Stories for October 2013


Tuesday, October 29

Health Advisory Committee formed

College partners with local health businesses to expand offerings

Gila Community College (GCC) has offered local students an opportunity to earn a nursing degree close to home since 2005, with the help of Payson Regional Medical Center (PRMC). The program has trained 153 skilled nurses.

Calculus and college

Calculus is not regularly required for college and it is not required for a bachelor’s degree, which 90 percent of the students in the district will receive if they graduate.

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Blue Ridge rolls past Longhorns 63-6

Defeat one of worst in program history

Tyus Sarnowski lingered on and around Longhorn Field on Friday night. The game had ended 20 minutes earlier, but the senior didn’t want to leave.

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Survivor recounts moving story of escape

Like her mother before her, Holly Crump spent most of her marriage in fear and misery.

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Teen shooter raffles 4x4

Donnie Smith likes to shoot rifles. And he’s pretty good at it.

Open house salutes ‘100 Years of Honor’

The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) of Payson invite the community to an open house and commemoration of 100 years of church affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program.

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Let the party begin!

There’s something about Halloween. Maybe it’s donning a persona to go along with a costume. Or it might be the joy of watching kids having fun. But then again, perhaps it’s just the mounds of candy.

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Les Mis: Thespians’ triumph

Director hopes PHS production will impress state judges

Victor Hugo’s novel of a complicated love affair, suffering and redemption spans 1,500 pages, but the Payson High School thespians pulled it off with aplomb.

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Prescribed fire near Mt. Ord

A prescribed fire on Mt. Ord started Wednesday and could go throughout the month of November.

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Neighbor dies after Star Valley RV fire

Fire destroyed a man’s mobile home in a Star Valley RV park early Saturday morning and flames nearly took a neighbor’s unit as well.

‘Horror movie’

Ax wielding Payson man terrorized neighbor, driver

Like a scene from a “horror movie,” Daniel Denuzzi, 47, tramped up to his Star Valley neighbor’s home with a 5-gallon gasoline can in one hand and an ax in the other. He threw the ax through the home’s front window, nearly striking his neighbor in the face.

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College quandary

As Alliance compares sites, FS land sale inches along

The Rim Country Educational Alliance (SLE) continues to push the purchase of 260 acres from the U.S. Forest Service for a university campus — but also is doing a comparative analysis of other privately owned parcels.

A little longer

A little longer. Dear Lord, just a little longer.

Control is issue

Health care is not a concern of Obama. He wants the government to have complete control of you and your neighbors. Health care is just one of the perversions to achieve that agenda.

Barton trying to wake us up

In regard to all of the letters calling for Representative Brenda J. Barton to be recalled or resign — All that she was trying to do was to wake up the people to the fact that Obama is using the same tactics that Hitler used in taking over Germany.

Time to end this scourge

If even half of the victims of domestic violence had Holly Crump’s courage, perhaps we would finally end this terrible scourge.

McCain, Flake, Gosar no help

I could not believe my eyes when I read in the Roundup that the Tonto National Forest Service had not yet done an appraisal on the land earmarked for the new ASU site.

Payson is going backwards

The percentage of 17-year-olds taking calculus increasing. The percentage of 17-year-olds taking pre-calculus or calculus more than tripled from 1978 to 2012.

Thanks for chili supper support

On behalf of PAWS (Payson Area Woofers Society) we would like to thank the Elks for the use of their facility for the chili supper.

Concerning calling Obama Hitler letter

I just finished your Friday’s Oct. 18, 2013 editorial page. I must agree with persons who objected to calling Obama a Hitler.

So grateful

The party my family and friends gave for my 90th birthday on Oct. 19 was so wonderful! I can’t really express the depth of my thanks to everyone.

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Halloween Happenings

Halloween Party for children tonight - The Payson Elks Lodge Halloween Party for kids 12 and under is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Community Almanac, Oct. 29

Medicare enrollment assistance - Medicare Open Enrollment continues through Dec. 7.

Organizations notices, Oct. 29

Rim Country Celts - Members of the Rim Country Celts are traveling to Tucson for that city’s Highland Games Nov. 1 through Nov. 3. The group plans to have a booth at the event.

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Girls go out with a victory

All season long Jessie Cline dreamed of scoring a goal. But scoring goals didn’t come easy for the senior or her teammates.

Monday, October 28

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Drainage improvement work starting on SR 188

Drivers should expect a lane closure and reduced speed limits

Beginning Monday, Nov. 4, the Arizona Department of Transportation will start work on two new concrete box culverts under State Route 188, between mileposts 254 and 257, east of Punkin Center by Roosevelt Lake.

Sunday, October 27

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Reading Oasis

Fun and reading, plus a pretty impressive cake, were all part of the recent Reading Oasis Scholastic Book Fair at Payson Elementary School. The pyramid cake was made by volunteer Leticia Alatriz, who is pictured giving slices to her son Angel and student Thomas.

Supervisors nix restaurant on small lot

But board approves liquor license for another Pine eatery

Accepting recommendations from its planning and zoning commission, the Gila County Board of Supervisors split action on requests from two Pine businesses.

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Kathe Ketchem joins hall of fame

One of Rim Country’s longtime educators, Kathe Ketchem, has joined the Arizona Rural Schools Association (ARSA) Hall of Fame.

Saturday, October 26

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Supervisors association sets 2014 priorities

County leaders seek reinstatement of revenues cut during recession

Gila County Supervisors Michael Pastor, Tommie Cline Martin and John Marcanti, joined county officials from across the state at the Ninth Annual Legislative Summit of the County Supervisors Association (CSA) held Oct. 14-16 in Payson.

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Quilt show winners

The 2013 Rim Country Quilt Roundup was a big success, according to organizers.

Community support goes a long way to help kids

For $50, Payson Com­munity Kids (PCK) can feed five families of three for five days or purchase three winter coats for the children. And $50 would pay for one hour of PCK’s after-school program where about 50 children a day get a nutritious snack when they walk in the door, homework help, tutoring, learning to give back to their community and receive a warm meal before they go home.

Friday, October 25

'Please let me in'

Domestic violence scourge still afflicts Rim Country

Case 1: She pounded frantically on her neighbor’s front door at midnight, pleading, “Please let me in, my husband just beat the s*** out of me.” The alarmed neighbor opened the door to find a young woman standing on her front step, a lump on her head.

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Grassel is a ‘natural leader’

Senior member of girls soccer squad guides young teammates

With only two seniors, Payson’s girls soccer team is young. So the Longhorns need leadership. And they’ve been getting it from Savannah Grassel.

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From beige Allegro to flaming fireball

Firefighters can typically go weeks without seeing a fully-involved vehicle fire, but this week back-to-back blazes destroyed both an RV and an SUV. Firefighters kept both blazes from spreading to structures, but flames consumed the vehicles.

Blue Ridge makes home finale a challenge


The most successful high school football program in state history is coming to town tonight.

