Community Almanac


County plans area roadwork

The Gila County Road Department will be chip sealing Gibson Ranch Road and Round Valley Road from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 12 and Wednesday, June 13, unless there are unexpected delays. Also on Wednesday, June 13, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the county will be chip sealing OxBow Trail in OxBow Estates.

Fog seal will be put on the west end of Fossil Creek Road, Western Way and Tomahawk in Strawberry from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 19.

All vehicles and other structures must be removed from the rights of way on these roads for the projects.

Town Hall meetings on university campus in Payson

The Volunteer Committee for A University Campus in Payson invites Rim Country residents to attend one of two upcoming Town Hall meetings to learn what progress has been made during the last 12 months in bringing a four-year university campus to Payson. Mayor Kenny Evans will be present to respond to your questions at both events, with other key local participants in attendance as well.

The first Town Hall will be held at the Payson High School Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 13; the second is at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 21 at the Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main Street.

$6 jewelry sale

Once again there will be a $6 jewelry sale to benefit the Mogollon Health Alliance, which funds community health programs and scholarships for students pursuing training for careers in the health care industry.

The sale is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15 at the Payson Regional Medical Center west lobby (Labor & Delivery entrance). For more information, call (928) 472-2588.

June blood donors could win VW Beetle

Blood donations can decline by up to 25 percent during holiday weeks. Since blood has a shelf life of 42 days, donations now can help save lives through the Independence Day holiday.

Give blood June 1 through Aug. 31 and your name will be entered in a drawing for a 2012 Beetle. You can earn a second chance to win by registering your Bonus Chance Entry at To make an appointment to donate blood, call 1-877-UBS-HERO (1-877-827-4376) toll free or visit (enter your Zip Code).

All blood types are needed, however, Type O-negative is always in greatest demand.

The next Payson blood drive will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, June 14 at Payson Regional Medical Center.


Junction 87

Summer concert series

The annual Summer Concert Series by the Payson parks department features a free program at 7 p.m. every Saturday from through July 28. The concerts are held in the amphitheater area of Green Valley Park where the audience can bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the show. Scheduled to perform are Blue Frog with blues, June 16; Breaking Point with both jazz and country music, June 23; Junction 87 (pictured) with country music, June 30; John Carpino and the Hot Cappuccinos, July 7; Big Daddy & The Dynamites, blues, July 14; Southern Flight Band with variety and rock music, July 21; and The John Scott Band with blues, July 28.

Benefit Spaghetti Dinner

The Payson Lioness Club will have a benefit spaghetti dinner Flag Day for Veterans Helping Veterans from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 14 at the Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. The cost is $6 per person. The evening will include a Silent Auction and music by Patrick Neibauer.

Everyone is invited to attend.

Items for the Silent Auction are still needed. To make a donation or arrange for tickets, please call Peggy at (928) 978-4560.

Babysitting class

A babysitting class, offered through the Safe Sitter program, is planned from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, June 18 and Tuesday, June 19.

Safe Sitter is a medically accurate, hands-on class that teaches boys and girls, ages 11 to 13, how to handle emergencies when caring for children.

In the class, participants will learn: what to do when a child chokes; safety for the sitter; how to call for emergency help; babysitting business skills; and basic child care skills, such as diapering, feeding, etc.

Class size is limited. Call Nancy Rutherford, (928) 402-8517, or Chris Phillips, (928) 402-8696, to register.

Vacation Bible school

First Southern Baptist Church is presenting “Amazing Aviation” during its vacation Bible school program, June 18 through June 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The program is for pre-kindergarten aged youth through those who are 13.

First Southern Baptist Church is at the corner of W. Bonita St. and South Colcord. Call (928) 474-3374 for more information.

Ponderosa Bible Church is presenting “Never Give Up” vacation Bible school from June 18 through June 22.

The program, “Never Give Up” is about an Olympic event. Children ages 4 through 6th grade are invited to attend from 9 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. each day.

To register a child for the program, call Ponderosa Bible Church at (928) 474-9279.

Ponderosa Bible Church is at 1800 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.

‘HAM’ Field Day

The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) has an annual nationwide “Field Day” event each summer. This event consists of members of amateur radio groups taking equipment to “the field” and exercising their capabilities. One such group of “hams” is the local 4x4 Ham group and it will be operating a station on the Rim. Non-radio folks are invited to attend and learn about amateur “ham” radio. The public is invited to join the 4x4 Ham group for ARRL Field Day June 22-24.

The group will be providing all the radios, antennas and other equipment needed. Those who have their own equipment are free to bring it. The group is also hosting a testing session Saturday at 9 a.m., so pre-register for that if interested.

Throughout the weekend the group will be providing radio tutorials and many learning opportunities. Members plan to operate/demonstrate many modes including SSB, CW (Morse Code), APRS, PSK31, NTS radiogram traffic, satellite contacts, etc. All activities are family friendly.

For directions and all other information related to the 4x4 Ham Field Day site, follow this link. display.php?54-4x4-Ham-Field-Day.


Courtesy of Rim Country Historical Society

When the MGM Lion landed in Rim Country

Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight from New York to Paris in May 1927 set off a flurry of flying firsts. In September 1927 MGM Studios prepped a plane and hired a well-known pilot to fly its new mascot, Leo the Lion, nonstop, from San Diego to New York City.

Communications with the pilot were lost after flying over Yuma. When the plane failed to land in New York City, headlines across the country wondered, “Where’s the MGM Lion?”

Seven days later, a posse of Rim Country cowboys rescued Leo from Hell’s Canyon located in the Hellsgate Wilderness Area about 15 miles northeast of Payson.

