Stories for February 2011


Friday, February 25

Doctor’s attorney says grand jury presentation flawed

Counsel for a Payson doctor and his wife indicted for illegally taking over a patient’s assets say the county attorney’s presentation to the grand jury was flawed, did not present a full picture of the case and should be thrown out.

Graffiti vandalism spree provokes quick arrests

Payson got a dose of big city vandalism — and swift, small-town justice last week.

‘Best of Rim Country’ winners celebrate their honors

Some 350 attend big bash to announce Roundup readers’ choices for the best of just about everything in town

Cooks, cops and chiropractors. Doctors and dentists. Antique shops and auto mechanics. Hair dressers and dog groomers. Bartenders, bistros and bankers. Everybody who’s anybody or sells anything to everybody was there, fidgeting in their seats.

Bus aide arrested on sexual exploitation charge

Police arrested a Happy Jack bus aide Tuesday for soliciting a 17-year-old Payson student for sexual acts. Michael Flood, 60, was arrested on charges of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and booked into the Gila County Jail. He has since posted a $2,500 bond.

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Gov. Brewer: New laws will move economy forward

Hundreds turn out to hear governor promise more jobs and fight against the federal government

Gov. Jan Brewer in Payson on Wednesday offered a campaign-style speech that mingled vigorous attacks on the federal government with praise for a recently enacted package of business incentives intended to jump-start the state’s sputtering economy.

School board shuts Frontier

Budget brightens, but district still plans for layoffs, reconfiguration of elementary schools

After a brief hearing before 70 dispirited parents and teachers, the Payson school board Thurs-day night voted unanimously to close Frontier Elementary School and reconfigure the remaining grade school campuses.

Community Almanac

The Rim Country’s American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is holding its annual Kick-off Event on Friday, Feb. 25 starting at 6:30 p.m. The event is being held at the Payson First Church of the Nazarene, located at 200 E. Tyler Parkway.

What’s the best thing about Rim Country?

Sometimes, counting your blessings is a snap. Take Monday night when 350 people showed up for our Best of Rim Country celebration of the best little town on the planet.

Obama budget: Kicking the can down the road

In the not-too-distant future, a president will have to make tough decisions about the nation’s debt and unsustainable spending. With the release of his budget on Feb. 14, President Obama made it clear that he will not be that leader. His budget kicks the can down the road, leaving the hard choices to someone else.

More crazy things people do while high on drugs

On Dec. 22, 2010 in a St. Paul, Minn. neighborhood, a man high on meth saw a vehicle left running and decided to steal it, the only problem ... a baby was sitting inside. The suspect didn’t even realize the child was in the back seat until he’d driven six to nine blocks. The baby’s father stated he’d just run back into the house to get a coupon for Christmas shopping and was only gone a few seconds.

Want to see free enterprise at work? Just look around.

If somebody asked me what impressed me most about any of the places I’ve lived, either here or overseas, I would have a hard time picking out just one thing. Oh, I suppose it would be easy to choose one for some places.

Pine roadwork won’t create more fire escape routes

The work planned for Pine Creek Canyon Road will not provide residents with actual additional escape routes in the event of a fire, but officials believe having a wider road will help.

Payson extends terms of youth council

Hoping to keep local students actively involved in town business, the Payson Town Council last week loosened the requirements and terms for the Payson Advisory Youth Council.

Young calves donated to PHS Ag program die

Some of the first animals to call Payson High School’s new agricultural building home died over the weekend. Two Holstein calves less than a week old developed scours and died, said PHS agricultural teacher Jadee Garner. The calves were donated to the school from a feedlot in southern Arizona.

Carlen, Davis tapped as East honorable mentions

Jaymi Carlen and Molly Davis were among the players honored last evening, Feb. 24, during the Lady Longhorn basketball team’s season-ending awards banquet.

3A East is an also-ran in basketball

The 3A East is undoubtedly the toughest and most competitive football region in the state. But when it comes to basketball, the East is an also-ran.

Expedition Church team will run from Wickenburg to Tempe

A band of 12 townspeople, 11 of them members of the Expedition Church, are determined to enjoy a weekend of fun while challenging themselves in a spirit of small-town camaraderie.

Oregon Ducks sink Sun Devils at Roosevelt Lake college bass tourney

The year has not been a good one for the Arizona State University Sun Devils.

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MSA steps up again and again

Coaches and club sponsors from around the Rim Country are united in their praise of the Mogollon Sporting Association and its benevolent contributions that each year help fund youth sports, clubs and extracurricular activities.

Need to boost retirement income? Consider variable annuities

Here’s a sobering statistic: 46 percent of workers have little or no confidence that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, according to a 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, issued by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Payson hospital given gold seal of approval

Payson Regional Medical Center (PRMC) has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for demonstrating compliance with the commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals.

Payson approves small airport grant

The Payson Town Council last week unanimously approved an application for $10,000 in federal funds to install safety improvements at the Payson Regional Airport.

Animal shelter has many great pets for adoption

To learn more about these and other animals needing homes, visit the shelter at 812 S. McLane Road, call (928) 474-5590 or see the website

Clubs and Organizations

Anyone interested in studying Unity teachings is invited to join the newly forming ministry in the process of affiliation with Unity Worldwide Ministries.

Hellsgate Fire Department in the news

There have been many events this month and that may be part of the reason; Valentine’s Day, Statehood Day, President’s Day and last but not least, Pacemaker Day for my hubby.

Music and lyrics age of innocence is sadly over

WARNING: If references to four-letter words offend you, stop reading this article right now! But if you are concerned, as I am, about the vulgarity in today’s music and where it is headed, please read on.

Time to prepare for wildfire season is now

Glori Surman passed all of the necessary certifications and is now Christopher Creek’s newest Real Estate agent. She works at the ERA Young-Realty office. Congratulations, Glori!

Melting snow and warm temps causing runoff and mud

Snow that precipitated during last weekend resulted in this week’s melt and runoff in our area.

Pine-Strawberry Happenings writer bids farewell with final column

I had an opportunity to meet with the new Pine-Strawberry Happenings columnist Carol Reed, and I’m convinced that you will all be thrilled with the energy and fresh ideas that she hopes to bring to the column.

Is your business or office ready for a centralized server?

As your business grows, so do your technology needs. You may have more staff, more programs to run, or more locations.

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Taste of Rim Country

Area chefs gather to help library

It is a wonderful way to welcome spring — the annual Taste of Rim Country benefit for the Payson Public Library, presented by the Library Friends of Payson. Some of the area’s best cooks gather together to help those who bring the treasures of books and movies and music and magazines to their friends and neighbors.

Thursday, February 24

Bus aide arrested on sexual exploitation charge

Police arrested a Happy Jack bus aide Tuesday for allegedly soliciting a 17-year-old Payson student for sexual acts.

