old sailing ships

A few weeks ago we took a look at iron men, wooden ships, and multiple ways to die. But I had to leave out and I felt bad about it — the trips that made it without killing off half the passengers and crew. Were they an important — but also not so great — part of sea travel? I’ll let you judge that.

Historical Society helps launch rodeo season

It’s August, and in the Rim Country, that means it’s rodeo season.

Library plans programs for tweens and teens

The Payson Public Library is planning several programs for young people of the community in their tween and teen years. The programs start in September, so registration is taking place soon.

Quilt Roundup honored as state organization of the year

It may only be early August, but it is not too soon to start planning for November. The 7th Annual Rim Country Quilt Roundup is Nov. 11-13 in the Exhibition Hall at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino, Highway 87 at milepost 251, Payson.

Apache forest officials open some roads

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs) officials say they are working diligently to reopen areas within the Wallow Fire Emergency Closure on the Apache National Forest.

First Friday festivities full of fun

It is once again time for First Friday festivities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5 on Historic Main Street in Payson. Among the events slated:

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Riders set for Fire on Rim

Cycling entrants in the first-ever Fire on the Rim mountain bike race, to be held tomorrow, Aug. 6, were overheard praising the course after wrapping up pre-rides last weekend.

Once popular Monsoon 5K event now only a memory

The roots of the town-sponsored Monsoon 4-Miler, a race to be run tomorrow, Aug. 6, lie in the former Monsoon 5K that was originally run in the 1990s and drew some of the town’s best runners, including members of the Payson High School cross country team.

Cyclists agree, Fire on Rim trail ‘technical’

Mountain bikers who pre-rode the Fire on the Rim course in preparation for tomorrow’s, Aug. 6, race, are calling the 15-mile loop near Pine and Strawberry “technical.”

Parent-coach issue not new

Dr. Amalia Pineres posed a very poignant question in a letter to the editor that appeared in the Aug. 2 edition of the Payson Roundup.

Beat the heat — bass fish early

With scorching summer temperatures of well over 100 degrees during much of the day, the desert lakes attract a much smaller crowd of bass fishermen.

Smith takes gold in PMGA championship

Jesse Smith bumped, bounced, carried, chipped and drove his way to an A flight first-place finish in one of the Payson Men’s Golf Association most prestigious tournaments of the season.

Volunteers repair trails for bike race

A week before Saturday’s Fire on the Rim mountain bike race, volunteers gathered early in the morning at the Ponderosa Market parking lot in Pine. They’ve come together to prepare the trail for some of the best mountain bikers in the West — and raise money to protect Pine and Strawberry from wildfires at the same time.

Prescribed fire treatments of 5,700 acres planned on the Pleasant Valley Ranger District

Pleasant Valley Ranger District fire specialists will be conducting a series of prescribed fire operations in the Cherry analysis area of approximately 5,700 acres through September on the Tonto National Forest.

Star Valley supports Tonto redistricting map

Tribe’s plan to redraw district lines for the board of supervisors has backing of both SV and Payson

The Star Valley Town Council on Tuesday lent qualified support to a plan to redraw county supervisor district lines proposed by the Tonto Apache Tribe.

Man drowns in East Verde River

A 27-year-old Payson man drowned Monday morning in seven feet of water while playing with friends.

Wednesday, August 3

Getaway around Rim Country

Gila Community College is presenting a free, 5-week seminar on psychology in the movies. Participants will examine different aspects of film, including the components of a movie and what makes a movie compelling. The course will look at why people want and appreciate psychological thrillers and how movies have characterized mental illness. Specific psychological disorders will be portrayed through a variety of films.

Good 2 Go

Take ‘time out’ to shop and save on First Friday, Aug. 5 at the Time Out Thrift Shop. Everything in the store and on the sidewalk will be 50 percent off. The shop is located at 500 S. Beeline Highway (across from Wendy’s) and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Plant clinic, monsoon gardening seminar set

July may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your green thumb goals on the back shelf until next spring. The University of Arizona Extension Service for Gila County is presenting a program from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4 at the Payson campus of Gila Community College.

A wonderful one-day drive

Often, we like to take one-day drives from Payson to scenic and interesting parts of our state. Recently, we departed town on Highway 87, driving north through Pine and Strawberry, then took the cut-off on the Lake Mary road to Flagstaff. The drive is most beautiful no matter what time of year you take this route.

A brief look at old rodeos

Soon it will be rodeo time in Payson as the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo has its 127th edition Aug. 18, 19, 20 and 21. Here’s a quick look at how its reputation grew.

Better back-to-school lunches

Making sure kids get balanced and nutritious school lunches and after-school snacks doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be fun. Parents can ensure kids get a lunch that’s good for them and that they’ll eat by making it themselves with products they trust. All Boar’s Head Brand® deli meats and cheeses are gluten free, and there are dozens of lower sodium and heart-healthy options to choose from, as well.

