Stories for March 2013


Friday, March 29

I’m being sued — What should I do?

Mrs. C comes into my office and looks distraught.

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Payson economy stuck in first gear

Payson’s economy remains stubbornly stuck in first gear, lagging behind the economic recovery that has seemingly set in elsewhere in the sta

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Gila County hit hardest by ADOT’s cuts to five-year plan

he Payson Town Council has objected vehemently to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s plan to drop plans to widen Highway 260 on the way up to the Rim.

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Kids’ calm courage can soften even a curmudgeon’s heart

I’m a certified curmudgeon, one of those grouchy people you cross the street to avoid. But somehow my editor keeps sending me off on articles that are supposed to melt my heart. Ha, good luck with that.

Foundation provides list of resources for persons with HIV

Site has more than 500 entries on testing, doctors, prevention

Arizona’s first comprehensive online database of services, providers, physicians, case managers, testing locations and more, and one of the few sites of its kind in the nation, directly connect those affected by HIV/AIDS to the resources they need.

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Payson school district needs $2 million computer upgrade

Outdated servers, software will hinder Common Core Standards mandate

Payson Unified School District (PUSD) needs between $2 million to $3 million to rebuild its technology infrastructure, Joni de Szendeffy, director of technology, told the school board at its meeting on Monday, March 25.

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Some question value of general plan process

Payson hires a $200,000 consultant to help develop another plan for the future

With existing plans gathering dust and years of meetings without progress on projects like revitalizing Main Street, some Payson residents have started to question the value of the expensive and time-consuming overhaul of the town’s general pla

The failure of reforms

Did you hear the joke about the drunk who lost his keys? Poor fool drops his keys in the dark of the night on a long block with a single street light.

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Community Almanac

This coming weekend, the Regional Payson Area Project… for a Fire Wise Rim Country (RPAP) will be staffing free brush drop-off points only at the Blattner Pit, weather permitting: Saturday, March 30, the Blattner Pit will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Blattner Pit is located at Milepost 259.7 on Highway 260, east of Payson.

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Can they save the Forest?

The U.S. Forest Service has released an “unprecedented” draft environmental assessment on plans to use mechanical thinning and controlled burns to restore a million acres of dense, overcrowded forest to more healthy conditions

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Frightening failure rate

Payson schools grant helps the 35 percent of students now failing at least one class

With a stunning one-third of high school students failing at least one class, the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) has been casting about for solutions.

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Crime inches upward

Domestic violence falls, but overall rate rises thanks to rash of burglaries

The year in crime features Payson’s first homicide in years, an uptick in vehicle burglaries and a slight rise in the town’s overall crime rate, according to figures just released by the police department.

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Payson pot dispensary set to open

Group plans to grow and distribute medical marijuana

Plans are under way to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Payson later this year.

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Detox diet restores health

They didn’t plan it, but Dr. Cynthia Booth and Dee McCaffrey ended up working perfectly in concert at the 2013 Women’s Wellness Forum.

Clubs and Organizations

Payson Walkers start their excursions at 9 a.m. daily. The hour-long walks are on pavement.

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Easter Services

Saturday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the big ramada at Rumsey Park on N. McLane Road.

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Low-cost spay, neuter and vaccines coming April 13

The Mobile Animal Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.) is the first veterinary-owned low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Arizona. M.A.S.H. works toward reducing the number of unwanted pets by offering quality spay/neuter services at affordable prices for responsible pet owners.

Ray Pugel’s commentary mixes numbers, facts

In a recent guest column, Ray Pugel talks about the Milk Ranch Well and some comments I made about filtration.

Fallacies and fooleries

“When the two theories have the same evidence they must both be accepted at equal value.”

What is the world coming to?

One writer correctly points out the mostly unreported illegal gun confiscation in New Orleans during Katrina, when Bush was president.

Hypocrisy or irony?

While State Rep. Brenda Barton was writing her justification for blocking Medicaid for 300,000 poor Arizona citizens, she was secure in the knowledge that her own health care was being paid for by these same citizens.

Gun violence needs to be addressed now

I heard some information that was both heartbreaking and maddening.

Re: Problems with creationism

Oh the arrogance of man. If there is a creation there must be a creator.

Sunday’s Comin’

What is it about a Sunday that solidifies Resurrection Sunday (also known as Easter)? And why is it so important that Sunday is comin’?

Tournament honors former Payson resident

The Gracie Haught Classic softball tournament held March 22-23 in Payson was played in honor of former Winslow High School teacher and coach Becky Barris who was killed in an auto accident.

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Waer, Elks team up for children’s benefit

Golf tourney proceeds go to Clothe-a-Child

Although the Payson Unified School District is not considered an impoverished area similar to some of the districts in south Phoenix or big city ghettos, there are disadvantaged children locally who are in need of adequate school day clothing.

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Lady Longhorns add freshman pitcher

The Lady Longhorn softball team travels to Camp Verde today armed with a promising freshman pitcher who could give Payson the finest one-two hurling punch in the state.

PHS rackin’ up power points

The Arizona Interscholastic Association has released its most recent power point calculations and both the Payson High baseball and softball teams are highly ranked.

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Springtime fishing off to a slow start at Roosevelt

While local anglers are chomping at the bit to head to the largest of the Salt River reservoirs, Roosevelt Lake, the fish just aren’t cooperating.

Popeye muscles to first in low gross/low net

Popeye Clay was flexing his bulging forearms and tootin’ his corn cob pipe during the playing of an Payson Men’s Golf Association low gross and low net tournament March 23 at Payson Golf Course.

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A man who always had the perfect reply

People, especially politicians, are always saying nasty things about each other.

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Fuel reduction cutting finished — for now

Hello again, fellow Creekers. The Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department is extremely proud to announce that the cutting portion of the fuel reduction grant is over.

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Fruit trees challenge last winter blast

Christopher Creek abounds with budding branches, blooming blossoms and the sights and smells of spring.

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Get out and look for those eggs this Saturday

Greetings and wishes for a happy spring and Easter to you all.

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A treat for Easter from the Fireflies cookbook

The month of March is just about history with only this week left, but it is a very important Holy Week for Christians as well as for the Jewish community celebrating Passover.

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Where the rabbit joined the Easter parade

It’s probably easy for most of us to comprehend how Jesus is associated with Easter.

Wednesday, March 27

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At The Movies-The Icredible Burt Wonderstone

A funny film, you will enjoy

This is the first comedy in a while that I could watch without cringing at the extreme off-color jokes or pointless nudity or horrible language or some offensive combination of all of the above.

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Renew the spirit

Easter celebrations provide chance to start fresh

Rim Country residents and their visitors have an opportunity to get a fresh start in life through the many services planned by area churches for Holy Week. Plus there will be some fun for the young ones.

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Rm Country Places

Chapter 16: Gordon Canyon

Gordon Canyon is a place quite “off the beaten track” yet it contains some of the Rim Country’s dramatic pioneer stories, stories of hardship, glory and love.

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America's Top Driving Vacations

We love our cars and we love taking car trips. That’s part of the American spirit.

Good 2 Go

Registration is taking place now through April 15 for the town’s Adult Spring Co-ed Softball League.

Take salt of earth in small doses

When I travel to Colorado, I am urged to drink glass after glass of water to allay the effects of altitude. Do you think this is valid advice?

