Stories for April 2013

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Tuesday, April 30

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Report spurred shake-up

A consultant’s report that prompted a sweeping reorganization depicted the Payson Unified School District as a ship without a rudder. The report, obtained by the Roundup on Monday, offers a glimpse into the logic behind the sweeping changes in administration, job descriptions and response to state and federal mandates launched last week by Superintendent Ron Hitchcock.

‘Horrific’ neglect case settled

CPS had removed one child, teen left alone in home

A Gisela woman will spend at least several years in prison after pleading guilty to one of the “worst child neglect cases” the Gila County Attorney’s Office said it has seen.

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Ceremony makes history

Hundreds attend reservation’s first Sunrise Ceremony

Carolena Guerra made history this weekend by celebrating the first coming of age Sunrise Ceremony in the history of the Tonto Apache Reservation. Between 200 and 300 people drawn from three Arizona Apache reservations attended the four days of dancing, singing, ceremonies, feasting and gift-giving that marked the transition to adulthood for girls of the tribe and also created intimate and ceremonial and family bonds between scattered Apache bands.

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Payson schools stack up

The Payson Unified School District gets good results at a low cost, according to an Arizona Auditor General’s Report that compares the 2,400-student district to similar districts statewide.

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It’s a classic!

“This is our party and dance for the community,” said John Hall, officer in the Rim Country Classic Auto Club, “so long as they like great cars, rock and roll and smiling people, this is the event to attend.”

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Digital 3D hits Payson this week

The Sawmill Theatres will blast through the digital 3D barrier on Thursday, with the showing of “Iron Man 3,” marking the local movie house’s high-stakes investment in the most advanced movie technology.

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Community Almanac

Come out and help raise funds for Gila Community College scholarships and programs of the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department. Expect plenty of great action and lots of fun as the Harlem Ambassadors take on a variety of Payson and Rim Country folks at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 30 at the Payson High School gym.

Bill Rappaport expounds on resignation

To the people of Star Valley: I love this town. That is why it pained me so deeply to step down. For the record, I am not going anywhere. Star Valley is my home, and I plan to stay here and serve this community in every way I can.

Rim Country’s future secure

You may have missed the big news. The news that guarantees our future. The news that proves you can’t sell us short.

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Special Olympian runners shine at Pat’s Run

Coaches, supporters would like benefit run to become an annual event

Three Special Olympians from the Rim Country held their own against more than 23,000 other runners in the Pat’s Run on Saturday, April 20 in Tempe.

Register youth now for first swim lessons

EVO Swim School owner David Tait and a bevy of young swimmers eagerly await the opening of Taylor Pool and the beginning of swim lessons on May 28.

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Lady Longhorns cap regular season with a ‘W’

The hard-chargin’ Lady Longhorn softball team wrapped up the 2013 regular season by stinging the frustrated Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets 19-0 in a blowout that ended after 4-1/2 innings on the 10-run Mercy Rule.

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WON Pro-Am returns to Roosevelt Lake

A trio of Rim Country anglers will join professional and amateurs from around the West to test their skills in the Western Outdoor News (WON) Pro Circuit tournament on May 4-5 at Roosevelt Lake.

Go-Girls stumble in finale

Payson’s Go-Girl club volleyball team turned in a banner 2013 season even though the team struggled in the season-ending tournament playing without standout seniors Megan Wessel, Kaitlyn Wessel or Shayna Neal.

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Three teams battle for links title

A Payson Men’s Golf Association hosted a “Four Man Select Drive” tournament at Payson Golf Course that turned into one of the most hotly contested frays of the spring season with the top-three foursomes finishing within two strokes of one another.

National Day of Prayer Rim Country schedule

Churches and others around the Rim Country are planning a series of events Thursday, May 2 to mark National Day of Prayer throughout the day in Payson and Pine.

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Artists host studio tour this weekend

Once a year a select group of artists invites the world into their lives. These artists are the juried members of the annual Payson Art League ’Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour, presented this year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 3, 4 and 5.

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Humane Society to celebrate one year at new facility

The new facility of the Humane Society of Central Arizona provides a healthier and happier environment for staff members and animals alike.

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Seniors savor satin and sparkle

On the evening of Saturday, April 27, the town of Payson was awash in chiffon and lace, satin and sparkles and all shades of tuxedo.

Economic development group reboots

While the Northern Gila County Economic Development Corporation (NGCEDC) and the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce always worked together to improve the area’s economy, the organizations recently announced a more formal agreement.

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Dimi Espresso offers passport to Italy

When Tom Plets traveled to Italy to study art history two years ago, he found his learning swirled more around the scene at local cafés rather than Monet’s impressions.

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GLORY DAYS and MUSCLE CARS

For me, it was the Mustang — the twinge of glory and shame. But that’s just me. I spent a perfect, sun-drenched, cloud-spattered, green-grass day in Green Valley Park on Saturday at the 20th annual Beeline Cruise-In classic car show recollecting those glory days — and eavesdropping on other lives.

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Clubs and Organizations

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.

Hiring achievement director was a great idea for district

The best news lately, is the hiring of Brenda Case as achievement director for our school-age children.

Sale to competing school?

When I first read the article on the sale of Frontier Elementary School to a “competing school” — Payson Community Christian School (PCCS) — I considered it to be biased and sour grapes.

Saddened by resignation

Farewell Mr. Rappaport. We were saddened to learn of your resignation as mayor of Star Valley.

Dr. York’s practice is still in jeopardy

Let’s hope the sub-headline “Supporters prevent eviction of Pine’s only physician” in the Roundup proves true in the long run.

Friday, April 26

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Council may fill mayor’s job soon

The Star Valley Town Council will consider appointing a new mayor at its May 7 meeting, just ahead of a May 18 deadline. If the council doesn’t act by then, the town code will require a special election within 90 days.

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Principals shuffled

Every school affected by massive reorganization

All four regular schools in the Payson Unified School District will get a new principal in a massive administrative shuffle announced this week as part of new Superintendent Ron Hitchcock’s bid to boost student test scores.

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Let the playoffs begin!

Lady Longhorns #2 Boys Baseball #9

The Payson Longhorns softball and baseball teams have not only made the playoffs — the girls softball team earned the No. 2 ranking in the state. The Longhorn baseball team landed the No. 9 seed, which means they will enter the playoffs with a first-round contest on April 30.

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Tragedy to unfold in fatal DUI trial

Prosecutors seek manslaughter conviction in crash that killed two

The trial for a Valley man accused of killing two people in a rollover on Doll Baby Ranch Road while intoxicated last year is set to start next month in Globe. Devin Grace Frantzke, 14, and Jeff Johnston, 55, of Payson, died instantly when the Jeep Wrangler in which they were riding rolled down an embankment near the end of Doll Baby Ranch Road.

Public pays dearly for copies of public records

Officials charge $8 for report, citing law requiring ‘reasonable’ charges for copies of public documents

Should a citizen have pay $8 to make a copy of a two-page police report? Sounds outrageous, but agencies across the county and the state are charging more and more for copies of public records.

Payson’s water table rising despite lingering drought

Payson’s fissured and cracked granite aquifer continues to rebound as crews ready for the delivery of C.C. Cragin water, a recently released water report reveals. Payson will receive 3,000 acre-feet of water from the Blue Ridge Reservoir in 2014, enough to indefinitely end any fear of water shortages.

Chocolate Buffet fund-raiser: A taste of heaven

A taste of heaven, a moment of sanity, a sweet smile, clearly chocolate serves a higher purpose. What purpose? Inspiring those calorie-burning walks around the park? Actually, in this case it helped raise money for a good cause at an event hosted by volunteers at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church last Friday evening.

Lively debate is hallmark of democracy

I would be more upset if a mayor didn’t express his opinions on such subjects, rather than chastise him when he does.

Half-baked reforms force big changes

Speak softly. Carry a big stick. Wonder if Payson Schools Superintendent Ron Hitchcock is a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt.

National Nurses Week

On May 6, 2013 the American Nurses Association and health care organizations around the country will celebrate National Nurses Week, which is held every year during May 6 through May 12, ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Smart move by Rappaport

The council doesn‘t want a person on the council that speaks what they believe; they want a “good ol’ boy.”

