Stories for May 2013


Friday, May 31

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Air ambulance evacuates woman from Beaver Valley

The Whispering Pines Fire Department on Tuesday called for a Native Air helicopter to evacuate a young woman injured in an accident. The medical air ambulance landed in a field in nearby Beaver Valley.

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Cattle grazing: Problem or solution?

Cattle grazing: The problem or the solution?

Game and Fish Department simplifying hunting, fishing fees

With a stagnant revenue stream and waning youth involvement, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is overhauling its hunting and fishing license fee structure.

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A hidden paradise

Wind rushing through the tops of ponderosa pines sounds like a flowing river, one of the distinctive sounds of the Mogollon Rim. Nestled deep in a forested canyon, C.C. Cragin Reservoir (formerly Blue Ridge Reservoir) offers campers and explorers a piece of paradise — in addition to securing Payson’s water future.

Forest Service and loggers can restore forest health

Reference editor Pete Aleshire’s feature on the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, I believe we the public should have done more to maintain the health of the forests, the other plant communities, soil and water quality, and our atmosphere. These renewable resources have been compromised by uncontrolled wildfires, forest and ecosystem neglect and general mismanagement of the national forests.

School board’s hard choices

The wrenching changes in the Payson Unified School District continue to stagger teachers, administrators, students, parents and employees.

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Community almanac

Wheels on the Rim Show ’n’ Shine is Saturday

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Can we avert catastrophe?

A long-awaited effort to restore forest health through commercial thinning projects will get under way in June near Show Low, the U.S. Forest Service has announced.

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Town pondering budget cutbacks

With no one at town hall talking, it is unclear whether Payson’s tentative budget still includes cuts in the fire department’s operations.

Abuse cases spur arrests

Police arrested two men in separate child abuse cases recently after one reportedly left his 2-year-old on the side of the road and the other allegedly hit his 2-month-old on the head, leaving a golf ball-size knot.

Wildfire consumes home

A forest fire near Young that quickly burned up a home and 20 surrounding acres is out and officials have let residents return to their homes.

Should Payson sell water?

I recently watched a huge tractor/trailer tanker truck filling up with water from a Payson town water hydrant behind our Home Depot store.

Town needs fire marshal

The fire department, as with any of the other town departments, is an essential and integral part of any municipality.

Thanks to volunteers

A special “thank you” to our race volunteers!

Dog park defended

This letter is in response to the letter about the off-leash dog park.

Fun Run successful

I would like to thank all the many businesses and individuals that helped make the American Legion Riders Annual Fun Run a huge success.

A cat’s tale

I was drifting around the streets of Payson lost and alone

P/S now ghost towns?

Pine and Strawberry were established in 1879 by Mormon families.

Political corruption

The corruption in the IRS has once again come to the attention of the public.

Brave vote for reform

Everyone agrees that something must be done regarding our outdated and ineffective immigration system.

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Don’t miss opportunity to win quilt

It was great to see people smiling and having a good time at the Arts and Crafts Guild Memorial Day weekend event.

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Christopher Creek busy over holiday weekend

Christopher Creek was a happening place over the long weekend.

Sometimes all you can do is say thank you

It is 4:25 p.m. on the afternoon of 6 May 2013.

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Doo-wop in the park Saturday

If it’s June and it’s Payson, it’s time for the Payson Parks and Recreation Department’s summer concert season to fly into high gear. Let the show begin!

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Fireflies in need of volunteers

The big Memorial weekend is now behind us. Tonto Village was full to overflowing with part-time residents enjoying the cool weather and primping up their cabins for the summer.

Team roping terminology for rodeo rookies

Lots of rodeo rookies and newbies will likely sit in the audience at the Sixth Annual Verl Gillespie Memorial Team Roping June 8 and 9 at the White Mountain Vacation Village Arena in Show Low.

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Team ropers unite to help families

Whether it’s the battle being waged for tourist dollars or prep sports supremacy, Payson and the White Mountain area towns are often at odds with one another.

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PHS softball players amass honors

Petersen, Paulson, Wessel tapped for postseason slots

Prep softball coaches have elected a trio of highly talented Lady Longhorns All-Division III honorees.

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Payson golfers in the money

Usually the Payson Men’s Golf Association weekly tournaments tee off on Wednesday mornings.

Honors roll in for McMullen

Nick McMullen, only a junior at Payson High, is rapidly becoming one of the most heralded high school baseball players in Arizona.

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Let’s keep our forest clean

The Memorial Day weekend crowds appeared to be at an all-time high, with the local campgrounds and day-use areas filled to capacity by Valley residents wanting to escape the heat of metropolitan Phoenix.

Wednesday, May 29

Camping at the venue

There are a limited number of camping spaces available at the Payson Event Center.

Fitness class turns efforts to race training

A group of seven members of a fitness class taught by Casandra Stouder have spent the last couple of months gearing up for the Mogollon Monster Mudder 5K.

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Archery events grow every year

Archers of all ages have an opportunity to test their skills and compete in two different events at the 2013 Mountain High Games at the Payson Event Center.

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The Mudda of all Mudders

The Mogollon Monster Mudder is the featured event of the 2013 Mountain High Games.

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ATV rides access Rim Country Glory

What would Mountain High Games be without a chance to get out in the mountains? That is at the heart of the ATV Trail Rides planned at the 2013 games.

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A shot at $1,000 in cash

The Horseshoe Tournament at the 2013 Mountain High Games is not a small deal.

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Live music adds to fun

The Dina Preston Band will start rocking the Payson Event Center at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, June 1 and be performing throughout the day until 2 p.m.

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Take aim at a terrific time

The Fifth Annual Mountain High Games are the Rim Country’s most family-friendly celebration of its great outdoor opportunities.

Tuesday, May 28

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Grading teachers changed

Ever walk into a classroom full of excited, engaged, can’t wait to learn students and wish your child could be there? That’s the feeling the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) hopes to create in every classroom.

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Chief: Reserve firefighters vital

Eliminating the reserve firefighter program could cost Payson dearly, says Fire Chief Marty deMasi, who said he was blindsided by the budget committee’s plans to retire the program.

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Grief mingles with pride

Memorial Day ceremonies in Green Valley yield moving tale of loss and recovery

It was hard to miss Michael Marks as he sat in the front row next to a black and white photo of a soldier in a uniform from the 1940s.

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SV’s gotta have it. What to do with it?

Star Valley now has a home, five acres and a barn

What will Star Valley do with a gutted three-story piecemealed home, a barn, a well and five acres?

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Class of 2013... nothing can stop them now

Eyes were teary, hearts were excited and full, and brains were — NOT being munched on by an infestation of zombies. Last week, another class of happy seniors graduated.

Scam caller pretends to be Sheriff Shepherd

A scammer claiming to be Gila County Sheriff Adam Shepherd is on the prowl.

Warm weather brings risk from rare virus

Precautions urged to help prevent spread of hantavirus

As warmer temperatures and wetter weather return to northern Arizona, so does the threat of hantavirus, a rare but fatal disease spread by infected rodent droppings.

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Community Garden goes high-tech

Some folks have set up solar panels in their plots in the Payson Community Garden.

County doesn’t need salary study

Let’s see if we have this right. Gila County wants to spend $90,000 to make sure it’s not underpaying its employees.

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Eighth-graders promoted to the big leagues

Around Rim Country, mothers pulled out tissues to watch their children move on to the last and final step in their child’s K-12 education during eighth grade promotions.

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Community Almanac

The music students of Dr. Victoria Harris will perform a spring concert at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 29 in Room 301, the community room, at Gila County Community College in Payson.

Many at Spring Rodeo were disrespectful

I really enjoy going to the rodeo and I think it was wonderful that the rodeo committee chose to honor our veterans and current military by devoting a section of the rodeo to acknowledge them.

Nurse practitioner requires rigorous study

It is obvious Deborah Nichols was never interviewed for Ms. Bechman’s recent news story “Payson doctor in legal tangle ...”

Neighbors need notice

Recently a pleasant Saturday afternoon was suddenly ripped apart by a very loud explosive noise.

What’s up with Crandell?

What’s up with our Senator Chester Crandell who is supposed to represent the people of Gila County in the Arizona Legislature?

Many made race a success

On Saturday, May 4, the Second Annual “Embrace Your Inner Geek” 10K and 5K races were held at Green Valley Park, co-sponsored by the Payson Association for Advanced Learners (PAAL), the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department and the Payson Unified School District (PUSD).

There should be choice of half- or all-day kindergarten

It appears the Payson School Board is rushing to embrace the all-day kindergarten concept and build additional rooms to accommodate that idea.

All-day kindergarten touted as key to boosting scores

A “very good “ preschool is more important in boosting scores than an all-day kindergarten.

Support for tour tremendous

A special thank you from the Payson Art League ’Neath the Rim Studio Tour artists.

Don’t sell Frontier Elementary

Thank you, Tom Garrett, for your letter objecting to the sale of Frontier Elementary School.

