Friday, November 29
The Merritt Center and Lodge is a non-profit retreat center in Star Valley founded in 1987 by Betty Merritt for individual or group renewal and empowerment. Even though Betty has been at the same location for more than 25 years, and has retreats for people from all parts of the country, many folks in Rim Country are unfamiliar with her work.
Gerardo Moceri, Maizy Hall win
Gerardo Moceri considered wearing shorts when he woke up Saturday morning. He went with long pants, instead.
Advent Services start Wednesday, Dec. 4. Mount Cross Lutheran Church, 601 E. Highway 260, Payson, starts its Advent season with the Hanging of the Greens service at 6:15 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4.
With just three seniors, four juniors and nobody to send onto the mat at three weight classes, Payson High enters the wrestling season with challenges.
Overeaters Anonymous - Overeaters Anonymous meets from 2 p.m. Mondays at the Rim Country Health and Retirement Community Room, 807 W. Longhorn Road (after turning in the main driveway, turn right at the first driveway. The Community Room is in the center of the apartment complex). There are no fees or dues.
The holiday season is here, and if you find yourself in the spirit of giving, here are a few more ways you can help out the Humane Society of Central Arizona and the homeless animals of the Rim Country.
If you want to have as much fun shopping for holiday treasures as the recipients will have receiving them, plan a visit to Moose Mountain. The shop is packed to the rafters with wonderful gifts in all shapes, sizes and prices.
Another Week in the Creek
Christopher Creek received five inches of moisture out of last weekend’s storm event, some of which came as three inches of wet snow.
The very conditions that draw the public to the forest in the winter are also the ones that can be dangers. Forest managers are taking several measures to provide for the safety of winter visitors and protect forest resources.
DJ's Music Trivia
This weekend marks the 392nd anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, when in fall of 1621, the Pilgrims and the local Wampanoag people sat down to celebrate a successful harvest and give thanks.
Arizona Board of Regents President Eileen Klein has called on lawmakers and community members to bolster the state’s economy by supporting its universities.
The effort to engineer a land swap for a massive copper mine has hit repeated setbacks, mostly due to the opposition of the San Carlos Apache Tribe crusading to protect land it considers sacred.
Gila County Supervisor Tommie Cline Martin was elected by her colleagues as the second vice president of the County Supervisors Association (CSA) at the Nov. 21, meeting of the CSA Board of Directors.
The Village really got dumped on with the rain and snow that started on Thursday and did not stop until Sunday morning. Most of the communities in the surrounding area all got about four inches of rain and snow.
Rattlin' the Rim
Dawn Potter is certain the Pine Strawberry School Builders Club’s Veterans Day tribute was a fitting salute to all who have served our country and also a valuable lesson to the students who participated. The tribute is called “The White Table.”
Warren Kooyaquaptewa did not live long enough to be honored by his country for his military service, but his daughter said Wednesday that the Hopi man would have been proud to see that day finally come.
A very special thank you to all who worked so hard to make “Bingo for the Children” a total success. Our total earnings were $1,300 after expenses.
Wake up, Payson!
What is the difference between murder and self-defense?
Must be missing something.
Gila County’s resources to cover road building and other transportation costs are shrinking.
The world’s best readers.
Payson Regional Medical Center (PRMC) has successfully obtained Level IV Trauma Center designation by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Chris Wolf, chief executive officer of PRMC has announced.
Recall supporters now want quick election
The Gila County Board of Supervisors called off a promised community meeting on the takeover of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District and politely sidestepped pleas for a quick election.
Confrontation with judge likely subject of investigation
The State Bar of Arizona is investigating Gila County’s chief deputy attorney for possibly violating the rules of professional conduct.
How things went wrong for the school superintendent and board
The end of any relationship causes pain, confusion and heartache, but it’s no good staying together “just for the kids.”
My mother, God bless her, was quite ordinary the way we ordinarily judge people. And yet, every time anyone ever said anything about Mom it was always more than just a nice comment, it was a rave review.
Experts say an epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Arizona is fueling a spike in heroin use.
Star Valley has paid $4,200 of a $7,500 contract to Bruce Varker for a streets and roads master plan. However, the consultant has done very little since April, town officials complained.
When Kathleen Rable walked away from Waushakum Pond 46 years ago, she left a piece of herself. She never really forgot about it, but she did move on.
Gary Morris took this photo of a pelican feeding on fish in the Blue Ridge Reservoir.
Tuesday, November 26
Never mind the kindest, most generous, most interesting people you’ll find anywhere.
The tragic death of a football player from Keams Canyon Hopi High and alarming injuries involving Payson players underscore a troubling issue — and the absolutely crucial need for the community to contribute to Payson’s athletic programs.
Again without the following vendors and personal donations the “Bingo for the Children” would not be the success it is every year.
The Payson Roundup ranked third nationally for non-daily newspapers with fewer than 10,000 subscribers in a competition based on editorial content, design, layout, advertising, special sections and photographs.
Despite receiving some three inches of rain and a splattering of snow this weekend, police reported few problems.
Mr. Guida placed another advertisement “to irritate liberals.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to establish thousands of threatened Gila trout in a three-mile stretch of Haigler Creek, residents learned at a recent meeting.
People can get the equivalent of a high school diploma if they pass the GED test, which will be administered in Payson on Dec. 13-14. The Gila County Schools office offers the test, as well as a course to prepare people to take it.
