Stories for January 2014


Friday, January 31

Girls basketball team keeps moving up rankings

The odds the Payson’s girls basketball team will qualify for the Division III state tournament keep improving. PHS entered Thursday’s game against No. 2 Winslow at No. 24 in the state power rankings. Despite a 56-35 loss to the Bulldogs, the Longhorns moved up to No. 23 entering Friday’s game at No. 26 Round Valley.

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Community Almanac, Jan. 31

Dr Jass & The Heartbeats, the Rim Country’s Dixieland jazz band, is having an “open rehearsal” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7 at Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St.

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Clubs and Organizations, Jan. 31

Sandi Scott, Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country president, welcomes the club’s two newest members, Inga Chouinard and Tonnie Dice.

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Free fiddlers jam sessions a treat

Rattlin' the Rim

Living in the shadows of the Mogollon Rim affords privileges that can’t be enjoyed elsewhere.

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Board member dies

Ashford passes away after long illness

Longtime Gila Com­munity College board member Bob Ashford died this week, after a long and tenacious fight with illness.

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Wow! It’s like spring out there

DJ's Music Trivia

Pinch me. Pinch me, please!

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Crate training basics

“Private room with a view. Ideal for traveling dogs or for those who just want a secure, quiet place to hang out at home.”

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Longhorns still have a shot at playoffs

Payson High’s varsity girls basketball players this week moved a step closer to a state playoff slot, despite Thursday’s 56-35 loss to No. 2 Winslow.

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Arizona lawmakers blast president’s address

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday renewed calls for comprehensive immigration reform and action on economic opportunity, including an increased minimum wage and extended unemployment insurance benefits.

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Pavement project on SR 87 between SR 188 and Rye begins

The Arizona Department of Transportation has begun a six-mile repaving project this week on State Route 87 between the junction of SR 188 and Rye (mileposts 235 to 241).

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DECA already has a busy year

Italian foreign exchange student Francesco Calia said DECA forced him to expand his repertoire of English.

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Bank of America sells its Payson branch

Coming in May there will no longer be a Bank of America in Payson.

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Payson wins Go Girl volleyball tourney

Payson opened the Go Girl varsity club volleyball season by winning the Show Low tournament on Saturday.

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Students revel in joy of learning

Wearing crazy hats and masks, trench coats and army gear, the Academic Decathlon kids will entertain onlookers while answering tough questions at their Super Quiz on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 1:45 p.m. in the Payson High School Auditorium.

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Volunteers needed for 60th Northern Gila County Fair

The Northern Gila County Fair is 60 this year and volunteers are needed to help the tradition continue.

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Girls shock Falcons to keep tourney bid alive

PHS gets huge win

At No. 27 in the Division III state power rankings, Payson’s girls basketball team entered the final two weeks of the regular season with no margin for error.

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PHS grapplers keep winning

Horn wrestlers improve to 20-5

Payson’s wrestling team dominated both Cottonwood Mingus and Lakeside Blue Ridge in the final home action of the season.

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Sigh of relief

Gila County’s $3.2M PILT clears hurdle

The Gila County supervisors heaved a huge sign of relief on Jan. 29 when Congress on a 251-166 vote approved the Farm Bill that includes money for the critical Payment in Lieu of Taxes program. Only three members of the state’s nine-member congressional delegation supported the bill that included federal payments to rural counties.

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Alchesay beats Payson boys 67-56

PHS skid reaches 7 games

Chaz Davis scored 19 points to lead three Longhorns scoring in double figures, but it wasn’t enough as Whiteriver Alchesay won 67-56 in boys basketball at Wilson Dome on Tuesday night.

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Man cleared by jury

One case, two outcomes.

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Lack of moisture a growing concern

The Village

What? The last day of January? Are we sure we didn’t warp into spring and left winter behind? The drought situation is not funny, if we don’t get some kind of precipitation; we are in for a very scary spring and summer.

What’s going on with the frigid weather?

As America gets slammed each succeeding winter with increasingly snowy and frigid weather, the question naturally arises, “What’s going on? What happened to global warming?”

Question the integrity of doctors prescribing pot

As reported by the Roundup’s Alexis Bechman in her recent article about marijuana: “Perhaps the most striking thing in the report is that 25 doctors have signed about 70 percent of the 36,000 or so certifications in year two,” according to State Health Director Will Humble.

Comparison will drive us up a wall

The question gets asked: are our best days still ahead of us in this country? Many say yes; many say no — depending on what they just read or who they were listening in the radio. Here’s what I think — they are both right.

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Residents, visitors enjoy Hashknife Pony Express run

Another Week in the Creek

Christopher Creek is a place in Arizona where we enjoy four seasons — busy season, pothole season, fire season and solitude. We are in season four.

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The flip side of ‘free’ is ‘broke’

Your Turn

Last week I talked about the way we jumped at a chance to get anything free during the Depression. The reason was simple; most of the time it was the only price we could afford. Everything is so different today.

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Record rainless stretch

But rain and snow possible this weekend

It has been 40 days since Payson saw a drop of rain much less a flutter of snow.

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2nd grade shuffle

Board OKs fix for PES overcrowding

The Payson School Board on Jan. 27 agreed to temporarily relieve crowding by splitting second-grade classes between Payson Elementary School (PES) and Julia Randall Elementary School (JRE), settling a debate that has gone on for months.

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Accident on Beeline

A three-vehicle accident on Highway 87 Friday morning sent one person to the hospital.

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County officials, staff have monster ‘to do’ list

The county’s “to do” list for 2014 is staggering — and many of the items have a June 30 deadline. That means the Gila County Board of Supervisors, other elected officials and staff need to stock up on energy bars and turbo-charged energy drinks.

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Spa offers Scottsdale treatments at Payson prices

Bella Vita soon to add hair and vein removal to services

It’s gone from an antique shop, to a salon and boutique and now a med spa. It appears Chrisy’s Cottage, at 718 N. Beeline Highway, has finally completed its transition from funky chic shop to sophisticated spa under new owner Kacia Maddox.

