Stories for November 2011


Wednesday, November 30

Boys' Horns have second win of the season

The Longhorns had another strong basketball game Tuesday night, beating out Mogollon by 20 points.

Holiday Happenings

Rim residents make Christmas merry for neighbors

Rim Country residents have a wonderful assortment of ways to make Christmas merry for their neighbors. Children and whole families, senior citizens and even the Pine library can be “adopted” for the holidays and all kinds of special programs are planned to enhance everyone’s celebrations. The Court Appointed Special Advocates program of Gila County makes it possible for residents to embrace a child in the foster system and provide them with a gift or gifts. Snowflake Ornaments representing a child in foster care are on a Christmas tree at the Gila County courthouse lobby, 714 S. Beeline Hwy., Payson.

Warm weather escapes

We have already experienced our first snowstorm of the season and about now we begin to think about a warm weather escape. There are so many locations to do this I can’t suggest them all, but I will discuss a few here. In the good old USA we can consider several locations in Florida. Orlando stands out as a winner because it not only has warm winter weather, but also offers Disneyworld, the Universal Theme Park and so much more. When you have had enough sun, the theme parks are fun to visit.

Lovin’ turkey leftovers

It has been almost a week since Thanksgiving, so more than likely there aren’t too many holiday leftovers, but Christmas isn’t too far away, and that usually means another roasted turkey.

The Wild West in the Rim Country

Chapter 8: Murder on the Crook Trail

The Crook Military Road skirts the edge of the Mogollon Rim, and along this historic trail there are a number of isolated graves. Each one holds a fascinating story from the past, but none is more dramatic than the grave on Baker’s Butte. Today Forest Road 300 follows the Crook Trail, often right on it and at other times paralleling the old trail. Baker’s Butte is the highest point on the Mogollon Rim, the remnant of a small volcano topped by a fire watch tower. A little over one mile east of State Highway 87, beside this forest road, one readily spots the upright marble military headstone that crowns a man-sized pile of basalt rocks mounded over a grave. The marker reads, “Andres Moreno, Company E, 1st Battalion, Arizona Infantry, July 1, 1840 - July 16, 1887.”

Getaway around Rim Country

A Magical Holiday Affair is planned Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Payson Senior Center to benefit the Meals on Wheels program for the homebound. The evening will feature an elegant dinner of prime rib or Chicken Marsala accompanied by holiday fun, music, the Electric Light Parade and more.

Good 2 Go

The Payson High School theatre production class will present a musical theatre showcase at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 30 at the PHS Auditorium. The program will include a variety of musical theatre pieces presented by the students as their final project after studying American musical theatre. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students.

Holiday house lighting contest entries due Dec. 9

The seventh annual Rim Country Chamber “Light the Rim” house lighting contest, co-sponsored by Chapman Auto Center and the Payson Roundup newspaper, is now accepting applications. The chamber, Chapman Auto Center or the Roundup must receive entries by noon, Friday, Dec. 9. The theme, “Light the Rim,” combines community spirit, and individual creativity by Rim Country residents. There is no charge to enter the contest. The goal is to get as many homes lighted and entered to show off a brightly lighted Rim Country as possible.

Tuesday, November 29

Julia Randall school confronts host of challenges

The students and teachers at Julia Randall Elementary School have faced big challenges this year, from dramatic increases in class sizes to problems with student behavior on the buses. But at the close of the first semester as the district’s only school for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders, teachers are working to take advantage of the opportunities the changes offer, Principal Rob Varner reported recently to the school board. “Our teachers stepped to the plate: it is what it is,” said Varner. “That’s almost our motto over there. The reality that we live in. The teachers have been busting their butts to make sure the needs of the students are met. I’m really proud of our staff in that regard.”

Senator suggests state takeover of forests

Sen. Allen decrying Forest Service policies she says caused the massive Wallow Fire

The state should take over the national forests and dramatically accelerate logging to thin forests and prevent catastrophic wildfires, said state Sen. Sylvia Allen and a group of people affected by the massive Wallow Fire during a recent press conference and hearing at the state capitol. The group posed in front of a flatbed truck with a huge tree charred in the summer fire that consumed 730 square miles in the White Mountains. She called for the state to take over the forests if the Forest Service doesn’t act immediately to undertake thinning on a massive scale.

Second armed robbery in a month

For the second time in three weeks, a masked man has robbed a local convenience store, making off before police arrived. Early Monday morning, a man wearing a disguise that covered most of his body walked into the Whiting gas station, at 910 S. Beeline Highway, brandished a gun and demanded money from the clerk, according to police. The clerk was not injured and there was no one else in the store at the time.

Future of Payson questioned

Much has been written about the initiatives presently under way for bringing a university (ASU) to Payson and expanding the town’s water supply through the Blue Ridge project.

Community Almanac

The Tonto Community Concert Association will present “Chaplin - A Life in Concert” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 29 at the Payson High School Auditorium. If available, single tickets will be $35 at the door.

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Elk causing problems in Star Valley

While some residents view elk walking through their yard as a natural wonder, one family says it has become a living nightmare. The McNeeleys of Star Valley report one of their dogs was gorged to death two weeks ago after a herd of elk trampled through their back yard. The culprit for the flood of elk: nearby residents feeding them. After living off Moonlight Drive for nearly 40 years, Melani McNeeley said she has never seen such an influx of elk in the area and never had a problem with them coming through her fenced back yard. While she enjoys viewing them in the forest and even hearing their calls echoing through the forest at night, she does not appreciate when they kill her pets. McNeeley worries another dog will be injured or worse, a person, if residents do not start treating the elk like wild animals instead of pets.

Show to raise money for future educators

The Payson High School Future Educators of Arizona Chapter will play host to a comedy hypnosis show fund-raiser starring master stage hypnotist Michael DeSchalit on Friday evening, Dec. 2. Michael DeSchalit is a hypnotist who was trained in this art by none other than the father of modern stage hypnosis and dean of American hypnotists, Dr. Ormond McGill.

Medicare premiums

You may have heard rumors lately that Medicare Part B premiums are shooting up — by as much as 200 percent. Those rumors are completely false, I’m happy to say. In fact, for most people with Medicare, the Part B premium will rise by $3.50 per month in 2012. That means the total monthly premium will be $99.90. Medicare is divided into four parts, A, B, C, and D. Part A pays for hospital inpatient care, skilled nursing care, hospice, and some home health care. Part B pays for doctor services, outpatient care, and some other types of home health.

Make Christmas merry for neighbors

Rim Country residents have a wonderful assortment of ways to make Christmas merry for their neighbors. Children and whole families, senior citizens and even the Pine library can be “adopted” for the holidays. The Court Appointed Special Advocates program of Gila County makes it possible for residents to embrace a child in the foster system and provide them with a gift or gifts. Snowflake Ornaments representing a child in foster care are on a Christmas tree at the Gila County courthouse lobby, 714 S. Beeline Hwy., Payson.

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Artist helps his students paint what they see

After a lifetime of practicing art, Jim Strong paints what he sees. Even then, the subject doesn’t always agree with his vision. Strong related one example of the viewer’s subjectivity of art: Andy Towle, Roundup staff photographer snapped a memorable photo of a cowboy in the Payson Rodeo parade one year. Strong, intrigued by Towle’s photo, asked if he could use it as a model for a painting. “He was a great face,” said Strong. Towle gave him the photo. The finished piece pleased Strong. “That is one of my better paintings,” said Strong. Strong showed the painting in various shows, always giving Towle credit for the photo, but neither he nor Towle knew the identity of the cowboy.

Two PATS hikes planned for December

Two Payson Area Trails Systems hikes are planned for December. The first will be on the Cypress and Boulders Loop, starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 3. Participants should meet at the east end of Phoenix Street.

Jackets sting Cats for crown

A pair of Payson High’s rivals from the years the Longhorn football team was aligned in the 3A Conference East region clashed Nov. 26 in Flagstaff with the state championship on the line. By the time the hoopla died down, seats emptied and the Northern Arizona University scoreboard dimmed, it was the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets who were celebrating their 35-14 win over the defending state champion Show Low Cougars. Although Payson played Show Low this past season, the Horns did not play Blue Ridge, mostly because the 3A East region was abolished and replaced with a division/section alignment.

Clubs and Organizations

Midweek Advent Services will be held at Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church, 507 W. Wade Lane, Payson, in preparation for celebrating the birth of Jesus. Services will be at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 and 21. The theme for the Advent Services will be Wait, Pray and Live by Faith. Rim Country residents and visitors are invited to join the congregation for this traditional welcome to Christmas.

AARP: Most elderly Arizonans rely heavily on Social Security

Most Arizona seniors rely heavily on Social Security for their income, an AARP report found. David Mitchell, AARP Arizona state director, said that reliance among seniors not just here but around the country is a reason why Congress shouldn’t tinker with Social Security while addressing the budget deficit. “Everything’s on the table, and when they say everything is on the table, there’s a vulnerability there for both Social Security and Medicare,” he said. In a recent study, the organization’s Public Policy Institute found that more than 19 million seniors relied on Social Security for at least 50 percent of their family income.

Meth is most common, dangerous street drug ever

(Note: The following article was guest-written be an employee of the Gila County Sheriff’s Office who has experienced firsthand the pain of having a child addicted to drugs.) Meth (Street Drug) I have experienced firsthand what it is like to be around a drug addicted daughter. It was not easy having a daughter nor a son-in-law on meth. At the time, I did not know what they were on, but did know the grandchildren were in harm’s way. They were abused and neglected at times. My daughter states she used because she felt rejected and abused by her husband and friends. When she was using, she was very paranoid, skinny (losing approximately 50 pounds), delusional, and immature at times. She felt the need to hide her drug abuse, but everyone knew what she was doing. She even got to the point of threatening to kill my mother-in-law and that is when I stepped in and admitted her into a rehab center. I knew this was not my daughter at all.

Rim Country students must travel to Safford to get low-cost degree

Gila Community College students can’t take advantage of a landmark deal between Arizona State University and Eastern Arizona College — unless they’re willing to drive to Safford. EAC and ASU recently struck a deal to allow students to complete a four-year degree in nursing, business, elementary education, operations maintenance and other fields entirely at the Safford-based community college.

Elk are not as peaceable as they appear

Gosh: How do we put it? Try this. Go to YouTube. Look up “elk attacks.” Watch some of the clips. We did. We came to two conclusions. Elk aren’t nearly as peaceable as they look. People aren’t nearly as smart as they think.

Thanks given to Elks for dinner

We would like to publicly express our appreciation for the wonderful dinner delivered to our house on Thanksgiving Day by the Payson Elks Lodge.

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Knit cap fund-raiser beats expectations

Financial adviser Kevin Dick had never used a weaving loom before, much less knitted a cap with one. Now he has knitted five caps, donating all to Chemo Caps for Kids, a national fund-raiser to collect hand-knit hats for children undergoing cancer treatment. Dick’s office participated in the event for the first time this year, setting a goal of collecting 100 caps. That goal was quickly shattered, with local and out-of-town residents donating 467 caps to Dick’s office.

Messinger adds new advanced planning counselor

Messinger Mortuaries recently announced it has hired Steve Christensen as the new advanced planning counselor for the Payson location. Christensen is uniquely qualified to help families plan appropriate and sensitive services and assist them with pre-funding and family protection issues, according to Messinger staff. Before joining Messinger, Christensen and his wife Karen Christensen built and operated Tonto Silkscreen and Embroidery for more than 20 years.

Advertising consultant joins Roundup newspaper staff

Tabatha Meador is the newest addition to the award-winning Payson Roundup staff. Meador is out in the field selling advertising for the paper as a marketing consultant. “I would like to take a minute and introduce myself to the community. I am new to the marketing and advertising world, but I have been working to get a degree in business management, with an emphasis on sales and marketing, from the University of Phoenix,” she said. “I have lived in the Payson area for about six years and love the small-town charm.

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AZ Trails Travel recognized as ‘Top 100’ producing travel agency

Roxanne and Hank Boryczki, owners of AZ Trails Travel, were recently recognized as a “Top 100” producing travel agency for the fifth consecutive year by Ensemble Travel Group during the International Travel Conference in Las Vegas. Although located in Fountain Hills, AZ Trails Travel is a member of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and has many Payson customers, the Boryczkis said. The agency has even coordinated bus and tour travel for the Payson Senior Circle and participated in the local Business Expo.

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Mogollon a worthy foe for Horns

The Longhorn basketball team travels to Heber Mogollon today, Nov. 29, basking in the success of a 68-41 season-opening win over Globe and a stellar performance in a preseason scrimmage at Winslow. As good as the Horns have been, however, the team will find the homestanding Mustangs a capable and determined opponent. Proof tiny Mogollon High is capable of playing against bigger schools surfaced Nov. 22 when the Mustangs whipped Show Low 72-65 in overtime. Rendering the final score a bit skewed was the fact Show Low was shorthanded because some of its team members were still playing on the football team that had reached the state tournament finale. But even if the Cougars had those players available, they would still have had their paws full vs. gutsy Mogollon.

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Ex-Horn leads Light Parade

A former Payson High School three-sport star fulfilling his childhood dream of making a living on the professional bass fishing circuit has been tapped to serve as Grand Marshal of Payson’s Electric Light Parade when it illuminates historic Main Street beginning 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3. Clifford Pirch was chosen Grand Marshal, “Due to his successful career on the FLW Tour, hometown local personality and his continued efforts toward helping spread the word about Payson and the Rim Country as a place to visit, recreate and relocate,” said Town of Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Cameron Davis.

Coach’s ouster could end curse of Tontozona

After five long years, Camp Tontozona will soon be basking in sweet revenge for coach Dennis Erickson and his Arizona State University football team abandoning her in favor of a grotesque $8.4 million bubble practice facility on the school campus. Payback is expected to arrive today, Nov. 29, or sometime this week, when ASU Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love dismisses Erickson with one year remaining on his contract. In 2007, Erickson’s first year at the helm of the ASU program, he took the team to Camp Tontozona where the Devils had conducted preseason training since the late 1950s when legendary coach Frank Kush helped found the high mountain retreat.

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Community spirit alive at Elks Lodge Thanksgiving

Volunteers make annual holiday meal possible

Bob Troutman stirs immense pots of vegetables in the chaotic Payson Elks Lodge #2154 kitchen as he helps prepare the biggest Thanksgiving dinner in Rim Country, with a deep sense of community the Pilgrims would have appreciated. “This dinner is all volunteers and donations,” from the $3,500 raised to pay for the food to the 100 people who showed up to serve and share this meal with their neighbors, said Troutman. Stacey Ernst has volunteered with her friend Karen Wood for the past six years. “We started with food prepping, but we moved on to serving and this year we’ll try assisting and bussing. We jump in wherever we’re needed,” she said.

Mustangs to host Lady Horns

The Lady Longhorns will be taking on a relatively unknown Mustang team when they try to improve to 2-0 in a non-division showdown to be played today, Nov. 29, at Mogollon-Heber. Not much is known about the current Mustang team because it has not played this year, making today’s game a season opener. A given about the ’Stangs, however, is the team is coached by Tim Slade who, although he has struggled at the helm of the program for the past five years, should have his charges primed and ready to take on the Lady Horns.

Woman dies in car accident on Highway 87

A Payson woman died and another resident was injured when their vehicle rolled just north of town. Michele Rachel McGarey, 37, of Payson, died Nov. 19 after the 2000 Dodge minivan she was driving flipped on its side, pinning her underneath. Witnesses tried to lift the vehicle off McGarey, but could not, according to a Department of Public Safety public information officer.

