Stories for October 2011


Saturday, October 29

Longhorns cage Tigers

The Payson Longhorns survived several fumbles and center-quarterback snap exchange muffs to cage the Globe Tigers 27-7 in both team’s regular season finales.

Friday, October 28

New marketing director at Rim Country Health and Retirement

In late September, the Rim Country Health and Retirement Community hired Christy Walton as their new marketing director. Although new to the position, Walton has been active in the community since moving here in 1995.

Try to avoid these scary investment moves

If you have kids — or even if you don’t — you’re probably aware that Halloween is fast approaching. Of course, you may find the ghouls, witches and creepy impersonations of celebrities to be more amusing than alarming, but, as you go through life, you will find some things are generally frightening — such as investment moves that are misdirected.

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Learn to fly high with local club offering lessons

Would-be pilots and those with licenses but nothing to fly finally have a way to take off. A group of local residents has launched Payson Flying Club. The group offers flying lessons and aircraft rentals.

Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Fly Casters Club will meet Saturday, Oct. 28 at Tiny’s Restaurant. Members will have breakfast at 8 a.m., with the meeting following at 9 a.m. Anyone interested in fly fishing is welcome to attend.

Keep your pets safe from Halloween hazards

I think Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There is nothing more fun than dressing Aiden up in his costume (this year, he is a tiger), and going out to get candy, all while enjoying the Halloween experience. Being a parent, there are certain dangers that my family and I have to be careful of, including tampered candy and really scary houses that Aiden is afraid to go up to.

Remodeling of supervisors’ meeting room delayed

Faced with a politically charged decision pitting a south county probation office against a north county board meeting room, the Gila County Board of Supervisors balked. Instead, the supervisors directed staff back to the drawing board to recommend how to both move probation offices in Globe and remodel Payson’s meeting room with about $600,000 in funding.

SV council gets refresher course in playing nice

Acting hardheaded? End up like Quartzsite, Star Valley council learns

When town councils don’t get along, animosity leads to feuding, which can in time turn a whole community upside down. Look no further than the small western Arizona town of Quartzsite, which has been snarled in political feuding for months. After death threats against the council, citizen arrests during open public meetings and the eventual recall of the mayor, the town is still reeling. How can Star Valley prevent a similar melt down?

County mistake will raise property taxes

Residents from Pine, Strawberry, Tonto Basin and Young will have to cough up more money for their property taxes this year due to a mistake by the Gila County treasurer’s office. A postcard sent out by the treasurer’s office reads, “A review by the Arizona Department of Revenue has revealed the ‘Less State Aid to Education’ was incorrect. This will generate an increase in your taxes. A corrected tax notice with a new delinquency date will be mailed soon.”

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Testing proves water table recharge works

Town retrofits Payson Parkway Well to store Blue Ridge water underground

Whew. It works. The first phase of an $800,000 effort to modify three wells so Payson can store Blue Ridge Reservoir water underground has paid off, putting the worst fears of the town’s water engineers to rest. Work crews have discovered they can efficiently inject water back into the town’s once-plunging underground water table after enlarging the bore hole and putting new casings on a 700-foot-deep well alongside Payson Parkway, said Town Hydrologist Mike Plough.

Town hall remodeling bid accepted by SV council

Handicap accessibility improvements and work on an office addition will soon start at Star Valley’s town hall after the council selected a contractor Tuesday.

Alleged forged check lands woman in more trouble

A Payson woman faces additional charges after reportedly using a fraudulent check to pay restitution to four businesses she took money from in the past. Sherri Lynn Dashney, 38, is already serving time for taking thousands of dollars from local businesses, where she was employed as a bookkeeper. She could face additional time if convicted of using stolen money to acquire a $5,000 cashier’s check to pay part of the restitution she owes.

Community Almanac

Learn simple techniques to capture the reality of what you are seeing with your camera. Photographers will learn effective composition techniques, and how to find ideal locations for outdoor photography. Participants must be familiar with their camera and be able to hike a half-mile. The cost is $15 per person and is open to those age 16 and up. The deadline to register, with payment, is Oct. 28.

Shovel-ready projects

Here are two great ideas!

in offering programs in Payson

I am responding to your recent editorial concerning the discussion between groups in Payson and Arizona State University about efforts to begin to offer ASU degree programs in Payson, and your concerns that we have not yet concluded an agreement.

Payson campus is not free to ASU

Mayor Evans and the ASU administration to push the cause of a Payson campus.

Disturbing incidents

I was caught in the traffic on Saturday, Oct. 22, as the result of an accident on Highways 87 and 188 and found some things very disturbing during my wait.

Americans cannot afford budget tricks and fiscal gimmicks

In 2009, President Obama and his allies in Congress included an expensive long-term care program — the CLASS Act — in the ObamaCare bill. The purpose was to help pay for ObamaCare with money that would be raised by CLASS, and supporters claimed it would actually reduce the deficit by $86 billion. This single deficit-reduction promise represented nearly half of the total “budget savings” the president claimed (incorrectly, it turns out) ObamaCare would provide.

Campus advocates have already worked wonders

We admit it. We’re a little wired: Emotional, impatient, fixated on deadlines. Waiting is hard. Waiting quietly is harder — especially when the future of a community we love so dearly hangs in the balance. So this visionary three-year effort to build a 21st century college campus here has driven us half crazy, caught between hope and fear.

One thing I am not, is a person who enjoys boats

I was driving up from Payson two months ago when I found myself at the tail end of a slow-moving convoy. And for once, I am not using a word facetiously. It was an actual convoy. Of boats. Traveling at a brisk 15 miles an hour. The Queen Elizabeth XXII and her escort vessels. Sixteen scows, two pontoons, and a jet ski. From where I was at the back of the pack I couldn’t get a look at the monster up front until we hit the four-lane, but as I passed it, I took a look. I can only describe it one way.

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Ghoulish Food for a Festive Halloween

A pile of nice, fresh brain on a platter. A dish of bloody eyeballs on the side. And a heaping dish of fresh intestines. Must be Halloween in the Payson High School’s culinary arts class. Students threw themselves into the approaching season, giving a holiday with ancient roots a new twist. The high school culinary arts class decided to take on the challenge. With the aid of Google, they researched food from gruesome to cute. During one of their classes, they tried out their recipes on each other.

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Haunted House expects thousands of visitors

On Halloween Monday night the Ox Bow Haunted House will attempt to spook thousands of guests while helping the community. Hosted by the Longhorn Theatre and the Town of Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT) Department, guests will experience seven rooms, each with a different zombie theme.

Tucson teen bound for U of San Francisco has connection to Rim Country

A Tucson Amphitheater High School senior basketball player with ties to the Rim Country has accepted a full ride scholarship to play next year for the University of San Francisco. Tim Derksen, who’s named after his uncle, Dr. Tim Derksen — a former resident of Hunter Creek east of Payson — announced his signing with USF on Oct. 22 during a celebration in Tucson with family, friends, coaches and teammates.

Saints dash Lady Horn playoff hopes

A wise old prep coach once bemoaned playing opponents “that have a deity on their side” — meaning a parochial school — hinting that a supernatural immortal being could swoop down and sway the outcome of the game in favor of the supposed holy ones. The coach, of course, spoke with tongue in cheek.

Longhorns bound for Globe’s Tiger den

A 4-6 record wasn’t what Payson High coaches, players and fans were hoping for when the 2011 season kicked off in August, but that mark will be the goal when the team takes to Tiger field this evening, Oct. 28, in Globe. Although the season has been a hit and miss one for Payson, with injuries taking their toll, second-year coach Byron Quinlan is confident in what it will take for the Horns to emerge victorious against a Tiger team (3-6) that has also struggled this year, losing 41-28 to Safford, 49-7 to Thatcher and, believe it or not, 22-10, to once lowly Alchesay.

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Running a passion for this Payson mom

Undertaking a grueling event few would have the gumption, determination or talent to enter, Carolyn Fruth has tacked on yet another dazzling feat to her long and impressive resume. It occurred Oct. 23 at the Soma Red Rock Triathlon in Tempe where the 46-year-old Payson mother of two ran, cycled and swam her way to a 10th-place age group finish. The event, conducted at “Half Ironman” distances, included a 1.2-mile swim in Tempe Town Lake, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

Peterson wins fifth consecutive crown

Karen Peterson’s domination of one of the Payson Women’s Golf Association’s most prestigious tournaments, the Club Championship, continued with her winning a fifth consecutive title. “Karen kept the low gross lead throughout the three days of play, scoring a 77 on her first day and holding on from there,” said PWGA spokesperson Claudia Bullard. While Peterson was being crowned the undisputed repeat champion, there was another feel-good story occurring on the links.

Rim man new governor for Kiwanis Southwest District

Bobby Davis isn’t lobbing brats for the Kiwanis quite as much as he used to. The club has given him another job. Not that he was a bad brat lobber — in fact, he was so proficient it probably helped get him elected as one of the 50 governors of Kiwanis International. Davis, who resides in Star Valley with his wife of more than 30 years, Nina, and is advertising director of the Payson Roundup, has been elected governor for the Southwest District of Kiwanis International for 2011-2012.

Celebrating 101 years of life

“Life started when I was 8,” Madeline Tomasicchio said after celebrating her 101st birthday Oct. 25.. “I was asleep before then,” she said, and then she grinned and chuckled. She didn’t explain the joke, but that sense of humor is probably one of the keys to her long life. Another key to her long life — she always had a mind of her own and she was ready to fight if anybody tried to bother her.

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Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department to hold community meeting

Have your voice heard (or at least know what is going on in your community). The Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department is having a community meeting on Monday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. This meeting is very important and will directly affect all residents in this area. The discussion will be about the budget, taxes and what kind of fire department we’d like to have.

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Women helping women survive breast cancer

Group meets second Thursday of each month

Walking into a breast cancer support group with my camera bag over the shoulder, I felt like a pair of combat boots among ballet slippers, little realizing I was about to get a lesson in living. Ilona Swenson had talked me into covering the session, hoping an article would help get the word out that this group of cancer survivors was eager to help women cope with a life-threatening trauma that affects about one in eight women — which works out to maybe 1,200 residents of Rim Country. I had braced myself for the story, expecting to emerge frightened and depressed.

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Fall color showing up in hills around P-S

I love this time of the year, when the Rim presents its fall wardrobe with accents of gold. As you hike along the Verde off of East Verde Estates Road, six miles north of Payson, the golden hues are spectacular. When the autumn light is just right, you can see a double image with the mirror reflection of the leaves in the water below the cliffs. You say to yourself, “it doesn’t get any better than this.” Then the snow blankets the area in a fairy tale setting and you say, “it doesn’t get any better than this.” Here, every season is filled with wonder, and there is always something to do no matter the season.

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Volunteers ready chamber building for new paint

Spotty rain earlier this week gave way to clear skies with lows at or around freezing. A warming trend with clear skies is predicted for this weekend with highs in the mid 60s and lows will hover at around the 32-degree mark.

Halloween is a few days off, are you ready?

Have you helped your kiddies figure out what to wear for that big candy day? Over the past few years, the amount of kids “trick or treating” has diminished. There are more house parties and more organized events for the kids to celebrate that “spooky” day.

Autumn is in the air with the World Series and fall color

Shorter days, a crispness in the air, a new season of television debuts. First and 10, the World Series, ghosts and goblins. The ash, birch and aspen trees aglow with their autumn leaves. It’s fall in the northern hemisphere — far and away my favorite time of the year.