Fooling us or real imbeciles?

“Those that respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made.” Mark Twain (1835-1910)

More on priorities

Many well-meaning folks are Tea Party members. It’s not my intent to denigrate anyone, including those with differing opinions about the solutions to the problems now facing America.

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Video slideshow of local bald eagles

DJ Craig captured shots of several bald eagles that call Green Valley Park home.

Wednesday, January 29

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Community Almanac, Jan. 28

The second floor of the Rim Country Museum now features a new Ranching Exhibit.

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Clubs and Organizations, Jan. 28

The Rim Country Celts will sponsor a free evening of Celtic music and dance from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 5 with the music group Cinnamon Twist, followed by a presentation and demonstration of the art of Ceili dance by Valerie Castaneda at Dimi Espresso in the Swiss Village.

Girls defeat Alchesay

Payson girls basketball players celebrate their 44-36 win over No. 11 Alchesay in Payson on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, January 28

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Library art spurs cute creations

A pencil sketch of a lion, a wooden model of a dinosaur and a clay sculpture of a pig all made starring turns at the Payson Area Advocacy Youth Council’s first-ever art contest Friday, with creations every bit as cute as its artists.

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Prosecutor faces panel

Tangles with judges prompt hearing

Gila County’s chief deputy attorney will go before a disciplinary panel in April where he could face disbarment or a lesser punishment if the panel decides he acted unprofessionally in the courtroom.

A reader’s perspective of Barton’s Tea Party meeting

Having attended the same Jan. 16 Payson Tea Party meeting as Mr. Aleshire, I thought I would offer my perspective.

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PHS cheer takes 9th in state

Qualifies for first time in four years

The Payson Longhorn cheer team isn’t usually the center of attention.

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PRMC modifies emergency department for elderly

Hospital director makes changes to make ER more senior friendly

The Payson Regional Medical Center’s service area has a population of about 50,000 people with an average age of 58. So to make visits to the emergency department more comfortable for the aging population it serves, PRMC has made some modifications.

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Registration for Business Showcase continues

The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce continues to sign up businesses to participate in the annual Business Showcase.

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Star Valley Council poised to demolish home on five acres

The five acres Star Valley bought this past fall is set for some improvements.

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Crews snuff out ash fire as region dries

Three days after burning down to embers in a stove, ashes remained hot enough to start a brush fire in Star Valley on Saturday.

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Club enables girls to hone volleyball skills

Five squads competing around state

The high school season ended a couple of months ago, but the game goes on for some of the best volleyball players across the state playing on club teams.

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Longhorn Troupe tackles Shakespeare

Young and old produced gales of laughter as they watched fairies work magic and lovers stammer in confusion as Shakespeare returned to the Payson stage after a long absence.

It’s going to be a nightmare

There was a woman on one of the networks a few days a go. She said she had been a drug counselor for 30 years and every single one of her patients said they started out on pot.

GCC still crucial to Rim Country future

Gila Community College continues to flop about on the deck of indecision.

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Boys stay with No. 4 Lobos until the end

This time, the Longhorns gave Snowflake a game.

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Payson getting new street signs

State, federal grants come through for more reflective signs

Payson is about to become a little brighter, or at least safer.

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Free bald eagle workshop in Pinetop

Arizona Game and Fish will host a seminar on Arizona’s unique population of bald eagles at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 in the department’s Pinetop office.

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Going to the dogs

Payson community leaders gathered on Saturday to dedicate a shade structure at the Off-Leash Dog Park near the library in Rumsey Park.

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Tips for cold and flu season

Flu season is reaching its peak in Arizona and around the country. If you have not received your flu shot there is still time.

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Recreation fees jump as much as 33 percent

Payson hopes to raise money for overdue repairs and maintenance

From roofs that need replacing to broken picnic tables, the town’s parks and recreation department just doesn’t have the money to keep up.

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Welcome the Pony Express riders Jan. 29

Groups will gather up in Christopher Creek, out in Star Valley and at the Payson Post Office to welcome the Hashknife Pony Express Riders as they make their way down the Rim Wednesday, Jan. 29.

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Trio seeks the heart of jazz

Payson crowd tours of a century of a bewildering brilliance

Three music-obsessed chums took a near-sellout, foot-tapping Payson crowd on a sly and ecstatic tour of a century of musical innovation and improvisation Sunday.

Not a drop, not a drop

Not a drop in January. No more brush pits in operation. No more money to pick up brush in Pine.

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RCMS hosts the FBI at its ‘Lunch with a Professional’ program

On Thursdays, Rim Country Middle School students get a peek into the world of adults and their work with the Lunch with a Professional program.

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Senior Circle Weekly Calendar of Events

Senior Circle events

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Ask the pharmacist

Question: I found some antibiotics in my medicine cabinet that are a year old. Are they still OK to take?

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One lucky pooch...

They’re doggone glad the dog’s not gone no more

This is the tale of one lucky pooch. A late Christmas miracle you could say.

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Pay attention to that ‘pins and needles’ sensation

Just about everyone has experienced that “pins and needles” sensation in their feet and hands. Usually we say our foot/hand has “fallen asleep” because we have rested on it wrong.

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Medical News & Notes From the Experts

Diabetes describes a disease in which a person has high blood sugar, either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. It is classified as a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to the way our bodies use digested food for energy and growth.

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Must-win games for girls

PHS needs upset tonight

Payson lost a crucial girls basketball game at Snowflake on Friday, falling to the host Lobos 45-34.

Building trades students

Building trades is a great course if the students stay in it for four years. It’s something they can get better at and take with them wherever they go.

Offer of help to schools unanswered

William Clayton stated in a recent issue, “Very few Payson students that enter a four-year college ever graduate.” Rather than question the veracity of that statement we should be taking action to assure that it is not true.

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Flip the flop: College eyes renewed increase in tuition

After lowering tuition less than a year ago, Gila Community College (GCC) will now consider raising it — except for seniors, who can still attend for free.

