Monday, December 31
There will be a forum to inform the residents of Pine and Strawberry about the school district’s east playground improvement construction and drainage program at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the Pine Strawberry School Gym.
Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country meets at noon every Wednesday at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260. For more information, please contact Sandi Scott, (928) 978-4748 or Audrey Wilson, (928) 472-9380.
The Senior Circle of the Payson Regional Medical Center will host another Lunch and Learn program at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 9 with Dr. Ihor Zakaluzny, who will discuss a healthy liver as well as diseases of the liver and what we can do to promote healthy liver function
The Payson Womans Club, the oldest service club in Payson, holds general membership meetings at 1 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Payson Womans Club building, 510 W. Main St. Membership is open to local women ages 18 and up.
The Democratic Women’s Club will hold its regular monthly meeting at Tiny’s Restaurant at noon, Tuesday, Jan. 8. The featured speaker will be Lin Ennis, a trainer, a writer and the recent communications director for the Angela LeFevre campaign. The subject will be “What next? Three things Democrats should do now.”
Gila County’s elected officials will take their oaths of office at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 in the Supervisors Hearing Room at the Gila County Courthouse, 1400 E. Ash St. in Globe, Ariz.
The Payson Buddhist Meditation and Study group meets from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday evenings at the Payson Center for Spiritual Awareness, 107 W. Wade Lane. Call (928) 595-1378 for additional information.
Overeaters Anonymous meets from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays at the Rim Country Health and Retirement Community Room, 807 W. Longhorn Road (after turning in the main driveway, turn right at the first driveway.
Select from hundreds of clothes, shoes, belts — anything else you wear (except for jewelry) that can fit into one of our bags and it can be yours for just $1.
Want a fun new creative hobby that you can wear to show off to friends and family? Why not join in one or both of Leslie Peacock’s Wearable Art Classes at Gila Community College for the spring semester.
The American Legion Riders’ next meeting is at Tiny’s Restaurant on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013.
A Men’s Breakfast for a Buck is at 8 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 5 at Ponderosa Bible Church, 1800 N. Beeline Highway.
The Payson Jazz Trio performs at the Ayothaya Thai Café, 404 E. Highway 260 (north side of highway across from Safeway) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 4 and Saturday, Jan. 5.
Beginning Jan. 4, 2013 the Northern Gila County Genealogy Library hours will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. It will be closed all major holidays.
During Christmas break, it’s Holiday Movie Madness at the Pine Library. Mark your calendar for Thursday, Jan. 3 to see “Thunderstruck.” Movies start at 1:30 p.m.
Lost Loves, a support group for adults who have lost a loved one through suicide, meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.
The Desert Southwest Chapter cordially invites caregivers, families, service providers and members of the community to attend the Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Support Group meeting at Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main St., from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month.
The Saving Graces of Payson — a Canasta card-playing group — is looking for a few ladies who enjoy fun, laughter and friendship.
Effective Jan. 1, 2013, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce will change its membership benefits and dues structures. These changes are designed to better serve members and to insure the financial survival of the Chamber.
To better serve the needs of the community, effective Jan. 1, the hours at the Community Presbyterian Church Food Bank are being extended as follows:
The Payson Walkers have hikes planned every day the first week of January 2013. All hikes start at 9 a.m.:
During the month of January, the Library Friends of Payson Bookstore is featuring a storewide clearance sale. The entire inventory will be offered at three for the price of one. The second and third items must be of equal or lesser value than the first item.
As we ring in a new year, we can expect to see a number of changes. Social Security is no exception: in 2013, people who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will see their benefits increase.
January is Financial Wellness Month — a great time to think about your financial future. It also happens to be at this time that many people make resolutions for the New Year. Why not combine the two ?
Senior Moments Column
Happy New Year! Up go the new calendars. The earliest known calendars date back some 10,000 years, although primitive man undoubtedly had some method of marking the passage of time.
Chaparral Pines and Rim Golf Club course superintendent Don Davis and his crew spent most of the cold Friday, Dec. 28 morning delivering mulch to Payson High School.
Arizona unlikely to expand AHCCCS, leaving large number of Gila County families without medical coverage
The standoff between Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and the federal government over health care will likely deny thousands of Gila County residents health coverage.
Kori Rockwell said it was exciting to see her dream home being built from the ground up.
The Kiwanis Club of Zane Grey Country selected Payson High School senior Noel Strueing as its student of the month in December. Pictured (from left to right) are Strueing, teacher Terry Richard and Kiwanis President-Elect Joe Vario.
Supervisors balk at stipend on top of overtime for emergency call outs
Weekend winter storms mean calling in county staff to man the snowplows. But sometimes, the county simply doesn’t have enough people to respond, Steve Stratton, director of the Public Works Division told the Gila County Board of Supervisors at its Dec. 18 meeting.
The Gila County Division of Health Services is offering a flu immunization clinic for children only, ages 36 months to 18 years, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 4 at the Health Department Payson branch, 107 W. Frontier St., Suite A.
The Gila County Health Department has developed a program to help increase the public’s awareness on the proper disposal of “sharps.”
What a great way to finish off the year — winning the top two awards in the Fiesta Bowl Parade with a float that represented a true community effort.
New Year's Eve Celebrations
With the New Year upon us, I’ll try to convince my buddy here at the Payson Roundup, Dave Rawsthorne, to join me in making a resolution that we will learn to appreciate the sport of soccer much more than we do.
A stretch of 21 days without competition should have the Longhorn wrestlers well rested when the 2013 portion of the season kicks off Jan. 10 in a dual meet at Williams Field High School in Chandler.