Human remains found by hunters in the Blue Ridge area

A group of hunters found a human skull in the Blue Ridge area Sunday and authorities say they are looking for more bones that may help identify who the person was and how they ended up in the forest.

Teacher training days provoke school board debate

School calendar forces board to pit classroom time against urgent need to help teachers adjust to changing academic standards

The number of times students get sent home each month so teachers can get more training prompted a revealing school board discussion last week. The normally routine approval of the 2012-13 school calendar prompted board president Barbara Underwood to fret about whether parents will question if those half day in-service classes chew up too much time shuffling kids around before the training sessions actually start. “We’re losing eight days of instructional time” to in-service training, said board member Rory Huff. Generally, the district splits those hours into half days, since the district still gets paid its per-student fee from the state for half days, while it has to extend the school year if it dismisses class for a full day of training.

Friday, November 25

Students settled in at Payson Elementary

Principal reports new-school confusion has ebbed so teachers can focus on advantages of concentrating youngest children

Finally, the little dears are settling down. That’s the gist of Payson Elementary School Principal Donna Haught’s progress report on concentrating all the district’s kindergartners, first-graders and second-graders on the same campus. “Things are going great now,” said Haught of the ripple effects from closing Frontier Elementary School and concentrating all the K-2 students on one campus instead of three. “It’s quite a bit different. In the past, we had the older kids to help get the younger kids where they needed to go in terms of buses and parent pick-up — that’s probably the biggest challenge.”

Adopt-A-Cat Month

Don’t forget to come down during November’s Adopt a Cat month to get an amazing deal on cat adoptions. We have plenty of cats and kittens so you’re certain to find the right cat for you. Adoption fees are between $25 and $45 — now that’s a smokin’ deal!

Benefit comedy hypnosis show at PHS on Dec. 2

The Payson High School Future Educators of Arizona Chapter are hosting a Comedy Hypnosis Show starring Michael DeSchalit Friday, Dec. 2. The event is a benefit for the organization. It is at 7:30 p.m. at Payson High School Auditorium, 301 S. McLane. To purchase tickets in advance from the Payson HS FEA, call Ingrid Schon, (928) 472-2050. Advance purchase tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults. Tickets at the door are $7 for students and $10 for adults, but because there will only be one performance, tickets will be subject to availability.

Remember those who need some help during the holidays

Happy Thanksgiving! I personally love this holiday because what is better than eating so much great food that a person becomes immobile in front of a television set with a football game on? I consider myself one of the fortunate ones. Not everyone has it so good on Thanksgiving. There are many people that are having a rough go of it and could use some support, someone to chat with and even just a hot meal.

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New gift shop opens next to Payson’s oldest

Hoping some of its neighbor’s luck rubs off, Crafters Cubbies has opened in the Swiss Village shops. It was more than 33 years ago, that the Payson Candle Factory opened in the shopping center off the Beeline Highway. Just a few weeks ago, Rebecca Acord opened a handmade gift shop next door, at 626 N. Beeline Highway. The shop will hold a grand opening celebration Black Friday, Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Crafters Cubbies offers a collection of handmade crafts and gifts, all made by local artists. From pottery, quilts, jewelry, purses, crocheted items, wood carvings, scrapbooking, greeting cards, hair bows, vintage aprons to custom artwork, the shop has a little bit of everything.

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Feast helps second-graders celebrate Thanksgiving

The scent of the feast enticed the nose, the decorations tantalized the eyes, and children in headdresses scurried through the halls chattering on their way to eat stone soup. The Thanksgiving celebration on Tuesday at Payson Elementary School (PES) marked the first time all second-graders in the district gathered to commemorate the holiday. “We have done this at our separate schools, now we’re doing this all together. We’re finding as we share what we did at our other schools that we have a lot of commonalities in how we celebrate,” said Brianne DeWitt, a second-grade teacher who taught at Frontier Elementary School last year.

PHS grad to earn degree

Payson High School graduate Hanna Jo-Lee Ludwig will receive her bachelor’s of arts degree in general studies with an emphasis in social behavior and human understanding from the University of Arizona Dec. 17, 2011.

Holiday events hitting high gear with Festival of Lights, lighting event

It is the day after Thanksgiving and all through the Rim Country, holiday events are hitting high gear. Today alone, there are two special events planned: the Festival of Lights fun and festivities in Pine and the annual Swiss Village Lighting. Things get going in Pine at 10 a.m. today with the Christmas Craft Fair at the Community Center Cultural Hall. Shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 25 and from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 26. Youngsters can enjoy the children’s craft booth at the event. The merry-making continues at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 26 with the Jingle Bell Parade led by Santa and Mrs. Claus. There will also be a Christmas tree lighting, Christmas carols and refreshments at the annual Festival of Lights.

Southwest Behavioral holds annual Thanksgiving dinner for patrons

The turkeys were all carved, the potatoes perfectly whipped and the pies sat ready to eat as busy workers merrily prepped the scene for Southwest Behavioral Health’s 10th annual Thanksgiving feast. Despite budget woes and laying off a third of the center’s staff in Payson, the event went on Nov. 18, a week before Thanksgiving. Organizers said the event was too important to cancel with many patrons having no other place to go for dinner and many with no one else to share it with.

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Kids work up a sweat before Thanksgiving feast

Although they didn’t run more than a few miles each, the students of Julia Randall Elementary School ran their tail feathers, or rather their topknots off, in the school’s first ever turkey trot Wednesday. With paper tufted feather hats the students circled the upper loop at Green Valley Park, putting in miles of cuteness. Asked how far the school ran collectively, fifth-graders Jalyn Howell and Stevie Stockton predicted at least a few thousand miles.

Holiday weekend fishing tips

Here are my tips for all you Thanksgiving anglers, especially those looking to renew their spirit while escaping the Black Friday shopping syndrome (and aftermath). My top choice is Tempe Town Lake for trout and bass. We stocked Town Lake with trout last week and stocked it again (including some larger incentive rainbows) during the Welcome Back the Trout Celebration Nov. 22. Good trout and bass fishing — now that’s a tough combination to beat.

Lady Horns overwhelm Globe team

Girls varsity triumph on the road offered heartening vindication for young team’s read-and-react offense

The girls varsity basketball team beat Globe 59-25 in their first game on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in Globe. “Globe looked tired, our whole team outran them. The coaches had us run hard in practice,” said Katelyn Curtis, a team captain who plays point. As a senior, this is Curtis’ last year to play for Payson High School. The Globe game confirmed the offense read-and-react tactic head coach Jennifer White has initiated this year. She felt proud of Tiana Lopez’s defense and she said Lanie O’Donnell couldn’t miss the basket. “The girls moved the ball down the court really well. Our points were evenly spread amongst team members,” said White.

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Longhorns overrun Globe in season opener, 68-41

The Longhorns came out slow, but ended strong Tuesday night, winning their first game of the season against the Globe Tigers by nearly 30 points. First year varsity coach Joe Sanchez said it was a great start to the season and predicted many more wins in the games to come. “We truly are going to go far with these guys,” he said. “We have a team of leaders.” With the Horns working well together, Sanchez said the 6 a.m. practices were paying off. Sanchez started working with most of the players when they were eighth-graders. Now juniors and seniors, the teens know each other’s individual strengths and weaknesses and help each other out both in practice and in games.

Let’s take a moment to say thanks for our blessings

Some years at Thanksgiving, it can sound a little trite as we once again say we have a lot to be thankful for, but I genuinely believe it, and I’m going to do my humble best to show you why. There’s a lot wrong with this world, and with our country as well. Some of it makes us very angry, so angry we get so caught up trying to fix the things that cry out for fixing that we overlook the blessings we have. That’s natural enough. If we didn’t focus on the things that need fixing, we’d never get them fixed. But once a year we really ought to do what our ancestors did in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in November 1621. We need to turn aside from our cares and thank God for the good things we have.

Singer, songwriter to perform in concert

Next Tuesday, Nov. 29 in the high school auditorium, the Tonto Community Concert Association will present “Chaplin: A Life in Concert,” composed by and starring singer-songwriter David Pomeranz. When I told my wife, Ann, about next week’s concert and that I had no idea who David Pomeranz is, she gazed at me with the look that said “What rock did you crawl out from under?” As you might guess, in the next five minutes of conversation, I quickly learned a whole lot about the Long Island born and raised Pomeranz.

Make your home work time as efficient as possible

If you’re lucky enough to have a boss that lets you telecommute, or even luckier to not have a boss at all, working from home is a great way to be more efficient and save a little cash. Granted, there are plenty of distractions trying to get you off your game: kids, pets, television, the refrigerator. With a little practice, you can master these distractions and really get into a groove when you work from home. But one distraction that you can’t just ignore is technology inadequacy. You have to take care of that once and for all. And once you do, it’ll be smooth sailing.

Christmas parties are starting to begin

It’s the day after. A day filled with good food, family gatherings, and of giving meals to ones less fortunate and a day filled with football games, cat naps, and going through the massive amount of ads and planning a strategy for mega shopping in the stores that have the best deals. Today is known as “Black Friday.” That day after Thanksgiving has been labeled that because there are businesses whose profits go from red to black and they mark down their merchandise to encourage buyers to their stores.

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Highway 260 work causing delays for travelers

Friday’s morning forecast includes a snow and rain mix with a 40 percent chance of rain in the afternoon. As the front moves on, colder temperatures will be on hand Saturday with the high around 50 degrees and will dip to around 20 degrees that night. A slight warming trend will follow with highs in the mid 50s and lows in the mid 20s. As the construction zone makes progress on the roadway 12 miles east of Overgaard, weather has continued to delay the work to be performed. Typical work hours have been 6 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. However, the progress has been stepped up lately in anticipation of snowfall and holiday traffic and work last week extended into Friday and Saturday.

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Pine groups help others on daily basis

We honored veterans on Veterans Day, and were thankful for our blessings on Thanksgiving, but we know that these holidays are not over. Honoring veterans and having a grateful spirit and giving are not something to do one day of the year, but a daily way to live. In Strawberry and Pine, there are numerous groups that help the community by hosting events and fund-raisers, to keep on giving all year. There are countless opportunities locally to help others. Whether reading to a child at the library, delivering meals to senior citizens, working on a comfort quilt, or filling boxes at the food bank, you are sure to find an outlet to help someone.

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A passion to teach

Some people find their passion early in life. Lucky people also find the outlet for their passion, whether writing prose, flying planes or working at a library, organizing, formatting and involving young people in reading programs. Katie Sanchez’s intense involvement with the programs sponsored by the Payson Public Library shines through when leading parents and children or teens in activities. A creative writing class for teens, the Reading Corner, a scrapbooking experience, all contain some element of Katie’s commitment.

Clubs and Organizations

The Rim Country Republican Club meets at 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 28 at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Hwy. 260. Angie Elam, the new district ranger for the Payson Ranger Station, Tonto National Forest, will be the guest speaker. Members and guests gather at 11 a.m. to socialize and order lunch. A business meeting is planned for 11:30 a.m. and Elam will speak at noon. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Complaints against Brooke dismissed

Corp. commission says company did nothing wrong in imposing water hauling charges at Mesa del Caballo

The Arizona Corporation Commission has dismissed 19 complaints and absolved Brooke Utilities of any wrongdoing in the water hauling charges it imposed this summer in Mesa del Caballo. Commission spokeswoman Rebecca Wilder said, “they were found to have charged the surcharge correctly. Some of the issue was a misunderstanding. All the complaints we received were resolved.” For the past several summers, the 400 homeowners in Mesa del Caballo have repeatedly used water faster than the aging wells can pump new water into the scattered water storage tanks serving the subdivision. After swallowing the extra costs involved in hauling water in from outside to fill those tanks, this year Brooke Utilities got permission from the corporation commission to put a surcharge on this summer’s bills to cover the extra costs in months when it has to haul water.

Stroll through a Christmas tree forest in the Swiss Village shops

Crafters Cubbies is sponsoring a community food and toy drive through Christmas. Residents are encouraged to stroll through a “lighted Christmas forest,” at 616 N. Beeline Highway, and leave nonperishable food, toys or dog food under one of the trees.

Careful — Scams abound during holiday season

Police are warning Rim Country residents to watch out for the Grinch this holiday season — swindlers hoping to cash in on the giving spirit. Con artists are using some of the same old tricks to dupe givers; sending a “winning” check and asking for money to cover the taxes, saying a grandchild is in trouble and needs help or asking for a charitable contribution and then pocketing the cash. Even the police are not exempt from the schemes. Police Chief Don Engler received an official looking e-mail from a bank asking him to log in to his account and update his information to complete a transaction. The problem: Engler did not have an account with that bank and he never uses his work e-mail for personal business. “That wasn’t too smart,” he said.

Star Valley council abandons idea of taking over neglected home after neighbors object

The Town of Star Valley won’t be making any new neighbors, but it has made a few new friends after it rejected the idea of setting up an offsite water department office in the midst of a sleepy neighborhood. After neighbors protested setting up a town office at 145 Springdale Drive, the council backed away from the proposal at a Nov. 15 council meeting, saying it would look elsewhere. A bank offered to give the town the property free after it was abandoned and left to rot.

Community Almanac

The Payson chapter of the Salvation Army needs Bell Ringers starting the Friday after Thanksgiving and continuing through Christmas Eve. Bell Ringers need to be able to commit to two-hour shifts, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Ringers will be working at Walmart, Walgreens, Bashas’ and Safeway.

Thankful for your cards and letters

“How feeble words are to express the facets of your tenderness” is what I think as I read the many cards and letters sent to me and our Dan Adams family.

Dr. Lowe is a caring physician

Dr. Michael Lowe treats his patients with compassion, caring, understanding, kindness, integrity and loyalty, just to name a few (of his qualities).

Facts to consider with the community college land transfer

In this somewhat charged atmosphere I would like to try to set the record straight on the Gila Community College campus land transfer.

Building a 21st-century economy in America

In the late 1950s, after the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik, many intellectuals were predicting a future of American decline and Soviet ascendancy. A few decades later, in the 1980s, it was once again fashionable to speak of U.S. decline and the coming emergence of a new global superpower. This time, the new superpower was going to be Japan. Needless to say, the Soviet Union collapsed at roughly same moment that Japan sank into a lengthy period of stagnation. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy was enjoying an unprecedented boom.

There are many things we are grateful for

We read that expressing gratitude makes you feel better — improves mental function, decreases depression, makes you feel more popular and lovable. Even if you’re, like, a day late, like this editorial.

Wednesday, November 23

Give the gift of healthy, gorgeous eyes from Payson Eye Care Center

Payson Eye Care Center has something for everyone and every budget! Payson Eye Care keeps a large selection of designer lenses as well as value-priced lenses which all come with at least a one-year warranty and the shop stands behind what it sells. Payson Eye Care also has a full service lab, which enables staff to cut lenses on site in order to cut the customer’s waiting time to receive their new lenses.

Join Payson Senior Circle for great holiday events

Stumped at what to get Aunt Harriet for Christmas? How about a membership to Senior Circle? It’s only $15 a year and it could be the best present under the tree. Senior Circle is a place where members are friendly, staff is helpful, activities are affordable and discounts are meaningful. We are a national organization that encourages a healthy and active lifestyle for adults 50 years of age and better. Membership allows you to enjoy health talks, in-hospital benefits, local business bargains and a wide range of discounts for prescriptions, vision care, hearing aids, hotel rooms, car rentals and more. You will also experience the satisfaction of participating in a full calendar of social events, exercise programs and travel opportunities.

Making the most of your holiday celebrations

As 2011 begins to wind down, the hectic holiday season is only getting started. It is important to remember that the beginning of winter means more than just presents and Black Friday — it’s about kicking back and celebrating family, friends and good food.

