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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

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Tough life forges one man’s generous heart

Kinsman gives away $200,000

He started out with nothing, shuffled from one foster home to another. Finally, in ninth grade he found himself all but on the streets — unloved, unwanted — with no one to count on and no help in sight.

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Payson’s plan for prosperity

The Town of Payson recently unveiled an ambitious five-year economic development plan centered on doable projects instead of yet another plan fated to end up on a shelf collecting dust.

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Road rage near Pine

A 28-year-old man is lucky to be alive after he was shot in the chest Monday afternoon in what appears to be a road rage incident, officials say.

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Brush fire knocks out power near Tonto Basin

A brush fire near Tonto Basin knocked out power to residents Monday afternoon.

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Hellsgate firefighters will get new breathers

The Hellsgate Fire Department recently secured a huge federal grant that will go a long way to ensure firefighters’ safety.

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To the rescue

Payson to operate Houston Mesa

Payson has agreed to continue managing the Houston Mesa Fire District for another year.

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Payson neighbors fret about bed and breakfast plan

A couple looking to open a bed and breakfast at their home off the Payson Golf Course drew concerns from neighbors who worry it will ruin the peaceful, quiet neighborhood.

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Fatal Fossil Creek confusion

Witness recounts latest drowning death in pool beneath waterfall

The horrific scene that unfolded in a deep pool in Fossil Creek over the weekend left witnesses shaken and underscored the dangers that persist, despite imposition of a reservation system this summer.

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Another drowning in Fossil Creek

A man drowned and several other hikers needed rescuing this weekend at Fossil Creek north of Payson.

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How to save a house from wildfire

In the midst of the most dangerous time of the year for forest fires, a fire official Monday urged residents to get their homes prepared while they still can.

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Rash of scary wildfires

A “suspicious” brush fire came dangerously close to several homes in Oxbow Estates Sunday night.

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Man, six pets escape house fire

An early morning fire badly damaged a Payson home Tuesday.

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Roundabout planned near high school

The town is working with the Arizona Department of Transportation to get a new roundabout built in town at West Longhorn and South McLane roads.

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A whole lotta bakin’ goin’ on

Dunkin’ Donuts opens to large, enthusiastic crowds

For sweets lovers, it was a moment that could not come soon enough. The doors to Dunkin’ Donuts opened Wednesday and the smell of glazed delight wafted out.

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Police investigating suspicious fire

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding who set a fire in east Payson Sunday.

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No serious injuries in accident on North Beeline

A two-vehicle wreck on south Beeline Highway slowed traffic around lunchtime Wednesday.

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Payson police raise may slow turnover, complaints

Council approves 7 percent raise for department unable to find enough officers

With a slew of officers leaving as the department struggles to recruit new hires, the Payson Police Department is giving all of its officers a 7 percent raise and offering a higher starting salary in hopes of boosting morale.

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Waste Management closes recycling site

Responding to abuse of the program, Waste Management recently shut down its recycling program near the Payson Airport.

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Man stabbed over RV

A Payson man is recovering after being stabbed Tuesday night.

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Brush fire south of Show Low closes Highway 60

Crews are currently battling a brush fire southwest of Show Low and have closed Highway 60 between mileposts 337 and 317.

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Accident slows traffic on North Beeline Highway

A two-vehicle wreck on south Beeline Highway slowed traffic around lunchtime Wednesday.

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Finally: Manzanita getting rebuilt

Work is finally underway to straighten out and widen North Manzanita Drive.

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Rumors run rampant that new restaurants not coming to Payson

Dunkin’ Donuts, 5 Guys on track

Despite the pictures of donuts going up in the windows, the Payson rumor mill ran rampant last week — buzzing with claims that the new Dunkin’ Donuts was not opening.

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Payson teen punches National Finals Rodeo ticket

A Payson teen is headed to the National High School Finals Rodeo after winning the overall average in steer wrestling this weekend.

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Probation for stalking, harassing

A Pine-Strawberry man who admitted stalking his ex-girlfriend, placing recording devices in her home and a tracking device on her vehicle, was sentenced Monday to probation.

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Monster Mudda Mayhem

It was another successful year for the Mountain High Games.