Republicans don’t have a good presidential candidate for 2016

The Republican lineup for 2016 includes the same old clown car crew from 2012: Rand Paul, Santorum, Newtster, Michele Bachmann (if she’s not in a mental ward) Sarah Palin (ditto) and Marco Rubio.

That wasn’t a lynch mob

Wow! In this era of political correctness, the editorial “A painful necessity” sure ignored any political correctness by calling the 150-plus attendees at the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District hearing “the lynch mob.”

Water board ignores users

An elected governmental board of directors whether unpaid or paid has an obligation to act in accordance with the expressed wishes of the public.

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Supervisors OK $89,000 salary study

Human resources firm to compare county salaries to similar positions

The Gila County Board of Supervisors included $500,000 in the 2012-2013 budget for a classification and compensation study to pay a consultant to review county positions and make recommendations .

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Gila County attorney hires paralegal

Gila County’s new attorney Bradley Beauchamp has done something no other attorney has done before. At least so far as anyone can remember in the county attorney’s office.

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Relay for Life joins battle against cancer

Each of us has been touched by cancer — a loved one, a friend, a co-worker, or perhaps we have fought the disease ourselves.

PWGA honors nine hole members

The Payson Women’s Golf Association Nine Hole Group members were honored on May 2 during a luncheon at Payson Golf Course for their winning performances a month earlier.

Ex-hoop coach heats up PGC

Herb Sherman is regaining some of the luster he enjoyed as a winning basketball coach at Scottsdale Coronado High School.

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JH finals beckon RCMS cowgirl

Rim Country Middle School student Bryndee Hall has qualified to compete at the world’s largest junior high rodeo.

Coaches’ salaries should come from M&O budget too

Payson High School Athletic Director Don Heizer deserves a big pat on the back for being able to wrangle increased coaching salaries from some administrators and board members who often seemed oblivious to adequately funding the paychecks.

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MSA awards Pettet scholarships to Neal, Vohs

During halftime of a 2009 Payson High School basketball game in Wilson Dome, Mogollon Sporting Association member Gary Barcom excited the crowd by announcing two new $2,000 scholarships would be available for future graduating seniors.

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Peterson knocking on Hall of Fame door

Semipro softball star and PWGA member to be honored Aug. 13 in Phoenix ceremony

In the 1940s and ’50s there were no Cardinals, no Suns, no Diamondbacks and no Coyotes for Arizona sports fans to follow.

Law, initiatives combat concussions in Arizona high school sports

Mary Shannon suffered her first concussion during North High School soccer tryouts in 2011, colliding with the goalie and hitting her head on the ground.

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PHS Band needs help funding trip to Gettysburg, NYC

Payson High School Band Director Daria Mason believes that music comes alive through history — that is why she will take 36 band students to perform in Gettysburg and New York for the National Festival of the States on June 10.

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Clubs and Organizations

Bill Davis (left), president of the Payson Lions, and Joe Preston, second international vice president helped the Payson Lions Club members and guests from around Arizona celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary at the Mazatzal Casino recently.

Friday, May 24

Payson rebuffs records request

The Town of Payson has refused to release the business plan for the upcoming medical marijuana dispensary in town.

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Fires dramatize restrictions

Payson and every national forest in northern Arizona this week imposed tough restrictions on the use of fire in the face of big crowds and dangerously dry conditions.

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Mountain lion rattles residents

It appears a cougar is on the loose in the Star Valley Lamplighter RV Park — not the two-legged variety (although they might be on the prowl, too). This one’s a four-legged mountain lion.

APS smart meters frighten protesters

Health effects, government eavesdropping spook crowd

A crush of people alarmed about the imminent installation of “smart meters” crowded the Payson Town Council meeting last week, hoping to convince the town to pass a resolution opposing the automated transmitters that intermittently send information on electricity use to Arizona Public Service.

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Yo-Yoers living among us

Payson does things with a twist. Usually, a town would have great Frisbee throwers, hacky-sack players or skateboarders, but in Payson, we have sponsored nationally competitive yo-yoers.

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School's Out!

The Payson High School class of 2013 collected their honors last night at Payson field amidst a throng of families, friends and well-wishers.

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Community Almanac

For the first time ever, the Northern Gila County Fair will have T-shirts for sale during the fair.

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Six PHS students head to national FBLA conference

Payson High School’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) returned from the Arizona FBLA State Leadership Conference with 11 trophies.

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Tire marks tell a story

On the parking lot pavement, two ribbons of black silently sat waiting to tell their story.

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Farmers Market opens this weekend

Get ready to find a new food addiction — the fifth annual Payson Farmers Market opens at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 25 — a great way to start the Memorial Day weekend.

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Duarte promoted to lieutenant

Gila County Sheriff Adam Shepherd recently promoted Detention Sgt. Christine J. Duarte to the rank of lieutenant from a field of four candidates.

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Memorial Day events around the Rim

Memorial Day ceremonies in Rim Country will mix solemn commemorations with some fun events as well.

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Pine veteran travels to DC with Honor Flight

John Wallen of Pine, who served as a lieutenant in the Army during World War II, was flown to Washington, D.C. as part of an Honor Flight.

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Local Red Cross volunteer recently honored

The American Red Cross recently honored local coordinator Roxey Bowers with the Grand Canyon Chapter’s Clara Barton Volunteer Leadership Award.

Community takes the heat off women’s shelter

The Time Out Shelter’s barren yard is a little cooler these days thanks to several new gazebos and plant donations.

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Youth have banquet of choices for fun

School’s out for the summer, so what are the kids going to do? Some may try to find summer employment; some might take classes; some may head off for summer camp. Athletes will start training.

Congressman vows abortion ban, despite court ruling

Rep. Trent Franks, (R-Glendale) says he will push for a national prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, just one day after a court ruled a similar law in Arizona unconstitutional.

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Volunteers cut trees to save meadows for elk

More than 60 Arizona Elk Society volunteers recently turned out to keep pines from overshadowing a patch of grasslands near Flagstaff for the benefit of local elk herds.

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Foreign students thrive at high school

An end-of-the-year Academic Awards Ceremony at Payson High School featured many talented and determined individuals, including many foreign exchange students.

Hate will eat you up

Thanks for being brave enough to ask this community for help.

No name-calling

As a longtime reader (15 years), I applaud your new policy of rejecting letters that use “name-calling” etc. and inappropriate language in your letters column.

No reason to change

What a great world this would be if people were to respond to (the May 10) editorial the same way you have responded to so much they have said in the past — with low-key, well-reasoned and constructive comments.

Page shouldn’t be your personal platform

Yes, I think it was very inappropriate for you to respond to the letter on creationism.

Two suggestions

I have two suggestions: Add at least a half-page to your letters portion of the op-ed.

Fair treatment with letters; but news coverage is slanted

Even though you and I obviously disagree on our political views, I feel that you have given both sides pretty fair treatment in your publication.

Arizona’s outdoors provides many benefits

Skim the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s weekly fishing report and you can see — spring is here and fishing is back.

Words fail

Memorial Day has come upon us once again, with so many still in harm’s way.

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Tips to make your pet more adoptable if you give it up

It is a huge decision to give away your pet, no matter how long or brief the period of time of ownership.

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Clubs and Organizations

Elks members and guests are welcome to enjoy lunch at the Lodge from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday dinner from noon to 5 p.m.

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Festival fever ignites in Pine area

The P/S Arts and Crafts Guild, P/S Business Community (PSBC) and other local non-profit groups who serve our community invite you to experience Pine and Strawberry.

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Tonto Village ready to celebrate

The big Memorial Day weekend is here, which means to Tonto Village a surge in visitors and part-time residents opening up their cabins for the summer season.

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Remembering Memorial Days of the past

It’s that time of the year again — Memorial Day weekend is here.

Arts, Crafts & Brats, along with Murder & Mayhem tomorrow

Christopher Creek’s wildflower season has commenced, with the purple-flowered lupines leading the way.

Never say that one person can’t make a difference - Part 2

I left off last week where Private First Class Dan Daly, United States Marine Corps, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic part in fighting off thousands of Chinese soldiers who battled to enter the international enclave in Peking in 1900 and slaughter its residents, including thousands of Chinese Christians who had taken refuge there.

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Pool opens; lifeguards ready to protect

With Taylor Pool scheduled to open May 25, we asked EVO Swim School owner David Tait, whose firm oversees the local pool to tell readers about the training lifeguards and swimming instructors must undergo.

Decathlon calls out to still-hungry competitors

Why would six dog-tired teenagers weary from an entire season of track and field competition pass up a postseason vacation to go all-Jim Thorpe and enter a decathlon? Who knows?

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More honors for McMullen

Payson High School slugger Nick McMullen has been named Division III, Section III baseball co-player of the year along with Andrew Bryniarski and Nick Wojtysiak, both of Fountain Hills.

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Rim angler hooks first FLW crown

Browning also lands ‘Big Bass’ award in California tournament

Longtime Payson angler John Browning admits he was more than a bit apprehensive as he watched his final day’s catch being weighed in at the conclusion of the FLW Everstart Western Series Tournament on the California Delta.