Tuesday, March 26

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Democrat brings campaign for governor to Rim Country

Brace yourself. The 2014 governor’s race just hit Payson.

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County attorney vows to aggressively prosecute drug cases

Beauchamp seeks tougher plea deals

Gila County’s new attorney is taking a hard stance against drugs.

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Visions of The Past

Sawmill and lumber business once thrived in the Rim Country

Imagine Payson an undeveloped, sawmill town with only a couple buildings along Main Street.

Payson applies for easements for roads needed for campus

The Forest Service may move in geologic time, but the Payson Town Council continues to take spritely steps to acquire land for a university campus here.

Tidbits on some hidden small business gems

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet the owners of Smart Systems.

Absorption rates a factor to be considered

When selling your home, you cannot just focus on one statistic to determine the marketability of your home. Many factors, such as days on the market and absorption rates, affect a pricing strategy.

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Payson loves its pets

Pets and their owners attended the grand opening of the Payson PetSmart in Rim Country Mall on Saturday, March 23 to see what the new store offered.

Ugly threats

Bigotry: Narrow-mindedness, bias, discrimination.

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One for the record books:

Longhorn softball team triumphs in tournament that also celebrates character, team spirit and those we’ve lost

The Ninth Annual Gracie Haught Classic ranks as one of the most memorable and emotional softball tournaments ever played in Payson.

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Be fearless:

Women’s Wellness Forum keynote speaker reclaimed life after tragic loss

With a Texas twang sweetened by years in Louisiana and standing on impossibly high heels, Abby Rike brought tears, laughter and inspiration to the audience at the 15th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum.

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Signs of the times

Business owners gripe about limits

Historians say revolutions take place when an oppressive regime tries to liberalize.

Calls spook organizers of workshop

Plans to help Mexican citizens process and update their paperwork were almost derailed this weekend after several people threatened to stage a protest.

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Students vanishing

Since 2009, the six Gila Community College (GCC) campuses have seen a 52 percent drop in enrollment at all age and credit levels.

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Plaudits and problems for Pine/Strawberry water district

Forum reveals support, but also continued concerns with rates, water clarity

A crowded community meeting designed to get a fresh start in addressing the problems of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District on Saturday mixed compliments on the improved water supply with comments about strife in the district and a $40 monthly stand-by water charge.

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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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Easter Services

Thursday, March 28 Maundy (Holy) Thursday: Mass of the Lord’s Supper 6:30 p.m.

Clubs and Organizations

Payson Walkers start their excursions at 9 a.m. daily. The hour-long walks are on pavement. Everyone is welcome, just remember to park away from the most used areas of any parking lot so as to not block businesses/clients, etc.

Small knives are still a threat

I have been a flight attendant for 30 years and have seen many changes in the industry.

Thrilled with awareness given suicide by article

As a mother of a daughter, and her boyfriend, who committed suicide, I just want to say I was thrilled at your front page article about Lost Loves.

Another opinion on intelligent design

It is not about whether you believe in God or not.

School hiring

Jim Quinlan brings up a valid point when stating three members of the same family teach special education in middle school.

Looking for lost truck

Hello residents of beautiful Payson. I lived for a summer with my grandparents in Payson before they passed more recently.

School district needs to justify new expenses

As a taxpayer I am somewhat disappointed that Payson Unified School District has lost students, lost funding, laid off teachers and with the exception of the Forest Service $750 bonus.

What’s wrong here?

After taking this newspaper for the last two years I actually believe the editor is from another planet.

There is a time capsule out there somewhere

I am looking for a time capsule. I am the secretary for the NARFE organization Mogollon Chapter here in Payson. In 1982, the commander of Chapter #13 DAV asked our chapter to do a “time capsule” with them, which we did.

Community a winner for help with athletes

Having once worked alongside Charlene Brown at The Payson Roundup, I know she’s not easily rattled.

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Lady Horns win first-ever tournament crown

The Lady Longhorns, playing with the gutsy determination of a team with its sights set on claiming the 2013 state championship, compiled a 6-1 record on the way to winning the Ninth Annual Gracie Haught Classic softball tournament.

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Smith comes in second and third in unique game

In a blind draw that allowed Payson Men’s Golf Association member Jesse Smith to play on two different 2-man-best-ball teams, the longtime Rim Country golfer pocketed prize money as a second and third place finisher.

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State beckons talented Longhorn golf team

While there are high school golf teams around the state still struggling to record the five qualifying scores needed to quality for the Division III state tournament, the Longhorns have met the standard and will be advancing to prep golf’s “Big Dance” on May 10 and 11 at Antelope Hills near Prescott.

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Longhorns heat up at Rotary Invite

Virtually all the Payson High School track and field athletes who participated in the 73rd Annual Chandler Rotary Invitational bettered the pre-meet seeded times they took into the competition.

Horns top Lobos; clipped by Falcons

A Longhorn baseball team that is playing with the mettle and hustle it takes to reach the post season split a two game home stand last week whipping Snowflake, 5-2, on March 19, but falling three days later, 14-1, to a very talented Fountain Hills squad.

Sunday, March 24

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Lady Longhorns win Gracie Lee Haught Softball tournament

The Lady Longhorn softball team defeated Estrella Foothills 7-5 in the championship finale of the Gracie Haught Classic Invitational played March 22 and 23 at Rumsey Park and Payson High School.

Friday, March 22

Pot bust nets fine for veteran

An Anthem man with a clean criminal record and an honorable military discharge was sentenced last week for attempting to buy 20 pounds of marijuana from an undercover officer.

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Board rejects plea for coaches

Worried about the district’s liability, Payson High School (PHS) Athletic Director Don Heizer recently asked for additional assistant coach positions for softball and baseball — but the request never got to first base.

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Battle looms on adding 300,000 to AHCCCS

Lawmakers dubious about governor’s plan to expand medical care

Gov. Jan Brewer this week urged the state Legislature to accept federal subsidies to expand the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) to cover about 300,000 additional residents — including many in Gila County, which has one of the highest premature death rates in the state.

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Longhorns gore Lobos

The Longhorn baseball team and their female counterparts on the Lady Longhorn softball team this week racked up impressive wins over the visiting Snowflake Lobos.

New PetSmart donates to $10,000 dog park

PetSmart will donate $10,000 to the area dog park Saturday during its grand opening celebration in the Rim Country Mall.

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Program for homeless kids losing its home

A non-profit group that helps outfit Payson’s homeless teens will find itself on the streets if supporters can’t find a new headquarters by April 1.

Concerns over governor’s Medicaid expansion proposal

Recently I have been asked by many for my thoughts on the governor’s Medicaid expansion proposal. This is a complex issue and there isn’t a simplistic or short form answer.

State lawmakers should vote to expand AHCCCS

Gov. Jan Brewer has made a convincing case for accepting roughly $2 billion in federal funds annually to expand the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, despite the qualms of the lawmakers representing Rim Country.

Turbidity and the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District

Pine-Strawberry has had some discussions about occasional turbidity in their water.

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Assessor needs current addresses

Almost a month ago, the Gila County assessor’s office mailed out the “2014 Notice of Values” to property owners. Now Deborah Hughes’ Globe office has boxes of the notices, all returned due to lack of correct mailing address.

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Artists of the Rim Gallery now in Swiss Village

The Artists of the Rim Gallery has moved from its Main Street home in February to the Swiss Village for better visibility and more space to showcase the artists’ work.