Remember past before approving propane plant

We sure hope that the permitting process for the propane storage facility near the airport is not so far along that it can’t be reconsidered.

GCC enrollment jumps – revenues fall

Still short a board member and now coping with the impact of a big tuition cut, the Gila Community College (GCC) board at its last meeting decided to join the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA) and increase payments to Payson for janitorial services.

Placing blame

The shameful abandonment of our community colleges by the Arizona legislature increasingly resembles the behavior of a drunken father who defines child care as a lock on the closet door.

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Ag program seeks help

The Agriculture Depart­ment at Payson High School (PHS) will throw open its doors on Saturday to the community. New agriculture teacher David Rutherford hopes to help Rim Country residents who dabble in agriculture with 18 different speakers on topics from worms and landscaping to chickens and welding.

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Final three games ‘must wins’ for Longhorns

PHS hopes to keep playoff dream alive after another loss to Snowflake

Payson volleyball coach Arnold Stonebrink was hoping his Longhorns could upset Snowflake on Tuesday night. His team was competitive against the team that’s No. 2 in the Division III power rankings in a three-set loss at Snowflake four days earlier.

Veterans Helping Veterans says thanks

We at Veterans Helping Veterans would like to acknowledge The Home Depot and Community Presbyterian Church Mission Committee for helping us with a work project.

No confidence

Everyone seems to be beating around the bush with the recent fiasco in Washington, D.C., so I am writing this letter to be the first to declare publicly that as a registered voter in the state of Arizona that I cast my vote for no confidence in our government, and I ask every other American to vote with me.

It’s time to say, ‘No more.’

One and one-half billion dollars a day ain’t chump change.

Schools cut advanced courses

Parents worried students’ college plans stunted by lack of classes

The Payson school district’s decision not to offer key advanced classes for college-bound students could keep many from getting into top colleges. This year the district cut several advanced placement classes and its calculus class, even though it used earmarked voter-approved budget-override money to maintain advanced classes. Money designated totaled $60,000 last year and $80,000 this year, although the number of advanced classes declined this year.

Businesses honored

A top panel of judges has picked this year’s finalists for some of Rim Country’s most prestigious business awards. A Nov. 12 award luncheon will honor the finalists — and announce the winners. The Fifth Annual Rim Country Business Awards’ panel of judges have concluded the judging of nominees for an array of awards that recognize not only innovative business strategies, but contributions to the community as well.

Our top students deserve help too

Don’t get us wrong: We’ve got nothing but sympathy for the Payson School Board. What a job they’ve got: Like teaching alligators to use salad forks.

Greenshield wins PMGA Turkey Shoot

Jack Greenshield shot 63 to win the A Flight championship in the Payson Men’s Golf Association Low Net Turkey Shoot on Oct. 16 at Payson Golf Course.

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New columnist has a familiar face


I mistakingly believed I’d penned my last column and news story on Aug. 19 after working 27 years as a Payson Roundup reporter. But just weeks into my retirement, Joy Hafford resigned as the Pine-Strawberry community columnist and I agreed to step in as her replacement.

Before you get too excited about something, it pays to go look at it – Part 2


Last week, my outfit shipped out to Iceland, where in 1952 many people were card-carrying Communists. In those days the Communist world was a mess as countries like Russia and North Korea ran like clocks with broken mainsprings, but wide-eyed dreamers outside the Iron Curtain world didn’t know that; they believed that everything inside was peachy keen. The result? Friction between Ameri­can troops and those who fell for Communist lies.

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Fall looks fabulous in Tonto Village


I can’t help marveling over the fall colors of the aspen and maple trees. The apple trees are bending over with their bountiful harvest of golden and red apples. It is almost sad to watch the falling leaves and realize that winter will be here before you know it.

Christopher Creek showing her fall splendor


Christopher Creek over the Halloween weekend will be a perfect place for camera buffs and leafers. The brilliant reds of the sugar maples and the spectacular yellows of the box elders and Arizona alders, along with the gold of the oaks are just phenomenal right now.

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Community Almanac, Oct. 25

Talented tenor to perform - Tonto Community Concert Association presents Franc D’Ambrosio in a performance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

Organizations notices, Oct. 25

Payson Flycasters - The Payson Flycasters Club will meet Saturday, Oct. 26 at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260. Breakfast is at 8 a.m. and the meeting starts at 9 a.m.

Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The Humane Society of Central Arizona recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to Nov. 1.

Local investment group announces staff changes

Kevin Dick Investment Management Group announced that Pam Bossert has been named an associate advisor, bringing two years’ industry experience and 20 years’ accounting and client service experience to the group.

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Tourney now honors founder

Rick Heppler was a big part of the Payson community since buying Jakes Corner Bar in 2005. “He had a big heart,” said his sister, Robin Heppler.

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The bewitching hour is near


Next Thursday, skeletons, monsters of the Black Lagoon and alien creatures in every shape and size will take to the streets in search of Halloween treats.

Thursday, October 24

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Authors discuss books on women, Halloween

As October ebbs away, the Payson Public Library is entertaining another wave of authors. Dr. Gladys Taylor McGarey and Karilee Halo Shames will hold a Women of Wisdom discussion at the Payson Public Library from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25.

State sponsors eBook writing contest

Arizona authors are invited to submit their manuscripts to the 2014 ONEBOOKAZ Goes Digital eBook Writing Competition.

Repeat offender sentenced to prison

A man with an extensive history of drug abuse and criminal activity who has floated in and out of halfway houses will serve another stint behind bars after a judge recently sentenced him to nearly two years in prison.

Prescription drug deaths soaring

More Arizonans died from drug overdoses than from car accidents in 2010, according to a report saying the state has the sixth-highest overdose rate.

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Trunk or Treat to host eerily good time

Halloween bash features Main Street candy lineup, haunted house, music – even first dance for K-12 students

As an alternative to accompanying your little ones through your dark, spooky neighborhood to Trick or Treat on Thursday night, you might consider loading the little witches and warlocks onto the back of your broomstick and flying on down to Main Street.

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Map maintenance

Four teachers — Donna Haught, Shannon Bielke, Juline Curtis and Julie Davies — used paint donated by ACE Hardware to spruce up the map of the United States on Julia Randall Elementary school grounds during Fall Break (Oct. 7-14).

Wednesday, October 23

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Taste at the Bridge Fundraiser a Great Success

The 2nd Annual “Taste at the Bridge” fundraiser, hosted by the Friends of the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, combined great weather, excellent food, drinks, auctions, bon fires and a full moon. Approximately 300 attendees were treated to beer sampling from THAT Brewery, wine tasting from The Beverage Place, a sit down dinner catered by The Burnt Biscuit Bunch. Door prizes, silent and live auction items competed with bonfires as the fall evening as guests awaited the full moon.

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PHS Marching Band going to state

The Payson High School Marching Band rallied from an early-season setback this weekend at the Ironwood Ridge Invitational in Tucson and scored enough points to march in the State Marching Band Festival on Nov. 2.