Wednesday, February 23

A trip through time

Globe’s Copper Spike excursion offers unique slice of history

From the upper deck of the 1954 dome car, 66 passengers settle in quietly among rows of blue and white booths.

Getaway around Rim Country

Free tax preparation and free electronic filing is provided by AARP volunteers in Payson.

Good 2 Go

The Second Annual Girls’ Day Out, sponsored by Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 26 in the cafeteria at the middle school.

Lip Sync Concert

The third annual Lip Sync Concert is Saturday, Feb. 26, at the high school auditorium. The Kiwanis, Optimist and Rotary clubs, along with Payson High School Drama and Student Government (STUGO) are all working together to present this event.

The ‘story’ of Preacher Canyon

Just east of Star Valley sits Preacher Canyon, a wild canyon with a little bit of water in it. Nearby is Little Green Valley, a place with a great history to it. Here’s a look at Preacher Canyon and surrounding area.

Celebrate Mardi Gras with ‘Fat Tuesday’ all day long

New Orleans may be the official home of Mardi Gras, but you don’t have to live in the Big Easy to enjoy the party.

Some Travel Ideas

Already, many of us are beginning to think about what we want to do on our vacations this spring and summer. With this edition of “Travel Talk” we will attempt to start your thinking in that direction.

Are getting chilled, catching cold linked?

My friend and I have an ongoing discussion about how we catch colds. I believe the only way is by being exposed to a germ.

Tuesday, February 22

Community Almanac

Hospice Compassus of Payson will offer a six-week grief support seminar entitled Life After Loss. The seminar is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays beginning Feb. 22 at the Hospice Compassus office, 511 Mud Springs Road.

Comments on new national forest plan needed

The new national forest plan comment period needs all of our input. This plan will dictate everything from cattle allotments to the use of ATVs on all Forest Service lands. Check it out at

PSWID forces ‘us & them’

As a public entity whose intent was established to avoid public scrutiny, the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) is in for quite a ride. We (the majority) will not stand for your growing mistrust.

It is time for a change

In response to the letter from Ed Welge whom we all know as a retired engineer and a current front man for the petro chemical industry, I say, yes, Mr. Welge, it is time for a change.

Thanks for the help

Thank you so much for contributing to the gas money needed by Cory McGlanahan to drive to Arizona from Oregon to see her mother, Eve Shephard, who is on life support at Good Samaritan Hospital.

New hope brightens for Payson campus

This feathered hope has sat a long while singing, beside an unmarked path. Make no mistake, it should have died a hundred times by now.

Payson’s Amnesty International chapter wins award

Amnesty International Local Group 1101 — while only just recently organized — has been awarded the 2011 Sister Laola Hironaka Award.

Hospice Compassus starts six-week grief seminar Tuesday

Hospice Compassus of Payson is offering a six-week grief support seminar entitled “Life after Loss,” according to Mary Jane Rogers, executive director.

Lip Sync Concert will feature 14 acts, RCMS thespian group

Scratch that spring fever itch and get out to the third annual Lip Sync Concert this Saturday.

Annual Relay for Life kick-off event is Friday

The Rim Country’s American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” is holding its annual kick-off event at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 25 at the Payson First Church of the Nazarene, 200 E. Tyler Parkway.

Culinary arts students warm Senior Circle hearts

The Payson High School Culinary Arts Department catered a spectacular Valentine event at the Senior Circle last week. Twelve students from the culinary department prepared and served a delicious chicken alfredo dinner.

Officer rescues kids stuck in deep snow

A dozen Valley teenagers had two cold nights and one close call, when they got snowed in over the weekend atop the Mogollon Rim.

Pine Creek Canyon Road project outlined

The county has plans to widen and pave 5,000 feet of Pine Creek Canyon Road. It will have an open house for area residents from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26 at the cultural hall at the Pine Community Center.

Payson sales tax report takes an uptick

Payson’s sales tax showed signs of life in January, especially in the tourism sector.

No free use of center

Payson council imposes fees for use of Event Center by horse lovers

Cowboy up, freeloaders. That’s the hard-nosed message the Payson Town Council delivered last week to a bunch of horse lovers who have been holding events for the saddled set for the past 45 years.

Key ASU study due in a month

ASU official strikes positive note on plans for campus in Payson

Arizona State University could make its decision on whether to build a Payson campus in about a month, as soon as it finishes its marketing study, said one top ASU official this week.

Clubs and Organizations

The Loyal Order of the Moose meetings are at 6 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month.

University of Oregon wins college division of FLW

The University of Oregon team of Ross Richards and Reed Frazier won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Division event on Roosevelt Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 12 pounds.

Fountain Hills eliminates Longhorns from basketball tourney

The Class 3A state boys basketball tournament is continuing on without the Payson Longhorns. The team was eliminated from the postseason following a 62-46 loss to the Fountain Hills Falcons on Feb. 19 in Fountain Hills.

Reno Goodwin part of winning military team

Staff Sgt. Lloyd Stenglein of Flagstaff, and Pfc. Reno Goodwin of Tonto Basin, won the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament held on Roosevelt Lake Saturday.

Men’s golf group to host variety of events

When we last saw members of the Payson Men’s Golf Association in action it was Nov. 3, 2010 and club spokesman Herb Sherman was lamenting the end of the campaign.

Lady Longhorn named to All-East team

Chioya Hill sprung onto to the prep basketball scene late last season as a surprise freshmen starter asked to fill in for an injured player at an unfamiliar position.

Mesa pro wins FLW tourney

Best showing from a Rim Country competitor was by Mark Kyle who finished third with 37 pounds, 15 ounces

Calling upon a powerful bass fishing technique called “flippin’,” Mesa pro Ken Howden dominated the FLW Evertsart Tournament field boating 56 pounds, 10 ounces of fish — a whopping 17 pounds, 15 ounces heavier than the runner-up.

Friday, February 18

PHS drug search comes up empty

Officers gave Payson High School a clean bill of health Tuesday after drug sniffing K-9s came up empty handed.

Former student calls on schools to curtail bullies

Harassment on campus, Internet can lead to suicide, says speaker

Tall, intent, handsome, bespectacled and somber, Daniel Adams on Monday stood in front of the Payson Unified School Board and described his long torment.

PUSD teachers fear there is ‘a hammer about to drop’

Payson School Board complains about sick day payouts, but puts off decision

The Payson School Board this week expressed strong support for a cap on payouts for unused sick time for veteran retiring teachers, but then put off a decision to get more feedback from employees.

Fire destroys home’s interior

A mid-afternoon blaze Tuesday destroyed the interior of a couple’s beloved log cabin home, killing one of their dogs and destroying most of their possessions.