Community bids farewell to Cowboy Carl Hall

Last month Rim Country bid a wintery farewell to beloved local radio personality and longtime community supporter, the one and only “Cowboy” Carl Hall. He is one of many who left us this season.

Sheriff concludes woman in camp drank herself to death

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office concluded that a “suspicious death” at the Flowing Springs Campground Tuesday night was actually due to alcohol abuse.

He wishes it were so

One of your other regular letter writers may think he is engaging in reductio ad absurdam argument (“This is the proof — not really” Roundup, March 5), but he is closer to the truth than he thinks.

Thanks for support of Taste of Rim Country

On behalf of The Library Friends of Payson and myself, allow me to thank you deeply for your support in promoting our yearly event, A Taste of Rim Country.

Useless codes

The story of RV parking in areas the Town of Payson considers the town’s right-of-way appeared in the March 12 Roundup.

RV parking decreases value of homes

The recent article in the Roundup this past week concerning the RV parking protest really concerned me.

Another reason for taxpayer outrage

We are all concerned about where the enormous amount of our federal tax money goes and it is easy to spot the big wasteful projects that get a lot of media attention.

Global warming cannot be dismissed

There have been a number of letters sent to the Roundup by folks denying the existence of climate change.

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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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Gila County sees leadership changes in many departments

A few months ago, Gila County saw some big changes among its elected officials. Now changes are happening in the leadership of several county departments.

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Free class Saturday at community garden

Saturday, March 23, the Payson Community Garden will host the first of its free Saturday morning classes.

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Payson man sentenced to 10 years on meth charges

A man with an extensive history of drug abuse will spend 10 years in jail after a judge sentenced him last week to the maximum sentence for possessing dangerous drugs for sale.

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Tragedy on the line

Students learn toll of texting, cell phones on drivers

The cell phone rang again and again in the silence. No one answered. After minutes of silence, it rang again. Over and over and over it rang — but the hand that held the phone did not move. Tragically, its owner could no longer raise the phone to his ear. He had died in a car crash caused when he texted a message.

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Horns ranked, Lady Horns missing

Softball team lacks ‘qualifying results’

The second power point rankings of 2013 have been released and the PHS baseball team is sitting in good shape, but the softball team is nowhere to be found.

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PHS sweeps visiting Lobos

Baseball and softball teams score twin wins over Snowflake

There were seasons in the 1970s and 1980s in which Payson High wins over Snowflake were rare, mostly because the Lobos were a juggernaut in just about every sport.

Rumsey 1 unplayable; Classic games moved

Charlene Brown in not a happy tournament director.

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Teen work with youth at sports camps is admirable

Payson High School baseball coach Brian Young said he took great enjoyment watching his varsity athletes build a rapport with the youngsters who participated in the daylong Longhorn baseball camp that on March 14 drew 36 aspiring players to PHS baseball diamond.

Recreation Roundup

Soccer registration is now open for all high school students who are interested in playing in the town spring soccer league.

PMGA foursome takes home the booby prize

The “Booby Prize” is not the award Payson Men’s Golf Association members are usually shooting for when they hit the links, but that’s what a four-person team received following a four-man scramble March 13 at Payson Golf Course.

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McMullen a beast at bat

Arizona Sports Network’s “Coach Pichotta” hit the bull’s eye when he predicted last spring that Payson High baseball player Nick McMullen “should be a dominant force as he moves forward.”

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Easter Services

Sunday, March 24: Palm Sunday Reading of the Passion and Mass 10 a.m.

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Clubs and Organizations

The Easter Bunny is coming to Payson.

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Pet Vaccinations 101: protecting pets from disease

As a pet owner, you hear a lot about vaccinations and how your four-legged friend has to have them. But what are pet vaccinations? And what vaccinations should your pet have?

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Great weather gets parks popping

Can you imagine having better weather than what we’ve had in the Rim Country for the last two weeks, which has coincidently perfectly coincided with our school district’s spring vacation? I can’t.

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Spring beginning to flirt with Rim Country

This past week has definitely improved over last week. For one thing, no more snow!

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Community waking up after winter

Christopher Creek appeared as if it were waking up after a long winter’s sleep. Businesses reopening, people roaming the town, part-time residents discovering plumbing failures were the themes last weekend.

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Events blossoming to welcome spring

Hello again, fellow Creekers. As a reminder, there are two events this Saturday.

A day that started an adventure in reading

One English summer afternoon in 1970, Lolly and I were on Broad Street in Oxford when we spotted a name we both knew well — Blackwell’s Book Store.

Thursday, March 21

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Charges dropped in campground death

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a possible murder at the Flowing Springs Campground Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 20

At The Movies-Snitch

Johnson good in lead role

What would you do if you could get out of jail by telling on other criminals?

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Garden Groupies

Community Garden open

It took off like the weeds greening up the countryside. With a little more than a month’s planning, volunteers and donors gave root to the inaugural Payson Community Garden last spring. And it is coming back for a second year this month.

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Best Beaches for 2013

Perhaps you have your favorite beach and possibly I have mine, but there are many beaches around us that may interest you.

Remote link between heartburn, cancer

At a recent cocktail party, a nurse admonished me for chewing ice. She said that it indicates an iron deficiency. I get blood work done every six months. My doctor has never said anything about an iron deficiency or any other issue. I am 65 and in good health

Early Payson Mining History

In the 1870s folks were starting to come into Tonto Basin and what we now call Rim Country.

Holy Week and Easter Services announced

1414 N. Easy St., Payson — Sunday, March 24 Palm Sunday Reading of the Passion and Mass 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 27 Low Mass and Unction 10 a.m.

Good 2 Go

All walks are scheduled for 9 a.m. daily. The hour-long excursions are on pavement. Please park away from the most used areas of any parking lot so as to not block businesses/clients, etc. Everyone is welcome.

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Longhorns get double wins

The Longhorn baseball team and their female counterparts on the Lady Longhorn softball team racked up impressive wins over the visiting Snowflake Lobos.

Tuesday, March 19

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Making East Verde a haven for tourists & trout

Modest changes in the upper portions of the East Verde River could transform it into a great trout stream — but mud washing into the middle reaches of the stream because of the 2009 Wagon Wheel Fire will make life tough on fish for years to come, according to a recently completed study.

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Decade in jail for assault on teen, woman

A Pine handyman will spend 10 years in prison after a judge sentenced him last week for beating a teen with a frying pan.

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Life after death

Group grapples with impact of suicide on those left behind

Down the hall, the music plays as people swirl and dance to oldies tunes.

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Business booms for Business Showcase

At least 800 people attended the 2013 Business Showcase making it a big success.

ATV accident claims life of Mesa man

A 49-year-old Mesa man died Monday afternoon after crashing his all-terrain vehicle north of town.

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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.

Payson must take lead to protect East Verde River

Time to take the plunge. Time for Payson to take the lead in saving the East Verde River. In the process, the town will also help save the tourist economy on which we all depend.

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Blow up marshmallows and expand kids’ minds

Chemistry demonstrations turn students into teachers

Seven first grade students crowded around the table, staring intently at Payson High School (PHS) sophomore Natalia Olivares and junior Jessica York.

Kids playing with lighter start couch fire

Two boys set a couch on fire and nearly their home Sunday night while playing with a lighter, according to fire officials.