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County honors search and rescue volunteers for life-saving actions

Gila County honored two Tonto Rim Search and Rescue (TRSAR) volunteers after their actions saved one woman’s life. On Sept. 29, a woman trapped in a whirlpool in the area of an old dam in Fossil Creek was saved thanks to Bill Pitterle’s and Warner Thompson’s actions, said Gila County Sheriff John Armer.

Forest Lakes’ ATV trails receive a facelift

The Forest Lakes area is one of the busiest recreation spots on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests with nearby ATV trails popular off-highway routes. The trails accommodate hundreds of off-highway enthusiasts every year, but the area outside these trails and other numbered roads are closed to off-highway vehicles, the Forest Service announced last week.

Wednesday, October 26

The comfort of cottonwood trees

Riparian giants hold a whole world in their branches, but their time is as fleeting as the human beings they shelter

I heard the warm wind coming from a long way off, rustling through the tremble of cottonwood leaves off down the Verde River.

Delicious recipes for using apples

I’ve always dreamed of having an apple tree in my back yard. You know the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for?” Now that I actually have my own apple tree, I stand in my yard watching the apples piling up around me thinking, “Oh no — What do I do with this mess now?”

Community Health and Care Fair Nov. 5

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 check-ups are encouraged to attend this free admission health event.

Best Way to Treat COPD? Quit Smoking

I would appreciate reading your comments on the current rumor that microwaved food loses all nutritional value.

Good 2 Go

Learn simple techniques to capture the reality of what you are seeing with your camera. Photographers will learn effective composition techniques, and how to find ideal locations for outdoor photography. Participants must be familiar with their camera and be able to hike a half-mile. The cost is $15 per person and is open to those 16 and up. The deadline to register, with payment is Oct. 28.

Halloween events in Rim Country

All over the Rim Country residents, young and old, are gearing up for a howling good time for Halloween. Here is a listing of some of the events organizers have let the Roundup and Rim Review know about: • Pine Strawberry School Fall Festival The Pine Strawberry School will have its annual Fall Festival from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28 in the school gymnasium.

Bear stories

Fall has arrived in Rim Country and the hunters are out in force. Exotic animals have been on the loose recently in Zane Grey’s hometown of Zanesville, which makes it seem like a fitting time to look back upon some stories of one of the bigger animals around — the bear.

Why not a train trip?

I began my love affair with train travel when I was only 4 years old. My parents took me on Southern Pacific’s new Daylight Limited streamliner from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We departed at 8:15 a.m. and arrived in the City by the Bay at 6 p.m. The train was painted in colors of orange, red and black. It was all matching, light-weight equipment and the train sparkled everywhere it traveled. People would line the roadways and stare at the new speedster as it passed by.

Tuesday, October 25

Judge permits Flibotte appeal for sentence reduction

Consecutive sentence given to Robert Flibotte ‘clearly excessive’ says Judge Cahill

A judge will allow a former local Realtor to appeal his 90-year sentencing for possessing child pornography. On Oct. 17, Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill found sentencing Robert Flibotte to consecutive sentences totaling 90 years in prison is “clearly excessive” and granted Flibotte’s request to petition the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency for a sentence reduction. If granted by the clemency board, Flibotte could serve a shorter sentence.

California residents die in crash

Two California residents died Saturday when their motorcycle collided with a pickup on Highway 87 at the Highway 188 junction. The wreck was one of two vehicle accidents that closed sections of Highway 87 for hours over the weekend. The second wreck, on Sunday, tied up southbound traffic for several hours near Mt. Ord after a vehicle fire spread to the hillside. Two Payson firefighters fought the blaze alone for more than an hour before additional resources arrived.

Payson approves new site for treatment plant

The Payson Town Council Thursday unanimously approved a new location for the sometimes-controversial treatment plant for the Blue Ridge pipeline. The council will evoke the federal Townsite Act to speed purchase of the five-acre site adjacent to Mesa del Caballo for a water filtration and hydro-generation power plant. The plant would sit on a rocky knoll near the general store at the entrance to the subdivision.

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Educators struggle to cope with contradictory reforms

Top Rim Country school officials listened to a pitch on educational reform last week, as they braced for an avalanche of contradictory commands. Superintendents of the Payson, Young and Tonto Basin districts heard briefings from the governor’s office and the state department of education on changes that will base school ratings, teacher salary and principals’ jobs on standardized tests in reading, writing and arithmetic.

Grand jury indicts Heather Driscoll on additional charges

The trial for a woman accused of theft from a hospice patient has been put on hold after a grand jury indicted the woman on additional charges of theft from the same patient. Heather Driscoll was set to stand trial Oct. 19-25 for theft from Alicia Christopherson, a vulnerable adult under the care of Driscoll’s then-husband Michael Lowe.

Low-cost college plans advance while Payson lingers

GCC students can soon get four-year degree here as a result of deal with ASU

Great idea. Bad timing. That’s one conclusion that emerges from a rash of recent moves by Arizona State University to offer quick, unconventional low-cost college degrees — although plans to build a high-tech, four-year campus in Payson remain subject to the bureaucratic equivalent of the drip, drip, drip of the Chinese water torture.

Community Almanac

Guitar virtuoso and master showman Edgar Cruz will present his unique blend of classical, Latin, pop, jazz and guitar masterpieces at the Payson High School Auditorium at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25. 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.

Thanks to all who took part in the memorial gymkhana

The Mogollon Montoneras would like to thank the participants for a great gymkhana series this year which was held in Pine at the Mary Ellen Randall Arena.

Money was loaned, not given to banks

Mr. Brophy is a frequent writer of letters to this newspaper and I usually enjoy and generally agree with his views on the myriad of issues about which he feels compelled to provide his insight to your readers.

Willow Flycatcher habitat designation will hurt ranchers

In response to Pete Aleshire’s article Tuesday on the Willow Flycatcher, I would like to give a personal example of the detriment the designation of critical habitat would do for my family.

Is there a solution to prescription drug abuse?

With all the information available on television and through the social networking media outlets, one would think the entertainment/sports world would get the drug message. It never ceases to amaze how often news programs report yet another celebrity overdose or DUI arrest.

Educators get slapped on one side, then the other

Now this may sound like a stretch, but last week’s Payson conference on education reform reminded us of that scene from “Chinatown” where Faye Dunaway gets slapped senseless by Jack Nicholson. In that climactic Faye-slap scene, Nicholson’s detective tries to force Dunaway to tell the truth about her daughter — the product of parental incest. “Who is she?” demands Jack. “My daughter,” says Dunaway. He slaps her. “My sister,” she gasps. He slaps her. “My daughter.” He slaps her.

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Art is therapy for special needs children

A frightening mask, a splash of colors, an insightful teacher and a chance to create helped John Agent connect to an ancient heritage — and find joy in school. But he’s just one of the Payson School District’s group of special needs kids who have found that art helps them fit into a group, while standing out creatively.

Payson High culinary students help with 70th cowboy-themed birthday

A 70th cowboy-themed birthday party would not have gone off without a hitch without the help of two Payson students. Jeanie Langham said her husband Stan’s Sept. 17 party was a huge hit thanks in part to Payson High School students Rylie Perkes and Karissa Armstrong.

GCC names honor roll students

Gila Community College is pleased to congratulate the students on the Payson campus who earned honors from Eastern Arizona College for the spring 2011 semester.

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Donations in final hour save peer counseling event

A patchwork of community organizations has lovingly stitched together donations to save a time-honored program to help fifth-graders get ready for middle school. After the deficit-plagued district cut funding, community groups raised $3,500 and a nationally renowned quilter donated an award-winning creation valued at $10,000.

Friends helping longtime volunteer with hard times

Anyone who has participated in one of the many health fair programs in the area probably knows Patty Kaufman. Or maybe you’re an old-timer and know her from the days in which she and her former husband Duane ran El Rancho. You may also know her because of her many contributions as a longtime hospice employee.

Payson needs volunteers for town boards

The Town of Payson is seeking volunteers interested in serving on council-appointed boards, commissions or committees. If you are interested, please download an application, or visit town hall to pick up an application.

GLH Foundation receives donation of car seats

The Gracie Lee Haught (GLH) Children’s Memorial Fund recently received 75 car seats from the Arizona Department of Health Services to aid in its mission to keep Rim Country children safe.

Bass threaten native fish in Fossil Creek

Biologists alarmed to discover non-native predators got past fish barrier that protected dwindling species

Smallmouth bass have invaded the lower reaches of Fossil Creek, posing an acute new danger to efforts to make the travertine-rich, spring-fed creek a refuge for dwindling native fish. This summer, Coconino National Forest officials noted dozens of bass lazing about in pools upstream from concrete fish barriers intended to keep non-native predatory fish found in the Verde River from swimming upstream into Fossil Creek.

PRMC Senior Circle has program on Medicare open enrollment period and how to save money

To help area seniors with questions about Medicare’s open enrollment period, the Payson Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway, will host a program at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26 on 2012 Medicare Annual Enrollment — Tips to Save Money.

Some tricks can be horrifying to record

You’ll probably be passing out treats to costumed hobgoblins and ghosts in your neighborhood on Halloween night. But be cautious that you’re not tricked by a different kind of trickster looking for a handout, such as your personal information. You should always safeguard your personal information such as date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and your Social Security number. Why? Because it’s that type of information identity thieves are after.

2011 Medicare open enrollment different

Medicare’s open enrollment season begins earlier and lasts longer this year than in the past. Open enrollment started Oct. 15 and continues through Dec. 7. This is the time when people with Medicare should carefully review their Medicare health and prescription drug plans.

P-S district water well nearly complete

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District appears to be running smoothly with Milk Ranch Wells No. 1 and No. 2 soon to be completed and 13 emergency generators purchased, but that is not enough for the watchdog group waterforpinestrawberry. The group’s spokesman Sam Schwalm is questioning the validity of Stage 1 water level signs posted in the two tiny mountain hamlets throughout the summer.

An outstanding example of integrity

Integrity in high school sports has long been a red hot issue, with some soothsayers claiming it’s on the decline, mostly due to overwhelming pressure to win, the chance to earn lucrative college scholarships and the presence of performance-enhancing drugs. But there is a fine line to integrity.

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Key to state slot is ‘W’ at Notre Dame

A 3-0 loss to the Mingus Marauders has put a big-time crimp in the Lady Longhorn volleyball players’ hopes and aspirations of advancing to the postseason Division III “state” tournament. Coach Arnold Stonebrink understands the situation well, “Now our backs are really against the wall.” The Lady Horns incurred the heartbreaking defeat Thursday, Oct. 20 in Wilson Dome.

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Ouch — this one hurt

Losing is tough to absorb in high school football, but the Longhorns (3-6) are doing their best to shake off the gut-wrenching disappointment of a 21-0 loss to Scottsdale Coronado. “Being on the losing end Friday night (Oct. 21 in Scottsdale) was disheartening to a lot of our players and staff,” head coach Byron Quinlan said. “Especially after all the hard work that has been put in behind the scenes.” The defeat, however, did not diminish Quinlan’s confidence in his players.

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Soccer team going to state

The Payson High boys’ soccer team could possibly be the school’s only representative in the season-ending state tournaments.

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Cashing in on rush to sell gold, coins, jewelry

Payson’s latest business proves all that glitters really is gold. A modern gold rush of sorts has come to Payson after James Eskew and Jim Greenberg opened Capital Assets, LLC, at 614 S. Beeline Highway, in September.

