Stories for July 2013


Wednesday, July 31

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At The Movies-Red 2

Retired spy reunion is a fun fantasy with plenty of action

“RED 2,” the aptly named sequel to “RED,” is about retired spies from the CIA and Britain’s MI-6.

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Mountain biking Mecca

Missed turns don’t minimize mountain biking the Mogollon Rim

“I think I may have missed the turnoff,” local bike shop owner Mick Wolf said nonchalantly as we wearily pushed our bikes to the top of a rocky hill where other riders waited.

Haigler Creek

Haigler: It’s the name of a creek between Christopher Creek and Young. It is also the last name of an early Sun Devil1 football star. Is there any connection between the two? Here’s a look.

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Sweet tips for sweet treats

Since school started this week, you might need to get the oven going to make a few “Welcome home. How was your day?” (even if you’re not there to share because of work) snacks for your young academics.

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Food lovers’ travel adventures

Most of us fully enjoy the eating experience. Personally, I like Italian, Thai, Chinese and southern cooking.

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Getaway around Rim Country

Dr Jass & the Heartbeats will bring heart and soul original American music and New Orleans-style traditional jazz at its best to fans at 2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 11 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., Payson.

Good 2 Go

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library will present Carena Del Uno, a resident of Pine, speaking about and signing copies of her book, “Welcoming Oneness.”

Why does eating cause runny nose?

I started to take thyroid medicine for hypothyroidism in 1997 and still take it every morning. My blood tests indicate I am taking the correct dose. How long do I take this medicine? Is it safe?

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Reforms cut cost of indigent care

For most doctors, it’s easier to explain heart surgery than medical bills — especially with the major changes coming as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

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Fall aroma at PHS - football season nears

That’s the smell of pigskin permeating Rim Country air.

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Predicting the unpredictable

Nearly every emergency comes with challenges for rescue workers. Search and rescue deals with unpredictable terrain, police work with unpredictable people and firefighters face unpredictable flames.

Tragedy in the making

Incredible. Terrifying. Dismaying.

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Giggles, grins & Jell-O wars

Cancer proves no match for love, laughter

About 80 young people amped up in anticipation of the Great Jell-O War of 2013 make the air in the dining hall at the R-Bar-C Boy Scout Ranch almost as electric as the lightning-filled atmosphere outside.

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Phy ed grant expires, impact on kids remains

Donna Moore’s desk hunkers in a corner of her office, surrounded by huge exercise balls, stationary bikes, archery bows, basketballs, volleyballs, hoops and numerous other pieces of equipment designed to engage students in physical activity.

Tuesday, July 30

Payson extends Mesa del water deal

As water hauling charges have driven Mesa del Caballo resident’s water bills through the roof, the Payson Town Council affirmed Thursday it would continue to provide water to the outlying community.

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Campus plans pick up speed

Agreement on pottery shards another ‘milestone’

The Rim Country Educational Alliance has signed an agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to allow the purchase of 260 acres of Forest Service land to move forward while consultants excavate an archaeological site.

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Back in school!

School starts, with an exciting dose of chaos

A day of excitement, trauma, rising hopes, falling tears, irresistible giggles and mind-numbing horror spilled out of a conga line of rumbling school buses on Monday as some 2,400 students lined up for the first day of school in the Payson Unified School District.

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Community Almanac

The Shelby School is currently accepting registration for Grades K-8 for the 2013-2014 school year. The Shelby School is currently accepting registration for Grades K-8 for the 2013-2014 school year.

We really don’t need another Mexican food restaurant

Hey, big news! I noticed a few weeks ago that we’re getting a new restaurant in the old Macky’s location at the south end of town.

APS not straightforward about power outages

I guess that Steven Quinn, the north-east Arizona manager for APS, missed the power outage in our neighborhood last Saturday evening.

Stop the musical chairs at Payson schools

I live in Payson, am a retired seventh grade English/Spanish teacher who actually chose the seventh grade after teaching seventh through 12th grades.

Compassion, generosity appreciated

The citizens of Rim Country and many of those passing through once again demonstrated their compassion and generosity by supporting the Teacher Supply Drive event held in front of Walmart on July 16-18.

Law enforcement has a responsibility

Regarding the article about the young lady who has apparently caused two near head-on collisions between Pine and Payson recently.

Use research, not guesses, in education reform

Gotta compete. Gotta get those scores up. Gotta make them little malingerers put in more seat time. Drill them puppies in the basics. More lectures, more class time, more homework. Seems obvious.

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‘Brain breaks’ boost test scores

Researcher finds letting students move around boost test scores, reduces behavior problems

Can something as simple as exercise really improve discipline, test scores and health problems?

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Mentoring brings medical students to Rim

Future physicians from Arizona, California and Tennessee have spent the summer in Payson learning about rural medicine as part of several mentoring programs.

Linemen are unsung heroes of the gridiron

Only those who have played football on the offensive line or coached linemen can truly appreciate the self-effacing humor of the group.

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Golf Retreat teaches attitude adjustment

Sue Wieger, LPGA, hosted a 2-Day Golf Retreat at Payson Golf Club July 27 and 28. “Change your Brain, Change your Game” was the name of the program.

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ASA action heats up Rumsey

Full fledged Amateur Softball Association (ASA) tournament action returned to the Rim Country July 27-28 with 16 teams from around the state clashing in the “End of Summer Madness” girls fast pitch showdown.

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Clubs and Organizations

Members of the Rim Country 4 Wheelers invite anyone interested in 4-wheeling to join them at 8 a.m. each Wednesday in the parking lot at the east end of Bashas’ by Jiffy Lube.

Monday, July 29

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Tuition bedevils college

Desperate to reverse an enrollment free-fall, the Gila Community College (GCC) board slashed tuition rates and reinstalled free tuition for seniors at its July 18 meeting.

Sunday, July 28

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Community Almanac

It’s almost that time of the year again — school starts July 29. Children are going to need their vaccines up to date in order to register for school.

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Lightning kills couple near Grand Canyon

Lightning strikes this week killed a couple near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and also injured a boatman in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Saturday, July 27

Time Out update

I’d like to update our supporters on a few things happening at Time Out, Inc.