Sequester hitting state schools

An Arizona school superintendent said said her district has already cut 40 positions because of automatic federal spending reductions and will recommend cutting 65 more and closing three schools next year to save money.

Link of school funds to scores advances

Supporters of Gov. Jan Brewer’s performance-based education funding model for school districts and charter holders say concerns about the formula’s effects on schools in low-income areas don’t take into account the bigger picture.

Clubs and Organizations

Payson Walkers start their excursions at 9 a.m. daily. The hour-long walks are on pavement. Everyone is welcome, just remember to park away from the most used areas of any parking lot so as to not block business/clients, etc.

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Last chance to register for Women’s Wellness Forum

The 15th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum, Straight from the Heart, is Saturday, March 23 at the Payson High School.

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St. Vincent de Paul thrift store a delight

Listen up! I’m starting a campaign to banish the word “basically” from our vocabulary.

Editor’s note to Greer disappointing

I was disappointed in your perceived need to respond to Pete Greer’s letter to the editor on creationism.

Democrats = misery

What do New York City, Chicago (Obama’s turf) and Detroit all have in common?

Problems with creationism

I wanted to thank the editor for stating the obvious after the deluge of misinformation recently published equating creationism as a theory on a par with evolution.

Legislature robbing students who are most in need

Creating a successful school is not like building a table. If a person wants to build a table, he or she first buys top-quality wood.

Baseball team works with youth at camp

A field of 36 enthusiastic, but fledgling baseball players turned out March 14 for the inaugural Future Longhorn Baseball Camp held on PHS field.

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Horn duo speeds to gold at RV

It has been decades since the Payson High School track program has had a one-two sprinting punch the likes of senior Payson Bobier and freshman Wyatt Chapman.

Chilson, Brown at it again

As two of Division III’s fastest sprinters, Payson’s Morgan Chilson and Savannah Brown of St. Johns have over the past four years locked horns in some epic track and field battles that have thrilled fans, spectators and coaches.

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Longhorns split on the diamond vs. BR, FH

The Payson High School baseball team now knows well the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

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PHS anglers on top at Roosevelt

A pair of tournament bass fishing teams comprised of Payson High students shined at the Western Outdoor News (WON) team tournament held March 9 at Roosevelt Lake.

Journalism scholarships offered to seniors

The Arizona Press Women are awarding two college scholarships to students interested in pursuing a career in journalism. The APW encourages students in rural towns to apply.

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Carpino graduates NAU with honors

John and Luann Carpino, parents of Jessalyn Marie Carpino, are proud to announce the December 2012 graduation of their daughter from Northern Arizona University.

Friday, March 15

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Who you gonna call?

Team seeks clues to things that go bump in the night at Journigan House

If you’re here,” said Ron Holcomb patiently in the eerie silence of the dark Journigan House dining room well past the witching hour, “turn on the flashlight.”

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More indictments in medical pot case

The case against Nature’s Harvest and several of its employees for allegedly selling medical marijuana and running a criminal enterprise continued Thursday.

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School board OKs ‘achievement’ administrator

Budget woes complicate effort to hire person to boost student test scores

The financially-pressed Payson School Board on Monday voted to add a director of student achievement to the staff, with a potential salary of $88,000.

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Tonto Basin school head quits her job

Weatherly bows to uproar, but defends efforts to cope with mandates

Caught in a riptide between tradition versus school reform, Tonto Basin Superintendent Mary Lou Weatherly resigned from her position a short year-and-a-half into her tenure.

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Judge reprimanded for sexist comments

A Globe judge has been reprimanded for judicial misconduct after reportedly making sexist comments during a staff meeting.

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Community Almanac

St. Vincent de Paul’s new thrift shop has a half-off winter wear sale this Friday, Saturday and Monday and again next week. It’s a new shop, but you can find lots of good stuff already.

A promise is a promise

The Payson School Board this week loaded the gun, took aim at its big toe and pulled the trigger. Misfire. Thank goodness.

An outpouring of love

To everyone that attended our service to celebrate Christopher A. Johnson at his daughter’s Saturday, March 9: Seeing all of you warmed our hearts.

State sovereignty bill would strengthen ‘checks and balances’ system

There has been plenty of misinformation about a resolution I’ve sponsored that is moving through the Legislature, and I am trying to clear it up.

Why is it taking so long to bring murder case to trial?

I wonder how long it will take Sharrod Stone to go on trial as he’s involved the death of two people.

Fuels reduction program faces alarming budget ax

An agenda item about service reduction levels was a topic of discussion at the recent Pine-Strawberry Fire District board meeting.

Integrity more important

A recent letter writer recommends Arizona voters stop voting according to party affiliation and start voting for candidates with integrity, intelligence and compassion (“Arizona is an ‘adult’”, Roundup, March 5).

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Democratic Women of Rim Country hear call to arms

Activist Randy Parraz spurred recall of Senate president, now targeting Maricopa County sheriff

The grassroots activist who led the successful effort to recall State Senate President Russell Pearce and now seeks to recall longtime Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio spoke passionately about the state Tuesday to the Democratic Women of Rim Country.

Head Start enrolling

Head Start is currently enrolling for the 2013-2014 school year.

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Controversy over new classroom process

The Payson Unified School District’s plan to hire a consultant to help teachers engage students has provoked decidedly mixed reviews.

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Plan now to use state’s long-term care system

ALTCS can help provide safety net for senior citizens

As the population ages, everyone should make a plan to obtain care in case of a disabling injury or illness. Unfortunately, options are both limited and expensive.

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Duo helps lead resurgence of Rim music

How successful a musical collaboration is might be judged by how productive it is. If so, then Cinnamon Twist — Anne James and Jennifer Baltz — is quite a successful collaboration.

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Things to consider for a successful pet adoption

Here at the Humane Society of Central Arizona, we love a happy ending. Adoption success stories are what it’s all about.

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Comet stages show sunset on the western horizon

If you miss the comet Panstarrs in the next few nights between 7 and 7:45 p.m. just above the western horizon, you’ll have to wait a bit for another chance.

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Gardening Classes at Payson Community Garden

March 16: Planting Planner by Kathy Hicken

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Community Garden opens Saturday

The Payson Community Garden will open this weekend, after Rim Country’s fickle March forced a postponement last week.

Women’s golf gets going this month

The Payson Women’s Golf Association will host a kick-off breakfast meeting followed by a round of golf at Payson Golf Course Tuesday, March 26.

Listen for wild turkey mating calls

Winter is coming to a close, the days are getting longer, and the comfortable temperatures encourage more outside activities.

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Mogollon Sporting Association rides to the rescue

Tickets on sale now for annual spring banquet

Much like the U.S. Cavalry rode to the rescue in Old West movies, the Mogollon Sporting Association galloped in to help the Payson High School football program.

Lady Horns coach beams; Lobos ambushed

Lady Longhorns softball coach Will Dunman’s huge grin and upbeat attitude are there for a reason — his team totally dominated longtime nemesis Snowflake 14-0 .

Horns muzzle Snowflake 6-4 in Lobo land

The Longhorn baseball team survived a four-error outing to edge a very good Snowflake Lobo team 6-4 in a showdown of two longtime small-town Arizona rivals.

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Longhorns eyeing state bid

PHS golf team secures 2 of 5 scores needed

Only three matches into the 2013 season, the Payson High golf team has nailed down the second of five qualifying scores needed to advance to the season-ending Division III state tournament.