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Mud, music and more on tap for summer fun

Once again, to celebrate the great outdoors and welcome summer, the Town of Payson will be putting on an outdoor sports competition, the Arizona Mountain High Games, co-title sponsored by Rim Country Power Sports and Native Air.

Thursday, May 23

About the ‘hate-filled’ letters

In response to the letter stating the paper was printing hateful letters.

Input on editorial policy

You asked for input concerning editorial policy in regard to letters to the editor

More policy suggestions

Your invitation to share thoughts about Roundup news, letters, and editorials is most welcome.

Dog park has problems

The dog park is deplorable — when it rains or snows it becomes a mud hole because it is all dirt.

Coverage appreciated

On behalf of everyone in our group, Rim Country Corvettes, we want to thank you for the great coverage of our event last Saturday, May 11 at Chapman Auto Center.

Movie reviews should run before the film leaves

I just read Andy McKinney’s wonderful (as always) review of “Quartet,” in The Rim Review. It sounds like a great movie. I think I’ll go see it. Oh, wait! It just left Payson last week.

Clubs and Organizations

The Mogollon Chapter 1235 of the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees will hold its annual picnic and fund-raiser Wednesday, May 22, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending around 2 p.m.

Soccer camp registration closes May 24

Town sports and recreation coordinator Mary Wolf shouts of the “The British are coming,” signals that Challenger’s British Soccer Camps are returning to Payson.

Five tapped as S-III honorees

Some of the gut-wrenching disappointment Lady Longhorn softball players suffered after being eliminated in the Division III state tournament semifinals was eased by the announcement five team members had been chosen to the All-Division III, Section III team.

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No fear for PHS frosh

Payson High School freshman track and field standout Wyatt Chapman accepted an invitational challenge that most prep rookies would simply walk away from saying, “no thanks.”

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State semifinalist team snubbed in postseason vote

Payson High School first-year baseball coach Brian Young now suffers from the same frustrations and disappointments that have plagued many coaches since an Arizona Interscholastic Association reconfiguration two years ago that abolished conferences and regions replacing them with divisions and sections.

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Horn speedster 2nd at Meet of Champs

Lady Longhorn sprinter Morgan Chilson came up just .39 of a second shy of winning the 100-meter gold medal at the prestigious Arizona Meet of Champions.

Wednesday, May 22

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Fire Restrictions in effect

Drought conditions, higher temperatures and increased fire danger have resulted in fire restrictions being implemented within and around the Town of Payson and Rim Country.

Red Flag Warning in Effect

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for today and tomorrow for much of northern Arizona including all of the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests due to strong winds and low relative humidity.

Around the Rim Country

Members of the Church on Randall Place are seeking volunteers to help make sleeping mats for the homeless.

Good 2 Go

At 3 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday (unless otherwise stated), June 4 through June 27 there will be free films shown at GCC with time for a brief audience discussion after each film. (Titles subject to change according to availability.)

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At The Movies-The Great Gatsby

This version of The Great Gatsby is the rarest of all movie birds, a heartbreaking human drama that has achieved a mass audience.

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‘We will never forget’

Payson pays tribute to veterans

They are getting grayer each year and there are fewer of the most senior among them, but the chairs still fill at the annual Memorial Day tribute to veterans in Payson.

Rim youth have banquet of choices for fun

School will be out for summer this Friday, so what are the kids going to do? Some may be lucky enough to find summer employment; some might have to take remedial classes in one subject or another; some may be fortunate to spend time at a summer camp.

Garden time’s flying by

Increase your garden’s productivity even when space, time and energy are limited.  Just follow these simple planting techniques for a more bountiful harvest.

Payson Summer Concert Series

The concerts are held in the beautiful, open-air setting of Green Valley Park’s amphitheater area. While the performance are held in the band shell, the audience can sit on blankets on the ground or bring a lawn chair.

Travel to explore

There are a growing number of travelers who are fed up with the crowds that are visiting the more popular destinations and so they turn to seeking destinations where fewer are going.

The Hise Family

Payson is named for Lewis Edwin Payson, an Illinois Congressman. But how did such a small place come to the attention of such a man? The answer is like Hise; as in John Hise and family. Here is a look at this man and his family.

Tuesday, May 21

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Between the bull and the cowboy

The pounding stadium music swelled and the middling crowd at the Payson Spring Rodeo leaned forward for the single most dangerous moment in sports — the foolhardy attempt to sit on top of a furiously bucking, spinning, twisting, slobbering, kicking bull.

State guts vocational class plan

First the state Legislature slashed its budget and now the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has gutted the Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology (NAVIT) nursing and fire science programs for Payson High School students.

Five fires every day

With crews already snuffing out up to five small fires a day throughout the Tonto National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service announced fire restrictions would begin Wednesday.

Town targets fire marshal

Payson has 54 employees whose salaries and retirement benefits tally more than $75,000 — but the only one it can spare is the fire marshal, according to a budget study committee that reported its findings to the council last week.

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Pine water doubles taxes, boosts water rate 33%

A sorrowful Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District board Saturday doubled the district’s property tax rate and raised water rates by 20 to 33 percent, depending on usage.

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Star Valley buys 5 acres for $200,000

On May 3, Star Valley bought five acres for $200,000 in a bankruptcy sale. At tonight’s council meeting, the council will figure out what to do with it.

Community Almanac

Northern Gila County Fair T-shirt contest

A painful necessity

The volunteer Pine/Strawberry Water Improvement District board spent an excruciating Saturday listening to the community vent its frustration about spiraling tax and water rates. Then the board members glumly approved a plan to double the property tax rate and boost water charges by about one-third for most homeowners.

A conspiracy or just plain stupid?

Maybe the Tea Party’s onto something. It just has to be a conspiracy. Consider the latest educational news from the state.

School board yearns to be average

The Payson School Board Monday adopted a plaintive legislative wish list that included the bold proposition that Arizona should strive to be, well, average.

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Firefighters’ refrain: ‘What a dummy’

Wisconsin firefighters have poked, prodded and killed him more times than his rubber, pliable fingers can count.

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Payson plans tributes to veterans

They are getting grayer each year, but the chairs still fill at the annual Memorial Day tribute to veterans in Payson.

Career class spurs debate

The Payson School Board on Monday wrestled with the muddled, intermittently controversial, improvisational effort to satisfy the state’s demand for career classes without disrupting the schedule.

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Students show skills at Band Jam 2013

Most tapped their toes, while others had trepidation etched on their brows, but all had smiles on their faces after the last note of each song died out.

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Something new at the Center

The mourning doves that have nested near our back yard in previous years are back — we hear their cooing morning, noon, and yes, even at night.

Volunteering at local schools enriching for everyone involved

A gentleman in Iowa has gone back to school, although not in the traditional sense. He’s found his way to the local elementary school, where he volunteers doing a variety of tasks — not just a few hours a week, but every day. He’s 74 years old.

When your doctor doesn’t take Medicare

What does it mean when a doctor tells you he or she has “opted out” of Medicare?

School board grapples with changes

With its budget still in limbo, the Payson School Board this week grappled with sweeping changes in focus as it issued contracts that included a surge in positions on the administrative schedule.

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Payson job seekers hope for a match

Employers and would-be workers got a chance to connect last Saturday at the Second Annual Community Job Fair at Rim Country Health.

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Lady Horn speedster second at Meet of Champs

Lady Longhorn sprinter Morgan Chilson came up just .39 of a second shy of winning the 100-meter gold medal at the prestigious Arizona Meet of Champions.

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Large cat spotted in RV park

Residents spotted what looked like a mountain lion or cougar yesterday in the Star Valley Lamplighter RV Park.

Friday, May 17

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Spring trout fishing

It is mid May and the Rim lakes have been producing limits of rainbow trout to the anglers who have already made the short trip. Water temperatures have gradually increased after the long winter and that has made the holdover trout more active and willing to bite.

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Crews snuff out church brush fire

A quick moving brush fire ate through 1.5 acres of a church’s side yard Thursday afternoon, surprising church officials and neighbors who watched as the low lying flames rushed through the dry brush as blustery winds pushed the smoke all over.

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Fire chief takes early retirement

A looming budget crisis has cost Payson its top firefighter and possibly its fire marshal.

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Bulls and bling highlight spring rodeo

Payson will celebrate it’s western heritage — not to mention its perfect spring weather — this weekend with the annual Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo Friday and Saturday at the Payson Event Center.

Budget features big boost for police, fire

Payson’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year reflects a struggle to address long-postponed needs and big increases in public safety spending — despite the town’s still-sickly economic recovery.

All-day kindergarten touted as key to boosting scores

During her initial visit to the Payson Elementary School (PES) in January, what Brenda Case saw in the kindergarten classes drives her to tears today.

Community Almanac

Jazz trio performs tonight The Payson Jazz Trio performs at the Ayothaya Thai Café, 404 E. Highway 260, Payson (north side of highway across from Safeway) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18.

The right thing to do

The Payson School Board took a chance on Monday and approved a roughly $35,000 increase in stipends paid to coaches and faculty members who give their time and energy on students who participate in after-school sports and other activities.