Longhorn boys basketball players don’t have much time to recover from the rigors of competing in the rugged 10th Annual Alvarez Tire Holiday Hoops Invitational, held Dec. 26 to 28 in Prescott Valley.
The Mesa pilot who died when his plane crashed during a winter storm last week was a veteran air freight pilot, caught on the dangerous edge of a winter storm. Captain David Joseph Kappes, a pilot with Ameriflight, was delivering cargo when the accident occurred.
Rim Country found itself dreaming of a white New Year’s, as a snow storm dumped 4-8 inches on Payson and buried Pine. Payson’s fleet of improvisational snow plows had the main roads cleared by 8 a.m., after a nighttime storm that hit so hard after 8 p.m. that snowflakes in the headlights created near white-out conditions.
Crowd loves dancing trees
Dancing trees. Wise-cracking cowboys. Perpetually lucky fishermen. Cozy campers cuddled up to a bag of Tostitos. An estimated $500,000 in free media exposure. Oh — yeah — two major award
One person was killed and seven evacuated by medical helicopters in a three-vehicle accident on Hwy. 260 west of Christopher Creek near the Boy Scout Ranch Saturday afternoon on a stretch of the highway still limited to two lanes.
Sunday, December 30
The happy holidays bring busy days, hard work, anticipation, preparation, planning, cooking and happy times full of love that brings back memories of years gone by. So why bring up the dark days of the past by talking suicide? I remember that dark time when my first life ended abruptly and I first attempted suicide. I will now share my story with you.
Saturday, December 29
The Payson Walkers have one-hour hikes planned every day during January. Following is a list of hikes scheduled for the first week of January 2013, all hikes start at 9 a.m.
Five years after it took effect and more than year after it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, an Arizona law requiring that businesses check the citizenship of every new hire is often disregarded and rarely enforced. The Legal Arizona Workers Act mandates that every business in the state verify the legal status of new employees against the federal E-Verify database and it lets the state strip licenses of businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers.
Catch the Town of Payson float and dancing Ponderosa trees on ABC 15 today starting at 11 a.m. In the Fiesta Bowl Parade. The float just won the parade's top two awards- Spirit of Arizona and Children's Choice. The float took two months to make with 20 women sewing trees around the clock. This is the first year Payson has participated in the parade with APS waiving the $15,000 entry fee.
Friday, December 28
Early last week, a woman stood in the lobby, asking us to take her cat. She was moving, in financial distress, and couldn’t care for her cat anymore. It was a story we hear almost every day. The faces and circumstances change, but the end results are usually the same: more homeless pets waiting in kennels. She was visibly shaken as she filled out the paperwork. She seemed torn by her decision. But then she smiled, pulled herself together and stood a little taller. “At least I know he will be safe here, and you guys will find him a good home. I couldn’t bear to leave him if you weren’t a no-kill shelter.”
It appears there will not be an Independent Republic of Arizona after all, at least not for now. A post-election petition calling on the federal government to let Arizona secede from the union was pulled from the White House Web site after it failed to get the 25,000 signatures needed to guarantee an administration response.
Payson High School Principal Anna Van Zile recognized six of her staff during the Dec. 17 school board meeting.
If you’re getting bullied — form a little gang of your own. That’s one way to sum up Gila Community College’s effort to form a fair-treatment alliance with Santa Cruz Community College — the only other provisional community college district in the state.
KMOG and its disc jockey Brandon Iron won top honors recently from New Music Weekly — named top country music station and top musical director. Now they need a little help from the hometown crowd.
The Payson Police Department is poised to hire six more officers as soon as it can get them through the Police Academy. If those hirings all go through, it will boost the current manpower by about 25 percent. We’re not so sure that’s a good idea.
Payson Jazz Trio performance at Thai cafe The Payson Jazz Trio performs at the Ayothaya Thai Café, 404 E. Highway 260 (north side of highway across from Safeway) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 28, Friday, Jan. 4 and Saturday, Jan. 5. The trio includes Bob Smolenski, piano keyboard; Gerry Reynolds, drums; Mike Buskirk, bass.
He’s running with the big dogs now. But that doesn’t bother KMOG country music jock Brandon Iron Sprague, given the lessons of his honky-tonk boyhood. New Music Weekly has named KMOG a contender for best music station of the year and Brandon Iron as the top music director in the country, thanks to his ceaseless search for new music and fresh artists. Brandon Iron (seems wrong to call him Sprague) scans the charts every week and calls producers and record labels for recordings and backgrounds on every new artist that comes out.
A Payson Police Department in “dire” need of new officers may see a respite next year after an aggressive hiring campaign netted dozens of worthy candidates. The department plans to send six officers to the police academy at the start of the new year who could join the force by the fall.
Backers of the plan to build a university in Payson have raised more than $150,000 so far this year to cover pre-development costs entailed in buying 260 acres for the campus from the U.S. Forest Service. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the community support to date,” commented Fund-raising Committee Co-chairperson Janet Vidnovic. “The broad range of community involvement is both encouraging and impressive,” added Richard Johnson, the other committee co-chair.
Efforts to recover a helicopter that crashed into Roosevelt Lake Dec. 7 have ended after multiple failed dives. Gila County Sheriff’s Office dive teams scoured the bottom of the lake for more than a week, but found no sign of the 1,500-pound helicopter, which splashed into the lake during a sightseeing flight out of Mesa.
This morning, a field of 14 girls varsity basketball teams began the pursuit of the Holiday Hoops Invitational Tournament championship.
The Holiday Hoops basketball tournament gives Lady Longhorn players the opportunity to test their skills against opponents they might not play against in the course of the regular season.