Congress not serving public

We the public now know that we have no standing with the U.S. Congress.

High school students, staff deliver great show

This past Friday, I took my family to the high school auditorium to see Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast!”

Rappaport a great leader

I have lived a long time and during that period I have had many bosses and I have been a boss to many others.

Ban lead ammo for condors

There is no better time than Earth Day to than draw attention to one of our many environmental disasters that are happening right now on our planet.

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PHS student government group hosts fun fund-raiser

On Friday, April 19, the football field rang with the laughter of children, the clang of musical instruments, and music blaring from speakers. The Payson High School (PHS) Student Government (STUGO) held a fair to benefit the band, Academic Decathlon, Payson HOSA (Health Occupation Student Association), the drama department and student government.

No beds for foster kids in an emergency

The Rim Country Child Protective Service’s office doesn’t have a single slot in a licensed, local home to provide shelter for a child in imminent danger. “The child would have to be placed in a licensed home outside of the area,” said Cindy Paul, licensing specialist for Arizona’s Children Association.

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IBS — uncomfortable, but not fatal

IBS — Irritable Bowel Syndrome — is uncomfortable, but it’s not fatal, Dr. Ihor Zakaluzny told Senior Circle members at a Lunch and Learn earlier this month. Zakaluzny, with Payson Surgery Associates, is a board certified general surgeon with extensive experience in gastrointestinal endoscopy and diseases, general gynecology, minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries, as well as interest in surgical nutrition and surgical infection.

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Rocking the cradle of creativity

Artists of the Rim gallery opening

Step into the new home of the Artists of the Rim Gallery in Swiss Village and inspiration washes over you. It is the same for the members of the cooperative that operate the gallery, founded by 18 local artists in August 2006.

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Community Almanac

Cinnamon Twist will perform a mix of popular Americana and Celtic music from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, April 26 at Ayothaya Thai Cafe. The band includes lead singer Jennifer Baltz and Annie James on guitar, mandolin and harmonica.

Storage rules cause dust-up between town, business

Police department is in violation of proposed ordinance

Payson’s effort to loosen limits on big storage containers instead triggered contradictions and complaints — and the discovery that the police department is among the leading violators.

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Dixieland jazz band: Musicians offer a blast from the past

A part of the past floats into the room every time Dixieland jazz bands like Dr. Jass & The Heartbeats perform in the Rim Country. Imagine scenes from the 1920s: flappers — the young and unconventional women —burning up the dance floor with the guys dressed in skimmers, bowlers, silk top hats and bow ties.

Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Flycasters Club will meet Saturday, April 27 at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260. Breakfast is at 8 a.m. and the meeting starts at 9 a.m.

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Get tickets now for Sunset Jazz and Wine Auction

The Humane Society of Central Arizona is gearing up for their upcoming fund-raiser and is proud of the many sponsors that are supporting this event. The Sunset Jazz and Wine Auction promises guests a fun and lovely early evening full of events in a spectacular outdoor setting.

Benefit poker ride is this Saturday

The hootin’ and hollerin’ that begins tonight in Tonto Basin will pick up again tomorrow and carry on most of the day. The down home, country hoopla will be a big part of the Fifth Annual Lorraine Cline Memorial Fund Poker Ride and benefit that kicks at 6 p.m. this evening, Friday, April 26, with a rootin’, tootin’, benefit dinner and dance beginning at 6 p.m. at The Butcher Hook in Tonto Basin.

Frosh carries Horn banner

Wyatt Chapman might feel like the new kid on the block when he and his Payson High School track and field teammates travel to Mesa College on May 10 and 11 to compete in the Division III state championships.

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PWGA lags on Payson Golf Course greens

Believe it or not, Payson Women’s Golf Association members were deliberating trying to miss the green on some of their shots during a “Lagging” formatted tournament played April 9 at Payson Golf Course.

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Young Payson anglers win tourney

Over the years Payson anglers have shown very well in state, regional and national bass fishing tournaments. There is a younger generation of high school- and college-age anglers that are continuing with that tradition and the fishing world of competitive bass angling is taking notice.

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Tonto Rim Sports Club Open House, Outdoor Expo set

There are plenty of feel-good success stories around the Rim Country, but probably none more remarkable than The Tonto Rim Sports Club’s growth from a small, undeveloped firearm shooting range to a state-of-the-art facility, complete with six shooting bays, a 300-yard long rifle range, a field archery range that can be outfitted with high-dollar, 3D targets and a rapidly growing membership.

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Cowboys gunned down on PHS fields

Victories over the visiting Camp Verde Cowboys on April 23 assured the Payson High School softball and baseball teams they will be seeded into the Division III state tournament. Playing on the PHS softball diamond, the Lady Longhorns improved their record to 23-4 with a 9-0 win thumping of the Cowboys.

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Village busting out with blooms, birds and more

The month of April is just about over — there are only about four days left. The Village is still showing off with the fruit trees busting with blooms and the iris and tulips are just starting to show off, along with the wild grape hyacinths.

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Classic cars and classic songs this weekend

Little G.T.O., you’re really lookin’ fine, Three deuces and a four-speed and a 389. Listen to her tachin’ up now, listen to her why-ee-eye-ine, C’mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out G.T.O. This weekend at Payson’s beautiful Green Valley Park, nearly 250 classic GTOs, other “muscle” and sports cars, old-time trucks, roadsters and high performance, souped-up vehicles will be on display at the 20th Annual Beeline Cruise-In Car Show.

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Celebrate spring at Arizona Trails Day

It’s been quite a whirlwind lately; these last few months have been anything but calm. It’s good to be back in the serenity of nature enjoying a magical Pine day.

Mysteries abound in Christopher Creek

Christopher Creek is not without its mysteries. Notorious John See told his mother that he had just “kilt” his wife, Annie, before he lit out for Mexico with the silver bullion stolen from the Silver King Mine.

Some people never learn

Earlier today I chanced on a reference to evil. A few phrases caught my eye: “Deliberate wrongdoing, hurting other people for no reason, committing senseless acts of violence ...”

Wednesday, April 24

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At The Movies-Dead Man Down

A really good film nobody’s watching

Fairly often I think a film lacks ... lets’ say anything very interesting, but the public dumps its hard earned money at the ticket window by the bucket. “Dead Man Down” is the exact opposite.

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About the RCCAC and the show

The Rim Country Classic Auto Club, as it is known it today, had its beginnings in the early 1980s when a few people shared a common interest in restoring and driving classic cars.

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Beeline Cruise-In celebrates 20 years

Welcome to the 20th anniversary of the Rim Country Classic Auto Club’s Beeline Cruise-In. The cruising car lovers of RCCAC welcome fellow fans from all over to the big show and celebration every April.

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PUSD announces major changes

Payson Unified School District Superintendent Ron Hitchcock announced Wednesday morning sweeping changes in the district’s administrative lineup that will change the principal at every school.

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1923 T Bucket - Otis & Dee Jayy Wells

We joined the Rim Country Classic Auto Club after moving to Payson. We both enjoy cars.

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1955 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery - Craig & Ken Bruns

Craig Bruns has always had a love affair with Sedan Deliveries and this is his latest.

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1935 Studebaker Commander - Bob & Mimi Halgren

Bob and Mimi Halgren bought their 1935 Studebaker Commander in South Dakota last October and drove it to Payson in one exciting adventure.

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1958 Nash Metro Convertible - The Fowlers

Steve and Margie Fowler are an unusual pair of car enthusiasts in that both get actively involved in the construction of their cars.

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John and Mary Cailey’s - ’27 Ford Roadster & ’79 Chrysler 300

I’ve always loved cars. I remember riding the school bus to high school in Indiana in the mid ’60s and looking at the cars lined up at a nearby Ford dealership.

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’49 Crosley Pickup Truck - Larry Bertram

Larry Bertram’s little truck’s life began in 1949 as a 1/8th-ton pickup with a tiny 22 hp, 4-cylinder engine. It cost $849.