Falling Leaves Fashioneesta to fund youth causes

Fashions, food and fun — all for a good cause. That’s what the Rim Country Optimist Club Falling Leaves Fashioneesta event is all about. This is a cooperative effort between the Optimist Club, Payson Assisting Displaced Students (PADS), local Girl Scouts and the individual and business sponsors.

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Renowned tenor to perform Sunday

Tonto Community Concert Association will present tenor Franc D’Ambrosio in a performance at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

Commit to being a safe driver and help Payson students win $100,000

Students in Payson are rallying community members to commit to safe driving. Supporting Payson High School (PHS) shows Rim Country residents are working hard to reduce teen deaths in car crashes, the number one killer of teens in the U.S. and Canada.

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Artist tucked away in the woods

Mario Belvedere proudly stands in the middle of his living room, arm thrown up to point at a striking piece of art, one of many that cover the two-story floor to ceiling wall.

A lotta trout

Two children watch as Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Parks Supervisor Nelson Beck introduces trout into a Green Valley Lake on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 22

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Snowflake storms Longhorns 3-0

PHS gets another shot at Lobos tonight

Payson entered Friday’s game at Snowflake hoping to upset one of the state’s top Division III volleyball teams. The Longhorns were competitive, but couldn’t shock the Lobos. Snowflake, which is ranked No. 2 in the Div. III power rankings, prevailed 25-18, 28-26, 25-19. Payson entered at No. 14.

Barton needs to resign

One has to give credit to Tea Party Republican Brenda Barton. She acknowledged that President Obama is a very strong leader who will not bend to the anarchist Tea Party members who are determined to hold the country hostage for their own misconceived political purposes.

Another dilemma for school board

Whew: Another meeting dominated by coaches’ salaries. This time, the Payson High School athletic director asked the school board to adjust the stipends for coaches so that a teacher/coach who needs help can essentially give part of his salary to an assistant coach.

Saving Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell’s flickering, dying, fading away. How do we save her? Clap, children. Clap for all you’re worth.

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Top Tonto cop arrested

The acting police chief of the Tonto Apache Tribe was wrapped up in a lengthy standoff this weekend; however, he was on the wrong side of the call.

Barton offered facts

I petition you as editor of the only “free press” available to the people of Payson, to publish my thoughts regarding the comments of Rep. Barton, as well as opposing comments from I assume you the editor in “Our View.”

Will we ever learn?

I believe the editorial was correct in its assessment of Brenda Barton’s statements.

Board fiddles with coaching salaries

Request provokes debate about coaches sharing stipends

The Payson Unified School District (PUSD) board decided to change the salary schedule for coaches to allow a coach to use part of his salary to pay assistant coaches, while also making sure no more than five teachers miss school to coach at one time.

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Baseball program awarded 3 grants

Since Payson Unified School District, like most school systems in the country, doesn’t have enough money to fully support its athletic programs, coaches have had to take matters into their own hands to try and raise funds.

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Walmart reopens after fire

The Payson Walmart closed Saturday afternoon after a fire broke out in an electrical box in the back of the store, but has since reopened.

Controlled burns spawn smoke

A prescribed burn north of town could create smoke in the afternoons through the rest of the week. Fire managers on the Coconino National Forest plan several prescribed burns across the forest starting Monday.

Help with blood drive appreciated

On behalf of the volunteers of the Payson Community Blood Drive and the technical team from United Blood Services, we want to thank the nearly 90 members of the Payson community who turned out to donate blood on Oct. 7. Your donations make it possible for more than 200 Arizonans to receive live-saving blood products.

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Lobos devour Longhorns 57-20

Chapman runs for 208 yards in loss

At 4-3 and No. 15 in the Division IV power rankings, Payson’s football team was having a fairly successful season. But a cloud was looming.

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Raffle to benefit basketball, bass program

30 prizes to be awarded through November

Quality uniforms don’t turn a bad team into a good one. But when players like what they’re wearing, they are eager to suit up and get out on the court. Joe Sanchez wants Payson High varsity, junior varsity and freshman players to take pride in their uniforms. So he’s trying to raise the money to buy new ones.

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Tinkertoy’s tumble

A man traveling from northern Idaho took an unexpected side trip in his motor home Friday when it rolled off High­way 87 and into a ditch. At about 10:30 a.m., Daniel Kannecaard stopped his 2011 Southwind RV in a large pullout a few miles south of town to use the coach’s bathroom. He walked back to the bathroom and while inside, didn’t realize the RV was slowing inching forward, on course to go into a large ditch filled with shrubs and trees.

PMGA, PWGA combine for Buck and Doe event

The Payson Men’s Golf Association and the nine- and 18-hole Payson Women’s Golf Association held the Buck and Doe Golf Tournament at Payson Golf Course Oct. 9.

Blue Ridge Reservoir closed

The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Coconino National Forest, will begin an improvement project at the Blue Ridge (C.C. Cragin) Reservoir this week, widening the existing boat ramp, installing rock fall protection netting and completing several other safety features.

Community Almanac, Oct. 22

Donate hygiene items to residents of Time Out Shelter - To acknowledge October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Gila County Attorney’s Office is collecting items for the women and children housed in the Time Out Shelter.

Friday, October 18

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Small band with a big sound

“How’d that feel?” asked Payson High School (PHS) Marching Band Director Sergio Beraun to the purple and black uniformed band members surrounding him. “Awesome!” they all yelled in unison huge smiles on their faces.

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Off-Leash Dog Park gets gazebo

A $10,000 grant from PetSmart is bringing a gazebo to the Off-Leash Dog Park at Rumsey Park.

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ARToberFEST showcases local talent

It might be the jewelry or perhaps the bronzes and other sculpture pieces or the glass works. Certainly the lighting lends a nice effect.

Challenging Barton and Roundup facts

Brenda Barton said Hitler came to power as a result of a majority vote. You said Hitler’s Nazi Party won 35 percent of the vote (Hitler and Nazi are one and the same), implying that Barton was wrong. Instead you are wrong.

Trout to be stocked in Green Valley Lake Saturday

If you’re thinking of heading over to Green Valley Park today, maybe you should wait until Saturday afternoon. If catching fish is something that interests you, anyway.

Christopher Creek apples make their way to California


Christopher Creek was in my rear-view mirror late last week and a bushel of apples, two apple pies and an apple cake were on board.

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Hellsgate Fire Department stays busy


This past week has been a busy one for the Hellsgate Fire Department and the Fireflies Auxiliary and I don’t mean call outs either, although the firefighters had many of them including one on the same day as their open house Oct. 10.

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Longhorns sweep Cougars on senior night

Payson rode the momentum from its win over Flagstaff Coconino the previous night to beat visiting Show Low 25-16, 25-13, 25-10 on Tuesday night.

Fast, fat, food business

Our city fathers have stated they want to make Payson a tourist destination. So according to the Payson Roundup what is the next attraction to be placed at the busiest intersection in town, Carl’s Jr. Restaurant.

