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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

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Highline Trail race makes marathons look easy

Rim Country is home to one of the toughest, roughest and most beautiful ultra marathons in the country and most residents have never heard of it.

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Rollover near Payson kills driver, three children

A man and three children were killed Monday night just north of Payson when the man reportedly fell asleep at the wheel.

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Council challengers lining up

One more person has turned in the paperwork to run for Payson Town Council.

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Pine man found dead

Police are investigating the death of a Pine man found Thursday morning in his trailer.

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Payson seeks state grant for police overtime

The Payson Police Department has applied for three state grants, including $51,600 from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for new equipment and officers’ overtime during busy holiday weekends.

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Payson to help repave Houston Mesa

The Payson Town Council agreed last week to team up with Gila County to pave a portion of Houston Mesa Road.

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School bus in fender bender

A Payson Unified School District school bus was involved in a minor accident that delayed students getting to school.

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Fatal wreck north of Payson Monday night

A man and three children were killed Monday night north of Payson when the man reportedly fell asleep at the wheel.

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Firefighters scramble

There were a number of human-caused forest fires in Rim Country this weekend, including a vehicle fire that spread to the trees in Star Valley.

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Fossil Creek follies resume

Must be spring — you can tell by the rush of Pine-Strawberry Fire paramedics and volunteers from the Gila County Mounted Posse down the Fossil Creek trail to rescue hikers in flip-flops.

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Daring rescue

Crews reach injured boy

Battling dangerous conditions, 50 mph winds and a challenging trail, rescuers helped a teen to safety Saturday after he broke his leg south of town.

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60 years for attack

Judge throws the book at man who threw a firebomb

A man who threw a firebomb at police and barricaded himself in his home for 11 hours last year, will spend more than 60 years in prison.

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Jeri J’s Indian Fry Bread now at Western Village

It’s got a new home and a new color scheme, but more importantly, inside the fry bread at Jeri J’s has not changed.

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Making way for custard

Culver’s demolishes former Pirate’s Cove for new restaurant

Break out the wrecking ball. Crews quickly went to work Monday demolishing the former Pirate’s Cove and miniature golf course near Miss Fitz 260 Cafe.

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Boom times

Officials want to make Payson a destination, not a pit stop

The problematic economy has spurred a flurry of talk about economic development in recent months, as Payson and other Rim Country communities try to transform the area into a tourist destination — not just a pit stop.

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Towns seek to cut costs

The Payson Town Council Thursday night approved an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the town, Star Valley and the Rim Country Educational Alliance for legal services.

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Girls night out

An anthropologist specializing in sex roles would have had a field day.

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Rescue ends in tragedy

The Tonto Rim Search and Rescue volunteers might soon have to adopt a new motto: On the road again.

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Elections looming

Election season has officially kicked off with candidates starting to pick up their packets for various open seats in the county.

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Volunteers stampede to the posse

After years of losing members, the Gila County Sheriff’s Posse joyfully swore in seven new members Tuesday night.

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Payson council honors community volunteers

The council honored dozens of volunteers Thursday and got updates on several town improvement projects at a regularly scheduled meeting.

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Sopeland sentence

No jail in ammunition selling case

After a tumultuous legal battle, a Payson man was sentenced Wednesday morning to probation for taking scrap ammunition from his former employer and selling it to a friend.

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Back to the Future

Payson ponders economic plan

An annual mountain bike festival. A covered event center. A focus on Old Town Payson and completing the American Gulch project to help make the town a destination and not a drive-thru.

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Clinging to hope

Rescuers scour canyon for woman missing 11 days

With no clues to go on, the search for a missing Tucson woman grew dire this weekend as crews entered their ninth day of scouring a remote, rugged section of the White Mountain Apache Reservation, southeast of Young. With no clues to go on, the search for a missing Tucson woman grew dire this weekend as crews entered their ninth day of scouring a remote, rugged section of the White Mountain Apache Reservation, southeast of Young.

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Kidnapping

Payson Police arrest man for sexual assault on child

Police say they arrested a Payson man Sunday after he kidnapped a young girl and sexually assaulted her.

