Stories for March 2011


Wednesday, March 30

Getaway around Rim Country

Gila Community College will present a talk by Dr. Robert Mayer on the nuclear crisis in Japan at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 30 in room 405 on the Payson GCC campus.

Garden Time

Fail-proof gardening tips to get you growing

With so many plant choices, picking the perfect plants that will thrive in your garden can seem overwhelming — even for experienced gardeners.

Travel bargains, interesting places

Tim Leffel, author of the “The World’s Cheapest Destinations: 21 Countries Where Your Money is Worth a Fortune,” states that when there is trouble in an area, tourists tend to stay away from an entire region.

Triptans may offer some migraine relief

Please write about migraine headaches. My granddaughter, age 22, suffers from them. She is a college student and also works. What causes these headaches?

Catch the beat April 15

Percussionist Paul McDermand will perform in concert at 7 p.m., Friday, April 15 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

Frontier teacher in Tonto Basin

Chapter 18: Early Visitors to “Tonto” Cliff Dwellings

Just one week after teacher Angie Mitchell’s fateful hike into the mountain that nearly took her life, she eagerly tackled another weekend adventure.

POPS! Cake on a stick and more

Sweets on a stick are the perfect treat. There’s a pop for all seasons, all reasons. For parties, desserts, everyday and special occasions, pops are tops!

Gearing up for motorcycle run for Payson Supply Line

Payson Post 69 of the American Legion Riders is beginning preparations for its 6th Annual Charity Bead Run to benefit Payson Supply Line.

ZUMBA® Fitness Party planned for First Friday

Wear your brightest red shirt during the ZUMBA-THON® charity event to benefit the American Heart Association from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 1 in the dining hall of the Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main St.

Good 2 Go

David Oberpriller, volunteer at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, will be speaking to the Rim Area Gardeners Club at 7 p.m. April 11 at the Church of Christ on Tyler Parkway.

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PRMC again gets top 100 ranking

Payson Regional Medical Center (PRMC) was named one of the nation’s 2010 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. This is the third award in five years, and the second recognition in a row.

Tuesday, March 29

Social Security Questions and Answers

Retirement Application at www.socialsecurity .gov/retire. It’s fast, easy, and secure. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required.

Tips for seniors to protect themselves

Making sure that the public is kept well informed about the dangers posed by predators out to harm consumers is one of the most important jobs for the attorney general.

New residents should find a new doctor before one is needed

If you are new to Payson and a senior, welcome to the best place on earth to live! Payson has so much to offer active adults — hiking clubs, travel opportunities, music venues, social activities, entertainment and educational opportunities.

P-S will start drilling for water near Milk Ranch Well

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) governing board has voted unanimously to begin drilling yet another well about 700 feet from the original Milk Ranch well site.

Payson sales tax figures still bleak

Town lags behind state as revenues dwindle in face of threat of big state cuts

Payson’s economic purgatory just keeps dragging on and on.

Learn about academy meeting openings

All Arizona high school students and parents are welcome to attend this free event to learn about 2011 service academy opportunities.

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Student Jazz Band hits the big time

Donations help musically innovative Payson teens perform at Disneyland

They have the count. They’ve got the rhythm.

Payson woman continues Hurricane Katrina reconstruction efforts

International Relief Teams (IRT) sent a team of 20 volunteer construction workers to Mississippi on Sunday to repair homes of the poor and elderly damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Rim foreign exchange coordinator recognized for leadership

Local area resident Edie Miller attended EF Foundation for Foreign Study’s annual meeting March 11 through March 13 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. 

McDonald’s offers free breakfast on first day of AIMS test

Payson McDonald’s restaurant is inviting those students taking Arizona’s Instrument To Measure Standards Test (AIMS) a free breakfast on Tuesday, April 12, the first day of testing. The breakfast will include an Egg McMuffin and a milk or small orange or apple juice. The breakfast offer will run from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Boy Scout Tanner Hintze presented with Eagle rank

Tanner Hintze was presented with the Boy Scout rank of Eagle in a Court of Honor Saturday, March 6.

Program helping tribe improve leadership

In its short history, the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino’s leadership program has had a strikingly positive effect on its participants.

Beware of callers seeking credit card information

A telephone call on March 24 from a man with “the Stanford Company in Long Island, New York,” indicated he was with a company that places business people in touch with others and that he could help me find work as a copy editor, at no cost to me. In the future, I was told, I could upgrade the listing to a variety of levels and costs, if I so desired.

Thanks for the help

My mom and I were in a car accident on Lake Mary Road and I wanted to take the time to give blessing to the off duty EMT who stopped and stayed with us.

Decisions affect quality of education

Concerning the Roundup article on counselors at PUSD. Three items bear clarification. Subsequent to my “deposing” as high school principal, Mrs. Ketchem pulled a counselor half-time to teach a job skills class at the Payson Center for Success.

Research data is not false

An individual named Terry Putnam did a grave disservice to your readers by making false and defamatory statements about me and my climate scientist colleagues.

Showcase was a success

The 19th Annual Business Showcase presented 61 separate businesses to the 800 paying customers and several hundred exhibitors and volunteers.

Thanks for the donations

Payson Education Center would like to thank the generous members of the Payson community for their donations and continued support.

Speed trap sullies Payson

My wife got what she thought was an unfair speeding ticket last week.

Public employees should not go on strike

As the daughter of a former union president at Harley-Davidson’s Local 209 in Milwaukee, I feel that I know much about unions

Tonto National Forest campground contract bid process opens

Bids are now being solicited by Tonto National Forest officials for the operation of campgrounds and day-use sites located on the Payson Ranger District. The prospectus includes six campgrounds, eight day-use sites, and six optional bid sites.

Group gearing up for motorcycle run for Payson Supply Line

Payson Post 69 of the American Legion Riders is beginning preparations for its 6th Annual Charity Bead Run to benefit Payson Supply Line.

Fire station coming to Bonita Creek

The Whispering Pines Fire District has taken a step forward in its plans for the construction of a permanent fire station in the Bonita Creek community with the purchase of a lot at the corner of Myrtle Point Trail and Antelope Trail.

Get in gear for the second annual Cannonball Spree

Look out for a few Burt Reynolds and Farrah Fawcett look-alikes roaming the streets of Payson in some crazy, tricked out cars on April 16. The second annual Cannonball Phoenix Spree is coming to Payson, and bringing entertainment along with it.

Community Almanac

The Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store, 3916 N. Highway 87 in Pine, will begin selling spring and summer clothing beginning March 30. They also will switch to summer hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Fool’s Day fun event Saturday brings attention to teen drinking

Community Prevention Council is sponsoring its annual Fool’s Day Fun event, in cooperation with Southwest Behavioral Health, the Payson Police Department, and other community organizations and businesses.

Teen pleads guilty to attempted kidnapping, assault

It happened near the baseball fields at Payson High School almost two years ago. Then senior Tyler Joseph Wilson went into the dugout to talk with a juvenile student. A few minutes later, students watched as the girl ran out of the dugout crying hysterically, looking like she had just been raped.

Control Road bridge work expected to start this summer

The replacement of seven antiquated bridges on the Control Road remains on schedule with construction beginning this summer and wrapping up in March 2012, transportation officials said.

Key law to allow Payson campus passes committee

Prospects for an Arizona State University campus in Payson brightened last week with the advance of key state legislation.

School board caps sick pay at 80 days

The Payson Unified School District board Monday night turned down a last-ditch compromise offered by the district’s teachers and capped payouts for unused sick time at 80 days after 20 years of service.

