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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

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Maybe Can’t Stop Smokin’ just can’t stop growin’

You may have smelled something tasty as you drove into Payson from Star Valley recently.

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Payson mayor candidates clash

He came to Payson 33 years ago and took a job as a laborer, learning the building trades as he went.

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Prosecutors say shooting was self-defense

A long affair and an angry father leads to tragedy – and long pondering by prosecutors

An angry father. An armed man. A deadly confrontation.

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Drone foils firefighters

Crews were mopping up the nine-acre Webber Fire on the Rim above Pine Saturday after a storm dumped nearly an inch of rain.

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Payson commission approves tire shop

The Planning and Zoning Commission gave the go ahead for a tire repair shop along the Beeline Highway.

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Monsoon storms unleash fatal fury

Unsettled monsoon conditions have set in, mingling welcome moisture with deadly lightning strikes and a rash of new fires.

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Prison for nearly running over officer

A man who nearly ran into a Payson Police Department officer last year was sentenced Friday to three years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

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Drama in court

Relationship ends in an assault and a prison term

During an emotionally charged court session, a Payson man was sentenced to 2.25 years in prison for beating up his ex-girlfriend.

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Deputies seize 52 pot plants in Gisela

A large marijuana grow operation was discovered in Gisela Saturday.

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Forest fire east of Pine on Milk Ranch Point

Earlier Wednesday, a forest fire started east of Pine on Milk Ranch Point.

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Payson police raise held up

The long-awaited raise for Payson police officers proved smaller than many had anticipated.

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Buyout still rocking the budget boat

Ex-manager’s severance pay exceeds cost of three more police officers

Payson’s still making payments on the expensive decision to buy out former town manager Debra Galbraith.

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Chicken & the Egg

Which comes first: good jobs or a highly skilled workforce?

With a large percentage of Payson’s workforce leaving the area every day to work, building a strong workforce in town is a key goal of the town’s five-year economic development plan.

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Rescues keep volunteers hopping

Rescuers responded to repeated calls last weekend, including operations at Salome Canyon and the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.

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Helicopter crashes

When a helicopter went down Sunday, the only thing left standing was the pilot and the seat he was sitting in.

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Residents report rash of fake IRS scams

Several residents have reported receiving multiple Internal Revenue Service scam calls recently.

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Hot hiking on the Highline Trail

On the second day of our hike below the Mogollon Rim, I was beginning to wonder why I’d ever decided to hike the Highline Trail.

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July 4 show: a family affair

It was another successful event for the town Monday, as thousands crowded into Green Valley Park for the Fourth of July celebration.

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Payson Fire: Further but quicker

Response times in Houston Mesa drop by a minute

Payson has cut one minute off call response times since taking over management of the Houston Mesa Fire District. Even one minute can make a big difference on some calls — like a heart attack or a house fire.

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Dogged determination

Epic journey proves you can’t stop love

He helped her conquer her fear of heights and last week, love couldn’t keep these two apart.

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Casino drug arrests

Three Valley residents were arrested early Wednesday morning for reportedly using drugs in the Mazatzal Casino parking lot.

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Hard lesson: Don’t borrow the wrong car

A 23-year-old man was sentenced to probation Tuesday for using a vehicle unlawfully.

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Hellsgate saved by federal grant

Thanks to a grant and some creative money making ideas, the Hellsgate Fire Department’s $2.2 million budget next fiscal year is in solid shape.

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Volunteers comfort abandoned dogs

You probably have seen them walking down Main Street. It is hard to know who is wagging more.

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Mayor candidate vows to help businesses

A man that once served as Payson’s mayor says he is running again to set the town in a new direction.

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Fossil Creek hoards need frequent rescuing

It was a busy Fourth of July holiday for emergency officials as one man was airlifted after being thrown from a pickup and a multitude of people trying to hike out of Fossil Creek needed water.

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What a blast!

Finding love, peace at fireworks show

It was a family affair at Payson’s Fourth of July Celebration Monday.

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Fire knocks out power in Tonto Basin

Residents praise quick response by firefighters and APS

A quick moving brush fire burned nearly 60 acres off State Route 188 Monday afternoon, knocking power off for hours to 1,100 residents. Some ended up sleeping outside until Arizona Public Service restored the power.

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Microburst blasts Rye

A microburst in Rye Tuesday night flipped a travel trailer and ripped the roof off a home in what residents said felt like a tornado tearing through the community.

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Valley men arrested for shooting drunk driver

Gun-toting pair forces Payson man off the road, shoot him as he flees

Two Valley men are in custody after they shot a drunk driver Monday afternoon north of Payson, claiming they just wanted to keep the man from driving back out onto the highway.

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Man gets 20 years for assaulting mother

A Payson man upset at how his mother’s boyfriend was treating her, stabbing him multiple times and then beating up his own mother will serve the next 20 years in prison.

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Payson buyout doubles cost of town manager

Payson residents will not see their property tax rate decline slightly next year — at least when it comes to the town’s portion.

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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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Man, six pets escape house fire

An early morning fire badly damaged a Payson home Tuesday.

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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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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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