Budget cuts, jumps both raise questions

After months of dogged effort, Payson’s budget study committee has come up with some surprising — and unsettling — proposals.

‘Mr. Congeniality’ of Payson parks his last bus

Recently, bus driver Fred Eckle agreed to drive Payson Mayor Kenny Evans in a town parade. Big break for Evans, riding with a celebrity.

‘Starving education to death’

Retiring Payson Unified School District Director of Special Services Barbara Fitzgerald took her leave after seven years in Payson on Monday with a heartfelt address to the school board that drew a prolonged standing ovation from the audience.

Local group inspires homeschooling

“Right now there are about fifty families in the Rim Country that are homeschooling,” said Homeschool Support Group Lead Coordinator Kim Ballam, a position she shares with with Meg Smith. Ballam and several other homeschooling moms meet every other Friday during the school months at Mountain Bible Church to discuss mentoring those interested in homeschooling and providing quality playtime.

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Murder Self-Defense?

I set out to get a quick shot of Rim Country Middle School Resource Officer Michael Hansen impressing students with his bullet-proof vest and air of authority — but these days you never know what you’ll find when you actually get inside a classroom.

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School board OKs raises for coaches

Raises for everyone! And more “everyones!”

Posse rounding up weapons

Knives, chains, box cutters, oh my. Gila County Posse volunteers have stopped dozens of these items from entering the Payson courtroom since they took up post outside the doors in February.

Tonto Forest imposes fire restrictions

Drought conditions, hot temperatures, and increased fire danger have resulted in fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest beginning at 8 a.m., Wednesday, May 22.

Pine Water District may boost rates 40 percent

The Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District board will meet at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning to consider increasing both water rates and property taxes.

Thursday, May 16

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Brush fire near church

A quick moving brush fire ate through 1.5 acres of a church’s side yard Thursday afternoon, surprising church officials and neighbors who watched as the low lying flames easily burned through the dry brush as blustery winds pushed the smoke all over.

Wednesday, May 15

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Welcome to rodeo country

There is something different about the 2013 edition of the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo — actually there are several new features. New features

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Rodeo adds fun new features

The Payson Rodeo Committee’s annual Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo kicks off Thursday, May 16 with a new event, Bulls, Broncs & Bling.

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Rodeo revolves around seven traditions

The Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo started as an Old-Timers Rodeo years ago, but has since grown into a fully sanctioned PRCA event featuring some of the top cowboys and cowgirls in the country.

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Mister Payson Rodeo - Armstrong keeps rodeo heritage alive

In the Rim Country, Bill Armstrong is known as a longtime rodeo boss, a crafty businessman, a sports aficionado and the father and grandfather to some of the finest athletes to ever play for Payson High School.

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Stock contractor and commentators make Payson rodeos possible

They aren’t cowboys competing for points, but without them there would be no competitor. They’re the stock contractor and announcers. Once again, the Salt River Rodeo Company will be providing the livestock for the Spring Rodeo.

The business of rodeo - love fuels engine

Rodeos today look a whole lot different than the early ones held among working cowboys and vaqueros in weathered, dusty arenas. And they cost a lot more to put on. A two-day rodeo requires months of planning and a whole lot of flare. Spectators expect entertainers, commentators, concessioners, professional judges and seasoned cowboys.

Memories of the man of the memorial

The Payson Pro Rodeo Committee honors the memory of Gary Hardt when the action hits the arena at the Payson Event Center this week. Among those who remember him fondly is his son, Shawn, now a teacher and coach in Queen Creek.

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Entertainment: beauty, precision, plus hilarity

Entertainment beyond the competition at Payson Event Center will include beauties in precision drills and the hilarity and high jinks of the PRCA 2012 Clown of the Year.

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Rodeo queen contest draws six hopefuls

They were those little girls who loved horses. Some grew up on ranches where horses were part of their lives; others had to persuade their parents to help them pursue their passion with riding lessons and boarding arrangements.

Campaign for state’s rodeo crowns

A half-dozen beautiful young women will be in Payson this week focused on a contest for a crown — or two. The Miss Rodeo Arizona Pageant is in the Rim Country for the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo.

Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo Schedule

Tickets available at: Rim Country Chamber of Commerce, all area Circle Ks, Bob’s Western Wear, Bill Armstrong Jewelry & Pawn in Star Valley, and the Payson Public Library ($2 off coupons can be found in the Payson Roundup)

Tuesday, May 14

‘We'll never know what happened’

Motorcycle crash claims owner of Jakes Corner Bar

The owner of Jakes Corner Bar died this weekend in a motorcycle accident just a few miles south of town. Rickie “Rick” Heppler, 63, was heading south on Highway 87 into Rye Saturday afternoon when he lost control of his Harley and crashed near milepost 244.

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Teens vent on police, curfew

If the Payson Police Department were required to take a class in teenage public relations, it would pass, but just barely. A town survey reveals most Payson teens have just a so-so view of the local police. Police Chief Don Engler says that’s not good enough.

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No teacher layoffs

The Payson School Board Monday night approved a passel of new administrative contracts as well as 128 teacher contracts that will mark the first time in three years the district has avoided teacher layoffs.

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Chilson triumphs, other Longhorn teams fall

Longhorns’ soaring hopes came crashing to earth on Friday after a storybook season in golf, track and field, softball and baseball. For complete details, see Sports on 1B.

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Love hurts

Payson Wildlife Fair offers lessons in nature and the pitfalls of being in a relationship with an eagle

You’d think Jerry Dstwinkle would hate golden eagles. One tore out a bunch of his teeth. One punched a hole nearly clear through his arm. One left three long scars on his wrist. But people are funny — much harder to figure than eagles.

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Community Almanac

Registration is open and continues through the course of the 2013 Summer Recreation Program presented by the the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.

Jaramillo sentenced

A murder suspect’s flight from Gila County Sheriff’s deputies will cost him five years in prison, no matter how the White Mountains murder trial turns out.

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Corvette lovers line the lot

Thousands of Corvette lovers on Saturday flocked to the Chapman Auto Center to ooh and ahh at nearly 100 corvettes line up in all their gleaming glory. Members of the Rim Country Corvettes meet regularly to share their passion for the General Motors sports car first unveiled in 1953.

Think twice before taking money out of your pension

John has always dreamed of owning his own ice cream shop: Homemade cookie dough, cake batter, vanilla and chocolate would be the flavors of the day. For years, he puts the dream off. First it is college, then it is business school, and then it is his boring, desk job.

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Local chapter names ‘Bigs’ of the Year

With volunteers dwindling, BBBS celebrates impact of those who give of themselves

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Payson honored its high school and community matches last week during its annual Big Event at Chaparral Pines. The event is the highlight of the year for many matches, who dress up in glittery garb and dine on the roast beef buffet, toast Shirley temples and indulge in an all-you-can-eat ice cream bar in the stately clubhouse.

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Benefit raises funds for Mounted Posse

The Gila County Mounted Posse’s annual fund-raiser drew an enthusiastic, albeit smaller crowd, to the Oxbow Saloon in Payson Saturday. The group’s Vice Commander Gary Chitwood said while the turnout wasn’t as good as last year’s event, it was still a success.

Chitwood’s Cabinets to host Chamber Mixer Thursday

The May Chamber Mixer will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, May 16 at Chitwood’s Cabinets, 812 N. Beeline Highway.

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Dominion Real Estate honors Payson office

Dominion Real Estate Partners honored Payson licensed owner managers Tad and Bonnie Neal and Susan Slenk for having the second highest volume and transactions closed last year.

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New owner at Little Caesars

Little Caesars Pizza has a new owner. This is Michael Cooks fifth Little Caesars store. Cook, who lives in Globe, owns Little Caesars in Globe, Pinetop, Show Low and Taylor. He has been a franchisee since 2001.

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A watchful eye

Pine couple starts home watch service

With upward of 75 percent of homes in the Pine-Strawberry area being second or vacation properties, many sit empty for months on end, a target for thieves.

Clubs and Organizations

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

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Dogs bite Lady Horns; no title this year

Payson High School’s first-ever state softball championship has slipped out of the Lady Longhorns’ grasp. The title squirted away May 10 at Rose Mofford Field in Phoenix, where the Winslow Bulldogs ran roughshod over PHS, winning the state semifinal showdown 14-4 in a game truncated after five innings on the 10-run rule.

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Chilson comes up big at state

Payson High senior speedster Morgan Chilson etched her way into school record books by winning two gold medals at the Division III state championships. Competing May 10 and 11 at Mesa College, Chilson — whose father Ty was a state champion sprinter in the mid-1980s — was first in the 100 meters in a personal record 12.55. In the preliminaries, she qualified with a first-place time of 12.72.

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Horns struggle at state

A Payson High School golf team that dominated opponents most of the regular season couldn’t continue it blitzkrieg in the Division III state tournament, finishing a disappointing sixth place. Playing May 10-11 at Antelope Hills near Prescott, Payson’s final team tally of 632 was well off the pace of the state champion Valley Christian that easily won the title with a 596.