Why a decrease in property valuation does not equal a decrease in taxes

You recently should have received your 2012 property valuations from the Gila County Assessor’s Office.

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Dream Manor Inn small business award winner

After receiving the Arizona Small Business Development Center success award, inn owners Carl and Rebecca Williams would love to take a few days off, but this would go against the couple’s own advice.

Clubs and Organizations

TOPS AZ #527 meets from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. every Wednesday at the Mogollon Health Alliance Auxiliary Activity Center, 308 E. Aero Drive, Payson.

Recreation Roundup

Info: Participants must bring personal GPS unit with the following capabilities —  tracking, mapping, navigation, trip computer, new batteries in unit, replacement batteries and GPS computer cable.

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Chandler Rotary draws state’s best

Payson High School track and field team members had the opportunity to showcase their skills in one of the oldest and most prestigious meets in state history during the running of the 71st Chandler Rotary Invitational.

Sport physicals to be offered at a discount

Among the most baffling decision student-athletes and their parents make each spring is not taking advantage of physical exams offered by the high school and Payson Regional Medical Center.

Horns fourth at Metro invite

With sights set on a gold medal finish, the Longhorn golf team wrapped up the first day of play in the Metro Invitational tied with Scottsdale Christian for first place.

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Errors plague Longhorns vs. Chino

What a difference a couple of days can make.

Top hospital in Arizona

Payson Regional Medical Center this week was named one of the top 100 hospitals in the country — the only facility in Arizona to win that impressive honor.

Friday, March 25

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Tonto Creek flood work under way

Flood repairs to Tonto Creek are going well, county officials say.

North-South county divide a wrench in redistricting works

Northern Gila County may have been given three more seats on the redistricting boat, but that’s no guarantee for smooth sailing. Its first day at sea left the committee’s election of a chairman in knots.

Payson could lose $2M under Senate bill

State budget plan would raid 10 percent from town budget

Payson would lose $2 million and have to cut vital services under the state Senate’s budget plan, said Payson Mayor Kenny Evans.

Payson ASU campus has tight timeline

Plan for $65 million project to cover the Event Center with solar cells faces strict upcoming deadline

The quest for an Arizona State University campus in Payson looks more and more like an episode of the TV spy series “24” — with the beautiful woman strapped to the bomb, and Jack Bauer nearly out of time.

Forest thinning projects hit snag

Getting into business with the U.S. Forest Service is a lot like teaching tricks to a grizzly bear — amusing unless you could end up on the bear’s dinner menu.

Community Almanac

An evening of live acoustic music will be presented from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, March 25 at the East West Exchange Bookstore, 100 N. Tonto St., Payson

An attack on public unions is an attack on us all

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is trying to eviscerate Wisconsin unions by denying public employees the right to collective bargaining and firing any worker that disagrees.

Additional $600 million in cuts would kill the town of Payson

To Sen. Allen. I am Christine Murphy. I am a resident of Payson and I work for the Payson Unified School District.

Enough is enough of county gerrymandering

I have been a full-time resident of Payson for almost 20 years

Cycles of global warming, cooling are common

As with fantasy energy sources, Mr. Welge’s engineering foundation precludes common ground with Mr. Estess’ Anthropomorphic (human-caused) Global Warming (AGW) pretenses.

A breath of fresh air

Talk about a breath of fresh air! Congressman Gosar sounds determined to get spending under control.

State Senate fiddles as the house burns

The house has caught fire. The children are trapped in the bedroom. Run, quickly, get a bucket. We hope that every voter who reads this editorial will immediately set down the paper and call, write or e-mail Sen. Sylvia Allen, Representative Chester Crandell and Representative Brenda Barton to urge them to reject the state Senate’s budget and support Gov. Jan Brewer’s alternative.

Temperatures … and gas prices on the rise

Gas prices in Arizona are hovering around $3.50 per gallon, up 75 cents from this time last year. It’s only March, but we are already seeing the spike in gas prices that we typically associate with the summer months.

Losing a little sleep may sometimes be a good thing

Some weeks ago I mentioned that I stayed awake thinking most of New Year’s Eve because I knew the bottom was going to drop out of the thermometer and I was worried that something might happen to Lolly. That was time well spent.

School board considers sick leave cap

The Payson Unified School District board will meet on Monday and likely make a decision on a contentious plan to cap sick pay for retiring and laid-off teachers.

Fire takes everything

The Red Cross this week came to the rescue of a Mesa del Caballo family who lost their home and everything they owned in a fire last week.

Senate budget plan would shutter parks

Like a bystander gunned down in a gang shooting, the Arizona State Parks system will have to virtually shut down if the recently adopted state Senate budget takes effect, according to park officials.

PHS teams moving toward season titles

PHS baseball and softball games to be played March 22 vs. Round Valley were postponed due to wet playing fields at Payson High School. Because both games are crucial East region clashes, they will be played at a later date this season.

Sports physicals offered at a discount to PUSD athletes May 4

Payson Regional Medical Center as well as several Payson Allied Health professionals will be offering discounted sports physical exams for all Payson Unified School District athletes from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 4 in Wilson Dome on the Payson High School campus.

Brown dominates track and field invitational in Round Valley Dome

Pitted against some of the state’s finest small-school track and field athletes that entered the Round Valley Dome Invitational, Payson High’s Blake Brown — a state qualifier last year in both the high and long jumps — was looking to make a name for himself with a few solid performances.

MSA Pettet Scholarship makes a difference

Winning the Ted Pettet Mogollon Sporting Alliance Scholarship can mean the difference between attending a student’s university of choice and a smaller, less expensive college.

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PMGA season off to a banner start

The Payson Men’s Golf Association 2011 campaign teed off with a four-man scramble that turned into a barnburner of a duel between the top two teams.

TCCA nominated for state award

The Rim Country’s Tonto Community Concert Association has been nominated for a 30th Annual Governor’s Arts Award. The group is nominated in the Arts In Education Community Category.

Buck stops with town council

Payson council’s policy won’t let town staff waive fees for permits and use of facilities

The Payson Town Council last week approved an overhaul of its system for giving various groups a break on town fees.

Protect your pets from springtime hazards

The birds are chirping; there’s a gentle breeze and the warm sun is shining. Spring is officially here.

Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Fly Casters Club/TU Chapter 530 will hold its next meeting at Tiny’s Restaurant at 9 a.m., Saturday, March 26. The meeting will follow an 8 a.m. breakfast.

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Board accepts fire district bylaws

As we started our beginning of spring on Monday, the weather pattern dictated a 1- to 2-inch blanket of snow for the Heber Overgaard area Monday night. Our outlook continues with highs in the mid 50s with lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s through our weekend.

Paperwork important to keep fuels grant

Beauty is where we find it. It is also the appreciation of beauty that makes our days all the more worth living. To tell the truth, I am tired of winter and snow and cold. And when I am grouchy, it is hard for me to appreciate the beauty around me.

Christopher Creek is huge compared to some communities

It’s time for another installment of “better know your neighbor.” This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Bailey.

First art class starts April 4

This past Monday, Tonto Village was again covered with snow. But first there was rain, about a half inch, which was sorely needed.

Idol finalists very impressive

Do the names Scotty, Pia, Stefano and Thia ring a bell with you?

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A hat for every skill

Some people wear many different faces, or to phrase it in another way, they wear many different hats, according to the task at hand.