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1941 Chevrolet Coupe - John Vaca

I owned a 1941 Chevy Coupe in the mid-60s. I enjoyed driving that car almost every day until one foggy night it lost a battle with a granite light pole.

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1962 Corvette Convertible - John & MJ Hall

The ’vette is a V-8, with 327 cubic inch Small Block, 250 Horsepower, 4-speed transmission and is white over red with a black top.

Our sponsors make it all possible

The car show, plus the trophies, souvenir T-shirts, dash plaques that identify the vehicles and their owners, food for the barbecue and other show expenses are paid for through sponsor contributions.

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Rim Country Places

Chapter 18: Happy Jack, Clint's Well and Long Valley

Map-makers and map-readers have puzzled for years over the fact that the Happy Jack post office is in Long Valley and the Long Valley Ranger Station is at Happy Jack. As we might expect, “herein lies a tale.”

Tuesday, April 23

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Lady Longhorns celebrate crucial games

Fun fund-raiser today at 4 as softball team puts undefeated season on the line

Come out to support the Lady Longhorns softball team on its championship run today, Tuesday, April 23 at PHS field.

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Frontier site sold

With enrollment dropping, the Payson School Board has approved the sale of Frontier Elementary School to the competing Payson Community Christian School (PCCS) at a fraction of what taxpayers spent to build it.

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Pot dispensary may take in $6 million yearly

From the empty side yard of the proposed medical marijuana dispensary, the red letters from the Rim Country Middle School glows just past the APS maintenance yard.

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Classic cars cruising into Payson

Welcome to the 20th Annual Rim Country Classic Auto Club’s Beeline Cruise-In, which on April 26 and 27 will lure cruising car lovers to Green Valley Park from all over the region.

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PES students learn a lesson in safety

Choppers and coppers: Best school day ever!

On Friday, April 19, Payson Elementary School (PES) first grade students learned all about the professionals that keep the Rim Country safe.

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Police seeking arson suspect

The Globe Fire Department needs help locating a man who may live in Payson, wanted in connection with an arson in Globe. On Feb. 14, someone set the concession stand and storage unit on fire at the Pinal Mountain Little League Field in Globe, destroying both, said Globe Fire Marshal Joe Bracamonte.

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Community Almanac

The Payson School District invites the entire community to its 5th Annual Gifted and Talented Showcase from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 23 in the middle school cafeteria.

Ban gun free zones

The unconstitutional, anti-Second Amendment, anti-gun rhetoric from the left continues to escalate as Obama and his Leftist Communist Democrat thugs try to intimidate the American people to cave to his illegal gun grabs

Nepotism at Rim Country Middle School

This letter is in response to recent letters involving nepotism at Rim Country Middle School.

In the interest of public safety

While the First Amendment still exists, that is the freedom of speech and expression, and religion, I would like to suggest that all USA vehicles made starting on 2014 have a breath analyzer interlock system wired into the vehicles ignition system as standard equipment.

Silly thinking

In order to submit this letter to the editor I had to give out seven bits of information, including my address and phone number.

Honoring our volunteers

April is National Volunteer Month, the 21st through the 27th is National Volunteer Week.

Turn out for the best team ever

It’s good to be a Longhorn — especially this week.

Mentored Pine teacher gets principal’s job in Jerome

Pine-Strawberry middle school math teacher Scott Jackson will move up to a job as a principal in Jerome, thanks to the support of retiring Pine Superintendent-principal Mike Clark.

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‘Transition Town’ goal is economic, environmental independence

A group of Rim Country residents who want Payson to become more self-sufficient, both economically and environmentally, have been making the rounds of local groups trying to plant seeds of support.

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Colorado: Most endangered river

WASHINGTON – A new ranking lists the Colorado River as the most-endangered river in the country, as increased demands on its water supply have put the river “at a breaking point.”

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More than a good day, it can be a life changer

Most folks toil up the Fossil Creek Trail, a trudge of drudgery with a 1,500-foot elevation change.

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Tonto National Monument admission free April 22-26

All National Park Service sites, including Tonto National Monument, will celebrate National Parks Week from April 20 through April 28.

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Habitat further extends helping hand

A Brush with Kindness program offers minor repairs, painting for low-income homeowners

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity has always operated with the theme, “A hand up, not a hand out” and now it is extending those helping hands beyond home construction.

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Culinary Arts students win awards, scholarships

The Payson High School (PHS) Culinary Arts group brought home impressive awards over the March spring break, including thousands of dollars in scholarships.

Some tips for coping with juniper pollen

Confirm it’s the junipers with a blood test or a skin prick test.

The sneeze of Spring

Misery loves company among allergy sufferers

Puffs of orange dust move lazily up into the air as soon as the warm spring sunshine hits the pollinated buds on the junipers.

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Annual Wildlife Fair coming May 11

With a family atmosphere that includes fishing, kayaking, BB gun and archery ranges, and displays of animals such as alligators and Gila monsters, the 19th annual Payson Wildlife Fair will be open to the public on Saturday, May 11.

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McCain, Flake back immigration reforms

‘Gang of 8’ touts bill as best chance for change

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled its 800-page immigration reform bill last week, calling it a “fair, comprehensive and practical solution” to a difficult problem.

Clubs and Organizations

The Mogollon Chapter 1235 of the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees will hold its monthly no-host luncheon and meeting Wednesday, April 24, starting at 11:30 a.m. and ending at 1:30 p.m.

Back-to-back charity golf events offer big money

Can you channel the great golfers of the past? If so, and they help you finesse that shot into a hole-in-one, you could leave the June 1 Gracie Lee Haught Sixth Annual Golf Tournament $10,000 richer.

Teams need public support at two benefits

The benefit barbecue dinners, cooked deep-pit style by outdoor chef Albert Hunt, have been a highlight of Lady Longhorn softball seasons for more than a decade.

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PHS among power point’s best

Although the Arizona Interscholastic Association will today, April 23, announce an updated set of baseball and softball power point rankings, both Payson High teams were highly ranked when last week’s ratings were compiled.

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No fear – Pat’s Run carries on

Refusing to have their spirits dampened by the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 180 others, 30,000 runners, walkers and volunteers turned out April 20 for the Ninth Annual Pat’s Run.

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Men golfers shoot a Masters blank

“What do we know,” asked Payson Men’s Golf Association member Herb Sherman after not a single club member picked first place-finishing Adam Scott or runner-up Angel Cabrera to win the 77th U.S. Masters played last week at Augusta National Golf Club.

Lady Horns eye state gold

With the 2013 track and field regular season winding down, Lady Longhorn team members are focusing on being in tiptop shape for the grand daddy of the sport — the Division III state championships.

Friday, April 19

Offer for Frontier Accepted

The Payson Unified School District (PUSD) school board voted to accept an offer to purchase the mothballed Frontier Elementary School site during a special meeting Friday, April 19.

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Rappaport resigns

Star Valley mayor irked by criticism from other councilors

Star Valley Mayor Bill Rappaport on Thursday resigned his position on the council, stung by the criticism of fellow councilors concerning his support for background checks for people who buy guns at gun shows.

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Volunteers rescue hikers, climbers

Man survives 80-foot fall in Salome as Search and Rescue responds

Rescuers had back-to-back missions in Salome Canyon this weekend after two hikers injured their ankles while canyoneering the picturesque Salome Creek east of Tonto Basin.

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Haggling for Frontier

The Payson Unified School District (PUSD) school board continues to call repeated special meetings to negotiate the possible sale of the Frontier Elementary School site.

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Patients fight for doctor

Supporters prevent eviction of Pine’s only physician

A scene straight out of the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” in Pine this week illuminated the challenges and joys of small-town life and old-fashioned medicine.

Rangers find bomb near Forest Lakes

With the bombings in Boston dominating the national news, U.S. Forest Service employees on Tuesday, April 16 discovered an unexploded pipe bomb near the community of Forest Lakes.

Ordinary citizens don’t support expanding Medicaid

The governor’s plan to add more than 300,000 Arizonans to the Medicaid rolls will do nothing more than facilitate and expand Obamacare.

Going to music camp

I would like to thank everyone who helped make my concert a success.