The Caring Presence hires new supervisor for Payson office

The Caring Presence, a non-medical in-home care provider, welcomes a new supervisor for its Payson office. Dee Redfield will be responsible for the oversight of client and caregiver relations in the greater Payson area, said Jon Hoaglund, general manager with The Caring Presence.

Golfer gets prize in ‘turkey shoot’

Troy Neal is a longtime cattle rancher and lives amongst some of the finest quail-hunting habitat in the state, but probably won’t be eating beef or Gambel’s for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, he’ll be enjoying a turkey dinner courtesy of the Payson Men’s Golf Association. Neal received the bird Oct. 12 for his A flight first-place finish in a low net formatted “Turkey Shoot” played at Payson Golf Course.

Rim Country economy still crawling upward

Payson’s sales tax report shows big gains for hotels

Rim Country continued its torturously slow economic recovery over the summer, with sales rising modestly in both July and August. Underscoring the region’s reliance on tourism, a 29-percent increase in room tax collected in June and a 35-percent increase in July receipts compared to the same time last year offered the single brightest report in the monthly budget summery for July and August released by Payson last week.

Clubs and Organizations

Elks members and guests are welcome to enjoy lunch at the Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway, 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.

Monday, October 24

Prescribed fire plans for the week of October 24

Coconino National Forest fire managers are planning a small, prescribed fire on Monday, Oct. 24 with several other burns planned later in the week.

Volunteers needed for Four Peaks cleanup

Tonto National Forest officials Monday announced a major volunteer cleanup event on Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Four Peaks-Sugar Loaf areas.

Multiple wrecks tie up 87 traffic over weekend

Two California residents died Saturday when their motorcycle collided with a Dodge pickup on Highway 87 at the Highway 188 junction.

Friday, October 21

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Lady Horns clip Falcon wings

When challenged by a band of doggedly determined Lady Longhorns, Falcons don’t soar well no matter how lofty their status. Proof of the birds’ fallibility surfaced Oct. 18 in Wilson Dome where the Payson High volleyball team swept, 3-0. The Fountain Hills Falcons entered the match with an impressive 11-5 record and sitting 13th in power points among 49 teams aligned in Division III. The Lady Horn victory pushes Payson to 6-0 over Fountain Hills this season. On Sept. 14 at Fountain Hills, PHS won 3-0.

A brief summary of title insurance policies

Would you like an insurance policy that you only pay a premium on once and it covers the commodity for the entire time that you own it? Even better, wouldn’t you like it if someone else paid for the insurance policy? If you own a home or property, you probably have such a policy: It’s called a title insurance policy, which is usually paid for by the seller of a property on behalf of the buyer.

Make the right moves with inherited stocks

When you inherit a sizable amount of stocks, your overall financial picture can change significantly. But to make the most of your inheritance, you need to decide what to do with your new stocks. Should you keep them or sell?

Rainbows in residence at Green Valley

Arizona Game and Fish Public Information Officer Rory Aikens is a longtime friend who I first met in the early 1980s while working during the summer months as a rookie sports reporter for the White Mountain Independent in Show Low.

Valley man hooks trout tournament title to end Rim lake season

Gilbert Angler Tim Koscuisko swept top honors at the Fall Benefit Trout Tournament boating a six-fish limit that tipped the scales at 47.20 ounces including a 9.70 ounce lunker, which turned out to be the second largest fish caught during the annual fray.

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Dandy Don sang Lady Longhorns’ soccer fortunes

The Lady Longhorn soccer team’s postseason plight might be best summed up in Dandy Don Meredith’s signature Monday Night Football tune, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over.” The song continues, “They say that all good things must end” and that’s exactly what happened to the PHS team in a 5-2 loss to Snowflake Oct. 18 in Lobo land. The win all but eliminates the Lady Horns from postseason consideration as an at-large entrant on power points.

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Dons, Horns skirmish for break-even season

A pair of prep football teams struggling for respectability while continuing to harbor hopes of wrapping up the season with a .500 record clash tonight in Scottsdale. Both Scottsdale Coronado and Payson enter the fray with 3-5 records and looking back on seasons that have had ups and downs.

SV to purchase water system

Mayor Rappaport calls moment ‘spectacular’

The Star Valley Town Council approved the purchase of the local water company Tuesday night, fulfilling a promise made six years ago at incorporation, councilors said. “Next to founding our town, this is probably the most important moment that this town has made as far as determining our future,” said Councilor Gary Coon. The council hopes to close on the $775,000 deal with Brooke Utilities in January after going through “friendly” condemnation proceedings.

County moving quickly to transfer land to GCC

Supervisors will sell the college land to the Educational Alliance by January

By the end of the year, Gila Community College (GCC) and the Rim Country Educational Alliance (SLE) will own 54 acres between them, presently managed by the Gila County Board of Supervisors. “If things go as planned, on Nov. 1 a quit claims deed will be on the table at the board of supervisors’ meeting (and) … a sales plan in front of them by Nov. 15,” said Don McDaniel, Gila County manager.

Board gives airport back to town

After years of struggle and months of debate, the Payson Airport Regional Authority on Wednesday voted to ask the town to take over the airport. The airport board listened to a strong pitch for that move from Payson Mayor Kenny Evans, then swept aside a plea from a group of pilots to further delay the decision. “I think I’m ready to take the risk” of returning the airport to the town’s control, said Jim Hunt, a retired Air Force general who serves on the board.

Pipeline back on track

The long-delayed Blue Ridge pipeline this week took several decisive steps forward, including the unanimous approval of a new law by the U.S. Senate and approval of a site for a $7.5 million water treatment plant less likely to upset homeowners in Mesa del Caballo.

Despite recession, Star Valley banks $3M

Despite the recession, Star Valley has managed to bank nearly $3 million in cash reserves in just six years. Town staff credits smart spending and a trim budget for the positive balance sheet. “Though we have been dealing with decreases in state shared revenue, we have still been able to increase a monthly surplus due to good management, wise purchasing and spending habits,” said Chancy Nutt, finance administrator.

Halloween fun, festivities start this weekend

Slip into your most spooktacular outfit and make your way to the Ox Bow Saloon on West Main Street Saturday, Oct. 22. The 7th Annual Gracie Lee Haught Costume Party, Dance and Banquet is from 7 p.m. to midnight. It only costs $10 to come in and shake the dust off the ol’ bones while dancing to Moonshine Mafia. The bar will be open and snacks provided.

Prevent suicide walk organizers hoping for good turnout

Organizers hope hundreds will turn out for the second annual Walk to Prevent Suicide Saturday, Oct. 22. Last year, 125 gathered to recognize those they had lost to suicide and raise funding for suicide prevention programs and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Appliance and metal discard event set

The Buckhead Mesa Landfill north of Payson will coordinate an old appliance “free day” from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.

Community Almanac

The Northern Gila County Genealogy Library will be holding a Bake and Book Sale Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22. The sale is from noon to 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22.

Cabeza de Vaca: A man who made his own luck

People who read the words of Álvar Núñez De Vera Cabeza de Vaca in his La Relación, his report to King Charles V of Spain, immediately realize they have been granted a rare glimpse into the mind of an extraordinary individual, someone able to look fate in the eye, accept what he sees without time-wasting complaints, and think his way through from where he is to where he has to be.

Standing up to the Federal Reserve

What would you say if you knew that the U.S. Fed gave over $16 trillion dollars to U.S. and foreign banks and corporations? Although almost impossible to believe, it’s tragically true.

Thanks to all who have donated to high school’s auto program

In a recent article covering Payson High School’s automotive program, the donation of a Mazda Miata was incorrectly credited to me.

New tax law needed

Asking people who make over a million dollars a year to pay the same tax rate as the middle class is not class warfare. It is leveling the playing field.

A big thank you to Payson Police

Recently there has been a lot of negative press on our Payson Police Department, so now is the time for some positive press.

Oktoberfest raises money for bike race

The Rimside Grill and Cabin’s Oktoberfest was not only great fun, it also raised more than $2,000 to be used for the Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race.

Congratulations to the Roundup

Congratulations to the Roundup for winning the top General Excellence award in the news reporting, non-daily division, at the recent Arizona Newspapers Association’s annual convention.

Free trade agreements create jobs for Americans

Congress recently approved free trade agreements (FTAs) with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. This is great news for Arizonans, because agreements such as these are among the most proven and effective ways to generate U.S. jobs and increase wages for workers.

Praise for county action, but with one reservation

The Gila County Board of Supervisors and county staff have moved with wonderful speed to act on the Rim Country Educational Alliance’s request to buy land north of the highway for the first, 1,000-student phase of a university campus. County staff, after first thinking any sale of public land would need many rounds of public hearings and notices researched the sale and found that since the sale of the land would be to another public agency — the college and the SLE — there is no need for all the hearings and special notices.

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H-O Chamber and Bison Ranch to host ‘Trunk or Treat’

Warming days from near freezing temperatures dominate our weather pattern as of late. Highs are reaching near the 70-degree mark with lows at or near the lower 30s. The weather outlook is the same, with clear skies and peak color change of aspens and oaks near the Mogollon Rim.

Special rates during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

Wow, Kat was right when she said “who knew we were so lucky.” How interesting to hear how other parts of the world deal with animals. I can’t say I’d ever be as brave as Kat to take that journey, but it was amazing to hear her story. So, I’m sure you’ve all heard that October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month? October just so happens to be my favorite month, and not just because it’s my birthday month either. Adopt a Shelter Dog is such a great event. We even honor it by running an amazing adoption special for all of our dogs.

Clubs and Organizations

Elks members and guests are welcome to enjoy lunch at the Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway, 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. There will be a steak fry with the the Elks Jam Session at 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22. Elks members and guests are also welcome.

Halloween brings community together for fall fun

It is almost time for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating. Halloween, for some reason, was always my favorite holiday. As a kid, I remember trying to get as much candy as possible and then sitting around with my friends seeing what I could trade my candy corn for (never liked that stuff for some reason). When I was older, I participated in and started many haunted houses over the years (with the most popular being what we called “the Haunted Maze”).

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Cold snap short lived, now it’s Indian Summer

Last week I said that the frost was on the pumpkin and this week, I have to say that the frost has melted! The weather changed dramatically from cold to Indian Summer. The cold spell lasted long enough to wipe out our garden except for one lone eggplant.

Don’t miss guitarist Edgar Cruz in concert

This coming Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. in the Payson High School auditorium, nationally renowned guitarist Edgar Cruz will present a two-hour Tonto Community Concert Association finger-pickin’, knee-slappin’, good-time performance. Cruz will be fresh off two performances the day before in Globe, and a same-day matinee for Payson’s school children just hours before.

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Important dates and events to remember

A reminder that today is the final day to register for the oil painting class at the Pine Library. You will love this class! Call (928) 476-3678 to register. The Strawberry Patchers are having a “Community Sew Day” Oct. 21 and 22 in the Pine Library Annex to work on comfort quilts that go to charitable organizations and members of the community during times of crisis. Way to go, Patchers! Oct. 26 is the deadline to register entries for the Rim Country Quilt Roundup. Call Maureen at (928) 476-2443 or see the Web site at

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The comfort of cottonwoods

Riparian giants hold a whole world in their branches, but their time is as fleeting as the human beings they shelter

I heard the warm wind coming from a long way off, rustling through the tremble of cottonwood leaves off down the Verde River. I held my position and my breath on the bank of the river, close by the bass and trout-stocked lagoons of the colorfully-named Dead Horse Ranch State Park. I waited happily for the wind to reach me — swirling through the brilliant yellow leaves overhead. I had come for the comfort that cottonwoods always offer me, especially in the extravagance of fall.