New fissures beneath GCC

Alas, the Gila Community College board continues to flail. Just when we thought the fault line between north and south had fallen dormant, the fissure has split open — cracking the foundations of Rim Country’s future.

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Time Out Shelter gets new van

Through a grant from the Fiesta Bowl and a private donation, Time Out received a new, 12-passenger van. Time Out was among 27 state charities that received a charitable grant from the Fiesta Bowl.

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Garden harvest helps food banks

Guests to the Payson Community Garden these days ooh and ahh over the lush foliage. Gardeners have received e-mails from Glen McCombs, owner of the Plant Fair Nursery in Star Valley, congratulating everyone on how well everything looks.

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Pipeline project enters historic phase

Payson next week will make history when it starts installing a segment of the CC Cragin/Blue Ridge pipeline along Houston Mesa Road. The pipeline will secure the region’s water future.

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Medical pot defendants seek dismissal

The controversial arrest of individuals involved in a medical marijuana compassion club in Payson may end up setting precedent statewide.

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Payson to host ASA fast pitch showdown

A field of 16 fast pitch girls softball teams from around the state descend on Payson tomorrow, Saturday, for the ASA Junior Olympic End of Summer Madness tournament.

Friday, July 26

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Circle K parking lot assault

A family gassing up their vehicle Monday night said they watched in horror as one man attacked another with a large hunting knife in the Circle K North parking lot.

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Join us at the movies for ‘Despicable Me 2’

Looking for a fun and entertaining activity to beat the heat? The Humane Society of Central Arizona is partnering with Sawmill Theatres for a special showing of “Despicable Me 2.”

RCCAC donation appreciated

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library wishes to thank the Rim Country Classic Auto Club for its recent donation. These types of donations are so important for this community library to continue to bring a variety of materials for our patrons’ enjoyment. It takes a community like ours to care enough to make a difference in so many lives. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) library, individual and community donations are always welcome.

Political leaders need to step up and help

Last year a contract was awarded to a company to thin the national forests in northern Arizona. Even though this company offered less services than the next bidder. This may be due to some good old boy strings being pulled to give the contract to a company that employs a retired Forest Service executive. This lucky company is “owned” by an 84-year-old man whose business history is shaky at best.

Don’t let pets roam

Will Rogers once said, “Some of my best friends are humans.”

Language of law makes enforcement difficult

The Nature’s Harvest case continues to straggle through the court system, squandering taxpayers’ money and revealing the befuddlement at the heart of the muddle of laws focused on controlling the use of marijuana.

Red Cross responds to five fire-related emergencies

The American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter has responded to five wildfires in the past month, providing assistance to hundreds of people across Arizona.

Music mirrors changes for every generation

If 40 years ago Bob Marley thought the world was spinning with change, one has to wonder — if he were alive today, what would his thoughts be of this generation’s exponential change?

Update address to keep receiving Imagination Library Books

If your child is registered with the county’s Imagination Library Book program, but is no longer receiving books, you need to be sure the postal service has your correct address.

Area libraries get more county money

The libraries in Payson and Pine will both get additional money from Gila County for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, and so will Tonto Basin’s little facility.

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Wet weather a blessing – mostly

The monsoon storms have arrived with a vengeance causing damage throughout the Rim Country. Tonto Village was fortunate in that no major damage has been reported. My back yard rain gauge measured 3.75 inches of rain since Tuesday morning.

Library stocks e-books, magazines

Payson Public Library’s new library director Emily Linkey loves to read. No surprise there: Whenever she goes on vacation, books take up about half the space in her luggage.

Some books really make you think, Part II

The books mentioned in the first part of this column were “Evader” by Jack Newton and “Home Run” by John Nichol and Tony Rennell. Both are tense, exciting books about allied airmen escaping via “lines” run by Dutch, Belgian and French civilians.

Tonto Basin meets new superintendent, principal

New Tonto Basin Superintendent Keith Greer hopes to start a tradition the week before school — a bar-b-que at the Browns’ ranch.

Rain welcome, but still watching for fires

Christopher Creek finally got some rain ... several good ol’ big ones. Leo will tell you that we’ve had a little over five inches thus far and that’s a good start. The apples are plumping up from the rain and the trees are really loaded.

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PRMC earns recognition for excellence

Payson Regional Medical Center recently received recognition as an outstanding rural hospital from two different sources.

Visit to museum is a trip in time

The P/S Historical and Archaeological Society thanks everyone who came out and supported the ice cream social fund-raiser last Saturday.

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Computer, business students win national recognition

A Payson team of business and computer students took fifth place nationally at a recent Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Third time’s not so charming for drug charges

After receiving probation before, a Payson man will finally serve time in prison for drug possession after taking a plea deal Monday.

Coaches, kids, boosters must brainstorm fund-raising opportunities

Spend time talking with Payson High School football coach Jake Swartwood and it becomes painfully obvious how much of the financial burden of fielding a team is now taken on by the players and coaches.

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Knoll Lake offers a cool, solitary retreat

The Mogollon Rim rises more than 1,000 feet above the general landscape with rock cliffs that form a plateau of thousands of acres of dense conifer forest.

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Payson’s McMullen tapped as baseball All-American

If Nick McMullen is not the most recognized player in Payson High School baseball history, he’s certainly close to it.

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Parking lot assault

A family gassing up their vehicle Monday night said they watched in horror as one man attacked another with a large hunting knife in the Circle K North parking lot.

Thursday, July 25

National Forest tourists spend $13 billion, support 190,000 jobs

Visits to the nation’s 193 million acres of National Forest land add $13 billion to the gross domestic product and sustain about 190,000 full and part-time jobs, according to a just-released survey by the Department of Agriculture.

Wednesday, July 24

New PHS vice principal escaped the cold

Payson High School’s new vice principal, Jeff Simon, has a passion for education, students and warm weather.

Learn about school fitness program Thursday

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Rim Country residents can learn how Payson Unified School District plans to help curb childhood obesity, improve test scores and get students moving.

Tuesday, July 23

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Forest contract bombshell

Amid fresh furor, the U.S. Forest Service is considering letting a troubled timber company transfer the biggest forest restoration project in history.

Clinic now helping train rural doctors

The Payson medical community seems to be getting a reputation for helping future health care professionals learn about serving in rural areas.