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Jobless rate rises

County’s trend veers from state, nation

Gila County’s unemployment rate rose slightly in December, bucking the otherwise encouraging trend both statewide and nationally.

Rec Roundup

The Eighth Annual Junior Longhorn Wrestling Camp is open for boys in grades third-eighth. The camp runs from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18-20 and 25-27 in the Payson High School Wilson Dome wrestling room.

Friday, January 24

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Old van, new fire

A man’s $500 gamble went up in flames Thursday afternoon on Highway 87 just outside of Rye.

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Girls on outside of state tournament looking in

PHS needs to leapfrog 3 teams

The top 24 teams in the power rankings qualify for the Division III girls basketball state tournament.

Don’t go back

Not again.

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Bryndee Hall takes All-Around Cowgirl honors at Safford

RCMS student leads area riders

Rim Country residents once again performed well on the Arizona High School and Junior High Rodeo circuits last weekend in Safford.

Kudos to donors to Payson Helping Payson

The volunteers at Payson Helping Payson wish to thank all of the Payson area residents that participated in the Arizona State Tax Credit Program to support PHP in 2014.

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Back when a buck was a buck – ‘free’ sounded mighty good

Your Turn

Because people had almost no cash during the Depression, anything that was free, or almost free, got a lot of attention.

The Bard is Back

You still have a chance to get a whimsical dose of Shakespeare, courtesy of the Longhorn Theatre Company.

Barton needs to respect the Constitution and electorate

Last week, speaking to the Payson Tea Party, State Representative Brenda Barton announced her position on two policies that critically affect all of us in Arizona.

Shelby School students prepare for AIMS tests

The Village

I had a delightful Martin Luther King Day this past Monday with two of my really good friends, Gloria and Nancy.

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Let the battle begin!

Brewer’s budget creates winners and losers for school districts

Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposed budget came in for some rough handling in a key legislative committee this week, particularly some proposals related to education.

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Test scores: Still dazed & confused

Payson schools have now officially plunged into the world of new testing methods with the first round of assessment scores — with results officials say aren’t as bad as they look.

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Father pleads to child abuse

Man who injured baby’s skull gets 3.5 years in prison

A man who nearly killed his infant son was sentenced Tues­day to 3.5 years in prison.

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Community Almanac, Jan. 24

The Knights of Columbus will host a Pancake Breakfast in St. Philip’s Hall from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 26.

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Buffaloes turn ‘brainiacs’

Rattlin' the Rim

Scoot over Sir Issac, take a seat Mr. Einstein — make way for those Pine-Strawberry School students enthusiastically gearing up for an annual science fair in which they will have the opportunity to flex their cerebral prowess.

Rep. Brenda Barton’s mythology continues

Now that our good friend Brenda Barton is back in town, I imagine she is here to continue the myths about the Affordable Care Act as another one of Hitler’s socialist inventions.

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Lobbyist looking out for county

Gila County has eyes and a voice in Washington, D.C. in the form of Patricia Power of Bose Public Affairs Group.

Neighbor is one of the really good guys

DJ's Music Trivia

There are good guys in this world, and then there are really good guys. My neighbor, Ron Unrah, just happens to fall head over heels into the really good guy category.

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Seven dog breeds that don't deserve their stereotypes

Have you ever been out in public, minding your own business, simply walking your dog, and people start moving to the other side of the street in fear?

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Riders return with run through Rim Country

The annual re-enactment of the Pony Express ride from Holbrook to Scottsdale has generally coincided with the Parada del Sol parade.

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PetSmart donation dedicated to Payson dog park gazebo

Payson Dog Park gazebo will host a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 25 to celebrate the unveiling of the new shade structure built from a donation provided by PetSmart at the Rumsey Dog Park located at 400 N. McLane Road.

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Coach: ‘She’ll bleed and die on the court for you’

Diminutive senior a defensive giant

At 5-foot-3, Harley Turney isn’t the first girl you notice on a basketball court.

Early mail delivery in Rim Country

As the area was being settled during the late 1870s and early 1880s, a regular mail route became desired. Here is a look at mail in the early days of the area.

The need for calculus

In response to Mr. Clayton (“Calculus and college” 10/29/13 and “Calculus issue moot” 1/17/14): I happen to have a student, my daughter, who has the grades, takes challenging courses and her “dream” schools are MIT and Vanderbilt.

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Creekside Restaurant has new owner

Another Week in the Creek

Christopher Creek summer residents Leo and Mary Wennings, Mark Alvin, Terry Short and his wife, and Ron and Rhonda Louches, were all here this past weekend enjoying our April weather. The only problem ... it’s just mid-January.

Another muddle

The long, confusing battle over whether to let 300 cows wander across 42,000 acres that drain into Fossil Creek offers a small, vivid illustration of why the U.S. Forest Service has become all but paralyzed in contending with conflicting demands on public lands.

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Fossil Creek lawsuit: Troubled waters

Lawsuit seeks to keep cattle out of Fossil Creek watershed

A simmering dispute about whether to let cattle graze on 42,000 acres in the upper Fossil Creek watershed spilled over into to court once again last week.

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Pontoon boat snafu: The one that got away

He should have used 2,000-pound test line — because a 72-year-old man Tuesday let the big one get away and he didn’t even know it.

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They’re growing their own

Gila County tops in state for medical marijuana cardholders and growers

Gila County continues to lead the state in medical marijuana cardholders and those authorized to grow, according to recently released data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Drug case: A second chance – and a dose of skepticism

Thanks to a voter-approved mandate, a Valley man’s first drug offense drew two years of probation instead of jail time, although he was convicted on multiple counts.

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No bargains with county planning and zoning

Projects put before the Gila County Community Development office have been a bargain — at least according to a survey the county conducted of similar services in other counties.

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Deming Park statue commemorates Rim’s mail carriers

The statue in Deming Park, at the corner of North McLane and West Main in Payson, honors the men who first carried the mail into Payson. While it is a reproduction of the Frederic Remington statue, The Bronco Buster, donors who helped get the park built, thought it would be a fine addition.