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Payson honors volunteers

The council honored dozens of volunteers Thursday and got updates on several town improvement projects at a regularly scheduled meeting.

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View of economic future

Payson plan: Don’t wait on university

After months of planning, the Payson Town Council sat down Tuesday to go through the draft of a five-year economic plan.

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Kiwanis April 16 fundraiser to help kids

The decade that brought us MTV, Madonna, the “Thriller” album, mullets, shoulder pads and leg warmers will for one night help hundreds of local students.

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Social media draws police

After social media buzz about a man dancing in a street with a bottle of alcohol this week, the Payson Police Department responded.

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Tip leads to Payson drug arrests

Payson Police arrested three people last month after officers found them smoking methamphetamine in a trailer.

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Have a blast at business showcase

Its theme has been everything from “Hidden Treasures of Rim Country” to “Business Frontier Roundup” and the “Fast and Furious of the Rim Country.” While the Business Showcase gets a new theme every year, it’s always been the place for businesses to feature their services and products.

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Judges shoulder huge caseload

After donning a robe a little more than a year ago, Gila County Superior Court Judge Tim Wright said it has been a whirlwind.

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Man killed in tractor accident

A 48-year-old Payson man was killed Thursday when the tractor he was operating rolled.

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Payson debates economic development

The Payson Town Council will meet twice this week, once for a regularly scheduled Thursday council meeting and at a Tuesday special meeting to discuss an economic development plan.

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Two busted for sex with teen

Payson Police arrested two men last month for allegedly having sex with an underage teen.

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Crash blocks Highway 87

Southbound Highway 87 was blocked Friday afternoon after a pickup truck rolled just south of the Mazatzal Casino.

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Thai Cafe: Same savor, new address

Ayothaya serves up distinctive dishes in Bashas’ shopping center

After five years at the corner of Manzanita Street and Highway 260, Ayothaya Thai Cafe has relocated to a smaller location.

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Proposition 123: Boon or bane?

If voters approve a funding measure in May, Payson Unified School District could see an increase of nearly $500,000 to its budget every year for the next decade, money sorely needed by the district.

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Child porn spurs plea

‘Lonely’ man downloaded images

After admitting to downloading child pornography, a Payson man faces up to 15 years in prison and lifetime probation.

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Payson approves $20,000 contract for fireworks show

The Payson Town Council last week approved spending $10,000 to help pay for a $20,000 July 4 show, which last year drew 16,000 people to town.

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Payson’s wishing on budget star

Payson’s mile-long wish list for public improvements far outweighs the town’s budget.

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Payson pools resources for legal help

In a move that should make it easier for the town to get legal help, the council recently approved an agreement that lets it pool resources with other cities and towns.

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Nonprofits unite for Arizona Gives Day

If you are looking for a way to support several local nonprofit groups, consider donating on April 5 during Arizona Gives Day.

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Diamondbacks grant will improve park

The town recently unveiled what improvements the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation will complete at Rumsey Park later this year.

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ADOT plans to reopen Beeline rest stop

After years of waiting, the Mazatzal Rest Area, at the junction of State Routes 188 and 87, will undergo a major rehabilitation project in fiscal year 2020.

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Furry Friends in operation for 30+ years

It’s rare that a small business lasts more than a few years these days. But among the business success stories in Payson is Furry Friends. After 31 years, owner Terry Ford still loves coming to work every day at the same quaint location off South McLane Road, near the Humane Society of Central Arizona.

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Prayers offered for area’s first responders

The Rim Country Prayer Network hosted its inaugural Day of Prayer and Appreciation for Rim Country first responders Wednesday at Scoops.

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Jakes Corner celebrates centennial of service in April

It has survived many owners, a fire and a slew of rowdy nights as semi trucks replaced stagecoaches on the one of the main routes to Rim Country.

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New parking lot for big GVP events

After years of use as an unsightly storage yard, a town-owned property near Green Valley Park is getting a makeover of sorts.

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Fire kept from spreading to forest

Although unoccupied, outbuilding seemed to have been lived in

Hellsgate and Payson firefighters worked together Friday morning on a structure fire in Star Valley.

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