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Water woes spur clashes

Jump for joy Rim Country residents! We have water!

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Wet, wild weather

The monsoon finally reached Rim Country this weekend, with pounding afternoon thunderstorms, wild winds — even twisters.

Community Almanac

A list of activities from Tuesday, July 23 to Saturday, July 27.

Free disposal for household hazardous wastes

Residents of Payson and the Rim Country will have an opportunity to dispose of household hazardous wastes next weekend.

Rim Country representatives vote to delay health mandates

Both Republican Paul Gosar and Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick voted for a largely symbolic effort to delay federal penalties for people who don’t obtain health insurance under the terms of the federal Affordable Care Act.

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West could lose ponderosa pine forests

The ponderosa pine forests that remain Rim Country’s biggest draw could fade away as a result of rising temperatures, deepening drought and spreading wildfires, according to a recent study published in Forest Ecology and Management.

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A lifetime with little kids

Newly minted Payson Elementary School (PES) Principal Asa Hall’s mother ran a Montessori pre-kindergarten school as Hall grew up. When he hit high school, Hall helped entertain the little ones out on the playground.

Young soccer players invited to register

Town Recreation Coordinator Mary Wolf has been busy the past week drumming up support for the local youth soccer program.

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Swartwood primed for second year

When we last saw the Longhorn football team in action, Jake Swartwood had wrapped up his first season as head coach, leading the team to a 6-5 record and a berth in the Division IV state tournament.

Flag football a favorite for rec leader

Town of Payson Recreation Coordinator Mary Wolf leaves little doubt she is a huge fan of the local youth flag football program.

Elks earn $4,200 for Clothe-a-Child

The goal was to enjoy a round of golf, but their mission was to lend a helping hand to school children in need.

Teacher masters the game of golf

Louie Crabtree might be the best Payson Men’s Golf Association golfer no one has ever heard of.

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Rim blackberries are ripe

By about the third week in July, the first crop of blackberries are beginning to ripen on the vine and these bushes will continue to produce berries through the Labor Day weekend. So it is time to start exploring some of the old haunts to see which canyon has the ripest and best fruit. There are numerous locations under the Rim that have berry patches, but most of them are off the beaten path.

Praying for the Forest Service, common sense

What’s that line in the Garth Brooks’ song? Oh yeah: “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.”

Grateful to host families

I would like to personally thank Michael Buskirk/Daria Mason and family, Laura, and Jason Hacker, the Scott Nossek family, Steve and Sherry Taylor, Kristi Kisler, Joe and Diane Scott, the Trevor Creighton family, Jonathan and Beverly Adams, the Tim Wright family, the Joe Klein family, the Tony McDaniel family, the Charlie Hall family, Jadyn Walden, the Devin Wala family, Janie Winkle, Dr. Luis Coppelli family, Robert and Jo Sanders, Laurie Gullett and the Scott Flake family.

Appreciate home health care

I would like to express my thanks for the care I received from Payson Regional Home Health and especially to my nurse Patricia Vogler for her excellent care, kindness and professionalism.

State among leaders in financial education

A recent Champlain College report gave Arizona a “B” in teaching financial literacy to high school students.

Neighborhood losing cats

In the month of July this year our two beloved cats went missing.

Forest Service needs to think outside the box

In light of the dubious contract award to the company, headed by a retired Forest Service official, that was supposed to protect our forests by thinning trees under the 4FRI but has failed miserably to even make a start, I have a question or two.

Residents, businesses make great impression

Recently the Payson Christian Clinic had the privilege of teaching 44 medical students from around the country about rural medicine.

Support of events appreciated

The Activity Department of Rim Country Health would like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful residents of Payson and our staff who participated in two events we held this month.

Monday, July 22

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Big Lake - big fish

Summer trout fishing in Arizona is a popular way to beat the heat of the desert and maybe catch a few rainbows.

Some books really make you think

I’ve read some interesting books about wartime escape and evasion.

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Star Valley leaders discuss priorities

The Star Valley Town Council this week wrestled with its wish list, with $510,683.16 on hand to make its dreams come true.

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Studies boost emphasis on reading

The Payson Unified School District (PUSD) has rearranged its budget to boost spending on K-3 reading by 425 percent, a decision research supports.

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Coach shares plans for future football camp

No one can every accuse Payson High School second-year football coach Jake Swartwood of not being ambitious.

How can younger investors cope with tough times?

As Americans, we’re used to thinking that we will inevitably do better than our parents’ generation.

Sunday, July 21

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On watch for Rim Country rain

Christopher Creek’s unofficial keeper of the rain gauge is 82-year-old Leo Wenning.

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Gisela requests County help with blight, fire

Recent fires underscore danger in communities without any protection

In the wake of a string of fires nearby that could have caused a regional conflagration, residents of Gisela this week pleaded with Gila County Supervisor Mike Pastor to provide more services.

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Payson homeowners - small property tax increase

The Payson Town Council says residents should expect to see only a minor increase in their property tax bill this year, at least on payments owed to the town.

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Fast Auto Loans opens on S. Beeline

On July 8, Fast Auto Loans celebrated its grand opening at 816 S. Beeline.

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Tuba City a proving ground for Lady Horns

While the two Payson summer volleyball teams that participated in the Tuba City Invitational didn’t do well in the W’s and L’s column, the tournament did provide the young players the opportunity to get all-important playing time.

Saturday, July 20

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‘Protest’ music of ’60s still relevant

Bob Dylan’s third studio album released in 1964 by Columbia Records, “The Times, They Are a-Changin’,” was made up mostly of stark, sparsely-arranged ballads concerning issues such as racism, poverty and social change.

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Old-fashioned ice cream social Saturday

A fun and family-friendly event will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, July 20 in the Cultural Hall at the P/S Community Center.

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Hall shines in national pole bending competition

Rim Country Middle School student Bryndee Hall wrapped up her first-ever appearance in the National Junior High Finals Rodeo as Arizona’s top performer in the pole bending.

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Davis new finance manager at Steve Coury Ford

From one family run business to another.

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Rains ease fire danger, restrictions lifted

The Tonto National Forest this week lifted all remaining fire restrictions, thanks to the onset of the monsoon.