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Clubs and Organizations, Jan. 24

The Northern Gila County Genealogical Society program for Thursday, Feb. 6 will be “Understanding the Role of DNA in Establishing Family History Relationships” presented by Judy Voran.

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Jackets avenge loss, hand Horns 11th loss in 12 games

Payson’s stunning 56-48 boys basketball win at then-10th-ranked Blue Ridge on Jan. 9 was the highlight of the season for the Longhorns.

Tuesday, January 21

Pine water conundrum

The Gila County Board of Supervisors ceremoniously washed their hands of the troubles of the Pine/Strawberry Water Improvement District and called a May election.

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Chase closes hwy.

Mile-long rap sheet: 80-mile pursuit

A Winslow man with a mile-long rap sheet led police on roughly an 80-mile chase Friday that ultimately ended in his capture after officers put down not one, but four spike strips.

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Early election for Pine water

District will have elections in both May and November

“Sixteen years ago Ron Christensen said, “Until you start getting along, you’re not going to solve the problem,” said John Bittner, longtime resident of the Pine-Strawberry area.

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Old Hollywood charm at the Black and White Ball

Sporting long gowns, elegant elbow-length gloves, sequins, dashing top hats and suave scarves, the attendees at the annual Black and White Ball oozed charm and grace as Rim Country residents channeled Old Hollywood to support the Mogollon Health Alliance (MHA).

State schools on life support

We’re not out of the hospital. But at least we’re off life support.

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Clubs and Organizations, Jan. 21

The Payson Flycasters Club will meet Saturday, Jan. 25 at Tiny’s Restaurant, 600 E. Highway 260.

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Of mules and men: Lessons in acceptance

“Sandy” set her ears and planted her mule shoes.

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Community Almanac, Jan. 21

Tickets are on sale for the Saturday, March 8 annual Library Friends of Payson Tasete of Rim Country benefit for the Payson Public Library.

How the corporation commission approves utility rates

There has been much discussion in recent articles on the rate request from Payson Water now pending before the commission.

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New search for GCC board member under way

Gila County Superintendent Linda O’Dell hopes to find a new Gila Community College (GCC) board member by Feb. 14.

Scholarship help for families

Interested in attending college? Not sure how to pay for it?

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Payson Area Food Drive hits cash goal

Cash donations to the Payson Area Food Drive have beat all expectations this year thanks to a number of large contributions from government agencies and families, but food collections have come up short.

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Tonto Monument offers archaeological tours

Tonto National Monument will offer two special interpretive programs at archaeological sites on Tonto National Forest. These programs are free and participants do not need to have a Tonto Pass.

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Flake agrees to allow hearing on stalled federal judicial nominees for Arizona

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has lifted a block on five of six judicial nominees to the federal court in Arizona, where the American Bar Association has said vacancies are “dramatically worse” than in other states.

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Rim Country Celts want to focus on education in a fun way

Members of the Rim Country Celts want to educate potential members and other area residents about Celtic heritage and culture. But they also want to keep that education fun.

Article misleading

Upon reading the Flames of Controversy article in the Jan. 13 edition of the Payson Roundup, readers might assume that there is no community support in Pleasant Valley for our volunteer firefighters, fire board or interim fire chief.

TRSAR says thanks

Thank you to local merchants.

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State budget boost

Gov. targets CPS, universities, prisons

No more bloodshed. But not much rehabilitation.

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ASU helps run world’s best planet finder

Professor and students part of Gemini Planet Imager testing team

After nearly a decade of development, construction, and testing, the world’s most advanced instrument for directly imaging and analyzing planets around other stars is pointing skyward and collecting light from distant worlds.

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Lawmaker peppered with questions about education

Rep. Barton lays out legislative priorities for skeptical crowd

Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson) faced a surprisingly tough series of questions about her support for K-12 education at a meeting of the Payson Tea Party last week.

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Horns 5th in strong Payson Invitational field

Two PHS freshmen pin down titles

Underclassmen dominate Payson’s wrestling team. Fittingly, a pair of freshmen led the Longhorns to a triumphant showing at the Payson Invitational held Friday-Saturday at Wilson Dome.

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Volunteers key to wrestling tourney success

More Than a Game

From the weigh-ins and seeding meeting at 9 a.m. Friday morning until the final awards were presented at about 8 p.m. Saturday, this year’s Payson Wrestling Invitational was a success.

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PHS boys lose another heartbreaker

Mingus rallies to pull out 50-49 win

COTTONWOOD — Payson’s boys basketball team knows heartbreaking losses.

Misplaced priorities

Misplaced priorities, according to a recent letter writer, hurt all Americans (Roundup, Jan. 14), and he is right. The writer illustrates this perfectly, but not in the way he thinks.

Friday, January 17

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Pine Water election called for May

On a 2-1 vote Friday, Jan. 17, the Gila County Board of Supervisors called a May special election for the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID).

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High-speed chase on Highway 87 closes roadway briefly

A high-speed chase has ended north of town.

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Wrestlers flock to Payson for invitational

One of the highlights of the wrestling season is upon us.

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Payson mulls drop in steep impact fees

A state-mandated study pro­cess could result in a decline in the development impact fees Payson has imposed for years to ensure new development pays the cost of the water, street, parks, police and other costs needed to serve new residents.

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Care center hires new executive director

When Jason “Norm” Norman began applying for executive director positions in the skilled nursing industry he was ecstatic to get a call from Life Care Centers of America regarding an opening at Payson Care Center.

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Clubs and Organizations, Jan. 17

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are held Monday through Sunday at 8 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. (Rule 62) at 434 S. Beeline Highway Suite A, Payson.

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Community Almanac, Jan. 17

The Hashknife Pony Express riders will come thundering into Payson the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 29 this year.

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PHS enjoying strong season on mat

Longhorns now 16-4

Sixteen wins and four losses.