Thursday, October 20

Paving continues on Highway 87 south of Payson

Northbound lane restriction Friday

The Arizona Department of Transportation will continue paving State Route 87 Friday, Oct. 21, two miles south of the SR 87/SR 188 junction. The right lane of the northbound roadway will be closed from 4:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, October 19

Quilt Roundup

Event features wide selection of classes

The area is called home by some of the nation’s best quilters and they, along with gifted hobbyists and novices, will have their work displayed at the 7th Annual Rim Country Quilt Roundup. There will also be quilts coming to the show from out of the area. The event is Friday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 13 in the Exhibition Hall at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino, off Highway 87 at milepost 251 on the southeast side of Payson.

Transform ‘Chicken As Usual’

Chicken is a popular choice for family dinners — but no matter how much your family enjoys it, serving it the same way over and over again can stir up cravings for something new. Chef Tim Love knows all about finding new ways to enjoy familiar foods. He’s teaming up with the Hellmann’s® Brand to let home cooks know about a little secret to spice up their everyday chicken dishes.

Comparing yesterday with today

One of the advantages we older people have is that we can remember much of the past and compare it with the present. Much of life is better today than in the past and we will offer a few comparisons.

The Wild West in the Rim Country

Chapter 5: Murder In Diamond Valley

came at the urging of their older son, John Valentine Meadows, who had preceded them and established a ranch in the White Mountains.

Swollen feet sign of heart trouble?

I don’t have stones. I have something called a liver hemangioma. My doctor says I don’t need any treatment. I never heard of this and wonder what your thoughts are.

China, Tibet and Yangtze extravaganza

If you are like me, you are already thinking about where you are going to vacation next year. You might consider Europe, South America, Hawaii or even the Caribbean next summer. Or, perhaps even a camping trip in Colorado. Half the fun of travel for me is planning the vacation. There is so much material available on the Internet that detailed planning is possible from your home or office.

around AZ

Creole Choir of Cuba will perform Oct. 29 in Scottsdale

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will present The Creole Choir of Cuba at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29 in the Virginia G. Piper Theater.

Getaway around Rim Country

Anne James, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19. Basic refreshments are available to purchase and there is no charge for admission.

Good 2 Go

The Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department is sponsoring a hike of the Monument Peak Trail beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 22.

ARToberfest to be held Oct. 21-23 at casino

The PAL ARToberfest Fine Art and Fine Craft Show and Sale is Oct. 21, 22 and 23 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Event Center (the old casino) and showcases the work of 17 artists.

Dutch oven cooking class coming Oct. 29

Get a feel for the outdoors in the gorgeous Payson air and learn how to “wow” your friends and family with exquisite camp cooking.

Star Valley offers to buy Brooke Utilities for $775,000

The Star Valley Town Council approved the purchase of the local water company Tuesday night, fulfilling a promise made six years ago at incorporation to protect resident’s water, councilors said.

Roundup's corporate chairman honored for newspaper service

Dolph C. Simons Jr., editor of the Lawrence Journal-World and chairman of The World Company, was awarded The Ralph D. Casey/Minnesota Award at Inland Press Association’s 126th Annual Meeting on Tuesday at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel.

Tuesday, October 18

New alignment keeps football’s final matchups a big mystery

With the prep football season gradually winding to an end and the state tournament just over the horizon, small-town football pundits are scratching their collective noggins trying to predict who is in the playoffs and who will be watching from the bleachers. That task has been made doubly difficult this season by an AIA realignment that did away with the conference-region format that had been used for decades, replacing it with divisions and sections.

Cain wins PWGA Match Play Tournament

The PWGA’s annual Match Play Tournament was held in August. Match play took place every Tuesday in August, with golfers playing everyone in their flight and then winners advancing to compete against other flight winners. Taking top honors this year was Mary Cain, followed by Shari Cody in second and Alesha Calderwood in third.

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WON to host three Roosevelt tournaments

Western Outdoor News (WON) bass fishing tournaments are coming to Roosevelt Lake in a big way. Of the seven team angling tournaments to be held in Arizona during the next nine months, three of them will be held at Roosevelt and the others at Bartlett (twice), Lake Pleasant and Apache Lake. The first to be held at Roosevelt is on Oct. 22 at Schoolhouse Landing.

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SV water deal comes with unknowns

The Town of Star Valley is wading into the unknown with the potential purchase of the local water company and the sale has some councilors and community members concerned. Will the town have to raise rates to fix the infrastructure? Who will run it and maintain the system? Will the town expand it? How much will it cost to buy and what impact will it have on other town projects? Town councilors, commission members and several residents dived into these issues at the council’s annual retreat held Friday at Tonto Natural Bridge. The group agreed it is crucial the town buy the system to secure sustainable water for residents. “That’s why this town incorporated and we are taking that first step” with the purchase of the system, said town manager and attorney Tim Grier.

County, Alliance near deal on land for college

Gila Community College may enjoy cash windfall if county sells 20 acres for phase one of campus

Gila County has agreed in principle to sell the Rim Country Educational Alliance 20 acres for phase one of a university campus in Payson, a move that could prove a major financial boon for Gila Community College. Scrambling to cope with U.S. Forest Service delays, the Alliance asked the county to sell nine acres held in trust for GCC that adjoins a nearly 67-acre parcel of private land Alliance investors have already agreed to buy. Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin said the county countered with an offer to sell a total of about 20 acres out of a fragmented, 55-acre parcel.

County struggles with outdated building rules

Codes adopted in the 1960s still control development rules

Two years into an effort to overhaul Gila County’s complex but outdated building and planning rules, the task remains daunting. Last week, the board of supervisors got a first look at the results of hours of hearings and study sessions by the planning commission — and seemed mostly daunted by the job. The overhaul will touch every aspect of growth and development in a vast area larger than many states — but inhabited by only about 53,000 people.

SV council to get update on water company purchase

The Star Valley Town Council will get an update on the budget and possibly initiate the purchase of the Payson Water Company at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Community Almanac

Youth art classes are planned at the Payson Public Library over the next couple of weeks. The classes are free, but seating is limited and registration is required. A photography class for those ages 10 to 14 will be offered from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18. The teacher is Bessie Tucker of the library staff. Students will need to bring their digital cameras.

Brightest star in the firmament of local conservatism has flickered out

This is my personal requiem for an admirable adversary. For me that adversary, Dan Adams, was exceedingly honorable, worthy and respected.

Thanks to community for help

Once again Kaitie’s Closet wants to thank the community for an outstanding month on our clothes, coats and shoes contributions for distribution to our local kids — we had a great month.

Thanks for visiting the arts and crafts festival

Thank you Payson ... for our 40 kids, we house, feed, educate and clothe, in our Inda House of Hope home, I say thank you for participating and assisting in our Zane Grey Art & Crafts Fair at the courthouse, last weekend.

Bring on ASU

In response to Ms. Casey’s letter, as for an ASU campus, what a shame.

Trade expansion plays a vital role in America’s economic recovery

As I have traveled across Arizona’s First Congressional District meeting with my constituents, everyone wants to know Congress’ plan to address jobs in our country. Getting Americans back to work has been my number one priority since I took office. The path to economic prosperity is through good paying, private sector jobs — the kinds of jobs that will be created because of the free trade agreements (FTAs) that the House of Representatives passed this week.

Payson may need to start courtship with a new university

You’ve been dating for two years now. She’s beautiful, brilliant, speaks five languages. Her family’s old money, but she’s short on cash at the moment, so you have to pay for everything. But never mind, you love her dearly — idealize her even. You would do just about anything for her — you think about her all the time. But it’s been two years, after all, and she still won’t kiss you. Granted, she’ll hold your hand — but not in public. And she is seeing other people.

County protests habitat to save Willow Flycatcher

Supervisors question need to expand stream side protections for endangered songbird

The Gila County supervisors recently expressed alarm at a plan to designate additional river and lakeside as “critical habitat” for the endangered Willow Flycatcher. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed expanding the amount of land it wants to protect to save the five-inch songbird from extinction from 1,600 miles of river front to more than 2,000 miles, with most of the increased habitat found in Utah and Nevada. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service may ultimately exempt half of that proposed habitat from designation, as a result of other agreements.

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Students learning the art of photography

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” — Ansel Adams “Buying a Nikon doesn’t make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner.” — Author Unknown An artisan working at his craft once defined art as “something that cannot be taught from a book. It must be learned through experience.” Tom Brossart follows this philosophy in his photography classes at Gila Community College (GCC) — pulling students from their desks, driving them through the mountains and plopping them into nature for daylong nature shoots. On Friday, his advanced class headed to Flagstaff to capture the brilliant hues of fall.

About Medicare open enrollment

With more benefits, better choices and lower costs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging people with Medicare and their families to begin reviewing drug and health plan coverage options for 2012.  Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period — which started Saturday, Oct. 15 — has been expanded to last seven weeks and will end Dec. 7. This will give seniors and people with disabilities more time to compare and find the best plan that meets their unique needs. Health and Human Services officials will hold 150 events in the days leading up to Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period to inform and educate people with Medicare across the country.

Planting bulbs in fall is act of faith

Last week was Fire Prevention Week. Have you checked your smoke alarms lately? If the batteries have not been replaced in the past six months, now is the time to do so. For those of us who no longer are comfortable climbing ladders, the fire department offers a service whereby they will come to your home and change the batteries for you. Call (928) 474-5242, extension 300, for an appointment.

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Betty Raveling honored as humane society’s Volunteer of the Year

Residents of the Rim Country see Betty Raveling and her Humane Society of Central Arizona (HSCAZ) table at just about every craft fair, First Friday, Aero Fair, rodeo, county fair, classic car show, golf tournament, farmers market, and festival. For her dedication, HSCAZ honored Raveling as their Volunteer of the Year at their second annual volunteer luncheon.

Roundup wins top general excellence award

The Payson Roundup won 17 awards, including general excellence in news reporting, in the non-daily division, at the Arizona Newspapers Association annual convention held Saturday in Scottsdale. This year’s news achievement awards were judged by the New York Press Association.

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Freshman congressman yanks teeth, cuts budget

Gosar’s frantic first term mingles workaholic schedule with partisan pressures of economic emergency

From sleeping on a cot in his office to yanking teeth on the floor of Congress, freshman First Congressional District Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Flagstaff) has put in a frantic year dominated by economic crisis and partisan bitterness. On the national level, he has cast votes for the radical restructuring of Medicare and cutting popular domestic programs to reduce the soaring deficit while juggling local projects, like supporting the 4-Forest Restoration Initiative (4-FRI) and the Blue Ridge pipeline.

Annual Sew for the Cure takes place this Saturday

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Quilting Sisters and Valley Radiation Oncology are joining again this year for the second annual Sew for the Cure and Live, Laugh and Love and Celebration Party. Quilting Sisters, at 904 N. Beeline, Payson, will have an army of volunteers sewing 50 travel pillowcases from 10 until done, Saturday, Oct. 22.

Guitarist is guest artist of TCCA Oct. 25

Guitar virtuoso and master showman Edgar Cruz will present his unique blend of classical, Latin, pop, jazz and guitar masterpieces at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the Payson High School Auditorium as part of the 2011-2012 season of the Tonto Community Concert Association.

Health fair to offer free checkups

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 “old” gym at Payson High School. Residents who generally do not receive health checkups are encouraged to attend this free admission health event. Health vendors will provide blood draws and testing, skin cancer screenings, dental checks, blood pressure checks, basic breast exams, hearing tests, peripheral vascular disease screenings and more.