Payson talk laments shortfall lawmakers are ignoring
Arizona faces a potentially disastrous water shortage — but no one’s paying attention.
County attorney questions role of judges, election of senators
Gila County Attorney Bradley Beauchamp questioned the right of judges to review the constitutionality of legislation and lamented the passage of the 17th Amendment allowing the direct election of U.S. senators at a Tea Party meeting last week, often sounding like he was back in front of the high school government class he once taught.
No need to eat alone this Thanksgiving — public dinners are happening all over Rim Country.
Students wishing to pursue a career in nursing are invited to attend an important informational meeting about the EAC/ASU nursing program at 11 a.m., Monday, Dec. 2 at the Payson campus of Gila Community College, Room 111.
Buckner’s composure, professionalism, work ethic lauded by county attorney
For his composure under pressure both in the field and in courtroom, the Gila County Attorney’s Office has named a Payson cop Officer of the Quarter.
My earliest memories are of stories — they came flooding back to me during the Tellabration in Pine this past weekend as master storytellers enthralled 100 delighted listeners at the Pine Community Center.
Ah! The holidays. What makes them more memorable than sitting around the kitchen with a gingerbread house kit, a small child, frosting, candies and ... well ... a mess.
Local businesses, county supervisors come through
The fourth annual Payson Area Food Drive is off to a strong start.
The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement Board at its last meeting approved the award of a nearly $70,000 contract to CH2M Hill, a water engineering and consulting firm that already operates the water district under contract.
Shortly after the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, I knew, as an insurance agent, that any health insurance plan written after that date would be subject to cancellation in 2014.
Charlie Thompson wasn’t sure what to expect from this year’s Tonto Rim Sports Club Turkey Shoot at Jim Jones Range south of Payson.
Ray Pugel’s latest guest commentary was titled, “Community members must become involved” ... We are involved Mr. Pugel. More than 400 individuals signed our recall petitions for you and Mr. Lovetro and Mr. Calderon and Mr. Dickinson in only 21 days.
Christmas Boutique in Pine - The Pine Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild presents three craft shows on summer holiday weekends each year.
Rim Country celebrates the holidays
Seems all of Rim Country has the holiday spirit — and not for just a couple of days, but for the rest of the year.
Still time to donate a turkey Today, Tuesday, Nov. 26, St. Vincent de Paul volunteers will be at Bashas’ on East Highway 260 until 7 p.m. to accept turkeys, non-perishable food items and cash donations.
Prep player’s death shines harsh light on head blows in many sports
Jared Varner wasn’t sure where he was. The Payson High senior was dazed as he staggered to his feet. His mind was cloudy after the violent collision he’d just experienced.
Denise Morgan came to the Tamales for Toys event at Gerardo’s on Saturday, Nov. 23 to help the kids of Payson, but it reminded her of how her family helped with tamales during the holiday season.
GCC’s gamble on tuition cuts seemingly paying off
After the Gila Community College (GCC) board sharply lowered tuition and reinstated free classes for seniors, everyone held their breath to see if the college would make it.
Friday, November 22
Family pleads for probation, but prison plea deal prevails
A judge sentenced a man to 3.5 years in prison Thursday for abandoning his shoeless 2-year-old son along the side of Houston Mesa Road earlier this year.
Mounting flows in Tonto Creek prompted Gila County to close all three crossings in Tonto Basin Saturday morning, effectively cutting off access to people living on the east side.
Police say an intoxicated man crashed a lime green ATV into bushes Wednesday after reportedly throwing a fit in a local jewelry store and storming out.
The Payson Town Council has approved a new ceiling, not of the debt variety, but solar panels over town hall’s parking lot.
Tellabration time in Pine
Good food and good stories await in Pine.
Christopher Creek Dumpster Days are here again. There will be a parade, marching bands ... oh, wait, there won’t be any of that stuff.
He fought off flames at a Star Valley trailer park fire several weeks ago by himself until more help arrived. His actions likely helped prevent the spread of flames to several nearby homes, said Hellsgate Fire Chief Gary Hatch.
Kristi Ford’s voice cracked and she held back tears as she talked to Academic Decathlon students, a program funded by the Gear Up grant, on Saturday, Nov. 16.
Officers suspect alcohol played a part in a rollover accident last weekend near Christopher Creek.
They glittered, they glowed and they fascinated visitors – the rocks, minerals, and gems at the 2013 Payson Rimstones Gem and Mineral Show.
There will be plenty of partying on Historic Main Street in Payson, Saturday, Dec. 7 at the annual Electric Light Parade, which starts at 6 p.m. at Green Valley Park and goes to the Sawmill Crossing.
Decision represents one of the final board actions after surprise resignations
The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District last week approved installation of sensors and a bypass valve to prevent two crucial wells from ever pumping murky, gritty water into the system.
The little girl eyed the goose warily.
Turns out, education reform’s a lot simpler than you might think.
A Tonto Apache Tribal Council member has been charged with extreme DUI with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit, say police.
Several weeks ago I read an article that spoke of a Australian nurse who collects the things people most often say as they reach the end of their lives. No. 1 on the list was, “I wish I had lived a life true to myself, not the life others expected.” I agree with that. It’s the secret to happiness.
Sheriffs refuse to cooperate in federal effort to prevent hunters from leaving camps set up
The Gila County Sheriff’s office has joined with other local officials to protest a new U.S. Forest Service threat to impound and tow away trailers left in the forest for more than 72 hours, according to Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin.