Enough already

Gov. Jan Brewer had it exactly right when she turned to the smoldering, shameful crisis confronting Child Protective Services.

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Governor still links scores, funding

Gov. Jan Brewer’s State of the State speech this week provided only modest hope for parents and teachers waiting for the state will restore school funding.

Contributions appreciated

Time Out, Inc., wants to say an extra special thank you to ERA Young Realty & Investments ...

Calculus issue moot

Check out the number of Payson students that enter a four-year college and then check out how many “finish” in four years and graduate.

Support pro-life efforts

Pearl Buck has been quoted as saying, “... the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.”

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Memories of snowstorms while it’s 60 degrees in January

Another Week in the Creek

Christopher Creek is a second home or summer home to hundreds of folks. Not a one of them were here this past weekend, it seems. Margo is off wintering in San Diego, while Mimi is down in the Valley with Rosemary and Pat and Trudy are down at their condo in Belize.

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Village needs a snow dance to get more moisture

The Village

The weather report this morning was a bit disheartening since the temperatures will be in the 50-degree range and no rain or snow for at least another week. The weather has been crazy all over the country.

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Lucky, lucky, lucky me

Your Turn

In 1952, along with the rest of my Air National Guard outfit, I waited at Camp Kilmer in New Jersey to board a troop ship for Iceland. A male vocalist on a live radio program sang a song that made me think. It was called “Lucky, Lucky, Lucky Me.” The words really stuck in my head.

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Basketball season successful for boys

Rattlin' the Rim

The Pine Strawberry School boys and girls basketball teams wrapped up the 2013-2014 seasons yesterday, Jan. 16 against visiting Camp Verde. (Results not available at press time).

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Great music for dancing at fun evening

DJ's Music Trivia

This Saturday night the Mazatzal Casino is hosting one of Rim Country’s most elegant affairs — the eighth annual Black and White Ball, sponsored by the Mogollon Health Alliance.

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Book lovers have lively discussions

Book lovers at the library — nothing special about that. Where else would they be? But a different brand of book lovers congregates in the Young Adult Room at the Payson Public Library once a month.

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Fighting fire with fire

A thick pillar of smoke rising from near Whispering Pines alarmed Rim Country residents this week — but never fear, this fire’s actually making us safer.

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Roadrunners rally past Payson boys

Big 4th quarter powers Holbrook to 54-52 win

The host Roadrunners outscored Payson 15-6 in the final quarter to rally from a 46-39 deficit and post a 54-52 boys basketball victory on Tuesday night.

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‘Enough with the excuses’

Gov. Brewer proposes CPS shift to cope with ignored abuse cases in State of the State speech

Gov. Jan Brewer responded forcefully this week to a spreading crisis spawned by ignored reports of child abuse and neglect with a proposal to upgrade Child Protective Services into an independent agency whose director serves in the governor’s cabinet.

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PUSD searching for a superintendent – on the cheap

The Payson Unified School District voted unanimously this week to pay $3,000 to the Arizona School Board Association to find a permanent superintendent.

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Humane Society of Central Arizona: 'Because They Matter'

At the Humane Society of Central Arizona, we strive to offer respect, grace, compassion and love for the animals who share our journey.

Burn baby burn

Crews from the Payson Ranger District went traipsing through the woods this week — setting fire to everything in sight. We’re so glad.

Judge’s sentencings indicate money more important than people

Once again, I am outraged by Judge Peter Cahill.

Salvation Army grateful

Thank you Bell Ringers and the people of Payson.

Water rates clarification

I read Michele Nelson’s article of Jan. 11, “Water rate hike halted,” regarding Payson Water Company’s (PWC) proposed rate increase that is currently under consideration by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).

Payson provides for kids

The Payson community has come through again in providing for our most valuable treasures — our children.

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Democrats tout Tucsonan as Obamacare success

Laid off and with a pre-existing medical condition, Tucson resident Sue Voelker said it was a struggle to get health insurance — until the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

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Life among the Apache

Remarkable memoir captures drama, racism, ironies and tragedy of the conflict that defined the West

Standing amidst the tumbled ruins of the stage stop, I studied the bruised and sullen thunderheads on the horizon.

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Father arrested for allegedly threatening son

For allegedly threatening to hit his son with a gun during an argument about calling in sick for work, police on Jan. 10 arrested a Payson man.

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Case to retire, but continue with district as a contract employee

Brenda Case, district student achievement director, will retire this year.

Regional Science Fair to be held in February

Top students from throughout Gila County will compete on Feb. 26 in the Regional Science Fair at Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum in Miami. Judging will start at 8 a.m., with doors open to the public from noon to 3 p.m.

Kids needed for third- and fourth-grade basketball

The Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department is extending the registration deadline for its third- and fourth-grade basketball leagues until Jan. 20 because not enough children have signed up.

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Mechanic takes, crushes man’s Lexus

For crushing an acquaintance’s vehicle so he could collect $100, a Payson mechanic will serve 18 months probation.

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High school building trades students cement legacy

In the center of the Payson High School (PHS) campus sits a monument in cement to the students from the building trades class.

Tuesday, January 14

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Tonto Basin clinic will open in February

Nurse practitioner will provide care

Payson Regional Medical Center is expanding primary care access to Tonto Basin. Residents living in the area no longer have to drive 30 miles to see a doctor.

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Prison for teen sex

Man gets 1.5 years for sleeping with minor

For getting a 13-year-old girl pregnant when he was 18, a Payson man will serve 1.5 years in prison.

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Clubs and Organizations, Jan. 14

The Library Friends of Payson will host Bill Pitterle, commander of the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Squad, at its 10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 20 program.

Welcome to the circus

Welcome to the circus, Johnny. We kinda wish you weren’t here — but we certainly wish you well.

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Library Friends gear up for chefs event

The Library Friends of Payson will hold its annual “A Taste of Rim Country” fund-raiser with the help of the top chefs in the region from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, March 8 at the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road.