The Library Friends of Payson will host a free presentation featuring historic photographs of this event that will be narrated by local writer and educator Gail Hearne at 10:30 a.m., Monday, June 18 in the Payson Library Community Room. Light refreshments will follow. A brief business meeting, open to all, will begin at 10 a.m.

For more information, call Bessie Watson at (928) 474-9260 and visit

Suicide awareness benefit

A benefit to raise awareness of suicide through the Jimmy’s Way program is planned at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, June 23 at the Rancho Tonto Catch-a-Trout facility in Christopher Creek.

The event is an outdoor yoga practice with live yoga music by Ann James, followed by a continental breakfast.

Participants should bring their own mat and make a suggested donation of $10 to $15. Make reservations with Brenda Slapnicka at (928) 478-0303 or (928) 978-1861.

To reach Rancho Tonto, go the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery exit off East Highway 260 and go two miles, making a right turn about two miles in. The facility is about 20 to 25 minutes outside of Payson.

Program on diabetes

Dr. Terry Rousseau of Payson Care Center and a diabetes educator will present a program on diabetes management at 11 a.m., Monday, June 25 at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. Among the topics he will be discussing is the Low Glycemic Index Diet. To reserve a seat, call (928) 951-2305.

Summer gardening workshop

Hear what Gila County Master Gardeners have to say about summer gardening at a workshop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, June 25 at the Payson Masonic Lodge, 200 E. Rancho Road, Payson.

Scheduled speakers and their topics: Roger Kreimeyer, Payson Community Garden; Bill Roehr, insects and biodiversity gardening; Chris Jones, home weed control; Fred Jimenez, building cold frames and greenhouses.

There is no admission, but registration is required to make sure there is enough material to share. To register, call the Master Gardener Hotline, (928) 402-8589 or e-mail Sarah Renkert, srenkert@cals.

One-day sheet sale

The Mogollon Health Alliance will have a sheet sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, June 26 at the Payson Regional Medical Center main lobby.

Proceeds from the sale will go to support the many programs and scholarships offered by the Mogollon Health Alliance. For more information, call (928) 472-2588.

Fathers focus of sale

During June, the Library Friends of Payson Bookstore will be honoring fathers with a 2 for 1 sale of all male authors. Included in this sale will be hardcover, paperback, fiction and non-fiction books. Come in and find treasures by such prominent authors as Tom Clancy, James Patterson, Stephen King, John Grisham, Dale Brown, James Michner, Robert Ludlum, Dean Koontz and many more.

Consider giving dad a couple of good books on Fathers Day.

As another nod to fathers, all sports, history and political books will be featured as a 2 for 1 special during June. There has recently been an influx of books with political themes which would make great gifts for any father interested in domestic and world affairs.

Every penny spent in the Library Friends of Payson Bookstore is reinvested in the Payson Library to support the purchase of new material and many special programs.

Bookstore stock changes daily, so the wise shopper visits frequently. The bookstore is located to the right of the circulation desk just inside the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road. For more information, visit the Library Friends of Payson Web site at

Caregivers training

A five-session workshop series, designed to develop the skills needed to care for someone with dementia or memory loss is being planned to be held in Payson this summer.

Workshop attendees will learn about dementia and its impact, how to manage frustration and stress associated with caring for a loved one with dementia or memory loss, how to communicate with their loved ones, and how to take better care of their own health.

To participate, persons need to provide an average of four hours, or more, of care or supervision per day for a family member with dementia or memory loss, and find caregiving increasingly demanding of their time and energy.

Respite assistance may be available to help caregivers attend the workshops. The program is a partnership of the Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter, Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens, Arizona State University, and the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

There is no charge for the CarePRO program. However, there is a pre-registration process and seating is limited. To learn more about this opportunity, including when and where it will be held, please call Mindy at the Alzheimer’s Association at (602) 528-0545, extension 210.

Head Start enrollment

Head Start is currently enrolling for the 2012-2013 school year. Head Start is a preschool and family referral program for families with low income, and children with disabilities. Families need to income qualify, have a child with a disability or have extenuating family circumstances to be admitted into the program.

We are a government program that serves 3-5-year-old children and do not charge any fees for our services. Head Start does not provide transportation, however we have many families that volunteer to assist others. Community Presbyterian Child Learning Center collaborates with us and provides transportation to their facility after our morning class.

Needed items for enrollment include: complete and updated immunization record, proof of birth and proof of income for the year 2011. Once these items are obtained, applicants may call the Head Start office to set up an appointment with a staff member, (928) 474-2738. Once the application process has been completed, the child will be put on a waiting list until an opening is available. We encourage you to get the needed items for enrollment and call for an appointment, as classes are filling quickly.

Classes begin the last week in August.

We also provide an Early Head Start program that provides comprehensive Home Based services to pregnant women and children birth to 3 years of age. For more information on Early Head Start, please call Carla Ramsey at (520) 723-1217.

PEC enrolling

Payson Education Center, an alternative accredited high school, is now enrolling for the 2012/13 school year. New students are being accepted. The scheduled start date for the fall semester is Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Please call PEC at (928) 468-8509 for enrollment information. PEC is located at the south end of town at 112 W. Cedar Lane.

New Visions Academy High School enrolling

New Visions Academy Charter High School is currently accepting new enrollments for the 2012-2013 school term.  Classes start Aug. 6 and will be from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fridays. 

The office summer hours are 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday through Thursday. New Visions is at 198 E. Ezell Lane, Payson, in The Knolls subdivision. Call (928) 468-1401 for details.


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