SV council wants to see medical marijuana law

Hoping to keep itself clear of any controversy, the Star Valley Town Council directed its town manager/attorney to draft a medical marijuana ordinance similar to Payson’s recently approved plan.

Six estate planning concepts you need to know

During your lifetime, you make a lot of moves to provide financial security to your loved ones.

Clubs and Organizations

The Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society invites all who are interested in Arizona prehistory to attend monthly presentations by renowned guest speakers.

Fire hazard removed from community

If you read my column last week, you know that my husband Bill had a pacemaker inserted last week at Payson Regional Medical Center by Arizona Heart Institute heart specialist, Dr Claudio Zamorano.

Mick Jagger proves he’s still got it at Grammys

If you saw last Sunday’s Grammy Awards show on CBS, you saw quite a production.

Be prepared when cold weather arrives

What a wacky winter season this is. Either it is unseasonably warm like it was the first part of this week, or it is the “polar” opposite and extraordinarily cold.

Freezing pipes plague homeowners

Warmer days as of late have allowed the snow cover to continue its retreat, even in areas that receive shade most of the day.

Street hockey games have resumed at high school

Those weekend street hockey games so popular last spring on the Payson High School outdoor basketball courts had to be halted while construction projects on the campus were being completed.

Important to have a backup system in place

When it comes to our personal health, most of us try to practice a certain level of “preventive maintenance.”

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Kids perform in Talent Show Feb. 23

Well it looks like there was a steady stream of supporters at the fund-raiser for Carl Norris on Saturday.

Lady Horns’ season-ending awards banquet Feb. 24

While the Longhorn boys basketball team preps for tomorrow’s (Feb. 19) state tournament opening round showdown at Fountain Hills, the Lady Horns are turning in their uniforms and planning a season-ending awards banquet.

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Mark the joyful hour

The snowy egret froze, gazing into his reflection as the wind ruffled his nearly fatal feathers. My heart froze to see him, cast back to the last time I saw my father in the sunlight.

Recreation Roundup

Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism in partnership with Dr. Drew Justice offer equine classes to develop knowledge on topics surrounding horse maintenance.

Fishing Report

Tonto Creek runoff is 25 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 171 cfs.

This is ‘Prevent a Litter’ Month — spay or neuter

The Humane Society of Central Arizona and its affiliates are firm believers in spaying and neutering, because it saves lives.

Montessori school opening in Star Valley

A dozen mini writing desks sit lined up. Colored pencils are neatly organized in color coordinated cups along trays of letters and counting blocks. A bird, hamster and tarantula sit peacefully in their cages.

Community Almanac

Due to anticipated snow and mud from storms predicted for this weekend, all RPAP brush pits will be closed Saturday, Feb. 19 and Sunday, Feb. 20.

Just build a ferry system

Instead of spending over $200 million for a bridge, why not just build a ferry system? They still use them in parts of the country.

Time for the big change

I was very glad they finally got it right.

Thanks for supporting Rim Country Literacy

On behalf of the Rim Country Literacy Program, I would like to thank everyone who participated in making our Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll fund-raiser, last Saturday, Feb. 12, a success.

Drive ensures food bank shelves will not go empty

The Payson region continues to be economically impacted by the loss of jobs and income.

Education reform ideas need funding

Newly elected State Superintendent of Education John Huppenthal has a plan. He says Arizona should embrace the expensive reforms that Florida has instituted.

A look at heart disease in men and women

I traveled to the Valley awhile back and happened to be tuned into a radio station where a health tip was being broadcast. Typically, my articles pertain to fire safety and injury prevention. I felt that since here in Payson, as well as nationally, fire department calls for service typically are 70 percent to 80 percent medical in nature, this article would be appropriate.

What makes home feel like home? Part II

Last week I told you how I arrived at Wiesbaden Air Base in Germany in June, 1970, and found it to be a drab, empty place. I was there teaching classes, facing nine weeks away from home, and missing my family.

Forest Service wants streamlined planning

After years of hearings, debates, lawsuits and controversy, the U.S. Forest Service last week issued new rules for drawing up management plans for the nation’s 155 national forests and grasslands — and now awaits public comment.

Forests yield bulk of nation’s water

Study predicts shortages, making forested watershed crucial

In a nation beset by predicted shortages of fresh water, the ability of America’s national forests to produce fresh water may prove their most important asset, according to a national study of watersheds.

Zumba just part of the fun at Women’s Wellness Forum

There are not many opportunities to attend a women’s health and wellness forum, where some of the most intelligent members of their field are presenting, and you still get to dance to music.

Opportunities to contribute to Coconino forest plan

The draft revision of the Coconino National Forest’s Land Resource Management Plan is now available for public review and input.

E-mails supporting GCC independence sought

With a bill that would grant Gila Community College independence scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor later this week or early next, backers of the bill are asking residents to send Senators e-mails supporting the measure.

Parents question board’s elementary school plans

Laura Nanty came with a full load of pointed questions for the Payson Unified School Board on Monday.

SV examines ways to notify residents of an emergency

If a forest fire ever races toward the town of Star Valley or a cataclysmic event occurs, residents need to have a way out of their homes. More so, council members need a way to notify residents of the danger.

300 professional anglers expected for FLW event

About 300 anglers are living their dream at Roosevelt Lake skipping and hopping over choppy waters in high-dollar bass boats in pursuit of the lunkers big enough to earn the fishermen the FLW Everstart tournament top prize of $35,000.

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Herring, Gibson chosen as all-stars

Duo to play in football showdown for 2A-5A

Being selected to the Arizona Football Coaches Association All-Star game is one of the greatest accomplishments a prep athlete can attain.

Payson men’s golfers look forward to March 16 opener

Forget football and basketball, let the real sport, golf, begin.

Wednesday, February 16

Winter Wonderland

Chilled writer ponders the improbable gift of ice and snow

I stand at the edge of a dream, my breath a cloud. Snow has transformed my familiar landscape and chilled my toes. This careless arm of the East Verde where my grandchildren splashed away the summer has frozen over and snow has rendered abstract the shapes of rocks and junipers.

Down on the farm

When I was a kid living in Los Angeles my parents felt that my experience should not just be that of being a big city youngster.

Warm weather cruises

This latest cold snap has gotten me thinking about a cruise to a warm and sunny location.

Wholesome and delicious meals in a snap

Putting wholesome food on the table that your family will enjoy doesn’t have to take hours to prepare.

Frontier teacher in Tonto Basin

Chapter 15: How to build Aa Pole House

By the first week of November 1880, Angie had 23 pupils squeezed into a structure that was 10-feet-by-12-feet, with a dirt floor, no door, and sides made of brush. There were seats for only 12 students, and how the others were able to do their work she did not say.