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Murder case postponed, assault sentencing due

A man charged with killing his daughter in a rollover accident south of town last year will stand trial in September.

Friday, July 19

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Payson educator honored as county’s Teacher of the Year

Payson High School math teacher Halli Kinnick has won recognition as the Gila County Teacher of the Year as a result of her “absolute dedication to each student,” community involvement and school leadership.

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Four-car accident shuts Highway 87

Investigators say they still don’t know why a Pine woman lost control driving into town Tuesday afternoon, causing a horrific four-vehicle collision on Highway 87.

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Community Almanac

The CENTRL Alumni Council will have a Lunch and Learn event with the Center for Rural Leadership from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, July 20 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

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University plan update:

Forest chief predicts final sale by Jan.

The Tonto National Forest has settled nearly all of the remaining questions that have bedeviled the effort to sell 253 acres for a university campus in Payson.

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Happy Helpers-concierge for seniors

Cindy Long is most happy helping people.

No reason to celebrate independence now

I used to love the 4th of July. Right up there with Halloween and Christmas in my book.

High school students have drinking water

Due to a lack of readily accessible drinking water, for many years, Payson High School students have been walking around campus chronically dehydrated.

Kaitie’s Closet needs help

Kaitie’s Closet is in its third year of collecting new and used clothing for children in Rim Country.

S. 1300: A better tool for fighting wildfires

More so than usual, wildland fire has been on the minds of Arizonans in recent days.

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A long journey, a single step

It took a century of blind blundering to create the deadly conditions that face almost every forested community in the West.

Clubs and Organizations

The Payson Lioness Club meets at 9 a.m. the third Saturday of the month at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260.

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Donations a blessing and a necessity for shelter

The Humane Society of Central Arizona is its own, private 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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Papp graduates

Tiffany Papp of Payson recently graduated from Arizona Connections Academy, a tuition-free virtual K-12 public school.

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Payson dentist receives award

Payson dentist Chris W. Winterholler, who also practices in Scottsdale, has received The Academy of General Dentistry Fellowship Award.

Young rodeo competitor expresses her thanks for the community’s assistance

“Attending the 2013 National Junior High Rodeo Finals was a most memorable experience for me. I was able to realize that all my years of hard work and setting goals for myself is worth it.

Rec Roundup

Flag Football registration continues through Aug. 12. Children ages 5 to 12 of all abilities are invited to join this league.

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Chelsie’s tough luck at national finals

Pine teenage barrel racer Chelsie Stodghill usually manages to find a way to wiggle out of ticklish situations.

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Rim Rock Classic team roping is this weekend

Want to see some first-rate team roping? Head out to the Payson Event Center this weekend.

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Hope the rest of July is calm

The past two weeks have been sorrowful, hectic and enjoyable.

Thursday, July 18

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GCC lowers tuition, stops charging seniors

In a three-to-one vote, the Gila Community College Board Thursday decided to return tuition prices to the pre-2011 schedule and reinstate free tuition for seniors.

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Tonto Basin resident gets floodplain variance

When the creek in Tonto Basin floods again — and it will; it always does — Roy Goodwin and his wife Rosalie will be high and dry ... and legal.

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Mesa del water woes worsening

Explosion uncovers the twisted tale of mystery well

For years, Brooke Utilities has apparently gotten the bulk of the water it has been selling to residents of Mesa del Caballo from an undocumented, unregulated well, according to documents obtained by the Roundup.

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PHS to face old rivals, new tricks

A reorganization of the high school leagues will pit Payson against longtime rival schools from Eastern Arizona. So as Payson High School (PHS) coaches and athletes prepare for the 2013-14 season, the coaches have to plan for strategies to cope with a different cast.

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PMGA match play first-round results

Members of the Payson Men’s Golf Association have wrapped up the first round of their traditionally hotly contested three-week match play tournament.

Wednesday, July 17

At The Movies-The Lone Ranger

Depp makes film great fun

When I finished watching The Lone Ranger the audience broke into spontaneous applause. And I did too. We liked the movie for what it was: an often funny, two-and-half-hour-long entertainment experience.

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Around Rim Country

All Rim Country motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to a Motorcycle Roundup at 9:30 a.m., Friday, July 19 in the parking lot of Rim Country Health, 807 W. Longhorn Rd., Payson.

Good 2 Go

The congregation of Shepherd of The Pines Lutheran Church, 507 W. Wade Lane, Payson, invites Rim residents to attend a Family Movie Night at 6:30 p.m., Friday, July 19 at the church.

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Still time for summer travel

Many of us wait until the last minute to plan for a vacation. Suddenly, time has slipped away and before you know it the good weather months are passing by.

Firm Foundation


A couple of months ago my husband and I went on a day drive up to Jerome, Ariz. to show our friends this well known former copper town that once was the fourth largest city in Arizona.

The Pleasant Valley War and the summer of 1887

This coming weekend is Pleasant Valley Days in Young, Ariz. It’s a great opportunity to learn about and experience the history of this nearby area.

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Making a splash in Rim Country

So, the monsoon has arrived — at least in a few places ... Not so much at my house; though when the storms are swirling around the area, the air gets pleasantly cool.

Smoking isn’t only cause of emphysema

What is the purpose of making all Coumadin users make a separate trip to a nurse for having their blood checked?

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Grill up flavor

Every big, juicy steak deserves to be seasoned with an equally big, bold flavor.

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Explosion provokes two arrests

A call about a supposed stove fire on Friday instead resulted in multiple arrests, a call for the bomb squad, hazardous materials team and county narcotics task force — and also briefly put one emergency worker in the hospital.

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Payson pro hooked on Bassmasters

Pro angler Clifford Pirch’s decision to accept an invitation to fish the Bassmaster Elite Series appears to be paying big dividends.

Tuesday, July 16

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Four-vehicle collision Hwy 87 North

A four-vehicle collision Tuesday afternoon closed Highway 87 north of Payson for several hours as crews extricated one driver and worked to clear debris off the roadway.

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Rim Country: Outpouring of support

Payson Safeway collects $34,000 in 10 days as residents rally around families

A dollar on register 3, $300 on register 1.