The Memory Corral helps give the gift of family treasures

The Memory Corral, located in the Western Village of Payson at 1104 S. Beeline Highway, can help you give the gift of family treasures this holiday season.

Try adding a twist to your holiday staples this year

We look forward to the holidays for many reasons, and the food is often near the top of the list. But while traditional holiday dishes are a familiar comfort that everyone in the family can look forward to, there’s no harm in adding a slight twist to your staples to give them a gourmet touch.

Beeline Chiropractic adds new service just in time for the holidays

Dr. Robert Sanders operates Beeline Chiropractic at 414 S. Beeline, Suite 6 in Payson. “Just a few words about spinal decompression, one of the services we’ve recently added to our office,” Sanders offered. Spinal decompression is a specialized form of computer controlled traction therapy that is very effective for many types of neck- and back-related problems.

How about a cabin for Christmas?

Strawberry’s MVP Realty, 8044 W. Fossil Creek Road, at the corner of Highway 87, is owned and operated by Rose Harper. Harper has been serving the real estate needs of the Rim Country for 26 years. She has been in sales, worked for MVP and ERA Young Realty and now has Strawberry MVP Realty.

Make your home ready for the holidays with easy, affordable decor updates

Welcoming friends and family into your home is one of the best ways to celebrate the season. One of the keys to making visitors feel right at home is to be a happy host. So, do yourself — and your guests — a favor and put a little effort into getting your home holiday houseguest perfect.

Big Brothers Big Sisters in Payson enjoys growth

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona (BBBSAZ) is one of the largest Big Brother Big Sister affiliates in the country and traces its roots back to 1955. The agency’s mission is to help children realize their potential through professionally supported one-to-one relationships with volunteers who care about them and to make sure that every child has a positive and active adult role model in their life. This year BBBSAZ’s goal is to match 2,300 boys and girls (Littles) throughout central Arizona with positive adult mentors (Bigs).

Christmas magic at Moose Mountain

Welcome to Moose Mountain Gifts and Antiques, located at 6264 Hardscrabble Road in the wonderful community of Pine, Ariz., just 13 miles north of Payson off Highway 87. Moose Mountain has been in business for 13 years. The inventory is an enticing mix of the old and new. The shop is constantly changing and there are always hidden surprises for which to go treasure hunting.

Wrangler Plumbing brings generations of service on calls

When you call Charlie Hall’s Wrangler Plumbing you are going to get generations of experience. Hall’s family has been in the plumbing business for at least three generations. There is Charlie and his son Doug, but that is not all, Charlie’s father and his brother were also plumbers.

Dr. Rousseau joins Payson Care Center health care team

Payson Care Center is proud to announce that Dr. Terrance Rousseau has joined its team as the full-time, onsite physician. Dr. Rousseau’s role will be to assure the quality of care patients receive and aid in communicating with the patient’s primary care physician. Dr. Rousseau and Payson Care Center medical director Dr. Abawi will share in the responsibility of attending to the many patients who come to the care center that are unattached to a physician.

A perfect vacation - Part 3

As this is a continued article of what I call a perfect vacation, I will briefly summarize the first two chapters. We spent most of October in Europe. We chose this month because it is usually ahead of the cold weather and after the heat of summer. Most of the time was spent on a three-week cruise aboard Holland America Lines wonderful Noordam, one of their vista class ships of 82,000 gross tons and 936 feet long. It holds 1,918 passengers.

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity shares its best-kept secret

The best-kept secret in Payson is a secret no more. Once voted the “Best Kept Secret in Payson” — the Habitat for Humanity ReStore is like the “little engine that could.” Starting on a wing and a prayer in March 2008 with the help of the Walla family, dedicated staff and volunteers stocked the store with “just enough donations to fill each shelf” according to outgoing store manager, Kathy Bickert, who has led the ReStore team from the beginning. In less than 18 months, the little store outgrew its 3,000-square-foot domain, and Habitat took another leap of faith — moving into a 7,000-square-foot store next to the Urgent Care in the Payson Center, where McDonald’s is located, at the corner of Highways 87 and 260.

Payson Jewelers has the perfect gift

Payson Jewelers has offered Payson the best in fine jewelry, estate (used) jewelry and sterling silver for more than 28 years. It also has beautiful jewelry made with colored diamonds in chocolate, champagne, blue, yellow, orange and black.

Get Christmas style at Colorz

The staff at Colorz Salon, 600 E. Highway 260, Suite 6 in Payson, offers clients an extensive line of products as well as an impressive selection of services. Among the services provided are precision haircuts, feather and hair extensions, the newest color and perming techniques, special occasion updo styles, permanent straightening techniques, facial waxing and detox foot bath procedures.

Thanksgiving stories and more

Yet another Thanksgiving is upon us and I thought it might be a nice time for some Thanksgiving stories from the past, as well as a look at a few resources that I am thankful for as a historian, and which you might find useful. Let’s start by taking a look at a story from Pleasant Valley. Thanksgiving at Ellison Ellison, Ariz., Dec 2, 1899.

TCCA brings one-man show to Rim Country

The Tonto Community Concert Association will present Chaplin - A Life In Concert, which dramatizes the life story of the brilliant, yet controversial, career of Charlie Chaplin, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 29. Multi-platinum singer/songwriter David Pomeranz will perform this one-man, theatrical-musical tribute to Charlie Chaplin at the Payson High School Auditorium. Single tickets are $35 (if seating is available). Children and youth, grade 12 and under, will be admitted free when accompanied by a ticket holding adult. For more information visit the association Web site at www. or call 928-478-4363 or (928) 474-4189.

Mazatzal Hotel & Casino brings Magic to the Mountains

Located in the Heart of Arizona, in a quaint town called Payson, the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino brings Magic to the Mountains for the holiday season. To help with your gift giving ideas, the casino has gift cards available in the gift shop for the savvy adult shopper in mind. Gift cards may be used for purchasing a meal at The Grille, Cedar Ridge Restaurant, Apache Spirits Lounge and the purchases at the gift shop. The Dream Catcher Gift Shop has a wonderful selection of gift items such as southwest style jackets and fashionable jewelry to choose from.

Get Wireless brings top-notch service to customers

Get Wireless, formerly Rim Country Wireless, is at 309 E. Highway 260 in the Safeway/Ponderosa Village Center. Celebrating 17 years in business, the shop is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday — Black Friday, Nov. 25, it will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Holiday shopping made easy at SmartSystems, Inc.

Are you in search of the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for your children, friends and family this holiday season? Look no more! Put a trip to SmartSystems, Inc. at the top of your shopping list. SmartSystems, Inc. offers impeccable expertise in designing custom computers and laptops; carries a variety of technology gadgets and accessories, plus gift certificates that are sure to please. Rest assured, the friendly staff will be happy to help you select that “special gift” for your “special someone” this year.

Tuesday, November 22

Geronimo estates water restored, battle rages on

Geronimo Estates homeowners got their water service restored Friday, after the Arizona Corporation Commission ordered Steve Prahin to give Brooke Utilities access to a disputed well and water tank. “The water was back on Friday,” said commission spokesperson Rebecca Wilder. The corporation commission’s order left undecided the long-running, underlying dispute between Prahin and the private water company about who owns the well.

Property taxes make Rim residents mad

Residents from Christopher Creek, Kohl’s Ranch and surrounding areas angrily complained about property taxes higher than those of other Rim Country residents at a Christopher-Kohl’s Fire District board meeting Nov. 7. Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin and Deputy County Manager John Nelson tried to explain why taxes increased as property values decreased.

Construction on pipeline project starts in March

Payson applies for low-interest federal loans to finance $33 million pipeline project

After a year of logjams, work on the Blue Ridge pipeline has suddenly hit flood stage. Construction on the $30 million to $40 million pipeline will start in the early spring and Payson has moved toward getting its construction permits approved by the Forest Service and an application for long-term financing approved by the federal government.

Ax wielding man reportedly sets home on fire

A neighborly dispute turned violent Friday afternoon when a man reportedly threw an ax through a neighbor’s window and then a can of burning stove fuel. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Daniel Denuzzi, 45, of Star Valley, on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, attempted homicide, arson of an occupied structure, criminal damage, disorderly conduct and threats and intimidation.

Star Valley still looking into Blue Ridge

Saying it would look into every water supply option, the Star Valley council moved forward in pursuing a share of water from the Blue Ridge pipeline. With the deadline for making an allocation request approaching, the council instructed water attorney Karen Nalley at a Nov. 15 council meeting to look into cost, need and return with answers quickly.

Community Almanac

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Payson, Bashas’ Supermarket and Channel 12 News will join to collect turkeys once again this year. Last year, St. Vincent de Paul distributed 350 turkey dinner boxes. This year, the need is even greater. The work cannot be done without the generosity of the citizens of Payson and the surrounding the communities.

Property tax assessment is a grim joke

The property tax from the Gila County assessors is a grim joke on the taxpayers.

The gift of Thanksgiving alive in Payson

As Thanksgiving returns to us in 2011, I am the most thankful I have ever been in my 70 years of celebrating holidays.

Time to register to vote

The countdown to the 2012 presidential election is now less than 12 months away.

Justice has prevailed for Dr. Lowe

I have not known of a local news story that has been more widely discussed than that concerning the criminal charges brought against Dr. Michael Lowe.

The tax man cometh and we’re confused

You get the heebie-jeebies every time you check the real estate ads during the last few years and watch property values plummet and your life’s savings evaporate before your eyes. Few people are buying or selling — except that place two streets over that listed for $194,000 and sold for $74,000. What a disaster. Well, there’s one silver lining, you tell yourself. After all of those years watching your property taxes rise with your home value — at least your property taxes will now drop back into the lower atmosphere.

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New instructor teaches ancient art of ceramics

“This is one of the oldest art forms that’s ever been or will be,” said David Sanchez, the ceramics instructor at Gila Community College (GCC). Evidence of pottery used as vessels dates from 16,000 B.C., according to a University of Cleveland Web site. Although ceramics can survive thousands of years buried in archaeological digs, Sanchez’s class follows the rule: “Don’t fall in love with a piece until both firings are done.” Even then, transporting the piece home could prove fatal, (one student dropped her vase in the parking lot). Once home, the piece could come crashing to the ground in an accident.

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Payson schools get grant from high-tech company

Robert Georgeoff got himself a nice one-of-a-kind, $30,000 desktop nameplate yesterday — courtesy of tomorrow’s engineering whizzes and a Rubik’s Cube genius. The Tempe-based alternative energy company Georgeoff heads donated the $30,000 last week to support the Payson Unified School District’s innovative, project-based engineering program. And after he took a tour of one of the two sections of eager freshmen, they cranked out the desktop nameplate from their brand new three-dimensional printer —that can produce objects from molded plastic that the students have designed.

Thanksgiving celebrations

Rim Country residents and visitors are invited to join the congregations of the Community Presbyterian Church, Mount Cross Lutheran Church, Payson United Methodist Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for an ecumenical Thanksgiving service. Hosted at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., Payson, the service will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 22. One of its special features will be a musical program by the combined choirs of the four churches.

Rim Country sales slow, but construction stirring

Report suggests region’s economy lagging behind state, but still encouraging

Payson continued its slow economic recovery in October, with sales tax numbers virtually unchanged from the same month last year. However, the once-crucial building sector showed encouraging signs of life, with big increases in permits and sales. Rim Country’s economy appears to be climbing out of the crater of the recession more slowly than the rest of the state’s economy, judging by contrasting sales tax figures. For instance, Payson collected $1.6 million in sales tax revenue in the four months since the start of the fiscal year — a decline of $850 from the same period last year. Sales spiked in August, raising hopes briefly, but then subsided to match last year’s tally month by month.

Time Out shelter receives $20,000 grant

Mark Kay Foundation selects shelter as part of nationwide grant program

With a funding deficit and increased demand for services this year, the local Time Out, Inc. shelter finds itself asked to do more with less. A $20,000 grant from the Mark Kay Foundation, awarded as part of the organization’s annual $3 million national domestic violence grant program that supports shelters throughout the nation, has come just in time. “This grant is such a blessing to Time Out in a variety of ways,” said Linda Timmer, director of operations. “Not only does it make up for a deficit in funding this year, but also gives us hope and strength to continue what we do.”

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Pine students give hugs to veterans in delayed celebration

Students at the Pine School gave six veterans a belated Veterans Day hug of appreciation on Friday, Nov. 18. Members of the Payson Honor Guard, Sgt. Bud Huffman, Cmdr. Ken Caldwell and Cmdr. Bob Walker presented the U.S., Arizona and POW flags. Sgt. Larry Moore played Taps for the children at the school assembly. Kathy Reiger and Walter Staub sat with the Guard in a place of honor at the head of the assembly. Staub’s 13-year-old granddaughter, Brittney Staub, helped to organize the assembly with fellow student council members.

Turkey Trot 5K draws 70 participants

Payson’s annual Turkey Trot 5K enjoyed a brisk, but gorgeous day with 70 participants, mostly locals. The largest field was among those 50 to 59 with 18.

‘3A East’ football reputation boosted at semi-finals

The gaudy gridiron reputation of the now defunct 3A East received yet another boost when two former members of the conference and region advanced to the Division IV state championship tournament finale by virtue of convincing semi-final wins. Playing in the final four Nov. 19 in Paradise Valley, state top-ranked Blue Ridge steamrolled previously unbeaten Chandler Seton 45-14 and Show Low unveiled a newfound running attack to defeat Florence 31-14.

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Basketball teams see plenty of home court advantage; wrestlers at home only once

Competing in the division-section configuration is old hat for the Longhorn wrestling team, but for the boys and girls basketball squads, it will be a first time experience. When the Arizona Interscholastic Association mandated the change, the switch last school year was only for all individual sports, such as wrestling. For team sports, such as basketball, the switch takes place this year, which means the basketball teams will no longer play in the 3A East, but rather in Division III, Section III. Just what the change will mean to Payson High School teams won’t be known until season’s end.

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Horn players earn honors

Payson High School coach Byron Quinlan has no qualms with the number of Longhorn football players chosen to the all section team, even though opportunities for individual prep football players to gain postseason recognition greatly decreased with this year’s reconfiguration from a conference/region to division/section format. “With 12 players (honored), I was pleased; moving from four conferences to three sections made it tough to be recognized,” said Quinlan following last week’s coaches’ voting meeting at Fountain Hills High School.

Clubs and Organizations

JULIETs, Just Us Ladies Into Eating Together, meets for lunch and conversation at 11:30 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Crosswinds Restaurant at the Payson Airport. It is just for fun, no book to read, no dish to make. Everyone is welcome, no reservations required. This month the date is Tuesday, Nov. 22. Take a few minutes off to relax and have lunch during your Thanksgiving preparations. For additional information, please call Chris Tilley at (928) 468-9669.

Thief makes off with bottle of booze from liquor store

What police initially thought was an attempted robbery at Rim Liquor Wednesday night turned out to be a grab and go theft.

Bowlers raise $6,000 for Humane Society animal shelter

Animals at the Humane Society of Central Arizona (HSCAZ) benefited from the recent Pins for Paws event held at Rim Country Lanes. The event was sponsored by residents of Chaparral Pines, neighbors and friends.

Community invited to make it a caring Christmas

The men and women of the Public Safety Christmas for Kids Program are inviting their friends and neighbors to join them in making this holiday season special for those in need. The Payson police and fire departments, officers with the local Arizona Department of Public Safety, and those with the Gila County sheriff, county attorney’s offices and the Payson court present the Public Safety Christmas for Kids Program each year. The program involves the Toys for Tamales event and taking the youngsters registered for assistance shopping.