Businessman was one of the people who changed my life

My last Air Force unit was a 21-man field training detachment at RAF Upper-Heyford, England. Like all Air Force outfits, we met once a month for commander’s call.

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Showcase a chance to support neighbors

Most of us, at one time or another, have likely attended a fund-raising event, where most of the money raised was derived from the many silent auction items present.

Support appreciated

To all my friends and neighbors in Pine, Strawberry, Payson, surrounding area and readers of the P/S Happenings column — Thank you.

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Christopher Creek getting ready for spring

Hello again, fellow Creekers. Wow! That was sure one doozy of a storm. We sure have had an interesting winter this year. I’m not sure if that was the last big snowstorm or not, but regardless it seems like the community is ready to “spring” into action!

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That roar is more than water — it’s boulders and debris

Christopher Creek is roaring for the second time this winter. Last week’s 13-inch-plus snowfall, with intermingled rain and “thunder sleet,” is melting off quite rapidly.

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Wild weather keeps us all guessing

What a week! Tonto Village was hammered by a blinding snowstorm last Friday, which continued into Saturday.

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Clubs and Organizations

Payson Walkers start their excursions at 9 a.m. daily. The hour-long walks are on pavement. Everyone is welcome, just remember to park away from the most used areas of any parking lot so as to not block business/clients, etc.

Thursday, March 14

Comet stages show at sunset to the west

If you miss the comet Panstarrs in the next few nights between 7 and 7:45 p.m. just above the western horizon, you’ll have to wait a bit for another chance. Let’s say, 110,000 years.

Wednesday, March 13

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Tonto Schools superintendent resigns under fire

Tonto Basin Elementary School Superintendent Mary Lou Weatherly resigned at the school board meeting on Tuesday, March 12.

At The Movies-Oz the Great and Powerful

An entertaining prequel

“Oz The Great and Powerful” is an entertaining prequel to the immortal classic “The Wizard of Oz.”

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From the heart; for the heart

15th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum is March 23

Each beat of our heart sends our life’s blood through our body — usually effortlessly, always without a thought on our part.

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Take a feel good vacation at a spa

Spas have been available to folks for many years. You may not have tried one, but wondered what they were really like.

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Getaway Around Rim Country

There is still time to register for a variety of sports programs planned by the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.

Good 2 Go

Join the annual Quilt Angels Quilt-a-Thon from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 13, 14 and 15 at the First Baptist Church in Pine, 4039 N. Highway 87. Lunch will be provided.

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Rim Country Places

Chapter 15: Four Peaks

Anyone who has lived in Arizona for some time becomes familiar with its mountain peaks, each with its story and tradition.

Sciatica often leaves on its own

As someone preparing for a liver biopsy, please discuss the procedure, recovery and possible side effects.

Tuesday, March 12

Kayaker dies in East Verde

Flood traps Valley man under 8-foot falls in remote stretch

A kayaking trip turned deadly for a group of friends Saturday when a veteran outdoorsman drowned in a remote stretch of the East Verde River below Doll Baby Ranch.

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Slip sliding away

Storm spurs slew of crashes, rescue from flooded Tonto Creek

As a winter storm blew through Rim Country this weekend, police rescued from Tonto Creek a couple who drove around barricades and responded to at least 40 vehicle slide-offs and collisions.

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Terrible turnover

School sees 21% of its pupils come and go

Last year Julia Randall Elementary (JRE) teachers struggled to cope with a student turnover rate of 21 percent as students came and went. This year looks like more of the same.

RV parking protest

A single citation for parking a recreational vehicle in the town’s right of way in a quiet Payson neighborhood set in motion an avalanche of protests that rumbled into the council chambers last week.

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Taste of the Rim triumph

Top chefs contend to benefit library

“It’s more than a library, it’s a community center,” said Kathy Morgan, chair of the Taste of the Rim committee during the sell-out fund-raiser featuring some of Rim Country’s best chefs.

Superintendent roils Tonto school

Board slated to discuss complaints, plunge in enrollment

Controversy about actions of the new superintendent and plunging enrollment as a result will dominate this week’s meeting of the Tonto Basin School Board.

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Community Almanac

Down the Street Art Gallery is conducting a food drive now through First Friday, April 5.

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Payson council hopes to attract pilotless drones

Payson plans to overhaul airport rules to get on ‘cutting edge’ of research, technology

If the Payson Town Council has its way, Rim Country could wind up on the cutting edge of the explosive expansion in the use of pilotless drone aircraft.

Elite Properties acquires Four Seasons Realty

Robert C. Kline, president of Arizona of Elite Properties, is proud to announce the acquisition of Four Seasons Realty owned and operated by Betty Gooder.

Town will buy compressor for fire crews

The bills keep trickling in on Payson’s third fire station.

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Volunteers bring smiles to many tax filers

“It is something I can give back to the community,” explained Liz Hansen as she worked as a volunteer receptionist for the tax preparation service sponsored by American Association for the Advancement of Retired People (AARP) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the Payson Elks Lodge.

Payson approves another stop sign on Easy Street

The Payson Town Council last week voted a rare approval for a new, all-direction stop sign — this one at the T-intersection where Bradley Drive meets Easy Street.

Dynamic duo dominates sprints in Queen Creek

Payson High speedsters Morgan Chilson and Michelle Schatz are rapidly becoming the finest one-two punch in Division III track and field.

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PHS soccer stars tapped for All-State

Better late than never might be the best way to describe the March 6 announcement of the Division IV All-State soccer season.

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Blazing frosh dazzles sprint field

Chapman, teammates lift Horns to 4th-place finish at Skydome

Payson High School freshman speedster Wyatt Chapman stamped himself one of the premier sprinters in the state by winning the 60-yard dash at the Ninth Annual Northland Prep Skydome Classic.

Camp, game at Salt River, discount cards on to-do list

When a Payson High School student athlete makes the commitment to play sports, he or she is signing up for more than just games, practices, road trips and increased academic requirements.

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Vandals strike out; Lobos on deck

Small-school baseball rivalry brings out best

While the Longhorn baseball team is off to an impressive 6-1 start highlighted by a 6-3 win over Division II Bradshaw Mountain, the real test of the team’s mettle should come today, March 12 against longtime rival Snowflake.

Creationism and evolution

I want to respond to comments put forth in the article about Senator Crandall and SB1213.

Hanging on or giving in always a tough choice

Although I have mixed feelings about the Lady Longhorns softball team forfeiting a Wrangler Classic Tournament game to Coolidge with the game in extra innings and the score tied 6-6, I would never second-guess coach Will Dunman or any other coach, for that matter.

Look at the scenarios

President Obama is back on the campaign trail trying to secure backing for his anti-gun proposals, which he knows won’t pass Congress and for good reason.

School figures show depth of the downturn

School reformers — taken note. Town planners — pay attention. Business boosters — take heed. The workers in this town can’t hold their breaths indefinitely.

Weather change

The environmental wackos say we are in climate change, that temperatures are rising, they say.

Becoming a self-sustaining remote mountain community

The Rim Country’s future as a resilient remote mountain community is of practical interest to everyone in the Rim area.