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Budget numbers not as rosy as expected

Up to 2 percent merit raise for town employees

The Payson Town Council got a snapshot of next year’s budget last week at a work-study and things weren’t as rosy as officials had hoped.

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Free self-defense course for women

As Payson High School graduates get ready for college in the fall, they might not be thinking about their safety on campus.

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The down and dirty on the mud run

I am not afraid of much, but like most, I don’t like to make a fool of myself, especially with a few hundred people watching.

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Payson council contests

Six people are running for three spots on the Payson Town Council in August and two are vying for the mayor’s seat.

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Payson planners ponder developments

The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider several new developments and a bed and breakfast rezoning at its Monday meeting at town hall.

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Smoky skies

Fires spread but firefighters happy

With above-normal temperatures expected this weekend, fire managers are closely watching several lightning-sparked forest fires.

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Fatal crash snarls traffic

Roadside fires, collisions mar holiday weekend

A fatal crash and bumper-to-bumper crowds snarled traffic throughout Memorial Day weekend.

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Wildfires still growing

Fires top 10,000 acres, but now helping forest

The Juniper Fire near Young grew to more than 6,620 acres over the weekend, casting a pass of smoke over Rim Country.

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Jail trysts lead to firings

A just-released report from the Gila County Sheriff’s Office reveals a strange tale of two guards and their decision to take on “jail wives” at the Globe jail that ultimately cost them their jobs.

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Mudder mostly breaks even

Things are taking shape for the fourth annual Mogollon Monster Mudda Mud Run at the Payson Event Center on Saturday, June 4.

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Fire chief goes to Dubai

Morris speaks at Fire Safety Technology Forum

The Pine-Strawberry Fire chief recently went half way around the world to help a community build safer buildings for firefighters.

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Middle school students celebrate graduation

The class of 2020 received a spirited send off as they graduated from Rim Country Middle School Thursday afternoon.

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Gunman shoots at cars, cops on Beeline

A San Tan Valley man is in custody after police say he went on a shooting spree Tuesday night, striking six vehicles, including a police cruiser on the Beeline Highway near Fountain Hills.

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Political shuffle

Evans runs for supervisor; Hughes, Swartwood face off

After four terms, Kenny Evans has said he will not run for Payson mayor again.

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Two critically injured on motorcycle

Crash took place on deadly turn north of Pine on Saturday

Two people were flown to the Valley Saturday after their motorcycle crashed head-on with a vehicle north of Strawberry.

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Alarmed by fires

But cool, damp conditions turn fires into forest management tool

Two lightning-sparked forest fires on the Mogollon Rim above Pine-Strawberry this weekend alarmed residents — but not fire crews.

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Payson man faces ‘trial by Facebook’ as rumors swirl

No doubt — he had too much to drink, before he started dancing and laughing in Rumsey Park back in April. He probably didn’t expect the police to show up.

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Juggling lives & fears in the emergency room

Four hours into his shift, with a computer screen full of patients and no beds to spare, the “bat phone” rings.

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Report to the Regents

ASU said official ‘partner’ for scaled down Payson branch campus plan

Arizona State University has agreed to open a branch in Payson, with a planned first-year enrollment of 300 to 350, Rim Country Educational Foundation President Gary Cordell said during a presentation at the Payson Tea Party this week.

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Flood of problems

Can Fossil Creek reservation system protect stream and rescue rescuers?

Last year, an estimated 130,000 people jammed into Fossil Creek, leaving behind trash, stinky messes and exhausted rescuers — called in more than 240 times to rescue hikers in flip-flops and drunken cliff jumpers.

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Volunteers save rider after fall

A man was airlifted to a Valley hospital Friday after falling off his horse and badly injuring his arm.

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Gun threat, booze result in probation after fight

A woman who pointed a gun at her girlfriend after they got into a fight will spend the next two years on probation and be required to get counseling.

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Craft beers, gourmet pizza — what’s not to like?

Residents lined up waiting for Pine’s Old County Inn to open

It hadn’t even opened yet, but last week car after car stopped at the Old County Inn in Pine, hoping the restaurant had opened.

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