Wednesday, March 23

Traveling Australia

Australia is the only country that is itself, a whole continent. Famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, fantastic beaches, deserts and the “outback” Its leading cities are: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Roosevelt Dam Centennial

Dam is monument to president and people who built it

March 18, 2011 is a milestone for me, Theodore Roosevelt Dam. It was on that day 100 years ago that former President Theodore Roosevelt stood on a platform on top of my roadway and said, “if there could be any monument which would appeal to any man, surely it is this.”

Weddings in Rim Country

Weddings are often a time for people to gather and renew old-time relationships.

Mitral Valve Prolapse Rarely a Health Threat

About 40 years ago, when I was in my 30s, I was examined by a famous heart doctor who went over me with great care and concluded I had mitral valve prolapse. He put me on medicine, which I have taken to this day.

Don’t dine and dash

Use quick-cooking foods to simplify family mealtime

Taking the time to sit down to dinner as a family pays big dividends.

TCCA nominated for state award

The Rim Country’s Tonto Community Concert Association has been nominated for a 30th Annual Governor’s Arts Award. The group is nominated in the Arts In Education Community Category.

Special concert

Enjoy an evening of live acoustic music featuring tunes from different genres that blend early pop ballads, dixie, jazz, and even some country.

Good 2 Go

Payson’s newest coffee house, Uptown Espresso, is presenting a music event for the entire family at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 26. Uptown Espresso is located at 612 N. Beeline Highway in Payson.

Getaway around Rim Country

General Tour, 11 a.m. daily: Learn new facts about Arboretum gardens, plants and critters on a guided tour led by our knowledgeable resident volunteer park hosts.

Tuesday, March 22

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Stepping into history

From the past to the present and into the future

I like adventurous assignments. Every assignment is an adventure, some, more than others. Going to a place you’ve always wanted to go but never had the time or opportunity for, is an especially wonderful activity when it becomes real. The Roosevelt Dam Centennial filled the bill.

County redistricting has 6 north, 6 south members now

Gila County’s nine-member redistricting committee now has 12 members — six from the north and six from the south.

Judge Cahill orders trial for doctor

Hearing goes against couple charged with defrauding dying woman

Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill on Monday rejected a motion to dismiss charges alleging that a Payson doctor and his wife took advantage of their position to manipulate a dying woman into giving them her $500,000 estate.

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Firefighters oppose exceptions to code

Payson policy to negotiate waiver in fire code rules spurs split vote, protests

The Payson Town Council last week on a split vote overrode the qualms of several veteran firefighters and the town’s own fire marshal and approved changes in the process by which the town can waive or relax fire code requirements.

GCC’s lack of policies may violate law

Board member calls for county attorney to investigate if board president broke state statutes

The Gila Community College governing board faced an open revolt last week, triggered by its continued lack of any policies and procedures three months after the board threw them all out on a split vote.

Community Almanac

The Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store, 3916 N. Highway 87 in downtown Pine, will have a bag sale of all clothing, belts and hats for $1 a bag from March 23 through March 26.

Cost to maintaining great society

“I’m going to cut your taxes and lower government waste” — sounds good, doesn’t it? And it works — proven by the election of our Republican state and national legislature. But, at what cost?

Park and walk

I would like to express a concern that has troubled me since I moved to Payson. We have the cleanest air of any place that I have ever been.

Thanks to Hellsgate Fire Department

I would like to publicly express my sincere thanks, gratitude and appreciation to the Hellsgate Fire Department, who did such an amazing and unrelentless effort in their attempt to salvage as much as possible in the recent flooding that occurred at my home on Pineridge Drive.

Voting for unprecedented spending cuts

Last month our country broke a record — the federal government ran the largest one-month budget deficit in history, reaching $222.5 billion in February.

Fire code policy spurs questions

What’s that old saying? Oh yeah: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. That must be why the Payson Town Council’s adoption of an administrative policy to interject more flexibility into the fire code requirements left us a little short of breath.

Man arrested on drug charges after break-in at Roundup

A Payson man’s gamble that he wouldn’t get caught cashing in a coffee can full of stolen quarters at the Mazatzal Casino didn’t pay off.

Roosevelt Dam celebrates its 100th birthday

Recollections of the day one of the greatest presidents stood atop the world’s largest dam animates centennial

The dam that remade the West had its 100th birthday this weekend, but this time Teddy Roosevelt did not need a horse and carriage and a tough constitution to make it to the ceremony.

County schools to share $1.6 million forest fee money

Payson and Pine schools, as well as schools in Tonto Basin and the rest of the county will get $1.6 million in forest fees money this year.

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.

Gather up discards, crafts and more for swap meet

The Senior Circle will host an “after tax day swap meet” on April 30 at the Circle.

Using Medicare benefits

So you’re turning 65. Congratulations! It’s time to start taking advantage of your Medicare benefits. And just how do you do that?

Food-borne illness is topic of next Senior Circle Lunch and Learn

Kerry Cassens will be the guest speaker at the Senior Circle Lunch and Learn April 13. She will discuss “Food-borne Illness: What is it and how to avoid it.”

Lawmaker: Protect employers with medical marijuana law on the way

Now that Arizona voters have approved the use of medical marijuana, employers need new ways to deal with employees who are impaired for any reason, a state lawmaker said.

Payson personnel policy treats medical marijuana like alcohol

Payson town employees cannot smoke pot at work and cannot show up stoned — even if they do have a medical marijuana card.

Gila property values are down — again

The property values around Gila County have generally dropped — a reflection of the economic downturn, according to officials in the assessor’s office.

Firefighters snuff out two SV house fires

Two Star Valley house fires underscored some lifesaving lessons for Rim Country homeowners.

7th-grade girls have stellar basketball year

The Rim Country Middle School Seventh-Grade Girls Basketball team, coached by former Lady Horn star Danielle O’Haver and her father, Raymond, wrapped up the regular season with a 7-0 record.

Horns take bronze behind Lobos, DC

Payson Longhorn golf team members swung their way to a third-place finish in a Thatcher Invitational tournament that drew a field of 15 prep teams and 76 golfers.

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Longhorns rout Falcons in twin bill

Were they track meets or baseball games? That’s what fans were asking themselves after watching the Longhorn baseball team run over, around and through the Alchesay Falcons in a 21-3 and 15-0 sweep of an East Region doubleheader.

HPR to sponsor Payson pro

Professional bass fisherman Clifford Pirch has picked up a new sponsor in the form of a Payson ammunition-manufacturing firm that prides itself on using all American components.

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Dogs fall to EF in Classic

The Gracie Lee Haught Classic championship game, played March 19 on Lady Longhorn diamond, turned into a rematch of last season’s 3A state championship softball clash that pitted No. 1 seeded Winslow against No. 2 Estrella Foothills.

Friday, March 18

Senate budget disaster

Plan would doom Payson campus, force school layoffs

The deep cuts in the state Senate’s budget would doom the collaboration between ASU and Payson and result in a whole new round of layoffs at the already battered Payson Unified School District, local officials said Thursday.

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New AHCCCS plan revealed

State program provides care for 30 percent of county residents

After months of uncertainty, Gov. Jan Brewer this week has proposed a fresh set of middle-of-the-road budget cuts in the state’s medical program for the poor, which provides coverage for nearly one in three Gila County residents.

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Shooter nabbed in Star Valley

A vicious shooting in Mesa triggered an afternoon of wild rumors, confusion and finally a confrontation in front of a Star Valley mobile home park, where police tasered and captured the suspect.

No room for pot places in SV

Unable to construct a medical marijuana zoning ordinance, the Star Valley Town Council Tuesday put a moratorium on issuing dispensary and grow field licenses.