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Contract approved to design new water line

Line would bypass Blue Ridge pipeline treatment plant so town can sell irrigation water to golf courses, university

The Payson Town Council last week approved a $31,000 engineering contract with Tetra Tech to complete the design of a water line that will allow the town to sell water from the Blue Ridge pipeline to golf courses and other customers.

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Forum’s focus — From the heart; for the heart

15th Annual Women’s Wellness Forum is March 23

Each beat of our heart sends our life’s blood through our body — usually effortlessly, always without a thought on our part.

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Women’s Wellness Breakout Sessions

Dr. Cynthia Booth is an obstetrician and gynecologist who will help participants discover ways to live healthy, decrease headaches and eliminate toxins.

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Weather forecast: Winter will yield to spring

After an intense cold system from the north dumped inches of precipitation on Rim Country over the weekend, the week’s weather now calls for increasing temperatures.

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Father and son tackle Humphrey’s Peak on snowshoes

Shared misery, view from the top proves tough bond

Morris Brown and his son are the kind of people who can reconnect in zero-degree temperatures, under weighty packs, over death-trap crevasses and high up on icy mountain peaks.

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Colorful nook for artists

It only takes quick look inside the newly opened Nook to hook the senses.

Clubs and Organizations

The Loyal Order of the Moose meetings are at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

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Acolyte Ice

Easily distracted and chronically late writer discovers an alien world on a windshield

I groaned. Then I sighed. The Jeep was ice-bound.

Monday, March 11

Kayaker dies in East Verde River

A kayaker drowned this weekend in the East Verde River when their kayak flipped, according to the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

Friday, March 8

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Winter makes comeback

Green Valley Lake strollers in shorts and Tj-shirts jonesing for the onset of spring on Thursday had a rude surprise waiting for them on Friday.

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Board rejects offer

School district calls special meeting to consider offers for shuttered Frontier

After an hour of discussion in an executive session, the Payson Unified School District board rejected three offers from potential buyers for the mothballed Frontier Elementary and 501 S. McLane school sites.

Bank fraud spreads

Residents urged to replace debit, credit cards

A growing number of local residents this week found fraudulent charges on their debit and credit card statements, victims in a rampant cyber attack that has for months targeted Bashas’ customer database.

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Joy in Mudville!

Payson clobbers Bradshaw. Now at 5-1 for season, team’s prospects bright

Nick McMullen’s booming 350-foot home run over the left center field fence Wednesday had Longhorn baseball fans and players hootin’ and hollerin’ as if they were clutching winning lottery tickets.

Accident results in abuse plea

A man whose daughter died in July during a four-wheeling trip west of town pleaded guilty Monday to child abuse.

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Bank robber faked bomb

A man who robbed a Payson bank in August with a simulated homemade bomb pled guilty Thursday to armed robbery.

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Community Almanac

Head down to the new Tiger’s Gaming Lounge at Mazatzal Hotel & Casino from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, March 8 for the grand opening festivities. There will be giveaways and snacks and it is only $4 per hour per person to play.

Payson groups join Arizona Gives

Local nonprofits join statewide effort to make giving a breeze

Volunteer and nonprofit organizations throughout the state will join forces on March 20 for the first-ever “Arizona Gives Day,” in hopes of enlisting 20,000 volunteers and donors in a good cause.

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New high school class creates confusion and controversy

Careers class provokes teacher, student complaints

Discontent has seethed under the surface of Payson High School (PHS) since the beginning of the school year over the new Career and Technical Preparation (CTP) class.

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Woman honored for decades with Red Cross

If you have ever participated in anything related to the Red Cross in Rim Country, you’ve probably crossed paths with Barbara Brandt.

Controlled fire near Mesa del Caballo planned for Friday

A 100-acre prescribed fire operation is projected in the Mesa del Caballo area to remove scattered slash Friday, dependent on weather conditions.

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Friends rally to support longtime Payson families

Mike and Destry, two of Payson’s true sons each now facing great challenges

Supporters are rallying to support two longtime Payson families dealing with serious medical challenges.

Community rallies to support local teen

The signs have popped up all over town, on store windows and at the front offices of schools: “Benefit for Kayla Woolwine April 6 at the Spur Bar, Star Valley at 12:00 p.m.”

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Arizona State Parks looks to repair, update facilities

As manager of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, Steve Jakubowski envisions a day when visitors will be able to stay overnight at the 1920s-era lodge that houses the visitor center.

Time to get the green on

The Rim Country Celts are planning two celebrations next week.

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Tonto Monument announces special evening program

Tonto National Monument will open its ancient cliff dwellings at night from 5:30 to 7:30, Saturday, March 9, to offer visitors a rare opportunity to visit an ancient world.

State is interfering with local concerns

House Bill 2455, if passed, would require that all guns confiscated by the police, sheriff or other law enforcement agencies by sold.

Apology due for editorial cartoon of Feb. 26

I am writing in response to the editorial cartoon that was published in the Payson Roundup on Feb. 26.

Coverage misleading

It would really be a good thing if the editor could refrain from editing when posing as a reporter. Mr. Aleshire’s coverage of Congressman Gosar’s remarks was misleading at best.

Committee chairs needed

The Northern Gila County Fair Committee would like to thank the citizens of Northern Gila County for their continued support of the fair.

The disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street

The stock market is at an all-time high. It’s basically back to where it was in 2000. Corporate earnings have doubled since then.

Obama’s life

I was watching the news this morning and saw this quote “WH: most transparent in history.”

Hurrah! District didn’t sell Frontier

Thank goodness the Payson School Board decided not to sell Frontier Elementary School — at least for now.

Fundamentals basketball camp not to be missed

The Town of Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department-sponsored Fundamental Basketball Academy is an exciting offering that aspiring players in third to eighth grade will surely want to take advantage of.

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Horns tee off 2013 with impressive ‘W’

The Payson High School golf team took its first step toward qualify for the regular season-ending Division III state tournament by carding a winning 148 score at a three-way match played March 5 at Chaparral Pines.

Track trio, talented frosh pace PHS

If the remainder of the Payson High School track and field season continues to unfold as did the 2013 opener at Queen Creek High School, both Longhorn teams are in for banner years.

Repairing fishing equipment in the off season

It’s early March and most of the hunting seasons are over, yet, spring is still a few weeks away.

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Haught Classic draws 4 new teams

The field of four new teams — Tempe, St. Johns, St. Mary’s and Tanque Verde — has joined 16 returning teams to give the annual Gracie Haught Classic one of the largest and most unique fields in the state.

Clubs and Organizations

Michelle Abraham will be the speaker at Unity of Payson services at 10 a.m., Sunday, March 10. The title of her talk will be, Spiritual Unfoldment — Unity members will take time out of their busy lives to be at peace and one with God and take time to recharge their commitment to life, to apply spiritual principles and surrender what is no longer supporting them.

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Wet weather creating slick roadway conditions

Scanner traffic Friday morning is flooded with reports of slick roadway conditions and vehicle/semi slide-offs after a storm moved in overnight. Reports indicate travel is treacherous east of town on Highway 260 and north on Highway 87.

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Birds of all feathers flock together

On any given day during this winter season, one could stroll, jog or skate through Green Valley Park and see more varieties of waterfowl and birds than I have seen in my 10 years of Rim Country living.

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Calling all quilters and others too

Join the annual Quilt Angels Quilt-a-Thon from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 13, 14 and 15 at the First Baptist Church in Pine, 4039 N. Highway 87.