Just answer the question

Do you ever get frustrated when someone doesn’t answer a simple question? Instead of an easy answer, rabbit trails and unneeded facts that do not even pertain to the original question is the response. Along with that comes embarrassing, cringing TMI (too much information) of details of things that . . . let’s just say needs to forever remain unmentioned —or worse yet, the one word answer does not make sense.

Heat and the Elderly

I have weak kidneys due to type 1 diabetes. My doctor has me eating three fruits a day and four vegetables. He limited my meat to 6 ounces daily. Does this limitation of meat benefit my kidneys?

What moves you?

Zumbathon for literacy program takes place Friday

It’s a rare opportunity when an event gives you the chance to both learn something and help others. Such an event is taking place Friday, Aug. 5 at the Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. It’s a Zumbathon for the Rim Country Literacy Program.

Payson man drowns In East Verde

A day at the East Verde turned tragic when a Payson resident drowned while playing in the river northeast of Payson on the Cracker Jack Mine road. The Gila County Sheriff’s Office was notified at approximately 1 p.m. of a missing subject who was with friends at the river and disappeared

Tuesday, August 2

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Rains didn’t dampen event

National Night Out forges neighborhood ties to prevent crime

At 2:30 in the afternoon, the swollen skies unleashed the rain, but organizers at the National Night Out (NNO) sat prepared with umbrellas and pop-up awnings at Green Valley Park. Still, the weather brought back memories of last year’s canceled event. Some drenched families quickly packed up coolers and camp chairs and scurried off to cars. A line of vehicles waited to turn onto Main Street to take their occupants out of the rain.

Colleges boost economy

Studies suggest ASU campus will have huge impact

A 6,000-student Arizona State University campus in Payson would likely have an economic impact on Rim Country of $100 million to $150 million annually, based on studies of the impact of other colleges. College campuses can have enormous economic benefits — both direct and indirect, according to studies of campuses elsewhere.

Community Almanac

The Payson Education Center, an accredited alternative high school, is now enrolling students for the 2011-2012 school year. PEC serves students in grades 9 through 12 in Payson and the surrounding areas.

Thanks to those who helped with annual roundup

Our 18th annual AA Roundup was held this past weekend at the Payson Event Center. We would like to thank the town of Payson and all our sponsors for their generous donations.

Be careful what you wish for

In response to Jeff Durbin’s letter regarding the separation, or more accurately, in his opinion, the lack thereof, of church and state.

Someone else could have sabotaged man’s computer

Do you know how porn gets on your computer? If you do a Google search and porn sites come up in suggested sites, it shows on a register.

College decision is unfair to seniors

Gila college really has done a great injustice to the seniors of Payson. I have participated as a student for years in one of the classes. Yes for years we have received free classes.

Forest Service shouldn’t be allowed to just say anything

Payson Roundup, July 29th, “USFS has advised Payson it may want biologists to do additional studies on the impact of the Blue Ridge pipeline on several wildlife species that aren’t yet listed”? You can’t get much more nebulous than that!

Tea Party Republicans give reader a voice in Washington

Regarding the letter by Wendy Trainor, I take issue with almost every point in her letter.

Can coaches be impartial when their child is on the team?

Be it baseball, football, volleyball, etc., Payson loves its sports! Our kids wait all year to play their favorite sport, dedicating huge time and energy.

Better maintenance of Young Road wanted

There is a Web site, “FS512 Desert to the tall pines,” which explains that most of the residents of Young are not in favor of paving the FS512, the road which leads to SR260.

Clarification on the Benjamin easement

After hearing on the radio that my family’s business is for sale and that we are unwilling to cooperate with the town of Star Valley regarding an easement across our land for the purpose of a water pipeline, we are forced to defend our position once again.

Do not wait for disaster

What fools! How can people be so blind? That judgment comes easily standing in the shambles of disaster. How could Japan line up all those nuclear reactors on a tidal-wave-prone stretch of coast? How could New Orleans gamble so mindlessly on levees as the fill on which it was built subsided? And how could the forested communities of Rim Country have paid so little attention to the risk of a roaring crown fire?

Medical marijuana debate is not over yet

Just when we thought all the controversy with medical marijuana was over, Gov. Jan Brewer and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne sued the U. S. Department of Justice to render a decision on the possibility of state employees being subject to arrest for overseeing and allowing the sale of marijuana for medical purposes.

It is important to maintain momentum

The saying goes, “If you’re coasting, you’re either losing momentum or else you’re headed downhill.” As we begin the journey of a new school year, I am very encouraged that we are heading into the first week of school, not coasting, but with new momentum. I’m optimistic by nature, but there is real evidence, not just my own rosy glasses, to support my prediction that we have the forward motion necessary to have an excellent 2011-12.

Featured Teacher: Jadee Garner

Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Education w/Minor in Animal Science from the University of Arizona, class of 2010. Working on graduate courses, currently have 15 credits toward my Masters in Agricultural Education.