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Welcome to ‘Your Health’

Welcome to the new ‘Your Health’ pages, a community partnership between Payson Regional Medical Center and the Payson Roundup.

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Still loves him

Man gets seven years for putting woman through 24 hours of hell

When she arrived at the hospital, her eyelids were swollen shut after hours of abuse. It was clear to detectives that this was not the result of some random pounding by strangers as she claimed, but something far more sinister.

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Phoenix housing market stalls

After promising growth earlier in the year, the Phoenix housing market stalled at year end, according to a report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

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Child advocate seeks to engage community

The Court Appointed Special Advocate Program has named Lyndsie Butler as the program coordinator for CASA of Gila County, responsible for recruiting and training new CASA volunteers managing the program.

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James Gordon Stewart: A remarkable man of many hats

On Jan. 12 former Payson resident James Gordon Stewart, third bishop of the ACA Diocese of the West, slipped peacefully into God’s nearer presence.

Willow Beach trout stocking program suspended

Due to the failure of the water delivery system and the devastating loss of rainbow trout that resulted in August and then again in November, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery (NFH) has suspended its recreational stocking program.

Political parties: The real enemy?

We’ve got a bad feeling about this, Poncho. Increasingly, the political parties intended to make democracy work have come to represent a threat to the public interest.

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Roosevelt Lake on the line

Can monster bass save vital fishery?

Move over little bass — the big bass is moving in.

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Rim Country sales jump 6 percent

Rim Country’s economy continued to gain steam at the end of the year, with the exception of the still, sickly building sector.

How can there be governance when there is no trust?

In any democratic political system, large or small, you can only govern so long as you have the trust of the people you were elected to serve.

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Girls rebound to roll over Cougars 41-8

Blue Ridge edges PHS by 2

Payson’s girls basketball team needed a lift.

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Sophomore ignites comeback

More Than a Game

The Wilson Dome scoreboard told the story: Show Low 40, Payson 27.

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Horns shock Jackets, but fall to Cougars

Boys right ship vs. Blue Ridge

The Longhorns took a big step forward by stunning No. 10 Blue Ridge 56-48 in boys basketball in Lakeside on Thursday night.

Story appreciated

Thank you, Pete Aleshire, for writing “Brightest students most neglected” (Jan. 10, 2014).

Article a special gift

There is no way to put into words the gratitude I hold in my heart concerning the newspaper article “They Call Her Miss Shari.”

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Community Almanac, Jan. 14

The first program of the second half of the Tonto Community Concert Association’s 35th season is jazz at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 26 with Jesse Lynch’s Jazz 101.

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Senior Circle members have new eye care benefit

The Payson Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle is a national, non-profit organization that encourages a healthy and active lifestyle for adults 50 and older.

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Flu vaccinations urged; virus spreads

The flu is spreading quickly this season with a big increase in the disease in the past couple of weeks, according to the Gila County Health Department.

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Medical News & Notes From the Experts

Respecting the importance of prompt service, Payson Regional Medical Center (PRMC) offers a 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge. The doctors and staff work diligently to have each ER patient initially seen by a clinical professional — defined as a doctor or a physician assistant — within 30 minutes of arrival.

GCC announces fall 2013 honor students

Gila Community College is pleased to announce the Payson Campus honor students for the fall 2013 semester. Students on the President’s List are full-time students who complete the semester with a 4.0 grade point average.

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How can Zombies make you live longer?

Cell phone apps can make exercise fun, maybe even terrifying

I was running from zombies the other weekend in the woods just outside Gila Community College, on one of my favorite running trails that it appears only beasts from some post-apocalyptic world know about.

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Prescribed fire treatment planned for Verde Glen area next week

The Forest Service will set fire to about 1,300 acres this week near Verde Glen along Forest Roads 32 and the Control Road.

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Fierce struggle for district seat

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick faces tough fight to continue representing Southern Gila County

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick will have to mount a fierce struggle this year to hang onto her Arizona Congressional District 1 seat.

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Customers protest huge rate hikes

Over and over on Monday, the Rim Country residents Payson Water Company (PWC) serves demanded, “Show us the plan — or drop the rate hike.”

Misplaced priorities hurt all Americans

Governing is all about compromise and priorities, and 2013 was a historic year for the do-nothing Congress.

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Bird count volunteers key to research

Local volunteers spot nearly 5,000 birds of 95 species, helping document climate shift

The count is in — the Payson Christmas Bird Count, that is. Since 1900, the National Audubon Society has conducted bird counts throughout North America.

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Split vote

Board names John Ketchem superintendent

A divided Payson Unified School District (PUSD) board hired Johnny Ketchem as the interim superintendent on a 3-2 vote Friday.

Halenar named to Dean's List

Rylee Halenar, Payson, was named to the Dean’s List at Kentucky’s Mid-Continent University’s Traditional Program.

Friday, January 10

Traffic circles fun and safe

I lived in Germany for three years while in the Air Force.

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Cause of fearfulness in dogs is often misconstrued

If a dog is fearful of a specific stimulus category, for example “men,” it does not necessarily mean the dog was abused by a man, or even abused at all.

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Application process open for GCC board vacancy

Gila County School Superin­tendent Linda O’Dell has announced the time line and process for appointment of a member to the Gila Community College (GCC) Governing Board to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of District 1 representative Thomas Loeffler last year.

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Brightest students most neglected

Payson doesn’t give its gifted students much extra attention, with a relative handful of advanced placement tests, few breakout programs for students identified as gifted and little attempt to provide extra or accelerated classes. Heck, this year the high school doesn’t even offer calculus.

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Yogurt shop expected to open in March

A couple from Alaska is brining some of the cold with them — but of the sweet variety.

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Former congressman headed to prison

Judge denies bail pending appeal for Rick Renzi

The congressman who once represented Rim Country must report to prison by Jan. 13, now that a federal judge has refused his request to remain free on bail while he appeals his convictions for corruption and money laundering.