Viruses sometimes attack the heart

This foot drop has become debilitating. Is there anything I can do to take care of it?

Getaway around Rim Country

Reserve a place in a community discussion of the award-winning book by Terry Hershey, “Soul Gardening” by calling (928) 474-3834.

Good 2 Go

Get your tickets for the annual Taste of Rim Country at the Payson Public Library.

Republicans host Gov. Brewer

The Gila County Republican Committee will host Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer at its annual Lincoln Day benefit luncheon at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23 at Tiny’s Family Restaurant. 

Free tax help and free e-filing

Free tax preparation and free electronic filing is provided by AARP Volunteers in Payson.

Tuesday, February 15

Realtor feels trapped in a Three Stooges movie at home showing

Last week I took a buyer to look at a bank owned property that was not in the best state of repair.

AT&T improves mobile broadband network in county

After years of minimal service, in late January, AT&T announced it was uping its mobile broadbank network and launching service to former Alltel subscribers in Gila and Pinal Counties.

Annual bald eagle workshop set for Flagstaff

Did you know that in some years Arizona is visited by more than 200 bald eagles during the winter?

Shelley Award for Arts advocacy goes to Bill Sheppard

Two of Arizona’s longest-serving and most ardent arts advocates and supporters will share the sixth annual Shelley Arts Advocate award which will be presented at the 30th annual Governor’s Arts Awards at the Herberger Theater on Tuesday, April 12.

Houston Mesa Fire District seeks new chief

After coming out of retirement 10 years ago to help the conflict-ridden Houston Mesa Fire District, Chief Chuck Jacobs has now walked away due to failed contract negotiations.

Program helps parents get students ready for high school

The Payson Unified School District is presenting a program for parents to help their children prepare for high school. Members of the guidance team at the high school have been working with the eighth-grade students in their career class and Achieve classes.

Elderly woman’s car strikes man, two vehicles, at Walgreens

A 96-year-old woman ran over a man Monday afternoon on the front steps of Walgreens, nearly driving her car through the front doors of the pharmacy, police say.

New general surgeon for PRMC to speak

Dr. Ihor Zakaluzny has joined Payson Regional Medical Team as a general surgeon.

Technology challenges seniors

We are living in a technological nightmare! Everything from light bulbs to automobiles have become so technologically advanced that unless you are 18 years old or younger, you need an master’s electronics degree just to get out of bed.

Open auditions for Pine school drama club musical begin

The Pine Strawberry School Drama Club announces open auditions for “Disney’s ALADDIN-Kids.”

Community supports struggling schools with donations

Once again, Payson has rallied to help its struggling schools.

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Computer students win slew of regional awards

High school’s four-year technical program yields college credits, certificates, awards

The design team opened the envelope as the clock started ticking.

Tonto National Monument offers special evening program

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in a cliff dwelling at night?

Young Public Library awarded three new laptop computers

The Young Public Library was recently awarded three new laptops.

New general surgeon at Payson Regional Medical Center

Payson Regional Medical Center has Ihor Zakaluzny, M.D. F.A.C.S. as a new general surgeon.

Redistricting committee applications due Feb. 22

Only a small number of Northern Gila County residents attended a special meeting on redistricting Feb. 10.

Teachers are dedicated professionals

At a time when it seems everyone has an opinion as to why our schools are failing, we find out what some of us (former teachers) already knew ... our schools are succeeding in spite of tough times

Tonto Creek bridge looks and smells like pork

Tuesday, the Roundup made a correction to their previous story about the bridge across Tonto Creek at Punkin Center. The number of people who were stranded on the east side of Tonto Creek was reduced from 2,000 to 300.

All government is not the same

In order to clarify a letter to the editor on Feb. 11. We have seen much news coverage concerning government and union benefits, especially over the last two years, at a time when we have seen huge government deficits, huge unemployment and economic malaise all over the country.

P/S Water Improvement District needs to communicate better

The reviled Hardcastle is out of the Pine/Strawberry water picture and now, sadly, some community residents are turning their rancor against each other.

Public broadcasting funding is needed

The progress of society has always been driven by a minority of people who act outside of common populism.

DPS backs off senseless shuffle

Every now and then, you CAN fight City Hall. Especially if you’re, well, City Hall. Recently, the Department of Public Safety quietly made a most peculiar proposal.

Community Almanac

The Payson Unified School District is presenting a program to help parents help their children prepare for high school.

E-mail outage

The Payson Roundup is experiencing intermittent e-mail problems.

Medical marijuana locations question on SV town agenda

With towns and cities across the state amending zoning codes to restrict marijuana dispensaries to certain areas of town, Star Valley will take its first look at the issue tonight.

Hellsgate cuts PTO time for employees

The recession is affecting public safety organizations around the state, including Star Valley.

DPS backs off splitting up district

Department of Public Safety plans to divide the highway patrol district of Gila County were thwarted last week in part by the efforts of local officials.

Schools may get performance grade by state

State superintendent wants Florida-style reforms on a budget

State Superintendent of Education John Huppenthal vows to give every school district in the state a letter grade based on student performance and to embrace comprehensive Florida-style reforms.

Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Art League will host bronze sculptor Gail at its Feb. 15 meeting.

‘Friday Night Lights’ series darkened

“Clear eyes, full heart” has been a favorite of mine ever since I heard Dillion, Texas football coach Eric Taylor wrap up a motivational speech with it in the movie “Friday Night Lights.”

Horns headed to big dance; door slams on Lady Longhorns

The Lady Longhorns won’t be dancin’, but the boys’ basketball team is pinning on a boutonniere and filling out its 3A state dance card.

Ex-Horn earns academic honors

Josh Frewin, a freshman kicker for the Greenville College football team, is one of eight members of the Panther gridiron squad to be named to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference All-Academic team.

Lee pins elusive state goal

Although Ben Lee has been one of the state’s finest wrestlers throughout his high school career, the grand prize of a state weight class championship always slipped away.

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Phoenix pro hooks WON title at Roosevelt

John Murray, a 46-year-old pro who has spent more than half his life competing in professional bass fishing tournaments, nipped Dean Kreuzer of Mesa by a miniscule .48 pounds to win the Western Outdoor News (WON) Bass Tournament pro event.

Monday, February 14

Riding the mail into history

Sometimes one can imagine a parking lot in Payson as being the flat top area of a mesa. Some riders are grouped around a fire.

Friday, February 11

Get ready for Women’s Wellness Forum in early March

The annual Women’s Wellness Forum is a rite of spring in the Rim Country and it is returning in March.

School board may cut payouts for sick leave

The Payson Unified School District will meet Monday to ponder whether to put a cap on payments for unused sick leave for long-term district employees who retire or get laid off.