Wolves at Blue Ridge

Many people don’t know that wolves have already been seen near Blue Ridge Reservoir. As the crow flies, a wolf could make it to the Payson area in one day.

We’re fools if we re-elect these clowns

One of the questions asked of me on the Forum recently was what I thought of what was happening in Washington

Pine/Strawberry well filtration

Where is the filtration for the Pine/Strawberry wells after the turbidity (dirty water) events of last year and this year?

Payson updating code

The Payson Town Council continued the systematic and time-consuming process of overhauling the town code Thursday, approving part three and four of the review.

Report of illegal dumping in forest leads to drug arrests

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office arrested three Payson residents Wednesday on drug charges after responding to a report of illegal dumping.

Barton comments horrifying

I am speechless and beyond horrified by Brenda Barton’s comparison of President Obama to Adolph Hitler.

Barton comments a disgrace

The comments of Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson) comparing President Obama to Adolph Hitler has gotten quite a national splash.

Government shutdown ends, Tonto National Forest reopens

Due to the recent resumption of federal government funding, Tonto National Forest officials anticipate that all recreation sites and administrative offices will be open by 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18.

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PUSD passes school calendar for 2014-15

The Payson Unified School (PUSD) Board passed the 2014-15 school calendar with four members voting yes and one voting no, at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

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Road to recovery

Imaging, self-exams still best defense for breast cancer

Despite conflicting reports, women should get annual mammograms over the age of 40 and conduct monthly self-exams at any age, according to a local doctor.

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‘Les Miserables’ coming to Payson next week


The Payson High School Theatre Company will present “Les Miserables,” a play (not the musical) adapted for schools by Tim Kelly and from the 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24; 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25; and 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26 in the high school auditorium. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for both senior citizens and students. The play is a Tom Walling production.

Volunteer to make a difference in the life of a child

October is a time to prepare for celebrating all the things for which we have been blessed come Thanksgiving.

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Horns knock down Panthers in 5 sets

Win crucial in state tourney bid

The volleyball season is winding down. Payson has just five regular-season matches remaining.

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Wall of Hope

Humane Society teams with JRE students to help animals in need

The Humane Society of Central Arizona has teamed up with third- and fifth-graders at Julia Randall Elementary to design the 2013 Wall of Hope fund-raising murals.

Before you get too excited about something, it pays to go look at it


People sometimes ask me why I am so dead set against Communism. The answer? In 1952 and 1953 I had a couple of run-ins with wannabe Commies who thought that Communism was great. The run-ins didn’t amount to much, but they taught me what “misinformed fanatic” means.

Community Almanac, Oct. 18

ARToberFEST - The Payson Art League presents its ARToberFEST Fine Art & Fine Craft Show and Sale Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday, Oct. 20 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Event Center.

Organizations notices, Oct. 18

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

McFate earns dual degrees

Mark Harrison McFate, of Mesa, Ariz., son of Payson residents Judge Harry G. and Margaret K. McFate, recently received his juris doctor and master’s of business administration in finance degrees from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.

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Playoffs start tonight for Payson gridders

No. 1 Snowflake kicks off three-week gauntlet

Murderers’ row. That’s how Payson varsity head football coach Jake Swartwood referred to the final three foes on his team’s schedule earlier this season.

Tuesday, October 15

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Rock Building renovation preserves memories

Old school gym was community gathering place

When historian Patricia (Gail) Hearne heard former Payson Unified School District Superintendent Casey O’Brien planned on saving the old Julia Randall Rock Building, she was ecstatic.

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Horns trample Globe 67-35

Chapman runs for 255 yards, 5 TDs

The Longhorns needed a positive performance. They got it. Sophomore Wyatt Chapman rushed for 255 yards and five touchdowns as Payson’s football team exploded for 10 touchdowns in a 67-35 blowout of visiting Globe on Friday night.

Fire safety needs to be a year-round practice

Area firefighters are always making an effort through outreach programs to educate Rim Country residents about fire safety.

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Organizers proclaim 2013 Walk for the Poor a success

Young and old came out to make the 2013 Walk for the Poor a success. Officials and members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul would like to thank everyone who participated and contributed Saturday, Sept. 28 to benefit the less fortunate in area neighborhoods.

Man pleads guilty to drunk driving

A Scottsdale man who swerved off Highway 87 then nearly collided head-on with several cars in June of 2013 will spend at least 10 days in jail after pleading guilty to drunk driving charges.

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GCC enrollment rises

Globe campus up 15 percent, 6.3 percent increase elsewhere

The Pueblo campus of Gila Com­munity College (GCC) located in Globe reports a 15 percent increase in enrollment since the board voted to lower tuition rates and reinstate free senior tuition at its July meeting.

Obama vs. climate change

President Obama claims that carbon dioxide CO2, causes climate change and threatens public health and that “cutting carbon pollution will help keep our air and water clean and protect our kids.”

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C.C. Cragin Reservoir to close for boat ramp construction

The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Coconino National Forest, will begin an improvement project at the C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir this week, widening the existing boat ramp, installing rockfall protection netting and completing several other safety features.

Off-highway vehicle projects authorized

The Arizona State Parks Board authorized seven projects funded with $542,321 from the state Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Fund and $339,108 from the federal Recreational Trails Program. These projects also include $209,116 in matching funds from agency funds and volunteers.

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Jazz artists in Payson

The Payson Friends of Jazz and the Community Presbyterian Church treated jazz fans to a concert with Half Note recording artist Tony Vaca on flute and sax. The second guest musician was Steve Douglas on standup string acoustic bass.

Pot safer than booze

Let’s hear it for the town of Payson! By opening a medical marijuana clinic we have joined the rest of the informed, civilized nations of the world.

Help with fire prevention work wondrous

On a bright, sunny Saturday morning recently, John and Joyce Bittner of Fossil Creek Creamery in Strawberry closed down their business for the day and, with the help of several talented chefs and vendors, went to work creating magic.

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A stroke at 50? Not me!

Doug Mock is a man’s man — military career, Special Ops Unit, Purple Heart recipient, hunter, fisherman and adventure seeker. And, like a lot of men, he may have ignored the signs of a potential stroke.

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Youngberg a force for football team

At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, William Youngberg is an imposing figure on a high school football field.

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Ancient healing art still effective

Every year the American Massage Therapy Association sponsors National Massage Therapy Awareness Week. This year the week falls from Oct. 20 to the 26.

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Wanted: A few good running buddies

For the first time ever, Payson will host a 5K at Green Valley Park on Saturday, Nov. 2 for the Girls on the Run (GOTR) program.

Propane storage facility gets OK

Planning and Zoning green light airport location for Griffin’s

A propane company received the green light Monday from Payson’s Planning and Zoning Commission to go ahead with plans to seek approval to build a storage facility and sales office near the airport.

Recall Barton

Recent public remarks by Brenda Barton who claims to represent this district in the state Legislature, prove that she completely misuses this trust.