During Mary McMullen’s tenure as the Town of Payson trails and outdoor recreation coordinator, she enthusiastically encouraged participation in the Women’s Step Outside Program, saying it was a “really good program” brimming with activities.
The weather for WON-BASS Arizona’s second tournament of the season was cold and crisp, but the fishing was phenomenal. Just ask WON state tournament director Tracy Purtee, “The day made for great fishing, you couldn’t have asked for a better day.
First-year Payson High School Athletic Director Don Heizer is just now settling into his new office, but the process of moving from his previous spaces as a PHS counselor and history teacher has yielded some interesting finds. “I have scorebooks from as far back as the 1950s,” Heizer said.
I hope that all my readers had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends and that you got everything that you desired. This year my husband and I decided to stay in the Village. Our second daughter and our son-in-law came up after Christmas to visit with us for a few days and enjoy the rest of the snow.
Almost always in the past, New Year’s Eve has been a time that I’ve chosen to stay home, watch a little TV and nestle into bed well before the clock gets close to the midnight hoopla.
After months of rehabilitation and preparation, Arizona’s only satellite-tracked bald eagle soared free recently when it was released at Roosevelt Lake by Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists and rehabilitation specialists from Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation of Scottsdale.
I suppose that all of us have been warned against letting first impressions influence us too much, but I’m inclined to agree with 19th century War British writer William Hazlitt who said that first impressions are often the truest. It certainly was a first impression that got my attention back in 1958, when I stopped in a Mesa restaurant on my way to Japan. The people there made me feel as welcome as I have ever felt anywhere. Later that day, when I stopped at a small place up in Kingman, it happened again. Two for two. I couldn’t help thinking that Arizona would be a good place to settle down. I was right.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and indulged in a lot of goodies. One Pine resident will be enjoying her holiday treats for some time to come. That’s because Kay Foster, of Pine, was the lucky winner of the See’s Candy Basket giveaway sponsored by the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library. Kay is a local resident who shares her heart and time volunteering in the community and is on the board of the Pine Public Library. She carried away over $180 worth of See’s Candy!
Thursday, December 27
A winter storm is creating white out conditions on roadways throughout Rim Country Thursday afternoon. There are reports of decreased visibility on Highway 260 between the Young Road turnoff and Heber with multiple slide-offs in the area.
A field of 14 girls’ high school varsity teams will face off Friday at the Holiday Hoops Invitational Tournament championship. Payson High will be among the first teams to tip off, taking on Blue Ridge at 10 a.m. in the Wilson dome. The Lady Longhorns are in action again at 8:30 p.m. against Glendale Apollo, a Division II school. All games Friday will be pool play with the 14 teams divided into two pools of four teams each and two other pools of two schools each.
He’s running with the Big Dogs now. But that doesn’t bother KMOG Country Music jock Brandon Iron Sprague, given the lessons of his honky tonk boyhood. New Music Weekly has named KMOG a contender for best music station of the year and Brandon Iron as the top music director in the country, thanks to his ceaseless search for new music and fresh artists.
Efforts to recover a helicopter that crashed into Roosevelt Lake Dec. 7 have ended after multiple failed dives. Gila County Sheriff’s Office dive teams scoured the bottom of the lake for more than a week, but found no sign of the 1,500-pound copter, which splashed into the lake during a sightseeing flight out of Mesa. All on board survived with non-life threatening injuries, but the helicopter appears to have broken up, scattering wreckage through the lake.
Tuesday, December 25
Bling and bounce abound at PHS Christmas extravaganza
The Payson community has a blessing in the dynamic and talented music couple, Daria Mason and Mike Buskirk.
Mogollon Health Alliance receives STEM grant to help local schools
The Mogollon Health Alliance is on a roll helping Rim Country schools link up to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
Careless disposal of ashes causes two fires in Rim Country
Improperly disposed of fireplace ashes last week started fires in both Payson and Pine, damaging a porch and half an acre of forest.
The prolonged closure of the Fossil Creek Road (FR 708) below Strawberry barely dented visitation at the overwhelmed refuge for native fish and sun-blasted flatlanders, according to visitation figures compiled by the U.S. Forest Service.
The Payson Satellite Northern AZ Chapter MOAA meeting is Saturday, Dec. 29 at the Crosswinds Restaurant at the Payson Airport.
In response to the hue and cry to put Christ back in Christmas.
I could not agree more with your view regarding domestic violence.
Any reasonable person could assume that if you have elk born in your back yard, and they go up and come stick their head through the window of your home, you have done something to take their natural fear of man away.
Can understand why he’s always in trouble.
The giving spirit of this community is truly inspiring.
Over the past two years, more than 6,000 children have been killed by guns
On this perfect morning before the great celebration, we have a confession to make: We have already opened our gifts. In truth, we have opened them afresh every morning all through this year.
Motivated by the defeat of Proposition 204, a group of mayors wants to promote discussion about school funding and reforms.
A Tonto Basin man will serve three months of probation for stealing electricity from APS for three months.
Driving hazards are a yearlong problem in Rim Country: Elk in the fall, flatlanders in the summer — and black ice in the winter.
Monday, December 24
Diving for the Gila County Sheriff’s Office is risky business.
Payson Care Center resident Meria Birchak, 32, is being recognized nationwide for her artistic talent.
It’s Christmas, and most of my holiday budget has been spent on seven grandchildren.
Payson Longhorn wrestlers, in their final tune-up before taking a brief holiday respite, had a big-time opportunity to flex their collective muscle in two relatively easy wins.
Sometimes in high school sports, it’s just not your day.
The Lady Longhorns will be well represented when the Arizona Coaches Association North vs. South All-Star Volleyball game is played June 8, 2013 at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher.