You might be a Democrat

If you believe the federal government has lost its way, but it needs a better map, not abandonment, you might be a Democrat.

Debate wearying, but keep us informed

I need to clear up a few things. One, is “flapdoodle” a technical term?

We are free

I would like to know where a recent letter writer has “seen a lot of comments lately about all of us needing assault weapons to protect our homes” (Roundup, April 9). I keep a pretty close eye on matters related to our right to keep and bear arms, and I haven’t seen or heard of anyone suggesting a need for (so-called) assault weapons to defend our homes “lately” or any other time.

Time could make a difference

In answer to a writer’s assertion that banning high capacity magazines is idiocy, I would like to disagree.

Honor his service

He’s a man of passion — and conviction, who has served his community with great dedication. So we’re sorry that Star Valley Mayor Bill Rappaport’s decision to conclude that selfless service has come packaged with pain and conflict.

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Schools get infusion of federal funds

The area school district board members and administrators might be breathing 90 percent of a sigh of relief since the April 16 meeting of the Gila County Board of Supervisors.

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High school charms town with ‘Beauty and the Beast’

The Payson High School Musical Theatre Club did themselves proud this past weekend performing Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

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One fish, two fish, shy fish, bold fish

Fishing season sneaks up on a disheveled writer and his deadlines

So I’m standing in the driveway getting ready to go back to work and cover yet another night meeting when something strange and wondrous insinuates itself into the weary corner of my eye down on the East Verde River, ponded up behind the crossing.

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Fun and education run together in Fossil Creek

Outdoor Adventure Club delights in challenging hike to historic, scenic river

“I’ve never done this hike before,” said sixth-grader Dexter Tiffany.

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Visitors to Arizona’s parks dwindled in 2012

While the National Park Service saw a slight increase in visitors across the country in 2012, its sites in Arizona recorded a third straight year of overall decline.

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Pet Adoption: Black cats and dogs need love too

When people go to the Humane Society or animal shelter looking to adopt a pet, they are more than likely going to leave with one that is a lighter color or one with interesting markings.

Reduce neighborhood conflicts with wildlife

Arizona is home to more than 800 wildlife species and close to 7 million people.

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Community Almanac

Gila County will celebrate National County Government Month during the month of April to highlight county justice programs and services. The theme is “Smart Justice: Creating Safer Communities.”

Kindergarten registration

Payson Schools will open up registration for the fall kindergarten classes Wednesday, April 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday, April 25 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Payson Elementary School, 500 E. Rancho Road, in the cafeteria.

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Dispose of electronic waste for free April 27

Rim County residents can get rid of their potentially hazardous electronic waste for free on Saturday, April 27, thanks to a recycling effort by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Payson and other partners.

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Firefighters’ drill deadly serious

The memorial for six firefighters who lost their lives fighting the Dude Fire near Bonita Creek 23 years ago stands as a tragic reminder as Rim Country slides toward yet another unpredictable wildfire season.

Help honor the best businesses in Arizona

Want to help honor your favorite Arizona company?

A look at first-quarter real estate statistics

A quick look at first quarter real estate statistics for Rim Country and it is evident sales were flatter than a pancake.

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Business expands during economic downturn

While many businesses have unraveled in recent years, one shop has imprinted a successful model of growth.

Clubs and Organizations

The Rim Country Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) meets at 8 a.m., Saturday, April 20 at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260, Payson.

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Casino Day to raise money for McNeeley Foundation

Stop by Sidewinders Saloon at the corner of Highway 87 and Hardscrabble Mesa Road from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 21 for the Second Annual Casino Day for the Justice McNeeley Foundation.

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Sights and scents of spring in the Village

The air smells so sweet with the blossoms just starting to come into full bloom on the apple trees.

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Remembering Annette Funicello

Who’s the leader of the club That’s made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E Hey there, hi there, ho there, You’re as welcome as can be. M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

What do we mean when we wish things were normal?

I’m sitting here “thinking on paper” — letting words flow from my head, through the keyboard, to the screen. I have a question. One I’ll bet you ask yourself once in a while.

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O W ranch full of fond memories

Christopher Creek is just 12-1/2 miles west of the O W ranch, as the crow flies if you could get a crow to fly that way.

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CKFD helps residents with cleanup

Hello again, fellow Creekers. Here are a couple of things I should have had in last week’s column:

Strong winds slow times at Fountain Hills meet

Despite scheduling issues and a strong headwind, a number of Payson’s track and field athletes gave sound performances Saturday in Fountain Hills.

JV golfers remain undefeated going into season’s last contest

Payson High School’s junior varsity golf team continued its stellar season Monday, beating the Cottonwood Cowboys.

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Horns rack up 29 runs to Eagles’ 4

Tuesday doubleheader brings out stellar effort by Payson

Hosting the Salt River Eagles, the Payson Longhorns soared — besting their opponents by 25 points over the course of the doubleheader.

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Lady Horns play three this week; three next; then it’s onto playoffs

The Payson High School varsity softball team blew through three games in two days winning all three.

Thursday, April 18

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Rappaport announces resignation

Star Valley Mayor Bill Rappaport on Thursday resigned his position on the council, stung by the criticism of fellow council members concerning his support for background checks for people who buy guns at gun shows.

Special meeting on Frontier at noon Friday

Payson Unified School District Superintendent Ron Hitchcock said he expects some sort of formal action on the sale of the Frontier Elementary School on Friday, April 19 at a special meeting at noon in the district office.

Tuesday, April 16

Pipe bomb found in woods near Forest Lakes

Officials are investigating a pipe bomb found Tuesday in the woods near Forest Lakes. U.S. Forest Service employees discovered the device while surveying for an upcoming project on Old Rim Road (Forest Road 237), north of Highway 260.

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Star Valley cross fire

Councilor blasts mayor’s letter on gun control laws

An “ugly little mess” has bitterly divided the Star Valley council, after Mayor Bill Rappaport wrote a letter supporting gun control on town stationery.

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Lady Horns on a roll...

PHS girls overwhelm Miami and Fountain Hills in storybook season that stokes hopes for state championship

Last Thursday and Friday, the Payson High School girls softball team trounced both Miami and Fountain Hills, the latest in a string of wins that has already earned perhaps the best softball team in Rim Country history a berth in the state playoffs.

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Fashion compassion

Time Out shelter’s high-class fund-raiser highlights high-power women

The Time Out Shelter raised nearly $5,000 during its annual “Steppin’ Out” fashion show fund-raiser Saturday.

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Test switcheroo befuddles board

Test. Test. Test. The state has decreed that school funding, teacher salary, layoffs — everything depends on standardized test scores.

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Payson Police TASER disturbed man

It’s not every Monday morning that the police chief is seen walking through a quiet Payson neighborhood armed with a shotgun.

Payson Ranger district camps open

Bear-aware and safe campfire practices urged as camping season launched

After a string of bear attacks last year, all six campgrounds in the Payson Ranger District are now equipped with bear-proof Dumpsters and food storage boxes in about half of the 63 campsites at Ponderosa Campground.

District acted to protect public

Bacteria in the water. That’s scary.

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Soak it, drip it, sprinkle it: Too many gardening choices

Payson Community Garden asks one thing of me — create my own water system. They provide the water; I just have to figure out how to deliver it to my plants. I’m stumped, stuck and stressed. Why? Too many choices.

Golfers trade wins with Fountain Hills duffers

The Longhorns continued their bitter battle against the Fountain Hills Falcons golf team this weekend in Fort McDowell.

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Horns head into busy week with 8-1 record

Three games on tap in three days

Longhorns are going into the second half of the season with an 8-1 win over Miami under their belts and a seriously busy schedule this week.

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Ted Pettet receives Legacy Award 2013

Ted Pettet was a young Arizona State College graduate (now Northern Arizona University) when he came to Payson as a business teacher/coach 54 years ago and he is still making a difference in young people’s lives in this community.

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Catching tourney triumph at Roosevelt

Roosevelt Lake drew some competitive fishing folks earlier this month. A WON BASS-AZ event was held April 6 and included contests among youngsters, high school students and adults.