DJ's Music Trivia
And at 9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 23 the gun will sound for more than 100 runners in this year’s version of Payson’s annual 5K (3.1 miles) Turkey Trot. Serious runners and weekend joggers, zealous youngsters and slow-but-steady octogenarians will race from Green Valley Park, west on Main Street to the course’s turnaround point at the sanitary plant, then huff and puff their way back to the finish line at the park.
The Tea “Party” is not a political party. It is made up of completely separate groups that spontaneously erupted across the nation in 2009.
I was watching the Food Channel on Monday and there were at least two different cooks who made great looking leftovers from all the food that was on the Thanksgiving tables.
In the ongoing debate of net metering, APS keeps raising the issue that those with solar do not pay their fair share of the costs of the grid.
As director of the Arizona Department of Transportation, I take strong exception to the headline and tone of the Nov. 9 article on funding for highway projects around the state.
Although I should not be surprised, I am amazed by the number of falsehoods that have been promulgated regarding the events that occurred that led to my husband’s arrest.
Eighteen years is enough. For 18 years an effort has been made to eradicate the water woes in Pine-Strawberry. That effort has been successful but there is more work to be done.
A father in an incomprehensible blur makes a terrible mistake. He drops his shoeless 2-year-old son off alongside Houston Mesa Road — and drives away. Astonishing. Frightening. Terrible.
These are facts — Since 1945, these are the number of executive orders issued by each president during their tenure ...
District hopes to renew grant to boost graduation rate, scores
“Never is (education) all about academics,” said Kristi Ford, GEAR UP Grant coordinator and teacher. “It’s children first, subjects second.”
Supervisors schedule Dec. 11 briefing on Pine water takeover
Some 700 county employees are getting an early Christmas gift from the Gila County Board of Supervisors in the form of a one-time bonus.
The annual Turkey Trot 5K at Green Valley Park is Saturday, Nov. 23.
While coaching turnover has beset many Payson High School athletic programs in recent years, such has not been the case with softball. Well, it hadn’t.
Collection of information about the winter storm from around the Web.
Turkey Tuesday - The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Payson, Bashas’, Safeway and Channel 12 News are joining forces to collect turkeys.
Order of the Eastern Star - The Ponderosa Chapter #64 O.E.S. meets at 7 p.m. the first and third Mondays at the Masonic Lodge, 200 E. Rancho Rd., Payson.
Thanksgiving is an eventful holiday for many people. From all the delicious food you make and eat, to spending time with family and showing your thanks for all the blessing in your life, this is one of the busier holidays we celebrate.
Longhorn ace to become a Cougar
Arianna Paulson knew two years ago that she wanted to play softball at Brigham Young University. On Monday, she made it official.
Horns in same section with powerhouses
Payson’s girls basketball team has improved in each of Jennifer White’s two seasons as head coach.
Thursday, November 21
Everyone has more time to sound off on plans to dramatically expand the area where endangered Mexican gray wolves can roam.
Her father was the first of the prolific Pyle family born in Rim Country. Celebrating her 98th birthday last month made her the oldest pioneer descendant still living in the area. Or at least that’s what Myrtle Pyle Warter believes.
Wednesday, November 20
A bacteria-infected well has been disinfected, tested, re-tested and stands nearly ready to go back online, Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District Manager Brad Cole told the district’s board last week.
Fresh off shallow dives in the crystal clear waters of Taylor Pool, a dozen scuba divers took to Roosevelt Lake recently for their first deep dive into the lake’s dark depths, all hoping to avoid nitrogen narcosis (getting drunk underwater).
Hospice offers, choices, dignity
Hospice is about living, not dying. As National Hospice Month is commemorated this November, the staff at Hospice Compassus in Payson wants residents in their service area to see what they do contributes to the quality of life.
Payson and Arizona Public Service will sponsor the 13th Annual Electric Light Parade down Main Street on Dec. 7.
Tuesday, November 19
Mesa del Caballo neighbors rally with garden hoses
A couple is grieving the loss of their three dogs after a fire destroyed their rental home in Mesa del Caballo, early Saturday morning.
The Turkey Trot 5K at Green Valley Park is Saturday. Registration starts at 8 a.m. with the race at 9.
Five members of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District abruptly resigned on Saturday, turning over management of the controversy-plagued district to the Gila County Board of Supervisors.
Bravo and thank you to Mr. Arthur Guida for not only writing his editorial, but also for paying to have it published.
I’m very confident that Mr. Guida means well, but the inaccuracy of his claims in his “advertisement” indicates that he is relying on extremely unreliable sources for information.
Police recording captures lethal confrontation
A Gila County grand jury has indicted a Payson man on charges of second-degree murder for killing his neighbor. Michael Alan Voden, 72, pleaded not guilty Monday in Globe during his arraignment.
The alarm sounds. The firefighters respond. When will we back them up?
Captains earn recognition from opposing coaches
Payson suffered through a 4-14-3 boys soccer season this fall.
The Payson Elks Lodge #2154 had a very successful Veterans Day. We would like to thank all the veterans and their spouses and friends for coming out and enjoying the evening’s events and dinner.
In response to the ad purchased by Arthur Guida in Friday’s Roundup — sorry pal you wasted your money.
Providing a world-class education should be a top priority for rural Arizona communities.
As Winston Churchill reportedly said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” We’re hoping that the abrupt resignation of five members of the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District falls into that category.
Investigations of Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District Board members continue to agitate customers — and roil relations on the board.