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Firefighters turn up heat to share important tips

Hellsgate FD makes special effort to promote fire safety

Big kids. Little kids. Running kids. Laughing kids. Kids, kids, kids took over the Hellsgate Fire Station during its open house to celebrate fire prevention month.

Local businesses nominated for 2013 awards

The Seventh Annual Rim Country Business Awards, developed by the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Gila County Economic Development Corporation, and the Town of Payson - Tourism, Parks & Recreation, with APS as the Presenting Sponsor, has concluded the nomination and application portion of the event.

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Payson wins consolation bracket in Marana

Longhorns battle against opponents from larger schools at recent tourney

High school teams face pretty much the same schools year-in and year-out. There are exceptions, of course, but the opponents are generally the same from year to year.

County treasurer’s issues have long reach

It is understandable that few citizens are familiar with the functions of the Gila County treasurer’s office.

St. Vincent Food Bank shelves almost bare

The St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank shelves are almost bare! This time each year, we experience a slowdown of regular food deliveries from our suppliers.

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Community Almanac

ARToberFEST this weekend - The Payson Art League presents its ARToberFEST Fine Art & Fine Craft Show and Sale Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday, Oct. 20 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Event Center.

Organization notices, Oct. 15

Habitat needs volunteers for new projects- Payson Area Habitat for Humanity is launching new community projects to help our families and veterans in need. Would you like to make a difference in the life of a family in need?

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Blind runner making strides at PHS

It’s pretty easy to pick out Octavio Valenzuela in a race. He’s the one with the sunglasses on, even when it isn’t a particularly sunny day.

Monday, October 14

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Talking and strumming in a good cause

Radiothon seeks to raise $10,000 to help children, domestic violence victims

Considering the fearful toll of the problem at hand — the folks who dropped by last week’s Radiothon at Chapman Auto Center had a pretty good time.

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STEM club students learn from stimulating projects

Payson Education Center’s new science teacher — longtime Payson Unified School District science teacher Barbara Quinlan — loves the kids in her STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) club.

Sunday, October 13

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Deepwater techniques used to repair SRP intake

Salt River Project relies on unusual approach to repair generator intake beneath Apache Lake

Salt River Project recently undertook a challenging underwater repair operation to avoid draining Apache Lake.

Payson man gets five years for arson, trespassing

A Payson man who set fire to a Little League concession stand in Globe drew a five-year prison term and must pay $83,000 in restitution. Taylor James Vance-Parker pleaded guilty to felony charges that included trespassing, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, arson and burglary, according to Gila County Attorney Bradley Beauchamp.

Navajo Generating Station owners propose alternative to reduce emissions

The coalition of power companies operating the Navajo Generating Station near Page have proposed an alternative way to reduce pollutants that will allow the plant to keep generating electricity until 2044.

Saturday, October 12

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Battered Rim Country economy takes another hit

Federal shutdown extended to privately run campgrounds

The federal shutdown this week spread to virtually all of the campgrounds in Rim Country at the worst possible time of the year. Talks between the White House and Congress Thursday revived hopes that the shutdown will end soon. Senate Republicans were expected to meet with the White House today. The issue now involves both the government shutdown and a deal to raise the limit on the debt.

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WWII vets make special trip to D.C.

Shutdown can’t keep AZ vets from visiting World War II Memorial

WASHINGTON – A government shutdown could not keep 77 southern Arizona veterans from seeing “their” World War II Memorial Monday.

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Award-winning winery in Gila County

Young is the kind of place where you can run into a hunter dressed up like a shaggy tree at the local general store refueling on beer and then walk across the street and taste award-winning wine.

Friday, October 11

Absurd rhetoric: Who’s to blame?

Just when we were ready to aim a couple of rhetorical thunderbolts at state Rep. Brenda Barton for her absurd and inflammatory effort to equate President Obama to Hitler, we had a disorienting and uncomfortable thought.

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State champs sweep Lady Horns

Net squad competes in Marana Mtn. View tourney this weekend

The Longhorns were hoping to add another marquee name to their list of victims Tuesday night. However, Flagstaff stole the spotlight in a 25-18, 25-21, 25-23 volleyball victory in Payson High’s Wilson Dome.

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Dimi dancers draw a crowd

The dancers in a perfect row raised their hand clutching cloth leaves, turning the dancer in a green leotard in front into a cross between a tree and a multi-armed nymph.

Spotlight on Payson tonight, not Show Low


Every fall for the last six years, I have looked forward to covering the Blue Ridge-Show Low football game.

Smart and Biddy Basketball

Programs for children age 3 to second-graders teach basic motor skills necessary to play organized basketball and focus on teaching skills in dribbling, ball handling, passing, catching, shooting and running/agility.

Kids fishing 101

First- through fourth-graders are invited to learn the techniques, discuss the proper use of equipment and have a fun time learning to fish at Green Valley Lake with Tracy Purtee of “Let’s Talk Fishin,’” on Oct. 19.

White team prevails in PMGA event

The White Team beat the Black Team 16-12 in the Payson Men’s Golf Association Black & White competition at Payson Golf Course on Oct. 2.

Mean-spirited actions by Obama administration

Last week, Governor Brewer, Senate President Biggs and House Speaker Tobin petitioned the Interior Department and the director of the Grand Canyon National Park with an offer of state assistance / funding in order to reopen the park.

Facts about minimum wage

I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’ve started and run a number of businesses, and won’t bore you with the details. Some succeeded and some failed. I’ve paid employees when I didn’t take home a paycheck myself after putting in a 60-hour week. Yeah, I know small business issues well.

Grateful for help

Due to an illness, I had to have surgery as quickly as possible. A benefit was put on to raise funds for an uninsured deposit required to go forth. The benefit on Sept. 22 was a success and raised enough to secure my surgery. Surgery was performed on Sept. 26.

How environmentalism got hijacked

In the tumultuous 1960s, environmentalism became a part of the national agenda amidst the anti-war movement, free love, heavy metal and various other “free thinking” and “progressive” concepts. Not since the days of John Muir and the creation of the Sierra Club, had the concept gathered such momentum.

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Wildlife drinkers improved in Unit 23


There are a number of wildlife drinkers that have been built over the years to catch water when it rains and used later in the drier times which are frequent in Arizona.

Horrendous consequences if wolf program proceeds

I just read an article/commentary online by James Goughnour regarding the proposed expansion of the Mexican gray wolf program to include Rim Country. In the article he encourages “Rim Country residents” to get involved and try and stop this thing. I agree wholeheartedly.

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Barton: Obama is ‘de Fuhrer’

Payson state lawmaker makes headlines with comments about ‘thugs’ and ‘tyranny’

Payson state Rep. Brenda Barton made national headlines this week when a post on her Facebook page referred to President Barack Obama as “De Fuhrer” and to National Park Service rangers as “thugs.”

Paramedics save grateful hiker

Sandy Litkenhaus thought she would enjoy a lovely hike this past weekend on the trails at the end of Phoenix Street, until she hit a patch of loose gravel. “My boots did not have enough traction,” she said.