The Lady Longhorns might have one of their best teams since the 2007 group that won the East region championship but then was not allowed to play in the state tournament due to an ineligible player.
In light of the recent fatal shooting in Payson, Donna Steckal’s Gila Community College class on the art of non-violent communication could not come at a better time.
Gila Community College is closed for the holidays through Jan. 2 and when offices reopen prospective and returning students can register for the new spring classes that start on Jan. 9.
Friday, December 21
It’s the little things. That includes a kindergartner dressed in a snowman costume jumping to illustrate the “Snowman Jump” song his classmates from Jane McDonald’s and Mimi Daily’s classes sang.
During any week at Payson High School (PHS), 8 percent of the student body fails one or more classes.
Eviction deadlines looming, the county is stepping up to help save the Roosevelt Lakeview Park.
Nearly killed friend by injecting Percocet
A woman who nearly killed her 16-year-old friend by injecting her with opioids will serve six years in prison.
A pilot trying to avoid a winter storm near Payson Tuesday night died when his plane crashed into the Mazatzal Mountains south of town, say police.
Beautiful homemade quilts, one a Christmas quilt, are being raffled for Veterans Helping Veterans.
Our precious children sang their Christmas songs this week, with concerts for each of the schools. If you were lucky and wise and in need of redemption, you saw them, in all their pint-sized glory.
As an investor, you can sometimes feel you’re at the mercy of forces beyond your control. This may be especially true today, when the entire country appears on edge about the approaching “fiscal cliff.”
If there were such a thing as gifts for the real estate market, here is what I would ask of Santa for Christmas:
In my line of business, networking is everything. I love to visit businesses around Rim Country and find out what they are doing new or different.
What started as a hobby, that swelled into an obsession has turned into a commercial business.
Calvary Chapel, 1103 N. Beeline Hwy., Payson is having a Christmas Eve Service at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 24. There will be no services on Tuesday, Dec. 25 or Wednesday, Dec. 26.
The school calendar is the heartburn of the board,” said member Rory Huff during the Dec. 17 school board meeting.
One hundred and fifty plus Payson Community Kids had a major Santa Claus visit Saturday, Dec. 15 at Payson United Methodist Church.
A recent letter (in The Arizona Republic) entitled “Copper mine or paradise” was critical of a proposed mine near the town of Superior.
In this violent culture, a liberal interpretation of the Second Amendment is no longer remotely tolerable.
The tragic murder of 20 innocent school children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. has, predictably, reignited the gun control debate.
I received this from a friend and after I cried, I thought what a great commentary for the paper.
The waves of evil will ultimately yield to the sound of His voice and calm will prevail one day, in the midst of our stormy world.
The family of Floyd T. Landers would like to thank the staff and volunteers of Hospice Compassus.
As the years pass, memories usually fade. But there are some remembrances that cannot be erased by the passing of time.
The Holiday Hoops girls basketball tournament, that this year will be played Dec. 28 and 29 in Wilson Dome and old PHS gym, annually draws 16 premier teams from around Arizona.
Although nary a Longhorn football player was chosen when the Division IV All-State teams were announced on Sunday, several athletes Payson played during the course of the season were acknowledged.
Payson High School coaches are mostly pleased with the results of the recent Arizona Interscholastic Association reconfiguration and the placement of Longhorn teams in divisions and sections for the two-year scheduling block beginning with the 2013-14 school year.
The snow falls, the spirit rises and the mysteries of nature sometimes make no sound at all
I stand perfectly still. The sky falls all around me. Or perhaps I am rising, weightless to heaven.
Timbrrrrr! Well that was sure one heck of a big storm. We got a lot of thick, heavy snow in a short period of time.
Oh my! Look at the date on the paper ... The world is supposed to end today. I haven’t heard a time when this is supposed to happen, maybe you will have time to read this column before the end comes.
“For the gift of giving, you will receive. You will see smiles on the faces of children, Warmth in the places you go. You will feel love from the love that you’ve given.”
I read a lot and it never fails to amaze me how often I come across the number seven. It seems to be everywhere.
I’m inspired by all of you who have reached out however you can and in so many ways to the disadvantaged and struggling families this holiday season.
Thursday, December 20
Officials say a man trying to avoid a winter storm near Payson Tuesday night died when his plane crashed into the Mazatzal Mountains south of town. David Kappes, 28, of Mesa, had planned to fly from Holbrook to Payson, but radioed air traffic controllers that he was diverting to Phoenix due to inclement weather, said Ian Gregor, Federal Aviation Administration public affairs manager.
Wednesday, December 19
Early this afternoon, a Chevy pick-up truck with a full load of material hit a patch of ice on Hwy 260 as it traveled East.
Officials believe they have spotted the wreckage of a twin-engine airplane that disappeared from the skies last night. The plane was reportedly flying from Holbrook to Phoenix when it vanished from radar about 6:30 p.m., said Lt. Tim Scott with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
Payson First Church of the Nazarene wants to make sure every child in the Time Out Shelter has a new outfit and toy for Christmas morning. Organizers say they need the community’s help to make this wish a reality.
Tuesday, December 18
Payson High School students from Information Technologies teacher Bud Evans’ Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter competed with 12 other Arizona high schools at the 24th Annual ASU Business Skills Day.
Search and rescue groups seeking permanent home
A temporary solution was establishing equipment caches in Payson and Star Valley, which helped lower response times, but meant critical gear was spread out across five locations.
A woman facing attempted first-degree murder charges pleaded guilty recently to aggravated assault, likely sidestepping years in prison.
A Payson man wanted on a misdemeanor warrant racked up a slew of other charges last week when officers reportedly tried to arrest him.