The Elks Lodge wants golfers to help youth

Golf can be great fun and rewarding. But it can be even more fun and rewarding if play is for an admirable cause like the 2013 Elks Clothe-A-Child benefit set for Saturday, July 6, at Payson Golf Course.

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Season ends, but future is bright

Longhorns’ bid for championship ends at semifinals

While a 13-3 Division III semifinal tournament loss to Tucson Empire was heartbreaking for Payson High coaches and players, there is much solace in knowing the team finished as one of the top four in the state, compiled an impressive 20-10 record and will return next season loaded for bear, losing only Gunner Goodman to graduation.

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Desperate Gila County road officials hope public will give ADOT an earful

Gila County officials have issued a desperate call to arms in hopes residents will appeal to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) not to abandon a highway project on a deadly stretch of road. Faced with the loss of local gas tax money and federal funding, ADOT has come up with three versions of its five-year plan for highway improvements.

Long-term plan needed for Pine-Strawberry water

We need a plan that is going to work for the future. Two years ago my monthly water rate doubled, and the 3,000-gallon minimum was going to be the way to fix the problems with the water system.

Connect the dots

Education is memorization of facts. Personal assumptions without facts are opinions. A post on the Internet is temporary. The written word if forever.

Payson Unified School District blues

What professional educator would want to be an administrator, teacher or coach in the Payson Unified School District (PUSD)? Seemingly indiscriminate terminations, reductions in force, and now transfers that are difficult to justify and/or understand, undermine the morale of employees.

Minority is dictating to majority

I am in absolute agreement with Mr. Liesener’s letter, in the May 3 edition, regarding the return to a faith-based life in the United States.

Thanks for all the help with first Film Festival

Over 50 women and men attended the first Women’s Rights are Human Rights Film Festival Saturday, April 27. Presented by the local Payson Amnesty International group, the documentary film festival highlighted the challenges women and girls face around the globe.

Our ‘concerned’ benefactors

Didn’t anyone notice one of the most telling aspects of the Mayor Rappaport controversy?

Dear ADOT; don’t be an idiot

Once more into the breach — dear friends. In short: Those political bullies down in Maricopa County are up to it again. In this case, they’re lobbying the Arizona Department of Transportation to adopt a new five-year plan that spends all the highway money in the highway-stuffed Valley at the expense of struggling rural areas like Gila County.

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AHCCCS plan triggers Republican Civil War

Governor faces opposition from fellow party members on Affordable Care Act

Gov. Jan Brewer’s effort to accept federal money to cover about 380,000 low-income Arizona residents has touched off a Civil War within Republican ranks, with normally ignored Democratic lawmakers standing by in bemusement. The latest twist in the strange saga turns on efforts by some Republican lawmakers to add a provision to ensure the expanded, federally funded plans don’t provide money for abortion or any services offered by Planned Parenthood.

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Lighthearted play profound

Some of the special needs students at Payson High School recently put on a play about the Musicians of Bremen Town, ranchers who no longer need these animals and are going to get rid of them. The animals consist of a donkey, two dogs, two roosters, and two cats. The Donkey, played by William Howard Mortis, decides to go to Bremen Town and be a musician.

Payson doctor in legal tangle with former partner

A civil dispute is underway between two Rim Country medical professionals. Registered nurse Deborah Nichols has filed a civil suit against Dr. Michael Lowe after the two had a falling out earlier this year. Nichols claims Lowe blocked her from access to medical and financial records, potentially jeopardizing patient’s health.

Turkey hunters become the hunted

The Arizona Game and Fish Department in cooperation with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a hunting accident that took place on April 27. One hunter was shot by another hunter in the shoulder with #6 shot from a 12 gauge shotgun, the wounds were not life threatening and the victim was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment.

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New ‘average’: wildfire seasons growing worse

FLAGSTAFF – As the 35-acre Fisher Point fire burned in a canyon just a few miles south of his office, Coconino National Forest fire information officer Dick Fleishman said he anticipates an average fire season. But average means something far different than when he started with the U.S. Forest Service 33 years ago. Persistent drought and denser forests make even a routine fire season more severe.

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Dreams come true with Dreamscape book

Local writer, artist collaborate to publish luminous book about a girl and her dog

On a Monday morning, artist and mother of four, Amy Abney drove from Pine to meet writer Ken Crump at Green Valley Park by 90 a.m. — without really knowing why. “Did I tell you why we are here?” Crump asked the artist for his children’s book, “The Last Moment,” as they posed for Roundup photographer Andy Towle.

Saturday, May 11

“Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over”

“Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over,” is the song Dandy Don Meredith would have crooned had he been announcing the final innings of the PHS baseball and softball teams’ state semifinal tournament losses on Friday evening.

Friday, May 10

Gila Community College Graduating Class of 2013

Associate of General Studies

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Principals picked promptly

Administrators from Valley to fill top jobs at PHS and PES

Moving quickly to fill the vacant principal slots at Payson High School (PHS) and Payson Elementary School (PES), the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) has hired two Valley men. James Brian Mabb, currently the principal at Paradise Valley High School, will step in as administrator at the high school.

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Emotional scene as plea changes

Driver pleads guilty to manslaughter; father of girl who died embraces him

In an emotionally charged appearance, Sharrod Lynn Stone, 44, on Thursday pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the deaths of two people last year. Stone could spend eight years in jail for the deaths of Devin Grace Frantzke, 14, and Jeff Johnston, 55.

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McDaniel sworn in as SV mayor

Council appoints former judge to Star Valley post after resignation

Star Valley swore in Ronnie McDaniel as its new mayor this week, bringing him full circle. McDaniel was appointed the community’s first mayor and on Tuesday was appointed once again to the same post. He will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Bill Rappaport through the the fall elections of 2014.

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A Mother’s Day tribute

A bossy girl tallies a mother’s gifts on that special day

The greatest gift my mother ever gave me was an effortless blend of acceptance and encouragement. But I didn’t fully appreciate the gift until a recent four-wheeling trip to Sedona.

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Payson man guilty in police assault case

Jury concludes man attacked officers during arrest, but didn’t injure them

After listening to six days of testimony, analyzing the validity of Myth-Buster-like experiments and claims of excessive use of force by officers, a Gila County jury on Wednesday found a Payson man guilty of aggravated assault against two officers.

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Students celebrate mentors and memories

Thirty-one students graduated from Gila Community College on Wednesday, May 8, all moving into the world with more knowledge and training in fire science, nursing, business and a host of other disciplines.

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Community Almanac

Registration is open and continues through the course of the 2013 Summer Recreation Program presented by the the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.

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Hazelo honored as officer of the quarter

The Gila County Attorney’s Office recently named a Payson officer as the top officer this quarter for help in prosecuting crimes. Sgt. Jason Hazelo, a 13-year Payson veteran, has testified many times. His work as a drug recognition expert at trial has had a tremendous impact on the community, said the Gila County Attorney’s Office in a press release.

Help letter carriers Stamp Out Hunger

Saturday, May 11 marks the 21st anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from postal customers.

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Imagination takes wing

RCMS celebrates success of science, technical program

In one corner of the Rim Country Middle School (RCMS) cafeteria, a robot toddled about while students at a nearby table built a model airplane out of straws and paper to mimic the Wright brothers’ airplane.

Coyote, foxes positive for rabies in Young

The discovery of rabid foxes and coyotes near Young has prompted the Gila County Health Department to issue a warning and ask people to report abnormal wildlife behavior in the Young and Pleasant Valley areas.

ATF form extensive

Please explain to us what seven bits of information a letter writer recently complained about having to provide in addition to what is required in your letters policy ...

Discrepancies in paper

I would like to comment on several issues with the Roundup. I have felt discrepancies previously and have not written.

Thanks to all for success of benefit basketball event

On behalf of the Friends of Rim Country GCC and the Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation I would like to thank all the wonderful people of Rim Country who came out to enjoy a fun-filled family evening of laughter and basketball antics.

Editor wants help setting policy for letter writers

I need some help, folks, figuring out to what to do with your letters to the editor page. I’ve been having a great time, reading the letters, eavesdropping, baiting bears. But I’m also a little unsure whether you’re all having as much fun as I am absorbing the wild diversity and sometimes unsettling intensity of Rim Country letter writers.

Taxpayers should know what they’re losing

I got wondering how much the people of Payson know about the beautiful facility that the school board is literally giving away.

Officers deserve thanks

All of us at Time Out want to especially thank our peace officers on their Memorial Day, May 15, for the sacrifices at all levels of law enforcement by protecting our citizens against violence, disorder, safeguarding life and property, and their duty to serve the people of Arizona.

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Elderly have least control of hypertension

Most people older than 65 have high blood pressure, but this group also has the least success in controlling the condition, Dr. Jennifer Dumbolton told members of the Payson Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle at a Lunch & Learn program April 24. Some 50 million people have high blood pressure, which increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Host families sought for foreign exchange students

Edie Miller and Janet Nossek work tirelessly for the EF (Education First) Foundation to pair students from foreign countries with families in the Rim Country. But they have run up against a roadblock.

