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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

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Four home fires reported Saturday

It was a busy weekend for Payson firefighters who respond to four reports of fires.

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Tragic case of abuse, but a common problem

A Payson man was sentenced to four years in prison Monday, Nov. 28 for shaking an infant after he grew frustrated by the child’s crying.

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Mini flips out

Police found a Mini Cooper Countryman lying flat on its roof in the center of a quiet residential street Thursday, Dec. 1.

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Smoke detectors alert Pine family to fire

A Pine home caught fire early Thursday morning due to some Christmas decorations on a fireplace mantel.

Valley teen killed in UTV wreck near Roosevelt

A 16-year-old Valley teen was killed Saturday after rolling an all-terrain vehicle near Roosevelt Lake.

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Swartwood promises lots of changes

Mayor-elect Craig Swartwood said there are going to be a lot of changes when he takes office Dec. 15, from shaking up the police department to re-working fire codes and a new marketing campaign, Swartwood said he has a lot he wants to accomplish in the next two years.

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Stranded father and son rescued

A father and son were forced to camp out for three days after their truck went off a dirt road east of Roosevelt Lake Thanksgiving weekend.

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Reading the Range aids ranchers, Forest Service

Studying a small square of soil, Ashley Hall brushed her hand over several strands of grasses outside the Shoofly Ruins northeast of Payson on a crisp clear morning in mid November.

Payson council makes slew of appointments

With three of incumbents’ terms ending, the Payson Town Council last week made a slew of appointments to various town boards.

Chief deputy hired for county attorney’s office

The Gila County Attorney’s Office has hired a new chief deputy attorney after Shawn Fuller abruptly left the office at the end of August.

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Domestic violence remains persistent

While the overall number of domestic violence arrests has continued to decline since 2011, it remains a persistent problem in the community with officers responding to a call of domestic violence every other day on average.

Pastor appointed to Alliance board

The Payson Town Council last week appointed Richard Richey as a new director to the Rim Country Educational Alliance.

Things getting hairy for Payson police

Things are getting pretty hairy at the Payson Police Department these days.

Payson balks at Hellsgate plea

Private ambulance company opposes plan

A divided Payson Town Council balked at supporting the Hellsgate Fire District’s efforts to provide ambulance service to the area.

Terrible child abuse

A Payson couple was sentenced last month inflicting life-threatening injuries on a baby they were watching and then trying to cover up the injuries with makeup.

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Murder Charge: Man arrested for killing East Verde Estates resident

On Monday, Nov. 21, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting an altercation between two men that had occurred on Sunday, Nov. 20. Deputies responded to a residence in East Verde Estates and found a man dead.

Payson area food drive starts

For the past seven years, not one person who needed food has been turned away in Payson.

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Evans leaves a list

With only a few more weeks left as mayor, Kenny Evans said the town has more than two dozen projects still in the works.

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Even kids will want to wash your car

Brace yourself — your kids are really going to want to wash the car. Just don’t get caught in the crossfire as they fire off soap from the spray gun at Chevron’s new automated car wash.

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Guess who's coming to town

A real beard & real tears of joy in a season for giving & loving

Go ahead, give his stomach a pat. Tug his beard a little. You’ll find it’s as real as Santas come. There isn’t anything fake about Roger Freeman, Payson’s very own Santa Claus, especially not his spirit.

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Payson Jewelers closing 3 decades

If you are going to go out, go out with a bang — or in this case — a sparkle.

Five horses dead in semi rollover

Trailer full of horses & bulls overturns

He has worked with rodeo stock before, but never wrestled wild bucking stock on the side of the highway.

12 injured in highway pileup

A dozen people were injured Saturday night in a five-vehicle pileup on State Route 87 south of town.

Church closer to opening coffee shop

A church is one step closer to opening a coffee shop on its grounds. Expedition Church began fixing up a small building on its 2.5-acre property on South Colcord Road some time ago to use as a coffee shop and on Monday, Nov. 7 the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously agreed to recommend the town council approve rezoning the property.

Alliance director; streets on town council agenda

The Payson Town Council will seat a new director for the university project and purchase some of the rights of way needed to repair Bonita Street at the next council meeting Thursday.

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Charlie’s butcher shop under new ownership

It might not be Charlie behind the counter anymore, but his legacy and commitment to quality lives on.