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Community Almanac

The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

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Gosar pitches Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act

Bill would curb wildfires by boosting ranching, logging on federal land

WASHINGTON – Proponents of a bill to let ranchers and loggers operate more freely on federal land said Thursday that changes are needed to give the U.S. Forest Service help clearing forests before wildfires can break out.

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Student dress code: How short’s short?

Who should wield the ruler when it comes time to measure hemlines on school kids?

Repair or buy ‘new’

Constant water leaks occur with our current PSWID water system and the community is faced with continual repair costs.

Don’t be a sheep

It is the law: If you are not a citizen of the United States, you cannot get health insurance paid by the U.S. government; draw unemployment; get food stamps; welfare; or Social Security.

Explaining the world vs. changing the world

The Payson Roundup usually favors local interest opinions and that makes sense to me.

Just an ol’ saying

There is an old saying: “When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have them.” It’s ever so true.

Moral issues

In a recent letter to the editor, published April 2, a writer expressed his disdain for “The morality gang.”

Letter writer’s claim about sanitary district incorrect

I’m uncertain as to where a recent letter writer got his information regarding the sanitary district.

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JRE student health fair features healthy fun

Good habits taught with exercise, Pumpkin Guts and some real yo-yos

Three hours into the Student Health Fair, the Julia Randall Elementary School gym still rocked with activities.

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Achievement director vows to boost scores

Brenda Case plans to use her 27 years in the Arizona education system to turn around the Payson Unified School District.

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Bill targets OHV law enforcement in national forests

Under a state law that took effect in 2009, an Arizona Game and Fish Department officer enforcing hunting laws on federal land is supposed to stop someone from riding an off-highway vehicle in an area closed to OHV use.

Metal storage unit rules loosened

Residents could soon lawfully keep metal storage containers in their yards after the Payson Town Council took the first step to loosen regulations at a recent meeting.

With economy improving, groups out to sell Arizona as a tourist destination

When former Scottsdale resident Mark Macias used the New York City subway’s 42nd Street Shuttle this past winter, he was transported not only between Grand Central Station and Times Square but back to his hometown.

Top tax changes for 2013: What you need to know

As 2013 rang in, so did a significant number of changes to the tax laws. To help you prepare for next tax season, take note of these important changes for tax year 2013.

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Bubbles on Bonita now open

Payson’s original car wash is once again open, this time with a new owner and a few marked improvements.

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Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Elks will have a Bunco day Saturday, April 20 at the lodge. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and play starts at 11 a.m. The cost is $15 per person. All are welcome.

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Native American flute program enlightening

It has been said that to stay young at heart one should keep open to new thoughts and experiences and never quit learning.

Now that’s progress

I was feeling kind of edgy – and frustrated.

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Progress heartening but challenges remain

Payson continues to make progress on a number of fronts even as the state claws its way out of this interminable recession.

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Business building

Markets mending, pipeline underway

After a long struggle to recover from the real estate crash, Rim Country has turned a corner with new stores, stabilization of the real estate market, rising tax revenues – and progress in establishing a four-year university campus with its spinoff businesses.

Rim Country ventures opening after long retail drought

The businesses scene in Payson is starting to fill out after the recession brought the closing of several shops.

Businesses honored for surviving, serving community

Small business owners, Home Depot, Messinger Funeral Home, recognized

The 2012 Rim Country Business Awards started with a somber reminder — a two-minute video slide show of people waiting in line for food, out of work and boarded up businesses.

Housing market shows first signs of recovery

Sales active, above national average as prices rise -- especially for homes priced below $200,000

After being thrown from the bucking bronco of a recession for several years, the Rim Country real estate market finally found traction in 2012.

Pine, Strawberry celebrate a year of - well - fun stuff to do

Enthusiastic townspeople, including the Pine/Strawberry Historical Society, Pine Library, LDS church and a bevy of pioneers, on July 9 hosted a hometown centennial celebration in honor of Arizona’s 100th birthday that turned into the highlight of the year in the two tiny mountain hamlets.

SV town manager touts year of progress

Now in its seventh year of incorporation, Star Valley looks at the progress accomplished in the past year with great pride.

Star Valley invests in infrastructure

The Town of Star Valley, which has been in the forefront of fiscal responsibility, has met and exceeded the goals set by the council and staff.

Activities Galore

1.More than 500,000 People visited the Town of Payson’s Tourism website in 2012.

Monday, April 15

Special school board meeting on FES tonight

The Payson Unified School District school board could settle the fate of the Frontier Elementary school site tonight at a special meeting. The board will meet at 5 p.m. in the district office, 902 W. Main Street, and discuss offers made on the building in executive session. The public meeting will resume at about 5:30 p.m. and the board could announce what will become of the space, which has sat empty since the district closed it two years ago.

Saturday, April 13

Big News for Payson

The year brought a slew of headlines as Payson leaders worked doggedly to conclude a deal to build a campus here, survive state budget cuts and bolster local businesses. Despite all the challenges, th

Business owners gripe about limits on temporary signs and banners, prompting the Town Council to again revise its long-standing effort to loosen up the town’s sign ordinance.

No bulldozers -- but Foundation moves toward campus plan

Rim Country continues to make progress toward the goal of bringing a university campus to Payson, even though you don’t see a sign in the ground or a bulldozer on the property yet.

University plans progress -- but Forest Service land sale moves slowly

This year backers will close the deal on a university campus to transform economy

The plan to build a university campus in Payson has more twists and turns than the most convoluted of mystery novels.

Gila Community College moving towards independence

Gila Community College (GCC) plays a unique role in Gila County’s educational system.

At long last, construction starts on Blue Ridge pipeline

Project makes Payson one of the only towns in Arizona with enough water for growth

The past year brought huge gains in making Payson one of the only communities in Arizona with plenty of water to meet all its future needs.

Pine/Strawberry Water District still suffering growing pains

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District has experienced its share of growing pains since it acquired the aging, poorly maintained Pine and Strawberry Water companies in 2009 from Brook Utilities.

Supervisor recounts both progress, challenges for county

Can you believe it’s Progress Report time again? Where does the time go, and are we having fun – and if not, why not?

Election brings sweeping changes in Gila County leadership

The 2012 primary and general elections brought several new faces to the leadership of Gila County.

Friday, April 12

Rim Country medical care

Payson Regional Medical Center was recognized as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country earlier this year. PRMC is a 44-bed, acute care hospital committed to providing quality, patient-centered care.

New leaders must meet heavy mandates with fewer resources

School districts around Rim Country had upheavals in leadership, changing the landscape of the schools — with an mudslide of state and federal mandates and cutbacks moving down the steep slopes of educational reform threatening to engulf them.

State finally catching up to Payson

The state of Arizona made progress -- and finally, they caught up with Payson. I say that in the context of setting goals for education.

Payson Elementary School adapts and thrives as K-2 campus

In our second year as a K-2 school we have accomplished many things. Part of those accomplishments was school wide changes to make students feel comfortable and create a new culture at Payson Elementary School.

High school earns an “A” rating in 2012, despite challenges

As a first-year principal of Payson High School, nothing makes “my heart swell” more than the students filling our classrooms, the teachers pushing them to learn, and the support staff holding us together.

Pine superintendent leaves on high note

Pine Strawberry School (PSS) continues to enjoy a successful school year with students performing well academically and the school receiving a grade of “B” from the Arizona Dept of Education.

President feels proud and grateful

As I reflect on this last year as a school board member, I have a lot to be thankful for and proud of, and some things to be sad about.

Lady Longhorns softball team adds a page to history books

In 2012, the Lady Longhorns added yet another defining moment in Longhorn sports with the “Miracle at Mofford” – a come from behind win in the state tournament.

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Top athletes set records, thrill crowds

A solid core of top-notch student-athletes emerged during the 2012-2013 season to lead Payson High School teams in their quest for wins, playoff berths and individual honors.

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Headlines reveal tragedy, disaster ...and strange behavior

Rim Country suffered its fair share of death, disaster and fear last year, with forest fires, murders, strange crimes and tragic accidents. Here is a partial list of some of the top stories from the year:

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Wildfire

Still the greatest danger facing region

Only one thing threatens the survival of Rim Count: Wildfire.