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Wiz kids at Shelby School

On Friday, May 3, 36 Shelby School students performed “The Wizard of Oz” in a two-act classroom production adapted especially for them. The students gave two shows to packed houses of enthusiastic family and friends.

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Studio tour showcases local artists

A deeper and richer understanding of a piece of art blooms when the admirer meets the artist — and better yet — sees where they work. This past weekend, Rim Country locals and out-of-town visitors had the unique chance to see artists’ work in their studios during the Payson Art League’s annual ’Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour.

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Star Valley revenue drops, but reserves remain

Within minutes of seating Ronnie McDaniel as the new mayor on May 7, the Star Valley Town Council turned its attention to building a budget. Last year, the council directed staff to maintain a $2.6 million fund reserve at the end of 2012-2013. Town Manager Tim Grier and Finance Administrator Chancy Nutt Tuesday told the council the town will have a $2,618,000 reserve at the end of the fiscal year June 30, 2013.

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Payson DECA students among top in world

Nine Payson DECA Chapter members competed at the DECA International Career Development Conference April 23-28 in Anaheim, Calif. The conference drew 16,340 students from all over the world. Tanner Hintze, Eric Vohs, Nick McMullen and Jordyn Fruth all placed in the Top 20 in the world in their events.

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Arizona Trail is a treasure in our own back yard

While hikers were brushing off llamas Abigail, Amber and Sierra from Fossil Creek Creamery in preparation for a llama hike at the Pine Trailhead, a bearded and seasoned long-distance hiker arrived at the location and approached the group.

Great chili for Derby Day

Christopher Creek part-time resident Rosemary Elston is always on the move. You see her jogging the loop or pedaling her bike hither and yon. She is back and forth from the Valley, looking after Mimi, her mother, when she is here. Then she’s off to visit her daughter and grandsons in South Carolina.

It is amazing how our attitude toward driving has changed, Part 2

If you missed last week’s column, it was about my very first drive in a car. At age 5, all by myself, in the rumble seat of Uncle Joe’s roadster, I was whisked away on a 32-mile trip from one end of Staten Island to the other — a trip that ended with two delicious hot dogs and two whole bottles of root beer.

Lots to see and do this weekend

From spring until fall, there are always a multitude of activities going on every weekend in the Rim Country. And this weekend there may be even more events happening than typical. This Saturday, the Gila County Mounted Posse’s Spring Roundup Dinner & Dance (that’s a mouthful) will be held from noon until 7 p.m. at the Ox Bow Saloon.

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More Christopher-Kohl’s FD introductions

Hello again, fellow Creekers. Christopher Creek’s own Jeff Daniels was the technical “wizard” behind the scenes of The Shelby School’s spring production of “The Wizard of Oz.” He ran the lights and sound for the show on Friday, May 3. He is pictured here with his granddaughters, Emma and Occean Helmick.

Shelby School’s ‘Wizard’ was wonderful

Last Friday afternoon my husband and I attended a performance of The Shelby School’s version of “The Wizard of Oz.” What a great production these kids put on — from first-graders to high school age. They outdid themselves in a very enjoyable performance.

Wrestlers practice; others have fun in mud

Payson High School wrestling coach Casey Woodall is hailing the May 4 off-season youth tournament held in Wilson Dome an overwhelming success. “Things are on the upswing,” he said. Following a full day of mat action involving aspiring wrestlers ages 5 and older, two local grapplers — Levi Herrera and B. J. Paulson — won weight class championships.

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Runners get their geek on

It’s tough to admit you might be a geek, but a field of 51 runners of all ages and abilities turned out for the “Embrace Your Inner Geek” 5K and 10K races held May 4 at Rumsey Park. Town Special Events Coordinator David Roehig expressed satisfaction with the turn out, even though it was smaller than last year when about 80 competed.

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Payson Men’s Golf Association wraps up first round of match play

Members of the Payson Men’s Golf Association have wrapped up the first round of their three-week match play tournament. The fray began on May 1 and wraps up May 15. All three rounds are being played at Payson Golf Course.

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Buzzin’ on Beeline

Payson High School sports fans hit the road today to cheer on their favorite teams

Southbound traffic today, May 10, on Beeline could be heavy as throngs of Payson High fans, boosters and students travel to the Valley to cheer on the baseball, softball and track and field teams in state tournament action.

Recreation Roundup

The Summer Recreation Program is for children ages 6 to 12. Youngsters can be registered for one or all seven weeks. The program will be held in the Rim Country Middle School gym and incorporates fun, physical and cultural activities, along with occasional field trips.

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Cline Poker Ride fund-raiser best ever

Laci Sopeland and a bevy of Lorraine Cline Memorial Fund volunteers have for the past five years waged an all-out war against cancer. Among the weapons they’ve used to earn money to fund the fight against the disease is the Lorraine Cline Memorial Poker Ride, which has grown in stature and popularity each year since its founding in 2006.

Wednesday, May 8

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At The Movies - Quartet

An absolutely fine film; see it when you can

Four Saw Blades! See it! That may be my shortest movie review ever. This film is absolutely fine. “Quartet” is billed as a comedy, and thanks largely to Billy Connolly as Wilf, a cheerful, lecherous opera singer, it does have moments of laugh out loud humor.

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Dress up dessert

Classic sweet treats like pound cake are delicious on their own – and with a few simple ingredients, they can be dressed up to make any day more special. These recipes highlight the classic, homemade taste of Sara Lee Pound Cake.

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Around Rim Country

Registration for the Payson Public Library’s annual Summer Reading Program is just around the corner – it opens Monday, May 13 and the program starts the first week of June. Class size is limited, so early registration is encouraged. There are programs planned for children ages 6 months to 18 years.

Good 2 Go

Registration opened May 1 and will continue through the course of the program. This program is for children ages 6 to 12. Youngster can be registered for one or all seven weeks.

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Kid-Friendly Vacations

The family vacation has become an American ritual — one that has been around as long as I can remember. In this article we will discuss vacations that the entire family will enjoy regardless of age.

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Rim Country Places

Chapter 19: Horton Creek and Indian Gardens

You would not expect to find a place in the Rim Country named after a politician — that is until you come upon Horton Creek. William B. Horton was one of the leaders in public education for Territorial Arizona, and as superintendent of public instruction from 1883 to 1897, he and his successor Robert Long, were instrumental in bringing the unorganized schools of the Territory into a unified system.

When skin patches lose all color

I have vitiligo, and it keeps spreading over my body. My father had it on his legs. I’m an older lady of brown complexion. This vitiligo is so embarrassing. I wear slacks every day, except to church. Do you know of any cover-ups for it?

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Wild Times

Annual Wildlife Fair this Saturday at Green Valley Park

The 2012-2013 school year is quickly coming to a close, so it’s time to start making some summer plans. Visit the annual Wildlife Fair this Saturday at Green Valley Park for inspiration. Maybe some camping and fishing trips can be part of your personal summer program.

Tuesday, May 7

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Horns in Final Four for State Championships

Lady Horns dominate

Two down, two to go. That’s the position Lady Longhorn softball players find themselves as the journey toward Payson High School’s first-ever state softball championship continues. Now in the rearview mirror are a 9-0 tournament-opening win on May 3 over Thatcher and a 7-3 second-round victory the following day against River Valley.

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Good to be a Longhorn — really good!

Huge baseball upset

The Longhorn baseball team’s state tournament upsets of favored Blue Ridge and Show Low might not rank up there with the Miracle on Ice, but players, fans and coaches will long remember the weekend that an underrated David of a team slew two White Mountain Goliaths.

New ‘milestones’ in land purchase

But costs, delays spur talk of alternatives to FS site

They want to sell us the land. Really. Badly — just not quickly. That’s the mixed message that emerged about the Rim Country Educational Alliance’s struggle to buy 260 acres of land from the U.S. Forest Service for a 6,000-student university campus and various spinoff facilities.

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Payson officers bust cardholders

Medical marijuana patients with visible plants facing drug charges

Budding flowers poking over the top of a worn wooden fence and into a Payson south alleyway. A dark, musty basement full of plants at a hilltop home in Payson North. And buds blooming on the porch of a Pine-Strawberry home, clearly visible from the street.

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Student achievement teachers: What will they do?

In the recent principal shake-up, the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) converted Anna Van Zile from a principal to a Student Achievement Teacher (SAT). Many have asked, is this just another layer of administration? No, says Director of Student Achievement Brenda Case.

Weekend accidents

A Payson man died Friday afternoon when his motorcycle collided with a guardrail south of town on Highway 87.

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Big weekend kicks off summer fun

No one in the Rim Country can claim they’re bored this weekend. The weekend events include the annual Wildlife Fair, the American Legion Riders Fun Run for the benefit of the Payson Supply Line, the Second Annual Corvette Show and a benefit for the Gila County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse at the Oxbow.

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Community Almanac

The Gila Community College Payson Campus commencement exercises are at 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 8 at the First Church of the Nazarene, 200 E. Tyler Parkway, Payson.