Supervisors decide legislative agenda for 2012

Supervisors from around the state gathered to rally against the threat of state prisoner transfers and mounting raids against county coffers to pad the state budget. At the annual Legislative Summit of the County Supervisors Association (CSA) held in early October, Gila County Supervisors Tommie Martin, Shirley Dawson and Mike Pastor joined nearly 40 of their fellow elected supervisors from around Arizona to establish a legislative agenda and discuss priorities for the upcoming legislative session. The group is concerned by the ongoing impact of state cost shifts onto county operations and county residents.

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TCCA brings one-man show to Rim

The Tonto Community Concert Association will present Chaplin - A Life In Concert, which dramatizes the life story of the brilliant, yet controversial, career of Charlie Chaplin, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 29. Multi-platinum singer/songwriter David Pomeranz will perform this one-man, theatrical-musical tribute to Charlie Chaplin at the Payson High School Auditorium. Single tickets are $35 (if seating is available). Children and youth, grade 12 and under, will be admitted free when accompanied by a ticket holding adult. For more information visit the association Web site at www. or call 928-478-4363 or (928) 474-4189.

Selling a home during the holidays

Is the holiday season a good time to sell your home? For many sellers, it is not. There are many reasons why some avoid listing, but many say they do not want to interrupt holiday festivities. Some feel it is better to wait until the New Year as there will likely be more activity and more buyers.

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State gives Rim Country Health top quality grade

Rim Country Health and Retirement Community is among an elite group of skilled nursing facilities. For the second year in a row, the State of Arizona has given the facility a 100 percent quality rating. The rating is the result of an inspection, which looked at every area of the nursing home, including the environment, food, activities, facility and more. Owner Harvey Pelovsky recently talked with the Roundup about the inspection and rating. “Each facility in the state is inspected every 15 months. The state comes in with the objective to find problems and deficiencies,” he said.

Friday, November 18

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School officials left dangling on the ropes

Administrators conquer fear and learn lessons atop a 40-foot pole

Jeez. Running a school district is such a high wire act. Literally. Payson Unified School District Superintendent Casey O’Brien and a slew of the district’s top administrators spent a couple of hours this week balancing precariously on wires far above the ground, climbing telephone poles and dangling from ropes — all in the name of team building. The afternoon included hooking up to safety harnesses, climbing a 40-foot-tall pole, standing unsteadily atop the pole and then jumping into space to smack a big plastic ball in mid air, trusting that the people on the ground hanging onto the ends of the safety ropes would keep them safe.


Nichols is Niners Club Champion

Debbie Nichols is the 2011 Club Champion of the Payson Women’s Golf association Nine Hole Golf Club. The low gross club championship was held the first two weeks of October during which Nichols, who is also the club president and operates the recently opened Peak Medical Care in Payson, held off stiff competition from her fellow Niners to emerge victorious. Donna Larson won “Most Improved” for the 2011 season.

Dr. Lowe acquitted of theft

The high profile investigation of a popular Payson doctor that started more than a year ago concluded Tuesday with a jury returning a not guilty verdict. Dr. Michael P. Lowe was acquitted of taking over the nearly $600,000 estate of a former patient illegally, putting an end to what many supporters called a “witch hunt.”

Dispute cuts off water to subdivision

Corporation commission orders Geronimo Estates landowner to allow Brooke Utilities access to disputed well

The Arizona Corporation Commission on Thursday ordered a landowner to grant access to a well used by Brooke Utilities to provide water to 85 residents in Geronimo Estates. Complaints from homeowners, State Rep. Brenda Barton and the water company prompted the corporation commission to hastily schedule a hearing and step into a feud between Brooke Utilities and a homeowner. Steve Prahin has been bickering with the water company since at least 2006 about ownership of a well on a property he bought at a tax sale.

County agrees to quit claim 32 acres to GCC

The board of supervisors gave 32 acres of land to Gila Community College (GCC), but left controversial questions unanswered at its Nov. 15 meeting. “As soon as the supervisors voted to proceed with the quit claim deed, the community college had full ownership of the land,” said Don McDaniel, county manager who is the point man for the county in negotiations over the GCC land with the Rim Country Education Alliance (SLE).

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Slinky warms the hearts of court staff, jail prisoners

Justice may be blind, but for once, it has a heart. In less than two weeks, an ashy gray cat warmed its way into the unlikeliest of hearts. When Slinky the cat found itself alone and without food near the Gila County jail and courtroom in Payson Nov. 2, she did what any cat would do — she meowed and clawed. And meowed some more. Soon prisoners, judges and courtroom staff noticed Slinky’s not so subtle calls. During a recent trial, Slinky persistently sat outside the courtroom doors, peering her pink nose through a crack in the door and meowing merrily.

Three accidents occur near Corvair Curve on Hwy. 87

It was a busy weekend near Corvair Curve on Highway 87 south of Payson. A semi took out several dozen feet of guardrail in the tight turn north of Rye after rolling on its side and several more motorists wrecked in the area later that weekend. No one was seriously injured.

Community Almanac

The Women’s Ministries of Payson First Assembly of God, 1100 W. Lake Drive (the church at Green Valley Park), will hold its annual Holiday Craft and Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19.

Thanks to theater for showing movie ‘Courageous’

I wish to take this opportunity to offer a public thank you to the management of the Sawmill Theatres.

Appraisal should be questioned

Thank you, Tom Loeffler, for asking questions and for requesting accountability before a deal is done with the SLE on land sales for the proposed college and satellite businesses.

Prosecutor wrong about Dr. Lowe

I am writing to add a different perspective to the character assassination of Dr. Lowe.

Why what’s happening in Greece matters

There was a time when we associated debt crises with banana republics and failed states, when the IMF was a lender that Western countries supported to help others — not themselves. Times have certainly changed. As we look across the Atlantic to Greece, things only seem to keep getting worse. Bailout upon bailout, crisis after crisis, rioting in the streets — it has been a bewildering drama. The issues may be complicated, but they’re also worth understanding, because they hold lessons for us as we work to address our own growing debt problems in the U.S.

County, college must strike the right balance

The cliffhanger continues. The Gila County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved the transfer of some 33 acres of land to Gila Community College. Well and good: The action brings to a happy ending a complicated transaction that finally leaves the community college one step closer to gaining control over its future.

Our forefathers weren’t just land hungry

I’m just like you. I sometimes get so %$#@ angry with the Forest Service I could strangle somebody. But some reading I’ve been doing lately has made me think. Maybe they have something. Maybe they’re so all-fired worried about letting us in the woods because they’ve read some of the same stuff I’ve recently read. Could it be they are worried that if they don’t keep their eyes on us, you and I might go out there in the woods and eat up everything in sight?

Time Out executive director retiring to become a volunteer

After helping countless women transition from victim to survivor of domestic violence, Time Out’s executive director is retiring. Gerry Bailey says although she is stepping down as director on Nov. 30, she will not stray far from the program she helped expand over the last seven years. “Following a rest and relaxation period, I will be very pleased to step into a volunteer role at our domestic violence emergency shelter,” she said.

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First-time entry wins quilting Hall of Fame award

The staff at the Quilting Sisters shop had to talk Ingeborg Hill into entering her quilt into the Quilt Roundup held at the Mazatzal Casino this past weekend, Nov. 11-13. Hill had never entered a quilting contest before, but the quilt she designed for her daughter’s 25th anniversary had such an eye-catching design, attention to detail, and bright colors, she took a chance. The judges awarded her work with the Hall of Fame award, first place in the traditional bed spread category, best hand appliqué award and the Strawberry Patchers’ choice award.

Free Thanksgiving dinners and special church services available

Four separate groups are offering free Thanksgiving dinners to the community this year and a number of churches have special services. The Elks Lodge, Expedition Church, the First Assembly Church and the Pine Senior Center Affairs Foundation are making sure everyone has the opportunity to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday. Expedition Church has helped those in need make Thanksgiving dinner for the past three years. Members of the church are expecting there to be a bigger need this year than before, so are inviting the community to help them make Thanksgiving dinners this year.

Plans for new gym room OK’d

The Payson school board this week approved final plans for a state-funded replacement of the structurally unsound roof over the old high school gym. The Arizona School Facilities board will foot the $750,000 bill for the project, which includes an extra $160,000 to remove ceiling tiles laced with lung-damaging asbestos.

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Critical thinking on girls varsity coach’s agenda

Jennifer White stands in the middle at half-court in the Payson High School dome. The girls varsity basketball team thunders past her playing a scrimmage against themselves. The sound of voices, shoe squeaks and bouncing balls creates a cacophony that makes the coach’s commands difficult to hear — but the girls still follow her orders.

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Second-year coach working hard to build up wrestling program

Payson High School’s wrestling program is working from the ground up. With a young coach and a small group of mostly inexperienced wrestlers, after-school practices are running longer and more intensely to get the team caught up. Coach Casey Woodall, himself a former All American wrestler, knows the journey stretches beyond one good practice, a good meet and even a good year. With only five returning varsity members, building up the program will likely take years.

Unity of Payson begins formal services this Sunday

After more than 10 months of work, Unity of Payson will begin formal Sunday services this month. It will be a place of fellowship; a place of meditation and prayer; and a place to grow spiritually. A core group of 25 to 35 Rim residents has been working since January to get Unity of Payson started. It has hosted a weekly Prayer and Meditation Study Group Thursdays and a Unity Book Study Group Fridays. It is now an official church affiliated with Unity Worldwide Ministries and will have regular Sunday services beginning Nov. 20 at the office of the Central Arizona Board of Realtors, 600 E. Hwy. 260. The services are at 10 a.m. and will be led by visiting ministers from around the state.

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Gem, mineral show kicks off holiday season

Arts and crafts fair follows gem show at Mazatzal Casino

Get ready to crack open that Christmas account. This weekend and next are some prime holiday buying times in the Rim Country. First, the 14th Annual Gem & Mineral Show, presented by the Payson Rimstones Rock Club is Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino event center. The weekend after Thanksgiving is the big Mazatzal Arts & Crafts Fair, Saturday, Nov. 26 and Sunday, Nov. 27, also taking place at the casino’s event center.

Clubs and Organizations

Elks members and guests are welcome to enjoy lunch at the Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday dinner from noon to 5 p.m. Basic refreshments are offered for sale at the Elks Open Mic Night, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 30. Elks members and guests are also welcome at these events.

Make a homeless pet thankful by adopting

What better way to show your thanks, than adopting a pet before Thanksgiving. We have so many wonderful pets to choose from. Don’t believe me? Come down and see for yourself. I will personally show you around and help you find your match. We all have so much to be thankful for, why not let a new companion be thankful too; thankful for you that is.

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Businesses honored for work with disabled

Gila County celebrates National Disability Month

Gila County recently recognized Rim Country businesses that have hired workers facing the challenge of mental and physical disabilities as part of National Disabilty Month. “More than 40 businesses in Gila County hire disabled adults,” said David Cadell, program manager of Gila Employment and Special Training (GEST). Cadell handed out plaques and gift certificates to some of those businesses at a Gila County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Manage finances carefully this holiday season

As you know, the holiday season can be joyous, hectic, celebratory — and expensive. And while hosting family gatherings and giving presents to loved ones can be fulfilling, these things are even better when they don’t add more debt. Follow these smart money-management techniques over the next few weeks to keep your debt in check. To begin with, establish realistic budgets for both entertaining and gift giving. When hosting family and friends, don’t go overboard on expenditures.

Assessor will give a presentation at Heber Overgaard Fire District meeting

Slightly warmer nights are the trend for the last few days dipping to just around the freezing mark of 32 degrees and daytime temperatures reaching into the low to mid 50s. Clear skies are giving way to partly cloudy with no precipitation in the forecast for this weekend.

Be cautious of new scam letter making the rounds

This week has been a hectic time along with great sadness for the my maternal family. My sister-in-law passed away suddenly, without any warning, from a massive heart attack. Ellie, as she was called, was the sister I never had. She was kind, full of compassion and fortitude, and a super good wife to my brother and a fantastic mother to four boys. I will miss her dearly. Veterans Day was last Friday and since my husband is a member of the Tonto Basin V.F.W. post number 8807, we spent the morning there handing out Buddy Poppies and watching a fantastic parade.

Dolly Parton exemplifies ‘rags to riches’ story

Country-pop singer Dolly Parton certainly exemplified the American dream of going from “rags to riches,” but never losing sight of where she came from. Born the fourth child of 12, Dolly and her family lived in a rustic, dilapidated one-room cabin in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, near the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. She often has referred to her family’s early days as “dirt poor” and described her family’s lack of money in a number of her early songs, most notably in “Coat of Many Colors” and “In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad).”

The community of Christopher Creek lost a good, caring man

I received a call the other day that a very special man who was part of our family for almost 20 years had passed away. I could not believe what I was hearing. I thought this must be a mistake. This cannot be true. But it is and today we say goodbye to a wonderful man, a good-hearted man, a mentor, and someone we could always count on. George Billings passed away last week. This following article was submitted by Mikey Marazza.

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Storytellers to take part in annual Tellabration

The seasons have been changing so fast, it feels like someone hit fast forward. It was a beautiful summer day, then suddenly, cold. The golden trees with highlights of red splashed brilliant color across the Rim, reminiscent of local artist Ruthellen Mason’s oil paintings, and then the snow came. Although the patches of snow are gone, the surrounding mountain tops are capped with snow and are a spectacular sight. This time I think the winter-coat weather is here to stay, and just in time for Thanksgiving.

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Local Western batik artist earns international fame

Marilyn Salomon’s face glows with joy. In her hands she holds an iron and a piece of newsprint paper, and beneath these two mundane objects lies the mystery of batik artwork, images created with wax and dyes on cloth. “This is one of the most exciting parts. You never know exactly what will come out. It’s an emotional high,” she said. Salomon has worked on this piece for the past couple of months. A black rim of fabric frames three panels, each showing a different Native American scene. She used at least 15 colors of dyes to capture the details of the figures depicted in her piece. She made this along with a batik of moccasins for the Western Artists of America show in Corsicana, Texas. The show will start at the end of March and run for about a month at the Pearce Museum on the Navarro College Campus.

Wednesday, November 16

Offer the Unusual

Prime holiday buying time in Rim Country

Get ready to crack open that Christmas account. This weekend and next are some prime holiday buying times in the Rim Country. First, the 14th Annual Gem & Mineral Show, presented by the Payson Rimstones Rock Club is Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino event center Bingo Hall. The weekend after Thanksgiving is the big Mazatzal Arts & Crafts Fair, Saturday, Nov. 26 and Sunday, Nov. 27, also taking place at the casino’s event center Bingo Hall.

Sweet endings for the holiday

The sweet ending in our home at Thanksgiving — whether we spent it with relatives or in the comfort of our own environment — was naturally, pumpkin pie. The sweetest tradition of Thanksgiving, for me was when we had the opportunity the afternoon, evening and morning before the big meal to gather in the kitchen and prepare the ingredients — all that chopping and slicing, dicing and peeling; visiting and laughing. In truth, it didn’t happen all that often, but the memory is as sweet as that fleeting tradition.

Humans can sprout new blood vessels

You are familiar with energy drinks, aren’t you?

The Wild West in the Rim Country

Chapter 7: Murders On The Trail To Globe

The place was Globe, Arizona Territory; the time was Wednesday, Aug. 23, 1882. Delfina Morena gave her 11-year-old daughter Augustina a short grocery list and sent her to the store carrying a small basket. A half-hour later, Augustina returned breathless, her basket still empty. “Mother!” she exclaimed, “There are two men hanging from the tree down by St. Elmo’s Saloon. They are dead, just swinging in the wind. I know one of them. He looks like that dance instructor, Lafayette Grimes. We saw him at the photographer’s place when I had my birthday picture taken.”

