I was coming home from Payson Monday afternoon and I noticed a huge plume of smoke just over the Mogollon Rim. As soon as I got home, I called the Payson Ranger Station and they told me that there was a control burn going on in the Coconino National Forest. What a scary sight! The smoke looked too close for comfort. On Tuesday morning the smoke had drifted into Tonto Village, bringing the smell of burning timber and haziness. I have been assured that the smoke will only last for a few more days.
Luckily, our area is not quite so vulnerable to a brush fire since, according to Tonto Village resident, Curt Arrants, we have had 3-1/4 inches of rain since the monsoon started. That’s very good news, but so much more is needed.
I learned via Facebook that Monday morning, Steve Kempton of the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery Road passed away in his sleep as he and his wife Eve were in Illinois. Sincere condolences to Eve and the family.
Virginia (Ginny as she is known) is at Payson Regional Medical Center. Ginny would appreciate a short visit. Get well soon, Ginny. May your hospital stay be short and filled with constant love and support.
Bear Flat resident Denny Kindler is now at his home with Hospice help. Denny has undergone radiation and chemotherapy and has requested that he be allowed to come home to Bear Flat. We all wish you well, Denny.
Some good news
Dick and Marilyn Lamb of Kohl’s Ranch will celebrate 57 years together on July 27. What a milestone! Happy anniversary to you both.
Lonie Smith of Ellison Creek Summer Homes will blow out an additional candle for her birthday on July 24.
Laura Tetzke, daughter of Elaine Tetzke of Tonto Village III will share a July 24 birthday with Lonie.
On a personal note, our oldest grandson, Jonathan Porter of Yuma, Ariz. will celebrate his birthday on July 31. It is hard to believe that he will be 34 years old.
Happy birthday to the July birthdays, especially to our grandson.
Hellsgate Fire Department
Acting fire chief Dave Bathke has announced that Arizona Department of Health Services has approved a paramedic refresher course training at the Hellsgate station in Star Valley. The course is still in the planning stages so far, but is tentatively scheduled for January 2015. More details will become available at a later date.
Chief Bathke has also implemented physical fitness training for all firefighter shifts on a regular schedule.
Fire Chief Ron Jarvis will be leaving the Christopher/Kohl’s Fire station on July 31 for Coolidge, Ariz. Chief Jarvis has accepted a fire chief position with the Coolidge Fire Department. Good luck to you, Chief Jarvis.
Shelby School students and brothers, Warner and Nash Rensch took their dad, Danny, to one of the biggest chess tournaments in Arizona last weekend. They all played in the Ye Olde Pueblo in Tucson ... and they won!
First-grade student, Warner, and Nash, a fourth-grader, both took home Best Unrated prizes for being amongst the top beginners in the event, while International Master Danny Rensch (known for his work with the Shelby School Scout Pack and Troop 7787) won top overall honors in the Open Section, taking home his own plaque and the $500 first prize.
An open house has been scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday, July 28. Parents and children are invited to visit the campus, meet the teachers, and check out the classrooms. Parents can also register their children at the open house for the next school year. The address in Tonto Village is 235 W. Standage Drive. The phone number for the school is (928) 478-4706 if you would like a bit more information. Remember, school starts on July 31.
Boy Scout Troop 7787 enjoyed Camp Geronimo last week in spite of the rain and mud. Master Scout leader Byron Tanenhaus, along with Curt Arrants, Danny Rensch, Steve and Shelby assisted Byron with five Scouts who were lucky enough to be on hand for a muzzle loading demonstration, climbing walls, hikes and many other skills. Isaac Tanenhaus, Taylor Ramirez, Tony, James and Matthew had a fun-filled week.
Our son, Bill Snyder Jr. from Yuma, Ariz., was also at Camp Geronimo for the event. He said that it was a very rewarding experience and would be happy to participate again next year.