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GCC class seeks Rim Country writers of short stories

A class on writing short stories starts up at Gila Community College next Tuesday at 6 p.m. in hopes of unearthing Rim Country writers with a yarn to tell.

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When someone really loves you

Your Turn

I’ll bet that humans, both male and female, have asked that question from the beginning of time. It’s a good one. I don’t even pretend to have the answer, of course, but 81 years of observing my fellow man — and woman — have led me to suspect that there are part answers.

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Seems winter has passed by Rim Country

The Village

Has winter passed us by and gone on to the middle of the country? The Rim Country has had just a few inches of snow and very mild temperatures compared to most of the United States. How fortunate we are to be living in Arizona.

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Bye Bye Phil

DJ's Music Trivia

Just a week ago, singer Phil Everly, one-half of the groundbreaking, smooth-sounding, record-setting duo, the Everly Brothers, died in a hospital in Burbank, Calif. He was 74.

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Senior meal program lowers prices

Rattlin' the Rim

It’s not often in today’s economy — which often includes government cutbacks to non-profits — that those types of civic organizations are able to reduce prices.

2014 hunting and fishing licenses, tags now available

Enjoy hunting and fishing in the new year

The 2014 Arizona Hunting and Fishing licenses and tags are available at most Arizona sporting goods retailers and other authorized license dealers beginning Jan 1.

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Wolves devour Longhorns 73-48

Boys lose 7th straight

The Longhorns were looking to begin to turn things around when they traveled to play Estrella Foothills’ boys basketball team on Tuesday.

Pets being poisoned

Pet owners, be aware there is someone poisoning pets in the area of Golden Frontier and South St. Phillips.

Speeding on McLane

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Chief Engler for his attempts to work with the citizens on McLane regarding speeding issues, particularly in the curvy 15-25 mph stretch of road between Payson Parkway and Overland, where people on the street have fought back with “slow down” signs.

True tale of two water companies

What a contrast: Consider the tale of two water companies — One in Star Valley, the other a privately owned company serving small, unincorporated communities scattered across Rim Country.

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SV water report: Good news gusher

Rates low, improvements mount – reserve still huge

Star Valley’s town council had good news from Water Department Superintendent Robert Rippy Tuesday night.

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State resists ruling on school funding

Supreme Court says lawmakers broke the law by cutting $1.6 billion in inflation adjustments

A series of court rulings could force the Arizona Legislature to restore as much as $1.6 billion in funding for schools — but key lawmakers are already promising to thwart the latest ruling.

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Estrella Foothills rallies past Longhorn girls in OT

Thirty nine turnovers doom Payson

Maybe it was simply too much basketball.

2013 was a year of shamelessness in America

All things considered, it was a year without shame.

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We’re gonna all be famous!

Move over Mogollon Monster, things are about to get very weird — and scary — in Rim Country.

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Flames of controversy

Young fire chief fired as rash of fires rattles residents

Young has suffered through a rash of fires — both structural and in the volunteer fire district boardroom.

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Water rate hike halted

Commission balks at 118 percent increase

Amidst a blizzard of figures and complaints, the Arizona Corporation Commis­sion staff has recommended cutting Payson Water Company’s proposed 118 percent rate increase to about 75 percent.

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Polar vortex news brings memories of frigid Midwest winters

Another Week in the Creek

Christopher Creek is a tropical paradise. Daytime highs are in the 50s. Yah, you say. So what? Well, this past Monday morning in Chicago at O’Hare airport it was 15 degrees below zero with wind chill temperature of minus 39. Marshalltown, Iowa reported minus 17 and minus 58 with the wind chill.

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Sarnowski, Chapman honored

Longhorn gridiron pair 1st team all-section

How important were Wyatt Chapman and Tyus Sarnowski to Payson’s offense in 2013?

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Community Almanac, Jan. 10

During the month of January the Library Friends of Payson Bookstore is featuring a storewide clearance sale.

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Clubs and Organizations, Jan. 10

The Library Friends of Payson will host Bill Pitterle, commander of the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Squad, at its 10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 20 program.

Tuesday, January 7

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Poachers target Gila monsters, snakes

After monsoon rain, poachers are known to prowl desert roads looking for Gila monsters warming themselves on the asphalt.

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Clubs and Organizations, Jan. 7

The Rim Country Celts will have a Robert Burns celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 15 with Cinnamon Twist playing at Dimi Espresso Café, 612 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.

That’s just weird

It’s just kind of weird how much certain state lawmakers seem to mind preschool — or really anything that helps little kids.

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Controversy bubbles in Pine water district

Election date alternatives spur debate

Controversy has continued to simmer and build in the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District ever since the mass-resignation of five of the seven board members intended to dampen controversy.

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Child vs. child

Lawmaker would divert preschool money to Child Protective Services

Faced with a child abuse budget scandal, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) offered an odd remedy: Let’s take money away from early childhood education and support to investigate child abuse and neglect.

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House fire: Beast that wouldn’t die

Just off the Chaparral Pines hole three green, past a checkered flag waving in the warm afternoon sun Sunday, black charred wood hissed and steamed.

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Make a resolution to reshape your closet; create a ‘new’ wardrobe

I don’t like to admit it, but I really like clothes — too much. It’s a hereditary thing though — my paternal grandmother loved clothes, so did my father and so does my mother.

Pine-Strawberry’s crucial crossroad

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble: Seems like the motto at the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District these days.

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Hooray for Hollywood!

Black & White Ball celebrates Old Hollywood

The Mogollon Health Alliance of volunteers in the Rim Country medical community will have its annual Black & White Ball Saturday, Jan. 18.

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Last stand for the last of the old-growth forest

The socketed end of the bone jutted from the snow, adding an ominous note to the brooding silence of the looming pines and firs.

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Researchers make predictions on how climate shifts will affect the planet

Nature Notes

Home on the range — where seldom is heard, a discouraging word. Well, not exactly: Leastwise, not when it comes to research on how shifts in the climate will likely affect the forests of Rim Country — and the rest of the West.