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Gas lines aging, but inspected

Payson’s network of underground, propane pipes includes a mixture of new and old pipes and has produced several explosions besides the thunderous blast that demolished a two-story apartment building on Nov. 5, according to the most recent audit records compiled by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

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Trinkets and Treasures all spruced up

In a town full of thrift stores, Trinkets and Treasures is one of the best loved — with proceeds going toward feeding needy seniors.

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Jimmy John’s opens after all

After more than a year of waiting, Jimmy John’s has opened its doors in Payson, emitting those famous “free smells” of fresh baked bread in the Safeway shopping center.

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Pine Fire district draws overwhelming voter support

Property tax hike for district wins support of 66 percent

There were a number of important issues facing local fire districts this year.

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Sheriff Shepherd easily surmounts another challenge

Independent effort by Stubbs draws 35 percent vote

Adam Shepherd has secured another four years at the helm of the Gila County Sheriff’s Office after winning Tuesday’s election by a wide margin.

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Mystery shrouds propane explosion

Payson has little information on gas lines, leaks

When the call came out that someone had smelled gas near an apartment complex Saturday night fire crews could offer little assistance but to call the gas company to investigate.

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Republican joy

Gatherings to watch election results offer stark contrast

The Republican Headquarters in Payson was filled with waves of excitement Tuesday night as state after state went to Donald Trump for president.

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Explosion engulfs apartment building

A massive gas explosion that blew some residents out of their shoes and “vaporized” their escape route engulfed a two-story apartment building at 201 E. Zurich St. at 8 p.m. Saturday.

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Payson ammunition plant seeks to reopen

Awaiting supplies, untangling legal issues

Payson’s ammunition manufacturing plant reopened two weeks ago, but the production lines don’t appear to be in operation.

Fire danger increases with cold weather

As the overnight temperatures start to fall, the Payson Fire Department is reminding residents to think twice before using their chimney or space heater to stay warm.

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Judge rules on pot dispensary conflict

After an 18-month legal battle, a judge has ruled on who actually owns Payson’s Uncle Herbs marijuana dispensary, but the twisted story appears far from over.

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Gila County honors residents, past and present

The Gila County Board of Supervisors did a little horn tooting this week on behalf of three current and former Gila County residents.

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Police arrest 7 on drug charges

As trick-or-treaters went door-to-door Halloween night for treats, officers were knocking down the door of a reported drug house.

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Woman, 81, airlifted from Fossil Creek

A 81-year-old woman was airlifted from the Fossil Creek trail Sunday after she slipped and fell in the creek.

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Did Francis Klettke kill his father?

A California man is in custody after police say he shot and killed his father while camping at Fossil Creek.

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Who you gonna call? Psst ... The Elk Whisperer

So far as her friends and neighbors are concerned: She’s the Elk Whisperer. That’s because Debera Butler worked for 10 hours calming, coaxing a bull elk to remove a tire swing tangled in his antlers.

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Two injured in wreck east of Payson Saturday

A Star Valley man remains in critical condition after his truck crashed into a friend’s vehicle early Saturday morning east of Payson.

Scam artists still active in Payson

It almost happened to one of our own. Last week, with an envelope of $2,700 in hand, Payson ad rep John Stanton stood in line to wire the money to someone he thought had an RV for sale.

Payson won't waive fees for Expedition Church

Worried it would set an unfair precedent, the Payson Town Council recently elected not to waive fees for a church to set up a coffee shop.

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College progresses, but still no partner

Architects and planners for a proposed four-year college campus in Payson met with town officials Wednesday to go over preliminary phase I plans.

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Payson depends on fire, police grants

Payson has secured $385,000 in funding recently to outfit police with new radios, firefighters with breathing masks, improve a section of the American Gulch and to help crime victims.

Fire disaster averted in family home

A family is out of their home after a grease fire Monday night. The fire started around 8 p.m. after a teen living in the home put oil in a pan to fry pinwheels and then walked away.

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Payson ammo maker poised to reopen

Owners say they'll resume next week

A month after an abrupt shutdown, Payson’s sole ammunition manufacturing facility re-opened its doors Monday, with plans to begin manufacturing next week.

Chamber hopes to boost local shopping with prizes

Hurry, get shopping. This $6,000 giveaway could not be any simpler. Gather all of your receipts from local purchases, including utility bills, and bring them down to the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce on Main Street.