A strong winter storm last weekend wreaked havoc on some Rim Country residents, knocking power out and spurring vehicle slide offs.
The Grinch is stealing Christmas — at least he might be filching packages left on doorsteps in Payson.
Here’s the latest benefit of the Blue Ridge pipeline: Two streams running through the middle of town.
Beautiful homemade quilts, one a Christmas quilt, are being raffled for Veterans Helping Veterans.
The incomprehensible events that played out last week in Sandy Hook Elementary School have left a nation in horrified mourning.
Arizona added 17,000 people to its food stamp rolls in October, as near-record-high levels of assistance continued to stubbornly hang on after 18 months.
Women support homeless students
On Sunday, Dec. 9, the women of The Rim Club and Chaparral Pines hosted a Christmas Tea benefiting Payson homeless students, dubbing it a “Christmas Shoe In.”
The Payson Area Youth Council has doubled its meeting schedule this year to help more homeless and struggling teens and ramp up its fund-raising efforts.
Officials bracing for massive cutbacks in crucial federal programs locally
Gila County programs remain perched on the edge of a fiscal cliff along with everyone and everything else.
For most all of us Arizona State University alumni, our favorite team — other than the Sun Devils — is usually the opponent the University of Arizona is playing on any given game day.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association has released its initial section placement for the upcoming two-year scheduling block and in some sports the reconfiguration looks a lot like the former 3A East Region.
The Longhorn boys basketball team returns to action today, Dec. 18, in Wilson Dome with players’ sights set on improving upon a 4-3 record with a win over a struggling Fountain Hills team.
The high flyin’ Lady Longhorn basketball team emerged from the Third Annual Wrangler Cage Classic Invitational with a 3-1 record and a second place finish, losing only to Division II Youngker, 48-29, in the championship finale on Dec. 15 at WHS.
Land sale study finds big benefits, few problems
The sale of 256 acres for a university campus in Payson by the U.S. Forest Service took a giant step forward last week with the release of a long-awaited environmental assessment documenting huge financial advantages and minimal environmental impacts.
The angel-faced sixth-grade choral students sang sweetly: “I put a tack on Ms. Mason’s chair, Somebody snitched on me... Oh, I’m gettin’ nuttin’ for Christmas!”
As of today, Friday, Dec. 14, we have met the first challenge grant of $10,000.
Said the Shepherd Boy to the Little Lamb, “Do you See What I See, a Child, a Child is Waiting in the Night.”
Win up to $20 each week of the NFL football season. See your copy of the Payson Roundup in the Sports Section to enter. How To Play: Circle one winner for each of the games listed among the sponsor ads on the page. Fill in your name, address and phone number and deposit your entry (the entire Payson Roundup page) in the contest box at the Payson Roundup office, 708 N. Beeline Highway, by 5 p.m. Friday.
I don’t know what line of work Tim Branson is in, but he has a bright future as a stand-up comedian.
All of the entrants presented their lighted
In 2011 I called the Game and Fish, Operation Game Thief number (800-352-0700) when I observed several camouflage clothed people driving slowly down a neighborhood road, obviously hunting deer during the archery season.
The Women of the Moose meet at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at the lodge.
Rim Country residents deck their homes with Christmas lights and dazzle the night
The Rim Country’s night skies are a little more dazzling thanks to the annual Light the Rim event.
Recreation officials announced Monday that a series of public planning meetings on long-term recreation sustainability will begin throughout the Tonto National Forest in January. A meeting in Payson will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at Gila Community College, room 301.
Friday, December 14
Standing room only.
Danger rises when women seek escape from violence
The murder of a prominent Realtor in broad daylight last week has shaken many residents and shed new light on one of the fastest growing crimes in Rim Country — domestic violence.
Generator contracts, conflicts of interest, credit card misuse all scrutinized
The Arizona State Auditor General is investigating a flood of charges involving the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District, including its 2011 purchase of 13 generators, an alleged conflict of interest by one board member and alleged misuse of a district credit card by another board member.
A monumental mistake by an organization designed to help small towns navigate state and federal red tape might cost Star Valley a $200,000 award from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
Elk-topped float, Longhorn band will bask in spotlight in Dec. 29 parade
The Town of Payson has officially finished the float that will cruise down the streets of Central Phoenix during the 42nd Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade on Saturday, Dec. 29.
Beautiful homemade quilts, one a Christmas quilt, are being raffled for Veterans Helping Veterans.
“Mother gets 2.6 years in prison for abusing child” — What a lack of justice. A joke.
My mother used to say, “you can’t out nasty anyone, but you can out nice them.” Sorry Mom, I have tried to be patient, but I just have to vent about the school board elections, among other things.
Help us at the Society St. Vincent de Paul to continue to serve those of need in the Payson area through your Arizona Charitable Tax Credit.
Our beloved community suffered a terrible blow last week, with the stunning murder of Marjeane Easley by her husband, Thomas — who then turned the gun on himself.
Board learns that expensive project to almost double system’s capacity already under way
The Northern Gila County Sanitary District must expand its sewage treatment plant, according to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and other state authorities.
A lot of tags remain on Angel Trees around town.
After being partially closed three months, the Sportsman’s Chalet in Strawberry is back open.
Choral Society continues beloved holiday tradition
The Rim Country’s most beautiful voices rise up in an exquisite celebration of the season this Saturday.
The Tonto Basin School has busily started preparing to sponsor a Christmas food drive.
Things have gotten off to a rocky start for the Payson Area Food Drive.
The weather forecasters have announced that there will be some rain or snow by Friday. Whoopee!!!