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Superintendent hopefuls

The Payson Unified School District (PUSD) board will interview former Tonto Basin Superintendent/Prin­cipal Johnny Ketchem and an outside candidate, Greg Wy­man, for the interim superintendent position.

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Talk explores impact of salt mine

Verde Valley Archeology Center Director Todd Bostwick on Jan. 21 will give a talk on an intriguing Salt Mine that played a key role in trade networks throughout the southwest.

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Best game: girls plow past Lobos in OT

Arissa Paulson scores 30 points and grabs 14 rebounds

It took a few extra minutes, but Payson’s girls basketball team got the job done against Snowflake on Friday night.

Open letter to Dennis Rodman

Mister Rodman, the next time you go to North Korea to visit with your good friend Kim Jung Un don’t forget to ask him about the thousands of his people that he is holding captive in prison camps where they are starved, tortured and executed because they are considered political prisoners who have been reported by their neighbors for watching forbidden TV stations or other infractions that are considered a threat to the Communist regime.

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Rescuing the Dove of the Desert

San Xavier del Bac restoration saves colorful history

The strangely various congregation rose to their feet beneath the dual, double scalloped domes of one of the oldest, most vivid, most unusual churches in the West.

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January ‘celebration’ opportunities continue

Senior Moments

January is here and it’s usually a time when we see some snow in Rim Country. That hasn’t been happening this year, so far, although most of the rest of the country is getting more winter than they want.

Vortex Storm

2013/2014 (A sonnet)

Health cost of eating chicken

A shocking 97 percent of chicken breasts tested by Consumer Reports magazine harbored bacteria that could make you sick.

About those traffic circles

I’m sorry Eva James that you have had bad experiences with roundabouts and I would agree the one at Home Depot is not a very good example of what roundabouts should provide.

Support in tough time appreciated

Recently the love of my life lost his battle with cancer. During his fight the residents in the communities of Pine and Strawberry opened their hearts to my family and myself.

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Community Almanac, Jan. 7

The Payson Friends of Jazz and the Presbyterian Church present jazz pianist George Grund with AJ Siniaho, trumpet; Steve Douglas, bass; and Gerry Reynolds, drums; at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., Payson.

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Snowflake shakes off rust to rout Longhorn boys

Things started so well for the Longhorns.

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Honing their soccer skills

Rumsey Park was a popular destination as people were out taking advantage of Thursday’s weather, featuring sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60s.

Coatimundi not a distant Rim Country neighbor

This really is just an FYI to the Arizona Game and Fish Department in this area — There is a population of coatimundi that live in the area of the Lake Roosevelt dam.

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State Forestry hopes to double firefighting budget

Fallout from Yarnell tragedy

Staggered by the mounting costs of the Yarnell Hill Fire and dire fire predictions for 2014, the State Division of Forestry hopes the Legislature will double its firefighting budget this year.

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Sanitary district to save $250,000 with new solar energy system

The Northern Gila County Sanitary District announced Thursday that the instillation of photovoltaic solar system at the West Doll Baby Ranch Road water reclamation facility is complete.

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Desperation scam

Man seeks $100 for fake crash, winds up with 3-year prison term

A Payson man will spend three years in prison for attempting to extort $100 from a woman he claimed hit him on his bicycle.

Friday, January 3

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Jail tour reveals few problems despite outdated facilities and lack of space

There is rigid order and routine in running a jail. There has to be, especially when facilities are as outdated and poorly designed as Gila County’s.

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Beware the gizzard shad, my son

Roosevelt Lake bass, crappie, bluegill continue to decline

The sharp decline in Roosevelt Lake’s once stellar reputation as a bass fishery continues to bedevil local businesses and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

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Pedaling cross country for veterans

El Paso resident rides through Payson

Randy Roscoe didn’t serve in Vietnam.

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Police search for 24 who fled traffic stop

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office is still looking for 24 people who ran into the forest south of town Tuesday afternoon and have not been seen since.

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Humane Society looks back on 2013

Thank you for being our partner in saving so many precious lives in 2013.

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Future of water district on minds of many

Rattlin' the Rim

Many water users are scratching their collective noggins wondering what will come out of a Gila County Board of Supervisors meeting to be held 5 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16 in the Pine Cultural Hall.

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Time for New Year’s resolutions

DJ's Music Trivia

It’s now the third day of 2014, which means that many of us are off to a flying start on our New Year’s resolutions. This is the time of year that many of us are excited about making some long overdue changes in our lives.

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Movies and TV programs have strange effects on some people

Your Turn

Back when I was a kid of 8 or 9, just old enough to go to the movies by myself, it was exciting to listen to my brother Frankie each time he came home from the Victory Theatre and told about the latest adventure film.

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Snyder family enjoyed a wonderful Christmas

The Village

The Snyder family has had a wonderful Christmas. Some of the Snyder clan gathered at our house and waited until most everyone was here and then we opened our gifts.

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Another immigrant comes to Rim Country

Coatimundi killed near Payson indicates strange creature has extended its range again

A strange escapee from the teeming tropics had made it to Rim Country.

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A look back at Rim Country headlines from 2013

The year started off with a bang when the Payson Fiesta Bowl Parade float and accompanying dancing ponderosa pine trees were named among the highlights of the Phoenix parade.

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Bar hopping in the mountains on New Year’s Eve

Another Week in the Creek

Christopher Creek woke up to warm, sunny weather on New Year’s morning. Well, maybe not so warm.

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Community Almanac, Jan. 3

John Carpino will perform a variety of acoustic rock and folk music at Cardo’s from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 3.

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They call her Miss Shari

School bus driver honored for 15 years behind the wheel

Miss Shari has such pride in her big yellow school bus that she once polished it from “stem to stern.”

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New year features variety of musical performances

The new year brings plenty of opportunity to enjoy music of many varieties in the coming months.

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Report shows slight uptick in building permits

We wish we could say it got better, but the number of building permits issued in 2013 indicates things in construction haven’t turned around yet. Not even close.