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Congress: Outburst of blame placing

Hearing hits on deadly dilemma, but a partisan divide hobbles efforts to find consensus on forest woes

The deadly increase in Western wildfires and the federal government’s failure to develop a coherent response last week triggered an emotionally charged congressional subcommittee meeting that veered between pleas for a consensus solution and partisan blame-placing.

Angry that PSWID chairman singled out one person

This is in regard to Ray Pugel’s Guest Comment titled: “Pine/Strawberry water problems must be addressed.”

Obama needs to do something for America

I have written several letters to the Roundup that have never been published, but it seems every issue there is one from either Noble Collins or Ted Paulk.

Chatter ruined concert

Once again, a great concert in the park was ruined for my husband and me.

Deaths impose a moral imperative

Lead. Follow. Get out of the way.

Experience at PRMC was very positive

Recently I was a patient for knee replacement surgery at Payson Regional Medical Center.

Residents can voice their opinion in a recall

This is my response to the article “Pine Strawberry water problems must be addressed” by Ray Pugel.

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Community Almanac

The Polkadot Blvd. will have a sale on designer bling jeans, designer clothing and accessories in the main lobby at Payson Regional Medical Center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 16. Buy one item and get one 20 percent off.

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Senior Center welcomes new cook

A warm welcome to Todd Youtz, new cook at the Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main St.

Cardinals camp flies away from cool Flagstaff

Okay, so we now know Arizona Cardinals football fans living in the Rim Country were spoiled.

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TRSC to host cowboy gunfights

Inaugural match to be held Sunday at Jim Jones Shooting Range

Single action cowboy style shooting — such as the battles that unfolded during the Gunfight at OK Corral and the Long Branch Saloon Gunfight — is coming to Payson.

Clubs and Organizations

The Kiwanis meet from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. every Thursday at Tiny’s Family Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260. The Young Professionals meet at 5:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays at Macky’s.

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Payson school staffing changes continue

Former vice principal, teachers leave amidst new round of shifts

During its last meeting, the Payson Unified School District board approved some last-minute staff changes that include a former administrator.

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Rim residents reach out to fire victims

The residents of the small community of Tonto Village opened their hearts and their pocketbooks to help the families of Yarnell on Saturday, July 6.

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Cowboy Church a rodeo tradition

Every Sunday during the August Rodeo in Payson, a small group gathers before the events of the day get under way.

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Gosar only Arizona congressman for farm bill

The House barely passed a farm bill last week, with only one member of the Arizona delegation supporting the measure after House leaders stripped the food stamp program out of it.

Monday, July 15

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Rare tie in PMGA

It’s not often that two golfers dead-knot during the Payson Men’s Golf Association’s weekly closest-to-the-pin competitions.

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Listing of rare snakes caps decade of struggle

Two rare garter snakes found in Rim Country streams added to endangered species list

After years of lawsuits, court rulings, studies and allegations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) this week declared the Mexican and narrow-headed garter snakes as threatened species.

Every minute of 53-year marriage great

I recently read something that took me back a little.

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Adams, O’Rourke on to state tourney

Ann Adams and Nancy O’Rourke will be representing the Payson Women’s Golf Association nine-hole group at the annual Arizona Women’s Golf Association 9-hole State Medallion Club Team Tournament .

Officials to enforce big game baiting ban

Hunters are up in arms about Arizona Game and Fish’s plans to start enforcing rules that bar the use of bait in taking big game, including any “edible or ingestible substances” to bring big game in close enough for a shot.

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Electric car fuels dreams

The black, 1988 Porsche 924 sits in a corner of the Payson High School (PHS) auto shop. Torn apart. Disabled. Guts ripped out.

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Mat Ministry turns trash to treasure

Believe it or not, plastic bags serve more purposes than first meets the eye. In the right hands, they can provide a comfortable and sheltered environment. How, you ask? The answer: “Plarn.”

Sunday, July 14

More problems for Pine ‘nightmare’ project

After months of delays and controversy, Pine Creek Canyon Road remains clear and open.

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Valley group improving Highline Trail

It hugs the underside of the Mogollon Rim, running more than 50 miles connecting highways 87 in the west and 260 in the east a breathtaking national treasure of a trail, but it has seen better days.

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TRSAR - Answering the call

Search and Rescue volunteers turn out, ready for anything

The callout comes at 11:15 a.m. on a hot, muggy Sunday: ankle injury at waterfall off the lower Fossil Creek Trail.

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Bear Canyon Lake — worth the trip

Sometimes it’s so tough to drive by a lake for another destination, which may be a few miles further where you are planning to go fishing for the day.

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Celebrate summer with blues

The summer is certainly flying by, isn’t it? Our nation’s Independence Day celebration has already come and gone and we are already finished with two-thirds of 2013’s summer concerts in Green Valley Park.

Saturday, July 13

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4th of July parade draws record number of entries

Christopher Creek had itself a parade last Saturday! First of all, the weather could not have been more perfect.

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Hill molds youth in sports

Tonto Basin three-sport coach stresses the importance of TEAM

It’s not a stretch to compare Cathy Jo (Ewing) Hill, a three-sport coach at Tonto Basin Elementary School, to legendary UCLA basketball coach Dr. John Wooden.

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Murder mystery

Woman’s body finally identified: Questions still dog detectives

After two years of wondering, authorities now know the identity of a young woman found murdered off the Young Road.

Friday, July 12

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Lack of fire protection topic at Gisela meeting

Gila County Supervisor Mike Pastor on Saturday will hold his first community meeting in Gisela, the northern most section of his district.

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Board just hoping for a plan

Payson school board worries about rush to add more classrooms without clear growth plan

Like a bikini-clad girl inching into freezing water, the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) Board voted to seek an architect to add several kindergarten classrooms to Payson Elementary School, protesting all the way.

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Fire closes Hwy. 87

A brush fire 20 miles south of Payson Wednesday night closed Highway 87 in both directions for hours as crews worked to stop flames from spreading into the forest.

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Will state run out of water?

We’re going to run out of water. Well, not Payson: Two decades of effort have secured Rim Country’s water future. But everyone else is starting to feel a little panicked.

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Community Almanac

Payson Farmers Market will have its 2nd Annual Cantaloupe Bowling Saturday, July 13.