Teacher was one of the people who changed my life

I have a confession, Johnny. I am not just me; I am a lot of people rolled up into one.

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Spring is starting to make her mark

If I didn’t know that the Rim Country is expecting another storm this weekend, I would think that spring has sprung.

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Another week in the Creek

Christopher Creek, 6,000 feet, is no stranger to snow. In 1967, we, as well as most of Rim Country, had six feet in one dramatic storm.

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Know your neighbor: Linda Digman

It’s time for another installment of “better know your neighbor” — this week I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Digman.

Thursday, March 7

Board could vote on selling Frontier Thursday

The Payson Unified School Board will hold a special meeting Thursday, March 7 at noon to discuss and possibly act on offers to buy former Frontier Elementary School and the former Payson Center for Success building at 501 S. McLane.

Wednesday, March 6

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At The Movies-Warm Bodies

An excursion into a rare area

Warm Bodies is a full bore $30 million production with some snappy writing, professional direction and acting that is certainly good enough for the genre. It is also a love story/Zombie flick.

Men do get urinary tract infections

I take Coumadin because of atrial fibrillation. I’ve taken it for 13 years. Never in all those years has anyone, doctor or nurse, told me not to eat lettuce or other salad greens. My cousin just did. She wasn’t sure why, but she said those foods mess up Coumadin. I have regular blood tests. None has shown that my Coumadin level needs adjusting. What is this green vegetable taboo?

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Arizona Mineral Belt Railroad

A tunnel under the Rim is all that is left in the Payson area of the Arizona Mineral Belt Railroad.

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Touring Eastern Europe and Dracula’s castle

Is this the year you are considering travel to Europe? The tour companies are telling us early bookings suggest a busy travel year in Europe.

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Getaway Around Rim Country

Rim packs plenty to do in coming days

Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church is hosting a community breakfast from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., Friday, March 8 at 507 W. Wade Lane. Breakfast includes scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, hash browns, coffee and juice.

Good 2 Go

Mark your calendars now! In addition to the Payson Choral Society’s regular spring concert set for April 27, there will be a special concert at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 9 that will feature both the 70-member Payson Choral Society and the highly rated 100-member Tempe Chorus.

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Food, wine, and books = bliss

Library patrons and food lovers rejoice! It’s time for 2013’s Taste of Rim Country. Participating in the feast and festivities are: Cake Love by Monica; Creekside Steakhouse; Gerardo’s Firewood Café; The Journigan House; Mazatzal Bakers (casino); Miss Fitz 260 Café; Payson High School Culinary Club; Randall House; and Zane Grey Restaurant.

Tuesday, March 5

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Pinyon pines facing dark future as climate shifts

Climate shift threatens wholesale slaughter of tree that dominates Rim Country

The projected rise in the length and severity of drought could devastate the pinyon pine forests that surround Payson, according to a growing body of research.

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Students falter

Special education rates high, scores low

A daunting 18 percent of Payson Unified School District (PUSD) students are enrolled in special education classes (SPED), some 10 percent more than the average Arizona districts, said Director Barbara Fitzgerald at the Feb. 25 school board meeting.

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Congressman hails sequester cutbacks

Rep. Gosar: President Obama, Democrats want to ‘break your back’

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Prescott) on Saturday in Payson hailed the onset of $85 billion in federal spending cuts as a result of automatic cuts triggered Friday.

Milk Ranch Well needs filter after all

Pine-Strawberry water district hopes to curb problems with sand, turbidity

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District governing board has unanimously approved spending $32,000 to add a filtration system to the Milk Ranch No. 1 well site.

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Bashas’ cyber attack hits Rim Country

A cyber attack that targeted credit and debit card information of Bashas’ customers, is hitting local residents, according to recent reports.

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Community Almanac

The Gila County Attorney’s Office will present Open Meeting Law classes to the public in Payson in March.

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Ancient mysteries in modern light

Photographers savor a rare chance to explore Upper Ruins

Mystery. Light. History. Angles. Breathtaking views. All await discovery among the 700-year-old Upper Cliff Ruins of the Tonto National Monument. Normally, the national park requires reservations for tours up the rustic three-mile, round-trip trail — and that is only from November to April. Guests may take a guided tour, photo walk or full-moon hike to the top.

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Prescribed fire treatment set for Verde Glen

Tonto National Forest crews will burn 500 acres either Tuesday, March 5 or Wednesday, March 6 off Forest Road 32 south of Verde Glen. Smoke in the treatment areas may linger through Sunday, March 10.

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State parks boost family camping throughout Arizona this spring

Arizona State Parks’ Arizona Family Campout Program is designed for families who have little or no experience camping.

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College-bound teens hunt for scholarships

On a recent winter morning, a local Rim Country father and business owner stopped by the Roundup offices looking for answers on scholarships.

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Buckles awarded to outstanding volunteers

The Payson Rodeo Committee volunteers help put on Payson’s two annual rodeos, including the May 17-18 Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo and the Aug. 16-18 World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo, which started in 1884.

Police finally fill second-in-command slot

On the job for several months, the newest member of the Payson Police Department, Sherwood “Woody” Eldredge Jr. is already busy at work overhauling the department’s policy manual and giving the chief a welcome break.

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Food, wine, books = bliss

Taste of Rim Country food sampling party has helped library for a decade

Library patrons and food lovers rejoice — It’s time for 2013’s Taste of Rim Country food sampling gala to raise money for the Payson Public Library.

Arizona is an ‘adult’

Since our beloved state is now 101 years old as of Feb. 14, 2013, we can now shed our adolescent behavior and start to act like an adult in the political sense.

Thanks PRMC

Having just had a baby girl in the labor and delivery department of Payson Regional Medical Center, I wanted to give a note of appreciation to the wonderful staff.

This is the proof — not really

Here we go again. During an outbreak of violence in New Orleans, at the time of Katrina, guns were confiscated from a segment of people involved in rioting.

Mourn victims of abortion

As a nation we have sadly come together and mourned the death of 20 innocent children in Newtown, Conn.

Offensive choice

Your decision to publish a particular editorial cartoon about the pope on Feb. 26 was an extremely poor and insulting choice.

Crime free Payson?

One of the duties of any newspaper is to keep people informed about criminal activity. No crime reports recently.

Teachers’ fears

The teachers main concern should be about testing.

Both parties fail test of leadership

The circus continues. Last week, the first installment on a haphazard, poorly considered trillion dollars worth of federal budget cuts took effect as both parties once again failed the test of leadership.

State eyes oversight of health care changes

Although Arizona has decided not to establish a health insurance exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act, a lawmaker wants to make sure the state maintains its oversight of insurers and policies.

The sequester and what it could mean for you

As headlines announce the sequester, many people are wondering what the budget cuts will mean for the economy — and for their own finances. Here, we address several of the key questions that may be on your mind.

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Big Lots opens in Rim Country Mall

Big Lots of Payson opened Friday with a bang.

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Clubs and Organizations

Winners at Tuesday Bridge Club February 26 were: Flo Moeur, first; Eleanor Love, second; Mary Kemp, third.

Area golfers have good showing

Chaparral Pines golfer Marc Apps captured the Arizona Golf Association 2013 Short Course championship, carding a 3-under par 115 while playing in wind gusts that reached 38 mph.