A perfect vacation — Part 2

Last week we began this article telling how we decided to take a fall vacation in Europe. We felt October offered the best weather in the cities and countries to be visited and many of the tourists would have returned home. This was the case. We departed early October arriving in Rome where we did some sightseeing in this important city for history and culture. Our plan was to also take a three-week cruise on Holland America Lines’ lovely Noordam covering the Greek Islands, Turkey, Croatia as well as several stops in Italy, Sicily, principal Mediterranean ports and Tunis in North Africa.

Getaway around Rim Country

The clock is ticking down to the annual Electric Light Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3. Entry applications must be submitted to the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department by Friday, Nov. 18. Entry fees are between $10 and $25. The theme is “North Pole Fantasy” and among the suggested ideas: reindeer in their barn, Santa in his workshop or elves asleep after their work is finished.

Let’s talk turkey

Once again, the Payson Elks Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway, will present its free Community Thanksgiving Dinner. The 8th annual event is open to the public with seatings at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Donations will be accepted to help with costs, but are not required. Volunteers are welcome to help out. Stop by the Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway, to find out more, or call (928) 474-2572 for free tickets or to volunteer.

Good 2 Go

Once again, storytellers will gather in Pine at the Community Center Cultural Hall to celebrate the grand old tradition of storytelling at Tellabration, Saturday, Nov. 19. Enjoy a meet and greet and dinner at 5 p.m. for $25 (including the show). Or just come hear the great tales to be told by the artists at 7 p.m. for $5 at the door.

Start making those Christmas gift lists

If you haven’t made that list of recipients and ideas for their gifts, get it down on paper now. The Rim Country has a bounty of craft fairs and more to visit where you can find that one-of-a-kind treasure for every special loved one and friend on that list. Keep in mind this is just an initial listing of all the holiday shopping events planned for the coming weeks. Watch the Review “Getaway” and Payson Roundup “Almanac” pages as more opportunities for gift-getting are announced.

Tuesday, November 15

Jury finds Dr. Lowe not guilty

After a day and a half of deliberations, a jury has found Dr. Michael Lowe not guilty.

County land sale last hurdle for ASU deal

Just one more bewildering knot left to cut through before Rim Country gets a university, Payson Mayor Kenny Evans said this week. Unfortunately, that knot involves the convoluted relationship between Gila Community College, Gila County and the Rim Country Educational Alliance (SLE) — and a 22-acre piece of land with a strange history. If on Dec. 4 the Gila County Board of Supervisors ignores the Gila Community College Board’s proposed conditions on the sale of the land, the Rim Country could return to its original schedule and have a university campus here in the fall of 2013, said Evans.

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Grief, grins provoke tears on Vets Day

Payson man gets a Purple Heart 66 years late as community honors soldiers who survived everything from D-Day to car bombs in Iraq

The children made them grin. The video made them cry. And Bill Deerfield’s Purple Heart made them stand up and cheer. All told, hundreds of tough-as-nails veterans of the D-Day landings, Chosin Reservoir, Vietnam firefights, Iraqi ambushes and a hundred other deadly conflicts spent much of the two-hour Veterans Day services in Payson dabbing away tears.

Police say more kids smoking synthetic drug

Police say teenagers have found a new way to get high and it is legal for now. After spice, a marijuana-like drug was outlawed earlier this year in Arizona due to a number of people going to the emergency room for seizures, racing heartbeat and elevated blood pressure, manufacturers have come out with a new product potentially just as dangerous, police say. Payson police are urging parents to watch out for potpourri, synthetic marijuana that can also cause health problems.

Former Game & Fish employee charged in soliciting sex from minor

A Payson man who worked for the state Game and Fish Department has resigned after police arrested him for reportedly soliciting sex from an underage girl in the Verde Valley.

Community Almanac

What do Steve Berry, Jeffrey Deaver, Tammy Hoag, and Nora Roberts have in common? They are all authors whose books are still on the shelf at the Rim Country Literacy Program’s office. They are among the books still available for purchase from the 12th Annual Used Book Sale. This week, while books last, a bag of books is available for $1.

Thanks for attending Veterans Day tribute

Payson High School Auditorium on Friday, Nov. 11 with special appreciation extended to the veterans who attended.

Great care at Payson Regional Medical Center

Barely alive, my husband Jim, took me to Payson Regional Medical Center on Oct. 25, where they discovered I had a severe kidney infection due to a kidney stone blockage.

Head Start says thanks

As November is the month of recognition for America’s education system, the local Head Start and Early Head Start programs wish to publicly thank our schools, teachers and principals.

Elected to solve problems and make tough choices

As many of you know, since being sworn in I have been committed to seeking bipartisan solutions to the serious debt and deficit problems facing our nation. Only by working together will we be able to restore fiscal sanity to Washington. The problems facing American families and businesses show no bias based on political party and as such the road to real solutions must also be unbiased.

GCC board should get out of the way

More than 200 years ago, master political strategist Thomas Paine said: “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” We think the Gila Community College board members ought to get the phrase tattooed on their foreheads for future reference. More to the point, we hope Gila County supervisors will set aside (read ignore) the GCC board’s last-minute questions about the proposed sale of 22 acres of county-owned land to the Rim Country Educational Alliance for phase one of a four-year university.

Payson Fire Department, KC’s Home Health Care awarded NFPA scholarship

The Payson Fire Department and KC’s Home Health Care have been awarded scholarships to participate in a training conference dedicated to Remembering When™: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults, developed by the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA. The scholarships provide for travel expenses for two participants, Remembering When curriculum materials and all training.

Tax override vote saved Payson school programs

Voter support last year for a budget override prevented an additional rise in class size, provided advanced courses for high school students and saved music, physical education and technology classes throughout the Payson Unified School District, the school board learned recently. State law allows voters to boost their property taxes to augment school budgets by up to 10 percent, usually to cover the cost of certain programs. Local voters rejected a budget override in 2009, but then approved the district’s appeal for more money in 2010. Voters will decide again whether to extend the override in 2015. The voter approval of the override boosted the district’s operations budget by about $1.2 million annually and runs until 2016.

Payson FFA student Danya Svir takes part in career development event

Danya Svir of the Payson FFA Chapter in Arizona was one of 49 participants in the National FFA Creed Speaking Career Development Event (CDE). The event was held in conjunction with the 84th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. The participant, led by adviser Jadee Garner, was awarded a bronze emblem.

Rotary Student of the Month

The Rim Country Rotary-Payson honored its October Student of the Month, Zach Anderson, with a ceremony at the club’s Oct. 27 meeting with a Certificate of Merit and a check for $50.

PHS culinary arts student brings home a bronze

Congrats to one of Payson High School’s culinary arts students, Shoshanah Wright. She took the challenge and competed with the big boys, you could say.

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Peer counselors offer consistency in students’ lives

More than 140 of Payson’s elementary and junior high school students lack someone in their life that has the time to simply sit with them and ask, “How are you doing today?” Many of these kids don’t know if they’ll come home to dinner — 71 percent of the students in the school district qualify for free or reduced cost lunches. Often their home life does not have a quiet place for them to do homework. Some don’t even know if they’ll have a home after they leave school — 21 percent of the PUSD student population are defined as homeless under federal guidelines.

Wilderness Stewards wanted on Tonto National Forest

Openings for wilderness steward volunteers in the Superstition and Four Peaks wildernesses on the Tonto National Forest were announced today by forest officials. “The district is operating at reduced staffing levels, so wilderness stewards provide an invaluable service to the district by serving as hosts at trailheads and providing hiker assistance,” said district ranger Art Wirtz.

Masked man robs Circle K on Beeline Highway

The Payson Police Department says it needs the public’s help in catching a man that robbed a Payson Circle K last week who may have been armed. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, a man walked into the Circle K at 606 N. Beeline Highway around 11 p.m. and demanded money from the clerk.

Armed gunman robs couple on Halloween day

Detectives are still looking for a man who robbed a couple Halloween day wielding two semi-automatic weapons and cloaked in camouflage. A local couple was sitting in their vehicle off a remote-section of Mayfield Canyon Road in Star Valley when they say a man walked out of the brush wearing tan camouflage clothing, gloves and a blue bandana over his face around 2:15 p.m. Oct. 31, said Gila County Sheriff’s Det. George Ratliff.

Youth council changes its name, broadens its scope

Goodness: Rim Country’s “era of good feeling” keeps spreading. Case in point: The Payson Youth Advisory Council is changing its name. Henceforth, the group of teenagers Payson appointed to an advisory panel will be known as The Payson Area Youth Advisory Council. Youth Council Chairman Dillon Walker appeared before the Payson Town Council last week to ask for the name change.

County unemployment rate drops, but local job picture still ‘stagnant’

Gila County rate drops to 9.7 percent, still above statewide average of 9.1

Gila County’s unemployment rate dropped sharply to 9.7 percent in September, but remained a little above the state average. Despite the decrease in the rate, the county’s work force of 20,906 has barely budged since January. Workers at the unemployment office say many unemployed workers have simply given up and moved away, especially after the state Legislature failed to pass a law this summer needed to take advantage of extended, federally funded unemployment benefits. “We had a lot of people that fell off when the extensions were stopped,” said Department of Economic Security employment representative Mike Guardina, who has processed unemployment claims for the past decade.

Game and Fish starts winter trout stocking

Areas close to Rim Country still getting weekly infusion of rainbows include Green Valley Lake, Beaver Creek, Oak Creek and the Verde River. Now that summer rainbow fishing is a pine-scented memory, don’t stash away your favorite trout fishing gear — the increasingly popular fall-winter trout stocking season is ramping up. “While anglers across the nation are getting their ice-fishing gear out of hiding, Arizona anglers are blessed with abundant winter fishing opportunities in shirt-sleeve weather that is the envy of shivering anglers across North America’s more snowy environs,” says Rory Aikens, the fishing report editor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

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Girls on the Run take part in 5K

It was a blustery day for a run, but 19 Payson-area girls crossed the finish line in Flagstaff Saturday, capping off a 12-week program designed to boost their confidence and learn healthy lifestyle habits. At a wintry 40 degrees, it was a cold start for the Fourth Annual Girls on the Run New Balance 5K run in Buffalo Park, however, thanks to an exorbitant amount of exuberance coming from more than 400 participants and several hundred more supporters, the air was warm with smiles and laughter.

PMGA season winds down

A foursome of the Payson Men’s Golf Association’s most accomplished members joined forces to take top honors in a four-man team tournament in which the lowest scores of three of the four players on each hole were scored. After 18 holes of play Oct. 26 at Payson Golf Course, the foursome of Troy Neal, John Calderwood, Gary Rovetto and Ralph Lindo emerged as top gun with a 191. In addition to Rovetto and Neal sharing in first place prize money, the duo also pocketed cash awards for being closest to the pin winners. Neal was closest on No. 17, just 4 feet, 1 inch shy of an ace. Rovetto won on No. 2 with a tee shot that came up just 14 feet, 3 inches shy of the flag.

Former Rim Country resident published

Former Rim Country resident Louis Bourdreaux has written and published his first book of poetry, “I Remember You Well.” He is the son of LeaAnne Lemmage Bryan and the grandson of Payson resident Doris Lemmage.

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Feasts set at Senior Center, Senior Circle and Pine

bygone days; necklaces in style today are big, bold and colorful. Nor is the trend limited to women only, many male sports figures and celebrities also sport (pun intended) chains and other neckwear. Necklaces are believed to have originated during the Stone Age, 40,000 years ago. The earliest ones were made of vines or animal sinew, sometimes with shells or animal bones or teeth on them. Now beads or gemstones are most popular. Since my wardrobe consists mainly of jeans, sweatshirts and T-shirts, I guess I won’t need any new necklaces, no matter how in they are!

Clubs and Organizations

Tom Herbert will be Payson Art League’s guest speaker at its Tuesday, Nov. 15 meeting. He is a popular speaker, juror and instructor in the art community. His work and articles have appeared in numerous publications. He is currently a member of the Arizona Watercolor Association, Arizona Artist Guild, Contemporary Watercolorists of Arizona and Arizona Art Alliance.

Friday, November 11

Bowlers raise $6,000 for shelter

Animals at the Humane Society of Central Arizona (HSCAZ) benefited from the recent Pins for Paws event held at Rim Country Lanes. The event was sponsored by residents of Chaparral Pines, neighbors and friends. A regular group of casual bowlers decided to turn one of their outings into a fund-raiser. Cathy and Chuck Buckisch, and Frank and Judy Woertz came up with the idea to call it “Pins for Paws” and make the night about helping animals.

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Veterans Day baby recalls her vivid, pioneering life

Frieda Rush recalls hard-rock mining, hard-core bandits in a life that started in the shadow of World War I

Spend an afternoon with Frieda Rush and you’ll soon realize she’s enjoyed a captivating life filled with passion and enthusiasm. Even more evidence of the twists and turns of a life worth living emerge from a look through her rustic, pioneer home in a nondescript residential area of central Payson. On the walls of her historic home, she artfully displays the hundreds of mementos, memorabilia and souvenirs she’s collected over the decades.

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PHS ranks fourth among Division 3 marching bands

Band competes Saturday in finals in Glendale

The Payson High School marching band drummed and danced its way to fourth place against 31 other Division 3 bands at the state semi-finals on Saturday, Nov. 5. “I’m proud of them, but now I’m preparing for the finals,” said Daria Mason, the high school band director the day after the semi-finals. Payson ranked sixth among Division 3 bands going into the competition, but came out of the semi-finals fourth. This Saturday, Nov. 12 the band will travel to the state finals in Glendale.

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Lowe: ‘She did what she wanted’

Dr. Michael Lowe said he tried repeatedly to talk a patient out of leaving him everything in her estate, but she refused to reconsider. During more than three hours on the witness stand Wednesday, Lowe spoke in depth about his relationship with the late Alicia Christopherson, saying although they were close, he did not isolate her so that he would be the sole benefactor of her nearly $600,000 estate. Lowe faces one count of theft from a vulnerable adult and, if convicted, could spend three to 12.5 years in prison. A jury began deliberations Thursday afternoon after hearing from more than two dozen witnesses during seven days of testimony.

GCC board wants new land appraisal

Unhappy with a “low” appraisal from the county on land near the Gila Community College (GCC) campus, the GCC board voted Thursday to hire their own appraiser and put restrictions on the sale of land to the Rim Country Educational Alliance (SLE). However, even if the GCC board can agree on a price, no state statute exists that allows GCC to sell land to the SLE, said Tom Loeffler, GCC board member. Gila County supervisors would need to act as the selling agent for GCC and the supervisors will deed over 32 acres to GCC, while holding the rest to offer to the alliance.

Payson schools leery of early graduation

Payson schools aren’t ready to jump into a plan to encourage students to finish high school early, but they’re definitely standing on the end of the pier thinking about it. Last year, the state Legislature laid the groundwork for a system that would allow high school students to pass their graduation tests and get a diploma at the end of their sophomore year. In theory, that would free bright, self-motivated students to get a head start on either a college degree or vocational training — and maybe help them cut the cost of a college degree dramatically.

Price of buying Roundup goes to 75 cents Tuesday

After 10 years, the Payson Roundup is increasing the price of newspapers sold in racks. On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the price of a single copy will increase 25 cents to 75 cents.