Window to the sole; what your toes reveal

They curve when we ignore our dreams, straighten out when we are on the right path and hide under one another when money woes strike. Every bump and wrinkle offers a sign staring straight back (or up) at us, but usually overlooked.

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Shutdown stalls college land sale

College backers had deal on appraisal when Forest Service furloughs struck. At a crucial moment, the federal government shutdown has stalled Payson’s effort to buy 240 acres of Forest Service land for an Arizona State University campus.

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Barton issues statement on recent Facebook post

As many are aware, some recent comments of mine on Facebook have touched a sensitive nerve with many people. Additionally, many have simply taken my posting out of its contextual environment. Had I chosen my words differently, or had the president offered to use the power of his office to lessen or mute the public impacts of this impasse in Washington, we might not be having this discussion.

Learn to drive fire engines and more


Last Thursday evening, my husband and I attended a Tea Party meeting that featured a discussion regarding the re-introduction of the Mexican gray wolf into the Rim Country.There were ranchers there from northern Arizona who spoke of the destruction of their cattle by the wolf. There are mixed feelings from the general population regarding the gray wolf.

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Thanks Pine and Strawberry


This column is the toughest I’ve written because it’s the one in which I say I will not be doing the P/S Happenings column after today.

Getting ready for Halloween in the Creek


Christopher Creek was a busy place again this weekend. Families with kids, girls’ getaways and turkey hunters prevailed. Weather was cool and windy until Sunday. No frost yet, but the trees are beginning to turn.

Some jobs are harder than they look, Part 2


Last week I told you the sad tale of a mother and her six young children who had to spend an entire month living in transient quarters while they each received two shots that had to be given two weeks apart.

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Women and fabric art roar this weekend


I have a feeling that there will be a whole lot of “roaring” going on this weekend as hundreds of women (and a few good men) convene in the banquet hall of the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino for the annual Rim Country Quilt Roundup, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

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Community Almanac, Oct. 11

Jazz Concert - The Oct. 13 jazz concert by Tony Vacca is a special “bring a friend” (for free) event.

Organization notices, Oct. 11

Unity of Payson - Members of Unity of Payson host Rev. Julianne Lewis, with her talk, “God’s Love in Action” at 10 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 13.

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Walk time should be fun for both you and your dog

A few weeks ago, I was sitting on my porch having a cup of coffee before work, when I heard yelling from down the street. The voice was angry and sharp. As it got closer, I realized it was a woman yelling at her dog.

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High school celebrates driving with cautionary tales

It was a mixture of riotous fun and somber stillness. Payson High School students listened intently Friday as speakers outlined the dangers of driving impaired or distracted during the Celebrate My Drive assembly, which encourages teens to make safe choices behind the wheel while still celebrating the freedom that comes with getting a driver’s license.

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Longhorns look to bounce back

Varsity gridders take on Globe tonight at PHS field

Payson needs a football win in the worst way. Fortunately for the Longhorns, Globe is up next on the schedule.

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Assembly lays out variety of career paths for students

Colleges lined up. Law enforcement took the next row. The military took up positions on the side. And Mary Kay shared the middle with the Art Institute and the Mogollon Health Alliance. Ah, Career Day at Payson High School.

Technical issues delay opening of Bear Flat Road

As work nears completion on the Doubtful Canyon widening project on State Route 260, crews are finalizing a resurfacing project on the Bear Flat Access Road (Forest Service 405A) and the road will remain closed until Monday, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m.

Thursday, October 10

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Motorists should prepare for early winter storm in the high country

Drivers headed to Arizona’s high country Thursday should be ready for winter driving conditions, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

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Rain predicted for Rim Country

That strong wind filling Rim Country skies with clouds today will likely bring rain tonight or tomorrow, said Brian Klimowski from the National Weather Service (NOAA).

Christian school land sale update

The proud owners of former Frontier Elementary School, the Payson Community Christian School, are in talks to sell land north of the school it no longer needs.

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Defend Freedom bus rolls through Payson

Members of the Concerned Veterans for America brought the Defend Freedom bus to town on Monday.

Town tightens rules on employee campaigning

The Payson Town Council adopted an amendment last week that clarifies election protocol and imposes hefty fines for violations.

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Building trails — the silent monument

Michael Baker, the executive of the Volunteers of Outdoor Arizona (VOAZ) organization, stood behind the shivering volunteers in the early morning air at the base of Horton Creek Trail on a Saturday morning at the end of September.

Wednesday, October 9

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Local charities get donations from EAA

The Payson Hot Wings Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA Chapter 810) donated the proceeds from its AeroFair charity air-lifts to four Rim Country non-profits — The Community Food Bank at the Presbyterian Church, the Returning Combat Veterans Program at the Merritt Center, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank, and the Humane Society of Central Arizona.

Enjoy October’s envigorating air in Rim Country


Helen Hunt Jackson said it best in her poem, “October’s Bright Blue Weather.” Where better to enjoy this stimulating time of year than in Rim Country?

Council OKs shift to self-serve fuel at airport

Skeptics argue corporate jet pilots will avoid the pump

Even the darn airport’s going self-service. Money. Money. Money.

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Quilt Roundup for fabric art fans

Get out those good, sturdy, walking shoes — the 9th Annual Rim Country Quilt Roundup is coming to town.

Tuesday, October 8

Spring draw application deadline today

The deadline for applications for the 2014 spring draw for turkey, javelina, buffalo and bear is today at 7 p.m. A 2014 hunting license or a hunt/fish combo license is required to apply for the draw.

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Fossil Creek: A fragile ark

Fossil Creek has become a world-class refuge for wildlife — a veritable Noah’s ark for rare and endangered species both above and below the turquoise-blue waters of the travertine-laden creek.

FAN Club meeting time changed

The time for FAN Club’s meeting tonight at Tiny’s has been moved up 30 minutes. The meeting is now scheduled for 6 o’clock.

Needed: New softball coach

After all of the furor regarding whether administrators can serve as coaches, the district put a little ad in the Oct. 4 Roundup that simply read, “Head Varsity Softball Coach — Payson High School - $3,232 — submit certified application and resumé to Human Resources, 902 West Main, Payson, AZ ... download application at”

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Longhorns knock off No. 6 Jackets in 4

Spikers come back to post major win

Great seasons are marked by key victories. It remains to be seen if this will go down as a great season in Payson High volleyball history. But if it plays out that way, Thursday’s match with visiting Blue Ridge will be one of the reasons why.

Time for people to have a say about wolves

I was disappointed to read the letter to the editor “Stop Mexican Gray Wolf Expansion program” due to the amount of misinformation it contains.

No problem with wolves

There is a long history of wolves in Arizona as they are the natural natives of the area and resided here until the mid-1900s. The important thing is to focus on the survival of the species.

Ernst’s 66 wins A Flight in PMGA event

Tim Ernst shot 66 to win the A Flight in the Payson Men’s Golf Association low net competition held Sept. 25 at Payson Golf Course. He won $20. Terry Lindsey was second with 69 to take home $15.