Dr. Lowe fighting grand jury indictment

A Payson doctor accused of illegally taking over a patient’s assets after her death is fighting a grand jury’s indictment.

Community drive helps food bank provide for people in need

Midday, three times a week, a line steadily forms in the open parking lot at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.

What makes home feel like home?

I’ve mentioned before that my duty assignment during my last seven years in the Air Force required me to travel from base to base teaching other people how to teach.

Cub Scouts say thanks

The Cub Scouts of Troop 7354 would like to thank The Home Depot for their recent assistance with our project to build stairs for our storage shed.

Suspend pension plans, health insurance for state, federal works to pay for low-income health needs

Republicans claim to be “pro life” and I guess they are if you’re an embryo. If, however, that embryo makes it to full term, it had better be born healthy, have plenty of money and have health insurance or Republicans will just as soon watch you die.

Exotic pet law makes no sense

I am not a reptile, spider, or other creepy, crawly fan. When I see a spider on the floor, I run away or grab the nearest shoe.

Everyone needs to share cost of Pine water

It seems that my recent comments regarding sharing the costs to improve our water supply are not appreciated by the part-timers, so I am going to try another approach to see if these folks will get the point or not.

Those seeking taxpayer help need to pass drug tests

In response to the letter from Robert Herslberger (Roundup, Jan. 28), I’d like to say yes, close those loop holes and you’re right, a penny wouldn’t hurt anyone. But I think I have a better solution.

Ways the new health law may affect you in 2011

A federal judge recently ruled President Obama’s health care law unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court will no doubt have to settle the matter, but several of the reform package’s most damaging provisions have already taken root.

Good news with an unfortunate footnote

Rim Country passed a major milestone this week, with the release of the environmental assessment of the 15-mile-long route of the Blue Ridge pipeline.

GCC independence bill clears Senate Education Committee

A bill clearing the way for Gila Community College to gain its independence on Monday sailed through the Senate Education Committee on a unanimous vote.

ADOT starts another Hwy. 260 widening project

With three sections of Highway 260 widened to four lanes and another two under construction, motorists could soon find part of the drive from Payson to Heber a whole lot more comfortable.

Couple celebrates 70 years of Valentines

Tobe and Roberta Cogswell have been one another’s Valentine for almost 70 years.

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Students helping to restore stream

Hard lives, hard work yield life lessons for volunteer crew on Tonto Creek

Half a dozen kids with hard lives spent a cold day doing hard work — all to gladden the hearts of trout they’ve never met. And the trout might like to thank them — except there’s a catch.

Investigators seek dead woman’s ID

Months of decomposition stripped away the body’s identity, but now facial reconstruction may help investigators put a name to the woman and possibly tie a killer to her murder.

PAHH breaks ground on next Longhorn housing phase

The Payson Area Habitat for Humanity (PAHH) is proceeding to the next phase of its Longhorn housing project. This decision was made possible by a commitment from National Bank of Arizona to provide PAHH with a construction loan with good terms and the commitment of great local volunteers, PAHH organizers said.

Blue Ridge pipeline clears key hurdle

The long-awaited environmental assessment of the Blue Ridge pipeline has uncovered no major problems with the $30 million project down which Payson’s future will soon gurgle.

Community Almanac

This Saturday, Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m., the Uptown Espresso in the Swiss Village will be rocking with the Rim Country Literacy benefit, The Birth of Rock N Roll.

Football coaches want changes with AIA

Only three years ago, the Arizona Interscholastic Association and the Arizona Newspapers Association were locked in a heated argument on how state newspapers could cover prep sporting events, gather the news for those stories and the use of photographs.

WON anglers primed for Roosevelt

Anglers from around the Western U.S. are arriving in Payson today, Feb. 11, to compete in the first-ever Western Outdoor News (WON) bass tournament to be held on Roosevelt Lake.

Longhorns have five wrestlers bound for state games

Although the Longhorn wrestling team is not a threat to win the Division III “State” tournament, there are five hard-nosed team members determined to represent the team in the finest tradition of the storied program.

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Lady Horns advance; boys eliminated by Falcons

For one Payson High basketball team it’s let the good times roll and for the other, turn out the lights the party’s over.

Top aviation awards given to John Glatz

For half the entire history of flight, John Glatz has been safely keeping aircraft in the sky either behind the controls as a pilot or with a wrench as a mechanic.

Clubs and Organizations

Pastor Mark and Lora Henning will be sharing their testimonies at the Aglow Valentine-themed gathering from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 12 at Crossroads Church, 114 E. Cedar Lane, Payson.

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Fire destroys Heber home

The front passing to the north earlier in the week brought colder temperatures reaching into the lower teens at night with daytime highs in the upper 30s.

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Teens learn about politics

I hope to see many of you Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Bruce Thompson Senior Dining Room to support the bake sale and silent auction for Carl Norris.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air

I think it would be hard to argue that a good percentage of America’s pop and country music that has been produced over the years has something to do with “L-O-V-E.”

Chimney sweep went above and beyond to help

The Snyder household has been busy getting ready for the new tax season. Thankfully, we have a few extra days this year.

Shelter has many sweethearts to share your life

Ah, Valentine’s Day. That romantic day filled with flowers, cards and candy; the excitement of a secret admirer, or the joy of spending time with your lover.

Business Briefs

Businesses/organizations can nominate themselves along with friends or patrons of the business as well as any person who feels that this business/organization is worthy of an award.

Loans available for small businesses affected by flooding

Five Arizona counties included in SBA disaster declaration

The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) announced that qualifying small businesses jarred by severe flooding in five northern Arizona counties are eligible for disaster assistance in the manner of low-interest loans.

Financial gifts can bring smiles on Valentine’s Day

Each Valentine’s Day, Americans spend millions of dollars on candy and flowers.

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Fire board meeting Monday

On Saturday, Feb. 5, Ray and Joy Ruetz celebrated their 50 years of marriage. A gathering in their honor was held at Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship.

All aboard!

Fascination with trains took engineer on long ride

Bob Dylan wrote a song, titled; “It takes a lot to laugh, but it takes a train to cry.” I pondered that for some time, before I understood what he meant.

Wednesday, February 9

Arizona Statehood

Monday, Feb. 14 will mark 99 years of Arizona statehood. As the state nears its centennial, it is a good time to look at Gila County’s early contribution to the state in the form of Arizona’s first Governor and first First Lady, George W.P. Hunt and Duett Ellison.


Cruising the Caribbean in an international ship

We have just returned from a 14-day cruise in the wonderful Caribbean on a truly international ship, MSC’s luxurious Poesia.