Winter storms force closures, restrictions on Coconino forest roads

The very conditions that draw the public to the forest in the winter can also pose dangers. The Coconino National Forest encourages snowplayers to know the weather conditions before you go: take the time to learn about the conditions and closures in place before heading out.

Woman who lost both legs in accident suing UPS for damages

A woman who lost both of her legs after being struck by a UPS semi-truck more than three years ago is suing the company for damages. Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill set a March 6 trial date for Karen Allred, of Maricopa County, who had both legs amputated after a UPS tractor-trailer, driven by Kenneth Harris, of Show Low, hit her near the intersection of Highways 87 and 260 at milepost 250.8 on South Beeline Highway.

Community Almanac

Kaitie’s Closet’s Annual New Shoe Drive is being held in November and December this year to help kids in need get through the winter with new, warm shoes.  There are several locations where pink boxes are located in which to drop off the shoes. Look for them at all elementary schools, Walmart, Beeline Business Equipment, Scoops Ice Cream & Espresso, Tiny’s Restaurant, Payson Physical Therapy and Central Arizona Board of Realtors. 

No cuts should be made in benefits

Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have protected our nation for generations.

Who wants a one dollar coin?

We are getting closer and closer to the Super Committee deciding where we need to cut.

Tribute to a veteran

Robert Basal was born in Gallitzin, Pa.

Payson airport — back to the past?

If past is truly prologue, vigilant Payson citizens should carefully examine the drastic change in management that is about to take place at Payson airport.

Tootsie Roll Drive was best ever

The Payson Knights of Columbus would like to thank the Roundup for publishing our little notice in the paper, three times about our weekend Tootsie Roll Drive to help the Payson Special Olympics the weekend of Nov. 4, 5 and 6.

Grateful to military members

A few years back a young man attended an early morning seminary class that I taught to high school seniors.

Christian Athletes say thanks

Payson Fellowship of Christian Athletes, in partnership with Payson-area churches, would like to express a long-overdue and heartfelt thank you to Macky’s, Sawmill Theatres, Scoops and Pizza Factory for their contributions and support for the 5th Quarter events this fall.

Republican-led House trying to chart new course

Regardless of how one might feel about the policy initiatives coming out of Washington since President Obama took office, it’s hard to argue that they haven’t done much to fix our ailing economy or spur job growth. In fact, the numbers indicate that, if anything, they’ve made things even worse.

Honor America’s veterans with gratitude, citizenship

This glorious day has come upon us once again, with our hopes still tattered as a shrapnel-shredded flag and our gratitude still fresh as the blood spilled this week on the field of battle. Veterans Day marks the end of World War I, a conflict so mindless, cataclysmic and tragic that its survivors called it “The War to End All Wars.” The stubborn refusal of our brilliantly foolish species to learn the lessons in blood offered by The War to End All Wars led directly to World War II.

There are times when fiction becomes real

If anyone ever asks me which moment of my 79 years was the scariest, there is no doubt in my mind — none at all — that the night of February 16, 1941, tops the list. Nothing before or since has even come close. On that night I learned something, though I didn’t understand it until years later. There can come a moment when fiction crosses the line into reality.

Southwest Behavioral prepares for 10th Thanksgiving meal

Every year since 2001, employees of Southwest Behavioral Health Payson have donated their time and money to prepare and serve a full Thanksgiving meal for the center’s consumers and their families. SBH employees start planning for the feast in September and view this as a meaningful way to give something back to their valued consumers.

Explore different options when purchasing bonds

As an investor, you may find that bonds can be a valuable part of your holdings. But there’s more than one way to own bonds, so you’ll want to be familiar with the various investment vehicles available — because the more you know, the better the choices you’ll be able to make. So, let’s look at three popular ways of owning bonds: Individual bonds — When you buy an individual bond, you will receive predictable interest payments. And when your bond matures, you’ll get the original principal back, unless the issuer defaults, which is not common in cases of “investment grade” bonds.

Roundup launches bi-weekly deal site PaysonDealz

Payson residents will soon have the chance to scoop up discounted services and bi-weekly deals when the Payson Roundup launches Tuesday, Nov. 15. Similar to sites Groupon and Google Offers, which offer daily deals in major cities across the country, PaysonDealz will offer select deals at steep discounts.

Friday night lights move to Saturday

State football tournament play resumes with second-round action, but on Saturday rather than the traditional Friday night games of the regular season. A pair of games will be played tomorrow, Nov. 12 at Paradise Valley and another two, tomorrow at North Canyon High School.

For residents and visitors who enjoy a slower pace

While runners will be hitting the pavement around Green Valley Park on Saturday, Nov. 19 for the annual Turkey Trot 5k, those who enjoy a slower pace can take advantage of a guided Payson Area Trails System hike of the Houston Loop Trail.

Longhorns in line for postseason honors

It’s unclear exactly how All-Section football teams will be selected this year because the Arizona Interscholastic Association is hosting an online process and Division IV, Section III (of which Payson is a member) coaches are meeting at Fountain Hills High School to select honorees.

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No rocking chair for this ‘novice’ senior runner

It has taken 72-year-old Henry Lopez just one year of competitive running to make his mark in the sport. Among his best efforts over the course of the past year was a third-place age group finish in the 36th Annual Phoenix 10K that on Nov. 6 drew 10,000-plus runners and joggers to downtown streets.

Most thefts and burglaries occur on Tuesdays and Fridays

A year’s worth of theft and burglary data for the Payson area reveals Tuesday is one of the most likely days for a crime spree, but the information also offers homeowners tips on how not to become another statistic. If you live on Highway 87 or west of it, lock up, because property crimes happen here more than anywhere in town. More than 35 percent of property crimes occurred along the Beeline from Oct. 3, 2010 to Sept. 29, 2011 out of 365 reported thefts and burglaries. Thefts, where thieves take property unlawfully, but without forceful entry, occur far more than burglaries, where a structure or vehicle is broken into. Thieves are therefore taking things from unlocked vehicles and homes that are easy to get to quickly.

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A soldier’s tale – with one eye shut

Payson High graduate will spend Veterans Day as a Marine combat photographer in Afghanistan

Once upon a time, when the world was small and safe and predictable — Ammon Carter focused on bringing self-government to Payson High School, serving in student government and excelling on the moot court team. These days, he laces up his combat boots, slings his F-16 and his Cannon 5D Mark II digital camera over his shoulder and sets out to bring self-government to Nawa in Afghanistan’s infamous Helmet Province. And he’ll probably sling both his cameras and assault rifle again on Veterans Day, when the folks back home take a break from largely ignoring the nation’s longest-running war ever.

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Take time to thank veterans on Friday

On this day set aside to honor veterans, I thank the veterans who live in Pine and Strawberry, and all veterans who served the U.S., for the sacrifices you made and the freedoms you upheld. Happy Veterans Day. Next Friday, Nov. 18, the Pine Strawberry School will honor veterans with a student-led Awards/Veterans Assembly and Flag Ceremony at 8:15 a.m. in the school gym at 3868 N Pine Creek Dr. All veterans and the community are invited. Let’s support our great students and veterans. Returning soldiers put their life on the line for us, but regretfully, not all were welcomed home with parades and open arms.

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Bible fellowship celebrates pastor’s 75th birthday

On Sunday, Nov. 6 Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship celebrated Pastor Ed Hepworth’s 75th birthday.  More than 50 people were in attendance and enjoyed a delicious Mexican potluck. Fun and great fellowship was had by all in honor of his birthday which is actually on Nov. 9.

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Youthful Rim Country trio soars to NFL gold medals in Flagstaff

Payson’s long tradition of sending top-notch competitors to NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competitions received yet another boost when a trio of Rim Country teens finished as gold medalists in sectional finals held Oct. 30 in Flagstaff. Skylar Way took first in the 14- to 15-year-old boys division, Taylor Mansoor was first among the 14- to 15-year-old girls and R.J. Butler brought home the gold in the 10- to 11-year-old boys contest. Way punted, passed and kicked 313 feet, 4 inches, which easily bettered the mark of 302 feet he set earlier when winning the Payson age/sex group PP&K competition.

WON tourney a winner at Roosevelt

The inaugural Western Outdoor News (WON) bass fishing tournament at Roosevelt Lake is in the record books as an overwhelming success. That’s the opinion of Arizona tournament director Tracy Purtee who said the Oct. 22 tournament went off without a hitch, thanks to ideal weather conditions and “a really good group of volunteers who did a tremendous job.”

Tonto National Forest offers guided desert walks on Tuesdays

Weekly “Desert Walks,” featuring plants and wildlife on the Salt River, will begin on Nov. 15. There is no charge for this activity which is offered by the Mesa Ranger District Volunteer Program. The walks will be held every Tuesday at 10 a.m., alternating between two meeting locations: the Pebble Beach walks for odd Tuesdays of the month, and the PhonD Sutton location scheduled for meeting on even Tuesday dates.

Some easy tips to prevent holiday pet problems

Holidays should be filled with the joy of gatherings and special treats for friends and family and pet-friendly treats for companion animals. Often dogs wait beneath tabletops in hopes that food scraps will fall upon them, sometimes with disastrous results. Special precautions need to be taken prior to enjoying the holiday festivities. Let’s begin with a story that is based on situations that often happen but with simple planning could be totally avoided.

Clubs and Organizations

Elks members and guests are welcome to enjoy lunch at the Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday dinner from noon to 5 p.m. Basic refreshments are offered for sale at the Elks Jam Session, scheduled for 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12 and at Open Mic Night, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 16 and Nov. 30. Elks members and guests are also welcome at these events.

Houston Mesa Road to get stripes next week

So long as the weather cooperates, residents living along Houston Mesa Road will see stripes on their stretch of road by next week. The road has been without stripes for weeks causing confusion, said Steve Sanders, deputy director of public works for Gila County.

11-11-11 — This unique date seems to be all the rage

In the theaters, you can see the movie “11-11-11 The End Is Now.” For months, couples have been planning their weddings for 11-11-11 (most likely so husbands can remember their anniversary date). And just flip on the TV. Even the Dr. Phil Show recently showcased a woman who is getting married today, on the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year — for the 11th time! (You just have to wonder what in the world her 11th husband is thinking.)

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Animal shelter frame goes up

After years of fund-raising and hope falling, the Humane Society of Central Arizona this week finally began putting up the frame of a new, $900,000 animal shelter that will keep thousands of homeless cats and dogs safe and snug for decades to come. Amon Builders brought in cranes to dangle into place the metal framework for the 7,000-square-foot building, funded entirely with private donations.

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More snow and rain expected this weekend on the Rim

The snow we received at the beginning of the week rapidly melted and a few cold nights ensued after the front passed. The lookout for us this weekend has a chance of rain/snow mixed showers Saturday and Sunday with lows in the mid 20s and daytime highs reaching the upper 40s. The Navajo County Public Works has readied its snow removal equipment for the season as we have witnessed as of late, a cycle of snow has begun for our area. Navajo County has an extensive rural road responsibility that they carry and some have complained of, “When are they going to plow my road?”

Fly your flag and honor our veterans today

Today is Veterans Day, 2011. Please fly your flag and observe this day in some way to honor our heroes. The veterans who have lost their lives for all of us so that we could stay free in the United States, and the ones who are still fighting to keep us free. I have had uncles in WWII, a husband in Korea, brothers in the Vietnam War, and now a grandson in Afghanistan. I especially honor them on this day. Veteran’s Day started out as Armistice Day because of the ‘armistice’ signing of the Treaty of Versailles between the allies and Germany. The treaty was signed on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day on the eleventh of November.

Wednesday, November 9

Honoring Veterans

The Town of Payson Veterans Day program is at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 11 at the Payson High School Auditorium. Based on the theme, “Thank You and Welcome Home Veterans,” the program will include music, addresses by community leaders and refreshments. Refreshments will be served prior to the program, which opens with welcoming remarks, followed by Presentation of the Colors by the Payson Military Honor Guard and invocation. Payson Mayor Kenny Evans, Payson Police Chief Don Engler and Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi will address the gathering.

Rim Country has first honoree in Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame

It has been a couple of very busy weeks for Payson’s Bill Sahno. He is the senior vice commandant for the Rim Country Marine Corps League Detachment. The League just had its big birthday celebration Nov. 5 and hosted about 200 people for dinner, a cake-cutting ceremony and program. Sahno is chairman of the Payson Patriotic Events Committee which is presenting the big Veterans Day ceremony this Friday. Oh, and then there was that other thing — Oct. 28, Sahno became the first Rim Country resident inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame.

Countdown to a flavorful feast

Well worth the 364-day wait, the time-honored bounty of Thanksgiving dinner rouses eager anticipation for weeks in advance of the big day. Whether you’re a seasoned dinner host or an eager first-timer, treat your guests to an unforgettable feast — from the main attraction all the way through to dessert. To help simplify the planning process, McCormick is counting down to Feast Day, sharing inspiring recipes and helpful tips at McCormickSpice. In a series of themes, the Countdown will guide you through the meal’s most essential elements, from spectacular side dishes, turkey and gravy preparation to the pie.

Respecting Don Dedera

When researching history you tend to come across a lot of previous writings. There is a wide variety of quality in these writings. Along the way, certain writers stand out. One of the ones that I’ve really come to respect is Don Dedera. Let’s take a look at Don’s terrific career. “Payson: mountain town, supply base for half a county, a mixture of pioneers and dudes — a town with a gas station on one corner, a ranger station on another, a motel on another, and a sawmill in its middle. Payson never was very pretty, and may progress never move the horse pastures off Main Street.”

A Perfect Vacation

How else do you describe a vacation that was perfect but to call it “A perfect vacation”? We felt it was time to renew our experiences in the Mediterranean area, the Greek Islands and more. What time of year should you do this? After some discussion Norma and I felt that early fall would be best because the hot weather by this time would have disappeared and the usual summer crowds were through with their vacations. So, we picked October.

Getaway around Rim Country

The area is called home by some of the nation’s best quilters, and those quilters, as well as gifted hobbyists and novices will have their work displayed at the Seventh Annual Rim Country Quilt Roundup. There will also be quilts coming to the show from out of the area and the Arizona Centennial Quilt, made by quilters from all over the state, will be showcased.

Good 2 Go

Remember and honor the passing of a loved one during the holidays by celebrating their life. Hospice Compassus, Messinger’s Funeral Home, the Rim Country Hospice Foundation and Gerardo’s Italian Bistro invite the public to the annual Celebration of Life.

Holiday shopping opportunities

The Payson Womans Club has scheduled Saturday, Nov. 12, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for its annual Holly Berry Fair. The event will be held in the Payson Womans Club building, 510 W. Main St., and the public is invited to attend. Dixie Jones has been selected chairman of the fair and can be contacted at (928) 474-3409.

Tuesday, November 8

Food drive starts

The goal: No hungry children in Payson. So the organizers of this year’s Payson Area Food Drive brought a giant squirrel to the Payson Town Council meeting Thursday to collect donations from the council — and appeal for support. “The need for food right now is the strongest it’s been in three years,” said food drive chairman Roger Kreimeyer, in an appearance before the council accompanied by PAFD’s costumed mascot.

Payson to sell lot to campus

Town sells one-acre parcel for a loss to provide site for campus spin-off project

The Payson Town Council has agreed to sell an acre with a convoluted history to the Rim Country Education Alliance (SLE) for construction of a university and its spin-offs. The town council last Thursday agreed unanimously to sell the parcel to the alliance for the appraised $50,000, although the town paid about $128,000 for the parcel in 1999.

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Battle-tested Marines celebrate

Rim Country Marine Corps veterans of every fight from World War II to Afghanistan, joined forces to celebrate the 236th anniversary of their beloved corps at celebrations in Rim Country Saturday. A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan offered the keynote speech — and the observation that kids raised on iPods and video games still make Marines every bit as tough as the fighters who stormed Iwo Jima.