ATV club members, business owners and concerned residents gathered with Forest Service officials at the P/S Community Center Tuesday, Dec. 4, to discuss the re-opening of Forest Road 708 for access to Fossil Creek.
Coach impressed with efforts of young wrestlers
Payson wrestlers were back in action on Wednesday night, downing division rivals Combs High and Paradise Valley High School.
Three members of the 2012 Lady Longhorn volleyball squad are among the state’s elite athletes, earning honors from coaches and the Arizona Republic.
The holidays are upon us. This is the time of year when families get together to love, laugh and create new memories. Family dinners, gift exchanges and many other traditions take place.
Hello again, fellow Creekers. There are a few holiday events for all to enjoy this weekend.
I don’t remember whether or not I ever mentioned that I’ve had a couple of novels published.
The winter season always brings a little slower time to life for those of us living north of the equator, doesn’t it?
A winter storm in Rim Country Friday loaded down branches and dusted the ground with a fluffy layer of snow. While the snow, which was more like hail in town, quickly melted away in Payson, Pine-Strawberry and the Mogollon Rim are still well covered.
I am writing to say that we all need to buy local
This is in response to the Payson Roundup dated Dec. 11, “Fools always mess it up for everyone.”
The wilderness in Devils Claw has four seasons. Each one carries a special purpose in nature’s cycle of life.
Trip to Bear Flat to fish Tonto Creek proves photos are much easier to catch than piscines
casting my nymph like some kinda natural born fishing fool.
Thursday, December 13
The National Weather Service in Flagstaff, Ariz. has issued the following advisory for a winter storm in effect from midnight through noon, Friday, Dec. 14.
Payson Choral Society continues much-loved Rim Country tradition
The Rim Country’s most beautiful voices rise up in an exquisite celebration of the season this Saturday.
When hosting guests for the holidays, it’s often easy to focus on the feast.
Chapter 9 — Chevelon Creek
Among the most remote and beautiful creeks in Arizona is Chevelon Creek and it contains an abundance of challenges and history.
For a trip that had so many pieces – the one I have just come home from – was about as perfect as it could be.
A film for all ages to enjoy
I admit that I had my doubts about “Life of Pi.” All I knew from the trailers was that a teenager gets trapped on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with a hungry tiger — and survives!
Salvation Army holiday bell ringer volunteers are needed for two-hour shifts every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Walmart, Safeway, Bashas’ and Walgreens.
Music programs are planned at Rim Country schools in the coming days.
The pre-kindergarten children of Community Presbyterian Child Learning Center are helping the less fortunate children of Payson this Christmas season.
I have developed an unquenchable thirst, which makes me drink water all the time. As a result, I have to spend a lot of time in the bathroom urinating. Can a person drink too much water?
Tuesday, December 11
Win up to $20 each week of the NFL football season. See your copy of the Payson Roundup in the Sports Section to enter.
Surprise announcement comes amid Pine water controversy
Beleaguered Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District Board Member Mike Greer abruptly resigned on Monday, after weeks of mounting pressure centered on his admitted misuse of a district credit card.
Turns out state law allows bow hunting in town
A bull elk recovering from a hunter’s poor shot in a Payson back yard has ignited questions about safety and ethics.
A Payson woman will spend at least 2.6 years in prison after burning her 6-year-old daughter with cigarettes last year as punishment for wetting the bed.
Randee Nelson was bullied. At the time, she didn’t know that the words, “I’m prettier than you are,” and “You’re not my friend anymore,” would hurt so bad.
The chaotic scene on Roosevelt Lake Friday afternoon after a sightseeing helicopter crashed into the water at 150 miles an hour could have been pulled from a movie script.
Payson’s Church of the Holy Nativity will have a place in history this weekend as it becomes the first Anglican church in Arizona and the third in the Southwest to return to the Catholic Church.
Members of the Sy Harrison Masonic Lodge #70 in Payson wish to thank all of the chaperones and volunteers who helped make their 2012 Clothe-A-Child program a success.
The state of Arizona offers a tax credit for donations to organizations that provide assistance to the working poor.
The Payson Town Council on Thursday should finalize a deal to connect the water-starved community of Mesa del Caballo to the C.C. Cragin Pipeline, slated to reach the unincorporated neighborhood sometime in 2014.
Foreign exchange students share country, culture through food
The Payson High School culinary arts class decided to introduce the 13 foreign exchange students and their culture to the community through what else? Their food!
The Rim Country is in store for slushy wet weather later this week. The National Weather Service predicts a low pressure system moving through northern Arizona Thursday and Friday will bring widespread rain and snow. In Payson, things should pick up Thursday afternoon with gusty winds turning into rain and possible snow showers later that evening.
WASHINGTON – One in three Arizona teachers was absent for more than 10 days in the 2009-2010 school year, slightly better than the national rate of 36 percent, according to a recent report.
Grab cameras, coats and scarves to prepare for upcoming holiday concerts performed by Rim Country kids.
Although it’s early in the 2012-13 boys hoop season, at least three teams have emerged that could stand in the Longhorns’ way of winning Payson High’s second state basketball championship.
There will be a PATS Hike at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 15 on the Houston Loop.
With a score of 42 to 27, the Longhorns’ girls basketball team solidly won against Miami last Thursday.
Please remember Payson Education Center when contributing to Tax Credit for Kids.
It should be, “how do we control people who want elk controlled.”
Some fool, always messes it up for everyone else. Unfortunately — the fool often turns out to occupy a seat in the Legislature.
A great success! Thanks to the Town of Payson, the surrounding community residents, local businesses, Bashas’, the Payson Roundup, KMOG Radio and Channel 12, St. Vincent de Paul’s “Turkey Tuesday” far exceeded all of our expectations.
