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County still pondering court project

Current layout of complex poses risk to police, public

Plans to build a new courthouse in Payson in the old NAPA Auto Parts building have still not progressed to construction as many had hoped. Officials continue to hash out a layout and how best to meet a gaggle of staff needs.

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Hell of a hard hike to get to paradise

Fossil Creek Trail lures the ill prepared for a chance to splash in travertine pools

Each year, in that glorious time between the brisk cold of winter and the searing heat of summer, my children and I embark on an expedition down the Fossil Creek Trail to the spring source. One of our favorite trips of the year, we look forward to playing in those magical pools, but also prepare for the trek with plenty of water, hats, lots of snacks and time. Unfortunately, many of the people badly underestimate the rigors of the eight-mile round trip complete with 3,000 feet of elevation lost and then painfully regained. Every weekend, search and rescue teams haul the unlucky or ill prepared up the long, steep trail. This summer could set rescue records, especially if the current closure of Fossil Creek Road prompts even more flip-flop-wearing, beer-cooler toting flatlanders to go slopping down the trail.

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Champion Pine archery team still hits the bull’s-eye

National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) defending Arizona state champion Pine-Strawberry School is well on the way to another trip to both the state and national championship tournaments.

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Top Rim Country bass fisherman on the road again

If hometown professional tournament angler Clifford Pirch was asked to choose a theme song for his angling pursuits, he’d probably select Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.”

Who objects to more educational options?

OK, the Jan. 15 edition on page 7A has a nearly-full-page article that begins: “Payson students lack basic skills in reading, math: Tests show less than half have adequate reading skills.”

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Man found dead in spa, no signs of foul play

Police found a 67-year-old man dead in his hot tub Monday afternoon.

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Special ed’s alarming gap

Alarmed by the wide and persistent gap between special education students and the general student population, the Arizona Department of Education’s Exceptional Student (Special Education) Office has directed districts to close the gap.

Why did my APS bill jump 50 percent?

I went to the local APS office to pay my bill the other day. There was a line with everyone complaining about their higher bills.

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Wheels come off of girls basketball bandwagon against Combs

For three quarters the Payson High School girls basketball team looked like world-beaters building a 35-28 lead over San Tan Combs

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Looking forward to D’backs now that Cards’ season is over

Another Week in the Creek

Christopher Creek salutes the 14-win 2015 Arizona Cardinals. What a ride you gave us! This state hasn’t had this kind of buzz for a while and we were feeling pretty good right up to the end.

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The trip back home isn’t always a boring nothing, Part 2

Your Turn

Both of my “interesting” trips back home happened on aircraft. I deserve no blame for the mess I told you about last week; it was a routine flight back home. But the mess I’m going to mention today was my own dumb fault.

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Shelby celebrates National School Choice Week

The Village

I typed in the date for this week’s column and I was shocked, there are only two days left of this month. Where did the time go?

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Meeting to discuss gym reopening slated for Feb. 2

Rattlin' the Rim

Pine-Strawberry School principal-superintendent Cody Barlow has arranged a community meeting in which parents and others will have the opportunity to meet face to face with the state officials responsible for shutting down and later reopening the school gymnasium.

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Characters Under the Mogollon Rim – Clyde Moose, Payson ranger, Part 2

Back When

When Clyde Moose became superintendent of the Payson Ranger District in 1937, life there was still primitive. For example, there had been no telephone connection to the “outside world” until just before Ranger Moose arrived.

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New storm coming

The National Weather Service has warned of a fast-moving winter storm charging through Arizona from Sunday to Monday.The National Weather Service has warned of a fast-moving winter storm charging through Arizona from Sunday to Monday.

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Campy parody a comic delight

In homage to Shakespeare, the Payson High School Theatre Troupe performed “Commedia Delight,” a play of mistaken identity and redemption with an Italian lilt instead of the thees and thous of Shakespeare.

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Winter storm brewing

Snow, rain possible Sunday and Monday

The National Weather Service on Wednesday afternoon issued the following advisory: Today through Saturday: Dry weather conditions with warmer temperatures will continue through Friday as a high pressure ridge slowly moves across the western states. Out in the Pacific, another winter storm is brewing. Stronger southwesterly winds will develop on Sat/Sun ahead of the approaching low.

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Vehicle fire on the Beeline Highway

Firefighters extinguished a vehicle fire on State Route 87 Thursday afternoon.

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Web camera keeps an eye on sandhill cranes

The new sandhill crane camera launched last week by the Arizona Game and Fish Department has already received upgrades to further improve the wildlife watching experience for viewers.

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Democrat challenging Rep. Gosar

Weisser also pushing initiative to legalize marijuana

The director of a group to reform marijuana laws announced last week that he is running again for Congress in the district that represents Rim Country and offered updates on the latest Arizona bills relating to the plant.