Evoked goose bumps

Got home from another long week in Scottsdale and in the wee hours this morning I read your article, “For love of the music” — Tuesday Oct. 1.

Shame on Democrats in Washington

They’re at it again. One side wants to fund parts of the federal government that all can agree need funding while the other side wants to shut down everything and punish the American people with pain across the board because it’s their way or the highway.

Gosar and conservatives doing the people’s business

Correcting your view on “All the while they’re still getting paid.”

Is Boulder-like flooding in Payson’s future?


With the recent onslaught of natural disasters around the world, and increasingly dire predictions coming from climate scientists, I thought it would serve Payson area residents to present a regular column that assays to answer their questions on climate change, and how it might affect us in coming years.

Dense density debate

The overhaul of Payson’s General Plan has moved with the ponderous grace of a cruise liner through an Alaskan sound.

Fire prevention week blast planned

If you call Domino’s this week, you might get an unexpected delivery at your door.

Wolf science, not myths

The Mexican gray wolf was reintroduced in Arizona and New Mexico 15 years ago. Births are limited as there’s only two breeding pair.

Attacks on officers yield prison term

Jailed for failure to pay a fine, two assaults on deputies result in felony convictions

Amy Wells wept quietly during her sentencing on charges of assaulting a police officer, head bowed in her orange jumpsuit, hair tied back in a severe ponytail.

The threat to our beloved community

The volunteers at Meals on Wheels work every day to create the beloved community in which we all wish to live.

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After a life of service, they need help

Meals on Wheels offers far more than food for clients

Once he built roads and bridges across Saudi Arabia, now he can’t walk without a cane and not even glasses can restore his failing eyesight.

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Densities may jump

Payson General Plan overhaul would allow far more homes per acre in rural area

Payson Councilor Ed Blair lodged a vigorous but futile protest to a little-noticed change in the town’s General Plan that could potentially allow far more homes in rural, large-lot areas.

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Community Almanac, Oct. 8

'Buckshot Dot' to entertain The Payson Public Library will present an Author’s Spotlight featuring Dee Strickland Johnson, also known as Buckshot Dot — an author, poet, songwriter and singer. She will appear at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 at the library, located at 328 N. McLane Road.

Club notices, Oct. 8

Payson Walkers Members of the Payson Walkers meet at 9 a.m. daily for an hour-long hike on pavement.

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Falcons fly away from Horns 55-14

Fountain Hills erupts for 41 unanswered points to drop Payson to 3-3

Things have changed. Optimism abounded after Payson’s football team started the season 2-0.

Monday, October 7

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Woodworker carves out a cubby in Payson shop

Jack Gauman is the latest artist to display his custom creations at Crafters Cubbies in the Swiss Village Shops, 626 N. Beeline High­way.

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Fiddle fest, Opry draw appreciative crowd

Last weekend’s fourth annual Old Time Opry featured a host of Payson favorites including Isaac and Cassie Bradford, Wyatt Troxel and 2012 Arizona State Fiddling Champion Michael Roland performing as lead-ins for country superstar Suzy Bogguss.

Sunday, October 6

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Alps emerge in Swiss Village

Tom Plets could never have imagined how much one semester in Europe would affect his whole life.

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Memories cloudy, but music’s still mighty fine

Organizers discuss past and future of jazz series

Funny thing. Memories get cloudy. It happened last week when I sat down with Gerry Reynolds and John Shevlin to do a story about the 10th anniversary — or maybe it’s the 11th — of the Payson Jazz Concert Series. Neither was certain which anniversary the series is celebrating this year — but they agreed it was a significant one.

Saturday, October 5

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Cooking class set for Saturday

The next Cookin’ for Health class, sponsored by the Payson Public Library and presented by Peggy Martin, is at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5.

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Dimi Dance Drama

A passionate troupe of local dancers and choreographers will stage a two-hour extravaganza of belly dancing, the waltz, hip-hop, the tango and theatrical interpretive dance Saturday Oct. 5 at Dimi Espresso Coffee Shop starting at 6 p.m.

County closes books on Pine Creek Canyon Road

The work on Pine Creek Canyon Road concluded almost a year ago, but only this week did the books get closed on the project and put back on the shelf.

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Take a seat for a good cause

‘Chair-ish’ art auction will raise funds for Payson Community Kids

Beginning Saturday, Oct. 5, more than 60 works of unique art will be displayed throughout Payson. It is all part of the “1st Annual Chair-ish Payson Kids Fun Furniture Fundraiser.”

Friday, October 4

Ernst wins PMGA President’s Cup

Tim Ernst shot a 131 net score to win the Payson Men’s Golf Association President’s Cup at Payson Golf Course on Aug. 21 and 28.

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Spikers beat Show Low, fall 3-2 at Fountain Hills

Payson’s volleyball team had won both of its matches since a 3-1 home court loss to Fountain Hills on Sept. 19.

Lackluster loons

Why does it seem like the majority of the lawmakers in our state and the ones we send to Washington, D.C. to represent us are so dysfunctional, uncompromising and egocentric?

Refocus our priorities

I was part of the “overflow crowd” that attended the school board meeting on Sept. 23. I wanted to hear for myself, rather than rely on third party references, the issues that were causing PUSD so much dissension.

Disappointed in newspaper

I am disappointed in the Payson Roundup’s reporting on recent school board meetings. The Roundup has repeatedly published an unseemly caricature of “bitter attacks” from “angry villagers, waving pitchforks” in support of Principal Dunman.

A disservice to readers, community

As both an Army veteran of The Gulf War and a retired school district superintendent, I take exception to your editorial “Dissension in a foxhole.” Your newspaper certainly has a right to express opinions on issues of the day, but ignoring the salient fact coming from the most recent PUSD board meeting and then making a reckless analogy between military combat command structure and school district administration are a disservice to your readers and the community.

All the while they’re still getting paid

Disgusting. The government shuts down in a spasm of irresponsible partisanship — and all either side wants to do is pump out sound bites blaming the other side.

A dispiriting debate

Passionate. That’s a fair minimum description of the voracious discussion of Payson Schools Superintendent Ron Hitchcock’s bungled attempt to discipline Principal Will Dunman for “insubordination.”

Recreation Roundup, Oct. 4

A fundamentals basketball camp for all boys and girls in the third-ninth grades who want to become better players will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. October 7-10.

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Jesus Perez sitting tall in saddle

Jesus Perez tried bareback riding. The Payson High senior worked at the rodeo event for two years. “I didn’t do good,” he said. So, a couple of months ago, he decided to give saddle bronc competition a go. He loved it.

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Hugs and tears at SCAF awards

The Senior Dining Room was packed Saturday night as the P/S Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation (SCAF) volunteers gathered for the 2013 Volunteer Awards Dinner.

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Federal shutdown hits home

Tourist economy caught in political crossfire as recreation sites close

If you were hoping to visit the Grand Canyon this week you had better make other plans. The standoff in Washington, D.C. has spilled over into recreational sites across the country, most of which closed Tuesday amidst the shutdown.