Recently, the Rim Country Riders met with the Tonto and Coconino National Forest Service supervisors to discuss options to re-open Forest Road 708 for access to Fossil Creek.
The Payson Roundup office will close at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 for the staff Christmas party. It will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14.
Payson no longer needs a hydrogeologist to search for more water.
Payson’s police department will add a new lieutenant by the end of January and new officers before the end of next year.
Firm’s winning bid stressed intimate knowledge of complex system
First the backhoes start tearing up the street.
The Loyal Order of the Moose meetings are at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The Women of the Moose meet at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at the lodge.
Saturday, December 8
Charlene Brown and husband Tom were fishing for bass on Roosevelt Lake when Charlene heard a helicopter rushing east across the lake.
Friday, December 7
WASHINGTON — Arizona had the second-highest income inequality in the nation between 2008 and 2010, trailing only New Mexico for the gap between its richest and poorest residents, a new report says.
School parlays looser rules into small classes
The Shelby Charter School in Tonto Village has enjoyed a surge of growth this year as Payson parents seeking small classes for their children have left the Payson Unified School District.
As horrified neighbors watched at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Thomas Easley, 70, murdered his wife in the driveway of a quiet Payson neighborhood, then turned the gun on himself.
Frightening rise in domestic violence cases culminates in killings
The nightmare finally came true on Wednesday, when a rising tide of domestic violence cases climaxed in a shocking murder-suicide in the midst of a bitter divorce.
The Mogollon Health Alliance Auxiliary is having an Arts & Crafts Sale in the hospital’s main lobby from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7.
Pertaining to Deborah Paulk’s letter on Nov. 27th.
To the person who felt compelled to write the “ha ha we won and you didn’t” letter, I am compelled to write, please work toward unity and not this unproductive divisiveness this vicious presidential campaign has generated.
It has been an honor to serve for the last decade as the Gila County Attorney.
Name calling (“Mohammad (sic) Obama, Princess H.R. Clinton”) et al is for third-graders.
I would like to respond to George Kay’s letter to the editor in the Nov. 30, 2012 edition.
I am a new resident of the area and a former federal, city and water district employee at management level.
Without the following vendors and personal donations located in Payson and Star Valley area “Bingo for the Children” would not be the success it is every year.
I just wanted to let the residents of the town know the eighth grade girls volleyball team finished the season undefeated and won the White Mountain Region Tournament.
Almost everyone in Arizona wants to improve our educational system and an almost equal number don’t want to pay for any of these improvements.
Wow what a great start to the month of December for the 13 exchange students in our midst.
After four years with the most obstructive and do-nothing Congress in history, I thought nothing would surprise me.
I would like to nominate Gary and Rosemary from Quality Plus for service above and beyond the call of duty.
The small, innovative, arts-oriented Shelby School in Tonto Village has just 55 students — but enrollment in the charter school jumped nearly 38 percent this year.
Eight students from the Payson High School DECA chapter journeyed to Seattle, Wash. recently to attend the DECA Western Region Leadership Conference.
Mental health group gives $7,000 to Payson organizations for community programs
Cenpatico of Arizona, the Regional Behavioral Health Authority for Gila County, is awarding $7,665 in Community Reinvestment Grants to three Payson area organizations.
New Parent Advisory Council offers insight into concerns of families
After listening to parents for a 90 minutes, Payson Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent Ron Hitchcock learned that the school schedule remains a hot topic.
Ron Christensen served his neighbors in the Rim Country well. Not only as a county supervisor for 16 years, but also as an involved member of the business community, a citizen of Payson and through service on behalf of higher education.
PHOENIX – Delaying capital improvements needed after years of deep budget cuts to Arizona State Parks will only exacerbate the problems and increase future costs, a state lawmaker said Wednesday.
Flu season starts early nationwide; no cases yet confirmed in Gila County
It might be December, but it’s not too late to give yourself and your family the gift of a flu shot.
Payson wants to get in on the big boom in outfitting public buildings with solar cells.
Research lends urgency to efforts to thin forests before shifting climate causes catastrophe
The evidence continues to mount that only active management of Rim Country forests through thinning, logging and controlled burns can stave off disaster as the climate shifts.
Every day I’m reminded of what makes this a special place. From the awe-inspiring scenery to the fantastic outdoor recreation to the community filled with great people.
There are two theories of history. One is that leaders arise, creating the history of their time out of who they are.
“Anybody here seen my old friend Abraham? Can you tell me where he’s gone? He freed lotta people but it seems the good they die young. You know I just looked around and he’s gone.”
Where did winter go? There has been no rain or snow in a few months now and according to the weather reports I listened to, the precipitation is not on the horizon.
Hello again, fellow Creekers. As of last month, Verizon wireless now has coverage in Christopher Creek.
The Payson Area Computer Association will hold its regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7 in the meeting room of the Payson Public Library.
I’m a big-time admirer of Arizona Cardinals football coach Ken Whisenhunt mostly because he brought respectability to the team — something Joe Bugel, Gene Stallings, Buddy Ryan, Dave McGinnis and Dennis Green were never able to do.
Just how the Longhorn boys basketball team’s 1979 Class B State Championship “Gold Ball” trophy disappeared from the school trophy case and was found years later in an abandoned, disheveled Phoenix apartment is a mystery that has coaches, former players and administrators scratching their collective noggins in disbelief.
Rim Country Middle School teams feature skill and height
Trevor Creighton harbors few doubts the Lady Longhorn volleyball program will be a force to reckon with for years to come.
The Lady Longhorn basketball team erased any doubts it was not the real deal by dumping the Mingus Marauders 40-35 and improving its early season record to 4-0.