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Musical Theater Club scores a win with their production of 'Beauty and the Beast'

The Payson High School Musical Theater Club will stage Beauty and the Beast on April 11 and 12.

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Training for tragedy

Screams and rapid gunfire cut through the smoke hanging heavy in the hallways as the strobe lights cast eerie shadows across the curved walls of Frontier Elementary School, during a simulated attack to train police officers on Thursday.

Already hired

Tonto Basin superintendent finds job with county schools

Outgoing Tonto Basin Superintendent Mary Lou Weatherly has already found a new home with Gila County Superintendent Linda O’Dell’s office.

Pine-Strawberry well contaminated

Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District officials have shut down Strawberry Hollow Well 3 after routine tests proved positive for E. coli and total coliform bacteria.

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What are they listening to?

School board ponders headphone policy

So a kid’s sitting quietly in class, working on a project, filling out worksheets, maybe reading “War and Peace.” No problem.

377 seniors lose Medigap coverage

Jumping through all the hoops and meeting all the assorted deadlines to get Medicare after paying for it through a lifetime of work is bad enough.

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Not guilty

As deputies conflict, Jaramillo acquitted on most serious charges

A jury Wednesday acquitted an Eagar man of attempting to murder three Gila County Sheriff’s Office deputies last year during a high-speed chase from Globe to Roosevelt Lake.

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Community Almanac

The Payson High School Musical Theatre Club presents Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast” at 4 p.m., Friday, April 12 and at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 13 in the high school auditorium. This musical is fun for the entire family.

No nepotism

I’d like to address the recent letter regarding three members of the same family, teaching especially education at the middle school.

Background checks won’t stop massacres

After 20-plus years of complacency with their sick invitation to gun violence, “Gun Free Zone” signs at schools, theaters and malls, and finally seeing the futility of such, the low information person’s mindset approaches hysteria.

Banning magazines is idiocy

A recent letters contributor complains that more than 150 bullets were shot in less than five minutes at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the shooter only had to stop and reload five times in that period (“Gun violence needs to be addressed now” Roundup, March 29).

Signs of change: It’s about time

Signs of the times. Time for some signs. Must be a timely sign.

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Fashion show, lunch to benefit Time Out

Time Out is pulling out all the stops and the red carpet for its annual spring fund-raiser and fashion show this Saturday at Chaparral Pines.

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Common Core opposition claims ‘it’s a United Nations plot’

The Common Core academic standards at the heart of efforts to reform K-12 education is actually “part of a United Nations plan to have complete control of our educational system,” Jennifer Reynolds told a gathering of the Payson Tea Party last week.

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Dump drugs April 27

Last September, 244 tons of unwanted prescription drugs were taken off the streets.

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Run for the geeks slated for May 4 at Green Valley Park

Geeks, brains, nerds — whatever label given them, they are loveable and worthy of support.

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Unfunded mandates challenge Payson schools

School board struggles to boost student achievement despite dwindling resources

Don’t freeze in the headlights of the oncoming budget truck, Payson Unified School District Superintendent Ron Hitchcock advised the school board this week.

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Hydroponics: Creating an intimate relationship with your plants

More than 28 people came to the Community Garden class to learn about getting intimate with their plants.

Sunset Jazz and Wine Auction to help Humane Society

The Humane Society of Central Arizona is selling tickets for its annual, fund-raising Sunset Jazz and Wine Auction.

JRE students learn some valuable shopping tips at Bashas’

More than 60 third- and fourth-grade students from Julia Randall Elementary (JRE) went to Bashas’ supermarket on March 4 to learn about how shoppers get what they pay for to participate in Weights and Measures Week.

Film festival focuses on women’s rights

The Payson chapter of Amnesty International on Saturday, April 27 will sponsor a film festival on women’s rights to highlight discrimination, poverty and violence involving women.

Women should be treated as adults

It is high time that women in our society be treated like adults, fully actualized human beings who are valuable in their own right.

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Fool’s Day Fun

... but dangers of underage drinking no joke

The Payson Community Prevention Council’s Eighth Annual Fool’s Day Fun April 6 at Julia Randall Elementary School was a big success, according to organizer Debra Shewey.

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Low-cost health care for your pet

The Humane Society of Central Arizona and PAWS in the Park have teamed up to bring the M.A.S.H. mobile vet to Payson on Saturday, April 13.

April 20 too popular for track events

Payson High School Athletic Director Don Heizer and track coach Jonathan Ball know now what poet Robert Burns was thinking when he penned in 1786 his apology to a mouse writing, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men (often go awry)”.

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PHS top five in power points

The Arizona Interscholastic Association has released its most recent power point rankings and both the Payson High baseball and softball teams are top-5 rated in Division III.

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Bobier sets 400 mark at Red Rock Invitational April 6

PHS senior Payson Bobier has nailed down an automatic qualifying berth into the state tournament by running a personal best 50.72 in the 400 meters.

Chilson scorches PR in Sedona

Morgan Chilson blistered her personal best 100-meter time of 12.77 running an exceptionally fast 12.57 wind-legal elapsed time on April 6 at the Red Rock Invitational in Sedona.

Boating safety talk

The highly popular Shoot for the Heart seminars continue a 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 16 at Mountain Bible Church with Pine resident Barry Jones conducting a round table on water and boating safety.

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Justice McNeeley Foundation hosts ‘Casino Night’ benefit on Sunday, April 21

Premier event success prompts repeat to raise more to help kids

Although the Justice McNeeley Foundation’s main fund-raiser is the annual quad and motorcycle poker run, the group now hosts a second fund-raiser to help meet the increased demands of helping children in need.

Habitat for Humanity golf event discount to early bird entrants

Payson Area Habitat for Humanity (PAHH) is conducting its 4th Annual Charity Golf Event at Chaparral Pines Golf Club in Payson Sunday, June 2, 2013.

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Payson Walkers taking in great April mornings

The Payson Walkers meet at 9 a.m. daily.

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Some bits of Kohl’s Ranch history

Christopher Creek and Kohl’s Ranch share a sentinel.

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Students win state awards in science

The superstars of P/S School are bringing accolades to our small town again.

A good day on the road made me think

I had an odd drive from Pine to Payson the day I wrote this. Odd because it was so easy compared to some drives. There I was, all alone as I left Pine.

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Father-son tradition a fond memory

My father has long since passed on to a better place, but memories of him during my youth will always be with me.

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Hope this latest storm didn’t ruin gardens

Tonto Village was covered in white on Tuesday morning. What a shock that was. I am positive that the calendar says April, synonymous with spring, warm weather, flowers, etc.

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Chirstopher-Kohl’s Fire Department news

Hello again fellow Creekers. This week all of the news is related to fire and fire service. Let’s start with another installment of Better know your neighbor.

Wednesday, April 10

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Why a garden’s like an unruly reunion

Planning garden can overwhelm the faint of heart

I’ve decided planning a garden has all the elements of planning a family reunion: lots of special needs, the ever-present threat of fights and visits from weedy, unwanted neighbors.

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Wild Times

Wildflowers wave weary writer awake

I’ll admit it, I’m guilty as charged. Guilty of nearly missing jury duty because of some blooming poppies.

When the heart has become a weak pump

The eye doctor said it means my cholesterol is high. My family doctor said it is fine, and it happens with age. Have you heard of this? What causes it?

Good 2 Go

A brunch to benefit a young Payson man needing a kidney transplant is set from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, April 14 at Gerardo’s Firewood Café.

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New York City — for shopping, sightseeing and theatre

If you have not traveled to New York City at least once in your life, it’s time to do so. No other city offers the excitement, shopping opportunities, sightseeing and live theatre as does New York City.

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Rim Country Places

Chapter 17: Grand Prize Mine

Webber Creek is best known today for the Geronimo Boy Scout Camp that occupies its headwaters under the Rim, and for the Geronimo Estates, a residential subdivision just downstream from the Boy Scout Camp.

Tuesday, April 9

Foreign students matched

In an effort to improve the system of matching foreign exchange students with Payson host families, Janet Nossek has been appointed an international exchange coordinator for Cambridge Massachusetts-based EF Foundation for Foreign Study — the leader in high school exchange.