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Yep — Dust Devils were who we thought they were

Borrowing from former Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Dennis Green during a 2006 postgame Monday Night Football media conference tirade that is now a beer commercial, “The Bears are what we thought they were. They’re what we thought they were, now if you want to crown them, then crown their (butt). But they are who we thought they were. And we let ’em off the hook.”

Lady Horns’ backs are against the wall in fight for state slot

Team has ‘gotta get ... plumb mad dog mean’

Actor Clint Eastwood in the 1976 movie “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” explains his philosophy on life’s tough times by saying, “When things look bad, and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. “I mean plumb mad dog mean.” That’s advice the Lady Longhorn volleyball team might want to take to heart in today’s, Oct. 18, crucial showdown against the visiting Fountain Hills Falcons.

Upcoming sports- related and outdoor recreation events

There will be a benefit spaghetti dinner for the Payson High School boys and girls soccer program from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24 at Gerardo’s Firewood Café. The cost is $6 and participants may dine in or take out. Monument Peak Trail hike

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State playoff berth still up for grabs

Second-year Lady Longhorn soccer coach Amy Wilcox and her players have had, since the onset of the season, their sights set on advancing to the Division IV or “state” tournament. But for those aspirations to come true, the team must win a season finale showdown today, Oct. 18 in Snowflake against the homestanding Lobos.

Clubs and Organizations

At the Tuesday, Oct. 18 meeting of the Payson Art League, member and artist Rock Newcomb will present a step-by-step slide show demonstration of his paintings.  Newcomb works in a variety of media, including acrylic, colored scratchboard, graphite and pencil. 

Saturday, October 15

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Longhorns dusted by River Valley

A 27-7 loss to River Valley on Friday evening at Payson High School Stadium has all but ended the Longhorn football team's aspirations of qualifying for the postseason state tournament.

Friday, October 14

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Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Elks meet at 7 p.m., the first and third Thursday of each month at the Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway. Elks members and guests are welcome to enjoy lunch at the Lodge 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.

Who knew we were so lucky? Part Five

I was sad to leave Colombia because the country and the people within its borders were absolutely amazing, but it was time to move on to Venezuela. My original plan was to travel overland from Colombia to Venezuela by bus, but many Colombians warned me about the safety hazards of such a plan (the bordering areas of Colombia and Venezuela were a bit unstable at the time). I decided to take another route and booked an affordable flight in order to enter Venezuela by air.

Mesa del residents explore costs to buy out Brooke

About 100 residents of Mesa del Caballo attended a meeting on Tuesday intended to rally support for forming a water improvement district to buy out Brooke Utilities and lay claim to water from the Blue Ridge pipeline. “We’re trying to form something that will help all of us,” said Bonnie Dorris, one of five people who have started circulation petitions to form an improvement district to acquire the water system from Brooke. “You’ll have a say. Right now you really don’t.”

Veteran coach leads SO athletes to fall games

For Becky Derwort, today’s trip to the Special Olympics Arizona Fall Games in Surprise is old hat. That’s because the longtime Northern Gila County SO Coordinator/coach and retired special education teacher has made the jaunt annually since the spring of 1978. “Nothing new for me,” she said about the weekend pilgrimage to Surprise and Sun City where a 20-athlete swim team and 12 players in the bocce competition will represent Payson. In all, including coaches and sponsors, 43 Payson representatives will make the trip that wraps up Sunday with closing ceremonies.

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Redistricting maps get no love

Legislative maps draw criticism

The Independent Redistricting Commission’s proposed congressional and state legislative maps that fragment Gila County among multiple districts drew almost universal condemnation Wednesday during a hearing in Payson. Driven by the need to protect the clout of Hispanic and Native American voters, the commission’s proposed map would split the 50,000 Gila County residents among three different state legislative districts and two different congressional districts. Voters established the independent commission in 2000 to prevent the party in power from gerrymandering district lines to benefit one party over another.

Occupational therapist to speak on lymphedema

Denise Miller, a Payson Care Center occupational therapist, will discuss lymphedema and answer questions on this condition at 11 a.m., Monday, Oct. 17 at Mountain Bible Church, 302 E. Rancho Rd.

Government is not petty

The talk these days is about the role of our government and taxes. I wish to address these topics.

Veterans need a fair shake

At our monthly meeting of the American Legion Post 69 on Oct. 5, we were advised that the VA was interested in constructive ideas concerning a VA Clinic in Payson and in other remote areas in Arizona.

Food Bank needs immediate help

St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank is in need of your immediate help! Our food shelves are at a drastic low, while the number of families in need continues to grow daily.

Cross-country ski track was once a popular activity

Well it is about the time when business starts slowing down up here. A little birdie told me years and years ago there used to be a cross-country ski track that someone had built that was actually quite popular.

Villagers cleaning out chimneys for cold weather

The frost has definitely been on the pumpkin in Tonto Village this past week. The temperature has been at least 32 degrees with a light frost each morning. The Villagers are getting ready for the cold weather that will soon be here. They are getting their chimneys cleaned, which is very important. There have been chimney fires in the Village in the past, so now is a great time to call your favorite chimney sweep. There have been wood deliveries and chain saws buzzing for about two weeks now.

Share what you have with others

Gee, did you turn on a little heat on Thursday morning? Once I stepped outside I was convinced that it wasn’t just a few degrees change, but actually deserved a light jacket.

Walk for the poor was successful

Many thanks to you and your staff, especially Alexis Bechman, Pete Aleshire and Teresa McQuerrey, for featuring numerous articles highlighting the work of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for the benefit of families and individuals unable to meet their basic needs.

Lessons learned from the Solyndra scandal

It’s been nearly impossible to open a daily newspaper that does not contain more damaging revelations about the Solyndra scandal. Much of the commentary has focused on the Obama administration’s handling of the company’s loan application; indeed, it’s important to get to the bottom of this scandal so that we can prevent it from happening again in the future.

Community Almanac

The Mogollon Health Alliance will be having an Arts & Crafts Sale from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Mogollon Health Alliance Activity Center (next to the Almost New Thrift Shop at 304 E. Aero Dr.).

Keep Gila County intact on redistricting maps

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commit-tee faced some challenges in drawing new congressional and state legislative district lines. But we don’t think much of the outcome — at least when it comes to the draft maps featured at this week’s public input meeting in Payson. Driven by a perceived need above all else to avoid parceling out minority voters among different districts, the commission instead wants to dismember Gila County.

Pánfilo de Narváez: Bad choices or just bad luck? Part II

I left off last week at the point where Pánfilo de Narváez, who had lost an eye to a crossbow bolt, was appointed adelantado of Florida by Charles V, King of Spain. The appointment meant that he was governor of Florida — provided he could conquer it. I hereby appoint you governor of Mars, Johnny. Go get it! So, from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, near Cadiz, on June 17, 1527, sailed five ships containing de Narváez, 600 men, and 80 horses.

P-S Community Center provides hot cooked meals to residents

While most non-profit organizations are struggling to keep up with demand these days, one local group is seeking to do more. Officials at the Pine-Strawberry Community Center, 3916 N. Highway 87, want residents to know they are ready and willing to help — from serving a hot cooked meal to organizing game and movie nights. “I want to let everyone know that we are here,” said Rhonda Bossert, thrift store manager. “So many people sit at home and we don’t know if they are even fed. Maybe it is pride that keeps them from coming in or maybe they don’t know these services are available, but we are here to help.”

Self-directed IRAs and the risk of fraud alert

The Arizona Corporation Commission is warning investors of the potential risks of investing through self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Unlike most IRAs, a self-directed IRA is held by a custodian that often allows investments in a wide variety of alternative investments such as real estate, tax liens, precious metals and private placement securities. Investors should understand that the custodians of self-directed IRAs may have limited duties to investors and generally will not evaluate the quality or legitimacy of an investment and its promoters.

Schools get conflicting ratings report from the state

Rim Country Middle School is either doing great — or just about to flunk, depending on which state measuring system you believe. The Arizona Department of Education this week slapped grades on every school in the state, which sometimes contrasted dramatically with the also released scores from the previous ratings system. Strangely enough, Rim Country Middle School got a “D” under the new system, but remained “performing plus” under the old system, with those numbers also released this week.

Pipeline project logjam broken

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that Payson’s Blue Ridge pipeline will not hurt any endangered species. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but it’s in the mail,” USFWS Southwestern Regional Spokesman Jeff Humphrey said on Wednesday. Payson Ranger District Head Ranger Angie Elam confirmed USFWS biologists had concurred with the Tonto National Forest biologist who concluded the $35 million pipeline buried in Houston Mesa Road won’t inflict any significant damage on either the Chiricahua leopard frog or the Mexican spotted owl endangered species that occur nearby.

Retirement plans for small-business owners

For a variety of reasons, many people, particularly those in the baby boom generation, are considering retiring later than they might have originally planned. If you’re in this group, you’ll want to take advantage of those extra working years by contributing to a retirement plan that can help you build resources, defer taxes and maximize income. Let’s look at two retirement plans — the “owner-only” 401(k) and the defined benefit plan.

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Heber Overgaard Fire Department has successful open house

The night time freezing temperatures have given way to warmer conditions this week with temperatures were in the upper 30s. Daytime temperatures as well climbed to the upper 60s allowing for more comfortable days. Continued warm up will ensue this weekend with highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 40s.

Analysis shows continued school population decline for years

The Payson Unified School District maintenance staff has been busy preserving the district’s capital in the last year, but with enrollment expected to drop 8.7 percent during the next five years, the school board has no plans for new construction. Superintendent Casey O’Brien said regression analysis shows a continuing decline in enrollment at all grade levels, but this comes as no surprise, with Payson’s overall population declining since the recession hit several years ago.

Songs highlight feelings about property tax bill

Those of us lucky enough to own a house in Payson recently received our annual property tax bill. As I scrolled down through my 2011 notice last week, I came to the Payson Unified School District line item. As my chin nearly dropped to the floor, I screamed, “What’s Going On” (1971-Marvin Gaye). A whopping 41 percent increase over last year! A $224 dollar increase above 2010! This is “Crazy” (1961-Patsy Cline)!

Passing attack comes up short

Having had its vaunted rushing attack shut down by a rock solid Mingus defense, the Longhorn football team opted to go to the airways in hopes of rallying for a win. Sophomore quarterback Tyus Sarnowski responded with his finest varsity game ever, completing 13 of 21 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough as the homestanding Longhorns (3-4) lost, 33-20, the Division IV, Section III showdown played Oct. 7.

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Look around your home and your office. Could this autumn be the time to finally freshen them up with something really special? You might find that special piece that is just right for your environment at the ArtoberFest of the Payson Art League. You could also find a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry or artwork to give as a gift during the coming holidays. The PAL ArtoberFest Fine Art and Fine Craft Show and Sale is Oct. 21, 22 and 23 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Event Center (the old casino) and showcases the work of 17 artists. The majority of the participating artists are from the Rim Country, however, Prescott and Scottsdale are represented — photographer George Lewis of Prescott and acrylic and mixed media artist Pat Stacy of Scottsdale were juried into the show.

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Strawberry Patchers have fun meeting

Two weeks ago I made one of those necessary trips to the Valley and watched the thermometer soar. It was hot. Today I stepped outside my Pine residence and had to go back in for a jacket. Winter snuck up on us! I see people stocking up on firewood, books, and quilting material. Like Yogi Bear stashing away picnic baskets, we gather our winter provisions preparing to hibernate in our Rim Country dwellings whether nest, cave or cabin.