High school parents, teachers, students form support group

Group seeks to ease the load on overburdened faculty

Teachers struggling to grade papers, develop lesson plans, attend required meetings and now paint homecoming floats and work home-game concession stands are getting some help. Last week, a group of Payson High School parents, students and teachers held the second meeting of a new support group called the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO).

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Blue Ridge pumps on East Verde fall silent

The Salt River Project this week shut off the spigots that sent 8,000 acre-feet of water from the Blue Ridge Reservoir gushing down the East Verde River this summer. SRP shut down the pumps a little early this year to make additional repairs on the electronic leads of the motors, which will require the intermittent use of the pumps for the next couple of weeks.

Community Almanac

Visit the beautiful Hospice Compassus hospice house at 511 S. Mud Springs Road, Payson for an open house between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8.

How much money does Star Valley get from its renters’ tax?

Every year we read in your paper about what a lot of money the town of Star Valley has in its coffers (Despite recession, Star Valley banks $4M, Oct. 21).

Payson council should repeal water rate increase

A few weeks ago the Payson Town Council expressed its displeasure of the proposed utility increases by Arizona Public Service and SemStream.

Redistricting maps are unconstitutional

Last week the Senate confirmed the governor’s removal of the Independent Redistricting Commission Chair Colleen Mathis. This action should have been taken back in June, but it was taken now because the maps produced by the IRC under the direction of the chair are unconstitutional in all six criteria that must be considered: the U.S. Voting Rights Act, equal population, geographical compactness, respect for communities of interest, use of visible geographic features and competitiveness.

Parents involvement key to improved learning

Last week, a group of Rim Country parents took an important step to improving our schools. They formed the Parent Teacher Student Organization at Payson High School. On the face of it, they rallied behind the district’s struggling teachers — asked to do more and more for less and less. But in truth, the students will reap the greatest benefit from this latest effort by parents to get involved in schools.

Learn about comforts of Hospice Compassus

Hoping to get the word out before it’s too late, Hospice Compassus will hold an open house today from 3 to 6 p.m. at 511 S. Mud Springs Road, Payson. “Often our patients are referred to us too late,” said Mary Jane Rogers, executive director of Hospice Compassus in Payson.

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Live long and prosper — message of health fair

A new location and the advent of the Rim’s first winter storm didn’t make a dent in the popularity of the 13th annual Community Health and Care Fair. Saturday at the gym at Julia Randall Elementary School, more than 250 Rim Country residents took advantage of free and reduced cost services from 18 health care professionals, and collected information and more from 34 vendors.

House approves disputed mine

Congress waives tribal objections, environmental study to create 3,700 jobs

The House of Representatives this week waived environmental laws and dismissed objections by Arizona Apache tribes to authorize the exchange of thousands of acres of federal land to allow a massive, underground copper mine in southern Gila County. If the measure wins Senate approval and a presidential signature, it would create a copper mine that could supply a quarter of the U.S. annual demand for decades.

Don’t let your last words be ‘LOL’

“Yeah” “lol” “Where R U?” These are real not-so-famous last words of teenagers just like me who lost their lives when they made the deadly mistake of texting while driving. There was a time that I was just like those kids. I LOVE to text with my friends. It’s easy. It’s convenient. Everybody I know does it.

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Students crusade against car texting

Payson Project Ignition group goes to DC to train

How do you keep teenagers from killing themselves in a moment of stupidity? That’s the question facing a group of Payson teenagers, charged with convincing Arizona teens to give up the deadly habit of texting while driving. Just back from a conference in Washington, D.C., the four Payson teenagers now must help develop a public education campaign for the entire state. Shelly Camp serves as the adviser for Project Ignition, which involves maybe a dozen kids in the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group in the effort to educate their peers about the dangers of distracted driving.

Quilt Roundup this weekend

Some of the the nation’s best quilters call Rim Country home and those quilters, as well as gifted hobbyists and novices, will have their work displayed at the Seventh Annual Rim Country Quilt Roundup. The quilt to be showcased at the show is the Arizona Centennial Quilt, which features the work of quilters from around the state in tribute to the 100th anniversary of statehood to be celebrated Feb. 14, 2012.

John Denver tribute Wednesday

The Tonto Community Concert Association and Live On Stage, Inc. present a John Denver tribute concert Wednesday. Boasting the only full-length concert tribute to John Denver, Jim Curry will lend his remarkable resemblance to the star in his production of “Take Me Home: the Music of John Denver” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

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Rim Country drivers pass first test of winter

Rim Country drivers passed their first test of the winter weather season, creeping through the weekend storm safely. Police reported only a handful of wrecks and slide-offs over the weekend, with the few accidents causing only minor injuries. Despite several inches of snow in Pine and 1.5 inches of rain in Payson, emergency crews were left mostly twiddling their thumbs.

Design rules voluntary

Payson now has spiffy new design standards to make sure schools and other public buildings fit into the town’s overall “cool mountain town” motif. One complication: Public agencies like schools can build just about anything they want, without regard to town zoning ordinances and design standards. That includes whatever the Rim Country Education Alliance (SLE) decides to build on more than 300 acres of forested land at the east end of town.

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Veterans Day celebrations slated

The Rim Country is a restful retreat for many residents who have found their way here — and quite a few are veterans. In fact, there are about 1,400 Rim Country residents enrolled with the Veterans Administration and about 800 using VA services.

Clubs and Organizations

Elks members and guests are welcome to enjoy lunch at the Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday dinner from noon to 5 p.m.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that: Hidden taxes, Google maps and housing predictions

I recently attended a meeting with representatives from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and learned that the Legislature had withdrawn a majority of ADEQ’s funds and instructed the agency to establish fees so they become self supporting. Consequently, ADEQ is going to establish an “inspection fee” for septic pumper trucks, which may in turn raise the cost of maintaining home septic systems.

Quarterly sales report shows Rim Country economy stuck in doldrums

Payson keeps a tight rein on spending to cope with lower than expected revenues

Rim Country’s economy continues to chase recovery like the shimmering illusion of water in the dips of an endless highway. That’s the gist of Payson’s quarterly tracking report on the state of the Rim Country economy — and the town’s budget. From June to September the town collected $1.1 million in local sales taxes — down a negligible $4,000 from the same period a year ago.

Postseason honor selection hits snag

Determining how postseason honorees will be chosen is another of the unique challenges being offered up by this school year’s change from the previous region-conference alignment to a division-section configuration. The main snafu appears to be, should voting be done by computer, as the Arizona Interscholastic Association suggests, or in a traditional meeting of coaches?

Rereation Roundup

Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department: 474-5242, ext. 7

Registration is now open. The cost is $185 per team. Games will be played weeknights. Participants must be at least 16 to play. There will be a competitive and recreation division if there are six teams registered in both.

Favorites advance in state football

Upsets were nowhere to be found in the first round of the Division IV “State” football tournament when it kicked off Nov. 4 at eight sites around Arizona. As expected, the favorites advanced to second-round play on Nov. 12, with No. 1 seeded Blue Ridge romping 54-14 over Coolidge; No. 2 Snowflake, behind former PHS football player Chase Walden, demolishing Window Rock 56-7; and No. 3 Show Low rolling over Mingus, 49-6.

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Little League needs volunteers to step up

The 2011 Little League season was a banner one that kicked off April 30 with opening day ceremonies that included a mini carnival, radio broadcast, baseball and softball games and the raffle of a 42-inch high definition television. The campaign continued into the postseason with the local program qualifying both boys and girls all-star teams for area and district tournaments.

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White tapped as new hoop coach

The Lady Longhorn girls basketball program takes on a new look this season with Jennifer White, a freshman coach last year, assuming the reins of the program, and former head coach Kelly Krieg becoming a varsity assistant. Krieg had been the Lady Longhorn head coach for the past two years and was applauded around the Rim Country for putting together a strong, year-round program that included off-season clinics and camps.

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Jackets nip Horns in soccer final four thriller

The good news for the Longhorns in a Division IV “State” tournament semifinal game against two-time defending state champion Blue Ridge was that Payson scored for the first time in three meetings against the Yellow Jackets. The score was on Sam Grassel’s penalty kick. The bad news, however, is the Jackets scored a trio of goals, winning a 3-1 thriller on Nov. 5 at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert. The loss eliminated Payson from the tournament, but only after the Horns put on one of the most amazing showings in the history of the program. “We more than held our own,” said coach Chris Avakian. “We knew all along they (the players) had it in them.” Payson snuck into the tournament as the 12th and final seed pitted against No. 5 Snowflake. Prior to the state opener, few gave the Horns a chance of winning, mostly because days earlier the Lobos had beaten the Longhorns, 3-0.

Friday, November 4

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Rain could turn into snow in Heber Overgaard Saturday

Warming days and nights reaching just below freezing is predicted to change Friday afternoon starting with a 20 percent chance of rain increasing to 70 percent with winds up to 20 mph.

4-H archery hits tourney bull’s-eye

The Rim Country Deadshots, Gila County’s first 4-H archery club ever, took nine marksmen to the 2011 4-H state invitational tournament last month in St. Johns.

School board reviews $34 million in projects

The Payson School Board on Monday received a final accounting of how the district spent nearly $34 million in bond money voters approved in 2006. “I’m just so grateful to the community for this support,” said board president Barbara Underwood. The bulk of the money financed a $17 million renovation of Julia Randall Elementary School, including $14 million to replace existing buildings and upgrade the grounds and build athletic facilities.

Students’ exercise levels rise thanks to PE grant

Payson schools report success in getting kids moving — but diets actually get worse

Payson kids are getting more exercise. But they’re actually eating worse. That perhaps surprising result arose from the first year in a three-year, million-dollar effort to improve the fitness level of the 2,400 kids attending Payson schools, Julia Randall Elementary School teacher Donna Moore reported to the school board this week.

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Great teachers influence students’ lives

Rim Country leaders recall transformative teachers and sound cautionary note about educational reforms

Payson Mayor Kenny Evans remembers the first day in school as a migrant farm worker when the conviction he did not belong there paralyzed him with fear — until a kind teacher gently told the class his name. Payson Unified School District Superintendent Casey O’Brien remembers the science teacher who took him on a field trip to Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers took wing for the first time — a trip that led directly to his career as a Navy pilot.

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Doctor’s ‘web of deception’ deprived patient of estate, prosecutors claim

Four witnesses testify during first full day of Dr. Michael Lowe trial

Leading up to a patient’s death on Halloween night seven years ago, prosecutors say a local doctor weaved a web of deception that ultimately left him with the woman’s nearly $600,000 estate. Dr. Michael Lowe preyed on hospice patient Alicia Christopherson’s vulnerability and spun a trap so tight that no one realized his plan to cash in on her death, said Gila County prosecuting attorney Lacy Cooper during open arguments Wednesday in Superior Court.

Community Almanac

Members of the Payson fraternal group known as the Knights of Columbus will once again be at the entrances of Walmart, Safeway and Bashas’ stores giving out free Tootsie Rolls Friday, Nov. 4, Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6. Each Knight will be holding a yellow canister hoping to collect money for the handicapped in Payson and for the Payson Special Olympics.

Thanks for a successful year of post-secondary education fairs

I want to express my deepest appreciation to all the vendors that attended one or both of our Gila County education fairs this year!

Novak family grateful to Shiloh Christian Church

The family of Justin Novak would like to extend our love and gratitude to the Shiloh Christian Church, Justin’s home away from home.

Mother Nature meets Big Brother in Arizona

Much of our state is covered by desert. And deserts, as we know all too well, are prone to kick up dust storms that can sweep across the landscape, blanketing farms, towns and major metropolitan areas with dust and other particulate matter.

Gila Community College needs good financial management

We are not surprised the Arizona Auditor General gave Eastern Arizona College and Gila Community College bad marks for lack of spending oversight and general accounting practices. Eastern Arizona College (EAC) has not been able to provide accurate financial reports to Gila Community College (GCC) board members for years, and GCC has no financial oversight over anything EAC does. It is beyond our comprehension that it took EAC five years to give the state’s auditor general financial information. Even then, the auditor general said the data was incomplete.

How you see people depends on your point of view

I count myself lucky. By the time I was 10 years old, I had learned something that some people never get a chance to learn. I didn’t learn it because I did anything special. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. In fact, it might be more accurate to say that I didn’t learn it at all. I suppose I absorbed it through my pores. All I know is that when I was young, something happened which gave me a respect for people — all people — that has really helped me enjoy life, and has made it easy for me to understand a few things. Things I might otherwise have not have understood at all, or only dimly.

Prescribed fire treatments on the Pleasant Valley Ranger District

Pleasant Valley Ranger District fire specialists will be conducting a series of prescribed fire operations of approximately 6,300 acres in the Cherry analysis area through November on the Tonto National Forest.  As weather conditions permit, a black line will be put around several burn blocks, treating up to several hundred acres daily, dependent on air quality conditions. 

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Halloween – a community event in Payson

Quietly sitting on a parking berm in a pool of light cast by a streetlight, Jasmine Foster, 7, and her brother Cristian, 13, waited for their family by the exit of the Haunted House at the OxBow. “I don’t want to go in,” said Jasmine, dressed as a pirate. “Last year, my dad and uncle came out laughing. We went out the door we came in. All the dudes in the mummy thing kept telling me ‘Shhhh! It’s OK,” she said.

This old coach knows Burns

Retired Scottsdale Coronado business teacher and basketball coach Herb Sherman took time this week to correct this reporter on an error in a sports story I had penned about a football game. I know Herb well as the spokesperson for the Payson Men’s Golf Association and I realized he was a fine golfer, but never knew he was so well versed in American literature.

Horns face juggernaut in final four

When the Longhorn soccer team takes to the Campo Verde High School field this evening (Nov. 4) to play a Division IV “state” tournament semifinal game, PHS will be facing a Blue Ridge squad ranked No. 1 in the nation by Although there is no national championship to ultimately decide a true No. 1 team, it’s easy to understand why MaxPreps has named the Yellow Jackets the best boys soccer squad in the country.

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Shoot for the Heart seminars on outdoor experiences return

Those highly popular “Shoot for the Heart” outdoor seminars that draw overflow crowds to Mountain Bible Church are returning for a third consecutive year. The first of five seminars begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10 at the church located at 302 E. Rancho Road. FLW Tour champion Clifford Pirch, a hometown angler who travels the country competing in bass fishing tournaments, will present “Amazing Bass Fishing Tips.”

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Ex-Horn assumes coaching reins

Former Longhorn basketball and football star Miles Huff is developing a new appreciation for teaching and coaching. It’s occurring as a result of his current stint as a student teacher and junior varsity assistant football coach at Payson High School. “It’s different for me,” admits Huff who will graduate from Northern Arizona University next month and then begin his search for a job in the education-coaching field.

Rec Roundup

• Youth Basketball registration is now open for all fifth and sixth grade boys and girls. The cost is $30 per child. Games are played on Saturdays at Rim Country Middle School starting in early December.

Frewin tapped as UMAC Player of the Week

Former Longhorn football standout Josh Frewin is one of two members of the Greenville College football team to be named an Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Player of the Week.

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Rim Country has first honoree in Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame

With all the veterans who make the Rim Country home, it’s a surprise it has taken 10 years for one to be specially honored. The Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame started in 2001 and now Payson is represented among its honorees. Bill Sahno was inducted with 16 others Oct. 28 in Phoenix.