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Child advocate program coping with scourge of abuse

CASA of Arizona seeks to raise awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and abused children need help.

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Schools facing cutback

So, Gila County finally feels some of the effects of sequestration — and what gets hit? The schools.

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Deputies detail shoot-out

Trial starts for murder suspect accused in attempt to kill 3 officers

The trial for a murder suspect accused of also trying to kill three sheriff’s deputies during a high-speed chase near Roosevelt Lake last year continues this week.

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Athletic director shifting

The Payson School Board on Tuesday decided not to renew Payson High School Athletic Director Don Heizer’s administrative contract, but Heizer will actually continue to direct the athletic program under the terms of a teaching contract instead.

Two tragic traffic deaths

Payson woman allegedly caused Valley crashes

Valley officials are investigating what led a Payson woman to reportedly drive her vehicle into a bicyclist and then a truck, killing two people last week in northeast Mesa.

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Family Fishing Fun

Green Valley Lakes lure happy anglers

More than 250 kids — from 2 to 102 — turned out for the Seventh Annual Fishing Festival at Green Valley Park Saturday.

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Board grapples with priorities

Proposed budget system uses funds in areas to boost student achievement

An intent Payson School Board struggled most of Saturday to understand the far-reaching implications of Superintendent Ron Hitchcock’s priority-based approach to the district’s budget.

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Some sign restrictions loosened

Design Review Board to decide color issue

The Payson Town Council has seen the sign(s) and it has opened up their eyes.

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Laughs, learning, and doing the earth good

Recycling program teaches sustainable and social skills to special education students

Brandon Nicholson could not hold back the chortles. He kept giggling then laughing out loud, pointing and trying to express his excitement, but he has challenges most kids won’t ever face

A smart vision for our state

The hope and vision that we should have for our beloved Arizona would accentuate the positivity of our people, our splendid scenery and our wonderful weather.

Who has ever shot anyone in self-defense?

I’ve seen a lot of comments lately about all of us needing assault weapons to protect our homes.

Governor’s plan makes sense

Advocates for an urgently needed expansion of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System continue to offer sensible improvements — and critics continue to balk.

Survey seems faulty

It was with dismay that I read in a recent Arizona Republic that Gila County ranked 15th (bottom of the list) in a healthy county listing according to a survey between the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Great job

My husband and I read Pete Aleshire’s recent Petrified Forest article — as I’ve said before, he really shines when he talks about his wandering adventures.

About the ‘ugly threats’ in Payson

Your editorial denouncing bigotry was exactly right and it should not be tolerated anywhere.

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Community Almanac

Get an oil change and help Time Out Inc. in its efforts to help victims of domestic violence.

Clubs and Organizations

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.

Time for tough Zane Grey 50

The given in the equation that is the Zane Grey 50-mile endurance run is that it’s not for couch potatoes or those who favor a sedentary lifestyle. It is, however, for those who enjoy robust challenges that test both will and dedication.

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Baseball, softball teams ready for stretch run

The Payson High baseball and softball teams are continuing their march through the 2013 campaign with sights set on piling up wins and earning enough power points to be receive berths into the postseason.

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Top-10 ranked speedsters pace PHS

A bevy of talented athletes clutching Division III top-10 rankings are primed to fuel the Payson High express as it steams toward the state track and field championships May 10 and 11 at Mesa Community College.

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Pine Cone says, ‘Go take a hike’

If a Pine Cone – a resident of the tiny mountain hamlet located 15 miles north of Payson – tells you to “Go take a hike” don’t take it personally.

Paisely print pants win PMGA nod

Payson Men’s Golf Association member Stan Eggen is justifiably proud of his closest to the pin win during a “Three Clubs Only” low net formatted tournament played April 3 at Payson Golf Course.

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The crappie bite is starting on Roosevelt Lake

It is finally starting to happen at Roosevelt Lake – the springtime crappie bite is blooming.

Monday, April 8

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Wind advisory in effect until 8 p.m.

A wind advisory remains in effect until 8 p.m. tonight in Payson and much of northern Arizona. High winds and blowing dust on Interstate 40 forced officials to close the highway earlier today near Winslow. There is no estimate on when the highway will reopen.

Friday, April 5

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Intruders, armed teachers both worry students

Schools should have a different way to warn people when they have a lockdown because of a danger to students

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Police chief filling officer vacancies

Despite a shortage of police officers on the streets, the crime rate in Payson held steady last year, increasing only slightly.

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Busting out all over...

Blooms enliven spring drive

I’ll admit it, I’m guilty as charged. Guilty of nearly missing jury duty because of some blooming poppies.

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District hires achievement director

Taking its No. 1 goal to heart, the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) quickly hired Brenda Case as the new director of student achievement.

Star Valley ponders street upkeep plan

Star Valley’s $27,000 water master plan is in the works, and now a streets master plan has been launched.

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Should we arm teachers?

Payson schools upgrade security, as bill to arm some teachers advances

The Arizona Legislature seems poised to ensure school safety by arming teachers, despite the qualms of many school administrators like Payson Unified School District Superintendent Ron Hitchcock.

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Police collect prescription drugs

Hoping to combat a lethal scourge, the Payson Police Department has set up a box in the lobby of its headquarters for people to drop unused or unwanted prescription drugs.

Economic indicators for the Town of Payson

Current economic indicators for the Town of Payson can be reviewed as follows:

Crime’s on the run, more cops on the way

No one’s got much money. Folks are leaving town. Tax revenues are falling. Where’s the silver lining? How about this: Overall, crimes are down.

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County puts spotlight on children and reading

The Gila County Supervisors put the spotlight on children this week by proclaiming April 14-20 the Week of the Young Child and approving two grants for the Gila County Library District.

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Keeping hands healthy

Pain, stiffness, cramping of ‘trigger finger’ may stem from tendon swelling, strain

Our hands get lots of action and sometimes all that movement can result in problems like trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Pine water district scrounges for ways to pay for repairs to neglected system

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District faces an uphill battle in its effort to repair an aging water system that fell into disrepair after 50 years of neglect before the district bought the system from Brooke Utilities.

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Kiwanis bash to help Rim youth

Dude up and head out to the 18th Annual Kiwanis Auction for Youth.

The missing perspective

Reading the debate on the issue of creationism vs. evolution, I never cease to be amazed by those who reject evolution, who seem to have a very limited view of the capabilities of our Creator.

Thanks for kindness

The family of Glen Jaco wishes to acknowledge with deep appreciation the many expressions of love, concern and kindness shown to them during their time of bereavement.

Evidence for evolution is lacking

The editor’s note on the letter to the editor titled Creationism and evolution once again raised the question of what is considered adaptation and what is evolution in the microbe to man sense.

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Musical Theater Club puts polish on performance of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

The Payson High School Musical Theater Club will stage Beauty and the Beast on April 11 and 12.

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Sunday concert hosted by Unity of Payson

Unity of Payson on Sunday, April 7 will celebrate spring with a concert by Ron and Jen Paul.

Outdoor recreation drives state economy

Outdoor Industry Association releases economic data for all 50 states

Outdoor recreation in Arizona generates $10.6 billion annually, which generates about 104,000 Arizona jobs.

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Hiking the Vineyard trail

After carpooling from Payson, we park our vehicles in a lot near the entrance to the Roosevelt Bridge.

SV eyes competing uses for federal grant

Star Valley will likely use its next installment of federal Community Development Block Grant money to help subsidize Meals on Wheels and taxi programs for seniors.

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Payson High School DECA shines at state conference

The Payson High School DECA Chapter won 37 individual awards at the March 3-5 Arizona DECA State Career Development Conference at the Phoenix Civic Center.

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Community Almanac

John Carpino and Friends perform from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, April 5 at Mountain Top Brewery, 401 N. Tyler Parkway, Payson.

Clubs and Organizations

All members and guests are invited to the Payson Area Computer Association’s next general meeting at 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 5 in the meeting room of the Payson Public Library.

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Microchip increases odds of reunion with lost pet

Has your dog ever gone missing? Your indoor cat disappear for a few days?