André Watts

The works of Franz Liszt will be presented by noted pianist André Watts as part of the Virginia G. Piper Piano Series, sponsored by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

Getaway around Rim Country

The Zane Grey Friends of NRA Annual Dinner and Auction is Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Mazatzal Casino. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Good 2 Go

Join the Rim Country Literacy Program’s The Birth of Rock ’n Roll benefit from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 12 at Uptown Espresso in the Swiss Village.

Jazz concert Sunday features Mark DeCozio

Enjoy a Prelude to Valentine’s Day concert with jazz pianist and vocalist Mark DeCozio at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 13 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., Payson.

Rosacea reddens nose and cheeks

he probable culprit is rosacea (rose-A-she-uh).

Finding love that lasts

Another Valentine’s Day is looming, to the breathless joy of many… and the opining chagrin of others.

Comfort for cold, winter nights

The highs for the next several weeks are predicted to be in the upper 50’s and on occasion inch into to low 60’s, but the lows are most likely going to hover around freezing.

Valentine’s Day Concert

Hearts dance, toes pound with music of Celtic Blaze

Rim residents will have dancing hearts and pounding toes this Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 8

College financing presentation Feb. 16

Payson High School on Feb. 16 will host a free, one-hour presentation on financing a college education.

Payson Police sergeant named officer of the quarter

On Tuesday, the Gila County Attorney’s Office recognized one of Payson’s finest as officer of the quarter.

Payson denies fee waiver plea for car show vendors

The Payson Town Council thought hard — but then refused to give the vendors at the upcoming classic car show a break on their business license fees.

Hearts will dance, toes pound with Celtic Blaze

Rim residents will have dancing hearts and pounding toes this Valentine’s Day.

Social Security Questions and Answers

How do I show proof of my Social Security benefit amount?

Social Security tackles heart diseases

Some ailing applicants’ benefits could be fast-tracked

February is American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease is not only the leading cause of death in the United States, it also is a major cause of disability.

Rim Country blessed with active seniors

Today’s seniors are just not what they used to be. In fact, we probably need to come up with a different name for those over 55.

Double dips are only good on ice cream cones

The Case-Shiller Index just published a report illustrating that the housing market has entered into the double dip scenario with 17 of 20 metropolitan areas reporting a decline in home prices after a brief upswing.

What the President’s address meant for financial markets

On January 25, President Barack Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address.

Studies show controlled burns triple plant, wildlife species

But salvage logging may not decrease odds of next big fire, according to pair of studies with big implications for Rim Country

Go ahead — burn the forest. But then don’t mess with it.

PHS college-bound students beat state, national scores

Payson High School’s top students are doing great on college entrance tests, but struggle to get top scores after taking advanced placement (AP) classes, according to figures charting their progress in 2010.

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Students serve up homeless facts

Students didn’t serve up many calories at the second annual Awareness Soup Kitchen, but they dished up plenty of startling facts about the homeless and hungry in the community.

Free tax help and free e-filing

Free tax preparation and free electronic filing is provided by AARP volunteers in Payson.

Forest restoration plan moves forward

Forest Service launches study that could offer timber companies long-term thinning contracts within a year

The U.S. Forest Service has taken a first step toward awarding a long-term contract for forest thinning that could dramatically reduce the wildfire danger throughout the region at minimal cost to taxpayers.

Bohlmeyer candidacy a patriotic act

This letter is not about partisan politics. The 2010 elections are over. But it is about the importance of having two strong, well informed, and, hopefully, unselfish, focused candidates for every office so we, the electorate, have a choice in our democracy.

Kudos to PSWID

Want to give PSWID a big thank you for their recent service.

PSWID: Treat the part-timers like you do full-timers

When the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District took control of the water system from Brooke Utilities, I figured that a basic rate increase would be needed to pay off the loan and improve the system.

ObamaCare mandate starting to kill state budgets

The ObamaCare law suffered a significant blow recently when a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional.

Chugging of bulldozers a minor miracle

Soon, the bulldozers will go rumbling out across the streambed of Tonto Creek to patch up some crumbling dikes protecting dozens of homes.

Community Almanac

The Payson United Methodist Church invites Rim Country residents to a Valentine’s dinner at 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 13.

County sets redistricting advisory meeting application deadline

Rim Country residents who would like to be considered for a spot on the county’s Redistricting Advisory Committee have until 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 22 to submit an application.

Payson schools get big bang for a buck

National study concludes PUSD ranks as one of the most efficient schools in the nation based on budgets and test scores

Payson schools get more “bang for their buck” than the great majority of school districts in the state or nation, according to the results of a groundbreaking national survey on school efficiency.

Payson residents now need permit for exotic animals

New rules for giant snakes also cover wolf-hybrids, alligators, skunks, bears and a host of other critters

The Payson Town Council last week added a host of animals including 6-foot-long boa constrictors, wolf-hybrids, bears, alligators and primates to its list of exotic animals requiring a permit from the police department.

Payson mayor’s son dies suddenly in the Valley

Payson Mayor Kenny Evans’ son, Rodger, died unexpectedly on Monday.

Superintendent advocates sticking with middle school

O’Brien cites painful necessity, benefits of keeping grade levels together in plan to divide up elementary schools

Alas, it’s probably too late to shift Payson to a K-8 school system — no matter what the research says — said Superintendent Casey O’Brien.

Homeless teens have new options

Community program will help keep students in school and find them a home

On one of the coldest nights last week, a Payson teenager was thrown out of their home. With nowhere to go, they slept in their vehicle.

Clubs and Organizations

There are now 12 Step meetings for teens. Narcotics Anonymous will be Tuesdays from 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Horns, Falcons meet in first round

At stake when the Longhorn boys basketball team takes on the Alchesay Falcons in the first round of postseason is the right to continue on in the region tournament and eventually advance to the Class 3A state showdown.

Lady Horns host Cougars in opener

A barnburner should unfold when the fourth-seeded Lady Longhorn basketball team plays host to fifth-seeded Show Low in the opening round of the Class 3A East Region postseason tournament.

Father-daughter coaches lead RCMS

When Rim Country Middle School seventh-grade girls basketball coach Danielle O’Haver speaks, players listen.

Many hands made wrestling tourney great

For this edition of Extra Points, we are turning over the space to Payson High School counselor Don Heizer, who served as tournament director for the inaugural Division III, Section II postseason tournament held Feb. 4 and 5 in Wilson Dome.

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Five Longhorn wrestlers head to state

Ben Lee pins down gold at section tourney

Ben Lee’s spectacular and well deserved ride to the 140-pound weight division gold medal paced the Longhorn wrestling team to a sixth-place finish in the 15-team Division III, Section II wrestling tournament.

Friday, February 4

Former resident has video honored

Cherie Cloudt, former Payson resident, was among the nine artists chosen by The Western Folklife Center to share a video she wrote and produced at the 27th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev. in January.

