Since I am writing this column on Tuesday, I do not know if we had the rainfall that was predicted for Wednesday, the 4th of July. According to the Payson Ranger Station, the Tonto National Forest is closed to camping and hiking because of the extreme dryness of the forest and the safety of people because of bear attacks. Even a simple task such as walking your animals in the forest is prohibited. The Ranger Station received a call that there have been sightings of bears in the Christopher Creek area. Be careful and keep alert! The campgrounds at Christopher Creek are still closed along with Sharp Creek and Ponderosa.
The Tonto Creek Hatchery remains shut down, according to manager Bruce Denova. The Tonto Creek remains off limits as well as the East Verde for fishing. Denova advises fishermen in the area to go up to the Rim Lakes, where the hatchery is still stocking. The only local area that is still open is at Haigler Creek. The road may be a bit scary, but the area is peaceful and serene once you get down to the creek.
Hellsgate Fire Department
The monthly meeting of the Hellsgate Fire Board will be held at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 11 at the Star Valley station on Walters Lane behind the Moose Lodge.
The Fireflies Auxiliary of the Hellsgate Fire District will meet at 10 a.m., Monday, July 9, also at the Star Valley station. The purpose of the meeting is to encourage ladies from the Star Valley area to join the auxiliary.
The agenda will include planning for the next Bashas’ Food Festival that will be held Aug. 18 and the sale of the cookbook, “Fireflies Can Cook.” Look for a few of the recipes in this week’s Rim Review, published by the Payson Roundup.
The contacts for buying the cookbook are: Vicki G. in Christopher Creek, (928) 478-4654; Karen Carlen at the fire station in Star Valley, (928) 474-3835; Nancy Barela, (928) 472-9131; or Janet Snyder in Tonto Village, (928) 478-9935. The cookbooks cost only $10 and feature 378 recipes. These will make excellent Christmas or birthday gifts.
Surprise Birthday Party
This past Monday evening, the Empty Nesters group, a part of the Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ Church in Christopher Creek, surprised Marie Coley of Tonto Village II with a birthday party held at the home of Colt and Julie White. Marie was taken by complete surprise when everyone shouted out “Happy Birthday!” The evening was perfect to sit outside and enjoy an array of food brought by the guests, including red velvet cupcakes, which were decorated with the words, “Happy Birthday.” The sunset in the west and the moon put on a spectacular show when it rose in the east, shining in its near full glory. Everyone enjoyed the weather as well as the good company. Happy birthday to you, Marie.
Speaking of birthdays, July 11 is a busy day for Laverne Belcher of Bear Flat, Travis Kilbourne of Tonto Village III, who is also a firefighter for Hellsgate Fire Department and stationed at the Tonto Village station, and former owner of our now deceased beagle, Libby, Ann Henning from Heber/ Overgaard. Happy birthday to all of you.
Vacation Bible School
Tonto Village Chapel is hosting Vacation Bible School from July 9 to July 13. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to noon and it is for children ages 4 through 6th grade, but older kids can join in and help the little ones with crafts, drama, Bible stories and songs. Parents are also welcome to stay and watch their kids or help with the activities. There will be a special presentation at 6 p.m., Friday, July 13 for the parents showcasing the participants’ activities. There will also be refreshments available. For more information, call Pastor James Barker at (928) 951-4493, or Rita Spalink at (928) 478-4282.
Double D Doings
The Nine Ball gals played their usual competition on Tuesday evening. The first-place winner was Linda Stailey, second-place winner was Ethel Cain, and third-place winner was Sharon Marksbury. Congratulations to the winners.
There will be a special get-together on Saturday, July 7 at the “D”. Karaoke will be hosted by Cody Gibson, who I was told is the nephew of Rockin’ Ron Gibson of the radio station KMOG. The evening promises to be a lot of fun.