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‘Ma’am, I’ve been shot’

Agonizing decisions, heroic choices – the ‘surreal’ night Seth Meeske survived

“I remember somebody screamed and I thought there were a lot more people in the emergency room than usual,” said Department of Public Safety Officer Seth Meeske, of the night he shuffled into the Payson Regional Medical Center clutching the artery severed by an assailant’s bullet. As he spoke, cameras from Channels 15, 12, 10, 5 and 3 had their black lenses trained on his lean, cheerful face.

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Autumn has arrived in Tonto Village

The beautiful autumn season is here. The weather is perfect, the apples are falling and the temperatures in the early morning are around 39 degrees. What could be better? The squirrels are scampering around either playing or fighting over acorns, I can’t tell, but they are fun to watch.

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Skepticism yields to hope

Forest thinning contractor wants to win over critics

Skepticism just short of hostility pervaded the atmosphere at the Payson Public Library’s meeting room Wednesday, Oct. 2, as the head of the company that just landed the biggest forest thinning contract in history faced a barrage of questions.

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Prime site for more fast food

The most visible blighted corner in all of Payson has finally found a buyer. Crews earlier this week started tearing down the old restaurant at the intersection of Highways 87 and 260 to make way for a Carl’s Jr. restaurant.

Some jobs are harder than they look

You know a big problem with being young, Johnny? When we’re young we lack the experience to recognize that what looks like an easy job may turn out to be a lot harder. A great deal depends on an unpredictable human factor.

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Hint of fall in the air up in Christopher Creek

Christopher Creek is chillin’ ... that is to say, there’s a hint of fall in the air. It’s time for campfires and bugling. It’s time to think about getting another jag of firewood in.

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Odd views on the lake at Green Valley Park

Have you ever had one of those moments where you’ve experienced real incongruence — where what you’re seeing, hearing or feeling just doesn’t make any sense or fit the environment around you?

McFall takes 3 Blind Mice event

Judy McFall shot 54 to win the Flight A championship in the Payson Women’s Golf Association’s Three Blind Mice event at Payson Golf Course on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Happy Tails - Adoption Success Story

It has been 395 days since “The Boys,” bonded brothers Big Teddy and Stud Muffin, came to HSCAZ. In addition to being pit bulls, they were large, black, and loud in their kennels.

Community Almanac

Find warm clothes at Senior Thrift Store Stock up on warm clothes at bargain prices at the Senior Thrift Store on Historic West Main.

Organization notices, Oct. 4

Men’s Breakfast at Ponderosa Bible Church Mike Stotts will be the guest speaker at the Men’s Breakfast at Ponderosa Bible Church at 8 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 5.

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Veterans Bus Tour in Payson Monday

The ‘Defend Freedom’ Veterans’ Bus Tour is in Payson from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Monday, Oct. 7 for a leadership breakfast at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

Learn about Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicare

The Payson Senior Circle of the Payson Regional Medical Center will present two programs on health insurance next week.

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Locals excel in season opener

It was a big weekend for Payson area youngsters as the Arizona High School Rodeo Association and the Arizona Junior High Rodeo Association seasons got under way at Payson Event Center on Sept. 21-22.

Tuesday, October 1

Tonto Rim Sports Club 3D Warm-Up

The Tonto Rim Sports Club is offering a 3D Warm-up/Run What Ya Brung event from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Jim Jones Shooting Range, located east of Highway 87 and south of the Mazatzal Casino.

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Payson boasts five medal winners at VC

Jonathan Ball is excited. Payson High’s cross country coach loves what he’s seeing from his runners.

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Horns look to improve

Boys soccer team should be stronger with return of several players

Chris Avakian says you have to look past the 1-6-1 record. He believes his Payson boys soccer team can improve on a slow start and finish strong.

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Redskins run over Longhorns 33-19

St. Johns dominates second half to spoil homecoming game

Ball control. St. Johns’ football team put on a clinic in it Friday night at Payson.

Voters should not tolerate ‘business as usual’

The behavior of our United States Senators and House members is reprehensible. Be they Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conserva­tives or “Tea Party” people, they collectively forget that they represent all of us, not simply their narrow band of supporters.

Higher minimum wage would kill struggling businesses

Apparently, the letter writer promoting a higher minimum wage has never owned or managed a business, or had to make a payroll out of her own pocket, with borrowed money, or even taken a basic economics class.

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Fiddle fest brims with love of the music

She didn’t fall: Nope, she climbed off the fame’s rocket, to raise a family.

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How do you like them apples?

Fall Apple Festival and Antique Show this weekend in Pine

Apples, antiques and chili — a perfect combination for a fabulous Rim Country fall weekend.

Payson pioneer’s bridal gown given to museum

A beautiful, antique wedding gown has found a new home at the Rim Country Museum.

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Community Garden Harvest Dinner reflects on successes of the season

Two banquet-size tables groaned with the weight of dishes savory and sweet on Saturday, prepared from the bounty harvested from the Payson Community Garden.

Stop Mexican gray wolf expansion program

I sat in amazement with 200 other attendees at the AZGFD information meeting on the proposed U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service expansion of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program.

Pay for what you broke

To the person who broke the windowpane on my front porch on either Sept. 26 or Sept. 27: I hope you can find in your conscious to not only apologize, but also pay for the damages.

Great idea, lousy timing

Quick question: How long can you tread water?

Sidestep blame, fail the heroes

The long-awaited report on the tragic deaths of 19 heroic Prescott firefighters left almost all of the most important questions unanswered.

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House approves bill co-sponsored by Gosar

Rim Country’s representative co-author of a bill that would waive environmental laws to double or triple timber harvest

The Forest Service would have at least double timber harvesting and give local counties and schools 25 percent of the money it earns under the terms of a bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

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Community Almanac

Flu shots The flu vaccine is now available at the Gila County Health Department for individuals 6 months of age and older.

Counselors versus class size

Payson school district faces painful choices

Years of state spending cuts in education last week trickled down to more tough choices for the Payson Unified School District (PUSD): Should schools focus on cutting class sizes or helping kids deal with the challenging social and emotional issues children bring to school?

Organization Notices, Oct. 1

Members of the Payson Walkers meet at 9 a.m. daily for an hour-long hike on pavement.

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Forest thinning progress

1,000-acre local project on latest list

Hoping to get a stalled forest restoration project moving, the Forest Service has issued “task orders” to cut 8,600 acres of ponderosa pine forest.

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Yarnell Fire: A fatal lapse

Crucial questions remain despite report

Pages into the report released Saturday on the death of 19 wildland firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire in late June, investigators discuss “fog and friction,” a military term that describes the challenges soldiers face trying to communicate, understand and respond in the heat of combat. “Fog” refers to the chaos of battle and “friction” to ambiguous information, fatigue and unexpected events.

Fall Festival fun

Payson Elementary School held its annual Fall Festival recently. Children could eat hot dogs, cotton candy, pickles on a stick or snow cones.