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Rim Country has some of the state’s most diverse and productive riparian areas

Rim Country boasts some of the most diverse and healthy riparian areas in the state. That includes miles of gloriously intact cottonwood and willow habitat along the banks of the East Verde River, just outside of Payson.

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The return of a native to Haigler Creek in Rim Country

If you want to hook a wary, wild German brown trout, head for Haigler Creek, off Colcord Road. But hurry: In another couple of years, the creek may harbor an even rarer treat for anglers — a reintroduced population of endangered, native Gila trout.

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Recreation right in the Town of Payson

I’d enjoyed a fairly active summer life in Michigan before moving to Arizona eight years ago, playing slow-pitch softball with my buddies throughout my 20s and 30s.

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The view from the Mogollon Rim

The Mogollon Rim puts the world back in proper perspective, with the wind rushing past and the view extending for 100 miles. The wind whispers of vanished worlds and sudden death — as well as the stubborn persistence of life.

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Tonto Natural Bridge State Park protects the world’s largest travertine arch and an historic lodge

Rim Country’s best-known tourist attraction has made a striking comeback with visitors in the past two years. During the recession and budget crisis, frequent closures drove visitation at the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park down to about 60,000 annually.

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The East Verde River harbors lots of trout-stocked fishing holes

I tore myself loose late, knowing I’d never make it to Whispering Pines where I’d promised faithfully to meet Jack Kearns, a genial, quietly enthusiastic, endlessly good-humored retired utility company crew chief who now lives to fish.

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School board: Show us the receipt!

Teachers on trips still must submit the itemized details

Teachers taking students on education trips shouldn’t have to pay for hotel rooms out of their own pocket. On the other hand, they better bring back an itemized receipt if they want breakfast.

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Lawmaker’s AHCCCS suit rebuffed

Lawmakers seeking to reverse the expansion of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System suffered another setback in court this week.

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When lightning strikes

Few crews left to respond to fires sparked by monsoon

The National Weather Service reports the monsoon storms will continue throughout the weekend, but dry up next week.

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She’s the Martian’s mom

But she’s still going to keep her famous son down-to-earth

Payson resident Janet Tuer never wears dresses — until now.

Payson schools consider some hard truths

Payson schools are getting a sobering dose of tough love.

Eagles, other nongame wildlife grow to record numbers

What’s in a name? Based solely on its name, some might wrongly assume that the Arizona Game and Fish Department focuses only on “hunted” game animals and “fishable” fish.

Sports Briefs

Today is the deadline to register for Payson’s Youth Fall Soccer.

Good guys all over town

Several weeks ago, coming out of Kentucky Fried Chicken, I was shocked to find I was faced with a dead battery in my pickup truck.

Payson’s noise ordinances are not being enforced

I’m glad Rick Hatch and his wife had an enjoyable time at the Pirates Hideaway.

Blame where it belongs

I don’t know the superintendent of Payson Unified School District (PUSD) on either a personal or professional basis.

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Spikers look to challenge in loaded division

Color Desirae Burris optimistic.

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Payson’s World’s Oldest Continuous rodeo payouts top $42,000

Large crowds packed the Payson Event Center stands for last week’s 131st World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo.

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Rutter, Schwebs win with 53

Dave Rutter and Dennis Schwebs fired a 53 to win the Payson Men’s Golf Association’s Two-Man Best Ball Tournament on Aug. 19 at Payson Golf Course.