Guest Commentary

I remember JFK the day he died was killed assassinated all while algebra filled my brain high school how long ago was that

Abortion is wrong

In reference to a recent letter in which the oft rationalized argument to prove that abortion is good was used — it is my understanding that half of the population in this country think that abortion, the killing of unborn babies, is morally wrong.

Smart meter concerns

Many local residents are becoming increasingly concerned at the impending institution of so called smart meters by the electric company.

School supply drive

As the school season approaches us once again, Payson Community Kids is working to gather up supplies for the more than 150 underprivileged children in Payson.

An amazing group

The Payson Little League All-Star 10-11 year team is an amazing group of boys and coaches.

Honoring heroes

On Sunday, June 30, Ponderosa Bible Church did a wonderful job of doing what it could to honor our local heroes — the first responders.

Time to do something

If it took Tommie Cline Martin five years to hammer out an agreement that is going to be deadlocked for another five years, then she is dealing with selfish, corrupt individuals.

Regarding the Dude Fire

The Arizona State Legislature refused to posthumously commute the remaining sentences of the dead firefighters.

A loss that will last

As many of you have heard, the wildland fire community lost 19 firefighters on June 30, 2013 while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Young rounds up ropers for big weekend

A pair of events that have their roots in the Rim Country’s pioneer history highlight the July calendar.

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Pine school gets new track, playground

Frugality and state small-school adjustment funds are paying huge dividends at Pine Elementary School.

Volunteer opportunities at HSCAZ

Payson has a reputation for having an amazing community of volunteers who give of their time for causes and projects about which they feel passionate.

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July 4th weekend events great

The 4th of July weekend Pine Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild Festival showcased talented artists and crafters from the local community and as far away as Nogales.

Clubs and Organizations

Guest speaker Barbara Polasky will offer a program on “My Greatest Gift” at the 11:15 a.m., Sunday, July 14 service of Payson Center for Spiritual Awareness.

Wednesday, July 10

Highway 87 reopened after brush fire

Update: Around 7:46 p.m., ADOT reopened Highway 87, but restricted it to one lane in each direction. Crews are closing Highway 87 in both directions after a brush fire broke out at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday.

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At The Movies-White House Down

At best, a way to waste time and get out of the heat

Channing Tatum starred in the thus far two episodes of “G.I. Joe.” Both films were very expensive to produce, but managed to be commercially successful.

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There's Rain in the Air

Gardeners pray for onset of the summer monsoon

All those heat-stressed plants in our yards and gardens finally were able to breathe a sigh of blessed relief the Fourth of July.

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Rim Country Places

Chapter 22: Mazatzal Mountains

The Mazatzal Mountain range forms a boundary between Gila County and Maricopa County; it rises on the southwestern edge of Tonto Basin and descends into the Sonoran Desert at the Phoenix metropolitan area.

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Plenty of summer travel time left

More and more people are traveling these days, and that means more people are visiting U.S. theme parks.

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Wine tasting will benefit Rim Country charities

Experience a special evening and help two very special Rim Country organizations.

Good 2 Go

Come and hear about the Arizona Women’s Heritage Trail (AWHT) at 1 p.m., Tuesday, July 15 on the second floor of the Rim Country Museum in Green Valley Park. This is a free program.

Hormones can cause female facial hair

I’m a 26-year-old woman with an embarrassing problem. I’m growing a mustache. What causes this?

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Payson needs interim fire chief

After the Payson fire chief’s abrupt retirement, the town is looking for an interim fire chief who can fill in until it hires a new chief sometime this fall.

Tuesday, July 9

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July 4 joy

Despite a thumping fireworks show and a near-record-breaking crowd, the Fourth of July holiday weekend was surprisingly quiet this year, according to emergency officials.

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Hearing questions forest management

On the brink of the deadliest fire season in decades, federal agencies cut the ranks of their wildlands firefighters by 600, thanks to the automatic spending cuts contained in the “sequester” that grew out of the budget standoff in Congress.

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Tragedy sparks firestorm of questions

Rim crews return for memorial

Several local firefighters are once more making their way to Prescott Valley today — not to help battle a blaze as they did last week, but to honor 19 fallen Prescott hotshots.

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Monsoon delivers: Summer rains finally here

Sitting and praying for rain

I sit on the edge, feet dangling over layers of extinction.

Flagstaff way above normal, Rim Country still waiting

The monsoon thunderstorm season is off and thumping.

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Love blossoms in Community Garden

Their love started in the garden. The garden nurtured it. And on Saturday, Michael Fransen (aka Tractor Mike) and Tracy Sekandari walked down the aisle to celebrate the bounty of their love.

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Community Almanac

The Rim Country Classic Auto Club will present $25,000 to area charities from proceeds from the 2013 RCCAC Beeline Cruise-In and Car Show.

In such a town, such a country

First it frightened us. Then it inspired us. Come to think of it, Thursday’s July 4 Birthday Bash was kind of like the last four years here in Rim Country.

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Final 260 widening project bypassed

State Transportation Board approves five-year construction program that eliminates funding for Lion Springs section

The Lion Springs section of Highway 260 will remain two lanes for at least another five years after the State Transportation Board decided last month not to fund the project.

Arizona flunks school spending test

Per-student spending 72 percent of national average, but defenders say state’s money spent efficiently

WASHINGTON – Arizona public schools again had some of the lowest per-pupil spending in the nation in 2011, ahead of only Oklahoma, Idaho and Utah, according to a recent Census Bureau report.

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Clubs and Organizations

Payson Pro Rodeo Committee meets the second Tuesday of every month in the Swiss Village Best Western’s conference building at 6 p.m. New members welcome.

Yarnell Hill tragedy has far reach

Because my roots run deep in Prescott — I was born there, my aunt and uncle were once prominent business owners in the city and my maternal grandparents lived out the final years in the Prescott Pioneer Home.

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Intensive mat camp draws 150

A hard-core group of 150 aspiring high school grapplers turned out for seven days of extreme training that rivals what the elite ranks of Navy Seals and Green Berets endure.