Fire departments holding open houses

In conjunction with national Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 9 through Oct. 15, several local fire departments are hosting open houses this weekend. The Payson and Houston Mesa Fire Departments will roll open the bay doors to the public Saturday for an inside look at station operations.

SV still negotiating to buy water company

Star Valley officials won’t say how negotiations with Brooke Utilities for the Payson Water Company are coming along, but hinted things are going well. Town Manager/Attorney Tim Grier is acting as the town’s chief negotiator along with Councilor Vern Leis. The two have met with Brooke President Robert Hardcastle several times in the last months after Hardcastle asked the town if it was still interested in purchasing the 300-customer water company.

Gila County officers recognized for outstanding service

Gila County Sheriff John Armer recently recognized two detention officers for outstanding service and work ethic in the Gila County Detention Centers.

Elect people who will act for us, not Wall Street

Ray Pugel’s “Ten things that could spur housing industry” claims it will add 15,000 jobs to Arizona.

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Lady Horns dig deep and rally past Mingus Marauders

The Lady Longhorn volleyball team took a gigantic step toward keeping its post-season playoff hopes alive with a come-from-behind match win over the Mingus Marauders. The win, which coach Arnold Stonebrink called “huge,” was chalked up Oct. 11 at Mingus High in Cottonwood. In the pulsating match, the Lady Horns won the first set 25-20, but lost the next two 25-22 and 25-18, setting the stage for what could have been an easy Marauder victory.

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Lobos a huge hurdle for Lady Longhorns

The Lady Longhorn soccer team’s postseason fate could rest on the result of an Oct. 18 clash in Snowflake. That’s because Payson (3-4) is now sitting eighth in power point rankings and eight teams from Division IV’s 12 schools will advance to the state tournament set to begin Oct. 28 at Quail Run Complex in Mesa. An upset win over the homestanding Lobos could supply enough points for the Lady Horns to remain in tournament contention, but a loss might drop the team out of consideration. “I’m hoping a win will get us in,” said head coach Amy Wilcox.

Mother pays tribute to son

Schylar Clinton Cloudt, 37, was born in Payson and is a survivor of the 9/11 attacks. Cloudt is the son of Sheri and Mark Cloudt; grandson of Fran and Jean Cloudt of Phoenix and Lawrence and Mettie Dircks and great grandson of Dallas and Ann Wilbanks and Helena and Lawrence Ross and great nephew of Larry and Peggy Wilbanks of Nottingham.

Wednesday, October 12


Exhibit gives the public an opportunity to bring art home

Look around your home and your office. Could this autumn be the time to finally freshen them up with something really special? You might find that special piece that is just right for your environment at the Artoberfest of the Payson Art League. You could also find a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry or artwork to give as a gift during the coming holidays.

Edgar Cruz to perform in Payson Oct. 25

Guitar virtuoso and master showman Edgar Cruz will present his unique blend of classical, Latin, pop, jazz and guitar masterpieces at the Payson High School Auditorium on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.

Family taco night with a twist

special by putting a taco twist on some other family favorites to make an easy, fun meal the whole family will love? Whether it’s the crunch that brings them to the table, the craveable taste of tacos or the ability to make their taco, their way, it’s the one dinner the whole family loves.

Center of town has moved east

History has taught us that town centers have a tendency to change, both from a geographical standpoint and from a political power point of view. Here’s a look at how the center of Payson and the surrounding area have evolved since early times. When the region was first being settled by white settlers, west of today’s Payson was the hub of activity. If you take Main Street west, past the sewage plant, you’ll ultimately top out on a hill. It feels like a different world, and indeed it was. Welcome to the first origins of the area.

Food bank has growing need for supplies

“Do you think anyone wants Gefilte fish?” a food bank volunteer asks, holding up a large jar with floating brown masses inside. “If we got it, put it in the box,” another volunteer says. From one week to the next, volunteers scramble to put food boxes together at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank, 511 S. St. Phillips Street.

Winter vacations

We’ve had our summer flings, now it’s time to begin thinking about a vacation or two this winter. There are warm weather locations, cool areas and thrilling travel destinations available for the winter time.

asthma not only for children

What can you tell me about glossopharyngeal?

Getaway around Rim Country

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is holding public hearings for the express purpose of allowing citizens to tell the commission how they would like the new legislative and Congressional districts to be drawn.  There will be a redistricting meeting in Payson at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12 at the Best Western Payson Inn.

Good 2 Go

The Payson Elks Lodge will be hosting a benefit for its annual Children’s Christmas Shopping Spree Friday, Nov. 11. With the current economic situation, donations are down and the assistance of the community is needed to make this a successful endeavor.

Tuesday, October 11

Payson council opposes gas, electric rate hikes

The Payson Town Council voted unanimously to oppose big rate increases proposed by SemStream and Arizona Public Service. The council called on the Arizona Corporation Commission to reject SemStream’s 26 percent increase in propane rates and APS’s 6 percent increase in electrical rates, both of which would take effect next year. The Payson Town Council voted unanimously to oppose big rate increases proposed by SemStream and Arizona Public Service. The council called on the Arizona Corporation Commission to reject SemStream’s 26 percent increase in propane rates and APS’s 6 percent increase in electrical rates, both of which would take effect next year.

Woods Canyon Lake eagles may colonize Rim Country

Like hardy pioneers, the pair of bald eagles nesting at Woods Canyon Lake seem likely to produce enough offspring to one day colonize the Rim Country, according to eagle biologists. The Woods Canyon pair surprised many experts three years ago by taking over an osprey nest atop a towering snag and starting to crank out eaglets. This year, they added two more offspring to their tally, part of a record crop of young produced by the state’s desert nesting bald eagles. The young produced by the pioneering pair in the past three years should begin looking for nearby nesting territories in the next year or two — including perhaps other Rim Country lakes like Bear Canyon, Willow Springs and Knoll.

Gosar’s Blue Ridge legislation advances

House adopts bill to cut through Blue Ridge pipeline red tape

Congress last week approved House Resolution 489, which Payson hopes will keep the Blue Ridge pipeline project from getting caught in any more bureaucratic crossfires. The legislation would make it clear that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will play the lead role in overseeing the pipeline project, which passes through two different national forests.

SLE can buy forest land say lawyers

Forest Service lawyers approve Separate Legal Entity’s right to buy 260 acres for a college campus

Payson cleared another hurdle last week in its quest to build a four-year college on 260 acres of land owned by the U.S. Forest Service. Lawyers for the Forest Service approved the Rim Country Educational Alliance Separate Legal Entity (SLE) as an agency qualified to buy the 260 acres on which Payson wants to build the campus.

Community Almanac

The Gila County Road Department will be chip sealing in Strawberry on Glen Straun, Parkinson and Bonnie Brae on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Drivers should be prepared for delays and should stay alert to traffic control.

Money needed so students can attend leadership conference

Every year in October, the fifth-grade students in the Payson Unified School District attend a youth leadership camp called “CHAMPS,” which stands for “Champs Have And Model Positive Peer Skills.”

Rally against proposed redistricting map at Oct. 12 meeting

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is holding public hearings for the express purpose of allowing citizens to tell the commission how they would like the new legislative and congressional districts to be drawn.

It is not the doctor’s fault

Don’t kick Dr. Ivey because of the VA system! I was not aware of the meeting held on Monday to address the VA problems or I would have attended. The VA system is only available in large cities, and all of us veterans know what a cluster that is, when we need to go there.

Payson Fire Department hosts open house Saturday, Oct. 15

In conjunction with this years’ Fire Prevention Week (FPW) the Payson Fire Department would like to invite all residents and visitors to join them in an open house. The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign (Oct. 9 through 15), “Protect Your Family from Fire,” sends a reminder of the importance of preparing and protecting your family from the dangers of home fires.

CHAMPS program helps fifth-graders

Every year in Payson, we peer counselors at the high school put on a huge event for the local fifth-graders. This event, known as CHAMPS Camp, has gained such recognition as to become the highlight of the students’ fifth grade year. Every child in an elementary school in Payson that is aware of the program looks forward to the day that they get to participate in it.

PHS senior named Commended Student in National Merit program

Payson High senior Samuel Grassel has been named a Commended Student in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. A letter of commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented to this scholastically talented senior, said Principal Kathe Ketchem.

Band will represent Payson at Pearl Harbor ceremony

Members still raising money to finance trip to Hawaii

Few Paysonites will likely make it to Hawaii on Dec. 7 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor — but they’ll be well represented. Officially even. Last week, the Payson Town Council made the Payson High School Marching Band official representative for the town, honoring the band’s prestigious invitation to play at the official ceremonies.

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PHS marching band wins top honors

The Payson High School Marching Band aced its first competition of the year, scoring “excellent” at the state marching festival at the Mountain Pointe High School Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 24. Only two other bands in the state qualified with scores high enough for the honor of marching in the same festival. “This is a fantastic start to their tournament season!” said Daria Mason, director of the high school band.

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Payson students work hard to master needed job skills

Auto shop students learn to rebuild engines, hoping to learn enough to fill one of 450,000 vacant technical jobs

The silent bodies litter Payson High School’s auto shop, laying about in disarray in and outside the classroom. Some lack a hood. Others sit on blocks, their wheels gone, guts exposed to the elements. Still others have their back ends removed.

PetSmart gives spay, neuter grant to humane society

The Humane Society of Central Arizona received a $30,050 grant from PetSmart Charities to substantially increase the number of spay/neuter surgeries needed to proactively fight the area’s homeless-pet overpopulation. The organization’s 4-year0old pet sterilization voucher program currently alters more than 250 pets per year. The PetSmart Charities will enable HSCAZ to double the number of sterilizations this year.

Payson hearing set for redistricting plan

The Independent Redistricting Commission will hold a public meeting in Payson on Wednesday to talk about its proposed new map for the state’s nine congressional districts, including a plan to split Gila County between two districts. The Payson meeting will take place at the Best Western Conference Center on Highway 87 opposite the Swiss Village at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Discussion will likely focus on the plan to move northern Gila County into Congressional District 4, a mostly Republican seat that will include Prescott and the western third of the state from Yuma to Utah. Northern Gila County would wind up in a district dominated by Colorado River cities like Yuma and Lake Havasu.

Clubs and Organizations

Elks members and guests are welcome to enjoy lunch at the Lodge 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.

Number of properties sold rises in third quarter

The third quarter real estate statistics for the Rim Country produced another uptick in units sold over the previous quarter. There was good news for the average sales price as it appears selling prices have stabilized. Inventories of homes for sale have fallen drastically from this same period in 2010 which may indicate that prices will start to rise in the future. Fall is usually a good time of year in our area for home sales. Valley residents normally show renewed interest in a home in the high country after the excruciating hot summer days in the Valley.

Quality initiative for hospice care launched in Rim Country

While many U.S. health care providers try to keep up with changing regulations designed to improve quality care and patient outcomes, one of the nation’s leading hospice providers is taking a voluntary, proactive lead in setting new quality standards for the hospice industry.

Arizona’s housing boom, bust among tops in nation

The Census Bureau confirmed what many Arizonans already knew: Over the last decade, the state built too many houses and didn’t fill enough of them. The bureau said the increase in the percent of vacant and rented homes in Arizona was among the highest in the nation. Vacant housing grew by 61 percent and rentals increased 33 percent in the state between 2000 and 2010.

Special habitat designation bad for Roosevelt and those who enjoy its use

Almost everyone in the Rim Country recognizes Dennis Pirch as a highly renowned and well-liked former Payson High School teacher and wrestling coach who has been enshrined in the Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame and was once the National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year. It is also common knowledge that he is a deeply spiritual man who often dedicates his time and energy to helping those in need.