Supervisors approve courthouse security measures

County supervisors Tuesday voted to spend up to $85,000 to improve courthouse security. “What I’m here to request are the big dollars for key card access,” said Berthan DeNero, human resources director for the county and chair of the courthouse security committee.

County scrambles to avoid chaos at new polling places

Redistricting for county and college seats forces complicated changes

Rushing to avoid polling place chaos in February, Gila County has begun the process of juggling precincts and polling places to accommodate new district lines from the supervisor seats to the Gila County Community College board. Complicating preparations, officials have not sent the new district maps to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for review. “My goal is by the end of November to have three or four submissions ready for the Department of Justice,” said Linda Eastlick, director of elections.

Adoption Options

The Humane Society of Central Arizona welcomes you to stop by and meet the wonderful animals currently available for adoption.

This fall, improve your financial picture during open enrollment

Late fall marks the beginning of the holiday season, which probably means that you’ll have a lot going on over the next couple of months. However, busy as you are, you’ll want to take the time to review your employee benefits package, since November also is a popular month for employers to offer open enrollment.

Community Health and Care Fair this Saturday at JRE

The Mogollon Health Alliance, Payson Regional Medical Center, Hospice Compassus and Pfizer are holding the 13th annual Community Health and Care Fair from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 5 in the gym at Julia Randall Elementary School. Residents who generally do not receive health checkups are encouraged to attend this free admission health event.

Clubs and Organizations

Elks members and guests are welcome to enjoy lunch at the Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday dinner from noon to 5 p.m.

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Annual Halloween party was huge success

The annual CCHA Halloween Party on Oct. 22 for the kids from our community was a huge success. CCHA wishes to thank our businesses for their participation. Tall Pines Market (Mike Jelinek and his staff), the New Landmark restaurant (Gary and Cindi Werlinger and their staff), Creekside restaurant (Gene Bettencourt and his staff). They went all-out this year with lots of candy, fun things for the kids and much more!

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A shaggy dog, golden leaf tale

“I need a Living,” says Tom, my beloved editor. “Guess you shouldn’t have spent your whole life in newspapers,” I say sympathetically. “No. I need a feature, for the Living page.”

Right. Write a story. Fall color. East Verde. Cottonwoods. Sycamores. The usual suspects. Except I just wrote about cottonwoods two weeks ago. And I got all gushy last fall about red and yellow leaves, bereft of chlorophyll but high on leftover yellow carotenoids and red anthocyanins. So now I gotta come up with something fresh. Besides, Lobo needs a walk.

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P-S Student Council earns state honors

If you want to know what a community is like, visit the local school, as it is a true reflection of the community in which you live. At the Pine Strawberry School it is apparent how much the residents value their school and children. The week of Oct. 24, Pine Strawberry School observed Red Ribbon Week, with a 4-mile Safe and Drug Free Walk on Wednesday beginning and ending at the school.

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Concert featuring music of John Denver should be quite a treat

“Well life on the farm is kinda laid back, Ain’t much an old country boy like me can’t hack. It’s early to rise, early in the sack. Thank God I’m a country boy.” — John Denver

And “Thank God” the Tonto Community Concert Association is bringing us country folk what promises to be yet another outstanding two-hour concert. Next Wednesday evening, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., the TCCA will present Jim Curry’s “Take Me Home — John Denver” tribute in the Payson High School Auditorium. Tickets are $35 at the door. Students are free with an accompanying adult.

Weekend is supposed to be downright chilly

There is a definite nip in the air. In fact, by this weekend it is supposed to be downright cold. My husband and I made a fire in our pit Halloween night to keep warm as the neighborhood kids came by for their treats. The costumes were very colorful and even the adults had costumes on. We sat around the fire with spiced cider and shivered a lot.

Wednesday, November 2

Getaway around Rim Country

The annual Quilt Roundup will be Nov. 10 through Nov. 14, so now is the time to register for the classes to be offered at the event. Go online to www. for the information about the event, the classes planned, costs and registration materials.

A Bounty of Craft Fairs

Time to start making those gift lists

If you haven’t made that list of recipients and ideas for their gifts, get it down on paper now. Starting this weekend, the Rim Country has a bounty of craft fairs to visit where you can find that one-of-a-kind treasure for every special loved one and friend on that list. Keep in mind this is just an initial listing of all the holiday shopping events planned for the coming weeks. Watch the Review “Getaway” and Roundup “Almanac” pages as more opportunities for gift getting are announced.

First Friday festivities on historic Main St.

Shop and save from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., First Friday, Nov. 4 at the Time Out Thrift Shop, 500 S. Beeline Hwy in Payson, across the street from Wendy’s. All profits from the sales at the thrift shop benefit Time Out, Inc., its shelter, transitional housing and domestic violence services in the community.

Good 2 Go

The 13th annual Community Health and Care Fair is from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 5 in the Julia Randall Elementary School gym. This year’s event will host many free screenings for adults and children, as well as flu shots and blood tests for reduced fees.

There are various ways to cruise

There is more than one way to cruise the waters of the world. Many choose to board a modern cruise ship and travel to the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Canada, Asia, South Pacific, South America and even around the world. Others prefer the riverboats, seeing the various towns and cities as well as the countryside using the modern and now very popular boats found on many of the major rivers in Europe, China and soon (again) the Mississippi River, with service beginning in 2012.

Soup’s On!

There’s nothing quite like a bowl of hot, savory soup to warm things up on a chilly day. And while the Rim Country has not had too many soup weather days recently, we all know they are on the way, so make a note of the following recipes and stock up on the ingredients you will be needing.

The Wild West in the Rim Country

Chapter 6: The missing body of Joseph McLernon

This is the pathetic story of an immigrant Irish youth who joined the Cavalry and hoped to become a United States citizen. However, he died at the Battle of Big Dry Wash July 17, 1882. Today the name of the area is East Clear Creek on the Mogollon Rim, just upstream from the Blue Ridge Reservoir. Until recently souvenir hunters were finding cartridges, brass buttons and human bones around the Rock Crossing where a band of one hundred renegade Apaches tried to ambush the pursuing army, but were defeated by several converging detachments of the Cavalry. Many natives died; the young Irishman was the only white man to fall in the firefight.

The Great Hillel

What exactly is a Hillel?  Well it really doesn’t have to do much with hills unless of course you were on a hill actively joining nature in participation. It does however, have a huge amount to do with greatness. Greatness so big that in comparison it leaves those who experience it with an encounter that rips us from our flesh, fading us from our humanness and leaves us stripped with nothing but shear utter compliance to a greater power than the false trinity of me, myself and I, for a total transformational exchange from the true holy Trinity.

Tuesday, November 1

Recreation Roundup

Town of Payson Parks, Recreation & Tourism, (928) 474-5242, ext. 7

Registration is now open for all 5th- and 6th-grade boys and girls. The cost is $30 per child. Games are played on Saturdays at Rim Country Middle School starting in early December.

Audit: GCC lacks money control

Auditor general reports shows glaring problems

After a five-year wait for basic budget information, state auditors have uncovered a host of flaws in Gila Community College’s financial systems. The community college has no finance director, no procedures to keep track of its equipment, failed to perform a physical inventory, didn’t review billings and failed to put into place fundamental budget safeguards, concluded the state Office of the Auditor General.

SV council asks residents to vote yes on ‘home rule’

Although ballots will not go out for another five months, the Star Valley Town Council is already asking residents for their vote. A yes on “home rule” would allow Star Valley to spend $7.55 million of projected revenue next year, money staff said is necessary to continue offering town services.

County land sale for campus moves ahead

College board worried about budget crunch if county cuts GCC loose

Insisting she will not “simply let the community college loose,” Supervisor Tommie Martin Friday presented details of the proposed land sale for a new, four-year college in Payson to Gila Community College board members. Martin took issue with an earlier suggestion made by other supervisors that the county would not only sell the land, but shift to the community college the $300,000 annual cost of maintaining its existing buildings.

Supplies are down, area food drive kicks off today

With demand up, food banks ask for help again

With food banks around the country strained, local food banks are seeing their supplies cut. In Payson, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank has not received a shipment of meat for months. Organizers are making due with donations, but often scramble to put together a balanced food box. With demand remaining high and thousands of people already needing food boxes every quarter, food bank managers say they need help.

Community Almanac

The Rim Country Celts are sponsoring a two-hour workshop titled Ireland Research by specialist Valerie Sullivan. The workshop is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8 at the Payson Elk Lodge, 1206 N Beeline Highway. This workshop is to help anyone interested in finding their ancestors in Ireland.

Thank you law enforcement, Lifestar

I want to thank the sheriff’s department, Lifestar and police for rescuing us in the traffic of the bad accident at Hwy. 188 on Saturday. My husband had just been released from Good Sam Hospital at noon.

Thanks for the help

I am an eighth-grader at Rim Country Middle School and for the past three months have been participating in fund-raising to help fund a Pacific Coast marine biology and science tour to San Diego over spring break.

Capital gains tax unfair

It is not surprising to learn that people in the upper 2 percent of income pay more than 90 percent of the taxes in this country. These people do control 87 percent of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 50 percent controls 2.5 percent of the wealth.

Blocking public land access is illegal

This letter is for the person or persons that feel the need to block the forest path off of Cleonna in Strawberry. This land is public property and not your private land.

Making government work for you, not against you

Recently, the first bill I introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 489, was brought to the floor and was passed unanimously by voice vote. This common-sense legislation permanently ends the bureaucratic wrangling that has occurred between the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, ensuring a reliable municipal water supply for Gila County and the Valley.

Hunger calls us once more unto the breach

Imagine this: The nation turns to a young soldier in its hour of need and asks him to go back to Afghanistan for the third time. But he’s tired. It’s inconvenient. We’re not making much progress. So he says, “No. Let someone else do it. I’m tapped out.” Fortunately for this nation, that’s not how the men and women dedicated to protecting our liberties have reacted these past 10 years, when they have gone time and again unto the breach.

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Water cycle leads to learning cycle

Fourth-graders drink in lessons in science, conservation, groundwater at Project WET water festival

Nick Pfeifle, dressed in his Boy Scout uniform and working on his service hours, darted from one group of fourth-grade students to another during the Project Water Education for Teachers (WET) festival at Green Valley Park on a hot October afternoon. Nick, a student who is “12 going on 13,” kept track on his handy clipboard of student progress on an innovative, hands-on bundle of exhibits and games designed to get them excited about both science and water conservation. “Me and my friends set the whole thing up,” said Nick, a local Boy Scout.

Hunt for script drug plan no game

It’s that time of year again. It’s “open season” for the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Hunting down the best plan for you is no game. Newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries, and current beneficiaries who are considering changes to their Medicare Part D plan, should mark their calendars — the “open season” will run to Dec. 7.

Unite in recycling event

It probably goes back to my childhood, growing up during the Great Depression, but I absolutely hate to see food wasted. Stale bread ends up as crumbs or bread pudding in our house, leftover roast chicken becomes chicken salad or potpie, the ham bone flavors a split pea soup. I could go on and on, but you most likely have your own food saving ideas.

Payson extends cell tower lease atop tanks to 2045

The Payson Town Council last week unanimously approved a sweet deal some residents might consider an eyesore. The council approved a 34-year extension of a cell tower rental fee atop two water storage tanks that will net the town about $27,000 annually — not quite half the cost of a fireman’s salary and benefits.

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How will Payson respond to a nuclear explosion and flooding?

A 10 kiloton improvised nuclear device has exploded in downtown Phoenix. State emergency services are dealing with flooding from a tropical storm. What would Payson do? A collection of first responders and medical personnel will find out this week during a statewide exercise to test the skills of emergency personnel.

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Horns upset favorites in state soccer

It’s not often in high school postseason state tournament action that a lowly No. 12 seed rises up from the ashes to defeat two much higher-ranked teams and advance to the semifinals against a top-seeded and highly favored team. But that’s exactly what happed to the Payson Longhorns in the Arizona Division IV Boys State Soccer tournament played Oct. 28 and 29 at Quail Run Complex in Mesa.

Saturday’s Elks Hoop Shoot director wants gym filled with aspiring young b-ball players

For decades, the Payson Elks Lodge Hoop Shoot was among the highlights on the Rim Country’s youth sports scene. But for unknown reasons, participation dropped off over the past three years and winners in all age groups were not crowned. The demise in popularity of the shoot prompted 2011 tournament director Jack Cook to take corrective action to be sure hardwood hopefuls from around northern Gila County have the opportunity to compete.

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Horns win, but won’t be dancing

Payson did wrap up the season with a 27-7 win over the homestanding Globe Tigers. With a 4-6 record, a tally of 29.9272 power points and a No. 20 ranking of 31 teams, the Horns came up short of being one of the top 16 schools to advance to the Division IV state tournament set to begin Nov. 4 at the home site of the higher seed.

Neal bags second bird in PMGA’s latest turkey shoot

For longtime Payson Men’s Golf Association standout Troy Neal, good things come in twos — especially when a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner is involved. Only one week after winning a turkey in a low net “turkey shoot” formatted tournament held at Payson Golf Course, Neal returned to the links to win yet another of the Thanksgiving dinner birds.

No surprises – reservation schools rule

Just as most everyone anticipated, the Northern Arizona reservation cross country teams continued their domination of the postseason sectional championships. Competing in the Division III, Section I finals at Hidden Cove Golf Course in Holbrook, Chinle finished first in the boys division with a meet low 48 points.

Veterans get Tonto forest use fee break Nov. 11

Tonto National Forest recreation specialists said that they are joining with other agencies included under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) in hosting a final “fee-free” event for the year on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.

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Rim Lakes thinning plan affects tourist economy

Thinning 33,000 acres would dramatically reduce fire danger in crucial area, but may also challenge restoration consensus

The U.S. Forest Service wants to drastically thin the overgrown forest surrounding the Mogollon Rim lakes on which the region’s tourist economy depends. However, the proposal to cut some of the largest trees on 33,000 acres surrounding tourist draws like Bear Canyon and Willow Springs lakes atop the Rim could cast a shadow across a hard-won consensus on forest restoration between loggers and environmentalists.

Payson council approves map for 12-lot subdivision on 15 acres

The Payson Town Council on Thursday approved Barbara Underwood’s sometimes-controversial request to create 12 lots on 15 acres, without a word from the neighbors who packed earlier hearings on the subdivision. However, Councilor Ed Blair abstained, citing his earlier opposition to the rezoning request, which was also opposed by the town’s planning commission. Underwood, who also serves on the school board, wanted to reduce minimum lot sizes from two acres to just over one acre after agreeing to trim two lots to mollify her neighbors.

There’s no place like home

Do you remember in the movie “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy closes her eyes and tells the Good Witch of the North that there is “No place like home”? How about E.T. with his long, scrawny finger pointing to his planet and uttering the word, “Home”? What about the feeling you get when you have traveled on vacation for a week?

Concert group presents John Denver tribute

Boasting the only full-length concert tribute to John Denver, Jim Curry will lend his voice and remarkable resemblance to the star in his crowd-pleasing production of Take Me Home: the Music of John Denver at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9 at the Payson High School Auditorium. Curry makes no effort to “impersonate” John Denver. The remarkable likeness in looks and vocal style is natural; the resulting easy-going performances are perhaps the most noteworthy tribute to the late star. The birth of this project began when Curry was hired to be the singing voice of John Denver in the 1997 CBS movie “Take Me Home, the John Denver Story.”

Restaurants get clean bill of health

Diners rejoice — Rim Country kitchens, from the modern eateries to the greasy spoons, are mostly clean. The Roundup analyzed a list of 45 area restaurants inspected by the Gila County Health Department, and found that only four restaurants so far in 2011 have had critical violations.