Best Of The Season Is Still Ahead Of Us

A major storm front slowly creeps over the Mogollon Rim and makes its way toward Payson and the Rim Country for some serious rain showers.

A major storm front slowly creeps over the Mogollon Rim and makes its way toward Payson and the Rim Country for some serious rain showers. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Today is the last day of August, where did the summer go? Obviously, that statement is not correct, the best of the warm weather is just around the corner; cooler days and evenings, and just a bit laid back through September with the major summer holidays behind us along with the diminishing of the monsoon rains, gives us time to harvest our gardens, do a bit of canning and take long walks to watch the leaves start to turn for the coming autumn.

Local rainfall

Tonto Village and Bear Flat are just about even on rainfall amounts for the month of August.

Unofficially, Bear Flat has received 5.05 inches and Tonto Village has received 5.50 inches. According to records kept by some of the Bear Flat residents, the rainfall amounts are still behind by 2.41 inches for the year. Hopefully, the winter snows will change that deficit.

Since we have received a goodly amount of the wet stuff, the Tonto National Forest has lifted campfire restrictions. Naturally, everyone still needs to act responsibly about any type of fire within the ponderosa pines. Completely put out your campfires and never leave a campfire unattended. Fireworks and tracer rounds are still prohibited.

Hellsgate Fire Department

Burn permits are now being issued for burning of brush and pine needles. The permits can be picked up at the Star Valley Fire Station or at the Tonto Village Fire Station Monday through Thursday. The only exception is this coming Monday, since it is Labor Day, the offices will be closed.

Fire Captain John Wisner will have been with the Hellsgate Fire Department 19 years on Sept. 1. Congratulations, John.

Hellsgate Fireflies

The big fund-raiser for our firefighters will be this Saturday, Sept. 1 with the Fireflies going all out to make this barbecue a great success. The event takes the help of all firefighters and Firefly members to bring it all together. The auxiliary members have put together the best food they know how to fix, for instance, the pork will be deep-pit roasted and the corn will be the peaches and cream variety, which is the sweetest ever. The whole meal consists of the meat (pulled pork), the corn, beans, and coleslaw and drink for $7. There will be a bake sale, T-shirt sales, raffle items of a handmade quilt and 20-inch chain saw, face painting for the kids, and a hot dog meal for them as well. There will also be live music by Jimmy French and Steve Stephens. Everything gets under way at 11 a.m. Come and join the fun.

There will be other activities going on around the Village as well. The Modified Motorcycle Association will be hold its annual rally all weekend. Registration will be in front of the Double D Café and Bar.

There will also be a yard sale with man items like tools, gun cabinet, a 2002 Chevy truck and much more good stuff. Stop by 424 W. Johnson Blvd. either on your way to the barbecue or on the way back. There just may be something you can’t live without. The hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shelby School news

The Shelby School has started its Cub Scouts and Brownies program for the 2012-2013 school year. If you would like to make a donation to the school it will be applied to those programs and their activities. For a couple, a $400 donation receives a direct credit to your Arizona tax return and singles may donate up to $250 to receive the Arizona tax credit. Help support the young children. Being a part of the Scouting organizations can give valuable lessons to the kids that will last their whole lifetime. So be generous.

If you would like more information about the Scouting program or to donate, contact Danny Rensch at (928) 478-0070.

The Shelby School will again host the two-time World Champion Hoop Dancer Moontee Sinquah, along with his talented dancing sons, on Sept. 18. I was fortunate enough to watch their performance last year and it was a remarkable and colorful performance. Watch for the time in future columns.

Jim Widger, a local resident of Tonto Village II, has joined the staff as its new middle school math teacher. Jim is a local engineer with degrees from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a graduate degree from the University of Michigan. Currently he is also teaching algebra at the Gila Community College.

Welcome to the staff, Jim.

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