These any many other homeless pets are available for adoption at the Humane Society of Central Arizona.
Wednesday, December 5
Payson Jazz Trio joins Dr Jass & the Heartbeats in a two-set holiday-themed presentation of swinging jazzy tunes at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9 at Payson Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St.
Spread holiday cheer to care center residents, fixed-income elderly and others in need
Christmas may still be about presents, but for some of us, there really isn’t anything we need or want. So what’s a gift-giver to do?
Once again we approach the most famous month known for giving.
In the northern part of Payson is 142.85 acres that were patented in 1920 by Andrew T. Hammons.
They make a perennial appearance on the gift aisles during the holiday shopping season – those big tins of popcorn. Why not make some of your own this year.
Mass tourism can turn a lovely island paradise into a tourist trap.
Hospice Compassus and the Rim Country Hospice Foundation invite the public to a Celebration of Life at 6 p.m., Wednesday Dec. 5 at Mountain Bible Church, 302 E. Rancho Road.
An amazing film
This might well be the only five saw blade movie of the year; certainly it is the best film to see the big screen between January and November.
A doctor on a television program who said that taking 2 teaspoons of red vinegar at lunch and dinner lowers your blood sugar a lot. Do you think this is true?
Tuesday, December 4
Over the past couple of years there have been reports and rumors of a “shadow inventory” of homes that were being held from the market by banks so the market would not be flooded with homes that would further erode prices.
Defying statewide trend, unemployment rate locally rises to 9.4 percent
The unemployment rate in Gila County inched upward in October to 9.4 percent, counter to the trend statewide.
Additional value possible with plan options during Open Enrollment period
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that savings on prescription drugs reached $5.1 billion.
Welcome to December — this year the month has five Saturdays, five Sundays and five Mondays.
In the pre-dawn darkness on Tuesday, a man and his dog died on Highway 260 when their small white pickup pulling a trailer veered over the center line and crashed head on into a Forest Service truck.
Payson lights up
An hour before the annual Electric Light Parade, viewers scurried to find a spot along Main Street for the biggest Rim Country event of the Christmas season.
Resignation, power of chairman likely on Thursday’s agenda
The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District has scheduled a Dec. 6 special meeting, but has not yet posted an agenda and board president Gary Lovetro remains tight-lipped about the reasons for the meeting.
Despite heavy spending, most voters remain predictable in partisan races
Businesses, unions and special interest groups spent heavily to influence the election — including a gush of outside money in the bitterly contested state Senate and House seats representing Rim Country.
Salvation Army holiday bell ringer volunteers are needed for two-hour shifts every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Walmart, Safeway, Bashas’ and Walgreens.
The good news: It’s harder to buy an election than the special interests figured. The bad news: That’s probably because voters rarely depart from their established patterns.
The issue is, of course, not whether animals should die from lead poisoning, but rather, what the best approach is to address the problem of lead poisoning.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department sent out a bizarre press release attacking conservation groups while trying to defend the agency’s abysmal record in protecting the Grand Canyon’s endangered condors from lead poisoning.
I grew up in the restaurant business. We provided good service and fine food to grow our volume.
On Saturday, the delectable smell of tamales wafted out of Gerardo’s Firewood Café.
If Christmas means more than presents, consider giving the gift of time to those who need it most — especially elderly residents in area care centers.
Northern Arizona University researchers on Thursday will host a public forum on how Payson residents feel about the health and psychological effects of smoke from thinning projects drifting into the community.
Motorists barely missed striking a woman laying in Highway 87 Thursday night.
Bowl game pairings were announced Sunday and the choices will obviously make for some very intriguing matchups.
The Longhorn boys basketball team travels today, Dec. 4, to Cottonwood hoping to stay unbeaten with a win over Mingus.
Members of the Rim Country Riders ATV club met this morning, Dec. 4, with Tonto and Coconino National Forest officials in the Pine Senior Center to lobby for the possible partial re-opening of FR 708.
A pair of lopsided wins over Heber Mogollon and Sequoia Charter High School has improved the Lady Longhorn basketball team’s record to an impressive 3-0 and keeps the team one of only seven of 60 Division III schools still undefeated.
After watching his Longhorn wrestlers polish off three consecutive early season foes, Payson High coach Casey Woodall was quick to praise several team members.
A photographer discovers secret to blurring water and yawning dogs
Horton Creek splashes cheerfully over the layered lip of a vanished world, transforming lost oceans, sunken continents and mass extinctions into landscape art.
Far better to err on the safe side than the risky.
I want to thank all the people involved with putting on the Gisela Pig Roast and all those who came to support the event.
It’s hard to imagine where Steven Hahn has been for the last few months, but it must not have public information available.
Thank goodness, all’s well! The dog didn’t eat his homework or something worse happen when Max Foster disappeared temporarily from the Payson Roundup.
I honestly did not expect to have to write this letter, because I assumed that I would have read about Mike Greer’s resignation from the PSWID board by now, but since that hasn’t happened I feel I must speak out.
This is to address the letter and “advice” from the Arizona Fish and Game representative, Darren Julian, regarding wildlife conflicts.
This letter is in response to (Bob Franklin’s “Driving is no mindless act,” Nov. 27, 2012), I agree with everything that you said.
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.
Sunday, December 2
This year, Payson Community Kids will benefit from the toys gathered at the Tamales for Toys event put on by the Payson Fire Department. Outside Gerardo’s Firewood Café, Lori Mills, the Executive Director steadily wrapped toys even as good Samaritans dropped more off. For more details and photos see Tuesday's Roundup.
Each year it seems the Rim Country pulls out more stops to make the annual Light Parade bigger and better.