Community almanac

Acoustic councert

If you take away right to bear arms, what freedom is next?

Bob Jacobs seems to think it would be in everyone’s best interest to ban guns.

Family thanks caregivers, friends and Hospice Compassus

The family of Elizabeth (Betty) Lynn Fox would like to thank all of the wonderful people at Hospice Compassus, caregivers Sharon, Mary and Bonnie, as well as Mother’s friends and neighbors who provided so much support during her final battle with cancer. We could not possibly have done it without each and every one of you. We are deeply and profoundly grateful to you all. You walk in the Light.

Help fight state Senate’s awful budget

The carnage continues. The Arizona Senate this week threw a tantrum and called it a budget.

Why is it we remember some things forever?

I’m willing to bet that there are some things about your life you can remember as though they happened yesterday. And I’m also willing to bet that, like me, you would be hard put to explain why you remember them.

Good deal, great cause

Looking for a good deal and a great cause?

Drunk driver crackdown planned

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety awarded the Payson Police Department (PPD) a $15,500 grant to enhance DUI enforcement in Payson.

Study shows threat of ‘megadroughts’

Rising temperatures may end monsoons

Payson may have locked down its supply of Blue Ridge water just in time.

Eugene C. McDaniel

Eugene C. McDaniel went to be with the Lord while surrounded by family in his own home March 13, 2011.

Nellie Pauline Austin

Nellie Pauline Austin, a 64-year resident of California and a 39-year resident of Twentynine Palms, was granted her wish to fly with the angels on March 9, 2011. She was 86 years old. The daughter of Charles Green and Rhoda Lay Green, she was born July 24, 1925 in High Splint in Harlan County, Ky.

Longtime Payson resident remembered

Former Payson council member and town manager Jack Monschein died Wednesday, March 16, 2011.

Bonita Street: On again, off again, on again

First there is a project. Then there is no project. Then there is. Oh, Bonita — we call your name.

Few school counselors left in Payson

The beleaguered remnants of the Payson Unified School District have stretched to the vanishing point to cope with a mounting list of tasks.

PWGA 18-hole group opens season Tuesday

Kelly O’Neill has been appointed the Payson Women’s Golf Association 18-hole group’s official spokesperson for the upcoming season and she is brimming with excitement.

Super soph wins four medals

Payson High School track and field coach Jonathan Ball was on target last year when he tagged freshman Richard Nielson as one of the program’s most promising young athletes.

Chilson sweeps events at the 2011 Payson Rotary Frosh-Soph meet

The Payson Rotary Frosh-Soph Invitational track and field meet represents a rare opportunity for fledgling athletes to showcase their skills against opponents of similar age, maturity level and experience.

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Cougars pounce on Horns to win opener in 13-2 drubbing

Those patented late rallies that carried the Longhorn baseball team to a 13-11 win over Winslow and a 13-5 drubbing of Holbrook were nowhere to be found in a 13-2 loss to the Show Low Cougars.

Recreation Roundup

For more information or to register for these programs, contact the Parks and Recreation office at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 or go online to

Club Rim sights set on Texas tourney

The 10 members of the Club Rim 16-year-old volleyball team want to play in Dallas.

Business showcase this weekend at the casino

It is the event businesses have been waiting for all year.

Are your investments getting enough exercise?

Now that spring is here, you may find it easier to get outside to run, bike or take part in other physical pursuits that you enjoy.

New 24-hour fitness gym opening soon in Payson

Not every gym gives you the opportunity to work out at 2 a.m. and not every gym has an instructor on duty 24 hours a day.

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History in the making

Theodore Roosevelt Dam dedicated a century ago

March 18, 2011 is a milestone for me, Theodore Roosevelt Dam. It was on that day 100 years ago that former President Theodore Roosevelt stood on a platform on top of my roadway and said, “if there could be any monument which would appeal to any man, surely it is this.”

Creekside Steakhouse under new ownership

The next fire department board meeting is April 11 at 6 p.m. If you have not attended a meeting, you really should. Anyone from the community is encouraged to attend. This is your fire department.

Mountain communities seeing signs of spring

School is out for spring break, but that is no reason for the adults to not celebrate a break as well.

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Pets will be parading March 26

Springtime conditions are here with the departure of consistent above freezing night time temperatures.

Automate your computer maintenance

It seems like everything is automated these days.

Pioneers will perform signature songs

What do Robert “Bob Nolan” Nobles, Vernon “Tim” Spencer and Leonard “Roy Rogers” Slye have in common?

Activities picking up in the Village

Spring is busting out all over! I was in town on Monday and the mock pear trees in the Safeway Plaza and in the Bashas’ parking lot are in full bloom. What a beautiful sight!

Rim Country Museum hosts Roosevelt Dam exhibit

A new mini-exhibit is on display at the Rim Country Museum to honor the Roosevelt Dam Centennial.

Roosevelt Dam centennial celebration

The public is invited Saturday, March 19 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Theodore Roosevelt Dam by taking a walk across the crest of the dam as part of a free centennial event offered by Salt River Project, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service.

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.

Adoptable pets aplenty at shelter

There are dozens of wonderful dogs and cats in need of homes at the Humane Society of Central Arizona animal shelter, located at 812 S. McLane Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — 7 days a week.

Wednesday, March 16

Good 2 Go

The 19th Annual Business Showcase will feature 60 booths at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Event Center Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20. The theme of the event is “Showcase of Savings.”

Arts, crafts sale

The Mogollon Health Alliance Auxiliary will be having an Arts and Crafts Sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 at the Payson Regional Medical Center main lobby.

Free tax help and free e-filing

There is just a month left before taxes are due. Free tax preparation and free electronic filing is still being provided by AARP Volunteers in Payson.

Getaway around Rim Country

Have a question about gardening? Starting your seeds indoors? Having pruning trouble?

Piano Men

Jim Witter comes to Rim Country

The Tonto Community Concert Association will host Jim Witter and his show, “The Piano Men” this month as part of its 2010-2011 season.

March means the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska

March 5, 2011 marked the ceremonial start of this year’s Iditarod in Anchorage. Snow is trucked onto Fourth Ave. and vendors set up to serve the thousands of tourists.

Traveling New Zealand

Some travelers avoid visiting New Zealand and Australia because they feel it is simply too far from home.

Frontier teacher in Tonto Basin

Chapter 17: A Hike almost ends in Disaster

The first teacher of Tonto Basin School, Angie Mitchell, found that her social life was rather limited among the several families that were in walking distance.

From Irish pastures comes a pot of gold

Yes, there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s found in each blade of grass growing in Ireland’s lush pastures.

The Main Causes of Constipation

She had a problem with her ear and got that taken care of. Could her ear have caused the shaking to happen?

Tuesday, March 15

Fishing experts to share tips and tactics

It’s no secret around Gila County that Curt Rambo and Art Chamberlin are acknowledged as the two finest crappie fishermen in the West.

Horns muzzle Dogs; face Show Low Cougars today

The Payson Longhorn baseball team travels today to Show Low for a an East region opener armed with an unblemished record (2-0) in Scott Novack’s first season as a head coach.

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Gracie Haught Classic draws 16 teams

Payson fans and boosters are gearing up for one of the highlights of the spring sports season. It’s the 7th Annual Gracie Lee Haught Classic high school fast pitch tournament to be held March 18 and 19 at Rumsey Park and on the high school field.

Winslow Dogs nip Lady Longhorns

The Lady Longhorns gave defending 3A Arizona State and North region champion Winslow all the fight the Dogs could handle before falling 6-4.

