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. Are the weather patterns really changing or is this really global warming from those effects or something else? I am no weatherperson, but according to the old-timers in our area, there used to be loads of snow that lasted a long time on the ground. The weather, in my opinion, is directly related to Christmas cheer and nostalgia of Christmases past. I have not had enough spirit to put up decorations or even a Christmas tree! I am still hoping for that boost of cold weather with lots of snow on the ground and then I know I will get out of this slump and feel something like, “Let’s get ready for Santa” or at the very least feel the spirit of the Lord’s birth.
Stu Stewart of Tonto Village I spotted a bear in his yard a few days ago. Stu raises chickens in his back yard and he surmises that the bear was after his chickens. The bear jumped the fence and he is most likely wandering around the Village looking for food. Please be extra careful of your small animals and please do not leave trash cans open; make sure that they are securely closed.
Hellsgate Fire Department
Don’t forget that there will be a Hellsgate Fire Board meeting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the Star Valley fire station. The new Battalion Chief and the new fire board members will be in attendance. Come and meet the new board members and David Bathke.
I have received word of the passing of Ruthann Winchester on Thursday, Nov. 29. 2012. Ruthann is the wife of Robert Winchester and they both lived in Mead Ranch for many years and Robert was a volunteer with the Tonto Village Fire Department.
There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 8 at their cabin in Mead Ranch followed by an old-fashioned wake for Ruthann at the Double D Café in Tonto Village. It has been requested that a covered dish be brought for sharing. The Hellsgate Fireflies wish to convey their sympathies to Robert and the rest of the Winchester family.
Shelby School news
With the season of giving upon us, the Arizona Tax Credit for Kids is an amazing way to donate that will directly improve the education of the students at The Shelby School and will give you an off-the-top tax deduction for your state return. These donations mean field trips, PE equipment, art supplies and other needed educational materials for the kids.
It is not a requirement that the taxpayer have a child enrolled in a public or charter school to donate. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the actual tax owed to the state. Any Arizona state taxpayer may donate up to $250 to a school of his or her choice and any couple may donate up to $400 if filing jointly. Any donation of any amount would be greatly appreciated.
What does this mean exactly? 100 percent of your donation comes back to you on your state income tax return, up to the donation limit of $250 for individuals and $400 for married taxpayers filing jointly (AZ Tax Law ARS 43-1089.01). Taxpayers may make checks payable to The Shelby School. Upon receiving your generous ECA donation by the deadline of Dec. 31, 2012, we will promptly mail you a receipt for your tax purposes. The Shelby School thanks you in advance for helping the great kids at our school. If you have any questions, feel free to call the School at (928) 478-4706.
New Tonto Village resident
Joshua and Rebekah Sampson are now the proud parents of their second daughter, Anelise Berlin, born at Payson Regional Hospital at 6:53 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29. She is a full seven pounds and 29 inches of joy. Congratulations to her parents and to her big sister Liya!
Jeff Shaw of Tonto Village III starts this week off with his birthday on Dec. 12. Carol Fulp, a longtime resident of the Village and now of the Valley, celebrates her big day on Dec. 13. Duane Long of Long Ranch and John Digman, now of Star Valley, will share their big day on Dec. 14. J.R. Alliger of Tonto Village III and Flo Haulot, one of the first settlers of the Village, and now of Tonto Basin, share their birthdays on Dec. 15. Rita Spalink of Tonto Village II adds another candle to her birthday cake on Dec. 19. Happy birthday to all of you.