Judy Smith: Volunteer of the Year
Judy Smith thought she knew who was going to win the Volunteer of the Year award from the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, but she was proved wrong.
Trae Dunman voted Coach of the Year
Payson’s girls soccer team went 3-16-1 this season. It was an inexperienced squad with just two seniors and many players new to the sport.
The Rim Country Republican Club meets Monday, Nov. 25 at Tiny’s Family Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260.
The Annual Tamales for Toys event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23 at Gerardo’s Firewood Café, 512 N. Beeline Highway.
Medicare’s annual open enrollment period has started and I want to encourage everyone with Medicare to review their current health and prescription drug coverage.
“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men out fowling so that we might, after a more special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labors.”
The office of U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced that the next veterans' informational forum is from noon to 2 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22 at Payson Messinger Funeral Home community room, 901 S. Westerly Rd.
Teachers put equipment to good use
On a Tuesday evening after school, the Payson High School baseball field crawled with students, their parents, three teachers and lots of telescopes in all shapes and sizes.
Sunday, November 17
The Community Presbyterian Church’s High Country Holiday Bazaar on Saturday was a great place to find unique handmade gifts — such as homemade jams and jellies; special snowman items; and extraordinary décor pieces. The bazaar was held at Julia Randall Elementary School gym.
Over the objections of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Forest Service has warned that no one can park trailers in the forest during hunting season unattended for more than 72 hours.
With triple the need and a dramatic decline in food deliveries, local food banks are once again struggling to keep their shelves stocked as the busy holiday season approaches.
Tradition and fantasy will come together the day after Thanksgiving at the Swiss Village’s 35th annual Christmas Lighting.
Saturday, November 16
Payson High School (PHS) Principal Brian Mabb has two goals for the high school and its students: 1) Inspire students to stay in Payson to work, live and raise families. 2) Create a school the community can proudly support.
The Star Valley Town Council last week pledged to help fund the local delivery of meals to seniors for at least the next three years.
No one leaves empty-handed from gem and mineral show
The Payson Rimstones’ Annual Gem and Mineral Show promises to educate and entertain. Better yet, guests will probably go home with something.
Friday, November 15
Why do people do stupid things? I just learned one of the unreported reasons the Affordable Care Act Web site isn’t working properly.
Arizona population increases, but protection debate persists
As volunteers and biologists labor to safeguard Arizona’s population of bald eagles, the legal battles about their future continue.
A man who will stand trial next month for allegedly killing his daughter in a rollover last year was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday for a separate offense involving domestic violence.
Less than a year after selling Frontier Elementary School, the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) has a problem — too many kids and not enough classrooms for the elementary grades.
We’re for muddled, short-term decision-making and slapping a Band-Aid on the problem — for the moment, anyhow.
He’s hosted the rodeo in Rim Country for the last 30 years, heading up the Payson Rodeo Committee and acting as rodeo boss for both the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring Rodeo in May and the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo in August.
Science: It ain’t for sissies. Nor, apparently, for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — not to mention your average member of Congress.
Yet, another excuse, one of many, why there is a problem with building an ASU campus.
It is utterly amazing to me that high value contract work such as computer systems is let without an ironclad contract, including a performance and/or completion bond. Such a contract should also include penalties for not meeting incremental milestones/dates as well as a final completion date.
As a former Payson Roundup reporter whose beat assignment for seven years was the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID), I applaud the PSWID recall committee for their efforts to entrust the future and fate of the district to voters.
This letter is twofold. First of all it is to thank Payson Rotary Club Foundation and Modified Motorcycle Association (MMA) for partnering with the Rim Country Optimist Club to provide Christmas presents and a party for displaced and disadvantaged students.
Gratitude is extended to all those who attended and participated in the Payson Veterans Day tribute at the Payson High School Auditorium on Monday, Nov. 11 with special appreciation extended to the veterans who attended.
Their flags unfurl and fill the air
Decorate a Gingerbread House tonight - Come to the free and fun gingerbread house class from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight, Friday, Nov. 15, at Dimi Espresso and be ready for the Swiss Village contest during the Christmas Lighting.
Sons of the American Revolution - The Rim Country Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution meets at 8 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 16 at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260.
Thanksgiving is approaching and the Humane Society of Central Arizona has many things to be thankful for. One of those things is our hard-working, dedicated volunteers.
Another Week in the Creek
Christopher Creek was quiet this past weekend, not unlike Garrison Keillor’s mythical Lake Wobegon.
Last week we were talking about making a choice between earning brownie points in the military by staying quiet, or speaking up and taking your lumps.
DJ's Music Trivia
Snowbirds from Maine to Minne-snow-ta to Alberta have begun showing up at our local chamber of commerce on their journey south to balmy weather in their favorite Arizona winter residences.
The holiday season is starting to gear up in area retail stores. Christmas decorations are overlapping the decorations for Thanksgiving and even Home Depot is building stalls for their Christmas trees.
The Payson Women’s Golf Association wrapped up the season with a Pink Tournament in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Oct. 29 at Payson Golf Course. Players were allowed to discard 5-hole scores.
Zach Lee was a two-time state wrestling champion at Payson High, who also helped the Longhorns win the 2000 Class 3A team title.
Loss of veterans poses challenge for next year
A roster featuring eight seniors gave Payson High volleyball fans a reason for optimism this season.
Members of the First Cal Mortgage team pose for a photo after winning the Oct. 26 Payson Parks & Recreation Co-Ed Softball Championship.
