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AARP volunteers will help low- and moderate-income residents prepare and file tax returns through April 12.

Feb. 17 Friday

• Genealogy Library: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 302 E. Bonita, Payson

• Payson Public Library: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Pine Library: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Rim Country Museum: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 700 Green Valley Pkwy.

• Pine/Strawberry Museum: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pine Community Center

• American Legion Fish Fry: Noon-8 p.m., American Legion

Feb. 18 Saturday

• Genealogy Library: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 302 E. Bonita, Payson

• Pine Library: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Payson Public Library: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Rim Country Museum: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 700 Green Valley Pkwy.

• Pine/Strawberry Museum: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pine Community Center

• Lip Sync Concert: 5:30 p.m., Payson High School auditorium

Brush pit schedule

This coming weekend, the Regional Payson Area Project… for a Fire Wise Rim Country (RPAP) will be staffing free brush drop-off points at the following locations, weather permitting:

Saturday, Feb. 18 the Blattner Pit will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Blattner Pit is located at Milepost 259.7 on Highway 260, east of Payson.

Sunday, Feb. 19 the Pine Pit will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Pine Pit is located .7 of a mile east of Highway 87 on Control Road, south of Pine.

All RPAP free drop-off locations are for brush, leaves, pine needles, trimmings and other vegetative materials only. Properly bagged Yellow Starthistle, or other listed noxious weed species will also be accepted and will be burned. No household garbage, construction debris, or other items will be accepted.

RPAP brush pits are intended for the use of private citizens who are working to clear their properties for wildfire risk reduction and to create defensible space around their homes. They are not intended for commercial use, and use by commercial haulers is prohibited.  

Lip Sync concert

The annual the Lip Sync contest/concert is Saturday, Feb. 18 at the high school auditorium. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6:45 p.m.

Students can win scholarship money and audience members have a silent auction in which to participate.

Feb. 19 Sunday

• Rim Country Museum: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., 700 Green Valley Pkwy.

• Bingo: 1 p.m., Elks Lodge, open to Elks and guests

• Pool Tournament: 4 p.m., Elks Lodge, open to Elks and guests

Feb. 20 Monday

• Payson Public Library: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Rim Country Museum: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 700 Green Valley Pkwy.

• Best of Rim Country Awards Banquet: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Mazatzal Hotel & Casino

Feb. 21 Tuesday

• Payson Public Library: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Looking ahead

Free tax help and free e-filing

AARP volunteers in Payson will once again be preparing tax returns for low- to moderate-income taxpayers. The service will be available through Thursday, April 12 at:

• Payson Elks Lodge, located at Airport Road and Highway 87, Payson: Mondays, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Gila Community College, Mud Springs Road, Payson: Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 23 and March 1, 8, 15, 29 and April 5, 12. The college will be closed March 22 due to Gila College spring break.

No appointments will be taken. For more information, call Joan Stephens, AARP Tax Help coordinator, (928) 472-6229 (do not call the Elks or GCC).

Reserve your Business Showcase booth now

Rim Country Business: Past, Present & Future — the 20th Annual Business Showcase, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 24 at the Mazatzal Casino Exhibition Hall.

This is an opportunity to highlight your business and products to other businesses and residents of Payson and the surrounding communities. This year, spaces will only be offered in the main hall, which will limit the number of booths. So, fast action is advised.

A completed application and payment will be required to hold a booth or location. If you have any questions, please contact the Chamber at (928) 474-4515.

Chamber Mixer

The next Chamber Mixer is at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Jake’s Bar & Grill, located on Highway 188, approximately two miles south of the intersection of Highway 87 and 188.

The western town front features a bar, dining room, stage and a great patio with horseshoe pits. Bring your business cards to be used to choose partners for the Jake’s Corner/Chamber horseshoe competition and trophy.

Admission is by donation: $3 for members and $5 for community guests.

The Payson Senior Center bus will be available for the first 12 who get on it for a roundtrip. Carpools can meet at the Chamber for others. Please call the Chamber at (928) 474-4515 for information and seats on the bus.

Gosar speaking

Congressman Paul Gosar will be the featured speaker at the Payson Tea Party meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23. The Payson Tea Party meets at Tiny’s Family Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260.

Gosar will explain why he has chosen to run for the new District 4 Congressional seat instead of re-running for the District 1 seat.

The public is invited to hear his comments regarding this issue and many other issues critical to this election year.

For more information, call (928) 468-1131.

Building and Fire Code update classes

The Town of Payson Community Development Department, Building Division, is planning to update the Building and Fire Codes and is planning a number of public meetings on the updates that will be considered.

Construction professionals and Payson residents who are interested in attending any or all of the eight-hour presentations scheduled to occur once a month, over the next eight to 10 months, are encouraged to register for no fee so that enough handouts can be provided. Due to the length of each session, morning and afternoon snacks will be provided participants, however, lunch will be on your own.

All meetings will be in the Payson Town Council Chambers and will begin promptly at 8 a.m.

The first scheduled meeting is planned to occur on Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25 and will cover the most predominant code used here locally, the International Residential Code (IRC).