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Noted ASU wrestler at PHS camp

A former Arizona State University wrestler who won the prestigious “Jimmy V” Award for Perseverance and was named the Best Male Athlete with a Disability at the 2011 ESPY’s is in Payson this week to guest coach at the Arizona Intensive High Altitude Wrestling Camp.

Close the forest and campgrounds

We all know the fire danger in the area is extreme.

Couple turns hardship into treasure hunt

This is a story of a couple who lost their home in Tucson to foreclosure, leaving them homeless.

Clarifying things between NGCSD and the ‘university’

As the manager of the Northern Gila County Sanitary District, I can assure readers that the comment about “costing $6 million to connect to sewer” has not been a part of any discussion with our agency concerning a university in Payson.

Dogs are a gift

I am compelled to respond to a recent letter titled “Dog Park problem.”

Who is the traitor in America?

The word traitor has been thrown around a lot in recent days. But who is the real traitor here?

Former ASU All-American a camp coach

Eric Larkin, the 1998 Arizona High School Wrestler of the Year and a four-time Pac-10 champion at Arizona State University, is in Payson this week to share his mat expertise with 150 aspiring prep grapplers attending the Arizona High Altitude Wrestling Camp.

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Mississippi River experience

A couple of weeks ago on the spur of the moment, I had the opportunity to journey to LaCrosse, Wis., which is on the banks of the upper Mississippi River.

Jackets host PHS summer net squad

Aspiring Lady Longhorn volleyball players had an opportunity to impress coach Arnold Stonebrink and his three new assistants.

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An oh-so tasty tradition

The Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation (SCAF) operates the Pine/Strawberry Community Center Thrift Store and Senior Dining Room, providing valuable services for area seniors and the entire P/S community.

Friday, July 5

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Comfort of a small-town celebration

Norman Rockwell would have wondered which scene to paint from the Payson Independence Day celebration.

Bequest boosts college project

Inspired by news that the land sale for a university in Payson is moving forward, a couple this week pledged a portion of their estate to benefit the effort.

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Back from the battle

Local crews return for July 4 watch

Rim Country firefighters spent the week helping fight wildfires around the state, but returned to Payson Thursday to stand guard against mishaps at the town’s big July 4 celebration.

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Star Valley protects $2.6 million reserve

Star Valley’s Town Council continues to be conservative and cautious with public money.

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Fire devoured everything but the clothes they wore

After losing their homes, vehicles and nearly all belongings in Saturday night’s junkyard fire in Rye, a family of five and one couple needs help starting over.

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Community Almanac

The Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., will celebrate First Friday, July 5 with Starlight, Cinnamon Twist and Anything Goes collaborating to present a great night of entertainment and fellowship with all genres of music from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Payson Unified School District (PUSD) personnel carousel

It’s no surprise that the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) personnel carousel has continued to spin in a rather strange fashion.

Dog park at Green Valley

I must apologize if my articles offended any members of PAWS in the Park.

Reunion a success

On behalf of the Belluzzi families we would like to thank our reunion committee: Shirley Hardt, Chris Hardt, Patty Rhoades, Angela Godac, Melynda Pew and Margaret Payne for all the work they put into making the 60th reunion such a success.

Obama echoes Nixon

I believe that it was Obama’s many speeches that empowered some IRS employees that they had implicit consent to ideologically selectively harass such groups as the Tea Party, liberty, patriots, as well as numerous conservatives and fund donors.

Planning ahead imperative in case of evacuation

In regard to the current fire danger in Rim Country I want to offer some perspective that may be of use here.

Time now to rise to the tragedy

We fear it’s happening already. Fresh from the funeral of 19 courageous firefighters who died for strangers, a slew of congressional types have for next week scheduled a hearing on “wildfire and forest management.”

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Mountain bike race fuels firebreak funds

About 30 Pine and Strawberry residents huddled around tables in the Pine Community Center on an early summer evening to plan what’s becoming one of Rim Country’s most exciting outdoor annual festivals — the Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race.

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Historic lodge to reopen

Although they had never stepped foot in the lodge or run a restaurant, much less a hotel before, two Valley business partners recently purchased the Strawberry Lodge.

Off season efforts by athletes important

Readers are supplying plenty of feedback on a story and Extra Points column published in the June 28 edition of the Payson Roundup.

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Softball All-Stars Area 1 champs

The Payson Little League 11-12 years softball All-Stars lived up to coach Andre Newell’s confidence by bulldozing their way to the Area 1 championship with wins over Winslow and Flagstaff.

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Volleyball coach welcomes new staff

Veteran Lady Longhorn volleyball coach Arnold Stonebrink this year will be working with an entirely new staff that includes some of Payson High’s finest former players.

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Like comic, Morris gets no respect

Longtime Payson Men’s Golf Association member Herb Sherman is comparing fellow PMGA member Russ Morris to Rodney Dangerfield saying both “get no respect.”

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Swim lessons among Taylor programs

EVO Swim School owner and Taylor Pool manager David Tait is reminding parents that the time proven methods his instructors use are among the best ways to teach children to swim.

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Pet adoption event is Saturday

Adoption Options

The Bison Ranch Pet Adopt-a-thon takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 6 off of Highway 260, just past milepost 309 in Overgaard.

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Volunteers seek to outpedal poverty

Ho hum, another bike group riding through Payson. But wait — 100 riders attended by 100 volunteers? Two semis and an entourage of trucks and trailers? More than 100 tents and 100 bicycles? Yep.

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Losing a battle of wits with a fishy looking nitwit

Man, I’m flying. Well, I’m not flying, exactly — but my little caddis fly dry pattern is whipping back and forth overhead with the insectish verisimilitude of Superman in 3-D.

Camp ‘T’ memories

Arizona State University’s football team returns to Camp Tontozona Aug. 12-17.  

A tragic week for so many

It’s been a hard week for so many. How do I begin this column? There has been so much happening that I feel numb.

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Take a chance and help PCK

Payson Community Kids, Payson Community Kids, Payson Community Kids, I wanna play at PCK. Those lyrics start the Payson Community Kids (PCK) theme song, a peppy jingle written recently and taught to the PCK children by volunteer Katy Rovetto.

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Sometimes it pays to stop and think before you laugh

There is nothing in this world a whole lot better than a good chuckle, is there Johnny?