Rim swimmers make a splash in Scottsdale

The presence of six Rim Country swimmers is this season buoying Swim Neptune of Scottsdale — Arizona’s defending state club championship team and the largest swim club in the state. The local team members include Julie Gibson, 14, Emily Giarrizzo, 11, Caroline Morse, 12, Catalina Coppelli, 10, Garrett Chance, 11, and Blair Chance, 9.

Clubs and Organizations

The Democratic Club of Northern Gila County will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 16 at the Payson Public Library meeting room, 328 N. McLane Road.

Kari Dinovo, Otto Thomas Rupp Jr. will marry in September

Kari Lynn Dinovo, of Payson, Ariz., the daughter of Leo and Doris Dinovo of Albany, N.Y. and Otto Thomas Rupp Jr., also of Payson, have announced their engagement and plans to marry Sept. 10, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Rim Country quilter to exhibit in International Quilt Contest

Quilt Show & Contest, April 27-30, 2011, at the Paducah Expo Center in Paducah, Ky.

Gun debates in Arizona

It is my opinion guns are not the solution they make matters worse.

Country needs to break its dependence on foreign oil

With all the unrest in the Middle East ultimately driving up the price at the pump here in the U.S., I think it is easy to see why we need to break our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

Alternative energy systems not cost effective

Mr. Estess’ correct reference to Mr. Welge as an engineer means Welge depends on the laws of nature, physics, and valid science and technology.

Big thank you

A big thank you to everyone who came to see me while in Payson Care Center with a broken hip, those who sent cards and brought flowers.

Sign of the times

As the police chief said in his recent article, “It’s just another sign of the times,” he’s totally correct. When a man sees his family hurting for the basics of life, food, housing, clothes, etc., he changes into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Thanks for the contributions

Kiwanis Club of Tonto Basin Community Service Foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank Payson businesses large and small for their generous contributions to our recent fund-raiser.

Population shift poses vital political challenge

So it’s official: Most of the people in Gila County live in Rim Country. Last week’s census figures promise to complicate efforts by south county politicians to perpetuate their power grab. The Census Bureau released figures for every community as quickly as possible to help elected officials complete the once-a-decade redistricting required by law.

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Mock accident brings sobering event to students

After ordering food at a fast food restaurant, a car full of Payson High School students zips down the road, yelling and joking with each other. The driver does not see the oncoming car until one of the girls in the car screams out.

Wellness forum gives women tips to beat stress, improve health

About 230 Rim Country women learned about beating stress and improving health this weekend. They attended the 13th Annual Women’s Health and Wellness Forum held Saturday, March 12 at the Payson High School campus.

March is month for optimism; count your blessings

March is National Optimism Month, a time to get rid of negative or intruding bad thoughts. According to one source on the Internet, optimism is an outlook on life that maintains the world is a positive place.

Police find goody bag of drugs, arrest couple on drug charges

A Chandler couple was arrested Friday after police found a goody bag worth of drugs in their hotel room, including cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, heroin and huffing canisters.

Payson hopes to get state fund for gym

District optimistic School Facilities Board will provide hundreds of thousands to replace aging room off high school gym

Payson hopes to score a coup by getting money from the state to replace the roof on one of the high school’s gyms.

Roosevelt Dam is 100 years old, still shaping history

SRP plans dual celebrations Friday and Saturday to mark centennial of the dam

The completion of Roosevelt Dam in 1911 made modern Phoenix possible and launched the transformation of the American West.

GCC independence bill hits roadblock

A bill to make it possible for Gila Community College to achieve independence has stalled in the Arizona House of Representatives on concerns it could cost the state money.

Community Almanac

Payson Lions Club asks the community’s help making the hope for a brighter tomorrow for those who so urgently need. The most immediate way to give hope is through a designated donation to Lions Club International Foundation.

Star Valley wants to prepare rules for marijuana dispensary

Drafting a medical marijuana dispensary ordinance as tough as Payson’s would likely leave no room for one in Star Valley, town officials say.

Free lunch

School board approves summer lunch program for all students

Come summer, any hungry kid in town can get a free school lunch.

Surviving abuse

Woman shares experience of overcoming domestic abuse

The worst beating Jane ever witnessed happened when she was 8 years old.

Rim area gains in census

Census shows north part of county accounts for 55 percent of the 53,597 total as redistricting debate intensifies

Just released U.S. Census figures show that about 55 percent of Gila County’s 53,597 residents live in the north end of the county — a figure that will pattern the developing political battle over redistricting.

Edge out the competition with a pre-approved mortgage

Most candidates who interview for a job would not think of going to the interview without a resume in hand.

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New wildlife park welcomes cub

The staff at Bearizona Wildlife Park in Williams announce the arrival of the first cub born at the facility.

Friday, March 11

Payson campus plans enter critical phase

Mayor vows town will have a campus no matter what, as deadlines loom in talks with ASU

Payson will have a college campus — no matter what Arizona State University decides in the next month or so, said Payson Mayor Kenny Evans this week.

Supervisors may increase redistricting committee

The supervisors’ appointment of six residents from the south part of Gila County and only three from northern Gila County to the redistricting committee will be revisited at its meeting March 15 meeting.

Juveniles arrested for ‘huffing’

Half a dozen juveniles stand together outside the back of Walmart. A can of duster, stolen from the store is passed around. One by one, they take a hit from the can.

Major crimes in Payson rise by 7 percent

Major crimes in Payson in 2010 jumped 7 percent, ending a three-year decline.

Shoplifters steal thousands from retailers

In a six-month period, $21,000 of a local supermarket’s alcohol inventory went missing.

Community Almanac

Spring is just around the corner and already you can see a renewal rustling beneath the dead of winter.

Ban fake bath salts in Payson

The bath salt sold in convenience stores is not bath salts used in bathtubs. Bath salt is a hallucinogen and the newest drug craze sweeping the country. Most terrifyingly, this new drug is something almost anyone can purchase.

Many thanks to those who helped with Lip Sync event

The Kiwanis, Optimist and Rotary Clubs and Payson High School drama clubs wish to thank all of the wonderful individuals and businesses who donated items, certificates, talent, or funds for the Lip Sync Concert

Kudos to teachers speaking up for themselves

Kudos to Wayne Gorry for speaking out for our teachers.

First year of ObamaCare and the ‘broccoli mandate’

The health care law known as ObamaCare will celebrate its first birthday on March 23. Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights.

County caught pulling new redistricting scam

Too little, maybe too late. That sums up the possibility that the Gila County Board of Supervisors may fix an outrageous effort to manipulate the redistricting process.

Seeing yourself through the eyes of others can be rough, Part II

Last week we talked about life as an un-learning experience. We took note of the fact that we may start out as the center of the universe, lying on our backsides, stamping our feet, messing our diapers, and wailing until we get attention, but there comes a time when all that has to be unlearned.

Beware of tax time scams from hackers

As if tax season wasn’t stressful enough, now we have to worry about hackers, too. Tax time isn’t just busy for accountants — the bad guys know they can make a few extra dollars, too.

Six arrested on meth, marijuana, drug-related charges

Six people were arrested on drug-related charges Saturday after police found marijuana and methamphetamine in a residence.

New food bank manager sees drop in demand

With a 20 percent drop in demand last month, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank of Payson is finally seeing a respite after months of mounting need among Rim Country residents.

Payson’s head ranger heading to California

Payson Ranger District’s head ranger is trading the world’s largest stand of ponderosa pines for the world’s oldest known pines.

