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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

Does Payson need a big hotel?

Does Payson need a hotel and conference center? Town officials hope to find out with a feasibility study for which the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) recently approved funding.

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Payson still seeks its economic ‘heart’

Oft-frustrated plans for Payson's Main Street still seen as vital to town’s future

To attract new businesses and workers, Payson needs to offer them something.

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Gelato! Taste as sweet summer delight in Swiss Village

Just in time for summer, there is something new and sweet in the Swiss Village Shops. Country Charm Fudge, 626 N. Beeline Highway, has added gelato to their lineup of decadent treats.

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Boys rescued from flooded creek at Water Wheel

Two boys were rescued from Water Wheel Sunday night after finding themselves trapped on the wrong side of the creek during a storm.

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Work continues to fix up Payson's American Gulch

Can Payson turn eyesore into a tourist attraction?

Work continues on the first phases of the American Gulch walking path project.

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Take a breath

Grant will replace Payson firefighters unreliable breathing systems

With firefighters breathing apparatuses failing at an “unacceptable” rate, the Payson Fire Department recently received a $334,000 grant to buy new units.

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Woman gets prison for high-speed chase

After nearly hitting an officer head-on and then leading officers on a drunken high-speed chase earlier this year, a Whiteriver woman was sentenced to prison recently.

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Five seek three town council seats

Voting ballots will hit Payson residents’ mailboxes next week. Voters have five candidates to choose among for three Payson Town Council seats and two candidates vying for mayor.

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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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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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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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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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Residents report rash of fake IRS scams

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.