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Area water feature history not so old

Christopher Creek has the “Carwash” and Kohl’s Ranch has the “Bathtub.” Both are well known by residents. Both draw youngsters to play in the water. Kids have learned to swim in the “Bathtub” and younger kids learned to splash at the “Carwash.”

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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, July 5 in the community room of the Payson Public Library. The first meeting is always free and everyone is welcome.

Thursday, July 4

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Fireworks light up Payson sky

Ooing and aahing with some barking thrown in too, spectators and their canine friends enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display in Payson's Green Valley Park for the 4th of July.

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Five days of fun for the fourth

We like our long weekends. We especially like those long weekends tied to great celebrations.

Wednesday, July 3

At The Movies-World War Z

The movie gives us what we want

Whew, the most expensive zombie flick of all time turns out to be a good one.

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Nature’s magic in miniature

Only imagination limits creation of tiny ‘fairy gardens’

As a child, I was a firm believer in enchanted worlds.

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July 4th fun runs through Sunday

We like our long weekends. We especially like those long weekends tied to great celebrations.

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Vacation suggestions for late summer and fall

It’s hard to believe, but we are already into summer.

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Fire fatalities in Rim Country

It’s the last week of June which is historically the worst time for fires in Rim Country. 1961, 1968 and 1990 are amongst the years when significant fires occurred in the region.

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Getaway around Rim Country

The La Boutique Gift Shop, located in the main lobby of Payson Regional Medical Center, will have a special “Christmas in July” sale and all items will be reduced in price.

Good 2 Go

Experience a special evening and help two very special Rim Country organizations.

DASH to lower blood pressure

I was very interested in your column on the DASH diet. Is there a diet sheet listing all the items pertaining to this diet? How can I get one?

Tuesday, July 2

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Garden Bingo!

Plants and gardening were the subjects during a recent class at the Payson Public Library’s summer reading program.

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Inferno at Rye's All Bikes

Night of flames & fury as firefighters struggle to save salvage yard

Some paced up and down the frontage road, the glow of orange flames reflecting off beads of sweat on their foreheads. Others sat on a guardrail, wringing their hands and staring off into space — glancing up when the explosions detonated.

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Still no monsoon

Deadly pattern persists but, rains may come to rescue by next week

The good news: the Southeast is generating cool moist weather from the Gulf of Mexico. The bad news: the Rim Country will not see any of that until the end of the week.

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Rim crews rush to help

Sent to relieve exhausted, traumatized crews battling 8,000-acre Yarnell Hill Fire

Rim Country firefighters on Monday rushed to the front lines of the Yarnell Hill Fire to take the place of crews yanked from the front lines after the tragic deaths of 19 firefighters this weekend.

It’s obvious; not libel

I have been addressed in print in the Roundup over the past few years as a Marxist thug, a communist, a Nazi, a hippie, a socialist, just to name a few.

Town government operating behind closed doors

The Payson Town Council has started the process to raise taxes on all of the citizens of Payson ... a tax increase that will be permanent regardless of what you are told.

Pine/Strawberry water problems must be addressed

This is in regards to the letter by Sue Green stating the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board should be recalled.

Grieve for those we betrayed

They were the best we had. Nineteen disciplined, courageous, self-sacrificing firefighters died this weekend in a holocaust of flame.

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Chambers elected first vice president of state bar

Deputy Gila County Attorney Brian Chambers on June 18 was elected as first vice president of the State Bar of Arizona.

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Stove hood prevents fire from spreading

Laid off fire marshal spends his last day investigating fire at Mandarin House

Officials say an updated cooking stove hood system likely saved the Mandarin House from burning down Friday morning.

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Doomed Hotshot crew trained hard

“Fire everywhere!” Phillip “Mando” Maldonado, a squad leader, shouts instructions as a dozen Hotshots, firefighters trained to combat wildfires in extreme conditions, face a nightmare scenario: flames rushing in from all sides and their survival hinging on successfully unfolding and wrapping themselves in thin sheets of heat-reflecting material.

Sharp split on election rulings

Gila County and other Arizona jurisdictions will escape automatic federal oversight of redistricting and other election decisions as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the federal Voting Rights Act.

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Driver trapped in truck

Wrecked pickup spotted four hours after it veered off road near Strawberry

A Valley man spent four hours trapped in the twisted cab of his pickup truck on Sunday before a passerby spotted the wreck down a steep slope just north of Strawberry.

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Community Almanac

The La Boutique Gift Shop, located in the main lobby of Payson Regional Medical Center, will have a special sale — “Christmas in July” — and all items will be reduced in price.

Clubs and Organizations

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States of America will meet at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at the American Legion Post #69, located at 709 E. Highway 260.

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Get your game on at Circle & Center

It started when two Native American flutists, teacher and performer Betty Acker and new flute player and aficionado Tom Russell, decided to form a Native American Flute Circle in Rim Country.

Yarnell fire fans memories of killer Dude Fire

The tragedy of the Yarnell fire that killed 19 elite Hot Shot firefighters rekindles horrible memories in those of us who vividly recall the Dude Fire that 23 years ago took the lives of six firefighters from a Perryville inmate crew.

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Big turnout expected for annual Young roping

It wouldn’t be a big surprise if Pedro Eurrola and Steven Guaona show up July 20 to 21 in Young to compete in the Ninth Annual Ted Meredith Memorial Roping.

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McMullen, Mendoza on top academically

Payson High School senior-to-be Nick McMullen might be best known for his baseball expertise.

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A lesson in team roping ratings

With the Ninth Annual Ted Meredith Roping set for July 19 to 21, rodeo newbies are probably asking, “What is a No. 9 roper? How is a No. 8 roper different from a No. 4?” And, in team roping, “What does pick or draw mean?”

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PWGA sets special clinic July 27-28

Members of the Payson Women’s Golf Association completed the second and final round of the annual President’s Cup Tuesday, June 23 with a very close competition.

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Crappie concerns for Roosevelt Lake

Anglers, Game & Fish search for solutions

Roosevelt Lake has long been considered one of the best crappie lakes in the Western United States.

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Not Again: Deaths recall Dude Fire tragedy

Their fate was sealed five miles overhead as the top of the roiling mushroom cloud of hot air began to disintegrate.