Unemployment: Worse than we thought, but getting better

Revisions in formulas boost Gila County rate to 11.6 percent, despite strong national trends

For the past year, folks have lined up at the food banks, the ranks of the homeless rose and community organizations have struggled to cope with the pleas for help.

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Lady Longhorns drop squeaker to Show Low

When the Show Low and Payson softball teams get together on the diamond, a barnburner of monstrous proportions usually results.

Recreatioin Roundup

For more information or to register for the following programs, call Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7, or online visit

Varsity golf team has four, but needs five

Payson High School’s highly successful golf coach Bret Morse finds himself in a pickle of sorts.

Cook crappie and revel in special treat

I’ve always been a little miffed that I never inherited any of my father’s fishing expertise.

Angling’s top two will host crappie clinic Tuesday

A pair of veteran anglers tagged with reputations of being Arizona’s finest crappie fishermen will soon be sharing their secrets.

Knights’ Tootsie Roll joust funds SO

Payson Special Olympics is widely considered one of the finest in the state, thanks in part to help from several Rim Country benefactors including the Knights of Columbus.

Couple on ‘Maid Crusade’

Moving out? Moving in? A Payson couple is here to help. Jason and Kayla Pompeo are on a “Maid Crusade” to clean up Rim Country homes.

Disaster assistance extended for small businesses affected by flooding

Low-interest economic injury disaster loans are now available for small-business owners in five Arizona counties affected by the severe flooding and heavy rainfall that occurred from Oct. 3 through Oct. 6, 2010, announced Robert Blaney, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Arizona District Office.

It is time to start doing some spring cleaning on your (financial) home

March 20 marks the first day of spring. Spring is a time to clean out the gutters, tune up the lawn mower and wash down the windows.

School board approves ‘meet and confer’ plan

The Payson school board this week revived its “meet and confer” system intended to improve communications between the district’s administration and teachers.

Payson’s prospects brighten as ‘radical’ university bill fades

A bill to radically change higher education financing that posed a threat to a college campus in Payson has died.

St. Patrick’s dinner to benefit heart fund

The passing storm to our north earlier in the week brought minimal precipitation in the form of a trace of rain during the day and very few flakes of snow Monday evening.

Barber shop a hot spot for community news

After discovering that one of the hot spots for finding out what’s happening in Strawberry and Pine is Al’s Barber Shop, I dropped by and discovered that local problems are quickly dispatched, the country’s problems take a bit longer, and the problems of the world are still a work in progress.

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Recipe originated in Christopher Creek

The Christopher Creek Homeowners Association (CCHA) is having its annual Easter Egg Hunt come April 23.

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Families boogie down at JRE

Popcorn, pictures, ice cream and a whole lotta “Jive Talkin’” and “Shadow Dancing.” That was the scene last Friday night at Julia Randall School — it’s gymnasium transformed into a multi-colored, light-splashed discoteca.

Hummingbird, robin harbingers of spring

The weather in Tonto Village is giving out mixed signals. One day, it looks as if winter is behind us and the next, the weather has turned cold with the threat of snow.

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.

Meet some of our senior and lonely heart pets

The Humane Society of Central Arizona would like to feature our senior pets and Lonely Hearts Club members this week.

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13th Annual Women’s Health & Wellness Forum

Spring is just around the corner and already you can see a renewal rustling beneath the dead of winter — daffodils shooting up through a crusty patch of snow clinging in the shadows.

Wednesday, March 9

A Time of Renewal

13th annual Women’s Wellness Forum Saturday

Spring is just around the corner and already you can see a renewal rustling beneath the dead of winter — daffodils shooting up through a crusty patch of snow clinging in the shadows.

Register now for spring sports and rec

St. Vincent de Paul Tee Off for Hunger 10th Annual Golf Tournament benefiting the Rim Country Food Bank begins at 8 a.m., Saturday, April 30 at Payson Golf Course.

Family-friendly travel ideas

Perhaps one could say the family that travels together stays together. Summer is the preferred time because of the school holidays and the weather is usually better than other times of the year.

Roosevelt Dam’s Centennial

On March 18, 1911 Roosevelt Dam was dedicated and opened by former President Theodore Roosevelt.

Make mealtime meaningful

Could lasagna help you improve your relationships? It just might, if it helps get people to the dinner table.

Dealing with Disappointments

Are you facing disappointment and trials in life? Imagine being born deaf, dumb and blind! The remarkable thing is not that Helen Keller was given an extremely difficult hand of cards to play in life. Many people are. It’s more so how she chose to play them.

Heart failure can cause feet to swell

Please explain why I have to take my shoes off late every day because my feet and ankles have swollen and don’t fit into the shoes.

Getaway around Rim Country

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

Good 2 Go

A variety of The Salsa King’s award-winning salsa and America’s best fudge will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, March 10 at Payson Regional Medical Center lobby.

Tuesday, March 8

SV seeks help in monitoring 14 wells

More than a year ago, the Star Valley council dropped any contracts it had for well monitoring over fears it had violated the open meeting law and after the council got into a war of words over who it should hire to do the work.

Sick pay agitates even stoic teachers

The contentious issue of imposing a cap on payouts for unused sick time for teachers will likely return to the Payson school board on March 28.

Crews beginning work on flood relief for Tonto Basin residents

If everything continues to go according to plan, county jail crews will resume removing dead trees and undergrowth from Tonto Creek in the Tonto Basin area this week as county road crews lower sandbars.

Mesa del protests top plant site

Water treatment plant would solve water woes, but also spurs vigorous complaints by residents worried about noise, blocked views

We want the water — but not your water treatment plant.

Community Almanac

Rim Country residents and visitors are invited to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s annual Mardi Gras dinner celebration at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 8.

Lip sync concert is a great fund-raiser

Wow, what a fun evening! I didn’t really understand what this was going to be until the kids got into it. Just remember, since they don’t have to actually sing, it’s all about the drama. Basically, they are doing one-act plays with music as the medium.

Thanks to EMTs and for the prayers following accident

On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, I was hit by a car as I exited Walgreens in Payson. Due to all my injuries, I was flown to the Scottsdale Hospital Trauma Center where I went through two surgeries and many other procedures.

Payson water rates unfairly punish families

OK, I get it. We live in the desert, and everybody needs to do their part to conserve water. Some time ago, the Payson Town Council passed a graduated rate scale for water usage.

Payson Town Council needs to keep it simple

Maybe the town council should take their stiff neck bow ties off, kick back in their soft chairs and remember the good old days when we first started out playing in old dirt lots.

Arizona does not appreciate contribution of immigrants

Ronald Reagan understood the benefits of positive motivation.

Stand and be counted

Those school district employees who attended the school board meeting and voiced their thoughts and feelings regarding the sick pay issue are to be applauded and recognized for their actions.

Pipeline offers solution for Mesa del Caballo

Easy enough to lose track of the forest for the trees around here. So we sincerely hope that the residents of Mesa del Caballo and Payson can just work things out.

Fire specialists and scientists discuss serious fire seasons ahead

It could well be a scene played out in a natural disaster action film: an unstoppable wall of flames destroys everything in its path; pounding rain rips across the barren landscape moving downed trees, boulders and mountains of dirt; watersheds are destroyed, reservoirs fill up with silt; and a foot of mud buries the town and surrounding interstates. It also could be the future of mountain communities across the Southwest.

Student chefs shine at Taste of Rim

The Payson High culinary arts students took home the top chef honors from the 13th annual Taste of Rim Country this weekend.