Approximately 40 turkeys will be handed out at the annual Tonto Rim Sports Club Turkey Shoot, set for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Jim Jones Range south of Payson.
Tim Ernst fired a 70 to win the low gross championship in the Payson Men’s Golf Association Low Gross/Low Net Tournament at Payson Golf Course on Nov. 6. It was the final event of the year for the PMGA.
More Than a Game
It’s always strange starting a new phase of your life somewhere new. That was certainly the case for me when I took over as the Roundup’s sports editor on Aug. 29. After six-and-a-half-years working at the White Mountain Independent in Show Low, I didn’t know my way around Payson.
Dusty Miller will conduct a Payson Area Trials System hike of the Cypress and Boulder trails beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Payson varsity girls basketball coach Jennifer White directs players during tryouts at Wilson Dome on Tuesday. The Longhorns open the season in a Nov. 25-26 tournament.
Thursday, November 14
With a year until the next election, Democratic freshmen in three competitive Arizona congressional districts are continuing to stockpile cash for their re-election bids, according to the latest campaign finance reports.
Climb to top of Arizona’s tallest mountain a test of willpower
I tossed my water bottle behind the twisted low branches of a bristlecone pine, the only thing hardy enough to live in such an inhospitable environment. I could not bear the weight of the 25-ounce bottle anymore. It had come to that.
Arizona’s four-year public universities had the nation’s largest in-state tuition and fees increase over the past five years, according to the nonprofit organization that oversees the SAT.
The inexorable rise of average temperatures will batter forests in the Southwest by increasing the number of megafires and plagues like bark beetle outbreaks, according to the alarming results of recent studies.
PHS students deliver goosebump-producing performance at band festival in Gilbert
As the sun set, the Payson High School (PHS) Marching Band settled into position on Williams Field in Gilbert during the Nov. 2 ABODA State Marching Band Festival.
Now that the band has finished its marching season, it’s time to move on to its concert season and beyond.
Wednesday, November 13
The 2013 Rim Country Business Awards were held at the Payson Church of the Nazarene on Tuesday, November 12th. Look for a story and the list of winners in Friday's Payson Roundup.
Recently the Kiwanis Club hosted a breakfast for all the exchange students currently attending Payson High School. The students introduced themselves, spoke about their countries, their schools, hobbies and why they chose to be an exchange student.
The annual Tonto Basin Veterans Day Parade drew a variety of entries from the small community.
The sun rises into another clear day, I gaze out at a tranquil view of geese and ducks on the reflective lake. My last day of tranquility.
A sea of faces, many etched by time, looked up at the stage, expectant, waiting for the annual Veterans Day tribute to begin.
Tuesday, November 12
Shoe drive - Kaitie’s Closet’s annual New Shoe Drive is in November and December to help area children in need get through the winter with new, warm shoes.
Moose Lodge events - 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.
We’ve got a bad feeling about this, Toto. At tonight’s Payson School Board meeting, Superintendent of Schools Ron Hitchcock will submit his resignation, which will take effect at the end of the school year in June. That’s bad news for our kids, given the delay and indecision his abrupt departure will inevitably cause.
The net metering issue before the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is being framed as an issue of “fairness.” This policy, adopted in 2006 by the ACC as part of the state’s Renewable Energy Standard, was devised to encourage Arizonans to spend large amounts of money out-of-pocket to inject clean electrons into our electrical system — benefiting the grid, the economy, our air, our health.
Payson team more competitive in rematch
SHOW LOW — This one was closer. But not close enough for the Longhorns.
Flagstaff too much for Longhorns
PRESCOTT VALLEY — The tears rolled down Taylor Randall’s cheeks. Teammates consoled her on the Tim’s Toyota Center court moments after Flagstaff eliminated Payson from the Division III state volleyball tournament 3-0 Friday afternoon.
Abby Greenleaf finishes 27th
PHOENIX — Abby Greenleaf wanted to improve on her performance in last year’s cross country state meet.
The team of Alex Armenta, John Calderwood, Terry Lindsey and Bill Mullins shot a 188 to win a four-man tournament counting three of four scores at Payson Golf Course on Oct. 30.
Hitchcock launches changes, but quits after just 18 months
Barely 18 months into his tenure, Payson Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent Ron Hitchcock will seek approval to resign from the school board tonight at its Nov. 12 meeting.
Longtime Payson seaman recalls ‘Day of Infamy’
Three generations of 30-year Payson resident Robert “Bo” Bochansky’s family served in the Navy — their service spanning from World War I to Vietnam.
A family is staying with friends after a fire Saturday night badly damaged their manufactured home. It was the second tragic event to take place Saturday. That morning, a man reportedly shot and killed his neighbor just down the street off Rancho Road.
Wow. Another record. Way to go, Arizona.
I have come to the conclusion that Walt Kelly, the creator of the comic strip Pogo was way ahead of his time. Thirty years ago, one of his daily comic strips ended with the caption “I have seen the enemy, and he is us.”
Man reportedly trying to retrieve his dog killed in neighbor’s yard
A loose dog in a neighbor’s yard led to a fatal shooting in a peaceful Payson neighborhood and conflicting accounts that suggest either self-defense or the senseless killing of an unarmed man.
Monday, November 11
Work crews intermittently blocked Tyler Parkway this week with the latest work to prepare for the arrival of water from the Blue Ridge pipeline.