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Golf fray turns into dog fight

A Payson Men’s Golf Association ABCD “Best 3-out-of-4” formatted tournament turned into a junkyard dog fight when the top three finishing teams were separated by only one stroke and a chip off was needed to decide the second and third place finishers.

Little League opens Saturday

To say Payson Little League president Keely Parker is excited about tomorrow’s (April 6) opening day festivities would be putting it mildly.

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Payson Longhorns fend off Falcons

“Take that Falcons,” is what Payson High School golf team members could have been boasting after avenging their only defeat of the year by whipping Fountain Hills 149-168 in a three-way match at Chaparral Pines.

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Bass catch record falls

The long-standing Western Outdoor News (WON) Arizona Team Tournament bass record catch of 16.15 pounds has been broken.

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Longhorn diamond squads stampede over Mustangs

The homestanding Mogollon Mustang baseball and softball teams now know the wrath of the Longhorns, losing two games by a combined score of 36-6.

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Loving all these beautiful spring blooms

Spring is a wonderful time of year with a feeling of renewal as all the flowers and trees come to life.

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Make some memories at Fishing Fest

Some of my fondest memories of my pre-teen, middle school years are those lazy summer afternoons when my buddies and I would grab our fishing poles, hop on our bicycles and head on down to the Fox River.

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A great time to get out and explore

Christopher Creek campground opened last Friday and the season has begun.

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Meet your neighbor: Cris Lecher

Hello again, fellow Creekers. Well it is time for another installment of “Better know your neighbor.”

Some of the cleverest comebacks ever

Writing about Winston Churchill last week reminded me of some things I’ve heard or read over the years.

Wednesday, April 3

Knock it off

I have received word that if even one more item of gun control legislation of any kind comes out of Congress, every gun owner, every gun dealer, every gun distributor, and every gun manufacturer in America is going to hold a “Burn Barrel Day” in the city square.

Council hopes to attract pilotless drones

What a boost to the economy of Payson if we were involved in any way with pilotless drones.

Learning achievement should be priority

Thank you Mrs. Ford! I know you could only scratch the surface of students, but you brought attention and possible solution to a problem.

The morality gang — majoring in minors

Why are we legislating and regulating private morality, while at the same time ignoring the much larger crisis of public morality in America?

Science not questioned or called evil

While I personally think the intelligent design theory has some flaws, it does account for the obvious intelligence in the design of living things.

Information can transform a life

Dear reformers: Here’s a thought. Don’t reject an idea just because it’s cheap and easy.

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At The Movies-Olympus has fallen

A superior action film

The action heroes of yesteryear have had their innings already in 2013, now a younger hero has arrived.

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Catch Fishing Fever

Hook, line and sinker — the annual Fishing Fest is fun

Calling all kids (from 2 to 102) – it’s time for the 7th Annual Fishing Festival at Green Valley Park.

The Houstons

Houston Mesa Road. Houston Loop Trail. Houston Pocket. Houston Brothers Trail.

Kingdom of God

“You are not far from the kingdom of God,"Jesus replied to the man that answered Him intelligently.

Exploring our National Parks

Are you getting an itch to get in your automobile to take a trip? About this time of year we find ourselves a little tired of the cold weather and begin thinking about a trip this spring. Why not consider exploring some of our great national parks?

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Easy brunch makes spring mornings special

As we celebrate the arrival of spring, Rim Country mornings can still be a little chilly. Why not make the most of the earlier sunrises by preparing a nice brunch to enjoy before getting out and about over the weekend.

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Good 2 Go

Cinnamon Twist anchors the new Journigan House Jam Session at 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

The debate over circumcision

What does the gallbladder do? I’m going to have mine out. How does losing it affect life?

Tuesday, April 2

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Eggcitement all around

Rim communities feature ever-popular Easter egg hunts

The Rim Country resounded with the giggles of gaggles of children in search of eggs at the hunts in Payson, Pine-Strawberry and Tonto Basin.

Pine ending pickup

With a federal grant ending Sunday, Pine-Strawberry officials want residents to stop putting brush piles out at the street for pickup.

Busy, tragic weekend

A slew of calls kept emergency responders busy this weekend in both Pine and Star Valley.

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AZ Gives Day helps Humane Society

The first Arizona Gives Day raised $928,541 for non-profits and other organizations around the state March 20. Arizona Gives Day was a 24-hour online effort to solicit donations for charity.

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Teachers face changes

Payson schools plan shift to evaluation system that relies on student test scores, despite mixed results elsewhere

This month, Payson Unified School District (PUSD) will reveal its new and improved teacher evaluation system.

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Congressman wants to ‘streamline’ projects

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Prescott) has once again introduced a bill designed to “streamline” environmental and administrative reviews when it comes to reviewing grazing leases and thinning projects to reduce wildfire risk.

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Community Almanac

The Gila County Assessor’s office mailed out the “2014 Notice of Values” on Feb. 28, 2013. Many of these have been returned to the assessor’s office due to lack of correct mailing address.

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The princess screams, the students learn

Payson schools experiment with iPads in elementary school classrooms to boost reading skills and students’ grasp of technology

The cartoon princess pranced across the iPad screen, her castle in the background.

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How do you spell clever kid? C O L I N

Rim Country Middle School (RCMS) eighth grade student Colin Nossek loves to read —which combined with his Japanese language class helped him to place sixth at the statewide spelling bee on Saturday, March 23.

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Catch fishing fever -- hook, line and sinker

Calling all kids (from 2 to 102): Time for the 7th Annual Fishing Festival at Green Valley Park on Saturday, April 6.

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PHS student to perform April 7

He sings with a pure tenor voice. He loves to perform. He hopes to improve his singing at music camp this summer. But he needs help.

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K-9 Training: When the lost are found

Handlers must find balance between guiding and following

K-9 handler Susan Starr had a split-second decision to make. Her dog, Ringo, had veered suddenly from the scent of the person he sought, hiding down the hill in a thicket during this training exercise in Rumsey Park on Tuesday.

Universal Health plans terminated from Medicare, Medicaid offerings

Medicare ensures no interruption in services as plans terminate

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will ensure continuous medical and prescription drug coverage for beneficiaries enrolled in Universal Health Care Medicare health plans that terminated April 1.

New yoga classes at Senior Center

April is such a cheerful month; filled with bright sunshine, warm breezes, birdsong and best of all in Rim Country, a multitude of blossoming trees.

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The Jaws of Extinction

Petrified Forest lays reveals violent past to a warm-blooded pair of survivors

The wind blew. The planet spun. The light faded And all the while I stood pondering fate on a ridge above the crystallized corpse of a lost world on a ridge in the Petrified National Forest.

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Why a garden’s like an unruly reunion

Planning garden can overwhelm the faint of heart

I’ve decided planning a garden has all the elements of planning a family reunion: lots of special needs, the ever-present threat of fights and visits from weedy, unwanted neighbors.

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Forest Service cuts cost of permits for fuel-wood

The Forest Service is offering free permits to collect up to four cords of wood in the Payson and Pleasant Valley ranger districts.

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Judge teachers on teaching

A teacher’s quality should not be judged on their student’s test scores so much as to how they are teaching.

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What students say about grading their teachers

Payson School District is thinking about evaluating teachers based on children’s test scores.

North-South gridiron battle might be back in Flagstaff

Although no high country football fan wants to see the Cardinals discontinue their pre-season training camp on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and move to Glendale, there could be something golden coming out of the Redbirds and Flagstaff passing on one another.

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PHS flash sets 200 meter mark

Almost every time Payson High School senior sprinter Morgan Chilson steps on a prep track, a record is set and gold medals are won.

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Coach molds vaulters into state’s finest

Bo Althoff knows vaulting.

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Lady Longhorns win two; travel to Mogollon April 2

A 10-1 win over Miami and a 1-0 extra inning victory vs. Camp Verde improves the Lady Longhorns power points record to 5-0 and keeps PHS in the chase for a Division III state tournament top seed.

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Horns rally back from 10-1 in Camp Verde to win

After watching his Longhorn baseball team rally back from a 10-1 deficit to edge Camp Verde 11-10, first year coach Brian Young could only utter, “Crazy game.”