Select educators have job security in Payson

Spelling word of the week: n-e-p-o-t-i-s-m. There is something fundamentally, morally and ethically wrong here.

Rep. Barton wins vote on bill to require police to sell guns

The most high-profile bill pushed through the state Legislature this year by Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson) prevents police from destroying weapons they seized from criminals and became the focal point of a major debate on gun control in the Legislature this year.

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Payson officer recognized

The Gila County Attorney’s Office recently named a Payson officer as the top officer this quarter for help in prosecuting crimes. Sgt. Jason Hazelo, a 13-year Payson veteran, has testified many times. His work as a drug recognition expert at trial has had a tremendous impact on the community, said the Gila County Attorney’s Office in a press release.

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Elegant dinner raises funds for Payson Community Kids

A five-course dinner with hand-selected wine pairings in Payson is quite an anomaly. Last Sunday, the staff at Gerardo’s Firewood Café treated 40 Rim Country residents to an elegant dining experience more aptly found in Italy, but all for a good cause.

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Enrollment doubles, donations dwindle

Payson Community Kids relies on volunteers, donors to offer after-school refuge for children

Children no taller than sapling pines stand barefoot on colored carpet squares, clapping and hollering, running in place and high-kicking. At the front of the brightly lit room, Suzy Tubbs leads the Jazzercise class-of-sorts and then an impromptu push-up contest.

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Choral society hits the high notes

Show raises funds for scholarships

On the stage, a strange device glowed. Flanking the stage, two huge clocks started a countdown to a different age. “No one knows where the time machine will stop,” crooned Payson Choral Society Director Daria Mason.

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Junior Wrestling Club working on a dynasty

Payson High School wrestling coach Casey Woodall is putting countless hours into building the school’s wrestling team into one of the finest in Arizona. To accomplish that goal, he’s started from the ground up by attracting younger athletes with an interest in the sport.

Clubs and Organizations

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

Sign up for Summer Rec Program

The Summer Recreation Program is for children ages 6 to 12. Youngsters can be registered for one or all seven weeks. The program will be held in the Rim Country Middle School Gym and incorporates fun, physical and cultural activities, along with occasional field trips.

Winner finishes Zane Grey 50 in 8:40

Bob Young, a longtime sports reporter and columnist for the Arizona Republic, thrived in his personal opportunity to compete in a big time event rather than simply write about it.

Payson golfers win May 1 invitational

A five-team prep golf invitational played at White Mountain Country Club May 1 turned into a healthy dose of nostalgia when all six schools from the now-defunct Class 3A East Region showed up to rekindle old rivalries.

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Register now for Mountain High Games

Once again, to celebrate the great outdoors and welcome summer, the Town of Payson will be putting on an outdoor sports competition, the Arizona Mountain High Games, co-title sponsored by Rim Country Power Sports and Native Air.

Do hate-filled letters meet criteria for publication?

This is in response to a letter that you printed in the April 23 Opinion section titled: Ban gun free zones.

Stamp Out Hunger Saturday

Saturday, May 11 marks the 21st anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

On the horns of a dilemma

Almost all of us want better schools, safer roads, improved health care, secure prisons, a strong safety net for those in need, and even a more intelligent and responsive state government.

Concerning the condors

Here is the thing, condors deserve to be protected, they are beneficial in cleaning up the “leftovers.” I am not sure what you meant by “why would we want to protect a large scavenger.” Why wouldn’t we?

Protecting guns instead of people

The point of a gun buyback event is to get guns off the street. But, our own governor, Jan Brewer, just signed into law legislation to make the events pointless.

Alliance must act on sale

Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good. The Rim Country Educational Alliance continues to struggle heroically with the fierce, hydra-headed bureaucracy of the U.S. Forest Service in its quest to buy a 260-acre parcel on which it wants to build a university that will bring an enormous benefit to the very taxpayers the federal government ought to serve.

Hospitality appreciated

On Tuesday, April 30, the Friends of Rim Country GCC and Town of Payson hosted the Harlem Ambassadors professional show basketball team for a night of high-flying slam dunks, hilarious comedy, and feel-good family entertainment.

Saturday, May 4

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Longhorns tame Cougars

The Payson Longhorn baseball team pulled off the upset of the 2013 season whipping No. 1 seeded and championship favorite Show Low 5-3 in the quarter final round of the Division III state tournament.

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Cinderella Night

The Lady Eagles of Thatcher looked pretty good in the first four innings of play against the winningest team of Lady Longhorns of Payson, but then, Longhorn Ladies got on base kept scoring for the rest of the game.

Friday, May 3

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Best Longhorn Lineup in Years

It’s great to be a Longhorn!

With all four PHS teams, softball, baseball, track and field and golf, qualifying for state playoff berths, the 2013 spring sports season has been a banner one — probably the best in a decade. It’s a given on the prep sports scene that the twisting, winding road that travels through the regular season is a treacherous route filled with pitfalls that stymie lesser teams. But this season, PHS athletes and their coaches have navigated it almost flawlessly.

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Lopsided melee

Man on trial on charges he assaulted three officers during his DUI arrest

Officers this week testified that a Payson man they confronted after he drove his car into a wall continued to struggle, curse, kick and spit blood even after three officers wrestled him to the ground and punched him repeatedly in the face, fracturing his eye socket.

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Teens get pregnant

Figures show county rate 4x average: 42% of PHS students say they’ve had sex

The United States leads most developed nations in teen births, but Gila County’s teen birth rate is four times higher than the national average. Gila County has 83 teen births per every 1,000 girls aged 15 — 19 compared to a national average of 21 and a state average of 55.

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Governor vetoes Crandell’s gold bill

Gov. Jan Brewer Thursday vetoed a bill introduced by Sen. Chester Crandell (R-Heber) that would have made gold and silver coins and bullion legal tender in Arizona. Crandell, whose district includes all of Rim Country, introduced Senate Bill 1439 and got it all the way through the House and Senate because he said the U.S. Constitution favors gold and silver as legal tender and gives the states the authority to produce their own money.

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Getting clobbered in a good cause

A fun slaughter

Harlem Ambassadors leave ’em laughing in charity fund-raiser. Laughter, loud music, cheers and the sound of pounding feet rang from the Wilson Dome on the Payson High School campus Tuesday night.

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Pine’s rates may jump

Water district considers rate, tax hikes to cope with $680,000 deficit, cost of new wells, pipes

Water rates and property taxes will rise in Pine and Strawberry, but just how much is anyone’s guess. The Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District faces a $680,000 deficit for 2013-14, the board learned this week from consultant John Nelson, a retired Gila County administrator.

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Volunteers honored

More than two decades ago, Terry Morris saw the need for a local domestic violence shelter — a place for women of Rim Country and the Valley to escape abuse.

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Community Almanac

The Longhorn Theatre presents Senior Directed One-Act Plays at 4 p.m., Friday, May 3 and at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 4 in the PHS Studio Theatre (behind auditorium).

Hate-filled letters

If I were a non-resident considering moving to the Payson area to buy a home and/or to buy or to establish a new business, and if I had been reading all the bile and hate-filled letters you selected for publication in the Roundup over the previous months, I think that I would conclude that the Payson area is a vile and slimy cauldron containing a huge nest of twisting, hissing, spitting and snapping pit vipers.

Evolution debate continues

I would like all readers to know that the editor was quick to respond to my questions about Tuesday’s (4/2/13) mix up.

Return to faith-based life

Isn’t it great how patriotic we become as we reflect on the recent Boston bombing incident?

Schools must fund music

Not funding music programs has its cost ... Kids have a sense of music ... whether they sing, play an instrument or passively listen to those that do these things.

Arming targets no solution

The NRA — and some letter writers to this newspaper — claims that all that is necessary to prevent an assault by handgun is to arm the possible target.

Growing pains

What’s the right metaphor here? Growing pains? Crawl before you walk?

Seniors conference due

Rim seniors, their families and caregivers can learn about the many resources available at the Senior Connections Conference next week. The deadline to register for the free program is Friday, May 3. Call (520) 836-2758 or 1-(800)-293-9393.

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Performers will strut their stuff

The Side Street Strutters — Disneyland feature performers for more than two decades and national big band sensation — bring their new production of “Shiny Stockings, featuring Meloney Collins” to the Payson High School Auditorium at 7 p.m., Monday, May 6. Tickets cost $35 for adults, with children and students free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.

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P/S archery team scores big

The Pine Strawberry archery team has qualified to compete in a national tournament, but needs community support to cover the $600-per-archer cost. The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) will sponsor the tournament May 9, 10 and 11 in Louisville, Ky.

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Payson students take on the world

Middle school students travel to Model UN conference in NY

Capping off a two-and-a-half-year career in the Model United Nations (MUN) program, four Rim Country Middle School (RCMS) students convinced students from around the world to support their points of view at a conference in New York.

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Buddies From Way back

Tonto Creek rushes past my perch in the granite/gneiss heart of the canyon below Bear Flat. Lobo lies on the grassy bank alongside me, having returned from his initial reconnaissance to resume his fitful study of the mystery of human motivation.