One of the holiday season’s tastiest events is just around the corner — Tamales for Toys.
Payson, Tonto Basin, National Parks and other groups will all sponsor events and ceremonies to honor the nation’s veterans, as well as those currently serving.
Sunday, November 10
The Rim Country Middle School library buzzed with nervous twitters and fidgeting; spread out in a circle, tri-fold cardboard displays showed Christina Cleary’s sixth grade science class projects on weather topics from tornados to lightning.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) of Payson invited the community to an open house and commemoration of 100 years of church affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Program Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Saturday, November 9
Cowboy, livestock get spooked by Bigfoot sighting
RJ (not his real name) is a cowboy, and has been his whole adult life. It’s not a very glamorous career, and he’s never made much money at it, but he likes working outside and the lifestyle suits him.
Tonto National Monument, along with all other National Park sites plus many fee-charging Forest Service sites will honor U.S. military veterans and members of the armed forces with free admission for all visitors from Saturday, Nov. 9 through Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11.
The grass in front of Julia Randall Elementary School was a sea of bright pink and green last Saturday as more than 90 young girls and their running buddies registered for the Girls on the Run 5K celebration event.
Friday, November 8
Treasurer tries to explain
Gila County Treasurer Debora Savage Tuesday struggled to explain to a frustrated board of supervisors why 2013 property tax bills are more than a month late for the third year in a row.
Well. Golly. Them darn computers. So complicated. What’s a poor county treasurer to do?
Cross country team team in finals for first time since 2009
Payson High hasn’t had a team qualify for the cross country state meet since 2009. Make that hadn’t. The Longhorn girls finished fourth among 13 teams in the Division III Section III meet at Skunk Creek Landfill in Phoenix on Nov. 1 to qualify for Saturday’s Division III state meet.
I express my thanks to all that made it possible to have the Merchant Marine plaque placed at the Payson Veterans Memorial. This Veterans Day ceremony we will remember the bravery and sacrifices of the mariners of World War II and other wars.
Road budget mostly for urban areas
The Arizona Department of Transportation has turned a blind eye to the transportation needs of Rim Country.
Nancy Pelosi is attacking the Navajo nation with a fury not seen for over a century. She and her Democrat Party allies have set their sights on the economic and social destruction of the Navajo nation.
It shouldn’t be hard to forget why so many worked so hard to see that Arizona’s Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), was restored.
1. The 17 percent “shutdown” of the most visible part of the federal government was engineered by Obama handler Valerie Jarrett, as a plan to win the 2014 election for Democrats by blaming Republicans for it, even though Obama is the one who said “I will not negotiate,” and caused the “shutdown.”
But need for help still exists
The number of homeless and displaced students in Payson has plunged by 47 percent from a high of 589 in 2012-13 to 313 this year — a 47 percent drop.
On Saturday, Nov. 9, some members of the committee recently formed to “Recall PSWID Board” will be collecting signatures for their petitions. Location is the ramada across from the post office in Pine. Time is from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Young cowgirl does Rim Country proud
Rim Country Middle School eighth-grader Bryndee Hall is hoping to improve as a rodeo competitor this season. That’s setting the bar pretty high, since this summer she finished as Arizona’s top performer in girls pole bending at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Gallup, N.M.
Wonderful news: We have half as many homeless and displaced kids now as we did a year ago. The latest figures from the Payson Unified School District still show a daunting number of kids living chaotic and unsupported lives — but the dramatic drop represents some of the best news we’ve had in Rim Country in years.
The Star Valley Town Council voted Tuesday to give council members a 150 percent raise starting in 2015 in hopes of drumming up more interest in serving on the board, since no one ran against the incumbents in the last election.
This past Saturday, my friends Gloria and Nancy and I drove down to the Arizona State Fair. One word: Wow! It has been years since I had been to the fair and I was blown away by the size of it.
DJ's Music Trivia
This past Saturday, Julia Randall Elementary played host to two very healthy activities. On a beautiful Rim Country fall morning, inside the gymnasium, hundreds of area residents gathered for the annual Community Health and Care Fair.
Another Week in the Creek
“Christopher Creek,” the long-running stage play has had a cast of thousands over the years. All characters in the play have speaking parts and each one is a star in his, or her, own right. Some enter and hold center stage while others have had supporting roles.
If 21 years in the Air Force taught me anything it was that there are times when you have to stand up and be counted. There were times when I found myself faced with a choice: Either ignore the oath I swore and play the brownie-points game, or do what was right and take my lumps.
Jazz concert Sunday - The Payson Friends of Jazz will feature pianist and saxophonist Frank Smith, along with Steve Douglas, upright string bass; Gerry Reynolds, drums; and surprise guest, David Robinson, guitar; in a performance Sunday, Nov. 10 in Payson.
These are just a few of the many pets currently available for adoption at the Humane Society of Central Arizona.
Rim Area Gardeners - All RAG members and guests are invited to the Rim Area Gardeners’ next meeting at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 11 at the Payson Church of Christ, 401 E. Tyler Parkway. Cayci Vuksanovich, Master Gardener from Globe, will be speaking on and demonstrating plant propagation. Club meetings are held the second Monday of each month. For more information, visit the club’s Web site at https://sites.google.com /site/rimareagardeners1/.
The Tonto Community Concert Association’s 2013-14 season will be half over in short order.
Thursday, November 7
Forests At Risk
The mystery land manager tapped to manage one of the largest, most complex logging operations in history turns out to be mostly a land broker that bundles timber sales.
