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