Lady Horns still cling to state hopes

It’s now a given — the Lady Longhorn volleyball team has control of its own destiny. Which means, for Payson to reach its season-long goal of playing in the Division III or “state” tournament, the team must win upcoming matches against Mingus, today, Oct. 11, Fountain Hills, Oct. 18, and Mingus, Oct. 20.

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Longhorns’ early game woes continue

For the second consecutive week, the Longhorn football team struggled in the early going, but rallied in the second half behind spirited, determined play. But unlike two weeks ago, when the Longhorns rode the late surge to a 42-7 homecoming win over Sedona, Payson’s rally on Friday evening, Oct. 7, came up short in a 32-20 loss to the Mingus Marauders.

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Soroptimist raise money for groups, scholarships

For the eighth year, volunteers gathered Thursday afternoon to raise funds that help fight domestic violence during the Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country Radiothon. In the first hour, donors had already pledged $2,025 and organizers hoped to hit $20,000 by the day’s end, $7,000 more than what was pledged last year.

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Payson five fuel Team Dawgs

A love of the sport of baseball has prompted a band of five Payson baseball players, all younger than 14 years, to hook up with fellow athletes from Winslow and Holbrook to form The Dawgs Traveling Club. Most telling about the team name “Dawgs” is that it is an acronym standing for Discipline, Attitude, Will, Genuine and Scholar. “That’s what this team is all about,” said assistant coach Noah Sarnowski of Payson, “We hold our players to a higher standard.” Dawgs head coach, Nathan Velez, of Winslow, explained the team concept further in an e-mail to players that read, “I expect you to be leaders both on and off the field.

It is possible to escape domestic violence says speaker

“When a woman conceives her true self, a miracle occurs and life around her begins again.” — Marianne Williamson   It took Charlotte Beilgard’s husband of 25 years holding a knife to her throat one Saturday morning for her to realize she had to make a change, a plan to break free. When she finally got away, a new life began, one based on awareness and acceptance. Beilgard shared her story Thursday night during Time Out’s annual candlelight walk and program at the Payson United Methodist Church. Beilgard started her speech with Williamson’s quote.  

Bucks and does gather at PGC

The Payson Men’s Golf Association’s annual Buck and Doe tournament has long been one of the most celebratory competitions on the summer links agenda. The tradition continued at the Oct. 5 event in which PMGA members pair up with their counterparts in the Payson Women’s Golf Association. The festive fray is played in two divisions — PMGA members pair up with their wives, if they are PWGA members, for the “married couples” tournament.

Saturday, October 8

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Loss to Mingus

A 33-20 loss to the Mingus Marauders on Friday evening, Oct. 7, in Payson High stadium has put a serious dent in the Longhorn football team’s hopes of earning a berth in the16-team season ending Division IV or “state” tournament.

Friday, October 7

Thanks to many Celts’ Ceilidh was a huge success

The Rim Country Celts’ Ceilidh was a huge success. We are very appreciative of all the musicians who performed at our Ceilidh, Oct. 1.

Fossil Creek Road temporarily closed to all traffic

The Coconino and Tonto National Forests will be conducting area improvements along the Fossil Creek Road (FR 708) and the Childs Road (FR 502) from Oct. 17 through 22. A temporary road closure of FR 708 will be in effect Monday, Oct. 17, between the Fossil Creek Springs Trailhead and the historic Irving Power Plant location.

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Proposed state redistricting map splits Gila County in two

An independent redistricting commission established by voters has released a draft of new congressional districts that would split Gila County in half. The eight proposed district lines have also provoked a full-throated attack on the commission by top Republican officials statewide. The voters overhauled the redistricting process by creating a commission, whose members include three Republicans, three Democrats and one Independent. The key criteria the commission said it followed in drawing the district boundaries included protecting minority voting rights and creating as many competitive districts as possible.

Payson mayor hints good news is coming

The stalled construction of the Blue Ridge pipeline, which has hung up dreams of building a four-year college campus in Payson, may start soon if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service signs off on an environmental assessment. Payson Mayor Kenny Evans said construction of the $34 million pipeline hinges on one gatekeeper’s approval of the $1 million assessment, which found the pipeline would have no effect on endangered species or critical habitat in the area. Evans spent all day Wednesday in the Valley working to get the go-ahead from officials.

Payson businessman dies in crash

A local businessman died Tuesday in a New Mexico car crash. Tim Hewitt, manager of Payson Glass, was killed when his vehicle hydroplaned, crossed over a median on Interstate 40 and struck another vehicle head on.

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Forest Service snags $1.1M to thin forests

The Payson Ranger District has won $1.1 million to cap a decade-long effort to protect Rim Country from wildfires by creating thinned buffer zones at the edge of each community. The district snagged year-end money other forests could not spend by completing environmental studies on nearly 260,000 acres of forest and keeping contracts in place, so they could quickly take advantage of money dropping from bureaucratic heaven. “It’s a lot of work — a lot of work,” said Jeremy Plain, assistant fire management officer for the Payson Ranger District, of the decade-long effort to complete the necessary environmental studies and contracting agreements.

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Community Almanac

Join the merchants and organizations on Payson’s Historic Main Street for First Friday festivities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7. There’s something for everyone — music, food and fun people along the street. Another new business is welcomed to Main Street with this month’s celebration: DK Realty, 617 W. Main St. in Curtis Johnson’s Farmers Insurance.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake was successful

Big Brothers Big Sisters had a successful Bowl for Kids’ Sake fund-raising event on Sunday, Sept. 18 at Rim Country Lanes.

The Great American Scam

The Great American Scam is in progress now. Forty percent of the land that is producing corn is grown to manufacture ethanol.

School district needs to protect the public and itself

To our school board members — Did anyone think about the liability for the new rope course?

SuddenLink transition was an inexcusable fiasco

As a fairly new resident of this fine community, I have nothing but kudos for the Rim Country. I just read Mr. DJ Craig’s very professional comments about the inexcusable fiasco brought on by (ugh) SuddenLink.

Thank you Rim Country

With the recent loss of our granddaughter, we would like to thank all of our friends for their thoughtfulness and prayers.

History shows what works and what doesn’t

According to a recent editorial by The Wall Street Journal: “Washington has repeated nearly every economic policy mistake of the 1930s in recent years, so why not repeat one of the bigger blunders of the 1960s too?” “We refer to President Obama’s proposal,” it continued, “for a new ‘Buffett Rule’ to raise taxes on Americans earning more than $1 million a year.” Well put.

We are working hard to serve our community

The 40,000 residents of the city of Bell, Calif. not long ago learned to their dismay the cost of not having a local newspaper. Turns out, their city council first decided to pay themselves each $100,000, then approved a salary of $784,000 for the city manager and $475,000 for the police chief. How could such a scandal go on year after year in a town where the average taxpayer earned $28,000 — and 17 percent lived below the poverty line?

Pánfilo de Narváez: Bad choices or just bad luck?

While attending college I ran across a book that led me to believe that Pánfilo de Narváez, one of the conquistadors, either made a lot of bad choices or was cursed with very bad luck. I found the book quite by accident in the university library, a place I really enjoyed. Having access to a large, several story high library stocked with books I hadn’t read made me feel like a kid who’d been let loose in a candy store.

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Payson Community Kids’ new building started, funds needed

The concrete has cured and the walls will soon be framed on Payson Community Kids’ long-awaited new space. Construction started Sept. 15 after a few unexpected permit and construction modifications nearly threw the whole project off track. After shelling out an unanticipated $5,000 for a sewer permit, Payson Community Kids (PCK) officials still need to raise more than $10,000 to cover paving the end of Tonto Street. However, with enrollment numbers growing every month, officials say they had to move forward on the center that will be used for an after-school program.

State support, local control top issues for school board

The Payson Unified School District Board wants the Arizona School Boards Association to suit up and tilt some of the tallest windmills around. The board recently adopted its priorities for changes in state law and polices that affect schools. Mostly, the board wants to reverse the mounting cuts in funding, while peeling back some of the mandates and policy requirements that have stripped school boards of effective control of local schools.

Diamondbacks keep Arizona’s postseason hopes alive

Wow! How about those Diamondbacks? Just when you think they are dead in the water, they rise up to extend their championship hopes with yet another of their patented rallies. Down 0-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round of the National League playoffs, not many gave the Diamondbacks a chance at staying alive in the playoffs.

Playoffs on the line for Horns, Marauders

Among the spoils that could go to the victor of tonight’s Payson vs. Mingus Division IV, Section III showdown is an all-important berth in the 16-team “state” tournament that begins Nov. 5. The losers of tonight’s game, however, might find themselves on the outside looking in when the postseason kicks off. Which means there’s a good deal at stake for players, coaches and fans of the two schools, which are located within 70 miles of one another.

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Lady Longhorns split with Camp Verde Cowboys, Flagstaff

There were no big surprises in the Lady Longhorn volleyball team’s two-match stand against Flagstaff and Camp Verde. As expected, Payson lost 3-0 to powerful Flagstaff and easily handled Camp Verde, 3-0. “We knew Flagstaff would be very tough to beat,” said coach Arnold Stonebrink. “They have lost only once as a Division II school and that was to powerhouse Prescott, 3-2.”

Barr tribute draws 16 teams

Friends of Mike Barr and others who knew him only by reputation came together Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 to pay tribute to the former Longhorn sports standout by participating in the Mike Barr Memorial Softball Tournament and Home Run Derby. The tournament drew 10 co-ed teams and for the home run derby, nine women’s teams competed and seven entered the men’s division. While event organizer Waylon Pettet is calling the tournament a complete success, it did end Saturday night on an especially auspicious note.

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Youth hoop camp draws record numbers

A field of 70 aspiring basketball players, from third to ninth grade, passed on video games, television, the Internet, girl and boy friends and texting to fine-tune their hoop skills in the town-sponsored Fall Break Sports Camp. The camp, which was hosted by retired Paradise Valley High School head coach Bill Farrell, was held Oct. 3-6 in Wilson Dome. During the four days, Farrell stressed the fundamentals of the sport to the young campers using what he calls “traditional” approaches. Others might glowingly label his strategies “old school.”

Veterinarian fined for violating ADEQ rules

A Rim Country veterinarian says changes in environmental laws caught his long-standing practice off guard, costing the clinic $65,000 in fines. On Tuesday, the Star Valley Veterinary Clinic settled with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and Arizona Attorney General’s Office two years after the ADEQ found biohazardous medical waste violations at the Star Valley practice. The clinic agreed to pay a $5,000 penalty and provide $60,000 in veterinarian services to the Humane Society of Central Arizona.

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Welcome fall at First Friday celebration on Main Street

Come out and enjoy the feel of autumn at the Oct. 7 First Friday celebration on Payson’s historic Main Street from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The First Friday Block Party on Main Street has something for everyone. Oktoberfest on Main will showcase Rim Country Homebrewers Greg, Tom and Scott at Down the Street Art Gallery, Farmers Insurance and DK Realty. Stop by and learn about the art of home brewing and get a free chance to win prizes.

Historical society hosts Payson Pioneer Cemetery tour

A special tour will help residents learn about the people who built Payson from a wide spot in the road to the great town it is today. Historian, author and entertainer Jinx Pyle will lead a tour of the Payson Pioneer Cemetery starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 8. Hosted by the Northern Gila County Historical Society, this is a free tour.