Report avoids assigning blame for death of 19 Prescott firefighters
The curiously unrevealing official report on the deaths of 19 Prescott Hotshots battling the Yarnell Hill Fire underscores the terrible risks firefighters inevitably run trying to protect poorly prepared communities in increasingly fire-prone forests.
On Oct. 29, Payson High School inducted the largest group of National Honor Society students it has ever had, said advisor Laura Blocher.
Sanja Long watched a steady flow of visitors stream through the doors of Julia Randall Elementary on Saturday morning.
Sunday evening, Oct. 27 — We’d had an early dinner and were watching the fourth game of the World Series. Len, who was recently a patient in PRMC, was preparing to go to bed. Just as he was about to crawl under the covers — chirp…chirp…chirp. The bedroom smoke alarm decided to make itself heard. (Don’t those batteries ever get weak during the daytime?)
Wednesday, November 6
The Payson at Show Low Division IV football state playoff game has been changed to 7 p.m. Friday.
Representative Paul Gosar (R-Prescott) visited the students at Julia Randall Elementary (JRE) on Monday, Nov. 4 to meet the students and answer questions.
A neurological disorder is any disorder of the body’s nervous system.
Payson sales rise sharply, but construction still lags
verything’s looking up, businesswise. Well, except for construction. Alas, poor construction.
Payson, Gila County ignore danger in building codes despite lessons of Yarnell
Payson and Gila County have both balked at adopting firewise building standards, despite the rising danger of catastrophic wildfires like the one that devoured much of Yarnell and killed 19 firefighters trying to protect the community.
Tuesday, November 5
A semi-truck carrying 16 cubes of crushed cars, careened out of control Friday, closing several lanes of Highway 260 travel for hours. Although the truck’s cab was badly compressed, the driver walked away with just a couple of cuts.
Two people were airlifted in serious condition Monday after their SUV rolled near Jakes Corner. A driver heading east on Highway 188 lost control, drifted over the centerline onto the west shoulder, overcorrected, recrossed the highway and rolled several times, said Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erik Axlund.
How soon they forget. For a time, the tragic deaths of 19 heroic firefighters in the 2,000-degree flames of the Yarnell Hill Fire captured the attention of the nation — even Congress. But hey, that was months ago. Time to move on.
This is your opportunity to meet new friends, gain experience, learn new skills and get in shape and have fun playing basketball. Don’t be left on the sidelines this winter wishing you had played. Sign up today.
Stan Eggen won the A Flight championship in the Payson Men’s Golf Association No Low Net event on Oct. 23 at Payson Golf Course.
No. 16 Longhorns get rematch with No. 1 Cougars on Saturday
SHOW LOW – The regular season ended for Payson’s football team with another lopsided loss.
Close season with three straight wins
Payson’s volleyball team hoped for a state playoff berth. Mission accomplished. Now they’re hoping to pull off an upset or two.
The family of Norman Dudley would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, calls and support during this most difficult time.
I am asking the citizens of the United States to read and ask their elected representatives what in the world are they thinking.
United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), House Speaker John Boehmer (R-Ohio), our four GOP House members from Arizona (Franks, Gosar, Salmon and Schweikert), and our very own State Representative Brenda Barton, all seem to be disenchanted with the workings of our federal government and the officials responsible for running it.
Despite numerous protests from Payson Water Company customers about a proposed jump in water rates, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) board gave its blessing to the Payson Water Company to hook up Mesa del Caballo customers to the Town of Payson water system on Oct. 25.
Recently I held town-hall meetings in Phoenix and Tucson, where I heard directly from Arizonans frustrated with Washington’s lack of respect for the impact that the dysfunction in Congress has had on the lives of ordinary people.
The Rim Country has many children and teens in need. Each year efforts are made by different groups to help them with clothing, school supplies, Christmas gifts and more. Three years ago a concerted effort was organized and became Payson Assisting Displaced Students.
Neighbor dispute winds up in court
Jo Chavez thought her three-bedroom brick home on South Ash Street offered a little piece of Rim Country paradise. So she settled in with her son and pets and hung a sign by the front door reading “Rest and Relaxation.”
Sonic Escape to perform Friday - Julliard graduates Shawn Wyckoff, flute; Maria Kaneko Millar, violin; and Nan-Cheng Chen, cello form Sonic Escape.
Ichthus Institute hosts seminar tonight - The Arizona Ichthus Institute for Enrichment and Christian Development will be teaching “I Want to Tell You a Story…About a Dove,” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Friday, November 1
Treasurer asked to explain late property taxes
A long delay in sending out property tax bills that has created a crisis for many special districts prompted Gila County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Pastor to “invite” Gila County Treasurer Debora Savage to appear before the board at its Nov. 5 meeting.
Halloween event draws monstrous crowd
Monsters, princesses, witches and ghouls came to the annual Trunk or Treat Halloween blast on Main Street by the carload Thursday night.
Don’t look now, but Payson could just make the state football tournament.
Sheriff hires ex-police chief to handle internal investigations
From street cop to police chief to private investigator, Gordy Gartner has had a lengthy and interesting 40-year career.
Additional space allows for growth
The soft tan paint was getting applied and the leaf-inspired sconces wired up Wednesday as crews hurried to get Center Point Dental ready to open in the next coming weeks.