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Would-be Payson teachers score in state competition

Club, classes prepare students for careers as educators in shadow of projected shortage

Students enrolled in Payson’s fledgling Ed Professions Program to educate the next generation of educators won nine major awards last Thursday and Friday at a statewide conference.

Red Cross has tips for emergency preparedness

To help prepare the members of its congregation and their friends and neighbors for emergency situations, the Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church is hosting a program by the Red Cross.

Time Out Shelter launches resource Web site

With one in three Arizona women likely to suffer acts of violence during their lifetime and those odds even higher for women living in rural communities, Time Out Shelter has launched a new way to reach victims.

Schools working to save programs

Technical, job training programs put kids on career track, but suffer repeated budget cuts

As they went down the line, every student in Payson High School’s advanced culinary arts class listed what they planned to do after high school.

Payson zips through meeting despite issues

The Payson Town Council hurtled through its meeting last week, putting the final touches on some big issues — but provoking little public comment.

Social Security Questions and Answers

What’s the easiest way to apply for retirement benefits?

Attorney General announces Taskforce Against Senior Abuse

Attorney General Tom Horne has announced the formation of the Attorney General Taskforce Against Senior Abuse (TASA) as an integral part of the Public Advocacy Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

Learn lots Saturday; then get ready to move to the music

The Mogollon Health Alliance 13th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum offers great educational opportunities to women of all ages and has some particularly interesting topics being presented that are of interest to us over 50.

The music of ‘The Piano Men’ comes to Rim Country

The Tonto Community Concert Association will host Jim Witter and his show, “The Piano Men” this month as part of its 2010-2011 season.

Houston Mesa hires new fire chief

On the same day Mark Essary hung up his gear at the Chandler Fire Department he took over chief duties at Houston Mesa Fire District.

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. Alcoholics Anonymous will be Thursdays from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Both will be at Arizona’s Children Association, 900 N. Beeline Highway, Suite B.

Edward Jones hosting seminar on financial, identity scams

Scott Flake, an Edward Jones financial adviser in Payson, is hosting a free seminar on avoiding financial scams and identity theft.

New form allows buyers to make offers on multiple properties

The Arizona Association of Realtors updates the language in our contracts/forms on a regular basis to assure that we are in tune with changes in the marketplace.

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Payson hospital chosen as one of the best

Payson Regional Medical Center (PRMC) was chosen by consumers in a statewide survey as the fifth best small hospital in the state for 2011.

Lady Horns host Cougars today

The Lady Longhorn softball team will be buoyed today, in a crucial East showdown against longtime rival Show Low, by standout efforts turned in during a 15-0 season opening win over Holbrook and a 4-1 record compiled in the Buckeye Invitational Tournament.

Longhorns have discount cards available now

Those highly popular Longhorn discount cards being sold by Payson High School track and baseball team members are being scooped up at a record-setting pace.

Relay anchor draws coach’s praise

Only sports journalist Howard Cosell — known for his blustery, cocksure personality — might rival Jonathan Ball when the PHS track and field coach is spewing superlatives.

Payson star named All-State Honorable Mention

Payson High School senior Liz Romberger capped her stellar four-year soccer career in impressive fashion by being named Arizona All-State Honorable Mention and All-East first team.

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Lady Longhorns open at Desert Classic

A Lady Longhorn track and field team that expects to contend for Division III postseason honors made its 2011 debut against some of the finest teams in the state, including several “big schools” that were formerly members of the 4A and 5A conference.

Friday, March 4

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‘Sleep Book’ keeps kids awake

The Payson Public Library’s Dr. Seuss family reading night Wednesday attracted more polka dot footsie pajamas, fleece bathrobes and fuzzy slipper-clad children than any sleepover in history.

Higher ed overhaul endangers Payson campus

Mayor: Payson might have to seek another partner if university funding change derails current plans

Payson’s hopes for striking a deal with Arizona State University to build a four-year college campus in town will likely get crushed if the Legislature adopts a radical overhaul of higher education funding in the state, say advocates.

Fossil Creek plan would close road

Shuttle service, camping ban, could protect creek from big weekend crowds

The Forest Service may soon impose fees, ban cars and run a shuttle service down the twisting canyon road to Fossil Creek, according to a sneak peek of a draft plan offered this week.

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Fire engulfs home

A Bonita Creek couple watched a lifetime of memories and treasures burn away Feb. 23 when their multi-million-dollar home was destroyed in a fiery blaze that took firefighters more than 14 hours to suppress.

Community Almanac

Beginning with the first Friday in March, the Time Out Thrift Shop will have a half-off sale on everything in the shop on the first Friday of each month. Shop for bargains before going to the Main Street festivities.

Supervisors select county redistricting committee

Another mile marker on the long road to redistricting has been reached by Gila County.

Looking forward to ASU campus in Payson

I for one, strongly support an ASU campus in Payson. For those that haven’t witnessed the benefits that a university can bring to a community/neighborhood, I’d like share my personal experience.

Saddened by town council’s decision to charge for event center usage

The recent article regarding the usage of the event center was very saddening to those of us with a long history involving the Payson Rodeo Grounds

Keeping America safe: Three key national security tools

One of the most important changes Congress made in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, was the enactment of the Patriot Act.

County poised to rip off Rim Country

Speaking of the Panama Canal, Sen. Sam Hayakawa once commented: “It’s ours. We stole it fair and square.”

Seeing yourself through the eyes of others can be rough

Want to know who you are? Who you really are? You won’t learn it by look

State medical cuts will hit Gila County

Sen. Allen joins committee majority to support elimination of medical program for the poor

Access to healthcare for roughly one in three Gila County residents hangs in the balance as lawmakers debate the fate of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, which provides health care for 16,000 county residents and 1.3 million Arizona residents — half of them children.

Be ready for an emergency

Through the grace of place it doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen — getting snowbound in Rim Country.

County takes hit on marijuana proposal

Gila County’s first hit on the marijuana issue was sort of a bust.

School board debates pay for double dipping

The Payson school board discussed, but deferred a decision on whether to drastically cut a program that lets veteran teachers retire — then come back to work at a reduced salary.

This loss hurts: Remembering Blair River

It is with a tear in my eye, a lump in my throat and a heavy heart that I write today’s Extra Points column remembering Blair River, one of our community’s favorite sons.

New coach brings moxie and experience to the PHS dugout

Payson High School first-year head baseball coach Scott Novack is known around town as a football and basketball assistant coach and the man who led the 2008 Major Division Little League all-star team into the post season.

Ragnar Relay del Sol endurance race draws Rim runners

What do “Full Frontal Nerdity,” “Let’s Get Physical,” “Doin’ It All Night Long,” “RU Nuts” and “Wanna Be Slapped” have in common?

Spring sports under way at PHS

Bid adieu to the winter sports and welcome with open arms the spring programs of baseball, softball, golf and track and field.

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Novack takes over reins of Longhorn baseball

A first-year head coach was at the helm of the Payson High School Longhorn baseball team when it kicked off the 2011 season Feb. 28 in Holbrook.

150 Acres of debris piles to be eliminated in Pine, Christopher Creek, and Hunter Creek

Payson Ranger District fire specialists plan to eliminate 50 acres of vegetative debris piles in and around the community of Pine and another 100 acres of vegetative debris piles in the Christopher Creek and Hunter Creek areas using prescribed fire on Friday, March 4.

Christopher Mountain slated for aerial ignition of 4,700 Acres

Payson Ranger District fire specialists plan to conduct an aerial ignition of approximately 4,700 acres on the south side of Christopher Mountain, Saturday, March 5. 