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Food bank has growing need for supplies

“Do you think anyone wants Gefilte fish?” a food bank volunteer asks, holding up a large jar with floating brown masses inside. “If we got it, put it in the box,” another volunteer says. From one week to the next, volunteers scramble to put food boxes together at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank, 511 S. St. Phillips Street. With federal and Valley food shipments decreased due to the economy, the food bank is relying more on local donations, which can range from the decadent to the strange. From black truffle oil and capers to garlic hummus, the food bank’s shelves sometimes look more like a fancy supermarket.

Slow is better when dealing with technology changes

Heraclitus was a Greek philosopher (I know, I hadn’t heard of him, either). He believed in the theory that “the only thing that is constant in life is change.” We can accept and enjoy a child, for example, as something that is constantly changing (or maybe something that always needs changing). Change is a good thing. If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you know that change can often be frustrating. But it does not need to be so. Without getting all philosophical, let’s take a look at why technology changes, and why that is a good thing.

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Beauty awaits you in Arizona’s high country

In Pine and Strawberry you may need a light sweater, but it’s still very nice. The cooler mornings and evenings remind us that winter is around the next curve. To some, the cooler weather marks the onset of the holidays. Now is a good time to do some early Christmas shopping, or just to enjoy the cooler weather and beauty that awaits you in Arizona’s high country.

Weather has been delightful for residents, visitors

The weather has been so perfect that many of our part-time homeowners have spent their weekends in the village, some enjoying the cool breezes and others riding on their quads and dirt bikes. The problem with that is the loud noise those bikes make, not to mention the dust they kick up. They need to realize that there are full-time residents here that are very sensitive to that kind of noise and dusty air. There’s a whole big forest out there!

Fall is a favorite time of year for many Rim Country residents

The fall season is really one of my favorite times of year. It brings in the cool, crisp, clean air and just adds to the tranquility of Christopher Creek.

Homecoming traditions provide many memories

My congratulations to the Payson Longhorns football team on its very impressive homecoming victory last Friday night over Sedona Red Rock. The team has been working hard and put on a great show for our local fans. Homecoming is always the highlight of fall’s football season. But, it’s more than just the game itself. It’s the week-long, fun-filled event that’s bursting with excitement and tradition that makes it special. Remember your own high school homecoming week?

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Ayothaya brings authentic Thai to Payson

A fresh coconut filled to the brim with shrimp, chunks of coconut and a rich, creamy broth had been devoured. A tiny paper umbrella that had topped off this coconut paradise tossed aside by a hurricane of hunger. Drunken noodles would follow, then pad Thai, and something called a pink princess. A culinary dreamscape of rolls — spring, lollipop, and spicy tuna — they were all there.

Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Area Computer Association will meet at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7 in the meeting room of the Payson Public Library. This month, the association will host a speaker from Hewlett Packard. He will be sharing information on their latest products, updates and industry news. Please bring your friends. Guests are always welcome. The first meeting is always free. Membership is only $10 per year per family.

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Honor Flight

Arizona veterans get chance to connect with each other

Payson may be a small town, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows their neighbor. Proof of that came out visiting with four Payson veterans of World War II who recently enjoyed an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Ray Kinsman, who is well known around the community for his efforts on behalf of the Salvation Army, picked up a brochure about the Honor Flight program at the 2011 Aero Fair at the Payson Airport.

Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides event at Green Valley Park on Saturday

Take steps to help cure cystic fibrosis by participating in the Great Strides event Saturday, Oct. 15. Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening, genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of tens of thousands of children and young adults.

Planning for the unexpected

To enjoy a comfortable retirement, you’ll need to have adequate financial resources in place. And that means you must not only plan for the expected — but for the unexpected as well. In planning for the expected aspects of your retirement, consider these factors: Your vision of your retirement — What do you want to do during your retirement years? Spend more time with your family? Volunteer? Open your own business? Your expectations of your retirement lifestyle will dictate, to a large extent, your savings and investment strategies.

Who knew we were so lucky? Part Four

Ecuador to Colombia and Beyond

I was sad to leave so many new friends, both human and animal, when I had to leave the wildlife sanctuary in Ecuador. I met some amazing locals and the sanctuary was an overall amazing experience. The other volunteers at the sanctuary had a similar outlook on life; they also wanted to improve the welfare of animals. As I independently hiked through the rainforest from the sanctuary to the nearby town, I felt a sense of relief. Yes, I couldn’t help every animal, but I was gaining perspective of international animal welfare. The United States was fortunate enough to have an abundance of animal shelters, along with a society that cares for those that cannot speak for themselves.

Wednesday, October 5

Temporary Fossil Creek Road closure and construction

Coconino and Tonto National Forest workers will be improving areas along Fossil Creek Road (FR708) and the Childs Road (FR 502) from Oct. 17 through Oct. 22.

Holiday shopping season starting

It’s October and that means the holiday shopping season is rolling out. All around Payson this week, residents and visitors will find plenty of shopping opportunities with a variety of organizational sales where unique holiday gifts are just waiting to be discovered.

Good 2 Go

Come join us us for an evening of good food and good music by the Starlighters this Friday, Oct. 7 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St. We will be serving a soup and salad dinner. You get your choice of one of three different soups, a salad, dinner roll, dessert and a drink for only $5. Eat in or get your dinner to go. All proceeds go to the children’s programs at the Community Presbyterian Child Learning Center.

Getaway around Rim Country

Ever stroll around Green Valley Lake and wonder, “What kind of duck is that?” Join a unique seminar provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Migratory Game Bird Supervisor Mike Rabe on waterfowl natural history and identification. The class will include a slideshow and presentation, followed by identification of waterfowl in Green Valley Park. Participants should bring binoculars if they have them, but extras will be available.

Let’s go somewhere!

How many times have you said to a loved one or friend, let’s go somewhere? With the summer over and the tourists pretty much diminished in various areas, this just may be a good time to venture out and do a little traveling.

The Wild West in the Rim Country

Chapter 4: A man named Starr

He is a man of mystery, and while none of the Rim Country pioneers knew him personally, he left his name indelibly on the landscape east of Payson. The namesake of Star Valley spelled his name with two Rs — Starr — but his first name is lost. However, his legend and murder have continued to the present time, kept alive by early settler families.

Car crash kills Payson Glass manager

A local philanthropist was killed Tuesday in a New Mexico car crash.

Many ways to treat atrial fibrillation

What is the difference between anxiety and panic attack?

Another year older, but at a new viewpoint

It was days before my birthday and I had the bright idea of camping at the Grand Canyon and riding the rim by bicycle to celebrate. Birthdays have always been a funny beast. Mix in part nostalgia for younger, more carefree years, dread of what is to come mixed in with a dash of excitement and you get a lumpy, over thought cake.

Vampires and Werewolves — they won’t bite, but you will

It’s fright night! Vampire-themed goodies cast a spooky spell on ghoulish guests this Halloween. To charm your gathering long past dawn, entertaining experts from Wilton recommend serving an array of lip-smacking snacks and a sip of “blood red” Strawberry Cooler. These supernatural recipe sensations are sure to summon vampires of all ages to enjoy your devilishly delicious treats ... and maybe a few tricks.

Marvelous Mystery

What comes to your mind when you think of the word mystery? For me, I think of the Nancy Drew novels I read as a little girl. Perhaps the television shows like CSI, Monk or reruns of the Mod Squad or Matlock may spark some memories. Looking up the word “mystery” in the Webster’s dictionary, one would find a variety of synonyms including perplexity, stumper, mystification, puzzle, riddle, secret and closed book. Deepening the search, each of these words has a definition that all shines the light on the word “mystery.” 

Tuesday, October 4

The call of quail season

If birds are your game of choice, you probably were in the field Sept. 30 for the opening day of quail season.

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Horns rally in second half for big win

A 22-point third quarter salvo propelled the Payson Longhorns (3-3) to a convincing 42-7 homecoming win over visiting Sedona Red Rock. On Friday evening, Sept. 30, in PHS Stadium, the two teams fought on relatively even terms in the first half before Payson rode a re-energized defensive effort to the victory. At halftime, with Payson clinging to a precarious 13-7 lead, coach Byron Quinlan and defensive coordinator Jake Swartwood were obviously upset with the defensive effort being put forth. So, the two challenged the players during the midway break to step up their efforts and put the clamps on Sedona’s offense, led all evening by quarterback Jack Johnson. As the coaches planned, the players reacted, holding Sedona scoreless in the second half.

Lady Horns eye postseason berth

Although the power point rankings have not been recently kind to the Lady Longhorn volleyball team, coach Arnold Stonebrink is confident his team can sneak into the postseason playoffs.

Lady Longhorn runners shine at Toka Sticks

Competing on the biggest and most prestigious stage in Arizona high school cross country competition didn’t phase the four-member Lady Longhorns who ran to an 11th place finish in a 25-team field that included some of the finest teams in the state.

Homeless students lose school grant

Faced with a stunning increase in impoverished students, Payson Unified School District last week learned it lost a vital, $80,000 grant to keep homeless students from failing in school.

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Woman plucked from Fossil Creek whirlpool

A woman desperately clung to a rope in a Fossil Creek whirlpool Thursday, her head barely above water for hours as she waited for rescue.

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Homecoming hoopla

Payson High School students passed on the almost nationwide practice of electing a football player as homecoming king, choosing instead a candidate who has passed on athletics in favor of academic success, the Renaissance program and other extra curricular activities.

County districts now balanced

After months of controversy, the Gila County Board of Supervisors Monday agreed to move the Tonto Apache Tribe into a different supervisorial district, which will shift political power to the north.

Soccer teams in hunt for state slots

If the Payson High School boys and girls soccer teams can hold on to their current slots in the power point rankings, both teams could be headed for the Division IV or “state” playoffs when they begin Oct. 28.

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Finally: A home of their own

Georgia Burnside’s life has completely turned around since she learned she was chosen for a Habitat for Humanity home. Where she used to check her son’s bed for spiders every night in their ratty rental, her worries now center on picking out the perfect accent wall color for her living room.

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Students raise money for childhood cancer and learn restaurant manners

“Every time I raise money, I feel good,” said Asesone Janoe, a third-grader in Pam Jones’ Julia Randall Elementary (JRE) class. “We raised money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital,” said Kyler Smith.

Town’s financial report shows sales up slightly, led by big jump for hotels

Whew! We made it. Payson didn’t go broke after all. In fact, the town’s long-delayed, fiscal-year-end June financial report offered mostly good news: Slowly rising sales tax totals, a boom for local hotels and tight budget controls in every department.

Sexual assault charges dismissed for ‘insufficient evidence’

A week before a Payson teen was set to face trial for allegedly assaulting a 12-year-old girl more than three years ago the case was dismissed.

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Rim Country forests face drastic changes

Rim Country forests face potentially wrenching changes as a result of rising temperatures, according to several recent studies.

October: A splendid time of year in Rim Country

“October is the jewel set in the hand of time” — so wrote Gladys Taber in her book The Best of Stillmeadow and I must agree that October truly is a splendid time of year, especially here in Rim Country. Summer’s heat is gone, but we do not yet need winter’s warm clothing. The monsoon season (what there was of it!) is past, days are bright and sunny.

Old-Time Opry popular at fiddle contest

The most popular part of the 2011 Fiddle Contest seems to have been the Payson Old-Time Opry, which opened the festivities the evening of Sept. 23.

Schools face challenge of adopting national standards

Payson schools will soon face yet another revolution in the frustrating, sometimes bewildering effort to figure out whether students are learning what they need to know to succeed, Superintendent Casey O’Brien told the school board on Monday.