Owner Robyn Hill (center) celebrated the grand opening of Kutz Etc. in the Sawmill Crossing, 201 W. Main St., Suite K, with staff Melissa McNeeley and Kayle Cobb and friends and family.
Faced with a liability insurance crisis, the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) board on Oct. 28 voted to allow only district students and employees to use the ropes course installed with a federal grant.
Health insurance broker breaks down Affordable Care Act choices for Gila County residents
Though off to a rocky start, the Affordable Care Act’s healthcare.gov Web site will likely be operational within the next few weeks.
The Holiday Craft Bazaar will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 at Messinger Community Room, 901 S. Westerly Road. Beautiful, handmade crafts and homemade goodies will be available for holiday gift giving.
This is your opportunity to meet new friends, gain experience, learn new skills and get in shape and have fun playing basketball.
Anyone wishing to serve on the Gila Community College Board who lives in Payson, Pine, Strawberry or several other Rim County communities can fill out an application in the Gila County Schools office.
School department chairs will once again get stipends of $500 a year, now that the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) board has adopted new job descriptions and salary schedules.
Take advantage of one-stop health care during the 15th Annual Community Health & Care Fair from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 2 at Julia Randall Elementary School gym, 902 W. Main St., Payson.
Gila County Sheriff Adam Shepherd Wednesday named Lt. Mike Johnson as his undersheriff, his second in command.
James Schouten, MD, FAAFP, a family physician in Payson, has achieved the Degree of Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the national medical association representing nearly 110,600 family physicians, residents and medical students.
Three years spent in Pakistan, combined with four in the UK, have firmly convinced me that there is no such thing as “English.” There’s Britspeak and there’s American, and Bob’s your uncle!
The Gila County Attorney’s Office was inundated with donations this year during its third annual sundry collection for the Time Out Shelter.
The Payson chapter of Amnesty International is just beginning its fourth year of operation, but it has put more than a few feathers in its cap over its short life. It was awarded the 2011 Sister Laola Hironaka Award. The award is presented annually to one Amnesty International USA local group that has demonstrated innovation, courage and effective campaigning strategy. The award serves to honor and recognize the most outstanding chapter in the country.
Our family would like to thank the entire community of Payson and the surrounding areas for their amazing support and prayers after Seth’s critical incident, while in the line of duty
It is almost sad to watch the trees lose all their leaves and become bare. Since the winds have picked up for the past few days, the leaf drop has accelerated so fast the sight of those trees reminds me of the upcoming colder weather to come.
Rattlin' the Rim
The holiday season is just over the horizon prompting Pine and Strawberry residents to jump-start efforts to help those less fortunate among us.
Another Week in the Creek
Christopher Creek has certainly calmed after the culmination of the costume celebrations.
Payson Area Computer Association to meet - All are invited to the Payson Area Computer Association’s next general meeting on at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1 in the community room of the Payson Public Library.
DJ’s Music Trivia
It’s time to put out our cigarettes, set down our vodka and wine glasses, turn our backs to the jelly rolls and do something a whole lot healthier this weekend.
Longhorns eye state tournament berth
A Division III state tournament berth was on the line as Payson entered the final three games of the regular season. Coach Arnold Stonebrink said the Longhorns needed to win all three.
Big changes are under way at one of Payson’s most centrally located antique shops. Once Upon A Time Antiques owner Kathy Prentice had re-evaluated her business and decided to lower prices and offer more thrift store merchandise to compete with the other stores in town.
The flu season has already reared its ugly head in Arizona — but not yet in Gila County — according to the state’s summary of activity for the illness.
Unseasoned team learns lessons for next season
A 4-14-3 record doesn’t offer much reason for optimism. But this year’s struggles are a key reason Payson boys varsity soccer coach Chris Avakian feels upbeat about the Longhorns’ future.
Volunteer coordinators bring in community members to support students, school staff
Gerald Rutz came to the Oct. 25 Payson Unified School District (PUSD) board meeting a bit disappointed. He had written a letter to the superintendent’s office to offer tutoring in Calculus, but never received a response. “I am disappointed that in five weeks I have not heard anything,” he said. “It means to me you don’t care enough to take care of the kids. (But) I’m still willing to offer help.”
While I can appreciate the difficult challenge for the editor to fact check letters submitted to the Roundup, I wish to address some major inaccuracies in the letter from Raymond Spatti published on Oct. 22.
Owner Mike Wicks celebrated the grand opening of his new repair shop, Hunter Auto in Star Valley, 3982 E. Highway 260, Oct. 4 with staff and supporters.
Rick Renzi betrayed his office and the trust of the electorate for $733,000.
Let’s be clear. No one has challenged Brenda Barton’s right of speech. What is rightly challenged is her use of it.
The Knights of Columbus of Payson wish to thank the residents and visitors of Payson for their generous support to our annual Tootsie Roll drive. Proceeds go to Payson Special Olympics.
At APS, our goal is to make Arizona the solar capital of America. We believe we’re well on the way with a plan to shape our state’s solar identity and create a sustainable energy future.
The Rim Country Educational Alliance continues to work diligently on behalf of this community, struggling with the complexities of building a 6,000-student campus here. On Thursday, the Alliance board met in a closed, executive session to consider whether the 260-acre Forest Service parcel remains the best place for a campus and its various spin-off facilities.
District gains 27 students, reversing four-year trend
The anticipated 40th day of instruction attendance numbers brought good news to the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) — the district had the first increase in enrollment in four years.
I guess you could say I have a love/hate relationship regarding retractable leashes.