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Out of rope

A father and a daughter find their footing on a revealing trek to the heart of the Superstitions

After hiking four hours and climbing up more than 3,400 feet, I stood with a mere 10 feet of rope in my hands. Above me, my father clung to the side of the spire only a few feet from the top.

Internet TV is revolutionizing the way you watch movies

A Payson mainstay, Blockbuster Video, is closing its doors after many years of service … and it’s a trend that is happening throughout the United States.

Popular singer gives young girls fever

In last week’s music trivia article, we took a look at American popular music’s continuing decline in moral standards over the last two decades

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Rim Country Library looking to expand

Even with recent light snows, our general temperatures continue to rise. With daytime temperatures that average in the mid 50s and night time has been hovering around the 30-degree mark, our winter appears to be waning.

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Hellsgate Fireflies to raffle off a ‘Husky’

The month of February left Tonto Village with one of the coldest mornings we have had this winter.

New columnist on the block

This is week one for your new columnist. Jodee gave you a short bio last week. I came to Strawberry to semi-retire in 2004. I have since come to wear many new hats, this being the newest. I am excited to bring you the happenings in Strawberry and Pine.

Trip to Australia, New Zealand planned

Have you always wanted to go Down Under? To visit Australia? To see the roos and crocs? To learn the proper way to say G’day, mate?

Looking for income? Try premium bonds

As an investor, you want your money to grow so that you can achieve your important goals, such as a comfortable retirement or college for your children.

Payson Denny’s raising funds for cancer research

More than 50 Denny’s restaurants in Arizona, including in Payson, will join the fight against pediatric cancer this week by participating in Ella’s Tea Party, an organization committed to helping children who are battling the childhood disease.

Habitat’s director accepts new job with insurance firm

Cris Royer, the director of Rim Country’s Habitat for Humanity program, will step down Friday to take a job in the private sector as an insurance agent.

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.

Some travel many miles to adopt

Sixty-three of American households include pets. They are a source of joy and comfort to many. That cannot be denied. Staff, donors and volunteers at the Humane Society of Central Arizona can attest to this.

Flu came late to Rim Country, but then it came on strong

Pediatricians Matilda Garcia and Andrew Haug said the flu season arrived late in the Rim Country, but when it hit, it hit hard. It wasn’t until late January or early February they started seeing cases. Since then, they have run about 200 flu test kits and had 90 percent come back positive.

Wednesday, March 2

Getaway around Rim Country

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

Good 2 Go

Spring is just around the corner and already you can see a renewal rustling beneath the dead of winter.

Inspirational author to visit Payson

Terry Hershey, inspirational speaker, humorist and author of Soul Gardening and nine other books, who has been featured on The Hallmark Channel, CNN, PBS and NPR, will present two programs in Payson Monday, March 14.

Taste of Rim Country

Area cooks get together for books

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.

Coastal cruises

What do cruise ships do when, because of weather, the season in Alaska has ended, but the season in Mexico has not yet begun? The cruise lines can’t just have a ship sitting in the water and not generating income.

Dead people talk

Contrary to what people may think, dead people talk.  I believe Bones, the popular comedy-drama TV show, might even confirm this.

Frontier teacher in Tonto Basin

Chapter 16: A Gila Monster comes to School

The young teacher at Tonto School was about to encounter another unwelcome critter, this time in her classroom. It was Friday, Nov. 12, 1880, a warm summer-like day according to her diary.

Hepatitis C can lead to liver cirrhosis

How does someone with AIDS die?

Tuesday, March 1

There is a difference between exotic and wildlife

I am writing with regard to the Feb. 8 article, “Payson residents now need permit for exotic animals.”

Enjoyed Best of Rim Country section

I enjoyed the Best of Rim Country edition.

Board should answer property owner’s questions

In Tuesday’s issue of the Roundup you published a letter from a Mr. Warren of Gilbert, who apparently also owns property in Pine, and in his letter Mr. Warren made it clear that he is not a supporter of the PSWID board and he objects to paying the price he is charged for water service.

Honor them all for what they are willing to do

Easy enough to honor firefighters for what they do. But in truth, we honor them mostly for what they’re willing to do and pray they never have to.

Coconino National Forest seeks input on overhaul of plans

The Coconino National Forest wants public feedback on its new plan to manage the forest for the next decade.

Women’s Wellness Forum is a time of renewal

Spring is just around the corner and already you can see a renewal rustling beneath the dead of winter — daffodils shooting up through a crusty patch of snow clinging in the shadows.

Taste of Rim Country this weekend

Sample some of the best cooking in the Rim Country, along with a variety of wines this weekend at the Payson Public Library.

GCC independence bill passes the Senate

A bill that would allow Gila Community College to seek independence this week passed the state Senate.

Top firefighter, cop honored

Under the dust and the bravado of what some would describe as a crusty and cantankerous man is one of the Payson Fire Department’s finest.

Teachers protest cuts to PTO plan

School board gets an earful from teachers who rally to protect pay for unused sick leave

A plan to cap payouts for sick pay when longtime teachers retire provoked a polite uprising last night by the Payson Unified School District’s teachers.

Four-forest plan takes step forward

Forest Service, counties, environmentalists, timber companies embrace agreement to thin millions of acres of overgrown forests

Forest Service officials have signed an agreement to supply small trees to a new generation of lumber mills to protect high country communities from grave fire danger.

Head-on crash claims life of Goodyear woman

A 60-year-old Goodyear woman died and two others were taken to the hospital after a head-on collision on Highway 260 east of Star Valley Feb. 18.

Community Almanac

The Payson Public Library hosts its annual Dr. Seuss Family Reading Night beginning at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 2.

Tease photo

Students find careers, passion for cooking

From Asian to Greek, Italian and Mexican, the food at the sixth annual A Taste of Culture is as varied as the students who cook it.

Law enforcement career academy accepting camp applications

For teens interested in entering law enforcement, the military or who just want to experience a week unlike any other, the American Legion Law Enforcement Career Academy (ALLECA) is accepting applications.

Some Mesa del residents against water plant

Residents of Mesa del Caballo hope to rally at this week’s council meeting to deter Payson from building a water treatment plant next to their subdivision.

Clubs and Organizations

PAWS in the Park, the group that built the off-leash Payson Dog Park in Rumsey Park, will have a meeting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 2 at the meeting room of the Payson Public Library.

Business Briefs

The 19th Annual Business Showcase, presented by the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and Payson Regional Medical Center, is all but booked up.

A quick lesson on the subdivision public report

In Arizona, a land owner is allowed to divide his land up to five times through a minor land division if the division complies with local zoning and ordinances.

Payson loosens rules for cutting off water

In a bleak sign of the times, the Payson Town Council recently approved policy changes to make it easier to shut off water on foreclosed homes.

More roadwork coming to Pine

Residents on Pine Creek Canyon Road will be dealing with road construction starting in June if all goes according to county plans.

Tucson school’s first state gold has Rim roots

A feel good story with a Rim Country twist unfolded Friday inside Arena in Glendale.

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Afghan war shakes, shapes Horn star

Life changing experiences often transform a person to the core, infusing new character values and building greater appreciations.

Spring teams selling cards offering discounts to area merchants

It’s common knowledge the Payson Unified School District is experiencing severe budget constraints and no programs are more cash strapped than PHS extracurricular sports.

Super sophomore named first team

Class 3A East coaches confirmed what most every small town Arizona fan was thinking when they voted Payson High School sophomore Tanner Hintze first team all region.