A centennial celebration

Turning 100 on Saturday, Feb. 5, Mary Nixon has lived through some of the most interesting history in the U.S.

Southern gospel group to perform at Crossroads Foursquare Church

The Nashville-based “Blackwood Legacy” contemporary southern gospel group will be in concert at 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 13 at the Crossroads Foursquare Church in Payson. Admission is free and a love offering will be received.

Parents, district explore launching science school

District teams up with parents to test interest in starting a charter school focused on math, science and technology

A bold plan to snag big grants to launch a science and math charter school in Payson hangs on the response of parents to a survey trying to gauge their interest.

Businesses need their own ‘quarterback’

Unless you’ve been cut off from every source of media, not to mention all human contact, you’re aware that the Super Bowl is this weekend.

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New jeweler puts a twist on custom pieces

Making Native American-inspired jewelry for 30 years at his wooden jeweler’s bench has been good for Fred Tenca.

No cost parent education, resources program

The Rim Country Middle School Family Involvement Action Team is offering a “no-cost” opportunity for parents and adult caregivers to participate in a facilitated parent meeting on Feb. 17 to discuss sensitive issues that can be hard for parents and children to talk about, including puberty, sexuality, peer relationships and cell phone/Internet use.

Parents lament impact of school sports fees

A passel of hard-pressed parents pleaded with the Payson School Board to make sure people know they can get scholarships or spread out the hefty sports fees for their kids.

Mounted posse gets GPS money from SV council

More cowboy boots and belt buckles were stuffed Tuesday into the Star Valley Town Hall than ever before. While they didn’t ride into town on their horses, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office mounted posse let their presence be known.

Some people seem to be born wise, Part II

Previously I was telling you about Ross McDowell, the barracks genius in the first open-bay barracks I ever lived in. Ross did not fit the image that usually forms when you hear “genius.” Far from it. He was active and muscular, though there could be a lazy, dreamy quality about him at times.

Thanks for the Celebration of Life support

I had no idea of the overwhelming support, during the Celebration of Life for my wife Barbie. I received this support from the town of Payson, the state of Arizona and across the country.

Is there a conflict of interest in Star Valley?

Star Valley Town Council is now trying to buy marijuana store?

Good Pine water systems require us to pay our share of costs

It seems that no matter how much progress we make as a community, there is always someone who gripes because progress costs money and this letter is meant for those who want the benefit of improvements, but do not agree with paying their fair share.

Gila Community College … hail Emperor Ashford

Gila Community College … hail Emperor Ashford

District earns high return on investment status

Two weeks ago the Center for American Progress released the results of a major study addressing the concept of return on investment (ROI) in education.

Science charter school may serve critical need

If we don’t pay attention — right now — very closely — we’re gonna blow it. That’s why we hope that lots of Payson parents get involved in the effort to launch a charter school that will specialize in science and technology.

Community Almanac

As part of the First Friday celebration, Time Out Thrift Shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 4 and also from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 5.

School board considers cap on unused sick pay

Let’s say you’ve been a teacher in Payson for 20 years and you’ve never taken a single sick day. Should you get a $10,000 to $15,500 bonus when you retire — or get laid off?

Rim Country likely to get pot dispensary

Payson, Globe each expected to get medical marijuana facility

Rim Country’s chance of winding up with a medical marijuana dispensary jumped this week with the release of new rules by the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS).

Flood help on the way for Tonto

While construction of a bridge that would secure a safe passage for Tonto Basin residents in the event of flooding is some time off, residents could soon see crews hauling away loads of sand and adding rock to a damaged levee.

Officer pulls woman from frozen lake

Thanks to the quick action of neighbors and a Payson police officer, a 52-year-old woman was rescued Friday morning after falling through thin ice at a Payson lake.

Horns visit Falcons; Lady Horns host Show Low

Following a Feb. 2 conference call among 3A East athletic directors, Payson High Athletic Director Rob Varner announced that for the first round of the region tournament the Lady Longhorns will host the Show Low Cougars and the PHS boys will travel to Whiteriver Alchesay.

Parks schedules several programs now through April

PATS Hike: Houston Loop Trail, 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 12; 5 miles, moderate level. Participants will meet the intersection of Mayfield Canyon Road and Highway 260 in Star Valley and drive in a half-mile to park vehicles.

Kudos to the tournament ‘go-to guy’

A testament to the respect Don Heizer has garnered over the years as a tournament director surfaced last week when Payson High was asked to host the first ever Division III, Section II wrestling tournament.

AIA makes final ruling about new alignments

configuration from the conference-region format is finally complete.

Town’s athletic coordinator heads softball tournament charge

Trevor LaHaye is living up to the promise he made months ago when he was hired on as the Town of Payson’s athletic coordinator.

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Arizona’s best set for postseason competition

A rugged field comprised of some of the finest wrestling teams in Arizona await the roster-depleted Payson Longhorns in the inaugural Division III, Section II postseason tournament.

Shelter pets hoping to be your valentine

Here at the Humane Society of Central Arizona, life is good. Despite the cold weather and blustery wind, things are looking positive for us.

Clubs and Organizations

The Gospel Kids Club, for children 7 and older, begins Friday, Feb. 4 at the Uptown Café, 612 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.

Pony Express rides into Pine next Wednesday

Well it was bound to happen — winter has returned! Some stores have seeds and patio furniture prominently displayed, and I admit I was tempted, but deep down inside I knew it was all too good to be true!

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Fitness center opens in Overgaard Crossings

The combination of two inches of snow Tuesday and the clearing of clouds during the night created conditions for an extremely cold Wednesday morning.

Creekers have lost many longtime friends recently

A big part of this column is to keep this little community informed about their neighbors and friends.

Wonderful music events over next two weekends

This weekend and next, there are a couple of wonderful music events that you really don’t want to miss — and that will benefit two local organizations.

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Brush piles to be burned in next two weeks

February is a very diversified month as far as holidays and celebrations go. This week alone there is Groundhog Day on Feb. 2.

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Star Valley veterinarian rules at Yukon Quest

Mild-mannered Star Valley veterinarian Alan Hallman will tell you he isn’t into extreme sports, but look around his Star Valley office and you’ll think twice.

Hunter Creek area slated for debris piles elimination

Payson Ranger District fire personnel will eliminate about 20 acres of vegetative debris piles in the Hunter Creek area on Monday, Feb. 7 and Tuesday, Feb. 8.

Wednesday, February 2

Good 2 Go

As part of the First Friday celebration, Time Out Thrift Shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 4 and also from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 5.

Getaway around Rim Country

The 19th Annual Business Showcase is ready to help showcase the businesses in Rim Country.