The next scheduled meeting will showcase the International Building Code (IBC), the predominant commercial building code and is scheduled for Friday, March 23, with a summary review of both the IRC and IBC planned for Saturday, March 24.

In order to receive handouts for each class, ensure seating and enough snacks are available, please register by either coming to the Payson Community Development Department, 303 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, call (928) 474-5242 ext. 263, or e-mail dmonteath@paysonaz.gov at least one week prior to the next scheduled class.

Is it a bruise or a wound?

Ernestine Crank, Payson Care Center’s Certified Wound Care nurse, has been serving Payson Care Center for more than 9 years. Her job is to care for the wounds of patients after surgery, illness or accident. She works closely with the local surgeons, primary care physicians and the onsite physician to assure patients stay infection free and heal quickly.

She will present an informative lecture “Is it a bruise or a wound?” and how to tell the difference at 11 a.m., Monday, Feb. 27 at the Senior Center. For more information, call (928) 951-2305.

PAHH ReStore party

The Payson Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore has made some exciting changes and the public is invited to come and celebrate them on Wednesday, Feb. 29 — Leap Day! There will be barbecued pulled pork sliders and coleslaw, compliments of the ReStore (while it lasts).

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity is looking for new volunteers to help in the office, organize the store floor, repair electronics and work behind the front counter. The ReStore always offers free pick-up of gently used appliances, furniture and home improvement item donations.

Please call Cindy at (928) 474-4247 for more information.

PHS culinary class showcase

Mark your calendars to come see, taste and experience Payson High School’s culinary students show off their skills at the Chef Event from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 29 at the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria. 

Celebrate Leap Day by taking a few moments to hit the students’ multi-cultural buffet. Foods from Italy, Mexico, Thailand, and America’s South (soul food) will be featured. If you haven’t had a chance to try authentic Thai food, the students received personal training from Mac and Nan of Payson’s Ayothaya Thai Café — they have been huge supporters of this year’s chef event. Plus, there will be loads of delicious desserts to choose from.

Adult tickets are $14 and those 7 and under pay $7. Purchase tickets in advance by calling (928) 472-3075 or buy them at the door. 

Republicans host Attorney General

The Gila County Republican Committee will host Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne at its Lincoln Day Luncheon, Saturday, March 3. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. at Tiny’s Restaurant.

Tickets are $25 per person and include lunch. Call Sally Low at (928) 474-9779 for details and reservations. The deadline to purchase tickets is March 1, no tickets will be sold at the door.

The Cat is Back

The Payson Public Library will once again participate in the Reading Across America program with a family adventure for Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Friday, March 2.

The program is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature refreshments available for $1, prizes, face painting, crafts and stories. The stories will start at 6:30 p.m.

Get tickets now for annual Taste of Rim Country

The annual Taste of Rim Country will be at the Payson Public Library at 5 p.m., Saturday, March 5.

Tickets are $30 per person and give the buyer an opportunity to sample the work of the Payson High School Culinary Arts students; Ayothaya Thai Café, the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino’s Cedar Ridge Restaurant, Cardo’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant, The Landmark, Laura’s Small Café with Vita-Mart, MissFitz 260 Café, Randall House and Rim Country Jams.

In addition to tasting food, guests can also sample wines at the event, which is a major benefit for the library.

Driving Safety Class

An AARP Driving Safety Class is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 10 at the Payson Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway, Payson. Call (928) 472-9290 to register.

Astronomy talk, star party

For as long as humans have been in this corner of Arizona, looking to the heavens above must have been a fascination. On Saturday, March 10 Tonto National Monument along with the Tonto Basin Ranger District will host an afternoon of solar and planet viewing and in the evening an astronomy talk and star party at the Windy Hill Amphitheater at Roosevelt Lake. This interpretive event is presented by the Astronomers of Verde Valley.

Special activities include solar viewing, Jupiter and Venus viewing and a Night Sky Network Information tent from noon to 4 p.m. This will be followed by an astronomy talk from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and then the Astronomers of Verde Valley will have their telescopes out and will guide visitors through the cosmos to see many of the night sky’s fascinating nebulas, galaxies, constellations and more from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This free program is open to everyone. Please bring a red light with you if you have one, and don’t forget to dress appropriately.

For further information and directions call Tonto National Monument at (928) 467-2241. For more information on Tonto National Monument, please visit the monument Web site at www.nps.gov/tont.

Photo workshops

Award-winning photographer Tom Brossart will be conducting photo workshops this spring.

Adventures in Photography will be hands-on workshops to help those in attendance understand their digital camera and its functions, which will lead to better photos.

The workshop in March and will concentrate on wildflower photographs (the date of this workshop will be determined when the wildflowers are blooming). The final workshop will be April 6.

The cost of each workshop is $100, or $80 for those who have attended previous workshops with Brossart or have taken his digital photography course at GCC.

Each workshop is limited to eight participants to ensure as much one-on-one instruction as possible, so sign up soon by calling (928) 979-2393 or e-mail Brossart at thombt1973@q.com.

Italian classes

Mario Belvedere, former instructor for Italian at the Payson campus of Gila Community College, is now offering small group and individual lessons in the language.

To learn more, contact him at (928) 978-5075 or fperseus@gmail.com.

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