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A quiet moment in a world abuzz with busy

Sitting on the shore of Roosevelt Lake listening to the gentle lapping of the water as a soft dawn spread over the distant mountains, I pondered the comfort it gave me to sit here in a half-crazed world. We human beings can’t seem to withdraw ourselves from the hectic cycle of life. We’re so trapped in our daily routines, commitments and tasks that we forget how to simply be — exist and enjoy the world. So a short rest from “doing” can make all the difference when life seems to pile up around us.

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Sunset Jazz & Wine Auction features great raffle prizes

The Sunset Jazz and Wine Auction is quickly approaching. This fun-filled event will feature several activities, including a raffle. Raffle tickets are $10 each, six for $50 or 12 for $100, and you need not be present to win.

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The organic plant food secret

Turns out you can feed plants without using fertilizers based on chemicals and petroleum. Funny thing is, the local feed store makes it all possible. It’s called alfalfa tea.

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Clean closets make a happier home

When it comes to getting the house clean and tidy, closets often get left off the to-do list. From hall closets and linen closets to bedroom closets, “out of sight, out of mind” thinking quickly leads to clutter — and then frustration when you can’t find what you need when you need it.

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Best house on the block

Tips for creating great curb appeal

It takes seconds to form a first impression. Ask yourself this: What kind of first impression is my home making? Is your yard helping or hurting you in getting top dollar this home buying season? And if you’re not selling, is it something that you enjoy seeing when you drive by or pull in?

A recipe to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo — meaning the 5th of May — is this weekend. It commemorates the Battle of Puebla in which outnumbered Mexican troops defeated the invading French soldiers.

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Never too soon to get ready for fire season

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner. I have to admit the only thing I really ever knew about it until recently is that it was a holiday on May 5.

Country music has lost a fine voice

Most music fans undoubtedly recognize that the above lyrics are from country artist George Jones’ chart-topping hit, “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” composed by Country Hall of Fame songwriters Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman.

Western sale at thrift store; May Day fun next weekend

The P/S Thrift Store is celebrating Western heritage in honor of Payson’s upcoming Spring Rodeo. The store will have Western clothing, cowboy boots, and western home decor for sale. There will also be a special feature: a Knapp Sewing Machine.

It is amazing how our attitude toward driving has changed over the years

A few weeks back I mentioned a drive to Payson and back that I genuinely enjoyed. I got thinking about that afterward and could not help but be amazed at how much our attitude toward driving has changed since I was a boy.

Retirement looms for longtime visitor

Christopher Creek was always the end of the line on Tuesdays. He had four stops here in town… Jo’s Market, Christopher Creek Bar, Woody’s and finally Creekside.

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Arizona Trails Day: small turnout, still a success

About 50 people participated in the hikes and other events presented in Pine as part of its second annual celebration of Arizona Trails Day April 27.

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, May 3 in the meeting room of the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Rd.

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Lethal pitching, Murderer’s Row of hitters has propelled record-breaking softball team

Paulson sisters have headlined team with a 27-4 record and a solid shot at state title

Armed with two of the finest pitchers in the state and a power hitting lineup led by seven players (20-plus games played) hitting over the magical .300 mark, the Lady Horns are primed and ready to earn the school’s first state softball championship.

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Lady Longhorns softball team gunning for state title

Tucson’s Empire Ravens ranked No. 1, but No. 2 Lady Horns enter state tournament today on a winning streak

Prognosticators from around the state are predicting the Division III state championship softball game could come down to a battle between No. 1 seeded Empire and No. 2 Payson.

She’ll be in the stands

Illness forces senior Karessa Armstrong to miss final season

Karessa Armstrong will root for the team she played on for the last four years, but illness has sidelined her. Karessa contracted a deadly infection that has taken her out of the game this year and possibly for the next several years.

Get to know some of the Lady Longhorns

The girls varsity softball team kindly answered a few questions for the Roundup to let the readers know a little about them as they head off to the state championships this weekend.

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Sister Speak

Lady Longhorns’ Dream Team features three sets of sisters

If you see the following numbers on the infield during the Payson girls softball playoffs at Rose Mofford field in Phoenix, you know sister speak will work its magic — Megan Wessel, No. 5; Kaitlyn Wessel, No. 11; Taylor Petersen, No. 12; Payton Petersen, No. 8; Ari Paulson, No. 1; and Arissa Paulson, No. 10.

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Longhorn golfers driving toward championship

Tricky Antelope Hills’ courses just one of the challenges as team seeks to avenge last year’s second-place, Division III finish

Payson High School golfers travel Friday, May 10 to Antelope Hills Golf Club in search of the Division III state championship that eluded them last year when the Longhorns had to settle for second place behind then-defending state champion Yuma Catholic.

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Lady Longhorn speedsters off and running for state finals

Chilson, Schatz, Ralston, Western and relay teams all among fastest in the state

Blinding speed will be the Lady Longhorns’ forte when the Division III state track and field championships sprint off the starting blocks on Friday, May 10 at Mesa College. The meet will wrap up Saturday.

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Gutsy veterans, freshman sensation leap at state titles

Longhorns sending relay teams, jumpers, sprinters, vaulters to contend for medals

One of the most talented freshmen in Payson High School track and field history, together with a solid group of veterans, will lead the Longhorn boys track and field team into the D-III state championships Friday, May 10-11 at Mesa College.

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Track team reveals its secret weapon: Super Dawg

Tough workouts pay off for Horns

Does former Payson High track coach Dan Reid, a member of the Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame, have the magic elixir that could help the boys and girls team reap state honors in the D-III finals that play out May 10-11 at Mesa College?

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The race starts in sprinter’s head

Speedster follows in father’s footsteps while trying not to ‘psych’ herself out

Morgan Chilson is Payson’s track star heading into the state meet next week, ranked No. 1 in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash.

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Plenty of thoroughbreds in the Longhorn corral

Several players on PHS baseball team have been on the field together since Little League

The Payson High School baseball team will be buoyed in the 2013 Division III state tournament by a player Arizona Sports Network’s “Coach Pichotta” predicted last spring will “be a dominant force as he moves forward.”

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Longhorns look to repeat 1999 school feat

Despite underdog status, Payson High baseball has history of overcoming odds

With the Longhorn baseball team set to begin a long-shot pursuit of Payson High School’s second-ever state baseball championship, those of us long in the tooth fondly remember the spring of 1999 when a group of scrappy, but unheralded young baseball players set the prep sports world on its ear by winning the Longhorns’ first-ever Arizona title.

Thursday, May 2

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’Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour

Rim Country artists invite the world into their lives

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

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Adventure travel

Some of us that travel are not satisfied with a stay-put vacation. Many want to rent a room at a hotel perhaps on a beach and sit, sun and relax for a week or two.

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Camp Reno and the Reno Road

In Tonto Basin, not all that far from Punkin Center, sits the remnants of Camp Reno. Reno was a military outpost that was established in the late 1860s and used from approximately 1868 to 1870.

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Satisfying science fiction

Oblivion does two things well enough to make a very enjoyable alien invasion movie. It has truly beautiful special effects, not the blazing ray guns and exploding space ships that we might want, but lovely landscapes of a stricken earth – it was filmed in stricken Iceland – and a really cool pod craft, which is sort of a future equivalent of an attack helicopter.

Side Street Strutters perform

Disneyland feature performers for more than two decades and national big band sensation, the Side Street Strutters bring their new production of “Shiny Stockings, featuring Meloney Collins” the Payson High School Auditorium in Payson, Arizona at 7 p.m., Monday, May 6, 2013.


When visiting my sister-in-love in Caracas, Venezuela, we decided to get up early and go for a walk.  Since she lived very close to her job at the International School, she introduced me to the walking path she frequents daily.

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Start the day right with protein at breakfast

Starting the day right with a good breakfast helps set the tone for your day. In fact, studies show that kids who eat breakfast have better scores on math, reading and standardized tests; are better able to pay attention; and have fewer absences and incidences of tardiness, compared to breakfast skippers.

Around the Rim Country

Come enjoy an afternoon of golf in the beautiful pines of Payson Saturday, May 4, and help the Payson Community Christian School. The shotgun start at the Payson Golf Course, 1504 W. Country Club Dr. is at 12:30 p.m.

Good 2 Go

Community Presbyterian Church welcomes Howard and Colleen Brown; Gerry and Joanie Reynolds; and Mike Casey. They will be playing and singing songs from Broadway to Nashville to San Francisco; standards, jazz and a few country tunes. The program is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, May 3.

Husband thrashes about during sleep

Every now and then, my eyelid twitches. I don’t think it’s due to me being tired, because it can happen when I am wide awake in the morning. And I don’t think it’s due to stress — I love my work. Furthermore, I don’t drink any caffeinated beverages. What do you think is the significance of this?

Wednesday, May 1

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Off to a good start

The Payson High School baseball team opened pursuit of the school's second state championship on a successful note edging Rio Rico 4-3 in a tournament opener played April 30 in Surprise Sports Complex.