Wupatki National Monument hosts Discovery Hikes

Join park rangers for a guided hike through the backcountry of Wupatki National Monument and discover for yourself what makes Wupatki such a unique and beautiful place.

Psoriasis sometimes more than skin deep

Your article on arthritis was very interesting, but you did not explain about the arthritis that comes with psoriasis. I have it, and I know of two other people who have it. We don’t understand it at all. Please explain. — B.E. ANSWER: Autoimmunity is the e


Hear the best of the best

The lucky Rim residents attending the Feb. 5 concert to benefit the Humane Society of Central Arizona will be hearing the best of the best Sweet Adelines.

Love trumps shame

It is said that everyone has skeletons in their closet. Everyone has things they prefer not to come to the limelight.

Some favorite cruises of the past

If you are like me, you enjoy thinking and talking about favorite vacations you have taken in the past. My favorite type of vacation — cruises.

Frontier teacher in Tonto Basin

Chapter 14: An invasion of Harer family members

It was Thursday, Nov. 14, 1880 when Tonto School teacher Angie Mitchell met the extended family of David and Josephine Harer, and found there were more of them than she had realized.  

Hubbard Glacier — not to be missed

We were privileged to see Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America, on our first cruise to Alaska.

Tuesday, February 1

Engineers size up new college site

Engineers and architects spent Monday tromping across a 60-acre parcel where Payson hopes to build the first phase of an Arizona State University campus.

Clubs and Organizations

Rim Country Toastmasters meets at 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays in the MHA Auxiliary building (next to Almost New Shop) at 308 E. Aero Dr., Payson.

Little League registration is March 5, 8, 9

Little League registration previously held in January and February will now be held at later dates. The new registration dates are March 5, 8 and 9 at Rim Country Middle School.

Roosevelt checks out for W0N tourney

Bill Egan, director of tournament operations for Western Outdoor News (WON), toured the Rim Country last week to finalize plans for the WON Pro Circuit bass tournament to be held Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 at Roosevelt Lake.

Heizer, Varner to head wrestling showdown

Veteran football and wrestling coach Don Heizer, also one of the most respected tournament directors in the state, has been tapped along with Payson High School athletic director Rob Varner to host the first-ever Division III, Section I post-season wrestling tournament.

For Longhorns, it is time to wait and see how standings play out

The curtain has fallen on the 2010-2011 regular season, meaning Longhorn boys basketball coach Bill Goodwin and his charges are now playing the waiting game to learn how the region and state tournaments unfold.

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Playoffs opener could pit Lady Horns against Cats

All 3A East regular season girls basketball game results are not in, but it appears likely the Lady Longhorns will be pitted against the Show Low Cougars in the first round of the regional playoffs to be held Feb. 8 at the site of the highest seed.

Hearing tests, insurance information at Circle

Abbott Hearing Center will be providing free hearing tests at the Senior Circle starting at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 2.

February is more than just hearts and flowers

Happy February — the month of love. The first Valentine card on record was sent by Charles the Duke of Orleans in 1415 to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Longhorn band, choir win top slots in regional competition

Payson High School music students hit a high note this year in a tough, statewide competition.

Masonic Lodge awards two teachers classroom grants

William Herzig, Master of Payson Masonic Lodge No. 70, awarded two teachers classroom grants on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Arizona.

Half-day of school Feb. 9

The Payson Unified School District will observe a half-day inservice day on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Lip Sync concert is Feb. 26 at PHS

The members of Kiwanis, Optimists, Rotary and the Payson High School STUGO (student government) and Drama Club invite Rim residents and visitors to attend the Lip Sync Concert Saturday, Feb. 26 at the high school auditorium.

Firefighters contain chimney blaze

Built up creosote on a chimney’s walls was the cause of a small fire Monday night in Payson.

Insurance pays for damage at Tonto Bridge lodge

State Parks director outlines plans to find private contractor to run best-known Rim Country tourist attraction

State Parks officials hope the state’s insurance pool will cover the cost of repairing the damage done by burst pipes to the historic Tonto Natural Bridge lodge.

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Pedometers will help students count steps, improve fitness

“Ms. Moore, Ms. Moore, my pedometer is counting backwards,” exclaims one student as they rush into physical education teacher Donna Moore’s office Thursday, just two days after receiving their custom step counter. “Maybe you are reading the numbers backwards,” Moore says.

Council will consider delaying building fees until homes sell

The Payson Town Council will decide at its Thursday meeting at 5:30 at Town Hall whether to give builders a break by letting them put off paying hefty fees until they actually sell the houses they build.

Payson still waiting for firefighter grants

Town makes it past the first cut, but still needs federal help to staff its third fire station

No news, is good news. At least, that applies at the moment to Payson’s wait for a federal grant to staff its new, third fire station.

Phil Phillips was a mentor for the Lions Club

On Sunday, Lions Club members, friends and relatives, filled the United Methodist Church, to celebrate the life of Phil Phillips who passed away Jan. 19.

Water bill was a punitive surprise

I would like to thank James Douglas and Jerry Eilsland for their thoughtful letters to you published on Friday, Jan. 21, concerning the water rate increases for those of us in the Pine Strawberry area.

Question for Senator Kyl

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl gets the lion’s share of opinion space in the Payson paper.

Poem illustrates torment of meth addiction

The following story shows what meth does to your brain.

GCC president insults voters

Just when you think the Gila Community College Board can’t get any more petty, they up and surprise you. On Monday, President Bob Ashford used highhanded, rude and arrogant tactics to secure another one-year term as president.

Community Almanac

The Mogollon Health Alliance is having a $6 jewelry sale. In addition to jewelry, there will be belts, pashminas, popcorn blouses, totes, scarves and gift items such as designer-style sunglasses, readers and leather goods at the Payson Regional Medical Center west lobby from 9 a.m. a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 2.

Missing Payson man found at Phoenix motel

After a two-day search, Phoenix Police found a missing 93-year-old Payson man Friday. Gar Baybrook was last seen Wednesday, Jan. 26 at his home, located behind Leaves of Autumn Books, 518 W. Main St.

PHS seniors struggle to pass AIMS

Hopefully, by June everyone still plugging away will have done well enough to get a diploma — repeating last year’s outcome.

Congressman gets crash course

Rim Country officials brief Gosar on federal bottleneck on host of crucial issues

Rim Country’s freshman Congressman dropped by Payson on Monday for a crash course on local issues, including forest restoration, the Blue Ridge pipeline and Payson’s effort to build a water pipeline and a college campus on federal land.

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Disallowing public comment, GCC board elects Ashford

In a terse 3-2 vote that sidestepped all public comment, the Gila Community College board reappointed Bob Ashford as president for a sixth term Monday.