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A program with horse sense

High school program combines science and hands-on experience to prepare students for animal science jobs

Standing in the new agricultural building on the Payson High School campus, Jadee Garner could easily be mistaken for a senior. Tall and slim, she wears her hair in a ponytail with two daisy flower pins jauntily placed behind her ear. Her voice sounds younger than her years, but she runs her classroom with direction and creativity, winning Outstanding First-year Teacher awards from both Gila County and the Arizona Agriculture Teachers Association.

Grandparents face mounting challenges

The number raising grandchildren has jumped 40 percent since 2006, but help has evaporated

The number of people struggling to raise their grandchildren has skyrocketed, but a fresh round of budget cuts this year has shut down programs that used to help them, according to a June analysis by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

Groups protest backdoor repeal of host of environmental laws

Riders attached to unrelated bills would strip protections for Colorado River, Rim Country wilderness areas and endangered species

In the midst of the budget gridlock, Republican lawmakers have slipped a host of “riders” to prevent the enforcement of environmental laws into unrelated budget bills — spurring an outcry by many Arizona environmental groups.

ADOT’s five-year plan — no big changes on local highways

Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) five-year road plan offers only minor solutions to fix major problems in northern Gila County, say officials.

Social Security questions and answers

How can I estimate my retirement benefit at several different ages?

The safety net for aged, blind, disabled people with limited income, resources

There’s a safety net out there for those who might otherwise slip through the cracks. It’s called Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Administered by Social Security, SSI makes payments to people with limited income and few resources who are age 65 or older, blind, or have a disability. Funding for the SSI program comes from the general revenues of the U.S. Treasury, not from Social Security payroll taxes.

Be sure to get to library for last week of show

If you have not yet visited Key Ingredients: America by Food, the traveling exhibition co-presented by the Smithsonian Institution and the Arizona Humanities Council at Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road, you still have the opportunity to see it before it closes Aug. 7.

District maps approved

Committee punts political football to supervisors

The committee charged with drawing up new district boundaries for the board of supervisors decided on Friday to toss the smoking political ember back into the laps of the supervisors. The Redistricting Committee on July 29 voted to submit six maps to supervisors without ranking their preferences, three each for the community college and supervisorial districts.

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Thinning saved 100s of homes

Wallow Fire underscored danger facing Rim Country

Five years worth of sometimes-controversial tree thinning projects saved hundreds of homes in Alpine, Springerville and Greer from the ravages of the Wallow Fire, a just-released Forest Service report has concluded.

Most thinning projects not near threatened homes

Study finds only 11 percent of the billions spent on forest fuel reduction projects protect fire-menaced communities

Only a paltry 11 percent of the money the U.S. Forest Service has spent on thinning projects in the past five years has gone to protect the most endangered communities, according to a national study by researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

State redistricting committee quickly spawns debate

The independent commission charged with drawing up new districts for state and federal lawmakers in Arizona hasn’t produced a single map yet — but has generated plenty of controversy. Rim Country advocates have already started campaigning against a plan that could split the county in two. Instead, they want to keep the sprawling state District 5 mostly intact but add to it the Verde Valley.

Cards’ camp gets high praise by top media

A Sports Illustrated writer once called the Arizona Cardinals’ training camp at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff one of “My top five training camps — places to get up close and personal with NFL players.” ESPN.com later recognized the Cards’ training camp as the best in the NFC West. ESPN said, “There’s something special about going away to camp if the venue is right.

Payson anglers struggle, but AZ team wins finals

A middle of the pack finish wasn’t what Kyle Randall and Cameron Geske had their sights set on when the duo qualified for the National High School Fishing World Finals. But the Payson teens can take solace in the knowledge it was a pair of their Every Kid Counts Arizona Bass Busters teammates who won the tournament championship.

Fall sports practices kick off

Football preseason practices kicked off in earnest yesterday, Aug. 1, and preparations in the sports of boys and girls soccer and cross country begin Aug. 8. Volleyball tips off Aug. 4 with the pre-tryout camp in Wilson Dome and the old gym. With the onset of games just over the horizon, a common theme running through the pleadings of all coaches is for team hopefuls to have physical exams completed and all paperwork turned into the high school office before the onset of the first practice.

Tease photo

Plenty of Cardinals’ camp practices to enjoy

With the NFL lockout finally over, the stream of Rim Country football fans that traditionally make annual pilgrimages north on Beeline to the Cardinals’ preseason football Mecca in Flagstaff will resume. That means the gridiron faithful will have plenty of opportunities to see up close and personal their favorite Card players who those fans are hoping will help return Arizona to the Super Bowl after a dismal 5-12 season in 2010.

August is blackberry time in Rim Country

The first week of August is the time to start picking blackberries from your favorite patch. Residents who have picked in previous years know when to make that first trip with bucket in hand. Most major drainages, which originate at the base of the Rim, will have ample water and at least a few patches of blackberries.

Recreation Roundup

This league offers youth the opportunity to learn athletic skills and football knowledge in a fun, safe educational setting.

Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Children’s Theater/ Choral Group will begin its new season Tuesday, Aug. 2. It meets at Ponderosa Bible Church, 1800 N. Beeline Highway, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday. The Choir only has practice when school is in session. The group is for those 6 to 12 years in age.