Horns stymie Mustangs

The young and scrappy Payson High School baseball team improved its record to 4-1 with a 15-5 drubbing of a Heber Mogollon diamond crew that was playing its season opener without much practice time due to the inclement weather that limited the time the Mustangs could prep outdoors.

First hunt memorable for fifth-grader

The rifles and bows are now back in their cases, stored away for the next hunting season.

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Jayvee golfers triumph in season opener

Although Payson High School Athletic Director Don Heizer was walking the fairways at Payson Golf Course to watch a Longhorn junior golf match, he left PGC impressed by some of the ongoing intangibles that often occur in high school sports.

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Petersen tapped as Wrangler tourney MVP

Lady Longhorn senior catcher Taylor Petersen, who is bound for Southern Idaho University on a full athletic scholarship, was named the Wrangler Classic Girls Softball Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

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Horns blanked in All-Section bid

Voters don’t get to see all players over course of the regular season

Blanked, shut out, zero, zilch, zippo — that’s how many Payson High School basketball players were named to the Division III All-Section III first or second team when the Arizona Interscholastic Association announced last week the results of coaches’ postseason voting.

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Eat right with personalized food choices

March is National Nutrition Month, a time to focus on healthy eating and sound physical activity habits.

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Our pets are good for our health

Drive through any neighborhood in Payson and you are sure to see people walking their dogs — I don’t know if any survey has ever been done, but it seems to me that Payson has one of the largest dog populations in the country.

Friday, March 1

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Our pot of gold

Event reveals our true treasure

I got stuck back stage. At least, that’s how it seemed at first.

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School position filled

Wala now rounds out diverse Payson board

With the appointment of Devin Wala to the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) board, Gila County Superintendent Linda O’Dell has completed the cast of characters that will lead the district for the next two years.

Pine gets superintendent

With small-town style, the Pine- Strawberry School District hired Duncan Elementary School Principal Cody Barlow to replace retiring Superintendent Mike Clark.

Two break-ins, one arrest

Police have arrested a 34-year-old man in connection with two recent break-in cases, one at a local antique shop and another at a home.

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She rides a long stretch of deadly highway

When Department of Public Safety Officer Tiffany Harold drives Highway 87 down from the Rim, she is like most drivers, captured by the natural beauty that unfolds at each turn of the journey. But Harold also sees every cross, every accident hot spot and the place she came upon her first fatal.

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Community Almanac

The Gila County Republican Party’s Annual Lincoln Day Luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2 at Tiny’s Family Restaurant on East Highway 260.

Let’s stage Bizarro tours of Arizona

Glad to see the Legislature’s being creative about stimulating tourism in Arizona. You gotta figure: Look what the Loch Ness Monster has done for Scotland.

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Kite Night for First Friday

No need to mess with glue and tape, but you’ll still want to roll up your sleeves when you settle in at Down the Street Art Gallery on Kite Night.

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Police volunteer tops 10,000 hours of service

Tom Brown knows any time Payson Police Chief Don Engler walks out of his office and heads toward him, it isn’t to say hello. Time after time, Engler has called on Brown to help around the department, working odd jobs no one else was either qualified for or willingly to do.

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Culinary program inspires students

Fund-raiser builds student skills while ensuring the program survives

“It totally changed my outlook,” exclaimed Elizabeth Krigbaum about the culinary arts program offered at Payson High School as she dished out food for this week at the program’s big fund-raiser — a tribute to the tastes of historic Route 66.

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Cupcake Cutups

Library squeezes cake decorating event into Art-rageous week

Katie Sanchez, children’s activities coordinator at the Payson Public Library, and Monica Vaughn, cake decorator par excellence, waited patiently, as children slowly trickled in to the all-purpose room at the south end of the building, Thursday, Feb. 21.

Obstructionist government hinders economy

It is a shame when our own government tries to suppress legitimate business.

Expanding Medicaid vital

Expanding Arizona’s Medicaid program is vital to the well-being of children and their parents — our state’s working poor. As Arizona’s leading professional pediatric organization, we strongly urge support for Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal.

Comrade Obama

To corroborate Jim Gier’s statement in a recent letter that says Americans have the right to bear arms in the event the government they founded should become tyrannical, here is a quote from Thomas Jefferson: “When the people fear the government, you have tyranny, but when the government fears the people, you have liberty.”

Instant gratification comes with a price tag

When faced with the prospect of reaching the federal debt ceiling, Mr. Obama devised a plan whereby the Congress would grant an increase in that limit, in exchange for an agreement to automatic spending cuts Jan. 1, 2013.

Rim Country justice has lots to be desired

“Jury acquits man of assault charges.” — The justice system in the Rim Country and Payson leaves a lot to be desired.

Rethink sale of school

Regarding Frontier Elementary School (FES) — Originally I thought the sale of the school would be for a further educational use (a private school or Gila Community College expansion), which makes some sense; but to sell it just to get it off the asset roles needs some rethinking.

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Opening antique shop no fairy tale

Woman overcomes obstacles to pursue American dream

Once upon a time, a woman with a love of collecting decided to share her passion and open her own antique store.

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Pets provide many developmental benefits to kids

Having a pet is usually a rite of childhood.

Lady Horns kick off 2013 campaign in Wickenburg

The Lady Longhorn softball team kicked off the 2013 campaign today, March 1, at the 10th Annual Wrangler Classic in Wickenburg.

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Clubs and Organizations

Men, it’s time for another “Breakfast for a Buck” at Ponderosa Bible Church, 1800 N. Beeline Highway.

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Optimism reigns as Horn tracksters prep for season

Payson High School track team conditioning and training practice sessions have taken on a more dynamic and technical nature that focus on developing core body muscles including the transversus abdominis (TVA), the muscles of the pelvic floor, the lats and the obliques.

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Speedsters set for a banner year

Morgan Chilson kicks off her senior track and field season tomorrow, March 2 at the Queen Creek Invitational, hoping to set a personal record in the 100 meters and lead her 4x100 team into the state finals.

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Gunslinger accepts $1,000 plus for youth trap and skeet club

Caitlin Harold, a 9-year-old member of the Payson Gun Slingers youth trap and skeet club, gladly accepted on Saturday evening at an NRA banquet a $1621.60 check that will be used to help the Payson Bird Busters continue their program of training local youth in the proper use of firearms.

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Celebrating all around the community

On Saturday, March 2, the staff of Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine will join millions of librarians, teachers, administrators and students across the country in a celebration of Read Across America Day.

Recreation Roundup

The Payson High School baseball team is offering a one-day camp from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, March 14 for all boys in the third to eighth grades.

Spring sports keep weekend busy for Horns

The Lady Longhorn softball team kicked off the 2013 campaign today, March 1, at the 10th Annual Wrangler Classic in Wickenburg.

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Go Girls get going in Show Low

The Payson team entry in the White Mountain-based Go-Girl volleyball club program continues to turn heads.

Children put down deep roots Part 2

Ah yes, children put down deep roots! For a time back when I was 11, I was ready to dig in, find my roots, climb in with them, and pull the sod over me.

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Music lovers urged to attend concert

This Saturday evening, March 2, at 7 p.m. in the Payson High School auditorium, the Tonto Community Concert Association will present its seventh, and next to last, concert of the 2012-2013 season – Ricky Nelson Remembered.

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Tonto Village residents more than ready for winter to come to an end

February is gone! Come on March and warmer weather and hopefully no more snow.